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Apr 10, 2012 - The Associated Press

Boy found shot to death

CHEYENNE (AP) -- The Laramie County Sheriff's Department is investigating the shooting death of an 8-year-old boy in Cheyenne.

Sheriff's spokesman Gerry Luce said deputies responded to an emergency in the southern part of the city just before 7 p.m. Saturday and found the boy in a field with a fatal gunshot wound to the chest.

Investigators say a friend of the victim, also 8, then led police to a .25-caliber handgun near the body.

Luce says the sheriff's department is investigating if the boys were playing with the gun or if the companion was directly involved in the shooting. No names have been released.

U.S. coal exports up

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) -- Government data show that U.S. coal exports are at their highest level in decades because of strong overseas demand.

Department of Energy data analyzed by The Associated Press show coal exports topped 107 million tons of fuel worth $16 billion in 2011. That's the most since 1991 and more than double the volume in 2006.

Wyoming is the biggest coal-producing state in the United States.

Much of the increase is driven by power-hungry Asian markets, including South Korea, China, India and Japan.

Coal, however, faces a tougher outlook in the U.S. Competition from cheap natural gas and costly new rules for power plants are eroding the fuel's historic dominance in American electricity generation.

Mining companies want new or expanded coal ports on the West and Gulf coasts to increase their exports. Environmentalists are fighting the proposals.

Historic inn faces trouble

SHERIDAN (AP) -- Managers of the Historic Sheridan Inn are trying to save the financially troubled operation in northern Wyoming.

Board members of the Sheridan Heritage Center, which manages the historic inn, say the inn owes a bank about $1.4 million and is behind on its payments.

The inn and its restaurant remain in operation.

She says supporters of the inn are looking for donations to help the inn meet its financial obligations and remain open.

The inn was operated by Buffalo Bill Cody in the late 19th century in connection with his famed wild west show.

Worland canals have water

WORLAND (AP) -- Warm, dry weather this spring has prompted the early opening of canals for crop irrigation water in the Worland area.

Terry Glanz, of the Lower Hanover Canal, said water is being put in the canals so farmers can irrigate the emerging barley crops.

Sugar beets already have been planted in the area, also.

Glanz says the filling of canals is being done earlier than normal.

Upper Hanover Superintendent Daron Shelp says water is being released about two-and-a-half to three weeks early.

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