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Jul 28, 2013 - The Associated Press

Man gets probation for sword attack

POWELL -- A 23-year-old Powell man accused of using a Japanese-style sword to attack his roommate during an argument has been sentenced to five years of supervised probation.

Matthew J. Thull has pleaded no contest to felony aggravated assault stemming from a Nov. 4 altercation with Antroine Smiley.

Smiley told police Thull kicked in a bathroom door, made threats, yelled expletives about unpaid rent and swung at him with a sword known as a katana. Investigators determined Smiley was cut on both hands as he tried to grab the sword from his roommate.

Thull was ordered to pay $1,045 to cover Smiley's medical bills.

Provost to return to teaching

University of Wyoming president Robert Sternberg says provost and vice President for Academic Affairs Myron Allen will step down Sept. 1 after eight years in the post.

Sternberg made the announcement in an e-mail to staff Friday.

School spokesman Chad Baldwin says Allen will continue teaching as a tenured professor in the mathematics department.

Baldwin says Allen told the university's executive council that he had been considering a return to teaching and decided now was the time.

Sternberg will appoint an interim vice president for academic affairs while the university looks for a new provost.

Wyoming's rig count unchanged

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 six this week to 1,776.

The Houston-based company said Friday in its weekly report that 1,401 rigs were exploring for oil and 369 for gas. Six were listed as miscellaneous. A year ago there were 1,924 active rigs.

Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, Oklahoma gained five rigs; Texas gained three rigs; Colorado gained two; and California and West Virginia each added one.

Kansas and North Dakota each lost three rigs, and Alaska, New Mexico and Pennsylvania each lost one. Arkansas, Louisiana, Ohio, Utah and Wyoming were each unchanged.

The U.S. rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981 and bottomed at 488 in 1999.

Governor names circuit court judge

CHEYENNE -- Gov. Matt Mead has appointed a new circuit court judge in Sweetwater County.

The governor's office on Friday announced the selection of Craig Jones as circuit court judge for the Third Judicial District. He replaces Judge Daniel Forgey, who moved to another district.

Jones is currently the chief deputy district attorney in Cheyenne. He received his law degree from the University of Wyoming. He has held public legal positions in Johnson and Converse Counties.

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