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Articles written by Daniel Bendtsen


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  • UW institutes hiring freeze

    Daniel Bendtsen, Laramie Boomerang Via Wyoming News Exchange|Apr 23, 2020

    LARAMIE – The University of Wyoming has instituted a hiring freeze, Acting President Neil Theobald announced in a Wednesday email to university employees. “Effective immediately” no UW-funded hiring of faculty or staff can be made without Theobald’s written approval. That came after Gov. Mark Gordon told Theobald in a letter that “we will have to curb expenditures dramatically and probably for some time to come.” Theobald said UW has suspended three dean searches, even though the university is already in “the finalist stage” in its search for... Full story

  • Bill would take away UW's gun rules

    Daniel Bendtsen, Laramie Boomerang Via Wyoming News Exchange|Feb 13, 2020

    LARAMIE — At least 14 legislators are backing a bill that would prevent the University of Wyoming from regulating firearms on campus. As with other previous failed legislation, Senate File 88 would require UW to allow the carrying of concealed weapons on in campus buildings and at athletic events. The Legislature’s staunchest supports of gun rights have again introduced a bill, Senate File 88, that would prevent the University of Wyoming from regulating the possession of firearms on campus. The 2020 version of the “repeal gun-free zones... Full story

  • Police chief: UW gun ban not enforced in 'open spaces'

    Daniel Bendtsen, Laramie Boomerang Via Wyoming News Exchange|Jan 16, 2020

    LARAMIE — A regulation banning firearms on the University of Wyoming’s campus, which has become the subject of a high-profile lawsuit, isn’t as restrictive as it might appear at first blush, UW Chief of Police Mike Samp said in court this week. Guns are not allowed in campus buildings or other enclosed “facilities,” like War Memorial Stadium, but the regulation does not extend to “open spaces” on campus, he said. The university’s regulation on firearms states that “no dangerous weapon may be stored or carried in or upon university facili... Full story

  • UW, Nichols argue over whether investigation was proper

    Daniel Bendtsen, Laramie Boomerang Via Wyoming News Exchange|Dec 26, 2019

    RIVERTON — A court filing made Friday, Dec. 20 from the University of Wyoming disputes the characterization from former UW President Laurie Nichols’s attorney that suggests an alleged investigation into Nichols’s behavior occurred “directly contrary to the university’s own regulations.” The filing comes in a court dispute over whether those supposed investigatory records, and other documentation related to Nichols’s departure as UW president, constitute public records under Wyoming law. A September news report from the Casper Star-Tribune... Full story

  • UW gives Nichols some of personnel file

    Daniel Bendtsen, Laramie Boomerang Via Wyoming News Exchange|Oct 31, 2019

    LARAMIE — Last week, The University of Wyoming handed over at least some of the personnel file of Laurie Nichols to the former president, according to a Friday court filing from UW’s attorney. Nichols had formally requested her file October 3, and UW provided some of the file October 29. However, that court filing implied that Nichols was denied some access; Friday’s filing indicates UW only “provided Dr. Nichols with copies of documents to which she is entitled” under a portion of the Wyoming Public Records Act that states a public employee... Full story

  • Nichols to join court case on firing records

    Daniel Bendtsen, Laramie Boomerang Via Wyoming News Exchange|Oct 10, 2019

    LARAMIE — Former University of Wyoming President Laurie Nichols is hoping to weigh in on whether the university will be required to provide news reporters with a number of records regarding an investigation into Nichols’ conduct at the university, as well as records of correspondence among UW’s Board of Trustees regarding Nichols. Laramie attorney Megan Overmann Goetz filed to join the case on behalf of Nichols late Friday afternoon. A formal motion to intervene is expected to be filed Tuesday. According to an email Goetz sent to Albany Count... Full story

  • Nichols asks judge to show her UW files

    Daniel Bendtsen, Laramie Boomerang Via Wyoming News Exchange|Oct 10, 2019

    LARAMIE — In a public records dispute between the University of Wyoming and Wyoming news organizations, an attorney for former UW President Laurie Nichols has asked Albany County district court Judge Tori Kricken to show Nichols the records related to her ouster that are currently being considered for public release. Laramie attorney Megan Overmann Goetz filed a motion for Nichols to intervene shortly before Kricken’s court clerks closed their office late Tuesday afternoon. In that filing, Goetz expounded on what Nichols has already told rep... Full story

  • UW acting president vows more faculty investments

    Daniel Bendtsen, Laramie Boomerang Via Wyoming News Exchange|Oct 3, 2019

    LARAMIE — During a Thursday State of the University address, acting University of Wyoming President Neil Theobald said the university will work to increase the number of endowed chair positions to 100, roughly doubling the current number. In September, the university’s Board of Trustees signed off on a plan to spend $1.3 million, with half coming from donations, to create a permanent endowment to hire 20 new faculty by the end of 2019. According to documents from the September trustees meeting, UW is looking to spend that funding to hire thr... Full story

  • Legislators mull Hathaway changes

    Daniel Bendtsen, Laramie Boomerang Via Wyoming News Exchange|Sep 26, 2019

    LARAMIE — Legislators on the Joint Education Committee are considering a few bills that, if they find favor in the statehouse next year, would make changes to the Hathaway Scholarship Program. On Thursday, lawmakers voted unanimously to have the Legislative Service Office draft a bill that would limit the amount of Hathaway funds that can be used for graduate school at the University of Wyoming. In the 2017-18 school year, there were 70 students who used $270,000 worth of Hathaway’s need-based funds to pay for graduate school. The amount of... Full story

  • UW issues first apology to Black 14

    Daniel Bendtsen, Laramie Boomerang Via Wyoming News Exchange|Sep 12, 2019

    LARAMIE — Tom Burman, athletic director for the University of Wyoming, delivered history’s first apology from the university to the Black 14 on Friday evening. Those 14 black football players, many of whom were on campus this week, were kicked off UW’s football team 50 years ago for asking their head coach for permission to protest the Mormon church’s policy barring black priests. “Please accept this sincere apology from the University of Wyoming for the unfair way you were treated and the unfair hardships that created for you,” Burman said... Full story

  • Supreme Court says judge had no authority over UW gun case

    Daniel Bendtsen, Laramie Boomerang Via Wyoming News Exchange|Sep 5, 2019

    LARAMIE — The Wyoming Supreme Court threw out a ruling by Albany County district court Judge Tori Kricken, who determined in November that, contrary to common understanding, state law does not prevent local governments from regulating guns — so long as those guns are manufactured outside of Wyoming. The case arose from the prosecution of Lyle Williams, a Uinta County man who was charged with trespassing in 2018 after violating a University of Wyoming regulation by open-carrying a gun at the UW Conference Center during the annual Wyoming Rep... Full story

  • UW search committee hosts first 'listening session'

    Daniel Bendtsen, Laramie Boomerang Via Wyoming News Exchange|Sep 5, 2019

    LARAMIE — The search committee tasked with finding 12 candidates for the University of Wyoming’s presidency hosted its first of three “listening sessions” at the Wyoming Union on Monday afternoon. The overwhelming majority of search committee members attended the meeting, which was aimed at seeking feedback on what the university community wants from the next president. At the town hall, university employees said UW’s next president needs to establish “unity” between UW academia and the rest of the state. Given the significant turnover in t... Full story

  • UW requesting $31.3 million more in state funding

    Daniel Bendtsen, Laramie Boomerang Via Wyoming News Exchange|Aug 8, 2019

    LARAMIE — The University of Wyoming has requested the Legislature appropriate $31.3 million more in biennial funding for the 2021 and 2022 fiscal years. The bulk of that, $28 million, is being requested to boost the university’s standard operations. UW leaders have also asked for the budget of the School of Energy Resources, which funded separately from the university’s block grant, to be increased by $1.3 million. That additional funding for SER would go to paying for an academic director, who’s charged with “reinvigorating enrollmen... Full story

  • Laramie man arrested for 2018 murder

    Daniel Bendtsen, Laramie Boomerang Via Wyoming News Exchange|Aug 1, 2019

    LARAMIE — After what the Laramie Police Department described as a “lengthy and intensive investigation,” a 24-year-old Laramie man was arrested for the killing of a woman in March 2018. Artem Day has been charged with second-degree murder, a felony that carries a minimum sentence of 20 years imprisonment. If convicted, Day could be sentenced to up to life in prison. He’s also been charged with manslaughter and sexual battery, LPD announced in a Friday afternoon press release. The latter charge led court clerks to refuse the Laramie Boomera... Full story

  • Granderson appeals conviction to Supreme Court

    Daniel Bendtsen, Laramie Boomerang Via Wyoming News Exchange|Jul 25, 2019

    LARAMIE — Former University of Wyoming football player Carl Granderson is appealing his six-month jail sentence, which was imposed July 11 after the defensive end pleaded no contest to a charge of sexual battery and unlawful touching. Granderson’s counsel, Laramie attorney Megan Overman Goetz, has already filed a notice of appeal to the Wyoming Supreme Court. She’s also asked Albany County district court Judge Tori Kricken to allow Granderson to withdraw his no contest pleas, vacate his sentence and be given a new trial. However, the groun... Full story

  • Theobald brings new focus at first trustees meeting

    Daniel Bendtsen, Laramie Boomerang Via Wyoming News Exchange|Jul 18, 2019

    LARAMIE — The University of Wyoming’s board of trustees first meeting with Neil Theobald as the school’s acting president began Wednesday with the new president leading a discussion on ways UW could improve its graduation rate and become more accessible to Wyomingites. After the trustees picked him to be acting president, Theobald told the Laramie Boomerang that getting undergraduates to finish school in four years would a priority of his. This week, the trustees are meeting at Central Wyoming College in Riverton. After an executive sessi... Full story

  • UW expands need-based aid, reduces merit-based

    Daniel Bendtsen, Laramie Boomerang Via Wyoming News Exchange|Jul 18, 2019

    LARAMIE — The University of Wyoming Board of Trustees voted Thursday to, beginning in the fall of 2020, offer significantly more need-based aid to Wyoming students while making a commensurate cut to merit-based aid for out-of-state students. Under new policies, the amount of UW’s annual need-based aid is expected to rise from $272,663 to $1.1 million in just one year. Kyle Moore, associate vice provost for enrollment management, said the change is “a clear demonstration to the students of Wyoming that we are committed to you.” Merit-based aid i... Full story

  • Arapahos behind anti-gambling effort

    Daniel Bendtsen, Laramie Boomerang Via Wyoming News Exchange|Jul 4, 2019

    LARAMIE — Advertising reports made with the Wyoming Secretary of State’s Office have revealed the Northern Arapaho Tribe as the only funder behind the Wyoming Public Policy Center, an advocacy group that popped up at the end of 2018 to lobby against the expansion of gambling in the state. The filing also lists Northern Arapaho Business Council co-chairman Al Addison as the group’s primary “association representative.” The filings reveal the tribe’s casino has donated $80,500 to the group since the end of 2018. Lobbyists for the group repor... Full story

  • Retired UW administrators to return temporarily

    Daniel Bendtsen, Laramie Boomerang Via Wyoming News Exchange|Jul 4, 2019

    LARAMIE — Bill Mai and Chris Boswell, two former administrators who retired from the University of Wyoming in 2018, are returning to the school on 12-month agreements to help as the board of trustees convene a search for a permanent president. Both Boswell and Mai were among three finalists for the interim presidency before the trustees selected Neil Theobald, vice president for finance and administration, to serve as president for the next year. Former UW President Laurie Nichols left the university last week after her three-year contract e... Full story

  • Supreme Court hears oral arguments in UW gun case

    Daniel Bendtsen, Laramie Boomerang Via Wyoming News Exchange|Jun 20, 2019

    LARAMIE — The Wyoming Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday morning in a legal challenge regarding whether the University of Wyoming has the right to regulate firearm possession on campus. In December, Albany County district court Judge Tori Kricken determined that the university does have that authority, in part because she determined that sloppy drafting of the 2010 Wyoming Firearms Freedom Act unwittingly stripped away some gun rights in the state. After Wednesday’s oral arguments, the supreme court will issue a written decision “at... Full story

  • Football player's sexual assault trial set for July

    Daniel Bendtsen, Laramie Boomerang Via Wyoming News Exchange|May 30, 2019

    LARAMIE — The vast majority of all criminal cases in Albany County end in plea agreements, but Carl Granderson’s attorney has indicated in court documents that the former University of Wyoming football star is “proceeding to trial” in the sexual assault case pending against him. Granderson is represented by Laramie attorney Megan Overmann Goetz, who also represented former UW basketball player Ny Redding when he was acquitted of assault and battery charges after an April trial in Laramie. Granderson, a defensive end, was signed as an undrafted...

  • UW will ask for $50 million for stadium, pool

    Daniel Bendtsen, Laramie Boomerang Via Wyoming News Exchange|May 23, 2019

    LARAMIE - The University of Wyoming Board of Trustees will ask the state to provide $49.6 million for a renovation of War Memorial Stadium's west side stands and the Corbett Pool, which is used by the university's swimming and diving teams. UW Athletic Director Tom Burman has described a rebuild of Corbett Pool as his department's greatest need. "The Corbett Pool project is something we've been talking about for 10 years. It's a project that needs to happen if we're going to have men's and women... Full story

  • Tribal leader says casino CEO out, some council members disagree

    Daniel Bendtsen, Riverton Ranger Via Wyoming News Exchange|May 23, 2019

    RIVERTON (WNE) — After a 3-3 vote by the Northern Arapaho Business Council last week, Wind River Hotel and Casino CEO Jim Conrad received a letter from NABC chairman Lee Spoonhunter which stated Conrad will not be offered a new contract. "This is not a termination," Spoonhunter said. "Your present contract will expire on its own terms on June 30, 2019. We expect that you will continue to serve as CEO until that date. We thank you for your service to the Northern Arapaho Tribe." However, not all council-members are in agreement about Conrad's f... Full story

  • Trustees delay decisions on tuition, financial aid changes

    Daniel Bendtsen, Laramie Boomerang Via Wyoming News Exchange|May 16, 2019

    LARAMIE — One of the most significant policy changes the University of Wyoming Board of Trustees was scheduled to make this week was a major change in the university’s tuition policy and financial aid. For the first time in five years, the board was considering diverting from its standard policy of 4 percent tuition increases for both in-state and out-of-state students. Had the trustees’ budget committee signed off on the plan, the full board would have voted whether to, for the 2020-2021 academic year, freeze tuition rates for in-state stude... Full story

  • Gordon: UW should be leader on climate change

    Daniel Bendtsen, Laramie Boomerang Via Wyoming News Exchange|May 16, 2019

    LARAMIE — During a discussion with the University of Wyoming’s Board of Trustees on Thursday, Gov. Mark Gordon said the university should tap its research capabilities, especially those at the School of Energy Resources, for carbon sequestration and become a leader in combating climate change. “Wyoming has the solutions for our climate," he said. "We can take our coal products and we can make them part of the solutions. This a point I keep trying to make to my colleagues on the West Coast, colleagues like Gov. Jay Inslee. If you push as hard as... Full story

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