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Jul 22, 2012 - The Associated Press

Cheney hosts Romney at fundraiser

JACKSON -- People who attended a private fundraising dinner last week in Jackson Hole for Republican presidential candidate say they had remarkable access to him.

The event was held at Dick Cheney's home in Teton Pines. Guests had to pay $30,000.

Guests said Romney held a 30-minute, unscripted question-and-answer session. He fielded roughly two-dozen guest questions.

They say he talked about U.S. policy in a wide range of countries.

They say he also touched on topics ranging from why he wasn't being more aggressive on the campaign trail to his business career to potential choices for vice president.

Man charged with Obama threat

CHEYENNE -- Federal authorities in Wyoming have filed felony charges alleging that a man threatened to kill President Obama and harm his family.

A federal indictment filed in U.S. District Court in Cheyenne this week charges that Jeremy Daniel Wilson made the threats in May. Court papers say a psychiatrist at the Wyoming Behavioral Health Institute in Casper told the U.S. Secret Service that Wilson had made the threats.

A spokeswoman with Secret Service in Denver declined to comment Friday. No defense lawyer has entered an appearance for Wilson yet. Federal officials declined to release Wilson's age or home town.

Christopher "Kip" Crofts is U.S. Attorney for Wyoming. He says his office takes all threats to the president seriously.

Hospitals halt partnership talks

CHEYENNE -- Hospitals in Casper and Cheyenne have dropped discussions about forming a partnership.

Officials from Cheyenne Regional Medical Center and Wyoming Medical Center have been exploring an integrated partnership for months.

In a joint statement, they cited different governance models, ownership structures and limited savings potential among the reasons for abandoning the idea.

However, the two hospitals agreed to work together on specific projects that would benefit both.

State gains rigs; U.S. total dips

HOUSTON -- The number of rigs actively exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. fell by 18 this week to 1,935 from the previous week.

Houston-based oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. reported Friday that 1,414 rigs were exploring for oil and 518 were searching for gas. Three were listed as miscellaneous. A year ago, Baker Hughes listed 1,916 rigs.

Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, Louisiana gained three rigs and Wyoming two. Texas dropped by 10, New Mexico lost five, West Virginia declined by three and Colorado and North Dakota each lost one rig. Alaska, Arkansas, California, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania remained unchanged.

The rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981 and bottomed out at 488 in 1999.

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