Feb 6, 2013 The Associated Press

Date set in superintendent lawsuit

CHEYENNE -- A judge will hear arguments on March 14 in a lawsuit filed by state Superintendent Cindy Hill that challenges a new law removing her as head of the Wyoming Department of Education.

Hill is seeking a preliminary injunction from District Judge Thomas Campbell. She contends the law is unconstitutional.

The law replaced the superintendent as administrator of the education agency with a director appointed by the governor.

The law took effect last week after passing the Legislature and being signed by Gov. Matt Mead.

Lawmakers and Mead said the law was necessary to put Wyoming's education reform efforts back on track and restore order to the Education Department.

Sinclair refinery faces citations

RAWLINS -- The Sinclair Oil refinery east of Rawlins is facing more safety violation citations and nearly $260,000 in fines.

The Wyoming Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued citations to the refinery at Sinclair in January for three incidents occurring last August. Some of the violations were categorized as "serious" along with six repeat violations.

A statement released by Sinclair Oil says the company is working urgently to make safety improvement and has hired five additional occupational safety professionals to address safety concerns.

Hayley Douglass of the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services said the citations resulted from a formal complaint made by an individual as well as a follow-up from earlier incidents.

The refinery has had numerous problems, including several fires last year.

Bill would allow year-round classes

CHEYENNE -- The state House of Representatives has passed a bill that would allow school districts to try year-round class schedules in hopes that students will better retain what they learn.

The bill passed on a 33-27 vote Tuesday and now heads to the Senate for consideration.

The proposal would give school districts the option of adopting a school year calendar with vacation breaks of no longer than three weeks. Districts would not have to increase the number of overall school days.

Supporters of the bill say shorter breaks would help better prepare Wyoming students for the world economy and note the year-round school calendar would be voluntary.

OSHA implements new energy rules

CHEYENNE -- Wyoming regulators are implementing a rule requiring workers within 75 feet of an oil or natural gas well bore to wear fire-resistant clothing.

The Wyoming Occupational Safety and Health Administration said Monday it is implementing the new rule, along with another rule mandating shut-off devices on diesel engines used on drilling rigs. Gov. Matt Mead signed both rules into effect Jan. 8.

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