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Jun 5, 2012 - The Associated Press

Mead opens coal conference in China

CHEYENNE -- Gov. Matt Mead told an audience in China this week that Wyoming is eager to develop new ways to use its natural resources.

Mead and other officials from Wyoming are in China for the 2012 International Advanced Coal Technologies Conference. The conference also includes Chinese officials and representatives from Australia's national science agency. Discussions are focused on developing advanced coal technologies.

Mead's office put out a statement saying the governor and a Chinese official at the conference's opening news conference discussed advancing a collaborative relationship.

Good numbers for Gillette, Sheridan

GILLETTE -- A research firms ranks Gillette as the nation's fourth-strongest economy out of 576 cities around the nation with between 10,000 and 50,000 residents.

Sheridan is just behind at fifth.

Florida-based Policom specializes in analyzing local and state economies and ranks both big cities and small cities.

The research firm takes into account multiple factors when creating the rankings, including jobs, per capita personal income, how the local economy is behaving and population growth trends.

Gillette has made Policom's top 10 list five years in a row.

City Administrator Carter Napier said the ranking is an indicator that things are going well in Gillette and are moving in the right direction.

New site sought for slaughterhouse

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- A Wyoming company that wants to open a horse slaughtering plant in Missouri is no longer considering a Mountain Grove site.

Sue Wallis, CEO of Unified Equine, says the company is now considering whether to retrofit a closed beef processing plant in western Missouri. She would not say where the plant is located.

Most Mountain Grove residents objected when Unified Equine announced plans to build its plant there. Walls says the community reaction was only one factor in the decision to look elsewhere.

Unified Equine is considering western Missouri because of large horse populations nearby.

Last year, Congress lifted a 5-year-old ban on funding horse meat inspection, opening the door to new horse slaughtering plants. The last plant that butchered horses closed in 2007.

Wallis, a Wyoming legislator, also has proposed a horse slaughterhouse for Riverton in her state.

Officials back drilling near Big Piney

CASPER -- The Lincoln County commissioners are backing a proposal to drill two exploratory gas wells in the Bridger-Teton National Forest.

They think that the area can be protected while allowing access to energy and mineral resources.

Commissioners were among 24 groups and individuals to submit comments on True Oil's proposal in the initial comment period. One well would be built and another would be expanded near Big Piney.

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