Continuing the Crook County News Since 1884

Wyoming News Briefs

Committeewoman cited over errant shots fired during hunt 

POWELL (WNE) — Nina Webber, the Wyoming Republican National Committeewoman and a two-time candidate for House District 24, has been charged with reckless endangerment stemming from a morning elk hunt Nov. 30 near Wapiti. 

Ranch manager Cory Williams at Trout Creek said he and his wife were forced to seek cover as bullets from a group of hunters buzzed over their heads while they were outside their home preparing for work. 

He said he heard roughly two dozen shots being fired as elk stacked up on private land near the Wapiti post office. 

The bullets were fired in the direction of U.S. Highway 14/16/20W but did not cross the roadway, according to the sheriff’s office report. 

Webber was the only member of the hunt party cited by a Park County deputy responding to the scene. She said during a brief interview Friday afternoon that she has retained an attorney and will fight the allegations. 

Park County Sheriff Scott Steward said the investigation at the scene revealed Webber was the only hunter in the group who was in position to take the shots threatening the Williams family. 

“I think the evidence in this case will show that when she was interviewed by the deputy, and asked to point out the direction she was firing, she was showing the direction she was firing was directly toward the home,” Steward said. 

Elk numbering close to 300 at times often congregate in the fields surrounding ranches and homes along the highway during the season. 

Steward said there is nothing wrong with hunting the herd as long as hunters are aware of nearby residences and the road; however, hunting has become more complicated recently as more people are building homes in the area, he said. 

Arrest leads to discovery of cocaine

CODY (WNE) — After being taken to jail on a warrant, a Cody woman was charged Dec. 1 with allegedly transporting cocaine into the jail, which officers found after conducting a second search of her person.

It is a felony, and if convicted, Sarah A. Glumac, 46, will face imprisonment for no more than three years, a fine of no more than $3000 or both.

Cody Police Officer Thomas Wilshusen was dispatched to Legacy Meats after an anonymous caller reported Glumac was working there. At the time, she had an outstanding bench warrant from Park County for failure to pay.

Glumac was arrested and searched, with Wilshusen removing her wallet and keys.

She was then transported to the Park County Detention Center, where she was again searched “in accordance to jail procedure” by Park County Detention Sgt. Cathy Thomas, the affidavit said.

Thomas found a small plastic bag with .75 grams of a white powder.

Glumac was read her rights and subsequently confirmed the plastic bag contained cocaine, the affidavit said.

She was given a $7,485 bond for one count of taking a controlled substance into jail and two counts related to her warrant.

As of Dec. 6, Glumac remained an inmate in the Park County Detention Center, awaiting further proceedings in Park County Circuit Court.

Cody woman arrested for child abuse

CODY (WNE) — A Cody woman was arrested Nov. 20 for allegedly committing child abuse after choking her 15-year-old child and throwing him against a wall because he would not give her his cellphone.

Jacqueline Williams, 34, if convicted, could face imprisonment for no more than ten years, a fine of no more than $10,000 or both.

Cody Police Officers Trevor Budd and Brett Tillery were dispatched to Williams’ home around 4 p.m. on Nov. 20 for an “in progress physical domestic violence” call, the affidavit said.

Budd made the first contact with Williams’ child.

“[He] was speaking with a raspy voice, had apparent trouble swallowing while talking and had bloodshot eyes consistent with petechiae,” Budd wrote in the affidavit. “I recognized these be consistent with someone having their airway restricted.”

Petechiae are spots of bleeding that can occur under the skin or on eyes and can be a sign of choking or strangulation, according to the Mayo Clinic.

“During [the] argument, Williams jumped on the seated [child] and placed her hand on [his] throat, restricting his breathing,” the affidavit said. “[The child] then stood up but was slammed against the wall by Williams who still had her hand around his throat and windpipe area.”

A witness of the encounter between Williams and her child told police that the child’s face had turned purple, and he was coughing while Williams had him against the wall by his throat.

Williams was arraigned in Park County Circuit Court and given a $10,000 personal recognizance signature bond, allowing her to sign her name and be released.

After a preliminary hearing on Nov. 29, Williams’ case was transferred to district court, where she now waits to be arraigned.

Man arrested for DUI after driving into oncoming traffic, backing into patrol car

GILLETTE (WNE) — A 25-year-old man was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol early Sunday morning after he backed his pickup into a patrol car.

He was driving a gray Dodge truck with no headlights shortly before 2 a.m. Sunday

When police tried stopping him, he began swerving and he tried to pull over on the left side of the road, where he was driving into oncoming traffic. He eventually stopped at the intersection of Warlow Drive and North Gillette Avenue, said Police Deputy Chief Brent Wasson.

He then put his truck in reverse and backed into a 2021 Ford patrol car, causing $5,000 in damage.

He was arrested for DUI after refusing to perform sobriety tests. He also was ticketed with failure to maintain a single lane of travel and improper backing, Wasson said.

New energy office planned

CASPER (WNE) — The Wyoming Energy Authority is advancing its efforts to streamline economic development across the state. 

It’s been several months since the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration awarded $595,000 to the state to create the Wyoming Energy Regional Economic Coordination Office as part of an ongoing federal initiative aimed at supporting coal communities in search of new economic engines. 

“The purpose of this grant is to help bring information and resources out into the Wyoming communities, and to the businesses,” said Anja Richmond, the Energy Authority’s program director. 

Its focus is fourfold. 

The Energy Authority intends to partner with businesses pursuing net-zero-carbon energy ventures, Richmond said, “so that they can be working and identifying what their needs are, and then reach out to the state and the resources we have to help address those challenges that they have.” 

It aims to help communities embrace energy development, from increasingly familiar new fields like advanced nuclear and carbon capture, utilization and storage to broader issues like electrification and energy efficiency. 

It’ll also focus on giving tools to existing businesses that can “pivot them to new opportunities,” Richmond said. 

The new state office will conduct a county-by-county assessment of existing projects and future potential, she said, “basically so that they have an idea of what their strengths are in that county for energy development.” 

And it will create a plan, Richmond said, for an economic transition that prioritizes the well-being of communities across the state. 

“We know that it’s a big shake-up,” she said. “There’s going to be significant changes as far as where revenue is coming from, where it’s going, where jobs are.” 

Vet: Chronic wasting disease or not, keep wild bones away from dogs

JACKSON (WNE) — For the time being, chronic wasting disease is “less of a concern” than a host of other nasties to dogs that like sniffing out and gnawing on the remains of wild animals.

The other, more pressing concerns include picking up botulism from gut piles or ingesting a piece of bone that doesn’t digest well and gets stuck in the animal’s intestines.

That’s according to Dr. Dan Forman, the now-retired community veterinarian who spent decades at Spring Creek Animal Hospital. 

Forman said as much when state and local officials reported an uptick in illegal carcass dumping this fall, a change that came after the Teton County Transfer Station increased fees for disposing of dead animals. 

The fees, game wardens said, have disincentivized hunters from bringing carcasses to the landfill. Instead, spinal cords and gut piles have been turning up along byways like Henry’s Road south of Jackson and Emily’s Pond on the Snake River levee.

Forman said there are no documented cases of domesticated animals picking up chronic wasting disease, a neurological condition that’s always fatal in deer, elk and moose. In a lab, however, researchers have shown that some primates can pick up the malady, so Forman said it’s not out of the question that domesticated dogs could pick up the disease.

Still, Forman said there are other, documented concerns about chewing on bones that pose a greater danger to dogs, like failing to digest a bone fragment. 

So though pooches might be proud of their finds, Forman recommends people gently take animal remains away from their pets.

“Give them a Milk Bone instead,” he said.

WCCC asks lawmakers for scholarship funding

CHEYENNE (WNE) — While the Wyoming Community College Commission has only one major supplemental budget request, it also appealed to state lawmakers Friday to fund the Wyoming’s Tomorrow Scholarship Program. 

Gov. Mark Gordon recommended $35 million go toward the program in his 2023-24 supplemental budget, which would help meet the $50 million threshold for scholarships to start being awarded. 

Wyoming’s Tomorrow Scholarship was signed into law by Gordon following the 2022 budget session, with a $10 million appropriation to the endowment fund from the Legislative Stabilization Reserve Account. 

Another $5 million will still need to be awarded to the fund if the Wyoming Legislature appropriates the $35 million during the upcoming general session, but Gordon hopes private partners will have the opportunity to contribute. 

The commission supported the governor’s request in the Wyoming Legislature’s Joint Appropriations Committee meeting Friday. The money would go toward a program designed for nontraditional students.

To qualify, students must be 24 or older, have not earned a bachelor’s degree and not be eligible for a Hathaway Scholarship, as well as register with the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services for applicable training assistance. 

They will have to repay the scholarship amounts received, which will go back into the Wyoming’s Tomorrow Scholarship expenditure account. 

“It’s about the economic vitality of our state,” said WCCC Executive Director Sandy Caldwell, as she advocated for the program. “We know that this will help provide a trained workforce when you’re talking about the certificate and the associate degree level. We also know that the bachelor’s degree begins to create new business and industry in your state.”