Wyoming news briefs for June 6

Man who tried to run over probation officer sentenced

GILLETTE — A Gillette man was sentenced to prison on charges related to trying to run over his probation officer last year, along with multiple drug charges.

Kenneth Myles Powers, 56, was sentenced May 12 to nine to 18 years in prison on charges of probation revocation, two counts of possession with intent to deliver and felony interference with a peace officer, according to court documents.

Both Powers and his roommate, Kenneth Heagy, were arrested in September after police were tipped off to the possibility of drug distribution from the home they lived together in on Laramie Street.

Two tips were made to the Crime Stoppers line indicating that Powers and Heagy had large amounts of drugs and guns in their home. 

Powers’ parole officer had gotten a similar tip and she called Powers in for a meeting regarding those claims. Although Powers initially denied the allegations, he eventually admitted that there was a gun or guns in a safe in Heagy’s room, according to the affidavit.

When the parole officer told Powers the police planned to search his vehicle and home, he stood up and told her that he needed to use the restroom. He refused to sit down after being told to several times.

“Powers walked out of the office and outside. He then began running towards his vehicle, still refusing probation’s orders,” according to the affidavit.

He got in his vehicle and drove quickly towards the parole officer, who was in the parking lot and continued to tell him to stop. She was able to jump out of the way in time.


Landslide near Dayton not safety concern, WyDOT says

SHERIDAN — A spot being monitored for a potential landslide on U.S. Highway 14 east of Steamboat Point does not pose safety concerns for motorists, according to the Wyoming Department of Transportation.

“We’re not concerned about safety,” WYDOT Senior Public Relations Specialist Laura Dalles said. “It’s something we have been watching for a number of years. Right now, (workers) are up there putting in a potential temporary additional lane, so in the event that the shoulder does slide off, we have a way to divert traffic.”

Maintenance crews have been working in the right of way just east of Steamboat Point on the highway above Dayton since May 26. 

This work is a preventative measure in the event the roadway gives way to a landslide. WYDOT District 4 maintenance staff and geologists have been watching at mile marker 69.8 for some time.

According to WYDOT geologist James Dahill, landslides are not unique to the stretch of U.S. 14 and happen in other areas of Wyoming. WYDOT began monitoring the site several years ago just below the highway and knew it would move progressively up the terrain toward the highway.

Dahill said the challenge with the Little Tongue River landslide is that US 14 crosses the slide at the waistline, or midpoint, of the slide. This means there is just as much slide-prone material above the road as there is below the roadway. Because of the nature of this geological structure, each year’s melting snowpack and yearly erosion results in the weak shale becoming saturated over time.


Legislature’s only Independent rep to retire

Saying “it’s time to pass the torch” to a fresh face in the Wyoming Legislature, District 22 State Rep. Jim Roscoe said he will not run for re-election when his term ends at the beginning of 2023.

Roscoe, an independent, will have served eight years in total when his current term expires, though he took a break between 2013 and his return to the Legislature in 2019.

“I just got back from a trip to Norway for a month skiing with my son and it was so much fun, I thought, ‘I can’t spend another winter in Cheyenne,’ ” Roscoe, 72, said with a laugh. “But no, I just feel like some young people, you know, some other people, it’s time for them to take their turn and there are people willing to do it. And so I just thought it was just time to pass the torch.”

Specifically, Roscoe said he is throwing his support behind Bob Strobel, a Jackson businessman and techie who started the ”See Jackson Hole” tourism website, among numerous other business ventures.

Roscoe listed a number of achievements from his time in the Legislature as points of pride, including championing the law to ban texting and driving.