May 12, 2013 The Associated Press

BLM proposes horse roundup

RAWLINS -- The Bureau of Land Management is proposing a wild horse roundup in Wyoming in an area in Sweetwater and Carbon counties, from Interstate 80 south to the Colorado border.

The agency says the public can comment before June 10 on an environmental assessment of the proposed roundup, which would help the agency reduce conflicts between wild horses and private landowners in the area.

The BLM estimates there will be nearly 1,450 wild horses there by the summer. The BLM says the ideal population is between 861 and 1,165 wild horses.

It proposes gathering hundreds of horses in August, returning some of the mares to the area after they've been treated with a fertility control drug, and preparing other horses for sale or adoption.

Daniel Forgey named district judge

CHEYENNE (AP) -- Gov. Matt Mead has appointed Circuit Court Judge Daniel Forgey of Sweetwater County to serve as district judge in Natrona County.

Forgey will fill the seat vacated by Judge David Park, who is retiring. Forgey has served as circuit court judge since 2007.

Forgey has worked as staff attorney for Justice Barton Voigt at the Wyoming Supreme Court. Forgey also has worked as county and prosecuting attorney in Hot Springs County and as law clerk for former U.S District Judge William Downes.

Forgey received his law degree at the University of Wyoming.

Protester sues Jackson over arrest

CHEYENNE -- An anti-abortion protester has sued the Town of Jackson, saying it violated his rights when police arrested him as he preached on the town square in 2011.

Mark Holick, a pastor with the Kansas-based Spirit One Christian Center, filed suit in federal court in Cheyenne against the town and two of its police officers Thursday. Holick and Spirit One are seeking unspecified damages, alleging the arrest violated their civil rights.

Protesters with Operation Save America targeted Jackson two years ago because a doctor there had acknowledged performing abortions.

Holick's arrest came shortly after Jackson secured a state court order barring anti-abortion protesters from appearing on the town square. Protesters stationed themselves around the town, displaying pictures including some showing aborted fetuses.

The protest happened the same weekend as an auction of elk antlers that had been collected by Boy Scouts.

The Wyoming Supreme Court ruled last year that the court order banning anti-abortion protesters from the town square violated the rights of protesters, who weren't alerted in advance that the town had requested it.

"Assuming the town had established a compelling interest in the protection of its youth and in maintaining the peace, we would nonetheless find the temporary restraining order unconstitutional," Justice Michael Golden wrote in the majority court opinion issued last year.

Jackson Administrator Bob McLaurin said Friday that the town had not yet been served with Holick's lawsuit.

State rig count drops by one

HOUSTON -- Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs actively exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. rose by five this week to 1,769.

The Houston-based company said in its weekly report Friday that 1,412 rigs were exploring for oil and another 350 for gas. Seven were listed as miscellaneous. A year ago there were 1,974 active rigs.

Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, Texas gained seven from the previous week while Oklahoma and North Dakota increased by two. Louisiana lost two rigs while New Mexico, Wyoming and Pennsylvania each decreased by one. The number of rigs in California, Colorado and Kansas remained unchanged.

The overall U.S. rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981 and bottomed at 488 in 1999.

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