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Wyoming digest

Apr 21, 2017 The Associated Press

Man freed by DNA test sues Cheyenne

CHEYENNE (AP) -- A man exonerated after spending 23 years in prison for rape is suing the city of Cheyenne.

Sixty-seven-year-old Andrew Johnson was convicted in 1989 but freed in 2013 after DNA collected from the victim showed it matched that of her fiance, not Johnson.

The federal lawsuit alleges that police "prompted or encouraged" the woman to say Johnson broke into her apartment and sexually assaulted her.

Cheyenne Mayor Marian Orr said she could not comment on the merits of the lawsuit.

The lawsuit doesn't specify the amount of money Johnson is seeking.

Like many states, Wyoming doesn't have a law requiring exonerated prisoners to be compensated.

An effort to change that and protect cities from lawsuits like Johnson's failed at the Legislature in 2014.

Report tallies big Yellowstone boost

BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) -- A U.S. Department of the Interior report says Yellowstone National Park visitor spending in 2016 brought in about $680 million to the park's gateway communities in Wyoming and Montana.

According to the data released this week, last year's total is about $42 million more than 2015 and $100 million more than in 2014.

The report looked at visitor spending in communities near park service land and used regional economic multipliers to estimate the contribution.

National park visitors across the country brought $34.9 billion to the national economy.

The top two direct visitor spending locations were Blue Ridge Parkway and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, both of which are near heavily populated areas and major highways. Yellowstone came in at sixth.

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