Wyoming news briefs for December 17

Cheyenne school officials say social media threat unsubstantiated

CHEYENNE — Laramie County School District No. 1 officials said Thursday they have been notified about an ongoing social media post of a threatening nature that has been circulating among Cheyenne’s junior high schools. 

This potential threat stems from a nationwide TikTok trend threatening gun violence. The threat is being monitored by school districts and law enforcement agencies across the nation, according to an LCSD1 news release. 

While working with the Cheyenne Police Department, the threat appears to be unsubstantiated. Out of an abundance of caution, additional law enforcement will be present at local schools for the rest of this week, the release said. 

LCSD1 officials said they appreciate the students who reported this incident. Social media threats or concerning statements should be reported to the School Resource Officer or submitted through the Safe-2-Tell Hotline (844-996-7233) (844-WYO-SAFE). 

Similar social media threats have emerged throughout the nation and in the local district over the past several months. LCSD1 officials remind the public that spreading misinformation and rumors only makes it more challenging to assess viable threats. The Cheyenne Police Department encourages people to avoid unnecessary alarms and to not participate in spreading unverified rumors.


Fremont could get $2 million from opioid settlement

RIVERTON — Fremont County could receive almost $2 million from a lawsuit against opioid manufacturers that it didn’t join autonomously. 

Instead, the state of Wyoming joined the suit and now is contemplating methods for distributing the imminent payout. 

The Fremont County Commission had refused to join the settlement against Purdue Pharma, Johnson and Johnson, Cardinal Health, AmerisourceBergen, and McKesson, but could benefit anyway from a minor allocation reserved for Wyoming in Johnson and Johnson’s July 21 settlement. 

Both the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone Tribes, and the City of Riverton, joined the suit as plaintiffs against Purdue Pharma, which has appealed the decision and is not a part of the July 21 order. 

Fremont County Commission Chairman Travis Becker said he anticipated using the funding for suicide prevention programs, and Fremont County chief civil attorney Jodi Darrough said other counseling programs also could be appropriate recipients. 

“It’s not a slush fund,” Becker said while discussing the settlement during a regular meeting Tuesday. “It’s very limited in what you can do. … We can’t put it into roads or anything like that. (It’s) very restrictive.” 

Commissioners also indicated that it could take months for the state’s legal counsel to sift through the fine print of the settlement.


Threat to ‘cause havoc’ at school generates trespass warning

GILLETTE — A 34-year-old woman was trespassed from Hillcrest Elementary on Wednesday after saying she would “cause havoc” at the school.

She had called the police department, asking that officers stand by as she went to the school to collect some records for her children. School staff told her that because she is no longer the legal guardian for her kids, they couldn’t release the information without approval from the children’s father, said Sheriff Scott Matheny.

The woman yelled at school staff and said she would cause havoc, Matheny said.

Deputies learned the woman has no legal basis for being at the school, and the Hillcrest principal asked that she be trespassed.

Deputies spoke with the woman on the phone and told her Hillcrest did not want her to be there. She became upset and yelled. She told them she was going to go to the school and cause havoc, and that she needed to be arrested, Matheny said. She also said a school is a public place and that she was free to go wherever she wants. She said it’s unconstitutional to be trespassed verbally, and she demanded a written trespass warning, Matheny said.

A deputy was sent down to the woman’s home in Wright to deliver the written notice, but when the deputy arrived, the woman ran out of her house and drove away. 

Deputies met with her at the Wright Post Office and gave her a written trespass notice.