Wyoming News Update

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Latest Wyoming news, sports, business and entertainment.

STATE SENATOR-STUDENT PROJECT

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — The University of Wyoming is reviewing an encounter between students and a state senator over an academic project on guns that the students presented at a recent public forum.

Two students say Republican Sen. Anthony Bouchard threatened to use his political influence to fire a professor and end funding for an academic program because he disagreed with their project.

But Bouchard, of Cheyenne, tells the Casper Star-Tribune that he never made any such threats.

Bouchard is a freshman senator who formerly ran a Wyoming gun rights organization. He is a member of the Senate Journal and Labor, Health and Social Services committees.

UW Vice President for Governmental and Community Affairs Chris Boswell says the school is reviewing the incident.

SCHOOL FUNDING CUTS

GREEN RIVER, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming school board officials have decided to end four Green River sport programs in the face of educational budget cuts.

The Rock Springs Rocket-Miner reports the Sweetwater County School District No. 2 board approved a resolution to cut back $1.6 million from its budget on Tuesday. The district's cost-saving task force, which proposed the resolution, suggested eliminating Green River High School's indoor track and field, spring tennis, golf teams and cheerleading for the wrestling team for next school year. The decision would save $200,000.

The move comes after Wyoming legislators slashed $34 million from statewide K-12 funding.

The board also cut $825,000 in staff attrition, which will result in the loss of three classroom teachers and six library staff and media specialists.

YELLOWSTONE ROADS

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. (AP) — Yellowstone National Park on Friday will begin opening select roads that had been closed over the winter within the park.

Roads opening at 8 a.m. Friday include Mammoth Hot Springs to Norris, Norris to Madison, Madison to Old Faithful, Madison to the West Entrance and Norris to Canyon Village.

Road construction also is resuming between Mammoth Hot Springs and Norris with delays up to 30 minutes.

Yellowstone closes about 320 miles of road over the winter and plows them open in the spring.

VOA THEFT

GILLETTE, Wyo. (AP) — The 30-year-old woman has pleaded guilty to stealing from the clients of a faith-based organization that helps convicted felons re-enter society in northeast Wyoming.

Yelizaveta "Lisa" Zolotova of Gillette pleaded guilty to felony theft as part of a plea deal. Zolotova was accused of stealing more than $100,000 from Volunteers of America clients over a three-year period.

The Gillette News Record reports that under the plea deal, prosecutors will recommend suspending a three- to five-year prison sentence in favor of a six-month split sentence in the Campbell County jail. In addition, she can argue for straight probation at her sentencing hearing on Aug. 21.

However, she must pay more than $56,000 in restitution.

District Judge Thomas W. Rumpke has ordered a pre-sentence investigation.

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