Wyoming news briefs for March 4

Posted 3/4/22

News from across Wyoming.

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Wyoming news briefs for March 4


Teton County Search and Rescue twice rescues Michigan men illegally snowmobiling in wilderness area

JACKSON — On Sunday, Teton County Search and Rescue dispatched its helicopter to rescue two Michigan men who had illegally ridden their snowmobiles into a clearly marked wilderness area and gotten stuck on the backside of Angle Mountain.

Then Search and Rescue crews were called back Wednesday to rescue the same men, who had been permitted by the Bridger-Teton National Forest to snowshoe in and help a helicopter they had privately contracted retrieve their sleds.

Both times, it appears the men, Ryan Gibson, 29, and Keegan Pertu, 30, were in over their heads and physically unable to exit the steep drainage on their own.

Snowmobiles, like all motorized equipment, are illegal in wilderness areas under the 1964 Wilderness Act. Jason Wilmot, a wildlife biologist for Bridger-Teton, said the wilderness boundary is “crystal clear” and has been in place for decades.

“People should know better,” he said. “We are very clear and very consistent in sharing the rules of wilderness travel.”

Still, Wilmot didn’t think the snowmobilers were intentionally breaking the law.

“I think they didn’t understand,” he said of the two Michigan visitors, who were both issued citations.

Wilmot said he worked closely with the two “apologetic” men after their first rescue and gave them permits to snowshoe back into the wilderness area, because their chartered helicopter needed a ground crew to help lift the sleds out of the drainage.

It took Gibson and Pertu two hours to hike downhill to their sleds, which the helicopter successfully rescued. But with evening quickly approaching, there was little hope they would make it back out by dark, so Search and Rescue dispatched the second crew.


Beulah man given suspended sentence on reduced possession charge

SUNDANCE — A Beulah man has been given a suspended sentence as part of a plea agreement that saw a felony charge of possession of marijuana reduced to a misdemeanor in return for a guilty plea. 

On July 19, 2021 a Crook County Sheriff’s Office deputy responded to a report of a possible domestic in Beulah. 

A Wyoming Highway Patrol trooper already on scene advised that when he arrived, Tyron Miller was laying on the driveway on top of a female subject. Miller was detained, at which point the trooper located suspected marijuana on his person. 

The alleged victim reported that she had been arguing with Miller and at one point he charged at her and physically took her to the ground. The deputy reports observing red marks on the victim’s arms and leg and gravel stuck to the back of her neck. 

Miller faced a felony charge of possession of marijuana, third or subsequent offense, with five known convictions in Iowa since 2002. 

He also faced a misdemeanor count of domestic battery, second offense, with one known prior conviction in South Dakota in 2019. 

He pled guilty to misdemeanor charges of possession and domestic battery. Judge Stuart S. Healy gave him a suspended sentence of one year, suspended pending successful completion of one year of supervised probation.


WYDOT installs new dynamic messaging signs

SHERIDAN — The Wyoming Department of Transportation recently installed two dynamic messaging signs at two mountain route locations.

These electronic signs were installed to inform travelers of conditions or closures on these two mountain passes.

Dynamic message signs are one of many structures the Wyoming Department of Transportation’s traffic programs use to promote road safety and awareness. The goal of the DMS is to provide travelers with information about unique driving conditions, events and alerts — in this case, at mile marker 82.59 on U.S. Highway 14 west of Dayton and mile marker 88.56 on U.S. Highway 16 west of Buffalo.

Contractors have spent the past few months installing these structures, which included bringing a power supply and communications system to the boards. Construction of the DMS boards has been completed and a 30-day testing period will begin March 2.

Travelers’ will see the message "TEST" on these two boards for the next few weeks. This testing period allows WYDOT’s Traffic Management System to validate the system and make sure messages on the boards can be managed remotely.

Once the testing period is over, the DMS boards will be used to inform travelers of road conditions, traffic alerts, closures and other relevant messages.