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May 16, 2012 - The Associated Press

Court hears murder appeal

CHEYENNE -- The Wyoming Supreme Court is set to hear arguments in the appeal of a Sheridan teenager convicted of murder in a 2009 home invasion killing.

The court on Wednesday will hear the appeal of Dharminder Vir Sen. He is serving a life sentence in the killing of Sheridan businessman Robert Ernst.

Prosecutors say Sen was the triggerman in a home invasion robbery. They say Sen and the other two teenagers entered Ernst's home with a stolen pistol in the middle of the night.

The court already has upheld the life sentences for the other two defendants: Dennis Poitra Jr., and Wyatt Bear Cloud.

S.D. wolf a Wyoming migrant

PINE RIDGE, S.D. -- Pine Ridge Reservation officials are trying to determine the origins of a wolf found dead along U.S. Highway 18 near the town of Pine Ridge.

A tribal wildlife biologist said the male wolf apparently was struck by a vehicle late Sunday or early Monday. The animal was wearing a tracking collar, and the carcass will be sent to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for identification.

A federal wolf management coordinator in Wyoming says the animal likely came from that state.

South Dakota doesn't have a resident wolf population. The animals sometimes wander in from the Great Lakes to the east and the Rocky Mountains to the west. Testing of a wolf killed near Custer last winter indicated it came from the Great Lakes population.

Burned worker moved to Salt Lake

RAWLINS -- Two of the workers injured in a fire at a Sinclair oil refinery have been released from a Colorado hospital but a third has been transferred to a hospital in Salt Lake City.

Tim Bjork was the most severely injured in the May 8 fire at the refinery. A spokeswoman for Northern Colorado Medical Center in Greeley said he was transferred in stable condition.

The fire occurred May 8 at the Sinclair Oil Corp. refinery, about five miles east of Rawlins. A fourth worker was treated and released from a Rawlins hospital that day.

The vice president of the Sinclair Companies, Clint Ensign, says that the investigation into what caused the fire is nearly complete.

The state recently issued three safety citations against the refinery.

Regional farmland values rise

OMAHA, Neb. -- The Federal Reserve says the average value of farmland in several Midwest and Western states grew more than 25 percent in the first quarter as farm income remained strong.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City., Mo., said Tuesday that higher crop prices and timely rains in the region helped farmers, so demand for cropland persisted.

The Federal Reserve says this new survey of 235 banks showed that irrigated land values grew more than 30 percent over last year's first quarter. Non-irrigated land values grew 25 percent, and pasture values grew 16 percent.

The 10th Federal Reserve District covers Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Wyoming, Colorado, northern New Mexico and western Missouri.

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