We continue our series of the year's top stories. Sheridan Media's Betsy Love starts with September:
September started off with the continuation of the Dennis Poitra trial, culminating in a “guilty” conviction and life sentence due to his participation in the burglary and murder of Sheridan resident Robert Ernst. Following his conviction, Wyatt Bear Cloud, the second of the defendants in the Ernst case, changed his plea to “guilty.”
The hi-tech park in Sheridan had its “ground breaking.” Mid-September over 100 people turned out for the Sheridan Suicide Coalition's first “Out of Darkness” walk, raising 12,000 for the coalition. Vanessa Hastings, chair of the Coalition, told the crowd before the walk.
68-year-old Sheridan resident, and Ward 3 City Council Candidate Melvin Krenzelok had his Initial Appearance in Sheridan County Circuit Court, charged with a Felony count of Third Degree Sexual Assault; one count of Misdemeanor Sexual Battery; and two counts of Misdemeanor Battery.
64-year-old Sheridan resident James Mack also had his initial appearance in court on a felony Aggravated Cruelty to Animals charge for allegedly beating a fawn to death.
Amidst the court cases, a slightly lighter celebration was held in September to commemorate Sheridan City Hall turning 100 years. “Mayor Cosmo” arrived from the future to attend the celebration:
October started on a pinker note in recognition of “Breast Cancer Awareness Month,” with a Kelly Schreibeis Memorial Foundation-sponsored lighting ceremony, turning downtown Sheridan's a rosier hue for October.
After months of searching and researching, Cameron Duff was selected as Sheridan Public Library system's new Director. The Court cases continued and Vincent Scott was found guilty on six counts, including three felony charges of 1st degree sexual assault, aggravated assault and battery and felony child abuse.
Dharminder Sen, the second defendant to go to trial in the Ernst case, was convicted on all counts.
November's midterm elections resulted in a not-so-surprising victory for Matt Mead in Wyoming's race for Governor, but a more surprising victory in the presumed tight race for Superintendent of Public Instruction, with Cindy Hill beating Mike Massie. Alex Lee won a seat on the Sheridan City Council, replacing Marc Ketchum for Ward II. The One-Cent Optional Sales Tax was also renewed. Sheridan Mayor Dave Kinskey:
Yellowstone visitation was “gangbusters” with record breaking numbers at the Park. The public water fluoridation issue was kicked up a notch, while the first ever Capitol Christmas Tree from the State of Wyoming toured the state on its way to Washington. The 67-foot Englemann spruce made many stops around the state, including one in Sheridan and one in Buffalo.
A resident on West Burkitt reported a large black bear in his yard.
29-year-old Shawn Osborne was convicted for killing 42-year-old Gerald Bloom the previous January. Dennis Poitra was sentenced to life without parole. And Sheridan's annual Christmas Stroll celebrated a successful 15th year.
In December, Northern Wyoming Community College District received positive reviews from the AQIP accreditation team for its “strong partnerships” with local communities.
Dixie Johnson was selected as the new Executive Director for the Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce. And Sheridan author Craig Johnson received word that a major television network has given the green light to a pilot series based on his books.
The Sheridan City Council also outlawed feeding certain wildlife, including deer, within city limits.
Buffalo was ranked a “Top Ten Western Town” by True West Magazine.
Chris Lamb, who just moved to Sheridan from Colorado was selected as the Grand Prize winner for the 15th annual Sheridan Christmas Stroll:
The “dawn” of 2011 brought in a rush of winter storm...which brings us up-to-date on the year's news.
Wishing you a happy and safe New Year's, for Sheridan Media dot com news, this is Betsy Love reporting.