Wyoming news briefs for October 5


Kanye West puts some Cody property up for sale

CODY — Is an end to the Kanye West era near in Cody? A number of signs are starting to emerge that the billionaire hip hop star and clothing designer is starting to phase out his operations in the city. 

Late last week, Kanye West put up for sale seven of his commercial properties off Big Horn Avenue for more than $3.2 million. 

The parcels housed or were associated with his Yeezy brand that performs some of its operations in Cody.

Most noticeably, the structure popularly referred to as the “Yeezy tent,” the most visible focal point of his local activities, along with the land it sits on, is being sold on a 3.76 acre parcel for $1.3 million. In addition to that 6,000 square foot “heated tension fabric building,” a 4,800 square foot prefabricated metal building is also on the property, which was the headquarters of Mountain Construction, from Which West purchased the property in October 2019. 

Also being sold is a 2-acre commercial property with a 6,900 square foot building on it at a price of $739,000. This building on Big Horn Avenue has five bedrooms in the basement and five more multi-purpose rooms on the main floor with laundry and a full kitchen. 

West is also selling five vacant lots he purchased on 33rd and Stone streets. Three of these properties are being sold for $138,000 each, another is listed at $200,000, and a fifth lot with full utility hookups and directly facing Big Horn is being sold for $549,000.

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Wyoming gas prices down 1.2 cents in past week

CHEYENNE —  Wyoming gas prices have fallen 1.2 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.44 per gallon Monday, according to GasBuddy.com's daily survey of 494 stations in Wyoming.

Gas prices in Wyoming are 6.9 cents per gallon lower than a month ago and stand $1.26 per gallon higher than a year ago.

According to GasBuddy price reports, the cheapest station in Wyoming was priced at $2.97 per gallon Monday, while the most expensive was $4.19, a difference of $1.22.

The national average price of gasoline was unchanged in the last week, averaging $3.18 per gallon Monday. The national average is unchanged from a month ago and stands $1.01 per gallon higher than a year ago.

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Man accused of trying to run over parole officer

GILLETTE — A Gillette man accused of trying to run over his parole officer and dealing drugs has pleaded not guilty to felony charges against him.

Kenneth Powers, 56, has been charged with possession with intent to deliver marijuana and LSD as well as aggravated assault and battery.

His roommate, Kenneth Heagy, 53, also faces charges of possession with intent to deliver marijuana as well as possessing felony amounts of meth. 

Police were alerted to the possibility of drug distribution from their home on Laramie Street after two tips were made to the Crime Stoppers line indicating that Powers and Heagy had large amounts of narcotics and guns, according to an affidavit.

Police learned that Powers’ parole officer had received a similar tip and she called Powers in for a meeting to ask about the reports.

Powers was on probation for delivery of a controlled substance.

The officer told Powers that police planned to search his vehicle and home, and he stood up and told his parole officer that he needed to use the restroom. She told him to sit down several times, but he refused.

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

Powers got in his vehicle and drove rapidly toward the officer in the parking lot, who continued to tell him to stop.

“Powers drove right at her and nearly hit her with his vehicle,” according to the affidavit. She was able to jump out of the way.

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Man convicted of abusing multiple children

RIVERTON — A 53-year-old Riverton man was found guilty Sept. 28 of multiple counts of sexual abuse against children. 

Dalco Gabriel Whiteman was charged in July. 

He was convicted in a federal jury trial before District Court Chief Judge Scott W. Skavdahl of two counts of aggravated sexual abuse and four counts of abusive sexual contact. 

According to evidence provided at trial, the jury found that Whiteman was responsible for molesting multiple victims on the Wind River Indian Reservation over the course of 25 years. 

Six victims, several of them unknown to each other, testified that they had been sexually assaulted by Whiteman, some of them on numerous occasions. 

Sentencing on each count will vary based on when the assault occurred.

The most serious convictions for aggravated sexual abuse are punishable by not less than 30 years but not more than life imprisonment. 

The sentencing hearing has not yet been scheduled. 

“This verdict brings a measure of justice to the victims of Dalco Whiteman,” said FBI Denver Division Special Agent in Charge Michael Schneider. “The FBI, in coordination with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, which was the primary investigative agency in this case, will continue to prioritize protecting victims of child sexual assault by holding accountable all those who perpetrate such crimes.” 

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LDS to build temple in Cody

POWELL — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has announced plans to build a temple in Cody. 

In a Sunday address, Church President Russell Nelson named Cody as one of 13 places across the globe where the church plans to construct new temples. Other locations include cities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Bolivia, the Philippines and Rexburg, Idaho. 

“I’m stunned and just so grateful that the Prophet [Nelson] felt like we needed a temple in Cody,” Andrew Jacobsen, the president of the Cody Wyoming Stake, told The Church News. “To have a temple here will be a blessing for the entire Big Horn Basin.” 

A temple differs from a church, where LDS members regularly gather and host various events that are open to the public. In contrast, temples are special places of worship that are closed to the general public, being reserved for faithful members of the church to participate in ceremonies that include marriages and proxy baptisms on behalf of deceased ancestors. 

Currently, members of the Cody stake — which includes congregations in Powell, Cody, Meeteetse, Burlington and Otto — travel to the temple in Billings, Montana; members of the Lovell stake do the same. 

Before the Billings temple opened in 1999, the closest site for local LDS members was in Idaho Falls, Idaho.

The church opened its first temple in Wyoming in Star Valley in 2016. Nelson announced in April that the state’s second temple would be constructed in Casper, and a groundbreaking for that roughly 10,000-square-foot building is set for Saturday.

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