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State Briefs


February 14, 2019

UW basketball player pleads not guilty to assault

LARAMIE (WNE) — A suspended Wyoming men’s basketball player has pleaded not guilty to assault and battery charges. 

Ny Redding, who’s facing two counts of simple assault and one count of battery, entered a not guilty plea in Albany County Circuit Court on Friday through his attorneys, according to court documents. The charges stem from his alleged involvement in a December incident at a Laramie bar. 

Redding also requested that his initial court appearance set for Feb. 14 be vacated and a scheduling conference be set for Feb. 21 prior to the case being scheduled for a jury trial, according to the documents. 

A senior point guard, Redding was suspended indefinitely on Dec. 12 after starting the Cowboys’ first nine games and has not been a part of any team activities since. Redding was originally issued a citation by the Laramie Police Department for disorderly conduct and inciting a fight following an incident at Roxie’s on Grand in downtown Laramie in the early hours of Dec. 9, but that was thrown out when the misdemeanor charges were filed against him in January.

Redding is accused of striking a female UW student, Molly Pickerill, in the face, leaving her unconscious. He also swung and nicked another student, Katie Schrater, in the nose. 

Redding is being represented by Megan Overmann Goetz, a lawyer with Pence and MacMillan LLC. Multiple messages left for Goetz at her office seeking comment have not been returned.

FAA fast-tracks Gillette-Campbell County Airport project

GILLETTE (WNE) —If all goes according to plan, the Gillette-Campbell County Airport will be able to complete a five-year project in only one year, thanks to the federal government.

The project involves relocating two taxiways and connecting two other taxiways to make the airport more secure. Campbell County Commissioners approved the grant application at their Tuesday meeting. If the airport gets the grant, the FAA would pay $5 million of the project’s $5.3 million cost. The state would kick in $200,000, and the county would be responsible for $133,333.

But Jay Lundell, airport director, cautioned that the project could be affected by the pending government shutdown, which would happen Feb. 15 if the White House and Congress can’t come to an agreement.

The FAA wants to increase security and reduce the probability of attacks at airports, Lundell said. One of the solutions is to limit direct access from the apron, where the planes are parked, to the runways.

At the Gillette-Campbell County Airport, one of the taxiways provides that direct access from the apron to the runway, while another taxiway doesn’t intersect the runway, which makes it difficult for airplanes to maneuver when they land. Those two taxiways will be relocated to correct the problem, and two others will be connected.

Casper bar operating since 1934 to close

CASPER (WNE) — The Wonder Bar, a downtown Casper institution for decades, is closing, its management company announced Friday afternoon.

In a brief statement, the C85 Group, which operates the Wonder Bar, said that Sunday would be the bar’s last day of business.

The statement indicated the restaurant’s 25 employees may have opportunities to transfer to other locations in the group of food and beverage establishments owned by C85.

The Wonder Bar, which originally opened in 1934, was bought by the Cercy family in the fall of 2016. After it was gutted, remodeled and expanded, it reopened in August 2017, just before the total solar eclipse that drew large crowds to Casper.

Friday’s statement from C85 gave no reason for the closure. However, the business has experienced a noticeable decline in customers. Shortly after noon Friday, a reporter saw only two people in the downstairs dining area.

Housed in a 105-year-old building near the corner of Center Street and Midwest Avenue, the Wonder Bar for decades served as a popular watering hole for the city. It was known for attracting famous guests, including John Wayne, Ernest Hemingway and Dizzy Gillespie. According to local legend, patrons in the early years could ride into the bar on horseback to order drinks.

The Wonder Bar has gone through about 10 owners over the years. Pat Sweeney, now a state lawmaker, sold the business to the Cercys.


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