(Riverton) — Residents of 17-Mile Road (Fremont County Road 334) are being encouraged to attend rights-of-way ‘signing days’ Wednesday and Thursday on the Wind River Reservation. The signing days are scheduled for 4-7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 22, at Great Plains Hall in Arapahoe, and 4-7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23, at Blue Sky Hall in Ethete.
Refreshments will be served, and door prizes will be given away to people attending the rights-of-way signing event.
“The main purpose of the signing days is to get as many signatures as possible for consent rights-of-way and construction permits for the road corridor and utilities,” said Howard Brown, assistant transportation supervisor of the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho tribes. “In addition to gathering signatures, we want to provide each land interest holder with information on the upcoming 17-Mile Road highway improvement project, such as milestones and the completion date of construction.”
“Please plan to attend one of these signing parties,” Brown said.
Brown said the 17-Mile Road project is the top priority of the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho tribes, thanks to a recent $8.3 million grant award of federal Tiger III funds.
“The overall goal is to begin construction of the final section of 17-Mile Road this year. The tribes want to make 17-Mile Road a safer route for the traveling public,” Brown said. “It is the major travel thoroughfare on the Wind River Reservation.”
(Lander) — Since the first of the year, several Lander residents have attempted to purchase vehicles over the Internet and instead have become victims of a clever fraud scheme, Lander Police Chief Jim Carey reported Tuesday.
Carey said one couple attempted to purchase a travel trailer, and another person attempted to purchase an automobile. In both cases, the money was paid and the vehicles were never delivered. The buyers each lost thousands of dollars.
“In each incident, the buyers found the vehicles on the Craigslist website,” Carey said. ”The vehicles were priced well below their “Blue Book value,” and appeared to be an outstanding deal. The buyers communicated with the sellers only via e-mail. The vehicles were always located in a state different from where the seller was located and the sellers requested payment before the vehicles were delivered.”
In both cases, Carey said the seller promised to pay and arrange for delivery of the vehicles. The seller asked the buyers to transfer money to them using Western Union. The seller requested the payment be sent not to themselves, but to another person in a different state. After using Western Union to transfer money to the seller, the vehicles were never delivered and the buyers were left empty-handed, wondering how they could get their money back.
The Lander Police Department is actively working both cases, the Chief said. Detectives do not believe the cases are related and think there are multiple suspects using a new fraud technique to obtain thousands of dollars from unsuspecting victims. So far the investigation has revealed the suspects are evading identification by providing misleading information, such as:
- False name
- Fictitious address
- Fake driver’s license
- Using an untraceable e-mail address
- Not providing valid phone numbers to the buyer
To avoid being a victim of fraud when purchasing vehicles over the Internet, Chief Carey advised buyers to not use Western Union to send cash to the seller.
He also said buyers should be suspicious if the seller and the vehicle for sale are in different states and if the selling price is well below “Blue Book” value. “That could be fraud,” he said. The Chief also said buyers should be suspicious if the seller has excuses preventing you from viewing the vehicle for sale and if the seller is in one state, the item for sale is in a different state, and the person to receive the money is in yet another state.
To protect yourself, always remember the old adage “if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.”
The Lander Police Department responded to 103 calls for service over the past week Chief Jim Carey reported Tuesday. Of the 103 calls, 11 involved the use of alcohol, and 12 arrests were made.
Arrests reported over the past 96 hours, including President’s Day, were: Evelyn Foursouls, Fort Washakie, driving while under the influence and open container; Trevor Johnson, 28, Riverton, registration violation, no insurance, driving while under suspension; Harriette Lowe, 31, Riverton, DWUI; Rick Williams, 27, Lander, contempt of court.
Captain Ryan Lee said the detention center in Lander is now housing 152 inmates. He said 14 other inmates are on substance abuse treatment around the state and two inmates are on home detention.
Fifteen arrests were reported over the long holiday weekend, eight of them alcohol reported. Additionally, Riverton Police were called out on 33 separate incidents involving alcohol. The RPD responded to a total of 124 during the four day period.
Arrests included: Cameron Redbird, 24, Ft. Yates, ND, on a felony warrant from that state; Derek Scott, 26, Riverton, probation revocation; Clement Sittingeagle, 39, Arapahoe, public intoxication and a municipal warrant; Steven Oldman, 21, Riverton, public intoxication and a municipal warrant; Brandon Brown, 21, Riverton, on a domestic violence assault; Shawnice Crazythunder, 18, Riverton, minor under the influence of alcohol; John Chavez, 29, Riverton, public intoxication; Jody Blackburn, 31, Riverton, municipal warrant; Nelson Duran, 32, Riverton, public intoxication; Reuben Behan, 26, Riverton, public intoxication; Stacy Medicinetop, 24, Riverton, probation revocation; James Large, 24, Riverton, public intoxication; Forrest Duran, 41, Arapahoe, municipal warrants; Noble Gover, 47, Hudson, driving while under the influence; Clowry Means, 45, Riverton, public intoxication.
Captain C. T. Smith said another wave of vandalism hit Riverton over the long weekend, with eight incidents called in. In what appeared to be related incidents, Smith said addresses on North Ninth East reported graffiti, as did addresses on East Pershing and Miniweb. Purple spray paint was involved in several of the incidents, indicating a connection, Smith said. Last week Riverton Police took over a dozen reported incidents of graffiti, in the west end of town.
(Riverton) – The Fremont County Sheriffs Office conducted a successful Search and Rescue mission Monday afternoon in the Gas Hills area south of Moneta after a man using a navigational device turned onto a dirt road and became stuck a short time later.
Sheriff’s Captain Ryan Lee said 31-year- old Robexy Figueroa, of Miami, Florida, was attempting to drive from Casper to the Riverton area with the aid of a navigational device. The instrument informed Figueroa to turn down the Gas Hills Road from Highway 20-26 just west of Moneta, and he followed the advice.
The Gas Hills Road has no winter maintenance from Highway 20-26 to its intersection with Highway 136. The dirt road is usually drifted shut with snow in several places during the winter months.
Figueroa’s Honda car became stuck in a large snow drift and was disabled, Ryan said. After attempting to dig the vehicle out for several hours Figueroa left his vehicle and began walking in an attempt to find help. The Florida man walked about 8 miles through blowing and drifting snow until he was able to locate an oil field location that provided both shelter and a telephone. He contacted the Sheriffs Office requesting help.
The Riverton Search and Rescue Division reached he man with the use of snow machines around 5:00 Monday afternoon. He was brought out of the area and was given a ride to Riverton. The man was not injured.
The previous three incidents of motorists becoming stuck in the Gas Hills area occurred on the Ore Road, which runs North of Jeffrey City to the Gas Hills Uranium Mining District. In each instance, a motorist seeking a short cut around Riverton attempted to cross on the dirt county road, only to become stuck in snowdrifts. All motorists have been rescued without incident this winter.
(Cheyenne) — Governor Matt Mead has ordered both the U.S. flag and State of Wyoming flag be flown at half staff statewide from sunrise to sunset today, Feb. 21, in honor of Teton County Search and Rescue member Ray Shriver who was killed during a mission on Togwotee Pass last week on February 15, 2012. Over the years, Mr. Shriver had participated in some 800 missions with Teton County Search and Rescue.
Now you know.
(Hudson) – Fremont County Clerk Julie Freese said Sunday that barring any last minute changes in the Wyoming State Legislature, the legislative redistricting plan for Fremont County will proceed with the preferred alternative. Freese said the plan has passed the house and will be introduced into the Senate Elections, Corporations and Political Subdivisions Committee on Thursday. Sen. Cale Case of Lander chairs that committee. “I expect it will be reported out to the floor and be discussed next week,” Freese said.
The current plan brings Dubois and the Atlantic City/South Pass areas back into county legislative districts, which had been residing in Teton and Sweetwater county districts for the past two decades, while Shoshoni and Lysite precincts will move into a district in the Big Horn Basin. The preferred plan emerged after a series of 10 public meetings around the county this past fall, Freese said.
The County Clerk told a meeting of Fremont County Democrats that the county’s current census is 40,123 residents and that the highest number allowable under law for any single legislative district is 9,863 people. When the county’s total population is divided by the current four districts, she said there are 880 more people than allowed under law, and that is the reason why Shoshoni and Lysite are joining the BHB district, which is short of population.
She said that under the current redistricting plan that would be introduced into the Senate , HD33-(Patrick Goggles, D-Ethete) has 9,750 residents; HD34 (Rita Campbell, R-Missouri Valley) has 9,792; HD54 (Del McOmie, R-Lander) has 9,858 and HD55 (Dave Miller, R-Riverton) has 9,854 people. “As you can see<” Freese said, “the numbers are very close to reaching the maximum allowed.”
Freese also said that HD33 in the 2000 census had an American Indian majority population of 69 percent. However, this time around, Freese said that percentage had slipped to 66%, because some of the population there had moved out of the district. She said state law provides for the majority-minority district and that efforts were made to keep the percentage as close to originally established as possible.”
Freese said the state’s County Clerks worked hard with legislators and that the clerks performed a lot of cleanup on the preferred proposals before the bill was introduced, aligning the plans with current precinct boundaries, and such.
Wyoming’s legislative districts are reconfigured every 10 years to account for changes in population.
In response to a question, Freese said the western boundary line for the new BHB district extending to Shoshoni follows the west side of Boysen Reservoir and includes the current Shoshoni and Lysite precincts.
Freese said Fremont County would gain a representative and a senator from the Thermopolis/Hot Springs County district that will be taking in Shoshoni and Lysite. “We’ll hope the representatives there would become more educated on county issues, but at the same time we would be losing four others who formerly represented parts of the county (from the Sweetwater and Teton county delegations). Hopefully the new lawmakers will be just as accommodating to Fremont County as the one’s we are losing,” Freese said.
Contaminated water well issue now impacting those with good water, resident said
(Cheyenne) — The Wyoming State Legislature Monday began looking at solutions to provide residents east of Pavillion with a new source of clean drinking water. Many of the water wells there show high levels of contamination and residents have been seeking solutions for many years. Two years ago, residents in the affected area sought the assistance of the Environmental Protection Agency to find the source of the contamination and a working group of local residents has been seeking solutions. Wyoming Governor Matt Mead entered the fray this year and suggested that the Wyoming Water Development Commission may be called on to help find a clean source of drinking water for those with contaminated wells.
In the State Senate on Monday, Sen. Eli Bebout of Riverton spoke in favor of additional monies in the omnibus water bill to address the problem, and an appropriation of $750,000 was approved on first reading. The bill will see two more readings.
Meanwhile publicity surrounding the Pavillion water issue is apparently causing other concerns for nearby residents, including a drop in property values and reluctance of financial institutions to consider loans in that area, even though their water supply is free of contaminants.
“We’re being painted with a broad brush and if you have a Pavillion address, the national secondary mortgage market has recently begun to scrutinize and shy away from ‘Pavillion Paper,’” said Pavillion area farmer Vince Dolbow. In a letter sent earlier this month to Sen. Bebout, Dolbow said, “Considering the importance of property value and mineral income to the revenue stream of Fremont County and the State of Wyoming, I would consider it a wise and prudent investment of public funds to help alleviate my neighbors domestic water issues.”
Dolbow noted in his letter that the “vast majority” of Pavillion area residents, and residents of the Town of Pavillion, do not have water well problems.
The contaminated wells lie in an agricultural area of the Midvale Irrigation District about two to three miles east of the Town of Pavillion. The farms sit on top of a shallow natural gas field that has been in operation since about 1960 with various operators. Encana Oil and Gas is the current operator of the field and together with the State of Wyoming, it has been supplying bottled waters to residences with contaminated wells.