AP News Update

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AP News Update

Latest Wyoming news, sports, business and entertainment

SCHOOLS SUPERINTENDENT-FUNDRAISING

Fundraising uneven for superintendent hopefuls

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Democrat Mike Ceballos has raised the most money among the candidates seeking to become the next state superintendent of public instruction.

According to campaign finance reports filed this week, Ceballos has raised just over $71,400. That includes about $27,200 from individuals and political action committees and about $41,800 from personal loans.

Of the three Republican candidates seeking the job, Jillian Balow has been the most successful, raising just over $40,200, including $15,910 from individuals and committees.

The Wyoming Tribune Eagle reports that former Navy engineer Bill Winney has raised about $24,700. He has gotten the least from campaign donors, with $700 coming from individuals.

Current Wyoming Department of Education employee Sheryl Lain has collected about $1,830, most of it from individual and committee contributions.

The primary election is Tuesday.

WYOMING-WASHINGTON FIRES

Wyoming Guard copter to help in fire fighting

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Gov. Matt Mead has activated a Wyoming Army National Guard helicopter and its crew to help firefighters battling wildfires in the state of Washington.

The Black Hawk helicopter will be made available for medical evacuations for 12 days.

Washington will cover the cost of the deployment.

Wyoming has had a relatively quiet wildfire season. But that's not been the case in the Northwest, where fires are raging.

Two Wyoming Air National Guard tankers also have been activated to fight fires in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah and California.

SENATE-WYOMING DEBATE

Challengers line up Wyoming's US senator

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Sen. Mike Enzi says his son didn't benefit from the senator's position in landing a job with a company that received almost $10 million from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop a carbon-capture project that never got off the ground.

Enzi, a Republican seeking his fourth term in office, was questioned about his son Brad Enzi's involvement in the Two Elk Energy Park on Thursday at a Wyoming Public Media debate in Riverton.

Anne MacKinnon of WyoFile, an online journalism site, asked Enzi whether Wyoming voters should be offended that his family seems to benefit financially from his Senate position.

Enzi responded that his son has a right to work for the company and that he voted against spending money on the project.

Other Republican candidates criticized the situation.

SENATE WYOMING DEBATE-DEMOCRATS

Dems seeking Senate nomination face off in debate

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Two Democratic candidates debating the issues as they seek their party's nomination to run for U.S. Senate faced off Thursday in Riverton.

Candidates Charlie Hardy of Cheyenne, a former priest, and Rex Wilde, of Cheyenne, a worker with a contracting company, agreed with each other on many issues, including that health care should be available to everyone.

Hardy said he doesn't believe the Senate should change its rules to rein in the use of filibusters, a tactic in which members can talk for hours to prevent a vote. He says believe people shouldn't cut off the right of others to discuss the issues.

Wilde said he would be willing to limit filibusters. He says people in Congress have totally lost touch with the working class in the country.

WYOMING PRIMARY-GOVERNOR-HAYNES

Haynes campaigns on religion, distrust of feds

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Dr. Taylor Haynes is a Republican running for governor of Wyoming. But with his signature hat, vest and boots and frequent references to God, it would be easy to mistake him for a cowboy preacher.

A 68-year-old retired urologist, Haynes says he's running for governor to restore Christian values and a constitutional approach to Wyoming government.

Haynes was raised on a farm in Louisiana and worked as an engineer before opening his medical practice in Cheyenne in the early 1980s.

Haynes now operates a cattle ranch in Albany County. He has served on the board of trustees for the University of Wyoming and has been active with agricultural organizations.

As governor, Haynes says he would drive the federal government out of Wyoming and make the state prosper.

UW LAB BUILDING

New $25M University of Wyoming lab needs repair

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) - A $25 million state-of-the-art laboratory building at the University of Wyoming has been vacated after just three years since it opened because of structural problems.

The problems include a collapsed ceiling, bowed walls and cracked drywall.

UW Vice President of Administration Bill Mai says consultants have found defects in both the design and construction of the 20,000-square-foot building in Laramie.

Project contractors were HDR Architecture and GH Phipps.

GH Phipps Vice President Gary Constant says he hopes to work with the state to get the building working but added that he is still waiting for more information.

But he tells the Casper Star-Tribune that he doesn't believe there are structural issues with the building.

Mai says UW needs the lab and is seeking bids to redesign it.

LIFE RESOURCE CENTER

New administrator for Wyoming Life Resource Center

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - The Wyoming Department of Health has named a new administrator for the Wyoming Life Resource Center in Lander.

Adam Merrell grew up in Cheyenne and has worked in skilled nursing for the past 17 years with a focus on regional oversight.

Merrell replaces Rich Dunkley, who served as interim superintendent since December 2013.

The Wyoming Life Resource Center provides a residential program for adults with developmental disabilities and is one of five health care facilities operated by the state Health Department.

TRUCK DRIVER-AIR FORCE

Man arrested for trying to pass Air Force convoy

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - A truck driver accused of trying to pass a convoy of Air Force trucks near Cheyenne could face criminal charges.

The Wyoming Highway Patrol says 51-year-old Randy Hill of Torrington, Wyoming was arrested Wednesday and taken to the Laramie County jail.

The patrol says Hill became impatient after coming upon the convoy while traveling north of U.S. Highway 85 and attempted to pass in the southbound lane, endangering oncoming traffic. At one point, an Air Force vehicle got in front of Hill to stop him. Patrol spokesman Sgt. David Wagener said Hill's truck rear ended that vehicle. A state trooper was later able to stop him.

The case has been referred to Laramie District prosecutors.

It wasn't clear if Hill has a lawyer yet.

STOLEN EXPLOSIVES

Wyoming man: 'Curiosity' spurred explosives theft

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - A Wyoming man says "curiosity" spurred him to steal more than 550 pounds of explosives from a U.S. Forest Service bunker near Red Lodge last year.

Thirty-three-year-old Budd James Nesius of Wheatland offered that explanation in federal court Thursday as he pleaded guilty to a single count of possession of stolen explosives.

Appearing before District Judge Susan Watters, Nesius denied a prosecutor's assertion that he made at least one attempt to sell the explosives.

Nesius admitted to stealing the explosives in April 2013, taking them to his family's property in Wheatland and later convincing his brother to dispose of the material.

Sentencing is set for Dec. 4.

Nesius faces up to 10 years in prison, three years' supervised release and a $250,000 fine. He did not reach a plea deal.

MISSING BOY

Body of missing boy found in North Platte River

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) - Authorities say that rescue crews have found the body of a missing 11-year-old boy in the North Platte River in Casper.

Casper Fire-EMS spokesman Jason Parks says the body of Alex Cressy was found shortly before 6 p.m. Thursday.

The Casper Star-Tribune reports that Parks says rescuers found Alex in a northern eddy, a backing current of the river off the main stream, when he surfaced.

Alex and an 8-year-old friend were playing in the river on Monday when they were swept away by the current.

Authorities say Alex was trying to help his friend.

The other boy was rescued by a rafting-company worker.

The fire department, Natrona County sheriff's deputies and volunteers had been searching for Alex since he disappeared.

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