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Latest Wyoming news, sports, business and entertainment

COLD CASE SLAYING

Man enters plea agreement in 1980 Wyo. slayings

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - A Missouri man has agreed to plead guilty to three counts of murder in the 1980 shooting deaths of his ex-wife and her two children in Wyoming.

Gerald Lee Uden faces life in prison without the possibility of parole under the agreement filed Thursday in Fremont County District Court. Prosecutors agreed not to seek the death penalty for the 71-year-old.

A judge hasn't approved the agreement yet.

Defense lawyer Sky Phifer of Lander, Wyo., declined to comment Thursday. Attempts to reach prosecutors were unsuccessful.

Uden's wife, 74-year-old Alice Louise Uden, was recently charged with first-degree murder in a separate case.

She's accused of killing 25-year-old Ronald Holtz, who disappeared in 1974 or 1975. His remains were recently found in an abandoned mine in Laramie County, in southeast Wyoming.

SCHOOL SAFETY

Panel finds need to improve Wyo. school safety

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - A task force that studied safety and security of Wyoming's schools recommends state and local districts take action to help prevent the type of shootings that have occurred in other states.

The task force was formed by Gov. Matt Mead.

Task force chairman Guy Cameron says Wyoming schools are safe but says there are areas for improvement.

The task force recommends helping districts place more police officers in schools. It also calls for schools to conduct drills on how to respond to shooting incidents and calls on the state Education Department to take on a greater role in addressing school safety and security issues.

Several lawmakers say they are looking at introducing legislation next year to address the issue.

UW ATHLETICS REVIEW

UW Pres. Sternberg to review football, basketball

LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) - University of Wyoming President Bob Sternberg says he has hired an outside consultant to evaluate the football program.

Sternberg also plans to review the university basketball program.

The football team lost to rival Colorado State 52-22 on Saturday. It was the first time since 1922 that Wyoming allowed CSU to score more than 50 points.

The Cowboys are now 4-3 overall and 2-1 in the Mountain West Conference. Sternberg says he'd wanted the football team to be doing better by this point in the season.

All aspects of the football program are up for evaluation, including coaches, day-to-day operations, facilities and recruiting. Sternberg expects a written report within two weeks.

He says things aren't going terribly for UW football but also aren't going optimally.

POACHING INVESTIGATIONS

Game and Fish investigates elk, antelope poaching

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - The Wyoming Game and Fish Department says poachers have killed at least four elk and four pronghorn in southern Wyoming over the past month.

On Oct. 18, a cow and bull elk south of Rock Springs were shot and the meat was left to rot. A shooter also wounded an elk calf that was euthanized.

Two nonresident hunters reported finding the elk.

On Oct. 4, somebody found a dead elk just north of Buford in southeast Wyoming. Game and Fish says the head and back straps were removed but the rest of the elk remained.

The Wyoming Tribune Eagle reports the Sept. 20 discovery of four dead antelope north of Laramie also has prompted an investigation.

Only the animals' heads and back straps were removed.

LARAMIE LANDFILL

New Laramie landfill expected to open in January

LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) - A new landfill for the city of Laramie is nearing completion.

City officials say they hope to open the landfill by mid to late January. Local taxes and state grants funded the $6 million project.

The landfill will be lined and will have 13 wells to check the local groundwater for any pollution. The landfill also will have a baler to compact household trash and a system to pump out liquids.

Officials expect the city's existing landfill to reach full capacity within a year.

TETON PASS ARRESTORS

New system to stop runaway vehicles on Teton Pass

JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) - The Wyoming Department of Transportation is preparing to construct two devices to safely stop cars and trucks that lose their ability to brake on their way downhill from Teton Pass.

The arrestor system will employ steel nets to stop vehicles as heavy as 90,000 pounds that are going as fast as 90 mph down Wyoming Highway 22.

The arrestors will be built a mile and a half apart just outside Wilson.

Work on the arrestor project will begin in 2015. WyDOT officials say the federal government will cover 80 to 90 percent of the $2.8 million cost of the project.

COX-TRANSPORTATION ASSOCIATION

WyDOT chief named VP of transport officials' group

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - The director of the Wyoming Department of Transportation has been named vice president of a national organization of state transportation officials.

The board of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials elected John Cox to the position Monday.

Cox recently was president of the 18-state Western Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.

Cox has been WyDOT director since 2005.

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