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Saturday, May 10, 2003

Northwest moves to summer hours POWELL — Beginning Monday, Northwest College will observe summer hours, closing at noon on Fridays.

All college offices will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 8 a.m. to noon on Fridays through the summer, according to Mark Kitchen, NWC dean of college relations and development. Employees will fulfill their 40 hours of work per week in flexible blocks of time in early mornings and evenings.

Northwest's Hinckley Library will close for maintenance and cleaning today through June 2. The library will reopen June 3 with the following hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to noon on Friday. The library will be closed July 4, Aug. 27 and Sept. 1.

Any Wyoming resident may check out books and other materials from the library. A valid card from a public library in Wyoming may be used, or the library can issue a card to the user. Summer office hours are in effect through Aug. 22. Normal library hours resume Sept. 2.

Applicants unaffected by test error CHEYENNE — Officials at the Wyoming State Bar announced that no Wyoming applicants were affected by the scoring error on the Multistate Bar Examination administered in February.

American College Testing, which develops and scores the multiple choice tests, had announced that a clerical error had been made that affected the results for more than a third of the 20,204 applicants who took the February exam nationwide.

According to Kim Mayo, director of admissions at the Wyoming State Bar, upon notification of the error, all Wyoming results were thoroughly reviewed. "The error did not cause any of the Wyoming applicants to fail nor did it allow any Wyoming applicant who had failed the exam to pass," Mayo said. Thirty-five people sat for the February Bar Exam in Wyoming. They were notified of their results in late March.

Gillette soldier's condition upgraded GILLETTE — Doctors have upgraded a Gillette soldier's condition from critical to stable as he recovers from being shot in Iraq, a family member said.

Staff Sgt. Derick Goodrich, 21, was shot in the lower back and hip, possibly by a sniper, said his grandfather, Carroll Martin, of Gillette.

Martin, who raised Goodrich and his twin brother, Kyle, hasn't been able to talk to his wounded grandson since a brief phone call Monday.

Goodrich is recovering at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center near Ramstein Air Base in Germany.

Martin said Goodrich may have been clearing a building in an Iraqi city when he was shot.

He will likely fly back to the United States when he is well enough to travel, Martin said. Goodrich will be taken to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., where he may need hip-replacement surgery.

Doctors also may need to remove part of his pelvic bone.

"I'm just going to kind of wait to hear from him," Martin said.

Goodrich, a 1999 graduate of Campbell County High School, is a member of the Army's 4th Infantry Division. He was deployed to Iraq about two months ago from Fort Carson, Colo. His twin brother is a Marine who has been in Iraq for six months.

Wyoming rig count hits 7-month high HOUSTON — Wyoming's rig count reached a seven-month high this week.

There were 45 rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the state — six more than last week, 13 more than a year ago and most since Oct. 18, 2002, Houston-based oil field supplier Baker Hughes Inc. reported Friday.

The Wyoming count last year ranged from 29 to 48 rigs. On Sept. 7, 2001, the state's tally reached 66, highest in the past 16 years. Nationwide, the count was up 20 this week to 1,021, highest since Nov. 2, 2001, when 1,058 rigs were operating. Of rigs running nationwide, 848 were exploring for gas, 170 were looking for oil and three were listed as miscellaneous. A year ago, the rig count was 812.

Baker Hughes has kept track of the drilling rigs since 1944. The tally peaked at 4,530 on Dec. 28, 1981, during the height of the oil boom, but set several record lows in 1999, bottoming out at 488 on April 23, 1999.

Runoff in North Platte near normal MILLS — Runoff in the North Platte River drainage is approaching normal levels, but officials caution that storage remains very low.

John Lawson, Wyoming area manager for the Bureau of Reclamation, said runoff has reached 88 percent of average but said storage in reservoirs is at the lowest level in 30 years.

Restrictions still might be implemented for North Platte irrigators, he said.

Water equivalency in snowpack that feeds the Upper North Platte drainage is 6 percent above the 30-year average, but in the Lower North Platte snowpack moisture is 11 percent below average.

Across the state, snowpack levels range from 48 percent below average in the Upper Bear River drainage to 12 percent above in the Shoshone River Basin, according to the U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service. The Upper Yellowstone-Madison River Basin was 11 percent above average, the Powder-Tongue River and Bighorn basins stood at 4 percent and the Little Snake River Basin was 2 percent above normal.

Among the other basins, the Snake River was 11 percent below normal while the Wind River was 25 percent below, the Lower Green River 28 percent and the Upper Green River 30 percent below normal. Figures for the Belle Fourche River drainage were not available.

Roth named dean of UW grad school LARAMIE — Professor of molecular biology Don Roth has been named dean of the University of Wyoming Graduate School, pending approval by trustees.

Roth had been serving as interim dean since January.

Strong graduate programs not only are crucial to the university's higher education mission but also contribute to state economic development, he said. His goals include increasing graduate school enrollment and competitiveness.

Although graduate and undergraduate education are closely linked, it's at the graduate level that knowledge is refined and opportunities for innovation expand. It's an exciting place to be."

Graduate school enrollment at UW is 2,300. Last spring, the university awarded more than 620 graduate degrees, including 445 master's degrees in more than 60 subject areas, plus doctoral, law and pharmacy degrees.

Roth earned a bachelor's degree in plant sciences from the University of New Hampshire in 1974, a master's degree in plant protection in 1975 and a doctorate in plant physiology and pathology in 1978 from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. He joined the UW faculty in 1978.

Winter storm to hit central, southwestern Wyoming RIVERTON — A winter storm advisory was issued through Saturday for much of central and southwestern Wyoming and a heavy snow warning was posted for the Big Horn Mountains, the National Weather Service said.

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A strong upper-level storm system with upslope flow was expected to dump heavy snow on Green River, Rock Springs, Kemmerer, Riverton, Lander, Thermopolis and Casper, with 5 to 8 inches possible by Saturday morning.

Northeast winds of 20-30 mph will likely cause blowing and drifting snow above 8,000 feet.

In the northern Big Horns, 8-14 inches is forecast by noon Saturday, especially above 6,000 feet.

Truck driver pleads not guilty to accident CHEYENNE — The driver of a semi-truck trailer accused of smashing into a line of cars on Interstate 25 in December — killing one man and injuring four other people — pleaded not guilty to aggravated assault and 13 other counts.

Karl Kverno, 44, of Golden, Colo., is accused of driving into the vehicles Dec. 20 as Wyoming Highway Patrol troopers were investigating an earlier accident just north of the Colorado line. Kverno's trial was set for July 7. He remains free on $10,000 bond.

Longmont, Colo., resident John Beers, 64, who owned several stores at Cheyenne's Frontier Mall, died "almost instantly" in the accident. His car was the first to be rear-ended, according to court records.

Four other people were treated and released from United Medical Center-West, and a total of seven vehicles were damaged.

Kverno also faces six felony counts of property destruction for the other damaged vehicles and seven misdemeanor counts of reckless endangering for allegedly putting the other vehicles' occupants in peril. If convicted on all counts, Kverno could serve 71 years in prison and pay more than $70,000 in fines.

The chain of events Dec. 20 began shortly before 8 a.m., when Bruce J. Weigel, 43, of Lakewood, Colo., rear-ended a cruiser. Weigel fled on foot, was struck by traffic, struggled with troopers and then stopped breathing.

He later died at United Medical Center-West. Toxicology results showed no drugs in his system.

Laramie may ease water restrictions LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) — City officials could ease water restrictions after improved streamflow predictions for the Laramie River.

Residents are banned from watering between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. and cannot use water to wash outdoor surfaces.

Recently, the Natural Resources Conservation Service predicted Laramie River streamflows will hit 87 percent of average between April and September — a 13 percent improvement over last month.

Despite the bright outlook, it doesn't look as if Laramie's water restrictions will go away for good.

NRCS predictions only come to fruition 50 percent of the time, so officials said there's really no telling when streamflows will improve.

Last week, Laramie cut its water production by 28 percent under the restrictions. That is an 8 percent increase over what city officials had hoped for.

Copyright © 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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