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Jul 26, 2013 - The Associated Press

Trustees meet on salary request

CHEYENNE -- The University of Wyoming Board of Trustees is likely to seek more money for salaries in a new two-year budget request.

Trustees were meeting Friday to discuss their budget request to the state.

The last salary adjustment for UW employees was an average 4 percent increase in 2009.

Like other state agencies, UW this fall will distribute a 1 percent bonus to university employees as approved by the 2013 Legislature. But officials point out that is a one-time boost.

They note that at no time in the past 30 years have UW faculty and staff members gone so long without permanent salary adjustments.

New UW President Bob Sternberg says merit pay increases for faculty and staff is a top priority.

Charges expected in shooting death

CASPER -- Charges are expected to be filed against one suspect arrested in connection with the shooting death at a bar in Evansville.

District Attorney Michael Blonigen said the person would be charged Friday afternoon. The suspect's name and age haven't been released.

Forty-one-year-old Todd Callies died after the shooting early Thursday at Taylor's Sports Bar and Spirits.

Evansville Chief of Police Zach Gentile has refused to discuss the shooting, referring all questions to the district attorney's office.

Blonigen said Casper police and the Natrona County Sheriff's Office are helping investigate.

Utility seeks electricity rate hike

SHERIDAN -- Powder River Energy Corp. is looking to raise electricity rates for its Wyoming customers.

The energy cooperative is seeking an overall 3.9 percent increase starting in March. Residential customers would see a 7.6 percent hike if state regulators approve the changes. Powder River says preliminary projections indicate residential rates would increase about $5.66 per month for homes consuming 1,000 kilowatt-hours.

The cooperative plans to present the proposed increases to the Wyoming Public Service Commission in August for approval.

The proposed increases come at a time when Powder River's 2013 operating budget anticipates a $4.4 million revenue shortfall, as demand for electricity from natural gas and coal bed methane producers dips.

Powder River Energy serves about 12,000 members in northeastern Wyoming and southern Montana.

College gets OK for wind turbine

POWELL -- Northwest College in Powell is moving ahead with construction of its very own wind turbine.

Park County Commissioners unanimously voted this week to grant permission for the college to erect a 52-foot high turbine.

School officials say the structure will serve as an education tool for math and science students.

The wind-harvesting device will be situated near the school's Paul Stock Agriculture Pavilion off Highway 295.

Northwest College Facilities Director Dave Plute says the grant-funded turbine would cost $21,000 to install and lead to $300 in electricity savings annually.

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