AP News Update

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AP News Update

Latest Wyoming news, sports, business and entertainment

VETERANS-COLLEGES

UW seeks to collect student veterans data

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - The University of Wyoming has about 600 students who served or are serving in the military, but it doesn't know much about them.

Unlike other classes of students, UW hasn't tracked basic information on its student veterans, such as graduation rates, retention rates or average GPA.

But that is changing thanks to an initiative started by the relatively new UW Veterans Services Center.

Marty Martinez is senior project coordinator with the center.

Martinez is working with other UW departments to collect data specific to student veterans, many of whom attend college on the GI Bill. He says the data could be used to help better serve the veterans.

Martinez is hoping the state's community colleges will follow suit. He made a presentation on the topic during a conference this week.

SHERIFF-RECORDS FEE

Laramie County sheriff drops public records fee

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - The Laramie County Sheriff's Department has stopped charging fees to view public documents.

The department tells the Wyoming Tribune Eagle the department dropped the practice on May 20.

Many Wyoming government agencies charge for copies of records, but the state open records law doesn't authorize charging for the time and effort required to make them available to the public.

Sheriff Danny Glick says the department won't usually charge for photocopies, either, but fees could be imposed for large-scale requests.

Cheyenne attorney Bruce Moats, an expert on the public records law, praised the change. He has been critical of the sheriff's policy in the past.

Moats says the costs of compiling and copying records can be prohibitive for citizens and can be a detriment to open government.

JACKSON SLIDE

Jackson to seek state help for landslide costs

JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) - The town of Jackson plans to ask the state for help in covering the cost of a creeping landslide that damaged and threatened several homes and businesses.

The Town Council will meet June 16 to consider asking the Wyoming Business Council for a $250,000 "imminent threat" grant to stabilize the hillside and protect infrastructure that serve the neighborhood west of downtown Jackson.

Town staff also plan to apply to the State Land and Investment Board for a grant. A final amount hasn't been settled on yet.

Assistant Town Manager Roxanne Robinson tells the Jackson Hole News & Guide that the request could be around $8 million.

A consulting engineer presented the Town Council with stabilization options for the slide that ranged in cost from $8 million to $30 million.

GAS DEVELOPER PENALTY

Interior seeks $533,520 penalty from gas developer

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - The Interior Department is seeking a more than half-million-dollar penalty against a gas developer that the agency says failed to report production on federal leases in northeast Wyoming.

Interior's Office of Natural Resources Revenue announced the $533,520 civil penalty Thursday against Highland, Utah-based CEP M Purchase, LLC.

The agency says it sent a noncompliance notice to the company in April, 2013, and penalties will accrue until required reports are submitted. The company may request a hearing on the penalty.

CEP M Purchase is a subsidiary of Gillette-based High Plains Gas, which through CEP M Purchase has acquired hundreds of Powder River Basin coal-bed methane wells. Messages left with CEP M Purchase and High Plains Gas weren't immediately returned Thursday.

Coal-bed methane production in the basin has declined significantly since 2010.

PAROLE AFFAIR

Former parole officer enters conditional plea

(Information in the following story is from: KROE-AM, http://www.sheridanmedia.com/)

SHERIDAN, Wyo. (AP) - A former Sheridan probation and parole officer accused of sexual assault has entered a conditional guilty plea.

Chris Yager's plea to third-degree sexual assault was entered Wednesday after a district judge denied a motion to dismiss his case.

Under terms of the plea agreement, prosecutors will recommend that Yager be sentenced to two years of supervised probation.

KROE reports that Yager also will be allowed to appeal the court's decision to the state Supreme Court.

Yager was originally charged with second degree sexual assault after a woman he formerly supervised reported that she had had a sexual relationship with Yager. The woman said Yager continued to make advances after she tried to end the relationship.

CASPER POLICE CHASE

Man arrested after police chase in Casper

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) - Authorities say a driver fleeing from a drug investigation in Casper rammed a police car and two other vehicles before he was apprehended.

Investigators say 41-year-old Jason Paul Prudhomme was arrested Tuesday on drug and traffic charges.

The Casper Star-Tribune reports officers tried to pull Prudhomme over as part of the drug investigation. Authorities say Prudhomme rammed a police car and another vehicle before colliding with a sport-utility vehicle in south Casper, where he was arrested.

Authorities say Prudhomme suffered minor injuries. No one else was hurt.

Prudhomme was being held in the Natrona County jail on charges of possession of methamphetamine, intent to deliver, conspiracy, eluding law enforcement, leaving the scene of an accident and driving while under suspension.

Jail records didn't indicate whether he has an attorney.

NEW MEXICO SLAYING

Suspect in New Mexico slaying arrested in Wyoming

GILLETTE, Wyo. (AP) - A man wanted in a fatal shooting in New Mexico has been arrested on charges of stabbing a woman in Wyoming.

The Gillette, Wyoming, News-Record reports 36-year-old Charles J. Robinson was arrested on suspicion of attempted second-degree murder after a woman identified as his girlfriend was stabbed in Gillette Saturday.

The Albuquerque, New Mexico, Journal reports Robinson is wanted in the shooting death of 25-year-old Thomas Manuel last month.

Robinson was being held on $2.5 million bail in Wyoming. Campbell County jail officials didn't know whether he had an attorney.

The Wyoming Highway Patrol says a trooper arrested Robinson shortly after the stabbing. The patrol says Robinson was asleep in a vehicle about 70 miles west of Gillette. The patrol says Robinson's 1-year-old son was in the vehicle.

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