Wyoming News Update

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Here is the latest Wyoming news from The Associated Press

Wyoming state parks offering free New Year's Day hikes

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming's state parks are holding free hikes for the public on New Year's Day.

The Wyoming Tribune Eagle reports that 12 parks and historic sites are participating in the First Day Hikes program, an effort by all 50 state park systems and a private organization called America's State Parks.

Hikes in Wyoming are scheduled at Curt Gowdy, Bear River, Edness K. Wilkins, Guernsey, Keyhole, Sinks Canyon and Buffalo Bill state parks. They will also be held at Fort Bridger, Fort Fred Steele, Trail End and South Pass City state historic sites and the Medicine Lodge State Archaeological Area.

About 500 people participated in last year's First Day Hike in Wyoming.

The hikes are open to anyone, and entrance fees at participating state parks will be waived for the event.

High court: Cheyenne city pay panel can hold closed meetings

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — The Wyoming Supreme Court says the public can be barred from the meetings of a Cheyenne panel discussing city employee pay.

The Wyoming Tribune Eagle reported Tuesday the court ruled the meetings are not covered by the state Public Meetings Act because the panel is a temporary body established by a City Council resolution, not an ordinance.

The Tribune Eagle had filed a lawsuit seeking to allow public access. A lower court ruled in March the city could close the meetings, and the Supreme Court upheld that decision.

The panel is called the Employee Investment Study Implementation Team. It was formed in 2013 to develop a new plan for a city pay structure.

Heavy snow, wind mark Wyoming weather

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — A winter storm continued to affect Wyoming on Tuesday, with heavy snow forecast in the west and strong winds in the Cody area and in southeastern Wyoming.

The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for the Jackson area, forecasting 5 to 8 inches of snow in the resort town, along with strong winds that could reduce visibility to under a quarter of a mile. The warning was in effect until 5 p.m. Wednesday.

A winter weather advisory was in effect until late Wednesday morning for the areas north and south of Jackson, including Yellowstone National Park.

High winds were blowing in the Cody area and in southeastern Wyoming.

Extreme winds, with gusts up to 80 mph, prevented the city of Casper from opening Hogadon Basin Ski area on Tuesday.

Search area narrowed for snowboarder missing in Wyoming

JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) — Teton County Search and Rescue has narrowed its search for a missing snowboarder to an avalanche-prone snowfield behind Grand Targhee Resort, where he worked in one of the kitchens.

The Jackson Hole News & Guide reports (bit.ly/2hpHvVN) the search area for 34-year-old Lee Kidd of Driggs, Idaho, was narrowed after talking with witnesses who may have seen Kidd on Friday before he went missing.

Sheriff's Sgt. Matt Carr says the search has been challenging. A foot of snow and high winds have covered any tracks while stormy weather limited a helicopter search to about an hour on Saturday. The snowfield rescuers are focusing on has a large cornice prone to avalanche and a 500-foot cliff. Teams were unable to search the area thoroughly on Monday.

Carr says teams planned to search the area again on Tuesday.

Wyoming running back Brian Hill declares for NFL Draft

LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) — Record-setting Wyoming running back Brian Hill has announced he is forgoing his senior season to enter the 2017 NFL Draft.

The University of Wyoming said Hill notified coach Craig Bohl of his decision on Monday.

Bohl thanked Hill for his contributions over the past three seasons and for helping Wyoming compete for a Mountain West Conference championship this fall.

Hill, a native of Belleville, Illinois, set a school rushing record with 4,287 career yards. He rushed for 1,860 yards in 2016, breaking the single-season record of 1,631 yards he set as a sophomore in 2015.

He scored a single-season record 22 rushing touchdowns this fall, bringing his career total to a record 35 — one more than the previous mark, which had stood since 1950.

Hill also holds Wyoming records for average career rushing yards per game at 112.82 and average rushing yards per game for a season at 135.92 set in 2015.