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Feb 7, 2013 - The Associated Press

UW makes 'best value' list

LARAMIE -- A survey has ranked the University of Wyoming as among the 100 best college values in the nation.

The annual survey recently released by U.S. Research & Evaluation Inc. has UW listed as among "America's 100 Best College Buys."

The survey was conducted between April 1 and July 31 and looked at more than 1,000 U.S. colleges and universities.

The survey indicated UW to have an average cost of $13,362 per in-state student and $22,512 per out-of-state student for the 2012-13 school year.

Flu fills hospital beds

CASPER -- Wyoming Medical Center in Casper has had to turn away patients from outside Natrona County at times this winter because it didn't have enough free beds.

It's rare for the hospital to have all its beds full, but officials say it's happened multiple times in the past few months as flu, norovirus and other illnesses circulated through the community.

Hospital officials say it's necessary to divert out-of-county patients to ensure local people continue to receive treatment when they fall ill.

Hospital President Vickie Diamond said the hospital has been full more times in the past two months than any other time in her eight years with the organization.

Gillette drug ring busted by police

GILLETTE -- State and federal agents say they have made arrests to break up a methamphetamine distribution ring in Gillette.

The Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation says 10 people have been arrested recently on 14 federal charges.

DCI Special Agent Chris McDonald said the suspects dealt over 10 pounds of meth over the past year.

He says it took two years to put the case together.

McDonald says the bust likely will lead to more arrests in other states.

Inmate dies from terminal illness

LUSK -- The Wyoming Department of Corrections says a 60-year-old inmate has died.

The agency says Mary Theresa Sanchez died Tuesday at the Wyoming Minimum Correctional Institution Female Hospice Unit in Torrington following a terminal illness. It did not describe the type of illness.

Sanchez was sentenced in January 2012 to 14 to 16 years on a drug conviction in Natrona County.

A routine autopsy has been ordered.

House wants education audit

CHEYENNE -- The state House of Representatives is supporting an audit of the state Department of Education.

The House voted 45-15 Wednesday to add $150,000 to its proposed supplemental budget bill for the audit. The budget bill faces another day of debate on Friday.

House Speaker Rep. Tom Lubnau, of Gillette, introduced the audit amendment, saying there are concerns about how some money was spent by the agency over the last couple of years.

A law that took effect last week replaced Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill as head of the department.

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