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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.

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NEWS BRIEFS for Wednesday, May 27, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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NEWS BRIEFS for Wednesday, May 27, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Riverton man charged with first-degree murder

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

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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.

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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.

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NEWS BRIEFS for Tuesday, May 26, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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NEWS BRIEFS for Friday, May 22, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

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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.

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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.

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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.

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NEWS BRIEFS for Tuesday, May 19, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

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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.

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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.

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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.

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NEWS BRIEFS for Monday, May 18, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

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

GUERNSEY — The railroad is this town’s backbone.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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NEWS BRIEFS for Friday, May 15, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Self-quarantine has spurred new hobbies, rekindled old passions

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

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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.

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NEWS BRIEFS for Thursday, May 14, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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NEWS BRIEFS for Wednesday, May 13, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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NEWS BRIEFS for Tuesday, May 12, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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NEWS BRIEFS for Thursday, May 7, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

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NEWS BRIEFS for Thursday, May 7, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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NEWS BRIEFS for Wednesday, May 6, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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NEWS BRIEFS for Tuesday, May 5, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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NEWS BRIEFS for Monday, May 4, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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NEWS BRIEFS for Friday, May 1, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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NEWS BRIEFS for Thursday, April 30, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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NEWS BRIEFS for Tuesday, April 28, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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NEWS BRIEFS for Friday, April 24, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

76     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.

89     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.

80     0

NEWS BRIEFS for Monday, April 20, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

107     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.

94     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.

96     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.

91     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.

91     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.

81     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.

81     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.

81     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.

98     0

NEWS BRIEFS for Friday, April 17, 2020

News in Brief from around the Cowboy State

150     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.

101     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.

112     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.

87     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.

72     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.

74     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.

132     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.

89     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.

83     0

NEWS BRIEFS for Thursday, April 16, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

125     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.

87     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.

78     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.

84     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.

112     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.

130     0

NEWS BRIEFS for Friday, April 10, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

133     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.

110     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.

96     0

Alone, but not lonely

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

87     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.

102     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.

99     0

Predicted coal production drop prompts staff cuts

GILLETTE — An expected significant drop in first-quarter thermal coal production has the Powder River Basin’s largest producer making more adjustments to its workforce.

144     0

Powell residents fight boredom with treasure hunts

POWELL — Isolated in Powell, Corey Zeilmann wanted to get his family outdoors for some fun and exercise while practicing social distancing. When the family of four found a hidden treasure close to some ancient rock carvings outside of Cody, the hunt was on.

123     0

Home-school mom: COVID interruption can be an opportunity

RIVERTON — Make life a learning opportunity. That’s the advice for public-school families from Riverton home-schooling veteran Brooke Lehto as a prolonged closure of public schools continues statewide due to coronavirus exposure concerns.

102     0

NEWS BRIEFS for Thursday, April 9, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

93     0

Jackson residents petitioning Gordon to revisit stringent 'stay at home' request

JACKSON — Nearly 2,000 people have signed a petition asking Wyoming state government to approve Teton County’s request for a stronger community stay-at-home order.

94     0

Governor requests disaster declaration, number of confirmed COVID-19 cases rises to 230

CHEYENNE - Gov. Mark Gordon signed a letter Wednesday requesting a disaster declaration from the federal government to help Wyoming as the state's total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases grew to 230, with 74 of those patients having recovered.

87     0

Doctors in Fremont County urge people to remain at home

CASPER — Health care workers in Fremont County are seeing younger and sicker coronavirus patients as the disease continues its spread there, and officials urge residents to stay home as much as possible.

102     0

Carbon County leaders question influx of contract workers amid coronavirus

RAWLINS — As scores of contract workers flock to Carbon County to help build several major energy projects, questions have emerged over whether the influx is a good idea amid the spread of COVID-19.

105     0

'All clear, come here': Wyoming promotes post-pandemic tourism

GILLETTE — No one knows when the coronavirus pandemic will end and life gets back to normal, but when it happens Campbell County needs to be prepared.

108     0

NEWS BRIEFS for Wednesday, April 8, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

101     0

Man faces three murder charges in Sheridan County

SHERIDAN — Dana Beartusk appeared in Sheridan County Circuit Court Monday via video for an initial appearance. Beartusk faces three counts of first-degree murder for allegedly killing three family members in Big Horn.

102     0

Empty streets and full hearts: Videos document pandemic life

With so many people hunkered down, working from home, avoiding travel and abstaining from public places, it’s hard to gain a sense of what’s really going on in the suddenly distant world around us.

100     0

Justices back murder case dismissal

CASPER — The Wyoming Supreme Court on Monday upheld the dismissal of a first-degree murder case against a Casper man on the basis of a new stand-your-ground law.

107     0

Wyoming residents continue to help neighbors through outbreak

From free ice cream and sack lunches to parades and scavenger hunts, Wyoming residents made the best of their self-isolation in the last week by helping others.

108     0

NEWS BRIEFS for Tuesday, April 7, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

94     0

Judge: Public has right to know details of McCormick investigation

CHEYENNE – The public may soon know exactly what Laramie County School District 1 found during its internal investigation into racist and homophobic flyers posted last year at Cheyenne’s McCormick Junior High School.

113     0

Legislature weighs options for special session

SHERIDAN — Legislative leadership has indicated a special session of the Wyoming Legislature may take place in the “very near future” as industries across the state feel the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

97     0

NEWS BRIEFS for Monday, April 6, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

103     0

Surviving isolation: It’s OK to ask for help

RAWLINS — Not everyone is suited to rural life — or social distancing — but there are some lessons from rural life that might be applicable during the novel coronavirus outbreak.

109     0

Downturn hits livestock markets

CASPER — Livestock markets were worrisome at the beginning of the week.

93     0

Coal production falls again

CASPER — Coal production across Wyoming continued to tumble throughout the start of the new year, with output during the first quarter setting a new two-decade low, data released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration shows.

102     0

Land deal still on state’s radar amid COVID-19 outbreak

CHEYENNE – A lot has changed since Gov. Mark Gordon announced earlier this year that the state was exploring a deal to buy roughly a million acres of land in southern Wyoming from Occidental Petroleum Corporation.

104     0

NEWS BRIEFS for Friday, April 3, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

121     0

CDC advises ‘face masks are for the sick’

PINEDALE – Many across the country are questioning local, state and federal health officials about wearing face masks – of any kind – while in public places or around people where COVID-19 might be carried or transmitted.

125     0

Pandemic hurting ranchers in southwest Wyoming

EVANSTON — Sheep ranchers are the earliest agricultural victims in Uinta County to feel the economic implications of the coronavirus pandemic.

113     0

COVID-19 comes to Centennial: (and goes … ?)

A cluster of bars, businesses and homes sits at the base of the Snowy Range mountains. More dwellings dot the wooded drainages and windswept prairie nearby. Welcome to Centennial, population 270.

112     0

Casper doc innovates with new respiratory clinic

In March, as the COVID-19 outbreak began to ramp up in the United States, Dr. Andy Dunn found himself in conversation with his wife — also a physician — discussing how the disease could overwhelm the healthcare system in their home city of Casper.

115     0

Restaurant curbside sale of alcohol popular with businesses

GILLETTE — For at least the next two weeks, Gillette restaurants can offer residents up to 48 ounces of beer or a bottle of wine with their next curbside food purchase, which is good news to some restaurant employees.

109     0

State jobless claims surge

CASPER — Thousands of Wyoming workers filed for unemployment insurance benefits last week as the economic fallout fueled by the spread of the coronavirus worldwide continues to shut down businesses, according to new data released by the Department of Workforce Services.

100     0

Wide and still open spaces: though campgrounds and facilities close, outdoors ‘a great place to be’ in pandemic

POWELL — Rock and Christine Hull and their five kids couldn’t take another day inside. Even during normal weekends, the best thing to wear off the boredom and anxiety for the Powell family is a long hike.

135     0

Casper high schoolers take music festival online

CASPER — The song begins this way: “Days are good/And that’s the way it should be.”

107     0

Mineral industries: Classify workers as essential

CASPER — Wyoming’s mineral industries have asked Gov. Mark Gordon to consider mining and drilling operations “essential” activities in anticipation of further potential business restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic.

105     0

NEWS BRIEFS for Thursday, April 2, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

109     0

Weapon missing in Big Horn triple homicide

Beartusk declined to speak to law enforcement that evening when he was taken into custody. The SCSO filed three counts of first degree murder against the suspect and a warrant was granted for his arrest March 30.

118     0

During COVID-19 crisis, advocacy groups seek to insure public comment on environmental issues

BUFFALO — Advocacy groups are working to protect public input on critical environmental and land management decisions in a socially distanced world focused on slowing the spread of COVID-19.

101     0

After going well over budget on Newcastle warden’s home, Game and Fish leaders put pause on new housing projects

POWELL — Still stinging over criticism of a construction project in the Newcastle area that ran well over budget, the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission has tabled two proposed employee housing projects.

111     0

Wyoming Supreme Court sides with public defender

CHEYENNE – Wyoming State Public Defender Diane Lozano's actions limiting which cases her office takes do not place her in contemp­t of court.

97     0

Domestic violence resources still available amid pandemic

CHEYENNE – Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, people are being asked to social distance themselves and stay home. For domestic violence survivors, this advice can turn deadly.

111     0

NEWS BRIEFS for Wednesday, April 1, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

98     0

Teton County COVID-19 patients speak out

JACKSON — Lorraine Adams didn’t suspect she had COVID-19 until she read that a symptom of the disease is losing your sense of taste and smell.

110     0

New model predicts Wyo COVID-19 deaths, ICU shortages

Wyoming is 26 days away from a peak daily COVID-19 death rate of four people per day and could see a total of 143 deaths through Aug. 4, 2020, a statistical model used by a University of Washington researcher predicts.

118     0

Wyo Democratic Party Chair: Candidates ready for challenge

SHERIDAN — Among the events requiring drastic adaptations since COVID-19 swept across the U.S., Wyoming’s Democratic presidential preference caucus switched to a 100% mail-in voting process. Senatorial candidates say the voting process will likely remain sound but not unchallenged in the coming months.

111     0

Policing a pandemic: Wyo law enforcement amid COVID-19

Law enforcement agencies across the state report that calls and crime have slowed down, so far, as many businesses remain closed, jobs remain in jeopardy and citizens self-isolate to stem the threat of the coronavirus pandemic.

113     0

Schools stay connected with students during COVID-19 closures

School closures prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic are putting teachers, administrators, parents and students to the test statewide.

106     0

Managing mental health in isolation

CASPER — Local, state and national leaders have all urged residents to avoid public areas and avoid in-person interactions as the novel coronavirus continues to spread. Compound that social isolation with the uncertainty brought about by a pandemic, and it could have a severe impact on a person’s mental health.

96     0

Coalition channels tech community to find creative solutions for COVID-19

CHEYENNE – Across the state of Wyoming, there are web developers who specialize in coding mobile applications, makers who use 3D printers to bring ideas to life and mapping professionals who use GIS to show data visually.

97     0

ACLU: Stop immigration raids

CASPER — The ACLU last week asked Wyoming officials to call on U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to temporarily cease raids used to deport undocumented immigrants. The request, made in an open letter addressed to Gov. Mark Gordon and prison officials, comes as part of what the Wyoming chapter of the civil liberties organization calls a necessary response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has spread rapidly in jails and prisons elsewhere but has not yet been linked to a jail or prison facility in Wyoming.

92     0

Wyoming economists say social distancing is "worth it"

CHEYENNE – Shuttered schools, closed businesses and work-from-home mandates are the new normal in Cheyenne as people try to limit social interaction to prevent the spread of COVID-19, which has already killed more than 2,000 Americans.

109     0

Wyoming Supreme Court to decide on birth certificate gender changes

CHEYENNE – A court case that would determine whether or not transgender people in Wyoming can change the their gender on their birth certificate is being decided by the Wyoming Supreme Court.

118     0

Week two: The pandemic in Wyoming from March 20-27

By the end of the second full week since the Wyoming Department of Health announced the state’s first confirmed COVID-19 case, the virus was still tightening its grip on the Equality State. The DOH’s official number of confirmed positive cases went from 29 Monday to 70 by Friday morning.

108     0

COVID-19 another hit on already-reeling coal industry

GILLETTE — Already trying to bail out a ship taking on water, Powder River Basin coal producers are now trying to keep that up during a torrential downpour.

105     0

Wyoming doc works around COVID-19 testing bottleneck

A shortage of viral transport medium has slowed COVID-19 testing in Wyoming and nationwide. Now, at least one Wyoming doctor is working around the bottleneck by using a simpler, more common, CDC-backed, substitute: medical saline solution.

96     0

Riverton couple charged with murder in Friday shooting

RIVERTON — A husband and wife were charged Friday morning in the death of 38-year-old Trevor Bartlett, who died of a gunshot wound early Thursday.

105     0

Gordon OKs oil and gas tax break

CASPER — In the midst of unprecedented volatility in the global oil market, shale producers in Wyoming received a small boost Friday in the form of tax relief. Gov. Mark Gordon signed into law a bill providing reductions in state mineral taxes amidst certain price environments.

109     0

FROM WYOFILE:  ‘Go home:’

Amid the clamor, panic and ever-changing news of closures and COVID-19 cases, one message has emerged with increasing force: Social distancing is the key to slowing the pandemic.

115     0

National data company gives Wyoming worst grade in social distancing

EVANSTON — Wyoming gets an F in social distancing practices.

123     0

NEWS BRIEFS for Friday, Mar. 27, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

129     0

Coronavirus case count jumps to 56, no hospitalization for most

A large majority of Wyoming’s coronavirus cases have not resulted in hospitalization, according to Wyoming Health Department figures.

141     0

It’s open season on teddy bears in Gillette

GILLETTE — With schools closed because of the coronavirus, parents are working overtime to keep their children from ransacking the house. Luckily, the outdoors aren’t off limits. Biking and walking through neighborhoods is safe and a nice way to change the scenery.

117     0

The stimulus bill: Package includes one-time paycheck and jobless benefits

CASPER — On Wednesday, the United States Senate passed a massive $2.2 trillion stimulus package to save the U.S. economy from the worst impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, offering up tens of billions of dollars in new spending to help American workers and industry. But what does that mean for you?

121     0

State unemployment spikes due to COVID-19

CHEYENNE - As unemployment claims across the U.S. have skyrocketed to unprecedented rates, the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services has seen a similar pattern in the Cowboy State.

102     0

Governor signs bill mandating monthly production tax payments

GILLETTE — It’s official. In 2023, mineral producers must start paying their ad valorem production taxes monthly.

112     0

COVID-19 task forces begin work to address immediate, long-term uncertainties

CHEYENNE - Two weeks removed from the confirmation of Wyoming's first coronavirus case, every sector of society has rapidly changed.

112     0

Archaeologist: Snow King could lose its historical eligibility

JACKSON — For all of its history, Snow King Mountain has been a small and mostly sleepy ski area, with slow lifts, relatively few people and familiar ski runs cutting through the forest rising over town.

114     0

Wyoming coronavirus case count jumps to 53; Gordon urges people to stay home

Wyoming’s coronavirus case count grew to 53 on Thursday, but reports from two county health agencies indicated some of those patients have already recovered.

117     0

Wyoming could see $1.25B in aid

CASPER — Wyoming could receive $1.25 billion in federal aid under a massive, multi-trillion dollar stimulus package signed by the U.S. Senate on Wednesday to address the financial impacts incurred by state and local governments from the COVID-19 pandemic.

98     0

NEWS BRIEFS for Thursday, Mar. 26, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

108     0

Businesses finding new ways to operate amid pandemic uncertainty

LARAMIE — On Monday afternoon, a handful of shoppers browsed through racks of clothing at NU2U, 320 S. Fifth St. In the large space, it was easy for them to keep their distance from each other, one of the new rules of the COVID-19 pandemic.

116     0

As COVID-19 effects ripple, hourly wage-earners hang on

JACKSON — At High Country Linen, giant washing machines slosh, huge dryers tumble their contents and semi-automated ironing contraptions take in clean bedsheets, turning out immaculate linen.

110     0

Wyoming working to produce coronavirus testing supplies

CASPER — As shortages of testing materials continue across the state and country, Wyoming’s health officials are working to make some of the supplies themselves.

119     0

Truckers ‘proudly’ drive on amidst COVID-19 pandemic

INTERSTATE 80 — On his weekly runs across the country, commercial truck driver Medi Agha is doing his best to stay in social isolation, he said.

106     0

In Sublette County, no COVID-19 yet — no hospital, either

As larger Wyoming communities marshal limited resources to confront COVID-19, sparsely populated rural counties are particularly reliant on a critical strategy to keep residents safe — slowing the spread.

107     0

A new approach to campaigning: Cynthia Lummis stays in and reaches out

ROCK SPRINGS — Campaigns typically require mass gatherings and a great deal of close social interaction. Not anymore.

92     0

Supreme Court reverses, remands decision on Laramie County Fair Board

CHEYENNE – The Laramie County Board of Commissioners didn’t have the authority to dissolve the Laramie County Fair Board, according to a Wyoming Supreme Court opinion issued Tuesday.

113     0

Acts of kindness seen across state in face of coronavirus troubles

As Wyoming residents dealt with the problems created by the coronavirus epidemic, the state was replete with stories of people reaching out to help their neighbors cope.

118     0

Wyoming’s coronavirus case count up to 29

Wyoming’s coronavirus case count climbed to 29 on Monday as Gov. Mark Gordon warned state residents that the impact of the disease may be felt in the state for some time.

127     0

Gordon joins GOP governors in seeking more money for states in federal stimulus bill

CASPER — Gov. Mark Gordon joined in signing a letter to congressional leadership seeking additional funding for states in Congress’ nearly $2 trillion stimulus bill that’s intended to help address the economic fallout from the COVID-19 outbreak.

114     0

Gordon: More COVID-19 cases likely in Wyoming

CHEYENNE – Gov. Mark Gordon said Monday the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Wyoming is likely not reflective of the true number of virus cases in the community due to limited testing supplies.

122     0

NEWS BRIEFS for Tuesday, Mar. 24, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

103     0

Outbreak affects mental health: COVID-19 leads to high stress for many

CODY — With the onslaught of media coverage the COVID-19 pandemic has been garnering the last few weeks, it’s easy to become mentally distraught if not at least fatigued. Mental health experts say finding an escape from the informational barrage is critical to maintaining a healthy state.

114     0

NEWS BRIEFS for Monday, Mar. 23, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

115     0

The New Normal: One week into COVID-19

CHEYENNE – Uncharted. Unprecedented. Uncertain. These are the words people across Wyoming – and the country – have used to describe the feeling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

124     0

Official implores: Don’t flush ‘flushable’ wipes

JACKSON — As sanitizing wipes fly off the shelves during the COVID-19 pandemic, Jackson’s wastewater treatment director reminds people that they should not end up in the town’s sewage.

102     0

As business halts, workers brace for unemployment

CASPER — The phones at the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services office have been ringing off the hook.

105     0

Barrasso seeks prince’s help

CASPER — Sen. John Barrasso joined several U.S. officials in drafting a letter to Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, urging him to stabilize increasingly volatile global oil markets.

115     0

Health officer prohibits gatherings of 10 or more, 23rd case detected

Gatherings of 10 or more people have been prohibited in the state under an order issued by the state health officer.

111     0

Coronavirus cases in Wyoming by county

As reported by the Wyoming Department of Health, 9:30 a.m. Thursday, March 19.

0     0

Businesses large and small reel from virus’s ‘kick in the teeth’

Bitter Creek Brewing in Rock Springs laid off employees and switched to curbside delivery and pick-up orders only for the brewpub’s food this week. With a dining and bar area too small for social distancing, owner Jane Caller preferred to take precautions for her customers and employees, she said.

123     0

NEWS BRIEFS for Friday, March 20, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

127     0

Dispatch from the hotspot — Lander in the days of COVID-19

LANDER — Nestled against the Wind River Mountain range in central Wyoming some 120 miles from the nearest interstate, Lander is not easy to get to.

116     0

Two who couldn’t get COVID-19 test: a study in rationing

Two Wyoming residents who exhibited symptoms of COVID-19 infection said they fear their experiences of denied testing and delayed treatment demonstrate how scarce supplies and a slow response may have exacerbated the pandemic’s spread.

117     0

Businesses worry after governor orders closures of bars, restaurants

CASPER — Crystal Borson and her employees unloaded a truckload of food on Monday, meant to stock the Philly’s Steak N’ Company restaurant located inside the Beacon Club in Mills.

116     0

Riverton circuit court judge releases jail inmates over virus

RIVERTON — Roughly 30 non-violent inmates at the Fremont County Detention Center in Lander have been released to minimize health risks in the jail during the coronavirus pandemic.

111     0

Health officer orders closure of Wyoming businesses 

Latest updates on COVID-19 from across Wyoming

106     0

#BrysonStrong:

EVANSTON — Thirteen-year-old Bryson Quinney is one tough young man with a remarkable story.

0     0

#BrysonStrong:

EVANSTON — Thirteen-year-old Bryson Quinney is one tough young man with a remarkable story.

109     0

Great axe-pectations: ax throwing hits Gillette

GILLETTE — Larry and Shawn Reznicek and John and Sage Bear walked into Axe House Wyoming already having spent some time earlier shooting pistols at the gun range on a recent Friday. The couples thought they’d get some practice throws in before competing against each other.

142     0

NEWS BRIEFS for Thursday, Mar. 19, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

103     0

Interior pushes parks as COVID-19 getaway; park officials disagree

JACKSON — With a good many normal activities and tourist destinations derailed by the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. Department of the Interior is telling Americans to go play in the outdoors on their federal lands.

125     0

SBA provides loans for small businesses

SHERIDAN — Gov. Mark Gordon applied on behalf of the state of Wyoming for access to Small Business Administration federal disaster loans in response to COVID-19 on an economic front. While the state awaits approval, small businesses throughout Wyoming can prepare to apply for a loan by setting up accounts online.

100     0

Wyoming delegation votes in favor of multibillion-dollar relief packages

CASPER — Wyoming’s congressional delegation voted in favor of billions of dollars in stimulus funding Wednesday afternoon, supporting a bipartisan effort to stabilize the U.S. economy as the coronavirus outbreak threatens to bring the U.S. into a recession.

109     0

Coal corporate giving tumbles just as communities need it most

GILLETTE — When Cloud Peak Energy Inc. went public in 2009, the Powder River Basin coal producer gifted its first 500 shares to Youth Emergency Services in Gillette, an organization that provides an array of services for at-risk youth and their families.

118     0

Coal, land, workers and education: 2020 budget session wrapped

The 65th Wyoming Legislature adjourned for the year late Thursday night following a 24-day frenzy of lawmaking that stands to have significant impact on energy production, workers protections, the utility system, education funding and the potential purchase of millions of acres of land and mineral rights.

100     0

Oil price drop rocks industry

CASPER — Volatile markets roiled Wyoming’s energy sector again this week, with oil prices tumbling and investors shedding energy shares as the coronavirus, or COVID-19, continued to spread worldwide.

112     0

Remembering Sissy Goodwin, skirts and all

Douglas native Larry “Sissy” Goodwin gained national renown for his stubborn individuality. The Vietnam veteran, former rodeo cowboy, former aircraft mechanic and Casper College professor liked to wear women’s clothing. His style tended toward pastel blouses, frilly petticoats and feminine purses.

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NEWS BRIEFS for Wednesday, Mar. 18, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

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Coronavirus case count grows to 15

The number of coronavirus COVID-19 cases in Wyoming jumped by five Tuesday, with two cases surfacing in Laramie County, one diagnosed in Park County and two more turning up in Sheridan County.

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First two COVID-19 cases confirmed in Laramie County

CHEYENNE – Laramie County has its first two confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

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NEWS BRIEFS for Tuesday, Mar. 17, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

130     0

Wyoming Food Freedom celebrated as national model

PINEDALE – Far from our state lines, people celebrate the fact that Wyoming was the first in the nation to pass its Food Freedom Act – five years ago this month.

119     0

Current bad market makes for strategic money moves

SHERIDAN—The economic effects of national events are reverberating through Sheridan County. Falling financial benchmarks have left individuals to sort out what it will mean for their pocketbooks, and it turns out that those who have some extra cash to play with right now are in a good position.

111     0

UW to conduct remainder of spring semester online

LARAMIE — The University of Wyoming announced Monday that all undergraduate and graduate courses will be delivered remotely when the semester resumes after spring break on March 30 amid concerns about the spreading novel coronavirus, commonly known as COVID-19.

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Energy companies in Wyoming intensify response to coronavirus outbreak

CASPER — Energy companies operating in Wyoming ramped up their response to the spread of the coronavirus, or COVID-19, on Monday, with some firms imposing self-quarantine protocols and travel restrictions.

111     0

NEWS BRIEFS for Friday, March 13, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

149     0

Gordon using private-sector advisors to help evaluate Oxy land deal

Gov. Mark Gordon has a team of seven informal private-sector advisors — at least three of them high-level veterans of the oil and gas industries — helping him evaluate the possible purchase of 1 million surface and 4 million mineral acres from Occidental Petroleum, according to the governor’s office.

126     0

Supreme Court upholds blood draw ruling, appeal considered

JACKSON — Wyoming Supreme Court justices say they agree with the lower Teton County courts about a 2018 interference conviction stemming from a man refusing a judge’s warrant for his blood after a suspected DUI traffic stop.

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First coronavirus patient doing well, health officials say

CASPER — The Sheridan woman who tested positive for the novel coronavirus is isolated at her home and is doing well, health officials said Thursday. Meanwhile two people in a nearby community college district are under quarantine for at least two weeks.

136     0

Gordon lets UW abortion rule become law

LARAMIE -- Gov. Mark Gordon declined to veto a controversial part of this biennium’s budget that prevents the University of Wyoming’s student insurance from covering abortions.

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Ancient eagle rehabilitated in Jackson returns to the skies

JACKSON — Meghan Warren’s “once-in-a-lifetime bird” has gone home.

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Powell High School art class turns wildlife taxidermy into sculpture

POWELL — A grizzly bear, standing over a rib cage from a recent kill, looks out from his perch as students move in and out of Jim Gilman’s vocational art class at Powell High School. The students move fast, working with feathers and fur.

112     0

Sheridan man begins new life after addiction

SHERIDAN — When Chase Gysel died, he didn’t care at the time. During surgery necessitated by neck edema caused by an untreated nasal infection, his lungs collapsed. Later, medical staff told him they revived him on the table. He gave into the feeling of dying and felt relief.

117     0

NEWS BRIEFS for Thursday, March 12, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

119     0

Legislature approves bill for monthly mineral tax payment

GILLETTE — Mineral producers in Wyoming will have to pay their ad valorem taxes owed to counties on the same schedule as their state severance taxes if Gov. Mark Gordon signs a bill that cleared its final hurdle in the Legislature on Wednesday.

136     0

Bill to care for aborted infants born alive approved

CHEYENNE — The Wyoming House of Representatives put its stamp on a piece of legislation imposing felony-level penalties for parents and doctors who decline to provide lifesaving care to aborted infants born alive, a win for anti-abortion advocates but a blow to critics who feel the legislation strips the rights of parents and their doctors to spare suffering for children born with profound birth defects.

122     0

First case of COVID-19 confirmed in Wyoming

CHEYENNE — The first case of coronavirus, COVID-19, in Wyoming was confirmed Wednesday evening in a woman from Sheridan County.

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UW gets ‘standard budget’

LARAMIE — Barring any dramatic line-item vetoes from Gov. Mark Gordon, the University of Wyoming’s base support from the Legislature for the upcoming fiscal biennium will be essentially unchanged from its current status.

138     0

NEWS BRIEFS for Tuesday, March 10, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

124     0

UW cancels trips to China, South Korea because of coronavirus

CASPER — The University of Wyoming has canceled summer study abroad trips to China and South Korea in light of coronavirus outbreaks in those two countries as part of a wave of preparations undertaken by the university.

137     0

Wolf numbers increase in Yellowstone

POWELL — The number of wolves in Yellowstone National Park has risen in the past year, according to Doug Smith, the park’s senior wildlife biologist.

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BLM preferred plan would remove 1,500 horses from range

PINEDALE — The High Desert District’s wild horse draft environmental impact statement and proposed Bureau of Land Management revisions for its management are open for public comment through April 30.

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Oil price plunge raises questions about state economy

CHEYENNE — Oil prices worldwide suffered a major hit over the weekend, reaching a four-year low in the United States, and the rapid changes in the global economy could have major implications for Wyoming.

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House, Senate reach initial deal on biennial budget

CHEYENNE — After a few months of crafting the nearly $3 billion state budget for the 2021-22 biennium, lawmakers from the House and Senate reached an initial agreement Friday night.

117     0

Jackson lab moves one step closer to ALS treatment

JACKSON — Medical research is a Sisyphean endeavor: Each study pushes the rock slightly farther uphill, until it finally reaches the top and a new discovery is made. Recently Brain Chemistry Labs, the nonprofit research lab in Jackson, moved the rock closer to the top of the hill.

130     0

Prison contractor squares off with counseling lobby in Capitol

The Illinois-based company that runs Wyoming’s in-prison treatment programs is battling mental health and substance abuse treatment lobbyists in an effort to lower licensing standards for its counselors.

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Autistic 9-year-old student handcuffed

CASPER — A 9-year-old Casper student with high-functioning autism was restrained and handcuffed last year, resulting in an investigation by the federal Department of Education into how the student was treated in the months leading up to the incident.

119     0

Blackjewel successor makes monthly tax payments

GILLETTE — While the state Legislature debates whether to require companies to pay mineral production taxes on a monthly basis, the monthly payment plan agreement between Campbell County and Eagle Specialty Materials has shown that it can work.

115     0

NEWS BRIEFS for Monday, March 9, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

117     0

As session wanes, legislators negotiate in private

There are 90 members of the Legislature, but the fourth week of its 2020 session ended with fewer than 20 negotiating, often behind closed doors, the outcome of key budget session issues.

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Motorists at shelter describe massive March 1 wreck

RAWLINS — By the time Fernando and Carlos saw the livestock trailer, it was too late. The two non-English-speaking motorists from Mexico quickly became another pileup statistic.

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Gillette resident changes his life with ‘street project,’ hopes to change others as well

GILLETTE — Standing amid a green landscape on the Pine Ridge Reservation is a weary Ogallala Lakota Sioux coming to grips with her need to move away from her home, her life as she has always known it.

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Cheyenne students raise money for a new playground – in Mexico

CHEYENNE – The slide is Sienna Freeman’s favorite piece of equipment on the playground at Cole Elementary.

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School nurse, staff save life of 10-year-old Sheridan girl

SHERIDAN — On Monday, Shawn Kelley received the call parents dread. His 10-year-old daughter had collapsed walking into Woodland Park Elementary.

138     0

NEWS BRIEFS for Thursday, March 5, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

149     0

Powell company to become state’s first hemp processor

POWELL — A Powell business is set to become the first hemp production and processing operation in the state of Wyoming, though the company’s plans were nearly blocked by the Powell City Council Monday night.

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Rocky Mountain Power seeks rate increase

CASPER — Wyoming’s leading utility filed an application with the state’s Public Service Commission on Monday to adjust its energy prices starting next year.

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Bill giving cities option for extra sales tax approved in Senate

CHEYENNE - A bill allowing cities to propose an additional 1% sales tax to local voters won final approval from the Wyoming Senate on Wednesday, marking a huge step in years worth of discussion to find revenue-generating options that cities, smaller towns and counties can all agree on.

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University of Illinois official named UW president

LARAMIE — Edward Seidel, vice president for economic development and innovation for the University of Illinois System, has been named as the University of Wyoming’s next president. He is set to begin the job in July.

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Carving his own funny path: After being laid off, Honaker pursues comedy career

DOUGLAS — The doors of Headstrong Brewery were still more than an hour from opening to the public, but he was there, fidgeting nervously.

116     0

Volunteers on the ice: group trains for rescues in cold and wet conditions

POWELL — After eight hours in a classroom going over thick safety procedure manuals, members of the Park County Search and Rescue swift water rescue team were happy to get into the Buffalo Bill Reservoir on Sunday.

153     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.

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