Aug 7, 2013 The Associated Press

Education chief now on the job

CHEYENNE -- Richard Crandall has started work as the Wyoming Department of Education's director.

Crandall took over from interim director Jim Rose on Monday.

"It's a rush," Crandall said Tuesday of the new position. "Everyone who (has) come through my doors in the last 48 hours has ideas."

Crandall was a longtime member of the state legislature in Arizona. He was picked to direct the department after a national search by the State Board of Education and an appointment from Gov. Matt Mead.

Crandall was appointed to the position by Mead after the passage of Senate File 104, commonly called the "Hill bill." That legislation removed most of the duties of State Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill and created the director's position.

Hill sued the state to reverse the effects of the bill. Her case is set to go before the state Supreme Court Aug. 20.

Interior Secretary in Grand Teton

CHEYENNE -- U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell is visiting Grand Teton National Park to reinforce the agency's commitment to find a permanent solution to protect park land.

During her visit Wednesday and Thursday, Jewell will also participate in launching a public-private campaign to restore and protect Jenny Lake trails.

The Interior Department and the State of Wyoming are exploring ways to transfer nearly 1,300 acres of state owned land within Grand Teton to the park to ensure permanent protection of the land.

Jewell says she has directed her team to pursue all available options to see how transfer can be completed. She has also spoken to Gov. Matt Mead about the issue.

Volunteers help spray in Beartooths

CRANDALL -- Volunteers from a number of agencies are teaming up to protect wildlife habitat in Wyoming's Beartooth Mountains and in southern Montana from the threat of invasive species.

The Park County Weed and Pest Control District is hosting the Second Annual Greater Yellowstone Coordinating Committee's Terrestrial Invasive Species Work Day.

Crews from federal land management agencies as well as county weed districts will begin spraying for invasive weeds on Wednesday.

In Wyoming, they plan to spray along a 5-mile stretch of the Shoshone National Forest, from the state line down to Crazy Creek. They will also be spraying along the Beartooth Highway 212 and Upper Clark's Fork of the Yellowstone River.

In Montana, crews also will spray in and around Cooke City and Silver Gate near the Northeast Entrance to Yellowstone.

Enzi made late tax payments

U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi has made a few late tax payments on his house in Gillette since he joined the Senate, property records show.

Enzi and his wife Diana were late on payments in 1999, 2000 and 2008. They paid interest on the late payments.

Enzi is facing challenger Liz Cheney in next year's Republican primary. Records show Cheney and her husband also were late paying property taxes on the Teton County home they purchased last year.

Enzi began the first of his three terms as a U.S. senator in 1996 after serving as Gillette mayor and as a state legislator.

"Senator Enzi and Diana have been paying property taxes in Wyoming for 40 years; if they were ever late on a payment, they paid the bill in full with interest," said Coy Knobel, communications director for Enzi.

Enzi was late paying the first half of his property taxes in 1999, accruing a $13.39 interest fee. He paid an entire year of taxes on Jan. 28, 2000.

Enzi was nearly three months delinquent on the second payment for his 2000 property taxes and was charged $15.90 in interest, paying the fee on Aug. 8, 2001.

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