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Dec 27, 2012 - The Associated Press

State has fourth-fastest growth rate

LARAMIE -- Wyoming has 6,000 more new residents than it did a year ago, giving the Cowboy State the fourth-highest population growth rate in the country.

The State Economic Analysis division says the newcomers moved to Wyoming between July 2011 and July 2012.

Division senior economist Wenlin Liu said the migration is likely due to Wyoming's healthy job market, especially in the oil and gas industry. There are also more construction jobs because of a turnaround in the housing market.

The state's unemployment rate is about 5.4 percent, compared with 8 percent nationally.

The last U.S. Census in 2010 found that Wyoming's population grew 14 percent to reach 563,000 people.

Wolf hunt area closed

CHEYENNE -- A wolf hunt area northwest of Cody is closed now that hunters have killed the local limit of four wolves.

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department closed Hunt Area One on Wednesday.

Wyoming's first wolf hunting season since the federal government reintroduced wolves to the Yellowstone ecosystem in the 1990s is almost over. The season is scheduled to end Monday.

The statewide limit for the hunt season is 52 wolves. As of Wednesday, hunters had killed 40 wolves since the season began in October.

Man accused of threat on school

MISSOULA, Mont. -- Police say a 19-year-old Montana man has been arrested for making threats against a school in Gillette.

Missoula County Sheriff's Detective Jason Johnson says Erik Sven Wengren was arrested Friday and charged with disorderly conduct.

Johnson says Wengren made multiple threats on Facebook that he was going to the school to shoot people. He told people who responded to him on the website that he was not kidding.

However, Johnson says Wengren told sheriff's detectives that he was joking.

Wengren has a relative who attends the Wyoming school.

Wengren is scheduled to appear Thursday in Missoula Justice Court.

Pig farm draws complaints

CHEYENNE -- An undercover probe of a pig farm near Wheatland by the Humane Society of the United States has resulted in misdemeanor charges against nine former workers.

The Platte County Attorney's Office filed the charges in recent weeks. Officials are still attempting to serve some defendants.

The Humane Society last summer released what it said is an undercover video, shot in April, showing workers abusing pigs at Wyoming Premium Farms in Wheatland. The society also claimed animals at the farm were kept in what it called inhumane conditions.

"The Humane Society of the United States applauds the Wyoming Livestock Board and the Platte County Attorney's Office for their serious attention to cruelty to animals, including animals raised for food," said Adam Parascandola, director of animal cruelty response for the Humane Society.

Attempts to reach Platte County Attorney Eric Jones for comment were unsuccessful. His office said Wednesday he has a policy of not commenting on pending cases.

Livestock Board Director Leanne Correll was unavailable for comment, her office said Wednesday. The board investigated the complaint from the Humane Society.

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