Wyoming digest

Apr 3, 2014 The Associated Press

Hot Springs also censures governor

CASPER (AP) -- Republican Party delegates in two counties have voted to censure GOP Gov. Matt Mead over his role in stripping duties from the state schools superintendent.

The censures indicate intraparty discontent with the governor as he seeks a second term this year.

Delegates to the Hot Springs and Platte county conventions each approved their own censure of the governor last Saturday.

The Hot Springs County censure noted the "unconstitutional behavior of Governor Mead in trying to usurp the power of the Superintendent of Public Instruction."

A tally of the Hot Springs vote wasn't immediately available, while the Platte County censure was passed on a 36-1 vote.

In addition, Lincoln County Republicans passed two measures that refer to the superintendent issue without naming him. And the Uinta County GOP debated but did not pass a censure measure, according to local party member Jana Lee Williams.

The censure is an official rebuke but does not obligate the governor to respond or change any policy.

Four dean candidates identified

LARAMIE (AP) -- The University of Wyoming has narrowed the field of candidates for dean of students to four applicants.

The candidates are Eric Norman of Indiana University-Purdue University in Fort Wayne, Ind., Sean Blackburn of Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C., Jason Casares of Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind. and Timothy Wise of the College of Central Florida in Ocala, Fla.

Screening committee chairman Patrick Call says about 50 people applied and members selected 10 for telephone interviews. The four remaining candidates will be brought to campus for interviews starting next week, starting with Norman on Tuesday.

Each candidate will give a presentation about what they think are important issues in student affairs. Students, faculty and staff will be allowed to ask questions.

Comments taken on coal leases

CHEYENNE (AP) -- The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is accepting public comments through Friday on plans to slightly modify a coal lease in the Powder River Basin.

The modification would allow a Cloud Peak Energy subsidiary to purchase an additional 16 million tons of federal coal reserves. Those reserves would allow the company to expand its Antelope Mine in northern Converse County.

The amount of coal to be sold is small compared to the more than 400 million tons that Cloud Peak leased for the mine back in 2011. BLM officials say the lease modification will allow coal to be mined right up to areas where expanding the Antelope Mine no longer will be possible. Those boundaries include a nearby highway.

Comments on the proposal can be emailed to

Hoback wells tested for chemical

JACKSON (AP) -- The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality is testing private wells in Hoback this week to find if benzene detected in Hoback Market's well is found in others nearby. Benzene in Hoback Market's tap water measured 60 times the maximum allowed when the department tested it in March, and the agency says it came from the market's well.

They said they are still looking for the source of the latest contamination.

Health officials say benzene is a compound found in gasoline and other sources that can cause anemia and cancer.

The department has asked five or six residents to draw water samples from private wells in the area to see whether benzene is present and determine where it originated.

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