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Oct 18, 2013 - The Associated Press

State employees return to work

CHEYENNE -- With the partial federal government shutdown ended, Gov. Matt Mead has directed Wyoming state agencies to bring back furloughed employees as soon as possible.

A total of 239 state employees were on a partial or full furlough because of the budget impasse.

The furloughed workers were in the Department of Environmental Quality, Department of Workforce Services, Military Department and Department of Family Services. The furloughs affected employees with positions that are funded in whole or in part with federal funds.

New trial for Wyoming man

OMAHA, Neb. -- The Nebraska Supreme Court has ordered a new trial for a Wyoming man sentenced to life in prison for killing a Colorado man in Nebraska.

Vencil Ash III, of Cheyenne, was convicted last year of first-degree murder in Kimball County District Court. Authorities say 42-year-old Ash shot Ryan Guitron, of Fort Collins, Colo., to death in 2003 at an abandoned farm in western Nebraska.

Ash's wife, 25-year-old Kelly Meehan-Ash, was initially charged with aiding and abetting and was set to stand trial with her husband.

But days before the couple's trial, she cut a deal in which she agreed to testify against Ash.

The state's high court said Friday that Ash's requests to postpone the trial so he could prepare a defense against Meehan-Ash's testimony should have been granted.

Slow growth likely in state

OMAHA, Neb. -- A new report suggests the economy will continue growing at a slow pace in rural areas of 10 Midwest and Plains states in the months ahead.

The overall index for the report released Thursday rose to 54.3 in October from 52.4 in September. Any score above 50 suggests growth.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss says the recent decline in crop prices will likely slow economic growth.

The index is based on surveys of rural bankers in Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.

It ranges from 0 to 100, with 50 representing growth neutral.

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