AP News Update

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AP News Update

Latest Wyoming news, sports, business and entertainment

COLD CASE SLAYINGS

No verdict reached in 1970s Wyoming shooting death

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Jurors have adjourned after a full day of deliberations without reaching a verdict for a 75-year-old Missouri woman accused of killing her husband in Wyoming in the mid-1970s.

Alice Uden, of Chadwick, Missouri, is charged with first-degree murder in Ronald Holtz's death.

At one point Wednesday, the judge urged the eight-woman, four-man jury in Cheyenne to keep deliberating despite their trouble agreeing on a verdict.

Uden testified she shot her 24-year-old husband at their Cheyenne home to stop Holtz as he was set to attack her 2-year-old daughter. Prosecutors say Uden shot her husband as he slept.

Police arrested Uden and 71-year-old Gerald Uden in September. Gerald Uden has pleaded guilty to killing his ex-wife and her two children in central Wyoming in 1980.

Prosecutors haven't linked the two cases.

BIRTH CONTROL-LAWSUIT

Judge hears Catholic groups on abortion challenge

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) - A federal judge in Casper must decide whether a provision of the federal health overhaul law violates the religious freedom of Roman Catholic organizations.

Judge Scott Skavdahl heard arguments Wednesday from lawyers representing the Roman Catholic Diocese of Cheyenne and other organizations that object to providing insurance coverage for contraception and abortion services for non-ministerial employees.

Lawyers for the church said it would be a burden on the groups' religious freedom to require them to certify that they meet certain religious criteria. That certification would trigger third-party contraceptive insurance coverage for over 200 employees in Wyoming.

A lawyer for the federal government said the requirement wouldn't substantially burden the groups' religious freedom.

Skavdahl will enter a decision later. The challenge is one of several pending around the country.

HUMAN TRAFFICKING

Judge dismisses charges of human trafficking

JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) - The human-trafficking case against a Jackson father and son is closed for now after prosecutors asked a judge to dismiss the charges.

Jose Marco Cesar Rosales Espinosa and his son, George Alberto Rosales, no longer face charges in a case that accused them of forcing illegal immigrants to give them their paychecks at the drywall company where both work.

Teton County deputy prosecutor Becket Hinckley says the investigation is continuing.

The Jackson Hole News & Guide reports the men were accused of falsifying time cards and forcing crew members to work for far less pay than they earned by using threats of deportation.

CONSTRUCTION SITE VANDALISM

Vandals damage construction equipment near Casper

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) - Police say vandals commandeered heavy equipment at a construction site outside Casper and caused extensive damage.

The Casper Star-Tribune reported Wednesday the vandalism occurred over the weekend at the future site of Jump Craze, a trampoline park under construction in Evansville adjacent to Casper.

Shawn McCoul, a partner in Jump Craze, says the construction work itself appears mostly intact but the equipment was heavily damaged.

He says it looks as if some one used an excavator to ram other equipment, poking holes in diesel tanks and tipping over or tearing apart trailers.

Evansville Police say the damage occurred late Saturday or early Sunday. The investigation is still underway.

PAVILLION-GROUNDWATER POLLUTION

Water deliveries to begin in Pavillion

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - A state program to provide clean water to residents in the Pavillion area in central Wyoming is scheduled to begin in the next week.

Rural residents have problems with contaminated well water, which some attribute to nearby oil and gas development.

An investigation into the source of the contamination is ongoing, but the governor's natural resources policy adviser, Jerimiah Rieman, says the state had a responsibility to act.

Rieman tells KUWR that the program should help protect residents' health and their property values.

The state installed 19 cisterns over the winter and plans to install 16 more this summer.

Residents will receive up to 48,000 gallons of free water a year. The water is being drawn from the town's municipal supply and trucked to homes by a contractor.

CASPER SCHOOLS

Natrona County voters reject $33M bond issue

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) - Natrona County voters have rejected a $33 million bond issue to pay for school improvements.

Preliminary results from Tuesday's election show the measure failing 52 percent to 48 percent.

The bond would have paid for improvements the state does not fund, including tighter security at local schools, high-end equipment for students, a new planetarium and remodeled swimming pools.

Natrona County School District Board of Trustees Chairman Dave Applegate tells the Casper Star-Tribune that the election results mean more work is needed in listening, understanding and delivering on the community's expectations.

MISSILE WING AWARD

Wyoming unit wins top award for missile wings

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) â(euro) ” The 90th Missile Wing at F.E. Warren Air Force Base has won the military's top award for missile units for the third consecutive year.

The Wyoming Tribune Eagle reports the wing was awarded the Omaha Trophy Tuesday, beating out units at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana, and Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota.

Adm. Cecil D. Haney of U.S. Strategic Command presented the award. It was welcome news in the midst of a of bad year for missile operators.

In January, the Air Force said one launch officer at Warren and two at Malmstrom were among among 11 officers at six bases implicated in an narcotics investigation.

In March, the commander of the 90th Missile Wing fired the commander of the 90th Operations Group, citing a loss of confidence.

SNOWPACK

Wyoming snowpack 132 percent of median

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) - Wyoming's snowpack is continuing to hang on so far this spring.

Lee Hackleman of the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Casper says the snowpack entering this week was 132 percent of median.

At this time last year, it was 104 percent.

The Sweetwater River Basin has the lowest snowpack numbers in the state at 81 percent of median, while the Upper Green has the highest at 163 percent.

Hackleman says with the cooler, wet weather this week the snowpack might hold for another week.

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