Laramie, Wyo. – Plaintiffs in Fremont County's ongoing voting rights case are expressing dismay and disappointment. That's after the Fremont County Commission decided to appeal a federal judge's order that the county should elect commissioners from five single-member districts. Earlier this year, Judge Alan Johnson ruled that the county's longtime system of electing county commissioners from one county-wide district violated the Voting Rights Act. He said that system diluted the Native American vote.
Sheridan, Wyo – The first of three teenagers accused in the home invasion killing of an elderly businessman is going on trial in Sheridan. Jury selection is scheduled to begin Monday for 19-year-old Dennis Poitra Jr. Poitra and two 16-year-olds are accused of breaking into the home of 79-year-old Robert Ernst for a burglary just over a year ago. One of the other teens is accused of shooting Ernst with a pistol. All three are charged with first-degree murder, aggravated burglary and conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary.
Cheyenne, Wy – Gov. Dave Freudenthal says Wyoming remains committed to classifying wolves as predators that could be shot on sight in most of the state. A federal judge in Montana early this month rejected the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's move to turn over wolf management to Idaho and Montana while leaving them listed as an endangered species in Wyoming. That decision blocked wolf hunts this fall in Idaho and Montana. It also means those states won't regain management of their wolves
Denver, CO – EnCana Oil & Gas (USA) has pleaded guilty to the deaths of about 55 protected birds at its operations in Colorado and Wyoming.
The energy company entered the plea Thursday in federal court in Denver to two misdemeanor counts of violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The court fined Encana a total of $30,000 for the two counts and $170,000 in community service payments, which will go to the federally administered North American Wetlands Conservation Fund.