NEWS BRIEFS for Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019


State approves bachelor’s degree at CWC

RIVERTON (WNE) — There is only one step left in the approval process for a four-year Bachelor of Applied Science degree at Central Wyoming College. 

The Wyoming Community College Commission approved the BAS in a unanimous decision Thursday, according to a Friday statement from CWC. 

Now all that remains is a visit from the Higher Learning Commission accrediting body, which also must offer final approval for the BAS program. 

The visit is expected to take place in late December or early 2020. 

During the October meeting of the CWC Board of Trustees, college officials noted that High Learning Commission officials had been in consultation with CWC on how to prepare for the visit so as to ensure the best chance for a favorable recommendation on the BAS plan. 

The proposed BAS in organizational management and leadership will offer two emphasis areas for students, one in tribal leadership and another in business entrepreneurship. 

The BAS degree is designed specifically for people in the workforce who are looking to advance their careers or start a new business. 

In her presentation to the state commission on Thursday, CWC vice president of academic affairs Kathy Wells said the process involved surveys of potential students, as well as employers, 59 percent of whom felt there was a “strong need” for the program. 

Eighty-one percent of the Wyoming employers surveyed who are responsible for hiring decisions at their company said they would give BAS graduates a higher preference, CWC’s report said. 

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Company looks at second solar farm near Green River

GREEN RIVER (WNE) — A second solar farm might join the Sweetwater Solar facility off of Highway 372 if plans come to fruition.

The second facility, referred to as the Raven Solar project, would be placed at the southeast corner of the Sweetwater Solar facility and is anticipated to generate 61 megawatts of electricity and have 24 megawatts of battery capacity on site. The site would encompass 350 acres of land.

The project is being spearheaded by Energy of Utah, LLC of Sandy, Utah. The company's website describes it as being focused on renewable energy consulting and the development of renewable energy in the Intermountain West. The Raven Solar project is one of 21 projects Energy of Utah lists on its website it has worked on in Wyoming, Utah, Montana, Oregon and South Dakota. Nine of those projects are in Wyoming and include the Sweetwater Solar facility. Further information about the company's projects was not available on its website, as the "more info" link leads to a page filled with placeholder text.

Ros Rocco, president of Energy for Utah, said construction on the project could start in two years. The company submitted its site plan to the Bureau of Land Management, which hosted a public meeting for stakeholders two weeks ago. He said the company is waiting for the Bureau of Land Management to schedule a National Environmental Policy Act meeting.

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Albany County weighs future of dormant transit group

LARAMIE (WNE) — Prompted by an inquiry from the Department of Audit, Albany County officials are weighing what the future of the Albany County Transit Authority should entail.

The board has been dormant since 2015, when funding ran out and the group’s last bus route was taken over by the University of Wyoming.

However, the board wasn’t dissolved, and per state statute, is required to submit copies of its budget to the Department of Audit each year.

But since ACTA has been defunct for four years, it’s had no budgets to report to the state.

“The Department of Audit basically told me that if it wasn’t a functioning board, then it should be dissolved,” Albany County Clerk Jackie Gonzales said.

Only a resolution from the county commissioners is required to dissolve the board.

However, after a discussion at a meeting of the county board earlier this month, it’s unlikely ACTA will be dissolved any time soon.

Instead, the county is likely to file budgets — with $0 in expenditures and $0 in revenue — to the state to stay in compliance with statute.

Albany County Attorney Peggy Trent recommended the board stay intact, noting the community’s interest in transportation issues. She also said if the county were again to someday pursue grant-funding to restart a bus system, a transit authority might be required to be eligible for some grants.

The transit authority was formed in 2011. Funding for ACTA’s operations dried up after a proposed mill levy was voted down and the group was denied a grant from the Wyoming Department of Transportation.

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Wyoming This Weekend, Oct. 31 — Nov. 3

By The Wyoming News Exchange


The last of the year’s Halloween events and several celebrations of the Day of the Dead are the highlights of this weekend’s activities around Wyoming. 

The Wyoming Frontier Prison in Rawlins will wrap up its Haunted Halloween Tours on Thursday. This year’s tours have a “Year of Wyoming Women” theme and will run from 7:00 p.m. to midnight.  Reservations are required, so check the website wyomingfrontierprison.org early in the week for more information. 

Other Halloween events this weekend include:

A Ghost’s Tale, in Laramie on Friday night and Sunday afternoon, is told by historical characters. Visit The Unexpected Company Senior Theatre on Facebook for more information.

A Day of the Dead arts celebration on Friday at Gillette College (visit Dia De Los Muertos with AVA Art on Facebook).

And two free Dia De Los Muertos celebrations in Cheyenne: one at the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens on Friday and Saturday ( www.botanic.org/classes/) and one at the Wyoming State Museum on Saturday  (wyomuseum.state.wy.us/Press/Release.aspx?ID=2335).

Other activities scheduled for the weekend:

The Good Knight Gala, a fundraiser for the Johnson County Library’s auction fundraiser  in Buffalo on Friday ( sheridanmedia.com/news/annual-johnson-county-library-benefit-good-knight-gala), and

“Purses for a Purpose,” an auction to benefit  the Wyoming chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, in Cheyenne on Saturday (see Purses for a Purpose on Facebook).

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