Wyoming News Update

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Latest Wyoming news, sports, business and entertainment.

SOLAR ECLIPSE-PREPARATIONS

JACKSON HOLE, Wyo. (AP) — Teton County and the town of Jackson have hired a special events coordinator to organize various activities for August's solar eclipse, which is expected to bring hundreds of thousands of visitors to Wyoming.

The Jackson Hole News and Guide reported Monday that Kathryn Brackenridge will get to work on launching a social media campaign, coordinating events and acting as a liaison with police and emergency responders.

Jackson will be a prime viewing spot for the total solar eclipse on Aug. 21.

The county and town's efforts to prepare for the event come after a bill that would've helped deal with the expected onslaught of visitors to view the eclipse died in the state House last week.

Officials estimate about 350,000 people could visit Wyoming just to watch the eclipse.

WYOMING FLOODING-THE LATEST

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — The Wyoming National Guard is sending more help to Worland to assist in fighting floodwaters on the Bighorn River.

When the new soldiers and airmen arrive Tuesday, guard spokeswoman Deidre Forster says there will be about 90 guard personnel deployed in the Worland area.

About 70 guard members were sent to Worland over the weekend after the Bighorn River rose about 5 feet above flood stage, forcing the evacuation of about 100 homes.

Officials say melting snow and ice jams on the river are causing the flooding. The ice jams are unpredictable and it could be days before the river returns to within its banks.

SKI RESORT REOPENS

JACKSON HOLE, Wyo. (AP) — Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is ready for skiers once again after regaining power.

The Jackson Hole News & Guide reports that the resort is scheduled to reopen the lifts, gondolas and Aerial Tram on Monday after shutting down Tuesday due to a power outage. The entire mountain is scheduled to open for skiing at 9 a.m., along with most other Village businesses.

Heavy snow and winds knocked down 17 Lower Valley Energy electric transmission towers Tuesday night. The resort remained closed for five days during a traditionally busy time.

Mountain Resort spokeswoman Anna Cole did not provide an estimate of how many skiers would have been on the mountain during the time the resort was closed, but acknowledged that this is peak season and getting the mountain running again is important.

UNION THEFT-SENTENCE

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A former union leader from Cheyenne has been given a probationary sentence for embezzling nearly $180,000 from the Utility Workers Union of America Local 127.

Chief U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Freudenthal sentenced 63-year-old Harold Giberson to five years on probation, including the first six months in home confinement.

Giberson has repaid about $20,000 and the judge ordered him to pay the remaining $160,000 in restitution.

An investigation found Giberson made personal charges on the union credit card, including alcohol and vacations. He also told the judge he filed false union expense reports.

The local represents workers who staff three PacifiCorp power plants and associated transmission lines in Wyoming.

Giberson pleaded guilty in November to theft of union funds from 2011 to 2015. He was sentenced on Feb. 7.

COAL EXPORT-WASHINGTON

LONGVIEW, Wash. (AP) — Developers of a proposed coal-export terminal in southwest Washington have challenged the state's denial of an aquatic lands lease for the project.

The Daily News reports that Millennium Bulk Terminals and Northwest Alloys appealed the state's decision in Cowlitz County Superior Court Feb. 2.

Before leaving office, Public Lands Commissioner Peter Goldmark rejected a request from Northwest Alloys — originally made in 2010 — to sublease the state's aquatic lands to Millennium for the project.

The companies say the decision infringes on their property rights. They're also challenging Goldmark's assertion that they didn't provide adequate information about Millennium's financial standing.

A Department of Natural Resources spokesman declined to comment, citing pending litigation.

The proposed terminal in Longview that would handle up to 44 million metric tons of coal a year. The coal would arrive by train from Montana, Wyoming and other states to be stored and loaded on ships for export to Asia.

BODY RECOVERED-ICE

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Crews have recovered the body of a Utah woman who fell through the ice at Flaming Gorge reservoir.

Officials say 59-year-old Rebecca Weston of Plain City was found Sunday afternoon, a day after the all-terrain vehicle she was riding on broke through the ice near the Utah-Wyoming border.

The sheriff's office in Sweetwater County, Wyoming says Watson had been ice fishing with family at the reservoir. Three other relatives on board the ATV were able to escape, but Watson slipped underneath the water.

Dive teams found her body in about 100 feet of water.