WASHINGTON (AP) - RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER SERGEY LAVROV SAYS HE IS SURPRISED THAT DONALD TRUMP JR. IS FACING CONTROVERSY FOR MEETING WITH A RUSSIAN LAWYER DURING THE 2016 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN. SPEAKING AT A NEWS CONFERENCE IN BRUSSELS, LAVROV SAID DIDN'T HE UNDERSTAND WHY THE MEETING, WHICH TRUMP JR. HAS ACKNOWLEDGED, WAS BECOMING SUCH A LARGE ISSUE.

WASHINGTON (AP) - ALTHOUGH PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP HASN'T BEEN SEEN IN PUBLIC THIS WEEK, PEOPLE WHO'VE TALKED TO HIM SAY HE'S RAGING ABOUT THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS ON RUSSIA, WITH MOST OF THE ANGER AIMED AT THE MEDIA AND NOT HIS SON. THE PRESIDENT HAS TWEETED THAT HIS SON WAS "OPEN, TRANSPARENT AND INNOCENT" AND AGAIN CALLED THE PROBE "THE GREATEST WITCH HUNT IN POLITICAL HISTORY." WHITE HOUSE STAFFERS ARE USED TO RUSSIA OVERSHADOWING OTHER NEWS. BUT AIDES AND ADVISERS SAY THE NEW DEVELOPMENTS FELT MORE SERIOUS.

WASHINGTON (AP) - PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP'S PICK FOR FBI HEADS TO A PIVOTAL CONFIRMATION HEARING WEDNESDAY. CHRISTOPHER WRAY WILL LIKELY FACE QUESTIONS THAT FOCUS ON HOW HE WILL STAY INDEPENDENT FROM A PRESIDENT SAID TO HAVE DEMANDED LOYALTY FROM HIS PREDECESSOR AND APPEARED INSENSITIVE TO THE TRADITIONALLY BRIGHT BOUNDARY BETWEEN THE WHITE HOUSE AND THE FBI. WRAY IS TO APPEAR BEFORE THE SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE. THE FORMER JUSTICE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL WOULD SUCCEED JAMES COMEY.

ITTA BENA, MISS. (AP) - INVESTIGATORS ARE COMBING MISSISSIPPI SOYBEAN FIELDS FOR CLUES IN A MILITARY PLANE CRASH THAT KILLED 15 MARINES AND A NAVY SAILOR. DEBRIS WAS SCATTERED FOR MILES ACROSS THE FLAT COUNTRYSIDE. THE GOVERNOR WARNED PEOPLE TUESDAY NOT TO REMOVE DEBRIS FROM THE CRASH SITE. THE MONDAY DISASTER WAS THE DEADLIEST MARINE CRASH ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD IN MORE THAN A DECADE. THE MARINE CORPS SAYS SIX OF THE MARINES AND THE SAILOR WERE FROM AN ELITE MARINE RAIDER BATTALION AT CAMP LEJEUNE, NORTH CAROLINA.

TERNI, ITALY (AP) - STUNNED THAT THE BERLIN MARKET ATTACK SUSPECT SPENT TIME IN ITALIAN JAILS, ITALY IS TURNING TO IMAMS TO DISCOURAGE RADICALIZATION AMONG MUSLIM INMATES. SO FAR, ITALY HAS CONCENTRATED ON REPRESSION TO FIGHT EXTREMISM. BUT NOW THE COUNTRY IS TRYING PREVENTION SO ITS PRISONS DON'T BECOME BREEDING GROUNDS FOR EXTREMISTS, AND THE PREACHERS ARE PART OF THE FLEDGLING STRATEGY AS ITALY HOPES TO REDUCE THE RISKS OF AN ATTACK.
==================================

THE NATRONA COUNTY COMMISSION LAST WEEK APPROVED A STATUS QUO, $47.2 MILLION BUDGET FOR THE 2017-2018 FISCAL YEAR.

BEFORE THE COMMISSIONERS VOTED, COUNTY CLERK RENEA VITTO OUTLINED HOW IT WILL AFFECT OPERATIONS AND COUNTY RESIDENTS.

THE BUDGET DOES NOT INCLUDE ANY RAISES FOR EMPLOYEES.

IT IS $4 MILLION LESS THAN THE BUDGET FOR THE FISCAL YEAR THAT ENDED JUNE 30.

COMMISSIONER ROB HENDRY SAID NATRONA COUNTY IS IN BETTER SHAPE THAN MANY OTHER COUNTIES, ALL OF WHICH HAVE BEEN HIT HARD BY THE DOWNTURN IN THE STATE'S ENERGY SECTOR.

THE REVENUES COME FROM THE GENERAL FUNDS MOSTLY FROM SALES AND PROPERTY TAXES, THE COUNTY ROAD FUND, AND RESTRICTED FUNDS FROM REVENUES AT THE LAKES.

THE LARGEST SINGLE EXPENDITURE IS $18.4 MILLION FOR LAW AND ORDER INCLUDING THE SHERIFF'S OFFICE, THE ADULT AND JUVENILE JAILS, AND EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT.
=======================================
CHEYENNE, WYO. (AP) - FIREFIGHTERS HAVE GAINED 10 PERCENT CONTAINMENT ON A FIRE BURNING IN THE MEDICINE BOW NATIONAL FOREST IN SOUTHEAST WYOMING.

MODERATE WEATHER CONDITIONS AND LESS INTENSE FIRE BEHAVIOR OVER THE LAST COUPLE OF DAYS ALLOWED FIREFIGHTERS TO EXTEND AND IMPROVE CONTROL LINES SURROUNDING THE FIRE.

THE FIRE THAT BEGAN LAST WEEK HAS BURNED ABOUT 3 SQUARE MILES (8 SQUARE KILOMETERS) OF TIMBER. IT HAS FORCED THE EVACUATION OF THE SMALL COMMUNITIES OF KEYSTONE, RAMBLER, LAKE CREEK AND MOORES GULCH AND CLOSED NEARBY CAMPING AREAS IN THE FOREST.

ABOUT 560 FIREFIGHTERS ARE WORKING TO SUPPRESS THE FIRE.

THE CAUSE OF THE FIRE IS UNDER INVESTIGATION.