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Wyoming officials warn of prescription drug abuse fatalities

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Wyoming health and law enforcement officials say prescription drug abuse is the state's fastest-growing drug problem

Representatives from a range of government agencies are meeting monthly as the Prescription Abuse Stakeholders. The agencies involved include the U.S. Attorney's Office, the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation, the state health department as well as the state boards of pharmacy, medicine and nursing and others.

State Health Officer Dr. Wendy Braund put out a statement this week saying Wyoming deaths related to prescription drug overdose have risen from five in 2004-05 to 116 deaths in 2012-13. Braund says prescription drug abuse is clearly a major public health concern in Wyoming.

The health department recommends that people safely dispose of unneeded medications, especially those intended for pain relief.


Sinclair lawsuit blames 2013 refinery fire on faulty valve

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - A lawsuit filed by the owner of a Wyoming refinery blames six other companies for a fire it says caused $135 million in damage to the plant.

Sinclair Wyoming Refining Co. alleges the companies played roles in the installation of two incorrect valves in a piece of equipment.

Nobody was hurt in the fire Sept. 27, 2013, at the refinery in the town of Sinclair in south-central Wyoming. In the lawsuit filed Friday in U.S. District Court of Wyoming, Sinclair alleges the cause was a control valve that failed.

The six defendants include Marshalltown, Iowa-based Fisher Controls International, LLC. A Fisher spokesman said Tuesday that Fisher wasn't in any way responsible for the fire.

The other defendants declined comment, did not immediately return phone messages, or had nonworking phone numbers.


Craig Pass in Yellowstone National Park set to open Thursday

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. (AP) - Yellowstone National Park officials say the last stretch of park road over Craig Pass is set to open Thursday, allowing visitors to travel between West Thumb Junction and Old Faithful.

Construction crews have removed an almost 75-year-old bridge over Isa Lake on Craig Pass, replacing it with a new bridge and widening the road to handle more traffic. The entire project is expected to be completed by Sept. 10.

Elsewhere in the park, improvement projects continue on a 5.4-mile stretch of road between the Norris Campground and Mammoth Hot Springs, as well as on the bridge over the Gardner River.

Visitors also will see construction around Gardiner as crews improve access to the park through the north entrance.


Owner says building collapsed from neighbor's fire repairs

LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) - The owner of a building that collapsed in downtown Laramie says his neighbor repairing damage from a 2014 fire is to blame.

The Laramie Boomerang reports Laramie Vision Clinic is rebuilding after a May 2014 fire, and Sean Hart says his building collapsed as a result of those repairs.

Investigators are still trying to determine what caused part of Hart's Alley to fall early Sunday, closing portions of nearby streets.

Hart said Cheyenne-based Reiman Corp. blocked access to his building with fences and made cracks in his walls while they were working on the neighboring property.

Reiman Corp. representative Lloyd Wulf said in an email that an investigation is ongoing, and declined to make a statement.

Laramie Vision Clinic owner Garrett Howell says he plans to continue repair work.


Woman charged in boyfriend's death bound over for trial

CODY, Wyo. (AP) - A judge has found probable cause to try a woman on charges that she helped plan the death of her boyfriend, whose headless body was found in a rural area in northern Wyoming.

The Cody Enterprise reports a preliminary hearing was held Monday for 27-year-old Sandra Garcia. She is charged with conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and premeditation to commit murder in the death of 30-year-old Juan Antonio Guerra-Torres.

Hunters found Guerra-Torres' body in January 2014 in a rural area northwest of Powell. He was shot and his head, right and left arm had been cut off. Officials weren't able to identify him until May 2014.

Prosecutors argued Garcia and two co-defendants planned the murder and killed Guerra-Torres.

Circuit Court Judge Bruce Waters transferred the case to District Court for trial.


Montana man missing in Wyoming reservoir

CODY, Wyo. (AP) - An 80-year-old Montana man is missing and presumed drowned in the Buffalo Bill Reservoir in north-central Wyoming.

The Park County sheriff's office says Merle Henry Daly of Billings, Montana, and Kay Becker were resting on an island in the reservoir on Monday when their boat floated away.

Becker said Daly waded into the water to retrieve his boat and yelled for help before disappearing under the water. He was not wearing a life jacket.

KULR-TV of Billings reports Becker was stranded on the island for a couple of hours before she was able to get the attention of a passing boat for help.

Search and Rescue crews looked for Daly on Monday and planned to continue their search Tuesday.

Daly is a former resident of Cody, Wyoming.


FBI reward now $20K for information about roadside shootings

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) - The FBI has doubled the reward to $20,000 for information about two related roadside shootings in northern Colorado that left one person dead and another injured.

On May 18, a 48-year-old bicyclist was fatally shot along a rural road in Windsor, and investigators are looking for a person who was driving a white Ford SUV in the area at the time who might have information about the case. On April 22, a 21-year-old woman was driving on Interstate 25 when she was shot in the neck. She survived.

The shootings happened within 15 miles of each other, and investigators have said they are related.

The FBI also is investigating whether the slaying of a man on a sidewalk in Loveland on June 3 is related to the previous two shootings.

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