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Aug 7, 2012 - The Associated Press

State moves to stop PAWS for juniors

CASPER -- Wyoming is moving ahead with plans to eliminate a state proficiency exam for high school juniors next year even though federal education officials say the state should keep it.

The state board of education voted on Monday to amend a contract with its testing company to remove the Proficiency Assessments for Wyoming Students, or PAWS, for high school juniors.

Earlier this year, the state Legislature directed the education department to discontinue the PAWS test for juniors and replace it with the ACT.

Wyoming students have protested over the years that the PAWS test is too long. The 2010 test was plagued with software problems.

The U.S. Department of Education has asked the state to administer both PAWS and ACT for one more year to collect data.

Landslide closes road in Snowy Range

SARATOGA -- A road in the Snowy Range is closed while crews repair damage from a landslide.

The Cedar Pass Road, also called Forest Road 261, on the northwest side of the Snowies, is closed starting Monday.

The closure means visitors will be unable to drive the full length of the 261 Road, which encircles Kennaday Peak. The work is expected to be complete by Sept. 1, in time for Labor Day weekend and the start of bowhunting.

Body of drowned Utah boy found

BYRON -- The body of a 9-year-old Utah boy who fell in the South Fork of the Shoshone River after being thrown from a horse last month has been found.

Park County sheriff Scott Steward said the body of Tyler Hatch was found Sunday afternoon by two searchers in kayaks.

The boy from Eagle Mountain was camping with his family on July 2 near Powell and was thrown while trying to cross the river.

He was spotted submerged in the river hours later in an area with 450-foot high cliffs and a helicopter wasn't able to land there. His body was recovered about three-quarters of a mile downstream from there.

The area has been searched several times but the water levels have dropped significantly since Tyler was swept away.

Mead appoints two to Arts Council

CHEYENNE -- Governor Matt Mead has appointed two new board members to the Wyoming Arts Council Board. The governor also has reappointed two returning members.

The new board members are Erin Taylor of Cheyenne, executive director of the Wyoming Taxpayers Association; and Holly Turner of Casper, executive director of the Trails Center Foundation.

The reappointed board members are Janelle Fletcher-Kilmer of Laramie and Neil Hansen of Powell. Fletcher-Kilmer is director of Fine Arts Outreach at the University of Wyoming. Hansen is chairman of the Music Department at Northwest College.

Two people are stepping down from the board: artist and retired arts educator Ila Miller of Aladdin and David Neary of Lander, technical director of the Wyoming Shakespeare Festival Company.

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