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May 22, 2012 - The Associated Press

Purcell to leave water job

CHEYENNE -- Mike Purcell is retiring as director of the Wyoming Water Development Office.

Gov. Matt Mead issued a statement on Monday expressing his appreciation to Purcell for his years of service to the state. Purcell served as director of the Water Development Office from 1983 to 1996 and returned to the post in 2007.

Mead said that Purcell's "devotion of his talent and expertise to water projects across the state will have a lasting effect on Wyoming."

Purcell is retiring July 6.

More mountain state travelers likely

LAS VEGAS -- AAA predicts about 1.6 percent more residents in Wyoming and other mountain states will take trips this Memorial Day weekend compared with last year.

AAA expects about 2.5 million residents of Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming to travel at least 50 miles over the holiday, mostly by car.

The travel group's forecast released Monday shows the average mountain states family of four will spend $652 over the weekend and travel about 677 miles.

Nationwide, 34 million people are expected to travel at least 50 miles during the final weekend in May. That's an increase of 1.2 percent.

Memorial Day airfare is projected to be about 7 percent lower than in 2011, while hotel rates are expected to be up 8 percent.

No parole for town embezzler

GLENROCK -- A woman who pleaded guilty to embezzling $100,000 from the small Converse County town of Rolling Hills has been denied parole.

Alyssa Stewart is the town's former treasurer and clerk. She has been behind bars since 2009, when she was sentenced to two concurrent terms of 5 to 10 years.

Stewart was up for release this month but the parole board denied it. Rolling Hills mayor Devonie Mueller ( says she's pleased with the board's decision.

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