NEWS BRIEFS for Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019

Coroner says his office wasn’t called to shooting for five hours

RIVERTON (WNE) — Coroner’s officials were not told about the fatal, officer-involved shooting that took place Sept. 21 in Riverton until more than five hours after the incident, according to a press release.

Anderson Antelope, 58, of Riverton, died as a result of the shooting, which occurred at about 1:30 p.m. Sept. 21 at Walmart.

The Riverton Police Department officer involved was uninjured, though officials said Antelope stabbed him in the chest with a six-inch knife.

The officer's body armor prevented the blade from penetrating, officials said; when Antelope continued the knife attack, he was shot.

The officer had been called to the area in response to a report of intoxication at Walmart.

In an interview, Fremont County Coroner Mark Stratmoen said local law enforcement officers usually call his office "as soon as they have a verified death that is suspicious." That way, he or one of his deputies can respond to the scene right away to get an "overview" of the situation.

“That's really critical in an investigation - to see things, as it is, immediately," Stratmoen said.

His agency didn't have that opportunity in the case of Antelope's death, he said.

Other entities have countered the coroner's claim that his office is called immediately after a death that is deemed suspicious, however.

"He's not a first responder," Riverton Mayor Rich Gard, adding that certain elements of the investigation must be established before the coroner becomes a part of the process.


Data breach may have compromised patient info

CHEYENNE (WNE) — Cheyenne Regional Medical Center recently experienced a data breach involving some employee emails that may have compromised some patient information.

CRMC became aware of the breach April 12, when there was “suspicious activity” with some employee payroll accounts, Jacqueline Van Cleave, CRMC’s director of compliance and privacy, said via email.

The data breach was due to a phishing scam that compromised employee email credentials, she said. Law enforcement is aware of the breach and is investigating the incident. There is no evidence at this time that suggests patient information has been misused due to the breach.

CRMC immediately launched an investigation into the activity and determined the intruder accessed a “limited number” of employee email accounts. CRMC was unable to determine which email files, if any, were accessed in the breach.

The breach likely compromised emails from March 27 to April 8.

The hospital hired a forensic investigation firm to determine the extent of the breach. On Aug. 21, it was determined the email access may have contained some personal information.

It was determined that emails were compromised that contained patient “name, date of birth, Social Security number, driver’s license number, dates of service, provider name, medical record number, patient identification number, medical information, diagnosis, treatment information, health insurance information, and for a very small number of individuals, credit card information and/or financial account information,” according to a news release.

After further review, which concluded in late November, CRMC tried to identify people whose personal information was contained in compromised emails. The hospital will send those people notification letters.


No plans to move Yellowstone Regional Airport

POWELL (WNE) — As officials prepare to finalize a new long-range plan for Yellowstone Regional Airport in Cody, don’t expect them to call for moving the facility to a new location. 

The airport is limited to some extent by the surrounding terrain, but moving to a new location would be “a huge undertaking,” said Airport Director Bob Hooper. Beyond constructing a new runway, there would be a terminal, facilities for fixed-base operators, aircraft rescue and firefighting facilities and dozens of private hangars that would have to be built anew. 

As for what such an effort might cost, Hooper pointed to Williston, North Dakota. The city — with a population most recently estimated at roughly 27,100 people — just built an airport in a new location at a cost of roughly $273 million. 

Instead of searching for a new location, YRA officials are working on ways to make it easier for pilots to fly into the current spot. 

“As long as we can continue to enhance this airport and make it feasible for our designed aircraft, we should probably utilize this facility as long as we can,” Hooper said at last week’s Park County Commission meeting. 

Between the 50-, 70- and even 90-passenger jets that are expected to use YRA, “our runway system is quite capable of handling those type aircraft for the foreseeable future,” he said. 

The terrain around YRA can make approaches more difficult and has led to more weather-related flight cancellations in Cody than other facilities around the region, a draft of the master plan says.


Worland man donates $1 million for library

WORLAND – Longtime Worland resident and longtime visitor of the Washakie County Library Mike Healy has donated $1 million for the Washakie County Commissioners to use at their discretion in the remodeling of the Kennedy Ace Hardware building into the new library once the process officially begins. 

Healy got into contact with Commissioner Terry Wolf around the time the commissioners decided to purchase the Kennedy Ace building to start talking about a substantial donation. Healy wanted to do this in honor of his late wife, Jean Bailey Healy, who passed away just over 10 years ago. 

“This really fit the bill,” Healy said. “My wife was an English major in college and loved to read and write, I thought it would be a nice tribute to her to make an investment in the library that I think is long reaching and has been around for a long time and influences the community as a whole.” 

Healy was raised in Worland and has been a part of four generations (including his son) who have lived in the Big Horn Basin. Healy went on to serve in the Army after college, and spend a little bit of time outside of Worland prior to moving back in the early 1980s and living here ever since managing the family owned and operated LU Ranch.