NEWS BRIEFS for Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Rock Springs man is 22nd coronavirus death

ROCK SPRINGS (WNE) — One of three patients hospitalized at Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County has become the county’s first COVID-19-related death, according to the Sweetwater County District Board of Health. 

The patient, a 77-year-old Rock Springs man who was recently identified as a laboratory-confirmed positive case of COVID-19, was hospitalized after testing positive on Friday, July 10. He died Monday night, July 13. The man reported first experiencing symptoms on Tuesday, July 7. 

The remaining two hospitalized patients are currently in stable condition and not on ventilators, according to hospital staff. 

Local public health officials report that the man who died had pre-existing health conditions known to put patients at higher risk of medical complications and serious illness related to the COVID-19 virus. In an ongoing analysis of available data by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, underlying medical conditions that put individuals at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 most often include chronic heart or lung conditions, uncontrolled diabetes and immunodeficiencies.

Among Wyoming residents, there have now been 22 coronavirus-related deaths, 1,581 lab-confirmed cases and 370 probable cases reported. There are 469 active cases, as of press time.


Laramie council declines to back face mask order

LARAMIE (WNE) — The Laramie City Council on Tuesday declined to throw its support behind an order through Albany County and the state to require face masks in public places.

The council chose not to pass a resolution supporting such a mandate during a special meeting that followed a joint work session with the Albany County Commission on infrastructure projects. 

Authority for granting a variance to statewide health orders to county governments that would allow for a local face mask order ultimately lies with state health officer Alexia Harrist, who works with the Attorney General’s office when the state receives a request from a county health officer. 

Albany County health officer Jean Allais will make the determination whether to request Harrist grant a variance to statewide health orders that would allow for the implementation of a local facemask requirement. 

The council’s resolution simply would have requested Allais work with the state to implement the order.

Albany County resident and former gubernatorial candidate Taylor Haynes was among those at City Hall who gathered before the meeting. He said such an order would be unconstitutional.

“We are here to let elected officials know we intend to be free, we are responsible and we are Americans,” Haynes said. “We want to exercise our First Amendment right to freely gather, we thank them for their service, and we ask them to defend and uphold the Constitution, that’s their job. Their job is not to protect me from the virus.”


Convicted murderer to appeal

TORRINGTON (WNE) – Convicted murderer Jamie Snyder has filed an appeal to his first-degree murder conviction through his attorney, Jonathon Foreman. 

Foreman filed the notice of appeal on June 29, which gives “notice of his intention to appeal to the Wyoming Supreme Court the Judgements and Sentence rendered on the 23rd day of June by Honorable Patrick Korell,” the notice said. 

The filing went on to request a transcript of the trial, which was in February, and the sentencing hearing. 

The trial was a four-day affair that resulted in a guilty verdict after a fairly short deliberation by the 12-person jury. Snyder was sentenced to life imprisonment on June 23. After the trial and during the sentencing hearing, Snyder voiced his displeasure at his representation. 

“I feel that the counsel provided to me was insufficient,” Snyder said when he had the opportunity to address the court during his sentencing hearing. “I said not guilty, and then I was overrode on my own case, the plea of not guilty by mental illness was put in place, and there was no doctor provided to testify on my behalf.”

Snyder was convicted in the June 2018 stabbing death of Wade Erschabeck in Fort Laramie. Snyder had pleaded not guilty by reason of mental illness, which was one of the main topics during the sentencing hearing. 


Sheridan eyes allowing alcohol delivery permanently

SHERIDAN (WNE) — Sheridan City Council discussed a permanent alcohol delivery ordinance at their study session Monday.

The possible permanent ordinance comes after council let the emergency delivery ordinance, which was originally enacted during the COVID-19 pandemic, expire July 6.

City attorney Brendon Kerns said the potential permanent ordinance will be brought before council July 20.

“We’re going to follow and mirror the emergency ordinance,” he said. “That’s the template.”

This means the ordinance will require delivery employees to be 21, places that deliver must keep record of purchaser’s data, payment must be made at time of purchase, deliveries can only be made to the purchaser and any person prohibited by court order of purchasing can be charged with a misdemeanor.

In addition, alcohol must be delivered in original packaging, there may be limits on amount sold, no deliveries can be made to public places, schools or universities and delivery services are required to be part of the liquor license application. Curbside pick-up will also be part of the ordinance.

Delivery limits garnered much of the discussion Monday night from council and public comment from the Sheridan Hospitality and Beverage Group, which represents liquor dealers in the area.

The group was in attendance to show support for the permanent measure and to assist council with information on the process for checking IDs, delivery charges and delivery limits.