NEWS BRIEFS for Wednesday, April 17, 2019
Thermopolis residents have won a 79-day extension to comment on a plan to release thousands of tons of oilfield pollutants monthly into the Boysen Reservoir upstream of the source of their drinking water.
Experts in federal environmental law are raising questions about Wyoming officials’ quest to “assume primacy” over analyzing the potential impacts of projects on federal lands, like drilling for oil and gas.
The inmates had broken the rules of the drug treatment program, that much is clear.
GILLETTE — Duncan Davidson was at Sage Valley Junior High on that day in November when another student brought guns and ammunition to the school, allegedly with the intent to kill.
JACKSON — A dearth of wolves in places like the Gros Ventre River valley this winter was not an anomaly, as wildlife managers are reporting reduced numbers throughout wolf range in the state.
LARAMIE — The public comment period of the Albany County Commission’s Tuesday meeting was eventful as several expressed dismay over an officer-involved shooting from November.
NEWS BRIEFS for Tuesday, April 16, 2019
JACKSON – “Things have changed” in the energy industry in recent years, according to Jason Begger, executive director of the Wyoming Infrastructure Authority.
CHEYENNE — Community members are asking for a handful of things from the Laramie County School District 1 Board of Trustees in response to racist and anti-gay flyers found in a Cheyenne junior high last month.
CASPER — A state-appointed group tasked with finding sustainable air service for Wyoming’s far flung communities took a significant step in the process last week, announcing the state had entered into negotiations with a Utah-based airline to provide regular flights to as many as four Wyoming cities.
JACKSON — The first golden eagle marked and followed for research in Yellowstone National Park’s history lasted only about four months before a common human-caused source of death did the bird in.
GILLETTE — Cloud Peak Energy Corp. has gained another 15-day reprieve from a $1.8 million interest payment on a portion of its long-term debt and continuing months of speculation that the company may eventually file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization.
LARAMIE — University of Wyoming administrators are working on a plan to, beginning in the 2020-2021 academic year, increase need-based aid for Wyoming students while reducing discounts provided to out-of-state students.
CHEYENNE — The Wyoming Legislature will take another crack at the idea of tolling Interstate 80 as a way to help fund improvements and maintenance along the more than 400 miles of road.
An object of heated public debate when it was approved for construction in 2007, a Lander gas station is once again fueling community consternation — and possibly a calamity for the beloved stretch of river that runs through town.
CASPER — For many years an untouchable titan of coal production, the Powder River Basin continues to face decline, and the number of miners trying to survive by digging more PRB coal may be delaying the relief needed in Wyoming coal country, according to an analysis published Thursday by Moody’s Investor Service, the credit rating agency.
CHEYENNE — An executive order from President Donald Trump that could help pave the way for coal exports garnered praise from Wyoming leadership this week. But critics see it as a way to lessen local control over issues of water quality in favor of industry's bottom line.
JACKSON — An alliance of advocacy groups representing industries from miners to sheepherders have, for now, stymied protections for migration routes that funnel pronghorn and mule deer to summer ranges around Jackson Hole and the Wyoming Range.
RIVERTON — The federal officers involved in the Jan. 10 shooting death of Nicholas Garcia of Riverton "responded within the bounds of their training and followed their duty to protect the public," a coroner's inquest jury has determined.
CASPER — Representatives from the University of Wyoming’s student government proposed resolutions Tuesday night praising departing UW President Laurie Nichols and criticizing the board of trustees who decided not to renew her contract.
CHEYENNE — Wyoming has finalized the proposed rules and regulations for its new hemp industry and has submitted them to the federal government for approval.
POWELL -- Chronic wasting disease is killing deer and threatening other ungulates across Wyoming — and the more scientists look for CWD, the more of it they find.
Correction A Wyoming News Exchange story that appeared in this newspaper about chronic wasting disease incorrectly stated that, during a March meeting in Cody, the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission increased the department’s budget for testing for cases of chronic wasting disease. Although the commission heard testimony on chronic wasting disease and considered the effects of a budget increase, the proposal made by Commission Vice President Pete Dube was to increase the budget for the Animal Management Damage Board to control predators.
JACKSON — Residents and visitors wanting to preserve wilderness experiences are rebuking Grand Teton National Park’s plan to wire-up — casting cell service deeper into the backcountry.
RAWLINS – Landowners fear revegetation of perennial grasses native to the steep hill north of U.S. Interstate 80 near Arlington will be jeopardized if PacifiCorp, a Warren Buffett-backed power company, doesn’t follow certain regulations.
CASPER — The mythic promise of the American economy has always been a linear one: You learn a trade, work hard, and, one day, you’ll be rewarded in retirement.
LARAMIE — After 77 years, Navy Machinist’s Mate First Class George Hanson will be coming home.
CHEYENNE – CenturyLink representatives testified before the Wyoming Public Service Commission on Tuesday after a multi-state outage disrupted some emergency services in Wyoming late last year.
NEWS BRIEFS for Tuesday, April 9, 2019
CODY — Conservation organizations have asked Wyoming Game and Fish to require hunters carry bear spray in an attempt to reduce grizzly bear mortality.
CHEYENNE — The legacy of child abuse goes beyond the pain and suffering that leave permanent scars on both physical and mental well-being. It affects every aspect of society and can even lead to additional strains on mental health services and the judicial system.
GILLETTE — Although worried for the future for a financially troubled Cloud Peak Energy Corp., Campbell County officials aren’t concerned the Powder River Basin coal producer will miss paying millions of dollars owed for its 2018 tax bill.
Residents downstream of Boysen Reservoir — where state officials want to OK the discharge of tons of oilfield pollutants — say they weren’t given adequate notice and time to comment on the plan.
RAWLINS – Large, subterranean voids scattered throughout two defunct mining sites in Carbon County discovered by experts with Brierley Associates, a Denver-based geotechnical consulting firm, pose bit of a problem.
GILLETTE — The second round of public comments about the Campbell County School District considering arming educators for safety drew 30 people and 11 speakers Thursday evening.
CASPER — Warning bells are ringing across Wyoming’s Powder River Basin that the largest producing coal region of the country is in big trouble.
CASPER — When July comes around, Wyoming will have its first set of campaign finance reforms in years.
CHEYENNE – Laramie County School District 1 officials have declined to issue statements denouncing white supremacy following public outrage over racist and anti-gay flyers found last week at Cheyenne’s McCormick Junior High.
CHEYENNE – Wyoming hasn’t seen the type of opioid addiction that has plagued other states across the country. But even with lower levels compared to states like West Virginia and Ohio, the Equality State hasn’t escaped the crisis unscathed.
LARAMIE — Albany County School District No. 1 board members plan to revisit the possibility of offering softball at Laramie High School after they complete their budget for the 2019-2020 school year.
KAYCEE — When you receive your first paycheck, you feel like a millionaire.
NEWS BRIEFS for Thursday, April 4, 2019
THERMOPOLIS — The Wyoming Supreme Court issued an opinion on March 27, in favor of Hot Springs District Court’s action regarding Paul D. Mathewson.
POWELL — In recent weeks, more than a dozen women have contacted the Park County Sheriff’s Office to report being abused at a Clark facility for troubled teenage girls. The allegations — from 15 former patients of Trinity Teen Solutions — are all years old, dating as far back as 2007 to as recently as 2015.
LARAMIE — Strong enrollment at the University of Wyoming has been a point of pride for administrators the last two years, but the record freshman class this year hasn’t actually been that beneficial for UW’s tuition revenue.
CASPER — Wyoming women who gave birth in 2017 reported high rates of depression before, during and after pregnancy, according to a new state report that also reveals the insurance and income-related issues facing mothers here.
NEWS BRIEFS for Wednesday, April 3, 2019
CODY – A brachiosaur stretches its long neck to reach a leaf from a high branch as a giant ichthyosaur gently swims by in the water far below.
JACKSON — Nearly four dozen mountain lions can be legally hunted annually in areas surrounding the Wyoming and Salt River ranges — a level of hunting pressure intended to boost a struggling mule deer population.
CASPER — Federal workers at the Bureau of Land Management approved 74 oil and gas drilling permits in Wyoming during the 35-day government shutdown earlier this year, according to a public records request submitted by a western environmental group.
CHEYENNE — Laramie County School District 1 has identified at least one student believed to be responsible for creating the racist and anti-gay flyers found at McCormick Junior High last week.
NEWS BRIEFS for Tuesday, April 2, 2019
JACKSON — From his office window overlooking an alleyway parking lot behind Lucky’s Market, Hamish Tear watched a struggling, mangy cow moose suffer an excruciatingly slow death.
EVANSTON — On March 6, Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon signed legislation making hemp possession and production legal within the state, which was welcome news to those who view hemp as an agricultural commodity and a possible economic benefit to Wyoming. However, that enthusiasm may be blunted by the potentially long and twisted road ahead for Wyoming hemp producers and transporters.
SHERIDAN — Recent economic reports from state agencies indicate that increasing housing prices and a shortage of available housing units remain national and statewide trends that are unlikely to halt in the foreseeable future.
CASPER — In September, companies spent a jaw-dropping $1 billion at a lease sale in New Mexico for potential oil and gas development along the state’s eastern border, where the Permian spills over from West Texas.
NEWS BRIEFS for Monday, April 1, 2019
Hit the Snake River this summer for a chance to catch rainbow trout, brown trout and maybe even some facetime with Wyoming’s senior senator — but bring your checkbook.
JACKSON — Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon’s vision for the state’s energy sector weds two ideas often considered incompatible: a healthy environment and the continued use of fossil fuels.
CASPER — If the cost of producing carbon fiber – a lightweight and durable material that can be used in construction, car parts and airplanes — drops below $5 per pound, the profitability for that burgeoning industry could skyrocket.
CHEYENNE — The Joint Corporations, Elections and Political Subdivisions Interim Committee has set as one of its top priorities during the interim potential changes to Wyoming’s net metering rules.
Acting U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt and Gov. Mark Gordon are mulling how Wyoming can take a “primary role” in the environmental review processes that, by law, preceed federal projects and projects on federal land in Wyoming, Gordon said in an interview Wednesday.
GILLETTE — The Integrated Test Center at the Dry Fork Station power plant north of Gillette will host a first-of-its-kind carbon-focused business incubator, Gov. Mark Gordon announced Thursday morning.
CASPER — Nearly two weeks after one of the most powerful winter storms of the decade hit the Northern Rockies and Midwest, Wyoming has largely moved past March’s record-setting snows and settled into the rhythm of spring.
LARAMIE — Public comment periods at the University of Wyoming’s board of trustees meeting typically don’t generate much interest, but it was a different story this week when a group of faculty, staff and students came to the board meeting to lament the decision not to extend President Laurie Nichols’s contract.
CHEYENNE — As the fate of the Affordable Care Act works its way through the federal court system, Wyoming is left to wonder what type of impact a repeal would have on health care in the Equality State.
CASPER — Wyoming ended 2018 with the ninth-highest per capita income in the nation.
GILLETTE — Influenza continues to be an issue in Wyoming as spring begins and the weather starts to warm up.
AFTON — The Wyoming Supreme Court has affirmed the conviction of Wade Farrow for the December 2014 murder of Afton resident Tony Hansen.
NEWS BRIEFS for Thursday, March 29, 2019
CHEYENNE – Bishop Karen Oliveto was first drawn to ministry as a child, eagerly sitting on the damp floor of her church’s musty basement during Sunday school.
NEWS BRIEFS for Wednesday, March 27, 2019
DOUGLAS — The multimillion dollar projects continue to roll into Converse County, and the pace isn’t letting up.
CASPER — The Wyoming Attorney General’s office has asked the state’s highest court to review a Natrona County judge’s dismissal of a first-degree murder case tied to Wyoming’s new “stand your ground” law.
GILLETTE — The New York Stock Exchange has suspended trading of Cloud Peak Energy stock effective immediately due “abnormally low” price levels.
LARAMIE — The state Legislature’s Management Council decided an evaluation of the University of Wyoming’s College of Agriculture will be the top priority for the Joint Agriculture, State & Public Lands & Water Resources Committee during the 2019 interim.
CHEYENNE — A major settlement between the State of Oklahoma and the manufacturer of the drug OxyContin could have ramifications for lawsuits against the company filed by the State of Wyoming, the City of Cheyenne and several other cities around the state.
NEWS BRIEFS for Tuesday, Mar. 26, 2019
POWELL — Newly released statistics show 2018 was the deadliest year on record for the region’s grizzly bears.
CASPER – Attempt to diagnose the reason for high health prices in Wyoming and you’ll find no shortage of supposed causes.
LARAMIE – Laurie Nichols’ presidency at the University of Wyoming will come to an end June 30 after her contract was not renewed by the Board of Trustees.
The Joint Revenue Committee will once again study tax increases between legislative sessions, despite pointed concerns by its new co-chairman that previous efforts have not gotten sufficient support from state leaders.
CHEYENNE — Lawmakers have been given their marching orders for this upcoming interim session by the Legislature's Management Council.
GILLETTE — Jenny Carroll fought through nerves and tears Thursday night to tell how she opposes the Campbell County School District moving forward on a policy that would arm teachers and school employees.
CASPER — Joel Bousman wasn’t sure if ozone would be a problem Friday, despite a warning from the state. The snow covered the sage brush and the wind was less than 10 miles per hour — both bad signs. On the other hand, it had been overcast most of the day at the Sublette County commissioner’s ranch near Boulder — a small community about 12 miles southeast of Pinedale, within view of the Wind River Mountains.
CASPER — Wyoming’s largest coal mines are likely to make more cuts to production in 2019, financial reports show.
JACKSON — Dave Hodges was glad he didn’t park in the driveway.
JACKSON — A California-based drone manufacturer is being investigated for promoting its “true follow-me” technology with footage of a Rollerblader kicking it along a West Thumb Geyser Basin boardwalk.
SHERIDAN — A Sheridan College instructor presented research focused on addressing the challenges dwindling resources pose to livestock producers at the Mars Agriculture Center Wednesday.
CASPER — Wyoming’s congressional delegation on Thursday slammed a federal decision blocking oil and gas drilling on 500 square miles of Wyoming land pending a climate change impact analysis.
JACKSON — Elk have returned to their historic winter range in the Gros Ventre River drainage, and one theory for their reappearance is the targeted killing of resident wolves.
POWELL — With the effort still proving too pricey, a Powell game bird farm has again shelved its plans to raise sage grouse.
CASPER — A federal judge on Tuesday rebuked the Bureau of Land Management over oil and gas leases sold in Wyoming during the Obama administration for failing to take a hard look at how leasing the land for potential oil and gas development would affect climate change.
LARAMIE — A uranium company is proposing to re-open the uranium mines in Shirley Basin.
JACKSON — Togwoteee Pass is a sharp dividing line between the healthiest and the unhealthiest counties in Wyoming, according to a new report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.
CASPER — A law firm representing Wyoming Skills, LLC — a group of vendors who own and operate gaming equipment — plans to meet with newly appointed Attorney General Bridget Hill to discuss the legality of electronic skill games.
RAWLINS — Recently inflamed contract disputes between Rocky Mountain Power and Boswell Wind, LLC are likely to cause construction delays for a wind farm projected 15 miles east of Medicine Bow.
LARAMIE — An attorney for Lyle Williams, who was cited in 2018 for carrying a gun on the University of Wyoming’s campus, has filed the opening brief in an appeal of a December ruling by Albany County district court judge Tori Kricken, who upended the conventional reading of 2010’s Wyoming Firearms Freedom Act by determining the law unwittingly restricted gun rights in the state.
Gov. Mark Gordon today allowed a bill stripping county authority over private school zoning to become law without his signature saying in a written statement he found the measure “flawed.”
CASPER — Discord prevailed Friday over an imperiled bird’s future in Wyoming, despite the official end of a one-and-a-half-year battle of words concerning how the Trump administration should balance sage grouse and energy development on public lands.
CHEYENNE – Gov. Mark Gordon on Friday used his veto pen on two bills, one of which would have authorized the Legislature to sue to allow Wyoming’s coal to be exported through Washington state.
JACKSON — A new law will require an annual report of all untested rape kits in Wyoming and forbid agencies from destroying such evidence without a proper order.
CASPER — During the eight years of the Obama administration, Wyoming’s senators spent considerable time criticizing federal overreach. But accusations of overreach by the Trump administration in attempting to leapfrog Congressional authority on funding a southern border wall failed to sway Sens. John Barrasso and Mike Enzi from voting Thursday against the president’s emergency declaration.
JACKSON — Where a phone call today is an iffy proposition, visitors and residents of Grand Teton National Park may soon have all their smartphones’ capabilities at their fingertips.
BUFFALO — Convicted murder Donald C. Davis won an appeal to the Wyoming Supreme Court, which may set him free.
DOUGLAS — Three years ago, you didn’t see too many oversized loads rumbling through the county. Douglas felt weary and empty. Few cranes jutted out on the horizon, and only rarely did you see long stretches of exposed earth, marking new pipelines.
NEWS BRIEFS for Thursday, March 14, 2019
CODY — “A Carnegie Hall in every town.” That was one of the early slogans of the organization that would later be known as the Live Community Concert Association of Cody and Powell.
CHEYENNE — While the federal government paved the way for industrial hemp production in the 2018 Farm Bill, states still need direction on how the nascent industry will be regulated before seeds can go into the ground.
TETON VILLAGE — Snowmobilers have outpaced backcountry skiers as the group most likely to see members killed by an avalanche in Wyoming, according to statistics from the state’s only avalanche center.
CASPER — Another attempt by mineral owners to wrest drilling control in southeastern Wyoming from the large independent Anadarko Petroleum by opposing the company’s drilling permits failed Tuesday to convince commissioners overseeing Wyoming’s oil and gas industry.
JACKSON — Fewer elk and bison are chowing down on alfalfa pellets on the National Elk Refuge compared with past winters, even as wildlife are enduring a whopper of a winter.
LARAMIE — Each new session of the Wyoming Legislature brings a handful of bills that aim to revised access to Hathaway scholarships and, in turn, affect the student body at the University of Wyoming.
CASPER — With low stocks of propane in some parts of the state and cold weather headed to Wyoming, Gov. Mark Gordon has lifted restrictions on the number of hours truckers can be on the road for propane deliveries.
CHEYENNE –- Counties seeking delinquent ad valorem taxes from bankrupt energy companies will automatically move to the front of the line of creditors seeking payment starting in 2021.
SHERIDAN — Grey shirts with pink logos and clear safety glasses were the in-vogue fashion for empowered women Friday at Black Tooth Brewing Company.
GILLETTE — Most new technologies are met with widespread skepticism, but that couldn’t be further from the truth when it comes to blockchain technology and Wyoming legislators.
CASPER — Wyoming wind is relentless, and anyone who lives in the state knows that the perpetual irritant that makes sagebrush shiver and wind socks live horizontally is also something that can be harnessed for power.
LARAMIE — The University of Wyoming’s “The World Needs More Cowboys” marketing campaign has been winning high praise in different advertisement award circles recently, including the Higher Education Marketing Report and the American Advertising Federation.
CHEYENNE — A bill signed by Gov. Mark Gordon on Friday aims to keep Wyoming's coal-fired power plants online and in business by requiring a utility to try to sell the facility first before decommissioning it.
NEWS BRIEFS for Friday, Mar. 8, 2019
Weeks after Cheyenne high school students sparked furor after describing vulgar statements by their state senator in the halls of the temporary Capitol building, the Senate president said the body’s response will be considered by a subcommittee of leading senators from both parties.
JACKSON — The man who died in an avalanche near Breccia Cliffs on Monday was wearing an airbag and a beacon, investigators said. But Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue said Dale Laedtke, 27, suffocated under the snow before his friends could dig him out.
RIVERTON — Legislators speaking in support of a bill that authorized new academic programs at community colleges in Wyoming said it would be OK if the change results in an increased expense for the state.
In a nation that tops the world in automobile ownership per capita, Wyoming ranks the highest among states, with nearly 300,000 more vehicles than residents, according to 2015 statistics from the Federal Highway Administration. For many in this far-flung and lightly populated state, the only means of connectivity is the two-lane highway leading out of town.
AFTON — Fear and uncertainty might be good words to describe the emotions of many in the state as the future of coal production in Wyoming remains in question.
NEWS BRIEFS for Thursday, March 7, 2019
CASPER — The federal government has penalized nine Wyoming hospitals for high readmission rates, and another one for high levels of hospital-acquired medical conditions, a report from Kaiser Health News shows.
JACKSON — Emergency responders have rescued at least six skiers and snowboarders this winter who became stuck or lost in Granite Canyon, steep and rocky backcountry terrain in Grand Teton National Park, just outside the boundaries of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.
CHEYENNE — Efforts to diversify Wyoming’s economy got a major boost with the stroke of Gov. Mark Gordon’s pen Wednesday.
LARAMIE — Work on the University of Wyoming’s Engineering Education and Research Building should be completed this month, with almost all equipment expected to be moved in by the start of summer session.
CODY — Following on the heels of state legislation authorizing state grizzly bear management, members of Wyoming’s congressional delegation are reintroducing a bill to authorize just that.
GILLETTE — Charlene and Doug Camblin, like many ranchers in Campbell County, aren’t calving yet.
CASPER — A man fired multiple gunshots inside Wyoming Medical Center early Monday before police officers arrested him at a nearby building on the campus of the Casper hospital.
CHEYENNE — The three men responsible for the 2016 attempted robbery of the Medicap Pharmacy in Cheyenne and a carjacking in Wheatland have been sentenced in federal court.
CASPER — Since the last energy bust sent Wyoming’s budget in a downward spiral, lawmakers have increasingly called for a means to diversify the state’s revenue streams in ways that avoid direct hits on residents’ wallets.
GILLETTE — Giving the Wyoming Legislature’s Management Council authority to take independent legal action over Washington state’s efforts to kill a coal export terminal project sends a message more than it threatens a lawsuit.
CASPER (WNE) — Catholic leaders in Wyoming continue to compile a full list of credibly accused clergymen stretching back to 1950, more than five months after the work began and three months after the diocese announced the effort to its parishioners.
GILLETTE — Giving the Wyoming Legislature’s Management Council authority to take independent legal action over Washington state’s efforts to kill a coal export terminal project sends a message more than it threatens a lawsuit.
CASPER — Since the last energy bust sent Wyoming’s budget in a downward spiral, lawmakers have increasingly called for a means to diversify the state’s revenue streams in ways that avoid direct hits on residents’ wallets.
LARAMIE — A film festival that aims to “undefine” what it means to be a woman in the outdoor world is set to screen in Laramie for the first time next week.
CHEYENNE — Wyoming's efforts to expand broadband internet access across the state go beyond making sure people can binge their favorite TV show no matter their ZIP code.
JACKSON — When a co-worker ran over a landscaper’s foot with a lawnmower, it took three days for the 25-year-old to go to the hospital.
NEWS BRIEFS for Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019
JACKSON — Eight cow and calf elk bedded at central Jackson’s Mateosky Field for a morning last week and later spent part of their afternoon hooving and nosing for nonexistent grass atop the town’s fast-growing snow heap at the fairgrounds.
CASPER — The man arrested on suspicion of shooting a woman at a central Casper home early Tuesday is her adult son, police said Wednesday.
LARAMIE — Federal prosecutors are relying merely on conjecture in alleging Almanza Mexican Food helped launder money for a Mexican drug cartel, the restaurant’s attorney told the Laramie Boomerang Wednesday.
CHEYENNE — The bill to place work requirements on a portion of Wyoming's Medicaid recipients failed on a final vote Wednesday in the House of Representatives.
NEWS BRIEFS for Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019
Proponents of a steeper wind tax in Wyoming intend to put the issue on the 2020 ballot after Speaker of the House Steve Harshman (R-Casper) refused to allow debate of bills raising the tax for the second year in a row.
Conservationists sent an emergency letter to Gov. Mark Gordon on Friday asking him to intervene in a BLM oil and gas lease sale that targets what one sage grouse expert calls “the highest grouse density areas on Earth.”
JACKSON — A simple motion made in Teton County Circuit Court on Feb. 11 triggered a complex argument over immigration not often heard in state court.
GILLETTE — A coal company that owes more than $8 million in unpaid taxes had approached Campbell County about a monthly payment plan.
CASPER — The mother of a man shot and killed by Casper police last year filed a wrongful death lawsuit in federal court Monday on the anniversary of his death.
LARAMIE — Almanza’s Mexican Food on Grand Avenue is implicated as being part of a years-long money laundering scheme for a Mexican drug cartel.
CHEYENNE — Gov. Mark Gordon used his veto pen Tuesday to reject more than two dozen items out of the state supplemental budget passed by the Legislature this month. The vetoes started a domino effect in the Legislature with the House set to meet today, when it will most likely start the process to override at least some of Gordon's decisions.
NEWS BRIEFS for Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019
CHEYENNE – A bill to override Teton County zoning regulations on behalf of a private school owned by members of the family of prominent GOP donor Foster Friess passed its final vote in the House on Monday.
SHERIDAN — Researchers from the University of Wyoming’s School of Energy Resources argued last week that the future of Wyoming coal may depend on reduced carbon emission.
GILLETTE — To say the past three months have been rocky for Cloud Peak Energy would be a gross understatement.
JACKSON — New federal regulations pre-empting local control over wireless equipment prompted town officials to re-examine their policies on telecommunications infrastructure in an effort to guard Jackson’s character.
CHEYENNE – The Senate killed a bill to implement a statewide lodging tax on a final vote Monday after it was pulled from the consent list.
JACKSON — Activists are once again pushing back on plans to sell oil and gas leases overlapping a celebrated migration path that funnels thousands of mule deer to the Wyoming and Gros Ventre ranges.
SHERIDAN — Town by town and volunteer by volunteer, communities throughout Wyoming are working to make the state a worthwhile stop for athletes competing in Skijoring America-sanctioned events throughout the year.
CHEYENNE — A jury ruled Friday that while gender did play a part in a Wyoming Highway Patrol K9 handler's demotion in 2016, the Highway Patrol would have made the same decision regardless of gender.
CHEYENNE — A bill to create Wyoming’s first corporate income tax – believed dead since last week – might be making a comeback.
PINEDALE – A conservation coalition is threatening to sue Wyoming over its new grizzly-hunt law, signed by the governor on Feb. 15, that outlines the scenario for a grizzly bear-hunting season and relocations of captured bears to California and other states.
CASPER — The Wonder Bar’s recent closure was a hit to the entire downtown community, according to Kathy Edwards, the president of the Downtown Casper Business Association.
CHEYENNE – The Senate voted Thursday to kill the last bill in the Legislature that would have closed the state’s primary elections to voters who switched their party affiliation.
LARAMIE — The final supplemental budget bill approved by the state Legislature this week includes $17.4 million in new funding for the University of Wyoming. The final version has $2 million more than the original drafted budget.
NEWS BRIEFS for Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019
CHEYENNE – The Wyoming House in its first floor discussion gave initial approval to a much debated bill to strip counties’ zoning authority over private schools.
JACKSON — The Wyoming Supreme Court affirmed a decision made in Teton County District Court regarding a May 2017 coroner’s inquest, killing an appeal.
POWELL — Cody Laboratories is expected to sell to a new owner by July.
CHEYENNE — A bill to create Wyoming’s first corporate income tax is dead.
CHEYENNE — The vastly divergent views on how to close off primary elections to party switchers between the Senate and the House have been on full display this week.
DOUGLAS — Picture the skeletal towers of oil derricks rising above the sage brush in 1919. The Big Muddy oil field practically oozed black gold, giving up a whopping 10,000 barrels a day. Roughnecks drove out to fields in Model Ts, ambitious fortune-seekers chaotically staked claims. It was Converse County’s first boom, and Glenrock was a place of national interest and importance.
National publicity surrounding a well-known Wyoming family’s political infighting has resulted in an unexpected windfall for Laramie’s free clinic.
Three inmates at Wyoming’s only women’s prison have asked the federal district court to force the state to deal with overcrowding and deteriorating facilities that they allege have created unconstitutional conditions of confinement.
GILLETTE — Troubles for Gillette-based Cloud Peak Energy Corp. continue with the elimination of 15 salaried jobs, including lobbyists and public affairs positions.
LARAMIE — The Laramie City Council chambers was standing-room only Tuesday as residents, landowners, tenants and students piled in to voice their concerns and give recommendations to City Council about a rental housing resolution on the agenda.
CASPER — A Virginia businessman will be the newest coal player in Wyoming after being the sole bidder for a bankrupt firm’s coal mine in Lincoln County, according to documents filed in bankruptcy court in southern Texas on Tuesday.
CHEYENNE — Calling it a "new era in state government," the CEO and founder of OpenTheBooks.com applauded new State Auditor Kristi Racines on Tuesday for releasing six years of state checkbook expenditures.
JACKSON — Creeping traffic. Sprawling lift lines. Packed slopes. This is Jackson Hole in the time of Ikon — or at least that’s the talk on the tram. The newest collective pass grants cheap access to resorts from Washington to Maine and Chile to Japan, but also takes the heat for a slew of problems that seem suddenly to have swelled.
CHEYENNE – In an overwhelming floor vote, the state House of Representatives killed a school security bill Friday because of what some called an unfunded, and unneeded, mandate on schools.
CASPER — There have been roughly 15 reports of sexual battery in Natrona County’s high and middle schools over the past two weeks as part of a “game” where male students challenge each other to inappropriately touch their female peers, officials told the Star-Tribune on Monday.
CHEYENNE – Simmering opposition to a corporate income tax pushed by leading lawmakers came to a boil this week when corporate lobbyists and lawyers joined Republican party activists to bash the measure at a Senate committee hearing.
JACKSON — Satchel Toole, 23, wasn’t breathing when his friends pulled him out of an avalanche Saturday afternoon on Teton Pass.
CASPER — Retired coal miners from Kemmerer likely lost their company health benefits Friday when a judge decided that Westmoreland Coal Co. could eliminate retirement health care and a union contract in order to sell the Kemmerer coal mine to a Virginia businessman.
CHEYENNE — In the past five weeks, the Wyoming Legislature has examined a property tax, a tax on wind energy, and taxes on hotel rooms, cigarettes and vape products.
Gov. Mark Gordon and Secretary of State Ed Buchanan characterized an effort by legislative leaders to maintain some control over the Capitol building after restoration work finishes this year as creeping legislative overreach.
JACKSON — Near midnight on Sue Pepe’s long commute home to Buffalo Valley, four bison appeared near the S-curves just up the highway from the Snake River Overlook.
GILLETTE — Arch Coal Inc. finished off 2018 with a strong fourth quarter, reporting a net income of $86.1 million on revenues of $651 million.
CHEYENNE — After a drawn out tug of war between Casper and Buffalo for the recommendation to host a new skilled nursing facility for Wyoming veterans, the Legislature has made its final decision: It’s going to Johnson County.
CHEYENNE — The effort to end the death penalty in Wyoming was unable to get past conservative opposition Thursday in the state Senate.
Results from University of Wyoming’s Parking and Transportation Study show the parking issue that seems to have plagued the campus for decades is not centered around lack of spaces, but rather the imbalance in demand for them. The preliminary recommendation is not building a parking garage but restructuring the permit system to make better use of current parking availability on campus.
The bill to repeal the death penalty in Wyoming received unanimous support in a Senate committee Wednesday after emotional testimony on both sides of the issue.
More than 400 school districts in the nation are monitoring social media messages for possible threats from students, residents and parents through a service called Social Sentinels.
Natural Wellness CBD has drawn attention with bright flags advertising its hemp-based products, including tinctures, creams and vape cartridges, for sale in Cheyenne.
State Sen. Lynn Hutchings has come under fire for comments she allegedly made to a group of local high school students comparing protections for LGBTQ people to protections for pedophiles and those who practice bestiality.
Students from Cheyenne’s Central High School approached their senator, Republican Lynn Hutchings, because they wanted to lobby for protections against job discrimination based on sexual orientation.
In the wake of mounting criticism, state Sen. Lynn Hutchings released a statement Tuesday afternoon defending comments she made to a group of Cheyenne students lobbying for a bill to protect workers from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
With plastic sacks set to mostly vanish from Jackson in two months, the town is orchestrating a transition to ease shoppers and businesses into the new, bagless reality.
The Bureau of Land Management’s Final Converse County EIS was expected to be released in October 2018, some estimated. Many anticipated the Record of Decision to come out in January.
A Legislative committee voted 6-3 Tuesday to recommend House passage of a bill that will strip counties of zoning authority over private schools.
Following a budget blow up between the leadership of Wyoming’s House and Senate last week, Gov. Mark Gordon called on lawmakers to avoid head-butting and move Wyoming forward.
Of all the duties prospective Wyoming Game and Fish employees envision that a job with the agency might entail, rounding up 50 bison in a 27-degree-below-zero mini-rodeo likely isn’t one of them.
News around the state from Wyoming News Service member papers
A stream of phone calls this winter from Alpine residents irked by a cantankerous bull moose living off grain faithfully left out in a feed trough prompted wildlife managers to take action this past week.
While talking with friends and neighbors on Main Street and attending legislative sessions in Cheyenne, Mayor Shane Schrader said it has become painfully clear to him that Buffalo is a city divided.
A bill that would allow hunters to use a blood trailing dog to track big game has the support of local legislators and outdoors groups.
The City of Casper has filed a federal lawsuit against more than 15 opioid manufacturers and distributors across the country, alleging the drug companies misrepresented the addictive properties of their prescription painkillers, the city announced Thursday.
At first glance, it appears there’s not much happening on the 226,000 square feet of flat, open space east and north of the Dry Fork Station power plant about 10 miles north of Gillette.
The competition among three teams Jan. 24 was friendly at Jackson Hole’s inaugural Bilingual Trivia Night at Teton County Library.
The Cody Ice Festival as people have known it is done. That’s exactly how local professional ice climber Aaron Mulkey and other prominent climbers want it.
Beloved by industry, a bill to stifle protests against “critical infrastructure” died for the third time on Feb. 4, 2019 in the capitol when it missed the deadline for an initial House floor vote. It was two sessions old.
In a dramatic bit of parliamentary maneuvering, the Wyoming Senate suspended its rules Wednesday at the direction of its leadership to introduce four alternative budget bills. The late game shift, they say, is designed to fund essential state operations if the overall budget bill fails.
The Fremont County Attorney's Office will take no criminal action against the officers who shot a man to death on a city street last month in Riverton.
A bill aimed to shield against collateral damage from the coal industry’s decline passed the Wyoming Senate Wednesday, though even the lawmakers proposing it noted that it was a Hail Mary.
The Senate suspended its rules Wednesday and filed four new spending bills as it and the House try to bridge about a $70 million difference in their two proposed budgets.
As lawmakers and officials filed their annual financial disclosure forms last week, Wyoming representatives passed a bill to increase what they must reveal.
For the second year in a row, the House and Senate differ by around $80 million on the state’s budget, after senators made cuts to their version and representatives added money to theirs.
Campbell County commissioners want northeast Wyoming to become the hub for advanced carbon research, but they need to lay a foundation for that to happen, which is why they’re looking to conduct a study that would offer blueprint for making Gillette a “Carbon Valley.”
Wyoming’s minimum wage won't see an increase this year after an attempt to raise it died Monday night on the floor of the state House of Representatives.
A Weston County mother is suing Teton County School District No. 1 for negligence after a school bus driver ran into her son in the fall of 2017.
The Wyoming Republican Party and a wealthy conservative donor are opposing a bill that would protect workers from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity — adding those qualities to existing protected classes like race, sex and creed.
If Wyoming’s Department of Environmental Quality approves an amendment request submitted by Power Company of Wyoming LLC, Carbon County is likely to inherit a few more years of wind farm development.
A Sage Valley Junior High student has been bound over to District Court to stand trial after the Gillette Police Department presented evidence that he had brought two handguns and 43 rounds of ammunition to school with the intent of shooting specific students and staff members.
In the first judicial test of Wyoming’s new “stand your ground” law, a Natrona County judge on Friday dismissed a first-degree murder case, but implored prosecutors to appeal to the state’s highest court.
As expected by many, education has been a big topic in the Wyoming Legislature’s 2019 general session.
Wyoming's two legislative chambers are about $70 million apart in their versions of the supplemental budget bill.
Stressed out but pleased to be back is how Grand Teton National Park spokesman Andrew White described his colleagues’ attitudes after 35 involuntary days out of the office.
A Wyoming legislative committee voted to move a Teton County lawmaker’s Medicaid expansion proposal to the full House of Representatives late Wednesday by a vote of 6-3.
A Rock Springs auto body repair shop owner and a Rock Springs Police Department sergeant are looking to put together a series of drag races in Rock Springs, but not everyone agrees on its proposed location.
After taking a wrong turn on his snowboard in a whiteout, Pierre Bergman ended up stranded alone in the backcountry where the only way out was up.
An education budget cut in the Senate budget bill could leave the Legislature vulnerable to school district lawsuits, education advocates said Wednesday.
Operators at PacifiCorp’s Naughton Plant shut down Unit 3 this week, a giant furnace and electrical generator that consumed 165 tons of coal an hour.
A trade association representing oil refineries and petrochemical manufacturers across the country brought the controversial critical infrastructure bill to Wyoming, said lobbyist Matt Micheli.
A new prosecutor and possible new evidence is entering the fold in the investigation of Wapiti man Dennis Klingbeil, charged with the first-degree murder of his wife Donna Klingbeil in August 2018.
The inquest into a fatal, officer-involved shooting that took place this month in Riverton likely won't take place until March "at the earliest," Fremont County Coroner Mark Stratmoen said Tuesday.
A move to pay Cloud Peak Energy Corp. executives larger retention bonuses and to make those payments up front in a lump sum may be an indicator that bankruptcy is inevitable for the Powder River Basin coal mining company.
Throughout the 2019 Legislative Session, the Wyoming Republican Party has made its No. 1 priority clear: ending the practice of crossover voting — switching one’s party to vote in an opposing race — in the state’s elections.
State-wide News in Brief from Wyoming News Exchange
After two days of sometimes testy testimony by Wyoming Republican Party stalwarts in favor of a bill to close off primary elections, Sen. Tara Nethercott (R-Cheyenne) started pushing back.
A Florida hunter who fled from a grizzly bear that was trying to appropriate an elk carcass thought his Jackson Hole guide was already dead when he first rang 911 from a high slope in the Teton Wilderness.
Under cover of night, 63-yearold Robert Blaylock snuck onto a Boxelder Road ranch to do some rustling. He had plenty of rope, a flashlight and everything he needed to make a quick buck off a Converse County rancher’s hard work.
The Wyoming House of Representatives will debate a bill that would require voters to present photo identification at the polls.
Two influential bills drafted by the Blockchain Task Force passed the Wyoming House of Representatives on Tuesday.
Public comments about proposed rule CKA continued on Tuesday, Jan. 22, as the Uinta County School District No. 1 Board of Trustees held the second of two public hearings on the rule, which would allow approved district employees to carry concealed firearms on district property. Trustees Russell Cox and Dave Bennett did not attend the hearing.
Lawmakers narrowly killed a proposal Monday that would have increased the tax on tobacco products in Wyoming in an effort to raise revenue and cut smoking rates.
While Albany County Sheriff’s deputy Derek Colling remains on administrative leave, Sheriff David O’Malley said the controversial deputy is likely to return to work eventually.
A bill working its way through the state Senate would put work requirements on certain Medicaid and food assistance recipients in Wyoming.
Despite the early endorsement of Republican leadership, property and sales tax bills appear dead in the water at the end of the third week of the 2019 legislative session.
The trend of retiring coal plants has unsettled Wyoming — the largest provider of coal in the country — and now a handful of lawmakers are trying to stabilize one small corner of that industry by pressuring Wyoming utilities that may want out of the coal business.
In the throes of the longest government shutdown in the history of the United States, Sen. Charlie Scott, R-Casper, was sitting down for breakfast and reading a newspaper. Workers for the U.S. Department of the Interior had been furloughed, and in the national parks of the West, things were beginning to go into disarray. In Yellowstone, roads went uncleared and in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, trash began piling up, with those responsible for cleaning it nowhere to be found.
A bill that would have created a state income tax to fund education in Wyoming died in the Legislature's House Revenue Committee on Friday, just a day after introduction.
Alfalfa-spewing elk-feeding trucks and the federal employees who drive them will be deemed “essential” and thus unaffected by the partial government shutdown, but so far the herds are OK without the help.
Wyoming lawmakers will try to set aside $250,000 to sue Washington state over coal, bypassing Wyoming’s attorney general and hiring a private lawyer, via a bill introduced Thursday in Cheyenne that largely mimics a failed measure last year.
The University of Wyoming Board of Trustees voted Thursday to continue the Biodiversity Institute, an organization that Ed Snyakowski, Vice President of Research and Economic Development, had been making preparations for the closure of throughout the second half of 2018.
Two Democratic lawmakers hope to launch meaningful income tax discussions in Wyoming with the introduction of new legislation.
With his office shorthanded, Park County Attorney Bryan Skoric has hired one of Wyoming’s most seasoned prosecutors to assist with an upcoming murder trial.
Last year was tumultuous for Yellowstone-area grizzlies both politically and literally, with the bears facing a high rate of often-lethal conflicts, a new report shows.
The Legislature’s Joint Appropriations Committee is wrapping up its review of the supplemental budget bill, would fund an additional $20 million for University of Wyoming projects.
A group organized by a Wyoming senator plans to quintuple Wyoming’s wind tax in an unusual way — by a vote of the people.
A Senate bill to repeal gun-free zones created by schools and local governments failed to get out of committee Wednesday.
Legislative leaders in coming weeks will test the Legislature’s and the public’s appetite for changes in the state’s tax structure.
Gov. Mark Gordon on Friday embraced what conservationists say is Wyoming’s authority to require developers to make up for impacts to greater sage grouse habitat — a requirement the Trump administration has moved to abandon.
If the government shutdown, now a month old, drags on much longer, residents who rely on low-income housing in Douglas could be faced with cuts in services. Those who work in the federally subsidized housing are anxious about the future of their jobs and are admittedly unsure how they’ll maintain crucial services if federal money doesn’t start flowing soon.
Nearly four months since two men suffocated in a trench, investigators are still probing what went wrong and who’s at fault.
A Wyoming college and a police lieutenant settled a 2015 lawsuit Thursday, capping an extensive legal battle over allegations that authorities and an energy company violated two Colorado residents’ constitutional rights when they were arrested while protesting a Peabody Energy Corporation shareholder meeting in Gillette.
Wyoming can impose an income tax on out-of-state corporations without increasing those companies’ overall tax load and without driving up consumer prices, state legislative leaders declared Tuesday.
A Republican’s effort to end party switching before a primary election died in committee after two days of testimony that included demands from local and state party leaders.
News in brief from Wyoming News Exchange member publications
The Uinta County Herald was met with confusion when asking Wyoming Sen. Wendy Schuler, R-Evanston, why she co-sponsored a bill last week that would allow municipalities to be their own watchdogs and publish public notices on their own websites.
People who amass medical bills because they’ve been mauled by a grizzly bear in Wyoming may soon have a pot of money to dip into to help fund their recoveries.
After an extensive Laramie Police Department investigation, Laramie resident Samuel Pennington was arrested Thursday for seven counts of third-degree arson and three counts of burglary.
The Northern Arapaho Business Council wrote to legislative leaders, Gov. Mark Gordon and Fremont County lawmakers to oppose the critical infrastructure bill on the grounds that it threatens free speech.
Two conservative lawmakers introduced a measure this week to cap growth in state budgets in anticipation of the next boom — during which they say Wyoming could save enough money to avoid any future tax increases.
Between 2006 and 2016, the state’s prison population rose 12 percent, the ninth largest increase in the United States for that period.
A bill to increase Wyoming’s wind tax blows through Cheyenne nearly every year, and every year it dies.
Gov. Mark Gordon and State Auditor Kristi Racines' working group to make Wyoming a more transparent state met Friday to chart a path forward.
Several hundred people took to the streets of Wyoming communities on Saturday for the third annual “Women’s March.”
The man who had a bag containing over 80 oxycodone pills stuffed in his rear end during a booking at Teton County Jail pleaded guilty last week in Teton County District Court.
Teton County’s school superintendent joined a statewide debate Wednesday, suggesting to lawmakers that a private school should meet state and federal standards if it is to enjoy the same zoning independence afforded public schools.
Two bills introduced in the Wyoming House of Representatives seek tighter regulations on abortion.
The Uinta County School District No. 1 Board of Trustees held the first of two public hearings on proposed rule CKA, the School Safety and Security Rule, which would allow district employees to apply for approval to carry concealed firearms on district property, on Tuesday, Jan. 15.
University of Wyoming President Laurie Nichols has pushed back on a bill that would authorize community colleges to offer bachelor’s degrees. Individual programs would need to be approved by the Wyoming Community College Commission.
Wyoming Department of Education staff heard some pushback from the State Board of Education during its meeting Thursday regarding the state's proposed new K-12 computer science standards.
A generous and anonymous Teton County resident has fronted more than $100,000 to buy a high-tech system to help Teton County Search and Rescue find people lost or injured in remote areas with no cellular service.
There has long been a debate over the benefit of homework, particularly when it comes to younger school children, and Newcastle Elementary School Principal Brandy Holmes told the board of trustees for Weston County School District #1 last week that she and her staff have decided to get to the bottom of the debate by finding out what works best for the kids in Newcastle.
A proposed bill would give local political parties the power to fill vacant seats in county elected offices.
A Casper man facing a first-degree murder charge asked a judge last month to throw out the case, citing a Wyoming law just a month old at the time of shooting.
The cycle of Wyoming state government looking for solutions to keep its revenue stream stable could be in for another rotation.
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.
GOSHEN COUNTY – Though the impacts weren’t as severe as last month’s record-breaking bomb cyclone storm, a winter storm that begin Wednesday morning and lasted until midday Thursday still had some serious impacts on local travel and road conditions.
Updated: 6 days ago
GOSHEN COUNTY – A storm expected to impact Goshen County and the surrounding areas on Wednesday and Thursday of this week has been picking up steam and now, according to a release from Goshen County Emergency Manager Shelly Kirchhefer, it is borderline close to being classified as a blizzard.
Updated: 1 week ago
TORRINGTON – “I trust the Lord for my every need.” That’s Joe Shortino’s philosophy for getting what he needs to get by. A lot of people say the same thing, or at least something similar – but Shortino is living it. He’s got no money in his pockets, no traveler’s checks, credit cards nor debit cards on his person.
Updated: 1 week ago
HAWK SPRINGS – The 21st Goose Cook Off started on a sunny Saturday afternoon with 13 cooks competing in four categories. Main Dish and People’s Choice Champion was Jaime Beightol, Appetizer Champion was Ashley Shimic, Soup/Chili Champion was Tim Toedter and Jerky Champion was Gerry Hrasky.
Updated: 1 month ago