The Wayward West

  Two years ago, Earl Shumway became notorious by bragging about looting archaeological artifacts and then receiving the most severe prison term yet for this crime - 78 months. Now, a U.S. appeals court has decided that the sentencing was too severe for Shumway's crime of pillaging an Anasazi infant's burial blanket, among other grave goods. The judge cut 15 months off his sentence ...


The nation's largest conservative religious group has asked two Western politicians to fill the shoes of executive director Ralph Reed. Washington's former Republican Rep. Randy Tate, who did not win re-election last November, will become the executive director of the Christian Coalition. Coloradan Donald Hodel, secretary of Energy and then Interior under Reagan, was named president. Reed is leaving to start a political consulting firm ...


Wyoming has a new endangered species - the working ranch, Gov. Jim Geringer told the Wyoming Stock Growers Association. Hobby ranches and subdivisions are putting ranchland in peril, says Geringer ...


The Forest Service is wasting time trying to recruit minority workers in her state, says Idaho Republican Rep. Helen Chenoweth in the Idaho Spokesman-Review, because "the warm-climate community just hasn't found the colder climate that attractive." Accused of perpetuating northern Idaho's image as a haven for bigots and racists, Chenoweth said she "didn't mean to offend anybody" ...


Meanwhile, in Idaho's panhandle some 30 dissidents are working on seceding from the Union. The members of the Benewah County Safety Committee say since they live in the Republic of Idaho, they don't need to pay taxes. Their chairman, Hari Heath, who calls himself a back-to-the-land greenie, leads the group in meetings of "Our One Supreme Court in and for Benewah County" at a local pizza parlor ...


Former vice president Dan Quayle hopes a Western address will help him win the Republican nomination for president in the year 2000. He recently opened Campaign America in Scottsdale, Ariz.


* Heather Abel