Wyoming News Update

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Here is the latest Wyoming news from The Associated Press

Former union local president pleads guilty to theft of funds

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A former union official in Wyoming has pleaded guilty to theft of union funds.

Harold Giberson pleaded guilty Tuesday to a federal felony charge of taking over $179,000 from the Utility Workers Union of America Local 127. The local represents workers who staff three PacifiCorp power plants and associated transmission lines in Wyoming.

The 63-year-old Giberson told U.S. District Judge Nancy Freudenthal of Cheyenne that he filed false union expense reports and charged personal items to a union credit card between 2011 and 2015.

Giberson had served as local president from 2002 until 2015. He worked at a power plant near Rock Springs.

Freudenthal said federal prosecutors have said they won't request prison time for Giberson. She said a presentence report would recommend restitution. She set sentencing for Feb. 7.

Hundreds of mourners attend funeral for homeless veteran

EVANSVILLE, Wyo. (AP) — Hundreds of people gathered at the Wyoming Veterans Cemetery for the funeral of a homeless U.S. Navy veteran that most of them had never met.

The Casper Star-Tribune reports (bit.ly/2gDaNRa) there was standing room only at the chapel in Evansville Tuesday for the funeral of 63-year-old Stephen Carl Reiman.

Reiman, who had recently moved to Wyoming from California, died on Nov. 17 at Wyoming Medical Center in Casper.

Natrona County Coroner Connie Jacobson had difficulty finding any family and asked people from the community to attend Reiman's funeral. Jacobson eventually located Reiman's sister, Diane, who attended the service.

Jacobson says Reiman served in Vietnam and told a Veterans Affairs doctor he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and alcoholism exacerbated by the death of his only son in combat in Iraq.

Woman gets 3 to 6 years in prison for starving child

GILLETTE, Wyo. (AP) — A Gillette woman has been sentenced to three to six years in prison for starving and abusing her boyfriend's 4-year-old daughter.

The Gillette News Record reports (bit.ly/2gGu3cI) the father, Dale L. Roberts, received a four-year probationary sentence on Monday.

Roberts and Dee Jurisch were charged with felony child abuse in April after Roberts' daughter was found to be severely underweight with bruises on her body. A pediatrician said if the girl had remained in the condition she was in, she would have died within a few weeks.

Public defender Andrew Johnson argued that the girl's father had a greater responsibility and that Jurisch didn't deserve the harsher sentence. District Judge Thomas Rumpke said Jurisch was the girl's primary caregiver and bore a greater responsibility. Jurisch also was on probation for a drug conviction.

Survey: Illnesses common as well leak gassed Wyoming school

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Dozens of students and teachers at a school in a small Wyoming town say they fell ill with a variety of symptoms while they breathed gases from a leaky oil well last spring.

The K-12 school in Midwest has been closed since May 25 after testing showed benzene levels more than 200 times the safe limit.

Many students and staff in a recent Wyoming Department of Health survey say they got headaches, nausea and runny noses during the leak. The symptoms lessened after they began being bused to schools in Casper.

The leaking benzene and carbon dioxide tapered off after a petroleum company re-plugged the problem well in one of the nation's oldest oil fields.

Plans for a ventilation system could enable the school to reopen next school year.