Wyoming News Update

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Latest Wyoming news, sports, business and entertainment

Federal jury convicts man of murder in wife's shooting death

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — A Wyoming man has been convicted of first-degree murder in the shooting death of his wife last November at the family home in Ft. Washakie.

Koby Dean Johnson was convicted on Friday of murder in the death of 36-year-old Rachael Noel Johnson. He was also convicted of using a firearm.

Prosecutors say Koby Johnson shot his wife to death in front of the couple's children. She was a nursing student at Central Wyoming College.

Christopher Crofts is U.S. Attorney for Wyoming. Crofts says Koby Johnson was convicted following a five-day jury trial before U.S. District Judge Scott Skavdahl in Casper.

Prosecutors say Koby Johnson faces a mandatory life sentence at sentencing before Skavdahl in August.

Cub of well-known Wyoming grizzly believed killed by car

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A car has killed the only bear cub believed born this year to one of the best-known grizzlies in Wyoming's Grand Teton National Park.

Park officials say the cub died after being hit Sunday night. They say they're reasonably certain it belonged to a popular grizzly dubbed 399 but can't be sure before DNA testing.

Bear 399 has delighted tourists and wildlife photographers for years by spending time near roads with her cubs. She's had triplets three years in a row.

This year, the mother bear emerged from hibernation with just one cub but still drew plenty of attention.

The cub's death comes as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plans to remove the region's grizzlies from federal protection as a threatened species.

FBI reviving Citizen Academy program in Cheyenne

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — The FBI is bringing back a program in Cheyenne aimed at educating community leaders about the agency.

The Wyoming Tribune Eagle reports that the FBI is hosting an eight-week course called the Citizens Academy that will take place in August and September. The program is being held in Wyoming for the first time in 10 years. It's meant to give business, civic and religious leaders a better understanding of the bureau's operations.

Participants of the academy will learn from the agency's Evidence Response Team about collecting and preserving evidence and how to fire weapons. They will also learn from bomb technicians.

Arlen Scholl, an FBI agent in Cheyenne, says the class will also feature discussions about high-profile cases in Wyoming.

The application deadline is July 1.

Bidder chosen to rebuild Wyoming town's only gas station

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A Wheatland man is the winning bidder to bring a gas station and convenience store back to Chugwater by this fall.

Chugwater Mayor LaDonna Sand says Alex Cadar (SAY'-dare) submitted the only bid Friday to build on the site where the Horton's Corner store burned down three-and-a-half years ago.

Local residents since have had to drive 25 miles to Wheatland or 45 miles to Cheyenne to buy gas. Many locals have been stockpiling gas at home.

Sand says Cadar's $400,000 bid includes a promise through the federal Community Development Block Grant program to hire around 18 people when the store opens.

The fire happened when a man crashed into Horton's Corner after driving off Interstate 25. The town of Chugwater bought the lot when the owners decided not to rebuild.

Gov. Mead to present budget cuts to lawmakers in Cheyenne

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead is set to unveil to lawmakers Tuesday budget cuts he says likely will require a small number of state employee layoffs.

Downturns in energy revenues are forcing Mead to propose 8 percent cuts to the $3 billion budget state lawmakers approved for the two-year funding cycle starting July 1.

Mead says the departments of health, family services, corrections, the University of Wyoming and community colleges will be hit hardest.

Mead says his office will continue refining the cuts until he presents them. He says he's not happy about them because they will affect both state programs and the private sector.

Kari Gray is Mead's chief of staff. She says Monday it appears about 10 state employees will lose their jobs.

Searchers recover body of man missing in reservoir

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — Natrona County search and rescue crews have recovered the body of a Casper man who was missing and presumed drowned after he jumped into Alcova Reservoir from a boat.

The man was reported missing early Sunday afternoon after he jumped into the water and did not resurface. His body was located Monday morning in the lake about 30 miles southwest of Casper.

The Casper Star-Tribune reports the county coroner's office identified the man Monday as 41-year-old Jeremiah Douglas Bush.

Sheriff's Lt. Mike Steinberg says the cause of the man's death is still being investigated, and it's unclear if alcohol played a role.

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