News

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.

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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 cosmologists for help spotting abuse in a similar way.

Katie Hughes works for the Wyoming Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, the organization offering the training. She said the Cut It Out Program will teach hair stylists to understand the dynamics of abuse, how to offer support and where to refer victims to services.

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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Yellowstone National Park will begin taking actions against employees accused of sexual harassment in the park’s maintenance division in the coming week.

U.S. Forest Service

A manhunt is currently underway in the Bridger Teton National Forest for a man suspected of committing a triple homicide in Caldwell, ID.

A car registered to one of the suspected victims was recently found parked at the Pacific Creek Campground in the forest. Multiple agencies are participating in the search, including the National Park Service, the Teton County Sheriff’s Office, the U.S. Forest Service, and the FBI among others.

U.S. Forest Service

Firefighters say they have gained 18 percent containment on the Keystone Fire in the Medicine Bow National Forest. Public Information Officer Ben Brack said the cool weather has helped firefighters gain ground.

Wyoming State Historic Preservation Office

A dedication ceremony is set for Saturday, July 8 at the Ames Monument in southeastern Wyoming. It was listed as a National Historic Landmark last November. 

Bobbie Barrasso will act as Master of Ceremonies, while her husband U.S. Senator John Barrasso will be in attendance alongside Governor Matt Mead and U.S. Representative Liz Cheney.

Completed in 1880, the monument was built in honor of Oaks and Oliver Ames—two brothers who helped to finance the Union Pacific Railroad.

U.S. Forest Service

A forest fire continues to burn in the Medicine Bow National Forest and forest officials say they expect it to grow. The fire is burning in a dense forest that features beetle-killed trees. Medicine Bow National Forest spokesman Aaron Voos says that recent fires that have burned in similar areas have grown substantially.  

“From what we understand the fire activity is picking up. I think it’s mostly due to the hot dry weather, which is making the fuels receptive to the fire.”

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Last week, four undocumented immigrants were arrested in Jackson, and two in Cody by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE. Since then, some Wyomingites are concerned that immigration raids are taking place, despite Teton County Sheriff’s Jim Whalen saying earlier this year that would not be happening. 

http://www.freestockphotos.biz/stockphoto/16970

Tick-borne illnesses can be dangerous. That’s why it is a good idea to watch out for ticks when you are outside this summer.  

Ticks in Wyoming do not carry Lyme disease as they do in eastern states, but they can spread Tularemia, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and Colorado Tick Fever. Katie Brian, an epidemiologist for the state health department, recommends seeing a doctor if you’re having abnormal fatigue, headaches, fever, nausea, or rashes after a tick bite. Brian said her office hasn’t heard of any cases so far this year, but she expects to as the summer continues.  

Yellowstone Recreations Foundation

Kids in the Cody area will soon have more recreational opportunities thanks to $250,000 grant from the Daniels Fund. The grant was written by the Yellowstone Recreations Foundation in collaboration with various community organizations. Amy Woods, the Foundation Manager and Grant Writer for the Yellowstone Recreations Foundation, said the grant was written with a focus on winter recreation.

“Seeing as how we are in winter 12 months out of the year, it seems, that’s a huge area where youth programs can thrive, and we just need the funding to do it,” Woods said.

Unemployment rates have dropped in all but four Wyoming counties in the past month.

Teton County saw the greatest drop in joblessness during that time, and Workforce Information Supervisor Tony Glover said this comes as no surprise.

“A lot of that is the pick-up in the tourism, and maybe more people traveling this year than last year,” Glover said.

Teton County’s rate has dropped more than a point since May of 2016, and it’s not alone – every county in Wyoming saw a decline in the annual unemployment rate.

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