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Mar 1, 2012 - The Associated Press

Romney favorite in state precincts

CHEYENNE (AP) -- Mitt Romney has won a nonbinding vote of Republican activists who turned out for precinct caucuses across Wyoming during the past two weeks.

The former Massachusetts governor was the favorite of 39 percent of the 2,108 caucus goers, while former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum finished second with 32 percent. Texas Rep. Ron Paul had 21 percent, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich had 8 percent.

The caucuses also elected delegates to county conventions, which meet next week to select 12 delegates and 11 alternates to the Republican National Convention. Twelve county conventions will elect one delegate each, and the other 11 will each select an alternate.

Every four years, the counties electing delegates and alternates switch. Laramie County, the state's largest, elects a delegate to every nominating convention.

Patrol vehicle struck on I-80

LARAMIE (AP) -- For the second time within a week, a Wyoming Highway Patrol vehicle has been struck by another motorist while parked on a roadside.

The latest crash occurred Wednesday morning on an icy Interstate 80 about 7 miles east of Laramie.

The trooper and driver of the pickup that hit the patrol car received minor injuries. Both were treated and released from Ivinson Memorial Hospital in Laramie.

The patrol says the trooper involved was seated in his parked patrol vehicle in the median investigating another vehicle crash when the driver of a westbound Ford F-250 pickup lost control of his vehicle.

The pickup slid into the median where it struck the passenger side of the patrol vehicle.

The crash remains under investigation.

Appeal of snowmobile rule rejected

DENVER (AP) -- A federal appeals court says Wyoming can't sue the federal government over a 2009 rule that slashed how many snowmobiles were allowed in Yellowstone National Park.

Wyoming and Park County argued the rule arbitrarily restricted snowmobile access, despite evidence that allowing more snowmobiles wouldn't hurt the park. They said the limits would hurt tourism and tax revenue.

The 2009 rule expired last year, but park officials extended it through this winter.

A panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that the state and county failed to show concrete economic losses from the rule, which would have allowed them to sue.

They also said a challenge on procedural grounds is moot because park officials conducted a new analysis before extending the 2009 limits through this winter.

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