Jan 3, 2013 The Associated Press

Judge says wolf season can resume

BILLINGS, Mont. -- Wolf hunting and trapping can resume near Yellowstone National Park after a Montana judge on Wednesday blocked the state from shutting down the practice over concerns that too many animals used in research were being killed.

The restraining order from Judge Nels Swandal allows hunting and trapping to resume in areas east and west of the town of Gardiner in Park County.

State officials closed the gray wolf season in those areas on Dec. 10. That came after several wolves collared for scientific research were killed, drawing complaints from wildlife advocates.

The move prompted a lawsuit from sporting groups and a state lawmaker from Park County, Rep. Alan Redfield, who said the public was not given enough chance to weigh in on the closures.

In his order, Swandal sided with the plaintiffs. He said the lack of public notice appeared to violate the Montana Constitution and threatened to deprive the public of the legal right to harvest wolves.

He ordered the state "to immediately reinstitute and allow hunting and trapping of wolves in all areas of Park County."

Town deals with wrecked gas station

Chugwater's only gas station is gone for now after a man drove his car into the business, causing an explosion and fire.

Authorities say 42-year-old John Barberini of Casper drove into the front of Horton's Corner convenience store and gas station on Sunday evening. Two employees and a customer were inside but no one was injured.

Fire chief Tom Ash said the car apparently was on fire before it crashed into the building. Investigators are still trying to piece together what happened.

Horton's was the only gas station between Cheyenne and Wheatland and highway signs on Interstate 25 are warning drivers that there's no fuel available there. Horton's owners promise to take care of their 14 employees until they decide whether to rebuild.

Freudenthal: No interest in UW job

Former Gov. Dave Freudenthal says he has no interest in becoming the next president of the University of Wyoming.

Freudenthal said university trustees and others have asked him if he'd like to succeed current president Tom Buchanan, who plans to retire next summer.

Freudenthal served two terms as governor and has been out of office for almost two years now.

He teaches law at UW and is on the board of directors of St. Louis-based Arch Coal. He says he's busier than he'd like to be and this will be his last semester of teaching at UW.

Some observers have speculated that the university presidency has been discussed with Freudenthal primarily as a courtesy rather than an invitation.

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