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Wyoming News Briefs Monday, March 2, 2020

 

February 27, 2020



Riverton police respond to call about sick dolls

RIVERTON (WNE) — Police saved the day recently when a 4-year-old girl called 911 because her baby dolls were sick.

The little girl phoned dispatch at about 4 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 23, saying she was there with Bridger, “and that’s an emergency, because the baby won’t stop crying!”

The girl said she was going to get Bridger, but then lost contact with dispatch.

Three officers arrived on scene: officers Wes Barry and Brandon Brookover, and Sgt. Scott Komrs. “The mother answered the door and was like ‘Oh really?’” said Riverton Police Department captain Todd Byerly.

But the little girl knew what to do.

She emerged and confronted the officers saying “Yes! My babies are sick, and I need help.”

The officers tried to talk to the little girl about whether the babies’ illnesses really warranted a 911 call, but “she wasn’t having it,” said Byerly. “She wanted our assistance.”

Eventually the scene ended with an agreement: Next time the babies are sick, ask Mom for help first.

“She was the cutest thing,” Barry said to Byerly. “She was just really worried about her babies.

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House restores funding for UW buildings

LARAMIE (WNE) — In its last substantive vote of the week, the Wyoming House voted Friday afternoon to budget $50 million of state funds for construction projects at the University of Wyoming.

That vote came as the state’s capital construction bill passed the Senate on Monday and included only $500,000 for UW construction.

If the $50 million for UW makes it through three readings in the House, the leaders from the two chambers will need to form a compromise next week before sending the bill to Gov. Mark Gordon.

Ahead of its current budget session, UW had asked the Legislature to provide half the funding for about $100 million worth of projects: A renovation of War Memorial Stadium’s west side stands, an expansion and renovation of the College of Law, and a replacement for Corbett Pool.

If the Legislature approves all requests, UW expects to get enough donations to hit the needed total of roughly $100 million.

The state’s capital construction bill, S.F. 119, originally included only $25 million for all projects and the House planned to double that before leaders from both chambers settled on a funding compromise somewhere between $25 million and $50 million.

However, the Senate opted to strip all funding for UW out of the bill and passed its own version Monday.

Instead of introducing the Senate bill, the House Appropriations Committee crafted a substitute bill Thursday morning.

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Woman accused of falsely billing Medicaid $24,000

GILLETTE (WNE) — A 34-year-old Glendo woman faces more than four dozen felony charges for allegedly falsely billing Medicaid $24,000 for respite care and companion services she provided for two children between Aug. 31, 2017, and Aug. 16, 2018.

Ciara Coleman, who was arrested Wednesday, has been charged with 26 counts of providing assistance by misrepresentation, which alleges she knowingly made a misrepresentation or false statement or disclosed a material fact in providing medical assistance in the amount of $500 or more under the Wyoming Medical Assistance and Services Act.

Coleman also has been accused of 25 counts of forgery and one count of obtaining property by false pretenses.

All three crimes are felonies in Wyoming and are punishable by up to 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000 or both.

Coleman provided services to participants in the Community Choices Waiver program, which is part of Wyoming Home and Community-Based Services. The program is a supplement to assistance that is available to people through Medicaid.

The program provides case management and many types of in-home services.

In total, Coleman is accused of falsely billing Medicaid $24,086 over a one-year period. An arrest warrant was signed by a judge Feb. 5, and she was arrested Wednesday. She was released from jail Thursday after making a $7,500 cash or surety bond.

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Former Rawlins doctor pleads guilty to drug charges

RAWLINS (WNE) — A former Rawlins physician pleaded guilty to a score of charges in the U.S. District Court in Cheyenne last week.

David Ray Cesko, 66, faced a judge on Feb. 26 and pleaded guilty to 20 of the 32 charges pressed against him. Cesko was charged in March 2019 with 32 counts of unlawful distribution of controlled substances, primarily opioids and benzodiazepines.

Cesko will be sentenced in district court on May 13 and faces the possibility of decades in prison. The former doctor and prosecutors came to a plea agreement, one condition of which was for Cesko to forever relinquish his medical license and prescription authority.

The plea agreement meant that Cesko would submit a guilty plea to 20 of the charges, including ones stating that he unlawfully prescribed codeine cough syrup and opiates to minor female patients and that he unlawfully prescribed opiates to a pregnant minor on several occasions.

Some of the drugs Cesko prescribed included oxycodone, hydrocodone and tramadol.

The former doctor allegedly prescribed these medications between 2014 and 2017, the same year the Wyoming Board of Medicine suspended his license. On that occasion, the board stated that Cesko “posed an imminent threat to the health, welfare and safety of the people of Wyoming.” It found that Cesko was inappropriately prescribing controlled substances to patients for illegitimate purposes, sometimes to known abusers, and would offer drugs in exchange for sex.

In August 2018, he voluntarily relinquished his physician license, which the board accepted.

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