Rawlins fire chief arrested
Rawlins Fire Chief John Rutherford was arrested at the bar he owns in the city Friday night. The arrest summary released by the Carbon Sherrif’s Office this morning shows that Rutherford was charged with interference with a police officer. Tom Gamblin is listed as the arresting officer. Rutherford was arrested shortly before midnight at The Hole In The Wall bar. No other details are given in the summary report. Bigfoot 99 is looking into this story and will have more tomorrow.
State authorities question Haynes’ eligibility
Whether Taylor Haynes is on the ballot this fall or not will be decided by the courts. Questions about where the self-described constitutional candidate for governor has lived for the last five years are forcing state officials, attorneys and the courts to square up the facts with the Wyoming Constitution. After a review, the state’s top election officials last week turned the matter over to the attorney general’s office, which in turn requested a legal ruling from the First District Court in Cheyenne. In a release Saturday, Secretary of State Ed Buchannan wrote, “This issue is truly too impactful on the election and the State of Wyoming to be administratively decided or simply set aside without final clarity” of the facts and the law. Buchannan, who was appointed to the office on March 1st of this year, also stated that the inquiry stems from a complaint his office first received on June 25th. The complaint alleged Dr. Haynes is not eligible to hold the office of governor because he has resided in a location outside Wyoming in the last five years.
Haynes, in a news release posted to his campaign website Saturday, rejected those claims and said they are politically motivated. He noted that Buchannan, prior to being appointed to his current position, was the campaign manager for Harriet Hageman, one of five Republicans running against Haynes in the primary. Haynes also stated that he has lived in Wyoming for nearly 35 years and during that entire time did not have a residential address in any other state.
The last five years have raised questions. In 2013, Haynes moved to a ranch on the Wyoming-Colorado border about eight miles southeast of Woods Landing. In Saturday’s post, Haynes stated that the deed and the title for the ranch, including the residence, have a Wyoming address. All licenses, including driver’s license and license plates, taxes, utilities, registrations, fees, etc., are paid to Wyoming. However, Google Earth mapping shows no structures on the Wyoming side of the border and a developed ranch with a house and other structures on the Colorado side. Previous owners of the ranch have been considered Wyoming residents, Haynes said.
Haynes also has leases, businesses and land holdings in other parts of Wyoming. Nor has he been a stranger in the last five years. A prominent member of the Republican Party, Haynes currently serves as Precinct Chair of District 45-2 Albany County. He was a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 2016 where Donald J. Trump was nominated.
Candidates for most elected offices in Wyoming only have to meet a one-year residency requirement. The constitution sets a higher bar for governor. It places a five-year residency requirement on candidates.
The legal papers filed Friday – State of Wyoming versus Taylor Haynes, M.D. – is asking the court to determine if Haynes meets the residency requirement to hold the office of governor under Article 4 Section 2 of the Wyoming Constitution. The Attorney General requested an expedited hearing and review of the matter given the approaching date of next month’s primary election on August 21st.
Rawlins city parks looking worse for the wear
In Rawlins, residents living near Rob Roy Park are questioning why it hasn’t been watered. Brown grass is taking over there as well as a few other parks in the city. Cali O’Hare reports.
County buys rotor millings for road improvements
With approval from the Saratoga Town Council, the Carbon County Road and Bridge Department has purchased an additional three thousand cubic yards of rotor milling material to improve county roads. Emma Diercks reports.