AP News Update

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AP News Update

Latest Wyoming news, sports, business and entertainment

ANCIENT ANIMAL DIG

Dig this: Ancient bones found in Wyoming cave

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Paleontologists are wrapping up their first excavation in 30 years inside a bizarre cave in northern Wyoming thought to hold the remains of tens of thousands of ancient animals.

They're not entirely sure yet what they've found in two weeks of digging at Natural Trap Cave, but they're planning further study back in their labs.

Bones they've found could include those of North American lions, short-faced bears and other now-extinct species from 25,000 years ago.

The cave's only entrance is a 15-foot-wide hole in the ground that's almost impossible to see until you're next to it. Scientists say over the millennia, thousands of unwary animals plummeted 80 feet to their deaths within the chilly cavern.

A metal grate installed over the hole now prevents people and animals from falling inside.

CAGED CHILD

Sheriff: Inquiry into alleged child cage took time

LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) - Authorities say investigators didn't have enough evidence until last month to take custody of a 7-year-old Wyoming boy who was allegedly kept in an outdoor cage, despite requests last year to check on his welfare.

The Laramie Daily Boomerang reported Thursday that Albany County Sheriff Dave O'Malley expressed frustration that deputies couldn't act sooner, but initial investigations didn't provide enough evidence.

Authorities took the boy into protective custody July 24 and arrested his mother and her boyfriend on child-abuse charges.

Authorities say the child was kept in the 6-by-6-foot cage off and on for three weeks. O'Malley says he's been told the boy is doing well now.

The Associated Press typically does not identify abuse victims and is withholding the suspects' names to avoid identifying the child.

WYOMING LOTTERY

Wyoming Lottery holds promotional event

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - The Wyoming Lottery Corporation is holding a promotional event that will determine who gets to purchase the first lottery ticket sold in Wyoming.

In addition to buying the first ticket, the winner will get a 2014 Jeep Wrangler.

The official launch of Powerball and Mega Millions sales by the Wyoming Lottery is Aug. 24.

People can enter to win the vehicle and buy the first ticket through the lottery's website: http://wyolotto.com .

Entrants must be Wyoming residents 18 and over.

Eight finalists will be selected from around the state. They each will receive $1,000, a year's worth of Mega Millions tickets and an invitation to a pre-launch lottery event in Casper on Aug. 23.

Entries can be submitted through Aug. 16. Winners will be announced on Aug. 18.

CASPER COUNCILMAN COMPLAINT

Casper weighs changing rule for removing officials

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) - The Casper City Council is considering changes to allow the removal of a member for violating the city ethics code.

The move comes after allegations that councilman Craig Hedquist used his position to further his contracting business. Hedquist has denied wrongdoing.

The Casper Star-Tribune reports the council gave preliminary approval to the change Tuesday. It faces two more votes.

It would allow the council to vote by a two-thirds majority to take ethics concerns to a hearing. If the hearing officer finds a violation has occurred, the alleged violator could appeal to the courts. The council could then vote on whether to remove the official.

The council had sought a hearing on whether Hedquist should be removed, but the hearing officer said city ordinances don't allow for that procedure.

TETON COUNTY SOLAR ARRAY

Teton County OK's deal in solar array collapse

JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) - The Teton County commissioners have accepted a $100,000 settlement from the designers of a solar array atop the Teton County-Jackson Recreation Center that collapsed in November.

The Jackson Hole News & Guide reported Wednesday county officials say insurance could cover the remainder of the repair cost, which totaled nearly $300,000.

County officials said the design contract with K.Y.S.E. Structural Engineers limited the company's liability to $100,000.

The newspaper says company officials didn't return calls.

K.Y.S.E. was paid $17,000 for the design. The total cost of the system was $656,000.

The collapse caused 13 punctures but no structural damage to the roof. Leaks damaged the center floor, and officials say it will have to be replaced sooner than planned.

DEVILS TOWER FATAL

Devils Tower crash kills Illinois man, child hurt

DEVILS TOWER, Wyo. (AP) - An Illinois man is dead after a tractor-trailer struck his car near Devils Tower.

The Wyoming Highway Patrol says 65-year-old Bruce M. Hinton, of Lindenhurst, Illinois, failed to yield when he exited a scenic pullout on Wyoming Highway 24 on Tuesday.

A Freightliner driven by 46-year-old Troy D. Gossard, of New Underwood, South Dakota, ran into Hinton's 2003 Mercedes.

Patrol officials say the truck driver tried to avoid the crash. A 9-year-old child in the car was taken to a hospital and was in stable condition.

Gossard wasn't hurt in the crash.

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