Latest Wyoming news, sports, business and entertainment
2 teenagers charged in slaying of Neb. jail guard
GERING, Neb. (AP) - Two teens have been charged as adults in the Valentine's Day strangulation of a 24-year-old guard in a western Nebraska jail.
Scotts Bluff County Attorney Doug Warner says in a news release Thursday that 16-year-old Guy Eagle Elk, of Lisco, has been charged as an adult with felony aiding and abetting assault. On Wednesday, 15-year-old Dylan Cardeilhac, of Torrington, Wyo., was charged as an adult with first-degree murder in the death of Amanda Baker.
An arrest affidavit says security video shows Cardeilhac talked Baker into checking something on his cell floor on Friday, then pounced on the guard when she turned her back. Authorities say the video shows Baker was strangled for more than 2 1/2 minutes.
Baker was taken to a local hospital, where she later died.
Committee advances bill to support Cody lab
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - A Wyoming legislative committee has advanced a carefully tailored bill aimed at enticing a major pharmaceutical company to expand its operations in Cody.
The Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday sent the bill to the full Senate after removing language that would approve a loan of nearly $25 million from the state general fund. The full Senate may consider whether to restore the funding.
Bill sponsor Republican Sen. Hank Coe, of Cody, told the committee it's aimed at persuading Philadelphia-based Lannett Company to expand its drug-manufacturing lab in Cody. Coe said expanding the plant promises hundreds of jobs.
As it's written, the bill technically would be open to the first Wyoming local government ready to apply for the money. However, it specifies matching fund requirements tailored to the Cody project.
House panel endorses student privacy bill
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - The House Judiciary Committee has advanced a bill that would require parental consent before certain education and personal data can be collected on their child.
The panel approved House Bill 179 on a 7-2 vote on Thursday. The proposal heads to the House floor for more debate.
Before endorsing the bill, the panel amended it to clarify that only data collected by the state Department of Education would require the consent. There were concerns that the original bill could conceivably prevent a local school from collecting even student grades.
Bill Sponsor Republican Rep. Lynn Hutchings, of Cheyenne, says her bill would encourage parental involvement in their child's education.
Senate committee advances special session bill
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - A Wyoming Senate committee has approved a bill to pay for a special legislative session if one is necessary to deal with fallout from the recent state Supreme Court decision in the superintendent of public instruction case.
The Senate Appropriations Committee voted Thursday to recommend approval of $50,000 to fund the special session. The bill still would need approval in the full Senate and House.
The court recently ruled 3-2 that a law enacted last year taking away many of the superintendent's duties was unconstitutional. The Wyoming Attorney General's Office has asked the court to reconsider and the matter may still go before a district court for more proceedings.
Republican Sen. Eli Bebout, of Riverton, said he hopes a special session isn't necessary but says the Legislature must be ready.
WYOMING SCHOOL THREAT
Teen held over alleged threat at Jackson school
JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) - Teton County officials say a 17-year-old male student has been taken into custody in connection with an unspecified threat at Jackson Hole High School.
The teen was arrested Thursday night. His name wasn't released but authorities say he was a student at the high school.
No details of the threat were released in a joint statement from the sheriff, police and school officials.
Authorities say an investigation is underway and that law-enforcement officers would be present at all Teton County schools on Friday.
A county spokeswoman didn't immediately return a call. The joint statement said more information would be released Friday.
Judge lifts media restrictions in murder trial
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - A Laramie County district judge has lifted most of the restrictions he had placed on news media access to witnesses and attorneys in a murder trial.
The Wyoming Tribune Eagle reports the judge said Thursday he would allow news photographers to take pictures of witnesses and the defendant from a media room adjacent to the courtroom for the trial of 34-year-old Nathaniel Castellanos of Cheyenne.
He's accused of killing two people and injuring a third. He faces murder and attempted-murder charges.
The judge also lifted his ban on news media reporting the names and using the photographs of witnesses before their testimony.
An attorney for the Tribune Eagle asked the judge to change the original order, saying the restrictions amounted to prior restraint in violation of the First Amendment.
Secret Casper City Council meeting stirs debate
CASPER, Wyo. (AP) - A Casper official is insisting that an unannounced city council meeting involving a councilman's conflict of interest case was legal.
The Casper Star-Tribune reported Thursday the meeting was held over Skype on Tuesday.
City Manager John Patterson says the meeting wasn't an executive session that would require notifying the public it would occur. Bruce Moats, a Cheyenne attorney specializing in media law, says there are no exceptions under Wyoming's public meetings act.
The meeting addressed the case of councilman Craig Hedquist, who is under investigation for conflict of interest because he owns Hedquist Construction, a top city contractor.
Hedquist denies any wrongdoing.
Inmate dies at medium security prison
TORRINGTON, Wyo. (AP) - The state Department of Corrections says an inmate at the Wyoming Medium Correctional Institution in Torrington has died after a lengthy illness.
The agency says Jack Stanley Rude died Tuesday. He was 71 years old.
Rude was serving a life sentence for first-degree murder. He was sentenced in 1992 in Laramie County.
The Corrections Department says a routine autopsy has been ordered.