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Sep 25, 2013 - The Associated Press

Horses still need WNV vaccine

CHEYENNE -- Despite the onset of fall, cases of West Nile Virus in horses continue to be reported throughout the state of Wyoming.

At least 15 West Nile horse cases have been diagnosed this season by the Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory.

State Veterinarian Jim Logan says the West Nile season can last until a hard frost.

The Wyoming Livestock Board veterinary staff recommends that owners vaccinate their horses if they have not done so already.

Horses are far more affected by the West Nile than other livestock and domestic animals. Signs of West Nile include initial flu-like symptoms, where the horse becomes lethargic and depressed, followed by weakness, incoordination and seizures.

Of those that become ill, about 30 percent die or need to be euthanized.

Teton visitor center closing in winter

JACKSON -- The National Park Service has decided to close the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center in Grand Teton National Park during the winter.

The center is located in Moose and typically serves as a hub for visitors to Grand Teton during wintertime, when the vast majority of the park's services are closed for the season.

The closure means that Grand Teton will have no buildings other than bathrooms open to the public this winter.

Grand Teton chief of interpretation Vickie Mates says the decision for the winter closure was based purely on economics.

Mates sid the park will save about $100,000.

She says the center has few visitors in the winter.

The center is scheduled to close for the season Nov. 4.

No recount on Casper smoke ban

CASPER -- The city of Casper maintains that its city clerk legally rejected a smoking ban referendum and is not required to conduct a recount.

Attorneys for the city responded to a lawsuit challenging the Casper's petition signature verification process.

The lawsuit was filed by a group called Keep Casper Smoke Free, which circulated the petition. The petition fell 61 signatures short of the number it needed to put the issue on the ballot. The group maintains some signatures it collected were wrongly thrown out and wants a recount.

But in its reply, the city maintains that it did not act "arbitrarily or capriciously" while verifying the signatures.

The city also argues the state court has no right to review the complaint.

UW starts land program

LARAMIE -- The University of Wyoming has launched a new program for students interested in land management related to oil, gas and mining.

UW's Professional Land Management program is one of just nine in North America accredited by the American Association of Professional Landmen.

This fall, 13 students are enrolled in the program, developed in partnership with the Wyoming Association of Professional Landmen and the energy industry. Don Roth is the program's director and deputy director for academics in UW's School of Energy Resources.

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