Wyoming News Briefs Dec. 2, 2021


December 2, 2021

Sporting goods manufacturer to open plant in Cheyenne

CHEYENNE (WNE) — Sporting goods manufacturer Wright & McGill, producer of Eagle Claw fishing tackle, announced Tuesday morning it plans to bring a new manufacturing plant to Cheyenne.

The announcement was made during a news conference led by Gov. Mark Gordon at the state Capitol.

It follows a process that began in March 2020, when local economic development organization Cheyenne LEADS began working with the company. Wright & McGill eventually bought 60 acres of land in the Cheyenne Business Parkway.

Gordon, who grew up in rural Johnson County, described going into town with his father and looking at fishing tackle as one of his favorite childhood pastimes.

“Growing up fishing here in Wyoming, some of my first fishing tackle was Eagle Claw,” Gordon said.

The company has long ties to Wyoming, with the founder having fished many times on the North Platte River, according to a LEADS news release. The company’s current owner, Lee McGill, grew up fishing and working those events in Wyoming.

“As a family-owned business, we appreciate the independent, friendly, family-oriented culture we’ve experienced in Cheyenne, for both ourselves, and for future generations of our family and our employees,” said Drew McGill, son of Lee McGill.

Wright & McGill opened in Denver in 1925, and has operated out of its current facility since 1972.

“The environment that we currently reside in doesn’t bode well for family business anymore, it doesn’t seem, so we’re happy that Wyoming would (give) us a second home,” Drew McGill said.

Betsey Hale, CEO of Cheyenne LEADS, said the planned Eagle Claw plant would be “the most advanced manufacturing facility in the world for their product.”

The company expects to begin construction on the plant in spring 2023.


California woman arrested for smuggling contraband into jail

SUNDANCE (WNE) — A California woman has been arrested for attempting to smuggle contraband into a jail after she turned herself in on an active warrant and it was found that she had alcohol in her purse and two controlled substances hidden within her person.

According to court reports, Paige Poor arrived in the front lobby of the Crook County Sheriff’s Office on November 15 to turn herself in on an active warrant. At that time, she denied having any illegal drugs or alcohol on her person or among her belongings when questioned.

As Poor was booked into custody, an unopened travel-size bottle of vodka was allegedly found in her purse; she claimed to have forgotten it was there.

Deputies allegedly suspected she was concealing contraband, but none was visible or produced during the search.

Poor allegedly admitted she had heroin within her person. According to court reports, she then elaborated that she had suboxone, methamphetamine, a lighter and tin foil within her person.

Poor was accompanied to the Sundance Clinic emergency department, where the contraband was removed from her person.

Tests performed on the items, which were contained within condoms, allegedly showed that they included small quantities of heroin and methamphetamine.

Poor has been charged with felony counts of taking heroin into a jail and taking vodka into a jail, as well as felony counts of possession of heroin and possession of methamphetamine.

Felony charge filed in theft of shotgun from store

RIVERTON (WNE) — A Fort Washakie man accused of stuffing a display shotgun from a sporting goods store down his pants and driving away now faces a felony gun-theft charge.

Myka Andrew Ray Blackburn, 35, could face up to 10 years in prison and $10,000 in fines if convicted of firearm theft.

He was charged Oct. 11 and transferred to Fremont County District Court Oct. 20, for felony-level prosecution.

Riverton Police Department officer Bahgya Nethicumara was dispatched to Rocky Mountain Discount Sports on Oct. 7 at about 5:41 in the evening. There, the assistant manager said he had proof that a man had stolen a gun.

The assistant manager said there were two men at the store, one of whom had stolen a Kel Tec Ks7 12-gauge shotgun. Store surveillance footage depicted two men in a gun aisle. Footage showed them “checking” firearms, removing one of the display shotguns.

By 5:29 p.m., the man in the dark T-shirt appeared on the video to have hidden the shotgun down the front of his pants.

Both men left the store in a dark-colored Chevy Traverse.

RPD posted the men’s photos on its social media page, where an anonymous tip identified one of the men as Blackburn.

“It was determined,” wrote Nethicumara, “that Blackburn was the individual who concealed the firearm in his pants.”


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