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Wyoming news in brief

Dinosaur Tracksite to be dedicated May 22 SHELL - The U.S. Bureau of Land Management's Red Gulch Dinosaur Tracksite will be dedicated May 22.

The dedication is scheduled for 9:30 a.m., after which tours of the site will be given.

A boardwalk, interpretive signs and picnic tables have been installed at the area over the past year, according to the BLM.

The tracksite is the largest in Wyoming and one of only a few worldwide from the Middle Jurassic Period 160 million to 180 million years ago.

The fossilized tracks were made by two-legged dinosaurs on a shoreline around 167 million years ago.

The tracks were discovered in 1997. Scientists previously thought the entire Bighorn Basin, and most of Wyoming, was covered by an ocean they call the Sundance Sea.Thomas inducted into the 4-H Hall of Fame U.S. Sen. Craig Thomas, R-Wyo., was among 100 people inducted into the National 4-H Hall of Fame during the organization's 100th anniversary celebration.

The induction ceremony was held Thursday at the National 4-H Center located in Chevy Chase, Md.

Thomas was a member of the 4-H for eight years and later served on the group's Board of Directors. He grew up in Wapiti and Cody.

"Head, heart, hands, health are precepts I've never forgotten," Thomas said. "I still remember as a high school student traveling away from home for the first time to the National 4-H Congress and the positive impact it had on my choices in life."

The 4-H organization is a youth development program that allows students to develop and enhance various skills through projects such as cooking, raising show animals, photography, computers and public speaking.Domestic oil and gas rig count up by 9 HOUSTON - The number of rigs actively exploring for oil and natural gas in the United States this week rose by 9 to 747.

Of the rigs running nationwide, 610 were exploring for gas, 135 were looking for oil and two were was listed as miscellaneous, Houston-based Baker Hughes Inc. reported Friday.

A year ago, the rig count was 1,198.

Baker Hughes has kept track of the count 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.

Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, Texas gained 10 rigs, Louisiana three, New Mexico two and California one. Oklahoma lost nine rigs and Wyoming one. Alaska's count was unchanged.Woman gets 3 years in prison for filing false tax returns CHEYENNE - A former federal income tax preparer has been sentenced to more than three years in prison on charges of preparing false returns.

Deborah K. Hartung pleaded guilty in January to three counts of aiding and assisting preparation and presentation of false federal income tax returns for clients and one count of failure to file her own federal tax return.

Hartung owned and operated an income tax preparation business, The Numbers Factory, in Cody and Torrington, authorities said.

U.S. District Judge Alan B. Johnson sentenced Hartung to three years, five months in prison followed by a year of supervised release.

Last September, a 26-count indictment was handed down against her for alleged violations in 1994, 1995, 1996 and 1997.

According to U.S. Attorney Matthew H. Mead, the tax loss associated with Hartung's preparation of false returns and failure to file her own 1996 and 1997 returns amounted to $432,696.

The case was investigated by the Criminal Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service.Bond set for man accused of shootout RAWLINS - Bond has been set $150,000 cash only for a Boise, Idaho, man accused of shooting at a Wyoming Highway Patrol trooper on Interstate 80.

Richard Paul Meyers, 31, is accused of a shootout March 22 with Trooper Jason Green near Rawlins. No one was hurt. Meyers allegedly fled and was later captured in Utah.

Meyers, who did not have a lawyer, asked Judge Wade Waldrip on Thursday to release him so he could return to his 8-year-old child, his job and deal with legal difficulties in Idaho and Utah.

Waldrip told Meyers the evidence against him is "very strong."

Meyers is charged with attempted first-degree murder and felony interference with an officer.

Deputy County Attorney Joseph Cole argued for a high bond, saying Meyers has shown a pattern of aggressiveness toward law enforcement.

Meyers also faces a felony charge of prisoner assault in Utah for allegedly trying to escape from a Utah officer.Eastern Wyoming College approves hiring recruiter TORRINGTON - The Eastern Wyoming College board of trustees has approved hiring a full-time recruiter.

Eastern Wyoming College has not had a full-time recruiter for three years. The job will pay between $34,600 and $36,400, according to Dean of Students Billy Bates.

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"In a small school like ours, everyone has to wear a lot of hats," Bates said Tuesday. "We've had four part-time recruiters, including myself, but you just need someone out there full time."

The last person to hold the job, Tami Afdahl, was hired last fall as the school's marketing and public relations director.

President Jack Bottenfield had proposed to hiring a Director of Enrollment Services but was opposed by many faculty and staff including the staff of Student Services, which handles recruiting.

Opponents said the money could be better spent elsewhere, such as on instruction.Ski development to use more water than Encampment ENCAMPMENT - A planned ski area, resort and home development on Green Mountain will use more water than the nearby town of Encampment, according to developers.

The development is expected to require 300 acre-feet of water per year for everything from drinking water to making snow, former state engineer Jeff Fassett said during a meeting at Town Hall on Tuesday.

In comparison, Encampment, a town of 490 a few miles north of Green Mountain, uses an average of 251 acre-feet per year. An acre-foot is the water needed to cover an acre a foot deep.

Fassett, now a water consultant, said the developers have filed for junior rights for three cubic feet per second on Willow Creek, a tributary of the North Fork of the Encampment River.

They plan to build a reservoir that would provide water for firefighting and snowmaking. However, because the water rights for Willow Creek will be new, the developers also hope to be able to drill wells and buy a senior water right.

Fassett said the development's residential areas are expected to use 282 acre-feet. Snowmaking is estimated to require 4.5 acre-feet, summer recreation about 6.4 acre-feet and day skiers about 4.6 acre-feet.Fire burns roof of turn-of-century home CASPER - A former boarding house and historical Casper landmark has lost its roof in a fire.

Embers from a wood-burning stove landed on the roof and set it on fire Thursday afternoon, Pat McJunkin of the Casper Fire Department said.

Neighbors called the fire department and evacuated the home at 123 S. Kimball.

Lita Fagan, the current owner of the house, said she thinks the damage is repairable. Damage is estimated at $150,000.

The house was built by the Weeks family in 1906. The building provided rooms for 16 to 18 boarders in its heyday. Guests included teachers, a former Casper mayor and the managers of Stanolind Oil and Bell Telephone companies.

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