Wyoming news briefs for January 10

Cheney criticizes Wyoming GOP officials

CASPER — The Wyoming Republican Party apparatus includes people who are “quite radical,” Rep. Liz Cheney said Thursday.

Cheney made the comment on the one-year anniversary of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. The lawmaker gave multiple interviews that day, while also observing a moment of silence in the House of Representatives. 

Since the attack, Cheney has steadfastly insisted former President Donald Trump helped to incite the riot, which occurred as Congress worked to certify the presidential election. That criticism, and her vote to impeach Trump, prompted serious blowback within Wyoming. 

In early 2021, the state party voted to censure her for her vote to impeach Trump. More recently, the Wyoming GOP narrowly voted to unrecognize Cheney. 

“There are people in the state party apparatus of my home state who are quite radical. And some of those same people include people who were here on Jan. 6th, include a party chair who has toyed with the idea of secession,” Cheney said in a Fox News interview Thursday. “So, there is a very radical element of the Republican Party in the same way that there is a radical element of the Democratic Party.” 

Cheney was referencing Wyoming GOP chairman Frank Eathorne, who alluded to secession in an interview last year and was at the rally outside the Capitol on Jan. 6, which he termed “peaceful and patriotic,” in statement released shortly afterward.

The Republican Party plans to issue a statement on Cheney’s comments about the chairman.


Man pleads no contest to pointing gun at bail bondsman

GILLETTE — A man accused of stealing guns and later aiming a gun at a bail bondsman in July has entered pleas to five felony counts against him.

Silas E. Scott, 23, pleaded guilty to four counts of theft and no contest to aggravated assault and battery, which comes with a habitual criminal sentencing enhancement.

The pleas were part of an agreement in which prosecutors reduced the habitual criminal sentencing enhancement to one in which he could serve from 10 to 50 years rather than one in which he would serve life in prison.

Most of the charges against Scott stem from going to an early morning party July 18 with Deavon M.Wyckoff, 32, where the homeowner later discovered that three of his guns were missing. He reported it to police the next day, but also told a friend about and sent photos of Wyckoff and Scott to him. The friend knew where Wyckoff lived, to the two went to the house to confront him about the missing guns. Wyckoff denied taking the guns and while the two friends were there, he called Scott, who also denied taking them, according to court documents.

Also on July 19, a bail bondsman went to Scott’s home to revoke his bond, and Scott allegedly pointed a pistol at him, according to court documents. A search turned up a backpack that held the Rock Island 1911 and Taurus G2C guns stolen the day before, according to an affidavit.


CWC gets $1.2M grant to improve career services

RIVERTON — Central Wyoming College plans to maximize its delivery of career services to students using a new $1.2 million grant from the Department of Education Rural Postsecondary and Economic Development (RPED) program.

Administrators said the money will help connect instruction with wraparound services and real-world work experiences. 

The funding will support three new positions: a career services coordinator, a career services liaison, and a cross agency coordinator, along with direct student support, according to a press release. The career services coordinator will work directly with students to provide access to oneon-one career counseling, aptitude and skill assessments, interview coaching, and assistance with resume preparation and job searches, CWC said, while the career services liaison will develop external relationships within the local workforce to identify employer needs, promoting student work experiences including internships, on-the-job training, apprenticeships, and job shadowing. 

Beth Monteiro, executive director of the CWC Foundation, said the liaison will also connect current and graduating students with employment opportunities and will ensure that coursework is relevant to the job market. 

“The career services liaison will serve as a crucial link between employers and faculty to ensure CWC’s graduates are meeting employer expectations,” Monteiro said. “The position will keep faculty informed so they can update courses (and) identify students for internships and other work-based opportunities.”


Protesters seek end to gas chamber use at animal shelters

ROCK SPRINGS — Wyoming is one of four states in America that continues to use gas chambers to euthanize animals. 

In hopes to see the gas chambers eliminated at the Green River Animal Control, animal rights protesters gathered outside of Green River City Hall on Jan. 4. 

Sweetwater County animal rights activist Madhu Anderson organized the protest. 

“These already stressed animals are put in a small, black box,” Anderson described. “They are scared, they defecate, vomit and they claw the chamber walls, desperate to get out. 

“Eventually, they die a slow and painful death.” 

Green River Animal Control uses carbon monoxide through gas cylinders to euthanize animals. 

“Some of the animals may have been sick with respiratory problems or heart problems or are too old or too young,” she explained. “These animals suffer longer in these chambers because the carbon monoxide takes longer to get into their lungs. Being stressed and suffocated is not a gentle and humane death.” 

Utah, Missouri and Ohio also use gas chambers. 

“There’s no reason to keep the gas chambers,” Anderson pointed out. “Four out of six animal control officers are certified in euthanizing animals by legal injection at the local animal control.”