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Wyoming News Briefs

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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — The federal government will withhold more than $53 million in mineral payments from the state of Wyoming as part of the automatic federal budget cuts that started this month. Gov. Matt Mead says he received no advance warning before the state received word of the cuts this week. He called the federal government’s lack of communication unacceptable.

JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) — Grand Teton National Park will reduce its seasonal workforce, including hiring fewer search and rescue team members, to help meet federal spending cuts. The park’s plan to save $700,000 also includes furloughs, closed visitor centers and campgrounds and no snowplowing on at least four park roads this spring.

CODY, Wyo. (AP) — Police had to step in to restore calm as families traded expletives after a Cody man was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole for the screwdriver stabbing death of his wife. The Powell Tribune reports Myron Friday pleaded guilty to first-degree murder yesterday to avoid a death sentence. The paper reports the shouting match erupted between the families after the judge left.

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says no decision has been made on whether to strip stripping gray wolves of their federal protections nationwide. Environmental groups in the West say ending the protections would keep wolves from expanding their range back into states that could support them. Even if the Fish and Wildlife Service delists the predators, the agency said states would be free to cultivate their own wolf populations.

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