A group of 8th graders from Wheatland Middle School who built a tornado shelter for a school competition won the top national prize for their efforts last week.
Haiden Moody, Christian Moody, Joey Madsen and Jacob Stafford spent the past few months engineering a tornado safety shelter converted from an old set of school lockers. It was part of a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math competition put on by the U.S. Army called eCYBERMISSION.
When four 8th graders at Wheatland Middle School were asked to put their heads together to solve a real problem in their community, they thought back to the biggest crisis in recent memory—the quarter-mile-wide twister that touched down near their town in 2012. Jacob Stafford, Joey Madsen, Haiden Moody and Christian Moody remember the day the tornado very hit well. And it made an impression them, because it was just miles from their school.
Wheatland is located on I-25, and travel/ tourism has long been an important industry in the area. During the summer months, thousands of boaters, campers, fishermen, and water skiers from Cheyenne, the panhandle of Nebraska and the Front Range of Colorado rely heavily on both Glendo State Park and Guernsey State Park as well as Grayrocks Reservoir for outdoor recreation, and Wheatland is an important refueling stop and shopping center for many of these outdoor enthusiasts. In addition, the Medicine Bow National Forest to the west provides many opportunities for hunters, campers, bikers,
Wheatland is blessed with many talented artisans, including sculptors, painters, and crafters. Probably the art form you will notice most when in Wheatland (and especially downtown) are the many murals on the walls of government and private buildings. For the most part, these wonderful murals which tell the history of Wheatland and Platte County so well are due to the talent and hard work of the Platte County Art Guild. The Pocket Park, which is located one block south of the Courthouse in downtown Wheatland, has murals that were done by Joe Arnold of Laramie in 2000. In addition there
Wheatland’s Green Harvest Festival takes place over about 7 days toward the end of August every year and is a combination of free public concerts at the city’s band shell (emphasis is on bluegrass, folk and eclectic music) as well as lots of kids’ games and activities, a quilt show, a garden walk, an open air vendors and farmers market, a pet parade (lots of fun.. They’ve had everything from goats to goldfish) and a runaway veggie contest.
The U.S. cow herd is small right now because of the extended drought that’s plagued large swathes of the country. But though dry conditions have driven ranchers to sell off animals they would have otherwise kept, the decreasing size of the national herd is a trend decades in the making. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov reports on how livestock producers in Wyoming are turning out more meat with fewer animals.
A Humane Society investigation at a Wheatland pork farm has resulted in one conviction of animal cruelty and one acquittal this week.
An undercover investigator videotaped Wyoming Premium Farms employees hitting, kicking, and punching piglets and sows. Tape was presented in court. Tyson, one of the farm’s largest customers, dropped the supplier shortly after the footage was released.
Five former employees of a hog farm in Wheatland have been convicted of multiple counts of animal cruelty and sentenced to probation and fines.
Four of the five were fined $530.
The charges were filed as a result of an undercover investigation last spring by The Humane Society of the United States, which disclosed employee abuse of pigs and piglets. The organization posted video of workers kicking live piglets like soccer balls, striking pigs with their fists and kicking them when they showed reluctance to leave their offspring.
Crews battling the wildfire near Wheatland are bracing for high winds tomorrow/Saturday.
Fire information officer Beth Hermanson says yesterday’s storms dumped rain on parts of the fire, but that didn’t help much overall. And she says the weather forecast for tomorrow doesn’t look promising.
“The National Weather Service has told us that we will more than likely see high winds on our fire – possibly up to seventy miles an hour,” Hermanson said. “So fire fighters today are strengthening the lines in preparation for that event.”