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Wyoming News Briefs - Man wields bat at VA hospital

School district employees receive deferments in conspiracy allegations

TORRINGTON (WNE) — Goshen County School District employees Loreen Fritzler and Robert Flock both received deferred adjudications to charges of conspiracy to commit interference with a police officer after an incident in December.

Fritzler and Flock allegedly conspired to cover up a car accident involving former GCSD No. 1 Superintendent Jean Chrostoski. Charges against Chrostoski, as well as three other GCSD employees, were dismissed.

A deferred adjudication is a way for defendants to avoid a guilty verdict by successfully completing a term of probation. According to state statue 7-13- 301, for some offenses “with the consent of the defendant and the state and without entering a judgment of guilt or conviction, defer further proceedings and place the person on probation for a term not to exceed five (5) years upon terms and conditions set by the court.”

Flock will serve one year of probation, but Frtizler’s exact terms weren’t available when requested by the Telegram. The deferment was confirmed by a court official.

The deferments will allow the defendants to avoid having a guilty verdict issued against them. Chrostoski retired from her superintendent post on Feb. 1. She announced her retirement with a letter to the GCSD Board of Trustees in January. All of the other defendants in the case are still employed by the district.


Jackson police officer rescues man from burning house

JACKSON (WNE) — A police officer rushed inside a burning house early Thursday morning, woke a sleeping man and escorted him to safety.

Two witnesses saw flames coming from the East Deloney home at 3:30 a.m. and called 911. Jackson police Sgt. Garrett Kellams arrived and pounded on the door, but no one answered.

“Receiving no immediate response, he entered the home and woke the single occupant, immediately evacuating him through the smoke and out of the burning structure,” town of Jackson public information officer Carl Pelletier said in a press release.

The smoke detectors in the house were not working, Jackson Hole Fire/EMS Battalion Chief Mike Moyer said.

The front porch and living room areas of the house were full of smoke and flames when firefighters arrived. The sleeping man’s bedroom was at the other end of the house, with the front door located between his room and the fire.

About 25% of the rental house sustained heavy fire damage, and the main floor has smoke damage, Moyer said. Fire Marshal Kathy Clay is investigating the cause of the fire. No one was injured in the blaze, but Moyer said the incident is a good reminder for Teton County residents to check their smoke detectors and make an exit plan with their family or roommates.


Former staff member attacks employees at Cheyenne VA hospital

CHEYENNE (WNE) — A former employee welding a baseball bat walked into the Cheyenne VA Medical Center and attacked two staff members Thursday, VA officials say.

According to Sam House, the VA's public affairs officer, the attack took place around noon at the hospital's community center.

The two staff members suffered minor injuries and were treated at the VA and released, House said.

Cheyenne VA Police arrested the former employee within minutes of the assault and transferred the man to the sheriff's department after treatment at the VA's emergency room.

VA officials did not immediately identify the former employee. And although he was turned over to Laramie County Sheriff's deputies for processing at the county jail, spokeswoman Capt. Linda Gesell said she couldn't confirm his identity as of 5 p.m. Thursday.


High school locked down because of shooting threat

LYMAN (WNE) — Lyman High School was on lock down earlier this week, as a report of a shooting threat was circulated through the area.

Officers were called, and the Lyman High School had a lockout Tuesday morning to prohibit any entry or exit from the school. Lyman Police Chief Kathy Adams, on site Tuesday morning around 9:30 a.m., stressed the shooting threat was not aimed at the school, but it was in the community. She also said the school and law enforcement instituted the lockout, because, “it’s better to be safe than sorry.”

In addition, Adams confirmed both the one making the threat and the one being threatened were both local residents.

Near the front entrance and in the parking lot east of the school, there didn’t seem to be signs of a crisis. But near the corner and going to the eastern sidewalk leading to the main entrance, the view changed. Four law enforcement vehicles were at the sidewalk, with officers standing in the area.

In a press release Wednesday afternoon, Adams said, “The Lyman Police Department received a report from Lyman High School, of a threat to a juvenile male. There was information that the suspect would possibly be at school.”

Officers from the Lyman Police Department, the Mountain View Police Department, the Wyoming Highway Patrol and the Uinta County Sheriff’s Office responded to Lyman High School. Principals of the Bridger Valley schools made the decision to go into a “soft lockdown.”

Adams said in the release for the April 9 incident, “Due to a collaborated effort of all departments, the suspect was located and taken into custody without incident. Schools were informed and resumed normal activity.”


Pinedale submits water quality plan to EPA

PINEDALE (WNE) — Pinedale is on target and on schedule to meet compliance with Environmental Protection Agency criteria to do a study of Fremont Lake and its drinking water supply.

Brian Gray, with Jorgenson and Associates, reported during the April 8 council meeting that consultants completed the plan April 3, well ahead of the 60-day deadline of April 29, and sent it to the EPA for approval.

The ongoing study and responses from the EPA have become a permanent agenda item for the town’s council as part of the study’s promise to the EPA that there is full public disclosure about the town’s drinking water.

The study is an attempt by the town of Pinedale to avoid a $16-million water filtration system. Pinedale is one of the few municipalities in the nation that gets pure drinking water from an open lake. The water is treated with chlorine and an ultraviolet system to ensure it is safe to drink. Because water in the lake, tested two times a week, has always met EPA standards, there has never been a requirement to filter the water before it is treated.

However, that all changed in August 2018 when test samples exceeded the EPA standards for fecal coliform.

The plan establishes a work group and slates May through July for preliminary research, including gathering past tests.

Fieldwork is planned for August, September and October – the months in 2018 when there were high readings for contamination. A final study will be submitted to the EPA by February 2020.

Implementation of any recommendations coming from the study would begin in March 2020.