Wyoming News Update

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Latest Wyoming news, sports, business and entertainment.

Driver killed in collision west of Casper

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — The Wyoming Highway Patrol says one person was killed in a crash about 60 miles west of Casper on U.S. Highway 20.

Marl Priest, interim supervisor for the highway patrol, told the Casper Star-Tribune that the driver was traveling west when his vehicle slid on ice as he tried to pass another vehicle.

An eastbound vehicle struck the car.

The victim's name wasn't released pending notification of family.

Proposed bills would expand Hathaway eligibility in Wyoming

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming lawmakers are considering three bills that could allow more students to get Hathaway scholarships to attend the state's flagship university and state community colleges.

The Wyoming Tribune-Eagle reports that a bill sponsored by Republican House Speaker Steve Harshman of Casper would allow two students in each of Wyoming's neighboring states to apply.

Democratic Rep. Mike Giureau of Jackson is sponsoring a bill to allow non-U.S. citizens or permanent residents to apply for the scholarship — as long as they are Wyoming residents and are pursuing citizenship.

Republican Rep. Bill Henderson of Cheyenne has introduced a bill to extend the time a high school graduate has to apply for a Hathaway scholarship from two years to four years.

Tax increase struck from Wyoming education bill

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming lawmakers have removed a proposed 2 percent sales tax increase from a bill intended to fund public schools.

The Casper Star-Tribune reports lawmakers struck the tax increase Friday from House Bill 236, an omnibus education spending bill.

Lawmakers are trying to tackle a $400 million annual shortfall in education spending.

They may dip into the Legislature's rainy day fund, which currently has $1.6 billion, to do so.

Ethete woman sentenced for fatal drunken driving crash

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A 30-year-old Ethete woman has been sentenced to 2 ½ years in prison for the death of a 50-year-old man in a drunken driving crash last summer on the Wind River Indian Reservation.

KTWO-AM reports (bit.ly/2l4OxSX) Rita Mae Willow was sentenced Wednesday for involuntary manslaughter by U.S. District Judge Scott Skavdahl, who also ordered her to pay just over $2,100 in restitution.

Willow was charged after a July 18 crash near Ethete that killed her passenger, Allison Tyrone Trosper Sr. He suffered a skull fracture when he was thrown from Willow's truck in the rollover crash.

Prosecutors say a test after the crash indicated Willow's blood alcohol level was 0.24 percent — three times the legal limit for driving in Wyoming.

Organic artifacts in Yellowstone being lost to ice melt

SHERIDAN, Wyo. (AP) — An archaeologist says organic artifacts preserved by ice patches in Yellowstone National Park are being lost to research because warmer temperatures are melting the ice.

Staffan Peterson was park archaeologist at Yellowstone for four years. He is now leading the cultural and natural resources program at Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument in Montana.

Peterson says archaeologists seek to collect pollen, pine needles, sticks, dung, bones and other artifacts preserved in the ice patches. They help provide clues of the human past.

But The Sheridan Press reports that they decay quickly when exposed to the open air

While he said this isn't just a problem in the world's first national park, he said there's only about a dozen ice patches left in Yellowstone.

Daines takes over Senate Western Caucus

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Montana Republican Sen. Steve Daines has taken over as chairman of the Senate Western Caucus.

Daines succeeds Wyoming Republican Sen. John Barrasso, who founded and led the caucus for eight years.

During his time as chairman, Barrasso expanded the caucus to include more than half of the Republican conference and provided a forum for the 27 current members to join forces on policy issues.

The caucus has focused on energy, environmental, natural resource and economic issues that directly affect western and rural states.