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Wyoming police probe letter written by senior center shooter

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Police in Wyoming say they are investigating a letter written by a 77-year-old man who shot three people at the senior citizen apartment complex where he lived before killing himself.

Larry Rosenberg gave the letter to complex resident Mary Eastman before he opened fire. Eastman says Rosenberg's letter expressed frustration about poker parties held in a common area of the complex.

Cheyenne Police Department spokesman Dan Long didn't comment Thursday on what the letter said but says there may have been "longstanding animosity" between Rosenberg and the victims.

The shooting killed 45-year-old Matthew Wilson, an employee of the apartment complex. Two apartment complex residents, 65-year-old Gregory Gilbert and 74-year-old Larry Warwick, were wounded. Police haven't disclosed their conditions.

Police say Rosenberg shot himself with a handgun as they approached him.

Wyoming treasurer wants state supreme court to hear case

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — The Wyoming state treasurer wants the state supreme court to hear his claim that lawmakers violated the state constitution in managing the ongoing, $300-million restoration of the state Capitol.

Treasurer Mark Gordon sued in state district court earlier this year. He's challenging legislation that established the group that's overseeing the Capitol project. The oversight group includes senior lawmakers and Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead.

Gordon isn't on the group but he claims the state constitution requires him to sign off on Capitol contracts.

Sheridan lawyer Anthony T. Wendtland represents Gordon. Wendtland this week asked a district judge to rule for Gordon's claims without holding a trial and also asked to have the state supreme court hear the case directly to save time.

Wyoming Attorney General Peter Michael declined comment Thursday.

Worker killed at Opal natural gas plant identified

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — An employee who died at a natural gas processing plant in southwestern Wyoming has been identified as a Kemmerer man.

The Casper Star-Tribune reports that 36-year-old Michael Smuin died at the Williams plant in Opal on Wednesday.

Authorities say a pipe had burst shortly before Smuin, an operator technician, was found dead. He had been doing routine maintenance work at the time.

Officials say his cause of death will be determined by a coroner.

The plant was still shut down as of Thursday morning.

Smuin's death remains under investigation.

New UW president gives first state of university address

LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) — University of Wyoming President Laurie Nichols says she's confident the institution will emerge from its financial woes stronger and more focused.

Nichols delivered her first state of the university speech Thursday.

Nichols started the job in May just as the state's only public, four-year university was beginning the process of cutting its budget.

The state has cut the university's budget by $35 million because of a decline in state energy revenue. In addition, the university must reallocate an additional $6 million from within its budget for utilities and improvements to its accounting system for a total budget hit of $41 million.

Nichols says the future of the university depends on increasing its enrollment and reviewing its tuition and fees, which she said are among the lowest in the nation.

Montana lawmakers push for tribal bison hunts in Yellowstone

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A Montana legislative committee says American Indian tribes should be allowed to hunt bison inside Yellowstone National Park.

Supporters say such hunts would better control herds of the animals that migrate into Montana during winter.

The Environmental Quality Council issued a letter on Thursday to Yellowstone Superintendent Dan Wenk asking him to honor hunting requests from tribes. Democrats on the council objected, saying no tribes have asked to hunt inside the park.

Several tribes with longstanding treaty rights hold annual bison hunts just outside Yellowstone's boundary.

Many Yellowstone bison carry a disease that can be harmful to livestock. However, no bison-to-cattle transmissions of the disease brucellosis have been recorded.

Yellowstone rejected prior requests from former Gov. Brian Schweitzer to allow public hunting inside the park.


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