Wyoming news briefs for June 15

Posted 6/15/22

News from across Wyoming.

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Wyoming news briefs for June 15


Teen faces five drug felonies

DOUGLAS — A 19-year-old male was arrested in late April on five drug charges of delivery and possession of controlled substances. 

Quinton J. Fisher, who faces a maximum 85 years in prison, was booked into Converse County Detention Center on multiple charges after an investigation that started in April of 2021. 

He was charged with delivery and other charges in early 2022 and bound over to state District Court on April 21. 

Fisher is charged with four counts of delivery of Fentanyl and methamphetamine. The fifth charge – possession of opiates – is from April 7, just days after he was convicted of a misdemeanor possession on April 4. 

According to a police affidavit, detectives found many items in Fisher’s residence that indicate the selling and distribution of drugs. Law enforcement obtained Fentanyl, methamphetamine, digitals scales and several lists that specified pricing of the narcotics. 

The affidavit states Fisher’s cell phone history and social media posts indicate he had sold the drugs to at least one person in Cheyenne and six additional persons in Douglas last August. 

Police officers said they identified at least one person who had made a sale on behalf of Fisher and another that provided Fisher with drugs. 

Fisher’s personal devices showed the use of terms “blues,” “berries,” clr,” and “snow,” which are references to Fentanyl, methamphetamine and cocaine, according to court records. 

Delivery felonies are punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $25,000. The possession charge carries up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.


Gas prices in Wyoming up 22 cents in a week

CHEYENNE — Gas prices this past week across Wyoming are the highest they’ve been in about 10 years, at an average of $4.784 per gallon on Tuesday, according to GasBuddy. 

Prices rose 22.2 cents per gallon in the last week, according to data from GasBuddy, and are up 55.5 cents from last month. 

Last year, the average price per gallon in Wyoming was $3.13. 

Wyoming’s average prices are 23 cents lower than the national average, which hit a record-breaking $5.02 per gallon this week, according to GasBuddy. 

This time last year, the national average was $3.08. 

GasBuddy regularly surveys 494 stations in Wyoming. It found the lowest price on Monday was $4.19 per gallon and the highest price was $5.53 a gallon. 

Prices are higher in the north and west areas of the state and are at the lowest to the east. 

As of Tuesday, the highest average price in Wyoming was $5.14 in Teton County, followed by $4.982 in Uinta and Sublette. The lowest average price was in Converse County at $4.474, followed by $4.507 in Natrona, $4.615 in Albany and $4.619 in Weston.


Search for Cam-plex GM in early stages; local search still on table

GILLETTE — The search for the next leader of Cam-plex is underway.

Campbell County Public Land Board members are considering several options, including a search of local applicants and possibly reorganizing the facility’s management structure.

“We need to look at our (organizational) chart,” said Charlene Camblin, Land Board member. “We can’t continue doing the same thing and have a new GM every three to four years. That’s just insane. We have to look and explore our options.”

Former general manager Jeff Esposito left Cam-plex May 20 for another job in Owensboro, Kentucky, leaving the facility with a leadership void as it approaches a busy summer.

The National High School Finals Rodeo begins July 17 at Cam-plex and draws thousands of high school rodeo athletes, family members and spectators to the facility.

Renae Keuck, Cam-plex director of finance, was appointed as interim general manager while the land board members look for a permanent replacement. Esposito was hired after a nine-month search using an executive search firm in 2018.

Land Board members discussed the need to vet local options and potentially divide the general manager role into multiple jobs.

The division of labor could include an “ag side person and a venue side person,” Camblin said.

She said she has reached out to the executive search firm used to hire Esposito, adding the cost of that service has “more than doubled” to “well over” $50,000 to $60,000, depending on the results.

Contracting a management company to run the facility has also been considered.


Teton County Health Department to start tracking tourist COVID

JACKSON — Even with an airport closure and lower numbers of tourists, Teton County is at high risk for COVID-19 sooner than it has been the past two summers.

With that shift comes questions about why the coronavirus — now a more transmissible version of the omicron variant — is circulating through the community. It comes about two months after the BA.2 subvariant fueled a surge in cases on the East Coast.

St. John’s Health is handling a slight increase of people hospitalized with COVID, with about 50 percent of those patients coming from outside Teton County.

On Tuesday, though, there were no hospitalized COVID patients, according to Chief Communications Officer Karen Connelly. The hospital stopped reporting its daily COVID census in mid-April.

While it’s difficult to say exactly what’s driving the slight COVID surge, local health officials note the more transmissible strain of the omicron variant, which is circulating at a time when more community members are comfortable traveling and attending larger gatherings. High school age children, for instance, were overrepresented in last week’s case count, likely because of graduation events.

Grand Teton National Park began requiring masks indoors on Monday. Teton District Health Officer Dr. Travis Riddell has not yet issued a community mask order.

Shane Yu, a contracted epidemiologist for the Teton County Health Department, said “Essentially we have a decent count on out-of-state visitors who test positive, but not an easily accessible count for those from other Wyoming counties who test positive in Teton County.”

Many Jackson Hole residents are also frequent travelers. And with mask restrictions lifted on airlines and in most other public settings, there’s an even greater possibility of locals bringing back the virus.