Wyoming News Update

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Latest Wyoming news, sports, business and entertainment.

OFFICERS-CHILD ABUSE

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — Two Casper police officers are charged with abusing the woman's adopted son and daughter, who have been removed from her custody.

Laura Starnes-Wells made an initial court appearance Friday on a felony child abuse charge. She did not enter a plea. Circuit Court Judge Steven Brown set her bond at $10,000.

Sgt. Todd Wells made his initial appearance on misdemeanor child endangerment on Feb. 23.

Prosecutors say school officials filed a report with the Wyoming Department of Family Services in March 2008 expressing concerns for both children due to "extreme punishment by the mother."

The Natrona County sheriff's office began investigating in May 2016 after the girl told school officials that Starnes-Wells slapped her. The girl recounted years of abuse.

Wells and Starnes-Wells were placed on paid administrative leave in November.

MARIJUANA BUST-PROBATION

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Two Missouri men caught driving a rental car with 55 pounds of marijuana in Wyoming last year have been sentenced to five years of probation.

The Wyoming Tribune Eagle reported Monday that Dominique Davis of Fulton, Missouri, and Sherdon Walters of Jefferson City, Missouri, were both sentenced to probation last week with underlying prison terms of four to five years.

Davis and Walters both previously agreed to plead guilty to drug possession and delivery charges as part of a plea deal.

Court documents say a trooper became suspicious of the 31-year-old men after stopping them in Cheyenne for driving too close to another vehicle.

Both men approved of a search of their vehicle and a K-9 helped locate the 55-pound bag of pot.

Attorneys for Davis and Walters referred to their clients' actions as bootlegging.

BIGHORN SHEEP TRANSPLANT

POWELL, Wyo. (AP) — State game managers transplanted about two dozen bighorn sheep from the Lovell area in northern Wyoming to near Rawlins in the south-central part of the state.

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department captured the sheep in the Devil's Canyon area and transplanted them last month to the Ferris-Seminoe area.

The Powell Tribune reports that the Game and Fish Department wants to keep the Devil's Canyon herd between 140 and 210 animals.

But wildlife biologist Leslie Schreiber says she counted 253 sheep last July and there could be more.

Around 130-150 bighorn sheep were believed to be living in the Ferris-Seminoe area before the new sheep arrived. The objective is 300.

CODY FATAL FIRE-ID

Cody Fire Department have released the name of a 74-year-old man who died in a house fire.

Fire marshal Sam Wilde tells the Cody Enterprise (bit.ly/2mceo9c) that Gary Hagberry died of carbon monoxide poisoning due to smoke inhalation.

Investigators say the fire started on the second story of the house and burned unnoticed for many hours because of the home's sturdy log construction. Neighbors reported the fire at noon on Feb. 26.

The man's body was found on the second level. The cause of the fire remains unknown. The house was destroyed.

CAR REGISTRATION FEES

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming lawmakers have approved a bill that increases vehicle registration fees.

KTWO-AM reports that the bill was the final bill approved in the 2017 legislative session, which ended Friday. It now goes before Gov. Matt Mead.

Under the proposal, state fees for registering a passenger vehicle will double from $15 to $30 and motorcycle registration fees will go up from $12 to $25.

State car registration fees have not increased since 1975.

Wyoming lawmakers have also approved legislation that doubles fees for obtaining a state driver's license.

The two bills are part of an effort to free up general fund money currently going to the Wyoming Department of Transportation.

BISON RELOCATION

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — A group of bison relocated from Iowa appear to be thriving as their first winter in Wyoming comes to a close.

The Daily Ranger reports that the 10 bison were brought to the Wind River Indian Reservation in November as part of a long-term repopulation effort. Bison once ranged widely across Fremont County.

The Eastern Shoshone tribe obtained the bison from the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge in Iowa.

The tribe's Jason Baldes says the bison have adapted very well to the 300 acres of Shoshone land.

He says the animals have primarily been grazing the existing forage but were fed supplemental grass hay when temperatures dropped below zero and snow storms struck the county this winter.

The tribe is open to having more bison brought to the land.