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News of the West

Elko BLM rounds up 265 horses

ELKO – The Bureau of Land Management’s Elko District Office gathered and removed 265 excess wild horses from public land in the Antelope Valley HMA in eastern Nevada this summer.

The Antelope Valley HMA Wild Horse Gather began on July 23 and concluded on July 31. The BLM transported wild horses removed from the range to the Indian Lakes Off-Range Wild Horse and Burro Corral in Fallon, to be readied for the BLM’s wild horse and burro adoption program.

Un-adopted wild horses will be placed in long-term pastures where they will be humanely cared for and retain their “wild” status and protection under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act.

Vegas man gets prison for weapons of mass destruction

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A 41-year-old Las Vegas man was sentenced to four-to-10 years in state prison for stockpiling and using explosives in what police and prosecutors called a terrorism and weapons of mass destruction case. Nicolai Howard Mork’s sentencing on Thursday came after he pleaded guilty in June to lesser felony weapons and explosives component charges.

The plea came amid what Mork’s defense attorney, Nicholas Wooldridge, called a “witch hunt hysteria” following the Las Vegas Strip shooting last Oct. 1.

Mork holds a master’s degree in business from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He admitted setting small neighborhood explosions that prompted complaints to police who raided his home in December 2016. No one was injured by the blasts, but prosecutors maintained that Mork posed a risk of serious public injuries and damage.

Butch Cassidy Museum expands in Idaho

MONTPELIER, Idaho (AP) — The Butch Cassidy Museum in Montpelier, Idaho, is getting a face-lift.

The museum is the last standing bank that the infamous outlaw robbed. Between 5,000 and 6,000 people visit the museum in the 100 days it is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day, museum owner Radek Konarik said.

Because of that growth, the museum is expanding. One of the back rooms, which was used for storage, has been made into another room of the museum, where an 1800s-style jail has been added, KIFI-TV reported .

Another recent addition since the last Butch Cassidy Days festival last summer is the original bank vault.

“This bank door was buried in a basement for over 100 years,” Konarik said. “Where we are standing, it was an old bank which was closed in 1910. In 1910, the guy moved everything out of here into a bigger and better building across the street, which is Zion Bank today. And we work out a deal with them, and Zion Bank donated this vault to us so we can display this to the public.”

The new additions and features of the museum will be on display for Butch Cassidy Days from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. There will be a bank robbery reenactment at 3 p.m.

Bundy supporters sentenced to time served

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Two men from Idaho have been sentenced to no more time behind bars for pointing assault-style weapons toward heavily armed federal agents during an April 2014 standoff near Nevada cattleman Cliven Bundy’s ranch.

Scott Drexler and Eric Parker were sentenced Thursday in Las Vegas after pleading guilty last October to misdemeanor obstruction. They avoided a third trial with the chance of more time in federal custody.

During two trials, each was acquitted of some felony charges, but juries deadlocked on other counts.

Parker, of Hailey, Idaho, still has one year under federal supervision.

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Drexler, of Challis, Idaho, remains free without probation or supervision.

Each spent about 18 months in federal custody and stood trial on 10 felony counts that could have gotten him decades in prison.

Nevada governor names new PUC chairman

CARSON CITY (AP) — Gov. Brian Sandoval has appointed one of his former deputy chiefs of staff to serve as chairman of the Nevada Public Utilities Commission.

Sandoval said Friday Ann Wilkinson is an experienced attorney with extensive experience in both utility and administrative law. That includes a stint as assistant general counsel to the PUC, the regulatory body for Nevada’s utility industry.

She’ll fill out the unexpired term of former chairman Joe Reynolds.

Wilkinson was deputy chief of staff in the governor’s office from 2011-13. She has worked since May 2017 as the director of human resources at the National Council of Juvenile & Family Court Judges.

From 2015-16, she was chairman of the Nevada Transportation Authority.

Sandoval says he’s confident Wilkinson will be able to work closely with her fellow commissioners to balance the interests of customers and utility shareholders.

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