AP News Update

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AP News Update

Latest Wyoming news, sports, business and entertainment

GILLETTE ALTERNATIVE HIGH SCHOOL

Gillette alternative high school getting new home

GILLETTE, Wyo. (AP) - Construction crews are hustling to finish the new building for Gillette's Westwood High, an alternative program that had been housed in a 50-year-old former elementary school.

The Gillette News-Record reported Sunday the Campbell County School District is building the $6.4 million, 30,000-square-foot school on the campus of Gillette College.

It will offer some programs in conjunction with the college, allowing students work toward a college diploma or certificate. A small pilot group of Westwood students will work with the college in welding and other classes.

The building includes a culinary arts kitchen, science and art classrooms and a daycare.

The school is scheduled to open Aug. 27 with up to 150 students. Snow in October delayed construction, and some areas might not be open to students when classes start.

RANGE SHOWDOWN

Bundy: NV showdown with feds a spiritual battle

ST. GEORGE, Utah (AP) - Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy says the April confrontation between the federal government and his family and armed militia supporters was part of an age-old spiritual battle between good and evil.

Bundy, a Mormon, told an Independent American Party gathering in St. George on Saturday that God provided him personal inspiration in the showdown over cattle in Bunkerville, Nevada, about 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas.

The Spectrum of St. George reports Bundy said people from across the country rallied around him in Bunkerville because they were "spiritually touched," and they wouldn't have prevailed had God not been on their side.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management backed down, citing safety concerns. Bundy's allies subsequently released the 380 cattle collected from the range during a weeklong operation.

SHEEP STATION

Feds seeking comments on E. Idaho sheep station

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Federal officials are seeking public comments about whether to keep open a sheep research facility that has operated for about a century on the Idaho-Montana border near Yellowstone National Park.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is holding listening sessions on Wednesday and Thursday concerning the U.S. Sheep Experiment Station near Dubois in eastern Idaho.

Participants must pre-register and can do so online.

The agency attempted to close the station earlier this year, citing declining budgets.

But Congress objected to the closure, so the agency is going through a more formal process.

Environmental groups contend the station harms wildlife, including threatened grizzly bears, and have filed lawsuits.

WYOMING LOTTERY

Colorado still expects Wyoming lottery players

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Two lottery outlets in northern Colorado expect business to slow down but not dry up when Wyoming begins selling Mega Millions and Powerball tickets this month.

Tickets go on sale in Wyoming on Aug. 24 under a 2013 law passed by the Legislature.

The Wyoming Tribune-Eagle reported Sunday the Borderline Cantina and Stateline Oasis in northern Colorado will still have games that aren't available in Wyoming.

They include the instant gratification of scratch tickets and games that offer smaller jackpots but better odds than Mega Millions and Powerball.

The Borderline and Stateline are just 10 miles south of Cheyenne, Wyoming, and have been the top two Colorado Lottery retailers for years.

A Cheyenne man won $1.9 million last month with a Colorado lottery ticket he bought at the Borderline.

LARAMIE COUNTY FAIRGROUNDS

Laramie County recalculating fair consolidation

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Laramie County Fair officials say the savings from consolidating from two locations to one could reach $100,000 a year, twice as much as earlier estimates.

The Wyoming Tribune Eagle reported Saturday officials say the cost comes from the labor, fuel and equipment required to stage parts of the fair at the fairgrounds east of Cheyenne and parts at Frontier Park in the city.

Grounds manager Larry Milbourn says he plans to tabulate a precise cost figure at the end of this year's event, which starts this weekend.

Officials say it would cost about $7 million to consolidate the fair at the fairgrounds, including construction of an arena.

Frontier Park is also the site of Cheyenne Frontier Days. Fair officials can't start preparing that venue until Frontier Days ends.

LARAMIE LANDFILL CLEANUP

Laramie tries to keep windblown trash at landfill

LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) - The Laramie landfill is taking steps to keep litter from blowing onto adjacent property after a landowner threatened to sue.

The Laramie Boomerang reported Saturday the landfill assigned two full-time and two part-time employees to pick up litter.

The landfill also erected panels to keep trash from blowing away when residents empty it from their vehicles.

Landfill officials say compressing trash into dense, heavy bales also reduces litter. The bales are stacked in the landfill and buried.

Warren Livestock had threatened a lawsuit a month ago over trash blowing onto its property.

Company attorney Mitch Edwards says things have improved although work remains to be done.

OIL COMPANY LAND SWAP

Energy firms plan Powder River Basin land swap

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) - Two energy companies have proposed a land swap of more than 690 square miles of land in the Powder River Basin.

The Casper Star-Tribune reported Saturday Chesapeake Energy would receive land in the Powder River Basin's oil-rich southern area from RKI Exploration and Production.

RKI would get properties in the basin's northern half, which has bountiful natural gas.

Chesapeake says the deal is expected to close in August.

Chesapeake estimates it could recover the equivalent of 2 billion barrels of oil from the Powder River Basin after the deal is completed.

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