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Wyoming News Briefs: August 7, 2018

The Star Valley Independent is a member of the Wyoming News Exchange. These stories come courtesy of the WNE.

Cheyenne secures commercial flights

CHEYENNE (WNE) — American Airlines, marketed as its subsidiary American Eagle, will provide once-daily nonstop service between Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and Cheyenne Regional Airport through SkyWest Airlines beginning Nov. 4.

The business route will seat 40-50 passengers on a Bombardier CRJ200 regional jet.

Cheyenne has been without commercial air service since late March, when Great Lakes Airlines suspended all turboprop flights. At that point, the company offered just one flight a week from the Capital City to Denver International Airport.

Proponents of commercial air service in the city have long said the route to Dallas/Fort Worth would serve Cheyenne’s military, oil and gas, and wind energy production communities, and the airport’s hub connectivity will likely be an additional asset to travelers.

“We are excited to begin new service between Cheyenne and DFW,” American Airlines corporate communications specialist Nichelle Tait told the Wyoming Tribune Eagle Monday morning via email.

“With a convenient schedule, customers can connect on to several exciting destinations that American serves from our hub at DFW,” Tait wrote.

The effort to secure new air service for Cheyenne began within days of Great Lakes’ announcement. The Cheyenne Regional Air Focus Team, established last year to help generate financial support for a new carrier, worked with business leaders and public bodies to fund the initiative.

That effort yielded at least $2.3 million in public and private money to put toward a minimum revenue guarantee – $580,000 from the state through the Air Service Enhancement Program,

$1.2 million in approved city of Cheyenne and Laramie County funds, $100,000 from the Cheyenne-Laramie County Economic Development Joint Powers Board, $100,000 from an Aeronautics Commission grant, $200,000 in federal funding and roughly $108,000 in privately raised CRAFT funds.


Cam-Plex fraud charges reduced to misdemeanors

GILLETTE (WNE) — Felony charges of bilking businesses out of $8,890 for fake events at Cam-plex have been reduced to misdemeanors for the man accused in the 5- and 6-year-old cases.

The case against James Edward Sorenson, 66, has been remanded to Circuit Court as part of a plea agreement in which he’ll plead no contest to five misdemeanor counts of obtaining goods by false pretenses.

He’ll also pay back the money to businesses, according to court documents.

Sorenson was arrested in February in Brigham City, Utah, on a 5-year-old warrant alleging that he took money from 10 businesses that had paid him various amounts to participate in events that were to take place in Gillette, Sheridan and Rapid City, South Dakota, according to an affidavit of probable cause filed in the case.

Sorenson had been imprisoned in Wyoming in June 2010 for obtaining property by false pretenses in a Teton County case, according to the Department of Corrections. Eventually, he was sent to the Volunteers of America community corrections program in Gillette in July 2012 and was paroled from there Jan. 24, 2013.

Soon afterward, complaints started coming in to the Campbell County Sheriff’s Office from vendors who said they were bilked out of money by Sorenson through his business, High Noon Productions.

During fall 2012 and through February 2013, he would contact various businesses and convince them to be part of an event at Cam-plex or the other areas. They would send him a check to book their space, according to the affidavit. Shortly before the event, he would call them to tell them the event had been canceled, usually because of a lack of vendors.

Their money was never returned and he didn’t answer their phone calls, according to the affidavit.


Officials investigate cause of seven fires

WORLAND (WNE) — Over the weekend, starting Thursday evening, seven different fires kept fire personnel from Big Horn County, Washakie County and Bureau of Land Management busy.

According to BLM Fire Management Officer Rich Zimmerlee the cause of all seven fires is under investigation. 

The first fire reported was Thursday evening at 9:18 p.m. on Wyoming Highway 31, about 10 miles west of Hyattville. The fire burned through 15 acres before being contained Thursday evening.

Minutes after the Highway 31 fire was reported a second fire was reported on the Lower Nowood. 

The fire consumed 78.9 acres before being contained on Friday morning at around 1:28 a.m. with control at 4 p.m. Friday afternoon. 

Friday didn’t give fire personnel much of a breather with the Cotton Oil Field fire, about 12 miles north of Worland, being reported around 4:54 p.m. The fire burned 6.9 acres before being contained by fire personnel at 7:30 p.m. that evening. 

Two minutes after the Cotton Oil Field fire was reported, at 4:56, the Rattlesnake fire, about six miles northeast of Worland, was reported. The Rattlesnake fire consumed 355 acres and was contained Saturday morning at 9:12 a.m. 

At around 5:15 p.m. Friday, the Red Butte fire, six miles northeast of Hyattville was reported. The Red Butte fire burned 176.5 acres with containment occurring Saturdaymorning. 

Not too much later, 6:07 p.m. the Butte Fire, seven miles north west of Hyattville was reported. It burned 26 acres and was contained by 9:46 a.m. Saturday morning. 

Just 25 minutes later the Tater Ridge fire, 18 miles east of Basin, was reported. The Tater Ridge fire consumed 347.5 acres before being contained on Saturday.


Carbon Co. permit for Rocky Mountain Power line endorsed

RAWLINS (WNE) — Despite concerns from the Rocky Mountain Sheep Company, the Carbon County Planning and Zoning Commission voted Monday to recommend the Carbon County Commissioners approve a conditional use permit to Rocky Mountain Power. 

The approval would likely allow RMP to start construction of the proposed Gateway West Transmission Line on time. 

The line is set to connect approximately 150 miles of 230 kilovolt and 850 miles of 500 kV power lines between Wyoming and Idaho. 

In Carbon County, the proposed line would run parallel to U.S. Interstate 80 on its south side.

PZ Commission members Richard Wilson and Joan McGraw voted in favor of the recommendation, while Bryon Barkhurst voted against the recommendation due to concerns. Oliver R. Wille and Jay Grabow were both absent. 

Prior to the approval, RMSC President Kristy Thompson shared her concerns with the proposed route south I-80, near Whitehorse Canyon. She asked that the council stipulate that the proposed line move up three-quarters of a mile on their property. 

Thompson said the proposed route moves through the company’s grazing land and suggested the company could lose 10 percent of their operation if it remains as proposed. 

Thompson said the animals would be under the high voltage line and could possibly encounter health problems. Thompson further said RMS has suggested that RMP move the line three quarters of a mile north into the existing pipeline corridor and out of the power line corridor.

RMP Vice President for Wyoming Rod Fischer said they’re currently looking into both options, but that the company would not put all their eggs into moving the path to the north due to time concerns. 


Wyoming this Weekend, Aug. 10-12

By the Wyoming News Exchange

A celebration of a television show and book series set in Johnson County tops this weekend’s list of events.

Buffalo’s Longmire Days, featuring appearances by actors from the television show “Longmire” and by Craig Johnson, author of the book series that launched the show, will be held Friday through Sunday. 

Events include presentations by Johnson, meetings with stars of he television show, a pub crawl, 5K run, pancake breakfast, a street dance and a talent show to be judged by the television show’s stars.

Other events schedule for the weekend include:

The “Never Sweat Needlers” quilt show and sale in Dubois Friday through Sunday;

Tours of the Boulder Choke Cave in Lander Friday and Saturday;

Stock car races in Rock Springs on Friday and Saturday;

The annual “Kirwin Ghost Town” tour in Meeteetse on Saturday;

A two-day bicycle adventure ride, “Bike MS: Wyoming’s Bighorn Country Classic,” will in and around Sheridan on Saturday and Sunday;

The “Firerman’s Buffalo Barbecue” in Dubois on Saturday;

The Sprint Triathlon in Pinedale on Saturday;

Bondurant’s Heritage Days on Saturday;

Fremont County Youth Rodeo in Pavillion on Saturday;

The Riverfest Art and Music Festival in Lander on Saturday;

Sweetwater Blues ’N Brews in Rock Springs on Saturday, and

The Pinedale Yacht Club Sailing Regatta at Fremont Lake on Saturday.

For information on these and other events, visit the Wyoming Tourism Division’s website at