New acting director named for Wyoming Corrections
CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — The Wyoming Department of Corrections has a new acting director. Gov. Mark Gordon said in a statement that deputy director Dan Shannon would replace Bob Lampert, who announced his retirement this week after serving as director since 2003. KTWO-AM radio reports Shannon has 34 years of experience in corrections and has been with the department since 2007. Lampert retired after a 46-year career in corrections, starting in 1974 in the Marine Corps in military police corrections. He also served with the Texas Department Criminal Justice and worked in Oregon before coming to Wyoming.
Trump administration agreement gives more help to US uranium
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Two U.S. government agencies have agreed to keep state regulators primarily in charge of regulating groundwater pollution from uranium mining. It’s the latest move by President Donald Trump’s administration to bolster the ailing domestic uranium industry. The agreement was signed in Wyoming, the top uranium-producing state, and says the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency won’t stipulate how uranium mines should comply with U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission requirements. The commission has agreements giving 39 states including Wyoming primary oversight of uranium mining. The EPA under President Barack Obama was poised to take over groundwater regulation at uranium mines, a proposal rescinded under Trump.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-MASK PUSHBACK
As mask rules get tighter in U.S. West, opposition gets loud
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A Montana county became the latest battleground in the debate over face masks after residents pushed back against stricter rules in a virtual face-off with local health officials. The scene in Gallatin County located near Yellowstone National Park echoed confrontations seen in other Western states. Local officials moved to impose new mask rules to fight rising infections, only to be met with defiance from those who say the Constitution shields them from the “medical tyranny” of health mandates. That didn’t keep health officials from approving measures that go further than a statewide rule handed down last week.
EXCHANGE-N CHEYENNE-LAW ENFORCEMENT
Northern Cheyenne tribal members policing reservation
LAME DEER, Mont. (AP) — Northern Cheyenne tribal members who have assumed law enforcement roles on the reservation are demanding support from tribal leadership in the form of pay, supplies and a curfew. In March, the tribe invoked traditional law by calling on the help of traditional military societies to help with security during the pandemic. Society members began by running checkpoints, but after the Bureau of Indian Affairs declined to respond to major, violent crimes, the societies ended up policing the reservation. The members of the Elk Horn Scrapers society marched into Lame Deer Wednesday to present their demands to the tribal council. Tribal President Rynalea Pena declined to comment.
REST AREAS-EXCREMENT PROBLEM
Wyoming rest area closures cause litter, excrement problem
DOUGLAS, Wyo. (AP) — Residents in Wyoming have raised concerns after close to a dozen piles of human feces and wads of used toilet paper lined residential roads near a highway rest area that closed during the coronavirus pandemic. Resident Jim Skeen has caught people relieving themselves near his home closet to the Orin Junction located 10 miles outside of Douglas. The Casper Star-Tribune reported that people have not been able to use rest area toilets after Republican Gov. Mark Gordon ordered the state Department of Transportation to close 10 locations earlier this summer due to budgetary concerns amid the pandemic.
Testing finds 10 coronavirus cases at Wyoming prison
RAWLINS, Wyo. (AP) — Testing of inmates, staff and healthcare workers at Wyoming’s maximum-security prison has detected at least 10 cases of the coronavirus. Wyoming was among just a couple states with no known coronavirus among inmates. The Wyoming Department of Corrections says testing to date has revealed that three inmates, one staff member and six healthcare workers have the virus. As of Wednesday, 876 inmates and workers at the Wyoming State Penitentiary had been tested. Full results are still pending. The prison is locked own because of the positive results and contact tracing is under way.