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Oct 18, 2012 - The Associated Press

Voter sign-up deadline near

CHEYENNE -- Monday is the deadline for Wyoming voters to register ahead of next month's election.

Secretary of State Max Maxfield says voter registration closes 14 days before the general election to give county clerks time to prepare poll books.

A person must be a U.S. citizen, a Wyoming resident and at least 18 years old to register. Maxfield urged people who aren't registered to do so by contacting their county clerk's office.

Those who don't register by the Oct. 22 deadline may still register at their polling place on Election Day, Nov. 6.

Hearing set in kidnap case

CODY -- A Montana man suspected of abducting and assaulting an 11-year-old Wyoming girl faces an initial court appearance Friday in Cody.

Jesse Paul Speer of Manhattan, Mont., was transported from Montana on Wednesday to face charges.

Prosecutors allege Speer forced the Cody girl into his SUV at gunpoint on Oct. 8 then assaulted and abandoned her outside of town. The girl was found by hunters driving through the mountainous area.

The 39-year-old Speer was arrested Saturday in Montana and waived extradition on Monday. Speer and his former wife lived in Colorado for about five years before moving to Montana in 2008.

Circuit Court Judge Bruce Waters of Cody will advise Speer of the charges against him at Friday's hearing and set bond.

Cheyenne man helped skydiver

CHEYENNE -- A meteorologist from Cheyenne played a key role in preparing for a daredevil's successful skydive from the stratosphere last weekend.

Don Day Jr. owns DayWeather. Day did weather forecasting for the big skydive through another company, ATA Aerospace, of Albuquerque, N.M.

Felix Baumgartner survived his jump from an altitude of 24 miles above the New Mexico desert on Sunday.

He broke three records in the process.

Not only was it the highest skydive, it was the highest manned balloon flight. Baumgartner also became the first person to break the sound barrier while skydiving.

Day's role as weather forecaster was critical. Conditions had to be perfect to launch the massive, helium-filled balloon that lofted Baumgartner into the stratosphere.

PSC slot filled

CHEYENNE -- Gov. Matt Mead has appointed Bill Russell to a seat on the Wyoming Public Service Commission.

The PSC regulates public utilities that provide services to consumers in Wyoming. Russell must be confirmed by the State Senate.

Russell will replace Cindy Lewis, who recently resigned.

Russell has been an assistant attorney general with the state since 2001. He was an officer in the Air Force from 1975 to 1998.

He received his law degree from the University of Wyoming.

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