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Dec 7, 2012 - The Associated Press

House candidate loses college job

CASPER -- The unsuccessful Democratic candidate for Wyoming's lone U.S. House seat is looking for a job.

Chris Henrichsen says his teaching contract was not renewed at Casper College, where he was a political science instructor.

Henrichsen lost last month's general election to Republican Rep. Cynthia Lummis.

In a Twitter post, Henrichsen initially speculated his political activities led to his contract not getting renewed, but he declined to elaborate.

Casper College spokesman Rich Fujita says the college does not discuss personnel matters.

Henrichsen says he has applied for college teaching jobs elsewhere and is in the process of starting up a nonprofit group to deal with issues related to politics in the West.

Airport wants to reduce bird strikes

JACKSON -- Jackson Hole Airport officials are considering creating a new sage grouse breeding ground to draw the large birds away from the runway.

The airport has recorded 60 bird strikes since 1994, and about half have involved sage grouse, whose dwindling populations have made them a candidate for federal protections. Wyoming Game and Fish Department biologist Joe Bohne says a sage grouse breeding ground, or lek, off the runway's north end is the source of most of the problems.

The airport is trying to craft a new federally required "wildlife hazard management plan" to reduce bird strikes.

Members of the Upper Snake River Basin Sage-Grouse Working Group discussed the airport's strategy Thursday. The plan is not yet concrete.

Decker mine may be sold

BILLINGS, Mont. -- A pair of coal companies have struck a deal on a disputed Montana mine that both sides said could boost Asian exports through the West Coast, but won't prevent up to 75 layoffs in the short term.

The deal calls for Australian-based Ambre Energy to gain full control of the Decker mine near the Wyoming border for $57 million. The company wants to ramp up production and ship fuel overseas through a pair of Columbia River ports.

Cloud Peak Energy would sell its stake in Decker and receive 1,200 acres of nearby land and rail easements to help develop a new Wyoming mine.

Cloud Peak also gets an option to move 5 million tons of coal annually through the expanded Millennium Bulk Terminal port proposed in Washington state, which is co-owned by Ambre and Arch Coal Inc.

The Decker deal is expected to close in early 2013. Most of its workers live in Sheridan, Wyo.

"I think that it's really a good deal for both sides," said Ambre spokeswoman Liz Fuller. "For us, this is a really great step in the direction of being able to export coal."

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