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Oct 25, 2012 - The Associated Press

UW preps for budget reduction

LARAMIE -- University of Wyoming officials are leaving some staff and faculty positions vacant now in hopes of avoiding layoffs in the future.

UW President Tom Buchanan says the university is being proactive by preparing now for a possible $15 million-plus budget rollback from the state.

University vice presidents met earlier this month and reviewed 84 vacant, non-academic positions, choosing to hold 28 of them open until the budget picture and possible reduction becomes clearer.

The 28 vacant positions account for about $716,000 in annual salaries.

The university also is holding $1 million in annual faculty and academic professional salaries vacated in fiscal year 2012. The $1 million represents 12 unfilled faculty positions.

Man killed when hit by train

SHERIDAN -- Authorities say a train struck and killed a 61-year-old man who was walking on the tracks in Sheridan.

Police say David Lee Aller, of Sheridan, was killed when he was hit about 6 a.m. Tuesday by a Burlington Northern-Santa Fe train.

BNSF spokesman Gus Melonas says the train's crew spotted the man on the tracks but was unable to stop in time to avoid hitting him.

Melonas said the train operators sounded the horn several times and applied the emergency brakes.

It is the first Wyoming fatality on BNSF tracks since a 2011 death in Natrona County.

Sweetwater keeps wind farm ban

ROCK SPRINGS -- The Sweetwater County Commission has extended a moratorium on wind farms by six months.

The county's moratorium was set to expire in December, but the extension takes it to the beginning of next summer.

The county enacted the moratorium while it considered enacting wind farm regulations for issues such as noise.

The commission decided to extend the moratorium after it recently heard conflicting testimony from experts on proposed noise regulations.

Snow leaves slick roads, closures

CHEYENNE -- Travel is hazardous in much of southeast Wyoming after a snowstorm swept through the state.

The Wyoming Department of Transportation reports numerous slick roads, including Interstate 80 from the Nebraska state line to near Rawlins. Some sections of the infamous stretch of interstate were closed.

Black ice is a major problem in other areas, including Lusk and Douglas.

The National Weather Service reports most areas of central and southern Wyoming received 2 to 4 inches of snow. Mountain areas received up to 9 inches.

The Weather Service says the state will see widespread snow showers Thursday but little additional accumulation in the lower elevations.

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