Wyoming News Update

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JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) — A Wyoming man has been sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty in the killing of his pregnant ex-girlfriend.

Erik Ohlson, of Jackson, pleaded guilty in February to the murder of Jennifer Nalley and the involuntary manslaughter of Nalley's fetus.

He was sentenced Friday to life in prison with a chance of parole after 25 years. The Jackson Hole News & Guide reports that Teton County District Court Judge Bruce Pickett told Ohlson that he "ruined" multiple lives.

Authorities have said Ohlson shot Nalley multiple times at her cabin in Idaho in July 2016 and was arrested after crashing his truck a few miles away.


LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) — A southeastern Wyoming technical school once slated to close expects to enroll more than 200 students by fall.

WyoTech technical school officials tell the Laramie Boomerang that its recruiters deserve credit for the growth.

The school offers three core programs in automotive technology, diesel technology and collision and refinishing technology and has 69 students this year. Officials say they work with high schools across the country to draw students.

WyoTech was scheduled to close in June 2018 until former school president Jim Mathis offered to buy it from the Education Credit Management Corp. in March 2018.

Mathis says he's pleased with the school's finances and its expected enrollment growth. He set an ambitious goal of enrolling 10,000 students someday but says he hopes to keep classroom sizes small.


BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Lawmakers in Congress are scheduled to take up legislation protecting grizzly bears against future hunting as federal and state officials appeal a court ruling that blocked planned hunts in Wyoming and Idaho.

A hearing on the proposed measure is scheduled for Wednesday before a House Natural Resources subcommittee. It also allows grizzlies to be reintroduced to Native American lands and puts new restrictions on the killing of bears that attack livestock.

It's sponsored by Rep. Raul Grijalva, an Arizona Democrat.

The push for permanent grizzly protections follows a September ruling that restored threatened species status for about 700 bears in and around Yellowstone National Park.

The bruins are considered sacred among some tribes. But there's growing pressure to allow hunting because of grizzly attacks on livestock and occasionally people.


LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) — The Albany County commissioners have signed off on a $1.6 million deal to renovate the north entrance to the courthouse.

The Laramie Boomerang reported Saturday the county engineer had to remove or delay some features in the plan to keep it within budget.

One delayed feature is a heated sidewalk outside the north entrance to keep ice from accumulating during Laramie's fierce winters. County Engineer Bill Gorman said the heating tubes will be installed in the walkways, but boilers to warm them will have to wait.

Some signage was also removed from the project.


GILLETTE, Wyo. (AP) — The nation's third-largest coal company by production volume filed for bankruptcy Friday as utility companies increasingly turn to gas-fired generation and renewable energy for electricity.

Gillette-based Cloud Peak Energy filed for Chapter 11 reorganization in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware. The move was widely expected since at least March, when the company received the first of several extensions to make a $1.8 million loan payment.

The latest extension expired Friday.

Cloud Peak owns and operates three mines in the Powder River Basin: the Antelope and Cordero Rojo mines in Wyoming and the Spring Creek Mine in Montana.

The mines shipped 50 million tons of coal in 2018. Cloud Peak officials say the mines will remain in operation during the bankruptcy process.


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