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ECONOMIC DOWNTURN-CHEYENNE

Wyoming's capital sees economic downturn due to job decrease

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A new report says Wyoming's capital city is experiencing an economic downturn driven by a reduction in local mining and construction jobs. The Wyoming Tribune Eagle reports Cheyenne experienced a 5.5% reduction in local mining and construction jobs in the past year. The state Department of Administration and Information released the information in its latest quarterly report. Overall the city added more than 400 jobs over the year, with 7.7% of those in manufacturing. The loss of mining jobs contributed to a 10.3% decrease in weekly earnings for Cheyenne’s private sector employees, from $833 this time last year to $747.

ENERGY ROYALTIES

Judge says conservation group can look into energy panel

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A conservation group can seek details from the Trump administration on whether it used the recommendations of a disbanded committee to craft policies on oil, gas and coal extraction. U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy says there is “a significant question" on whether the administration followed the advice of the Royalty Policy Committee. The industry-dominated panel was created under former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to remove obstacles to natural resource extraction. It was disbanded last year, and Molloy later said it had been established illegally. The judge's ruling Thursday allows the Western Organization of Resource Councils to seek documents, depositions and other materials from the administration.

GRAND TETON-MOUNTAIN GOATS

Wyoming officials oppose Grand Teton aerial goat gunning

JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming wildlife managers are criticizing plans by Grand Teton National Park to shoot nonnative mountain goats by helicopter. Inclement weather has so far prevented the plan from being implemented though park officials recently closed off a wide area of the Teton Range where shooting is to occur. The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission on Monday approved a resolution opposing the plans, favoring use of volunteers to hunt the goats on the ground. Grand Teton spokeswoman Denise Germann says the commission's opposition isn't leading to any change in plans for this winter. Biologists worry the goats could spread disease to native bighorn sheep.

CHEYENNE AIRPORT-RUNWAYS

Runway project totaling $62M planned at Cheyenne airport

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A $62 million repair project is in the works for the runways at Cheyenne Regional Airport. The work will happen in phases over several years and could stretch into 2025. The Federal Aviation Administration will contribute $39.5 million for the project and Air National Guard $18 million. The airport and Wyoming Department of Transportation will contribute $4.5 million combined. Airport general manager Nate Banton says it would be the biggest capital investment in Cheyenne aviation history. Plans call for finishing design work this spring and sending the project out for bid before summer. Airport officials say the work will interrupt flights but airlines are used to such repairs.

CONGRESS-CHENEY

Rep. Liz Cheney to stay in House, decline Wyoming Senate run

WASHINGTON (AP) — Rep. Liz Cheney has decided to stay in the House rather than run for the Senate in her home state of Wyoming. The Republican congresswoman is a junior but rising leader in the House. The decision by the second-term lawmaker keeps her on the House's Republican leadership track. Cheney was a senior State Department official during the administration of President George W. Bush. She's the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, who once occupied the statewide House seat that his daughter now holds. Liz Cheney is No. 3 in the current GOP hierarchy and seems likely to rise higher in time.

SUICIDE CALL CENTER-FUNDING

Wyoming governor requests funding for suicide call center

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon has recommended providing $400,000 to fund an in-state call center for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Gordon changed course on the issue after initially rejecting the request. The Wyoming Tribune Eagle reports that Wyoming is the only state that lacks a local call center for the national suicide hotline. Officials say residents can reach the hotline without the call center, but the state lacks its own operators, leading to longer wait times for callers and conversations with people who are unfamiliar with resources and providers in Wyoming. State lawmakers are scheduled to decide whether to approve the funding during the upcoming budget session in February.

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

The Associated Press

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