NEWS BRIEFS for Tuesday, April 2, 2019


From Wyoming News Exchange newspapers
 
Sweetwater County poverty level surpasses state average

ROCK SPRINGS (WNE) — The percentage of Sweetwater County residents living below the poverty level was higher than the state average in 2018, according to a state report.

Statewide, 7.5 percent of the population in 2018 lived below the poverty level, which the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services defined as income of $12,140 or less for an individual. About 10.5 percent lived at that rate in Sweetwater County last year.

The number of Sweetwater County residents with income below the poverty level went up from 4,868 residents in 2017 to 5,274 in 2018, according to a U.S. Census Bureau report that was published in Wyoming Economic Analysis Division’s “Wyoming and County Profiles.”

The report, which came out Friday, measures demographic, social, economic, housing and revenue conditions across the state.

“The county profiles provide essential information about Wyoming and individual county people, housing, and economy in a single place,” Wyoming State Chief Economist Wenlin Liu said.

Sweetwater Family Resource Center Executive Director Brian Kaumo said the number of residents in the county living in poverty “has definitely increased.”

He outlined three reasons for the gain: underemployment, inability to find employment and inability to keep employment. 

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Cheyenne South High student who shot gun on campus pleads not guilty

CHEYENNE (WNE) – Cheyenne’s South High went into lockdown one morning in late February after a student shot a gun in the school’s parking lot.

Matthew Carabajal, 17, was originally charged with felony aggravated burglary of a motor vehicle with a deadly weapon, felony theft, misdemeanor property destruction and misdemeanor marijuana possession. A Laramie County Circuit Court judge dismissed the felony theft charge, but sent the rest of the charges to district court.

Carabajal pleaded not guilty to those charges in his first Laramie County District Court appearance Monday before Judge Steven Sharpe.

Carabajal could face a maximum sentence of more than 26 years in prison and more than $50,000 in fines if a jury finds him guilty on all charges. If a jury finds him guilty of only the felony charge, he faces a minimum of 5 years in prison.

Carabajal had been released from custody following the incident on a $3,000 bond payment, but was re-arrested on the as-yet unpublicized new charges after submitting his plea in court Monday.

His trial is set for Aug. 6, during which a jury will determine if there is enough evidence in the case to convict the teenager.

On Feb. 28, Carabajal allegedly shot a gun through the front passenger window of a fellow student’s unoccupied vehicle and then stole a backpack out of the vehicle, according to court documents. The estimated damage to that vehicle was roughly $600.

After taking the backpack from the vehicle, South High security cameras show Carabajal getting into a separate car and driving away.

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Park County man serving 15-20 in prison for 2nd degree sex assault

CODY (WNE) — A Park County man is serving 15-20 years in prison after he was convicted last September in Park County District Court for second degree sexual assault of a minor.

Danny Mabe, 55, is currently being held at the Wyoming Medium Correctional facility in Torrington for the crime committed in November 2016.

According to the Park County Sheriff’s Office, Mabe was arrested in December 2016, but the Park County Attorney’s Office did not officially file a case against him until March 2017.

The state originally charged Mabe with first degree sexual assault of a minor, charges carrying up to 50 years in prison.

According to the affidavit, Mabe duct-taped and raped his victim. 

After initial interviews with investigators, court documents said Mabe “made threats to shoot it out with law enforcement and commit suicide by law enforcement.”

His phone was tracked just a few days after these interviews to Fort Dodge, Iowa. When he was apprehended in Iowa his phone was found with the battery removed in an attempt to presumably evade authorities.

Mabe posted bond when released from jail in April 2017 after having bond adjusted from $50,000 cash only to $50,000 cash or surety. 

For 17 months he was out of custody.

Immediately after his sentencing in September 2018 he was re-booked into the Park County Detention Center and then transferred to Torrington in November.

He is projected for discharge in 2031 but eligible for parole in 2028.

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SNF burns set for areas near Dubois, Lander

RIVERTON (WNE) — The Shoshone National Forest is planning prescribed fire projects outside Lander and Dubois in the coming months.

Prescribed fire projects planned on the southern half of the forest are located in the following areas:

 455 acres adjacent to US Highway 26/287 in the Wind River drainage west of Dubois

 165 acres in the Charlie Creek area of the Wiggins Fork north of Dubois

 955 acres in Maxon Basin southwest of Lander

 16 acres in the Burnt Gulch drainage off FS Road 300 (Loop Road)

 7 acres of pile burning in the Louis Lake area

 9 acres of pile burning north of the Fremont County Youth Camp

The burns are being implemented to enhance aspen regeneration, reduce slash piles from timber harvest, and improve forage for wildlife. Planners say they will help reduce hazardous fuels thus decreasing the intensity of any future wildfires in the area.

The projects will be implemented as weather and fuel conditions allow until mid- to late June. Signs will be posted in all areas and adjacent land owners will be notified prior to the fire projects.

For more information contact the Wind River Ranger District in Dubois at 307-455-2466 or the Washakie Ranger District in Lander at 307-332-5460.

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Wyoming this Weekend, April 5-7

By The Wyoming News Exchange

A day’s activities for everyone who loves the outdoors, from gardening to hiking in the mountains, tops this weekend’s list of activities.

Lander’s Garden Expo on Saturday will feature vendors and workshops for those interested in gardening, non-motorized outdoor activities or just spending time in their backyards.

The Expo, held at the Lander Valley High School, will feature workshops every hour on topics including how to attract hummingbirds, drying food and raising strawberries. The keynote speaker will be Panayoti Kelaidis of the Denver Botanic Gardens.

Other events scheduled for the weekend include:

An exhibit on “Lakota Emergence” at The Brinton Museum in Big Horn through the weekend;

A performance of “King Lear” by the Actors from the London Stage touring group in Sheridan on Friday and Saturday;

The Garden and Landscape Educational Expo and Farmer’s Market at Gillette’s Cam-Plex on Saturday;

The St. Labre Indian School Student Art Show at the Brinton Museum in Big Horn through the weekend, and

The Sand Puppy Baseball Bash featuring speaker Noah Galloway in Rock Springs on Saturday.

For more information on these and other events, visit the Wyoming Tourism Division’s website at TravelWyoming.com