Wyoming News Update

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Latest Wyoming news, sports, business and entertainment.

WYOMING BANK ROBBERY

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — An Idaho man who robbed a bank in southwestern Wyoming has been sentenced to 30 years in federal prison.

The U.S. Department of Justice says 60-year-old Donald Sample, of Pocatello, Idaho, was sentenced Sept. 5 and was ordered to pay nearly $180,000 in restitution.

On June 1, 2013, Sample robbed the Wyochem Federal Credit Union in Green River of $175,300, which is the largest single loss in Wyoming history. Prosecutors say he brandished a firearm and forced the teller to empty the vault.

Sample, also known as Donald Alexander Sheriff, was arrested shortly after a similar bank robbery in Afton.

He was labeled an armed career criminal based on his conviction for 10 prior bank robberies between 1982 and 1989. Sample was released from his 1989 prison sentence on 2008.

Yellowstone

BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) — Yellowstone National Park has recorded its busiest August, in part because of the solar eclipse.

The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports https://goo.gl/AN4zUt that Yellowstone tallied 916,166 visits last month, marking the first time the month surpassed 900,000 visits in the park's history. That's a 9 percent increase over the total in August 2016.

Park officials say the eclipse brought more visitors, especially in the days before and after. A glut of people passed through on Aug. 22, the day after the eclipse.

Yellowstone has counted 3,232,708 visits this year, lagging behind the record-breaking 2016 by about 36,000.

CHILD DEATH-POLICE OFFICER

ROCK SPRINGS, Wyo. (AP) — A police officer in southwestern Wyoming has pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter for the death of a 2-year-old boy.

The Rock Springs Rocket-Miner reports https://goo.gl/wwTKd7 35-year-old Jacob Anglesey, of Green River, entered his plea Friday in the 2009 death of Konnor Allen, who suffered a head injury while in the man's care.

An initial investigation did not lead to charges, but the case remained open with the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation. In 2015, DCI agents presented evidence to the Sweetwater County Attorney's Office they said showed Anglesey was inconsistent when describing how the boy was injured.

Anglesey, who was set to go to trial Monday for first-degree murder, struck a deal with prosecutors and is facing a possible sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

DEVOS-WYOMING

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — More than 30 protesters with teddy bears and a sign reading "Yogi Bear says no to guns" showed up as Education Secretary Betsy DeVos toured a school in Casper.

Those are references to DeVos' remarks earlier this year that a school in Wyoming might need to have guns for defense if there are grizzly bears nearby.

Saying it's time to rethink schools, DeVos praised the Natrona County school district's school choice policy. Students in the Casper area aren't assigned a school but can select the public school they wish to attend.

DeVos toured Woods Learning Center, where multiple grade levels learn in the same classroom and a group of teachers run the school.

The Casper Star-Tribune reports students at Woods also have a say in what they learn.

YELLOWSTONE-NAMES PROTEST

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Two tribes plan to demonstrate in favor of renaming a valley and a mountain in Yellowstone National Park associated with men who advocated and carried out slaughter of Native Americans.

Leaders of the Blackfoot Confederacy and Great Sioux Nation will gather Saturday at Yellowstone's North Entrance near Gardiner, Montana.

The tribes seek to change the name of the Hayden Valley to Buffalo Nations Valley.

Hayden Valley is named for Ferdinand Hayden, a geologist whose explorations inspired the park's establishment in 1872 but who also called for exterminating American Indians.

The tribes also want to rename Mount Doane, named for U.S. Army Lt. Gustavus Doane. Doane took part in killing dozens of noncombatant Indians in Montana in 1870.

Yellowstone Superintendent Dan Wenk says the names are "an important and sensitive issue."

WYOMING ATHLETICS-BEER

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — Authorities say there was no increase in alcohol-related issues after the first University of Wyoming football game since the school began selling beer and wine at War Memorial Stadium.

The Casper Star-Tribune reports Laramie Police Department Lt. Gwen Smith and University of Wyoming Police Department Chief Mike Samp both say alcohol sales at Saturday's game against Gardner-Webb did not result in an increase of incidents or citations.

Samp says there was a slight increase in the number of officers at the game compared to past games, and more have been requested for this week's game against Oregon, given the magnitude of the game and the expected crowd size.

University officials announced in November that the school would begin offering beer and wine sales at both football and basketball games.

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