Digest

Oct 7, 2015 The Associated Press

Reward upped for missing woman

CASPER -- The family of a Casper woman who has been missing since last October is increasing the reward offered for information leading to her whereabouts to $250,000.

Kristi Richardson's family gathered to announce the reward during a news conference Tuesday. Her son, Tracy, says "over the past year, not a minute has gone by when we, her children, have not thought about what might have happened to her."

Richardson was reported missing when she didn't show up to work at Richardson Trucking on Oct. 7, 2014. Police say nothing was missing from her home except her garage door opener. Her cellphone was found in her bed.

The Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation and the FBI are assisting Casper police in the investigation.

Two acquitted in shooting

BOULDER, Colo. -- A jury has acquitted two men charged in the shooting death of a Colorado man whose body was found along a Wyoming highway.

Jurors found 38-year-old Daniel Ortiz and 26-year-old Moises Mendez not guilty Tuesday of murder and robbery in the Jan. 21, 2014, death of 25-year-old Nathaniel Tallman, of Lafayette.

Prosecutors say Ortiz came up with a plan to rob Tallman when he arrived to sell marijuana to a third man, Russell Britton. Britton pleaded guilty to being an accessory and testified for the prosecution.

But defense attorneys attacked his credibility and said he was the more likely culprit.

Ortiz's attorney said blood was found in Britton's van and on his gloves and that he killed Tallman because he didn't want to share the pot deal profits.

Britton is serving 15 years in prison.

Dunraven Pass still open

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK -- Yellowstone National Park officials say the road over Dunraven Pass on the eastern side of the park will remain open about a week longer than originally planned this fall.

Weather permitting, the Grand Loop Road from Tower Fall to Canyon Junction will stay open until 8 a.m. on Oct. 19.

Park managers say they decided to delay the closing because of a favorable weather forecast for the next couple of weeks, and because of ongoing road construction on the western side of the park.

However, the road could be closed at any time if weather conditions change and the pass becomes unsafe.

Higher tobacco tax considered

Wyoming lawmakers are considering raising the state's tobacco tax, which is currently one of the lowest in the country.

A state account that distributes payments and interest from cigarette companies as a result from a 1998 lawsuit and settlement is projected to have a $14.6 million shortfall by July 2018. Some state agencies receive money from the Tobacco Settlement Trust Income Account.