Archives for December 2015

Albany Co. Whistleblower Files Wrongful Termination Lawsuit

Albany County is facing a wrongful termination lawsuit by Christy Jesse, a former Attorney’s Office employee who claims she was fired for being a whistleblower. Jesse cooperated with prosecutors in a case against former attorney Richard Bohling, who was convicted in November of taking county property. The lawsuit seeks $488,000 in damages. The county commission plans to reject the claim at its next meeting.

West Loop Bypass Opens to Casper Traffic

Drivers trying to get through Casper now have a new option. The West Loop Bypass opened to traffic this morning, creating a 7.5-mile connection between U.S. Highway 20/26 to the west and state highway 220 to the south. The Wyoming Dept. of Transportation will have message signs temporarily installed to remind drivers that Bypass traffic has the right-of-way along its length.

Data Collection Lawsuit Against WY to Move Forward

A lawsuit against the state of Wyoming got the green light to go forward this week. At issue are two new state laws that prohibit collecting environmental data on private property or traversing private property to access public lands. Federal judge Scott Skavdahl said the new laws discriminate against certain groups of people rather than simply reinforce existing trespass laws, as the state contends.

UW loses close one

The University of Wyoming men’s basketball team opened Mountain West Conference play on the road last night, losing at San Diego State, 67 to 65. The Cowboys made a game of it despite falling 18 points behind the Aztecs in the first half. UW falls to seven and seven on the season.

Liquor sales up

It looks like 2015 will be a big year for liquor sales in Wyoming. According to the Casper Star-Tribune State, state officials are expecting sales of wine and spirits to total 931-thousand cases, that’s up by 30-thousand from last year. The Wyoming Liquor Division is projected to have collected more than 110-million dollars in gross sales in liquor, licensing fees and excise taxes.

WHP to Post Pictures of New Year’s DUI Offenders to Social Media

Wyoming Highway Patrol is jumping on the shaming bandwagon this New Year’s holiday. A statewide campaign will target people driving under the influence and committing other traffic safety violations. Anyone caught will have their name and picture posted to the highway patrol’s Facebook and Twitter accounts. Officials say the campaign, titled #DoNotGetHashtaggedByWHP, hopes to encourage safe driving practices over the long weekend.

Wyoming Powerball payout

If there’s a winner in tonight’s Powerball drawing, it would make for a happy New Year. A two-dollar ticket could get someone the jackpot of 300-million dollars. According to an analysis by the website “USA Mega,” if there’s one winner in Wyoming, after they paid the six-percent state tax, plus federal tax, it would mean a 138-million-dollar payout. There’s also the option of 30 annual after-tax payments of seven-point-five million a year.

Laramie inmate death

The death of an inmate at the Laramie County Jail is under investigation. The Sheriff’s Department says that 19-year-old Hunter Lee Johnson was arrested by Cheyenne Police early in the morning of December 19th after he was allegedly was involved in a disturbance at a Walmart store. Johnson made a court appearance three days later and, ccording to KGWN-TV, Johnson’s family says he was found hanging in his cell.

WY All-State Marching Band Headed to Rose Parade

Nearly 300 marching band students from across Wyoming are on their way to Pasadena, California, to perform in the annual Rose Parade as part of Wyoming’s all-state band. Seven buses left Green River yesterday loaded with people, luggage, and equipment. The Rose Parade will be held this Friday, New Year’s Day. The Wyoming contingent is expected to be on TV around 9:15am.

Lawmakers Unsure About Medicaid Expansion Vote

Gov. Matt Mead is still trying to convince Wyoming lawmakers to approve expansion of the state’s Medicaid program with federal money during the upcoming legislative session. The Joint Appropriations Committee has largely opposed Medicaid expasion in the past, but the Wyoming Tribune-Eagle says some members aren’t sure how they will vote on the matter. Expansion would cover an additional 20,000 residents.