AP News Update

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Latest Wyoming news, sports, business and entertainment
EDUCATION STANDARDS

Wyo. seeks input on academic standards

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Wyoming education standards for science, social studies, physical education, and career and vocation education are under review.

And the Wyoming Department of Education is giving residents the chance to comment on the proposed standards.

The state Education Department website provides both the proposed standards and surveys to get comments and suggested revisions.

State standards team supervisor Laurie Hernandez tells the Wyoming Tribune Eagle that the state agency will accept comment until the end of February.

Wyoming educational standards are reviewed every five years. The state Board of Education and Gov. Matt Mead have to approve the standards.

BANK ROBBERY SUSPECTS

Casper bank robbery suspect convicted in 2003

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) - Authorities say that a man accused of robbing a Casper bank last week is a homeless heroin user convicted of robbing a bank in Utah in 2003.

The details were included in a report read in federal court Tuesday during a detention hearing for James Pearson Thain.

The Casper Star-Tribune reports that Chief Magistrate Kelly Rankin said the 37-year-old is a danger to the community and shouldn't be released while the latest bank robbery case is pending against him.

His alleged accomplice, 33-year-old Mindy Nichole Lawrence, also appeared separately before Rankin. A hearing about whether she'll be released was delayed until today.

According to an FBI affidavit, Thain got about $3,000 from the Bank of the West on Jan. 29. He and Rankin were arrested after a chase.

ONLINE SOLICITATION

5 men face charges in task force child sex sting

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - A child sex sting operation by a Wyoming law enforcement team has resulted in federal felony charges against five men.

The Wyoming Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force started running advertisements last summer on Internet classified advertising sites.

The task force arrested five men who responded to the advertisements. Prosecutors say the men told undercover agents they wanted to have sex with children.

Robert Leazenby is leader of the task force, headquartered in Cheyenne. Leazenby says the response to the advertisements was voluminous.

Leazenby says he believes actual child prostitution is happening in Wyoming. He says using the Internet to seek children for sex is a serious problem nationwide.

Three of the defendants have been convicted at trial, one has pleaded guilty and charges are pending against the fifth.

SHEPARD BOOK

Author of Matthew Shepard book speaks in Laramie

LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) - The author of a controversial book about Matthew Shepard's killing says it should send a sobering message about addiction to methamphetamine.

Journalist Stephen Jimenez made the comment Tuesday night in Laramie during a question and answer session about "The Book of Matt: Hidden Truths about the Murder of Matthew Shepard." He claims Shepard, a gay University of Wyoming student, and one of his killers were involved in the methamphetamine trade and that drugs, not hate, was the main motive behind the killing.

The Laramie Boomerang reports that no one questioned the accuracy of Jimenez's account during the forum.

Jimenez is gay and says he leans toward the political left. However, he said much of the criticism of the book is the result of "liberal orthodoxy" about the case.

WYOMING WEATHER

Wind chill warnings and advisories posted for Wyo.

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Wind chill warnings and advisories remain in effect for much of Wyoming.

Wind chills in the 20 to 30 degree below range are common throughout the state with some readings around 40 below. Worland recorded a 43-below wind chill yesterday morning.

Air temperatures were 10 to 20 below zero.

The National Weather Service says the Arctic air gripping the state will stick around for another couple of days before temperatures return to near normal this weekend.

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