Wyoming news briefs for December 28

Gasoline prices drop a penny in Wyoming during past week

CHEYENNE — Wyoming gas prices have fallen 1 cent per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.29 per gallon Monday, according to GasBuddy.com's daily survey of 494 stations in Wyoming.

Gas prices in Wyoming are 11.7 cents per gallon lower than a month ago, and stand $1.11 per gallon higher than a year ago.

According to GasBuddy price reports, the cheapest station in Wyoming was priced at $2.69 per gallon Monday, while the most expensive was $3.84, a difference of $1.15.

The national average price of gasoline has fallen 4.3 cents per gallon in the last week, averaging $3.25 per gallon Monday. The national average is down 14.1 cents per gallon from a month ago, and stands $1 per gallon higher than a year ago.


Ranchester approves contract with TextMyGov

SHERIDAN — A new two-year contract between the town of Ranchester and software company TextMyGov should create open lines of communication between citizens and their local government.

The contract, which was approved during a Dec. 21 meeting last week, will cost the town a total of $6,000 including $3,500 for the first year and $2,500 for the second year, according to town clerk-treasurer Barbara Brackeen-Kepley. The contract can be renewed after the initial two-year term.

TextMyGov uses the regular messaging app on smartphones. Citizens can text questions and requests to the city, and the software’s smart texting technology identifies keywords in the questions and automatically provides a response.

In addition to providing quick answers to citizens’ questions, TextMyGov can also provide links to relevant information on the town’s website, and, when citizens are reporting an issue to the city, TextMyGov can guide users through a series of steps allowing them to submit all the relevant information including pictures and videos.

The service can also be used to notify citizens of emergencies in the community, Mayor Peter Clark said.

While the system is completely automated, it is also interactive and personal, Brackeen-Kepley said, which makes it stand out from the competition.

“It’s a lot more interactive than a lot of (the other systems) currently being used,” Brackeen-Kepley said. “…We’ve talked about this sort of thing in the past, but this is the first one that has met all our expectations.”


Wyoming State Parks will start collecting sales tax

GILLETTE  As of Jan. 1, Wyoming State Parks, Historic Sites and Trails will begin collecting sales and lodging taxes to comply with state law.

Tax rates vary by county and will be collected on fees for overnight camping, annual camping permits, reservations, and overnight rental facilities such as cabins, lodges, yurts and treehouses.

Sales and lodging taxes help fund state and county government operating budgets as well as tourism efforts statewide. Past projects that have been supported have included aquifer protection, road maintenance, county library expansions and support of local government.

For more information, contact Wyo Parks Headquarters by phone at 307-777-6323, by email at [email protected], or visit its website at https://wyoparks.wyo.gov/.


Cheyenne Police investigate shooting

CHEYENNE — Cheyenne Police say a local man was hospitalized Wednesday evening after he was shot by another man during an argument in south Cheyenne.

At approximately 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 22, Cheyenne Police officers responded to a report of an assault with a firearm near the 500 block of West 11th Street.

Upon arrival at the scene, officers located the victim, who they only identified as a 29-year-old Cheyenne man, with an apparent gunshot wound. He was transported by ambulance to Cheyenne Regional Medical Center, where he was treated and remains in stable condition.

The preliminary investigation shows that a physical altercation involving a firearm occurred outside of the victim’s residence. An unidentified male suspect shot the victim and fled the scene before officers arrived.

Simon Vasquez of San Antonio, Texas, contacted the Wyoming Tribune Eagle on Thursday and identified the shooting victim as his son, Samuel William Vasquez. 

He reported that his son suffered extensive injuries after a gunshot to his leg outside of his grandmother’s home. The bone was shattered and an artery was hit, resulting in the need for multiple surgeries.

Detectives believe this to be an isolated incident and have identified a person of interest, according to a news release. This case remains under investigation by the Cheyenne Police Department.