NEWS BRIEFS for Friday, Aug. 14, 2020

Wyoming-based suicide prevention line opens

SHERIDAN (WNE) — A new Wyoming-based suicide prevention lifeline will strengthen the response available for state residents who find themselves in crisis, according to the Wyoming Department of Health.

“If you, or someone you know, is in immediate danger, the right thing to do is to call 911,” said Lindsay Martin, Injury and Violence Prevention Program manager with WDH.

“We know talking with someone about your thoughts and feelings can help save your life,” Martin said. “With lifeline options, people call or text to discuss lots of things: financial troubles, relationships, sexual identity, depression, illness and loneliness are a few examples.”

“We want anyone who is experiencing feelings of crisis or potentially suicidal thoughts to reach out. There are people willing to listen and help, and resources available,” Martin said.

Residents in crisis should call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Central Wyoming Counseling Center in Casper is operating the new Wyoming Lifeline with funding from WDH, which was approved earlier this year by the Wyoming Legislature and Gov. Mark Gordon.

For now, the Wyoming Lifeline call center will answer calls eight hours a day, five days a week. At other times, calls will be directed to backup call centers located across the country through the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

Martin said another option for residents looking for help and support is to text “WYO” to 741-741 for the Crisis Text Line.


EWC enrollment numbers down

TORRINGTON (WNE) – The numbers aren’t great, but they aren’t as bad as was first feared they’d be. 

As of Tuesday, it looked like Eastern Wyoming College could start the 2020 Fall Semester with 29 fewer students than at the opening of the 2019 term, Roger Humphrey, vice president for student services for the college, told the Board of Trustees during its regular meeting at the college in Torrington. 

According to the latest numbers, 720 students had registered at EWC by Aug. 11, 2019. By Tuesday, the day of the meeting, 691 students had registered for the fall 2020 semester at EWC. 

The greatest deficit was in dual and concurrent enrollment numbers, high school students who take classes at EWC to get a jump on their college career. 

Humphrey said 47 fewer students from partner high schools have signed up for the fall semester than a year ago, 124 compared to 171 in 2019. The good news is, the number of students who’ve registered for on campus classes is up slightly, which offset some of the dual/concurrent deficit, Humphrey said. 

As of Tuesday, 13 more degree-seeking students, both full- and part-time, had completed the registration process, Humphrey said – 524 versus 511 by the same time in 2019. 

The reduction in the number of dual and concurrent enrollment students can probably be blamed on a combination of uncertainty as school districts try to figure out what the 2020-21 school year is going to look like during a global pandemic and the sudden nature of the shutdown when the novel coronavirus first reared its head last spring, Humphrey said. 


Snake River Bridge restricted to one lane at night

JACKSON (WNE) — Truckers and haulers will be able to move heavier loads across the Snake River Bridge at night, a change to weight restrictions on the ailing span.

The Wyoming Department of Transportation will put up temporary signals at each end of the bridge connecting the east and west banks of the river via Highway 22. The signals will restrict traffic to one lane, allowing heavier loads than are allowed during daytime hours to cross at night.

Traffic will be restricted from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. seven days a week. WYDOT estimates motorists will experience delays of about one minute.

The signals will be in yellow-flash mode to allow two-way traffic during the day, and turn red, yellow or green at night for alternate one-way traffic.

WYDOT announced in May that the bridge was in need of repair. A routine inspection turned up problems with steel stringers under the bridge that had deteriorated as water and deicing salts leaked through expansion joints, causing corrosion. That led WYDOT to put weight limits on the bridge.

Haulers feared that would cut how much they could move over the bridge, doubling trips and increasing costs.

Mark Conner, the owner of C & C Trucking Inc., was concerned about the change in June but said Thursday the summer has been OK so far: “Things have gone smoother than I thought.”

Arrow shoved down throat of Lyman puppy

LYMAN (WNE) — On Thursday evening, Aug. 6, the Giles family dog, Milly, got loose. When Aaron Giles realized she was missing, he searched for Milly and found her about 20-30 minutes later behind the house and a group of teenagers were lingering by the town pavilion in Lyman. 

Giles shouted at the teens and asked them what they were doing. They ran off. When Giles got the family’s dog home, the family realized something was wrong with the dog. She had blood near her jaw and whimpered in pain. 

The Giles took the dog to the vet on Friday, Aug. 7, where the veterinarian took X-rays and discovered an arrow had been shoved down the dog’s throat. 

Hatches said they have had the dog for four and a half months, “but love her so much and are so sad that she had to experience such senseless brutality by this group of teenagers.” 

They filed a police report in hopes of catching who was responsible for this violent act against a defenseless little puppy.”

They are also asking everyone to share their story, and for help in finding who was responsible for the attack on their dog.