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Company plans oil wells near Yoder

TORRINGTON (WNE) – Goshen County Engineer Bob Taylor told the Goshen County Board of Commissioners at its regular meeting two weeks ago that he had been working with an outfit that plans to drill and operate two oil wells, both fracking operations, northeast of Yoder. Once everything is permitted, Taylor said work could begin this summer.

“We are going to have some oil well activity in Goshen County,” Taylor told the commission. “Right now, they’re planning on starting sometime in June or July. It will be down around the Yoder area.”

The new wells will be about a mile west of a site that was prepared for drilling by Chesapeake Energy Corp., but was never drilled. There have been fracking operations in the county before in the Veteran and Goshen Hole areas, but neither sparked a natural resource boom. Commission Chairman Wally Wolski said oil drilling in Goshen County has been sporadic, but he has seen some indication that business could pick up in the near future.

Broadband Advisory Council keeps focus on expansion

CHEYENNE (WNE) — The Wyoming Broadband Advisory Council decided to keep the scope of its mission focused on broadband expansion and declined to include issues like telehealth and educational opportunities in its broadband enhancement plan.

The state Legislature established the advisory council in 2018, and allocated $10 million for broadband improvement projects and outlining strategies to help maximize funding distribution.

The Broadband Enhancement Plan aims to guarantee all Wyoming communities have access to high-speed broadband internet by 2025.

There was no argument against the importance of increasing access to educational opportunities, medical care or the potential for mobile broadband. And while agreeing that finding new sources of grant funding to address those other issues should be on their radar, group members decided they should first achieve their main mission of expanding broadband access across the state before moving on to other topics.

“Just getting people connected is huge,” said Ashley Harpstreith, CEO and executive director of Goshen County Economic Development.

Competency review hearing held for murder suspect

LOVELL (WNE) — A trial involving a man who allegedly killed his ex-wife more than a year ago will move forward after a hearing on April 2.

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A competency review hearing was held in Big Horn County Fifth Judicial District Court to go over the evaluation that was performed on Donald Joe Crouse at the Wyoming State Hospital.

At his Dec. 18, 2018, arraignment, Crouse pleaded not guilty by reason of mental illness.

Due to the plea, Judge Bobbi Dean Overfield had ordered that an evaluation be done at the Wyoming State Hospital to determine whether he was competent to stand trial.

Crouse appeared in person with his attorney, Timothy Blatt, at the hearing on Tuesday. The victim’s family was also present in the courtroom.

Big Horn County Attorney Marcia Bean told Overfield that Crouse has been found competent to stand trial. She recommended proceeding to the trial that is tentatively set in June.

Bean informed the court that she would have a decision on whether her office will seek the death penalty within 30 days.

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