AP News Update

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AP News Update

Latest Wyoming news, sports, business and entertainment



Mead wins the GOP primary for Wyoming governor

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Gov. Matt Mead has won the Republican primary election for Wyoming governor, beating two other GOP candidates as he seeks re-election in November.

Mead, a former federal prosecutor, was elected governor in 2010. During his term, statewide unemployment has dropped to about 4 percent. Mead also has presided over an increase in Wyoming's savings and enticed high-tech companies to expand in the state.

Mead defeated Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill and Cheyenne doctor Taylor Haynes in Tuesday's vote.

Mead will face Pete Gosar, who was unopposed in the Democratic primary, in November.


Gosar wins Dem primary for Wyoming governor

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Democrat Pete Gosar has won his party's primary for Wyoming governor.

Gosar, a state pilot, ran unopposed in Tuesday's primary.

Gosar stepped down as chairman of the Wyoming Democratic Party to run when no other candidates surfaced.

This is Gosar's second campaign for governor in the overwhelmingly Republican state.

Gosar campaigned on issues including worker safety and health care. He's hoping that by November, voters will come to know him and his stances and look past his party affiliation.


Rep. Lummis wins Wyoming GOP congressional primary

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Rep. Cynthia Lummis has won the Republican primary election for Wyoming's lone congressional seat, defeating a little-known challenger and all but assuring she will win a fourth term in November.

Lummis beat Jason Senteney, a state corrections officer from Yoder in Tuesday's primary.

Lummis was first elected to the House in 2008. She will face Democrat Richard Grayson, an Arizona resident who has done no campaigning.


Arizona man wins Wyoming Democratic US House vote

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Arizona resident Richard Grayson has won the Democratic primary election for Wyoming's lone congressional seat.

Grayson, of Apache Junction, Arizona, was unopposed. No one from Wyoming's struggling Democratic Party registered for the race.

Incumbent GOP Rep. Cynthia Lummis faced one challenger in her party's primary as she seeks a fourth term in Congress in the November election.

Grayson, a protest candidate, has acknowledged to the Wyoming Tribune Eagle that a victory "is not within the realm of possibility."


Sen. Enzi wins Wyoming's US Senate GOP primary

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Wyoming's Mike Enzi has won the Republican primary election for U.S. Senate, beating four challengers as he seeks a fourth term.

The 70-year-old Enzi says he's seeking another term because his seniority on several Senate committees serves Wyoming's interests. His priorities include simplifying the tax code.

Enzi's most serious challenger had been Liz Cheney, the elder daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney. She had difficulty getting mainstream Republicans to back her candidacy and, citing family health issues, dropped out of the race in January.

He defeated Bryan Miller of Sheridan, Thomas Bleming of Lusk, Arthur Bruce Clifton of Cheyenne and James Gregory of Jackson, in Tuesday's primary.


Incumbent Mark Gordon wins GOP treasurer race

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Incumbent state Treasurer Mark Gordon has won the Republican nomination for a full four-year term in the office.

Gordon soundly defeated Ron Redo of Cheyenne, a former auditor for the state of California, in Tuesday's primary election.

Gordon is a Johnson County rancher and businessman. He was appointed treasurer in 2012 following the death of former treasurer Joe Meyer.

There was no Democratic candidate for treasurer. The Democrats' only hope of fielding an opponent to Gordon is with a write-in candidate.


Ed Murray wins GOP secretary of state primary

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Cheyenne businessman Ed Murray has narrowly won the Republican primary for secretary of state.

Murray edged former House Speaker Ed Buchanan of Torrington by about 1,600 votes out of 89,000 cast.

No one ran in Tuesday's Democratic primary.

The GOP race became a free-for-all after incumbent Max Maxfield announced he would not seek a third term. Maxfield is stepping down despite winning a Wyoming Supreme Court ruling that overturned a two-term limit.

Murray invested $360,000 of his own money in the race, compared to about $94,000 raised by Buchanan.

Pete Illoway of Cheyenne and Rock Springs City Councilman Clark Stith ran well behind Murray and Buchanan.


Tea party leaders don't fare so well in primary

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Two top tea party organizers in Wyoming lost their bids for legislative seats as most state Senate and House incumbents fended off challengers in Tuesday's primary.

One of the few incumbents to lose was Republican Rep. Matt Teeters of Lingle. Teeters is chairman of the House Education Committee and co-author of the changes to the state superintendent of public instruction office that were later declared unconstitutional.

Teeters lost to insurance agent and rancher Cheri Steinmetz, of Lingle, by about 400 votes.

Three other incumbent Republicans also lost.

The tea party faction of the state Republican Party was particularly upset over the superintendent issue. But that didn't necessarily translate into voters endorsing tea party candidates.


Jillian Balow wins GOP superintendent primary

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Jillian Balow has won a three-way primary for the Republican nomination for Wyoming superintendent of public instruction.

Balow, a former teacher and education official, advances to the general election against Mike Ceballos. Ceballos was unopposed in Tuesday's Democratic primary.

The current superintendent, Cindy Hill, opted to run in the GOP primary for governor. She lost to incumbent Gov. Matt Mead.

Hill's battles with Gov. Matt Mead and legislators produced upheaval in the education department. Hill was removed last year, only to be reinstated by a court this year.

Balow blames Hill for problems affecting Wyoming's public schools.


Gas leaks closes Campbell County Courthouse

GILLETTE, Wyo. (AP) - A gas line ruptured by construction work forced the Campbell County Courthouse to close during Tuesday's primary election.

The county clerk's office, which oversees vote tabulation in the election, is located in the courthouse but the leak was stopped in time for ballots to be counted.

County Emergency Management Coordinator David King says the gas leak occurred around 9 a.m. Tuesday on a street under construction near the courthouse, forcing evacuation of the building for safety reasons.

The building was reopened to county election workers about four hours later but remained closed to the public.

King says vote counting was conducted at the courthouse Tuesday night.

He says the county commission had to stop and move its regular meeting to a private house when the courthouse was evacuated.



Official: Planned wind farm OK without tax credit

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) - The head of the company planning to build 1,000 turbines in Carbon County says the project will proceed with or without federal tax incentives.

Power Company of Wyoming CEO Bill Miller says Chokecherry and Sierra Madre wind farm would benefit from the tax credit, which Congress allowed to expire Jan. 1.

He says electricity generated by the nearly $5 billion facility would be cheaper for utilities and consumers alike if Congress were to renew the credit.

But he tells the Casper Star-Tribune that the wind farm will still be commercially viable without it.

There is ongoing debate in Washington over whether to renew the production tax credit.

Advocates say the tax credit is needed to ensure wind's continued expansion. Opponents argue that wind power no longer needs government help.


Laramie's Grand Avenue reopens ahead of schedule

LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) - Grand Avenue in Laramie has reopened in time for fall classes to start at the University of Wyoming.

The street that borders the UW campus has been closed since early March for reconstruction.

The $4.5 million project included widening Grand Avenue and installing median islands and pedestrian crossings to help make the street safer.

Engineer Steve Cook of the Wyoming Department of Transportation says the project was finished ahead of schedule.

Students begin moving back on campus on Aug. 29.


State still needs temporary offices for renovation

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Managers in charge of renovating the Wyoming Capitol are reconsidering their plans to move some offices into the adjacent Herschler Building, saying construction work there could make it unsafe.

The Wyoming Tribune Eagle reported Tuesday one alternative is moving the governor, treasurer, auditor and secretary of state into the Jonah Financial Center about three miles east of the Capitol.

Still unresolved is where the Legislature will meet. Officials say a hotel and Laramie County Community College were considered but proved unfeasible.

The two-year, $259 million renovation project is scheduled to start next year. It includes upgrading heating, cooling and fire systems and making structural repairs on the 128-year-old building.

The Herschler Building project includes expanding the tunnel connecting it with the Capitol and erecting a four-story addition.


Drones, robots will help students learn math

LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) - Students at Laramie High School will be using drones and robots to help learn geometry, algebra, trigonometry and calculus this year.

The Laramie Boomerang reported Tuesday the school got a state grant to use robots, software and 3D printers to teach science, technology, engineering and math.

All Laramie High math department teachers are getting a drone, a robotic rover, a robotic ball and a robotic arm along with a tablet computer that controls the robots.

Dennis Hogsett, one of three math teachers who landed the grant, says the idea is to use hands-on activities to help engage students.

Hogsett says that by programming a robot to shoot baskets, for example, students would be using physics to determine how far the robot has to throw the ball.


Wyoming teams win surface mine rescue competition

GILLETTE, Wyo. (AP) - Rescue teams from Wyoming have taken the top three spots in a competition for emergency responders at surface mines.

The Gillette News-Record reports the International Surface Mine Rescue Competition was held last week at a heavy equipment dealership in Gillette. Seven teams had to respond to a mock accident involving an equipment collision that caused one death and three injuries.

The rescue team from the North Antelope-Rochelle mine in the Powder River Basin south of Gillette finished first. Cloud Peak Energy's Antelope mine, also south of Gillette, was second. A team from Solvay Chemicals in Rock Springs was third.

The other four teams were from California, Nevada and Wyoming.

Rob Brewer, a former member of the Antelope mine team, says rescuers learn from each other during the competition.

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