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Wyoming high court overturns judge in UW gun case

LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) — The Wyoming Supreme Court has ruled that a district judge wrongly issued an order in a case challenging the University of Wyoming ability to restrict people's ability to carry firearms on campus.

The state's high court decided 3-2 Wednesday to overturn District Judge Tori Kricken's ruling that a state law prohibiting local governments and entities from making their own gun regulations only applies to guns manufactured in Wyoming.

The Laramie Boomerang reports that a majority of Supreme Court justices ruled that a different judge, not Kricken, has jurisdiction over the case.

Uinta County resident Lyle Williams sued the university after UW police cited him for openly carrying his firearm during the Wyoming Republican Party state convention last year.

Williams argued the school's ban on guns violates the state law. Kricken's ruling upheld the UW ban.

Wyoming officials considering spent nuclear fuel storage

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming lawmakers are considering allowing the storage of spent nuclear fuel in the state as a way to boost revenue.

The Spent Fuel Rods Subcommittee meets for the first time in Casper on Thursday to discuss the idea. The panel will hear from U.S. Department of Energy and Nuclear Regulatory Commission officials, among others.

The highly radioactive material used in commercial nuclear reactors must be periodically replaced when the old fuel can no longer effectively sustain a chain reaction.

The Star-Tribune reports Wyoming officials are considering storage as a way to help offset declining coal revenues.

Casper Republican Sen. Jim Anderson says Thursday's meeting is informational only. He says that he has heard opposition to the proposal in dozens of calls and emails.

Progress made on central Wyoming fire, evacuations lifted

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — Enough progress has been made in fighting a wildfire near the Pathfinder Reservoir in central Wyoming that evacuations are being lifted and roads reopened.

Firefighters have gained 60 percent containment on the fire that has burned about 33.6 square miles (87 square kilometers) since it was started by lightning on Aug. 24.

The fire has destroyed seven structures.

Elsewhere in Wyoming, a wildfire west of Cody has grown to about seven square miles (18 square kilometers) since Sunday.

The fire is burning in the Washakie Wilderness about 4 miles south of U.S. 14/16/20. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

A new fire was discovered to the north on the other side of U.S. 14/16/20, prompting firefighters to divert a helicopter from the Washakie Wilderness fire.

Dangerous fire conditions on tap in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Government forecasters have issued warnings for dangerous fire weather across much of Montana and portions of Wyoming and Idaho, with gusting winds and temperatures approaching the triple digits in some areas.

The advisories were in effect from mid-day Wednesday until as late as midnight. Temperatures soared across the state, reaching 100 degrees (38 Celsius) in Billings. Wind gusts up to 35 mph (56 kph)were expected from a cold front arriving late Wednesday.

The National Weather Service says the shifting winds make wildfires more erratic and able to spread quickly. Authorities issued warnings for a broad swath of central Montana, north-central and south-central Wyoming and around Pocatello, Idaho.

Residents of those areas were asked to avoid activities that could spark wildfires until conditions improve.

73-year-old Wyoming inmate dies from illness

TORRINGTON, Wyo. (AP) — The Wyoming Department of Corrections says a 73-year-old inmate from Rock Springs has died from a long-term illness.

The department says Galen Van Tolar died Saturday at the Wyoming Medium Correctional Institution in Torrington.

Tolar was serving eight to 15 years in prison on a conviction of second degree sexual assault out of Sweetwater County. He was sentenced in June 2014.

A routine autopsy has been ordered to determine the official cause of death.

Labor Cabinet requesting bond payment from coal companies

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — The Kentucky Labor Cabinet has sent letters to coal and construction companies that might be in violation of a state law that requires a bond to cover employee wages.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that over the last few weeks, the cabinet wrote to 89 companies that have failed to pay the bond. Last week, Attorney General Andy Beshear said his office found that at least 30 coal companies were in violation of the law. The issue has received heightened attention after hundreds of Blackjewel coal employees in Kentucky had their checks bounce when the company went into bankruptcy.

The bond is required of coal and construction companies that have been in business for five years or less. The Labor Cabinet is giving companies 15 days to respond or pay the bond.


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