TOM SOLBERG, THE NEW CHIEF OF THE CASPER FIRE-EMS DEPARTMENT MADE HIS FORMAL INTRODUCTION AT A NEWS CONFERENCE AT CITY HALL ON FRIDAY.
HE HAD WORKED IN PLEASANT HILL, IOWA, FOR FOUR YEARS BEFORE COMING TO CASPER.

HE STARTS APRIL 30TH.

SOLBERG STARTED AS A PARAMEDIC FIREFIGHTER AT AGE 19 AT LEE SUMMIT, MO., AND WORKED HIS WAY UP THROUGH THE RANKS AND WAS CHIEF THERE FOR NINE YEARS WHEN HE TOOK AN EARLY RETIREMENT AFTER 30 YEARS.

HE RE-ENTERED HIS CAREER IN THE PHOENIX AREA FOR THREE YEARS, TAUGHT FIRE TRAINING AT MONTANA STATE UNIVERSITY, AND WENT TO PLEASANT HILL TO CARE FOR HIS AILING FATHER.

FRIDAY, CITY MANAGER CARTER NAPIER COMPLIMENTED THE CASPER FIRE-EMS DEPARTMENT FOR WEATHERING A ROUGH TIME AFTER FORMER CHIEF KENNETH KING RETIRED EARLY.'

EMAILS OBTAINED BY A WYOMING NEWSPAPER LAST FALL REVEALED KING USED HIS CITY EMAIL ACCOUNT TO SEND SUGGESTIVE MESSAGES TO WOMEN AND MAKE SEXUAL COMMENTS ABOUT WOMEN'S APPEARANCES TO OTHER FIRE PERSONNEL.

THE CITY LAUNCHED A NATIONWIDE SEARCH, RECEIVED 28 APPLICATIONS, WINNOWED THAT TO THREE FINALISTS, AND CHOSE SOLBERG.
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CASPER BUSINESSMAN TONY CERCY HAS FILED A PETITION ASKING THE WYOMING SUPREME COURT TO EITHER ACQUIT HIM, OR LIMIT EVIDENCE AT A RETRIAL OF A CHARGE OF THIRD-DEGREE SEXUAL ASSAULT.

CERCY WAS ACQUITTED AT THE END OF A TRIAL IN NATRONA COUNTY DISTRICT COURT IN FEBRUARY OF CHARGES OF FIRST- AND SECOND-DEGREE SEXUAL ASSAULT OF A THEN 20-YEAR-OLD WOMAN AT ALCOVA LAKE LAST JUNE.

HOWEVER, THE JURY COULD NOT REACH A VERDICT IN THE CHARGE OF THIRD-DEGREE SEXUAL ASSAULT, SO DISTRICT COURT JUDGE DANIEL FORGEY DECLARED A MISTRIAL.

LAST MONTH, NATRONA COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY MIKE BLONIGEN SAID HE INTENDED TO RETRY CERCY ON THAT COUNT.

CERCY RESPONDED, ASKING FORGEY EITHER TO ACQUIT HIM ON THE THIRD-DEGREE SEXUAL ASSAULT, OR IF THE CASE WOULD BE RETRIED, TO LIMIT THE JURY TO CONSIDER ONLY LIMITED EVIDENCE.

FORGEY DENIED THE REQUEST.

CERCY THEN FILED A PETITION WITH THE WYOMING SUPREME COURT AGAIN ASKING FOR AN ACQUITTAL OR TO LIMIT ISSUES AT RETRIAL.

CERCY, THROUGH HIS ATTORNEY TIM NEWCOMB OF LARAMIE, SAID THE JURY REJECTED THE ALLEGED VICTIM'S CLAIMS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT BY ORAL SEX WHEN IT ACQUITTED CERCY OF FIRST- AND SECOND-DEGREE SEXUAL ASSAULT.

FOR THIS AND OTHER REASONS, A RETRIAL WILL RESULT IN AN ACQUITTAL.

THE STATE IS THE DEFENDANT IN THE CASE.

WYOMING ATTORNEY GENERAL PETER MICHAEL DECLINED TO COMMENT AND HAS UNTIL APRIL 16 TO RESPOND TO CERCY'S PETITION.
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THE STATE OF WYOMING IS SENDING 60 OF ITS STATE PENITENTIARY INMATES TO A PRISON IN ANOTHER STATE BECAUSE OF OVERCROWDING AND OTHER CONCERNS.

STATE CORRECTIONS DEPARTMENT DIRECTOR BOB LAMPERT SAYS IN A STATEMENT THAT THE PENITENTIARY IN RAWLINS NEEDS SPACE TO ABSORB NEW INMATES COMING INTO THE SYSTEM.

IN ADDITION, LAMPERT SAYS THE PRISON NEEDS FLEXIBILITY IN CASE REPAIRS OF ONGOING STRUCTURAL PROBLEMS AT THE FACILITY REQUIRE CLOSING A HOUSING UNIT.

THE CORRECTIONS DEPARTMENT HAS CONTRACTS WITH WYOMING COUNTY JAILS TO HOUSE LOW-CUSTODY INMATES SHOULD THE NEED ARISE. HOWEVER, LAMPERT SAYS THE 60 INMATES BEING TRANSFERRED ARE LONG-TERM, HIGH-CUSTODY INMATES WHO AREN'T SUITABLE FOR TEMPORARY HOUSING IN COUNTY JAILS.

LAMPERT DECLINED TO IDENTIFY THE PRISON THE INMATES ARE BEING TRANSFERRED TO, CITING SECURITY CONCERNS UNTIL THE MOVE IS COMPLETE.

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THE UNIVERSITY OF WYOMING ENROLLED MORE THAN 1,000 NEW TRANSFER STUDENTS - MANY COMING FROM ONE OF THE STATE'S SEVEN COMMUNITY COLLEGES - FOR THE FALL 2017 SEMESTER.
THAT'S A 12.3 PERCENT INCREASE FROM THE FALL OF 2016 AND COMES AT A TIME WHEN THE UNIVERSITY IS WORKING TO BOOST ITS ENROLLMENT.

UW OFFICIALS SAY IT WON'T BE LONG BEFORE TRANSFERS MAKE UP HALF OR MORE OF THE INCOMING STUDENTS.

THE LARAMIE BOOMERANG REPORTS THAT THE UNIVERSITY HAS ESTABLISHED A TRANSFER SUCCESS CENTER TO GUIDE TRANSFER STUDENTS AND MAKE THEIR TRANSITION FROM COMMUNITY COLLEGE TO THE UNIVERSITY SMOOTHER.

IN ADDITION, A NEW STATE LAW SETS DEADLINES FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF A COMMON TRANSCRIPT AND COURSE NUMBERING SYSTEM BETWEEN THE STATE'S PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION.

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