Cowboy State Daily Video News: Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Wednesday's headlines include: * Yellowstone Gunman Was Firing Semiautomatic Weapon * Spanish Biz To Develop Huge Wind Farm North of Cheyenne * Man Accused Of Stealing $14 Million From Dad’s House In Smoot

Wendy Corr

July 10, 202410 min read

Wendy thumbnail 7 10a
(Cowboy State Daily Staff)
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It’s time to take a look at what’s happening around Wyoming, for Wednesday, July 10. I’m Wendy Corr, bringing you headlines from the Cowboy State Daily newsroom - brought to you by Wyoming Senior Olympics - you can help support senior athletes in Wyoming TODAY by participating in the WyoGives day of giving!


The Yellowstone contract employee killed during a Fourth of July shootout with rangers had been firing a semiautomatic weapon toward a dining area when confronted by rangers.

That was the latest information released by the National Park Service on Tuesday afternoon, regarding the incident in which 28 year old Samson Fussner was killed by park rangers. Cowboy State Daily’s Clair McFarland has been following the story since it happened on Thursday. 

“One employee who spoke on condition of anonymity said all of this went down outside the employee dining room. I don't know whether that's what he was shooting toward, but that's where the scene unfolded… Yellowstone confirmed that it was a Xanterra employee, they confirmed the name. And they said that multiple National Park Service Rangers engaged in the shootout.”

The incident unfolded just after midnight Thursday, when Yellowstone’s 911 dispatch center received a report that a woman had been held against her will by a man with a gun in a residence in Canyon Village. She told rangers that Fussner had threatened to kill her and others, and had plans to carry out one or more mass shootings at Fourth of July events outside the park.

Read the full story HERE.


Spanish energy giant Repsol has plans to build a huge 500- to 600-megawatt wind farm northwest of Cheyenne.

Cowboy State Daily’s Pat Maio confirmed Tuesday that Repsol is the same company that bought the controversial Rail Tie wind project outside of Laramie in the spring.

“It's such an early stage, the application hasn't even been submitted to the department of environmental quality’s industrial siting Council, which would handle such a permit. Because it's a utility scale project, it means it's big, huge. And the turbines are going to be leased, it looks like, on True Ranch, which is a big ranching operation, in basically southeastern to Central Wyoming, up around Casper.”

The permit application for the project could be submitted with county and state regulators before the end of the year.

Read the full story HERE.


The brother of one of the 2015 Cheyenne Coin Shop murder victims finally got the news he’d been waiting nearly a decade to hear - that the Cheyenne Police Department had finally arrested a suspect in his brother’s death.   

Although the news came as an immense sense of relief for 84-year-old Paul Brockman, he told Cowboy State Daily’s Leo Wolfson that it was also an emotional moment.

“Obviously, his younger brother's death was an extreme shock when it took place in 2015. He certainly didn't see the murder of a man who was very well liked in the community, and seen as a very upbeat, outgoing kind of guy, he certainly didn't expect such a thing to happen. But when he found out that they had arrested the suspect in connection with the murder, late last month, Mr. Brockman said that tears were streaming down his face with the emotion that he was feeling.” 

Paul’s brother Dwight Brockman was 67 years old when he was murdered in a brazen mid-day robbery at The Coin Shop in downtown Cheyenne on July 29, 2015, that also killed 76-year-old George “Doc” Manley.

Read the full story HERE.


An Idaho woman who disappeared June 2nd while driving home from Buffalo, Wyoming, has been found dead in her car in a river in Grand Teton National Park. 

Details about what happened are still forthcoming from law enforcement, but Laura Lane’s older sister told Cowboy State Daily’s Jen Kocher that Lane’s red Dodge Dart was found in a river by a local fisherman Sunday, and that the Teton County Sheriff’s Office and other entities had been working to extract the vehicle over the past two days.

“I've been in constant contact with Laura Lane's daughter and her sister, Grace. And we've kind of been through, you know, sharing information that we got throughout this whole process… So they're still processing, obviously, but just a heartbreak. Just a very kind family. And it's not the way you want these things to end. But as the daughter said, you know, she was able to get closure, at least she got an answer, because they were just so worried for six weeks.” 

The 54-year-old Nampa resident had been missing for more than a month. The last anyone knew, she had stopped for gas in Moran Junction, and that was when her digital trail disappeared.

Read the full story HERE.


A Las Vegas man is accused of stealing about $14 million in gold and silver from his father’s home in Smoot, Wyoming, a tiny town in Lincoln County.

But Cowboy State Daily’s Clair McFarland reports that 60 year old Michael Reps maintains he didn’t steal it, he was merely protecting the gold from others who were trying to take advantage of his elderly father.  

“There's family tension. So Reps has several siblings, and then two step siblings. And he was reportedly upset that one of his brothers was to be the executor of his dad's will. And he had alleged that his dad's wife, who is his stepmother, was exploiting him or taking advantage of him in some way. So he told investigators, look, I didn't take this money out of greed, or I guess this gold and silver out of greed, but to protect my family and address my other siblings' needs.”

The homeowner, Reps’ father, said he had between $14 and $18 million in gold coins and at least one gold bar stolen from the home and was missing about $200,000 in cash.

Read the full story HERE.


A Rock Springs man has been arrested after barricading himself in his home with a hostage and three kids allegedly locked in a vehicle.

49-year-old Cody Birdwell willingly surrendered to authorities after a hostage negotiation team convinced him to let his hostage go, according to crime and courts reporter Clair McFarland.

“It's a little unique because it sounds like the the hostage was taken hostage in the home. And the children were locked in a vehicle in the parking lot… And so the police when they arrived, immediately addressed the children, got them to safety, got them out of the car, and then turned to negotiating to get him to release the hostage and then actually surrender willingly to be arrested.”

Birdwell is charged with one count of aggravated assault, another of kidnapping and two charges of domestic battery.

Read the full story HERE.


Libertarian conservative political advocacy group Americans For Prosperity has emerged as a major player in the state’s political scene this election cycle, campaigning around Wyoming and endorsing more than a dozen candidates in legislative races.

The choice of those candidates has drawn some attention from supporters and detractors, according to politics reporter Leo Wolfson.

“There are basically a conservative leaning libertarian group, who's very supportive of school choice, expanding school choice happens, options, and reducing federal government regulation...what's drawn a lot of controversy about the group more than anything is the candidates that they're supporting and endorsing of their campaigns. Most of them are candidates who are running against Freedom Caucus type candidates.” 

Wolfson reports the group has endorsed around 17 candidates so far, and about 20 volunteers are actively door knocking for the group around the state. 

Read the full story HERE.


Two Gillette brothers pleaded not guilty to domestic assault and other charges Monday - stemming from separate but related fights Sunday night.

Clayton Salyer was arrested for allegedly assaulting his fiancee - and his younger brother Zachary was arrested for allegedly hitting his wife after she woke him up to tell him his brother had been arrested. That’s according to Cowboy State Daily’s Jen Kocher.

“The younger brother was in a domestic incident with his fiancee early in the night. And he actually ran from the scene and was picked up by a friend. And so after the police pulled him over and arrested the younger brother, the friend went to tell the older brother that his younger brother had been arrested. And he didn't take to being woken up. And it sounds like there was a lot of alcohol involved. So when he got up, he was throwing punches.” 

Both brothers have been released from the Campbell County Detention Center pending future court proceedings.

Read the full story HERE.


Both U.S. Sen. John Barrasso and U.S. Rep. Harriet Hageman have informed Wyoming PBS they will not participate in the station’s traditional televised Republican primary debates.

That means that for the first time in decades, the state’s public television station won’t have congressional primary debates. Cowboy State Daily’s Leo Wolfson reports.

“Wyoming PBS has traditionally hosted these debates, at least the last few election seasons, something I think a lot of people have come to expect and look forward to and basically it's not going to be able to occur… Hageman only has one opponent for the primary, but Barrasso has two. I wasn't able to get a clear answer for the organization why they won't just host it with the two challengers.”

Longtime former Wyoming Public Radio host Bob Beck, who first started reporting in Wyoming in 1983, said he couldn’t recall an election year where a formal debate among statewide candidates wasn’t held.

Read the full story HERE.


And check your WyoLotto tickets, because someone who bought one at AJ’s Discount Liquor in Afton on Monday is nearly $1.5 million richer.

And Cowboy State Daily’s Renee Jean reports that it’s the second winning Cowboy Draw ticket the business has sold since May of last year.

“The first winning lottery ticket, though, was only about $350,000. This lottery ticket is worth $1.418 million. Of course, Uncle Sam is going to take his share off the top, 24%. So that's going to make it more like $1.077 million, but still an instant millionaire has been born somewhere in the Afton area. Everyone needs to check their tickets to make sure it wasn't them.” 

The jackpot-winning numbers are 6, 15, 25, 33 and 44.

Read the full story HERE.

And that’s today’s news. Get your free digital subscription to Wyoming's only statewide newspaper by hitting the Daily Newsletter button on Cowboy State Daily Dot Com - and you can watch this newscast every day by clicking Subscribe on our YouTube channel. 

I’m Wendy Corr, for Cowboy State Daily.

Radio Stations

The following radio stations are airing Cowboy State Daily Radio on weekday mornings, afternoons and evenings. More radio stations will be added soon.

KYDT 103.1 FM – Sundance

KBFS 1450 AM — Sundance

KYCN 1340 AM / 92.7 FM — Wheatland

KZEW 101.7 FM — Wheatland

KANT 104.1 FM — Guernsey

KZQL 105.5 FM — Casper

KMXW 92.5 FM — Casper

KBDY 102.1 FM — Saratoga

KTGA 99.3 FM — Saratoga

KJAX 93.5 FM — Jackson

KZWY 106.3 FM — Sheridan

KROE 930 AM / 103.9 FM — Sheridan

KWYO 1410 AM / 106.9 FM  — Sheridan

KYOY 92.3 FM Hillsdale-Cheyenne / 106.9 FM Cheyenne

KRAE 1480 AM — Cheyenne 

KDLY 97.5 FM — Lander

KOVE 1330 AM — Lander

KZMQ 100.3/102.3 FM — Cody, Powell, Medicine Wheel, Greybull, Basin, Meeteetse

KKLX 96.1 FM — Worland, Thermopolis, Ten Sleep, Greybull

KCGL 104.1 FM — Cody, Powell, Basin, Lovell, Clark, Red Lodge, MT

KTAG 97.9 FM — Cody, Powell, Basin

KCWB 92.1 FM — Cody, Powell, Basin

KVGL 105.7 FM — Worland, Thermopolis, Basin, Ten Sleep

KODI 1400 AM / 96.7 FM — Cody, Powell, Lovell, Basin, Clark, Red Lodge

KWOR 1340 AM / 104.7 FM — Worland, Thermopolis, Ten Sleep

KREO 93.5 FM — Sweetwater and Sublette Counties

KGOS 1490 AM — Goshen County

KERM 98.3 FM — Goshen County

Check with individual radio stations for airtime of the newscasts.

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Wendy Corr

Broadcast Media Director