AP News Update

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AP News Update

Latest Wyoming news, sports, business and entertainment

WYOMING PLANT EXPLOSION

Wyoming gas explosion prompts evacuation of town

OPAL, Wyo. (AP) - Residents and emergency crews are waiting for a fire to burn itself out after an explosion at a natural gas processing plant in a small town in southwestern Wyoming.

No injuries were reported in the explosion Wednesday in Opal, a town of about 95 people. The entire town was evacuated.

Gas from the plant serves a huge number of customers across the West and as far east as Ohio. Officials say the explosion came between the winter heating and summer cooling seasons, when demand is lower.

There was no immediate word on the cause of the blast.

The explosion was reported at about 2 p.m. and the fire burned into the night. It wasn't clear when residents would be allowed to go home.

No structures outside the plant were damaged.

COLD CASE SLAYINGS

Evidence argued in old Wyoming killing

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Prosecuting and defense attorneys argued Wednesday over what evidence and testimony to allow during an elderly Missouri woman's first-degree murder trial in Wyoming.

Attorneys for 75-year-old Alice Uden plan to argue self-defense. Prosecutors allege she shot 25-year-old Ronald Holtz in the head while he slept in late 1974 or early 1975.

Jury selection is set to begin Tuesday and eight days are reserved for trial in Cheyenne.

Uden's attorneys want Judge Steven Sharpe to bar jurors from hearing that Uden's current husband, 71-year-old Gerald Uden, killed his ex-wife and her two sons in Wyoming in 1980. Sharpe says he will rule on that at trial.

Gerald Uden pleaded guilty in November. Authorities arrested the Udens in Chadwick, Mo., in September but have not linked the two murder cases.

HORSE SHOOTING

Hot Springs County sheriff sued over horse killing

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) - A Thermopolis couple whose horse was killed by the Hot Springs County undersheriff is suing the sheriff over his policy regarding euthanizing animals.

A federal judge in Casper began considering Chris and Larry Bentley's claim against Sheriff Lou Falgout Tuesday. The Casper Star-Tribune reports the trial is expected to continue through Friday.

The Bentley's 15-year-old horse was shot by undersheriff David Larson about 100 feet from their home in August 2010. He found the horse stumbling on a road through their property and thought it was a neglected stray.

The Bentleys say the horse had some health problems because of a lack of nutrition before they adopted it.

Defense attorney William Simpson says Larson acted on a "reasonable belief."

The couple also sued the undersheriff and reached a settlement with him last year.

LUMMIS-RE-ELECTION

Rep. Lummis announces re-election bid

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Rep. Cynthia Lummis has announced her bid to seek a fourth 2-year term to Wyoming's only seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The Republican was first elected to the House in 2008 and easily won re-election in 2010 and 2012.

In remarks Wednesday in Cheyenne, Lummis says she believes the federal government shouldn't impede citizens' pursuit of happiness.

She also says she's not happy with the status quo in Washington and believes the GOP leadership in the House can do a better job of managing the chamber to ensure a fairer and more open legislative process.

Jason Senteney, a state corrections officer from Yoder, has announced plans to challenge Lummis in the August GOP primary.

FRONTIER DAYS

Cheyenne Frontier Days lassoes profit in 2013

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Cheyenne Frontier Days posted a net profit of more than $956,000 in 2013.

The rodeo's annual financial report says it's the fourth year in a row that the "Daddy of 'em All" has posted a profit.

Total revenues were $11.85 million with $10.89 million in expenses. And city, county and state governments reaped nearly a half million dollars in sales tax revenues from the event.

CFD General Chairman Darin Westby says attendance also was up last year, both for the night shows and the rodeo itself.

Nearly 121,00 fans turned out in the evenings and about 83,000 were in the stands during the day.

Westby tells the Wyoming Tribune Eagle that the Jason Aldean concert set an all-time attendance record with 25,000 tickets sold.

COAL TO LIQUIDS PLANT

Arch Coal writes off DKRW project

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) - Arch Coal, Inc., has written off its total $57.7 million investment in a planned coal-to-liquids plant in southern Wyoming as a loss.

The coal company's 2013 report to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission lists its investment in the project as a loss.

Houston-based DKRW Advanced Fuels has planned to build the facility near Medicine Bow. The company has proposed to construct a $2-billion facility that would process coal into gasoline and other liquid fuel.

The Casper Star-Tribune reports that Arch Coal invested $25 million into the planned plant in 2006 in exchange for a 24-percent state in the company and has put in more money since then. The coal company had planned to provide coal to the facility.

The newspaper reported efforts to reach DKRW spokesman were unsuccessful.

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