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Mar 11, 2014 The Associated Press

High court rules in Wyoming case

WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court on Monday sided with a Wyoming property owner in a dispute over a bicycle trail that follows the route of an abandoned railroad, a decision that could force the government to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to compensate landowners.

The justices ruled 8-1 that property owner Marvin Brandt remains the owner of a 200-foot-wide trail that crosses his 83-acre parcel in southern Wyoming's Medicine Bow National Forest. The trail once was the path of a railroad and is among thousands of miles of abandoned railroads that have been converted to recreational trails.

Chief Justice John Roberts said the government was wrong to assert that it owns the trail.

The government says it faces compensation claims involving 10,000 properties in 30 states, possibly topping $100 million.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor said in dissent the court's decision "undermines the legality of thousands of miles of former rights of way that the public now enjoys as means of transportation and recreation."

The case is Marvin M. Brandt Revocable Trust v. U.S., 12-1173.

Three survive avalanches

JACKSON -- The avalanche danger in northwestern Wyoming is considerable following a weekend in which three people were caught in three different slides. All survived.

On Sunday, rescuers were able to extract a man from an avalanche in Granite Canyon in Grand Teton National Park.

On Saturday a snowboarder was swept over a cliff face just outside Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and buried with his head 3 feet below the surface. Another snowboarder was also buried briefly on Brecchia Peak near Togwotee Mountain Lodge. That slide reportedly was triggered by a snow machine.

Arena project gets started

LARAMIE -- The $30 million renovation of the Arena-Auditorium at the University of Wyoming officially began Monday.

The Arena will be closed during the construction process, which will run into next fall.

The project is the largest fundraising effort for Wyoming basketball in school history.

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