Rock Springs

From thedrunkenodyssey.com

JJ Anselmi’s memoir is a gritty tale of growing up in a railroad town defined by coal, oil, and a sketchy history. Anselmi talks to us about what a place like Rock Springs can do to a teenage identity, and what it taught him about living a DIY life.

With permission from Rock Springs Main Street/Urban Renewal Agency

Urban Renewal Agency Director Chad Banks was leading a group of Rock Springs residents through a tunnel beneath the train tracks that break the downtown business district in half. The underpass doubles as an art gallery, meant to advertise local artists and lure people to explore both sides of the railroad.

 

The railroad gave Rock Springs its start as a coal town. Local mines fueled the trains that reached the area in the 1860s. Public Services Director Amy Allen said the city’s layout matches the scatter of those original mines.

J.J. Anselmi

  

A new memoir tells the story of youthful rebellion in Rock Springs. Writer J.J. Anselmi recalls growing up in the hardscrabble mining town on a steady diet of drugs, vandalism, heavy metal, and tattoos. But this story of teenage angst also explores Rock Springs’ history.

As a teenager, J.J. Anselmi covered his body with tattoos of his favorite bands: Metallica, Pantera, Black Sabbath. They represented the anger he felt growing up. But a few years later, Anselmi began having his tattoos surgically cut from his skin.

Paul Montoya

After months of construction and operating at low power, the KUWZ and KZUW Rock Springs / Green River transmitter site is operational again. The KUWZ signal is now operation at it’s full licensed power of 35,000 watts. This will now allow listening along the I-80 corridor from the Rawlins area to the east to the Evanston area to the west and also provide a listenable signal to many small towns along the Wyoming / Utah border.  KZUW (Classical Wyoming) is also operating with it’s new transmitter and provides service primarily in the Rock Springs and Green River area.

The Wyoming Department of Health is taking over private nursing homes in Rock Springs and Saratoga after their parent company, Deseret Health Group, abruptly announced their closure.

USPS

The U.S. Postal Service is shutting down nearly 40% of its processing centers around the country this year. A center in Rock Springs is scheduled to be closed, leaving just two of these facilities in Wyoming.

Post Service spokesman for Wyoming, David Rupert says the U.S.P.S. is ceasing overnight local letter delivery as well. But Rupert says most postal customers won’t notice these changes.

Rock Springs Republican Clark Stith is one of four candidates seeking the Republican nomination for Secretary of State.  Stith practices business law and is on the Rock Springs City Council.  He is also the former chairman of the Sweetwater County Republican Party.  Stith tells Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck that one thing he’d like to do is streamline the office.

The Wyoming Industrial Siting Council has approved a plan for a new ammonia plant about four miles outside Rock Springs.  Simplot currently operates a phosphorous fertilizer plant on the site, and ammonia is one of the raw materials they need for production.  With the cost of shipping it long distances by rail, Simplot decided to start producing their own.   

Trupeter Swan society

Trumpeter swan numbers rose dramatically this year on the Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge near Rock Springs.  This winter, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department conducted an aerial survey of the refuge and counted over 300 trumpeter swans wintering there.

As part of the UW request to the Wyoming legislature, WPM requested $2.5 million in the 2014 legislative session for critical infrastructure upgrades and replacements. WPM operates sites throughout the state.  Many of them are operating on equipment far past its useful time.  The most critical sites serve Laramie/Cheyenne and Rock Springs. 

“Wyoming Public Radio” is a state treasure.  Every Wyomingite should be able to access on ratio the public programming it provides, as well as critical emergency broadcasts,” says Christina Kuzmych, WPM General Manager.

Erin Dorbin

America's first transcontinental roadway, the Lincoln Highway, turned 100 this year. To celebrate, we’re visiting a few one-of-a-kind stops along the route in Wyoming. Producer Erin Dorbin sent this postcard from Rock Springs.

Carol Walker

A wild horse advocacy group says conditions at a facility near Rock Springs are inadequate.

The Bureau of Land Management removes thousands of wild horses from public lands each year. Some are placed in temporary corrals in Rock Springs, until the agency can find a permanent home for them.

Ginger Katherens with the Cloud Foundation says the corral has almost no shelter, so the horses are subjected to “bitter cold and battering wind.” She acknowledges that wild horses always live outside, but she says this is different.

Johnson and Fermelia Co., Inc.

More than 50 years ago residents of Rock Springs were shocked to learn that many of their houses, schools, and churches were in danger. The coal mines built underneath the town were beginning to collapse due to neglect and some environmental factors. It’s called subsidence and it’s happening in older mining towns all over the West. Wyoming Public Radio’s Amanda Le Claire has more on how the city is dealing with the problem now.

Ambient driving noise

The city of Rock Springs is busy getting ready to host the National High School Finals Rodeo for the second year in a row.

Organizers say this year’s event will include students from 43 states as well as from high schools in Canada and Australia. Chad Banks is the marketing director for the Sweetwater Events Complex.  He says while last year’s event was a big success for the community, there’s still some room for improvement.

Researchers with the University of Wyoming’s Carbon Management Institute have discovered a vast underground deposit of lithium in Southwest Wyoming. Researchers were taking deep samples in the Rock Springs Uplift to study how the state might store its oil and gas emissions when they discovered the reserve. They say it could hold up to 150 times more lithium than the nation’s current largest producer in Silver Peak, Nevada.

The Department of Environmental Quality has installed air quality monitors in Casper and Rock Springs.

DEQ Spokesman Keith Guille says they want to find out what pollutants are in the air, and whether they’re occurring at levels that are hazardous to public health.

“It’s important to get a baseline of right now what we’re seeing for air quality,” Guille said. “And then also if we do find some issues, obviously we need to start looking into what may be leading into higher levels of certain constituents.”

Weidner Wildlife Museum – Rock Springs

Sep 18, 2012
Weidner Wildlife Museum

The Weidner Wildlife Museum opened in September 2002 and houses nearly 125 species of wildlife collected worldwide.  This fascinating display of mounted wildlife entertains and educates visitors, excites hunters and often motivates interest in the conservation of outdoor resources. The wildlife in the museum was donated to Western Wyoming Community College in Rock Springs by residents, Roger A. and Jeanne A Weidner.  Education is the most important reason that the museum displays mounted wildlife.  The Wildlife Museum is open on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Wyoming Public Media

I first visited Rock Springs last summer and got a wonderful history of the city from out hosts, Mike and Lynne Chadey.  They touted the history of Rock Springs, and pointed out some of the landmarks that helped shape the area’s culture.  I was struck by the diversity found in Rock Springs, and enjoyed hearing about the abundance of ethnic influences.  My stay in Rock Springs included a visit to Western Wyoming Community College and a tour of the majestic facilities built for the enhancement of education for students in the area.    Granted, this was a short stay in Rock Springs, but it lef

Ashley National Forest

The Flaming Gorge NRA is located in the northeast corner of Utah and the southwest corner of Wyoming. It is South of I-80, between Green River and Rock Springs, Wyoming and extends into the Uintah Mountains towards Vernal, Utah. The area is a mixture of climate, topography, and recreation opportunities well suited to a variety of summer and winter interests.

Rock Springs Historical Museum

Sep 13, 2012
Rock Springs Historical Museum

The Rock Springs Historical Museum is housed in the original Rock Springs City Hall. The building was built in 1894 at an original cost of $28,200.  The funds for the construction did not come from the ever present Union Pacific Coal Company and Railroad, but from revenues collected in the issuing of liquor licenses.  The building is built from native sandstone and boasts an impressive 14-foot foundation that was made necessary by the presence of "quicksand" at the site.

Community Fine Arts Center – Rock Springs

Sep 10, 2012
Community Fine Arts Center

The Community Fine Arts Center houses a collection of over 600 original American paintings, prints, drawings, and sculptures owned by Sweetwater County School District # 1. Artists represented in the collection include Norman Rockwell, Grandma Moses, Forrest Moses, Loren McGiver, Elliott Orr, Edward Chavez, Paul Horiuchi, Ilya Bolotowsky, Raphael Soyer, and Rufino Tamayo. Paintings by well known Wyoming, Western, and local artists are also on display. The collection continues to grow through purchases and donations.

WWCC Art Gallery - Rock Springs

Sep 4, 2012
WWCC Art Gallery

The Western Wyoming College Art Gallery is located at 2500 College Drive in Rock Springs, as you enter the main entrance to the building.   It is an adjunct to the Art Program at the college and serves to introduce students and the greater community to new concepts in materials’ use or ideas of contemporary visual investigation.