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YELLOWSTONE BEARS

Yellowstone: Conflicts involving bears, humans low in 2018

(Information from: The Cody Enterprise, http://www.codyenterprise.com)

CODY, Wyo. (AP) — Yellowstone National Park officials say that despite the challenges of managing visitors eager to photograph wildlife in the park, the number of conflicts involving humans and bears was low in 2018.

Yellowstone biologist Kerry Gunther says in the park's annual bear report that it was a considerable challenge to manage visitors who stopped to view and photograph bears foraging in roadside meadows, creating what she called "large bear jams."

The Cody Enterprise reports rangers were notified of 1,627 grizzly and black bear sightings in the park between March 10, 2018, the first sighting of bear activity of the spring, through Dec. 20, 2018, the last black bear sighting of the year.

Yellowstone officials predict bears will become more habituated to humans as the park welcomes more visitors.

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GUN CONTROL-WYOMING

Wyoming panel rejects gun reporting bill

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — An interim Wyoming legislative panel has rejected proposed legislation that would have prevented some people with mental illnesses from buying guns.

The Joint Judiciary Interim Committee voted 9-5 Thursday in Cheyenne against a proposal that would have required the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation to submit certain mental health records to a federal database used for background checks while purchasing firearms.

The proposal also would have set up an appeals process for those who lost their gun rights in order to regain the rights.

Proponents liked the idea of giving people a way to regain their gun rights. However, the proposal met with much opposition, including some concern that it was overly broad and could lead to more restrictive regulations on guns.

TROOPER INJURED

Wyoming trooper injured while assisting stranded motorist

WHEATLAND, Wyo. (AP) — The Wyoming Highway Patrol says one of its troopers has been suffered minor injuries in an accident on Interstate 25.

The patrol says the trooper was stopped on the shoulder while assisting a stranded motorist at about 1 p.m. Thursday south of Wheatland when a commercial truck struck the trooper's patrol vehicle.

The trooper was inside her patrol vehicle with her seatbelt fastened at the time of the collision. The trooper was taken to Platte County Memorial Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

The crash caused the northbound lanes of I-25 to be closed for a time.

The driver of the commercial vehicle was not hurt.

There was no immediate word on any citations being issued.

LARGE METH BUST

2 caught with nearly 22 pounds of meth in Wyoming sentenced

(Information from: Casper (Wyo.) Star-Tribune, http://www.trib.com)

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — Two Californians who were caught with nearly 22 pounds (nearly 10 kilograms) of methamphetamine during a traffic stop in southern Wyoming have been sentenced.

The Casper Star-Tribune reports Adrian Reyna Sr. was sentenced Wednesday to one month shy of 11 years in federal prison, while Andrea Aldaco received a seven-year term. The two, who are from Wasco, California, previously pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute.

A Wyoming Highway Patrol trooper pulled over Reyna's rental car on Interstate 80 in Albany County in February and found 20 vacuum-sealed bags filled with a white substance in the trunk. Investigators say the bags were filled with 21.7 pounds of 90-percent pure methamphetamine.

According to court records, the two were transporting the drugs for an unknown drug trafficking organization.

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CHURCH ABUSE-WYOMING BISHOP

Missouri diocese: More abuse claims against bishop credible

(Information from: Casper (Wyo.) Star-Tribune, http://www.trib.com)

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — A Roman Catholic diocese in Missouri says three people who accuse a former Wyoming bishop of sexual abuse are credible.

The three have raised allegations against Bishop Joseph Hart over the past year.

Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri, spokesman Jack Smith says two allege abuse in Wyoming but a review board considered only alleged abuse in Missouri.

Hart was a priest in Kansas City, Missouri, before moving to Wyoming in 1976 and eventually becoming bishop.

The Casper Star-Tribune reports several people allege Hart sexually abused them as children.

Hart has denied the allegations and his attorney, Tom Jubin, did not return a message Wednesday seeking comment.

The Missouri diocese has reached legal settlements with at least 10 alleged victims. The Wyoming diocese says it has substantiated six allegations.

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WYOMING EDUCATION

Wyoming students test above national average

(Information from: Wyoming Tribune Eagle, http://www.wyomingnews.com)

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming students have scored higher than national averages on standardized reading and math tests.

Wyoming Tribune Eagle reports that the 2019 National Assessment of Educational Progress released Tuesday reflects the academic proficiency scores of about 8,900 Wyoming students across about 210 schools.

School officials say Wyoming students outperformed its six neighboring states in fourth-grade math recording 87% of scores were at or above the basic achievement level.

Officials say the state tied its neighbors in fourth-grade reading, eighth-grade reading and eighth-grade math.

Officials say state score averages for special education students also surpassed the national averages.

School officials say data from the nationwide assessment was also categorized by geographic lines showing Wyoming students outscored national averages in cities, towns and rural regions.

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Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Associated Press

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