Latest Wyoming news, sports, business and entertainment
Senate committee OKs involuntary commitment bill
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - A committee of the Wyoming Senate recommends approval of a bill to change state procedures for the involuntary hospitalization of people for mental health treatment.
The Senate Judiciary Committee Monday voted unanimously Monday to advance a bill that would do away with the current requirement of bringing people who are detained before a judge for a hearing within 72 hours.
Chairman Sen. John Schiffer, a Republican from Kaycee, says the bill is intended to make sure that people aren't held for long periods for legal reasons without getting them mental health treatment.
Representatives from the Wyoming ACLU, the Wyoming Trial Lawyers' Association and the Wyoming County Attorneys' Association all said they opposed doing away with the judicial hearings. The groups say they see potential for people to be held unconstitutionally.
PINE BEETLE BATTLE
Pine beetle progress slowing in Black Hills region
RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) - A recent aerial survey shows the 18-year battle to eradicate the mountain pine beetle from the Black Hills of western South Dakota is slowing the pest's progress.
The survey was conducted by the U.S. Forest Service, South Dakota's Agriculture Department and Wyoming's State Forestry Division. It measured trees that were infected by pine beetles that left trees in the fall of 2012 and spread to new timber last year.
The Rapid City Journal reports that the survey indicates beetles infested just 34,000 new acres in 2013, compared to as many as 67,000 acres as recently as 2011.
Black Hills National Forest supervisor Craig Bobzien says there are encouraging infestation declines in some areas due to measures such as tree thinning, but officials need to stay vigilant.
Gillette considers US flags at city entrances
GILLETTE, Wyo. (AP) - The Gillette City Council is considering a suggestion from a veterans group to place American flags at each of four welcome signs on the city's outskirts.
The Gillette News-Record reported Monday it would cost about $30,000 to install flagpoles and lighting at the four sites.
Councilman Kevin McGrath says veterans groups might be willing to help with the cost of installing poles and lights and replacing flags that become tattered in Gillette's strong winds.
City staff said the flagpoles would have to be placed a safe distance from nearby power lines.
McGrath says he'll discuss the possibilities with city Public Works Director Sawley Wilde and bring it up with the full council.