Wyoming News Update

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GRAND TETON-MOUNTAIN GOATS

MOOSE — Spotting a mountain goat perched high on a cliff might thrill many of the millions of tourists who visit Grand Teton National Park every year, but park officials say it might be time for the agile, bearded animals to go. Park officials announced Tuesday they're taking public comment on a plan to kill or relocate the mountain goats. The problem, according to the park, is Grand Teton's 100 or so mountain goats threaten a herd of about 80 bighorn sheep. The bighorn sheep numbered as many as 125 animals just a few years ago.

NATURAL GAS PRICES

CASPER — A funny thing began happening in natural gas markets late this summer. There was less of the gas that heats homes and fuels stoves in storage week by week. Though the market noticed this phenomenon, it didn't really react. There is so much gas production growth in the U.S. that a knee jerk to low storage didn't really kick in until recently, when extensive cold weather hit like a wall.

WANING COAL

WASHINGTON — Americans are consuming less coal in 2018 than at any time since Jimmy Carter's presidency, a federal report said Tuesday, as cheap natural gas and other rival sources of energy frustrate the Trump administration's pledges to revive the U.S. coal industry. A report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration projected Tuesday that 2018 would see the lowest U.S. coal consumption since 1979, as well as the second-greatest number on record of coal-fired power plants shutting down.

PSYCHOLOGIST-MEDICAID FRAUD — A judge has sentenced a psychologist and his wife to over three years in prison for submitting over $6.2 million in fraudulent bills to Wyoming Medicaid.

INSURANCE ERROR CHARGES — Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming says some of its members have been charged too much in monthly premium payments because of a bank processing error.

UNIVERSITY OF WYOMING BUDGET — Outgoing Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead has approved nearly all of the University of Wyoming's $19.4 supplemental budget request.

WEST YELLOWSTONE EMBEZZLEMENT — A 54-year-old Montana woman has pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $630,000 from customers of her employer over a seven-year period, ending in April 2016.

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