DEAD WILD RABBITS
Wyoming wildlife officials to test dead rabbits for disease
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming wildlife officials have asked residents to report dead rabbits in their yards, rural property and outdoor areas because a viral disease has been identified in several neighboring states. The Rock Springs Rocket-Miner reported that the Wyoming Game and Fish Department has tested carcasses statewide for Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus2 to monitor the spread of the disease. It does not pose a risk to humans. The disease has been confirmed in California, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Texas. It has not been found in Wyoming. Department veterinarian Samantha Allen says all rabbits and hares in Wyoming are susceptible to the disease, including domestic rabbits.
COVID-19 cancels Wyoming hunt amid Native American criticism
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — The coronavirus has prompted cancellation of a charity antelope hunt that has drawn teams of famous, powerful men to Wyoming and has been facing growing criticism that its ceremonies crudely and inaccurately appropriate Native American culture. The Lander One Shot Antelope Hunt has been held every year since 1944. Past participants include Peter Fonda, 16 astronauts and the governors of 30 states. The hunt raises millions of dollars for conservation-oriented causes but now faces criticism for associated ceremonies in which politicians have worn indigenous women’s headscarves designating them as “losers” of the event.
Wyoming governor: There will be no mask order
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon says there will be no statewide mask order despite record-high reported cases of the coronavirus. Gordon’s remarks Tuesday follow a two-week extension of public health orders that prohibit most gatherings of over 250 people. Neighboring Montana and Colorado have instituted statewide mask-wearing orders amid a summertime surge in the virus. Wyoming stays with Idaho, Nebraska and South Dakota by continuing to rely on people to wear masks on their own. Wyoming recorded 64 new cases of the coronavirus Tuesday, the most on any day since the pandemic began.
LAWSUIT CAMPAIGNING RESTRICTIONS
Wyoming libertarian group sues to campaign near poll centers
CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming’s leading libertarian think tank is suing the state for the right to campaign near polling centers. The Casper Star-Tribune reports the Wyoming Liberty Group will sue state Secretary of State Ed Buchanan and several Laramie County officials. The state currently prohibits campaigning of any kind within 100 yards of a polling place and within 100 feet of absentee polling locations. The law is intended to prevent voter intimidation. Similar restrictions are in place in every U.S. state. The libertarian advocacy group argues that the size of the buffer zones restricts free speech. A spokesman for Buchanan was not immediately available for comment.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-ENERGY DECLINE
US energy use hit 30-year low during pandemic shutdowns
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — U.S. energy consumption plummeted to its lowest level in more than 30 years this spring as the economy largely shut down due to the coronavirus. The decline reported Wednesday by the U.S. Energy Information Administration was driven by less demand for coal to produce electricity and oil that’s refined into gasoline and jet fuel. Overall energy consumption dropped 14 % during April. That’s the lowest monthly level since 1989 and the largest decrease that’s been recorded by the energy administration in records dating to 1973. The largest drop previously seen was in December 2001, after the Sept. 11 attacks shocked the economy and a mild winter depressed electricity demand.
Wyoming to distribute 500,000 face masks to schools
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming officials plan to distribute 500,000 face masks to school districts around the state to help schools reopen during the coronavirus pandemic. State officials said Monday the cloth face coverings will be washable and help school districts to meet safety standards for reopening schools this fall. The Wyoming Department of Health and Wyoming Office of Homeland Security obtained the face masks through the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Schools will get the face masks in early August. State health officials urge people to use face masks in public where it’s not possible or reasonable for people to stay at least 6 feet (2 meters) apart.