NEWS BRIEFS for Monday, Jan. 14, 2020

From Wyoming News Exchange newspapers

DA plans charges against woman who had 61 animals

CASPER (WNE) — The Natrona County District Attorney’s office is planning to file charges against a Casper woman who had 61 animals removed from her home last week.

“We’re looking into the appropriate charges,” county District Attorney Dan Itzen said Monday.

He declined to comment on the specific charges the office would be pursuing, citing the pending investigation, but said the charges would be in the realm of animal cruelty.

Animal protection officers, also referred to as animal control officers, removed the animals from the home on Thursday. Officers had been notified of an “animal problem” at a home in the county on Dec. 26. When officers arrived, they found dozens of animals in “extremely unsanitary conditions with obvious signs of neglect,” according to a statement issued by the Casper Police Department after the animals were removed.

Officers attempted to work with the homeowner to determine a better plan to care for the animals, according to the statement, but when those efforts failed, officers were granted a warrant to search the home and remove the animals.

Animal control officers recently concluded their investigation into the homeowner and are recommending charges on 61 individual counts of animal cruelty, according to animal protection officer Sergeant Scott Schell. Speaking before Schoell’s comments, Itzen said once the investigation was complete his office would proceed with filing charges against the homeowner.


Marbleton drops vaping ban

PINEDALE (WNE) — In the middle of its process to adopt a municipal ordinance banning sales of flavored vaping products, the Marbleton Town Council decided to drop it on Jan. 6 during the second of three readings. 

Present were Mayor Jim Robinson and councilmembers Jeff McCormick, Roger McMannis and B.J. Meador. Mack Bradley was absent. 

Town Attorney Thayne Peterson told the council and public that besides President Trump recently signing a federal law to raise the age to buy tobacco from 18 to 21 that the Food & Drug Administration also passed a regulation that bans sales of the fruit and mint-favored pods. 

“It seems the world caught up to us,” Peterson said. “In essence, the federal government has passed us by.” 

The town council had advocated speaking to corporate management of Loaf ‘N Jug, the only retailer in Marbleton selling flavored vaping products but with the FDA ban, stores were already removing these products, he added.

 Wyoming law maintains the legal age to buy tobacco and vaping products at 18. 

“We do not have any enforcement ability to cite anybody into our municipal court yet,” Peterson said. “It’s still against the law (to sell to under 21-year-olds) but we can’t enforce it.” 

Peterson advised the council to let this ordinance drop and he would draft a new one to catch up with the federal government. 


Teton County approves new zoning for CWC branch

JACKSON (WNE) — Central Wyoming College is a step closer to giving its Jackson branch a new home, but the finish line is still a ways off.

In a 4-0 vote Tuesday, the Teton County Board of County Commissioners agreed to rezone a lot just south of Jackson Hole High School for a new, standalone building for the community college. Commissioner Greg Epstein was absent.

It was a decision the town of Jackson had previously tabled: OK’ing lots CWC was considering for its new school for public/semi public uses, a flexible designation for government entities like the college, a Wyoming state institution.

In 2017, voters approved a $3.82 million specific purpose excise tax measure to support the purchase of land, design and construction for a new space.

The school then purchased two lots on Veronica Lane a new building, but neighbors raised questions about the area’s ability to support the facility. In November 2019 the Jackson Town Council voted to delay a decision on the rezone.

A few months later, CWC discovered the new space near South Park and switched gears.

“This particular location is perfect,” CWC-Jackson Director Susan Durfee said after Tuesday’s meeting. Though commissioners fretted about traffic management at the already-busy intersection of South Highway 89 and High School Road, as well as the potential for construction-related contamination to Flat Creek, they seemed to concur with CWC.


Gillette facilities restrict visits because of flu

GILLETTE (WNE) — Campbell County Health will begin restricting visitations to its maternal child unit and Legacy Living and Rehabilitation Center because of increased cases of  flu in the community.

The visiting restrictions are in place to help protect visitors, residents and employees, according to a news release.

Campbell County Memorial Hospital’s maternal child unit will restrict visitors to a mother’s spouse or significant other and only two additional visitors at a time. Visiting the labor delivery unit is always limited to three.

Children younger than age 12 aren’t permitted to visit. A newborn’s siblings younger than 12 may visit if they are screened for symptoms of illness by maternal child nurses.

Campbell County Health is asking those who feel ill not to visit.

“Please do not come if you have a fever, cough. runny nose, muscle aches or fatigue,” a spokeswoman said.

Masks and hand sanitizer are available at each entrance in the hospital, CCH clinics and Campbell County Medical Group facilities, and all visitors are being asked to use them if they feel ill or have a cold or flu symptoms like a fever or a cough.

At the Legacy, the CCH long-term care center, all visitors are being asked to use hand sanitizer before seeing residents. Masks and hand sanitizers are located near the main entrance.

No children ages 12 or younger can visit, except family members of residents. Those children under 12 also are required to wear a mask.


Wyoming this Weekend, Jan. 17-19

By The Wyoming News Exchange

One of Wyoming’s most famous ice fishing derbies tops the list of events around the Cowboy State this weekend.

The Saratoga Lake Ice Fishing Derby, entering its 37th year, will offer anglers a chance to win money for catching the largest fish of the weekend. Prizes will also be given each hour for the largest fish caught and for catching specially tagged trout released in the lake.

The derby will run from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.  For more information, visit the Saratoga-Platte Valley Chamber of Commerce website at

Other events scheduled for the weekend include:

The Pole Mountain Shuffle nordic ski event at Tie City on Saturday:;

The Rancher’s Roundup dinner and dance at Gillette’s CamPlex on Friday:;

A Cornhole and Indoor Softball Tournament at Gillette’s CamPlex on Saturday:;

The Shoshoni Ice Fishing Derby at Boysen Reservoir Friday through Sunday:;

A tour of the Union Pacific Steam Shop in Cheyenne on Friday:!/14573/;

The Flying B youth bullriding event at Laramie County Community College on Saturday:;

A bridal expo at Little American in Cheyenne on Sunday:;

A performance by country humorist Kip Attaway at Casper’s Beacon Club on Friday:;

A performance by country musician Josh Turner at Casper’s Civic Center on Saturday:;

A bridal preview at the Holiday Inn in Sheridan on Saturday:, and

A “souper bowl” celebration to raise money for the Washakie County Special Olympics in Worland on Friday:;