Wyoming News Update

Posted in

Latest Wyoming news, sports, business and entertainment

State Loan and Investment Board advances 3 business loans

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Top Wyoming elected officials have approved $41 million in economic development loans to three private businesses.

Gov. Matt Mead and the state's other four statewide elected officials make up the State Loan and Investment Board. On Thursday they approved two $15 million loans, one for construction of a fuel additive plant in Cheyenne and the other for expansion of an activated carbon plant in Gillette. The board also approved an $11 million loan for expansion of a Cody pharmaceutical plant.

The loans still must pass legal and technical review before they may become final.

The loans are the first from Wyoming's Large Project Economic Development Fund established by the Legislature in 2014 with $25 million.

The board transferred $16 million from another loan program Thursday to cover the three loans.

State legislators move forward policy body camera proposal

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming lawmakers are looking to establish rules for how police body camera footage should be released to the public.

The Wyoming Tribune Eagle reports that state law doesn't address how the police recordings should be handled. The lack of guidance has left some agencies reluctant to use body cameras.

A legislative task force decided last week to move forward with a plan that would make all body camera footage private by default. But members of the public and the media could seek a court order to have the footage released.

Democratic Sen. Chris Rothfuss, of Laramie, says he thinks the legislation will protect both law enforcement and the public interest.

The proposal is scheduled to go before the Legislature's Joint Judiciary Interim Committee at its next meeting.

Well-known Wyoming landmark coming down

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — A well-known Wyoming landmark is facing demolition.

Workers on Thursday began removing a Wells Fargo bank sign at the top of a 17-story concrete tower in downtown Casper. The tower itself will come down in the spring.

Casper's skyline will never be the same. The tower stands out like nothing else on the skyline of Wyoming's second-biggest city.

Recent controversy that employees of Wells Fargo opened millions of fake bank and credit card accounts apparently isn't a factor in the landmark's demise. Branch manager Debi McNabb tells the Casper Star-Tribune the tower is deteriorating and a safety hazard.

The tower was built in 1968 for what was then Wyoming National Bank. The tower originally featured an electronic time-and-temperature display.

Major work planned on leaky Wyoming gas pipeline

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A pipeline company plans to replace sections of a Wyoming natural gas pipeline that has had two leaks since August.

The 16-inch-wide pipeline sprung a major leak 14 miles north of Douglas on Sept. 6. Authorities closed Wyoming Highway 59 for more than two hours while workers shut off the flow.

The leaking gas didn't ignite. DCP Midstream spokeswoman Rosslyn Elliott says the pipeline was carrying 40 million cubic feet of gas a day to a gas-processing plant near Douglas.

Elliott says an inspection in late August revealed a pinhole leak in the same pipeline but about 40 miles north of the leak in September.

She says the company is still investigating the leaks and has been planning to replace sections along a 60-mile stretch of the pipeline.

Mine expansion to have minor climate impact

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — U.S. officials have approved a 117 million-ton expansion of a Montana coal mine after concluding that burning the fuel would have a minor impact on the nation's overall greenhouse gas emissions.

Federal mining officials said in documents made public Thursday that burning coal from the Spring Creek Mine would generate roughly 160 million tons of carbon dioxide over the next five years.

The officials say that would be less than 1 percent of projected U.S. emissions of the climate changing gas.

Environmentalists with Wildearth Guardians had sued the Interior Department to challenge the expansion of the coal mine near the Montana-Wyoming border.

U.S. District Judge Susan Watters ordered in January a rigorous study of the planned expansion.

Spring Creek is Montana's largest coal mine. It's owned by Cloud Peak Energy.