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Woman Who Allegedly Murdered Brother In Oklahoma Texted Victim Before Death

in News/Crime

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

A woman arrested in Sweetwater County in connection with an Oklahoma murder sent multiple texts to the murder victim before his death, investigators have announced.

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation on Friday released more details from its investigation into the murder of 56-year-old Michael “Andy” McGuffee in Blanchard, Oklahoma earlier this month.

Debbie Senft, 47, and Zachary Mussett, 26, both of Texarkana, Texas, are currently in custody at the Sweetwater County Detention Center and are awaiting extradition to Oklahoma to face charges related to the murder.

An affidavit filed in support of charges said a family member went to McGuffee’s home after he did not show up for work on Oct. 15. The front door of his residence was “scorched,” according to the Chickasha, Oklahoma News-Express.

The family member found McGuffee’s body wrapped in a blanket and investigators found he had multiple stab wounds to his chest and neck.

An OSBI agent reported it was likely McGuffee was killed in the living room and moved to his bedroom. It was reported it would have taken two people to move his body. 

The inside of McGuffee’s residence had been burned and OSBI found that multiple types of accelerant had been used to set the fire.

OSBI obtained a search warrant for McGuffee’s cell phone and found multiple texts exchanged between McGuffee and Senft, the victim’s half-sister.

“You have always been one of the two most important people in the world to me and I love you so much,” one message Senft sent to her half-brother said. “I would really like to be able to see you and spend some time with you.”

Several items had also been stolen from the home, including multiple guns and the man’s pickup truck, the affidavit said. 

Last week, agents discovered that items stolen from McGuffee were pawned in Salina, Kansas.

A few days later, agents recovered the pickup truck at a car wash in Oklahoma City.

The investigation then led agents to Wyoming.

Senft and Mussett were located 15 miles east of Rock Springs on Interstate 80 last week. The Wyoming Highway Patrol pulled over the moving truck Senft and Mussett were driving and agents with Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation took the pair into custody.

In an interview with OSBI, Mussett allegedly said he had gone to McGuffee’s house with his mother. The three talked, ate and watched movies.

Mussett told the OSBI agent that at one point, things became “fuzzy” and that he remembered leaving the residence in the car he and his mother had driven to McGuffee’s house.

He also said his mother may have left in McGuffee’s pickup, according to the affidavit.

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Rylee McCollum To Posthumously Receive Congressional Gold Medal

in News/Good news

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Marine Lance Cpl. Rylee McCollum and 12 other servicemen killed in Afghanistan in August will posthumously receive the Congressional Gold Medal, U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney announced Monday.

McCollum, a Jackson native, was one of 13 soldiers killed in Afghanistan last month as the U.S. military pulled out of the country after 20 years of fighting.

“On August 26, 2021, Rylee McCollum and 12 other servicemembers made the ultimate sacrifice while defending our nation,” Cheney wrote on social media Monday. “Today, the House voted to posthumously honor these fallen American heroes with the Congressional Gold Medal. Their bravery will never be forgotten.”

The Congressional Gold Medal is Congress’ highest expression of national appreciation for distinguished achievements and contributions by people or institutions. Congress has been awarding gold medals since the Revolutionary War, and President George Washington was among its first recipients.

More than 170 people, institutions and events have received the medal, including the Tuskegee Airmen of World War II, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his wife Coretta Scott King and late President Ronald Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan, just to name a few.

The most recent awardees included the U.S. Capitol police officers who kept legislators safe during the January attack on the building.

Usually, the awardee’s likeness is engraved onto the medal.

McCollum’s heroism has been lauded since his death, with people all over the nation donating to the care and education of his recently born daughter, Levi Rylee Rose. More than $1 million was raised for the McCollum family.

McCollum’s funeral was held over the weekend, more than a month after his body had been brought back to Wyoming.

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Explainer: How Wyoming’s Three-Day Special Session Will Work

in News/Legislature

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By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily

A three-day special legislative session to consider possible state responses to a proposed federal coronavirus vaccine mandate will begin Tuesday with what legislative leaders hope will be an accelerated schedule.

Before lawmakers can review any legislation, however, they must approve the special rules proposed to govern the session. And while some have said a failure to adopt the rules could mean the end of the session, Senate President Dan Dockstader, R-Afton said other options could be available to lawmakers.

“There may be a fallback,” he told Cowboy State Daily on Monday.

The special session has been called to develop Wyoming’s response to President Joe Biden’s proposed coronavirus vaccine mandate for federal employees, health care workers and employees at companies with more than 100 workers.

The rules that would put the mandate in place have not yet been issued by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration.

Legislators have already filed 20 bills for consideration during the special session that would take steps such as prohibiting employers from discriminating against those who do not get vaccines or creating exemptions to the federal mandate.

But before lawmakers consider any of those bills, they must approve special rules for the session designed to speed up the process.

Usually, after a bill is introduced in one chamber, it is sent to a committee for review and then returned to the floor for amendments in three separate readings over three days. If approved, it moves to the second chamber, where the process begins again.

Under the rules proposed for this week’s session, identical versions of the bills are to be reviewed at the same time by House and Senate committees on the first day of the session.

On the second day, each chamber will review the bills three more times. If approved in the separate chambers, differences in proposed amendments to the bills will be ironed out by joint conference committees made up of members of each chamber. Those committees are scheduled to meet on the third day of the session, Thursday.

Finished legislation is to be sent to Gov. Mark Gordon for his signature on Thursday.

The special rules, which must be approved in the first day of the session, have generated opposition among some legislators who say the rules will make the legislative process less transparent and will prevent the public from having sufficient say in the bills being considered.

The Wyoming Republican Party, in an email to its members Monday, said if the rules are not approved by two-thirds of the legislators, they could then vote to adjourn the session.

Dockstader said leaders hope the rules are adopted because they have been designed to address the specific needs of this special session.

“We don’t want a situation where we venture into something not charted and these rules are designed specifically for this session,” he said. “This is all very unique.”

If legislators do reject the rules, leaders could call for a vote on adjournment or regroup to develop another plan, he added.

“We’ll recess, discuss our options and come back,” he said.

The recess probably would not last long enough for legislators in Cheyenne to return to their homes, Dockstader said.

“We’re trying to avoid that,” he said. “We’re trying to get some work done.”

Legislators could also consider suspending their normal rules to allow the multiple reviews of bills in one day, said Matt Obrecht, director of the Legislative Service Office.

“The real need for the special rules is to allow the mirror bill process,” he said. “Everything else could be accomplished by suspending rules.”

If the “mirror” bill process was not allowed, that would mean bills would move from one chamber to the other, perhaps adding another day to the session, Obrecht said.

“We’ve got a three-day session planned,” he said. “If we went with a suspension of existing rules, I think the shortest amount of time they could do it in is four days.”

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Fremont County Sen. Cale Case Urges Colleagues Not To Have Special Session

in News/politics

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Longtime Sen. Cale Case, R-Lander, sent out a document over the weekend to his fellow legislators explaining why he believes the Legislature’s upcoming special session is a bad idea.

Case sent his colleagues a “white paper,” an informational document detailing the philosophy and guidance of a complex issue. The document was initially written by Equality State Policy Center executive director Chris Merrill in December, but he and Case revised it to apply to the session.

In the paper, Case explains why he believes it is a bad idea for the House and Senate to consider the same bills at the same time in a “mirror” arrangement. Usually, a bill is reviewed by one chamber and, if approved, sent to the other for review.

“We have two houses for a reason,” Case wrote. “Mirror bills and expedited scheduling defeats bicameralism at least in part because the reviews are not independent as they are both at the same time or in the same ‘passion.'”

The Legislature is to begin a three-day special session on Tuesday to formulate the state’s response to President Joe Biden’s mandate that federal workers, health care employees and employees at companies employing more than 100 people receive the coronavirus vaccine or be tested regularly for the illness.

The Biden administration has not yet issued the rules that will be required to put the mandate into effect.

In his email to his fellow legislators on Saturday, Cale noted that he has served as the Senate chairman of the Select Committee on Legislative Process for a number of years and in that role, he and the committee have worked hard to improve transparency and public access to the legislative process.

“The rules proposed for the Special Session are a step backward,” Case wrote in the email. “I encourage you to vote no on the proposed rules and conduct all our work with maximum transparency and opportunity for public education and participation.”

Should a majority of the legislators vote “no” on the proposed rules, the special session will be adjourned on Tuesday or lawmakers will have to abide by the rules for a regular legislative session.

Thirty-five Wyoming representatives and 17 senators voted in favor of holding a special session, while 12 representatives and seven senators voted against holding one. Case was one of the senators who voted against the session.

In the document, Case and Merill detail how the traditional legislative process upholds the spirit and intent of the Wyoming Constitution and fulfills the vision of the Founding Fathers.

“The ‘mirror bill’ process—even in the best of circumstances and with the best of intentions—does not,” Case and Merill wrote. “It is a deeply flawed, inferior approach to lawmaking that undermines the wisdom and intent of a bicameral legislature. It compresses the timeline for deliberations, eliminates the one-chamber-at-a-time principle, eliminates the key ‘crossover’ moment (which allows for a fresh infusion of public input and new information), and severely limits—even eliminates at key points—public input and involvement.”

Case told Cowboy State Daily last week that he felt the special session was a bad idea.

“I don’t agree with the federal mandates on employers and I want to be clear about that,” Case said. “But I don’t see a legislative path to fix that.”

An op-ed published Monday and penned by various non-partisan officials from across the state also objected to the session.

“This is not about whether or not you support mandates,” the opinion piece said. “Regardless of your position on vaccinations or masks, fast-tracking legislation undermines the deliberative process that is the hallmark of good lawmaking.”

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CDC: Wyoming Has Highest COVID Death Rate In Nation

in News/Coronavirus

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Wyoming now has the highest rate of COVID deaths in the United States, according to a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Wyoming had 11.9 deaths per 100,000 people in the last seven days, overtaking Montana (whose rate is 11.1 per 100,000 people) to have the highest death rate in the nation.

The state saw 69 COVID-related deaths in the last week, totaling 1,149 total COVID deaths seen in the state since the beginning of the pandemic.

Montana actually saw 119 deaths in the last seven days, but population density factors into Wyoming having the highest rate.

Alaska, Montana and Wyoming are respectively the three states with the highest COVID-19 transmission rates per capita. Wyoming reported 3,037 COVID-19 cases in the past seven days, amounting to 524.7 cases per 100,000 people, according to the CDC.

Florida, California and Connecticut all had some of the lowest death rates in the nation, while Florida and California were also charting low on the list for active COVID case rates.

California currently requires anyone who is not fully vaccinated to wear masks while inside public settings, whereas Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon has repeatedly stated he will not issue any type of mask or vaccine mandate.

Wyoming saw a new peak of COVID-related hospitalizations last week, with 248 people hospitalized across the state due to the virus, according to the Wyoming hospitalization tracker.

Sixty-seven of those patients were at the Wyoming Medical Center in Casper, while Cheyenne Regional Medical Center had the second-highest number of patients with 34 as of Friday. The Wyoming Medical Center also did not have any available intensive care unit beds as of Friday.

SageWest Health Care in Lander, Memorial Hospital of Carbon County in Rawlins, Cody Regional Health and Campbell County Memorial Hospital in Gillette also had no available ICU beds.

Wyoming’s Legislature will convene this week for a special session to discuss President Joe Biden’s proposed vaccine mandates for companies with more than 100 employees.

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Housing Market Remains Hot In The Big Horn Basin

in Wyoming real estate/News

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By Kevin Killough, Powell Tribune

Starting around the spring of 2020, the Big Horn Basin housing market began heating up. The sudden uptick in housing sales at a time COVID was creating a lot of economic uncertainty was a welcome sight. 

Flash forward to today and realtors report that, while sales are cooling ever-so-slightly, they remain busy. 

Travis Swenson, broker/owner of Metzler & Moore Realty, said it’s normal for the market to slow down this time of year. 

“My prediction is that this spring it will light back up like a wildfire again,” Swenson said. 

Swenson has nearly 20 years in the area’s real estate market, and said he’s never seen it like this. Typically, the Big Horn Basin has a very stable market because people who live here want to stay here. Things have changed in the past couple of years as a result of people moving to the area.  

“It’s not the frenzy it was like it was in the spring and before,” said Eric Paul, broker/owner of Heart Mountain Realty, “but there’s still a lot of people coming in.”

Besides the usual relocators from northern Colorado and California, Paul is seeing more interest from Washington and Oregon — even some from the eastern United States. 

Holly Griffin, broker/owner of The Real Estate Connection, is continuing to see buyers from outside Wyoming.

Griffin is seeing some difference from several months ago. Any house for sale $250,000 and under is gone in a flash, Griffin said, but buyers looking at houses $500,000 and up are seeing a bit more competition. Last year, the houses in that range would sell sight-unseen, but now buyers are giving the options some more scrutiny. Still, the properties are selling. 

“The market still keeps going. It’s not coming to a stand-still at all,” Griffin said. 

Swenson said he doesn’t see a lot of difference in sales along various price ranges. From $250,000 homes, which is pretty much the bottom of the market, up to $900,000, it all is selling pretty well.

Attractive area

Most of the people moving from other states are either retirees or people with families who have sold their first homes. Paul said it’s these second-tier buyers who have a lot of pent-up demand. 

“There’s just not much out there for them right now,” Paul said.

First-time home buyers are not finding much on the market, either. They might get prequalified for a $175,000 home, but there’s not much in that price range. In the first week of October, the cheapest home in Powell was a $130,000 two-story townhome. The cheapest single-family home was $189,000.

John Parsons, co-owner of 307 Real Estate, said the market has slowed “just a tick” but people from other states are still showing interest in living in Wyoming. 

307 Real Estate has offices in Buffalo, Sheridan, Cody, and Powell and “this whole corridor is extremely attractive to these out-of-town buyers,” Parsons said. “They’re looking for a quality of life.”

Cody Regional Health

Griffin said many of the out-of-state buyers are working remotely, so they have a lot of flexibility with where they live, as long as they have good internet. As such, the lack of inventory and high prices in Cody are pushing more interest into Powell; buyers who don’t find what they want here may look in Lovell and Greybull. 

 New building

New houses, unfortunately, are not helping to meet the demand. Griffin said almost all new construction is custom homes, with little spec housing being constructed. She said that’s partly due to the high cost of creating subdivisions, as well as material costs. It’s a hard time to keep costs down.

“Those homes are definitely needed, but I don’t know where they’d go,” Griffin said. 

Likewise, contractors are sometimes booked out for two years, leaving them little time to build on spec, even if they are so inclined. 

Parsons said there are a handful of spec houses being built, but they’re off the market before they’re finished. 

“If they [home builders] do start a spec home, by the time they get the foundation in the ground, it’s sold,” Parsons said. 

Griffin said residents who don’t plan to sell and move out of the area are stuck in the homes they’re living in, so many are hiring contractors for home improvement projects. 

Swenson said one thing that keeps the market rolling is that not everyone who moves to Wyoming stays in Wyoming. This opens up a few options here and there for buyers. 

“People love the glamor of summertime Wyoming, but they don’t like the nastiness of wintertime Wyoming. So we help them move in and then a couple years later, we help them move out,” Swenson said. 

Ultimately, the Big Horn Basin remains a sellers’ market, and realtors don’t see this ending any time soon. 

“Inventory grows and the demand wanes a little bit, but it’s still very much a sellers’ market,” Paul said. 

He added there’s about a month’s worth of inventory on the market, and it takes at least a few months’ worth to have a really stable market. 

All in all, Paul said the slight cooling of the market is a good outcome — if it’s the result of more buyers finding homes and leaving more inventory on the market. If demand is falling because of rising interest rates or other pressures on the market, then it’s a problem. 

“Less demand is never a good thing for the market,” Paul said. 

For the foreseeable future, things look good for the area’s housing market — at least if you’re selling. Swenson said he thinks it will remain fast and busy for some time to come. 

“All in all, I’m very optimistic about the real estate market,” he said. “I started when it was in a lull, so I know what it’s like when it’s slow. So, this is pretty nice.”

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New Lane Frost Documentary Announced; Film To Be Released This Winter

in News/cheyenne frontier days

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

A documentary about the life of late bull-rider Lane Frost is in the works and a trailer for the film was recently released.

“Our team is humbled to present to you the first official trailer and title of the Lane Frost documentary,” said the documentary’s producers, listed on IMDB as Out of Order Studios and Tough Draw. “Combining the details of his life, the legend he became, and the legacy he left behind brought us a heartwarming story of the impact Lane had on the sport of bull riding, the rodeo community, and fans around the world.”

“Lane: Life, Legend, Legacy” will be released sometime soon, although neither the trailer nor video description give a release date.

The documentary features interviews with some of Frost’s closest friends, including bull-rider Tuff Hedeman and Frost’s widow, Kellie Macy.

Frost was killed in 1989 during the Cheyenne Frontier Days rodeo after he was injured by the bull he had just finished riding, Takin’ Care of Business. He was 25.

Hedeman was at the rodeo when Frost died, and he discusses the horrific event in the trailer.

“Lane’s a world champion,” Hedeman said in the trailer. “You don’t expect a world champion to die in one of the biggest, most prestigious rodeos in the world.”

Frost’s mother Elsie said in the trailer that her son did more in his 25 years than many people do in their entire lifetimes.

“He had a full life, he did exactly what he wanted to do,” she said.

Country singer Cody Johnson is also interviewed in the film, discussing Frost’s influence on his life and why it is important to continue telling his story.

The final moments of the trailer show an interview with Dr. Skip Ross, a Cheyenne physician who was the arena doctor at the rodeo when Frost was killed.

Despite Frost’s young age when he died, he has been memorialized in various media over the last 30 years. The film “8 Seconds” was based on his life and starred the late Luke Perry as Frost. Garth Brooks paid tribute to him in the 1990 song “The Dance.”

Frost has a commemorative statue at Cheyenne Frontier Days, as well.

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Game & Fish Investigating Four Pronghorns Poached North of Gillette

in Wyoming Game and Fish/News

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By Ryan Lewallen, County 17

An investigation into four pronghorn that were recently shot and left in the Weston Hills Recreation Area north of Gillette is underway, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department said.

On Oct. 20, North Gillette Game Warden Becca Lutz responded to a report of two pronghorn does that were allegedly shot and left within 40 yards of each other on a section of Wyoming state land west of North Highway 59 mile marker 143, per WGFD.

A third pronghorn doe was found approximately 200 yards away from the others following an additional search of the immediate area.

While on the way to the scene, WGFD says, Lutz was approached by another hunter who reported finding a fourth pronghorn, a buck, that had been shot and left approximately 1 mile south of the doe carcasses.

No edible portions were removed from three of the animals, though the fourth may have had a small portion of meat removed, per WGFD, which adds that scavenging on the carcass made it difficult to say for sure.

Lutz estimates, based on the condition of the carcasses, that the animals were shot on or around the weekend of Oct. 15-16.

“Over that weekend, large herds of antelope could be seen in the Weston Hills Recreation Area off Highway 59,” Lutz said in a statement. “There were many hunters accessing the area that weekend and it is possible someone saw something that may help provide answers in these cases.”

The WGFD urges anyone with information regarding this incident to contact the department using the STOP POACHING hotline at 1-877-943-3847 or by submitting information online at the WGFD website.

Residents may also text information by texting the keyword WGFD and message to 847-411.

Anyone who reports a tip can remain anonymous and any information leading to a conviction can be eligible for a monetary reward of up to $5,000 from the Wyoming Wildlife Protector’s Association.

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Wyoming Loses to New Mexico 14-3 on Homecoming

in News/wyoming cowboys football

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By Tim Harkins, University of Wyoming

The  Wyoming Cowboys were unable to overcome a 14-3 halftime deficit and fell to the New Mexico Lobos on Saturday by that same score as neither team scored points in the second half.  Wyoming is now 4-3 on the season and 0-3 in the Mountain West Conference.  New Mexico improved to 3-5 overall and 1-3 in the conference.

For the second consecutive week, the Cowboy defense held the opposing offense in check for the majority of the game, giving up only 14 points and 259 total yards to New Mexico.  The week prior, UW’s defense held Fresno State to only 17 points — 22 under its scoring average — and 259 yards of total offense — half of its average of 519.8

Also for the second straight week, Wyoming’s offense generated similar total yards to its opponent — 255 total yards for Wyoming to 259 for New Mexico.  The previous week, the Cowboys out-gained Fresno State 271 to 259. 

But for the fourth straight week Wyoming lost the turnover battle as UW threw one interception and lost a fumble to the Lobos.  New Mexico didn’t commit any turnovers on the day.

An interception by the New Mexico defense in the first quarter turned into a 77-yard touchdown drive by Lobos.  The Cowboys also fumbled on their first possession of the fourth quarter, but Wyoming’s defense forced a field-goal attempt that was unsuccessful by New Mexico.

After winning the toss and deferring to the second half, Wyoming’s defense held New Mexico to 16 yards on five plays on the Lobos’ first drive of the day. 

Wyoming’s first possession began at its own 14-yard line.  The Cowboys led by quarterback Sean Chambers moved the ball 45 yards in 11 plays to the New Mexico 41-yard line.  On a third and nine at the 41, Chambers tried to find wide receiver Ayden Eberhardt down the right sideline at the UNM 19-yard line, but Lobo cornerback Corey Hightower intercepted the pass and returned it to the UNM 23.

The Lobos would move the ball to the UNM 48-yard line where they would face a fourth and one.  Running back Aaron Dumas would gain two yards on the play, giving UNM a first down at the 50.  Four plays later at the Wyoming 43-yard line, New Mexico would once again face a fourth down and three yards.  Lobo quarterback Isaiah Chavez would find tight end Trace Bruckler down the left hash for a 43-yard touchdown pass to give New Mexico a 7-0 lead with 1:22 remaining in the first quarter.

The Cowboys and Lobos would exchange punts on their next two possessions.  On Wyoming’s third possession of the game, Cowboy quarterback Levi Williams would be inserted into the lineup.  Running back Xazavian Valladay would gain 20 rushing yards on the drive and Williams would complete two of three passes, including a 38-yarder to wide receiver Isaiah Neyor.  The Cowboys drive would stall at the New Mexico 10-yard line and place-kicker John Hoyland came in to make a 27-yard field goal, to cut the UNM lead to 7-3 with 4:30 remaining in the half.  Hoyland’s field goal improved his season total to 5 of 7 and his career total to 18 of 21 field goals made.

The Lobos would respond on their next possession, driving 75 yards in eight plays, taking 4:01 off the clock.  The big plays on the drive were a 34-yard pass from Chavez to tight end Kyle Jarvis and a 12-yard  pass from Chavez to Jarvis.  On the 12-yard completion, Wyoming defensive end Victor Jones was called for roughing the passer and targeting.  Jones was ejected from the remainder of the game and the ball was placed at the Wyoming four-yard line.  The Cowboys were called for offside on the next play, moving the ball to the two-yard line.  Running back Aaron Dumas would carry the ball into the end zone from the two and following the extra point, New Mexico led 14-3 with only 29 seconds remaining in the half.  After the kickoff, Wyoming took a knee to end the half.

With a little more than five minutes to go in the third quarter, the Wyoming defense came up with a big defensive stop holding the Lobos on a third and one and a fourth and one from the Wyoming 19-yard line to take the ball back on downs with 4:26 remaining in the third quarter.  That was the only scoring threat that either team mounted in the third quarter.

On Wyoming’s first possession of the fourth quarter, the Cowboys committed their second turnover of the game on a fumbled handoff between quarterback Williams and wide receiver Neyor on a jet sweep.  New Mexico linebacker Cody Moon recovered the fumble on the Wyoming 20-yard line.

Looking like New Mexico had another prime opportunity to score, the Cowboy defense rose to the occasion and held the Lobos to only five yards and forced a UNM field-goal attempt.  New Mexico place-kicker Andrew Shelley came in to attempt a 30-yard field goal, but the kick went wide right with 12:15 remaining in the game.

The Cowboys took over at their own 20-yard line, and Chambers was inserted back into the Wyoming lineup at quarterback.  The Pokes moved the ball 36 yards down to the UNM 44.  Valladay had two runs for nine yards.  Chambers completed two passes for 20 yards — one for 15 yards to wide receiver Joshua Cobbs and one of five yards to Eberhardt.  Chambers also gained seven yards on two QB runs.  But on a fourth and eight at the New Mexico 44, Chambers pass attempt to Cobbs fell incomplete and the Lobos took over on downs.

Wyoming’s defense once again forced the Lobos into a punt, and the Cowboys got the ball back at their own 20.  Chambers would lead Wyoming’s offense all the way to the UNM 30-yard line.  He completed five of seven passes on the drive, including one of four yards to Valladay, two passes of five and 13 yards to tight end Parker Christensen, another one of six to Valladay and one of six yards to running back Titus Swen.  On a third and four at the UNM 30, Chambers was sacked for a loss of eight, and on fourth and 12 from the 38 he was sacked for 16 yards with 2:36 remaining in the game.

UW’s defense held New Mexico to a three-and-out, and the Cowboys got the ball back one last time at their own 20-yard line with 58 seconds remaining.  Chambers completed three consecutive passes of six yards to tight end Treyton Welch, six yards to tight end Christensen and 26 yards to wide receiver Eberhardt to move the ball to the UNM 42.  But that was followed by two incompletions as time expired, and the Lobos secured a 14-3 victory.

Quotes From Wyoming Head Coach Craig Bohl
“Congratulations to New Mexico.  I know they’ve had a lot of adversity, and they came up with a good game plan,” said Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl.  “We’ve got to improve in a lot of areas of our football team, specifically offensively.  When we are scoring the number of points we are scoring, we aren’t going to win any football games off of that.  I think there’s a couple things that we are doing well but obviously we aren’t doing nearly enough things well.

“We tried two quarterbacks during the game.  At times I think we ran the football well.  We didn’t bring down some contested balls.  We overthrew some open deep players.  It’s discouraging.

“My job as a head football coach is to rally these guys.  We are going to regroup.  We have a big game in San Jose this next week.  We are also 4-3, and I reminded our football team of that.  We need to band together.  We’ve got to learn from this.  We are frustrated.  You can sense my frustration, but we have to get better.

“I think there were some things we did OK on defense.  We need to generate some offense.  The identity (on offense) is not clear, and it has to get clear.

“It’s been really challenging to me as a head football coach, and I’ve tried to connect with our team to let them know how important it is to play clean.  We have to play more disciplined and cleaner football.  I don’t believe we have a takeaway in the last two games in a row.  We keep on chasing the turnover margin, and that’s a bad formula for us. 

“There’s nobody in that locker room who’s not trying.  I don’t question the effort.  We need to get a better plan, and we have to execute a better plan.

“Defense can always keep you in a game, and they kept us in the game for the lion’s share of the game today.  The touchdown before the half changed the complexion of the game. 

“I’ll look at the tape, and I understand we have to get better, and that’s my job as a coach to figure out what buttons to press to get us better.

Statistical  Summary
Wyoming’s defense was led by linebackers Easton Gibbs and Chad Muma.  Gibbs was credited with 11 tackles on the day, including eight solo tackles.  Muma had 10 tackles, including 1.0 tackle for a loss of three yards.  Defensive end Garrett Crall added nine tackles, and nose tackle Cole Godbout recorded seven.

Offensively, Chambers completed 11 of 23 passes for 96  yards and threw one interception.  Williams completed 3 of 7 for 51 yards and had one fumble.  Valladay led the Cowboys in rushing with 41 yards on 14 carries.  Wyoming’s leading receivers were: Christensen with three catches for 24 yards; Neyor with two receptions for 45; Eberhardt had two for 31; Cobbs caught two for 19; and Valladay had two for 10 yards.

New Mexico quarterback Isaiah Chavez completed 10 of 11 passes for 112 yards and one touchdown.  He also led the Lobos in rushing with 49 yards on 16 carries.

The Lobos’ top defenders were cornerback Tony Collier and Lobo Tavian Combs, who each registered seven tackles.  Linebacker Cody Moon had five tackles to go with his fumble recovery, and cornerback Corey Hightower added two tackles in addition to his interception.

Next Up for the Cowboys
The Cowboys travel to San Jose, Calif., next Saturday, Oct. 30 to play the San Jose State Spartans.  The game will kick off at 2:00 p.m., Mountain Time (1:00 p.m., Pacific) and will be televised on FS2.  The Spartans are 4-4 overall and 2-2 in the Mountain West this season.

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389 New Coronavirus Cases In Wyoming On Friday; 661 Recoveries; 3,398 Active

in News/Coronavirus

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By Tim Mandese, Cowboy State Daily. 

Wyoming’s active coronavirus decreased by 149 on Friday to end the week. 

The Wyoming Department of Health received reports Friday of 661 recoveries among those with confirmed or probable cases. 

At the same time,

Fourteen counties had more than 100 active cases, with six having more than 200. 

Natrona County had 597; Freemont 368; Laramie 341; Sheridan 281; Campbell 225; Uinta 174; Goshen 162; Carbon and Sweetwater 159; Park 151; Albany 147; Washakie 119; Lincoln 105; Teton 74; Converse 60; Platte 57; Weston 44; Sublette 37; Crook 34; Big Horn 33; Johnson 30; Niobrara had 26, while Hot Springs reported the fewest active cases, with 15. No county reported zero active cases.

Active cases are determined by adding the total confirmed and probable coronavirus cases diagnosed since the illness first surfaced in Wyoming on March 12, 2020, subtracting the number of recoveries during the same period among patients with both confirmed and probable cases and taking into account the number of deaths attributed to the illness.

The new confirmed and probable cases brought to 100,174 the number of people diagnosed with coronavirus since the first case was detected in Wyoming in March 2020. Of those, 95,640 have recovered.

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