Feb 13, 2014 The Associated Press

State files Hill rehearing request

CHEYENNE -- The Wyoming Supreme Court should reconsider and reverse -- or at least clarify -- its decision in the state superintendent of public instruction case because the ruling stands to cause confusion about constitutional authority, state Attorney General Peter Michael said Wednesday.

"The State of Wyoming is concerned that certain ambiguities in the court's opinion will have the effect of increasing the uncertainty surrounding the superintendent's constitutional authority," Michael said in a brief seeking the rehearing and clarification.

Concerns about Republican Superintendent Cindy Hill's administration of the department led to the GOP-controlled Legislature and Mead, also a Republican, to enact a law last year that removed the superintendent as head of the state Department of Education. The superintendent was replaced by a director appointed by the governor but remained one of five statewide elected officials.

Hill, a Republican who has decided to run for governor this year, was removed as head of the department in the middle of her four-year term and was provided a new, separate office.

Mead appointed Richard Crandall as director of the department.

Two weeks ago, the state Supreme Court ruled 3-2 that a law enacted last year taking away many of the superintendent's duties was unconstitutional.

Hill's supporters say the state is stalling to keep her from resuming her former duties.

Grand Teton gets new superintendent

MOOSE -- The next superintendent of Grand Teton National Park says a family trip to northwest Wyoming as a teenager helped inspire his career with the National Park Service.

David Vela begins his new job in six weeks. He replaces Mary Gibson Scott, who has retired after nine years in the position.

Vela is a Park Service associate director in Washington, D.C. Previously he was southeast regional director and oversaw 66 park units in nine states, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

Vela said visiting Grand Teton as a youngster left an "indelible image" in his mind.

Grand Teton covers almost 500 square miles and is home to wolves and grizzly bears as well as the only commercial airport inside a national park.

State part of coalition in gun lawsuit

CHEYENNE -- Wyoming is leading a coalition of 19 states asking the U.S. Supreme Court to let them submit a brief supporting a New Jersey man's challenge to that state's concealed weapons law.

The Wyoming Attorney General's Office, acting as lawyer for Wyoming and the other states, on Wednesday asked the Supreme Court to grant a hearing to John M. Drake and others who are challenging a recent appeals court ruling.

A three-judge panel of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last summer ruled against Drake's challenge to a provision in New Jersey law that says people seeking permits to carry a concealed firearm must prove to police that they have a justifiable need.

The brief from Wyoming Attorney General's Office says that Wyoming and the other states are concerned that if the appeals court ruling stands, it could threaten their less-restrictive concealed carry laws.

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