Wyoming News Update

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HIGHWAY TOLLS

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming officials hope to study tolls as a means of improving and maintaining Interstate 80.

The Wyoming Tribune-Eagle reports that the Joint Transportation, Highways and Military Affairs Committee named a study of I-80 tolling among its top priorities before the next legislative session.

The Wyoming Department of Transportation has studied the possibility in 2008 and 2009 but no action has been taken.

Some worry, though, that a tax would push drivers to find alternate routes and hurt gas stations and other businesses that depend on out-of-state traffic.

Committee co-chairman Sen. Michael Von Flatern, R-Gillette, says he wants a study done to help lawmakers debate the idea in 2021.

POLICE SHOOTING-CASPER

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — Two Wyoming police officers are denying claims that they violated a man's constitutional rights when they shot and killed him in 2018.

Douglas Oneyear's family filed a federal lawsuit in February alleging wrongful death in the February 2018 shooting. Officials have said police investigating a reported assault encountered Oneyear, who was carrying a sword, in Casper.

The Casper Star Tribune reports that the suit says the sword was a toy and police could have subdued Oneyear.

In court documents filed Wednesday, officers Jonathan Schlager and Cody Meyers dispute that description of the sword. Attorneys argue that the officers acted properly under state law.

Prosecutors have previously decided that the officers would not face charges. They concluded Oneyear intended to end his own life when he confronted the officers.

RIVER-GASOLINE

LANDER, Wyo. (AP) — The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality has determined that a Lander convenience store and gas station is the source of gasoline leaking into the Popo Agie (pah-POH' shuh) River.

The agency says the Maverick Country Store overfilled its underground gasoline storage tanks causing the fuel to migrate into the nearby river.

The department filed a notice of violation Friday afternoon against the store for failing to make repairs that would prevent overfilling its underground tanks. The company can appeal the action to the state Environmental Quality Council.

The leaking gasoline was found earlier this month after residents reported gas fumes coming from the river. Measures have been taken to contain the leak.

VA-BASEBALL BAT ATTACK

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A former employee accused of attacking two employees at the Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in Cheyenne has been identified as 23-year-old Benjamin Delany.

The attack took place around 11:45 a.m. Thursday at the hospital's community center.

The Wyoming Tribune Eagle reports that according to the Laramie County Sheriff's Department booking sheet, Delany assaulted an employee with a baseball bat and a doctor with a closed fist.

VA spokesman Sam House says the two staff members suffered minor injuries and both were back at work Friday.

Capt. Linda Gesell of the Laramie County Sheriff's Department says Delany is being held at the Laramie County jail pending transfer to the custody of federal marshals.

It was unclear whether Delany had an attorney representing him.

WILDLIFE STUDY

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Proposed legislation would study on the economic value and costs of grizzly bears and wolves in Montana and how the animals relate to agriculture, tourism and hunting and trapping.

The Billings Gazette reports that Senate Joint Resolution 7 is sponsored by Democratic Sen. Mike Phillips of Bozeman who told the Senate Fish and Game Committee on Thursday that the study was aimed at providing information to the Legislature, not to affect any policy decisions.

But opponents fear the legislation will be used to justify the existence of bears and wolves outside of national parks and wilderness areas.

It's estimated about 1,000 grizzly bears and 900 wolves live in Montana, including Yellowstone and Glacier national parks.

WYOMING AVALANCHE-SNOWMOBILER BURIED

JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) — Authorities say a snowmobiler survived being buried in an avalanche in northwest Wyoming.

The Jackson Hole News & Guide reports the woman, whose name has not been released, was sitting on a snowmobile in the Great White Hump area on the north side of Teton Pass when the slide was triggered above her Friday afternoon.

Witnesses say they saw her get buried in the debris and carried about 450 feet (137 meters).

Teton County Sheriff Matt Carr says bystanders dug the woman out, and "she's talking and breathing." Her condition has not been released.

SheridanWyoming.com

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