Dog attack puts Gillette boy in ICU and other news from around the state


Dog attack puts Gillette boy in ICU

GILLETTE (WNE) — A 9-year-old Gillette boy is still in the hospital after being attacked by a dog just a few hours into his summer vacation.

Riley Schlidt, 9, was attacked by a pit bull-Rottweiler mix May 24 after his last day of third grade at Conestoga Elementary School.

Riley was outside near his home in the Nickelson Little Farms subdivision when he was attacked, causing severe damage to his right arm.

Sheriff’s Lt. Kevin Theis said Riley had met the dog before and had walked up to it to let it smell him. The dog, which was tied to a post, bit Riley on the arm. A 16-year-old girl separated the two, but the dog was able to bite Riley again on the same arm.

His arm was broken in two places and he suffered severe muscle and nerve damage. First responders worked quickly to get Riley taken by air ambulance to Swedish Medical Center in Denver, where he is in the intensive care unit.

Since Friday, Riley has had two surgeries to try to save his arm, according to updates posted on fundraising websites for the family. Doctors originally thought they would have to amputate the damaged limb, but after a CT scan revealed that some of Riley’s nerves and veins were intact, amputation wasn’t needed.

Riley had an initial emergency surgery Friday and then a second surgery Sunday to help reconstruct the damaged parts of his arm.

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Rock Springs shooting case heads to district court

ROCK SPRINGS — Joaquin Leon-Guzman, 33, waived his right to a preliminary hearing Wednesday and his reckless endangering and aggravated assault and battery case is going to district court.

Rock Springs resident Leon-Guzman, 33, is accused of allegedly shooting a man outside the Bareback Saloon in early May.

His next date remains unknown as district court has yet to receive documents, but it is likely to be announced in the coming days, according to the Sweetwater County District Court. His preliminary hearing had been rescheduled for Wednesday after the defense made a motion on May 8 to change the date, according to the circuit court.

Leon-Guzman faces three counts of reckless endangering and aggravated assault and battery, causing or attempting to cause serious bodily injury. If found guilty of all the charges, Leon-Guzman faces a maximum of 13 years in prison and a $12,250 fine.

Around 1:30 a.m. May 5, he was thrown out of the Bareback Saloon, according to court documents. He allegedly drove up in front of the club and fired a .22 caliber rifle, injuring Kory White in the leg, and knowingly shot in the direction of Jose G. Rodriguez, Stormie Olson and 

Jacob Olson.

Leon-Guzman currently remains inside the Sweetwater County Detention Center with bond set at $750,000 cash or surety.

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Reported victim in confinement case allegedly threatened

RIVERTON (WNE) — The saga continues for the victims of a pending kidnapping case – one of whom said she was threatened and asked to recant part of her testimony. 

After Geraldine Blackburn, 56, Basil Blackburn, 32, Kelly Martinez, 22, Darilyn Dodge, 34, and Janelle Warren, 23, were arrested April 20 on charges that they confined and abused two women for nine hours in an apartment in Riverton, the five were bound over to Fremont County District Court. 

Then on May 6, the younger of the two victims contacted police, saying that she had been approached by Crystal Spoonhunter, 35 – also known as Crystal Blackburn – while passing through Riverton City Park while walking home from a friend’s house. 

According the Riverton Circuit Court affidavit, the victim said that Spoonhunter, accompanied by a male, stopped her in the park and demanded that she write and give to police a written statement that Geraldine Blackburn had nothing to do with the pending kidnapping case. 

If she failed to do so, the victim continued, Spoonhunter said they would beat her up and her family as well. 

Spoonhunter appeared in Circuit Court on Friday, where Judge Wesley Roberts held her on a $25,000 bond. Charged with “influencing, intimidating, or impeding a witness,” which is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and $5,000 in fines, the defendant chose Tuesday to waive her preliminary hearing and has been bound over to Fremont County District Court. 

When she attended her preliminary hearing May 15, Geraldine Blackburn sat next to defense attorney Bailey Lazzari, who averred strongly on her client’s behalf that Blackburn was not fully conscious during the alleged kidnapping. 

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Lovell council tables ‘constitutional audit’

LOVELL (WNE) — After a presentation by members of the Big Horn County Republican Party, the Lovell Town Council voted to table endorsing a proposed resolution in support of a “constitutional audit” of federal government entities in Wyoming.

Scott Brown and Gary Welch made the presentation to the council at the council’s regular meeting on May 14, and while Brown said he was “not here to represent the Republican Party,” Welch is the newly elected chairman of the party in Big Horn County and did not share a similar disclaimer. 

Both asked the council’s endorsement of a resolution passed by the state GOP Central Committee on May 4 calling for the Wyoming Legislature to perform an audit of the federal government “in accordance with the U.S. Constitution.”

The resolution reads that the federal government’s powers are enumerated under the Constitution and, thus, limited, stating, “None of the states in the republic, especially Wyoming and the original thirteen, acquiesced to an unlimited general government” and that “new states were expected to enter the Union with equal powers, equal footing, and equal sovereignty.”

The resolution further states that many executive departments “are exercising roles, responsibilities and powers that have not been formally delegated to the general government by the states” under the Constitution including the departments of Interior, Justice, Agriculture, Commerce, Transportation, Education and several others.

During comments, Brown explained that the idea is for the state to identify areas where the federal government operates in the state without an Article V amendment to “wield power in that way.” 

He said he hopes other states will sign on to “dismantle agencies not authorized by the Constitution.”

The council voted to table the proposed resolution “for the time being” to have further discussion.

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Laramie refinery placed in remediation program

LARAMIE (WNE) — After decades sitting abandoned, the former Amoco Refinery Site in Laramie has officially been accepted into the state’s Voluntary Remediation Program through the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality.

Wanting public involvement — especially for the outcome of the remediation — the Laramie City Council voted unanimously to pass a resolution supporting the development of a public participation plan for the program during a special meeting Tuesday.

The former refinery was built in 1919 and processed oil and gas delivered from the Midwest until it was shut down in 1932. The company operating the refinery, Standard Oil of Indiana, became Amoco, which later merged with BP Products of North America in 1998. While no longer operating, the refinery’s past activities have impacted the soils, groundwater and surface water in the area, featuring contaminants like petroleum hydrocarbons, metals and asbestos.

The VRP involves cleaning the area to bring natural elements like soil and water up to DEQ standards for health and safety, as well as taking steps to prevent further contamination.

“The whole point of the public participation is to give the public a chance to be involved in what that remediation looks like,” said Assistant City Manager Todd Feezer during the special meeting. “That productive use is what they’re really looking for, to get it back into use by the community.”

In 2002, a remediation program was started at an Amoco refinery in Casper, according to the DEQ website. After public involvement, the new uses for the space include a kayak course on the North Platte River, property development and construction of wetlands and ponds near a golf course.

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