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Apr 20, 2012 - The Associated Press

Man waives right to jury trial

SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb. (AP) -- A Nebraska Panhandle man charged with vehicular homicide and manslaughter in the death of a passenger while on a trip to Wyoming wants his case to be heard by a judge, not a jury.

19-year-old Bryan Bloom, of Henry, Neb., waived his right a jury trial during a pre-trial conference on Thursday in Scotts Bluff County District Court.

Bloom was driving a van to Torrington on June 20, 2011, when a passenger, 18-year-old Johrdan Stone, stuck his head out the window and was hit by a road sign.

Bloom told police he didn't know Stone had been hurt until they arrived at a home in Torrington. Stone died of neck and head injuries.

Officials say Bloom was driving drunk. Court documents show Stone also had been drinking.

Guard participates in quake drill

CHEYENNE (AP) -- Wyoming National Guard members are returning home after participating in Utah's earthquake drill this week.

The drill was the largest ever done in the state and involved mass evacuations, mock patients at hospitals and the deployment of 400 soldiers.

The drill scenario called for a 7-magnitude quake, which occurs on the Wasatch Front about every 350 years.

The Wyoming Guard sent 48 members to help out.

Members helped process and deploy military units during the drill with help from the Wyoming Joint Force Headquarters Operations Center in Cheyenne.

County preps for wildfire season

RAWLINS (AP) -- Authorities in Carbon County are making preparations for possible wildfires this summer.

Emergency management coordinator John Zeiger said meetings are being scheduled in towns closest to national forest lands -- Baggs, Elk Mountain and Saratoga -- to discuss how possible evacuations would be handled.

There already have been several fires. On April 9, about 10 acres burned between Elmo and Hanna and a controlled burn went out of control, growing to about 15 acres near Riverside. There were also a couple of smaller fires near Baggs last week.

So far, wildfire activity across much of the state is expected to be higher than normal because of the low snowpack.

UW to offer energy management MBA

(AP) -- The University of Wyoming is offering a new Masters of Business Administration program for students who want to work in the energy industry.

About eighty spots will be available in the first year of the MBA energy management program this fall. Half of the spots will be reserved for online students.

MBA director Marty Saffer said only a handful of schools across the country offer such a degree.

Energy accounting and energy trading will be among the courses offered in the 16-month program. Tuition for in-state students will be $22,000 a year.

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