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Feb 11, 2014 - The Associated Press

State board approves land deal

CHEYENNE -- The State Board of Land Commissioners has endorsed a proposal that would transfer ownership of 1,280 acres of state land in Grand Teton National Park to the federal government. The board voted 4-1 Thursday to accept federal land and mineral rights elsewhere in Wyoming in exchange for the land. The agreement still needs legislative approval.

The new agreement was necessary because the federal government couldn't meet a Jan. 5 deadline to buy one of the sections for $45 million as specified in a previous agreement.

The land board is made up of the five statewide elected officials, including Gov. Matt Mead. Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill was the only board member to oppose the proposal.

"The federal government defaulted Jan. 5 on their agreement," she said. "I'm comfortable with them remaining Wyoming lands."

Man guilty of animal cruelty

LARAMIE -- A 58-year-old Wyoming man has been fined $70 after his malnourished dog froze to death. Court records show Jim Mora, of Laramie, pleaded guilty on Jan. 21. The dog was found frozen to death in early December.

Wyoming loses one rig for week

HOUSTON -- Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. declined by 14 this week to 1,771. A year ago there were 1,759 active rigs.

Wyoming's rig coutn was down by one.

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