Wyoming News Update

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ENERGY LEASES

HELENA, Mont. — Environmental groups and three Montana landowners sued Tuesday to cancel hundreds of recent oil and gas lease sales, saying the U.S. government's leasing of public lands is skyrocketing without understanding how all that drilling will affect water quality and climate change. WildEarth Guardians, Montana Environmental Information Center and the three landowners filed their lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Great Falls over the 287 leases sold in December and March that cover nearly 234 square miles (606 square kilometers) across central and eastern Montana.

SLAIN TRAIN WORKER

SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah state agency failed to protect a train worker who was kidnapped and killed by a father and son in 2016, his widow claims in a lawsuit. The Utah Transit Authority put a panic button on workers' radios after union warnings about the dangers of working alone, but didn't respond to his final radio call in time to save him, the suit said. The suit faults the agency for not putting workers in pairs or installing GPS devices in maintenance trucks.

WSU-WOLF RESEARCHER

PULLMAN, Wash. — A controversial wolf researcher will accept a $300,000 settlement to leave Washington State University, the school said. Robert Wielgus, director of the Carnivore Conservation Lab, sued the Pullman school for infringement of his academic freedom. Wielgus angered ranchers with his research of wolf behavior. He concluded the state's policy of killing wolves that preyed on cattle was likely to increase cattle predation because it destabilized the structure of wolf packs.

OAKLAND COAL LAWSUIT

SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge in California on Tuesday struck down the city of Oakland's ban on coal shipments through its port, siding with a developer who wants to use a proposed marine terminal to transport coal from Utah to Asia. Oakland's City Council did not have enough evidence when it made the decision that the coal operations would pose a substantial health or safety danger to the public, U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria in San Francisco said.

BEAR RESEARCH — Biologists will be conducting bear research in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks over the next couple of months.

CONGRESS-HARVEY — A retired U.S. Department of Transportation employee has become the second Democrat to enter the race for Wyoming's lone U.S. House seat.

COLLEGE INVESTIGATION — Northwest College in northern Wyoming has agreed to implement a number of policy revisions and changes as a result of a pair of federal civil rights investigations.

SCHOOL BUS DRIVER-SEX ASSAULT — A former school bus driver in Wyoming has been sentenced to 18 to 20 years in prison for sexually assaulting two underage teens.

BOMBER TRAINING — The Air Force is holding another training session in the massive Powder River Training Complex over the Northern Plains.

POLICE SHOOTING-WYOMING — A Casper police officer wounded in a shootout is now breathing on his own and can nod and shake his head in response to yes or no questions.

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