Wyoming News Briefs SEPTEMBER 10
September 5, 2019
Threat reporting service records Wyoming increase
JACKSON (WNE) — A program that gives students, parents and teachers a safe place to report threats in schools saw growth in the 2018-19 school year.
Safe2Tell offers an anonymous way to report a range of threatening behaviors and situations. The 24-hour confidential service has a toll-free number (800-996-7233), an app downloadable from the Apple Store or Google Play, and a web portal through which reports can be made.
Since Safe2Tell started in October 2016 it has received nearly 2,900 tips from across Wyoming, according to its website. The 1,448 tips reported during the 2018-19 school year reflects the steady growth it has seen since opening.
“The increase each year in the number of tips submitted by students shows the level of comfort and trust they have in the Safe2Tell Wyoming program,” Program Manager Bill Morse said in the press release.
Safe2Tell acts as an intermediary between the reporting party and whatever agency — law enforcement or school district — will take action in a situation. An investigation determines whether a threat is credible and what action should be taken.
The organization did not provide county-specific data for Wyoming.
The top five types of tips reported in Wyoming last school year were suicide threats, drugs, bullying, self-harm and vaping. Safe2Tell said vaping, which was not one of the original tip categories, has quickly become one of the most reported tips.
Authorities investigate death in Lander detention facility
RIVERTON (WNE) — Authorities are still investigating the circumstances surrounding the the death of a 31-year-old Fremont County man who was found deceased Aug. 31 in his cell at the Fremont County Detention Center in Lander.
In an official statement, Fremont County Sheriff's Office officials reported that the man died of an apparent suicide.
Fremont County Coroner Mark Stratmoen, who is investigating the death with the FCSO and the Lander Police Department, did not confirm that officially at the time.
"I'm not going to comment on that since it's still under investigation," he said Wednesday. "I prefer to wait until everything is in."
He would not release the man's name but said an autopsy has been completed.
An obituary published Thursday provided information on a 31-year-old man named Ty Wolfname whose date of death in Lander was listed as Aug. 31.
Stratmoen said his official report would be available in the coming weeks.
FCSO records indicate Stratmoen's agency responded to the death just before 3 p.m. that day on Railroad Street in Lander, which is the location of the detention center.
Sex offender moved to Wyoming to ‘fly under radar’
GILLETTE (WNE) — Prosecutors are recommending prison time for an Oregon sex offender who moved to Gillette more than a year ago to “fly under the radar” and take some college classes.
George Cook IV never registered as a sex offender — a fact law enforcement learned after he was arrested in domestic violence cases in February. The cases were consider felonies because he had two previous convictions for domestic violence in 2016 in Washington and 2017 in Oregon.
The second incident also involved strangulation of a household member and aggravated assault and battery.
Cook, 42, pleaded guilty to domestic battery, strangulation, aggravated assault and battery and failure to register as a sex offender, all felonies. Another felony count of domestic battery was dismissed, as well as misdemeanor counts of interfering with an emergency call and destruction of property.
As part of the agreement, prosecutors will recommend a two- to four-year prison sentence for the domestic battery and failure to register charges and three- to five-year sentences for strangulation and aggravated assault. Most of those will be consecutive. He can argue for less. He also must pay restitution of $13,305 to Medicaid.
Sheriff’s investigators learned Cook was a sex offender and had not registered as one when he moved to Wyoming in April 2018, according to court documents.
He told investigators that he was “just trying to fly under the radar” when he moved to Wyoming to go to college to get a degree in diesel mechanics. He then intended to move back to Oregon.
Wyoming this Weekend, Sept. 13-15
By The Wyoming News Exchange
A festival celebrating Lander’s history as Wyoming’s apple supplier tops the list of events around the state this weekend.
The “Apple City Festival,” to be held Saturday at Lander’s Pioneer Museum, will feature an apple pie contest, the pressing of fresh apple cider, a petting zoo, crafts and live music.
Other activities scheduled for the weekend include:
The Proud Wyoming Woman Retreat in Rock Springs Friday through Sunday;
The Cheyenne Greek Festival Friday and Saturday;
The “Bad Medicine” bike ride in Shell on Saturday;
The opening day of the Susan K. Black Foundation Art Show and Workshops in Dubois on Sunday, and
The “Run the Legend” Marathon in Cheyenne on Sunday.
For more information on these and other events, please visit the Wyoming Tourism Division’s website at TravelWyoming.com.