COLD CASE SLAYINGS
Arguments begin in Wyoming old-case murder trial
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - An attorney for an elderly Missouri woman accused of murder in her husband's shooting death almost 40 years ago in Wyoming said in opening statements Thursday she acted in a desperate effort to protect herself and her 2-year-old daughter from a habitually violent man.
Prosecutors argue that Alice Uden shot 25-year-old Ronald Holtz with a .22-caliber rifle in the back of his head while he slept - a "calculated and malicious" act.
Authorities arrested 75-year-old Uden and her current husband, 71-year-old Gerald Uden, both of Chadwick, Missouri, last fall. Depending on what Laramie County District Judge Steven Sharpe may rule, jurors in Alice Uden's trial might not get to hear that Gerald Uden pleaded guilty last fall and has begun serving a life sentence for killing his ex-wife and her two sons in central Wyoming in 1980.
Investigators have not linked the two cases. Alice Uden's attorneys have asked Sharpe not to allow jurors to hear anything about Gerald Uden's case.
Prosecutors allege Alice Uden shot Holtz sometime between Christmas Eve 1974 and early February 1975.
Testimony was scheduled to resume Friday and will likely continue next week.
Entrances to Yellowstone to open Friday
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. (AP) - The east, west and north entrances to Yellowstone National Park are scheduled to open Friday.
Park officials say many popular park destinations including Old Faithful, the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, Norris Geyser Basin and Fishing Bridge will be open although visitor services will be limited at first.
Avalanches could still cause periodic closures of the east entrance road for the next several weeks because of deep snowpack above Sylvan Pass. Vehicles will not be able to stop on the pass because of the slide potential.
Entrances to Grant Village, West Thumb Junction and Craig Pass to Old Faithful are set to open May 9 if weather cooperates.
The road from the north entrance to the northeast entrance remains open all year.
HIGHER EDUCATION-SEXUAL ASSAULT-WSU
WSU, Idaho among schools in sex abuse inquiry
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - The U.S. Education Department says the University of Idaho is among 55 colleges facing a Title IX investigation over their handling of sexual abuse complaints.
The University of Idaho, located 8 miles east of Pullman in Moscow, says it was notified in April 2013 of a complaint filed in March 2013 alleging that the school failed to adequately respond to a complaint of sexual harassment and failed to provide a prompt and effective grievance procedure.
The school says it has cooperated fully with the Office of Civil Rights, including providing requested information and facilitating the OCR's Moscow campus visit.
Idaho's press release says the university believes it fully complies with Title IX.
Title IX prohibits gender discrimination at schools that receive federal funds. It is the same law that guarantees girls equal access to sports, but it also regulates institutions' handling of sexual violence and increasingly is being used by victims who say their schools failed to protect them.
Wyoming research indicates cloud seeding works
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Scientists are encouraged by preliminary research that shows seeding clouds enhanced the amount of snow in winter storms over mountain ranges in southern Wyoming but say more study is needed to determine if the practice results in increased snowfall or rainfall on the ground.
The research led by University of Wyoming professor of atmospheric science Bart Geerts was done in conjunction with a larger, nearly decade-long, $13 million project by the state of Wyoming to see if cloud seeding can increase snowfall in several mountain ranges.
Cloud seeding involves injecting silver iodide into clouds either from aircraft or from generators on the ground. Under the right conditions, the chemical can help water droplets grow onto snow and fall to the ground. The practice is used in a number of states and in other countries in hopes of increasing precipitation for agriculture and municipal water supplies, but it is still uncertain whether it really works.
The research by Geerts was funded by the National Science Foundation and, using sophisticated ground and airborne radar and computer technology, looked at whether ground-based cloud seeding generators physically increased snow inside clouds. The field research was conducted in 2012 and 2013.