From Wyoming News Briefs 

Wyoming News Briefs

 

December 8, 2022



Campbell County hospitalizations for RSV on the rise

 GILLETTE (WNE) — Respiratory Syncytial Virus, or RSV, cases at Campbell County Health rose in the last two months, keeping with recent trends seen throughout the United States.

Typically, the virus starts to make an appearance in January or spring, but this year, cases have shown up earlier, said Sherry Bailey, director of acute care at the hospital. In September, Bailey said those tested for RSV at the hospital had no positive cases. In October, the number increased to 5% and those tested for RSV at the hospital in November totaled about 19%.

“Over the last month, we’re averaging about four to five kids hospitalized with RSV on any given day and there would be more in the community who don’t come into the hospital,” she said.

Although it appears something like a cold, Bailey said the virus is more than that and has been around a long time. There is no vaccine to prevent the disease.

The virus is common and is often seen in babies and children younger than two years old, as well as some adults. It makes people sick by inflaming the nose, throat, lungs and breathing passages, which can in turn lead to pneumonia or bronchitis.

“This year we’ve also had 4-5 year olds coming in and it can also affect older adults, especially if they have some chronic illness,” Bailey said. “The adults are normally over 65 and are usually quite sick.”

The virus is highly contagious so if there is a sick child, it can easily spread to other children. But the good thing is, the virus can also be prevented. Kids washing their hands, not sharing toys and staying home when sick all decrease the spread of the virus.

  

Cheyenne man pleads guilty in mother’s stabbing

 CHEYENNE (WNE) — A local man pleaded guilty last week to charges related to the January 2021 stabbing of his mother. 

Antonio Jose Landeroz on Nov. 23 pleaded guilty in Laramie County District Court to aggravated assault and battery with serious bodily injury, along with felony theft. Landeroz, then 19 years old, had been accused of stabbing his mother with a kitchen knife in her apartment and fleeing in her car, according to a probable cause affidavit. 

He drove to Colorado, where he was arrested by Eaton police. 

He was charged at the time with attempted second-degree murder, which carries 20 years to life in prison, and felony theft. 

Amended documents filed Nov. 23 by Laramie County District Attorney Leigh Anne Manlove outlined the charges to which Landeroz ultimately pleaded guilty. 

Laramie County District Judge Peter Froelicher set Landeroz’s sentencing for Feb. 23. 

As part of a plea agreement, both the state, represented by Manlove, and Landeroz agreed to an imposed prison sentence for the aggravated assault charge. The state will argue for eight to 10 years, and Landeroz is allowed to argue for less, as long as the range is five to seven years. 

On the felony theft count, the parties agreed to a consecutive sentence of seven to nine years, which would be suspended in favor of five years of supervised probation. 

Landeroz remained in custody at the Laramie County jail as of Friday.

Former Little League treasurer sentenced to 30 days in jail

GILLETTE (WNE) — A Campbell County man accused of stealing nearly $30,000 from Gillette Little League while he was the club’s treasurer was sentenced earlier this month to 30 days in jail.

Rory Geis, 41, was given a suspended four- to six-year sentence with a 30-day split-sentence to be served in jail. District Judge Matthew Castano also ordered him to pay $2300.75 in restitution to Gillette Little League.

Geis also was given five years of supervised probation, a $1325 fine and credit for two days served.

In June, Geis reached a plea agreement where he agreed to plead guilty to felony theft. In exchange, the prosecution agreed to dismiss a second count of felony theft.

A former treasurer for Gillette Little League, Geis was arrested in January on two counts of felony theft for stealing $28,867 from the organization in 2019 and 2020.

On June 4, 2020, the president of Gillette Little League, Troy Stevens, called police after finding suspicious charges on the organization’s bank account.

Four board members had credit or debit cards tied to the account. The cards are meant to be used for official Little League business and not for personal use.

Geis said he made a mistake by using his card when he shouldn’t have, and he was willing to write a check for “a couple grand” to Gillette Little League. When they confronted him about the total amount missing, Geis went into “a panic,” Leisy said, and Geis resigned from his position, according to court documents.

Detectives looked at bank statements and Little League registrations and noticed numerous withdrawals from Geis’ card. They compared those withdrawals with registration dates and any other dates that would’ve required purchases or withdrawals, but found no correlation.

Governor files second lawsuit challenging canceled federal lease sales

CHEYENNE (WNE) — Gov. Mark Gordon announced Thursday that Wyoming has filed a second lawsuit against the Department of Interior related to the Bureau of Land Management’s decision to “pause” oil and gas lease sales.

In the first lawsuit, the state challenged the Biden administration’s early actions that brought federal oil and gas leasing to a sudden halt in Wyoming.

The United States District Court for the District of Wyoming found that the Secretary of the Interior’s decision to cancel the First Quarter 2021 lease sale was lawful, but did not consider whether the secretary’s other cancellations violated the law.

The case is targeted at the paused sales that should have taken place in the second and third quarters of 2021 and the third quarter of 2022.

The BLM went 18 months without a single oil and gas lease sale, and has yet to resume regularly scheduled quarterly lease sales.

“This litigation is timely and vital to the interests of Wyoming citizens,” Gordon said in a news release. “Beyond that, Wyoming’s energy resources can help power the nation and bring down costs at the pump. BLM’s decision to cancel lease sales sure seems to be a violation of both the letter and the spirit of the law. I firmly believe the pause in lease sales was politically driven and not based in law or fact.”

Before pursuing legal action, Gordon asked Attorney General Bridget Hill to examine the earlier federal court decision that allowed the Department of the Interior to skip the first quarter sale of 2021. After careful analysis, it is the State’s opinion that the Secretary of Interior does not have the same justification it provided for missing subsequent lease sales, according to the release.

Romanian man arrested for shoplifting four-figure Scotch

JACKSON (WNE) — Nearly three weeks after a high-dollar shoplifting occurred at a local liquor store, police arrested a 50-year-old Romanian man for felony theft.

Police say Marian Firu shoplifted a $7,449 bottle of Scotch from The Liquor Store on Nov. 1.

They say security footage shows a man concealing the Dalmore 35 Year Scotch in the “crotch area of his pants” as he exited the store.

One of the officers recognized the suspect as a panhandler he had seen earlier that day after police received multiple calls about panhandling around town. The man and a woman seen in the security video had been holding signs looking for donations for a 7-year-old with cancer.

Firu wasn’t located until about 1 p.m. Nov. 21 when one of the Liquor Store employees spotted him panhandling on the corner of West Broadway and Highway 22. According to an affidavit filed in Teton County Circuit Court, the employee recognized Firu from the original incident.

Firu was charged with one count of felony theft. He faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Lt. Russ Ruschill of the Jackson Police Department said it is “likely” that the premise of Firu’s panhandling request is false but could not confirm that yet as Firu was not responsive to questioning.

Ruschill said the female panhandler has not been located.

According to court documents, Firu will require a Romanian interpreter for court proceedings.

His son posted a $7,500 cash bail, and Firu was released Nov. 23. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Dec. 8 at 10:15 a.m. in Teton County Circuit Court.

Gas prices continue to drop rapidly in Wyoming, nationwide

CHEYENNE (WNE) — Average gasoline prices in Wyoming have fallen 16.7 cents per gallon in the last week, averaging $3.20 per gallon Monday, according to GasBuddy.com’s survey of 494 stations in Wyoming.

Prices in Wyoming are 41.1 cents per gallon lower than a month ago, and stand 16.9 cents per gallon lower than a year ago.

The national average price of diesel has fallen 13.6 cents in the last week, and stands at $5.06 per gallon.

According to GasBuddy price reports, the lowest price in the state Sunday was $2.45 per gallon, while the highest was $4.19, a difference of $1.74 per gallon.

The national average price of gasoline has fallen 15.8 cents per gallon in the last week, averaging $3.36 per gallon Monday. The national average is down 43 cents per gallon from a month ago, and stands 1.5 cents per gallon higher than a year ago, according to GasBuddy data.

The data is compiled from more than 11 million weekly price reports covering over 150,000 U.S. gas stations.

Former Powell resident celebrates 107th birthday

POWELL (WNE) — This was the prescription for a long life by former Powell resident Edna Scott when she turned 100 years old seven years ago: “Stay active and get outdoors in the fresh air,” she advised at the time in an interview with Tessa Baker of the Powell Tribune.

She added that it’s also good to eat wild meat.

Those words to live by have carried Edna Scott past her 107th birthday.

She turned 107 on Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 24) and now lives in Bridger, Montana.

The Carbon County News of Red Lodge, Montana, said Edna is “spry and lively” and takes her landmark 107th in stride: “Yep, that’s getting up there,” she was quoted in the newspaper.

Scott was born to John and Iris Harris on Nov. 24, 1915, at Melstone, Montana. She milked cows on the family farm “and was outside more than inside,” growing up, she said on her 100th birthday. She went to beauty school after high school, then worked at a salon in Bridger.

At a dance one night in the early 1940s, she met Walt Scott of Powell who was serving in the U.S. Army. They were married on Christmas Day in 1943, before Walt shipped out to serve two and a half years overseas in World War II.

After the war, the couple made its home in Powell where Walt operated Scott’s Plumbing and Heating with his dad and brothers.

The couple enjoyed more than 50 years together before Walt’s death in the mid1990s.

Edna told friends at age 104 that she has never been hospitalized.

“I stay away from doctors, hospitals and drugs,” she confided then.

Man arrested after fights at the Dollar

CODY (WNE) — A man from Nebraska was arrested and charged on Nov. 28 with battery and criminal trespass after allegedly getting into two fights and reentering the Silver Dollar Bar after being thrown out only a few minutes earlier.

Cody Police Officer Steven Bassett was dispatched to the Silver Dollar Bar around 10 p.m. after there were reports that Joseph R. Calvo, 25, had allegedly been fighting with the bouncer.

When he arrived on scene, Bassett observed Calvo had not only gotten into an altercation with the bouncer but also with another male at the bar.

Calvo was lying on his side on the floor near the bathroom entrances while the other male was standing above him with a pool stick.

The male had a “fresh abrasion” on his head and blood on his right cheek, allegedly due to Calvo’s punching him, the affidavit said.

“The male stated he was only trying to help the bouncer,” who had thrown Calvo out of the bar because he was making anti-gay remarks toward another person at the bar and was “bumping into tables and generally disturbing the crowd,” the affidavit said.

But Calvo returned to the bar and entered the men’s bathroom, where he met the male with whom he would later fight.

Calvo was arrested and taken to the Park County Detention Center.

“While en route to the detention center, Calvo made a comment that he ‘knows how you Greybull cops are,’” Bassett wrote in the affidavit. “Calvo was so intoxicated that he did not know which city he was in.”

After pleading not guilty to both charges, Calvo was given a $1,000 cash only bond, which he posted. He now faces a jury trial, which is currently scheduled for next year.

Sheridan R&E Center donates 1,600 pounds of beans to Food Bank of Wyoming

SHERIDAN (WNE) — Last month the Food Bank of Wyoming, based in Casper, received a donation of nearly 1,600 pounds of dry beans from the University of Wyoming Sheridan Research & Extension Center.

A research farm like ShREC must maintain flexibility to meet new research needs, said ShREC Director Brian Mealor. Annual crops like dry beans assist with that flexibility and fit well into crop rotation plans.

“They also give us the opportunity to provide a resource such as the beans that were donated,” he commented.

After planting an extra acre or two of beans to test equipment, the farm team found itself with a surplus of pinto beans, with a few colorful assortments thrown in.

ShREC Farm Manager Daniel Smith decided to give them to someone who could use them.

Dry beans, including pinto beans, are a nutritious, protein-rich staple and hold up well during storage and transportation.

In the seed processing facility at ShREC, the harvested beans were run through the cleaner and the split beans were sorted from whole beans, then packaged into 39 40-pound bags for donation.

These bags will be distributed across the state by the Food Bank of Wyoming to their Hunger Relief Partners, including soup kitchens and senior centers where volunteers cook and serve a high volume of hot meals. Local partners, such as food pantries, may also choose to repackage the beans into smaller bags for distribution.

 
 

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