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Wyoming News Briefs

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Gov. Matt Mead is calling for a moment of silence and remembrance this morning to honor the victims of last weeks’ shooting rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Mead and governors across the country are calling for citizens to observe the moment of silence at 9:30 a.m. Mead is also asking government buildings and places of worship to ring bells 26 times in honor of those who died.

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A land conservation group says it needs to raise $750,000 by year’s end to buy out gas leases and prevent drilling in the Hoback River headwaters in western Wyoming. The Trust for Public Land announced in early October that it had agreed with Plains Exploration and Production to buy out the leases for $8.75 million, but have raised only $8 million. Deborah Love with the trust says extending the year-end deadline is not an option.

POWELL, Wyo. (AP) — A Utah man has pleaded guilty to holding up banks in Wyoming and three other states after being released from jail to go to the dentist. Thirty-two-year-old Joshua Beckstead pleaded guilty to five felony counts of bank robbery in federal court in Casper. The robberies occurred in Cody and Cheyenne as well as Montana, Oklahoma and Utah.

HELENA, Mont. (AP) __ A former judge has been appointed to oversee distribution of $1.5 billion to Native Americans in a government settlement over mismanaged land-trust royalties. U.S. District Judge Thomas Hogan named Richard Levie as special master of the distribution now under way in the nearly 17-year-old class-action lawsuit. He will be responsible for resolving disputes over eligibility in the next round of cash distributions.

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