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Sep 4, 2012 The Associated Press

Wyoming soda ash exports rise

LARAMIE -- Exports of Wyoming soda ash were up the first half of this year.

Marion Loomis is executive director of the Wyoming Mining Association. He says about half of Wyoming soda ash production is going to Mexico, Canada and Asian and South American countries.

Typically only about one-third of Wyoming's production is exported.

Loomis said the suffering US economy explains the lower domestic demand for soda ash, which is used to make glass, detergents and home building products.

Wyoming is the nations top producers of torn, which is refined into soda ash, but competition internationally is strong with synthetic torn manufactured in China.

Observatory gets upgrades

LARAMIE -- The Wyoming Infrared Observatory on Jelm Mountain is getting final touches on upgrades made possible by a $750,000 grant from NASA.

Earlier this month, a high-speed microwave Internet connection was installed, connecting the observatory with the University of Wyoming campus in Laramie.

Project manager Jerry Bucher said officials will be able to control the telescope and download image data from the telescope to any remote location.

People on campus will be able to use the telescope from campus.

The new Internet connection is important for the operation of a new wide-band imaging camera that will be delivered and installed over the coming weeks.

Low diesel prices drawing drivers to Cheyenne pumps

CHEYENNE -- Truck drivers are flocking to Cheyenne to fill up their tanks because of its low diesel prices.

Filling stations at exit 7 on Interstate 25 were packed with truckers over the holiday weekend. Diesel is selling at around $4 a gallon, among the lowest in the country. Some locations were below $4 on Tuesday.

Some truckers said they had driven as much as 50 miles out of their way to fill up. Others plan their route to include a fill up in Cheyenne.

Harold Collins bought 200 gallons of fuel on Monday and said he saved between $60 and $70 by coming to Cheyenne.

Diesel traditionally was priced lower than gasoline, but in recent years those positions have switched.

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