LAS VEGAS (AP) - TWO MONTHS BEFORE HE OPENED FIRE ON A CONCERT IN LAS VEGAS FROM A 32ND-FLOOR ROOM OF A HOTEL AND KILLED 58 PEOPLE, STEPHEN PADDOCK BOOKED A ROOM AT A CHICAGO HOTEL THAT OVERLOOKS A PARK WHERE A MAJOR MUSIC FESTIVAL WAS HELD THAT WEEKEND, A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL SAID THURSDAY. THE OFFICIAL SAYS LAW ENFORCEMENT FOUND NO EVIDENCE THAT PADDOCK EVER CAME TO CHICAGO DURING THE WEEKEND OF LOLLAPALOOZA _ A MUSIC FESTIVAL THAT ATTRACTS HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE..

WASHINGTON (AP) - SOME SENIOR REPUBLICAN LAWMAKERS ARE STRAYING FROM THEIR USUAL OPPOSITION TO NEW GUN LAWS. THE SECOND-RANKING SENATE REPUBLICAN IS JOHN CORNYN OF TEXAS. CORNYN'S AMONG THOSE SAYING THEY'D CONSIDER BANNING "BUMP STOCKS" LIKE THE ONE THE LAS VEGAS SHOOTER APPARENTLY USED TO MAKE A SEMI-AUTOMATIC WEAPON WORK LIKE A FULLY-AUTOMATIC ONE. BUT IT DOESN'T MEAN CONGRESS IS LIKELY TO ACT. REPUBLICAN LEADERS IN THE HOUSE AND SENATE ARE MAKING CLEAR THEY HAVE OTHER PRIORITIES.

WASHINGTON (AP) - THE HOUSE HAS PASSED A $4.1 TRILLION BUDGET PLAN THAT PROMISES DEEP CUTS TO SOCIAL PROGRAMS AND CABINET AGENCY BUDGETS, BUT WHOSE CHIEF PURPOSE IS TO SET THE STAGE FOR A COMPREHENSIVE GOP OVERHAUL OF THE U.S. TAX CODE LATER THIS YEAR. THE MEASURE WON APPROVAL ALONG PARTY LINES. THE PLAN CALLS FOR MORE THAN $5 TRILLION IN SPENDING CUTS OVER THE COMING DECADE, INCLUDING A PLAN TO TURN MEDICARE INTO A VOUCHER-LIKE PROGRAM FOR FUTURE RETIREES, SLASH MEDICAID, AND REPEAL THE "OBAMACARE" HEALTH LAW.

HUNCHUN, CHINA (AP) - AMERICANS MAY HAVE BEEN UNWITTINGLY HELPING NORTH KOREA GET CASH AS IT DEVELOPS ITS NUCLEAR WEAPONS PROGRAMS BY BUYING SEAFOOD PROCESSED BY NORTH KOREAN WORKERS IN CHINA. AN AP INVESTIGATION HAS FOUND THAT AMERICAN COMPANIES INCLUDING WALMART AND ALDI HAVE EXPORTED SEAFOOD FROM CHINESE COMPANIES THAT EMPLOY NORTH KOREANS. THE U.S. COMPANIES NOW PROMISE TO EXAMINE THEIR SUPPLY CHAINS AND CRACK DOWN ON FORCED LABOR. THE NORTH KOREAN GOVERNMENT TAKES UP TO 70 PERCENT OF THE WORKERS' SALARIES.

UNDATED (AP) - THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT IS ASKING A FEDERAL COURT TO DISMISS A LAWSUIT CHALLENGING PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP'S MOVES TO CURTAIL MILITARY SERVICE BY TRANSGENDER PEOPLE. THE LAWSUIT WAS FILED ON BEHALF OF EIGHT TRANSGENDER INDIVIDUALS. THEY INCLUDE SERVICE MEMBERS IN THE AIR FORCE, COAST GUARD AND ARMY, AND STUDENTS IN THE NAVAL ACADEMY AND THE ROTC PROGRAM AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NEW HAVEN.

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A GILLETTE MAN FACES UP TO LIFE IMPRISONMENT AFTER PLEADING GUILTY TO TWO COUNTS OF PRODUCTION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY IN FEDERAL COURT TUESDAY.

CHARLES MATHISEN ENTERED THE PLEAS BEFORE CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT COURT JUDGE NANCY FREUDENTHAL IN CHEYENNE.

IN EXCHANGE FOR THE PLEAS, THE GOVERNMENT WILL ASK THAT TWO COUNTS OF POSSESSION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY AND FIVE OTHER COUNTS OF PRODUCTION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY WILL BE DISMISSED AT MATHISEN'S SENTENCING, WHICH FREUDENTHAL SET FOR DEC. 12.

CONVICTION OF PRODUCTION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY IS PUNISHABLE BY 35 YEARS TO LIFE IMPRISONMENT.

MATHISEN IS IN HIS EARLY 60S, WHICH MEANS HE PROBABLY WILL SPEND THE REST OF HIS LIFE BEHIND BARS.

HE ALSO MUST PAY A $5,000 FINE TO THE VICTIMS OF SEX TRAFFICKING ACT OF 2015.
COURT RECORDS SAY THE CASE BEGAN IN MAY 2016 WHEN THE GILLETTE POLICE DEPARTMENT BEGAN THE INVESTIGATION OF A SEXUAL ASSAULT OF A PREPUBESCENT GIRL.

POLICE EXECUTED AN ARREST WARRANT FOR MATHISEN, AND EXECUTED A SEARCH WARRANT ON HIS RESIDENCE AND SEIZED A COMPUTER, DIGITAL CAMERA, AND OTHER ELECTRONIC DEVICES.

VIDEOS ON THE ELECTRONIC DEVICES SHOW MATHISEN ENTICED A GIRL UNDER THE AGE OF NINE, AND A GIRL UNDER THE AGE OF SEVEN TO ENGAGE IN SEXUALLY EXPLICIT CONDUCT.

THE GOVERNMENT REGARDS CHILD PORNOGRAPHY AS A CRIME OF VIOLENCE BECAUSE IT INVOLVES SOMETIMES BRUTAL ASSAULTS ON CHILDREN WHO CANNOT GIVE CONSENT TO SEXUAL ACTIVITY.
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WYOMING STATE ECONOMIST JIM ROBINSON SAYS A NEW STATE ECONOMIC REPORT SEEMS TO BE MOSTLY GOOD NEWS. HE SAYS STATEWIDE SALES TAX COLLECTIONS FOR FISCAL YEAR 2018--WHICH STARTED ON JULY 1--ARE UP BY ALMOST 14 PERCENT, WITH SWEETWATER, SUBLETTE AND LARAMIE COUNTIES DOING ESPECIALLY WELL. HE SAYS THE NEWS ON NATRONA COUNTY IS SOMEWHAT MIXED..
AND WHILE THE REPORT IS MOSTLY GOOD NEWS, ROBINSON SAYS HE DOESN'T EXPECT MUCH CHANGE IN OIL AND GAS PRICES OVER THE NEXT COUPLE OF MONTHS OR SO.