Year in Review: First Quarter of 2016

(Courtesy Photo)

We begin our Year in Review today with a look back at some of the top news stories of 2016.

The year did not begin well for Sheridan County School District #3, as an early morning fire on News Year’s Day in Clearmont, destroyed the school district’s bus barn and three of their buses. District #3 Superintendent Charles Auzqui says that they should have a new bus barn come spring.

The cause of the fire was determined to be an electrical issue with one of the busses stored in the bus barn. Also in January, a petition that would have put the ordinance that created the position of city administrator for Sheridan to a vote of the people failed to garner the needed 529 valid signatures that would have allowed for a special election on the matter. City Finance and Administrative Services Director Jim Harmon.

February was highlighted by State Lawmakers continuing to craft a budget for the biennium, despite a sharp decline in state revenues due to a lagging mineral extraction industry. State Representative Rosie Berger of Big Horn.

In March, layoffs in the coal industry continued, as Peabody Energy due to financial difficulties during challenging marketing conditions, announced a reduction in their workforce of 235 hourly and salaried employees. Also in March, a Sheridan County couple were sentenced in District Court for three felony counts of child abuse. 51-year-old Michael Tibbets and 50-year-old Donna Gifford were found “guilty” of the child abuse charges in January following a five day jury trial.

District Court Judge John Fenn sentenced the couple to 3 to 5 years in prison on each count, but suspended the prison sentence in lieu of a one-year split sentence and 15 years of supervised probation.lieu of a one-year split sentence and 15 years of supervised probation. Be sure to join us tomorrow, as we’ll continue our Year in Review with a look at the second quarter of 2016.