News

JACKSON HOLE COMMUNITY HOUSING TRUST

Two new housing proposals in Jackson recommend that the town pay for infrastructure improvements on behalf of private developers, as long as they limit access to those facilities to lower income renters.

Mayor Sara Flitner said private developers are usually responsible for building their infrastructure as needed. But because the cost of housing has eclipsed wages in Jackson, Flitner said the town council is considering an exchange of infrastructure improvements, such as water and sewage, for income restrictions on new development’s housing.

Maggie Mullen

The Undersecretary, Kevin Concannon, was in Cheyenne to learn more about the organization’s approach to helping low-income single moms. Concannon said Climb Wyoming is one of the best programs of its kind in the country.

Brian Scott Gamroth's facebook

Longtime Casper radio morning announcer, Brian Scott Gamroth, known as Brian Scott on the air, died in a motorcycle accident in Montana on Sunday. Gamroth was known for his support of a number of causes including the arts.

Gamroth served on the boards for the Casper College Theatre Program, the Nicolaysen Art Museum, and the Wyoming Symphony Orchestra.

Cheyenne Police Department Facebook Page

A Cheyenne man shot three people Wednesday morning at a senior living home, leaving one person dead. Police identified the gunmen as 77-year-old, Larry Rosenberg, who killed himself.

Rosenberg was a resident of the senior living home, Heritage Court Apartments, where the shooting took place a little after 11 a.m. Two of the victims were shot outside the facility, while the third was shot somewhere inside of the building.

A witness that chose not to be identified told KFBC Radio in Cheyenne what he saw after he heard shots.

Wyoming Public Radio celebrates its fiftieth anniversary Wednesday, September 14th 2016. Station News Director Bob Beck joined Morning Edition Host Caroline Ballard to reflect on his time at the station, the changes that have taken place, and what the future might hold.

Flickr Creative Commons

The University of Wyoming has suspended legal services for students because of the current hiring freeze. However, students are still paying for the service through their mandatory student fees. 

The program’s longtime attorney Elizabeth Goudey died over the summer after 30 years of service. A temporary attorney was brought in to complete a few remaining cases, but the position was then frozen.

SKYGLOW

 

 

A man who fell into a hot spring and died at Yellowstone National Park earlier this summer is being remembered by the producers of a nature video series. 

Wyoming's largest economic sector has taken a nosedive in recent years with the crash in oil, coal, and natural gas prices, but the August Wyoming Insight report from the Economic Analysis division shows things may be starting to stabilize. 

According to the report, the unemployment rate has stayed at 5.7 percent since June.

“Both natural gas price and oil price have been rising,” said state economist Wenlin Liu. “That’s a good signal. And another sign we have been seeing is that the unemployment insurance claim has been flattening.”

Wyoming Outdoor Council

Tom Bell, founder of the Wyoming Outdoor Council and High Country News, died on Tuesday. He was 92.

Bell was known throughout the West for his conservation work. In an interview with Wyoming Public Radio earlier this year, he explained that when he founded the Wyoming Outdoor Council in 1967, it was a radical undertaking.

“I really believe in clean air, clean water, clean land and taking care of it. And nobody had a thought about that at that time,” said Bell.

Inciweb

Northwest Wyoming continues to struggle with high fire danger as eleven wild fires currently burn in that part of the state.

Bill Swartley, a public information officer for the Yellowstone fire team, said Phase 2 fire restrictions will likely go into effect in Yellowstone National Park on Wednesday. That means any kind of open flame may be banned in the park.

Swartley said preventing any human caused fires is their top priority.

Wikimedia Commons

The fundraising campaign to improve the Jenny Lake area in Grand Teton National Park finished on schedule, just in time for the National Park Service centennial.

The Inspiring Journeys campaign exceeded its goal of $14 million and has already contributed to improvements of backcountry trails, wayfinding paths, and visitor facilities. Construction that began three years ago is scheduled for completion in 2018.

Wikimedia Commons

On Tuesday, the Jackson Police Department and the Teton County Sheriff’s Office caught three people at a Super 8 Motel using an undercover sting operation and charged them all with prostitution. Two of the individuals were also charged with human trafficking and interference with a police officer. Two women and a man were charged with the crime.

Working families.org

A group called Fed Up is hoping to get the ear of the Federal Reserve this week. The Fed is holding its annual meeting in Jackson Hole and several of the central bank's officials have agreed to meet with members of the Fed Up campaign. 

The Federal Reserve is currently considering raising interest rates, but Fed Up Field Director Shawn Sebastian said it’s not the time.

Habib M’henni / Wikimedia Commons

At a rally this weekend in Gillette, a Wyoming anti-Islam group is planning to burn a Quran.  

According to the group’s website, members of Americans For A Secure Wyoming are calling to “ban Islam from Wyoming,” though the group does not explain how that could be enforced.

Last year, members of a different online group Stop Islam In Gillette protested the opening of Gillette’s first mosque.

Gillette mayor Louise Carter-King said the protests do not reflect positively on what she describes as a welcoming community.

A Laramie man has been arrested for the October 1985 murder of a Laramie woman. 

Sixty-seven-year-old Fredrick J. Lamb has been charged with first degree murder and first degree arson in the death of 22-year-old University of Wyoming student Shelli Wiley. 

Police at the time of the murder said that Wiley was stabbed 11 times, sexually assaulted, and that her West Laramie apartment was set on fire. Police did find a bloody hand print near the murder, but were unable to convict anyone. 

Rebecca Huntington

On Tuesday, Jackson voters will be deciding whether to use sales tax dollars to pay for fixing a landslide that's looming over the town's main road. In 2014, the creeping slide accelerated triggering an emergency evacuation of nearby homes and businesses, disrupting water and sewer and destroying a Walgreens parking lot. Walgreens has abandoned the site and the town has spent more than one million dollars to restore services and slow the slide.

A Partnership For A New American Economy

Keeping international students at the University of Wyoming in-state after graduation could create 136 jobs, according to a new report from the Partnership for a New American Economy, a national coalition of mayors and business leaders. The group commissioned the report as part of a national campaign about immigration reform this election season.

The University of Wyoming broke records last year for private donations, with total gifts in fiscal year 2016 totaling $63.1 million. 

The record year comes amid a major downturn in the energy sector, the state’s number one industry. 

“Let me just say, [it] could not be better timing,” said Ben Blalock, president of the University of Wyoming Foundation. 

Blalock said they didn’t expect the increase, but that when you look at where private giving comes from it is less surprising.

An undercover operation that led to the arrests of 15 people during Cheyenne Frontier Days has put a spotlight on human trafficking in the state. The sting was a joint effort by the Cheyenne Police Department, the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation, and the FBI, and several individuals involved in the operation were members of the Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Task Force.

Wyoming State Parks and Cultural Resources

After 10 years, Milward Simpson is leaving his post as Director of the Wyoming Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources. Simpson was appointed to the position in July of 2006 by former Governor Dave Freudenthal.

During his time in office, Simpson established a new electronic records management system for the state archives, created programs to get families in the outdoors, and coordinated state and federal land management agencies.

Simpson said he is particularly proud of putting on statewide conferences for things like the arts, culture, and historic preservation.

National Wildlife Coordinating Group

Two hundred and fifty additional homes are being evacuated because of the spreading Lava Mountain Fire in Fremont County.

The Western Montana Fire Incident Management Team issued new evacuation orders Monday for residents and campers in the Union Pass, Porcupine, Hat Butte and Warm Springs areas. Firefighters have been preparing homes and structures in the area in the event the blaze did spread.

“(Firefighters) have really gone through a lot of effort and done everything possible to prepare for this potential,” said spokeswoman Hailey Graf.

An African American woman was injured in what she said was a racially motivated attack in Laramie early Sunday morning. 

The victim is a former Laramie resident who posted on her Facebook page that she and two other African Americans were returning from a night at Laramie’s Jubilee Days when they were approached by a small group who shouted racial slurs at the victim's group and threatened to kill them. 

Vertical Harvest

A documentary following the first year of business for an innovative greenhouse in Jackson is one of ten finalists in a nationwide film competition.

The film, called “Hearts of Glass,” details the challenges of the Vertical Harvest greenhouse through its first year of “vertical farming,” a process that grows produce by stacking it on top of each other instead of side by side. Vertical Harvest also hires disabled people in the community to help grow the produce.

U.S. District Judge Scott Skavdahl has dismissed a lawsuit challenging a Wyoming law that criminalizes taking photos or collecting data on private lands without permission.

Judge Skavdahl dismissed the lawsuit, saying there is no constitutional right to trespassing on private lands. Skavdahl had been concerned about a previous provision that banned the public from open land, but lawmakers removed that from the law earlier this year. 

Sheridan.edu

Sheridan Community College is considering building a new dorm after seeing demand for on-campus housing rise the past three years.

The college was up 51 applications in April compared to last year in April, and now, all rooms at the college are booked for the fall semester. 20 students are on a wait list to live on-campus. Currently, the college can house 450 students overall.

Director of Housing and Campus Life Larissa Bonnett said a big reason why there’s more people wanting to live on-campus is for the experience.

Liam Niemeyer

Budget cuts at the state level will mean about $18 million less for the Wyoming Department of Corrections. Department officials said with those cuts, they’ll be forced to operate their prisons with fewer people.

Department Director Bob Lampert said 125 vacancies throughout the department will not be filled. 45 of those vacancies are coming directly from employees in the state’s prisons.

BLM Wyoming

New fire restrictions for public lands in Sheridan, Johnson, and Campbell counties will go into effect Friday. Those counties been dry and hot in recent weeks, and lightning strikes have caused two fires in the area.

The new Bureau of Land Management restrictions will prohibit things like building fires outside of designated fire grates and smoking on public lands. 

Wyoming Highway Patrol

Several thousand gallons of crude oil are believed to have leaked from a tractor-trailer following a crash near Wright in northeast Wyoming Sunday morning. 

According to a press release, the commercial truck was hauling a semi-trailer and pup trailer full of crude oil when it ran off Wyoming State Highway 450 and into a ditch. Truck driver Nathan Gibson then tried to steer the truck back onto the highway, but was unsuccessful, and the truck rolled.

Wikimedia Commons

University of Wyoming researchers found 70 acres of land near Sheridan infested with Ventenata, an invasive grass species that’s been hurting hay production in nearby states.

A single plant of Ventenata was first found near the Sheridan area in 1997. Since then, the grass has spread unchecked. Ventenata is known to be a low-quality biomass grass–it doesn’t add a lot of nutritional content for hay production or livestock foraging. Ventenata can reduce hay production yields by up to 50 percent according to the United States Forest Service.

Wikimedia Commons

University of Wyoming President Laurie Nichols brought together faculty and staff Wednesday to discuss the financial crisis she declared last week at the university.

At the meeting, President Nichols detailed how the university plans to cut about $30 million over the next two years. In her plan, Nichols said the university will raise tuition by 4 percent—and eliminate 70 vacancies throughout campus. Around 50 faculty and staff will also have to voluntarily retire for the university to save enough money.

Pages