Mar 22, 2012 The Associated Press

Judge interrupts bison move from Yellowstone

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) -- A Montana judge has granted a restraining order that blocks further relocations of Yellowstone National Park bison following objections from ranchers and property rights groups.

Thursday's order comes after Gov. Brian Schweitzer's administration transferred 62 Yellowstone bison to the Fort Peck Reservation earlier this week.

The ruling presents another stumbling block in efforts by tribes and agencies to reintroduce bison to parts of their former range.

Half the Fort Peck animals were to be transported from a holding pen in coming months to the Fort Belknap Reservation, and dozens more are being held temporarily on Ted Turner's ranch near Bozeman.

The judge blocked those transfers, at least for now, but turned down a request to return the animals to the Yellowstone area and set a hearing for April 11.

Veterans memorial to be rededicated

LARAMIE (AP) -- Gov. Matt Mead will join in a ceremony to rededicate a Vietnam veterans' memorial at the University of Wyoming on Friday afternoon.

The memorial is located southwest of Old Main.

The ceremony is part of the second annual Wyoming Veterans Welcome Home Day, marking the day in 1973 when the last combat troops left Vietnam and the Wyoming contingent returned home.

Besides Gov. Mead, other dignitaries attending will be UW President Tom Buchanan as well as the only two living recipients of the Wyoming Distinguished Service Cross.

In 2010, UW established a Veterans Services Center on campus to serve veterans who enrolled to complete their college degrees. A project coordinator was hired at the center, and the need to refurbish the Vietnam Veterans Memorial came through student feedback.

No case against Sweetwater sheriff

CHEYENNE (AP) -- A special prosecutor has concluded that no criminal charges are merited against Sweetwater County Sheriff Rich Haskell following a state investigation into his office directing public funds to companies owned by family members.

Casper District Attorney Mike Blonigen said Wednesday that the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation probe found no evidence that Haskell broke the law.

"There's no laws in Wyoming really, preventing elected officials from steering business to relatives, I mean almost none," Blonigen said.

"It's not unusual for elected officials to have quite a bit of discretion about how they spend their money," Blonigen said. "It's generally considered a political remedy -- if you don't like the way they're spending your money, then you vote them out the next time."

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