Wyoming, Navajo coal company, agree to liability waiver
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming officials have reached an agreement with a Navajo tribal company that would give them authority to take the company to court to enforce environmental laws at two coal mines. Navajo Transitional Energy Company acquired the Antelope and Cordero Rojo mines in Wyoming, and the Young's Creek mine in Montana, from Gillette-based Cloud Peak Energy in a 2019 bankruptcy sale. As a sovereign tribal entity, the Navajo company couldn't normally be sued in state court. Wyoming and Montana officials have been negotiating limited waivers of sovereign immunity for NTEC as a condition for the company to eventually get state permits for its new mines. Negotiations between NTEC and Montana continue.
University of Wyoming spent $42,000 fighting records lawsuit
CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — Records show the University of Wyoming paid attorneys more than $42,000 while trying to block the release of documents involving a decision not to renew the school president's contract. The Casper Star-Tribune and WyoFile say the invoices were obtained by news outlets that sued to obtain the records involving the ouster of President Laurie Nichols. Donal O’Toole, who was Faculty Senate chair when Nichols was dismissed, called the legal expense “a stupid waste of money.” University spokesman Chad Baldwin says the school fought the lawsuit to protect the identities of people whose comments factored into the contract decision.
Police: No charges recommended in fatal Gillette shooting
GILLETTE, Wyo. (AP) — Police in Gillette aren't pursuing charges in a shooting death. Police say 21-year-old Steven Peterson shot his friend, 24-year-old Jesse Flores, on Jan. 31. Police say their investigation shows Peterson acted reasonably. The Gillette News-Record reports the men got in an argument after drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana. Police say Flores threatened Peterson, who locked himself in his bedroom with a handgun. Peterson reported hearing a sound like the cycling of a slide on a handgun while Flores tried to manipulate the lock. Peterson shot Flores after he got through the door. Police say Peterson cooperated with investigators, who found a handgun outside the bedroom door.
Wyoming native dies in horse-riding accident at Utah ranch
PROVO, Utah (AP) — Police say a Wyoming native has died in a horse-riding accident in Utah. Authorities say 35-year-old Shauna Ann Martin was riding at a ranch near Payson when she either fell or was bucked off Wednesday evening. The Daily Herald reports Martin's head struck a pole, causing fatal injuries. A ranch hand heard Martin scream and called emergency crews. Authorities say she died at the scene. Martin was originally from Evanston, Wyoming, but had recently moved to Utah County. Authorities authorities believe she had experience riding.
WEST YELLOWSTONE HOMICIDE
Grandparents, uncle charged in beating death of 12-year-old
BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) — The grandparents of a 12-year-old West Yellowstone boy who was beaten to death are charged with deliberate homicide, along with the victim's 14-year-old uncle. James Sasser Jr. and Patricia Batts appeared in Justice Court in Bozeman on Thursday in the death of James Alex Hurley. They did not enter pleas. Gallatin County prosecutors say the couple and their 14-year-old son, regularly abused the victim. Court records say the 14-year-old acknowledged having a fight with Hurley on Jan. 27 and kicking him in the head several times in the hours before he died. The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports the 14-year-old has been charged with deliberate homicide and his bail is set at $500,000.
RECYCLED PLASTICS DROPPED
Certain plastics no longer recyclable in city of Laramie
LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) — City officials say certain coded plastics in Wyoming will no longer be accepted for recycling amid efforts to reduce the use of unwanted plastics. The Laramie Boomerang reported that any plastics with recycling codes 3 through 7 will be sorted out and put in landfills instead of recycled under a new city contract approved last week. Laramie City Council officials have agreed to a new contract through 2022 for the city to pay recycling contractor Waste Management $95 for each ton of recyclable materials that are processed. Waste Management company officials say the city would be charged an extra fee for processing non-recyclable materials, including plastics with codes 3 through 7.