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News Letter Journal
Newcastle, Wyoming
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October 6, 2016     News Letter Journal
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October 6, 2016
 

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$1.00 ::.:: 1054 02 - 06 - 17 49P 7T . . liilili Mlllll " SMALL TSWTN PAPERS, INC .... , " 217 W c, Is, IHI ,L, iIThOl,l , I ,V ,AI h I , h5,18,14 li h i,,, h I, I h I' I' II October 6, 2016 Newcastle, Wyoming Year 130 Week 40 Spirited baton twirlers from Newcastle Elementary steal the show at the Dogies' Homecoming parade on September 30. (Pare Penfield/NLJ) I Alexis Barker NLJ Reporter Richard Campbell Jr. was known by family and friends to be a sweet and caring man who greatly disliked guns. According to them, he would never kill himself, especially with a gun. A Coroner's Inquest was held in Newcastle on September 28 and 30, however, to determine if Campbell did kill himself on June 24, 2015, or if there are other factors involved in his death. Little is still known of what happened after the last time Campbell was seen at about 3 p.m. on the day of his death. All that is known is that Campbell suffered a deadly gunshot wound to the head, and a veil of mystery surrounds his life and the relationship he had with Weston County resident Caroline Scoutt, who discovered his body and owns the property on which he lived. Weston County Coroner Cynthia Crabtree called for the inquest to deter- mine the true cause and manner of Campbell's death. The Inquest was conducted by Deputy Campbell County Coroner Steve Rossier over a two day period. Rossier also serves as a Deputy Coroner for Weston County through an agreement between the two counties that consists of officials from both offices being deputized to serve in each other's jurisdiction. Campbell was found unresponsive by Scoutt last June 24, with an apparent gunshot wound to the head. Evidence put forward at the inquest indicated that during the 911 call, Scoutt explained that she had been out of town for the day before returning home to pick up her grandchildren. She told authorities that when she arrived at her home, which is 11 miles south of Newcastle on I Old Highway 85, she found Campbell's body, his head surrounded by blood, on the floor of the bedroom in the trailer he occupied. The trailer was located at 1072 Old Highway 85, on property owned by Scoutt. According to Weston County Sheriff's deputies that responded to the scene, Campbell was lying on the ground next to his bed with an apparent gunshot wound to the head. The gun, a lever action .357 Rossi with a 2-inch barrel, was laying across his chest with the muzzle sitting between his left shoulder and left ear. According to those who responded to the scene, with no other evidence at the time suggesting anything else had occurred, suicide was assumed to be the cause of death. Some of the evidence proved contradictory to such an assumption, however, and a number questions arose during the course of the investigation. Officials reported during the inquest that they were troubled by the fact that there was no blood Splatter at the scene and a lack of fingerprints on the gun, both of which contributed to no definite cause of death being determined. Crabtree hopes those questions, and others, will be answered by the Inquest, which last week consisted of Rossier questioning a total of 23 witnesses-- including Sheriff's depu- ties, family members, and insurance agents-- about different aspects of both Campbell and Scoutt's life leading up to the incident on June 24. Some of the witnesses were also asked for details about what is already known in regards to what happened on the day Campbell died. -- See Shooting, Page 3 m' Alexis Barker NLJ Reporter Greg James will finish his second stint as Newcastle's mayor at the end of the year after choosing not to seek re-election to the post this year, and he could well be moving into the same position he held at the conclusion of his first term in the mayor's office. James, who did file for election to a city council post and will appear on the November ballot in that slot, could instead be moving into the recently vacated office of the City Clerk/Treasurer-- a job he held after serving as mayor the first time in the late 1990's. The position of City Clerk has been vacant since August 1 when Charita Brunner resigned from the position. A number of applications were submitted by individuals wishing to take on the job, and the list was whittled down to three candidates who were offered interviews. A committee was then tasked with selecting their top choice to replace Brunner, and on Monday night they informed the rest of the council that the current mayor was their pick. "The City Personnel Committee met and got the applications down to three. One of those backed out, and we interviewed two very quali- fied people. Our recommendation is to hire Greg James to the City Clerk position," announced Councilman Roger Hespe, who made a motion to extend the job offer to James after making the declaration to the council. The motion was approved by four of the five council members present at the meeting, with Councilman Steven Ladwig voting against the motion, expressing that he had to change his vote to "Nay" after further reflection of the topic. City Attorney Jim Peck explained that with the extension of the offer, the council has a number of options when it comes to filling the position for Mayor once James resigns. "If he accepts, the next question is regarding the position of Mayor. Until he actually starts working as the Clerk/Treasurer he can still serve as mayor. I assume he will tender his resignation if he accepts," stated Peck. He noted that until the council appoints another mayor, Councilman Todd Quigley will serve as President of the Council. -- See Clerk, Page 3 Alexis Barker NLJ Reporter Currently, a total of five trustees make up the Weston County Health Services Board, but that group has the ability, under statute, to increase to seven members. A number of years ago the discus- sion took place on whether or not to amend the bylaws to increase the number of members on the board, and the discussion surfaced again at last month's board meeting. On September 19, WCHS Board Treasurer Barry Peterson made a motion to amend the board's bylaws to increase the board to seven members-- who would be appointed immediately. Those positions would then be up for election when trustee positions go before voters in 2018. "We have talked about putting people on com- mittees. There are not enough of us to do so... We are a very diversified board, that isn't the issue. It has nothing to do with that. It has to do with putting people on different committees and providing more for the board," declared Peterson, who first raised questions regarding the procedure involved in changing the bylaws. He said he had discussed the issue with Board President Jimmy Long prior to the meeting, and they had determined that there were no written rules for the board regarding how to amend the bylaws. Attorney Jim Peck Clarified that amending the bylaws is done by a motion and a second to that motion. He noted that by statute, the WCHS board can consist of either five or seven members but those numbers are the only two choices. He did reveal that the previous board had discarded the idea out of concern for attracting enough interest to serve on -- See Hospital, Page 7 Board backs early childcare resolution Mary Freeman News Editor i The Weston County School District 1 School Board met on Wednesday for a routine business meeting, recognizing achieve- ments, taking up-to-date reports from principals and educators and considering motions. Board member Joe Corley offered recognition for the school district's janitorial staff. "I was there on the Thursday night when they had the concert and several other things were going on. They cleaned every- thing up quickly and really well," Corley stated with emphasis. "I'd like to recognize all of the young people involved with Homecoming. They have all worked so hard," said Weston County School District #1 Superintendent Brad LaCroix. Community Recreational Director Jessica Bettorf reported positively on the activities -- See School Board, Page 8 Alexis Barker NLJ Reporter A representative of the Predator Board was joined by a former member of the board when he approached the Weston County Commissioners on September 20 to discuss inconsistencies in board member lists, and his belief that one board member was not qualified to hold a position on the board. The Weston County Predator Management Board is a state-mandated board that requires the county commission to appoint four of its members. According to Predator Board Treasurer Mike Davis, there are a number of positions on the board that are meant to be filled by either sportsmen or livestock owners, and in order to receive appointment to either of those positions, a specific set of qualifications must be met by the applicant. Nicky Groenwold had been appointed to fill a sportsmen's opening by the commis- sioners, and they heard arguments last month that she does not meet the qualifications to hold that position-- primarily because she owns livestock, "We need to get a board member the commissioners appointed removed from the board. She does not qualify to be sitting on the board. She owns livestock," declared Davis, who said that in order to represent sportsmen on the board, an individual is not allowed to own any livestock. Davis revealed to commissioners that the Predator Board had collected proof that Groenwold had sold livestock within the last two years, and that both she and her husband's names appear on the brands for their cattle. He argued that such proof of ownership makes her ineligible to hold the seat to which she was appointed. "This kind of puts our state funding in jeopardy," asserted Davis, who cautioned the commissioners that the county does not want to cover the shortfall that forfeiture of state funding would create. Davis said the board shared these con- cerns with Groenwold, and that she had informed them that she would resign. He told the commissioners she had still not submitted her resignation, and had in fact attended a meeting since the concerns were raised. Davis also alleged that Groenwold has a personal agenda regarding an employee of the board, and accused her of holding the seat simply to "rabble-rouse." He said the board itself is unable to take any action to correct the situation, and asked the commis- sioners to do so. "We can't remove her. She has to be removed by the commission," professed -- See Predator, Page 3 Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday INSIDE Parity Cloudy Sunny Sunny Sunny Sunny Parlly Cloudy Sunny Hi 49, Lo 33 Hi 54, Lo 35 Hi 60, Lo 42 Hi 68, Lo 44 Hi 67, Lo 43 Hi 66, Lo45 Hi 67, Lo 46 AWANA, P0ge 8 tu Sports, Page 9 IIg Manor Awards, Page 11 0 : Mellowdrama, Page 18 E= --.-t m m