CASPER CITY COUNCIL WILL DECIDE ON MOST, IF NOT ALL, REQUESTS FROM LOCAL NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS AND GOVERNMENTAL AGENCIES THAT APPLIED FOR OPTIONAL ONE-CENT SALES TAX REVENUES DURING A WORK SESSION AT CITY HALL AT 4:30 P.M. TODAY.

THE 41 ORGANIZATIONS AND AGENCIES MADE THEIR APPEALS LAST MONTH FOR ABOUT $13 MILLION IN THE APPROXIMATELY SIX MILLION DOLLARS THAT WOULD BE SET ASIDE FOR THE ESTIMATED $58 MILLION THE FIFTH-PENNY TAX WOULD RAISE OVER FOUR YEARS, IF NATRONA COUNTY VOTERS DECIDE TO RENEW IT DURING THE NOVEMBER GENERAL ELECTION.

BUT THAT NUMBER WAS QUICKLY WHITTLED AFTER COUNCIL DECIDED TO FOLD THE REQUESTS OF THE ORGANIZATIONS INCLUDING THE CASPER AREA TRANSPORTATION COALITION, THE NICOLAYSEN ART MUSEUM AND THE PLATTE RIVER TRAILS TRUST INTO THE APPROXIMATELY $52 MILLION THE CITY WILL ALLOCATE FOR THE RESIDENTS' PRIORITIES OF INFRASTRUCTURE.

SOME OF THE REQUESTS WERE DISQUALIFIED BECAUSE THEY WERE NOT LEGALLY ELIGIBLE.

MEANWHILE, CITY COUNCIL ASKED THE CITY'S STAFF TO REVIEW THE REQUESTS AND SUGGESTED TO THE STAFF TO NOT ALLOCATE FUNDS TO NEW NONPROFITS, GOVERNMENT AGENCIES THAT MAY RECEIVE OTHER FUNDING ELSEWHERE, AND TO TWO ORGANIZATIONS THAT SUBMITTED LATE APPLICATIONS.

THE CITY STAFF HONORED THOSE REQUESTS, AND PARED THE PROPOSED ALLOCATIONS TO $3 MILLION.

HOWEVER, AFTER ASKING THE STAFF TO DO THAT, COUNCIL MEMBERS COMPLICATED THE MATTER WHEN THEY SAID LAST WEEK THAT THEY WANTED TO VOTE FOR THEIR OWN RECOMMENDATIONS, TOO.

BUT ONLY SIX OF THE NINE COUNCIL MEMBERS RESPONDED, AND THE TOTAL AVERAGES OF THOSE REQUESTS AMOUNTED TO $3.4 MILLION.

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WILDFIRES REMAIN ACTIVE IN PARTS OF SOUTHERN AND WESTERN WYOMING THANKS TO CONTINUED DRY AND WINDY WEATHER.

SEVERAL NEW FIRES HAVE STARTED IN REMOTE AREAS OF WESTERN WYOMING IN THE LAST FEW DAYS. TWO RECREATIONISTS IN BRIDGER-TETON NATIONAL FOREST WERE OVERTAKEN BY ONE FAST MOVING FIRE AND TOOK REFUGE IN A CREEK. OFFICIALS SAY THEY WERE BOTH TAKEN TO A BURN CENTER IN SALT LAKE CITY WHERE THEIR CONDITIONS WEREN'T IMMEDIATELY AVAILABLE.

A FIRE REPORTED LATE SATURDAY NIGHT HAS BURNED NEARLY THREE SQUARE MILES OF FOREST LAND ALONG THE COLORADO AND WYOMING STATE LINE.

THE FIRE STARTED ON THE COLORADO IN THE MOUNT ZIRKEL WILDERNESS AND WAS PUSHED BY WINDS INTO THE MEDICINE BOW NATIONAL FOREST IN SOUTHERN WYOMING.

HUNTERS AND CAMPERS IN THE AREA WERE EVACUATED.
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THE WYOMING ATTORNEY GENERAL’S OFFICE WANTS A COURT TO DISMISS THE STATE'S RESIDENCY LAWSUIT AGAINST UNSUCCESSFUL REPUBLICAN GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE TAYLOR HAYNES.

WYOMING SECRETARY OF STATE ED BUCHANAN SAID MONDAY THAT HE HOPED A RULING IN THIS CASE WOULD SET A JUDICIAL PRECEDENT AND PROVIDE GUIDANCE ABOUT HIS OFFICE'S AUTHORITY RELATING TO CANDIDATE ELIGIBILITY, BUT HAYNES' LOSS IN THE AUGUST 21ST PRIMARY LEFT THE COURT WITHOUT AN ACTIVE LEGAL ISSUE TO CONSIDER.

INSTEAD, BUCHANAN SAID HE WILL SEEK A LEGISLATIVE SOLUTION TO THE CANDIDATE ELIGIBILITY QUESTION.

QUESTIONS AROSE ABOUT HAYNES' RESIDENCY IN JULY WHEN ALBANY COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY PEGGY TRENT RECEIVED A COMPLAINT IN JUNE AND BEGAN INVESTIGATING HIS RESIDENCY. THE NONPROFIT, INDEPENDENT NEWS ORGANIZATION WYOFILE PUBLISHED A REPORT THAT DELVED INTO THE RESIDENCY QUESTIONS.

HAYNES' PHONE NUMBER GOES TO A SMALL OFFICE BUILDING IN LARAMIE, AND CALL WAS NOT RETURNED.

THE WYOMING ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE ASKED THE LARAMIE COUNTY DISTRICT COURT TO RULE ON WHETHER HAYNES HAD LIVED IN THE STATE FOR FIVE CONTINUOUS YEARS BEFORE A GUBERNATORIAL ELECTION -- A REQUIREMENT MANDATED BY THE WYOMING CONSTITUTION FOR CANDIDATES FOR GOVERNOR.

HAYNES DEFENDED HIS CLAIM OF RESIDENCY AND CALLED THE ALLEGATIONS "DIRTY POLITICAL TRICKS."
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THE PRICE OF OIL WAS SLIDING IN THE LAST COUPLE OF WEEKS, BUT HAS RECOVERED NICELY.

MEANWHILE, GAS PRICES ARE FALLING A BIT AS WE HEAD INTO THE WINTER MONTHS.