AP News Update

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AP News Update

Latest Wyoming news, sports, business and entertainment


Wyoming Supreme Court hears appeal of press ruling

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - The Wyoming Supreme Court must decide whether to grant better media access to circuit court proceedings in sex assault cases.

Wyoming law prohibits public employees from disclosing a defendant's name in a sexual assault case until the circuit court binds the defendant over to district court.

The Wyoming Attorney General's Office is appealing a 2012 ruling from District Judge Keith Kautz of Torrington. Kautz ruled names in circuit court records could be redacted and said circuit court hearings could be public.

Cathleen Parker, senior assistant attorney general, told the high court on Tuesday circuit court proceedings on sex assault cases should remain closed.

Bruce Moats, lawyer for media groups, said the Supreme Court should endorse Kautz's ruling or reject the state law as unconstitutional.

The Supreme Court will rule later.


Judge denies Catholic Diocese's injunction request

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) - A federal judge has denied a request from Roman Catholic organizations in Wyoming to block provisions of the federal Affordable Care Act.

Judge Scott Skavdahl of Casper on Tuesday issued an order denying the Catholic groups' request for an injunction against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The groups wanted to block access to contraception and abortion services coverage for hundreds of non-ministerial employees.

Skavdahl heard arguments last week from lawyers for the Catholic groups who said it would violate their clients' religious freedom to fill out a certification form that would trigger third party insurance coverage.

Skavdahl ruled the Affordable Care Act itself would authorize or obligate the third party insurance administrator to provide the objectionable coverage, not the groups' certification.


McGinity looks for new leaders this year

LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) - University of Wyoming President Dick McGinity says he hopes to start filling several vacant UW administrative positions with permanent replacements during the first half of the fall semester.

McGinity says developing the next generation of UW leaders is one of his top priorities for the second half of 2014.

UW has about a half dozen vacancies in senior administrative and dean positions. Interim appointees are filling the jobs for now.

The first two positions McGinity wants to fill are vice president for academic affairs and dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Science.

After that, searches for the deans of the College of Business, the College of Education and the College of Law will take place.

McGinity says details of the individual searches are to be determined.


Commission names Watson oil and gas supervisor

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - The Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission has named Mark Watson as permanent commission supervisor.

Watson has been interim head of the agency since the end of March.

Gov. Matt Mead and the other four members of the commission voted to make Watson's position permanent.

Mead says that Watson has 30 years on the commission staff and demonstrated his leadership serving as interim supervisor. Watson has a degree in petroleum engineering from the University of Wyoming.

The commission met Tuesday in Casper for its monthly hearing. It also voted to establish a new deputy supervisor position.


Brothers on crashed plane in Wyoming presumed dead

CODY, Wyo. (AP) - Authorities say two elderly brothers on board a single-engine plane found crashed on a mountain in northwest Wyoming are presumed dead.

The Park County Sheriff Office says the determination was made after viewing the crash site from the air. The danger of avalanche made it too risky to put people on the rugged, snowy mountain just outside Yellowstone National Park.

The 1963 Mooney M20C was last seen May 6 departing Yellowstone Regional Airport in Cody. On board were 84-year-old Robert L. Zimmerman of Huntsville, Alabama, and 86-year-old Ward H. Zimmerman of Seattle. The plane was reported missing Saturday and was found Monday at about 9,900-foot elevation on a 60-degree slope with a large cornice above it.

The brothers were headed from Cody to Twin Falls, Idaho, and then to Seattle.


High potential for spring flooding near Cody

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - The National Weather Service's final spring flood forecast lists a couple of areas in northwest Wyoming with high potential for flooding this spring.

The agency says the South Fork of the Shoshone River southwest of Cody and the confluence of the Lamar River and Soda Butte Creek in Yellowstone National Park could see flooding from snowmelt runoff.

Areas with moderate to high potential for flooding are: the central and southern Big Horn Mountains in northern Wyoming, the Wind River near Riverton in central Wyoming, the Encampment and North Platte rivers in southern Wyoming, along the Green River in southwest Wyoming and the Laramie River in southeast Wyoming.

The state's mountain snowpack is 152 percent of median this week.

The mountain snowpack typically starts to melt in earnest later this month.

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