Heavy snow stalls Yellowstone opening 

JACKSON (WNE) – Crews in Yellowstone National Park are working to clear nearly a foot of snow from the park to allow visitors early season access.

“Due to extremely heavy snow received this week,” officials wrote on social media, “the park’s efforts to open interior roads by April 15 have been delayed.”

Thanks to progress made clearing large snow drifts, the West Entrance to Old Faithful stretch and Mammoth Hot Springs to Norris were able to open midday Friday.

The road between the North Entrance, Mammoth Hot Springs and Northeast Entrance is open year-round.

There was still no word on when the Norris to Canyon Village stretch would open. It was scheduled for April 15. Crews were actively working on that route late Friday.

East Entrance to Lake Village and Canyon Village to Lake Village stretches are scheduled to open May 6, followed by the Cooke City to Chief Joseph Scenic Byway stretch May 11.

The South Entrance opens May 13, with access to to West Thumb, Lake Village and Old Faithful (Craig Pass).

Rawlins man survives shotgun blast to chest, attempted first-degree murder charge for alleged shooter

RAWLINS (WNE) – A convoluted tale of intimidation and revenge has left one Rawlins man hospitalized with a shotgun wound to the chest and another facing an attempted first-degree murder charge.

Dakota Brown, 29, was arrested Saturday after allegedly fleeing the scene of the victim’s house in the 1100 block of Mountain View in Rawlins, according to an affidavit filed in the case by Detective Thomas Shroyer of the Rawlins Police Department.

Police were contacted by Carbon County Memorial Hospital around 3:30 a.m. Friday about a gunshot victim, identified as Larry Brooks.

While Brooks was reluctant or unable to positively identify who shot him, other witnesses pointed to Brown, the affidavit says. 

According to the affidavit, one witness reported “Larry Brooks has been burning a bunch of bridges lately and owed a lot of people money.”

One of Brooks’ associates, Zachariah Lawson, said he, Brown and three others were at Lawson’s house talking about alleged threat messages Brooks had made and decided to go to his house to scare him.

Lawson said they brought a 9mm handgun and 20-gauge shotgun to Brooks’ home. 

“Mr. Lawson reported that he was pointing his 9mm at Mr. Brooks, and Dakota Brown was pointing the shotgun at Larry Brooks,” according to the affidavit. “When Mr. Brooks raised his hands, Dakota Brown fired the shotgun.”

After being shot, Brooks transported himself to the emergency room.

Shroyer observed that three of the shotgun pellets “barely missed (Brooks’) heart” and several were embedded in the lungs.

Police searched for Brown for more than a day before he was apprehended by Rawlins Police detectives.

He faces charges of attempted first-degree murder or attempted second-degree murder, along with felony aggravated assault and battery.

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