Wyoming digest

Sep 3, 2013 The Associated Press

More patrols this weekend

CHEYENNE -- The Wyoming Highway Patrol has beefed up staffing for the Labor Day weekend.

The patrol is especially on the lookout for drunken drivers. It is participating in a special effort in Cheyenne to target impaired drivers.

Wyoming's traffic fatality count is down nearly 29 percent compared to this same time last year. However, of the fatalities this year, 22 percent were alcohol and drug related.

Officer fired for DUI in cop car

LARAMIE -- A Laramie police officer was fired earlier this month after being arrested for allegedly driving under the influence and having an open container of alcohol in a police vehicle.

Amber E. Meyer, 31, was arrested Aug. 11 near Medicine Bow while on her way to training in Casper, police spokeswoman Lt. Gwen Meyer said. Wyoming State Patrol trooper pulled over the blue Chevy Cobalt Meyer was driving on U.S. Highway 487. It was registered to the police department.

The citation stated that Meyer was "driving while under the influence of (a) combination of alcohol and prescription medication." She was terminated the next day.

Meyer, who worked for the department for nine years, has pleaded not guilty. She is free on $1,000 bond. She's scheduled to appear in court Oct. 2.

Freed man harassed

CHEYENNE -- A Cheyenne man exonerated in a 1989 rape is facing more challenges.

A car donated to Andrew J. Johnson was found vandalized Thursday morning. The word "rapist" was written on it and holes were poked through the tires. Johnson said someone also threw eggs at his ex-wife's house and left a brick with a racial slur on it referring to their interracial relationship. Johnson is black, and his ex-wife is white.

Johnson, 63, was freed after serving 23 years in prison this year but has been struggling with a lack of money and computer skills. Until getting the donated car, he had to walk everywhere despite arthritis. He did recently find a job.

State's rig count off one

HOUSTON -- Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs actively exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. did not change this week, remaining at 1,776.

The Houston-based company said in its weekly report Friday 1,388 rigs were exploring for oil and 380 for gas. Eight were listed as miscellaneous. A year ago there were 1,894 active rigs.

Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, Louisiana gained two rigs and Alaska, California, Oklahoma and Utah each gained one.

Pennsylvania and Texas each lost two rigs and Colorado and Wyoming each lost one. Arkansas, Kansas, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio and West Virginia were unchanged.

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

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