Wyoming News Update

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Here is the latest Wyoming news from The Associated Press

Gov. Mead approves new K-12 science standards

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — Gov. Matt Mead has approved new K-12 science standards, two years after a heated battle over the benchmarks.

The Casper Star-Tribune reports the Wyoming Board of Education approved and sent the standards to Mead on Sept. 23, and the governor approved them this week.

The standards have about 50 percent of the benchmarks that were considered by the board two and half years ago. That model said climate change is man-made, an assertion blasted by some state lawmakers.

Fossil fuels extraction is the state's main industry.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow says that with the new standards, students should use the scientific method to investigate for themselves the causes and effects of climate change.

Beer and wine to be sold at UW football, basketball games

LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) — Fans attending University of Wyoming football and basketball games will be able to buy beer and wine starting in the fall of 2017.

The UW Board of Trustees on Thursday approved alcohol sales at War Memorial Stadium and Arena-Auditorium.

Athletics director Tom Burman says the idea is to provide a safer game experience by cutting down on people sneaking alcohol into the venue.

It's estimated that beer and wine sales will amount to about $290,000 a year.

Burman says beer and wine will be sold until the end of the third quarter at football games and until the middle of the second half at men's and women's basketball games.

People won't be allowed open containers outside the stadium when the game begins, and there will be a no re-entry policy.

UW president says reducing faculty is necessary

LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) — Even as the University of Wyoming grapples with more than $40 million in budget cuts, President Laurie Nichols said she still holds out hope of offering pay raises to faculty and staff next year.

Nichols told the UW Board of Trustees on Thursday that it's too soon to say whether a pay increase is possible, but she hasn't given up trying to get one.

Nichols' budget cut plans include no pay raise this year and reducing faculty numbers. Nichols says the university cannot meet its budget reduction goals without cutting faculty.

The state's only public, four-year university faces steep budget cuts because of a drop in state funding brought on by a downturn in Wyoming's energy economy.

The university has already eliminated about 100 vacant staff and faculty positions.

Snowstorm hits Wyoming, brings snow to ski resorts

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — The first widespread snowstorm of the season is hitting Wyoming, dropping up to a foot of snow and causing poor travel conditions in much of the state.

Much of the state was under a winter weather advisory Thursday with winter storm warnings posted for Sheridan County in northern Wyoming and along the Wind River Range in the central part of the state.

Lander and areas of Yellowstone National Park were estimated to have received a foot of snow. Up to 5 inches of snow fell on ski resorts in Jackson Hole.

Many roads around the state were slick. Among road closures Thursday because of the weather were a 50-mile stretch of Interstate 80 between Cheyenne and Laramie and northbound I-25 between Cheyenne and the Colorado state line.