A SAME-SEX COUPLE WHO OWN A RESTAURANT IN WESTERN WYOMING HAVE FILED A FEDERAL LAWSUIT, CONTENDING THAT TOWN OFFICIALS DISCRIMINATED AGAINST THEM IN APPLYING LOCAL RULES AND CODES.

MARC AND RUSTY ANDRUS ASSERT IN THEIR LAWSUIT THAT THE TOWN OF THAYNE HAS VIOLATED THEIR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS TO EQUAL PROTECTION UNDER THE LAW AND DUE PROCESS.

THE LAWSUIT CONTENDS THE MAYOR AND TOWN COUNCIL HAVE INCONSISTENTLY, IF NOT ILLEGALLY, APPLIED RULES ABOUT RESTAURANTS, LIQUOR LICENSES, REGULATIONS, COUNCIL MEETING PROCEDURES, LAW ENFORCEMENT OTHER ISSUES SINCE THEY OPENED A RESTAURANT CALLED RUSTLERS MORE THAN TWO YEARS AGO.

THE ANDRUSES HAVE HAD TO CONTEND WITH ANTI-GAY SLURS IN PUBLIC MEETINGS, DRUNK PATRONS OF OTHER BARS ENTERING RUSTLERS, DRUNKS DRIVING THEIR VEHICLES THROUGH THE BUSINESS'S FENCE, AND NOT GIVING A PUBLIC NOTICE ABOUT A TOWN COUNCIL MEETING ABOUT THEIR BUSINESS.
THE LAWSUIT ARGUES THE CONDUCT WAS DRIVEN BY LOCAL CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS LEADERS.

THE LAWSUIT SAYS THAYNE OFFICIALS HAVE CONDUCTED THE MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT AS A THEOCRACY.

THAYNE MAYOR DELAND LAINHART AND THE ANDRUSES' ATTORNEY DECLINED TO COMMENT ON THE LAWSUIT.
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A CASPER WOMAN= CHARGED WITH FRAUDULENTLY OBTAINING STATE BENEFITS HAS DENIED THE SINGLE FELONY COUNT FILED AGAINST HER IN NATRONA COUNTY DISTRICT COURT.

ANGELEE KHRISTINA LEWALLEN PLEADED NOT GUILTY THURSDAY TO ONE COUNT OF OBTAINING GOODS BY FALSE PRETENSES. SHE COULD FACE UP TO 10 YEARS IMPRISONMENT AND A $10,000 FINE IF CONVICTED.

IN HER REPORT, A BENEFIT SPECIALIST WITH THE WYOMING DEPARTMENT OF FAMILY SERVICES DETAILED AN INTERVIEW SHE CONDUCTED WITH LEWALLEN, WHO HAD FILED FOR PUBLIC ASSISTANCE. WHEN DISCUSSING LEWALLEN'S UNEARNED INCOME, LEWALLEN REPORTEDLY SAID THE FATHER OF HER CHILDREN "GOES OUT OF HIS WAY TO MAKE THE [SIC] SURE THE KIDS HAVE WHAT THEY NEED."

LEWALLEN ALSO ALLEGEDLY SAID THE FATHER PAYS ALL THE HOUSEHOLD BILLS, PAYING UTILITY COMPANIES DIRECTLY, WITHOUT GIVING HER ANY MONEY.

THE DFS WORKER THEN MENTIONED CALLING THE FATHER FOR CLARIFICATION ON CONFLICTING STATEMENTS LEWALLEN REPORTEDLY MADE. LEWALLEN WAS ADAMANT THAT THE FATHER NOT BE CONTACTED.

LEWALLEN ENDED UP WRITING A STATEMENT, REQUESTING THAT HER PUBLIC ASSISTANCE CASE BE CLOSED.

AN INVESTIGATOR LATER CALLED THE CHILDREN'S FATHER AND ASKED WHETHER HE WAS AT WORK. THE FATHER SAID HE WAS NOT WORKING, BUT WAS WATCHING THE CHILDREN.

THREE DAYS LATER, A BANK EMPLOYEE CONFIRMED TO INVESTIGATORS THAT LEWALLEN WAS THE ONLY ACCOUNT HOLDER ON THE LEWALLEN BANK ACCOUNT WHO HAD A DEBIT CARD, AND TRANSACTIONS WERE BEING MADE WITH THAT CARD.

FOOD ASSISTANCE BENEFITS LISTED IN THE AFFIDAVIT TOTAL OVER $9,500.

LEWALLEN REMAINS FREE ON BOND PENDING TRIAL.

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THE WYOMING LEGISLATURE IS SCHEDULED TO CONSIDER A BILL THAT WOULD LOWER MOST FINES FOR SPEEDING IN WYOMING WHEN IT CONVENES NEXT MONTH.

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WYOMING'S TOP PUBLIC DEFENDER SAYS SOME OF HER OFFICES ARE SO OVERWORKED THAT THEY CAN'T FULFILL THEIR CONSTITUTIONALLY MANDATED DUTY TO PROVIDE LEGAL DEFENSE TO THOSE TOO POOR TO AFFORD A PRIVATE ATTORNEY.

DIANE LOZANO SAYS IF THE STATE LEGISLATURE DOESN'T GRANT MORE STAFF POSITIONS, HER ATTORNEYS ARE GOING TO HAVE TO START REFUSING CASES.

LOZANO MADE THE COMMENTS THURSDAY IN TESTIMONY TO THE WYOMING LEGISLATURE'S JOINT APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE.

A BUDGET REQUEST FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 2019-20 BIENNIUM ASKS FOR AN ADDITIONAL LAWYER IN EIGHT OF THE 14 TRIAL OFFICES ACROSS THE STATE; A NEW ATTORNEY IN THE OFFICE THAT HANDLES APPEALS; AND MORE STAFF IN EACH OF THE NINE OFFICES.

GOV. MATT MEAD RECOMMENDED APPROVING FOUR NEW ATTORNEYS AND FOUR NEW SUPPORT STAFF.

REPORTING FROM CHEYENNE ... I'M JOY GREENWALD.
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WORLAND, WYO. (AP) - A PROPOSAL TO KEEP WYOMING ON DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME YEAR-ROUND IS BACK BEFORE THE STATE LEGISLATURE.

REPUBLICAN REP. DAN LAURSEN OF POWELL HAS PRE-FILED A BILL THAT WOULD KEEP WYOMING FROM REVERTING TO STANDARD TIME FROM NOVEMBER THROUGH FEBRUARY.

LAURSEN SAYS HE DOESN'T LIKE CHANGING THE CLOCKS.

REPUBLICAN REP. MIKE GREEAR, OF WORLAND, OPPOSED A SIMILAR PROPOSAL LAST YEAR.

GREEAR SAYS IF WYOMING ADOPTED LAURSEN'S IDEA IT WOULD BE ISOLATED FOUR MONTHS OF THE YEAR UNLESS NEIGHBORING STATES ALSO MADE THE SWITCH.

BUT LAURSEN ARGUES NEIGHBORING STATES MIGHT MAKE A CHANGE IF WYOMING DOES.

LAURSEN'S BILL WILL REQUIRE TWO-THIRDS VOTE FOR INTRODUCTION DURING THE UPCOMING BUDGET SESSION OF THE WYOMING LEGISLATURE IN CHEYENNE.

THE SESSION BEGINS FEB. 12.