Mar 22, 2013 The Associated Press

Bison hunt numbers rise

BILLINGS, Mont. -- Hunters have killed more wild bison migrating from Yellowstone National Park this year than they have in decades.

Driven by strong participation from Americans Indians, roughly 250 bison have been killed after leaving Yellowstone for low-elevation winter range in Montana.

Tribal and state officials said Friday the hunt results should provide some relief for the park's burgeoning population of the animals.

That means there's unlikely to be a repeat this year of the wholesale slaughters that have killed thousands of bison over the last two decades in the name of disease control. Officials say a limited slaughter is still possible.

The tribal hunts, conducted under long-standing treaty rights, are expected to continue through the end of March.

State-licensed hunters took 37 bison during a season that ended Feb. 15.

Missing officer found dead

WEST JORDAN, Utah -- A West Valley City, Utah police officer who was last seen Tuesday and never showed up to work has been found dead in Wyoming with a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

West Jordan Sgt. Dan Roberts says 37-year-old Michael Valdes was found Thursday night when authorities responded to a single-vehicle accident in Sweetwater County.

Police say Valdes saw his wife Tuesday evening and told her he was leaving for work. The West Jordan resident wasn't seen by co-workers, friends or family since.

Utah officials announced their search for him and a black Infiniti SUV on Thursday.

Roberts says there were no obvious signs that Valdes was suicidal before he disappeared.

Casper gives up on convention center

CASPER -- Casper is giving up on developing a conference center downtown.

City officials announced their decision Thursday.

City councilors approved the purchases of two pieces of property totaling nearly $1 million this year in the hopes of developing a conference center complex. The plan depended on attracting a company willing to build a $30 million hotel nearby.

The city also planned to raise $9 million to pay for its share of the project by selling naming rights and pursuing other revenue options.

'No contest' plea in eyedrop case

CASPER -- A 19-year-old Wyoming woman accused of poisoning her stepmother with eye drops has pleaded no contest to an aggravated assault charge.

Alexis Jennings of Natrona County entered the plea Thursday in state district court.

Prosecutors allege Jennings put about 20 bottles of Visine in her stepmother's tea and coffee over four months. The stepmother was hospitalized twice with various ailments.

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