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Submitted by Newsroom on May 22, 2012 – 11:50 amNo Comment

Midday News Update — CLICK HERE and CLICK HERE – Today’s Headlines — Alleged strangler tries to ditch authorities … UPDATE: Bebout, Miller still unopposed … Couple assaulted at Boot Bar … Wyoming reaps $600 million in Vioxx settlement …..


Alleged strangler tries to ditch authorities

By KVOW/KTAK News Director Leslie Stratmoen

RIVERTON, Wyo. – An alleged strangler from Natrona County tried to ditch sheriff’s deputies Monday afternoon as they chased him, by car, up Riverton’s Main Street to Airport Hill driving 45 miles per hour.

He was arrested when he stopped at the top of the hill and identified as 28-year-old Douglas Lemley of Riverton. Warrants had been issued for his arrest in both Natrona and Fremont counties. In Natrona, he’s wanted for felony strangulation of a household member, and for contempt of court and non-payment of child support in Fremont.

For the evasion move, he was charged with eluding police, as well as possession of marijuana. That was around 5 Monday night. Earlier in the afternoon, a woman living in the 1500 block of East Monroe reported he assaulted her. That alleged incident is still under investigation.

Lemley was taken into custody without incident and no-one was injured in the pursuit which did not cause any property damage. His 23-year-old male passenger was released without charges.

The information comes from the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office.


UPDATE: Bebout, Miller still unopposed

By KVOW/KTAK News Director Leslie Stratmoen

RIVERTON, Wyo. – As of this morning, two of our state legislators from Riverton were still running unopposed, but two others representing Fremont County were facing challengers.

Rep. Dave Miller speaking at the groundbreaking of Riverton's new health, science center. Photo by Leslie Stratmoen

State Senator Eli Bebout and House Representative David Miller are the two on lone tickets, while incumbents Patrick Goggles of Ethete and Rita Campbell of Shoshoni are being challenged for their seats in the House.

Making the run at Goggles for District 33 is the same challenger he faced last time around – Daniel Cardenas of St. Stephens. Goggles is the Democrat, Cardenas the Republican. Challenging Campbell for her District 34 seat is Lois Herbst, who like Campbell is a Republican from Shoshoni.

The information comes from the filing list on record at the Fremont County Courthouse in Lander. According to the list, the state race that’s rapidly gaining candidates is House District 54. Republican Andrew Gramlich just signed on to campaign against fellow Republicans John Brown and Lloyd Larsen. Running on the Democratic ticket is Michelle Hoffman and Bruce Palmer. All are from Lander.

Another state race that’s picking up candidates is for the District 28 House seat. Three candidates are now in the running. Joining Nathan Winters of Thermopolis on the Republican side is Echo Renner of Meeteetse. Their Democratic challenger is Carl Leyba of Thermopolis. The other candidate who’s filed to run for a state office is Republican Gerald Geis of Worland who wants the senate seat for District 20.

As for county seats, both Republican Incumbents Dennis Christensen and Doug Thompson are now seeking re-election. At this point, only Thompson is being challenged – by Jennifer McCarty and Red Fyler, who are also Republicans from Lander. Christensen lives in Riverton.


Couple assaulted at Boot Bar

By KVOW/KTAK News Director Leslie Stratmoen

RIVERTON, Wyo. – Riverton Police say a man was attacked by three or four men overnight at a bar in Riverton when he tried to protect his girlfriend. Capt. Eric Murphy said the man reported being attacked when he tried to stop one of the men from hitting his girlfriend while they were at the Boot Bar.

The report came in just before 5 this morning, from the Riverton hospital where the alleged victim went for treatment. The alleged attackers have not been identified. So, Riverton police are asking anyone who saw any type of scuffle last night at the bar on Main Street to call the station. That number is 856-4891.


Wyoming reaps $600 million in Vioxx settlement

By KVOW/KTAK News Director Leslie Stratmoen

RIVERTON, Wyo. — Wyoming is set to receive more than $600 million in civil damages and penalties to compensate federal health care programs in a national settlement with a pharmaceutical company.

In the settlement with Merck Sharp & Dohme regarding the drug Vioxx, Attorney General Greg Phillips said the state received about $624,000 to reimburse Wyoming Medicaid. The settlement agreement was announced today by Gov. Matt Mead’s office.

The agreement resolves allegations that Merck marketed Vioxx as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis without federal approval and made false settlements about the cardiovascular safety of the drug to increase sales. Vioxx is described as a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication that was approved by the FDA in 1999 for the treatment of osteoarthritis, acute pain conditions and dysmenorrheal. Five years later, in 2004, the drug was taken off the market after evidence showed it doubled the risk of heart attack and stroke.

As part of the settlement, Merck will pay the states and the federal government a total of $615 million in civil damages and penalties to compensate Medicaid, Medicare and other federal healthcare programs for harm suffered as a result of its conduct. Wyoming received $624,700 to reimburse Wyoming Medicaid for the detriment it suffered by Merck’s actions. In addition, the company has agreed to plead guilty to violating the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and will pay a criminal fine and forfeiture of more than $300 million. The criminal component of the resolution centers on the illegal marketing and promotion of Vioxx for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

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