Dec 20, 2012 The Associated Press

Wolves need buffer zone, say activists

CHEYENNE -- A conservation group is calling on state and federal officials to create no-shooting zones around Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks to reduce the killing of wolves.

WildEarth Guardians and other conservation groups have filed lawsuits challenging the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's transfer of wolf management to Wyoming.

Trophy hunters have killed 39 wolves in a zone around Yellowstone since the state took over management in October. The state says another 20 wolves have been killed elsewhere where wolves are unprotected.

Wendy Keefover of WildEarth Guardians says too many wolves are dying. Wildlife managers say about 300 wolves were outside of Yellowstone, where no hunting is allowed, when the state took over.

Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead says he's confident in state management and has no plans to change policies.

Man shot by police evaluated

LARAMIE -- A Laramie man who was shot by officers investigating a reported auto burglary in August will undergo a court-ordered mental evaluation.

Kevin R. Cook appeared before Judge Jeffrey Donnell on Wednesday.

Cook faces charges of burglary, conspiracy to commit a felony and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Laramie police shot and wounded Cook after he allegedly struck at an officer with an iron pry bar.

Cook has pleaded not guilty by reason of mental illness. He was set to stand trial in May but Donnell suspended future proceedings until Cook's evaluation has taken place.

Cook's evaluation will likely take place in Laramie but will be administered through the state hospital in Evanston.

Man dies after hitting head in gym

JACKSON -- A man injured after hitting a concrete wall during an indoor soccer game in Jackson has died.

Thirty-two-year-old Nicolas Izard suffered a severe head injury during the game at Jackson's recreation center Dec. 13. He died after being flown to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center for treatment.

Izard worked as a seasonal laborer at Grand Teton National Park and a memorial service was held for him there Wednesday evening.

Over 250 people attended the service at the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center.

Park spokeswoman Jackie Skaggs said Nick's mother, Ann, worked as the park's human resources officer until her retirement in 2010.

Jackson's indoor soccer league has suspended play through the end of the year and is evaluating the program.

Members of Cornerstone Church are raising money to support Izard's family.

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