News of Riverton, Lander and Fremont County, Wyoming, from the Ranger's award winning journalists.
Sep 16, 2012 - The Associated Press
Ex-CEO tried using used old name
POWELL -- The name that embattled former Powell Valley Healthcare CEO Paul D. Cardwell unsuccessfully used to try to get a passport in June was his birth name.
Cardwell is accused of embezzling nearly $848,000 from the hospital in 2011. He disappeared in late August, just before he was expected to accept a plea deal on federal charges. His whereabouts remain unknown.
He had surrendered his passport and was barred from getting another one after being released on a $50,000 unsecured bond in March.
Authorities say that in June, Cardwell tried to get a passport using the name Paul D. Sappington but didn't receive one.
Sappington was Cardwell's birth name, but his stepfather legally changed his surname to Cardwell after adopting him as a child.
Lawsuit settled over missing wallet
CASPER -- A woman has settled her federal lawsuit against Casper police who arrested and jailed her after she refused to turn over a lost wallet she had found.
Deborah Heinrich contacted police after she found the wallet at a gas station in 2010 and failed to locate the wallet's owner.
Police demanded she give them the wallet but Heinrich refused without first speaking to the wallet owner. Heinrich alleged police lied about having a search warrant, then arrested her even after she agreed to turn over the wallet.
An attorney for the officers maintained their actions were reasonable. A judge declared a mistrial in the criminal case.
Heinrich alleged the police officers violated her civil rights. Terms of the settlement are not being released.
Youth waterfowl hunting open
CASPER -- Hunters aged 15 and younger will be allowed to hunt Friday and Saturday in Wyoming's Pacific Flyway and Zone C2 of the Central Flyway -- a week before the regular duck season opens.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Wyoming Game and Fish Department allow the youngsters to get an early start to give them an extra incentive and chance to enjoy waterfowl hunting. An adult aged 18 or older must accompany all youngsters in the field. One adult can take up to four young hunters.
Court hears golf ball lawsuit
CHEYENNE -- A lawsuit filed by a golf tournament spectator who got whacked in the head by a golf ball is headed back for another round in court following a Wyoming Supreme Court ruling Friday.
The court ruled 3-2 against tournament organizers and sent the case to district court for reconsideration. The district court had granted the organizers summary judgment in the case, prompting the appeal to the high court.
The accident happened at the 2006 Wyoming Open Golf Tournament in Cheyenne. James Creel got hit as he stood to the side of the green at the 320-yard first hole at the Cheyenne Airport Golf Club.
The injury knocked out Creel. He suffered a brain injury and "numerous inner ear injuries" that have cost thousands of dollars in medical bills, according to the lawsuit.
Brett Veesart, the golfer who had teed off behind the group Creel was watching, didn't yell "fore!" per custom when a ball is seen headed somebody's way, the lawsuit claimed.
A district judge allowed the lawsuit to go forward against Veesart but granted summary judgment for the tournament organizers, Lew Lepore and Mike Lepore, of L & L, Inc.
Creel and his wife, Brenda Creel, appealed to the Supreme Court.
The lawsuit centered on the inherent risks of watching a golf tournament in person.
A state law called the Wyoming Recreational Safety Act states that anybody who participates in a sport or recreational activity assumes legal responsibility for injuries they get as a result of risks inherent to that activity. In this case, Creel was considered a participant in golf even though he was a spectator.