Wyoming News Update

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Latest Wyoming news, sports, business and entertainment.

ATTEMPTED SEXUAL ASSAULT

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A registered sex offender has been sentenced to 45 to 60 years in prison after admitting he hit a Cheyenne woman in the head with a rock, hoping to knock her out so he could have sex with her.

The Wyoming Tribune Eagle reports (bit.ly/2nSPNpo) 47-year-old Richard Megeath was sentenced Friday soon after pleading guilty the attempted sexual assault of a woman in November 2016.

Court records say Megeath was convicted of second-degree attempted sexual assault in 2005 and aggravated assault and battery in 1994. He pleaded guilty in July 2016 to failing to update his sex offender registration.

District Judge Thomas Campbell told Megeath that whatever is wrong with him is "so serious, so dark and so unpredictable ... it would justify any sentence this court would impose." However, Campbell followed the plea agreement.

FE WARREN-DEVELOPMENT

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Officials at a U.S. Air Force base in Wyoming want to develop about 74 acres of nearby vacant land.

The Wyoming Tribune Eagle reports that leaders at the F.E. Warren Air Force Base near Cheyenne have already taken several steps toward development on the base's southern boundary, but haven't yet decided what the land will be used for.

Col. Frank Verdugo, the base's mission support group commander, says the possibilities are open. He says the opportunity to develop the land comes through the Air Force Community Partnership Program and an enhanced use lease.

The base's community planner, Todd Eldridge, says a groundbreaking will likely take place in late 2018 or the start of 2019.

GRAND TETON ROADS

JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) — Crews will get to work plowing the main road through Grand Teton National Park on Monday.

Plowing will end skiing on Teton Park Road but begins a period every year when the pavement becomes accessible to people on bikes or on foot.

Until then, plowing operations will temporarily close 14 miles of road from Taggart Lake trailhead to Signal Mountain Lodge.

People will still be able to ski and snowshoe next to the road during plowing but park officials advise watching out for snow being thrown by plowing equipment.

The Jackson Hole News & Guide reports the road will open up to vehicle traffic May 1.

JACKSON HOLE MOOSE

JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) — The moose population in Jackson Hole remains strong despite a tough winter.

Wildlife biologist Aly Courtemanch estimates 346 moose are in the area, up from 231 last winter and the most since 2010.

She tells the Jackson Hole News & Guide it's a promising sign. Still, the number is well below the Wyoming Game and Fish Department goal of 800 animals for the valley.

Deep snow this winter has been hard on elk and pronghorn in Jackson Hole. Courtemanch says moose typically fare better in cold temperatures and deep snow than other ungulates.

STATE PENITENTIARY

RAWLINS, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming lawmakers expect to decide in June what to do about the deteriorating Wyoming State Penitentiary in Rawlins.

Shifting soil is causing concrete in the 16-year-old prison to settle and crack on a major scale. Options include trying to repair the structural issues, rebuilding the prison nearby, or some combination of those two approaches.

A task force appointed by Gov. Matt Mead last year recommended repairing the facility.

State Rep. Don Burkhart of Rawlins tells the Rawlins Daily Times the Legislature's Joint Appropriations Committee plans to meet in Rawlins in June to tour the penitentiary and decide how to move forward.

He says the prison will remain in Rawlins no matter what the lawmakers decide. He estimates the project will cost between $100 million and $400 million.

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