News

Town of Thayne's website

A lawsuit against the town of Thayne accuses its Mayor and town council members of discriminating against a married gay couple because of their sexual orientation.

According to the lawsuit, Rusty and Marc Andrus bought “Rustlers Restaurant and Saloon” in 2015, and brought the building back up to the proper electrical and fire codes, and added restrooms, handicap accessibility, and a full commercial kitchen.

But when the couple approached the town of Thayne to get a liquor license, the suit says they were the focus of discrimination. 

WyoSayNo's Facebook page.

The private company Management Training Corporation is planning to build a detention center for Customs and Immigration Enforcement, or ICE, in Uinta County. Evanston’s city council and the County’s commission unanimously passed resolutions in support of the effort last June.

 

But the proposed facility is facing opposition from private citizens and some organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union of Wyoming and the Immigration Alliance of Casper.

By ProgWork1 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Earlier this fall, the University of Wyoming sent emails to law school students with concerns about the 37-year-old man who shot at police officers in Highlands Ranch, Colorado on Sunday morning.  

Matthew Riehl was a UW Law School graduate who at one time practiced law in Wyoming, and a veteran who served in Iraq. Matthew Riehl had been posting threatening and irrational statements about law school faculty, according to UW Police Chief Mike Samp.

Wikipedia Creative Commons, by Greg Younger

According to a new analysis from the website SafeWise, an online resource that provides information on safety for communities, Wyoming ranks as the most dangerous state for driving in snow.

Rawlins Police Department

The City of Rawlins is facing a civil rights lawsuit after two of its police officers shot and killed a man in 2015. The suit claims the Rawlins Police Department’s decision not to discipline, retrain, or fire the officers reveals policies that tolerate excessive force.

Public Domain

This year, arrests and deportations of undocumented immigrants across the country are down from 2016. However, those numbers have risen in Colorado and Wyoming.

It’s not clear how many arrests or deportations took place just in Wyoming this year, because Immigration and Customs Enforcement does not provide that data state-by-state. Instead, Wyoming is lumped together with Colorado in what ICE calls an “area of responsibility.”

University of Wyoming Art Museum Facebook page

The University of Wyoming Art Museum will welcome a new director this January. Marianne Eileen Wardle has spent the last eleven years as Curator of Academic Initiatives at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University. Her duties at UW begin January 29.

Wardle’s background is in art scholarship and art curation. While at Duke, she also taught courses in art history, women’s studies, and museum studies.

Wyoming Food Bank of the Rockies

With Thanksgiving comes images of heaping piles of food, but one in eight Wyomingites struggle with hunger and uncertainty about the source of their next meal. The Wyoming Food Bank of the Rockies counts more than 20,000 children and 14 percent of seniors in the state as being affected by hunger and poverty.

 

Shanna Harris, who directs the food bank, said when families are struggling to cover multiple expenses, food is often the first item to take a cut.

 

Wyoming Department of Corrections

A class-action suit alleging the Wyoming Department of Corrections violated a woman’s constitutional rights faced an unexpected hurdle this week. A federal judge ruled the plaintiff cannot represent all women in similar situations, so the case cannot now move forward as a class-action lawsuit.

When Taylor Blanchard was convicted of drug charges, she was a first-time offender and under the age of 25, making her eligible for boot camp. Instead, she’s serving a six to ten year term at the Women’s Center in Lusk, because there is no women’s boot camp in the state.

Cindy Kenyon

A miniature replica of the Statue of Liberty outside the Goshen County Courthouse that had been neglected for decades has been restored. The “Little Sister of Liberty,” as it’s known, was originally installed and dedicated by local Boy Scouts in November of 1950 as part of a nationwide celebration of the Boy Scouts’ 40th anniversary. The six-foot-tall statue base, featuring local rocks and minerals, was donated by the Rex Young Rock Club in Torrington.

Tech Jobs Tour

This Tuesday, November 7, an event in Cheyenne called Tech Jobs Tour will aim to help diverse and non-traditional workers find jobs in the local tech industry.

Casper Police Department

A recently completed outside review of the Casper Police Department reveals morale is up. That’s following controversy that began last year when 30 women accused the department of mishandling their sexual assault cases.

The review, completed by the Center for Public Safety Management, makes 75 specific recommendations for changes at the Casper Police Department, including updating facilities and filling vacancies.
It also recommends more training for officers dealing with crimes like sexual assault, to ensure investigations are not compromised by inexperience.

wikipedia.org

Five U.S. soldiers lost their lives just in the month of October. And their names will be among the 7,000 read aloud on November 10 outside the University of Wyoming student union as a part of the National Roll Call in honor of Veterans Day.

The event, which happens on university campuses across the country, recognizes the service members who have died in military operations since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

The event begins at 8 a.m. with the presentation of the colors and will conclude with a performance of “Taps” around 7 pm.

Wyoming Economic Analysis Division

According to the most recent cost of living index report, Wyoming experienced a 1.1 percent rate of inflation and saw the cost of living rise slightly in the second quarter of 2017 compared to the previous year. 

The report is published biannually and measures six consumer spending categories, including apparel, food, medical, transportation, housing, and recreation & personal care.

Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

Employees of Yellowstone National Park and park concessions company Xanterra will have easier access to some Wyoming Department of Transportation services next year.

WYDOT Director Bill Panos said his department is currently working to make it easier for employees living at Yellowstone National Park headquarters in Mammoth Hot Springs to get Wyoming driver’s licenses and vehicle registrations.

National Park Service

On Friday, National Park Service Director Mike Reynolds and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced plans to better protect park service employees from harassment.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Immigration and Customs Enforcement, better known as ICE, has changed one of their major protocols when it comes to making arrests—they will now consider arresting anyone they encounter who is undocumented, even if they have no criminal history or prior deportations.

Cut It Out program

Last year, Illinois passed legislation that requires cosmetologists to receive domestic abuse prevention training as part of their licensing process. Many people form strong bonds with their hair stylist. Now Wyoming is interested in turning to cosmetologists for help spotting abuse in a similar way.

Car Talk Ends Thirty Year Run

Sep 8, 2017

National distribution for the Best of Car Talk will end this fall. For nearly three decades, Tom and Ray Magliozzi (aka Click and Clack the Tappet Brothers) have been America's funniest auto mechanics.

By making millions of listeners laugh, they were the defining voices of public radio weekends. Their mixture of honesty, authenticity, knowledge, and humor won them numerous awards (including a Peabody), accolades from every major national publication, and the loyalty of millions of public radio listeners.

An aerial view shows severe flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey near Rockport, Holiday Beach and Port Aransas, Texas, Aug. 27, 2017.
Army National Guard

Wyoming and Colorado residents are traveling to Texas to volunteer after the record-breaking Hurricane Harvey. About 32 people are there now volunteering with the Red Cross with another 20 expected by the end of the week.

Hurricane Harvey has battered southeastern Texas for nearly a week dropping more than 50 inches of rain, a continental record according to the National Weather Service. Red Cross has set up 30 shelters around the state to house evacuees.

"Allegiant Air" by Eddie Maloney from Wikimedia Commons is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Natrona County International Airport will see its flight destinations cut by a third after Allegiant Air’s decision to discontinue services to the small airport located just outside of Casper. 

In 2008, Allegiant Airlines began offering direct flights from Casper to Las Vegas for a discounted price, but that bargain flight will come to halt in 2018.

NASA; https://www.flickr.com/photos/usdagov/13592602893

University of Wyoming veterinary scientists are working on a test that will differentiate two types of brucellosis, a disease that has caused concern among cattle ranchers in Wyoming.

Epidemiologist Brant Schumaker is leading the project. He said the name brucellosis applies to a group of infections caused by different strains of a bacteria called Brucella.

Heart Mountain Interpretive Center

The Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation is spearheading an effort to improve communication between 10 former Japanese American Confinement Sites.

The All Camps Consortium is a group of Japanese-American advocates and people in charge of historic sites like Heart Mountain near Powell.

287 Lander Southeast
WyDOT

Traffic got back to normal yesterday, according to Wyoming’s Department of Transportation. Officials reported historic levels of traffic Monday, the 21, following the solar eclipse or a 68 percent increase of overall traffic compared to the five-year average for the third Monday in August — much of that concentrated in central, western, and southern Wyoming.

Doug McGee, public affairs manager for WYDOT, said visitors started entering the state in larger numbers last Wednesday, picking up each day leading to the eclipse.

Site overlooking Fort Laramie B & B
Cooper McKim

During the eclipse, the Fort Laramie B & B saw a bigger crowd than they have ever seen. The four-bedroom lodge saw more than a hundred camped out. The crowd was comprised of a family reunion, researchers, and tourists all gathered together. A group from the University of Montana was there thanks to a space grant from NASA. 

One student, Loren Spencer, took advantage of the clear sky the night before the eclipse to set up his telescope. With several gathered around, he pointed to a long streak that he identified as the Milky Way. 

Wyoming Department of Transportation

Heavy eclipse traffic in Wyoming caused slower travel than usual. Wyoming Department of Transportation spokesman Doug McGee said on Sunday alone traffic counts increased by more than 27 percent compared to the five-year average statewide. But certain areas saw exponential increases. For example, north of Laramie on U.S. 30-287 traffic increased by 214 percent on Sunday according to WYDOT.

Wikipedia Commons Tony Webster

Albany County Commissioners will soon decide whether to purchase over 5,000 acres of land just east of Laramie in order to create more public land for recreation while simultaneously protecting the city’s water supply. 

The proposed land purchase from the four private landowners would cost $14 million dollars, and would essentially create a corridor where residents and visitors could bike or hike from Laramie city limits all the way up to Happy Jack Recreational area.

Luc Viatour / https://Lucnix.be

The Wyoming Department of Transportation is taking several steps to prepare for what could be an influx of hundreds of thousands of visitors to the state during the August 21 total eclipse.

To start, WYDOT will stop construction on most projects in the path of totality from August 17 through the 23. No overweight or oversize permits will be issued between August 20 and 22 on Wyoming roads, and troopers will be working 12-hour shifts.

Morganoshell (Own work) / Wikimedia Commons

Wireless service providers across Wyoming are expanding capacity and placing limits on data usage in anticipation of the August 21 total solar eclipse. There is the potential for an influx of hundreds of thousands of people to the state for the solar event, meaning some carriers could be slowed by the demand.

Wyoming Department of Corrections

In Wyoming, first-time offenders under the age of 25 can qualify for a six-month boot camp, but the program is only available to men. In a lawsuit against the Wyoming Department of Corrections, the American Civil Liberties Union allege the male-exclusive program is gender discrimination. 

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