NEWS BRIEFS for Tuesday, June 4, 2019


New principal named for troubled junior high

CHEYENNE (WNE) — After a tumultuous year that saw a principal leave under difficult circumstances, McCormick Junior High School’s next school leader has been hired.

Justin Conroy was approved by the Laramie County School District 1 school board unanimously Monday night to take over at McCormick starting next school year. The 20-year educator comes to the district from Rapid City, South Dakota.

“Some of the staff comments (from his previous district) about Dr. Conroy is he’s very personable, well spoken and calm. (He) has experience with at-risk populations and diversity,” said John Weigel, LCSD1 assistant superintendent of Human Resources, as he introduced Conroy at the board meeting. “And he’s passionate about education.”

Conroy comes to LCSD1 with multiple years of administrative experience, most recently in Rapid City where he was the administrator for the past seven years for the freshman house at Rapid City Central High School.

Conroy will replace former McCormick Principal Jeff Conine. He left the school in the midst of the fallout after homophobic and racist flyers were found at McCormick in March, and students and parents reported other incidents of bullying and harassment of minority and LGBTQ students.

LCSD1 conducted an investigation after the fliers were found and issued a statement that “some” instances of bullying at McCormick over time. The report also noted administrators didn’t always follow district policy for reporting these incidents.

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Body of missing Lyman man found in Utah

EVANSTON (WNE) — The body of an elderly Lyman man who’d been missing since May 21 was found on Thursday in Utah.

According to the Uinta County Sheriff’s Office, 92-year-old James Pritchard’s body was found by a group traveling through the North Slope / Gilbert Creek area of Summit County, Utah.

Summit County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Andrew Wright told the Uinta County Herald officials have confirmed the body found is Pritchard. 

“Our investigators are saying there was nothing that appeared suspicious,” Wright said. “It appears [Pritchard’s] vehicle had become stuck, and the male was found in close proximity to the vehicle.” 

Wright said the cause of death has not been determined, but he expects Summit County to receive autopsy results from the Utah Medical Examiner’s Office within a week or so. 

Pritchard hadn’t been seen or heard from since Tuesday, May 21, and the Lyman Police Department and Uinta County Sheriff’s Office began searches and other efforts to locate him then. In a press release issued last week, officials said Pritchard suffers from dementia and enjoys going to the mountains to fish. They feared he was ill prepared for the cold mountain weather that’s common in this area during the spring.

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Casper man arrested after standoff

CASPER (WNE) — A Natrona County special response team responded to a domestic assault call northwest of Casper on Sunday, arresting a 51-year-old man after a two-and-a-half-hour standoff. 

The Natrona County Sheriff’s Office released details of the incident Monday morning. Spokesman Taylor Courtney told media that when sheriff’s deputies responded to the call at 11:30 a.m. Sunday, they knew the male suspect was inside the home but was not answering the door. 

The man had a “criminal history” that included “violent crimes,” Courtney said, so the deputies called in the special response team — effectively the county’s SWAT unit. After two and a half hours, they arrested William Martin after he exited the home and surrendered. Officers did not make a forced entry into the residence. 

Courtney said no weapons were found, and investigators don’t believe controlled substances played a role in the incident. The alleged victim is listed as a family relation to Martin. 

Courtney declined to discuss if there had been active negotiations with Martin that led him to surrender. The alleged victim was hospitalized with injuries that were not life-threatening, Courtney said, and she is in stable condition. 

Courtney said law enforcement officers are recommending a charge of domestic battery but stressed that the District Attorney’s Office will ultimately decide.

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One killed, three injured in rollover

RIVERTON (WNE) — One person was killed and three others injured Saturday night in a one-vehicle rollover. The wreck occurred in a remote area of Fremont County near Bass Lake on a rural road identified as West Shoreline Loop. 

The rollover was reported to authorities at about 9 p.m. It took a ground ambulance about 30 minutes to reach the scene, according to emergency radio traffic monitored by The Ranger. Eventually, two air ambulance helicopters arrived as well. They had been some distance away from the wreck scene and arrived shortly after the ground EMS crew. 

The deceased occupant of the vehicle was described by responders as having a “severe chest injury.” Someone on the scene was performing CPR on the victim for about half an hour. Once EMS personnel arrived, the male victim was declared dead at the scene. 

Responders said the vehicle had four occupants, all of whom were ejected during a “hard rollover.” A female patient was described as having severe facial trauma, including loss of teeth. She also was complaining of back pain.

Two other occupants of the vehicle appeared to have been injured, with at least one telling ambulance personnel of arm and back injuries. 

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Burning car leads to DUI arrest

RIVERTON (WNE) — A 33-year-old Riverton woman was arrested for driving under the influence, reportedly after she exited and walked away from a burning vehicle. 

Toniette Munguia was arrested last week by the Riverton Police Department. 

Bystanders called in the fire near the 500 block of S. Sixth E. in Riverton at 6:42 a.m. Wednesday. 

RPD and Riverton Volunteer Fire Department responders both arrived at the scene, where witnesses described the woman who had been driving the white 2000 Chevrolet passenger car before it ignited. 

RPD Capt. Todd Byerly said the descriptions enabled police to apprehend the woman, who was intoxicated, and arrest her for driving under the influence. 

When questioned, Munguia said that she was driving when she began to smell gasoline and see sparks on her car, so she left the car and walked away. 

“She stopped her car in the middle of the street,” said Byerly, who later relayed that she said “she left because she had other things to do.” 

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Game and Fish to study free licenses for disabled

CODY (WNE) — Under a proposed change in Game and Fish rules, resident disabled outdoorsmen and women would be eligible to obtain a free lifetime fishing license and free conservation stamp.

The idea is under consideration as part of a group of proposed regulation alterations and hunting season quota settings being discussed at department hearings around Wyoming.

“It hadn’t been available to them before,” said Cody regional supervisor Dan Smith of the disabled benefit.

The proposal, along with a package of other possible regulation changes, will go before the Game and Fish Commission at its July 18-19 meeting in Green River.

Under this plan, eligibility would be defined as a resident who is “permanently and totally disabled and is unable to engage in any substantial gainful activity.” The determination would be made by the U.S. Social Security Administration based on Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability Insurance benefits.

The license and stamp would be good as long as the individual remains a Wyoming resident.

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Wyoming this Weekend, June 7-9

By The Wyoming News Exchange

The spotlight will be trained on tractors this weekend during Shoshoni’s annual antique tractor show and celebration.

The 24th annual Don Layton Antique Tractor and Engine Show will be held Saturday and Sunday in Shoshoni.

Activities include “tractor drives” both days, along with tractor pulling competitions. Vendors will be on-hand through the weekend and pedal-driven toy tractors will be available for children to play on.

Other activities scheduled for the weekend include:

Lander’s Brewfest and Brewers Golf Tournament on Friday and Saturday;

A Celtic Fest in Cheyenne Friday through Sunday;

The NIC Fest in Casper Friday through Sunday;

The Overland Stage Stampede Rodeo in Green River on Friday and Saturday;

A free guided tour of the Legend Rock State Petroglyph Site beginning in Meeteetse on Saturday;

Shoshoni Day on Saturday;

A candlelight tour of gold mine tunnels in South Pass City on Saturday, and

“Gold Panning Day” in Lander on Saturday.

For more information on these and other events, please visit the Wyoming Tourism Division website at TravelWyoming.com.

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