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NAVAJO COAL-TAXES

Coal mines' owner says deal in place to pay back taxes

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — A Navajo Nation company says it has an agreement to pay outstanding taxes and royalties on three large coal mines that it bought last year in Wyoming and Montana. The Navajo Transitional Energy Company says it made its first payment in December under an installment agreement with the Department of Interior. 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. It agreed to pay tens of millions of dollars in royalties and taxes accumulated since May.

HOSPITAL PARTNERSHIP

Wyoming Medical Center exploring Banner Health affiliation

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming's largest hospital is looking into affiliation with a major regional health care organization. Wyoming Medical Center in Casper says a nonbinding agreement with Banner Health will allow both to determine terms before deciding on affiliation. The potential deal apparently will not mean a merger. Nonprofit Banner Health runs nearly 30 hospitals across the West, including three in Wyoming, as well as labs, emergency rooms, clinics and surgical centers. Affiliation would make Wyoming Medical Center the latest Wyoming hospital to partner with a larger, out-of-state provider. Ivinson Memorial Hospital in Laramie and Cheyenne Regional Medical Center in Cheyenne have reached agreements with Colorado-based UC Health.

MISSING WOMAN-DEATH

Wyoming woman missing since early January found dead

LANDER, Wyo. (AP) — A central Wyoming woman missing since early January has been found dead. Authorities aren't releasing further information about the death of 23-year-old Jade Keilee Wagon, including how she may have died and where she was found. Wagon was last seen alive Jan. 2 inside the Shoshone Rose Casino near Lander. Fremont County Chief Deputy Coroner Erin Ivie confirmed Wagon's death to KTWO Radio on Monday but declined to provide additional information, saying the investigation is ongoing.

STAGE STOP RACE

$165,000 at stake: Wyoming-Idaho sled dog race begins Friday

JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) — An annual sled dog race through Wyoming and Idaho begins Friday. The first day of the 25th annual Pedigree Stage Stop Sled Dog Race is for show. Teams will run through downtown Jackson and finish at a park on the south side of town. From there, racers go to Alpine, Pinedale, Kemmerer, Big Piney/Marbleton, Lander and Driggs, Idaho, before finishing near Lower Slide Lake northeast of Jackson on Feb. 8. The racers will compete for $165,000 in prize money. This year’s race will discontinue eight-dog teams and feature only traditional 10-dog teams. Canadian musher Anny Malo won the 10-dog race in 2019. She completed her first appearance in the event in a cumulative time of 14 hours, 34 minutes and 2 seconds.

GUNS IN SCHOOL

Wyoming district to consider draft guns-in-school policy

GILLETTE, Wyo, (AP) — A school board in Wyoming is about to consider a proposal to allow teachers and other school employees to carry concealed guns. Campbell County School District officials plan to present a detailed proposal they've written to the school board Tuesday. If approved after two readings, the district would become Wyoming's fourth to allow teachers and others to carry concealed guns on campus. Under the proposal, any employee who wanted to carry a concealed firearm on school district property would need to apply with the superintendent. They would need to comply with a range of requirements including firearms training and psychological testing.

MISSING GIRL-FUNERAL

More than 1,000 attend funeral for Hardin girl

HARDIN, Mont. (AP) — More than 1,000 people attended the funeral for a 16-year-old girl who died of hypothermia after reportedly walking away from an Interstate 90 rest stop on New Year's Day. The body of Selena Not Afraid was found on Jan. 20. Her funeral was held Sunday in the gym at Hardin High School, where she was a student. Her grandfather told the students to seek help from counselors in dealing with their emotions. Middle school teacher John Joyce recalled Selena's laughter, saying it sometimes sidelined schoolwork, but it was good for the soul.

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The Associated Press

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