NEWS BRIEFS for Tuesday, Mar. 26, 2019

From Wyoming News Exchange newspapers


City recognizes Cheyenne man for life-saving efforts during blizzard

CHEYENNE – Cheyenne city officials on Monday recognized a man for saving the life of another man who could have frozen to death during the city’s recent blizzard.

During a short ceremony and with his family looking on, Miles Quisenberry received a certificate for his March 14 actions from Mayor Marian Orr and Police Chief Brian Kozak.

Quisenberry had gotten up early that day. The wind howling, and it was very cold. According to city officials, Quisenberry left his house on O’Neil Street around 6 a.m. and drove south, but instead of taking his usual route to work, he made a left turn on West Seventh Street.

He was coming to a stop at an intersection when he saw a flash in the right rearview mirror.

“He shined a light thinking that I didn’t see him,” Quisenberry told Orr. “I saw him in my passenger mirror. I went back, and that’s when I saw him in one of the snow drifts.”

Quisenberry went to the man’s side, where he discovered the man was elderly, under-dressed for the conditions, and in snow drifts about 3 feet high around him.

Quisenberry helped the man stand and made several attempts to get him into his truck and out of the weather, but the elderly man said he could not feel his feet.

After placing the man in his truck, Quisenberry found out where he lived and backed up to the house.

UW now plans to keep geography bachelor’s in revised proposal

LARAMIE — The University of Wyoming Board of Trustees is scheduled to vote this week on a plan to close the school’s geography department.

“The faculty is struggling to deliver their programs with the current level of resources allocated to the department. Even with two visiting professors, faculty resources are insufficient to support programs with six academic degree offerings and three minors,” the proposal states.

Other reasons the proposal cites for the dissolution include the department’s low enrollment and the fact that “current offerings at undergraduate level are replicable within other existing or proposed degree programs.”

However, a revised proposal calls for keeping a bachelor’s degree in geography. Administrators originally called for that program to be scrapped.

Under the new proposal, the Bachelor’s of Science in geography would be retained under the Department of Geology and Geophysics.

If trustees approve the plan, UW will convene a task force to “consider the continuing viability” of keeping bachelor’s and master’s degrees in geography, as well as a master’s of planning degree, with recommendation due to the Office of Academic Affairs by Oct. 15.

Keeping the undergraduate program was highlighted as a priority in the fall by geography faculty, who said it would help sustain the “intellectual integrity” of the discipline.

Big horn sheep recovery effort ongoing; 2 more public meetings set

RIVERTON — Meetings continue this spring in a public engagement process to explore management concerns, issues, and opportunities for the Whiskey Mountain Bighorn Sheep herd.

The effort is a collaboration between the National Bighorn Sheep Interpretive Center in Dubois and the University of Wyoming's Ruckelshaus Institute.

A situation assessment has been completed.

The herd has struggled to recover from a catastrophic all-age die-off caused by pneumonia in 1991 causing an estimated 70 percent decline in the number of sheep.

Ruckelshaus Institute analysts has suggested a two-part process: public engagement first, then working with the sheep center and the Wyoming Game and Fish Department on a "collaboratively derived Whiskey Mountain bighorn sheep herd management/action plan."

Meetings took place Feb. 1 and March 14 at the sheep center. Additional meetings are set for April 3 and June 5.

The April 3 meeting, from 6-9 p.m., is intended as a public workshop to craft solutions to improve herd conditions based on information presented at earlier meetings.

The June 5 session, also 6-9 p.m. at the sheep center, is designated as a "public workshop to present draft strategy for public input, discussion and refinement."

All those interested in the herd are encouraged to attend. Bighorn sheep specialists from around the country will be on hand.

At its peak the herd was estimated to number 2,500 sheep. Today there are about 750.

Man arrested for allegedly selling drugs outside Walmart

ROCK SPRINGS — A Salt Lake City man remains locked up at the Sweetwater County Detention Center where he faces multiple drug-related charges.

Around 12:19 a.m. March 21, Rock Springs police officers responded to a suspicious drug call at Walmart, 201 Gateway Blvd. Officers made contact with David Thompson, 33, who was allegedly attempting to sell drugs outside of the store and had his stepdaughter with him.

Thompson’s bag contained an assortment of illegal narcotics, according to a RSPD press release.

Thompson was arrested and charged with alleged child endangerment; possession of controlled substances, methamphetamine, heroin and marijuana, with intent to deliver; felony possession of controlled substances, meth, heroin and marijuana, more than 3 ounces; two counts of manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance in pill form, more than 3 grams; and two counts of possession of a controlled substance in pill or capsule form, more than 3 grams. Thompson was also given three citations for alleged possession of a controlled substance in pill or capsule form, less than 3 grams.

The case is still under investigation.

Woman facing sexual assault charge for group home incident

EVANSTON — An Evanston woman who was employed as a daily living assistant for Pioneer Counseling has been charged with first-degree sexual assault for an alleged incident that occurred in late January. Kortney Thompson allegedly engaged in sexual behavior with a client at the group home where she was employed when the client was physically helpless, and Thompson should have known the client was helpless and had not consented. 

According to an affidavit filed in support of arrest, Evanston Police Department Detective Scott Faddis received a call from a manager with Pioneer Counseling regarding a sexual assault that occurred on Jan. 27. On that date, Thompson was working at a group home overseeing the care of six residents. 

According to court documents, at approximately 11 a.m., Thompson drove some clients to a liquor store and purchased several small bottles of alcohol. She allegedly provided four of the six residents with alcohol and smoked marijuana with two of the residents. 

Later she allegedly purchased more alcohol before returning to the group home and again providing alcohol to the residents. When a coworker showed up to take over for Thompson, that coworker found several of the clients were intoxicated. The coworker called Pioneer Counseling’s residential manager and reported the situation, after which the manager went to the group home and conducted breathalyzer tests on the clients. 

At that time, one of the clients reported that a few hours before, he had passed out in his bedroom and awoke to find Thompson undoing his pants and engaging in sexual contact with him, even though he claimed he repeatedly told her to stop. When interviewed, two other group home residents reported they had witnessed Thompson engaging in a sexual act with the man. 

Wyoming This Weekend

Barrel race or pole bend for cash this weekend at the Cam-Plex in Gillette — or just watch the excitement at the Twisted $isters Money Run Barrel Race.  The annual event, which draws hundreds of contestants from the region., includes senior and youth divisions and runs from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. both Friday and Saturday.   

Other events this weekend include: 

The music of cowboy poet and “the songteller” Dave Munsick at the Historic Sheridan Inn Winter Dance/Concert Series in Sheridan Friday evening;

The Morgan Price art exhibit all weekend at the Edward A. Whitney Gallery in Sheridan; the 14th Illustrator Show: “Lakota Emergence” exhibit of American Indian art throughout the weekend at the Brinton Museum in Big Horn, with a reception for the public on Sunday; and a “Wildlife Discovery” art exhibition Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Trailside Galleries in Jackson Hole.  

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