Wednesday News Briefs
January 28, 2021
Albany Republicans censure Cheney
LARAMIE (WNE) — On Jan. 13, Wyoming’s sole U.S. Representative, Liz Cheney, voted to impeach then-President Donald J. Trump. Cheney is a high ranking member of the Republican Party, and her vote sent shockwaves through the nation and the state of Wyoming. Many Wyoming voters are still reckoning with the implications of this decision.
During a special meeting called Jan. 31, the Albany County Republic Party (ACRP) voted to censure Cheney because of her actions during Trump’s second impeachment trial.
In the resolution published to their website and Facebook page, members of the ACRP argued that United States representatives are elected to represent the will, values, and preferences of the people of their congressional district. According to the resolution, an overwhelming majority of the state electorate voted for Trump in the 2020 election, and therefore Cheney failed to represent her constituents.
The resolution also notes that articles of impeachment were filed against Trump, and they were voted on with no formal hearing, no evidence, and no witnesses sworn to give testimony. It adds that there is no evidence to suggest that Trump called for a violent response to political opposition, and suggested that the riot at the Capitol was instigated by Antifa radicals.
The ACRP resolution calls on Cheney to appear before their organization to explain her actions.
WWCC trustees approve job cuts
ROCK SPRINGS (WNE) — Thirteen instructors at Western Wyoming Community College will conclude their time at the college at the end of the semester under cost-saving recommendations that were approved by the Board of Trustees on Thursday night. While Western will receive about $300,000 more in state funding than projections indicated last week, a shortfall is still anticipated in the 2021-2022 school year, so trustees voted 6-1 to approve measures including layoffs and benefit reductions.
Last week, the board was told it faced a $2.3 million to $2.4 million shortfall in the next school year. This week, they received the news that more funding is forthcoming, but it is not enough to close the gap. Even with extra funding and the budget revisions, the college still expected to have to use about $200,000 from reserves to balance the budget, which is why the administration still endorsed its budget recommendations.
Dr. Kim Dale, president of Western Wyoming Community College, recommended the budget changes with “confidence and a very heavy heart.” She said that on behalf of the entire Western community, she hopes that they won’t have to come forward again with similar recommendations.
Trustee Carla Hester-Croff was the only trustee to vote against the revised budget. She said she agreed with most of the recommendations, but not all, so she wouldn’t vote for it. She said the college’s focus should be education, and more alternatives should have been explored.
Woman dies after being hit by truck on reservation
RIVERTON (WNE) — A pedestrian was killed Sunday on 17 Mile Road in Fremont County.
According to a preliminary crash report through the Wyoming Highway Patrol, a woman walking near Ethete died after being hit by a truck Sunday evening.
The deceased woman was identified as 46-year-old Melissa Brown.
Brown reportedly was walking with two other pedestrians across 17 Mile Road on the Wind River Indian Reservation between mileposts four and five, at about 6:12 p.m., when the truck approached, driving west.
The vehicle avoided two of the three pedestrians but struck Brown.
There was no inclement weather; road conditions were dry.
The Bureau of Indian Affairs responded.
The incident is under investigation.
Company plans electric scooters for Evanston
EVANSTON (WNE) — The idea of a company offering electric scooters in Evanston was the topic of discussion at the Evanston City Council work session on Tuesday, Jan. 26.
A virtual meeting was held with Bird representative Michael Covato.
He said Bird is a “micromobility” company that is nationally based in Santa Monica, California, with main headquarters in Amsterdam.
“We provide a low-cost system of electric scooters going from point A to point B with the grid structure focusing on the downtown area to stimulate the local economy,” Covato said. “We work with a local partner who removes the scooters at night to recharge them and puts them out again each day.”
Covato said they predict high usage in Evanston, partly because they have the scooters in a Virginia town that is half the size of Evanston and the company has seen significant use there.
The scooters are meant to be used on streets, not sidewalks, and incident rates have been minimal, similar to bicycle accidents.
Covato said the average fee ranges between $5 and $7 a trip, and each scooter has equipment attached so the rider can pay with a credit card.
“We plan on bringing 50 to 75 scooters to Evanston,” Covato said, “and we are very optimistic about the usage. We just need the support of the council, and we will obtain a business license.”
“This is an intriguing prospect,” Mayor Kent Williams said. “We are open to new private businesses and this sounds fun and exciting. Good luck to you.”