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Here is the latest Wyoming news from The Associated Press at 9:40 p.m. MST



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BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — One of the largest coal-fired power plants in the western U.S. will close two of its four units within days as the Montana facility edges toward an eventual total shutdown. Talen Energy spokeswoman Taryne Williams said Thursday that Colstrip Units 1 and 2 will close by Jan. 5 or as soon as they run out of coal. The plant that started producing electricity in 1975 and employs about 300 people has become increasingly uneconomical amid competition from renewable energy and cheap natural gas. Williams says the company wants to avoid layoffs and employees for now will turn to decommissioning work that will last through mid-2020.

JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) — Investigators in Wyoming have reported a possible poaching case after someone found a deer without its head wrapped in a black plastic bag. Jackson Hole News & Guide reported Tuesday that the carcass was found along Ski Hill Road about 3 miles from Alta. Wyoming Game and Fish Department officials say Jackson Game Warden Kyle Lash performed a necropsy on the mule deer in December, but it was too decomposed to take any samples for disease testing. Officials say it appears the headless deer was there for a few weeks. An investigation is ongoing. Authorities say anyone with information is encouraged to call the state wildlife department.

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — An investment group has purchased two of Wyoming's most recognizable structures. The Wells Fargo bank site in downtown Casper includes an onion-shaped building and a concrete spire almost 180 feet (54 meters) tall. Property records show Tri Opportunity Investment Group, LLC, has purchased the site. Plans for the site are unclear. The group is tied to Joe and Diane McGinley, who didn't respond to requests for comment. The bank building, originally occupied by Wyoming National Bank, dates to 1964. The spire was completed in 1968. The spire used to feature an electronic time-and-temperature display that was the tallest of its kind in the world.

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming's population increased slightly in the second half of 2018 and first half of 2019 after three years of decline. Census figures released Monday show Wyoming's population grew by 1,158 between July 2018 and July 2019. The state's total population of 578,880 remained below a peak of 586,000 in 2015. The latest numbers were recorded before a coal company's bankruptcy furloughed hundreds of workers for four months at two major coal mines. Hard times in the coal, oil and natural gas industries caused many people to leave Wyoming starting in 2015. Growth in the energy and construction industries accounted for Wyoming's recent population increase but that trend may now be reversing.

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