Feb 3, 2014 The Associated Press

Sue Wallis replacement process to start

GILLETTE -- A Republican Party committee will meet Feb. 8 in Gillette to nominate three people to replace state Rep. Sue Wallis who died Tuesday.

The Recluse Republican represented House District 52 in Campbell County.

Campbell County Republican Party precinct committee members representing each of the nine precincts in the district will select three nominees from those who applied for the seat.

The Campbell County Board of Commissioners will then select Wallis's replacement from those nominees.

Record number of docs in 2013

CHEYENNE -- The Wyoming Board of Medicine says a record number of physicians received licenses to practice medicine in the state last year.

The board issued 383 new physician licenses in 2013, a 10 percent increase over the previous year. There were a total of 3,235 licensed physicians in the state last year.

Board President Jeffrey D. Storey attributed much of the growth in physician licensing to a streamlined licensing processes and non-traditional practice models, including telemedicine.

Suspect admits to bank heists

A man and woman arrested in connection with a bank robbery in Casper may be behind other bank robberies in Wyoming.

Thirty-seven-year-old James P. Thain and 33-year-old Mindy N. Lawrence were arrested Wednesday after a chase from a Bank of the West.

According to an FBI affidavit, Thain admitted to robbing a U.S. Bank in Laramie earlier this week. FBI spokesman Dave Joly said Thain and Lawrence are also suspects in other recent bank robberies, including one in Rock Springs on Jan. 21.

So far, they have only been charged in federal court with the Casper bank robbery.

According to the affidavit, Thain got about $3,000 from the Casper bank and the couple fled in a dark-colored sedan with Idaho license plates.

Rig count flat for week in state

HOUSTON -- Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. rose by eight this week to 1,785.

The Houston firm said in its weekly report Friday that 1,422 rigs were exploring for oil and 358 for gas.

Five were listed as miscellaneous.

A year ago there were 1,764 active rigs.

Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, Louisiana and Texas each gained three rigs, Ohio was up two and Alaska and New Mexico rose by one apiece.

Oklahoma was down by two and Kansas by one. Arkansas, California, Colorado, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming were all unchanged.

The U.S. rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981 and bottomed at 488 in 1999.

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