Wyoming Briefs


Governor recovering from COVID-19 at home, first lady tests negative

CHEYENNE (WNE) — After announcing last week that he had tested positive for COVID-19, Gov. Mark Gordon is continuing to recover from home while working a full work schedule this week, his office said Monday.

The governor is continuing to experience mild symptoms from the virus, though he has not needed any medical interventions, according to Gordon's communications director, Michael Pearlman. 

Wyoming first lady Jennie Gordon, meanwhile, has tested negative for the virus and is isolating separately from the governor.

It is unclear where and when Gordon may have contracted COVID-19. He experienced his first symptoms on the afternoon of Nov. 22 and immediately took an at-home test. After additional symptoms developed over the next few days, he visited a medical clinic Nov. 25, where he received a PCR test that returned a positive result, with the at-home test also coming back positive that same day, Pearlman told the WTE by email.

The governor had no contact with anyone other than first lady Gordon between Nov. 21 and when his positive tests came back.

Additionally, two other staff members of the governor's office have tested positive, Pearlman said. All other close contacts of the governor have been tested, and those tests have returned negative results. 

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Gas prices down slightly as demand drops during Thanksgiving

GILLETTE (WNE) — Less travel over the Thanksgiving holiday helped keep down gas prices.

Wyoming gas prices fell 1.6 cents a gallon in the past week, averaging $2.15 a gallon Monday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 494 stations.

Gas prices in Wyoming are 0.9 cents per gallon higher than a month ago and stand 52.5 cents per gallon lower than a year ago.

Gas in Campbell County averaged $2.076, the fourth lowest in the state behind Albany ($1.924), Laramie ($1.992) and Goshen counties ($2.059).

The cheapest station in Wyoming is priced at $1.79 a gallon while the most expensive is $2.59 a gallon, a difference of 80 cents, according to the report.

The national average price of gasoline has risen 1.8 cents per gallon in the last week, averaging $2.11. The national average is unchanged from a month ago and stands 47.6 cents per gallon lower than a year ago.

"Subdued traffic" over the Thanksgiving weekend kept prices stable, with demand the lowest since spring, said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy. "With oil holding near a pandemic high around $45 per barrel, we may see additional upward pressure in the weeks ahead, but it's unlikely to be earth shattering.

"We're likely to remain in somewhat of a limbo until early 2021 or vaccines begin to see widespread distribution and Americans slowly start venturing back to their normal lifestyle — if they ever do.”

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Woman charged with driving with child in vehicle containing meth

RIVERTON (WNE) — A Riverton woman could face up to six years in prison for driving a vehicle with both methamphetamine and a child aboard. 

Kelsey Dane Eagleroad, 23, was pulled over by Riverton Police Department Officer Kingston Cole at about 9:24 p.m. on Sept. 8, on North Third Street East in Riverton, because she was driving a vehicle with only one working headlight. 

When Cole met with Eagleroad, he noted the presence of two adults and one child in the car. 

The child in the back seat was about 6 years old; Myleigh Osterholz, 19, also sat in the back, and Dylan Barry, 24, sat in the front passenger seat. 

Cole found Eagleroad “extremely nervous and… fidgety,” court documents state. 

When asked a question about her license, Eagleroad started erratically to tell Cole about her night. 

“Cole recognized her behavior, based on his training and experience, to sometimes be associated with methamphetamine usage,” the affidavit reads. 

Cole asked Eagleroad to step out of the vehicle. She told him she had used meth in the past, but not recently. Cole checked her pupils and found them normal. He then got permission from her to search her vehicle. 

Cole found two baggies of suspected meth in her purse in the driver’s seat. The powdery substance in the baggies later tested positive for meth presence. 

Because Eagleroad is accused of harboring a child, knowingly, in a car containing meth, she faces a maximum five years in prison and $5,000 in fines for child endangerment, plus another year and $1,000 for misdemeanor meth possession. 

She was transferred to Fremont County District Court in October and since has pleaded “not guilty.”

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Cody man wants judge, not jury, to hear his case

CODY (WNE) — A Cody man accused of trying to get a 17-year-old girl to become a prostitute and sleep with him asserts that he’s not guilty by reason of mental illness — and he wants a judge, rather than a jury, to hear his case. 

Kenneth “Val” Geissler Jr., 81, faces a felony count of promoting prostitution in the 2018 case. Following psychological evaluations, he was allowed to enter a plea of not guilty by reason of mental illness earlier this year. 

The case had been set to go before a jury, but in late October, Geissler’s defense attorney and the Park County Attorney’s Office jointly requested a bench trial. 

However, District Court Judge Bill Simpson rejected the request to waive Geissler’s right to a jury trial.

Earlier this month, defense attorney Tim Blatt and Deputy Park County Attorney Jack Hatfield asked Simpson to reconsider, contending the decision really wasn’t up to him. 

“It’s the defendant’s [Geissler’s] right to select his forum and to waive his jury trial . . . and the state believes it would be an abuse of discretion to deny Mr. Geissler his right to be tried before the bench,” Hatfield told the judge. 

“We have allegations of not so much sexual misconduct, but sexual conversations and letters that certainly would come off to be extremely embarrassing to Mr. Geissler [and] would come off as somewhat shocking, maybe to a jury,” said Blatt. 

In conversations and letters in 2018, Geissler is alleged to have encouraged the 17-year-old to become a “whore,” going into explicit detail on what sexual acts she should perform for clients and once suggesting she watch a porn video at his home so she could get some ideas. 

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