AP News Update

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AP News Update

Latest Wyoming news, sports, business and entertainment
GAS EXPLOSION

Injured gas worker planned to marry next summer

PINEDALE, Wyo. (AP) - One of the workers injured last week in a Jonah Field explosion planned to marry next summer but is fighting for his life.

The Star-Tribune reports that 23-year-old Brandon Chadwick is in critical condition at a Utah hospital. He was one of five workers injured in the blast at an Encana drilling site 35 miles south of Pinedale.

Three of the workers have been released from the hospital.

Chadwick's fiancee tells the newspaper that he has significant burns covering between 12 and 20 percent of his body.

The blast appears to be a result of welding work being done at the site, according to a preliminary investigation by the Wyoming Occupational Safety and Health Administration

AMMUNITION COMPANY

Ammunition company plans to open plant in Laramie

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - An ammunition company intends to open a manufacturing plant in Laramie.

Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead announced Tuesday that Maverick Ammunition, which is also known as Ammo Kan, intends to employ more than 50 people at its Laramie plant.

Mead's office released a statement quoting Ammo Kan CEO Curt Perry saying the company has leased a building in Laramie. Perry states he expects the facility will be producing 1.8 million rounds per week by the second half of 2014.

Dan Furphy, president and CEO of the Laramie Economic Development Corporation, said Ammo Kan has existing operations in Colorado.

Furphy says the company plans to start in Laramie by manufacturing practice ammunition and later will expand into hunting ammo. He says it will manufacture its own cartridge components.

CITY COUNCIL-PROBE

Casper city manager: city can't comment on probe

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) - The Casper city manager says the city can't talk about an ongoing conflict-of-interest probe of a city councilor because of state law and the need for other councilors to remain objective.

City Manager John Patterson tells the Casper Star-Tribune the city put out a statement regarding the investigation of City Councilor Craig Hedquist to address public concerns.

The city is investigating whether Hedquist has a conflict of interest because his construction company has completed more than $27 million in work for the city. It's also looking into an allegation that he had a disagreement with a city employee over payments to his company.

Patterson says files related to the investigation will not be made public.

The newspaper says calls to Hedquist's office and Hedquist's attorney for comment weren't returned.

HOLIDAY PATROLS

Wyoming Highway Patrol plans extra holiday patrols

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Troopers with the Wyoming Highway Patrol are starting special overtime patrols on Thanksgiving day that will continue through Christmas and New Year's Eve.

Troopers around the state will be working extra overtime hours either prior to or after their regularly scheduled shifts. They will be looking to stop speeders, impaired drivers and people not wearing their seat belts.

Lt. Col. Shannon Ratliff of the patrol says troopers will have a zero-tolerance policy for all alcohol-related violations as well as seat belt/child safety restraint violations.

The increased patrols will mainly be on the day of the holidays and on weekends.

TRAPPED PETS

Traps capture pet dogs near Jackson

JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) - A resident has put up warning signs to alert pet owners of the presence of traps on National Forest land near Jackson after two pet dogs were caught in a trapper's snare and leghold traps.

The Jackson Hole News & Guide reports that the dogs were caught on Friday while walking in a heavily used recreation area south of Red Top Meadows.

April North tells the newspaper she was on a routine walk when the dogs were trapped. She says the traps were less than half a mile from a residential neighborhood. One dog was treated for damage to its foot from a leg-hold trap.

North says the Wyoming Game and Fish Department sent an employee to investigate.

PIT BULL BAN

Manderson considers expanding dog breed ban

WORLAND, Wyo. (AP) - The town of Manderson is considering expanding its ban on the ownership of pit bull dogs to include Rottweilers and Dobermans.

The Northern Wyoming Daily News reports that proposed ordinance has passed two readings and is set for a third reading on Monday.

Shannon Kemp is Manderson clerk and treasurer. She says she expects a crowd at Monday's meeting.

Kemp says there are still some pit bulls in town because they were grandfathered in when the ban went into effect.

CLEAR SIDEWALK COOPERATIVES

Cheyenne co-ops seek clear sidewalks this winter

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - A group of Cheyenne property owners are marshaling forces this winter for a common goal - sidewalks clear of snow and ice.

The Wyoming Tribune Eagle reports that the sidewalk effort got started last week when property owners decided to get together to clear sidewalks.

Hans Seitz lives in a Cheyenne loft and says he gets frustrated by icy winter sidewalks. He's setting up cooperatives for given blocks. He says property owners would chip in to pay a contracted third-party to remove snow three or four times a month.

A city ordinance says sidewalks must be clear within 24 hours after it snows.

By early December, the group hopes to put out a proposal for snow and ice removal.

UW PRESIDENT

UW Faculty Senate wants open presidential search

LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) - The University of Wyoming Faculty Senate strongly supports publicizing the names of finalists before the regents choose a new university president.

The faculty senate voted 47 to 3 on Monday in support of the nonbinding measure.

Former UW President Bob Sternberg announced his resignation on Nov. 14. He resigned after serving just over four months on the job.

Some faculty members said Sternberg's short-lived presidency could have been avoided if the names of finalists in the search that led to Sternberg's hiring had been made public well in advance of the final selection. The university announced four finalists Feb. 22 and selected Sternberg as president four days later.

FBI-TEEN TRAFFICKING

FBI honors Colo. group that helps trafficked teens

DENVER (AP) - A Colorado group that helps teen girls rescued from prostitution is being honored by the FBI.

The FBI's Denver field office presented Restore Innocence with its community leadership award Tuesday. Founded by Jason and Michelle Korth in 2010, the group distributes bags of clothes, toiletries and food to teen victims of human trafficking found by law enforcement in over 30 states.

The Christian-based group also provides counseling and shelter in Colorado Springs to girls who have been through treatment programs and are trying to adjust to normal life. Many of them were runaways who were abused before being coerced into prostitution.

The FBI says agents and police departments are on track to recover over 60 trafficked teens in Colorado and Wyoming this year, up from 49 last year.

TREE CUTTING

Logging operations ongoing on Medicine Bow forest

LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) - Officials on the Medicine Bow National Forest say motorists on I-80 between Cheyenne and Laramie and along Happy Jack Road will see logging operations over the next year or two as crews work to remove hazardous trees from along the roadways.

Workers with the Wyoming Department of Transportation are removing trees that could fall and damage fences that keep cattle off the roadways. Hazardous trees also need to be removed from the Summit Rest Area.

The agencies don't expect road closures, but say the rest area will likely be closed for several days when work is done in that area. Log trucks will be operating near work areas.

WATERFOWL HUNTING

Game and Fish expects good waterfowl hunting

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - The Wyoming Game and Fish Department says hunting for ducks and geese should be good as long as waters remain open.

The department says that the mild weather most of the state has experienced so far has provided open holding water for migrating birds.

Game and Fish waterfowl biologist Larry Roberts says there are still a lot of ducks and geese in the Dakotas and Montana that will be migrating through Wyoming once a cold snap closes open water in those areas.

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