Laramie

The Laramie Artists Project’s biennial group exhibition is this weekend. Touchstone 2014 features work by 39 professional artists from Albany County.

Every two years, since 2006, local artists have been renting a block of hotel rooms to create small galleries.

“We have a crew that moves out all the beds, and we rent extra rooms to store them in,” says Linda Lillegraven, co-chair of the Laramie Artists Project, the group organizing the exhibition.

A University of Wyoming student is dead after being injured in a fight at a Laramie Halloween party Saturday morning. 21 year old Joseph McGowan from Lander was struck when he attempted to break up a fight between Dalton Williams, a student from Casper, and an unidentified participant.

McGowan was airlifted to a Colorado hospital with difficulty breathing where he was later pronounced dead. 20 year old Williams has been charged with second-degree murder and is facing up to 20 years in prison. 

One of the World’s largest steam locomotives is traveling across Wyoming this week.  Union Pacific’s Big Boy number 4014 is being moved to Cheyenne for restoration. UP spokesman Mark Davis says 25 so called Big Boys were once used to carry heavy loads over mountains. This one was built in 1941.

“It’s a 132 feet long and weighs about 1.2 million pounds.  They were a heavy load locomotive.”

Davis says the locomotive will arrive in Laramie around eight tonight. There will a public ceremony in Cheyenne tomorrow at 1 PM.

ARK Regional Services will be shutting down their recycling program in Laramie in May, and that could leave a lot of local businesses with a big cardboard problem on their hands.  Big Hollow Food Coop Manager, Marla Peterson, estimates that they fill the ARK recycling dumpster twice a week with cardboard.  She says there’s no way the city’s smaller curbside bins could handle that kind of volume. 

The Laramie Walmart was evacuated this afternoon after a bomb threat was received shortly before 1 o’clock. The Laramie Police Department bomb squad and University of Wyoming bomb dogs searched the emptied building but did not locate any explosives.

A similar threat was called in to the Casper Walmart at the same time. The Cheyenne office of the FBI reports that there were similar incidents around the county.

The Laramie Walmart has reopened. 

New custom bike racks will be popping up across Downtown Laramie this fall.

In response to complaints about parked bicycles cluttering up the sidewalks – chained to trees, garbage cans, and sign posts – the Laramie Main Street Alliance began polling residents and business owners, and collecting data about bike traffic.

Executive Director Trey Sherwood says this October, the Alliance will install colorful new bike racks in the high-traffic areas of downtown.

Laramie was included on a list of America’s 100 Smartest Cities. It was compiled by Lumosity, a company that makes online games meant to measure and improve the user’s mental fitness. Most cities on the list have research universities there.

Lumosity has a database of 40 million users, and ranked them based on various cognitive skills.

Lumosity Data Scientist Daniel Sternberg says people in Laramie performed better on games that challenged logical, working knowledge, compared with those measuring acquired knowledge.

This October, the small staff at the Laramie Soup Kitchen served nearly 600 more meals than last year during the same month. Executive Director Emily Madden says they’re reaching out to more people, and want to make sure people have healthy food options. This week’s menu included a bacon mushroom and vegetarian cheese quiche, fresh garden salad and desserts. She says that an average of 50 individuals come to the basement of St. Matthew’s Cathedral every weekday to eat, socialize or stock up for the weekend.