AP News Update

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AP News Update

Latest Wyoming news, sports, business and entertainment

JACKSON SLIDE

Jackson looks at ways to stabilize sliding hill

JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) - Jackson officials are considering ways to stabilize a hillside that began sliding in April, threatening homes and businesses and eventually splitting a house in two.

The Jackson Hole News & Guide reported Monday options include building buttresses to hold the hillside in place or relocating a road that climbs the hillside.

Estimates for building buttresses range from $8 million to $10 million. That would include removing the damaged house.

Building a new road up is estimated to cost $5 million to $7 million.

The Town Council is scheduled to meet Monday night to discuss the issue.

The slide is 450 feet wide and up to 140 feet deep. Crews slowed it by piling 8,000 tons of rock along part of the base.

OIL TRAINS-WYOMING

Oil train issues left up to local Wyoming agencies

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) - Amid widespread concern over crude oil shipments by rail, the task of addressing safety issues in Wyoming has been mostly left up to local governments.

The Casper Star-Tribune reported Monday the Wyoming Office of Homeland Security doesn't track crude oil shipments except for large movements from the Bakken formation in North Dakota.

Bakken crude is considered more volatile that many other types. The U.S. Department of Transportation requires railroads to notify state officials of shipments of more than 1 million gallons.

State homeland security officials say they haven't been notified of any of Bakken shipments since the federal requirement was put in place.

Wyoming has no state agency for railroads. The state Transportation Department is working on a plan with the Wyoming Business Council to track rail traffic.

WYOMING WILDFIRE

Wildfire burning in Medicine Bow National Forest

LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) - A wildfire burning in the Medicine Bow National Forest has prompted evacuation orders for campers and recreationists in the area as firefighters begin working to try to contain the blaze.

The Forest Service says the wildfire reported Monday afternoon has burned about 300 acres near Lake Owen.

The Red Cross has opened a shelter at the Harmony School in Laramie.

The Forest Service says more than 50 personnel are working on the fire, and air resources are also helping. More air and ground support has been ordered.

KGWN-TV says there are no reports of injuries or damaged structures.

DRUG COURT MAGISTRATE

Albany County drug court magistrate moving on

LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) - The magistrate who oversaw Albany County's drug court for about five years is moving on.

The Laramie Boomerang reported Monday that Matthew Castano has been appointed a circuit court judge for the 6th Judicial District in Crook and Weston counties.

June 26 was Castano's last day as a magistrate in the Court Supervised Treatment Program in Albany County.

The program brings intervention and treatment services into the courtroom as well as the judge and law enforcement officers.

It's designed to give defendants guidance to get out of trouble and back on track. Castano said that requires candor from the defendant and himself as well as the possibility of jail.

Magistrate Bob Southard has replaced Castano in the drug court.

WETLANDS PROTECTION

Wyoming state engineer: New EPA rule confusing

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) - Wyoming State Engineer Pat Tyrrell says the federal Environmental Protection Agency's new proposed rule on what waters are under EPA jurisdiction is confusing.

The Casper Star-Tribune reported Monday that Tyrrell is unsure of the distinction between groundwater, which isn't under EPA jurisdiction, and shallow subsurface water, which is.

The proposed rule was issued in March to clarify which waters are barred from development under the Clean Water Act.

Tyrrell says the EPA drafted the rule without states' input.

He also says proposal is long and complicated and worries that disputes would have to be settled case-by-case, creating more work for the State Engineer's Office.

Wyoming Republican Sen. John Barrasso asked the Senate last week to block the rule, saying it would have a significant effect on farmers and ranchers.

POWELL CRASH

Speeding, drinking suspected in fatal Powell crash

CODY, Wyo. (AP) - Speeding and alcohol use are believed to have contributed to a crash that killed a 25-year-old man and injured his three passengers in Powell.

The Park County Sheriff's Office says Matthew Joseph McNamara of Cody died after he lost control on a curve on Sunday, swerved into the oncoming lane and then over-corrected and rolled off the road. One of his passengers, 23-year-old Sean Michael Roberts, told investigators that they were driving at 55 mph at the time of the crash, which investigators say was too fast for the area.

Roberts and 21-year-old Elizabeth Gurrola were flown to St. Vincent Hospital in Billings, Montana after the crash. A third passenger, 24-year-old Joe Fred Walker, was treated and released from Powell Valley Hospital. The passengers are all from Powell.

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