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January 20, 2011     Lovell Chronicle
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January 20, 2011
 

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4 I The Lovell Chronicle I January 20, 2011 www.LovellChronicle.com View Court rules change how information is obtained Editor's note: The following editorial was written by for- mer Lovell Chronicle Editor Karla Pomeroy, now the editor of the Basin Republican Rustler. It is written for her south Big Horn County readers, but the issue is the same in north Big Horn County. We appreciate how our local clerks and Judge Thomas Harrington are working with us to provi- de information while upholding the spirit of the Supreme Court rule, hOwever this issue is affecting the press and, thus, citizens across the state of Wyoming. We have substi- tuted our local legislators and our e-mail address into Mrs. Pomeroy editorial. - David Peck Due to new rules of procedure regarding access to court records enacted Jan. 1 by the Wyoming Supreme Court, the Basin Republican Rustler can no longer receive the same Media Disposition Report from Circuit Court it has re- ceived for more than six years. The rules require media to obtain records by asking for files by a defendant name or case file. In regard to traf- fic and other citations where persons simply forfeit fines instead of appearing in court it is nearly impossible to ob- tain names from all other law enforcement. As suchl at this time, the Basin Republican Rustler will be unable to publish those types of citations. The Basin Municipal Court does not fall under the Supre- me Court jurisdiction and those reports will still be available as seen in this week issue. Under Rule 12 m Compiled information -- the court has determined that the Media Dispositions Report is a ',compi- led" file. We are working to try and obtain that information through other means, including requesting permission to continue to obtain the Media Dispositions Report. This re- quest was submitted late last week (Jan. 7). The Basin Republican Rustler will continue to provide court news on other cases such as driving under the in- fluence, drug charges, assaults and more. This information is public record and anyone has the ri- ght to Contact the court and ask to see citations or files on any specific person unless the judge seals that file. We feel it is important to keep you informed of what cri- minal acts are being committed by other residents in order to help keep you safe and aware of what is happening in your community. Many newspapers across the state and country no lon- ger publish traffic citations. We feel it provides as much pu- , ,blic benefit as other criminal cases:, !' , Publishing any court case provides a public benefit in the following ways: First, it lets the public know that our law enforcement, prosecutors and courts are busy protecting and serving. For DUIs, assaults, sexual assaults and other crimes against a person, it provides information so residents know tobe aware that these events are occurring in their nei- ghborhood, city and count. It lets them know who to be aware of and who to protect their children from, specifical- ly with crimes against children, whether it be child neglect, abuse or molestation. Providing information on speeding and other traffic vio- lations provides an awareness to the public to slow down, be aware of their surroundings and, it is hoped, reduce the number of traffic infractions that occur, thus making the roads safer for everyone. Because of the changes in the rules, which can be found on the court website at http://www.courts.state. wy.us/, you will notice a dramatic absence of information in this week Circuit Court report. We are currently atten- ding court in person and will be reporting on those who have been sentenced, while keeping track of defendants arraigned in court to be able to provide information on those sentenced in court to you at a later time. We are trying to be consistent with our policy when we receive the Media Disposition Report, which is to publish cases that have been disposed of in Circuit Court. The ex- ceptions to these cases are major felonies, such as recently the charges against Marvin Tilley. Those cases will be pu- blished as separate stories as they have in the past ... as we become aware of them and can ask for them by name. As we wrote to the Court Administrator, while we appre- ciate that the clerk time is valuable and we can sit throu- gh court and get names of offenders and then take up the court time in asking to see the complete files on each of the offenders, we believe the compiled report is a time sa- ver for both the clerk office and the media. Another rule change -- Redactions from Court Records -- allows us only the year of a person birth rather than the entire birth date, thus information on a defendant age cannot be exact as we will be unable to determine if a person has had a birthday this year. Someone born Jan. 5, 1980, is actually 31, now, and if we are only given 1980, we will have to say John Doe, 30 or 3 I. Some clerks have begun redacting the entire birth date, which makes it hard to distinguish between persons with the same name. As we continue to fight this battle to provide informa- tion we believe is important to you, the public, you may voice your opinion to your legislators and the Court Admi- nistrator -- Rep. Elaine Harvey --harvey00@tctwest.net; Sen. Ray Peterson -- rpeterson@wyoming.com; and Court Administrator Joann Odendahl --jodendahl@courts.state- wy.us. Let them know you feel the information is valuable to the public and that you would like to continue to see it published in your local newspaper. Let us know, as well, if you would like to us to continue to try and provide this information at Icnews@tctwest.net. --Karla Pomeroy RIGHT-- MY FORECAST FOR TODAY DIDN'T PAN OUT... ! CAN'T GI00II" HOME- i'M STUCK IN THInlY- FOOT OF YOUR PARTLY CLOUDY! Letters to the editor Who's watching the Mexican Cemetery? Dear Editor, But yet, when the Kane Cem- that arises is what is happening to I would like to address an is- etery was vandalized in Novem- the funds sent to them to do that? sue that has been bothering me for ber of 2009, we had people from In my opinion, I feel that if most of the past year. And reading the school, National Park Service there are nothing but Mexicans the Year in Review in the paper and even this local newspaper re- buried there, then it would lead has sparked my interest again. I port on it. Yet not one word has me to believe that it is more of hope that I can get some feedback been brought up on the cemetery a racial issue. And I can tell you or direction from the readers out up on the hill. from experience that racism is here. It seems to me that sever- alive and well in this community. I drive by the so-called "Mexi- al years back Manuel Martinez It may not be as open as it was in can Cemetery" up on the hill next worked on it, then Angel Mon- the past, but it's still here. And if to the Oasis intersection every tanez tried to do something and it takes throwing the race card out day as I go and come from work. now it's just being ignored, there in order to get some type of I look over at where it's located What I have been told is that reaction and get something done, next to Grant's body shop, where the Cowley Cemetery is responsi- well there it is. it seems to me that it's looking ble for it. And that they are receiv- If it walks like a duck and more like a dumping area than ing funding for that. I don't know quacks like a duck then it's a a cemetery. I wonder why no one how true that is? And if that is duck! has complained on what is hap- true then they are falling behind Vicente Garcia pening there? on the job. And another question Lovell .Making amends for mistakes of the past Dear Editor, T0: The people of Big Horn County and Park County: Those whom I may have hurt or harmed in my past due to my criminal activities, I wanted you all to know that I am using my time and resources here in pris- on to better myself for my return to the community. I am taking as many self-help groups as are of- fered at the facility. I am working toward getting an awareness program started for youthful offenders to help steer them away from a criminal lifestyle. (Any help or comments in this area would be very much appreciated.) '  I am also working as much as I can to repay all of my restitu- tion and fines. I know I've made some really bad choices in the past. I am sor- ry that I've hurt the community, family and friends. I am staying away from drugs and alcohol. I've learned that both of these have done nothing but cause harm to others and me. In the past, I had blamed most of my problems on others, thinking that it was the commu- nity that had it out for me, but in the last few years I've come to learn that itas rhy way of thinking and behavior that was causing my problems. I know now that I need to be more re- sponsible and accept that my old way of thinking is not accept- able. I look forward to returning to the community. I'm open to any advice or criticism from anyone who would like to help me in my journey to becoming a better per- son. Joe Gould Wyoming State Penitentiary Rawlins Kreutzers thank Good Samaritans Dear Editor, We want to give a big thank you to all our friends and neigh- bors in Frannie and Deaver. Af- ter our car accident on Dec. 22, we were overwhelmed with phone calls, visits and food, after I was rushed to the hospital in Billings. The fire department and ambu- lance crew's were excellent. A special thank you to the "unknown Good Samaritans", who stopped with blankets and words of encouragement. Your prayers and support are truly ap- preciated. Bruce and Nadini Kreutzer Frannie Fifth in a series Divine origin of law The American founders considered the existence of the Creator as the most fundamental premise behind all self-evi- dent truth. Every single self-evident truth listed by the founders is rooted in the idea of a divine Creator. All of the founders acknowledged the intervention of God in the formation of this country. James Madison said, "It is impossible not to perceive the finger of that Almighty hand which has so fre- quently and signally attended to our relief in the critical stages of this revolution." It was no idle gesture when the founders ad- opted the motto "In God We Trust." It was a statement of fact. The founders considered that a just society must be structured on the basis of natural law and divinely revealed law. These laws make up a moral code that clearly distinguished right from wrong. This concept was not new with the found- ers, it being the entire foundation of all religious cultures worldwide. The attitude of the Founding Fathers towards God's law gave early Americans a very high regard for the "law" as a social institution. Joyce Collins Principles of Liberty i 2010 MEMBER 2009 AWARD-WINNING NEWSPAPER Postmaster: Send address changes to: The Lovell Chronicle, USPS 321-060 234 E. Main, Lovell, Wyoming 82431 (307) 548-2217 Published every Thursday Periodical postage paid at Lovell, Wyoming Editor and Publisher: David Peck