New virus case for Campbell County likely to be reassigned
GILLETTE (WNE) – A Wyoming Department of Health report that shows a 17th confirmed case of COVID-19 will likely be adjusted back to 16.
Campbell County spokeswoman Ivy McGowan said in an email to the News Record that address confusion led the case to be assigned to the county when the person is now living in Colorado.
“So the case will be reassigned to the appropriate community,” she said.
That means the county is still at 16 confirmed cases, with the state reporting 15 recoveries in its daily coronavirus update Tuesday afternoon.
Minus the case that may be reassigned, Wyoming’s number of confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus rose to 512, along with 162 probable cases. Of those combined 674 cases, 477 have recovered. There have been seven deaths to the virus in the Cowboy State.
The state also is closing in on 15,000 total tests for COVID-19 to date at 14,897, including 8,288 tests reported from commercial laboratories and 6,609 at the Wyoming Public Health Laboratory in Cheyenne.
In Campbell County, the state has logged 494 tests and a 2.8% positive rate of those tested, according to Tuesday’s update.
Statewide, Fremont County continues to have the most cases at 182, followed by Laramie County with 111. Teton County has 67 cases and Natrona 38. Together, those four counties make up about 71% of the state’s COVID-19 cases.
Carbon County authorities suspect homicide after discovering dead body
RAWLINS (WNE) — Authorities suspect homicide to be the likely cause behind the recent discovery of a dead body.
The body, who was not identified by Carbon County Sheriff Archie Roybal because the case is under investigation, was found in the backseat of a vehicle parked near Walcott Junction early Monday morning, the sheriff’s office said in a written statement. Authorities were originally contacted by a local resident who reported a suspicious vehicle being parked on a nearby roadway. She also told authorities that she saw an unresponsive subject in the back seat.
“The vehicle was located on County Road 215, approximately 100 feet off of Hwy. 30. Wyoming Highway Patrol responded, entered the vehicle and found a male who had suffered a fatal gunshot wound to the chest,” the release states. “They then notified the Carbon County Sheriff ’s Office. After deputies arrived, Wyoming DCI and the Coroner’s Office were contacted.”
The sheriff ’s office is currently seeking information from anyone who may have seen the vehicle, a white Toyota sedan with Nebraska plates.
In addition, after speaking with Nebraska authorities, the sheriff ’s office also seeks a person of interest, juvenile Marcos Listeban Garza Calderon, described as 5’6”, 130 pounds with brown eyes and black hair.
“He should be considered possibly armed and dangerous,” the release states.
The sheriff’s office urges anyone who thinks they may have seen Calderon or the described vehicle between 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. Monday to call 307-324-2776.
Decker Coal Company announces furloughs
SHERIDAN (WNE) – Decker Coal Company furloughed 98 miners Friday, adding to the hit taken by workers in the Powder River Basin’s coal industry in recent weeks.
According to a company statement, the workers will be furloughed until May 26. Leonard Wolff, general manager of Decker Coal, said an end date is in sight for the furloughed employees, as the domestic and export customers provided a solid June 1 restart date.
While the mine is located in southern Montana, more than 90% live in Sheridan County and commute to the mine. Wolff said all but two or three opted to receive the expanded unemployment benefits, rather than using accumulated paid time off.
Those employees will all be brought back on to work starting May 28, Wolff said, which differs from other companies unable to give furloughed employees an end date. The company will maintain medical benefits for its employees, as well.
According to the Mine Safety and Health Administration, the mine had 164 employees in the first quarter of the year and produced just over one million tons of coal.
The furloughs come shortly after layoffs in other mines throughout the Powder River Basin. Navajo Transitional Energy Company laid off 73 miners at Spring Creek Mine, which also employees many Sheridan County residents, in April. In total, nearly 400 miners have lost jobs since COVID-19 reached the area.
According to a report released April 30 by the International Energy Agency projects that energy demand will fall 6% in 2020. The report also indicated that coal will take a particularly hard hit, with global demand projected to fall by 8% in 2020.
Woman burned after fall in Yellowstone thermal feature
JACKSON (WNE) – A woman who illegally entered Yellowstone National Park had to be airlifted to a hospital Tuesday morning after she fell into a thermal feature.
The woman was backing up and taking photos when she fell into the thermal feature — which include geysers, fumaroles and hot springs — near Old Faithful, public information officer Linda Veress said in an email. Park officials did not know which feature the woman fell into.
She suffered burns from the fall, and after she extricated herself she drove north toward Mammoth Hot Springs. Park rangers contacted her about a mile south of Mammoth Hot Springs.
Because of the extent of her injuries, rangers called for an air ambulance to take her to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls.
The park is closed because of the coronavirus pandemic, but Veress declined to say if the woman will be charged with a crime or levied a fine for entering the park. She said the matter is under investigation, and she declined to provide any information about the woman or how she was able to enter the park.
During the federal government shutdown in January 2019, the Christian Science Monitor reported that violating a national park closure could result in up to six months in jail.
Veress didn’t provide information on the maximum fine for entering Yellowstone during a closure, saying it was too early to know what penalties the woman might face.