Wyoming News Update

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Latest Wyoming news, sports, business and entertainment

Early, absentee voting begins throughout Wyoming

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — Early voting for the Nov. 8 general election in Wyoming has begun.

The Casper Star-Tribune reports that residents can cast their ballots at county clerks' offices throughout the state or request that a ballot be mailed to their home.

Natrona County Elections Deputy Clerk Chris Lindsey says her office sent out about 3,200 absentee ballots Thursday, the most ever mailed on the first day of early voting.

She says an increasing number of people are choosing to vote absentee because it's convenient.

Residents can cast their votes for the president, the state's sole member of the U.S. House, judges, and members of the Wyoming Legislature and local government.

DUI enforcement to increase during 'Border War' game

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Law enforcement agencies in Wyoming and Colorado will be teaming up for DUI and seat belt enforcement during Saturday night's "Border War" football game between the University of Wyoming and Colorado State University.

The rivalry brings a lot of traffic to U.S. Highway 287 between Laramie and Fort Collins, Colorado, and on Interstate 25 between Cheyenne and Fort Collins, where the game is being held.

Robert Terry, assistant chief of the Laramie Police Department, says "It's a late night game but expect to see officers, deputies and troopers out in force all day and all night."

US judge orders real estate mogul to pay creditors $286M

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A U.S. judge has ordered a former luxury real estate mogul to pay $286 million to creditors of a Montana club for the ultrarich that he's accused of fleecing for personal gain.

The order from U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Ralph Kirscher is the latest turn in a years-long chase after the assets of Yellowstone Club founder Timothy Blixseth.

Blixseth diverted hundreds of millions of dollars from a 2005 Credit Suisse loan to the club. That set the business up for bankruptcy when he gave it to his ex-wife during their divorce.

Trustees for the club's creditors have recovered only $141 from Blixseth despite a string of multi-million judgments against him.

In July, Blixseth was released from more than a year in jail for defying court orders to reveal his assets.

Company: Crows knocked out power to 100,000 in 3 states

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (AP) — A utility company says two crows triggered a power outage in mid-July that knocked out service to about 100,000 customers in three Western states.

Rocky Mountain Power spokesman David Eskelsen tells the Post Register newspaper in a Thursday story that an investigation shows the crows touched a capacitor bank — a device that controls voltage — at a substation in southwest Idaho.

Eskelsen says the capacitor bank caught fire, and a separate device that should have rerouted electricity malfunctioned, sending the entire substation offline.

Customers in eastern Idaho, western Wyoming and southern Montana lost power for about three hours.

Rocky Mountain Power says upgrades have been made to the damaged substation.

The company says the crows were vaporized in the incident.

The Latest: Embattled Yosemite chief says he chose to retire

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — The head of Yosemite National Park says he was offered a job transfer but chose to retire instead after employees made allegations that he created a hostile workplace.

Superintendent Don Neubacher emailed park staffers Wednesday, saying he's on leave until his last day Nov. 1. Neubacher said he declined an offer to serve in Denver as a senior adviser to the park service's deputy director.

His departure comes less than a week after a congressional oversight committee unveiled complaints by 18 Yosemite employees of a toxic work environment marked by bullying, harassment and other misconduct.

Similar allegations have surfaced in national parks such as Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon. Federal investigations are underway or have been completed in all three parks.

Neubacher's email doesn't address the harassment claims. He says he regrets leaving but it's best for the iconic park.