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Friday, May 9, 2003

Park County buys kit to remove body piercings POWELL — The Park County Sheriff's Department has bought a kit to remove body piercings from jail inmates.

Regulations require inmates to remove all metal from their bodies while being processed at the facility. However, employees are finding some body jewelry is easier to remove than others.

"People come in here with tongue studs and earrings glued on," jailer Loyd Butler said.

In the past, some the piercings "wouldn't come off," forcing officials to house prisoners still wearing metal and prompting the kit purchase, Butler said.

The kit cost $135 and contains about three items. The department also owns a kit to remove stubborn finger rings.

Maxfield clarifies garage comments CHEYENNE — State Auditor Max Maxfield on Thursday clarified comments he made earlier this week about naming a new parking garage for state employees after former Gov. Jim Geringer.

Maxfield made a motion Tuesday to name the structure after Geringer during a meeting of the State Building Commission. He withdrew the motion after a suggestion the commission wait until all five members were present.

However, Maxfield said Thursday he only made the motion because he thought policy dictated naming new facilities after the governor in office when funds were appropriated for the project.

"Further, I thought if the naming was a 'done deal,' we should make an official announcement prior to opening day for the new facility," Maxfield said.

He said he was not proposing, or committed to, naming the garage after Geringer.

"Now we can start with a clean slate," Maxfield said. "It can initially be given a generic name to be renamed in the future. It can be named after a person, plant or animal."

The garage, which cost $5.7 million to build, is scheduled to open June 1.

Former state auditor, Jack Sidi, dies CASPER — Former state Auditor and state House Speaker Jack Sidi has died at the age of 74.

Sidi died April 30 in Greeley, Colo.

Sidi, a Casper school teacher, served as Wyoming state auditor from 1987 to 1991. Sidi also served in the state House after being elected in 1969 and serving until 1987. He was speaker of the House from 1985 to 1987.

In the Legislature, he also was chairman of the education and appropriations committees and select committee on school finance.

Sidi retired in 1991 and moved to Greeley.

He is survived by his wife, Bernadette.

Private family services have been held.

Old Sheridan hospital to become recovery center SHERIDAN — The old Sheridan Hospital and the 3.5 acres surrounding it will be turned into a substance-abuse treatment center for women.

Rod Robinson, executive director of the Wyoming Substance Abuse Treatment and Recovery Center, said a feasibility study revealed a need for expanded substance-abuse treatment services "in this area, in this state, across the whole region."

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Included in the new campus will be a 40-bed, 3,822-square-foot facility for women only, and a 2,500-square-foot child-care building where children of women in treatment will live.

New buildings will be built as transition-living quarters. Each will have four apartments where women and their children will live while they get ready to return back into the community, get jobs, and get back on their feet, Robinson said.

The treatment center could be in operation in about three years, Robinson said.

Four convictions reversed in police-shooting case

CHEYENNE — The Wyoming Supreme Court has reversed four aggravated assault convictions against a convicted Casper methamphetamine dealer.

But the court also upheld other multiple convictions against Samuel Thomas Urbigkit, meaning Urbigkit still must serve five consecutive life sentences for the aggravated assaults and attempted first-degree murder of law enforcement officers in February 2001.

Seventh District Judge David Park sentenced Urbigkit, then 38, on June 18, 2001, to five consecutive life terms for aggravated assault and attempted first-degree murder.

A Natrona County jury had convicted Urbigkit on 14 of 15 counts. The jury also found Urbigkit guilty of being a habitual criminal based on previous convictions of aggravated assault and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

The state Supreme Court, in an opinion written by Justice Marilyn Kite, reversed four of the aggravated assault convictions on grounds there was insufficient evidence to support the convictions.

The assault and attempted murder charges stemmed from a chase and shootout between Urbigkit and law enforcement officers on Feb. 7, 2001, in Casper. The exchange started after officers tried to execute search warrants for drugs at Urbigkit's shop in Casper.

Copyright © 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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