Continuing the Crook County News Since 1884

Articles from the March 25, 2021 edition


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  • Fire consumes second home this month

    Sarah Pridgeon|Mar 25, 2021

    For the second time this month, fire has caused the complete loss of a home in Crook County. The blaze began on Sunday evening at a property on Sand Creek Road and, despite the efforts of county volunteer firefighters, it proved impossible to save the structure. The scale of this fire was not as large as the one two weeks ago, because it was mainly contained to the structures on the property. At time of going to press, the cause was unknown and will be investigated in the near future, according to Fire Warden Doug Leis. “It wasn’t a grass fir...

  • Re-trial expected for Marty Smith

    Sarah Pridgeon|Mar 25, 2021

    ased on a $2500 bond in anticipation of her upcoming re-trial on charges related to the death of Sundance man Doug Haar, who died from traumatic asphyxiation in the early hours of August 1, 2018. Smith was found guilty by jury of felony counts of accessory before the fact to involuntary manslaughter and accessory to aggravated assault and battery. However, in February, the Wyoming Supreme Court overturned her sentence of up to 18 years in jail. Wyoming Supreme Court Justices made this decision after hearing arguments that Smith’s original t...

  • Fairground upgrades begin

    Sarah Pridgeon|Mar 25, 2021

    The first step of a renovation project at the Crook County Fairgrounds has begun with the demolition of the three old cattle and horse barns. These were in a bad state due to age, says Fair Board President Terri Johnson, but will be replaced in time for the kids to bring their animals to fair. The renovation has begun with the stalls, she says, because these were the structures in the worst condition. County maintenance crew has already begun pulling them down. “They are removing all the light b...

  • RER gets go-ahead on demo plant

    Sarah Pridgeon|Mar 25, 2021

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) has given formal notice that Rare Element Resources (RER) and General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) may enter into negotiations for a financial award for engineering, construction and operation of a rare earth demonstration plant. According to RER, this is the next step in its long-term plan to open a rare earth mine in the Bear Lodge Mountains. The demo plant project will be pursued in conjunction with GA Europe’s Umwelt-und Ingenieurtechnik G...

  • Public Health prepares to offer jabs for all

    Sarah Pridgeon|Mar 25, 2021

    Within the next couple of weeks, Crook County Public Health (CCPH) is aiming to meet its goal of injecting a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine program into the arm of every person who is currently signed up on its waiting list. This has become possible because Wyoming is preparing to move into Phase 2 of the COVID-19 vaccination program, which will open up the opportunity to anyone who wants it. “We’re still in Phase 1c, working our way through the list going from the highest ages down. We should be able to get through a lot of people in the nex... Full story

  • Carol Speidel

    Mar 25, 2021

    Carol Speidel, 77 of Moorcroft, WY went home to the Lord on March 13, 2021. Carol was born to Edwin and Gertie Rueb in Long Lake, SD on February 2, 1944. She graduated from Leola High School and later worked in a neighboring hospital. In June of 1965, she married Gordon Speidel and from this union two daughters were born. Carol enjoyed bowling but mostly she loved to cook and bake for her family. She also was active in her church which she loved very much. She is survived by her husband of 55 years, Gordon; daughters, Denise and Clarice; and... Full story

  • Vernon Arthur Montgomery

    Mar 25, 2021

    Vernon Arthur Montgomery, 75, Sundance, Wyoming, passed away peacefully at home on Tuesday, March 16, 2021 surrounded by loved ones. He successfully fought Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma for 30 years but ultimately lost a final and brief battle to metastatic lung cancer. He was born in Hot Springs, South Dakota, April 23, 1945 to Kenneth and Betty Jo (Smith) Montgomery. The family lived in Custer, South Dakota, until moving to Sundance when Vernon was two. He attended school in Sundance, graduating high school in 1963. In June of 1964 he joined the US... Full story

  • Bob Tope

    Mar 25, 2021

    Bob Tope, 74, of Newell, South Dakota lost his courageous battle with cancer Monday, March 22, 2021 at Monument Hospital in Spearfish, South Dakota. Robert Joe Tope was born in Spearfish May 9,1946 to Robert Sinnett and Mildred Della (Shepherd) Tope. He spent most of his childhood on the ranch northwest of Moorcroft, Wyoming and graduated from Moorcroft High School in 1964. Robert is survived by his mother, Mildred Tope and brother, Jay (Wilma) Tope of Aladdin, Wyoming; his children, Jeremy (Dawn) Tope of Dixon, Missouri, Brian (Anita) Tope of... Full story

  • Veterans assistance available

    Mar 25, 2021

    A state of Wyoming veterans service officer from the Wyoming Veterans Commission will conduct community outreach services around Wyoming cities throughout April. Sandy McFarland is available to meet with veterans and their families to discuss state and federal veterans’ benefits, Department of Veterans Affairs claims, or VA healthcare. McFarland can also help veterans and their families apply for benefits, file claims, or request healthcare. Her office is located at 551 Running W. Dr., Ste. 100, in Gillette, and she will be available at the f...

  • Benefit auction this weekend for Halverson family

    Sarah Pridgeon|Mar 25, 2021

    A benefit auction for the Halverson family will be taking place this Friday at the shooting sports building in Sundance. James and Jessica and their three children lost their home and belongings during a fire earlier this month and the fundraiser is intended to help them get back on their feet. The evening will begin at 5 p.m. with a meal and silent auction, followed by a live auction and gun raffle at 7:30 p.m. Donations will be accepted for both auctions until March 25; call Christi Marchant at (605) 645-2537, Tobi Ayer at 281-0313, Amanda...

  • Card of Thanks

    Mar 25, 2021

    Thank You Thank you for the phone calls, text messages, food, donations to St. Jude, love, support and friendship during the loss of my Dad, Charles Mitts. It is wonderful to live in such a great community. Marla Mitts... Full story

  • This Week at Your Library

    Kim Heaster|Mar 25, 2021

    We are still doing curbside and delivery if you would prefer not to come inside. The statewide mask mandate has ended, but if you want to wear a mask in the library, we have masks available. Children under 13 MUST be accompanied by an adult. Two computers are available for adults. Teen and children’s computers are not available. We will start allowing teens and children to use the computers and kid’s iPads on April 1. The Meeting Room is now open for meetings, parties, etc. Please call the library for more information and availability. Tha...

  • Peek at the Past

    Mar 25, 2021

    1 Years Ago Mar. 24, 1921 A most enjoyable masquerade dance was pulled off at Commercial Hall Thursday evening. The weather was fine and a good crowd was present. Some of the costumes were very elaborate and the show was very interesting from the spectators’ point of view. Awards were made as follows: most elaborate costume, Tom Roark and Miss Ruby Bock. Best comedy character, Hugh Heckinger, and a tie between Mrs. Harry Schloredt and Miss Claire Crewdson. Best waltzer, Ed Thomas and Mrs. J...

  • Sundance man sentenced for fraud

    Sarah Pridgeon|Mar 25, 2021

    Sundance man Robert Glenn has received a suspended sentence for a felony fraud charge after allegedly writing a total of ten bad checks to businesses and entities within the City of Sundance. Sundance Police Department reports that it was alerted in December, 2019 to three bad checks written to entities within city limits; one to the VFW for sewer work in the amount of $2000, one to the City of Sundance for $156.67; and one to a local business for $236.62. All three checks were allegedly made out by Robert Glenn. A Sundance officer then...

  • North Dakota man sentenced after high speed chase

    Sarah Pridgeon|Mar 25, 2021

    A North Dakota man has been given a suspended sentence after leading law enforcement on an extended high speed chase over a year ago, reaching speeds well over 100 mph. On January 5, 2020, a Crook County Sheriff’s Office Deputy was patrolling Hwy 585 when he clocked a white vehicle at 77 mph in a 70 mph and deputy executed a traffic stop. The driver was identified as Harold William Barney III via his North Dakota driver’s license. After the deputy spoke with Barney and received conflicting information about his travel plans, a narcotics can...

  • Minnesota man sentenced for intent to deliver marijuana

    Sarah Pridgeon|Mar 25, 2021

    A Minnesota resident has received a suspended sentence related to a large amount of marijuana that was allegedly found in their vehicle when they were pulled over during a traffic stop. On June 22, 2020, a Wyoming Highway Patrol trooper observed a gray vehicle approaching his location on I-90 near milepost 174 at a measured speed of 78 mph in the 75 mph zone. The trooper reports that he performed a traffic stop near milepost 176 and made contact with the three occupants of the vehicle. The driver was identified as Alphonso Gbalea Jr. The troope...

  • Crook County Sheriff

    Mar 25, 2021

    Mar. 8 – Eight VIN checks. Two traffic stops. Civil assist. Assist to Hulett Police. Suspicious circumstance complaint. Runaway report. Two motorist assists. Animal complaint. Fraud complaint. Subject booked into jail. Business burglar alarm. Business checks. Two pages for Fire Department. Page for EMS. Mar. 9 – Six VIN checks. Eight traffic stops. Suspicious person complaint. Motorist assist. Fingerprints. Traffic complaint. Animal complaint. Business checks. Mar. 10 – Four VIN checks. Paper service. Three traffic stops. Assist to Probation an...

  • Circuit Court

    Mar 25, 2021

    Speeding – Scott D. Johnson, WA, 92/75, $130; Shane M. Flury, Casper, 84/75, $103; Robin Sansom, Canada, 94/80, $130; Zachary Krueger, Brandon, 84/75, $103; Dustin Mininger, SD, 91/80, $115; Joshua Henson, Casper, 90/75, $135; Linda L. Roberts, Carlile, 75/65, $105; Grant Turek, NE, 88/75, $125; Andrew Melendez, NY, 95/80, $145 Careless Driving – Leslie F. Budmayr, SD, $240 Vehicle Off Road – Austin J. Swaney, Pine Haven, $150; Connor Douglas Swaney, Moorcroft, $250 No Seat Belt (driver) – Douglas Powers, Gillette, $25 Parking on Roadway...

  • Letter to the Editor

    Mar 25, 2021

    Dear Editor, I just returned from the impressive SHS performance of the musical “Flapper” which compelled me to write my first letter to the editor, one which I have been thinking about for several months. I know firsthand as both a director and a cast member the amount of work and dedication that goes into putting on a performance such as this. I also know that that it had to take the administration, entire staff and students in the school to produce such a quality performance! Kudos to Teresa Priesner and Mr. Gillis! The smile under my mas...

  • Dear NP

    Dr. Wesley Davis, DNP, ENP-C, FNP-C, AGACNP-BC, CEN|Mar 25, 2021

    Dear NP, Last year I was diagnosed with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever after a long course of sickness. My delay in treatment was because I failed to mention I had a recent tick bite. With warmer weather approaching, it may be helpful to let readers know about tick-borne illnesses found in our area. Dear Reader, Warmer weather is coming and while we are all looking forward to spending time outdoors, avoiding ticks is a crucial way to prevent contracting the illness they can spread. Ticks can...

  • This Side of the Pond

    Sarah Pridgeon|Mar 25, 2021

    They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but sometimes it’s a surreal experience to be told you’re awesome. I discovered this week that I could walk all the way from Britain to China and still find myself staring at Victorian church spires and Tudor houses. There’s a replica version of London on the outskirts of Shanghai, complete with as many symbols of Britishness as its designers were able to think of. It has pubs and shops, lamp posts and pillar boxes, statues of Winston Churchi...

  • Ryan Ranch welcomes triplet calves

    Mark Watson, Black Hills Pioneer|Mar 25, 2021

    ALADDIN, Wyo. — Ranchers through the Northern Great Plains are in the midst of calving season right now, and that is true at the Ryan Ranch, located north of Aladdin, Wyo. But unlike nearly every other rancher this year, the Ryan Ranch welcomed a set of triplet black angus calves on March 9. “You just don’t hardly hear of anybody having them,” said rancher Scott Ryan. It was his wife Tami who first spotted the tiny black calves laying in the field, their mom nearby. “I came over the hill, and I...

  • New spring season dates for most wild turkey hunt areas

    Mar 25, 2021

    There’s a new opening date for Wyoming’s spring turkey season. Hunters should plan for an April 20 opener in four of the state’s five hunt areas. The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission made this change to align more appropriately with the bird’s biology, simplify regulations and increase hunter opportunity. “We worked through the season setting and public input process last year to further simplify the hunting regulations for wild turkey. This new spring season is also more biologically sensible,...

  • Wyoming News Briefs

    From Wyoming News Exchange Newspapers|Mar 25, 2021

    Man charged in Riverton stabbing faces enhanced sentence RIVERTON (WNE) — Accused of stabbing a 55-year-old man in a van near North Federal Blvd last week, Jody VanFleet was sent to a higher court on Wednesday. The 37-year-old VanFleet has been charged with two counts of aggravated assault, one for the stabbing, and one for threatening the alleged victim with a drawn deadly weapon. One of the assaults is punishable by up to 10 years in prison. But because VanFleet has been convicted of two felonies prior and now faces an allegation of f...

  • Ask Game & Fish

    Mar 25, 2021

    Q: “What can I do to prevent the spread of zebra mussels found in moss balls?” A: Zebra mussels, an aquatic invasive species, were recently found in moss balls sold through Wyoming pet stores. Moss balls are used in aquariums for decoration and water oxygenation. There are three main things the public can do to help prevent the spread of invasive zebra mussels. If you have an aquarium with moss balls, don’t flush moss balls or pour any of your aquarium water down the drain. First, remove any fish or pets from the aquarium, then boil the moss...

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