Wyoming News Update

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COLORADO RIVER DROUGHT PLAN

BOULDER CITY, Nev. (AP) — Federal, state and tribal water managers are marking completion of a long-negotiated plan for 40 million people and vast irrigated farms to share crucial Colorado River water despite ongoing drought in the arid U.S. Southwest.

Interior Department official Tim Petty, Bureau of Reclamation chief Brenda Burman and representatives from seven states met Monday at Hoover Dam to commemorate an agreement spurred by nearly 20 years of drought and shrinking reservoirs.

President Donald Trump signed the so-called "drought contingency plan" last month.

Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming and Mexico are affected.

The agreement aims to keep the key Lake Mead and Lake Powell reservoirs from getting so low they can't produce hydropower or deliver water for cities including Los Angeles, San Diego, Denver, Phoenix and Las Vegas.

SPRING STORM-ROCKIES

DENVER (AP) — Officials are warning drivers traveling through a broad swath of central Colorado and Wyoming to be prepared for snow and ice as a late spring storm passes through.

The National Weather Service issued winter weather warnings Monday from central Wyoming south through Colorado to the New Mexico line.

Weather-related crashes already were being reported on mountain roads in Colorado, where Weather Service forecasters predict between 8 and 18 inches (20 and 46 centimeters) of snow and wind gusts as high as 35 mph (56 kph).

Collisions closed eastbound Interstate 70 near the Eisenhower Tunnel. The interstate reopened Monday afternoon.

In Wyoming, between 10 and 20 inches (25 and 51 centimeters) of snow are forecast. Cheyenne and Laramie are under winter weather advisories, where up to 6 inches (15 centimeters) of snow could fall through Tuesday morning.

UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT

LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) — University of Wyoming trustees have chosen an interim president to serve for a year after the upcoming departure of the school's current president.

Vice President for Finance and Administration Neil Theobald will take over July 1 from President Laurie Nichols. All 11 trustees present on a call Monday voted for Theobald over two other candidates.

Trustees decided recently not to renew Nichols' contract when it expires June 30. University officials have not said why Nichols won't remain after three years as president.

Nichols plans to join the university faculty for at least a year though her husband has taken a job at the University of Montana.

The Casper Star-Tribune reports Theobald will receive a base salary of $340,000.

Theobald was president of Temple University in Philadelphia from 2012-2016.

DOCTOR CHARGED-OPIOIDS

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — A Wyoming doctor accused in a prescription drug conspiracy says his treatment methods were medically appropriate.

The Casper Star-Tribune reports Shakeel Kahn testified last week in his federal trial on 21 felonies, including a count of conspiracy to distribute drugs resulting in death.

Authorities say he wrote nearly 15,000 prescriptions, with nearly half for the painkiller oxycodone.

Kahn testified that he tried to ensure his patients were not abusing their medications, but he continued writing prescriptions because he lacked proof of abuse.

Kahn said he quit accepting insurance for the $500 visits to his Casper pain clinic because of issues with insurance companies.

He said he also traded his doctor visits for guns, motorcycles and other goods.

Closing arguments in the trial are expected to be made Tuesday.

ELK ANTLER AUCTION

JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) — An elk antler auction in Wyoming raised money for a wildlife refuge and the Boy Scouts.

Saturday's annual auction in Jackson brought in over $186,000 from the sale of more than 10,000 pounds (4,500 kilograms) of antlers.

Male elk naturally drop their antlers each year. Local scouts gathered hundreds of antlers shed on the National Elk Refuge.

Bidders paid an average of almost $17 per pound for antlers this year. That's down from last year's average but well above the 10-year average.

Refuge officials say local scouts keep 25% of the proceeds and 75% goes to the refuge for wildlife habitat projects.

SheridanWyoming.com

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