Latest Wyoming news, sports, business and entertainment
School districts team up to lobby for more money
CASPER, Wyo. (AP) - A coalition of seven Wyoming school districts says the state had underfunded K-12 schools by $151 million in recent years.
The districts are asking the Legislature to pay back the money and find a way to make adjustments for inflation an annual, automatic part of the state's budget.
The districts signed onto the coalition are Campbell County School District No. 1, Carbon County No. 1, Johnson County No. 1, Sheridan County No. 1, Sublette County No. 1, Sweetwater County No. 2, and Teton County School District No. 1.
State Rep. Steve Harshman, of Casper, is chairman of the Joint Appropriations Committee.
He tells the Casper Star-Tribune that districts had received too much money for inflation adjustment from the state in some years.
Jackson ends ban on sleeping in cars
JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) - The town of Jackson is ending its ban on people sleeping in their cars.
The Jackson Hole News & Guide reports that the town council decided this week to change its rules to allow people to spend one night in their vehicle anywhere within city limits.
Councilor Jim Stanford suggested repealing the ban on sleeping in cars. The new ordinance still bans camping in the city.
The Jackson housing market is exceptionally tight. With few rentals available, many of Jackson Hole's workers have been camping out.
Ordinances must pass three readings to become a part of the municipal code. The council could vote on the law at the first meeting in August.
Judge: Albany Courthouse security lacking
LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) - A district judge in Albany County says security remains an issue at the county courthouse in Laramie.
Judge Jeffrey Donnell says basic security standards developed by the Wyoming Court Security Commission have not been adopted in Albany County.
The security standards include having proper equipment, security staffing and training.
Albany County Commission Chairman Tim Sullivan acknowledges courtroom security is a problem.
Sullivan tells the Laramie Boomerang that the county can't afford the cost of making extensive improvements to the courthouse.
But he did note that closed-circuit security cameras and monitors have been installed recently.
Donnell says the county does have the money to do more. He says the county commission chooses to spend it on other things.
Wyoming Game and Fish Dept. seeks input on deer
LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) - Managers with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department are holding public meetings to discuss management of the Sheep Mountain mule deer herd.
The department is hosting public meetings in Cheyenne and Laramie to present information on mule deer ecology and population data for the Sheep Mountain herd.
The Cheyenne meeting will be August 5 at the Game and Fish Headquarters building. The Laramie meeting will be August sixth at the University of Wyoming Student Union. Both meetings will start at 6 p.m.
BANK ROBBERY PLEA
Man pleads guilty to multiple bank robberies
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - A man has pleaded guilty to robbing banks and credit unions in Wyoming and Utah.
Thirty-eight-year-old James Pearson Thain pleaded guilty to 14 federal charges Thursday before U.S. District Judge Nancy Freudenthal in Cheyenne. She set sentencing for Sept. 30.
Under questioning from his attorney, Thain admitted to three bank robberies in Wyoming and nine bank and credit union robberies in Utah, all in December and January. He admitted using a firearm in a crime of violence and to being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Thain and 33-year-old Mindy Nichole Lawrence were arrested after a January robbery at the Bank of the West in Casper. Authorities say Thain was homeless before his arrest.
Lawrence has pleaded guilty to aiding Thain in one robbery and faces sentencing next month.
Man gets 37 months for Casper bank robbery attempt
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - A federal judge has sentenced a man to 37 months in prison for trying to rob a bank in Casper earlier this year.
U.S. District Judge Nancy Freudenthal sentenced 61-year-old Jack Taber on Thursday. Freudenthal said she hopes Taber gets some help for the addiction problems that have contributed to his lengthy criminal record.
Authorities said Taber walked into a Wells Fargo bank on March 26 and demanded a teller put money in a bag and give it to him.
Police arrested Taber after looking at a bank surveillance video and recognizing Taber from a previous arrest.
Federal prosecutor Eric Heimann told Freudenthal that he's willing to accept the argument that Taber only commits crimes when he drinks. But Heimann said Taber drinks all the time when he's not incarcerated.
Wyoming State Pen inmate dies
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - The Wyoming Department of Corrections reports that a 69-year-old inmate has died at the State Penitentiary in Rawlins.
It says Lee David Humphrey died Thursday. It did not provide a cause of death.
An autopsy and investigation is being done in keeping with department policy.
Humphrey was in prison on a second-degree sexual assault conviction out of Laramie County. He was sentenced in 1996 to consecutive sentences of 10 to 20 years each on two counts.
Humphrey was a native of Savannah, Georgia.
Memorial service held for Powell football coach
POWELL, Wyo. (AP) - One of Wyoming's top high school football coaches is being remembered in Powell as someone who could bring a smile to anyone's face, even under the toughest of circumstances.
The Casper Star-Tribune reports more than 2,000 friends and family members gathered Thursday morning at Panther Stadium for a memorial service for Jim Stringer, who died Friday.
Stringer led the Powell Panthers to four state 3A titles, most recently last fall when Powell beat Douglas in overtime. He was named Wyoming's 3A coach of the year both in 2011 and 2013. More than 80 past and present Powell football players attended the memorial.
The Powell Tribune reports that the tall, burly coach was beloved for his open and friendly nature and the personal attention he gave students.
He is survived by his wife, Jill, and their three children.
Police arrest man accused of abducting girl, 9
RIVERTON, Wyo. (AP) - Police have arrested a 22-year-old man accused of abducting a 9-year-old girl from her Riverton home.
The Riverton Ranger reports David Waine Brock was arrested in Lander on Tuesday on kidnapping charges. He is accused of taking the girl from her bedroom at about 3:40 a.m. Saturday.
Investigators say the girl's parents went to her room after they heard a scream and found the screen on her window had been cut and the girl missing. The girl was found walking along a nearby street about 40 minutes later.
Police say a bloodhound tracked her scent to Brock's home, but the man was not there when officers arrived. He was found hiding in a storage shed in Lander.