Several residents have been asked to evacuate their homes in Wood’s Landing because an access road was flooded by the rising Laramie River. And residents in the towns of Saratoga and Encampment are on alert for evacuations, as high snow melt floods the North Platte River. Flooding in Park and Fremont Counties has not led to evacuations, but officials are wary of rainfall this weekend.
Kathi Metzler is the Emergency Management Coordinator in Fremont County where she’s monitoring the Wind River.
Patrick Goggles has been serving in the Wyoming House of Representatives since 2005. But at the end of the recent budget session, he announced that he won’t be seeking reelection in 2014. Goggles is a democrat from House District 33, which includes a piece of the Wind River Indian Reservation in Fremont County.
Donna Robeson’s great grandmother came to South Pass in 1868. She was a converted Mormon from Scotland and married English immigrant Richard Sherlock. They heard there was going to be a big gold strike, so they came to seek their fortunes in mining. This dream didn’t quite pan out. Instead, the family started hotel and ranching businesses to earn a living. Donna tells historian Susan Layman what she remembers from her childhood, at the ranch and with her aunt and uncle in the hotel.
A Christmas Day fire at a natural gas compressor station south of Riverton sent one worker to the hospital.
The East Alkali Butte station belongs to Texas-based Legacy Reserves. The company’s safety coordinator, Randy Williams, says the injured worker was a contractor. He was flown to a hospital in Salt Lake City for treatment.
Fremont County Fire Protection deputy chief Dan Oakley says by the time the department got on scene, the fire had been mostly extinguished. He says the building was still standing, but that the windows and doors had been blown out.
Tom Duncan grew up in Lander. He comes from a family of Scottish immigrants that settled in Wyoming in the 1880s. In 1900, Duncan’s grandfather trailed 5000 sheep to Fremont County, where he began a ranch along the western border of the Wind River Indian Reservation. Duncan tells the family story of their Native American neighbor, Togwotee, for whom Togwotee Pass is named.
Today, the long awaited ground breaking for the 41 million dollar Wind River Job Corps took place. The project was first conceived in 2005 and thanks to support of Senator Mike Enzi it finally received federal approval. It’s the first Job Corps for Wyoming which is the only state without such a facility.
Sandy Barton of the Fremont County Board of Cooperative Education Services or BOCES spearheaded the effort from the start. She told Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck that it will have a major impact on Fremont County and the state.
Energy Fuels Inc. plans to acquire Strathmore Minerals Corporation, a move that will establish Energy Fuels as one of the biggest uranium companies in the U.S. The organizations have signed a letter of intent, under which Strathmore shareholders will end up owning about 20% of Energy Fuels shares.
CEO of Strathmore, David Miller, says the companies are a good match for each other. Both organizations have Wyoming projects.
Teton county residents are the healthiest in Wyoming. That’s according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute’s County Health Rankings. The least-healthy county was Fremont.
Population Health Institute researcher Kate Konkle says, overall, people in Fremont County died at a younger age, had more sick days, and were less mentally healthy than residents of other counties. Konkle says researchers considered several factors that influence the health of a community, including obesity, access to dentists, and graduation rates.
The tribes on the Wind River Indian Reservation have signed a six-month temporary contract with Fremont County to continue solid waste disposal services there. The previous contract expired earlier this month.
With casinos operating successfully in Fremont County, anecdotes abound that gambling addiction is becoming a widespread problem. Fremont Counseling Services is reacting accordingly by starting a gambling awareness group to educate people about the signs and symptoms of gambling addiction, and how to engage someone suspected of being a problem gambler.
Director of Fremont Counseling Services Gerry McAdams says they haven’t necessarily seen an increase of clients with the problem, but they’re going ahead with the classes anyway.
The U.S. Department of Labor is finally starting the process of looking for contractors to build the Wind River Job Corps in Riverton. The site, which will provide vocational training for disadvantaged live-in students, has been slow going. Director of the Fremont County Board of Cooperative Education Services, Sandy Barton, says this is great news for the center.
HOST: There have been rumors that Fremont County is experiencing a rise in gambling addiction amongst its residents. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov reports that whether the rumors are true or not is still unclear, but some services are popping up to address it regardless.
ZHOROV: The Wind River Hotel and Casino in Riverton is full of chirping slot machines, game tables, bright lights, and…gamblers.
There are differing opinions regarding how much good gaming has brought to the county and tribes. But there is also concern about gambling addictions.
Fremont County and Lander Regional Hospital have reached a settlement in a yearlong lawsuit over unpaid bills for mental health examinations for residents who may need to be hospitalized.
The county will pay $457,000 for evaluations from 2009 to Dec. 15. Lander parent company LifePoint Hospitals had sought more than $800,000 in unpaid bills from the county. Both sides disputed how much the county owed for evaluations of patients who faced involuntary hospitalization for mental illness.
The Fremont County Attorney's Office says 35 people have been indicted in connection with an alleged drug distribution ring in central Wyoming. The Casper Star-Tribune (http://bit.ly/rVGjbk ) reported that 22 of the 35 suspects have been arrested as of Friday. The indictments came from a grand jury that met from Nov. 28 through the 30th. They involve the distribution of cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana and prescription medication.