Wyoming News Update

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BLACK 14 REUNION

LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) — The University of Wyoming is welcoming eight former football players back on campus half a century after a racist episode gutted their team.

University officials plan to unveil a plaque commemorating the Black 14 athletes at War Memorial Stadium on Friday.

Members of the group say they are getting a warm welcome, but there's still work to be done to clarify what happened to the 1969 Cowboys football team.

That year, black team members approached head coach Lloyd Eaton to ask to wear black armbands in a game against Brigham Young University. They wanted to protest racism in a previous BYU game.

Eaton dismissed the 14 black players before they could present a case.

Black 14 members say their biggest disappointment is not hearing Eaton explain himself. Eaton died in 2007.

LUNG ILLNESS-VAPING

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — Health officials say a Wyoming resident has been hospitalized in the state's first case of severe lung disease related to vaping.

The Casper Star-Tribune reports the Wyoming Department of Health released a statement confirming the person is a Uinta County resident in their 20s.

Officials say the patient vaped in the months prior to the hospitalization.

State health officer Alexia Harrist says the person has been released from a hospital.

Harrist says the state is investigating several potential cases of lung disease linked to vaping and is expecting to see more of the illness.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that as of Sept. 11 there were 380 cases of lung illness associated with the use of e-cigarettes reported in 36 states.

Six deaths have been confirmed.

CHENEY VS PAUL

WASHINGTON (AP) — Two Republican members of Congress are battling over President Donald Trump's foreign policy.

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney engaged Wednesday and Thursday in a rapid-fire exchange of tweets in which he suggested she is a warmonger and she called him a "loser."

The two reflect GOP factions clashing over whether to end the war in Afghanistan, as Paul does, or support the effort, which Cheney backs. Her father, Dick Cheney, was the vice president when the war began.

More broadly, Republicans are fighting to influence Trump's approach to foreign policy in North Korea, Iran and elsewhere.

Trump hasn't calmed the dispute. This week, he announced the cancellation of a planned summit with the Taliban at Camp David. And he fired his national security adviser John Bolton.

SCHOOL GUNS-GILLETTE

GILLETTE, Wyo. (AP) — Campbell County school district trustees have decided to move forward with developing a policy that will allow armed school staff for security.

The Gillette News Record reports that the decision Tuesday to move forward with a policy for concealed carry staff, along with other safety procedures, followed a long and divisive comment period in which educators, parents, law enforcement and veterans spoke out.

Not everyone agreed about arming school staff in the city limits, but they did agree that safety was an issue and advocated for adding more school resource officers. They also agreed on the need for continued discussion.

Officials say it will take at least two months to come up with a policy that will then be presented to the school board for a final decision.

WYOMING SHOOTING-TRIAL

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — A Wyoming judge has set a Nov. 18 trial date for a Casper man accused of killing his mother earlier this year.

KTWO-AM reports Andrew Steplock is facing charges of first-degree murder, second-degree murder, aggravated burglary and possession of a deadly weapon with intent to cause bodily injury in the Feb. 26 shooting death of Deborah Steplock.

Steplock has pleaded not guilty and not guilty by reason of mental illness.

Steplock's attorney told District Judge Daniel Forgey on Wednesday that Steplock is requesting a second mental health evaluation. The Wyoming State Hospital in Evanston recently returned an evaluation but the results were not made public.

Steplock, who remains jailed, did not speak during the hearing aside from answering procedural questions from Forgey.

SAGE GROUSE

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Montana's greater sage grouse population has fallen more than 40% over the past three years, mirroring recent declines across the U.S. West for a bird species rejected for federal protections in 2015.

State wildlife officials estimate there were about 44,000 ground-dwelling sage grouse in Montana this spring. The figure is included in a report to be delivered to state lawmakers later this month.

Sage grouse once numbered in the millions but have seen their range that stretches across 11 states diminished by oil and gas drilling, wildfires, grazing and other pressures.

Weather can affect populations from year to year. Montana officials traced the recent declines to extreme drought in parts of the state in 2017.

Sage grouse numbers also continued to drop in 2019 in Oregon, Idaho and Wyoming.

SheridanWyoming.com

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