Wyoming news briefs for May 18

Posted 5/18/22

News from across Wyoming.

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Wyoming news briefs for May 18


Laramie County GOP fails to oust chairwoman

CHEYENNE — An attempt to oust Laramie County Republican Party Chairwoman Dani Olsen failed at a meeting of the local organization’s Central Committee Tuesday night. 

Members voted by voice. The majority rejected a proposed resolution requesting Olsen’s resignation, which followed an investigation by state party officials regarding the nomination process of the local party organization to the recent state GOP convention. 

A Laramie County party member had filed a complaint citing alleged misconduct to the Wyoming GOP Credentials Committee. This resulted in all but three Laramie County delegates not being seated at the state convention. 

Ben Hornok was the member who brought forward both the complaint to the Wyoming GOP and the resolution considered this week. He stated his reason for asking Olsen to resign was that the chairwoman was ultimately responsible for the bylaws violation in the process of picking local delegates in the election that was held March 5.

“I will not recommend a vote for anybody on this resolution, and ask you to vote your conscience,” Hornok said in a brief explanation at the meeting. “I don’t ask you to vote out of spite, animosity or any hard feelings. It just needs to come before this body.” 

After he addressed the county’s Central Committee, there was little debate among precinct committeemen and committee women. Only three members spoke in the discussion format allowed by Robert’s Rules of Order, one for and two against the motion.

Laramie County Commissioner Linda Heath said the county party needed to focus on the upcoming elections instead of clashing on the resolution to unseat Olsen. 

Susan Graham, who said the bylaws were not followed, said action needed to be taken in response.


Former recreation center employee arrested for years-long string of burglaries

GILLETTE — A former Campbell County Recreation Center employee was arrested Monday after he was caught on surveillance video entering the building in the middle of the night.

Jeremy Mountain, 48, was arrested for felony burglary after he was seen on video entering the recreation center around 2 a.m. Saturday where he took items from the lost and found bin as well as coins from the “coin machines,” said Police Sgt. Dean Welch.

Mountain admitted to the incident that occurred May 14 and told police that he had made a similar break-in “every two to three months” for the past three years, Welch said.

He said he was a former custodian and still had a set of keys from when he was employed.

Police were still investigating the value of what was stolen May 14 and throughout the years.

His keys were confiscated and logged as evidence along with cleaning supplies that were found in his vehicle, Welch said.


Western Wyoming Community College board changes student alcohol and drug fines

ROCK SPRINGS — Changes to the student alcohol and drug fines effective in the fall 2022 semester were approved by the Western Wyoming Community College Board of Trustees during its meeting on Thursday, May 12. 

The new changes for the student alcohol fines include no fine and a restorative justice approach with alcohol education with Wellbeing and Accessibility for the first offense. 

The second offense comes with a $100 fine, nine-month probation and additional alcohol education with Wellbeing and Accessibility. 

There is a $250 fine and the justification for possible eviction from housing and/or suspension from the college for the third offense.

The fines are a reduction from previous policy, under which students were fined $100 for the first alcohol offense and $250 for the second offense.  The probation periods and  alcohol education requirements remain unchanged.

The previous fines for violating the alcohol and/or drug policies at Western, approved by the board of trustees in Feb. 2010, were intended to “inflict a certain amount of financial pain on students to help them be more aware of the policies and positively impact student behavior.” 

However, according to the Association for Student Conduct Administration national organization, “a greater restorative justice approach is considered best practice when holding a student accountable for a first-time offense of the student code of conduct.”