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Wyoming Supreme Court censures Cody lawyer

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — The Wyoming Supreme Court has censured a Cody lawyer who represented a surgeon in a defamation lawsuit filed by another doctor. The court Wednesday also ordered lawyer Laurence Stinson of Cody to pay over $15,000 to cover disciplinary proceedings. The court held Stinson violated a professional rule prohibiting lawyers from making court filings intended to embarrass the other party in litigation. Stinson’s office said he was unavailable for comment. Stinson had represented Dr. John H. Schneider, a neurosurgeon who practiced in Cody. The Wyoming Board of Medicine revoked Schneider’s license this year in an unrelated matter. Schneider in 2012 entered a confidential settlement to end a federal lawsuit filed by Dr. Jimmie Biles of Cody. Biles contended Schneider retained a woman to post anonymous fliers critical of Biles. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Wyoming News

Refinery fined $153K for safety violations

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — HollyFrontier Corp. has agreed to pay a $153,000 penalty for poor emergency management planning at its refinery in Cheyenne. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Monday it hoped the agreement would bring the facility in line with safety requirements and help emergency responders by fully informing them about the amounts of types of chemicals stored at the refinery. EPA inspectors found the refinery had not adequately implemented the risk management planning requirements for some chemicals including assisting with emergency preparedness, making efforts to prevent the release of chemicals and minimize any releases that happen. Other deficiencies include failing to follow internal procedures for inspecting piping, failing to adequately train employees who operate processing equipment and failing to report some chemicals stored on site. HollyFrontier spokeswoman Julia Heidenreich says the company … Read entire article »

Filed under: Wyoming News

Fewer bears dying in Yellowstone area

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The number of threatened grizzly bears killed in and around Yellowstone National Park has dropped sharply as officials consider lifting protections for the animals. State and federal wildlife officials were scheduled to meet Wednesday in Bozeman to review the bear’s status. The U.S. Geological Survey reports 20 grizzly bears killed or removed so far in 2014. By comparison, a record 56 grizzlies were reported killed or removed in 2012 and 29 last year. Most die following conflicts with humans. Those range from bear attacks on livestock to hunters shooting bears in self-defense. Scientists estimate more than 750 bears inhabit the Yellowstone region of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. A U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decision is pending on whether the population has recovered enough to revoke its federally-protected status. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Wyoming News

Arch revises Montana coal mine application

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — State regulators say Arch Coal Inc. has submitted a revised application for a major coal mine near the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation. The St. Louis-based company applied to build the Otter Creek mine southeast of Ashland in 2012. Montana’s Department of Environmental Quality found deficiencies in the company’s application last year. Arch responded to those concerns with additional documentation on Tuesday. DEQ project manager Kristi Ponozzo says the agency has 120 days to review the material. After that, it will deem the application acceptable or ask for yet more documentation. Once a final decision is made, it could take Arch years more to develop a mine. The company also needs a new rail line to ship the fuel out of Montana. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Regional News

Veterans assistance in Teton and Fremont counties

CHEYENNE, Wyo. – A state of Wyoming veterans service officer from the Wyoming Veterans Commission will conduct community outreach services in Wyoming cities throughout November.   Lori McGee is available to meet with veterans and their families to discuss state and federal veterans’ benefits, Department of Veterans Affairs claims, or VA healthcare. McGee can also help veterans and their families apply for benefits, file claims or request healthcare.   Her office is located at the Lander National Guard Armory, 31 Leedy Drive, in Lander, and she will also be available at the following locations:   .     Riverton, Wyoming – Nov. 5, 12, 17, 19 and 26 at the Riverton VA Clinic, 2300 Rose Lane, from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.   .     Riverton – Nov. 24 at the Central Wyoming College Student Success Center, 2660 Peck Ave. from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m.   .     Dubois, Wyoming – Nov. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Local News

Man accused of threatening girlfriend with gun

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — A 34-year-old Casper man accused of pointing a gun at his girlfriend’s head before firing a shot into their living room ceiling has denied several charges. Rocky Joseph Brown pleaded not guilty Tuesday to two counts aggravated assault and a charge of domestic battery for earlier alleged assaults. He has been released from jail on $15,000 bail. Investigators say Brown’s girlfriend told them the two were fighting before she locked him out of their home September 3rd. Brown is accused of tearing away the cardboard above the window air conditioner and crawling into the house. His girlfriend says he then grabbed her by the hair and threatened her with a .22-caliber pistol. Police recovered a spent casing in the rafters of the attic. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Wyoming News

Woman faces evaluation in murder solicitation case

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — A Casper woman charged with trying to hire someone to kill her ex-husband will undergo a second evaluation of her competency to stand trial. Prosecutors allege Cynthia Guy-Thomas was working as a therapist at Central Wyoming Counseling Center when she asked two clients if they knew any gang members who would kill her ex-husband. One of the clients alerted clinic administrators, who worked with police to have Guy-Thomas meet with an undercover officer she thought would carry out the killing. Guy-Thomas was charged in May with solicitation of first-degree murder. She has already undergone an evaluation at the Wyoming State Hospital in Evanston. Her preliminary hearing scheduled for Tuesday in Natrona County Circuit Court was postponed when she requested the second evaluation. District Attorney Mike Blonigen says an independent evaluator will … Read entire article »

Filed under: Wyoming News

Mead extends lead in governor race fundraising

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Republican Gov. Matt Mead continues to take in more campaign donations than his opponents in next week’s general election. Campaign finance reports released Tuesday show the incumbent Republican took in about $122,700 during the most recent reporting period that ran from Aug. 19-Oct. 21. Mead has received a total of about $653,000 in contributions for the entire campaign season, including the primary. That is more than five times what his closest gubernatorial rival has raised. Democrat Pete Gosar took in $63,575 during the reporting period. Gosar has raised a total of about $123,280 this year. The third-party and independent candidates took in far less money than their major party counterparts. The filings are the last required reports due before the election. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Wyoming News

Secretary of State: workers get time off to vote

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming Secretary of State Max Maxfield reminds employers that state law requires them to give employees one hour off to vote in the Nov. 4 general election. Maxfield says the law doesn’t apply to employees who are taking three or more consecutive non-working hours during the time the pools are open. There are also exceptions for some federal agencies. State Election Director Peggy Nighswonger says state law specifies the one hour for voting may not be a meal hour. She says employers may select the time at their convenience. Nighswonger says employers who don’t allow eligible employees time to vote may face a misdemeanor criminal charge and a possible fine. Polls open at 7 a.m. and remain open until all those in line at 7 p.m. have cast their ballot. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Wyoming News

Town mayor pleads not guilty to nepotism

ROCK SPRINGS, Wyo. (AP) — The mayor of a small Sweetwater County town who is accused of employing her husband and daughter-in-law has pleaded not guilty to two counts of nepotism. Bairoil Mayor Sue Ann Rigano entered the plea Tuesday in Circuit Court in Rock Springs. Rigano’s husband, Anthony M. Rigano, is a water system operator and police officer in Bairoil. Her daughter-in-law is the town clerk and has been employed by the town in some capacity since July 2013. State law forbids a public official from supervising or managing a family member who holds a position in a municipality. Investigators say Rigano is the direct supervisor and manager for her husband and daughter-in-law, which means she also manages their payroll. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Wyoming News