News of Riverton, Lander and Fremont County, Wyoming, from the Ranger's award winning journalists.
Jul 25, 2014 - The Associated Press
Lawmaker: Investigate Mead
CHEYENNE -- A state lawmaker is asking for a special prosecutor to investigate Gov. Matt Mead and his staff.
Republican Rep. Gerald Gay, of Casper, says he has concerns how the governor and his staff handled the investigation of state Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill.
Gay says he believes it was a political effort to smear Hill.
He asked state Attorney General Peter Michael on Friday to appoint a special prosecutor to look for gross misconduct, misappropriation of state money and improper use of state resources.
Mead's chief of staff, Kari Gray, says the request is an effort by Hill supporters to shift attention away from this week's rebuke of Hill by a legislative committee.
Mead is seeking re-election this year, and Hill is one of his opponents in the primary.
Guilty plea in multiple bank robberies
CHEYENNE -- A man has pleaded guilty to robbing banks and credit unions in Wyoming and Utah.
Thirty-eight-year-old James Pearson Thain pleaded guilty to 14 federal charges Thursday before U.S. District Judge Nancy Freudenthal in Cheyenne. She set sentencing for Sept. 30.
Under questioning from his attorney, Thain admitted to three bank robberies in Wyoming and nine bank and credit union robberies in Utah, all in December and January. He admitted using a firearm in a crime of violence and to being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Thain and 33-year-old Mindy Nichole Lawrence were arrested after a January robbery at the Bank of the West in Casper. Authorities say Thain was homeless before his arrest.
Lawrence has pleaded guilty to aiding Thain in one robbery and faces sentencing next month.
Jackson eases ban on sleeping in cars
JACKSON -- The Town of Jackson is ending its ban on people sleeping in their cars.
The town council decided this week to change its rules to allow people to spend one night in their vehicle anywhere within city limits.
Councilor Jim Stanford suggested repealing the ban on sleeping in cars. The new ordinance still bans camping in the city.
The Jackson housing market is exceptionally tight. With few rentals available, many of Jackson Hole's workers have been camping out.
Ordinances must pass three readings to become a part of the municipal code. The council could vote on the law at the first meeting in August.
Penitentiary inmate dies
CHEYENNE -- The Wyoming Department of Corrections reports that a 69-year-old inmate has died at the State Penitentiary in Rawlins.
It says Lee David Humphrey died Thursday. It did not provide a cause of death.
An autopsy and investigation is being done in keeping with department policy.
Humphrey was in prison on a second-degree sexual assault conviction out of Laramie County. He was sentenced in 1996 to consecutive sentences of 10 to 20 years each on two counts.