AP News Update

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AP News Update

Latest Wyoming news, sports, business and entertainment


Dozens evacuated in Wyoming as ground slips

JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) - Dozens of Jackson, Wyo., residents who were evacuated after land began shifting on a hillside in the resort town are waiting to find out if and when they can return home.

Assistant Town Manager Roxanne Robinson said Thursday there is still no word what is causing the land to shift, but officials have taken steps to ensure there is no catastrophe. Geologists are on the scene.

About two dozen people went to the Red Cross to get shelter. Police say they talked to 52 people, and some evacuees say they were told authorities are not returning until it is safe.

Ground movement over the weekend caused water pipes to break at the town's pump station, and visible fissures have formed in the hillside.


Boat owners warned of invasive species

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) - Wyoming wildlife officials are warning boat owners of an invasive species infecting waterways across the country.

Beth Bear, aquatic invasive species coordinator for Wyoming Game and Fish, tells KCWY-TV in Casper that Zebra and Quagga mussels have moved into waterways across much of the Midwest and can threaten wildlife and drinking water supplies.

She says people who take their boats out of state must have their watercraft inspected when they return.

If a boat shows evidence of mussels, inspectors will decontaminate it and make sure everything dries out. Wyoming's lakes and reservoirs are somewhat self-contained, so the majority of the infestation is expected to come in on boats.


Newcastle woman killed in rollover crash

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Authorities say a 61-year-old woman was killed in a single-vehicle rollover accident in Weston County.

KGWN-TV reports Colleen J. Pillon of Newcastle lost control of her car on U.S. Highway 16 about 10 miles west of Upton on Thursday. The vehicle went airborne and flipped 1 1/2 times before coming to a rest on its roof.

Pillon was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.


Prosecutors: court can't hear Hitching Post appeal

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Federal prosecutors say a Denver appeals court doesn't have authority to consider an appeal from a New Mexico man serving six years in prison for commissioning the arson that destroyed a landmark Cheyenne hotel.

Ajay Jariwala of Albuquerque pleaded guilty last year to conspiracy to commit arson of the Hitching Post Inn.

Jariwala was a principal in the company that owned the hotel. Prosecutors say he commissioned the 2010 arson to try to defraud an insurance company of more than $13 million.

Jariwala appealed after his sentencing, saying it wasn't fair that he got more prison time than a man who set the blaze.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Anderson of Cheyenne filed papers this week saying the court doesn't have authority to consider the appeal because Jariwala pleaded guilty.


State Parks seeks to evict Thermopolis operator

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - The Wyoming Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources is pushing to evict a longtime concessionaire from Hot Springs State Park in Thermopolis.

State parks director Milward Simpson says he gave notice last month to the owners of TePee Pools, Inc.

Simpson gave the company until May 6 to remove a large pool building and other property from the park. The company has held a concession at the park since 1990.

Simpson said Thursday that TePee Pools has failed to follow a lease agreement requiring it to submit an acceptable master plan of how to update park operations.

Bozeman, Mont., lawyer Ed Moriarity represents TePee Pools. He says the company disagrees that it submitted an unacceptable plan. He says it's ready to fight the state in court if necessary.


Felony dismissed against woman in game fight

ROCK SPRINGS, Wyo. (AP) - A felony charge against a woman involved in a fight with a police officer at a youth basketball game in Rock Springs has been dismissed.

However, 40-year-old Jennifer Brooks still faces two misdemeanors - breach of peace and criminal trespass.

During a hearing Tuesday, Circuit Court Judge Craig Jones reduced her bail from $100,000 to $5,000 after finding there wasn't enough evidence to charge her with a felony.

However, two of Brooks' children, 18-year-old Tess Brooks and 20-year-old Dusty Wagnone had their charges move forward. They are charged with the same misdemeanors as well as felony causing injury to a peace officer. Wagnone also is charged with another felony of attempting to disarm a peace officer.

The incident occurred March 28 when the three were asked to leave.


Laramie residents in a fix over critter removal

LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) - Residents in Laramie have few options when small animals like skunks or raccoons move onto their property.

The Laramie Boomerang reports that's because there are no ordinances requiring Animal Control to deal with wild animals, only domestic pets.

Animal control supervisor Steve Amrine says the best option to deal with wild animals is to make property less inviting for the creatures.


Wyoming science grads hoping for better jobs

LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) - The number of University of Wyoming students in science, technology, engineering and math programs is increasing and along with it, hopes for better jobs.

Geology and geophysics department head Paul Heller says only a few companies are hiring undergraduates, but hiring trends have increased for graduate students.

According to the Laramie Boomerang, companies are calling and asking for students with good grades and offering three-month internships.

Heller says a number of workers are retiring, but fewer people are being hired to replace them.

Educators say companies are looking for electrical engineers, chemists and workers for energy development.

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