Oct 29, 2013 The Associated Press

Forest HQ to stay in Jackson

JACKSON -- The Bridger-Teton National Forest will keep its administrative offices in downtown Jackson.

The Forest Service says it plans to sell 10 acres of the 15-acre site it has in Jackson to finance construction of new facilities and renovation of some existing buildings on the remaining land.

The downtown site will include the Forest Supervisor's Office and the Jackson Ranger District Office.

Bridger-Teton Forest Supervisor Clint Kyhl says that the agency determined that retaining the administrative headquarters presence in the Jackson area was in its best interest.

Gillette woman honored on TV show

GILLETTE -- A Gillette woman appeared on the Queen Latifa Show last week for her efforts to help feed school children.

Tama Clapper organized and founded the local chapter of the Blessings in a Backpack program three years ago after she learned that many of her children's classmates did not eat between their school lunches Friday afternoon and school breakfasts Monday morning.

Through Blessings in a Backpack, Clapper and many volunteers pack backpacks full of food and deliver them to needy students on Fridays.

The packs include things like granola bars, peanut butter, cereal and juice boxes.

Queen Latifa arranged for 700 brand new bags and a special donation to buy enough food to fill them all to be sent to Gillette.

Company has plan to plug wells

CASPER -- A methane farming company that has filed for bankruptcy says it has a plan for plugging its Wyoming wells.

Executives of Luca Technologies sent a letter to Gov. Matt Mead and other state officials saying they are $1.9 million short in bonding of their wells.

But the letter says they plan to raise the money by selling a natural gas gathering system subsidiary.

Jill Morrison, of the Powder River Basin Resource Council in Sheridan, says she thinks the Luca plan "a bit of a scam."

The Golden, Colo.-based company produced methane in coal-bed methane wells in the Powder River Basin. But in July, Luca filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

State officials are looking at the proposal.

Arch loss smaller than expected

ST. LOUIS -- Coal producer Arch Coal Inc. on Tuesday posted a lower-than-expected loss of $128.4 million in the third quarter as reduced expenses helped temper weaker coal prices.

The St. Louis-based company -- among the world's biggest coal producers -- lost 61 cents per share in the July-through-September period. That compares with net income of $45.8 million, or 22 cents per share, a year earlier.

Arch has extensive holdings in Wyoming, the biggest coal-producing state in the U.S.

Excluding one-time items, Arch said it lost $1.8 million, or a penny per share. That's down from an adjusted profit of $41.8 million, or 20 cents per share, last year.

Revenue fell 19 percent to $791.3 million from $975.2 million a year ago.

Analysts surveyed by Fact Set expected a loss of 31 cents on sales of $878.3 million.

Given the prolonged soft market dating to late 2011, Arch has jettisoned what it called non-core assets involving coal used by power plants to generate electricity. In August, the company completed the sale of its Canyon Fuel Co., including two longwall mines and some 105 million tons of bituminous coal reserves in Utah, to Bowie Resources, pocketing $423 million in net proceeds.

Arch expects that deal to save it more than $200 million in capital and administrative costs from next year through 2017, responding to what Arch CEO John Eaves called "challenging global coal markets." The company insisted Tuesday those markets are poised to rebound at least when it comes to electricity generation, noting that coal stockpiles at U.S. utilities have dropped by more than 25 million tons since the beginning of the year.

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