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Apr 16, 2013 - The Associated Press

Couple settles lawsuit over shot horse

CASPER -- A Thermopolis couple has reached a $2,700 settlement with a Hot Springs County undersheriff who shot and killed their horse on their land.

Chris and Larry Bentley sued after their 15-year-old horse, Bud, was shot by undersheriff David Larson about 100 feet from their home in August 2010. According to court documents, Larson had assumed that the horse was a neglected stray.

The settlement was reached Wednesday. Larson will also pay legal fees.

Senior Assistant Attorney General Patricia Bach represented Larson. In court papers, she said the decision to settle was not an acknowledgement of wrongdoing.

The Bentleys say a lack of nutrition before they adopted Bud caused him to develop arthritis. However, they say he was well taken care of and treated like a pet.

First vote set on Casper smoking ban

CASPER -- The Casper City Council is scheduled to have its first vote and public hearing Tuesday on changes proposed for the city's ban on smoking in enclosed public places.

Amending or repealing the ordinance will require three readings. SmokeFree Natrona County has stated it will fight any weakening of the law.

After the smoking ordinance took effect in September, some business owners complained they were losing customers.

The City Council has informally agreed to lift the ban for taverns, lounges and bars. Other proposed changes include exempting private clubs when they're closed to the public and allowing smoking in nonpublic areas of service establishments.

Jackson resort sets record for skiers

JACKSON -- Jackson Hole Mountain Resort has broken the 500,000 skier-day benchmark for the first time this past winter season.

Resort managers calculated it hosted 502,222 visits, or skier days, this season, which started Nov. 24.

The increase marked a 5 percent jump over last year and beat the previous record set in 2008.

Resort President Jerry Blann said the half-million mark has been achieved by only 17 to 20 resorts a year.

The increases came during a meager season of snow. The Bridger-Teton National Forest Avalanche Center reported 385 inches of snowfall this season, compared to 605 during the epic year of 2007-08.

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