Wyoming News Update

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Crews search for missing teen in Grand Teton National Park

MOOSE, Wyo. (AP) — Rangers are looking for a teenager who went missing while working on a conservation project in Grand Teton National Park.

Park officials say 16-year-old Fauna Jackson, from Cincinnati, is part of a youth volunteer conservation corps called Groundwork USA. She was in Grand Teton this week helping to reroute a trail in the Triangle X Ranch area.

Co-workers say she took a break while working on the trail and hasn't been seen since. Searchers are using dogs and helicopters to look for her, and the Wyoming Civil Air Patrol is planning to help in the search with aerial patrols overnight. The patrols will use infrared imaging to detect sources of heat on the ground.

Additional crews are set to arrive early Friday morning to help search for the teen.

New fire west of Cody burns structures, forces evacuations

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — More firefighting resources and calmer winds are helping the fight against a new wildfire that blew up about 15 miles west of Cody in northwest Wyoming.

Since it started on Tuesday, the fire has already burned about 15 square miles of mostly BLM, state and private land. Neither Cody nor Yellowstone National Park are threatened.

Fire officials say two rural ranch homes and six outbuildings were lost Tuesday and Wednesday. But the fire showed limited activity Thursday as weather conditions improved and more firefighters arrived with two special air tankers.

In western Wyoming, firefighters continue to work to increase containment of several large wildfires.

A Bridge-Teton National Forest fire is 84 percent contained, while another northwest of Dubois is 60 percent contained.

Court awards settlement in fatal Casper hospital crash

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — The family of a woman who died after the vehicle she was riding in crashed into the Wyoming Medical Center in Casper has received a $100,000 settlement.

The Casper Star-Tribune reports that the money approved by a judge Thursday will go to Amanda Strickland's three sons.

Strickland and another passenger, Brandon Avery, both died after Jessica Carline crashed into a sign in front of the hospital.

Investigators say she had used inhalants before the crash and was traveling at 76 mph.

Carline, who was 17 at the time, was charged as an adult and pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicular homicide. She received a sentence of 12 to 16 years in prison.

Court documents say Strickland's family asked for the settlement last month, and Progressive Insurance offered to pay it.

With bison numbers still high, changes to slaughter weighed

BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) — Wildlife managers are considering changes to the hunting and slaughter of bison that leave Yellowstone National Park after past efforts failed to achieve population reduction goals.

Roughly 600 bison were killed during the past winter, including through shipments of the animals to slaughter and hunting by American Indians and state-licensed hunters.

Despite the hundreds of animals killed, officials told the Bozeman Daily Chronicle that the park's bison population saw no significant decrease.

A 2000 agreement between federal agencies and Montana officials mandates a low bison population in Yellowstone because they carry a disease that can cause cattle to abort. There are no recorded transmissions of brucellosis from bison to cattle.

To drive down the population, officials say are considering capturing bison for slaughter sooner than the Feb. 15 start date adopted for last winter.

Missing teen, subject of Amber Alert, found safe in Casper

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — Authorities have found a Montana teenager who had been missing since early Wednesday.

The Montana Department of Justice issued an Amber Alert for 16-year-old Sandy Moore, of Sheridan, Montana, and canceled it after she was found safe in Casper on Thursday evening.

Investigators believe the girl was taken from her home by 60-year-old Rodney Lee Zahn, a registered violent offender on probation.

No other information was released.

Wyoming man gets up to 3 years for shattering son's femur

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A Wyoming man has been sentenced to more than a year in prison after pleading guilty to shattering his 5-year-old son's femur.

The Wyoming Tribune Eagle reports that prosecutors say the man has a decade's worth of violent criminal history and asked for a sentence of four to six years in prison.

Defense attorney Shelly Flot argued for probation instead, saying her client is deeply remorseful and has improved his life since the incident 11 months ago. The man said during his sentencing hearing that he's taken parenting, relationship and anger and stress management classes while on bond.

Laramie County District Judge Thomas Campbell imposed an 18- to 36-month prison term. Campbell says the man did a "horrible" thing and isn't a proper candidate for probation.

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