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Jul 6, 2012 - The Associated Press

Cheyenne adds surveillance cameras

CHEYENNE -- The city of Cheyenne is adding cameras to enhance video surveillance downtown as part of a pilot program.

City special projects manager Bob Bradshaw said five new cameras will be installed within weeks at a cost of about $20,000.

He says the cameras can help deter crime and with crime investigations. He says they are not intended to be an intrusion into people's private lives, and images will be reviewed if officials need to respond to specific situations.

The cameras will be mounted in public rights-of-way. The city has previously installed cameras at the downtown parking garage, Depot Plaza, the Brimmer Park skate area and various city buildings.

The city has applied for a federal homeland security grant to buy more cameras.

Basset hound lovers unite in Cody

CODY -- The morning sounded like a good old-fashioned jailbreak, the basset hounds baying with their noses to the ground.

For the rest of the morning, floppy ears brushed the summer grass and short-legged dogs frolicked with their owners in an annual spectacle held by the Wyoming Basset Hound Rescue.

Sitting in a straw hat watching his own basset, Blue, mingle with other hounds of limited stature, Roger Bird couldn't help but grin. The basset aficionado is addicted to the breed.

"This is my third one," Bird said, talking in a Southern drawl fitting for a hound dog lover. "They're more laid back and they're not an energetic dog. I'm to the point where I'm not that energetic, either."

The basset has its drawbacks, Bird admitted. They slobber and they shed. They also can be stubborn and difficult to train. They have a hard time getting over logs, though they're skilled at getting under them.

"They'll love you to death," he said. "They're appealing to me."

The Wyoming Basset Hound Rescue, which held its summer picnic over the weekend in Cody, has been in operation since 1987.

Black Hills tourism OK amid fires

RAPID CITY, S.D. -- Wildfires that have burned thousands of acres in the Black Hills of South Dakota and Wyoming haven't forced the closure of Mount Rushmore National Memorial or other popular attractions and don't appear to be keeping visitors away, a state official said.

July through early September is the critical period for the region's tourism industry, said Jim Hagen, South Dakota's tourism secretary.

"We have to knock on wood, thank those firefighters that are here for doing an amazing job, those firefighters that sacrificed their lives the other day," he said, referring to last weekend's crash of a C-130 air tanker battling the so-called White Draw Fire that killed four and injured two North Carolina National Guard airmen. "It's very sobering when you think of what has happened in the last 48 hours here in this state."

Flags across South Dakota flew at half-staff Thursday to honor the airmen.

Fire crews have fully contained the so-called Highlands Fire burning in southwest South Dakota and northeast Wyoming, and are closing in on full containment of the White Draw Fire in the Black Hills.

The Highlands Fire destroyed five structures including two homes between Newcastle and Custer, S.D. It scorched about 400 acres. The White Draw Fire northeast of Edgemont has burned nearly 9,000 acres but remained at about 80 percent contained Thursday evening, the Great Plains Fire Information office said.

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