Wyoming News Update

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Here is the latest Wyoming news from The Associated Press

Grand Junction child sex crimes trial stalls for mental exam

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (AP) — A judge has postponed a trial for a Grand Junction man accused of photographing nude underage girls for paid-subscription websites so he can undergo a mental competency evaluation.

The Daily Sentinel reports 36-year-old Kevin Renfro was arrested in July 2015 and charged with felonies including human trafficking of juveniles for sex acts, pandering a child and inducement and solicitation of child prostitution.

The former Wyoming resident was scheduled for a five-day trial until his attorneys raised doubts about his competency. Prosecutors say he photographed several girls to create content for websites he was operating.

Renfro will now be examined at the state psychiatric hospital in Pueblo. Mesa County District Attorney Dan Rubinstein says he expects to hear a full report from the doctor examining Renfro during a November 8 court hearing.

Liz Cheney has GOP advantage in Wyoming US House bid

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Liz Cheney is looking to win her father's former post as Wyoming's lone U.S. representative three years after she clashed with fellow Republicans by campaigning against a popular U.S. senator.

A Democrat hasn't served as Wyoming's congressman since before Dick Cheney first won the job in 1978. Wyoming is even more Republican now.

That gives Liz Cheney a party identification advantage in her race against Democrat Ryan Greene on Nov. 8.

Greene works in his family's oil field services company.

Neither he nor Cheney has held office before, but Cheney is famous as a daughter of the former vice president.

Cheney faced criticism in 2013 for running against Republican Sen. Mike Enzi after she moved to Jackson Hole from Virginia.

She quit that race seven months before the primary.

Casper College plans new art building, waits for funding

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — Casper College officials have revealed design plans for a new $19 million art building, but state funding for the project is expected to be delayed.

The Casper Star-Tribune reports the proposal calls for a two-story building to replace the college's current Goodstein Visual Arts Center, which was built in 1977.

The college presented conceptual drawings for the planned 34,000-square-foot building to the board of regents last week. The preliminary planning and designing efforts have been funded by a $300,000 state grant.

Board President Roy Cohee says budget reductions may put the project lower on the state's priority list, and that it could take two to three years for the building to come to fruition.

Funding for the new art building would be split between the college and the state.

School superintendents to voice opinion at JAC meeting

RANCHESTER, Wyo. (AP) — School superintendents from around the state will address the Legislature's Joint Appropriations Committee about their concern over state funding.

Sheridan County School District 1 Superintendent Marty Kobza says he and his counterparts from other districts in Wyoming plan to attend the committee's meeting on Monday in Casper.

A coalition has been formed by 11 mostly small districts and districts affected by the energy bust, along with 17 other districts from across the state.

School districts are facing a 1.4 percent reduction in their budgets for the 2017-18 school year.

In addition, some districts may lose additional funding because of a drop in enrollment from the energy downturn.

Parents to be sentenced in infant daughter's death

GREEN RIVER, Wyo. (AP) — Parents will be sentenced after pleading no contest in the death of their infant daughter.

The Rock Springs Rocket-Miner reports Jacob Anthony Triplett is scheduled for a two-day sentencing hearing that starts Monday and Amanda Triplett's sentencing is set for Nov. 21.

Doctors determined 4-month-old Susan Triplett was malnourished and dehydrated when she died in September 2014.

An autopsy found signs of child abuse.

Each parent faces a sentence of 20 years to life in prison on a second-degree murder charge and additional years for several child abuse charges.

Court documents say Susan's twin and two boys in the home, ages 2 and 4, were malnourished and showed signs of abuse as well.

The couple has given up parental rights.