Worland News 7-23-18
Written by jordanmckamey on July 23, 2018
An audio version of this news can be found here.
In a report from the Billings Gazette, a Riverton High School wrestler is expected to plead guilty to two misdemeanors, a prosecutor said Friday.
The pleas will be entered in connection to a case in which authorities say he and at least one other wrestler held down teammates and anally penetrated the younger students with their fingers.
Hayden Wempen, 17, is facing two counts of unlawful contact in Natrona County Circuit Court. Although Wempen is a Riverton resident, the incident is alleged to have taken place in Natrona County during a team trip.
Peyton Rees, also 17 and of Riverton, is also charged in connection with the case. He had also been scheduled to enter pleas to two misdemeanors on Friday, but his arraignment was continued beforehand, according to court documents.
Allegations related to the case have also led to three wrestlers’ expulsion from school for one year. The Fremont County School District No. 25 school board voted to expel the students earlier this month following a 13-hour hearing in late June. The students will be eligible to return in January.
An extensive effort to capture and kill non-native lake trout in Yellowstone Lake is showing progress with fewer of the invasive fish being found.
Yellowstone National Park fisheries chief Todd Koel says so far this year about 155,000 lake trout have been caught, which is down 63,000 from this time last year.
Koel tells the Jackson Hole News & Guide that it’s a sign that the lake trout population is finally crashing.
The effort against the lake trout is the centerpiece of a long-term fight to help Yellowstone’s native cutthroat trout. Lake trout feed on cutthroats, causing the native fish population to decline.
Yellowstone’s netting program costs about $2 million a year.
The Yellowstone National Park superintendent who said he was being forced out by the Trump administration will leave his post in late September.
The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports the park announced Thursday that Dan Wenk, who has been superintendent since 2011, will retire from the National Park Service on September 29.
Wenk will be replaced by Cameron “Cam” Sholly, the current director of the park service’s Midwest Region.
Wenk decided to retire early after he was reassigned to become the regional director of the National Capital Region in Washington, D.C. He said the transfer followed disagreements with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke over the size of the park’s bison herds.
Wenk’s departure ends his 43-year career with the park service.