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Wyoming News Briefs OCTOBER 23


October 17, 2019

Arch Powder River mines rebound in third quarter

GILLETTE (WNE) — Arch Coal Inc.’s Powder River Basin mines showed a significant rebound after second quarter flooding spiked production costs and dropped its cash margin per ton sold by 65%.

In the third quarter, the company reported Tuesday morning that it not only dropped its cost per ton by more than $1.50, it also sold 22.2 million tons of PRB coal at a profit of $2.25 a ton, which helped pace Arch Coal to posting a net income of $106.8 million in the quarter.

Arch, which operates the Black Thunder and Coal Creek mines in Campbell County, also reported “significant progress” in a stock buy-back program it initiated two and a half years ago when it emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization, said John Drexler, the company’s senior vice president and chief financial officer.

In the quarter, Arch spent $91.4 million to buy back nearly 1.2 million shares of its stock, bringing the total buyback to nearly 10 million shares since May 2017.

“As a result of its low-cost position, premium product slate and strong balance sheet, Arch is well-positioned to generate strong levels of cash flow across a broad range of market conditions,” Drexler said in a statement announcing the third quarter results.

By lowering its cost per ton while increasing production by more than 5 million tons over the second quarter, Arch’s “thermal assets turned in solid margins, said Paul Lang, the company’s chief operating officer.


Pennsylvania man arrested with 150 pounds of marijuana

RAWLINS (WNE) — A Bethlehem, Pennsylvania man will be arraigned in Carbon County District Court on Friday morning for alleged careless driving and possessing major amounts of marijuana.

Robert L. Weisenberg, 65, was arrested on July 11 on four counts: one for felony possession of marijuana (which is considered a controlled substance), possession of marijuana with intent to deliver, speeding at 111 MPH in a 65 MPH construction zone and careless driving.

According to the arrest affidavit:

At 5:56 p.m. on July 11, a Wyoming State Trooper observed a white Ford Taurus traveling westbound on Interstate 80 in Carbon County at a high rate of speed in a construction zone. The trooper visually estimated the car’s speed at around 110 MPH and when using his radar, found that the car was traveling at 111 MPH.

The trooper asked Weisenberg three times how much marijuana was in the car. The first time, Weisenberg denied having any in the car. The second, he admitted “a little bit” and the third caused him to admit there was 100 pounds stashed away.

The trooper searched the car, finding several bags stuffed with a leafy green substance in vacuum-sealed bags.

Ultimately, a total of 390 packages of one-quarter of a pound and 60 one-pound bags of marijuana were found in the car, totaling 157.5 pounds.


Man arrested in Douglas stabbing death

DOUGLAS (WNE) — The victim of a Douglas stabbing who later died of his injuries has been identified and a suspect is now in custody.

The victim, 57-year-old Mickey Box of Casper, was taken to Memorial Hospital of Converse County emergency room Oct. 2 and died a week later, according to the Douglas Police Department.

James Box, 31, of Casper, has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder and is being held pending his initial appearance in Converse County Circuit Court.

James is accused of killing his father in an altercation that occurred Oct. 2 in a residence on the 200 block of N. 6th Street in Douglas.


Man sentenced for stealing $70,000 from Shriners

JACKSON (WNE) — John C. McDaniel stole approximately $70,000 from the Jackson Hole Shrine Club over the course of seven years by writing checks to himself under the guise of his business Cache Creek Accounting, according to police.

McDaniel, 74, was sentenced Tuesday morning in Teton County District Court to probation, more than two years after the Shriners noticed thousands of dollars missing and called police.

“I feel badly for the whole thing,” McDaniel said in court. “I am just so sorry that I messed up so many people’s lives in this whole thing. I should not have done it.”

The embezzling started in 2010, according to court documents, when McDaniel was the club’s treasurer.

“During that time the Shrine Club believed that approximately $65,000 to $75,000 was taken without authority by John McDaniel,” an affidavit states. “From November 2010 to until January 2017 there were 68 checks written to Cache Creek Accounting from the Jackson Hole Shrine Club account. The Jackson Hole Shrine Club did not contract with Cache Creek Accounting for any services.”

The checks were written sporadically and in different amounts each time, ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars at a time, according to public records.

McDaniel was ordered to pay $63,000 in restitution, which he paid in full thanks to a timely inheritance, his attorney Dick Mulligan said.

The charge carries a maximum possible sentence of 10 years in prison, but McDaniel got three years of probation with a deferral, meaning if he completes probation without issue a conviction will not be entered.


Cheyenne resident organizes rally against mayor

CHEYENNE (WNE) — After city officials announced late last week they will repay more than half of a Bloomberg grant, criticism of Mayor Marian Orr’s performance in office began rolling in.

Those in opposition have scheduled a rally for people “tired of Mayor Orr and her antics” for Saturday and created an online petition to “recall” Orr, which had garnered more than 560 signatures as of Tuesday evening.

Orr said the backlash is due to a misunderstanding about the Bloomberg spending.

“There’s a lot of misinformation out there,” Orr said.

When Bloomberg Philanthropies awarded the city $100,000, the money was meant to be used by October 2018 for the testing phase of the Mayor’s Challenge contest. Orr said the city misunderstood the intended use of those funds after the testing phase ended.

The city continued to draw funds from the grant for city events and other expenses after October. Now, the city will pay Bloomberg Philanthropies back for expenses that didn’t align with the grant.

The Bloomberg incident sparked the flame, but the online petition and rally organizer both emphasized the critiques were driven by a multitude of causes. Lisa Glauner, who organized the rally, said other incidents in Orr’s administration, like the recent “pothole emergency”, led her to create the event.

For her, the rally has to do with accountability.

“I just think if we don’t start holding our elected official accountable, the next person is going to think they can do that and even more,” Glauner said.


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