Wyoming News Briefs
May 12, 2022
California man arrested with 31 pounds of pot
GILLETTE (WNE) — A 24-year-old California man was arrested after he was caught with 31 pounds of marijuana in his car while passing through Gillette.
A Sheriff’s Office deputy clocked Caleb White driving 60 mph in a 55 mph zone Sunday morning on Highway 50 near Washington Street and pulled him over, said Undersheriff Quentin Reynolds.
A drug dog indicated on the maroon 2020 Hyundai with Washington state license plates. The resulting search of it revealed 31 pounds of marijuana, 2 grams of THC liquid and a cannabis-infused cookie.
He was arrested for felony possession of marijuana, felony possession with intent to deliver and felony possession of THC liquid, Reynolds said.
Grizzly relocated to Sunlight area
CODY (WNE) – After consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department captured and relocated an adult male grizzly bear on May 4.
According to a G&F news release, the bear was captured for killing cattle on private land and relocated to the Sunlight creek drainage approximately 30 miles from the northeast entrance of Yellowstone National Park.
Grizzly bear relocation is a management tool large carnivore biologists use to minimize conflicts between humans and grizzly bears. It is critical to managing the expanding population of grizzly bears in Wyoming.
Capture is necessary when other deterrent or preventative options are exhausted or unattainable. Once the animal is captured, all circumstances are taken into account when determining if the individual should be relocated.
If relocation is warranted, a site is determined by considering the age, sex and type of conflict the bear was involved in as well as potential human activity nearby.
Grizzly bears are only relocated into areas already occupied by other grizzly bears.
With any relocation, G&F consults with appropriate agencies to minimize the chance of future conflicts and maximize the relocated grizzly bear’s survival.
G&F continues to stress the importance of the public’s responsibility in bear management and the importance of keeping all attractants such as food, garbage, horse feed, bird seed unavailable to bears. Reducing attractants available to bears reduces human-bear conflicts, and in some cases, relocations.
For more information on grizzly bear management and reducing the potential for conflicts please visit the Bear Wise Wyoming.
Girl taken from Alaska found in Gillette
CHEYENNE (WNE) — U.S. marshals and Gillette Police Department officers on Friday afternoon found a child kidnapped from Alaska earlier this spring.
The recovery followed the arrest of the noncustodial mother in Gillette, according to a U.S. Marshals Service announcement Friday.
While the child was not found with the mother at the time of the arrest, it was located later.
Autumn Wilson had been arrested April 19 on charges of custodial interference and kidnapping.
Wilson then was turned over to the Campbell County Sheriff’s Office pending extradition to Alaska.
“This case is a great example of what can be accomplished when law enforcement agencies work together,” said Randall Huff, U.S. Marshal for Wyoming. “We are very thankful this child was rescued unharmed and will soon be returned to the family.”
Meier announces bid for second term
CHEYENNE (WNE) — Late Friday afternoon, Wyoming State Treasurer Curt Meier formally announced by email that he is seeking re-election to the office he won four years ago.
The former Republican lawmaker said he is seeking a second term because he is committed to implementing an unprecedented level of financial expertise and professionalism in the State Treasurer’s Office for the people of Wyoming.
“It has been an honor to serve the citizens of our great state as Wyoming’s Treasurer, and it is my desire to continue providing effective leadership, solid returns and excellent service in managing the people’s investments,” Meier said.
Meier won election to his current post in November 2018 after serving 24 years in the Wyoming State Senate, and was sworn in as Wyoming’s 31st state treasurer on Jan. 7, 2019.
In the first three years of his term, the office’s investments grew from $20.12 billion to more than $25.05 billion. Those accounts provided hundreds of millions of dollars each year to Wyoming’s general fund to address both essential and special interest needs of Wyoming taxpayers, while also bolstering the state’s education and workers’ compensation funds, according to the release.
“My goal has always been to keep government taxation and spending at its lowest possible level so that the private sector can thrive without needless government interference or burdensome taxes,” Meier said.
Campbell commissioners OK pay raises, but not for selves
GILLETTE (WNE) — Those holding public office or running for elected positions in Campbell County have more at stake this election season.
Campbell County commissioners voted 4-to-1 this week in favor of raises for elected officials, upping the highest such salary to $145,000, the highest allowed by Wyoming statute. However, they agreed to keep their own $37,500 part-time salaries the same.
Commissioner Colleen Faber was the lone vote against the resolution. For the past 12 years, elected officials in Campbell County had their salaries capped at $100,000.
Legislation from earlier this year increased that threshold for elected officials to $145,000, or that of a Circuit Court judge.
Under the approved resolution, the county attorney will be paid $145,000, the maximum amount allowed by law, making him the highest paid official. The rest, other than the county coroner, will see a raise to $135,000.
They will also continue to get benefits available to county employees in addition to their pay.
The raises will take effect Jan. 1, 2023, and last through Dec. 31, 2026, which makes those running for county seats in this year’s election eligible for the upped rates once elected or re-elected.
Auditor Racines to seek second term
SHERIDAN (WNE) — Wyoming State Auditor Kristi Racines is pursuing her second term in the role.
“This office is important to this Republican party and important to the people of Wyoming,” Racines said. “During the last 3 ½ years, we walked our talk of fiscal accountability daily, with every step. We scrutinized every line item, every entry, every dollar.”
The state auditor is the chief accountant and payroll officer to the state. Racines, a licensed Certified Public Accountant and experienced auditor, was elected to the role in 2018.
Racines said she has promoted transparency during her first term. During her first 30 days in office, she produced and turned over six years of state expenditure data that had been previously unreleased due to litigation. She also launched wyopen.gov, a site that gives residents easy access to the state’s expenditure information.
Racines said she was proud of all she had accomplished and is looking forward to continuing that work into a second term.
“The last few years have been hard: hard on our businesses, hard on our families, hard on our bank accounts,” Racines said. “It’s more important than ever to maintain Wyoming’s fiscal health and think mindfully about our future. We have a job to do…I’m asking voters to let me do my part to move Wyoming forward.”
Racines, a Republican and fiscal conservative, received 73.2% of the vote during the 2018 general election against Democratic candidate Jeff Dockter. She is currently the only candidate who has announced her intention to run for the auditor position this year.
Man produces stickers to show solidarity for Ukraine
JACKSON (WNE) — Shocked and saddened by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Wilson resident Horton Spitzer took his unease and channeled it into a visual symbol of support.
Fueled by a brainstorm from friend Lisa Robertson, Spitzer ordered a batch of blue-and-gold stickers modeled after the Ukrainian flag. About 4,700 of the 3-by-6-inch stickers have been distributed across the valley.
“There’s tremendous demand for trying to find some way to take away the angst of what’s happening in Ukraine,” Spitzer said. “People are just horrified by what’s happening, and what can I do?”
Spitzer buys the “I stand with Ukraine” stickers at about 45 cents each from the local shop Stinky Prints and distributes them around town.
They are available free of charge at Ace Hardware, Bubba’s BBQ, Sidewinders, Nora’s Fish Creek Inn, Our Lady of the Mountains Catholic Church and Basecamp, as well as many other shop counters.
“These people need assurance that the U.S. is supporting [them],” Spitzer said. “This is not from the government. It’s some little town in Wyoming.”