Feb 5, 2014 The Associated Press

Author: Shepard killed over drugs

LARAMIE -- The author of a controversial book about Matthew Shepard's killing says it should send a sobering message about addiction to methamphetamine.

Journalist Stephen Jimenez made the comment Tuesday night in Laramie during a question and answer session about "The Book of Matt: Hidden Truths about the Murder of Matthew Shepard." He claims Shepard, a gay University of Wyoming student, and one of his killers were involved in the methamphetamine trade and that drugs, not hate, was the main motive behind the killing.

No one questioned the accuracy of Jimenez's account during the forum, although Shepard's family has criticized recently.

Jimenez is gay and says he leans toward the political left. However, he said much of the criticism of the book is the result of "liberal orthodoxy" about the case.

Hardy kicks off Senate campaign

CHEYENNE -- A former Roman Catholic priest formally kicked off his U.S. Senate campaign Tuesday by calling for raising the minimum wage and creating jobs through infrastructure projects.

Democratic candidate Charlie Hardy spoke to a couple dozen supporters who braved the snow and bitter cold to crowd into his campaign office in downtown Cheyenne. He told them he's running because many parents in Wyoming worry about not having enough money to provide for their children.

"There are sick people in Wyoming who are unable to go and get medical attention they want. There are kids who want to continue their education, but they can't. We must run, and we must win because of all of these things," he said.

Hardy, 74, is a Cheyenne native who spent 19 years as a priest and teacher in Wyoming. He also has ministered in poverty-stricken communities in Latin America.

These days, he said, he's a writer and public speaker and fills in as a substitute teacher for French, Spanish, art and other subjects in Cheyenne public schools.

He said Congress is focused on cutting unemployment benefits and bickering over health care but "that's not the way things ought to be."

"Raise the minimum wage, and there's going to be a lot more money to pump back into the economy," he said. "And there's going to be a lot less people on food stamps."

He suggested that projects to build and repair roads, bridges and pipelines could create good jobs in Wyoming.

"It's not a question of money. It's where are we allocating the money," he said.

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