Digest

Oct 1, 2015 The Associated Press

Sheridan seeks TSA support

SHERIDAN -- As the Sheridan County Airport prepares to resume commercial air passenger service, the county is unsure if there will be Transportation Security Administration officials to do security checks before flights take off.

A contract for flight service out of Sheridan was signed last week, but TSA officials have not returned to the airport.

TSA left when the Sheridan airport stopped commercial service earlier this year. Officials said they would return if commercial service resumed, but the start date of Nov. 19 is around the corner and agents aren't in sight.

Sheridan County Commissioner Steve Maier says if TSA agents don't arrive before the first flight, passengers will have to get off the plane in Denver and be bused to TSA as if they were catching a flight from that airport.

Casper voters to decide smoking ban

CASPER -- Casper residents will decide Nov. 17 whether smoking should be allowed in the city's bars.

The Natrona County clerk made the announcement Wednesday after city council members decided unanimously last week to allow voters to decide the fate of the ban.

On Sept. 15, council members took the first of three votes to remove the smoking ban outright. They changed their minds by the next week.

Council members alluded to the possibility that if they decided the issue on their own, a citizens committee could again attempt to force an election, which would continue to leave bar owners in limbo.

During the past three years, cigarettes have been alternately banned, permitted and banned again as council members passed and then tinkered with the smoking ordinance.

Wild horse roundup planned

RAWLINS -- Land management officials are planning another wild horse roundup in the Red Desert herd management area.

Horses were last removed from the area in 2011. The population has since increased to an estimated 2,100 horses, well above the high end of the Appropriated Management Level.

BLM spokeswoman Sarah Beckwith says a herd can double in size every four years without a natural predator, making the removals necessary to ensure a viable horse population.

American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign spokeswoman Deniz Bolbol says the wild horse population needs to be managed with some other method than removal, noting there are already 50,000 horses and burros in government holding facilities.

Police dog saves officer from attack

CHEYENNE -- Authorities say a police dog prevented a Cheyenne officer from using lethal force against a suspect who had been assaulting the officer.

The 5-year-old Belgian Malinois attacked 40-year-old Aventura Palomo Jr. Tuesday as Officer Lisa Koeppel was on her back getting struck in the face. Police spokesman Officer Dan Long says the dog's quick response prevented a potentially fatal situation.

Koeppel had responded to a report of two men fighting when she came across Palomo and his 32-year-old brother, Adam Palomo.

Palomo Jr. allegedly attacked the officer, who then let the K-9 loose from her patrol vehicle by pushing a button on her belt. The police dog charged the suspect, freeing Koeppel from the assault.

Ex-county attorney faces trial

LARAMIE -- A former Albany County attorney accused of buying personal electronics with government funds is set to go to trial.

On Wednesday a judge refused to dismiss the charges against Richard Bohling.

Bohling has pleaded not guilty to criminal charges that he took cameras and computer equipment while serving as county attorney. Bohling served as county attorney from 2002 until last year.

In Bohling's lawyers' motion to dismiss the charges, they claim the state Division of Criminal Investigation targeted Bohling because he refused to base drug cases on information from a confidential informant who had a felony conviction.

Casper escapee sought

CASPER -- Natrona County authorities are still searching for a man who escaped from a Casper halfway house.

Sheriff's deputies had responded Sept. 23 to reports of a missing inmate from the Casper Re-Entry Center.

Officials at the center say Tommy Watkins checked in that morning to go to work, but never returned.