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Mar 20, 2012 - The Associated Press

Grant OK'd to lure data center

CHEYENNE (AP) -- The State Loan and Investment Board has approved a $5 million grant to help bring a proposed $112 million data center to Cheyenne.

Cheyenne is one of two finalists in the Rocky Mountain region for the data center. State officials have declined to identify the company behind the project, but they say it is a Fortune 100 firm.

The state board approved the $5 million grant on Monday.

Gov. Matt Mead says he's willing to provide another $5 million in state money to help land the center, bringing the state's total possible contribution to $10 million. The money would be used to help pay for infrastructure costs if Cheyenne is chosen.

State to honor veterans March 30

CHEYENNE (AP) -- People around Wyoming will be encouraged to say thanks to all veterans March 30, which has been designated Wyoming Veterans Welcome Home Day.

This will be the second annual event after Wyoming Veterans Welcome Home Day was codified into state law last year.

The Wyoming Veterans Commission says several celebrations are planned March 30.

Gov. Matt Mead and others plan to speak at ceremonies that day in Wheatland, Gillette, Worland, Laramie and Cheyenne.

Rock Springs keeps rodeo

ROCK SPRINGS (AP) -- Rock Springs will host the National High School Finals Rodeo through 2015.

The rodeo already was scheduled to be held this year and next year at the Sweetwater County Events Complex, but the National High School Rodeo Association decided recently to extend it by another year.

Sweetwater County fended off competition from locations in Texas and New Mexico to continue conducting the rodeo through 2015.

Gov. Matt Mead was among those attending the announcement of the extension.

Mead said hosting the national finals represented the independent spirit of the people of Wyoming.

Troopers seize 74 pounds of pot

EVANSTON (AP) -- Wyoming authorities are investigating following the seizure of 74 pounds of marijuana from a car on Interstate 80.

The Wyoming Highway Patrol said Monday that the marijuana -- estimated to be worth about a half-million dollars -- was discovered Thursday during a traffic stop near Evanston, near the Utah border.

The driver, 41-year-old Christopher Brady, was arrested and was being held in Evanston.

Investigators believe Brady was driving from the Portland, Oregon area and may have planned to deliver the marijuana in or around Kansas City.

The patrol and the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation are both investigating.

Woman accused of welfare fraud

GILLETTE (AP) -- A 28-year-old woman has been accused of defrauding the Wyoming Department of Family Services by falsely claiming her daughter on applications for welfare benefits.

Elizabeth M. Cook is charged with obtaining assistance of services by misrepresentation.

Investigators say that Cook collected about $11,500 worth of benefits between August 2009 and March 2010 by filling out forms indicating that she had custody of her daughter in Gillette.

But investigators say in court documents that the daughter was in the custody of her father in Idaho at the time.

Cook is accused of receiving overpayments for food stamps and medical benefits.

If convicted, Cook could face up to 20 years in prison and $20,000 in fines.

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