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Feb 11, 2014 - The Associated Press

Marijuana demonstration at Capitol

CHEYENNE -- Marijuana activists say they want state lawmakers to legalize pot now rather than wait for voters to do it.

Dozens demonstrated outside the state Capitol Monday as Gov. Matt Mead delivered his State of the State address, marking the beginning of this year's legislative session.

The group was led by Chris Christian of Jackson, the executive director of Wyoming's chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Law.

She said activists are prepared to get the issue on the 2016 ballot if they can't get lawmakers to act before then.

Rep. James Byrd of Cheyenne has introduced a bill to decriminalize possession of less than an ounce of marijuana. Christian says it's an incremental step in the right direction but not enough.

Empty House seat filled

GILLETTE -- The Campbell County Commission has selected Troy Mader as the new representative for House District 52, replacing the late Rep. Sue Wallis.

Mader plans to seek election in the Republican primary election in August. He was sworn in on Tuesday.

Wallis died in January at age 56.

Mader has served as a precinct representative for the Campbell County Republican Party.

Haynes joins GOP governor slate

CHEYENNE -- A physician from Cheyenne says people throughout Wyoming are pulling for him as he embarks on his campaign for governor.

Taylor Haynes is a Republican. Republican State Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill also is running for governor, while Republican Gov. Matt Mead is expected to announce his re-election bid next month.

Haynes is 68 and retired from his practice as a surgeon in adult and pediatric urology. He owns Mountain Benefits Management Company, a third-party administrator of health benefits.

Haynes served on the University of Wyoming Board of Trustees for 12 years and got 14,000 write-in votes for governor in 2010. He announced his latest campaign Thursday.

No Democrats are running for governor yet.

Locomotive restoration will take years

CHEYENNE -- Train enthusiasts are hoping an enormous Union Pacific steam locomotive arrives in Cheyenne in time for Depot Days in May, when the railroad opens its facilities to the public.

The 600-ton Big Boy locomotive recently left California for the first leg of its journey. Once in Cheyenne, UP will give Engine 4014 a complete overall in its maintenance shop. The restoration work will take three to five years.

The engine was one of 25 massive steam engines that began riding the transcontinental rails in 1941. It pulled heavy freight trains over the Wasatch Mountains between Ogden, Utah, and Green River.

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Legislature, Wyoming