NEWS BRIEFS for Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Campbell County Chamber sells 'Stay Strong Gillette' merchandise to unite community

GILLETTE (WNE) — The Campbell County Chamber of Commerce has partnered with a local screen printing company to sell “Stay Strong Gillette” merchandise to unite the community during the coronavirus pandemic.

Shirts with the “Stay Strong Gillette” logo are being sold online through Friday.

Gail Lofing, the chamber’s executive director, said she came up with the idea as a way to bring the community together.

In 2015 when the logo was created, Lofing said it seemed that when coal was down, oil was up, and vice versa.

Five years later, “Coal and oil are both down at the same time, and toss in this virus, and it’s hitting everybody hard,” she said.

Much like the economic downturn from a few years ago, businesses have closed and people have been laid off due to the pandemic.

In 2015 and 2016 during the coal mine layoffs, the chamber handed out bumper stickers and pins with the logo. This time around, Lofing thought people would like something different.

The chamber has partnered with That Embroidery Place to make and sell the shirts.

 A T-shirt costs $12, a crewneck sweatshirt costs $20 and a hoodie $22.

“We tried to keep the prices as reasonable as we possibly could,” Lofing said.

But it’s not so much about the money as it is about uniting the community, Lofing said. The logo serves as a reminder that Gillette has been through tough times before, but it’s always come together and emerged as a stronger community.



Two-year probe leads to felony drug charges in Fremont County 

RIVERTON (WNE) — After two years of data-gathering, law enforcement agents are airing the conversations of a presumed local drug network in court. 

The conversations of Marshall Osterkorn, Marcella Knowles, and “another known distributor of prescription medication,” Shyanne Cross-Dailey are written in court documents that accuse 24-year-old Samuel J. Plush of selling oxycodone. 

Plush has been transferred to the felony-level Fremont County District Court, due to the audio recording of a 2017 conversation in which he discussed selling the drugs to others. 

On Dec. 7, 2017 at about 11:42 a.m., a confidential informant told Wangberg she or he could buy hydrocodone prescription medication from 23-year-old Knowles. That informant sent cell phone screen shots of a conversation with Knowles, describing the drug deal. 

Later that day, the informant agreed with DCI agents that he or she would meet Plush at Knowles’s home in Riverton while wearing a digital recording device. The person was given $50 of the state’s funds allocated for programmed drug deals, then went into the residence at about 2:20 that afternoon. 

In a later recap, the informant said Plush had entered the home and sold three hydrocodone pills to him or her. Plush then sold two more pills to a woman who had arrived shortly after he, court documents state. 

A year and a half later, agents downloaded information from Facebook detailing conversations between Knowles and Osterkorn. Law enforcement “recognized drug talk” between the two. 

Plush faces two charges: one of oxycodone delivery and one of conspiracy to deliver oxycodone. Each charge is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and $25,000 in fines.


Latest coronavirus case confirmed in Evanston child attending local preschool

EVANSTON (WNE) — Uinta County Public Health announced the county’s eighth confirmed case of COVID-19 on Saturday, May 16, just one day after announcing that all of the other county’s previously confirmed and probable cases were officially recovered. 

The latest case is reportedly in a child with no known source of infection, which would indicate community spread. 

With word spreading throughout Evanston that the child in question had been attending Evanston Child Development Center (ECDC), Director Kendra West said she wants to be as transparent as possible while also ensuring privacy and confidentiality are maintained. 

West said staff at ECDC have worked very hard to ensure all CDC-recommended protocols are followed while continuing to remain open to provide childcare for the community’s essential workers. Those protocols include screening of all staff members and children every day, consisting of temperature and symptom checks and questioning regarding possible exposures. 

West said the entire facility has been cleaned and sanitized multiple times a day since the pandemic began, a practice West said the center follows at all times and is not only related to the novel coronavirus. 

As to the particular child with confirmed infection, West said she could not provide any information that might identify that child, who is reportedly isolated and recovering at home. 

She said all close contacts, both staff and children, of the child had been contacted directly and staff and students will be tested. 

West said the ill child had not been in attendance at ECDC for at least a week and had been completely asymptomatic when last at the center. 


Many Shoshone National Forest campgrounds to open Friday

CODY (WNE) — Many Shoshone National Forest campgrounds are opening just in time for Memorial Day weekend. 

Spokesperson Kristi Salzman said in a release officials will begin opening developed recreation sites with 16 campgrounds to open Friday.

For a complete list of campground opening dates, visit the Shoshone National Forest website at

“We ask that you continue to follow local, state, and federal guidelines on staying safe when you visit the Shoshone National Forest,” said Lisa Timchak, forest supervisor. “There is still work to be done prior to opening these developed recreation sites. Our employees need to work to ensure the cleanliness of facilities, conduct proper maintenance, and assess recreation areas for health and safety. We cannot thank our local communities enough for their continued understanding throughout this trying time for us all.”

The USDA Forest Service is asking visitors to recreate responsibly. Follow the latest health guidance, stay at least six feet from others and avoid gathering in large groups. This will help expand access to facilities and services. Visitors are asked to plan accordingly as certain services, such as bathrooms at some trailheads, may still be unavailable.

Fire restrictions will remain in place on the Shoshone National Forest until May 20, under the regional fire restriction order signed by Acting Regional Forester Jennifer Eberlien on April 7.