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Wyoming News Briefs OCTOBER 28

Community College Commission leaves tuition unchanged

GILLETTE (WNE) — Tuition for Wyoming’s community colleges will remain the same during the next school year after a vote Thursday by the Wyoming Community College Commission, which met in Gillette.

The commission sets tuition at Wyoming’s seven community college districts. It passed a measure a year ago to consider tuition rates each October, and it set a goal that tuition equal 23 percent to 28 percent of total community college revenue each year.

A year ago, the commission voted to raise tuition by $5 per credit hour — up to 15 hours — this year. That additional cost (from $94 to $99 for in-state tuition) and three additional credit hours (from 12 to 15) went into effect in the fall semester.

That’s an estimated 20.8 percent of total revenues.

Tuition would have to go up by $14 to $50 per credit hour to meet the 23 percent to 28 percent ratio.

That increase was one reason staff recommended no increase in tuition be considered this year. Under its policy, tuition reviews will take place each October during odd-numbered years, mirroring the biennium or two-year funding cycle of the state Legislature.

Since the latest tuition and credit hour increase started this fall, staff recommended no additional increase be considered until its impact for a full year can be seen.


One dies, two injured in accident near Riverton

RIVERTON (WNE) — One person died and two were injured last week in a single-vehicle rollover on 17 Mile Road.

Officials said driver Toniette Munguia, 33, died at the scene of the crash, while her passengers were transported to the Wyoming Medical Center in Casper for treatment of their injuries – one via ambulance, the other by helicopter.

One of the patients was trapped in the Honda CRV involved and had to be extricated, according to Wyoming Highway Patrol reports; the other crash survivor was ejected.

Munguia also required extrication: WHP reports indicate she was “impaled” during the rollover.

She was not using a seatbelt, according to the WHP.

Munguia’s official cause of death will be released pending the results of routine toxicology testing; the Fremont County Coroner’s Office said her body will not be autopsied.

The crash took place at about 7:15 a.m. Tuesday at milepost 6 on 17 Mile Road between Arapahoe and Ethete.

Reports state the CRV was eastbound when it “exited the roadway to the left and drove into a flood gate” that “launched” the vehicle into a mid-air roll; the vehicle rolled at least one and a half times before coming to rest.


Restraining order issued against auto dealer

LARAMIE (WNE) — A federal judge issued a temporary restraining order last week against the owner of a recently defunct Laramie car dealership, Snowy Range Dodge, which was sued earlier this year by Nissan for about $6.8 million in unpaid debt.

The temporary restraining order, a type of emergent but temporary injunction, bars the dealership from “encumbering, transferring, spending, removing, or otherwise disposing of, damaging, altering, or impairing, account funds, whether in the form of a check, withdrawal, transfer or otherwise, without the written consent of (Nissan) or until further order of this court.”

The dealership’s owner, JAG Auto, is alleged to have sold Nissan vehicles without paying the car manufacturer for the product.

Nissan’s financing of the car dealership allowed JAG Auto to acquire an inventory of new and used vehicles without pre-paying for them.

In total, Nissan claims it is owed more than $6.8 million from the Laramie company.

Nissan and the car dealership entered into a financing agreement in May 2017, and Nissan then discovered in late 2018 the car dealership “failed to keep its working capital and net cash at or above guidelines” established by Nissan.

After the lawsuit began, the Pierce Street dealership was sold to a Colorado company in July and now operates as Johnson Auto of Laramie.

U.S. District Court Judge Alan Johnson set a hearing for Nov. 6 to determine whether a preliminary injunction should be issued against JAG Auto.


Attempted murder case moves to district court

ROCK SPRINGS (WNE) — Attempted first-degree murder and resisting arrest charges against Bradley Setzer have been bound over to district court.

Setzer, 39, was arrested Aug. 25 in Green River after he allegedly shot at his wife through their front door. He was also charged with resisting arrest after allegedly refusing to comply with police commands during a traffic stop.

A preliminary hearing was conducted Oct. 16 in Third Circuit Court of Sweetwater County. Judge Craig Jones ruled that the state provided enough evidence for the case to be bound over to district court.

Setzer made an initial appearance before Judge John Prokos on Aug. 28, where his bond was set at $900,000 cash or surety. He remains in custody at the Sweetwater County Detention Center.

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