AP News Update

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AP News Update

Latest Wyoming news, sports, business and entertainment

CAGED CHILD

Wyoming couple accused of keeping child in a cage

LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) - Authorities in Wyoming are pressing felony charges against a man and a woman alleging they kept a 7-year-old child in an outdoor cage.

The Laramie Boomerang reports that the child's mother and the man face one count each of child abuse and three counts each of felonious restraint.

The pair were arrested July 24 after Albany County Sheriff's Office deputies responded to a tip that the child was caged outside a home on Fox Creek Road.

The man faces a circuit court hearing Thursday. The mother already has been bound over to district court.

Deputies said the child reported living in the cage on and off for three weeks, taking meals there and sleeping there overnight even during rainstorms.

Neither defense attorney was available for comment Tuesday.

GAY MARRIAGE-WYOMING

Group submits 2,300 pro-gay-marriage signatures

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Proponents of allowing gay marriage in Wyoming say they've delivered more than 2,300 signatures asking Gov. Matt Mead to quit defending a law that says marriage can only unite a man and a woman.

Jeran Artery with the gay-rights advocacy group Wyoming Equality says he hopes Mead and Attorney General Peter Michael will take a close look at the signatures delivered Tuesday.

Mead spokesman Renny MacKay says Mead got the signatures and still believes marriage is between one man and one woman. MacKay says that's how marriage is defined in state law and it's the attorney general's responsibility to defend the state's laws.

Wyoming Equality and four same-sex couples have filed suit to overturn the law. Attorneys for the state argue in favor of upholding the law.

VETERANS-HEALTH CARE

VA deputy chief: More employees face punishment

DENVER (AP) - U.S. Veterans Administration Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson says more employees will be disciplined as the department sorts out a scandal over long waits for health care and falsified data.

Addressing a veterans group in Denver on Tuesday, Gibson praised Congress for approving $16.3 billion to help shorten the waits, including $10 billion for veterans to get care from private doctors.

But he cautioned that outside care can't replace a strong VA system.

The VA announced last week it planned two fire two supervisors and discipline four other employees accused of falsifying health-care data in Wyoming and Colorado.

Gibson said more was coming.

Gibson said a leadership failure was a major cause of the VA's crisis, along with an antiquated system for scheduling appointments and a shortage of space and medical personnel.

GONORRHEA-WYOMING

Surge in Wyoming gonorrhea prompts warning

GILLETTE, Wyo. (AP) - A surge in reported cases of gonorrhea in Wyoming is prompting state health officials to issue a warning about the sexually transmitted disease.

Courtney Smith is a communicable disease surveillance manager with the Wyoming Department of Health. She says Wyoming has had 56 reported cases of gonorrhea so far this year.

Typically the state sees no more than 60 cases all year.

The Gillette News-Record reports 19 of those cases have appeared in Campbell County. Campbell County Public Health Director Della Amend urges people who believe they are at risk to get tested.

RESERVATION SHOOTING

Fremont County police shooting victim identified

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) - The Fremont County coroner has identified a man shot by a law enforcement officer near Ethete last week as Justin Steele of Pavillion.

FBI spokesman Dave Joly says Steele was 26 years old. Joly says authorities are awaiting results of toxicology testing to see if drugs or alcohol played a role.

KCWY TV reports Steele was identified by his fingerprints.

Fremont County sheriff's officials say they got a call shortly before 8 p.m. July 29 that a man armed with a handgun had shot out the window of a vehicle.

A responding deputy stopped a vehicle missing a window. Sheriff's officials say one of the three occupants was uncooperative and the shooting occurred after reservation police arrived to help.

Authorities say the shooting was not accidental.

TRUCK PLATES

Wyoming truck plates to include letter 'T'

ROCK SPRINGS, Wyo. (AP) - Wyoming's truck owners will need to get new license plates in a few years.

The Wyoming Department of Transportation is rolling out a special, new license plate for trucks. Starting in 2017, truck license plates will include the letter "T" after the first number that designates the county of registration.

The Rock Springs Rocket-Miner reports the change should make it easier for police to check vehicle information during traffic stops.

Likewise, commercial vehicle license plates will include the letter "C." The system of license plates for other vehicles won't change.

VAN CRASH-3 KILLED

Wyoming crash kills 2 South Dakotans, 1 Coloradan

LUSK, Wyo. (AP) - Two South Dakota women and a Colorado man have been killed in a rollover north of Lusk, Wyoming.

The Wyoming Highway Patrol says a fourth person was injured when a minivan drifted off U.S. 85, struck a driveway, became airborne and rolled early Monday.

Authorities identified the dead as 59-year-old Suzanne Schermerhorn and 86-year-old Nola Reber of Rapid City, South Dakota, and 34-year-old Robert Bentz of Westminster, Colorado.

Twenty-six-year-old Krystal Sandoval was taken to a hospital. Her condition and the nature of her injuries haven't been released. Her hometown wasn't available.

The patrol says Bentz was the driver. Investigators say none of the occupants was wearing a seat belt, and the three people killed were ejected.

Troopers are investigating whether speed, fatigue and prescription medication contributed to the crash.

VACATION RENTALS

Jackson, Teton County back strict rental ban

JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) - Homeowners in most parts of Teton County will no longer be allowed to rent out their properties for short-term visitors.

Both county commissioners and Jackson town councilors voted on Monday to uphold strict interpretations of their similar short-term rental bans after nearly a year of deliberations. The laws bar homeowners from renting their homes for less than 30 days at a time, a common practice on online brokerage sites.

The Jackson Hole Daily reports that some parts of the county, including the Aspens and Teton Village, are exempt.

Since 2007, the laws had been interpreted to allow homes to be rented for shorter periods but only once a month.

Jackson Mayor Mark Barron was the only member of both boards to oppose the strict interpretation, which he called an "over reach."

INMATES-ANIMAL SHELTER

Laramie County inmates help at animal shelter

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Laramie County prison inmates are helping out at the Cheyenne Animal Shelter through a new program with the sheriff's office.

Sheriff Danny Glick is on the animal shelter board of directors. The Wyoming Tribune-Eagle reports the program got started in May.

The inmates who help out at the animal shelter are classified as low-risk. They perform a variety of odd jobs, anywhere from cleaning out the kennels to washing cars.

Deputy Rich Watson says the program saves money and the inmates do good work.

The shelter houses some 5,600 animals a year and only half of them find families.

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