Wyoming News Update

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Latest Wyoming news, sports, business and entertainment.

YELLOWSTONE TRAFFIC

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Sometime within the next four to six years, Yellowstone National Park is expected to reach its capacity for being able to handle all the vehicles that tourists drive through the park every year to see its sights.

The National Park Service says potential solutions that will be discussed include instituting a reservation system or passenger shuttles to control the number of visitors during peak times for the busiest attractions in the park.

The agency on Thursday released studies looking at traffic and parking in the nation's first national park and visitor demographics and expectations.

The report recommends additional study over the next couple of years, and the National Park Service pledges to listen to all concerns to help shape any actions.

Over 4 million people visited Yellowstone in 2016.

MONTANA SHOOTING

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Prosecutors are asking a federal judge to send a Wyoming man to prison for life after he pleaded guilty to killing a couple and wounding their daughter when the family stopped to help him on Montana's Crow Indian Reservation.

Twenty-year-old Jesus Deniz Mendoza is due to be sentenced in U.S. District Court in Billings on Thursday in the July 2015 roadside shootings of Jason and Tana Shane near the town of Pryor.

Defense Attorney David Merchant II has asked for a 60-year sentence.

Merchant argued in court filings that a shorter sentence would be merciful given that Mendoza was 18 years old at the time of the shootings and has a history of mental illness and drug abuse.

Prosecutors say Mendoza would kill again if he were released from prison.

MONTANA SHOOTING-THE LATEST

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A federal judge has sentenced a Wyoming man to life in prison for the murders of two good Samaritans who stopped to help him on Montana's Crow Indian Reservation.

U.S. District Judge Susan Watters said Thursday that 20-year-old Jesus Deniz Mendoza posed a continuing danger and was unable to control the "demons" of mental illness and drug use that that he blamed on the killings.

Mendoza pleaded guilty to shooting Jason and Tana Shane in the back of the head along a roadside near Pryor in July 2015.

He shot the couple's grown daughter as she was running from the scene and fired at several other people who sought to help the family.

His sentencing comes days after the close-knit Crow reservation was again wracked by violence with three people killed and two wounded at a house in Lodge Grass.

YELLOWSTONE BISON KILLED

POWELL, Wyo. (AP) — A bull bison that had wandered out of Yellowstone National Park was killed after suffering severe head and leg injuries when it was struck by a vehicle just east of the park.

Wyoming Game and Fish warden Travis Crane says the bison was walking in circles on the highway after the collision Sunday evening near Wapiti and couldn't be moved. Crane tells the Powell Tribune (bit.ly/2hPj3PX) he shot and killed the injured bull because the Wyoming Highway Patrol said it was a public safety hazard.

Earlier this year, a Ford pickup was totaled after hitting another bull bison in the same area. Crane says that bull wandered off after the impact.

THROWBACK TICKETS-CHEYENNE

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Some people getting stopped for traffic violations in Wyoming's capital city are receiving "throwback" warnings instead of real tickets this week.

The unofficial traffic warnings being issued by the Cheyenne Police Department include informing violators they might face penalties such as "leaving town by sunrise" or "donating two bits to charity."

The "throwback" traffic warnings are being issued through Sunday as part of the city's 150th anniversary celebration this year.

One motorist caught Wednesday running a stop sign, which can result in a $100 fine, instead received a warning for driving a "carriage in an inconsiderate manner."

While the slips of paper are not a ticket, department spokesman Officer Kevin Malatesta tells the Wyoming Tribune Eagle that it's hoped the warnings also will encourage people to drive safely.

SCIENCE SAYS-ECLIPSE SAFETY

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — With the total solar eclipse right around the cosmic corner, eye doctors are going into nagging overdrive.

They say mom was right: You can damage your eyes staring at the sun, even the slimmest sliver of it.

So it's time to rustle up special eclipse eyewear to use Aug. 21, when the U.S. has its first full solar eclipse spanning coast to coast in 99 years.

The only time it's safe to view the eclipse without protection is during the two minutes or so when the sun is completely covered by the moon. That will occur only along a narrow strip stretching from Oregon, through the Midwestern plains, down to South Carolina. The rest of the U.S. gets a partial eclipse that extends into Canada and part of South America.

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