News of Riverton, Lander and Fremont County, Wyoming, from the Ranger's award winning journalists.
May 23, 2013 - The Associated Press
Guernsey treasurer sentenced
CHEYENNE -- A federal judge on Wednesday sentenced a former Guernsey town treasurer to two years in prison for failing to pay taxes on money she has admitted to embezzling from the town.
U.S. District Judge Alan B. Johnson ordered U.S. Marshals to take Leslie Diane Zynda, 39, into custody immediately after the sentencing hearing in Cheyenne.
Johnson ordered Zynda to repay Guernsey more than $276,000. He also ordered her to pay the IRS more than $75,000 in unpaid taxes on the embezzled money.
Prosecutors said the embezzlement started in 2005 and stopped after current Guernsey Mayor Edward Delgado was elected in 2010 and started scrutinizing the books.
Delgado told Johnson that the community of Guernsey is made up mostly of low-income people and senior citizens.
"The trust in our city government is gone," Delgado said. He said when he took office that the town's water, electrical and sewer departments were having trouble finding money to buy necessary tools.
Speaking after the hearing, Delgado said he started looking into the city deposits after he took office. He said it soon became apparent that Zynda, who served as both town treasurer and clerk, wasn't depositing all the money collected by the town's utility department. He said he alerted the town's attorney, Ed Buchanan.
The town's operating budget is between $3.5 million to $4 million, Delgado said.
Johnson said the state of Wyoming had agreed not to prosecute Zynda on any embezzlement charge because it was aware that she was facing the federal tax-evasion charge.
Snowy Range Road open for season
CENTENNIAL -- The highway over the Snowy Range has reopened.
The Wyoming Department of Transportation says its plow crews cleared Wyoming Highway 130 over the Snowy Range on Friday morning.
The crews now are focusing on Wyoming Highway 70 over the Sierra Madre Mountains west of Encampment. That road isn't expected to reopen until next week.
The state highway department says bikers should keep an eye out for icy patches on the mountain highways, especially before temperatures warm up in the morning.
Moose hindquarter found near road
CHEYENNE -- A moose's hindquarter has turned up under a viaduct in Cheyenne, and the Wyoming Game and Fish Department is asking for information about where it came from.
Game officials say it's possible the unspoiled meat is from a moose killed during hunting season and frozen.
The moose still had its hooves attached, which is a difficult way to store it in a freezer. Discarding game meat is still a violation.
Killing a bull moose out of season could bring a $10,000 fine, one year in jail and a 10-year suspension of hunting and fishing privileges.
Authorities have asked anyone with information can call the Stop Poaching Hotline at 877-WGFD-TIP. Officials are offering $5,000 if the information leads to a conviction.