News of Riverton, Lander and Fremont County, Wyoming, from the Ranger's award winning journalists.
Apr 7, 2013 - The Associated Press
Man pleads guilty double fatal
CASPER -- A 20-year-old man accused of huffing "canned air" just before causing a crash in Casper that killed two of his passengers has pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated vehicular homicide.
Tanner Judd Vasquez entered his plea Thursday.
Authorities say he swerved into the oncoming lane on Bryan Stock Trail in the northern part of the city on Halloween evening 2011. The vehicle sideswiped another car at a stop sign and launched off the pavement and into a ditch at more than 50 mph.
Killed in the crash were 17-year-old Anthony Prince and 21-year-old Jeremy Conrad.
"Canned air" is used to blow dust off computer parts, but it also contains a chemical that is sometimes inhaled to get a high.
Governor headed to Middle East
CHEYENNE -- Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead is in the Middle East for a weeklong trip to meet with energy industry officials about research that's going on at the University of Wyoming.
Mead left Saturday, but he declined to say exactly where he's going because of security concerns. Mead says he'll be able to release more details on his trip when he returns late next week.
Mead says UW has been doing research that could have application to hydraulic fracturing -- the practice of pumping water, sand and chemicals underground to open oil and gas deposits.
Mead says he and UW officials plan to meet with energy company representatives on the trip and hope that they will provide support for the UW research.
Elk leaving refuge for Teton Park
JACKSON -- With the arrival of warmer temperatures, elk have begun migrating off the National Elk Refuge in northwest Wyoming.
Judging by recent anecdotal reports, the migration is in full swing for segments of the Jackson elk herd that summer in or near Grand Teton National Park.
Biologist Eric Cole says less than a third of the refuge's wintering elk and about half of the wintering bison remained visible on the refuge's south end by late last week.
The week before, refuge managers slowly phased out the distribution of supplemental feed.
Cole said that once the feeding is stopped, elk and bison make exploratory movements off the refuge into Grand Teton National Park.
Cole says if elk and bison remain on the refuge until late April or early May, it's custom to haze them on their way.