Jackson

Administrators at Central Wyoming College’s culinary and hospitality program in Jackson are considering a new class schedule to allow students to continue working at hotels and resorts during the region’s busy seasons.

Students working towards associates degrees at CWC Jackson currently attend classes on a typical semester schedule. Program Director Amy Madera says the new schedule would be condensed into the tourism off-season—October and November—and April and May.

Courtesy of Kate Christman Nagel

Local business and one school were evacuated today after an explosion and fire at a propane distribution station in Jackson.

Safety officials reported an explosion just after 1 p.m. at an AmeriGas facility two miles from downtown Jackson.  A nearby high school, grocery store, and gym were evacuated but students in other area schools were told to stay in place.  Teton County Public Information Officer Charlotte Reynolds said in the afternoon that the fire activity has diminished but asks that the public stay away.

Large numbers of Elk have been seen migrating near Jackson and across major roadways last weekend. The National Elk Refuge is urging drivers around the Jackson area to be especially careful in the coming week as hundreds of elk make their way across the area.

The refuge says a winter storm that brought colder temperatures and more than a foot of snow likely kicked off the migration. Elk mainly move at dawn and dusk which makes sighting them more difficult. Refuge spokesperson Lori Iverson says migrations, wintery conditions and drivers take a toll on animals in the area.

istockphoto.com

The 2014 Wyoming Forum kicked off yesterday with a discussion of Wyoming’s tech scene between Governor Matt Mead and two prominent California entrepreneurs. One big topic was whether the Cheyenne-Laramie area or Jackson was the most promising for growth. 

Rebecca Huntington

Chef Eric Bartle and girlfriend, Sara Kundelius, moved in the dead of winter from Portland, Oregon, to Turpin Meadow Ranch. The guest ranch is nestled at the end of the Buffalo Valley Road, on the edge of the Teton Wilderness, one of the most remote places in the Lower 48 states.

The couple loves to forage for locally grown foods and brought with them a supply of homemade jarred and canned delicacies to incorporate into the ranch’s menu. They share stories about that first trip to the ranch and their passion for home and forest-grown food.

wyoarts.state.wy.us

When David Romtvedt first moved to Wyoming, his profession as a poet made him immediately suspect. His wife, Margo Brown, an artist and a Wyoming native, talks with David about how he gradually earned the respect of her ranching relatives. Romtvedt served as Poet Laureate of Wyoming from 2003 to 2011.

Rebecca Huntington

On May 25, 2014, 15-year-old Sasha Johnstone became the youngest person to climb and ski the Grand Teton, according to mountain guides. At 13,775 feet, the Grand is the highest peak in Grand Teton National Park with slopes as steep as 55 degrees, bordered by cliffs dropping away precipitously to create “no fall zones.” Sasha skied the peak with his parents.

Rebecca Huntington

Dollie Iberlin gives new meaning to the phrase “student teacher” as she recalls her first teaching job, educating two students just a few years younger than herself on a Johnson County ranch. While teaching at the ranch, Iberlin also weathered one of the most famous and daunting blizzards in Wyoming history. Iberlin shares stories about that fun and fateful year with her daughter, Margo Brown.

Wyoming teen Megan Grassell was listed as one Time’s 25 Most Influential Teens of 2014 this week, joining the ranks of Malia Obama and Nobel Peace Prize Winner Malala Yousafzai. She spoke with Wyoming Public Radio's Caroline Ballard about her success.

With the help of a kickstarter campaign that raised $42-thousand dollars, Grassell created her own company. Yellowberry makes training bras for pre-teen and teenage girls. Grassell, 19, was inspired after taking her younger sister shopping for her first bra. All of the training bras she tried on were padded and mature-looking. 

Two Wyoming children are leading the charge against African elephant poaching. 

The Tooth Fairy Project is an elephant conservation event in Jackson on Saturday and Sunday. Two Jackson children, 11 year old Lily Marvin and 9 year old Alex French are headlining they event after they caught a filmmaker’s attention because of their passion for saving elephants.  The filmmaker is creating a documentary called Elephant Daze about elephant poaching and plans to incorporate the children into the documentary.

Every fall, the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson holds an annual fund-raising show that gives art collectors a chance to rub shoulders with high-caliber wildlife artists.

Partygoers, dressed in everything from cocktail gowns to cowboy  hats, are sipping drinks while admiring paintings and sculptures created by one hundred premiere wildlife artists. Bettina Whyte, a museum trustee, is among those admiring the art.

Jackson’s 2-percent lodging tax is up for a vote in November, and a new breakdown by Jackson Hole News&Guide shows 40-percent of lodging tax revenues go back to the county. Unlike Jackson’s 60-40 split, most towns only see about 10-percent of revenues from their lodging taxes – the rest going back into tourism.

The tax had been up for a vote ever since 1994, but had been continually struck down over fears it would hinder tourism. The measure finally passed in 2010 after promises of higher returns for the local economy. 

Rebecca Huntington

Mental health. It's a topic that can be hard to talk about. So the National Council for Behavioral Health has taken a cue from successful CPR and first aid programs and designed a similar training to help everyday citizens know how to respond in a mental health crisis.

A half dozen Jackson community members are gathered in a classroom in the basement of St. John's Medical Center. Their instructor, Adam Williamson, has handed out poster-sized paper and markers and asked them to draw a picture of anxiety.

On August 28th Eva Schloss who is the step sister and childhood friend of Anne Frank will give a talk about her time in Auschwitz during the Holocaust. She will appear at the Center for the Arts in Jackson at 7 p.m. at an event hosted by the Chabad Jewish Center of Wyoming.  She tells Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck about how she met Anne Frank.

Aaron Wallis

It was the Protestant reformer Martin Luther who proposed that we are simultaneously saints and sinners. Jackson artist Aaron Wallis is illustrating the idea by placing drug dealers and gang leaders in the context of Christian iconography: putting halos around criminals' heads. The newest collection of illuminated manuscript prints in his Street Bible series opens August 29th at the Rose and the Pink Garter Theatre in Jackson.

Miles Bryan

The town of Jackson has long struggled to find enough affordable housing for its seasonal workers. Right now, the average rental property there is going for 2800 dollars a month. But lately, the popularity of house sharing websites have transformed the housing problem into a housing crisis. And that’s got local business owners looking in new places for their for seasonal hires.

It's midmorning at a campsite just outside of Jackson and Christen Johnson is setting up her camp stove for a cup of coffee before work--”it came with the van,” she tells me.

Olly Moss, blog.camposanto.com

Picture this. You're a park ranger living in a watchtower in the Wyoming wilderness. No cellphone, no internet, no co-worker to keep you company. Your only human contact is with your boss on a handheld radio. But when unexpected events occur, you’re faced with exploring a wild and unknown environment…and that's where a new video game set in Wyoming begins.

Rebecca Huntington

What do butterflies, pikas and a challenge course have in common? They're all at the heart of the summer camp experience for teens in Kelly, Wyoming. Bordering Grand Teton National Park, Teton Science Schools offers a perfect setting for campers to study and appreciate nature. But as Rebecca Huntington reports students walk away with a lot more.

“Is this one lupine? Oh there's a painted lady, I think.”

Car camping for one night might soon be legal within Jackson Hole, according to proposed changes to the city’s camping ordinance.

The municipal camping rules are designed to keep public areas clear and campers safe. The original law, however, does not offer any flexibility to motorists who want to stay in their vehicle for a night.

Councilman Jim Stanford says that the city needs this flexibility, however, to accommodate a growing seasonal workforce coupled with a housing shortage in Jackson Hole.  

Alan English CPA via Flickr Creative Commons

Teton County is planning to build affordable housing for local teachers.

The development in Wilson will include 11 homes. Each will have 3 bedrooms and cost no more than $422,500. The median sales price for residential properties in Jackson Hole last year was more than $550,000.

Commissioner Ben Ellis says he hopes the development will keep top teaching talent in Teton County.

We're joined now by Kathryn Collins. She's a former emergency room physician from Jackson and author of a book called "How Healthy Is Your Doctor?" The book makes the case that eating healthier foods and getting more exercise, people can avoid a lot of common medical problems. Collins says she decided to write the book because she wanted people to know how much power they have to impact their own health.

UCD School of Medicine & Medical Science via Flickr Creative Commons

St. John’s Medical Center in Jackson is hiring several new surgeons and doctors to join the public hospital’s physician group.  It will be the first time the hospital has directly employed surgeons. 

St. John’s CEO Lou Hochheiser says the new hires are needed to meet demand in the area.

“A year and a half ago, we had 4 and a half surgeons in this community,” Hochheiser said. “We have lost two and a half of those surgeons, leaving us with two. Therefore, it was the hospital’s responsibility to make sure that gap was filled.”

Lori Iverson/USFWS via Flickr Creative Commons

A private consultant presented preliminary options for a more permanent fix to a creeping landslide in Jackson at a Town Council meeting yesterday. 

The Town of Jackson has hired Oregon-based consultant George Machan to come up with options for stopping the slow-moving landslide on Jackson's East Gros Ventre Butte. Although the earth movement has slowed to less than half an inch per week, town officials want to reinforce the slope to prevent future problems.

The options have price tags ranging from eight million to thirty million dollars. 

JenTen Productions

The Stagecoach Bar in Wilson has kept Jackson Hole fed, watered, and entertained since 1942. The historic bar is home to cowboys, hippies, and the famous Stagecoach Band, which has played every Sunday night for over 40 years.

Wyoming population is continuing to grow, increasing by one percent in 2013.  That’s according to a new report by the Department of Information and Administration.  Senior economist Amy Bittner says migration to cities in the energy-rich central part of the state accounted for most of the growth.   

“Several of those towns at the top of the list are in the central part of Wyoming,” she says.  “You have Bar Nunn, you have Mills, which is also outside Casper, and then you have Douglas.  You know, that’s due to the economic activity with the energy industry.”

Anna Rader

The Wyomericana Caravan pulled into Wyoming Public Radio on May 21 ahead of their kickoff show in Laramie at the Gryphon TheatreJ Shogren from Centennial, Patti Fiasco from Laramie/Fort Collins, and Screen Door Porch from Jackson.

Rebecca Huntington

A slow-moving landslide has displaced homes and businesses in Jackson, and the town has been working to deal with the problem for weeks. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden spoke with reporter Rebecca Huntington, who’s been following the situation closely. She says from what geologists have said, the cause of the landslide seems to be a combination of natural and human-induced factors.

Rebecca Huntington

A creeping landslide on Jackson's East Gros Ventre Butte, that has forced the evacuation of homes and businesses, appears to be slowing down.

Charlotte Reynolds, an information office for the Budge Drive Slide, says the slower movement, combined with favorable weather, could make it possible for some residents to return home soon.

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