News of Riverton, Lander and Fremont County, Wyoming, from the Ranger's award winning journalists.
Jan 3, 2014 - The Associated Press
No fines for Wyoming spills in 2013
LARAMIE -- Oil and gas companies weren't fined for any spills in Wyoming last year.
There were more than 500 spills of various substances, including oil, natural gas, produced water and drilling mud. Of those, the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission says 65 led to the release of over 10 barrels of oil.
The largest spill happened in May in the Niobrara. Fossil Creek Resources spilled 360 barrels of crude oil -- enough to fill about half of a swimming pool.
Natural resource program supervisor Tom Kropatsch says the commission usually doesn't fine operators if they report spills and clean them up. The last time a fine was issued was 2011.
Pedestrian dead after hit by vehicle
CASPER -- Authorities say a 53-year-old pedestrian died after being struck by a vehicle in downtown Casper.
Leonard Claude Hansen was crossing a street Dec. 23 when a pickup truck struck him.
His sister, Sheryl Butler, says Hansen died the next morning in a hospital. Butler says the family was told the driver did not see her brother.
Casper Police Sgt. Jim Wetzel declined to release the name of the driver because the accident is still under investigation.
The Natrona County Coroner's Office says a cause of death is still pending.
Hansen was a Washington state native who moved to Casper six months earlier looking for work in the oil fields.
Patrol watching for Colorado pot
CHEYENNE -- The Wyoming Highway Patrol says its troopers will be on the watch for anyone bringing marijuana from Colorado across the state line.
The patrol put out the warning Thursday, a day after recreational sales of pot became legal in Colorado.
Spokesman Sgt. Stephen Townsend says no extra patrols are planned but troopers will remain alert as usual for any criminal activity.
People with 3 ounces of pot or less risk being charged with a misdemeanor that carries a penalty of up to 12 months in jail and a fine up to $1,000.
Railroad sale confirmed
PIERRE, S.D. -- An official of the company buying the west end of the Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern railroad line says the company will keep all parts of the line open.
Canadian Pacific is selling the line to Genesee & Wyoming Inc. for about $210 million.
The deal includes 660 miles of track between Tracy, Minn., and Rapid City, north of Rapid City to Colony, Wyo., and south of Rapid City to Dakota Junction, Neb. Also included are connecting branch lines and track from Dakota Junction to Crawford, Neb., currently leased to the Nebraska Northwestern Railroad.
Genesee & Wyoming spokesman Michael Williams says the company will keep all parts of the line open to provide freight service.
The sale is subject to U.S. Surface Transportation Board approval. It's expected to close by mid-year.
Woman shot at store when gun falls
CHEYENNE -- Cheyenne police say a 22-year-old woman was accidentally shot at a Lowe's store when a handgun of another customer fell out of its holster.
The woman was shot in the arm Thursday afternoon and taken to the hospital.
The customer who had the gun was a 58-year-old woman. Neither woman has been identified.
Airport might ask for parking money
ROCK SPRINGS -- People who park at the Rock Springs-Sweetwater County Airport may be asked to make a monetary donation.
The airport board has agreed in principle to start requesting voluntary donations from people parking their vehicles at the airport.
Airport manager Terry Doak says the idea likely will be discussed further at the next airport board meeting Jan. 8.
Airport board member Jim Wamsley said the airport cannot charge a mandatory parking fee.