A family-owned daily newspaper serving Riverton, Lander and Fremont County, Wyoming since 1949

Wyoming digest

Feb 16, 2017 - From staff reports

Marijuana ballot petition fails again

CHEYENNE (AP) -- A group working to legalize medical marijuana in Wyoming has failed a second time to gather enough signatures to put the question on the statewide ballot.

The Wyoming Secretary of State's Office says the Wyoming chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws did not meet Tuesday's deadline to collect the 25,673 signatures needed to get the measure on the 2018 general election ballot.

The same group also failed to gather enough signatures to put the measure on the 2016 ballot.

Skier plunges 1,400 feet to death

MOOSE (AP) -- A 26-year-old man has died after falling about 1,400 feet while skiing in Grand Teton National Park.

The National Park Service says John "Jack" Fields Jr. of Jackson fell Wednesday morning down a narrow, steep gully on the South Teton Mountain.

Rangers recovered the body about 6 p.m. Wednesday.

The Park Service says Fields was skiing with three others down the mountain they had summited earlier in the day.

On the way down, the other skiers saw Fields fall and slide out of sight.

The other skiers eventually made it down the mountain via a different route.

Slight enrollment decline at UW

LARAMIE (AP) -- The University of Wyoming has seen a slight decline in enrollment for the spring semester, though it isn't nearly as sharp as the decline in the fall.

The Laramie Boomerang reports that counts from the 15th day of class -- Friday -- indicate enrollment is down about 1.6 percent from spring 2016, or about 188 students fewer students. In fall 2016, UW was down by 234 students on the 15th day compared to fall 2015.

Headcounts from the eighth day of classes saw 117 fewer freshmen students between spring 2016 and 2017, a nearly 8 percent drop. There was also a 3 percent drop in seniors.

UW Vice President for Student Affairs Sara Axelson says the university needs to break a trend of stagnant enrollment.

Tuition to go up at community colleges

(AP) -- Wyoming residents attending the state's seven community colleges will see a slight increase in tuition starting this fall.

Students will be paying $5 more per credit hour.

The tuition hike imposed by the Wyoming Community College Commission brings the total per-credit cost to $94. That's a 5.6 percent increase from the previous tuition rate.

But students at Casper College will be paying even more. College spokesman Chris Lorenzen says the school is assessing $29 of its own fees, which will result in residents paying $123 per credit hour.

Commission Executive Director Jim Rose says the $5 tuition hike will generate roughly $480,000 in additional revenue for the colleges.

The increase comes after the commission instituted a $20 million cut earlier this fiscal year.

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