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Sentencing in sex abuse case

PIERRE | The final suspects charged in a Marshall County sexual abuse case involving a teenager have been sentenced.

Twenty-year-old Michael Mejilla and 28-year-old Dustin Purcell were among five men charged in 2017 with illegal sexual interactions with a girl who was younger than 16. All of the suspects accepted plea agreements.

The American News reports that Purcell was sentenced to serve six years for statutory rape and possession of child pornography. Mejilla was sentenced to serve 1 ½ years for statutory rape and solicitation of a minor.

The two men from Britton also must pay restitution and fines.

11 laid off at area newspapers

ABERDEEN | Dakota Media Group has laid off seven employees at the American News and the Farm Forum in Aberdeen and four workers at the Watertown Public Opinion.

Dakota Media Group Publisher Kevin Shaw says the company is restructuring to increase profitability. An unspecified number of vacant positions also will remain unfilled.

The layoffs represent about 7 percent of the Dakota Media Group workforce. Shaw says they should ensure the company is profitable through this year and into next year.

The workers who lost jobs are being given a severance package.

Mitchell man faces charges

MITCHELL | A Mitchell man is facing drug and weapons charges for allegedly firing gunshots at another vehicle during a chase.

The Daily Republic reports 36-year-old Bernard Drapeau and 27-year-old Malissa Garmong were found early Wednesday near a car allegedly involved in the chase. Garmong also faces drug charges.

Authorities say a pickup hit Garmong's nearby parked car, and then followed Garmong and Drapeau in his vehicle as they drove away. Drapeau is accused of firing three shots from his car during the chase, but nobody was harmed.

Authorities say they found a scale with what they believed to be methamphetamine residue on Drapeau and about 2.8 ounces of what appeared to be meth near Garmong. Officials allege they also found meth and pills on Garmong.

It wasn't immediately clear if Garmong and Drapeau have attorneys.

Wyoming opioid task force meets 

CHEYENNE, Wyo. | Members of the Wyoming Legislature's Joint Opioid Addiction Task Force met for the first time this week to discuss the statewide issue of prescription opioid abuse.

The Wyoming Tribune Eagle reports the task force, during its meetings in Riverton, addressed issues of opioid education in the state, and working with health care providers, pharmacists and law enforcement to address significant improvement areas.

A primary consideration for the members was updating mandatory education for providers and dispensers.

Members of the task force include: Sen. Eli Bebout, R-Riverton; Sen. Fred Baldwin, R-Kemmerer; Rep. Scott Clem, R-Gillette; Rep. Albert Sommers, R-Pinedale, and a number of statewide health care and law enforcement officials.

The task force will submit a preliminary summary to the Joint Labor, Health and Social Services Interim Committee, Joint Appropriations Committee, Management Council and the governor by Oct. 1.

Man pleads guilty in train stoppage

LINCOLN, Neb. | A Missouri man who pulled an emergency brake and prompted panic aboard an Amtrak train in southern Nebraska has pleaded guilty to a terrorism charge.

The Lincoln Journal Star reports that 26-year-old Taylor Wilson also pleaded guilty Thursday to possessing an unregistered rifle. Prosecutors have agreed to drop other charges.

Investigators say Wilson pulled the brake in a secure area of a locomotive on a Chicago-bound train in October. Prosecutors say he was armed with a handgun, ammunition, hammer and knife, and caused panic among the 175 people on board. No one was injured.

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Asked by a judge Thursday why he stopped the train, Wilson said: "I was high."

Federal prosecutors charged Wilson after learning about his involvement with a white supremacist group. He'll be sentenced Oct. 5.

Baby released from hospital

MISSOULA, Mont. | Authorities say a 5-month-old infant has been released from the hospital after police found the baby buried under sticks and debris for about nine hours in the woods south of Missoula.

The Missoulian reports the boy is in protective custody while his case is handled by the Montana Department of Health and Human Services.

The baby was discovered early Sunday morning after Missoula County deputies apprehended a man in the Lolo Hot Springs area Saturday.

Authorities say 32-year-old Francis Crowley has been charged with felony assault on a minor and criminal endangerment. He remains in custody on $200,000 bail. There was no information on whether Crowley had an attorney.

Crowley told authorities he crashed the vehicle with the baby inside, but he was unable to take them to the site.

Cody drops proposed livestock law

CODY, Wyo. | Residents of Cody in northwest Wyoming can keep any buffalo, hogs, bulls, horses, sheep and other large livestock on their residential property in city limits.

The Cody Enterprise reports city council members Tuesday dropped a proposed ordinance intended to regulate large animals. The proposal died for lack of a motion and after more than a dozen citizens spoke against the proposal. No one spoke in favor.

Main points made by opponents addressed Cody's status as a "cowboy town" where tourists expect an authentic western experience.

Unlike other Wyoming communities, Cody allows livestock in city limits, even in residential areas.

The proposed ordinance defined livestock as cattle, bulls, steers, buffalo, horses, pigs, hogs, mules, donkeys, sheep, lambs, goats, llamas and alpacas. It didn't prohibit small animals such as chickens and rabbits.

— Associated Press

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