NEWS BRIEFS for Monday, May 18, 2020

UW approves incoming president’s seat on Council on Competitiveness

LARAMIE (WNE) — University of Wyoming leadership is seeking membership in the U.S. Council on Competitiveness — a national organization focused on economic development. Inclusion on the council comes with an annual membership fee of $35,000.

Incoming UW President Ed Seidel suggested during the Board of Trustees’ meeting Thursday that the university join the council. He said the move reflects what will be his administration’s focus on economic and workforce development.

“So to me, among other things, this means making sure that the university helps to attract more talent both from inside the state, and out,” Seidel said. “And to provide compelling offerings that prepare students to be productive citizens, and to produce graduates that are really ready to hit the ground running and contribute to the economy of this state.”

The Council on Competitiveness is a nonprofit with the stated aim of growing and improving the United States’ economy, as well as the country’s competitiveness globally. It hosts conferences and makes policy recommendations at the federal level, and has done so since its founding in 1986 by the chairman of the Reagan administration’s Commission on Industrial Competitiveness.

Membership is by invitation only.

“They’re asking because they’d love to have Wyoming involved,” Seidel told the board. “They’ve never had representation from the state, and they need more membership from rural sectors of the country to make sure they develop effective policy recommendations.”

UW’s trustees voted unanimously to approve Seidel’s spot on the council. 



Jealous ex accused of involvement in battery and assault in two Gillette bars

GILLETTE (WNE) — A 23-year-old Gillette man is accused of being involved in two bar incidents Thursday night. 

At East Side Liquors, the suspect allegedly grabbed his ex-fiancée by the arm and pulled her outside before leaving the scene, Police Lt. Brent Wasson said. 

He then left the bar and went to Fireside Bar and Lounge where he and a 51-year-old friend allegedly assaulted a 37-year-old man because the suspect believed the victim had spoken to his ex-fiancée, Wasson said. 

The victim suffered multiple cuts to his face.

Officers later found the 23-year-old suspect inside a black jeep on Echeta Road and Caribou Avenue with the 51-year-old man and another man who also was at Fireside.

The 23-year-old was arrested on suspicion of domestic assault for the East Side incident. He and the 51-year-old man were ticketed for battery for allegedly assaulting the 37-year-old victim. 


Rock Springs International Day will not be held until 2021

ROCK SPRINGS (WNE) — The Rock Springs International Day Committee has elected to postpone this year’s event due to recent circumstances related to the COVID-19 virus. The celebration of Rock Springs' multinational heritage is currently being rescheduled for July 10, 2021, according to a press release.

The Rock Springs International Day Committee, composed of local volunteers, came to the conclusion to postpone the event both out of caution and concern for the health of the community, and out of a desire to ensure that the event continues its trend of record-breaking attendance and community support.

Committee Chair Philip Parnell said, “We want to host the kind of celebration we can be proud of, but at the same time, we understand the current concerns about community health. We are grateful to all our volunteers, sponsors, vendors, and the community, and can’t wait until we can get together again in celebration of this community and its history.”

The Rock Springs International Day celebration is unique to Wyoming, as the only multinational, multicultural celebration of its kind, honoring the 56 nationalities present in the city census at the beginning of the 20th century. Today, the celebration is centered around artists, performers, musicians, and vendors representing the city’s rich cultural heritage.


Girl Scout program resumed Friday

SHERIDAN (WNE) — If you haven’t received your pre-ordered Girl Scout Cookies yet — you will soon. Girl Scouts of Montana and Wyoming resumed its iconic cookie program Friday.

The cookie program was suspended by GSMW on March 20 in the wake of COVID-19 to protect the safety and well-being of Girl Scouts and girls’ families. As a result, the movement of cookies was halted, which included delivery of pre-orders, additional sales and cookie booth sales.

Ashley Picard, GSMW product manager, thanks the public for its support and patience in the past few weeks and hopes the public’s appetite for Girl Scout cookies has grown through the hiatus.

GSMW submitted its cookie order in mid-February and its troops have a large quantity of cookies with girls who are anxious to sell cookies and reach their goals all while following social distancing requirements, according to a press release from GSMW. 

The program, which typically runs February through April, will now extend through June 30.

Girls will be out and about selling cookies beginning May 15. Troops may be doing cookie drive-throughs and community walkabouts as creative new ways to sell the cookies.

“The pandemic changed the timeline of our Cookie Program, but not the purpose of it,” the release said. “The Girl Scout Cookie Program® teaches girls about entrepreneurship as they learn essential skills like money management, public speaking, decision making and — new this year — the economic impact on a small business brought about by a pandemic.”


Man arrested in Gillette after fighting with police officers

GILLETTE (WNE) — A 23-year-old Missouri man was arrested after headbutting a police officer and attempting to bite another Thursday night.

Officers were at the Fireside Bar & Lounge on an unrelated call when they learned that Lincoln Riley of Belton, Missouri, was on unsupervised probation with alcohol restrictions for driving while under the influence.

Officers attempted to speak with him and he walked away. They then tried to escort him out when he resisted and was taken to the ground. He later got up and attempted to hit an officer before being placed in handcuffs, Police Lt. Brent Wasson said.

Riley kicked officers trying to get him inside the patrol car. He was then taken out of the vehicle and placed on the ground again. When he got back on his feet, the suspect headbutted an officer then attempted to bite another officer on the hand. He was eventually placed inside the car and taken to the Campbell County jail.

Riley could face charges of alleged felony interference and three counts of bodily injury to an officer.