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Wyoming News Briefs OCTOBER 16


October 10, 2019

Officials encourage getting flu shot now

CHEYENNE (WNE) — This year’s flu season is fast approaching, and according to the Wyoming Department of Health’s Immunization Unit, a flu shot is the most effective way to prevent getting the flu.

For the 2019-20 flu season, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend getting vaccinated by the end of October. Children between the ages of 6 months and 8 years need two rounds of shots, which should be completed by the end of October. However, after the first shot, kids have to wait four weeks to get the second.

Building immunity to the flu takes about two weeks after the shot.

At the Cheyenne-Laramie County Board of Health meeting Tuesday, Nursing Director Katheryn McKee said this has already been a good year for immunizations in Laramie County.

“We’ve been doing more flu shots in all of our clinics than what we did last year,” McKee said. “We’re trying to get as many people as we can.”

McKee said better outreach has helped contribute to the uptick in vaccinations. The “Everyone has a hand in fighting the flu” campaign began from the idea of a University of Wyoming student.

At the start of October, the Cheyenne-Laramie County Health Department held a clinic to give out flu shots with the campaign. The Wyoming Department of Health director received a shot, and the flu bug mascot was there for the kids.

“We had a good campaign this year,” McKee said.

McKee also said she heard reports that vaccinations in grocery stores and pharmacies have been quite popular, as well.


Investigators: Child brought to meth deal

RAWLINS (WNE) — Investigators are saying a Hanna man brought along a small child during alleged meth deal.

On June 6, a confidential informant was used to facilitate the purchase of an ounce of meth from Andrew James Engle, 34, in the parking lot of a Saratoga retail store.

According to court records, the informant told authorities that Engle had allegedly asked if he or she “needed anything” when the two bumped into each other on June 5 at a Saratoga gas station.

“The CI was surprised by Engle’s question, because Engle had ‘been out of the game’ for the past two years,” the record states. “The CI asked Engle why he was starting to sell methamphetamine again. Engle told the CI that he had recently lost his job and need to sell methamphetamine to pay his bills.”

The next day, the informant met with Engle and his girlfriend Kelly Jo Sachtjen, 30, also of Hanna, around 11 a.m. Once the informant walked to the driver’s side door of Engle’s blue 2005 Chevy Tahoe, Engle was heard complaining about the child, who was reported to be sitting in the back seat.

Soon, Sachtjen removed the child momentarily from the vehicle. Meanwhile, Engle, in exchange for a reported $900, handed the informant a Cheetos bag, which concealed 30.4 grams of meth, package weight included.

On Tuesday, Engle pleaded not guilty to one count of felony possession of meth, one count of delivery of a controlled substance, one count of second or subsequent mandatory minimum penalty and one count of child endangerment – meth.


Former senior center bookkeeper pleads guilty, no contest

DOUGLAS (WNE) — The former bookkeeper for the Douglas and Glenrock senior centers appeared in court Tuesday to change her pleas to guilty and no contest.

Marnie Zamora, 43, of Douglas, pleaded guilty to one count of forgery and no contest to the charge of theft.

In a plea agreement with the Converse County Attorney’s Office, prosecutors said they will dismiss another count of check fraud from February which was not part of the alleged embezzlements involving senior center funds.

District Court Judge Scott Peasley made it clear he was not accepting the plea agreement yet and will wait for the pre-sentence investigation to be completed. Meanwhile, he sent Zamora back to jail as he can do under state law.

After Zamora changed her pleas, Peasley revoked Zamora’s bond and she was immediately taken into custody until her sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.

She was charged with forgery and theft which allegedly occurred while she was employed as the bookkeeper for the senior centers. Those charges were filed September 2018, more than a month after her employment with the Converse County Aging Services Board was terminated.

She also is charged with embezzling nearly $96,000 from the aging services, which runs the two centers, but officials also blamed her for failing to pay the center’s taxes for more than a year, leaving them owing the Internal Revenue Service $320,000 plus interest and penalties.


Second person charged in 2017 Jackson overdose death

JACKSON (WNE) — Jacob Lee Brown didn’t provide the heroin that killed Wesley Kiggins, but police say he did sell Kiggins morphine sulfate two days before his death.

Brown, 34, was arraigned Oct. 8 in Teton County District Court on a felony charge of delivery of a schedule II narcotic. He entered a not guilty plea.

Kiggins, 27, died Jan. 14, 2017, of an opiate overdose, according to court records.

After a long investigation, police charged former Jackson resident Sarah Valley with criminally negligent homicide and delivery of heroin relation to Kiggins’ death.

In a plea bargain, prosecutors dropped the negligent homicide charge and Valley pleaded no contest to felony delivery of heroin. Police say Valley provided Kiggins the fatal dose of heroin the day before he died.

But further investigations revealed Kiggins had more than one drug dealer.

“During the search of Kiggins’ cellular telephones, Officer [Phil] Smith discovered a text message conversation between Kiggins and Jake Brown on Jan. 12, 2017,” court records state.

Kiggins told Brown he was “itching” and asked if he could intravenously inject morphine.

The two agreed through text messages to meet at Albertsons around 9 p.m. Jan. 12.

Police interviewed Brown in April 2017.

“Brown did sell Kiggins one 60 mg, orange colored morphine sulfate tablet two days prior to Kiggins’ death,” court documents said.

Brown, a former Jackson resident, was charged in June but wasn’t arraigned in felony court until last week.


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