NEWS BRIEFS for Thursday, July 30, 2020

Early closure for Jackson bars, restaurants recommended

JACKSON (WNE) — Teton District Health Officer Dr. Travis Riddell on Wednesday afternoon issued a recommendation that restaurants and bars close at 10 p.m. in an effort to discourage crowding and the resultant community spread of coronavirus.

The recommendation comes on the heels of a spike in COVID-19 cases in the county, which had 134 positive cases between July 14 and July 27. The health department learned of several mass-exposure events that resulted from improper social distancing at crowded bars and restaurants that were open late into the night.

Contact tracing conducted by the county also revealed that COVID-19 was being spread at Teton County bars and restaurants, according to a press release from Riddell’s office.

According to the release, “dine-in service and the in-person service of alcoholic and malt beverages, whether inside or outside, should end no later than 10:00 p.m. This does not include drive thru and take-out-only facilities.”

The recommendation takes effect Thursday and will continue through Aug. 15.

The state has approved Teton County’s request to extend an order requiring people to wear masks in public places.

On Tuesday, the county added another 18 new cases, and seven more on Wednesday. The current total of active infections is 59.

Due to the steady increase in cases, Riddell requested the extension, which State Public Health Officer Alexia Harrist approved. The mask order will now be in place until Aug. 14.


Teen dies in ATV accident

LOVELL (WNE) — A 15-year old male died in Lovell Monday after his four-wheeler rolled over him in an accident. 

Camden White was visiting Lovell from Arizona, according to Big Horn County Sheriff Ken Blackburn, and was assisting a local family with farm labor Monday morning. 

Sometime shortly before noon, White was instructed to go home and began traveling home in an ATV, Blackburn said. When the rest of the family came out of the fields to join him for lunch, they discovered the home empty and began searching for White on the property. 

A call came in to dispatch at 12:12 p.m. after family members discovered White. 

According to preliminary investigations, it appears White was traveling on Road 15 when he over-corrected the vehicle. The vehicle turned over, ejecting him, and then rolled over White, injuring him. 

White was pronounced dead on the scene.

White was a legally licensed driver and no foul play is suspected, Blackburn said. Blackburn called the incident a tragic accident and stated that the incident is still under investigation. 

“Our heart goes out to family and friends,” Blackburn. “This is just a tragic accident that reminds us of how quickly things can happen and how we can’t take things for granted.”


Argument over garage door leads to pulling of gun

GILLETTE (WNE) — A heated argument reportedly led to a man pointing a gun at the head of anther man Tuesday afternoon at a local business.

A 34-year-old woman said that Jason Curry, 48, allegedly pointed a pistol at her 38-year-old husband’s head during an argument over payment for a garage door repair, said Police Sgt. Eric Dearcorn.

Curry came to the 38-year-old’s workplace, AV Tech on South Douglas Highway, and confronted him, saying he was owed money for working on the man's garage door.

Curry refused to leave the store after being asked by employees.

The argument continued into the shop area of the store. Two store employees attempted to deescalate the conflict, but the dispute continued.

Curry eventually left the store, but returned soon after with a .40-caliber pistol, Dearcorn said. He cocked it and pointed the gun at the man's face, which witnesses said was held about 5 feet from his head. A witness stepped between them and the Curry left the scene.

Police contacted the suspect at his shop, Curry Garage Door Co., where officers arrested him on suspicion of aggravated assault and took him to jail, Dearcorn said.


Grizzly relocated after feeding on livestock

POWELL (WNE) — The Wyoming Game and Fish Department captured an adult male grizzly bear in the Pinedale area last week, relocating it to the Mormon Creek drainage, approximately 5 miles from the East Entrance of Yellowstone National Park. 

The bear was captured on Wednesday after depredating on livestock on a U.S. Forest Service grazing allotment north of Pinedale, the Game and Fish said. 

“Grizzly bear relocation is a management tool afforded to large carnivore biologists to minimize conflicts between humans and grizzly bears and is critical to the management of the population,” the department said in a recent press release. 

When other options are exhausted or unattainable, Game and Fish will attempt to capture a bear and consider all circumstances before determining whether the individual should be relocated or removed from the population. Bears that are deemed an immediate threat to human safety are not released back into the wild, the release added. 

To date, 13 grizzlies have been euthanized by officials in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosysytem. That includes five inside the area deemed as suitable habitat for the species, known as the demographic monitoring area (DMA). The other eight bears to be “lethally removed” were outside the DMA, including one in Carbon County, Montana on Thursday. 

A total of 16 grizzly bears have been killed this year, including two hit by vehicles near Cody on Wyo. Highway 120. 


Without new films, theater shows classic westerns

NEWCASTLE (WNE) — While the Dogie Theatre has remained mostly closed due to studios pushing back release dates as a result of COVID-19 restrictions, it opened last weekend to show “Colorado Territory,” an old Western. The theater is set to open again this Friday, Saturday and Sunday to show another old Western, “The Oklahoma Kid,” made in 1939.

William Nelson, theater manager, said that the Dogie is trying to get people interested in coming down to the theater, and the movies are some of owner Gerald Bullard’s favorites.

“It’ll bring people back to the movies,” Nelson said. 

Cody Nelson, who also works at the theater, said that last weekend’s showing went okay, with more than 20 people Friday and Sunday nights, and a smaller audience Saturday night. 

Cody said that the weekend Westerns are a likelihood for the foreseeable future, depending on how successful they continue to be. 

The theater will also be selling the usual popcorn and concessions, and anyone is welcome to purchase the concessions whenever the theater is open, even if they don’t stay for the movie. Cody said the theater is considering having popcorn nights to just sell concessions, but there is no set plan at this point.  

The theater is still practicing social distancing between groups, and staff is being diligent with sanitizing and wiping down counters and seats.