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Mar 25, 2014 - The Associated Press

Another power plant closing

Black Hills Corp. has closed down a coal-fired power plant outside Gillette, a move the company says is in response to recent federal emissions regulations.

Black Hills Corp. last week closed the 22-megawatt Neil Simpson 1 plant. The company is building a 132-megawatt natural gas plant in Cheyenne, which will replace much of the lost power.

The closure of the coal-fired plant follows the recent trend that has seen utilities nationwide move away from older coal-fired facilities in favor of new natural gas powered plants.

Black Hills will decommission three coal plants this year, two in Wyoming and one in Colorado. A third coal unit in South Dakota will close next year.

Black Hills officials said the closures were a response to recent U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations aimed at reducing harmful emissions from industrial boilers and curbing mercury pollution.

"Replacing Black Hills Power's three oldest coal-fired power plants is less expensive for customers than retrofitting the plants to comply with the new EPA standards," said Sharon Fain, a utility spokeswoman.

No seatbelts in fatal wreck

DOUGLAS -- Two people have died in a rollover crash north of Douglas.

The Wyoming Highway Patrol reports that a vehicle was traveling northbound on I-25 about 7 miles north of Douglas early Saturday morning when it rolled over in the median. The highway was snow-packed and icy at the time.

The crash killed 57-year-old Catherine F. Case of Guernsey and 52-year-old James R. Cannon of Guernsey. The patrol says neither was wearing a seat belt and says both were ejected from the vehicle.

Science dispute divides board

CHEYENNE -- The State Board of Education is divided on what to do now that lawmakers have tried to block them from adopting new national science standards for Wyoming's schools.

A footnote to the upcoming state budget cut off funding for the board to review or use the Next Generation Science Standards.

The board met Monday to decide how to proceed. By just one vote, members voted against putting aside their work on those standards and seeking a new set of standards. Members said restarting the process would delay the adoption of new science standards.

Rep. Matt Teeters of Lingle introduced the amendment cutting off funding for the new standards, partly because he said they treated human-caused climate change as "settled fact."

River to be flushed soon

CODY -- Flows on the Bighorn River will increase this week as the Wyoming Game and Fish Department takes action to improve conditions for trout.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation will increase releases from Boysen Dam starting Tuesday. The flows will fluctuate from 475 cubic feet per second up to 5,000 cfs this week.

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