AP News Update

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AP News Update

Latest Wyoming news, sports, business and entertainment

WEEK AHEAD

Wyoming budget session grinds into third week

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Monday marks the start of the third week of the Wyoming Legislature's four-week budget session.

House and Senate leaders say they expect a conference committee will start meeting this week to resolve differences in the mirror budget bills both houses approved on Friday.

The pressure will be on this week to move non-budget bills as well.

House Speaker Tom Lubnau of Gillette and Senate President Tony Ross of Cheyenne say Friday is the last day for bills to get out of committee in the second house. Any bills that don't make the cut will be dead.

MISSING SNOWMOBILERS

Missing snowmobilers OK after 2 frigid nights

SHERIDAN, Wyo. (AP) - Five snowmobilers are in good condition after spending two nights in the frigid temperatures of northern Wyoming's Bighorn Mountains.

Lt. Mark Conrad of the Sheridan County Sheriff's Office says the group, which had run out of gas, was found near Horse Creek Mesa on Saturday afternoon and did not require medical attention.

Search crews had been taking shifts in wintry conditions looking for the group, which was reported missing early Friday. The snowmobilers, who are from North Dakota and are experienced and familiar with the Bighorns, were last seen at about 3:30 p.m. Thursday.

Sheridan Media reports the snowmobilers have been identified as two father and son teams of James Murray and son, Jared, and Rod Schilling and stepson, Dusty, as well as Chad Tweeten.

CASPER SLAYING

Casper murder trial begins Monday in Thermopolis

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) - The second trial of a Casper man accused of shooting his wife to death after she fled to a neighbor's house is set to begin in Thermopolis on Monday.

The Casper Star-Tribune reports Thomas Miller's trial was moved from Natrona County to Hot Springs County in an effort to empanel an impartial jury.

District Judge Catherine Wilking ruled that a local jury was likely to be too biased against Miller to put him on trial again in Natrona County. He's accused of shooting and killing his wife, Natalie Miller, on March 27.

Miller's first trial ended in a mistrial after the victim's mother, Debbie Boggs, broached a topic previously deemed off-limits in court. Miller's attorneys also asked for a change of venue, citing media-generated negative publicity.

GUNS IN SCHOOLS

2 proposals to allow guns in Wyoming schools die

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Two proposals that would have allowed firearms in Wyoming schools were among the bills that died Friday when a legislative deadline passed.

The Wyoming Tribune-Eagle reports lawmakers ran out of time to consider more than 30 bills that had been introduced and approved by committee but had yet to be voted on by the full House of Representatives or the Senate.

House Bill 111 and Senate File 109 differed somewhat, but they both would have allowed school districts to decide if they want to allow firearms on school property.

The newspaper reports the deadline passed in the Senate because the majority floor leader said some gun advocates and school officials opposed it. The deadline passed in the House because lawmakers were busy voting on budget amendments.

WILD HORSES-INTERNAL MEMO

AP Newsbreak: Internal BLM memo shows mustang woes

RENO, Nev. (AP) - The head of the government's $70 million wild-horse management program warned last summer that it is headed for financial collapse unless "drastic changes" are made in the decades-old roundup policy that she says could be setting U.S. rangeland improvement goals back 20 years.

In a strongly worded internal memo to her boss at the Bureau of Land Management, the agency's wild horse division chief recommended suspending all roundups until thousands of mustangs currently in federal corrals are sold or adopted.

A copy of the August memo obtained by The Associated Press also shows that Joan Guilfoyle recommended for the first time euthanizing wild horses on the range "as an act of mercy if animals decline to near-death condition" as a result of drought.

Horse advocates say that would violate the 1971 law protecting the mustangs on federal lands in 10 Western states.

AP-WF-02-24-14 0903GMT

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