Fremont County Year in Review: April

Dec 31, 2012 From staff reports

3 - The Central Wyoming College Board of Trustees decided to stream its monthly meetings live on the college's website through August.

Vice president for administrative services Jay Nielson said the reason behind streaming board meetings on the Internet was to "provide constituent access" at a minimal cost and impact to college staff.

3 - March 2012 was the warmest March on record for the two largest municipalities in Fremont County, Riverton and Lander.

Downtown Riverton's average temperature in March was 43.9 degrees, breaking the 1986 record of 43.2 degrees. February's average was 9 degrees above normal.

3 - Preliminary review of results from an air monitoring station in an area several miles east of Pavillion did not reveal pollution levels exceeding federal standards, according to the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality.

The state agency installed a mobile monitoring station downwind of gas development equipment and infrastructure as an investigation continued into concerns of groundwater contamination in the area possibly because of energy production activity.

4 - The Lander area became a more centralized district, while Riverton's west side fell into a different region under the new Fremont County Commissioners election plan.

Commissioners approved, by a 3-2 vote, the option that marks the first revision since a 2010 federal ruling created the five districts to allow American Indians to elect their candidate of choice.

5 --Fremont County officials unanimously approved sending Fort Washakie school district's application for a K-12 system for state consideration.

Combining high school and grades K-8 into a single district would mean more funding and better educational opportunities for students, district officials said.

6 - A jury deliberated for about 40 minutes before determining that an off-duty Riverton police officer was not guilty of being intoxicated and becoming a hazard July 3, 2011, at Boysen State Park.

The Fremont County Attorney's Office filed charges against Ron Cunningham after he had cut in line at a Boysen bathroom and urinated "all over the place" in front of a 10-year-old boy, according to court documents.

8 - Five of the eight school districts in Fremont County had graduation rates for the 2010-11 academic year higher than the state's average of 79.7 percent.

11 - Seven-term Republican State Rep. Del McOmie, of Lander, announced he would not run again.

McOmie, 76, represented House District 54 since he was elected to the Wyoming House of Representatives in the November 1998 general election. The legislative district consists of Lander proper and surrounding rural areas.

12 - Fremont County attorney Brian Varn said charges would not be filed against the deputy sheriff who shot and killed a distraught Pavillion man in late February.

Varn said there was no evidence deputy Mike Hutchison violated training, policy, procedure or laws when he fatally shot a knife-wielding Micheal Eugene Huff, 42, Feb. 29.

Fremont County Coroner Ed McAuslan later ruled Huff's death a suicide.

15 - Fremont County Coroner Ed McAuslan cited prescription drug use as a growing factor in the non-natural deaths his office investigates.

Problems include "doctor shopping or pharmacy shopping," which allows for the proliferation of prescription drug abuse, McAuslan said.

15 - In addition to nominating President Barack Obama for a second term in office, Fremont County Democrats decided April 14 to scrap a revised version of their platform for an entirely new set of standards. The party approved, with a few dissenting votes, a much shorter platform.

17 - A tribal agency proposed taking over management, collection and transportation of trash collected at the four transfer stations on the Wind River Indian Reservation in exchange for $500,000 annually and a disposal fee discount.

22 - Riverton Mayor Ron Warpness told elected county leaders April 12 that the Riverton City Council was renewing its efforts to get state lawmakers to support a sharp increase on the malt beverage tax.

At its meeting April 3, the council voted to renew its resolution in support of an increase on the tax, which had remained at 2 cents a gallon since 1935.

22 - A new air ambulance service company in Fremont County said it would honor insurance policies from patients signed up with Casper-based competitor Wyoming LifeFlight.

Fremont County Ambulance director Lauri Wempen organized the meeting with commissioners after voicing concerns about the influx of air medical transportation providers and handling dispatch calls to them for service.

24 - Two Fremont County school districts were granted waivers from meeting a state law requiring a 16-to-1 student-teacher ratio in K-3 grades for the 2012-13 school year.

Fremont County School District 25 in Riverton and District 24 in Shoshoni were granted waivers as the districts work toward that goal.

The waiver does not excuse a district from meeting the requirement but does allow more time to comply.

25 - The Fremont County Commission demanded that Coroner Ed McAuslan place decals on his new vehicles to identify his agency's name despite past refusal by the elected official.

The commission's action was the latest in the dispute between the coroner and the board over the issue of requiring the decals. The two entities had an hourlong discussion Jan. 3 on the issue and the related concern of installing flashing lights and sirens on his vehicles.

26 - Investigators say the double homicide, robbery and arson in Hudson in November 2011 stemmed from two of the suspects needing money because they were on the verge of being evicted.

The revelation was made during court proceedings April 25 in the killings of Eric Likes and his girlfriend, Elva Quiver.

29 - Erasmo Castillo was sentenced to five to eight years in prison on a charge of involuntary manslaughter for fatally shooting his cousin in the head in August 2011.

When Castillo pleaded guilty to the charge under an agreement in February, he told 9th District Judge Norman E. Young the shooting happened after he and Cesar Perez Jr. returned to their Riverton hotel room from a downtown bar.

The two decided to re-enact a movie scene that involved a gun one of them had brought. The clip had been removed, and they thought it was unloaded.

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