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Mar 20, 2014 - The Associated Press

Extra $4 million for Casper schools

CASPER -- Casper's two main high schools are getting extra funding for reconstruction projects.

State lawmakers voted to allocate $4 million this session for work at Kelly Walsh and Natrona County high schools in case the work costs more than originally thought. Contracts have not been awarded for those projects yet.

The money is in addition to $278 million that has already been set aside to pay for construction projects in Natrona County School District as a whole.

Other significant school allocations in Wyoming this year include $46.1 million to build a high school and an elementary school in Campbell County and $22.3 million to build an elementary school and design a junior high school in Laramie County.

Low cougar survival rate documented

JACKSON -- New research shows that only 7 percent of mountain lions in the Jackson Hole area are surviving into adulthood.

Teton Cougar Project leader Mark Elbroch says there's a correlation between young cougars dying and the area's growing wolf population.

Elbroch presented the project's findings Monday in Jackson. He says only 34 percent of cougar kittens make it to 6 months old. Twenty percent survive to 18 months old.

Elbroch says survival rates for young mountain lions have gradually declined over the Cougar Project's 13 years of research.

Wolves have killed at least five lion cubs mothered by Cougar Project research animals in recent years.

He says the den sites chosen by mother cougars can make a big difference in their kittens' survival.

Familiar name heads Mead campaign

CHEYENNE -- Gov. Matt Mead has hired Gale Geringer to manage his re-election campaign.

Geringer has been involved in Republican politics since the 1980s. She has managed campaigns for Rep. Barbara Cubin and Sens. Mike Enzi and Craig Thomas, and she was Thomas' chief of staff in Washington, D.C.

Geringer's husband is a cousin of former Gov. Jim Geringer.

Geringer says the campaign is in the process of hiring additional staff members.

Two candidates say they are challenging Mead in the Republican primary. They are Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill and doctor and rancher Taylor Haynes.

Accused deserter arrested in Sheridan

SHERIDAN -- Sheridan police have arrested a 29-year-old man wanted on a federal warrant for allegedly deserting the Navy.

Keyarius Storey was taken into custody Monday after police received a tip that a warrant was out for his arrest. Police Sgt. Travis Koltiska says the warrant was issued Feb. 11, 2013, by the U.S. Navy Absentee Collection Center.

Because the Sheridan jail is not contracted to house federal prisoners, Storey was taken to a jail in Buffalo.

The Stockbridge, Ga., man enlisted in the Navy in September 2009 and was assigned to the USS Carl Vinson.

Arbor Day poster contest opens

SUNDANCE -- Fourth- and fifth-grade students are being asked to submit their artwork for the annual Wyoming State Arbor Day poster contest.

The Wyoming State Division of Forestry and the nonprofit group Wyoming Project Learning Tree are holding the contest this year.

Students are asked to create a poster no larger than 14 inches by 18 inches that depicts the theme "Three Cheers for Trees." The winner will receive $100, their framed poster and an invitation to the Arbor Day celebration in Cheyenne.

The winner's teacher also will receive $100. Second place will receive $50 and their framed poster.

The contest deadline is March 28.

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