Fremont County Year in Review

Dec 31, 2013 Staff


2 -- Central Wyoming College experienced a decrease in students since reporting record-high enrollment for the 2010-11 school year.

The record head count was set at 2,700 students in 2010-11, with the number falling by 7.2 percent in 2011-12, to 2,516 students.

3 -- The 35 percent graduation rate in 2012 at Central Wyoming College was the highest ever recorded at the Riverton-based school, administrators said.

CWC's associate vice president for academic services said CWC will continue implementing initiatives to increase its own number in the future.

4 -- Dr. Jason Lovell of Riverton Family Medical no longer was licensed to practice osteopathic medicine in Wyoming. The Wyoming Board of Medicine accepted Lovell's request Dec. 26, 2012, to suspend his license voluntarily.

He was alleged to have failed to maintain proper professional boundaries with two female patients.

6 -- Fremont County library director Matt Nojonen fired Dubois Branch Library manager Paula Sabatka on Nov. 8, 2012, and a month later the Fremont County Library Board of Directors upheld that termination.

Sabatka, who had been the branch manager for six years, said she was terminated for helping the school district in Dubois.

11 -- Battling to preserve the authority of her position in the face of legislation aimed at stripping it from her, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill fired back sharply at her critics in the Wyoming Legislature.

Hill said it was the Legislature, not her office, that had undermined public education in the state by bouncing from one education policy priority to another and not allowing the elected state superintendent to do his or her job.

She also disputed claims by some lawmakers that Wyoming's schools have failed to keep pace with the added money poured into them, noting conspicuous successes on standardized testing.

14 -- 2012 was a record-setting year in terms of weather for both Riverton and Lander.

According to the National Weather Service Office in Riverton, 2012 was Riverton's warmest on record dating to the city's origin in 1906.

Lander also experienced its hottest year on record, which bested the previous record set in 1981 and again in 1988.

17 -- Central Wyoming College Trustee Judy Pedersen resigned from her post Jan. 16, apologizing to voters who elected her to another four-year term in November.

"I feel my time on the board has come to an end," Pedersen said at the start of the CWC Board of Trustees meeting.

20 -- The City of Riverton submitted a grant application Jan. 14 to the Fremont County School District 25 Recreation Board to ask for help with the cost of developing the proposed "green space" at 422 E. Main St. in downtown Riverton.

The city asked for $80,000 that would be put toward preparing the site and building a pavilion, gazebo, public restrooms, a patterned walk path, and landscaping.

20 -- Coroner Ed McAuslan made a somber report Jan. 15 to the Fremont County Commission.

The rates of accidental deaths, suicide, homicide and motor vehicle deaths in the county were all higher in 2012 than the national average, though the total instances of some of those events decreased from 2011 figures.

23 -- Fewer passengers boarded commercial airline flights at Riverton Regional Airport in 2012 compared to 2011.

Riverton public services director Bill Urbigkit said that in 2011, 14,587 passengers boarded a flight at the airport, while 13,375 passengers were counted in 2012.

24 -- The Fremont County School District 25 Board of Trustees accepted a retirement request from assistant superintendent Kim McKinnon.

24 -- The Central Wyoming College Board of Trustees voted to accept the resignation of former trustee Judy Pedersen during a special telephone meeting Jan. 23.

Pedersen submitted her resignation during the board's Jan. 16 meeting.

25 -- After their initial offer was rejected by the county, Riverton school officials awarded a surplus maintenance trailer to the Fremont County Board of Cooperative Educational Services.

BOCES executive director Sandy Barton said the modular structure would be used to create a school-based clinic for Fremont County School District 6 in Pavillion.

The Wind River schools are about 25 miles from the nearest hospital, and Barton said it can take more time than usual for emergency responders to reach Pavillion.

27 -- In December, the U.S. District Court approved the distribution of $1.5 billion in Indian Trust Settlement funds into Individual Indian Money accounts, including about $4 million to Wind River Indian Reservation accounts.

Settlement funds were divided into two groups or "classes." By Dec. 14, more than 4,000 enrolled tribe members from the first group had received their $1,000 checks in the mail or through deposit in their IIM accounts in Wyoming.

29 -- Fremont County attorney Brian Varn announced he would resign Feb. 28 after serving in the position for nearly four years.

Varn, 52, said he would relocate to Denver to reunite with family members who have been in Colorado since his wife was promoted to account regional controller for M-I Swaco in June.

29 -- The administrative team at Rendezvous Elementary School began planning for 2014, when even more third- through fifth-grade students were expected to attend classes in the building.

Fremont County School District 25 Superintendent Terry Snyder said the student body at Rendezvous should be even bigger next year, in part because the incoming second-grade class is larger than the outgoing fifth-grade class.

30 -- Shortly after Fremont County attorney Brian Varn submitted his letter of resignation, deputy county attorney Pat LeBrun announced he would seek the position.

Because Varn is a Republican, his successor would also have to be a member of the GOP, which LeBrun is.

30 -- Court documents show Alma Mosho, 33, of Fort Hall, Idaho, waived her preliminary hearing that was scheduled to take place in January. Her case was bound over to District Court.

Mosho is the suspect driver involved in a fatal hit-and-run accident Dec. 3, 2012, at the Rezeride Roadhouse Saloon west of Kinnear. Coroner Ed McAuslan said Michelle Littleshield, 35, of St. Stephen's, died at about 2 a.m. Dec. 3, 2012, of blunt force trauma from the crash. Another woman reportedly was also injured.

31 -- Fremont County legislators had opposing views on a law that modified the role of Wyoming's elected superintendent of public instruction.

According to published reports, State Superintendent Cindy Hill served Gov. Matt Mead with a lawsuit after he signed the legislation, claiming the new law violated the state constitution by creating an appointed director to replace Hill as the head of public schools. But state State Sen. Eli Bebout, R-Riverton, who voted for Senate File 104, said the law did not take away Hill's constitutional right to supervise schools.

Sen. Cale Case, R-Lander, who voted against the bill, said SF104 was "arguably constitutional," but he thought it went against the spirit of the Wyoming Constitution, which provides that "the general supervision of the public schools shall be entrusted to the state superintendent of public instruction, whose powers and duties shall be prescribed by law."


1 -- The man convicted of three misdemeanor charges in the 2011 death of a Wind River Elementary School student was sentenced to roughly 10 months at the Fremont County Detention Center. MaKayla Marie Strahle, 11, of Crowheart, died Dec. 20, 2011, after William "Dean" Barnes hit her with his car after she exited the school bus.

Lander 9th Judicial District Court Judge Norman E. Young rendered a 300-day jail sentence for the misdemeanor charge of homicide by vehicle. Young also ordered Barnes to pay roughly $13,000 in restitution.

6 -- The fired manager of the Dubois Branch Library sued the Fremont County Library Board to get her job back.

Paula Sabatka, through attorney H. Clay Fulcher of Dubois, filed a "petition for review of agency action" in Lander's 9th Judicial District Court on Jan. 31 stating her termination was improper.

Fremont County Library Director Matt Nojonen fired Sabatka for an alleged violation of a state law prohibiting public officials from using public funds for private benefit.

7 -- After a year on the job, Fremont County School District 38 superintendent Jonathan Braack submitted his resignation, effective June 30.

The Arapahoe Board of Trustees voted 3-1 to accept Braack's resignation Feb. 5 after an hourlong executive session.

8 -- Examinations of a human skull discovered near Popo Agie Falls brought inconclusive results.

Officials had hoped the skull could be identified positively as that of Clay Rubano, who was reported missing in 2007.

Despite the inconclusive report, Fremont County Coroner Ed McAuslan said his office at this time has closed the Rubano case.

8 -- Encana Oil & Gas and Burlington Resources Oil & Gas Company sought to develop an oil and natural gas field straddling Fremont and Natrona counties. The Bureau of Land Management Lander Field Office launched the process Jan. 17 to license the 4,250-well project.

10 -- Tentative plans began shaping up to build a $5 million Riverton courthouse facility at the Major property in north Riverton that would house the county court, the Fremont County Attorney's and Fremont County Sheriff's offices in the county's largest city.

12 -- A 32-year-old Fort Washakie man was charged with two counts of aggravated assault and battery after reportedly stabbing a Riverton woman Feb. 10 at the Comfort Inn.

The suspect, Heto Thayer, initially was arrested for first-degree attempted murder when he was apprehended by police at about 5:45 a.m. Feb. 10 at Walmart. Officials said he had stabbed Kimberly Potter, 24, of Riverton, in the back and punctured her lung. She was in stable condition as of Feb. 11.

13 -- Recent legal expenses drained the reserves of the LeClair Irrigation District, and the district said it would increase its rates to raise capital.

LeClair Irrigation District 3 commissioner Terry Betts said the district had spent more than $342,000 on legal fees since the summer of 2011.

14 -- The Riverton Police Department handled 13,750 calls for service in 2012. The calls varied from proactive police enforcement to shoplifting.

Riverton police chief Mike Broadhead presented the numbers to city council members after the council expressed interest in knowing the data before renewing liquor licenses for 2013.

15 -- The last survivor of the Sinks Canyon's big horn sheep herd died in February.

The ram, nicknamed Bam Bam, died far from his home and away from the wild at a Wyoming Game and Fish research facility in Sybille Canyon near Wheatland. Game and Fish moved the sheep there in 2009.

Disease from domestic sheep annihilated Bam Bam's herd and interaction with humans had ruined the animal for a life in the wild.

17 -- Fremont County Commission vice chairman Travis Becker brought a proposal for a new Riverton justice center to the county board's Feb. 12 meeting. Denver architecture firm Reilly Johnson drew up the plan for a $5.3 million, 16,000 square foot new building housing the courthouse, sheriff's office and county attorney's office.

19 -- H. Michael Bennett was appointed by the Fremont County Commission to take over as Fremont County Attorney on March 1.

Bennett will finish out Fremont County Attorney Brian Varn's term through 2014 after Varn resigned.

21 -- Nicole Schoening took her seat on the Central Wyoming College Board of Trustees on Feb. 20, beating out a pool of six other candidates.

Trustees took about an hour to choose their preferred appointee from Schoening, Gloria Philp, Tim Payne, Phil Christopherson, Robert Heuermann, Jack Hildner and John W. Mercer Jr.

21 -- The Wyoming 9th Judicial District Circuit Court satellite facility in Dubois apparently will stay open.

State Sen. Eli Bebout, R-Riverton, amended the Legislature's general appropriations bill twice to maintain that tribunal for at least one more year.

22 -- Laziur Stephen Hanway Jr. said he hesitated moments before he used a 3- or 4-inch black pocketknife to stab Elva Charlotte Quiver and Eric Clinton Likes to death at a Hudson trailer house the night of Nov. 15, 2011.

Hanway and his brother-in-law Joseph Jude Jenkins walked into the bedroom where Likes, 42, and Quiver, 20, slept, with a knife in hand.

The testimony was given during a 30-minute hearing Feb. 21 in Lander's 9th Judicial District Court after Hanway pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree murder.

24 -- The Wyoming Department of Audit released a report showing Riverton had a lean budget compared to other Wyoming municipalities with more than 4,000 residents.

Riverton's spending on other expenses was $1,183 per resident, putting it third-lowest among the 18 Wyoming towns and cities studied. Lander had the lowest costs at $872 per resident.

27 -- The U.S. Department of Labor posted a "pre-solicitation notice" for construction services for the Wind River Job Corps facility scheduled to be built near the Riverton Regional Airport by 2015.

Sandy Barton, executive director of the Fremont County Board of Cooperative Educational Services, said the posting shows that plans for the job corps are progressing.

27 -- A judge granted a motion ordering a second competency evaluation on the youngest defendant in the 2011 Hudson double homicide case after the first evaluation found him incompetent to proceed.

Jude Blackburn, 16, of Riverton, was charged with one count of first-degree arson and two counts each of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, aggravated robbery and conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery in the Nov. 15, 2011, stabbing deaths of Eric Clinton Likes, 42, and his girlfriend, Elva Charlotte Quiver, 20, at Likes's rented trailer house in Hudson.

28 -- The Fremont County Commission advanced plans to build a new Riverton justice center. The decisions came after the county board discussed concerns and how further investigation could add costly delays to the project.

Sites under consideration were the Major property in north Riverton, renovation of facilities at the current site on South Federal Boulevard, and perhaps the Fremont Center on the Riverton County Fairgrounds.


1 -- Fremont County's new prosecuting attorney, H. Michael Bennett, officially took office March 1 after being sworn in by 9th Judicial District Court Judge Norman E. Young.

3 -- Fremont County raised and spent relatively little in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2012. Officials attributed the trend to governmental efficiency and differences in accounting.

Fremont County had the fourth-lowest cost per resident of Wyoming's counties, and it was eighth-lowest in terms of revenue per person at about $1,000.

5 -- Fremont County School District 21 superintendent Richard McClements said he would resign from his post in June.

McClements joined the Fort Washakie district at the start of the 2011-12 academic year, replacing Gregory Cox, who served four years in the position.

7 -- Fremont County lawmakers said they approved of an amendment made late in the legislative session to protect Wyoming citizens from federal gun legislation.

The change to House Bill 41 set aside $250,000 to be used in defending the rights of Wyoming residents under the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

10 -- The Fremont County Commission winnowed location options for the Riverton justice center down to two alternatives: a large building at the property along Major Avenue or a small addition at the current site.

The Major property option would include a courthouse, county attorney's office and sheriff's office. The alternative at the current location would add just a courthouse and perhaps reinforce the existing structure to protect occupants.

12 -- Riverton Middle School paraprofessional Elizabeth Erickson died March 11 at the scene of a traffic accident on U.S. Highway 20/26 west of Casper.

Reports state that Erickson's daughter, Minnie Erickson, 16, of Riverton, was in the vehicle as well. Officials said she was hospitalized at the Wyoming Medical Center in Casper to be treated for wounds on her back and the back of her head.

12 -- Dustin Dean Nickelson, 24, of Riverton, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in connection with the September 2012 shooting death of Lucas Myhre, 27, of Riverton.

Nickelson initially pleaded not-guilty to second-degree murder in the case, and he could have faced life in prison if found guilty of the higher charge.

Through a plea agreement, his sentence will be capped at six to 12 years in the Wyoming State Penitentiary.

13 -- The Major property was set as the site of a new Riverton justice center. The Fremont County Commission chose a final location for the facility March 12. The decision followed months of examining site options and fresh cost estimates from an architect.

13 -- David Steger of Riverton announced his bid for governor of Wyoming in 2014.

Steger has lived in Riverton for 33 years, having moved to the state when he began his career as a physician.

13 -- Federal officials began investigating a body found on the Wind River Indian Reservation.

Federal Bureau of Investigation spokesman Dave Joly described the remains as "decomposing."

14 -- Riverton school officials said they faced a $1.2 million deficit as they worked to develop a budget.

The problem had a lot to do with health insurance, according to Fremont County School District 25 superintendent Terry Snyder, who said premiums for district employees would go up while insurance payments from the state would decrease.

14 -- The newest member of the Fremont County School District 25 Board of Trustees announced plans to resign because of a change in employment.

Greg Ashdown was appointed to the board in the fall of 2012 after Marissa Root stepped down to move to Sheridan.

15 -- Riverton was named as the home of a new non-profit cancer treatment center.

Dr. Keith Mills, a Gillette oncologist who founded the Wyoming Cancer Foundation, said he planned to bring the People's Cancer Center of Fremont County to a location near the Help for Health Hospice Center on College View Drive.

17 -- Facing a life sentence in prison, Laziur Stephen Hanway Jr. said he would never stop being sorry for stabbing Eric Likes and Elva Quiver to death at the couple's trailer house in Hudson in late 2011.

Per a plea agreement, Judge Norman E. Young sentenced Hanway to life in prison for the two Nov. 15, 2011, murders.

19 -- The state reached a plea agreement with Alma Louise Mosho, 33, of Fort Hall, Idaho, who was charged in December 2012 in a fatal hit-and-run collision at the Rezeride Roadhouse Saloon west of Kinnear.

19 -- An unexplained fire damaged up to nine vehicles at a tow yard on the Wind River Indian Reservation.

Riverton Volunteer Fire Department Chief Mike Hutchison said no one was injured in the March 14 blaze.

20 -- Riverton Middle School assistant principal Curt Collins was hired as the principal at Jackson Elementary School for the 2013-14 school year.

21 -- Alma Louise Mosho said she did not remember much about the night she struck and killed Michelle Littleshield, 35, of St. Stephen's, in the parking lot of the Rezeride Roadhouse Saloon west of Kinnear.

Mosho initially was charged with two counts of aggravated homicide by vehicle for the Dec. 3, 2012, collision, but through her agreement with the state, she pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated homicide by vehicle and one count of driving or having control of a vehicle while under the influence.

25 -- Rising costs of claims to Fremont County's health insurance plan drove the county board to approve $800,000 more for the program in 2014. At its March 19 meeting, the Fremont County Commission was hesitant about the 15-percent raise from $5.2 to $6 million and wrestled with how to save money on the ballooning cost of the plan.

27 -- Inspections by the Wyoming Department of Transportation in 2011 found 12 bridges on Fremont County roads to have a sufficiency rating of 50 percent or less. The state agency only examines bridges with a 20-foot span or greater. Fremont County government's transportation department superintendent Dave Pendleton said once the sufficiency rating is below 50 percent, replacing the bridge should be considered.

27 -- County officials began investigating the March 26 death of 6-year-old Lain Mathson of Dubois.

Coroner Ed McAuslan said he didn't suspect foul play in the incident.

29 -- The Shoshone Rose Casino began planning a $38 million expansion that would triple the number of games, create a water park, and possibly add a bar.

With the addition, the Shoshone Rose would eclipse the Wind River Casino as the largest gambling center in the state.

31 -- Statistics show major crimes and calls for service to the Fremont County Sheriff's Office were higher in 2012 compared 2011.

From 2011 to 2012, major crimes reported in the county climbed 17 percent, from 283 to 330.


2 -- Jonathan David Marshall pleaded no contest April 1 in exchange for 10 years of supervised probation for the 2011 death of a 7-month-old boy.

The Riverton man's trial was scheduled to begin April 29 in connection with the July 28, 2011, death of infant Eli C'Bearing of the Wind River Indian Reservation. Marshall, who was 22 at the time, had been supervising the baby.

2 -- Fremont County Coroner Ed McAuslan released details about the "unfortunate accident" that resulted in the death of a Dubois 6-year-old.

Preliminary autopsy results show Lain Mathson died March 26 of trauma from a mid-morning incident, which McAuslan said began in the Mathson garage. According to reports, Mathson's parents were moving vehicles, and a truck somehow rolled forward, pinning Mathson between the open door of the pickup truck and the wall of the garage.

3 - Authorities arrested an Ohio man for charges in connection with a stolen vehicle belonging to a man who went missing in Fremont County nearly 40 years ago.

Fremont County Attorney Michael Bennett said James Franklin Jagers, 66, faces charges of grand larceny and theft of an automobile, felonies that each carry sentences of up to 10 years in jail.

4 -- The Riverton City Council voted April 2 to raise utility rates for residents, approving a 4 percent hike in water fees and a 2 percent increase to sewer and sanitation rates.

The city is required to raise utility rates each year based on the national consumer price index, which was set at 1.6 percent this year, according to public services director Bill Urbigkit, who recommended rounding up to a 2 percent increase to sewer and sanitation fees.

5 -- Steven Amos, 41, of Riverton, was arrested for indecent dress and exposure April 4 after reportedly leaving Riverton Memorial Hospital wearing only "a shirt and a smile," according to RPD Capt. C.T. Smith, who said alcohol was involved in the incident.

"This was an intoxicated individual that was at the hospital, and he decided he didn't want to be there anymore, so he took off," Smith said. "He ran all over the place."

9 -- Heavy snow blanketed Fremont County on April 8 and April 9 as moisture streaming out of Utah hit a mass of cold air high on the slopes of the Wind River Mountains and froze.

As of 8 a.m. April 9, the National Weather Service's heaviest reported snowfall in Fremont County was 21 inches measured 9.5 miles southwest of Lander. The snowiest official site near Riverton was one in town that saw 12 inches.

9 -- Nearly every school district in Fremont County, as well as Central Wyoming College, canceled classes April 9 due to weather.

Only Dubois schools remained open, with only 3 inches of snow on the ground after the storm April 8.

10 -- The Fremont County School District 25 Board of Trustees agreed to offer John Griffith a contract for Riverton High School principal.

Griffith was the current assistant principal. He would replace Joanne Flanagan, who was hired as District 25 curriculum director.

11 -- The ex-financial manager of two family-owned Riverton companies will spend the next six to 10 years behind bars after admitting he stole millions of dollars from the businesses.

Per a plea agreement filed in January, Gary Anderson pleaded guilty to two felony counts of larceny by bailee for stealing from Star-Tech Inc. and Precision Analysis.

12 -- Business leaders think a planned expansion of the Shoshone Rose Casino would be a positive development for the local economy.

A written request for proposal said the new facility would cost $38 million and include a 100-room hotel at the site four miles northwest of Lander on the Wind River Indian Reservation.

16 -- The new owner of the Sheep Mountain uranium project said it expected the mine to provide 165 high paying jobs in Fremont County if permits and commodity prices allowed.

Representatives of Energy Fuels told the Fremont County Commission on April 9 that they plan to build a uranium processing plant and mine the radioactive fuel eight miles south of Jeffrey City.

17 -- Snowstorms turned around the trend of shrinking snowpack in the Wind and Sweetwater river basins and raised hopes for a better growing season in 2013.

The NRCS reported April 17 that the snow water equivalent in the Wind River Basin stood at 88 percent of normal for the date.

18 -- Fremont County and its municipalities began brainstorming ways to use an extra $20 million the Wyoming Legislature allocated for local governments.

Wyoming was to give $40.5 million to local governments in August 2012, but in February, lawmakers approved an additional $20 million for the direct distribution.

Fremont County would receive an additional $400,000 on top of its original $805,000. Dubois would see $100,000 up from $64,000; Hudson would see $58,000 up from $36,000; Lander would see $634,000 up from $427,000; Pavillion would see $39,000 up from $23,000; Shoshoni would see $73,000 up from $46,000; and Riverton would see $890,000 up from $601,000.

19 -- Central Wyoming College officials said loan default rates for local students were going in the "wrong direction."

Administrators said CWC's two-year draft cohort default rate increased to 18.9 percent in 2011, up from 14.1 percent in 2010.

21 -- About 25 wolves in six packs live in Fremont County, and the Wyoming Game and Fish Department reported recently that humans killed 12 wolves last year.

The animals were responsible for the deaths of three cows and 10 sheep in the county in 2012.

Several agencies are responsible for managing wolves after the species was taken off the endangered species list in 2012.

23 -- Fremont County Clerk of District Court Katie Brodie Meredith announced her resignation April 23 to the Fremont County Commission. She had held the office for 18 years.

The county board unanimously accepted her resignation effective June 30, initiating a replacement process.

24 -- With six of eight Riverton High School assistant football coaches from last fall's team in the audience, the Riverton school board listened for 30 minutes April 23 to impassioned pleas from patrons in an effort to understand issues related to recent personnel decisions and coaching resignations in the Wolverine football program.

The discussion was held at the request of a parent after three RHS assistant coaches were asked by head coach Jeremy McCormick not to return. Subsequently, four of the five remaining assistant coaches resigned.

26 -- The U.S. Department of Labor released a construction solicitation notice April 26 for work on the Wind River Job Corps in Riverton.

30 -- The Riverton City Council began weighing ideas on how to use funds from the state's supplemental funding as the City of Riverton works on its 2013-14 fiscal year budget. In the beginning of the year, the city placed public intoxication, two-way communication, and public facilities on the top of its list of 2013 goals.

The direct state distribution to Riverton increased from about $300,000 to $600,000.


1 -- April became Riverton's third-snowiest on record on April 30 after a late spring storm dropped more than 6 inches of snow on parts of the city.

Other snow totals throughout Fremont County were higher May 1, with 12 inches recorded in Lander, 14 inches reported in Sinks Canyon and 16 inches measured in Red Canyon at 6:15 a.m.

2 -- Riverton High School's head football coach Jeremy McCormick resigned under pressure, according to officials at a press conference May 1.

McCormick's resignation came after a tumultuous off-season during which seven assistant football coaches resigned or were asked by McCormick not to return to coach the Wolverines in the 2013-14 season.

3 -- Dustin Dean Nickelson said he would never forget the evening of Sept. 13, 2012.

Per a plea agreement, Nickelson, 24, of Riverton, pleaded guilty in March to manslaughter in connection with the shooting death of Myhre, 27, of Riverton. The plea deal stipulated that sentencing would be capped at six to 12 years.

5 -- Two projects in the Bison Basin oil field asked for a green light from the Bureau of Land Management's Lander Field Office.

A scoping notice stated the first permit would allow a nine-well steam injection project, and the second was for a three-dimensional seismic geophysical survey in the same area.

8 -- Federal representatives arrived in Riverton to discuss the next steps in the development of the Wind River Job Corps Center in Fremont County.

The $30 million to $40 million facility was scheduled to open in 2015, providing academic assistance and career and technical training to about 550 students.

8 -- The Fremont County Commission authorized a land swap between the county and the Depot Foundation after years of discussion.

The Depot Foundation will gain a parcel of land between the Fremont County Fairgrounds and the Wind River and two tracts totaling 80 acres on the other side.

9 -- Fremont County School District 25 superintendent Terry Snyder said the district was writing a proposal to construct an auditorium and wrestling facility on the campus of Riverton High School.

10 -- Fremont County School District 14 Board of Education selected a new superintendent to replace longtime leader Michelle Hoffman during a special meeting May 1.

The trustees unanimously agreed to offer Terry Smith a two-year contract that would begin July 1.

15 -- The Fremont County Commission voted 4-1 May 14 to appoint Kristi H. Green to the position of clerk of district court. Commissioners said it was difficult to choose between current deputy clerk of district court Green and chief clerk of Riverton Circuit Court Jennifer Clymer.

15 -- More than 70 proposals to build the planned $38 million Shoshone Rose Casino expansion were submitted as the tribe looked to upgrade its gaming facility near Lander.

Shoshone Business Council member Wes Martel said licensed architectural firms, engineers and general contractors were asked to enter their proposals on the 165,000 square-foot casino expansion.

16 -- Progress on a new Riverton justice center stalled May 14 after the Fremont County Commission didn't approve moving forward with the second phase of the design.

17 -- Fremont County Library System director Matt Nojonen said he would resign effective May 31. His resignation via e-mail May 9 surprised county officials and left them wondering why he was leaving.

Nojonen started as library director on March 14, 2011.

17 -- Shoshoni resident Shey Elan Bruce, 45, was arrested on second-degree murder and domestic violence battery charges in connection with the May 15 death of Charles Darrell Laster, 65, of Shoshoni.

The death was listed as a cardiac arrest on Fremont County Sheriff's Office reports, and Coroner Ed McAuslan said he had not suspected foul play in the incident.

17 -- Ryan Blake Hanway was sentenced to eight to 16 years in prison for his role in the 2011 double homicide of Eric Clinton Likes and Elva Charlotte Quiver at a Hudson residence.

Under a plea agreement in November 2012, Hanway pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery in exchange for the dismissal of two first-degree murder charges and a lower sentence.

20 -- Members of the Fremont County School District 25 Board of Trustees looked at five potential locations for the site of a new K-3 elementary school in Riverton.

Once purchased, superintendent Terry Snyder said studies will be done on the site and initial planning steps, like utilities and land, will be discussed with the city.

The new school was being mandated by the state as the district works to comply with a state mandate to reduce elementary school classroom sizes to no more than 16 students per certified teacher.

21 -- Officials recovered the body of Curtis LeClair, 62, of Ethete, who was missing for more than a week. He disappeared in the area of 532 Diversion Dam Road.

The body was discovered at about 1:30 p.m. Monday in the Wyoming Canal system about 400 yards from the inlet of Pilot Butte Reservoir. Reportedly, he had surfaced and was spotted by a Tribal Game and Fish warden who was patrolling the area attempting to locate LeClair.

22 -- Details emerged in the case of Shey Bruce, 45, of Shoshoni, the alleged killer of Charles Darrell Laster, 65, also of Shoshoni.

Court documents showed that Bruce was charged with second degree murder. He was accused of killing Laster on May 14, purposely and maliciously but without premeditation.

The maximum penalty is 20 years to life in prison for the felony charge.

Bruce also is accused of committing domestic violence and battery against 49-year-old Shoshoni resident Lavena Sue Laster on May 14. The second charge is a misdemeanor and carries a penalty of up to six months in prison, a fine of up to $750, or both.

23 -- Preliminary autopsy results showed Curtis LeClair, 62, of Ethete, died of asphyxia due to drowning.

The man's body was found May 20 in the Wyoming Canal system about 400 yards from the inlet to Pilot Butte Reservoir. He had been missing since early May 10 when he reportedly left the area of 532 Diversion Dam Road on foot.

Coroner Ed McAuslan said the preliminary autopsy report didn't reveal any signs that would explain how LeClair ended up in the Wyoming Canal.

24 -- Fremont County law enforcement made a fifth arrest early May 23 in connection with a countywide drug bust that began May 22.

Undersheriff Ryan Lee said Anthony Hernandez, 41, of Riverton, was arrested shortly after 2 a.m. May 23 following a short police pursuit.

Hernandez is charged with conspiracy to deliver methamphetamine, a felony punishable by 20 years of prison, a $25,000 fine, or both. He also was cited for eluding police.

His arrest marked the fifth in an intensive two-year investigation focused on the distribution of controlled substances in the Fremont County area.

Police arrested four individuals May 22 on charges of conspiracy to deliver methamphetamine -- Timothy Pitt, 31, of Hudson; Travis Fauque, 21, of Lander; Abigail White, 21, of Riverton; and Shene Springfield, 37, of Lander. Lee said the arrests occurred without incident.

24 -- The Fremont County Coroner's Office released the identity of the man whose skeleton was found March 10 on the Wind River Indian Reservation east of Riverton.

Coroner Ed McAuslan said the bones belonged to 47-year-old Tad P. Barnson, who has been missing since 2006. Barnson's death was ruled a homicide due to blunt force and penetrating trauma, according to the coroner's office.

26 -- Great Lakes Airlines chief executive officer Chuck Howell briefed local leaders on efforts to eliminate reliability issues at Riverton Regional Airport during a meeting May 24 with local airport board members.

Fremont County commissioner Larry Allen said it will be especially important to have reliable service at the airport in the future, when the Wind River Job Corps Center is expected to open in Riverton and additional employment is anticipated due to activity at area uranium sites.

28 -- Fremont County Coroner Ed McAuslan put to rest his long-standing squabble over decals with the Fremont County Commission.

McAuslan said his office brought two vehicles to a county mechanic to install commission-approved graphics.

"It wasn't worth continuing to argue and fight about it," McAuslan said. "They were going to put them on, so I just did it."

The commission also considered the 16-month dispute to be over.

28 -- Fremont County Coroner Ed McAuslan said preliminary investigation indicated a man involved in a one-vehicle rollover May 26 roughly 15 miles north of Fort Washakie died from trauma due to the crash.

McAuslan said Stanford Friday, 52, of the Wind River Indian Reservation, was pronounced dead at Lander Regional Hospital, where he was transported after the rollover.

29 -- Patrick Duran, 24, of Riverton, was arrested for aggravated assault May 26 and was accused of stabbing someone three times in the side of the chest.

Officials said Duran's victim was a 30-year-old Riverton man who suffered "significant" injuries in the incident.

The victim's girlfriend reported the stabbing at about 6 p.m. Sunday from the Gardens North subdivision north of Honor Farm Road.

30 -- Two American Indian men were taken into custody for alleged first-degree murder in connection with the death of Tad Paul Barnson, whose skeletal remains were found March 10 on the Wind River Indian Reservation east of Riverton.

Barnson had been missing since 2006.

According to court documents, Alan and Vernon Brown of Riverton caused "serious injuries to Barnson through violent assault" on or about May 6, 2006, then left him on the reservation "in a remote area with no means to access medical care."

30 -- Longtime Riverton resident Jody Ray took her position May 28 as the newest member of the Fremont County School District 25 Board of Trustees.

Ray has worked in the district for several years. She has worked as a paraprofessional and as an assistant to the activities director, and she has worked in the special education and driver's education departments, among many other positions. Her most recent position was as a substitute teacher at Aspen Park Elementary.

31 -- Cattle operations in Fremont County shrank in 2012. Recent data from the National Agriculture Statistics Service showed the total number of cattle and calves dropped by 5 percent in 2012.

The federal agency counted 95,000 cattle and calves in local ranchers' herds on Jan. 1, 2013, down from 100,000 on the same date in 2012.

The high price of cattle feed, drought and uncertainty of range conditions led to the reduction.


3 -- The two brothers charged with the first-degree murder of Tad Paul Barnson, a man whose skeletal remains were found on the Wind River Indian Reservation, entered not guilty pleas to crimes at arraignments May 31.

During separate hearings at the U.S. Attorney's Office District of Wyoming branch in Lander, Vernon Lee Brown, 54, and Alan Brown, 61, waived their right for detention hearings.

5 -- City administrator Steven Weaver presented the City of Riverton's draft budget, which showed a surplus of $46,000, during a budget work session May 23. The city's fiscal year 2014 budget, including capital, was roughly $28 million and included the general and enterprise funds.

Weaver said the budget was down about $311,000 from 2012.

5 -- The Riverton City Council squashed Walmart's plans to sell alcohol in a 4-3 vote June 4. The store was seeking a transferred retail liquor license from the China Panda restaurant.

9 -- Fremont County commissioners again decided against moving forward on the Riverton justice center project.

The delay came after some commissioners expressed concern that a grant application might be in danger if the county appeared able to build the new facility on its own.

11 -- Officials said one person was in custody in connection with a possible homicide that took place June 9 at a home on the Wind River Indian Reservation.

11 -- A record-setting heatwave baked Fremont County on June 10. Riverton's official temperature soared to 96 degrees June 10, about 20 degrees warmer than average for the date.

12 -- Revised numbers showed Fremont County's assessed value for the upcoming fiscal year was lower than expected and down from 2012 figures.

At $906 million, the preliminary assessed valuation for fiscal year 2014 from County Assessor Tara Berg was down 5 percent from a March estimate and almost 11 percent lower than in 2012.

13 -- A 19-year-old Wisconsin man died June 12 at the scene of a two-vehicle accident between Lander and Hudson.

Wyoming Highway Patrol officials said the man was driving southbound on Wyoming Highway 789 with a 17-year-old female passenger, also from Wisconsin, when his red 1998 Ford Contour crossed three lanes of travel for unknown reasons and entered the northbound lane.

The passenger car reportedly side-swiped an oncoming 2009 Ford pickup truck driven by a 43-year-old Lander resident.

13 -- Fremont County Coroner Ed McAuslan confirmed June 13 that the victim of a possible homicide June 9 on the Wind River Indian Reservation was Dwight Spoonhunter Sr., 28, of Arapahoe.

One person reportedly was in custody in connection with his death.

13 -- The death of 4-year-old Thunder S. Littlethunder Jr. was ruled a homicide, according to the Fremont County Coroner's Office.

Reports state the child died at about 2:30 a.m. April 9 from sepsis due to sever bronchopneumonia, with severe malnutrition and dehydration listed as contributing factors.

14 -- The U.S. Department of Labor identified an Idaho contractor as the apparent low bidder for construction of the Wind River Job Corps Center in Riverton.

During a bid opening teleconference June 13, DOL contract specialist Olivia J. Thorpe announced that Rafter H, LLC, offered the lowest bid to complete the work. Rafter's estimate came in at $41.3 million.

17 -- Two defendants arrested as part of a countywide drug bust in May pleaded not guilty June 13 to one count each of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. A third individual facing the same charge had his arraignment rescheduled.

Timothy Lee Pitt and Abigail Rose White had trials scheduled for Sept. 16. Travis Edward Fauque's lawyer did not show up at court due to a miscommunication, so Wyoming 9th Judicial District judge Norman E. Young postponed his hearing.

17 -- "Restructuring" was the theme at the Fremont County Sheriff's Office in its proposed fiscal year 2014 administration and detention center budgets. Sheriff Skip Hornecker presented requests for both sectors of his office at a hearing June 3 with commissioners.

Staffing changes largely brought the request for the office's administration budget down $36,000 from the year before to $3.6 million.

18 -- A closed-door meeting between the Fremont County Solid Waste Disposal District board and Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho tribal representatives resulted in a unanimous vote to continue a "bridge" contract on management of the four trash transfer stations on the Wind River Indian Reservation.

Experts in Wyoming's open meetings law questioned the legality of the session.

20 -- The Riverton City Council overturned its original vote and approved a retail liquor license transfer from the China Panda restaurant to Walmart.

China Panda had submitted paperwork to city staff requesting a restaurant liquor license so its existing retail liquor license could be transferred to Walmart.

21 -- The State Lands and Investments Board denied Fremont County's application for a $2.6 million grant to assist with construction of a new Riverton justice center, saying the Legislature was a more appropriate source of funds.

21 -- The director of Fremont County's ambulance department proposed a smaller, revised budget for fiscal year 2014 that she said would resolve lingering financial issues.

The new plan asked for $3.3 million, down from the $4.1 million requested in May. The figure was still more than 50 percent higher than the $2.1 million the department budgeted for 2013.

23 -- Four defendants pleaded guilty June 21 to three of seven charges for poaching the four moose killed near Hudson in October.

The incident had sparked outrage among residents who noted that moose only recently had repopulated the area around Hudson after years of absence.

25 -- After whittling down budget requests at its June 18 meeting, the Fremont County Commission ended up with an extra $1.034 million it could redistribute or save. Two proposed uses of that money were raising salaries and covering the increased cost of the employee health benefit plan.

25 -- The other Wisconsin teen involved in a fatal accident June 12 near Lander died June 24 in Colorado, according to local officials.

McAuslan said Andrea Esser, 17, of Sun Prairie, Wis., died of injuries suffered in the June 12 crash. She had been hospitalized since the incident.

26 -- A judge in a June 19 hearing denied one motion that would have helped the defense in a murder and sexual assault case. The denied motion would have split the trials for the defendant's murder and sexual assault charges.

Keeping some statements the defendant made to police out of a potential trial was the thrust of the second motion.

John Thomas Hereford, of Lander, was charged in the Sept. 11 shooting death of Travis Armajo, 32, of Lander. Hereford also faced charges alleging he confined Armajo's fiancee and sexually assaulted her.

27 -- The man who authorities said shot at three unarmed people in January signed a plea agreement with Fremont County Attorney Michael Bennett. Under the deal, Jeremy Cunningham would plead guilty to two counts of aggravated assault and battery.

27 -- The Riverton City Council approved its fiscal year 2014 budget June 25 at roughly $25 million in revenue and expenditures at $27 million.

The city's personnel costs accounted for the biggest part of the general fund at 63.9 percent.

28 -- Medics and others working with the Fremont County Ambulance department voiced concern about the agency's management, calling for the replacement of administrators during a June meeting of the Fremont County Commission.

The county board held an executive session at its meeting with ambulance administrators to discuss the issues.

30 -- Fremont County Museums Board members said a proposal to hire a single director for the Riverton, Lander and Dubois museums was still early in the planning stages, but they offered assurances that each museum would retain its independence even if the plan went through.


2 -- A judge found that officers violated John Thomas Hereford's rights during interrogation, so part of Hereford's statement to police could not be used in trial. He was charged in the Sept. 11, 2012, shooting death of Travis Armajo, 32, of Lander and the rape of Armajo's girlfriend.

2 -- A $4.2 million plan to rebuild a road to access Strathmore Minerals and Cameco uranium mines in the Gas Hills area and connect Wyoming Highway 136 to Natrona County's Dry Creek Road was short by about $918,000.

3 -- The U.S. Department of Labor on July 2 awarded the bid for the Wind River Job Corps Center to Rafter H Construction LLC of Rexburg, Idaho. The $41.3 million project is set to be completed by 2015.

3 -- Alma Mosho of Idaho pleaded guilty to aggravated homicide by vehicle and driving under the influence and was sentenced to 10-12 years in prison. She struck and killed a St. Stephen's woman in the parking lot of a Kinnear bar on Dec. 3, 2012.

3 -- Lauri Wempen announced she would resign from her post as director of the Fremont County Ambulance Department, citing budget meetings with officials.

5 -- A judge tentatively accepted a plea agreement for Jeremy Cunningham, the man who shot at three people on Sinks Canyon Road in January. The agreement dropped four counts against Cunningham, who faced 18-48 months in prison.

7 -- State Sen. Eli Bebout, R-Riverton, told Riverton city leaders that he'll push for infrastructure funding for cities and towns.

9 -- The failure of the Federal Agricultural Reform and Risk Management Act could delay funding for conservation projects in Fremont County. The bill would have allowed local ranchers and farmers to obtain grants for improvements to irrigation systems, range land or cattle watering systems.

9 -- Heto Thayer, 32, of Fort Washakie pleaded no contest on July 3 to one count of aggravated assault and battery and faces five to seven years in prison through a plea agreement. He allegedly stabbed Kimberly Potter, 24, of Riverton, on Feb. 10.

10 -- Officials said a fatal crash June 12 involving two Wisconsin teens near Lander was not an accident. The incident on Wyoming Highway 789 east of Lander resulted in the death of Chase A. Schweitzer, 19, of Arkdale, Wis., and Andrea Esser, 17, of Sun Prairie, Wis.

10 -- The Fremont County Commission finalized a budget that will spend more than in 2012 but still save about $190,000. General fund spending is projected to be about $24.2 million, up about $700,000 from last year. Property taxes will yield roughly $10.7 million, down from $12.2 million last year.

10 -- Local officials began investigating the July 8 death of Juan Carlos Galvan, 22, of Riverton, who died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at about 2:45 a.m. July 8 in a resident on East Jackson Avenue in Riverton. Galvan wasn't alone at the time of the shooting.

11 -- Shey Bruce pleaded not guilty July 9 to second-degree murder charges in the death of a Shoshoni man.

11 -- Officials in Colorado ruled the death of Andrea Esser, 17, of Sun Prairie, Wis., a suicide. She was the passenger in the car that intentionally struck another vehicle June 12 on Wyoming Highway 789 east of Lander. The driver, Chase A. Schweitzer, 19, of Arkdale, Wis., died at the scene of the crash. His death also was ruled a suicide.

11 -- James Edward Crooks, 24, of Hudson, will spend two weeks in jail for punching a Riverton man and fracturing the victim's skull in March outside of a bar in Riverton. He pleaded guilty.

12 -- Four defendants in May's countywide meth bust had a trial set for Sept. 16. They all pleaded guilty to charges related to the meth ring.

12 -- Police said Juan Carlos Galvan, 22, of Riverton, was not involved in a random game of chance like Russian roulette when he shot himself July 8. Officials ruled the death a suicide.

14 -- Lander division supervisor Todd Smith became interim director of the Fremont County ambulance department July 12.

14 -- Central Wyoming College identified a piece of ground for its new facility in Lander.

16 -- Officials said they seized marijuana, hydrocodone pills, and suspected psilocybin mushrooms during a traffic stop early July 13 north of Riverton. Jana Behan, 31, of Riverton, and Mathew Padilla, 22, of Colorado Springs, Colo., both were arrested.

16 -- A 4-year-old Kinnear boy stopped breathing after a four-wheeler accident July 13 but survived after being resuscitated by a local deputy. He was treated for serious injuries.

16 -- The Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone tribes were given control of the four solid waste transfer stations on the Wind River Indian Reservation. They will get $725,000 from the Fremont County Solid Waste Disposal District to manage the sites for three years.

16 -- Federal agents arrested Dean Moss, 25, of Arapahoe, in the June 9 stabbing death of Dwight Spoonhunter on the Wind River Indian Reservation.

18 -- Mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus were found between Hudson and Lander, but there were no cases in humans or horses.

18 -- The Joint Education Committee and the Select Committee on Tribal Relations of the Wyoming Legislature met July 15 in Riverton with David Holbrook, the federal programs division director of the Wyoming Department of Education, who spoke about the monitored activity of Fremont County School District 38 in Arapahoe.

19 -- The Riverton school board adopted a $36.3 million budget July 17 in Riverton -- a 5 percent increase from last year. Officials said $2 million was added to the capitol construction budget for projects that could happen next year.

21 -- Officials confirmed that a car crash in May contributed to the July 8 death of Audrey Arguello, 49, of Riverton. Her cause of death was a subdural hematoma as the result of an accidental fall July 7.

21 -- Strathmore Minerals opened a public comment period for a 12,400-acre uranium mine in the Gas Hills 45 miles east of town.

23 -- By July 23, local fire officials had corralled the wildfire burning 1,200 acres in Sinks Canyon. The blaze still threatened to spread and was 0 percent contained because of its behavior.

24 -- The wildfire in Sinks Canyon grew more than 1,900 acres by July 24 but was 15 percent contained. The Fairfield Fire had moved away from the Homestead Park subdivision due to westerly winds and a bulldozed line protecting homes.

24 -- Friends of Judith Nethercott, 65, of Riverton, was killed July 20 in head-on collision on Interstate 80 in Utah.

25 -- At a July 11 meeting, the Fremont County Museums Board said they would consider hiring one countywide director for all local museums.

25 -- Officials July 24 said the Fairfield Fire above Sinks Canyon was ignited by a lightning strike July 17 midway up the south-facing slope of Fairfield Hill. It was reported July 22.

25 -- The Riverton Police Department began looking for several suspects involved in an armed robbery and separate home break-in July 25. The masked men allegedly entered a home on Blackfoot Drive and shot at the roof. Minutes later, an employee at a bar reported being robbed at gunpoint.

25 -- Officials began investigating the death of Dajuana Crichton, 55, of rural Riverton, who was found in an irrigation ditch July 24 near her home on Elkhorn Drive.

26 -- The people involved in an armed robbery and separate home break-in July 25 were still at large, but officials said a list of potential suspects was growing shorter.

26 -- Officials said Dajuana Crichton, 55, of rural Riverton, died as the result of a cardiac event July 24. Crichton was found in an irrigation ditch July 24 near her home on Elkhorn Drive.

26 -- Cooler, damper weather helped firefighters stop the Fairfield Fire from spreading for two days.

On July 25, the size was 1,559 acres and the blaze was 71 percent contained.

28 -- Fremont County commissioners approved a $2.8 million budget for the Fremont County Ambulance Department. The agency expected to end the year with $972,000 in cash. At that rate, it could run out of money within three years.

30 -- Brothers Alan and Vernon Lee Brown of Fremont County were scheduled for trial in November in connection with the 2006 homicide of Tad Paul Barnson, whose skeletal remains were found in March east of Riverton.

30 -- Court proceedings continued in the case of John Thomas Hereford, the Lander man charged rape and murder. Prosecutors said he shot and killed Travis Armajo at Hereford's home early Sept 11, 2012, then raped Armajo's girlfriend at her home.

30 -- The Fairfield Fire was 100 percent contained July 28, and on July 29, the south side of Sinks Canyon Road reopened. Residents were allowed back into a nearby subdivision that had been closed since July 22.

31 -- Prosecutors said criminal liability could not be placed on any one person in the death of 4-year-old Thunder Littlethunder Jr. of Riverton. The boy's death was ruled a homicide; he died April 9 at Riverton Memorial Hospital from sepsis due to sever bronchopneumonia, and severe malnutrition and dehydration were listed as contributing factors.


1 -- Mosquitoes throughout Fremont County tested positive for West Nile virus, with hits recorded in Riverton, Lander, rural Hudson and Arapahoe on July 31.

2 -- A jury found John Thomas Hereford guilty of second-degree murder, kidnapping and one count of first-degree sexual assault.

Hereford, 25, of Lander, was charged in the Sept. 11 shooting death of Travis Armajo, 32, of Lander, at a house Hereford was renting in the 800 block of North Second Street in Lander. Hereford also confined Armajo's fiancee and sexually assaulted her at her home two blocks away.

4 -- The Central Wyoming College Board of Trustees approved the school's budget for fiscal year 2014. The total annual budget amount was set at $42 million.

6 -- An eighth defendant in the countywide meth bust in May faced felony drug charges in district court, and misdemeanor charges were filed against a ninth person who also had ties to the Timothy Pitt distribution ring.

Wyoming 9th Judicial District Circuit Court Judge Robert B. Denhardt bound over charges July 26 against Michaela Tschirhart, 39, who had been charged with two felony counts for possession of a controlled substance and a misdemeanor charge for possessing marijuana.

Chadwick McDonald, 35, of Riverton, faced a misdemeanor charge for possession of less than 3 grams of methamphetamine.

7 -- The possibility of funding from the Wyoming Legislature spurred the Fremont County Commission to begin the process of designing a new Riverton justice center -- again.

Work on the project had been stalled since May, when commissioners voted not to move forward with design development for the facility.

7 -- A woman in Fremont County was diagnosed with West Nile virus, according to the Wyoming Department of Health.

9 -- Proceedings against the last defendant in the 2011 Hudson homicides continued after a judge ruled Aug. 7 that the defendant was competent to stand trial.

The next step in the case of Blackburn, who was 15 at the time of the murders, was a hearing Aug. 28 to decide if he would be tried as an adult or juvenile.

Prosecutors charged Blackburn in the Nov. 15, 2011, slayings of Eric Likes, 42, and Elva Charlotte Quiver, 20, both of Hudson, and the burning of their trailer home two days later.

9 -- Ceremonial shovels dug into the dirt Aug. 9 at the site of what would be the Wind River Job Corps Center.

11 -- In an unprecedented event, two members of a standing White House cabinet came to Fremont County and the Wind River Indian Reservation.

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan shared center stage with a group of Wind River Indian Reservation educational leaders for an hourlong forum Aug. 8 at the Robert A. Peck Arts Center in Riverton.

13 -- A lack of facts in the 2011 death of an infant boy led to a sentence of 10 years probation and a suspended 10 to 18 years in prison for the man convicted in the incident.

Jonathan David Marshall was charged with murder and child abuse in the 2011 death of 7-month-old Eli C'Bearing, of the Wind River Indian Reservation. Marshall, who was 22 at the time, had been supervising the baby at the Riverton home of Patricia Davis, the defendant's mother who was acting as the baby's foster parent.

13 -- A woman wanted on multiple felony warrants was injured Aug. 12 in Riverton after being involved in a high-speed vehicle chase spanning two Wyoming counties.

The pursuit ended when the woman reportedly crashed her truck west of town. She was flown to Salt Lake City to be treated for injuries, according to reports.

Officials said 34-year-old Jamie L. Cleghorn was wanted on at least 42 outstanding felony and misdemeanor warrants from multiple law enforcement agencies in Utah and Wyoming.

14 -- Results from the 2012-13 school year showed Riverton students scored lower overall on Proficiency Assessments for Wyoming Students.

Joanne Flanagan, curriculum director for Fremont County School District 25, said school officials in Wyoming speculate that changes to the test could have had a negative impact on student performance.

15 -- The Central Wyoming College Board of Trustees in July approved $5.7 million in bonds to help pay for capital construction projects in Fremont County.

More than half of the money -- $3.5 million -- would go toward the remodel of on-campus apartments in Riverton and the construction of a residence hall in Sinks Canyon. The rest, about $2.2 million, was for the remodel of the Riverton classroom wing, the remodel and expansion of the Pro-Tech building on campus, and the construction of a new center in Lander.

16 -- Wyoming's Department of Environmental Quality and Oil and Gas Conservation Commission began planning a three-part study of potential groundwater contamination near Pavillion.

The state took over the investigation from the federal Environmental Protection Agency in June.

20 -- Timothy Pitt headed to trial Sept. 16 after being accused of leading a meth distribution ring in Fremont County. Prosecutors said a cooperating witness would testify against the Hudson man in court.

Pitt faced one charge of conspiracy to deliver methamphetamine, which is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $25,000.

20 -- Police continued to follow up on leads related to a July armed robbery and separate home break-in in Riverton.

Officials said they were looking for two men who had been identified as the likely suspects, but detectives didn't have enough evidence against the individuals to obtain an arrest warrant.

21 -- A woman who led police on a high-speed chase that ended with a damaging wreck in Riverton was at large again after being released mistakenly from a Salt Lake City hospital.

She was being sought on more than 40 warrants in Utah and Wyoming.

Jamie Lindsay Cleghorn was captured by police Aug. 12 in Riverton after crashing her truck during a chase. After the crash, the 34-year-old was flown to the University of Utah medical center but released inadvertently on Aug. 14.

23 -- The transition of county ambulance employees to full-time status began taking shape. Officials had been discussing the potential change since it was proposed in May.

The county board in July approved a $2.8 million budget for the department that called for changing the status of 26 employees to full-time. The new budget also provided for an ambulance crew to be stationed in Dubois, which would require around-the-clock staffing.

23 -- The Wyoming Department of Health reported that an outbreak of norovirus in Fremont County was associated with Svilar's Bar and Dining Room in Hudson.

According to the WDH report, at least 26 people became ill after eating at Svilar's on May 4.

25 -- Fremont County farmers produced 38,000 tons of sugar beets in 2012, the most in three years.

The percentage of sucrose in local beets, a factor the product's price, dropped to the lowest in five years.

28 -- Timothy Pitt faced stiffer potential penalties after his case was moved to the federal court system. The Hudson man accused of leading a methamphetamine distribution ring in Fremont County would face life in prison if convicted.

29 -- Two uranium mining companies with development plans for Fremont County set to merge.

Energy Fuels's acquisition of Strathmore Minerals passed two regulatory hurdles in August.

30 -- Prosecutors on Aug. 29 secured their first conviction as the result of a countywide methamphetamine bust in May.

Travis Fauque, 21, of Lander pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to deliver methamphetamine in District Court in Lander. A judge accepted Fauque's plea and convicted him of the felony charge.

30 -- A memorandum of understanding about granting liquor licenses to businesses on the Wind River Indian Reservation was being drafted cooperatively among the Fremont County Commission and the tribal governments of the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho tribes.

30 -- Shoshoni schools superintendent Tammy Cox said she was proud of her district's results on the 2013 Proficiency Assessments for Wyoming Students.

"PAWS data at Fremont County School District 24 is on the rise in nearly all content areas and grade levels," Cox said. "(We're) exceeding the state average in almost every area."


3 -- Heto Thayer fled justice late one night in February by running from the hotel room where he had stabbed a woman, racing across parking lots and into the Riverton Walmart store.

The chase that began with Riverton Police tracking his footsteps through the snow ended Aug. 29 when a district court judge sentenced Thayer to five to seven years in prison.

Thayer, of Fort Washakie, pleaded no contest July 3 no one count of aggravated assault and battery for stabbing Kimberly Potter of Riverton.

3 -- Firefighters moved quickly in trying to suppress a new wildfire in Fremont County near Dubois, and several familiar ranches, campgrounds and recreational areas were put under evacuation or closure orders.

The blaze in the Shoshone National Forest was discovered Aug. 30 by a U.S. Forest Service worker.

Its size at the time of discovery was estimated at about 10 acres. It had grown to at least 100 acres by Aug. 31.

3 -- Rain helped firefighters gain more control of the Burroughs Fire near Dubois, which, as of Sept. 3, maintained the 1,794 acre size it reached Sept. 2.

Officials said the blaze was 7 percent contained, and no injuries or property

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