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Wyoming digest

Mar 16, 2017 - From wire reports

Dam expansion wins U.S. House passage

CHEYENNE (AP) -- The U.S. House has passed a measure to expand the water storage at Fontenelle Reservoir in southwest Wyoming.

Republican Rep. Liz Cheney says the proposal now goes to the Senate for consideration.

The state's congressional delegation has been pressing for the legislation, saying that the expansion of the reservoir's storage is important to maintaining a reliable water supply in the region and would help boost the local economy.

The Bureau of Reclamation oversees operation of the Fontenelle Reservoir.

The proposed expansion would be accomplished by completing "rip rap" around the reservoir. Rip rap is a foundation or sustaining wall of stones or chunks of concrete connected together around the reservoir to prevent erosion.

Trooper accused of stalking woman

CHEYENNE (AP) -- Prosecutors say a 31-year-old Wyoming Highway Patrol trooper stalked a woman while on duty in his patrol vehicle.

Robert D. King has been charged with felony stalking, felony property destruction and misdemeanor protection order violation.

King, who remains in custody, had his first court appearance on Wednesday. Magistrate Ericka Smith set King's bail at $5,000 cash.

King's attorney, Alan Harding of Laramie, indicated King will contest the charges.

King has been on paid administrative leave from the patrol since Feb. 17.

Charging documents say a GPS system installed in King's patrol car shows that King constantly drove through the woman's neighborhood. They also accuse King of following the woman in his patrol car and keying a car outside her house.

First grizzly of season seen in park

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK (AP) -- Yellowstone National Park has confirmed its first sighting of a grizzly bear to have emerged from winter hibernation.

The National Park Service says the bear was spotted early Wednesday by a park employee in an area between Mammoth Hot Springs and Tower-Roosevelt in the northern part of the park.

Later in the morning, park staff saw two more grizzly bears scavenging carcasses in the northern part of the park.

Grizzly bear tracks have been observed in Yellowstone since Feb. 22 but no bears have been seen until now.

Cody company wants more state money

(AP) -- A Cody company is seeking about $940,000 in financial help from the state so it can beef up sales of its jerky products.

However, Wyoming Authentic Products previously benefited from state aid when it started up, and some believe the company should now foot the costs of expansion itself.

A sharply divided Wyoming Business Council last week approved the proposed project, which involves a $750,000 state grant and a state-arranged loan of about $190,000.

The Wyoming State Loan and Investment Board will make the final decision in April on whether to approve the request.

Wyoming Authentic Products benefited in the beginning of its operations when the local Cody economic development organization constructed the building that's now the jerky producer's home with the help of a $1.2 million state grant in 2011.

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