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Fremont County Year in Review: August

Dec 31, 2012 - From staff reports

1 - About three acres of forest was charred July 31 after lightning struck an area near South Pass.

3 - The state legislative judiciary committee's meeting in Cheyenne included discussion on a recommendation to close the 9th Judicial District's satellite Circuit Court in Dubois.

5 - The Central Wyoming College Board of Trustees approved sending the Wyoming PBS general manager to the State Joint Appropriations committee in 2013 to seek funds for deferred maintenance.

Station general manager Ruby Calvert said there are no longer federal grants available for equipment repair or replacement.

9 - George William Lucas, 48, of Riverton, pleaded guilty to charges of second-degree attempted murder, first-degree sexual assault and sexual abuse in connection with the fall 2011 attack on a girl. He also pleaded no contest to intimidating a witness.

Lucas was on probation at the time for a prior sexual assault conviction.

10 - A Riverton resident who was a state-champion wrestler for Riverton High School was killed Aug. 9 on military duty in Afghanistan.

The U.S. Department of Defense confirmed that Army Sgt. Maj. Kevin J. Griffin, 45, was one of three American service members shot and killed by a gunman in the Helmand Province in southern Afghanistan.

10 - A federal judge sentenced a Wind River Indian Reservation man to 41 months in prison related to a fatal drunken driving crash that happened in Fort Washakie in 2011 and killed Ryan T. Burnett.

Michael Terry Hill, 36, was ordered to serve two years of supervised release and pay $3,837 in restitution.

14 - A Fort Washakie man died as a result of a motorcycle-versus-vehicle collision Aug. 10 north of his hometown.

Fremont County Coroner Ed McAuslan said the motorcyclist, Rex Coando, 61, was transported by ambulance to Lander Regional Hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

14 - Fire officials on the Wind River Indian Reservation began monitoring a wildfire near Alpine Lake that had burned roughly 218 acres since it started Aug. 7.

15 - Superintendent Terry Snyder said the Fremont County School District 25 budget was tighter than usual in 2012, mostly because of administrators' work to comply with Wyoming's 16:1 student-teacher ratio requirement.

Snyder said the district hired 13 more teachers in an attempt to bring Riverton's K-3 ratio down from 25:1.

15 - The Fremont County Coroner's Office began investigating a partial human skull discovered by a hiker Aug. 13 above the Popo Agie Falls in the Wind River Mountain Range.

15 - The ex-financial manager charged with embezzling from Star-Tech Inc. and Precision Analysis in Riverton pleaded not guilty to charges against him at his arraignment Aug. 15 in Lander.

The Fremont County Attorney's Office accused Gerald "Gary" Emil Anderson Jr., 54, of embezzling more than $2.5 million.

Anderson faced four counts of felony larceny and three counts of obtaining goods by false pretenses.

17 - Officials said the Alpine Lake Fire burning on the Wind River Indian Reservation had nearly doubled in size from the 1,342 acres reported Aug. 15. Wind River Agency spokesman Karl Brauneis said the wildfire reached 2,208 acres as of Aug. 17.

19 - The Pavillion mother charged in her baby's November 2011 death will spend the next 12 months on supervised probation instead of the 26 years of prison she previously faced.

The sentence, which was rendered by Riverton Circuit Court Judge Wesley Roberts on Aug. 13, was part of a plea agreement reached by attorneys in the case against Candace Lea Wagner.

19 - In an effort to retain their employees and compete with the county roads department, solid waste leaders voted Aug. 13 to implement pay increases for their employees.

The eventual 4-2 approval came after an initial tie vote by the board for the increase. The move will cost the district an extra $164,000 annually.

22 - Four men suffered burns Aug. 22 after an explosion at the ConocoPhillips Lost Cabin gas plant near Lysite. Injuries to two of the men were described as "extremely critical."

22 - Republican Lloyd Larsen and Democratic candidate Bruce Palmer advanced to the Nov. 6 general election after winning their races in the primary election Aug. 21. The candidates were competing for the Wyoming House District 54 seat.

22 - Riverton City Councilman Todd Smith and former Councilman Lee Martinez won their Riverton City Council Ward 2 nominations, beating out former Councilwoman Sarah Kalbach.

23 - An error discovered in the Fremont County Commission District 2 primary election put the outcome of that race in doubt.

Fremont County Clerk Julie Freese said 30 voters should not have cast ballots in the District 2 race.

"They got ballots that had the commissioners' race on it, and they should not have gotten those ballots." Freese said.

23 - Republican candidate Nathan Winters and Democratic challenger Connie Skates each won their primaries for House District 28 in the primary election Aug. 21, according to unofficial results.

23 - Lander City Council Ward 1 representative John Boulette was unseated in Tuesday's primary election as both of his opponents received more votes.

Boulette, who is in his final year of a second four-year term, came in behind challengers Dan Hahn and Sollie Cadman.

24 - The Fremont County Coroner released the name of the 19-year-old man who died Aug. 18 in Casper after reportedly being involved in a hit-and-run accident at about 3 a.m. Aug. 18 on Trout Creek Road.

Coroner Ed McAuslan said the man, Enrique Chavez, died of blunt force trauma from the crash.

24 - Registered Republican voters in Fremont County Commission's District 2 participated in the special mail-ballot election to determine the party's nominee after an error occurred in the primary Aug. 21.

GOP voters registered in the north district as of the primary would determine the winner in the run-off between incumbent Dennis Christensen and second-place challenger Larry Allen.

24 - Prosecutors said in court they are not seeking the death penalty for one of the defendants accused in the November 2011 slaying of a Hudson couple.

The announcement was made at the conclusion of an arraignment in Lander's 9th District Court where 19-year-old Laziur Stephen Hanway Jr. pleaded not guilty to his charges.

26 - The Riverton City Council passed an ordinance that allows family child care homes for up to 10 children in residential zone A.

The 4-3 vote came after two months of controversy concerning day care facilities.

28 - After months of controversy surrounding the management of the Lander Pioneer Museum, the Fremont County Museums Board voted to fire director Carol Thiesse.

29 - A judge sentenced the man involved in the February stabbing assault at a Riverton Maverik Country Store to spend the next six to eight years in the custody of the Department of Corrections.

Judge Norman E. Young also ordered Thomas Joseph Shakespeare, 29, of the Riverton area, to pay roughly $74,600 in restitution to Indian Health Services for costs incurred for services to the victim, who reportedly lost his eye after Shakespeare attacked him.

30 - A co-defendant in the Hudson double homicide pleaded not guilty by reason of mental illness or deficiency to the alleged crimes during his arraignment.

Public defender Tina N. Olson, of Cheyenne, also entered a not guilty plea for her client, Joseph Jude Jenkins, 20, of Arapahoe, to all 11 charges including first-degree murder of Eric Clinton Likes, 42, and his girlfriend Elva Charlotte Quiver, 20.

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