Photo: Cali O’Hare/Bigfoot 99.

Rawlins man pleads not guilty to attempted assault charges, claims mental illness

An elderly Rawlins resident accused of attempted rape of a gas station attendant pleaded not guilty by reason of mental illness Monday morning. Emma Diercks was in the courtroom and filed this report.

 

 

Annual county planning and zoning report released

The Carbon County Planning and Zoning Commission saw a busy year in 2018. Last week, the county’s planning director provided commissioners with an update. Cali O’Hare has the details.

 

 

Wyoming Senator Hutchings in hot water over controversial comments

By Jim O’Reilly

Photo Credit: The office of Lynn Hutchings.

At the legislature, state senate leaders yesterday responded to a complaint lodged by a Wyoming civil rights group against State Senator Lynn Hutchings of Cheyenne. Wyoming Equality, which lobbies for LGBTQ laws, filed a complaint charging that Hutchings compared homosexuality to both bestiality and pedophilia last week in remarks to high school students.

Ten members of the Cheyenne Central Gay-Straight Alliance were at the legislature lobbying on behalf of House Bill 230. The legislation was designed to protect LGBTQ people from job and hiring discrimination. The legislation ultimately failed, and never made it to the house floor for debate. After their visit, the students reported that Hutchings, who opposed the legislation, made the comparison, allegedly saying in a lengthy quote:

”If my sexual orientation was to have sex with all of the men in there and I had sex with all of the women in there and then they brought their children and I had sex with all of them and then brought their dogs in and I had sex with them, should I be protected for my sexual orientation?”  – State Senator Lynn Hutchings

Hutchings is a conservative black woman who advocates for Christian values. She has denied making what LGBTQ rights groups have characterized as a disparaging comparison.

In one of her few public comments on the matter, Hutchings said she was only asking a question as an illustrative example. Still, Democratic Party Chairman Joe Barbuto on Monday said the remarks were “indefensible, insensitive, and repugnant” and called for Hutchings’ resignation.

In a letter yesterday, Wyoming Senate President Drew Perkins, Majority Floor Leader Dan Dockstader and Senate Vice President Ogden Driskill said they would investigate the matter. “Both Senator Hutchings and these students deserve consideration and respect,” they wrote.

None of the reporting by statewide news outlets, including K2 TV – which broke the story – the Casper Star Tribune, WyoFile, KGAB Radio in Cheyenne nor the Associated Press, have indicated whether a recording of the senator’s remarks were made. A recording could lay to rest whether Hutchings actually was making a disparaging comparison, or if she was asking a rhetorical question or if she even made the remarks at all.

In original public statement on the matter, Hutchings told K2 Television, “No comparison of that nature was made. If children took my question of what is sexual orientation and turned it into a comparison, that is a lie.”

In a letter yesterday, senate leaders said their investigation would be confidential as required by legislative policy.

In the latest development, WyoFile reported Tuesday that Hutchings said yesterday that she has received “death threats” as the result of what she calls inaccurate reporting on the matter.

 

Photo: Cali O’Hare/Bigfoot 99.

Saratoga businesses face cardboard dilemma

In Saratoga, the Upper Platte Valley Solid Waste Disposal District plans to visit local businesses to address concerns about the improper disposing of cardboard with their regular trash. Commercial haulers are being penalized for excess cardboard thrown with solid waste. The haulers want the expense to be incurred by the business creating the waste. Emma Diercks reports.

 

 

Sports: Lady Outlaws ready for last bit of quadrant play

The Rawlins girls basketball team got a pair of big time wins last weekend, and will put it all on the line during the next two weeks. Joey Saverine has the story.

More Highlights:
  • Two county football players selected for 2019 Shrine Bowl All-Star game.
  • Wyoming basketball standout Justin James talks about win over CSU.
  • Cowboy wrestling brutes SDSU.
  • Wyoming track and field tune up for conference championships.

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