GUANTANAMO BAY, CUBA (AP) - U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY JIM MATTIS IS VISITING THE AMERICAN NAVY BASE AT GUANTANAMO BAY, CUBA. IT'S THE FIRST TRIP THERE BY A PENTAGON CHIEF SINCE 2002. THE TRIP COMES AMID UNCERTAINTY OVER THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION'S POLICY ON CONTINUED USE OF THE MILITARY PRISON. MATTIS ARRIVED WEDNESDAY EVENING. AN ASSOCIATED PRESS REPORTER ACCOMPANIED HIM. HE'S VISITING SPECIFICALLY TO OFFER CHRISTMAS GREETINGS TO U.S. TROOPS, NOT TO TOUR THE DETENTION FACILITIES OR TO DISCUSS DETAINEE POLICY OPTIONS.
SYDNEY (AP) - POLICE SAY THE DRIVER OF A VEHICLE THAT RAMMED INTO PEDESTRIANS IN MELBOURNE IS AN AUSTRALIAN CITIZEN OF AFGHAN DECENT WHO HAS A KNOWN HISTORY OF DRUG USE AND MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES. POLICE SAID IN NEWS CONFERENCE LATE THURSDAY THAT THERE WAS NO EVIDENCE OR INTELLIGENCE TO INDICATE THAT THE INCIDENT WAS CONNECTED TO TERRORISM, BUT THEY BELIEVE THE ACT WAS DELIBERATE. THEY SAID COUNTER-TERROR OFFICIALS WOULD REMAIN INVOLVED IN THE INVESTIGATION TO BE SURE THERE WAS NO CONNECTION.

WASHINGTON (AP) - THE U.S. ECONOMY GREW AT A 3.2 PERCENT ANNUAL RATE FROM JULY THROUGH SEPTEMBER, SLIGHTLY SLOWER THAN PREVIOUSLY ESTIMATED BUT STILL ENOUGH TO GIVE THE COUNTRY THE BEST BACK-TO-BACK QUARTERLY GROWTH RATES IN THREE YEARS. THE COMMERCE DEPARTMENT SAYS THE THIRD QUARTER GROWTH WAS REVISED DOWN SLIGHTLY FROM LAST MONTH'S ESTIMATE OF 3.3 PERCENT. THAT CHANGE REFLECTS SLIGHTLY LESS SPENDING BY CONSUMERS, WHICH WAS OFFSET SOMEWHAT BY INCREASED SPENDING BY STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS.
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TWO DEFENDANTS IN A LOCAL DRUG CASE RECEIVED SENTENCES WEDNESDAY ON CHARGES RELATED TO THE ALLEGED MULTI-STATE PRESCRIPTION DRUG CONSPIRACY ORGANIZED BY FORMER CASPER DR. SHAKEEL KAHN.

NATRONA COUNTY DISTRICT COURT JUDGE DANIEL FORGEY SENTENCED WILEMINA LONGTINE TO ONE TO FIVE YEARS OF SUPERVISED PROBATION FOR CONSPIRACY TO DISTRIBUTE OXYCODONE.

FORGEY ALSO SENTENCED MARTHA ZITTERKOPF TO THREE TO FIVE YEARS OF SUPERVISED PROBATION FOR CONSPIRACY TO DELIVER OXYCODONE AND XANAX.

LONGTINE AND ZITTERKOPF WERE AMONG 10 DEFENDANTS WHO HAVE PLEADED GUILTY.

UNTIL RECENTLY, FIVE OTHERS HAD NOT BEEN ARRESTED.

BUT AFTER THE SENTENCINGS, ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY TREVOR SCHENK SAID TWO OF THEM WERE ARRESTED AND CHARGED WITH CONSPIRACY TO DELIVER OXYCODONE AND XANAX.

SCHENK SAID FAITH WASHAKIE AND JOSEPH WASHAKIE WAIVED THEIR PRELIMINARY HEARINGS ON TUESDAY AND WERE BOUND OVER FOR TRIAL IN DISTRICT COURT.

LOCAL, STATE AND FEDERAL AGENCIES DISCOVERED THE DEFENDANTS DURING THE INVESTIGATION OF SHAKEEL KAHN AND HIS WIFE, LYN, WHO ARE CHARGED IN FEDERAL COURT WITH MULTIPLE COUNTS RELATED TO PRESCRIBING EXCESSIVE AMOUNTS OF CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES, MOSTLY OPIATES.

FOR EXAMPLE, ZITTERKOPF TOLD LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENTS SHE WOULD PAY KAHN $500 FOR A PRESCRIPTION OF WHATEVER SHE WANTED.

THE KAHNS WERE ARRESTED IN CASPER A YEAR AGO AND THEY AND OTHER DEFENDANTS ARE AWAITING TRIAL IN FEDERAL COURT.
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THE U.S. FOREST SERVICE HAS WITHDRAWN SNOWMOBILE USE MAPS FOR TWO NATIONAL FORESTS IN IDAHO AND PART OF ANOTHER IN WYOMING AFTER ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS SAID THE MAPS VIOLATE THE FEDERAL AGENCY'S REGULATIONS AND ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS.

THE FOREST SERVICE LAST WEEK WITHDREW THE OVER-SNOW VEHICLE USE MAP FOR THE TETON DIVISION OF THE BRIDGER-TETON NATIONAL FOREST IN WYOMING.

THE AGENCY ALSO WITHDREW THE MAPS FOR THE PAYETTE NATIONAL FOREST AND BOISE NATIONAL FOREST IN IDAHO.

BUT THE AGENCY SAYS THERE WILL BE NO CHANGE TO OVER-SNOW MOTOR VEHICLE USE IN THOSE AREAS THIS WINTER.

WINTER WILDLANDS ALLIANCE AND OTHERS IN A LAWSUIT FILED EARLIER THIS YEAR SAY THE MAPS ARE OUTDATED AND AREN'T RESTRICTIVE ENOUGH FOR SNOWMOBILES THAT HAVE BECOME MORE NUMEROUS AND POWERFUL IN RECENT YEARS.
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CENSUS FIGURES SHOW THAT FROM 2016 TO 2017, WYOMING SAW ITS LARGEST POPULATION DECREASE SINCE 1989.

ACCORDING TO A NEWS RELEASE FROM CHIEF ECONOMIST WENLIN LIU, WYOMING'S POPULATION FELL BY NEARLY 5,600 FROM JULY 2016 TO JULY 2017. WYOMING'S DECLINE RATE OF ONE PERCENT WAS THE STEEPEST IN THE NATION DURING THE 12-MONTH PERIOD.

THE NATURAL INCREASE WAS 2,666 OVER THAT PERIOD. HOWEVER, ROUGHLY 8,300 MORE PEOPLE LEFT WYOMING THAN MOVED INTO THE STATE.

THAT'S ROUGHLY DOUBLE THE NET MIGRATION FIGURE FROM THE PREVIOUS YEAR, WHICH WAS NEGATIVE 4,000.

ALTHOUGH THE MINING INDUSTRY, INCLUDING OIL AND GAS EXTRACTION, IN WYOMING ADDED OVER 1,000 JOBS FROM MID-2016 TO MID-2017, NEARLY ALL OTHER SECTORS OF THE STATE'S ECONOMY STILL SAW JOB LOSSES, LED BY CONSTRUCTION AND GOVERNMENT.

OVERALL PAYROLL EMPLOYMENT DURING THE PERIOD SHRUNK BY 3,600 PEOPLE, OR 1.3 PERCENT, WHICH WAS THE WORST IN THE NATION.

MEANWHILE, IN NEIGHBORING STATES SUCH AS IDAHO, COLORADO AND UTAH, THE LABOR MARKET CONTINUED TO EXPAND, DRAWING PEOPLE AWAY FROM WYOMING.