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were convicted by a jury in July 2016 of five counts of child abuse and one count of abuse of a vul

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UW considers lowering out-of-state tuition

LARAMIE — The University of Wyoming may consider reducing its tuition for out-of-state students in an effort to increase its enrollment.

The university’s ongoing capacity study points to appealing to prospective students from neighboring states, especially people from Nebraska and Colorado, as a way to grow.

The study by Huron Consulting Group suggests lowering the current $15,500 baseline tuition for out-of-state residents to about $10,000.

The study says that increasing the university’s housing capacity would likely help draw in more students as well.

According to the study, the university currently has capacity for up to 1,700 more students with residential capacity being the greatest limiting factor for expansion.

Green River Chamber fires CEO

GREEN RIVER — The Green River Chamber of Commerce terminated Irene Parsons as its CEO. Parsons held the job for four months.

“The Green River Chamber Board has determined that Irene Parsons was not an appropriate fit for the Green River Chamber,” Laura Meeks, the chamber board secretary, said.

In September, Irene Parsons talked about her excitement about leading the economic development organization. She said she wanted to work locally after coming from Sen. John Barrasso’s office.

Lisa Herrera is now in charge. The interim CEO was previously the chamber’s finance and membership manager.

Meeks said she had nothing to add to a press release.

Park County lodging taxes gain in fall

CODY — Late-year visitation has boosted Park County lodging tax collections after a slow start to the tourist season last spring.

“Month-to-date, we rocked it,” said Park County Travel Council member Sandy Newsome recently.

Lodging taxes for the county for November were $111,165 compared to November of 2016 when they were $92,716, for an increase of 20 percent.

The year-to-date total showed a jump of $108,513 in lodging taxes over the same time last year.

That represents a 5 percent overall increase for the year before December’s totals are factored in.

“That’s a welcome change from where we were earlier in the year,” Newsome said.

Couple convicted of child abuse appeal

CHEYENNE — A Wyoming couple is appealing to the state Supreme Court after being convicted of child abuse.

Emily and Dennis Larkins, of Cheyenne, were convicted by a jury in July 2016 of five counts of child abuse and one count of abuse of a vulnerable adult.

The two maintain their innocence.

They appealed in May, asking for a new trial. They allege their attorneys were ineffective.

The state Supreme Court will decide whether a new trial is necessary.

Dennis Larkins, who had a felony criminal history, was sentenced to three to five years in prison followed by five years of supervised probation.

Emily Larkins was sentenced to 18 to 36 months in prison followed by five years of supervised probation.

Montana

Fire destroys ag equipment business

HAVRE — A weekend fire destroyed an agricultural equipment business in north-central Montana.

Big Equipment Co. owner Ron Harmon says that while the business west of Havre is a total loss after the Christmas Eve fire, it is insured and he plans to rebuild. The business employs 32 people.

The fire started at about 2:30 p.m. Sunday. The fire destroyed the 38,000-square-foot facility along with a combine and several tractors.

South Dakota

Deadwood casino revenue down in ’17

DEADWOOD — The South Dakota Commission on Gaming says revenue for Deadwood casinos is down 2 percent so far this year compared to the first 11 months of 2016.

The commission released figures Friday showing revenues through November 2017 are at just over $1 billion.

Despite the overall decrease, November’s revenues of $80.1 million were a slight increase compared to November last year.

Table games approved by state lawmakers in 2015 were also up by about 6 percent this November compared to last year and brought in nearly $5 million for the month. Table games include blackjack, poker, and craps.

Slot machines make up the majority of gaming in Deadwood and brought in $75.2 million in November.

Utah

Deputy breaks frozen pond to rescue boy

NEW HARMONY — A sheriff’s deputy in southern Utah punched through a frozen pond on Christmas Day to rescue a drowning 8-year-old boy.

Washoe County Sheriff’s Lt. David Crouse says the boy was chasing his dog at about 5 p.m. Monday when another child saw him fall through the ice on a pond in New Harmony north of St. George.

He says sheriff’s Sgt. Aaron Thompson broke a path through the ice until he was close enough to dive in and locate the boy about 25 feet from the shoreline.

Crouse says the boy was airlifted to Dixie Regional Medical Center in St. George where his condition has not been released.

The deputy also has been hospitalized with cuts and bruises and symptoms of hypothermia.

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