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Wyoming News Briefs SEPTEMBER 17


September 12, 2019

Two killed, two wounded in Cheyenne shooting

CHEYENNE – Two adults were killed and two juveniles were seriously injured in a shooting late Monday afternoon in east Cheyenne.

The sole suspect, Andrew Weaver, 25, of Cheyenne, was taken into custody after a nearly two-hour search of the area. He was taken to Cheyenne Regional Medical Center for treatment, but the nature of his injuries was not released.

Cheyenne Police Department spokesman Officer Kevin Malatesta said a call of shots fired came in around 4:30 p.m.

Officers responded to the home at 3436 E. 11th St. to find that four people had been shot either inside or near the residence.

“The suspect fled on foot and was found nearby,” Malatesta said, noting Weaver was taken into custody in a field without further incident by CPD officers, with assistance from Wyoming Highway Patrol troopers.

Before Weaver was located, however, residents in the area were advised to stay in their homes with the doors locked for their safety.

Laramie County Coroner Rebecca Reid said one person died at the scene of the shooting, and the other died after being taken to Cheyenne Regional Medical Center.

The victims’ names were not released Monday night because officials were still in the process of notifying family members. But Malatesta said in a news release that an an adult man and an adult woman died, and two juvenile males suffered life-threatening injuries.


Two charged for walking next to Old Faithful

POWELL (WNE) — Two scofflaws have been charged with trespassing at Yellowstone National Park after walking to the Old Faithful geyser for a closer look and cellphone photos last week.

The two men — who have yet to be identified by park officials — were photographed standing next to the geyser and looking down into the steam-filled hole by other visitors. Park rangers were notified and the two visitors were ticketed and were given a chance to come back to the park — this time to appear before a federal magistrate at Mammoth Hot Springs in December. Violation notices for mandatory court appearances have been issued to both men, park officials said.

This is not the first time visitors have been charged for trespassing around Old Faithful. Last September, Gabriel Villalva of Colorado was charged with foot travel in a thermal area, interference with a government employee, resisting a government employee and disorderly conduct.

Trespassing can also have deadly consequences: In Yellowstone’s history, more than 20 visitors have died after being scalded by boiling waters.

The last person to die in a geothermal accident was Colin Nathaniel Scott, 23, of Portland, Oregon, who died in a hot spring near Porkchop Geyser in June 2016. Scott and his sister illegally left the boardwalk and walked more than 200 yards in the Norris Geyser Basin.


UW proposes increased investment in Sheridan, Casper centers

SHERIDAN — A University of Wyoming official announced a university proposal to immediately invest roughly $560,000 into the Sheridan and Casper Wyoming Technology Business Centers during the Wyoming Business Council’s quarterly Board of Directors meeting last week.

UW Vice President of Research and Economic Development Ed Synakowski said the proposal stems from a review of the university’s economic development programs ordered by acting-President Neil Theobald and conversations with the leaders of the Sheridan and Casper WTBCs.

Last month, the university announced it would halt plans to transition the Sheridan and Casper WTBCs into pilot innovation centers while it conducted its internal assessment.

The innovation center concept emerged from legislation passed as part of the Economically Needed Diversity Options for Wyoming during the Wyoming Legislature’s 2018 session. The concept was designed to give local officials more control over the WTBCs and give the business incubators access to more researchers through the WBC.

Right now, the two WTBCs are co-operated by UW and public officials in Sheridan and Casper. UW would not have a stake in the incubators under the innovation center concept.

Synakowski said the directors of the Sheridan and Casper WTBCs had supported the transition because working as remote university operations have proven difficult.

After meeting with the directors of the two incubators during UW’s internal assessment, however, UW officials concluded that the university would benefit from correcting those difficulties and staying involved with the WTBCs instead of giving up their stake in the centers.

“The strong consensus view was that — with proper, well-run processes — this relationship is a net asset, with no ambiguity,” Synakowski said.


Woman sentenced to probation in sexual assault

EVANSTON — The Evanston woman who faced sexual assault charges following an incident that occurred last January while she was employed as a daily living assistant at Pioneer Counseling has been sentenced to probation. Kortney Thompson made an appearance in Third District Court on Tuesday, Sept. 10, for a change of plea and sentencing hearing.

Thompson was charged initially following an incident in late January, when she provided alcohol to clients in the group home where she was overseeing their care. An affidavit filed in the case states that one of those clients reported he passed out in his room from intoxication and awoke to find Thompson engaging in sexual activity with him without his consent.

Other residents in the group home reported witnessing the incident. Thompson initially pleaded not guilty to a charge of first-degree sexual assault, but through a plea agreement with the Uinta County Attorney’s Office changed her plea to guilty to one count of third-degree sexual assault and one count of sexual battery.

Through the plea agreement, Thompson was given a deferred prosecution on the sexual assault charge and was sentenced to three years of supervised probation.

Thompson was sentenced to 180 days of incarceration for the sexual battery charge, with credit given for the four days she previously spent in the county jail and the remainder suspended. She was sentenced to six months of probation for that count, to run concurrent to the probation on the sexual assault count.


Cheyenne schools approve softball

CHEYENNE — The Laramie County School District 1 Board of Trustees voted Monday night to add girls fast-pitch softball to its athletics offerings next school year.

As the board unanimously said “aye” to approve softball, the room erupted in cheers and clapping from softball supporters. They wore the neon yellow shirts of the Cheyenne Extreme club softball league that said “Let them play,” and after the approval, the supporters went around and shook the board members’ hands.

This adds LCSD1 to the list of school districts that have adopted high school softball in Wyoming.

It comes a month after Albany County School District 1 trustees voted to add softball as a sport at Laramie High School, making it the eighth district to approve it and triggering the Wyoming High Schools Activities Association to sanction the sport.

Softball will be sanctioned for high-schoolers starting in 2021. The sport is anticipated to cost LCSD1 $135,000 annually, and any transportation costs will be covered by the activities association because it is a sanctioned sport.

The program will establish softball teams Cheyenne’s Central, East and South high schools.

The board room was overwhelmingly filled with yellow, and several people spoke Monday in support of the board adopting the sport.

Adam Galicia, head coach for the Cheyenne Extreme, said he wished the softball community was included more in the discussions about adding the sport to high school athletics


Wyoming this Weekend, Sept. 20-22

By The Wyoming News Exchange

A competition among some of Wyoming’s best musicians in Ten Sleep tops this weekend’s list of activities around the state.

The second annual Wyoming Singer-Songwriter Competition will see 37 musicians from around the state compete over three days for the top prize of $500 cash and a chance to have one of their songs produced in a professional recording studio.

The competing musicians were selected in preliminary competitions held in 10 communities around the state. Semi-final rounds begin at 4 p.m. Friday and the “grand finale” championship round will begin at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Ten Sleep Brewing Co.

Other events scheduled for the weekend include:

The One-Shot Antelope Celebrity Hunt and Celebration through the weekend in Lander;

The Susan K. Black Foundation Art Show and Workshops through the weekend in Dubois;

The Rendezvous Royale western art celebration through the weekend in Cody;

The 38th annual Buffalo Bill Art Show and Sale at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody on Friday and Saturday;

The “Run Like a Bighorn” 10K trail fun run in Lander on Saturday, and

The 2019 Higher Ground Fair in Laramie on Saturday and Sunday,

For more information on these and other events, please visit the Wyoming Tourism Division’s website at


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