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Dec 12, 2012 - The Associated Press

Court to hear sentence appeal

CHEYENNE -- The Wyoming Supreme Court is set to hear arguments from lawyers representing two Wyoming teenagers serving life sentences in the home invasion slaying of a Sheridan man.

Lawyers representing Wyatt Bear Cloud and Dharminder Vir Sen are set to ask the state supreme court on Wednesday to reduce their sentences.

Bear Cloud and Vir Sen together with another defendant were convicted of murder in the August 2009 home invasion killing of Sheridan businessman Robert Ernst.

The U.S. Supreme Court last summer threw out mandatory life in prison without parole for juvenile offenders. The high court recently vacated Bear Cloud's life sentence and sent it back to the state supreme court for reconsideration

Poison intended to silence mom

CASPER -- Officials say a Casper teenager accused of trying to poison her stepmother with eye drops was trying to keep the stepmother quiet after the teen told her she'd molested a young girl.

The revelation came Tuesday in a Natrona County hearing. Alexis Jennings allegedly wanted her stepmother "gone" after the stepmother revealed Jennings's secret.

Jennings was arrested in November for reportedly poisoning her stepmother with at least 15 bottles of Visine during the course of four months. She was charged with aggravated assault. The stepmother was hospitalized twice.

Authorities say Jennings had confessed to her stepmother that she was sexually attracted to children and had molested a young girl.

Hill to answer Capitol critics

CHEYENNE -- State schools Superintendent Cindy Hill is getting a chance to respond to a report by consultants that's critical of her agency's handling of public school reform.

Hill was scheduled to give her response before the Legislature's Select Committee on Education Accountability on Wednesday.

The report says the Wyoming Education Department has failed in some of its responsibilities and hindered other entities involved in the state's initiative to better prepare its public school students for college and careers.

The report blames much of the agency's failings on loss of too many key personnel in the last two years.

Hill said the report made irresponsible claims and was part of an agenda to make her elected office an appointed position.

BLM wants eagle help

PINEDALE -- The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is seeking volunteers to count bald eagles.

The midwinter bald eagle survey for the Pinedale area will take place Jan. 12.

Anybody interested in taking part should meet at the BLM Pinedale Field Office at 5 p.m. on Jan. 10. Survey coordinators at that meeting will coach people on how to identify eagles and will be assigning survey routes to volunteers.

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