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Jun 3, 2013 - The Associated Press

Most bison back in Yellowstone

BILLINGS, Mont. -- Montana's state veterinarian says most Yellowstone National Park bison have been pushed back into the park before cattle are expected to return to the West Yellowstone area Saturday.

Veterinarian Martin Zaluski said Friday that about 35 bison remain in an area near the intersection of Highways 191 and 287. That's more than five miles from where the cattle were due to arrive. State and federal officials try to keep bison and livestock separate to prevent the wild animals from potentially transmitting the disease brucellosis, which can cause pregnant animals to miscarry.

Zaluski says about 280 bison were driven deep Yellowstone's interior in recent days, following repeated efforts to get them to stay in the park. Efforts to move the remaining animals will resume next week.

Murder convict files appeal

CHEYENNE -- A Buffalo woman has filed a federal appeal challenging her murder conviction in the 2009 shooting death of her husband.

Leah Benjamin, 49, is serving a state sentence of 20 to 30 years after being convicted of second-degree murder in the death of Donald Benjamin, 44.

The Wyoming Supreme Court upheld Benjamin's conviction in 2011 and on Tuesday declined to hear her request to review the case.

Benjamin's federal appeal, filed Thursday, is assigned to U.S. District Judge Scott Skavdahl, of Casper.

In the petition, Benjamin's states that it was improper for a particular juror to sit in judgment of Benjamin because the juror's husband, a psychologist, was on the list of prosecution witnesses and assisted prosecutors.

State rig count increases by one

HOUSTON -- Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs actively exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. increased by nine this week to 1,771.

The Houston-based company said Friday in its weekly report that 1,410 rigs were exploring for oil and another 354 for gas. Seven were listed as miscellaneous. A year ago there were 1,980 active rigs.

Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, Texas gained three rigs while Colorado, Oklahoma and North Dakota each gained two. Alaska, New Mexico and Wyoming added one each.

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