Wyoming News Update

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Here is the latest Wyoming news from The Associated Press

Man pleads guilty in crash that killed 3 German bikers

CODY, Wyo. (AP) — A man who crashed his pickup into a group of German motorcyclists heading to Yellowstone National Park, killing three, has pleaded guilty to three misdemeanor counts of vehicular homicide.

The Cody Enterprise reports Manuel Defuentes, of Ontario, Oregon, entered his pleas Wednesday for the June 9 crash that killed 53-year-old Tino Cachey, 52-year-old Ute Cachey and 37-year-old Erik Brecht. Four other motorcyclists were injured.

The group was headed to Yellowstone from Cody when Defuentes' truck crossed the center line at a curve.

Prosecutor Bryan Skoric says an investigation did not reveal any drug or alcohol use or mechanical issues with the truck, saying "there's no explanation whatsoever."

Defuentes apologized in court and said he thinks about the victims when he closes his eyes to sleep.

Prosecutors are calling for a year served consecutively for each count.

Casper teen dies after experiencing seizures in jail

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — Authorities are investigating the death of a 19-year-old man who died days after being booked into the Natrona County Detention Center on drug charges.

The Casper Star-Tribune reports Logan Martz, of Casper, died Saturday. Officials are awaiting the results of an autopsy performed Wednesday to determine his cause of death.

Police had responded to a disturbance report Nov. 22 to find Martz, who appeared to be under the influence of a drug. Officers took him to the Wyoming Medical Center, where he reportedly told investigators he had taken acid.

Martz was later released from the hospital and jailed on suspicion of use of a controlled substance.

Court documents say he had a seizure Nov. 23 and was again taken to the hospital, where his condition deteriorated and he died.

Doctor suspended in Wyoming and Arizona amid probe

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A Casper doctor and his wife face a federal criminal charge alleging they conspired to distribute the painkiller Oxycodone.

A criminal complaint unsealed Thursday charges Dr. Shakeel A. Kahn and his wife Lyn Kahn with prescribing inappropriately large amounts of the powerful painkiller to patients.

The Kahns were arrested Wednesday in Casper and remained jailed Thursday. They are scheduled for an initial court appearance Friday in Casper.

Search warrant applications from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents state they believe Kahn was taking cash payments to prescribe Oxycodone to patients in Wyoming, Arizona and elsewhere who were then reselling it.

The Arizona Medical Board suspended Kahn's state license in August while the Wyoming Board of Medicine suspended Kahn's license this week. Both boards concluded he was prescribing painkillers inappropriately.

The Latest: Republican vows to reverse land planning change

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A U.S. Senator from Wyoming says he'll seek to reverse changes in how government officials plan for development across almost 250 million acres of public lands.

The Obama administration announced Thursday an overhaul to an often-cumbersome process that dictates oil and gas drilling, grazing and other activities on lands administered by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

The administration says its new rule will increase public involvement and government transparency.

But Sen. John Barrasso predicted it will take away authority from locally based government workers and increase the influence of officials in Washington, D.C.

The Republican lawmaker said he would work with President-elect Donald Trump to reverse the regulation.

EPA calls federal study of coal-export project 'flawed'

LONGVIEW, Wash. (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency has criticized as "inadequate" a draft study the Army Corps of Engineers did on a proposed coal-export project in Washington state.

The EPA says the corps' draft environmental review is "flawed" because it fails to take a hard look at potential environmental impacts, such as air quality, rail traffic and climate change.

Millennium Bulk Terminals-Longview is proposing a dock to handle up to 44 million metric tons of coal a year. Coal would arrive by train from Montana, Wyoming and other states to be loaded on to ships bound for Asia. The project requires permits from the corps, among others.

The EPA told the corps in a letter Tuesday that it adopted an inappropriately narrow scope for its review. The Daily News reports the EPA recommended the corps' study be revised and resubmitted for public comment.

Millennium officials downplayed EPA's comments as just another step in the process.