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Wyoming teen pleads guilty to bringing guns to school
GILLETTE, Wyo. (AP) — A Wyoming teenager said his biological father had died just days before he brought two guns to his eighth-grade English class with what he said was an intent to threaten others. Dale Warner, now 15, pleaded guilty Friday to two counts of possession of a deadly weapon and no contest to a charge of aggravated assault. He brought guns and ammunition to Sage Valley Junior High in Gillette in November 2018. He said he didn't know how to handle the pain of his biological father's death, so he took guns to school and tried to get arrested. He was disarmed after a classmate told the principal about the weapons.
Lawsuit planned to stop Idaho-Wyoming natural gas pipeline
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Two environmental groups have given notice they plan to file a lawsuit to stop a proposed underground natural gas pipeline from Idaho to Wyoming. The groups say it will harm protected grizzly bears and other wildlife. The Alliance for the Wild Rockies and Yellowstone to Uintas Connection sent a required 60-day notice to sue this week to the U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The groups contend the approval of the pipeline project in November violated the Endangered Species Act. They say an 18-mile portion would cut a corridor through the Caribou-Targhee National Forest and areas designated as roadless.
CHEYENNE POLICE-TOBACCO LAW
Cheyenne police say they can't enforce federal tobacco law
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Police in Cheyenne, Wyoming say they don't have the authority to enforce the new federal law that increased the legal age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21. The police said Wednesday they can only legally enforce state laws and Cheyenne city ordinances. Spokesman David Inman says city officials decided to make that clear because they'd been receiving calls from residents and local businesses. However, it's still illegal for someone under the age of 21 to purchase products containing tobacco or nicotine. The Wyoming legislature is expected to consider a bill that would change state law to match the new federal law on tobacco sales.
NATIONAL PARKS-ATTENDANCE FIGURES
Wyoming's Teton National Park sees high annual attendance
JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) — Grand Teton National Park stayed near its highest visitation levels in 2019, while Yellowstone National Park had its slowest tourism year since 2014. The Jackson Hole News and Guide reported Thursday that Grand Teton's 2019 attendance trailed only 2018 for tourists visiting the park. Officials say Grand Teton attracted 3.41 million recreational visitors in 2019. July was the busiest month, with 776,000 visitors, while February, November and December saw fewer than 50,000 recreational visits each. Yellowstone attracted slightly more than 4 million recreational visitors last year, a 2.3% decrease since 2018 and 5.6% decrease from 2016.
COAL MINE OPERATOR-TAXES
New coal mine operator behind on federal, county taxes
CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — Federal officials say the newest operator of three coal mines has fallen behind on federal and county mineral taxes. The Casper Star-Tribune reported Thursday that the Navajo Transitional Energy Company owes the federal government more than $10 million in unpaid taxes. Officials say the U.S. Interior Department filed a motion in bankruptcy court this month. Officials say the company took over the Antelope and Cordero Rojo mines in Wyoming and the Spring Creek mine in Montana in October from bankrupt coal firm Cloud Peak Energy. Officials say part of the agreement was that Navajo Transitional Energy Company would pay royalties accumulated since May in payments, but the company fell behind.
3 Americans killed in Australia all had military backgrounds
DENVER (AP) — Three Americans killed when their plane crashed while fighting wildfires in Australia all had strong military backgrounds and a passion for flying. The plane's captain, Ian McBeth, who grew up in Colorado and lived in Montana, served as a navigator on C-130s in Iraq before he got his chance to be a pilot. First officer Paul Hudson of Arizona served in in the U.S. Marine Corps for 20 years and retired as a lieutenant colonel. Flight engineer Rick DeMorgan of Florida served in the U.S. Air Force for 24 years and had over 4,000 hours experience as a flight engineer, with nearly half of those earned in combat situations.
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