Wyoming news briefs for September 9

Yellowstone Labor Day attendance up by 21%

CODY — Yellowstone National Park continued its soaring summer attendance through Labor Day weekend, seeing a 21% increase from the same weekend in 2019.

The East Entrance was 15.8-percent above 2019 for the weekend. Sunday was the biggest day of the weekend at the east gate as 1,506 travelers passed through the turnstiles, a 25-percent increase from 2019.

Sunday was the biggest day of the weekend for the Park as a whole as 12,380 people entered. Friday had the biggest gain from 2019 with 25 percent more people.

The South Entrance near Jackson had the biggest weekend in the Park, up 68 percent from 2019.

For the first time in its history in July, Yellowstone saw more than one million visitors in one month. The Park is well on pace to break its annual attendance record with a total of 4.5-5 million visitors well within the realm of possibility. The previous record was set in 2016 with 4.25 million visitors.


Crook County man held in wife’s death

SUNDANCE — A county man was arrested on Sunday after allegedly causing the death of his wife of 53 years. Edward Svoboda is believed to have struck his wife with a truck in the couple’s back yard.

Three deputies from the Crook County Sheriff’s Office responded on September 5 to reports that Edward had driven his truck into the back yard and struck his wife. She was pronounced deceased when the Hulett ambulance arrived on scene.

According to the incident report, deputies learned that Edward had driven to the neighbor’s house and asked for a ride, saying his wife had kicked him out of the house. Edward allegedly then got into another person’s car and drive back to his residence.

Shortly after, the victim allegedly sent multiple text messages to a family member asking for help and saying her leg was broken. The family member went to the residence and found her in the back yard; at that time she was still alive and talking.

While investigating the scene, deputies determined that the victim had been hit and driven over by a pickup truck hauling a tandem axle trailer with skid steer on the trailer. Tire tracks allegedly showed where the truck had driven into the yard and turned left, and the position of the victim’s body was consistent with her being driven over by the trailer tires.

At time of going to press, charges were pending with Circuit Court.


Colorado man dies in rollover accident

RIVERTON — A Colorado man died Saturday in a single-vehicle rollover south of Lander. 

His passenger, a California resident, was injured in the inci- dent and was transported to a local hospital for treatment, according to reports. 

The Wyoming Highway Patrol said Edward G. Marovich, 29, died at the scene of the crash, which was reported at about 8:30 p.m. Saturday around milepost three on Wyoming Highway 131. 

Officials said Marovich was driving north in a 2004 Porsche Boxster when he “failed to negotiate a curve to the right.” 

“The Porsche exited the roadway and overturned before colliding with a tree,” the WHP report states. “Speed is being investigated as a potential contributing factor.” 

Both Marovich and his passenger, Rinaudo Ciara, 32, of California, were wearing seatbelts, officials said. 

Highway Patrol Sgt. Jeremy Beck said speed is being investigated as a potential contributing factor. 

Marovich’s death is the 78th fatality on Wyoming’s roadways in 2021 compared to 87 in 2020, 110 in 2019 and 75 in 2018.


Murder trial in July shooting death moves forward

NEWCASTLE — Sixth Circuit Court Judge Mathew Castano bound over Paul Manders to district court on the charge of second-degree murder, following his preliminary hearing on Sept. 1. 

Castano also denied Manders’ request to have his bond lowered. 

During the hearing, both Weston County Sheriff’s Deputy Dan Fields and Special Agent Ed Rosier of the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation testified that enough evidence, in their opinion, existed to support the view that the murder was committed with purpose and malice. 

Wyoming statutes state that murder in the second degree is committed when a person “purposely and maliciously, but without premeditation, kills any human being.” 

“We have met the burden; there is probable cause that the crime was committed by Manders,” prosecuting attorney Alex Berger said. “That on July 27 Manders purposely and maliciously killed Clyde (Vernon).” 

According to Berger, the testimony proves the purposeful intent of the shots because two of the wounds were in the head and the other was in the chest. 

After closing statements, Castano said that it appeared that Manders shot with purpose but that  the question of malice is more complex.

“Given the nature of the incident, the ongoing dispute and the multiple shots, malice can be inferred,” Castano said. “The court does find probable cause to bound over to district court.” 


Algae warnings issues for Shoshone lakes

POWELL — The Wyoming Department of Health has issued harmful cyanobacteria bloom (HCB) recreational use advisories for Brooks Lake, Pelham Lake, Rainbow Lake, and Upper Jade Lake in the Shoshone National Forest. These lakes, located within the forest’s Wind River District, have been posted with advisory signs. It is possible other lakes in the area are also experiencing blooms, so forest officials say caution is advised. 

When blooms occur, cyanobacteria become visibly abundant and can look like grass clippings, blue-green scum or spilled paint on the water surface; when suspended in the water column, they can make the water appear green. HCBs can produce toxins and other irritants that may cause health effects such as rashes, fatigue, disorientation and gastrointestinal illnesses. In extreme cases, toxins may lead to pet, livestock or wildlife death. Waterbodies under an advisory are not closed, because HCBs may only be present in certain areas and conditions can change frequently. 

Advisories will remain in place until blooms have fully dissipated and cyanotoxin concentrations are below recreational use thresholds. 

All Shoshone visitors are being urged to avoid contact with water in areas where blooms or scum are visible.