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Aug 28, 2012 - The Associated Press

Fugitive blamed for power outage

CASPER -- Authorities are blaming a fleeing Colorado felon for a crash that left thousands of Casper customers without power this past weekend.

Mills Police Chief Jerry Endresen said Vernon Wentz was wanted for possession of a controlled substance, burglary and property damage in Colorado when he tried to flee Saturday night.

The car crashed around midnight, knocking out power, Internet, phone and cable service to customers of Rocky Mountain Power and Optimum.

The wreck damaged two power poles, and it took time to replace them.

Another fire at Sinclair plant

RAWLINS -- Another fire at the Sinclair Refinery in south-central Wyoming forced the evacuation of the plant but caused no injuries.

The fire broke out inside the refinery late Friday afternoon. The fire was reported about 4:25 p.m. and flames and smoke were visible from the Sinclair Town Hall until about 6:20 p.m.

It was the fourth fire at the facility since May.

Four workers were injured May 8 in a flash fire in a gas recovery unit at the east end of the refinery. Shortly after, another fire injured two more employees. Another fire Aug. 5 injured one person.

Sinclair Oil Corp. spokesman Clint Ensign said the company is working to make the facility safer.

State export value up 24 percent

Wyoming exports of soda ash, energy, equipment and other merchandise to customers overseas rose 24 percent in the first half of this year compared to the same period last year.

According to the U.S. International Trade Administration, Wyoming's exports climbed in value from $579 million in the first half of last year to $718 million.

Key merchandise categories included chemicals, machinery, petroleum products, minerals, ores, oil and natural gas.

Top destinations for Wyoming products are found on several continents. Exports to Tunisia climbed 88 percent, while the Netherlands purchased 68 percent more from Wyoming.

Indonesia checked in at a 62 percent increase while the Republic of South Africa imported 44 percent more from Wyoming.

Trail changes proposed

JACKSON -- Grand Teton National Park officials say a proposed redesign of the trail system at Jenny Lake will simplify a confusing web of trails, preserve resources and improve visitor experiences.

The park is taking public comment through Sept. 15 on what issues need to be addressed in a coming environmental study of the proposal.

The proposal will address aging trail infrastructure in four areas: the South Jenny Lake visitor area, Hidden Falls, the String Lake outlet and the Jenny Lake overlook.

Many of the trails were built in the 1930s and have been badly worn by crowds and are poorly marked.

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