Wyoming News Update

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Foundation covers $97K bar at Wyoming governor's residence

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A nonprofit foundation supported by major players in Wyoming's energy industry is spending over $200,000 to remodel the kitchen and bar at the Governor's Residence in Cheyenne.

The Governor's Residence Foundation is paying for the work, which includes over $97,000 for the bar and nearly $96,000 for kitchen improvements.

Gov. Matt Mead mentioned the project to state lawmakers last week when he announced over $240 million in budget cuts to state agencies for the coming two-year fiscal cycle. He said the state is stretching its budget by using private money for the residence remodeling.

First Lady Carol Mead is president of the residence foundation. She says the foundation has existed for years and gets money that's left over after donations from corporations and individuals cover the cost of governors' inaugurations.

Wyoming state fire marshal retires; replacement named

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming's fire marshal, who has served in the position for a decade, has announced that he will retire.

The Casper Star-Tribune reports that Fire Marshal Lanny Applegate announced his decision in a statement Tuesday. Gov. Matt Mead has appointed one of his policy advisors, Michael Reed, to take over as state fire marshal on Friday.

Reed has 28 years of experience in law enforcement and has served as Rawlins' chief of police for 10 years.

Applegate became the state's fire marshal in 2006. His primary duties have been assisting with fire prevention efforts across the state, electrical safety, training, inspections and fire investigations.

Woman dies after being beaten, burned on Crow Reservation

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A woman who was beaten, choked and set on fire on Montana's Crow Indian Reservation has died.

FBI spokeswoman Sandra Barker said RoyLynn Rides Horse died early Tuesday.

Rides Horse was being treated in a burn unit at a Salt Lake City hospital following the April 17 attack.

Two people were charged in the case last week.

Authorities say Rides Horse got a ride home from a Kirby bar with 18-year-old Dimarzio Swade Sanchez and 23-year-old Angelica Jo Whiteman.

Investigators allege Sanchez and Whiteman beat and tried to strangle Rides Horse before dousing her with gasoline and setting her on fire in a field east of Crow Agency.

Barker referred questions about any additional charges for the defendants to the U.S. Attorney's office, which declined immediate comment.

Logging, burn project proposed north of Hebgen Lake

WEST YELLOWSTONE, Mont. (AP) — U.S. Forest Service officials are proposing a logging and prescribed burning project across more than nine square miles just west of Yellowstone National Park.

The agency says the proposal would reduce wildfire risk along evacuation routes through the Custer Gallatin National Forest. It also would restore aspen and whitebark pine trees north of Hebgen Lake and West Yellowstone, Montana.

Twenty-one miles of temporary roads could be built. Officials say the amount of habitat available to threatened grizzly bears would be temporarily reduced.

There is a 30-day public comment period on the proposal.

A separate timber sale involving four square miles southwest of Hebgen Lake has been on hold. A judge last year sided with environmental groups that say logging in the area could threaten grizzly bears and Canada lynx.

Lummis won't rule out run for governor

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — U.S. Rep. Cynthia Lummis says she has not ruled out running for Wyoming governor in 2018.

The 61-year-old Republican is not seeking re-election to Congress this year.

In 2018, the governor's race will be open. Gov. Matt Mead is serving his second four-year term and is prohibited by state law from seeking a third term.

Lummis tells the Casper Star-Tribune that it's the right time for her to leave Congress but what the future holds for her politically she can't say for certain yet.

Lummis was the youngest woman elected to the Wyoming Legislature in 1979. She also served eight years as state treasurer before being elected to the U.S. House in 2008.