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Cheney next to vote on Great American Outdoors Act, park funds

U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney is the next member of the Wyoming delegation to face a bill to permanently fund a program that brought $23 million to Wyoming schools in 2016, a bill her Senate colleagues opposed.

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Municipal judge resigns, sparks shouting at Gillette council meeting

GILLETTE — Gillette Municipal Court Judge Doug Dumbrill abruptly resigned during Tuesday’s Gillette City Council meeting, then got into a shouting match with the audience, most of whom were there to protest Mayor Louise Carter-King and the rest of the council.

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Regulators approve first new coal mine in decades

CASPER — Wyoming environmental regulators have approved a coal firm’s application to construct the state’s first new coal mine in nearly half a century.

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Report confirms culture of bigoted bullying at junior high

CHEYENNE - McCormick Junior High School had an established culture of racist, homophobic and ableist bullying that some staff either took part in or didn't feel comfortable reporting to administration.

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Wyoming man develops new stormwater filter system

LARAMIE — Four years ago, Brian Deurloo woke up during the early hours of the morning. A vision had come to him, one that involved an innovative solution for dealing with stormwater.

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Orphaned, rehabilitated bear returned to wild

JACKSON — When Taz McBride first laid eyes on “Hissy” he was up close with the tiny black bear in his Melody Ranch backyard.

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State, Campbell County pursue rare earth opportunities

GILLETTE — As flagging coal and oil revenues continue to implode the Wyoming budget by hundreds of millions of dollars, momentum is growing for a more down-to-earth solution.

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NEWS BRIEFS for Thursday, July 2, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

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Sheriff dismissed fears about deputy saying citizen needs ‘professional help’

In February, Albany County Sheriff David O’Malley dismissed concerns raised by a Laramie resident about a controversial deputy by telling a county human resources official that the complainant needed “professional help” and was “difficult to listen to.”

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Questions surface regarding Occidental purchase

CASPER — Gov. Mark Gordon’s office says it could submit its first formal bid for 5 million acres of Occidental Petroleum-owned land in southern Wyoming next week in what would be the first official step in closing one of the largest public land purchases in American history.

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Laramie council approves resolution for police oversight board

LARAMIE — The Laramie City Council passed a resolution Tuesday directing city staff to identify options for creating a civilian oversight board and other measures aimed at increasing community involvement in policing.

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State releases initial guidance for fall reopening of K-12 schools

CHEYENNE — Lunch in classrooms, widespread hand sanitizer stations and face coverings are just a few of the features Wyoming students can expect to see if the state’s schools return to in-person instruction this fall.

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NEWS BRIEFS for Tuesday, June 30, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

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West enters partnership with Gap, adding jobs in Cody

CODY — With what Kanye West describes as a “business enterprise” developed between his Yeezy brand and Gap Inc., the Cody-based company is expanding and planning to add more jobs to the local economy.

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Legislators study education ‘block grant’

SHERIDAN — Legislators recently discussed issues of transparency and fidelity within school funding models around the state, with testimony from a county superintendent setting the stage for how legislative decisions impact individual school districts.

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Commissioners eye making Gillette College independent

GILLETTE — The Campbell County Commission has instructed county employees to begin investigating what it would take to withdraw Gillette College from the Northern Wyoming Community College District.

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Coronavirus health orders remain unchanged

CASPER — The three broad public health orders that were set to expire this week have been extended, with no changes, through mid-July, Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon announced Monday, as the state continues to grapple with a spike in coronavirus cases.

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NEWS BRIEFS for Monday, June 29, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

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Opposing sides speak up in battle over resignation

GILLETTE — As one group of passionate, outspoken people continue to blast Gillette elected officials in the wake of the resignation of former councilman Shay Lundvall, another is sticking up for the City Council and Mayor Louise Carter-King.

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Republican Party official says fight at convention left him hospitalized

CASPER — Two county party chairmen were involved in a physical altercation at this weekend’s Wyoming Republican Convention in Gillette, according to one of the officials, who said the incident left him unconscious and in need of hospitalization.

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Jackson business owners enforce piecemeal mask restrictions

JACKSON — Every day, at some point, Brianna Moteberg has to tell someone to wear a mask.

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Changing the Narrative forum held to listen to minority voices

CHEYENNE — In 2016, when he was looking for a house to buy, Enrico D. Meadows-Fernandez was called in as a suspicious person as he was walking around a neighborhood.

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Protesters arrested in confrontation with Laramie police

LARAMIE — Arrests were made and citations were written Thursday as protesters against police violence and racism clashed with Laramie law enforcement.

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NEWS BRIEFS for Friday, June 26, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

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Transition in Coal Country: Health care crises mount at rural hospitals

The only hospital serving a vast swath of Wyoming’s coal country was in financial trouble even before the coronavirus pandemic hit.

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Governor preps bid for Occidental land, leaving Legislature out

Gov. Mark Gordon’s administration is preparing a bid to Occidental Petroleum for 1 million acres of surface land and 4 million acres of mineral rights, and is using a process that won’t require legislative approval, according to executive branch officials.

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Gillette teen who brought handguns to school sentenced to prison

CASPER — A judge on Thursday sentenced a teenager to serve 11 to 20 years behind bars for bringing two handguns and ammunition to a Gillette middle school in 2018, the boy’s father said.

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Supreme Court rules on proper way to serve court documents

CHEYENNE — The Wyoming Supreme Court voided, reversed and remanded a default decree with instructions to vacate in its Tuesday opinion.

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Wyoming oil company owner flies patients to medical care facilities

The private plane glided over Casper through a cloudless cerulean sky Wednesday morning. Volunteer pilot Tom Van Kleef landed the Cessna 414 aircraft, which carried a 15-year-old patient and his mother, safely onto the runway at 10:06 a.m.

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Man and dog fight health issues together

POWELL — For the better part of the past decade, it wasn’t unusual to see Rick Slater walking through downtown Powell with his Banjo.

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Gillette man starts urban farm in response to pandemic

GILLETTE — It was a slightly windy Wednesday afternoon as Matt Walker walked through a field next to Westwood High School, making his way through rows of vegetables.

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NEWS BRIEFS for Thursday, June 25, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

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Judge: No evidence of ‘certain and great harm’ to grizzlies

A judge shared his reasoning Friday on why he refused to halt the killing of grizzly bears, killings that protect a historic Wyoming cattle drive and ranching operation on the Bridger-Teton National Forest.

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Health officer urges personal responsibility as state sees 1,000th coronavirus case

CASPER — The Wyoming Department of Health announced the state’s 1,000th confirmed case of the coronavirus on Wednesday. It comes as the state’s growth in cases continued its recent uptick.

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Laramie council, public begin discussing police reform

LARAMIE — Members of the Laramie public showed an impassioned interest in a number of measures to reform policing, especially in a citizen oversight board, during a City Council work session Tuesday, but some of the hopes to see an overall reduced police presence in the community will be a hard sell for government officials.

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Wyoming activists seek holiday for Juneteenth

CHEYENNE — Two local anti-racist community activists started a petition Monday to make Juneteenth a state holiday in Wyoming.

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NEWS BRIEFS for Wednesday, June 24, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

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Wolves are moving Gros Ventre elk, but not so much killing them

JACKSON — Biologists have had a microscope on the Gros Ventre River drainage for a couple winters now, monitoring how the region’s apex canine carnivores are interacting with their most locally abundant ungulate prey — elk.

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Advocates: State should build on Supreme Court LGBTQ ruling

A decision by the U.S. Supreme Court last week protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination in the workplace calls the state of Wyoming to account for resisting passing such statutes, gay rights advocates say.

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Transition in coal country: rural communities on the brink

Coal country in America is in the midst of a historic transition.

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Gordon pushes lawsuit over coal terminal

CASPER — Wyoming continues to forge ahead in its lawsuit against Washington, alleging the state unconstitutionally blocked a proposed coal export terminal.

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Health officials brace for COVID-19 uptick in Laramie County after weekend gatherings downtown

CHEYENNE - Local health officials worry that crowded gatherings in downtown Cheyenne this past weekend will lead to an increase in COVID-19 cases in Laramie County.

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NEWS BRIEFS for Tuesday, June 23, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

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Senate, House hopefuls discuss energy

GILLETTE — The COVID-19 pandemic, health care and the future of the energy industry were among the topics addressed at the first Campbell County League of Women Voters candidate forum of the local primary election season.

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Trespassers cited at Kanye West’s ranch

POWELL — In unrelated incidents, a pair of young men were caught trespassing on Kanye West’s Cody area ranch in recent weeks.

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Pro-hunting groups join Elk Refuge fight

JACKSON — Three hunting advocacy groups have asked a federal court to join the legal dispute over what becomes of the National Elk Refuge’s feeding program.

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Game and Fish Commission OKs $548,000 for sage grouse

CASPER — The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission gave preliminary approval to extend $548,000 for sage grouse conservation projects. The state’s eight sage grouse local working groups can submit proposals to the commission and any approved projects could launch as early as July 1.

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Lawmakers hear grim fiscal news from CREG chair

RIVERTON — The state will enter a "cash negative situation" by the end of 2020 unless huge budget cuts are made, revenue experts told the Joint Appropriations Committee.

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State agencies prepare for program cuts

CHEYENNE — The Wyoming Department of Family Services has a presence in every county in the state.

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UW awaits funding commitment from Gordon

LARAMIE — The University of Wyoming has not yet received a final commitment from the governor that it will receive more than $26 million in coronavirus relief funding that it says is needed to reopen on time for the fall semester.

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NEWS BRIEFS for Monday, June 22, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

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Hart case may not be closed

CASPER — The criminal investigation into retired bishop Joseph Hart has not been officially closed, Cheyenne police said Friday, after authorities realized that a prosecutor had misunderstood police files describing the allegations against the cleric.

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Documents show UW investigations not limited to Nichols

In September 2019, the University of Wyoming investigated a top administrator who resigned weeks later, using a secretive process that mirrored the inquiry that led to the ouster of former president Laurie Nichols and brought scrutiny to how the institution is governed.

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Farmers market vendors deal with coronavirus

On a gusty Saturday morning in Lander’s City Park, small-scale farmers from central Wyoming offered garden-variety early-season produce — lettuce, herbs, radishes and hardy greens — along with market favorites like sourdough bread, cheese, coffee and kombucha.

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Cheyenne murder trial heads for district court

CHEYENNE — The first-degree murder case of a 33-year-old Cheyenne woman fatally shooting her fiancé was found to have probable cause and was bound over from Laramie County Circuit Court to Laramie County District Court.

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Dirty campground lures bear, leading to its death

JACKSON — Food, garbage and vomit were scattered around a dispersed Darby Canyon campsite early June 14 when state wildlife officials arrived to respond to a report of a pre-dawn mountain lion attack.

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Court: Tribal members must obey state hunting rules

SHERIDAN — Native American tribal members must abide by Wyoming Game and Fish Department regulations when hunting off an established reservation, according to an order handed down by Sheridan County Circuit Court Judge Shelley Cundiff June 11.

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Legislator defends councilman who resigned

GILLETTE — Former Gillette City Councilman Shay Lundvall isn’t the only elected official to express support for a group of social media posts that prompted Mayor Louise Carter-King and the rest of the council to ask for his resignation last week.

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Natrona School District sues e-cigarette company

CASPER — The Natrona County School District officially filed a lawsuit against e-cigarette giant Juul this week, alleging the company had targeted young people and had misrepresented the true potency of the devices.

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Forensic nurse examiners see fewer patients

CHEYENNE — During the COVID-19 pandemic, forensic nurse examiners have been up and running at Cheyenne Regional Medical Center. But even though they’re still there, they’ve been seeing fewer victims of domestic violence, citing less people coming in over fears of the virus.

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Weston Co. ranchers/dino hunters featured on Discovery

NEWCASTLE — From dinosaurs to cowboys, the Discovery Channel’s newest show “Dino Hunters” will feature Weston County ranchers Mike and Jake Harris as they hunt for dinosaurs while tending their cattle.

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Facing similar issues, Hispanic activists stand with Black Lives Matter

CHEYENNE – She was in the grocery store, her youthful curiosity leading her to question everything around her, when she pointed her tiny toddler finger at a bottle of Spic and Span and said something like “I know what a Spic is, that’s us, but Span, are those the people from New Mexico?”

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Funeral homes work to bring people together despite coronavirus

POWELL — Like many businesses operating during the pandemic, funeral homes provided services while keeping customers safe. Being in the business of bringing people together to grieve, the need to also maintain social distancing presented some unique challenges.

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NEWS BRIEFS for Thursday, June 18, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

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Supreme Court overturns assault sentence

CHEYENNE – An aggravated assault case’s sentencing has been remanded back to Laramie County District Court because the court’s oral sentencing differed from its written sentencing, according to a Wyoming Supreme Court opinion issued Monday.

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Uinta coronavirus spike blamed on social distance failure at bar

CASPER — The recent spike in coronavirus cases in Uinta County is in large part attributable to patrons of at least one bar there not practicing social distancing, a health official said Wednesday.

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Legislators face difficult mental health service choices

SHERIDAN — Some legislators have cautioned against detracting from mental health services as the state looks for places to tighten the budget, but the Wyoming Legislature Joint Subcommittee on Mental Health and Substance Use has asked state-funded entities connected to mental health to begin identifying their priority populations and any opportunities for budget reduction as they approach the next biennium.

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Barrasso says nation better prepared for next coronavirus wave

GREYBULL — U.S. Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., spoke in optimistic terms about the nation’s preparedness for potential second and third waves of the coronavirus but acknowledged the damage that the virus has already done to the state’s economy and psyche of its residents during a weekend visit to Greybull.

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Full slate of activities scheduled for State Fair

DOUGLAS — Get ready for the midway, carnival games, rides, vendors, corn dogs and cotton candy as the Wyoming State Fair is set to be one of the best ever.

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Injunction to block killing of grizzlies on Upper Green rejected

JACKSON — Thousands of domestic cows paired up with their calves are on the go along the historic Green River Drift cattle drive, headed to expansive Bridger-Teton National Forest grazing allotments where they’ll spend the summer.

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State agencies prepare for July 1 budget cuts

Gov. Mark Gordon will be enacting more substantive cuts to state agencies beginning July 1, his budget director told the Legislature’s Joint Appropriations Committee last week.

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COVID refugees bring mini-boom to some Wyo real estate markets

As Wyoming’s economy gets back in gear following a COVID-19 stay-at-home lull, one corner of the business world is seeing at least a mini boom — the rural refuge real estate market.

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NEWS BRIEFS for Wednesday, June 17, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

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Protesters seek ouster of Gillette mayor after councilman’s resignation

GILLETTE — After about 90 minutes of protesting outside Gillette City Hall on Tuesday evening, dozens of city residents packed the City Council chambers to overflowing demanding former councilman Shay Lundvall be installed back on the council and for the mayor and council to step down.

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Nonprofits stemmed COVID impacts, then the state snubbed them

Before the pandemic, staff at the Council of Community Services in Gillette were looking forward to renovating the facility where they house the homeless, feed the hungry and help the needy get back on their feet.

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Judge clears way for appeal of murder conviction

CASPER — A Natrona County judge on Tuesday approved a man’s request to appeal his conviction for his mother’s murder, despite his attorney’s failure to meet the deadline set out by court rule.

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Wyoming sees statewide spike in COVID-19 cases

CHEYENNE — Despite public health orders slowing the spread of COVID-19, Wyoming is now seeing a spike in cases.

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NEWS BRIEFS for Tuesday, June 16, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

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Health Department eyes statewide sewage testing

CODY — After a second round of sewage testing, the City of Cody was still COVID-19 free as of May 21, with negative results returning last Tuesday morning. Another sample taken the next day will come back in a few weeks.

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Wind energy company warns against new Albany County regulations

LARAMIE — Albany County government could be moving toward stopping all wind energy development in the county if it adopts regulations being proposed by a Laramie law firm, a wind energy company representative said this week.

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Councilman asked to resign because of Facebook ‘likes’

GILLETTE — Responding to what it calls inaccuracies on local social media in response to the resignation of former Gillette city councilman Shay Lundvall, the council released a statement after meeting in executive session for more than 90 minutes Monday evening.

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UW braces for $35 million in cuts

CASPER — The University of Wyoming is preparing to absorb $35 million in cuts in the coming years, reductions that are expected to hit every public agency here as state revenues continue to plummet.

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Grand Teton workers find home on Mormon Row

JACKSON — One of the first places where people settled in Jackson Hole now has new residents.

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Tensions grow at Laramie protests

LARAMIE — Protests against racism and police brutality have escalated this week in Laramie as supporters and apparent counter-protesters in trucks, motorcycles and Jeeps have confronted people blocking intersections along Grand Avenue.

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Wyoming targeted by unemployment fraud ring

EVANSTON — Evanston man James McDaniel was perplexed when, while sifting through his mail one day at lunch, he came across not one, but three, letters from the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services (DWS) Unemployment Insurance Office. He wasn’t unemployed and was in fact home from work on a lunch break.

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NEWS BRIEFS for Friday, June 12, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

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State asks court to cut grizzly depredation award by $215,286

An arbitration panel exceeded its legal authority in awarding Hot Springs County rancher Josh Longwell $349,730 for stock lost to grizzly bears and other predators, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department has told a district judge.

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Supreme Court: Wyomingites can change sex on birth certificate

CHEYENNE — Wyomingites now have the right to change their sex on their birth certificate, according to the Wyoming Supreme Court in an opinion it issued Wednesday.

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Ranchers see boon in direct sales

DOUGLAS — The meat cases at Douglas Grocery and Safeway are a little less bare in the days following the more stringent pandemic restrictions, but early on meat was in short supply.

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Jenny Lake shuttle boats persevere in face of restrictions

JACKSON — A tad past 3:30 p.m., senior Jenny Lake Boating pilot Kyle Goldstein hollered out to 10 clients who lingered on the dock in waiting.

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Revised rules allow for larger gatherings

CASPER — As many as 250 people can gather in certain indoor settings beginning next week, according to revised public health orders released Wednesday that continue the state’s rolling wave of relaxed coronavirus-related restrictions.

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NEWS BRIEFS for Thursday, June 11, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

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Powell Valley company plants hemp crop

POWELL — The first commercial hemp crop in the Powell Valley was planted this week. Dale Tenhulzen, CEO and president of MHF (Mother’s Hemp Farms), said he is transplanting 35 acres of hemp just west of Powell. The company will sow another 102 acres of hemp in the Deaver area with the drilling method.

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Food trucks, restaurants battle over business in Jackson

JACKSON — Blaine Gallivan and Franny Weikert reached their Kickstarter goal of $40,000 to convert a 1990s horse trailer into a state-of-the-art, mobile kitchen to make pizza and bread just days after a Teton County public health order closed dine-in service at restaurants in March.

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Lawmakers vote to include nonprofits in second round of grant programs

CHEYENNE — After nonprofits were deemed ineligible for the first of a series of grant programs set up by the Wyoming Legislature last month, a group of lawmakers advanced a motion Wednesday to make them eligible for the remaining programs.

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NEWS BRIEFS for Wednesday, June 10, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

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Japanese carbon capture technology to be tested at ITC

GILLETTE — A Japanese company has signed on to use the Integrated Test Center near Gillette to test a technology designed to capture carbon dioxide from flue gas produced by power plants.

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Judge stalls Wyo’s repayment of $47 million in oil lease revenue

A federal judge has stalled his own order that Wyoming pay back $47.5 million it received from two 2018 oil-and-gas lease sales he nullified for legal flaws.

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Protests reignite an old police brutality fight in Laramie

As hundreds march in Laramie to protest police brutality, the international movement is reinvigorating local activism around a police killing some feel has been overlooked.

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Legislators wary of making hazing a felony

LARAMIE — Creating a standardized definition of hazing across all Wyoming schools would be the most important thing for the Wyoming Legislature to do in an anti-hazing bill, representatives from the University of Wyoming’s administration and student body told the Legislature’s Joint Education Committee on Friday.

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Accuser: Hart will not be prosecuted

CASPER — Retired Catholic bishop Joseph Hart will not face criminal prosecution over an allegation that he sexually abused at least one boy in the 1970s, the alleged victim in the case told the Star-Tribune on Tuesday.

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Judge declines to further redact school flier report

CHEYENNE — Laramie County District Judge Peter Froelicher has denied the Cheyenne school district’s request to further redact a report that investigated bigoted bullying at McCormick Junior High.

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Tree trimming in recommended wilderness raises questions

JACKSON — Jeff Ruch was paging through the results of a Freedom of Information Act request about a categorical upgrade to Yellowstone’s WiFi infrastructure earlier this year when he came across an exchange that suggested 100 trees had been felled within a recommended wilderness area.

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Pivot keeps business afloat

CASPER — In mid-March, Backwards Distilling Company was preparing a batch of its 307 Vodka. But before the Mills distiller could complete the process, the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

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NEWS BRIEFS for Tuesday, June 9, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

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Wyoming jumps aboard for Trump water rule

PINEDALE — In a move to support the Navigable Waters Protection Rule and allow Wyoming to be its own “prime caretaker” of water, the State Attorney General’s Office joined 22 other states to intervene as amicus curiae or friends of the court of last week.

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Uinta County cases more than double over weekend

EVANSTON — Uinta County’s confirmed COVID-19 case numbers have more than doubled since the afternoon of Thursday, June 4, with five new cases confirmed that afternoon, another five new cases confirmed over the weekend and additional cases confirmed Monday morning.

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Protesters take part in rallies in Pinedale, Cody

Hundreds of protesters took to the streets in Pinedale and Cody recently as those two cities became the latest to see demonstrations held in protest of the death of a Minnesota man at the hands of police.

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Judge opens door for coal shovel foreclosure

GILLETTE — Eagle Specialty Materials finds its legal pit a little deeper after a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge cleared the way for Komatsu Mining Corp. to foreclose on a pair of large coal shovels at ESM’s Powder River Basin mines.

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In the wake of protests, LCSD1 declares "Black Lives Matter”

CHEYENNE — As protests and vigils over the police killing of black Minneapolis resident George Floyd continue across Wyoming and the country, the state’s largest school district is reaffirming its commitment to inclusive learning.

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‘Stand your ground’ law not a ‘get out of jail free card’

CHEYENNE — The “stand your ground” bill passed by the Wyoming Legislature in 2018 has caused case dismissals and citizen confusion surrounding the law that now has officials worried it will be viewed as a “get out of jail free card.”

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NEWS BRIEFS for Friday, June 5, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

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Floyd protests continue in Laramie, Gillette

Protesters took to the streets of Laramie and Gillette again on Thursday as nationwide demonstrations continued to protest the death of a Minnesota man in police custody.

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Budget cuts will cost state jobs, Gordon says

CASPER — Upcoming cuts to state spending will “likely lead to some employees losing their jobs” as Wyoming continues to grapple with the economic fallout of COVID-19, collapsed oil prices and continuing declines in natural gas and coal, Gov. Mark Gordon said Thursday.

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Private endeavor to raise sage grouse in captivity hits snag

POWELL — On the final day of a month-long hunt for greater sage grouse eggs, Karl Bear approached his team with a noticeable limp. Yet, as he neared their trucks on a dusty, double-track road, Bear had a broad smile on his sweat-soaked face.

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Gillette man wants his automotive museum to become a tourist stop

GILLETTE — The COVID-19 pandemic has not discouraged Frontier Relics and Auto Museum owner Jeff Wandler from adding to his impressive collection of neon signs, gas pumps, classic cars and nods to Western history.

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NEWS BRIEFS for Thursday, June 4, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

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Clash of wolves, cattle continues near Jackson

JACKSON — Russ Lucas first noticed in mid-April that an unwelcome neighbor — wolves — were back on his family’s Spring Gulch cattle ranch.

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Senator says state’s revenue woes may linger

SUNDANCE — The age of mineral wealth may be at an end for the State of Wyoming. The latest CREG report shows a severe drop in revenue over the next couple of years thanks to a huge decline in income from coal, oil and natural gas, and Senator Ogden Driskill warns that it may not be temporary.

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Campbell commissioners back plan to hold rodeo championship in Gillette

GILLETTE — Campbell County Commissioners and Campbell County Public Health support a plan for Cam-plex to possibly host the National High School Finals Rodeo in July.

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Hundreds march through Casper to protest Floyd death

CASPER — Hundreds of demonstrators gathered to silently march and then make speeches in downtown Casper on Wednesday in protest of police brutality and the videotaped killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer.

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NEWS BRIEFS for Wednesday, June 3, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

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Yellowstone allows more time for Wi-Fi review

JACKSON — A telecommunications business rebuffed the National Park Service last winter after park officials asked for a smaller, pilot version of the company’s plan to add hundreds of antennas transmitting Wi-Fi signals throughout developed areas in Yellowstone National Park.

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‘All of our plans got dissolved:’ COVID-19 and the class of 2020

For Trayshon Spoonhunter, a successful high-school basketball career and countless hours of devotion to the game all led up to one capstone moment in the second week of March. He and his Lander Valley High School team were on the road to the state championship.

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Laramie, Gillette, Rock Springs see protests over Floyd death

Protesters across Wyoming continued to express their dismay this week over the death of Minnesota man George Floyd at the hands of police.

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Ranchers: Grizzly suit imperils rights, wildlife migrations

CORA — Sublette County ranchers say a suit challenging their Forest Service grazing permit — a 10-year arrangement that authorizes the killing of 72 grizzly bears — could violate their rights, run them out of business, and lead to a host of negative environmental impacts.

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Legislators eye mineral tax cuts

CASPER — Wyoming lawmakers mulled ways to prop up the ailing oil and gas industry Monday, including possible cuts to state mineral taxes.

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Release of report on racist activity at Cheyenne school delayed

CHEYENNE — Inquisitive minds will have to keep waiting to read a currently sealed report of an investigation into racist and homophobic student activity at Cheyenne’s McCormick Junior High School.

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Costs to resume classes at UW set at just under $79 million

LARAMIE — University of Wyoming leaders determined to see on-campus activities resume in the fall announced Tuesday those plans would move forward with the caveat that state government provides the necessary funding.

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HollyFrontier announces plan to lay off roughly 200 employees at Cheyenne refinery

CHEYENNE— HollyFrontier Corporation announced Monday that it will be laying off about 200 employees at its Cheyenne refinery over the next 18 months.

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Cody Nite Rodeo approved to begin June 15

CODY — Cody Nite Rodeo received approval Monday to hold the event with 600 spectators beginning June 15.

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NEWS BRIEFS for Tuesday, June 2, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

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NEWS BRIEFS for Monday, June 1, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

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Committee rejects property tax increase

RIVERTON — State Sen. Cale Case, R-Lander, lambasted his colleagues on the Joint Revenue Committee this week after the majority opposed drafting a bill to raise property taxes by 2%.

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Clusters of coronavirus turning up in more facilities

CASPER — In fewer than 14 days, Wyoming officials have addressed potential and realized coronavirus clusters within at least three long-term care facilities and three childcare centers.

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Demand for food, childcare assistance growing in Wyoming

CASPER — Vital social services like childcare assistance and the supplemental nutrition assistance program, or SNAP, are experiencing growing pressures in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Department of Family Services Director Korin Schmidt told lawmakers recently, likely requiring additional state dollars to match rising demand statewide.

65     0

Lawsuit against Albany Sheriff’s Office allowed to proceed

LARAMIE — A federal judge approved a civil rights lawsuit to move forward this month against the Albany County Sheriff’s Office.

44     0

Officials say worst of unemployment may have passed

SHERIDAN — As far as unemployment claims in the state, the worst may have passed, according to Wyoming Department of Workforce Services Director Robin Cooley.

61     0

Vigil, rally mark death of man at hands of police

Hundreds turned out for a vigil in Cheyenne and a rally in Jackson over the weekend to memorialize the death of a Minnesota man killed by police. In Cheyenne, a candlelight vigil was held to memorialize George Floyd, who died May 25 after being restrained by four Minneapolis police officers. In Jackson, a crowd gathered in the town square Sunday for a peaceful protest of the incident.

57     0

Cody Stampede organizers say they’re planning for rodeo

CODY — In a reversal to a statement made by Gov. Mark Gordon on Wednesday and continued Friday morning regarding the state's six biggest rodeos being cancelled, the Cody Stampede Board announced in a press release Friday that it is still trying to hold the 101st Cody Stampede Rodeo and Xtreme Bulls events if the board can get state approval.

75     0

NEWS BRIEFS for Friday, May 29, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

66     0

Renewables top coal for energy consumption for first time in 135 years

GILLETTE — For the first time since before 1885, the annual United States energy consumption from renewable sources outpaced coal, according to a new report released Thursday by the federal U.S. Energy Information Administration.

63     0

Wind River inmates contract COVID-19

CASPER — A health official said Thursday that at least two inmates at the Wind River Reservation’s jail had tested positive for the coronavirus, making it the first known outbreak of the illness among multiple inmates at a correctional facility in Wyoming.

69     0

UW students first in state to be prosecuted for violating quarantine order

LARAMIE — Four Laramie women face criminal prosecution after they allegedly ignored orders to quarantine after being suspected of having COVID-19.

57     0

Injured Powell student Asher graduates from high school

POWELL — When EMTs rushed to load Ethan Asher into an ambulance on the second day of his senior year, they weren’t sure he would make it to the hospital. Doctors in Billings didn’t expect him to survive the night. Then specialists worried he might never be able to speak again or retain memories.

61     0

Barrasso believes coronavirus shutdowns are over

BUFFALO — Though Wyoming saw its third largest spike in positive coronavirus cases on Saturday, U.S. Sen. John Barrasso does not believe the nation or Wyoming will need to close down again.

62     0

NEWS BRIEFS for Wednesday, May 27, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

0     0

Back Country Horsemen fight conditions to add convenience to Sunlight campgrounds

POWELL — Just after lunch, dark clouds moved in overhead and a cold rain began to fall. The storm was expected, but the crew couldn’t see it approaching at Dead Indian Campground — far below the surrounding peaks.

47     0

Togwotee tussle: Grizzly fandom on the pass enters new era

JACKSON — Near mile marker 11 on Togwotee Pass, Tiffany Huynh wanted to know what all the commotion was about.

69     0

Change in mineral tax payments faces early challenges

CASPER — Legislation signed into law this year requires energy firms in Wyoming to fork over mineral tax payments to county governments on a more frequent, monthly basis. But the road to implementing the new tax rules could be bumpy for public officials and industry alike.

58     0

Lawmakers unlikely to consider Medicaid expansion in any special session

CHEYENNE – As Wyoming lawmakers prepare for the likelihood of more special sessions in coming months, Medicaid expansion likely won’t be a topic up for immediate consideration in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

59     0

Jackson airport told to create disaster fund for heli-tours

JACKSON — Town of Jackson officials are playing with Jackson Hole Airport purse strings to create a precautionary pot of money for potential wildfire and search-and-rescue costs in the event that a scenic helicopter flight crashes and burns.

54     0

GCSD planning for fall

TORRINGTON – An unsourced viral post on social media about the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines for reopening schools during the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a minor panic online. But the real measures released by the CDC last week aren’t nearly as strict or cut and dry.

55     0

NEWS BRIEFS for Wednesday, May 27, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

76     0

Supreme Court affirms Laramie County custody decision

CHEYENNE – The Wyoming Supreme Court ruled recently that the Laramie County District Court didn’t abuse its discretion when it said a mother wasn’t allowed to consume alcohol during visits with her child.

63     0

Wyoming braces for $1.5 billion revenue hit

CASPER — Collapsing energy prices and the COVID-19 pandemic are expected to cost Wyoming up to $1.5 billion in revenues through June 2022, preliminary estimates released Tuesday show, setting the stage for steep budget cuts, new taxes or a mix of both.

72     0

Jackson false imprisonment trial delayed

JACKSON — The civil rights lawsuit filed by a Jackson teen against a Colorado cop is delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

65     0

Riverton man charged with first-degree murder

RIVERTON — Authorities ruled Tuesday that the manner of Trevor Bartlett’s death was homicide.

54     0

Warden credits ‘hard work’ as DOC continues to report no cases

Wyoming’s Department of Corrections has yet to report a confirmed COVID-19 case among its inmates, according to the department, even as state and federal prisons nationwide have proven hotbeds of infection.

46     0

Pollution drops amid pandemic

CASPER — A University of Utah scientist has published preliminary research revealing a significant decline in air pollutants during the age of COVID-19.

64     0

NEWS BRIEFS for Tuesday, May 26, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

70     0

Treasure hunter banned from Yellowstone

POWELL – An Indiana treasure seeker who had to be rescued by park rangers after illegally rappelling into the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone last winter has received multiple penalties for his actions. David Christensen must serve a week in jail, reimburse the Park Service more than $4,000 for the expense of getting him out of the canyon and stay out of Yellowstone National Park for the next five years.

76     0

NE Wyoming tourism season marked by uncertainty

GILLETTE — When the coronavirus pandemic began to impact the economy more than two months ago, there was a lot of uncertainty on how it would play out. Today, as states and communities start to reopen, it’s difficult to predict what the recovery will look like.

70     0

Long-term future of skills games not a sure thing

GILLETTE — The city of Gillette’s decision to kill an ordinance to regulate “skills” games does not end a larger debate about whether businesses and organizations across Wyoming should be allowed the have the games.

64     0

Gunwerks reaches settlement in Wells Fargo lawsuit

CODY — A settlement was agreed to in a $2.8 million lawsuit between Wells Fargo Bank and Cody-based firearm manufacturer Gunwerks, that was filed in Wyoming Federal District Court on Wednesday, according to Michael LaBazzo, a spokesman for Gunwerks.

59     0

U.S. Attorney asked to watch out for government overreach

RIVERTON — The United States Attorney for the District of Wyoming has been asked by United States Attorney General William Barr to be vigilant against state or county public health orders that strain people’s rights “unduly.”

69     0

NTEC furloughs 93 hourly workers, 8 salaried from Antelope mine

GILLETTE — More than 100 Antelope coal mine workers lost their jobs Thursday morning when Navajo Transitional Energy Co. furloughed 93 hourly employees and laid off eight salaried staff.

92     0

NEWS BRIEFS for Friday, May 22, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

94     0

Judiciary Committee hears testimony on public records

SHERIDAN — Several witnesses asked the Wyoming Legislature Joint Judiciary Committee during its virtual meeting Wednesday to prepare better guidance regarding interpretation of public records exemptions going forward.

88     0

COVID-19 found at Casper nursing home; 265 to be tested, quarantined

CASPER — Roughly 265 staff members and residents at a Casper long-term care facility will be tested and quarantined after a case of the coronavirus was confirmed there, health officials said Thursday.

69     0

WYDOT director backs usage charge as solution to funding state roads

CHEYENNE – With the state facing more than $100 million in annual unmet road needs, the head of the Wyoming Department of Transportation offered his support Thursday for a funding option that’s gained momentum in other Western states.

67     0

Staff handling locker clean-out process at Gillette high schools

GILLETTE — Cleaning out lockers is one of those things that signifies the end of the school year and the start of summer break. But instead of students doing that this year, teachers and custodians have been doing the chore.

78     0

How COVID-19 expanded this yearbook's meaning

CHEYENNE — The award-winning yearbook staff at Cheyenne’s East High had a plan for documenting this school year – and a global pandemic wasn’t a part of it.

77     0

Transients, others quarantine in Riverton COVID camp

RIVERTON — As of Friday afternoon, 16 people were quarantined in a man camp abutting Arapahoe School on the Wind River Indian Reservation.

74     0

Governor urges residents to adhere to safeguards as cases climb by 13

In the wake of Wyoming’s 11th death related to the coronavirus, Gov. Mark Gordon on Wednesday urged Wyoming residents to abide by the safety guidelines that have been handed down by state health officials to stop the spread of the illness.

81     0

NEWS BRIEFS for Thursday, May 21, 2020 From Wyoming News Exchange newspapers

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

67     0

32 tested for COVID-19 after case at Casper day care

CASPER — A child at a Casper day care center tested positive for the coronavirus, prompting the center’s closure and the testing of 32 staff members and children, the Casper-Natrona County Health Department said Wednesday.

73     0

Paper, new or DIY: Bagging groceries in the COVID era

JACKSON — Grocery shoppers in Jackson can still use their own bags. They just have to bag their own groceries if they do.

78     0

State announces targeted COVID-19 testing plan for nursing homes, assisted-living facilities

CHEYENNE – In an effort to monitor potential outbreaks of the coronavirus, Wyoming health officials have announced a plan to test a portion of staff members and residents in every nursing home and assisted-living facility across the state.

106     0

NEWS BRIEFS for Tuesday, May 19, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

92     0

Cody merchants prepare for tourists

CODY — With Yellowstone National Park’s recent opening limited to its Wyoming entrances in Cody and Jackson, it could be an opportunity for local businesses to benefit from a monopoly of sorts when it comes to tourist traffic.

85     0

Glimmer of hope for oil and gas industry

CASPER — The price for a barrel of oil inched just over $30 Monday morning, a welcomed reprieve for oil and gas operators stuck in the midst of an energy crisis fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic.

86     0

Cheyenne woman charged with first-degree murder in Saturday shooting death

CHEYENNE – A 33-year-old Cheyenne teacher has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with the shooting death of her fiancé early Saturday morning.

129     0

NEWS BRIEFS for Monday, May 18, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

76     0

Guernsey braces for layoffs as coal’s decline quiets the rails

GUERNSEY — The railroad is this town’s backbone.

85     0

Ultra files for bankruptcy: gas producer was state’s largest tax contributor last year

CASPER — One of Wyoming’s most prolific natural gas producers, Ultra Petroleum Corp., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Thursday evening in Texas following months of financial instability.

64     0

Freedom rally: Citizens gather outside Smith Alley in Sheridan

SHERIDAN — A group of about 75 gathered outside Smith Alley Brewing Company Friday — some to show solidarity for the business itself, others to advocate for personal liberties.

82     0

Tribes continue shelter order; aggressive approach continues as other places loosen rules

CASPER — As the state and Wyoming counties begin to loosen restrictions on business amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Wind River Reservation tribes are continuing their aggressive approach to mitigate the spread of the virus.

66     0

Renewed effort to protect businesses from COVID-19 lawsuits succeeds in special session

CHEYENNE – After a bill to grant immunity to business owners from COVID-19 lawsuits faltered during the first day of the Wyoming Legislature’s special session, a renewed effort to provide those protections was successful in the second and final day of the session Saturday.

67     0

Historic special session opens as bars, restaurants open

Restaurants and bars across Wyoming that have been closed since mid-March opened their doors on Friday as Wyoming’s legislators met in an historic special session to deal with the impacts of the coronavirus.

84     0

NEWS BRIEFS for Friday, May 15, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

84     0

Sheridan business owner speaks out on COVID-19 orders

SHERIDAN — Businesses reopening has caused some tension and confusion along Sheridan’s Main Street, especially regarding law enforcement’s role in enforcing public health mandates.

98     0

Cheyenne Landlord Association questions details of eviction program in special session bill

CHEYENNE – The Cheyenne Landlord Association has been hesitant to support a program aiming to stave off evictions that will be considered during the Wyoming Legislature’s special session today and Saturday.

93     0

UW seeks $46M for fall reopening

CASPER – The University of Wyoming is considering reopening closed buildings and testing all of its students and staff every two weeks as part of a preliminary plan to begin in-person education in the fall, a plan that will cost $46 million in that first semester alone.

77     0

Groups aim to record pandemic for posterity

CASPER — Few firsthand stories remain of how Wyoming weathered the 1918 flu pandemic and how the virus impacted peoples’ lives in the state just over a century ago.

87     0

An American Dream: Owner turns drive-in into an oasis for groups during pandemic

POWELL – On Friday — the weekend before the official opening of the American Dream Drive-in — business was hopping.

81     0

Self-quarantine has spurred new hobbies, rekindled old passions

GILLETTE — Beckie Avery bought a circular saw for a small project.

120     0

Academy closure could cause police shortage

JACKSON — With the Wyoming Law Enforcement Academy shuttered because of the COVID-19 pandemic, some new police officers are ready, but not able, to take to the streets.

92     0

NEWS BRIEFS for Thursday, May 14, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

86     0

Yellowstone to reopen access Monday in limited capacity

POWELL — Starting at noon on Monday, Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks will begin reopening through a gradual, three-phase plan.

93     0

Gov. urges caution as businesses open more

CHEYENNE – With some statewide public health orders being eased at the end of the week, Gov. Mark Gordon asked the public Wednesday to be careful as the state’s economy begins to reopen.

89     0

Natrona County dismantling coronavirus response operations

CASPER – Various structures put in place in Natrona County to respond to the novel coronavirus are being dismantled and put on standby as the disease appears to have slowed here and the state continues to loosen restrictions on everyday life.

83     0

Wyoming receives promising medication

CASPER – The state of Wyoming has received a limited shipment of Remdesivir, the experimental drug that’s shown promise in fighting the novel coronavirus, according to a memo that’s been sent to health care providers across the state.

79     0

FROM WYOFILE: Judges question Wyoming’s case for grizzly numbers

A federal appeals panel May 4 questioned Wyoming’s contention that Yellowstone area wildlife managers should keep the population goal for ecosystem grizzly bears unaltered if they change the method of counting them. Grizzly advocates say inflating the population estimate by swapping models but not adjusting the population goal could lead to the death of some 500 bears.

83     0

NEWS BRIEFS for Wednesday, May 13, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

97     0

Wyoming coronavirus cases up by three

The daily increase in confirmed coronavirus cases in Wyoming on Tuesday was at the lowest level seen since mid-April, according to Department of Health figures.

128     0

Jackson hoteliers worry about summer tourism

JACKSON — Three nights a week over the past 13 years Bob Brown has lived in various Jackson Hole hotels.

84     0

Fremont County coronavirus numbers high due to testing, official says

The high number of coronavirus cases on Fremont County reflects the amount of testing done in the county, according to a health official.

116     0

Fremont County Attorney says he won't enforce some public health orders

RIVERTON — The top prosecutor of Fremont County will not enforce certain elements of public health orders put in place by Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon to mitigate coronavirus spread.

92     0

NEWS BRIEFS for Tuesday, May 12, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

105     0

Legislature to allow some media into Capitol for special session

The Wyoming Legislature will allow some media into the Capitol for this week’s two-day special session under special guidelines the Legislative Services Office issued on Monday.

99     0

Prosecutor: Platte County officer justified in shooting

CASPER — A Platte County sheriff ’s captain was justified when he shot and killed a man carrying an ax last month near Wheatland, that county’s top prosecutor announced Monday.

87     0

Committee advances bill establishing grant, loan programs ahead of special session

CHEYENNE – With the end of the financial turbulence caused by the COVID-19 pandemic nowhere in sight, Wyoming business owners and their employees could soon gain a boost.

98     0

Gordon proclaims special session, public cannot attend

Gov. Mark Gordon Thursday signed a proclamation convening the Wyoming Legislature for a special session on May 15 to distribute federal stimulus money to Wyoming businesses, healthcare facilities and workers.

110     0

BNSF lays off 130

CASPER — A national railroad freight company announced Thursday it will close two facilities in Wyoming and lay off 130 workers in response to tough market conditions for coal.

107     0

Legislature's special session set for May 15 as lawmakers prepare bill to help businesses

CHEYENNE – The Wyoming Legislature will meet May 15 for its first special session since 2004 in an effort to address immediate needs caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

104     0

Governor announces plans to further ease COVID-19 restrictions

CHEYENNE – Gov. Mark Gordon said Thursday he plans to allow many restrictions to ease when the current statewide public health orders expire May 15.

98     0

Komatsu wants 'immediate' permission to take shovels at Eagle Butte, Belle Ayr mines

GILLETTE — Frustrated with a lack of legal action from Blackjewel LLC and the U.S. Bankruptcy Court and the fact that Eagle Specialty Materials continues to operate a pair of its large coal shovels, Komatsu Mining Corp. wants to either be paid or take its equipment.

88     0

NEWS BRIEFS for Thursday, May 7, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

0     0

NEWS BRIEFS for Thursday, May 7, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

102     0

Arrest made in Sweetwater County ‘Bitter Creek Betty’ cold case

GREEN RIVER — On March 1, 1992, a truck driver who stopped off of Interstate-80 to change his fuel tanks discovered a woman’s body 40 miles east of Rock Springs. Decades after her discovery, an arrest was made in the cold case involving a woman only known as “Bitter Creek Betty.”

119     0

New COVID-19 case pauses Campbell County's effort to reopen restaurants and bars

GILLETTE —Campbell County’s 16th confirmed COVID-19 case has put a hiccup in the county’s variance application to reopen area bars and restaurants.

102     0

Federal relief bill could provide funding to Wyoming health-care facilities

CHEYENNE – After lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on funding more than $150 million worth of capital construction projects during this year’s budget session, they may get a chance to revive one of those defeated proposals during the Legislature’s upcoming special session.

95     0

Amid uncertainty, Grand Teton facility sets May 22 opening

Officials and business leaders are warily eyeing the anticipated Memorial Day weekend opening of a gas station in Grand Teton National Park as a harbinger of returning tourism activity — the first opening of an in-park facility since Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks closed in March.

111     0

NEWS BRIEFS for Wednesday, May 6, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

100     0

Attorneys argue disjointed grizzly case

JACKSON —A convoluted challenge of the legal status of Yellowstone-area grizzlies progressed Tuesday in a federal appeals court as five attempted to clarify their disparate arguments.

108     0

Virus disproportionately affecting people of color

CASPER — The pandemic is not treating everyone in Wyoming equally. People of color and Native Americans in the state are being disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus, data collected by the Wyoming Department of Health shows.

93     0

Gym owner cited for defying closure order says she faced eviction

A Pinedale gym owner who was cited in April for reopening her business in violation of a state health order says slow government aid and threat of eviction forced her hand.

95     0

Trial Lawyers College embroiled in legal battle

The trial lawyers’ summer school founded by celebrated Wyoming attorney Gerry Spence on his Thunderhead Ranch outside Dubois is the focus of a legal fight over its management, leaving its future in limbo, at least in its Wyoming home base.

105     0

County variances allow restaurants, churches to open across state

Wyoming began taking steps toward normalcy this week as some counties won permission to reopen restaurants and churches.

98     0

NEWS BRIEFS for Tuesday, May 5, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

114     0

Regional beet growers receive federal support

POWELL — Local sugar beet farmers who were hit with losses in 2018 and 2019 due to poor weather are receiving some support from the federal government.

108     0

218 tested at State Hospital — zero positive

EVANSTON — In some exciting news for Uinta County, the Wyoming Department of Health announced on Monday that a large special testing study conducted at the Wyoming State Hospital found no new cases of COVID-19.

111     0

Legislators send letter to governor

SHERIDAN — A group of six legislators signed onto a letter written by Rep. Scott Clem to the governor, questioning the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

106     0

Program expansion may help oil, gas

CASPER – Changes made to a federal lending program last week could open up loans to Wyoming oil and gas firms left reeling from volatile oil prices and low fuel demand during the pandemic.

103     0

NEWS BRIEFS for Monday, May 4, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

148     0

Like ‘Dunkirk’: How COVID-19 clobbered National Outdoor Leadership School, a Lander keystone

Lindsay Priefert had her spring mapped out. The outdoor educator had contracted with Wyoming-based National Outdoor Leadership School to lead three of the five legs of a spring semester course. She had already taken the 11 students winter camping near Togwotee Pass and conducted a wilderness first responder session near Boulder. Her plan was to take a break while the students went rafting before meeting up with them to spend April backpacking in southern Utah.

100     0

COVID-19 underscores Wyoming gender disparities as female unemployment surges

CHEYENNE – In the first weeks of the coronavirus closures, the share of women filing unemployment claims in Wyoming skyrocketed to levels far above historical norms, suggesting women face unique struggles in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

101     0

Shed hunters pack Teton County Fairgrounds

JACKSON — Despite their pleas for antler hunters to stay home amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Jackson Police Department and the Teton County Sheriff’s Office escorted 186 cars full of shed seekers to the National Elk Refuge early Friday morning.

120     0

Lawmakers OK draft COVID response plan

CASPER — The Wyoming Legislature still doesn’t have a date for a special session planned for later this spring to respond to COVID-19 and its economic fallout.

98     0

Health care providers see financial impact from COVID-19

CHEYENNE – As the COVID-19 pandemic caused people to keep their health at the forefront of their minds, it’s also caused fewer people to go to doctor’s offices and hospitals to seek care for other ailments.

101     0

Human trafficking: Pandemic likely to worsen problem

SHERIDAN — Sex trafficking may not be the first danger that comes to mind when considering the impact of COVID-19 on individual communities, but the two are inextricably linked, according to Alexandra Stevenson, co-founder of the human trafficking prevention nonprofit Uprising.

95     0

As coronavirus restrictions ease, contact tracing is key

CASPER — As loosened restrictions on businesses take effect across Wyoming, health officials say contact tracing will continue to be an important tool to keep infections from spreading, with one county saying it is ramping up efforts to track cases.

105     0

Overnight camping at state parks to resume May 15 with some precautions

CHEYENNE – Wyoming residents will be able to resume overnight camping at state parks starting May 15, more than six weeks after it was banned due to COVID-19.

89     0

NEWS BRIEFS for Friday, May 1, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

91     0

Teton County officials explore contact tracing app

JACKSON — Teton County officials are looking for innovative ways to help trace the contacts of people who test positive for COVID-19.

108     0

Wyoming's coronavirus count to 415; state preps for easing of restrictions

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Wyoming grew by 11 to total 415 on Thursday as state residents began preparing for the easing of restrictions imposed on some businesses in March to prevent the spread of the illness.

121     0

Public believes jobs will return

CASPER — A majority of Wyomingites who’ve lost jobs or have had family members laid off because of the coronavirus believe that employment and hours will return when the virus’ spread has deteriorated further, according to the latest University of Wyoming survey.

110     0

Sage grouse-raising effort takes flight; thermal imaging technology used to raise species in captivity

POWELL — With sunrise still 90 minutes away, Karl Bear was already stepping out his front door into Wednesday’s predawn darkness with a worried look on his face.

126     0

Where to find cloth face masks and how to make them

CHEYENNE – As Wyomingites prepare to slowly start venturing out more in public again, wearing protective masks will be a big part of ensuring that COVID-19 doesn’t spread any further.

0     0

Long-distance couples struggle amid pandemic, but remain optimistic

CHEYENNE – Taylor Davis had a different last name six weeks ago – and a life that looked different.

81     0

Plasma therapy for virus to begin in Natrona County

CASPER – The sickest COVID-19 patients in Natrona County will soon be treated with the plasma of recovered patients, Casper-Natrona County Health Department spokesperson Hailey Bloom said in a Wednesday press conference.

104     0

Interpreters help deaf community get instant virus updates

CASPER — American Sign Language interpreter Gail Schenfisch stands behind officials in the live-streamed Natrona County news conferences about the COVID-19 pandemic and interprets for the local deaf community.

100     0

NEWS BRIEFS for Thursday, April 30, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

96     0

Where to find cloth face masks and how to make them

CHEYENNE – As Wyomingites prepare to slowly start venturing out more in public again, wearing protective masks will be a big part of ensuring that COVID-19 doesn’t spread any further.

128     0

Transients in Riverton quarantined; Fremont County virus tally up

RIVERTON — Part of Riverton's transient population has been quarantined on the Wind River Indian Reservation due to coronavirus concerns.

102     0

State and local health officials warn against current antibody tests

SUNDANCE — The first antibody tests have begun to appear on the market, both to purchase online and through a few providers in this region. But are they worth taking, this early in the game?

106     0

Rocky Mountain Power hiring 170+ additional workers for Gateway West project

RAWLINS - The company creating a massive transmission line project that will run through Carbon County has given notice that it needs more employees to finish one phase.

112     0

Two prominent Wyoming gas drillers in financial peril

A top financial ratings service has listed western Wyoming gas drillers Ultra Resources and Jonah Energy among issuers of “top bonds of concern” whose securities could face “imminent” default.

110     0

How to reduce your ‘message fatigue’ : Taking a step back from media is one answer

JACKSON — People are wearying of the deluge of COVID-19 information and finding some relief, experts say, could involve something as simple as taking a break.

111     0

Governor issues modified public health orders extending to May 15

CHEYENNE – Gov. Mark Gordon issued new public health orders Tuesday afternoon that allow certain businesses to reopen under specific conditions amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

120     0

Personal care business owners eager to get back to work

CASPER – Leah Juarez’s phone started buzzing almost as soon as the governor announced Tuesday that a handful of businesses, including hair salons, could reopen Friday.

100     0

NEWS BRIEFS for Tuesday, April 28, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

123     0

Wyoming residents continue helping each other with food, fireworks

Free food, face masks and fireworks were among the things Wyoming residents gave one another in the past week as reports of people reaching out to help their neighbors continued to make headlines.

120     0

School districts decide to close buildings for rest of year; Wyoming coronavirus case count to 389

School districts across Wyoming are making the decision to leave their buildings closed for the remainder of the school year.

116     0

Fireworks Demonstration

The Gines family — including Landon and Sarah Gines and their children Carter and Hailey — watch a display during a demonstration of class-C fireworks available to the general public, sold by Powell’s Western Pyro Enterprises. The demonstration was followed by a professional show Friday night at the company’s warehouse. Photo by Mark Davis, Powell Tribune.

132     0

Elk feedground litigation rolls on

JACKSON – Federal land managers keep getting sued for authorizing elk feedgrounds in the face of a deadly disease, with the most recent lawsuit targeting feeding operations near Bondurant and up the Gros Ventre and Greys Rivers.

129     0

Wyoming schools receive $32.5M in aid

CASPER – Wyoming has received roughly $32.5 million in federal funding to help its 48 school districts offset costs incurred because of the novel coronavirus, the state announced last week.

114     0

Babies deliver light in dark times

JACKSON — In the days leading up to March 19, as Kailey Gieck’s due date approached, coronavirus stormed the planet.

106     0

Cheyenne COVID-19 survivor shares his story

CHEYENNE – When she got the call that her husband was being put on a ventilator, Melissa Hurt was surprised.

114     0

Governor plans to modify, extend public health orders

CHEYENNE – Gov. Mark Gordon announced Thursday that he will be releasing modifications to the existing public health orders next week to allow more county-by-county flexibility when it comes to reopening certain businesses and public spaces.

125     0

Schools might only see ‘limited’ opening

CASPER — Wyoming’s top educator suggested schools may only open to “special populations” for the duration of this school year and that any openings wouldn’t come until after May 15, just a few weeks before districts will wrap up their spring semesters.

118     0

Election officials prep for increase in absentee voting in August primary

CHEYENNE – Wyoming will not be making a complete shift to mail-in voting for its August primary, but state election officials, anticipating a jump in absentee voting amid the COVID-19 pandemic, are preparing to ensure voters have a wide range of options to participate in the process.

124     0

Coal producers lay off 300 PRB workers

GILLETTE — The Powder River Basin’s coal workforce shrunk by about 6% Thursday with the layoff of 300 workers from three mines.

135     0

NEWS BRIEFS for Friday, April 24, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

111     0

Making math fun: Gillette teacher engaging his students in unique ways

GILLETTE — One thing that’s nearly impossible to replicate with remote learning is the personal interaction between students and teachers.

105     0

UW institutes hiring freeze

LARAMIE – The University of Wyoming has instituted a hiring freeze, Acting President Neil Theobald announced in a Wednesday email to university employees.

109     0

Problems with wolves and killing of wolves down in past two years, biologist says

JACKSON — Wyoming wolf numbers have settled in right around 300 animals, near population levels that wildlife managers sought before numbers climbed when hunting was prohibited between 2014 and 2017.

123     0

Yellowstone Park officials still weighing options on start

CODY— Now fewer than two weeks away from the originally scheduled opening, there is still no estimate as to when officials would open Yellowstone National Park’s east gate, or any part of the park.

123     0

Tribal leaders: Virus not contained

CASPER — Tribal leaders say the coronavirus, which led to the deaths of four Northern Arapaho citizens on Monday, is spreading on the reservation after initially being tied to two family clusters.

122     0

FROM WYOFILE: Quarantines but no new positive tests at women’s prison

No new cases of COVID-19 have surfaced since a staff member at the Wyoming Women’s Center in Lusk, the state’s only women’s prison, tested positive, a prison spokesperson said on Tuesday.

107     0

NEWS BRIEFS for Thursday, April 23, 2020 From Wyoming News Exchange newspapers

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

119     0

FROM WYOFILE: Utility rate hikes expected in face of pandemic, energy downturn

As COVID-19-related costs mount for utilities, regulators are considering just how ratepayers will ultimately settle the bill.

122     0

FROM WYOFILE: EPA knocks Wyo plan to bar public’s water pollution data

Wyoming can’t ignore water pollution data submitted by the public or academic institutions when that’s the only information available to determine whether streams, lakes and rivers are polluted, the U.S. EPA has told state officials.

121     0

Park staffing, services crippled by COVID

JACKSON — In an ordinary summer a destination park as famous as Yellowstone brings on some 500 seasonal employees, about tripling its staff, to help handle the crush of 4-million-plus tourists drawn from around the world.

132     0

Fewer grizzlies killed, no people injured by species in Wyoming last year

POWELL — For the first time in more than a decade, no humans were injured or killed by a grizzly bear in Wyoming last year. And despite the population of grizzlies trending slightly upward, substantially fewer bears had to be relocated or killed by wildlife managers due to conflicts.

123     0

Extension staffer offers tips to limit grocery trips

LARAMIE – With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to infect people every day, people are still being encouraged to stay at home as much as possible.

105     0

UW survey says most believe worst is not over

SHERIDAN — A recent survey from the University of Wyoming indicates about one-quarter of state residents believe the worst of the pandemic crisis has passed in the U.S., while nearly half say the worst is yet to come.

117     0

Gordon: ‘Everyone in Wyoming should be concerned’ by dip in oil prices

CASPER — Futures prices for oil fell into the negatives for the first time in recorded history Monday, further straining a Wyoming economy already reeling from months of price declines, continuing strife in the coal industry and the shutdown of numerous businesses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

116     0

NEWS BRIEFS for Monday, April 20, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

145     0

Stroke, heart attack patients not seeking timely care

CHEYENNE - Nationwide, there's been a decrease in the number of people seeking timely treatment for heart attacks and strokes, and the trend is being seen locally at Cheyenne Regional Medical Center.

127     0

State eyes uncertain federal aid and cuts as revenues plunge

The Legislature and Gov. Mark Gordon began this week to square up to plummeting state revenues with plans for a special legislative session, calls for flexibility in the use of federal funds, indications of budget cuts and talk of new taxes.

130     0

FROM WYOFILE: Reservation communities ahead of the curve with testing, response

The Wind River Family and Community Health Center in Arapaho no longer resembles the bustling family clinic it operated as once upon a time before COVID-19.

131     0

Man shot by Riverton police Wednesday dies

RIVERTON — New developments in the standoff that occurred Wednesday afternoon in Riverton have emerged, revealing that James Hinman, 56, was shot during a rapid volley of gunfire earlier in the day – not while being extricated from his home by law enforcement at the end of the incident.

123     0

DIY relief effort delivers for Wind River

MyKennah Lott — who goes by Littlewind — and her partner, Mesiah Sweetgrass, are caregivers on the Wind River Indian Reservation. The couple take care of Littlewind’s 97-year-old great grandmother, who Littlewind says is the eldest member of the Northern Arapaho Tribe, along with Littlewind’s 69-year-old grandmother, who is on dialysis.

112     0

Health orders prompt enforcement questions

CASPER - State public health orders issued in response to the coronavirus pandemic can be prosecuted in court, but an exemption to the rules makes it unclear whether criminal prosecution would be possible if people gathered for a house party.

114     0

Lawmakers establish telehealth task force, begin work on interim topics

CHEYENNE - Even before the coronavirus pandemic swept the planet, killing tens of thousands and causing a global economic shutdown, Wyoming lawmakers had plenty to do in the coming months.

119     0

Survey: Support high for state, local government handling of coronavirus

Support for the way both Gov. Mark Gordon and local governments are handling the coronavirus is high, according to a survey by the University of Wyoming.

137     0

NEWS BRIEFS for Friday, April 17, 2020

News in Brief from around the Cowboy State

184     0

Past case evidence allowed in current parental right cases, Wyoming Supreme Court rules

CHEYENNE - Past evidence of parental misconduct is admissible in later parental rights cases, the Wyoming Supreme Court said in an opinion issued Wednesday in a Laramie County case.

133     0

Riverton man shot by police in armed standoff

RIVERTON — An active shooter engaged for hours in a standoff with police Wednesday was taken into custody after being shot by a Riverton police officer.

142     0

Lawmakers to prepare emergency legislation

CASPER — Legislative leaders voted unanimously on Thursday to pursue several pieces of emergency legislation, all but guaranteeing the Wyoming Legislature will meet in its first special session since 2004.

120     0

A sense of normal: Sheridan ranch family embraces spring with family at home

SHERIDAN — The ground has begun to thaw and warm breezes dance through the air as the newly returned meadowlarks announce the return of spring to the Tongue River Valley as if it were any other year. But as the effects of COVID-19 continue to invade every nook and cranny of the Cowboy State, it’s hard to believe this is like any other year.

102     0

With positivity and peace, Worland woman survives near-fatal coronavirus infection

CASPER — Sixteen days passed between the day Lory August was admitted to a Thermopolis hospital and the day she was wheeled out of it. During those 16 days, as her family prayed and was told to expect the worst, Lory worried about dying alone, cut off by the disease that threatened her life.

103     0

Shooting the coronavirus life at home

DOUGLAS — In a movement expanding all across the nation, photographers are picking up their cameras and families are stepping outside to pose for photos to document this time in history during the novel coronavirus pandemic in an endeavor known as the #frontporchproject.

167     0

Gordon says it’s time to contemplate life after coronavirus

Wyoming residents will have to prepare for a different reality in a post-coronavirus world, Gov. Mark Gordon said Wednesday.

119     0

First-responders adapt to new landscape

LOVELL — As COVID-19 spreads throughout Wyoming, the role of first responders is both more important and more dangerous than it has ever been.

116     0

NEWS BRIEFS for Thursday, April 16, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

161     0

Weston County still COVID free; officials credit pro-active residents

NEWCASTLE — Weston County is one of only two counties in the state not to have a confirmed case of COVID-19 but that is not due to a lack of testing, said Dr. Mike Jording, the county’s public health officer.

128     0

Virus vacationers: land managers, county officials work to manage public safety on public lands

BUFFALO – Nestled at the base of the Bighorns, Johnson County draws tourists and their wallets from across Wyoming and out of state. Now, amid a global pandemic, that economic amenity looks more like a public health liability.

123     0

Health official warns case data is ‘falsely low’;  doctor says slower rise doesn’t mean disease is ebbing

CASPER — The number of confirmed Wyoming coronavirus cases announced daily has held steady in recent days after significant growth late last month, but Natrona County’s health officer said the data is “falsely low” and added he expects more deaths, hours after the state confirmed its second fatality from the virus.

116     0

Pinedale business responds to COVID-19 crisis

PINEDALE – Having moved to Pinedale in 2017, Enviremedial Services, Inc., is shifting its business model to help with the COVID-19 pandemic.

155     0

Wyoming Supreme Court rules on Cheyenne plea deal case

CHEYENNE – Prosecutors aren’t required to stand by a plea agreement if the alleged offender violates their bond conditions which are part of the plea agreement, according to a Wyoming Supreme Court opinion issued Monday.

168     0

NEWS BRIEFS for Friday, April 10, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

174     0

CoreCivic pulls out of proposed ICE facility

EVANSTON — The three-year on-again, off-again saga of the proposal to construct an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Detention Center in Uinta County is once again off.

150     0

Millions of coronavirus-related supplies yet to be delivered to Wyoming

CASPER — More than 2.4 million gloves, masks, gowns and other coronavirus-related supplies requested by Wyoming have yet to be delivered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, drawing the ire of Gov. Mark Gordon amid nationwide frustrations about shipments being diverted.

126     0

Alone, but not lonely

JACKSON — It’s been over a month since Jim Janak was able to hold his granddaughter.

116     0

105-year-old Recluse woman remains determined to live life on her terms

GILLETTE — Many of us travel rural roads in Campbell County wondering how wide open the countryside must have been before homesteaders began to arrive in large numbers from 1919-30.

137     0

‘Victory gardens’ idea being planted

CASPER — Expert gardeners and other educational groups in Fremont County are encouraging residents to mimic the old wartime “victory garden” effort to reduce food shortages and plant gardens, or expand them, to reduce uncertainties around food availability during the coronavirus pandemic.

134     0

Sheridan students repair school devices as part of class

SHERIDAN — Two computer science classes offer Sheridan High School students the chance to receive practical skills and aid the school district they attend.

186     0

Additional Articles

  • U.S. Justice Department ‘actively monitoring’ Wyo. health orders

    The U.S. attorney for the District of Wyoming has told health-order critics he is monitoring state- and county-imposed restrictions to stop the COVID-19 pandemic but stopped short of saying he found any violations of the U.S. Constitution.

  • Legislators decide against June special session

    CASPER — The Wyoming Legislature will not be meeting in a special session later this month as anticipated, legislative leadership wrote in a letter to members Thursday, potentially delaying several bills intended to offset the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic until later this summer or the fall.

  • Protesters march for justice

    SHERIDAN — A man with work-tanned skin, cowboy hat and Carhartt pants leaned against the concrete wall at the Sheridan County Courthouse. He stood out among the large group surrounding him, holding a simple cardboard sign with a quotation from the Bible on one side.

  • Judge cancels BLM lease sales, potentially costing state up to $44 million

    POWELL— A federal judge in Montana has vacated an instructional memorandum issued by the Bureau of Land Management related to sage grouse, forcing the agency to cancel 440 oil and gas leases that had brought in more than $125 million in 2018 sales.

  • Snowpack water content slips to 92% of median

    The water content of Wyoming’s snowpacks dropped from 100% of median to 92% in the last two weeks, the U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service reports.

  • Coronavirus effects leave sheep ranchers reeling; lamb and wool markets crippled

    BUFFALO — Mike Curuchet is surrounded by hundreds of ewes and their lambs, talking over the bleating of the young animals, many of which are only hours old. The sun has been out all morning, warming the air sufficiently to cause Curuchet to shed his jacket and the lambs to frolic playfully.

  • NEWS BRIEFS for Wednesday, April 29, 2020

    News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

  • Howling amid the pandemic:  Residents let loose to honor essential workers, vent frustration

    POWELL —As haunting sounds of high-pitched yips and howls echoed through the residential neighborhoods of Powell, Becky Coombs waved at her neighbors across Division Street. She’s only known the Kreskys for about a week — shortly after she first stepped out of her house and started howling on a nightly basis.

  • Price disparity magnified; live cattle prices plummet while boxed beef prices soar

    BUFFALO — This spring, some 42,000 calves will be born on Johnson County ranches. Despite the long hours and late nights, calving season is typically the season most filled with hope and promise for cattle ranchers.

  • Jackson-area parks avoid shutdown-related problems

    After the federal government partially shut down in December, Audra Warburton and other Double H Bar employees packed up brochures for the National Elk Refuge sleigh rides they offer, along with a couple of cash registers, and moved into a corner of the Home Ranch Welcome Center to register tours there.

  • UW official urges harsher penalties for booze sales to minors  

    Laramie should significantly increase the penalties leveled to businesses that sell alcohol to minors, University of Wyoming Vice President for Student Affairs Sean Blackburn suggested Monday.