Archives for June 2016

Niobrara Co. coroner pleads guilty to Medicaid fraud

The coroner of Niobrara County has pleaded guilty to defrauding Medicaid of over $100,000.

Court documents show Lisa Mellott has admitted to 11 counts of Medicaid fraud and two counts of forgery.

Authorities believe Mellott billed Medicaid for services that she did not provide to patients of her home health care business.

The Casper Star-Tribune reports that the special prosecutor has dismissed two other forgery charges in the case, as well as a charge of elder abuse involving a patient at Mellott’s home health care service.

UW president seeks to increase enrollment to fight funding cuts

The president of the University of Wyoming hopes to boost enrollment and help the school offset cuts in state aid.

The state’s only public four-year university faces $50 million less in available funding over the next two years because of the declining energy economy.

Sublette Co. appoints new sheriff

Officials in Sublette County have appointed a new sheriff to replace Stephen Haskell.

The Casper Star-Tribune reports K.C. Lehr has taken over the position.

Haskell lost his office after a civil jury found that he engaged in misconduct or malfeasance.

Ricks’ family has questions

The family of a Utah Transit Authority employee who was abducted and killed in Wyoming last month wants answers about a possible distress call he made over his radio. An investigator has said that a commotion could he heard and that Kay Ricks sounded distressed. Ricks’ family wants to know who else may have heard the radio call and why there was no action to investigate.

Barrasso on ISIS

U.S. Senator John Barrasso is calling for a stronger offensive against ISIS following the terror attack in Istanbul. Appearing on Fox News Wednesday, the Wyoming Republican said the U.S. needs to go after ISIS where they are, saying the terror group has a safe haven where it can direct and inspire attacks. Barrasso disagrees with President Obama’s claim that ISIS is contained and on the defensive, saying the CIA has told lawmakers a very different story.

Report: WY population could surpass 680K by 2040

A study shows Wyoming’s population may reach 688,000 by 2040.

The report from the Pew Charitable Trusts shows that while the number of residents in the nation’s least-populated state may rise, growth may remain slightly below the national average.

The Casper Star-Tribune reports Wyoming may grow by 22 percent over this time.

Support for Trump from Wyoming Republicans unanimous

Donald Trump apparently has unanimous support among Republican candidates for Wyoming’s House seat.

However, enthusiasm for him ranges from wholehearted to tepid.

Only one of Wyoming’s 29 delegates for the Republican National Convention has committed to supporting Trump.

Beaver Creek Fire

The Beaver Creek Fire burning near the Wyoming-Colorado border is five-percent contained and has grown to more than nine-thousand acres. The U.S. Forest Service says the fire is burning with high intensity from an unusual amount of dead timber in its path. Firefighters are working to improve on contingency fire lines in evacuation areas where structures are threatened.

Harrisons charged with murder

A father and son arrested in Wyoming last month are now facing murder charges for allegedly killing Utah Transit Authority worker Kay Ricks. Flint and DJ Harrison are in jail in Utah. They allegedly kidnapped and beat up a woman and her four daughters in Centerville Utah. Authorities added murder charges Tuesday as they believe the men also kidnapped Ricks from a Salt Lake City bus station and brought him to Sublette County where they beat him to death.

Black Hills National Forest gets new supervisor

The Black Hills National Forest has a new supervisor coming.

Mark Van Every has 33 years of experience with the Forest Service.

He replaces Craig Bobzien, who has already retired.

Van Every begins his new job Aug. 22.

He has spent the last four years as forest supervisor at the National Forests and Grasslands in Texas.