Wyoming News Update

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Latest Wyoming news, sports, business and entertainment.

ONLINE SALES TAXES

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming officials hope more online businesses will begin to pay sales taxes voluntarily but are laying the groundwork to collect from those that refuse.

Gov. Matt Mead signed a bill Wednesday that says anybody outside Wyoming who does more than 200 transactions or $100,000 in sales in the state annually must pay sales tax.

The bill says the Wyoming Department of Revenue can take those who don't pay to court.

Mead signed the bill on the day that online retail giant Amazon has promised it would begin voluntarily collecting sales taxes on sales in Wyoming.

State Rep. Mark Kinner, of Sheridan, says how much revenue the bill generates remains to be seen but it could be substantial.

Sales taxes in Wyoming range from 4-6 percent depending on local rates.

American Indian Education

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming lawmakers have passed a bill that will help educate K-12 students in the state about the history of Wyoming's native people.

The bill received approval from the Legislature on Wednesday. It still must be signed by Gov. Matt Mead.

The proposal will provide education materials for the 48 school districts across the state. The resources will be created with consultation from tribes of the region, including the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone, and will be available on the state Department of Education's website.

Jason Baldes, of the Wind River Advocacy Center, tells the Casper Star-Tribune that overall he was pleased with the Legislature recognizing the contributions of the tribes to Wyoming.

UW DONATIONS

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — The University of Wyoming has reached a new record with $63 million collected in donations last year.

The Casper Star-Tribune reports that the money donated in 2016 came from more than 21,000 donors. It also surpassed the university's previous funding record of $55.8 million in 2013.

UW Foundation President Ben Blalock says the timing of the new record could not have been better.

It comes as the university has struggled to adjust to $42 million in state budget cuts. UW officials announced $29 million in cuts this fiscal year, eliminated hundreds of positions and offered early retirement packages for some faculty and staff.

Last year's donations helped fund a number of projects, including the school's efforts in natural resources, educator training, a new athletic center and scholarships.

CHILD-MARIJUANA CANDY

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — A Casper woman has been arrested on suspicion of giving her daughter marijuana candy and having drugs and paraphernalia at her house.

The Casper Star-Tribune reports Vanessa Smith was arrested Monday evening when she arrived to pick up her child from her sister's house.

A police report says Smith's boyfriend dropped the girl off Monday morning and when the girl's aunt noticed she was lethargic and had bloodshot eyes the boyfriend said Smith had given the girl a marijuana gummy Sunday night to calm her down. The girl's urine tested positive for the chemicals in marijuana.

Officers searching Smith's house found marijuana, bags with methamphetamine residue, marijuana edibles and unidentified pills. She was booked into jail on suspicion of child endangerment, drug possession and distributing to a person younger than 18. Formal charges have not been filed.

UW-MEDICAL STUDENTS

LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) — The University of Wyoming is renovating its facilities to accommodate second-year medical students who have previously gone to the University of Washington for their second year of study as part of a multi-state medical education program.

The Laramie Boomerang reports that the two schools are in the program with schools from Alaska, Montana and Idaho, with the goal of providing medical education in northwestern states without independent medical schools.

The program is now changing its curriculum to have medical students spend their second year in their home states.

The Wyoming program director, Marivern Easton, says UW ran the risk of losing its accreditation if not for the $1.5 million classroom renovations, which were approved last month.

The program has seen fewer than 200 students graduate in its 20 years in Wyoming, but more than 70 percent have returned to practice in Wyoming.

ANTELOPE HUNTS

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A bill that sought to bring parity to separate men's and women's antelope hunts in Wyoming has died in the state House.

Senate File 60 would have guaranteed tags for the new all-women's pronghorn hunt near Ucross in north-central Wyoming. Currently, the annual, men's-only One Shot Antelope Hunt in Lander is provided additional tags by the state Game and Fish Department to ensure each hunter receives a tag.

But the Casper Star-Tribune reports that the bill wasn't debated in the House on Tuesday and died. A vote for force debate on the measure failed 42-18.

Republican Rep. Jim Allen of Lander said the women's hunt has had no problems getting tags in their hunt area while the Lander One Shot hunt is more difficult to obtain a tag.