Friday, June 22, 2018

Today’s Headlines:

  • This week, the Rawlins City Council, operating short-handed, approved and adopted the budget for the upcoming fiscal year, but not without some scrutiny over allocations to recreation services.
  • Budget challenges mean hard decisions. In past years, Carbon County School District #2 has allotted some funding for building maintenance at a regional site where special needs children are sent. Board members voted against making the donation this year, choosing instead to  focus on programs within the district.
  • On-line shopping has grown more popular in the last decade because of its convenience and lower prices. The hidden cost has been the loss of brick and mortar stores and a decline in services that local governments can provide because of lost sales and property taxes. That may begin to change after yesterday’s Supreme Court Ruling, the 5-4 decision overturned a 1992 decision which prohibited states from imposing a local tax on out of state retailers that do not have a physical presence in the state. Wyoming Senator Mike Enzi called the Supreme Court ruling a good one for local communities in the Cowboy State that are struggling to make ends meet.
  • Municipal landfills are not usually the star of the show. Rawlins Landfill grabbed the spotlight at this week’s city council meeting. In addition to a record week of collections during Free Dump Days, the landfill passed a surprise inspection conducted by the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality. The hard-earned successes by city workers brought applause at this week’s council meeting.
  • The landfill in Saratoga is also getting some attention, but for different reasons. Tuesday evening, the Saratoga Town Council addressed concerns brought forward by the landfill board about illegal trash disposal and the condition of the landfill road. While they discussed the topics at length, no action was taken toward a solution.
  • The Rawlins Generals will swing away this weekend against some tough competition.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Today’s Headlines:

  • Something seems fishy about the company that guaranteed to pay out the grand prize money for this year’s Saratoga Ice Fishing Derby. The annual event was held six months ago, but the angler who caught one of three tagged trophy trout received his winnings only recently. Claiming the money was harder than landing a prize fish, though. Local organizers kept their end of the bargain, but the underwriting company that guaranteed the prize money is well, stinky as a fish. The underwriter is, in fact, a con artist with a long history of committing insurance fraud.
  • With the fiscal year ending on June 30th for Wyoming’s municipalities and counties, the Saratoga, Riverside, and Encampment town councils have approved their budgets for the next financial year.
  • At the Badger Creek Fire, suppression operations are ongoing, but a major de-escalation of manpower and equipment is underway. A smaller Type 3 Incident Management Team arrived on the Medicine Bow National Forest Wednesday. The team will take over operations today from the Rocky Mountain Team Black. The Type 2 Black Team has overseen suppression efforts since June 12th, two days after the fire was first reported burning west of WyColo Lodge, two miles north of the Wyoming border. The burn zone is estimated at 20,357 acres in size and is close to being completely contained. The tip line number is 307-745-2392 and callers can submit information anonymously.
  • The Rawlins City Council, this week, threw out both bids it received for the 2018 Street Rehabilitation Project and will start fresh with a whole new bid process after the first one proved to be flawed. Despite any delays caused by rebidding the work, city officials maintain residents will see improvements before the end of October.
  • Saratoga Cowboy Kasen York is mixing in practice with day to day work in his preparations for the High School National Finals Rodeo that will take place in July.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Today’s Headlines:

  • Discussion revolving around the Memorial Hospital Board’s intent to purchase the Bi-Rite building in Rawlins at a County Commissioner’s meeting Tuesday softened public concerns about the deal. Board and hospital officials explained the intent of the project and answered questions about the finances to purchase and remodel the facility.
  • The Rawlins City Council formally reduced the speed limit at the Glenn Addition during last night’s meeting, but not without some healthy debate.
  • In Washington, Wyoming Senator Mike Enzi applauded the expansion of health insurance choices announced by the Trump administration yesterday.
  • After receiving two bids lower than an engineer’s estimate, Carbon County School District #2 selected a company to move forward with the Saratoga Elementary sewer line replacement project.
  • It was a family affair at the 58th Annual Woodchoppers Jamboree in Encampment over the weekend.
  • The Rockies slugged their way past the Mets 10 to 8 to win at home for the first time in nine games. Nolan Arenado, Trevor Story, and Ian Desmond blasted consecutive homers during a six-run bottom of the third inning. Carlos Gozalez also went deep. Meanwhile, the Arizona Diamondbacks lost. So the Rockies pick up a full game on the NL West leader and are now sitting five games out of first.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Today’s Headlines:

  • Despite being a hot-button issue on social media all last week, the purchase of the Bi-Rite building, in Rawlins, by the Memorial Hospital board is not a done deal. According to board member Mark Kostovny, no contracts have been signed and two other locations are still being considered as alternative locations for a hospital-owned clinic.
  • Safety concerns for both people and livestock have sparked a potential reduction in speed near the corrals on the south side. The city’s Urban Systems Committee is recommending the change, but the final decision will be up to the Rawlins City Council during tomorrow night’s meeting.
  • While last week’s rampaging flames from Badger Creek Fire lied down with the rains and cooler temperatures, the investigation is heating up. The US Forest Service announced yesterday that the cause of the 20-thousand acre fire was human caused. No further details were provided, other than the tips investigators have received so far have been helpful. They are still seeking more information about what happened on Sunday afternoon, June 10th, in the area near Mountain Home Off-Highway Vehicle Trails north of Forest Road 501 and South of Forest Road 544. The Laramie Ranger District has set up a tip line at 307-745-2392.
  • A Cheyenne man who was arrested in Rawlins for possession of ten grams of methamphetamine pleaded guilty in District Court on Monday in hopes of receiving a term of probation.
  • The free mobile summer meals program through Carbon County School District One is off to a good start, having begun it’s second season last week.
  • The Rawlins boys basketball team is putting in the work this off-season, and it shows after only a couple of weeks into the program.
  • Rockies baseball- from bad to worse. The Mets dismantled the Rockies 12-2 at Coors Field last night. Colorado pitchers gave up 4 home runs and at least one run in six different innings to drop the opener of the four-game series. Colorado is six games out of first place.

Monday, June 18, 2018

 

Today’s Headlines:

  • The three Platte Valley residents involved in the high-speed, head-on collision earlier this month have been nominated as “Seat Belt Survivors” by the Wyoming Highway Patrol. Cali O’Hare has the story.
  • At the south end of the Platte Valley, the Town of Riverside is working with the Sierra Madre water and sewer board to develop procedures to work through water delinquencies and is also looking for a back-up waste water operator. Emma Diercks reports.
  • The soaking rains this weekend put a needed damper on the Badger Creek Fire. The Rapid growth seen all last week on the wild-land fire burning on Federal, State, and private lands from the state line to Woods Landing came to a standstill on Sunday. Rocky Mountain Black Team Fire Information Officer Lori Iverson says latest estimate puts the size of the fire at just over 20-thousand acres with 85% containment.

  • Last year, the Saratoga Planning Commission worked to revise the town’s buffer zone to promote development. Because the zone was never adopted and state regulations on the buffer will change in 2019, the board discussed the topic last week to determine how to move forward. Emma Diercks has the details.
  • Former Wyoming Quarterback Josh Allen will continue his off-season progress away from Buffalo as Mini-Camp came to a close. Joey Saverine reports.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Today’s Headlines:

  • The Saratoga Care Center has found a short-term funding solution to keep its doors open for now. For a sustainable future, officials with the company managing the facility say they’re looking at a broader health care model that will expand their customer base and bring in more money.
  • In Rawlins, city firefighters are reminding residents that conditions in town are as hot and as dry as they are in the mountains. Homeowners should take precautions against fires. One local property owner is lucky she was home when a fire broke out along the side of her trailer.
  • Feeding on dead trees and dried vegetation, the Badger Creek Fire continued to burn with little to stop it on Thursday, especially on its east side. The latest assessment updated Friday morning puts the size of the fire at 14,960 acres. Chris Barth is a public information specialist with the Rocky Mountain Black Team in charge of suppression operations. Barth said terrain and the nature of the beetle-killed forest makes access into the burn zones for ground crews difficult.
  • Noting that the Old Baldy Club is paying a total of about 1,300 dollars less for water than Saratoga residents, the Water and Sewer Board discussed a need to review the town’s agreement with the club and re-evaluate the rates that should be paid.
  • If you travel US 287 north of Rawlins, be ready for delays starting Monday. Crews will be resurfacing a 10-mile section from milepost 2 to milepost 12 starting next week. The work includes milling transitions, shouldering, paving operations, a chip seal, and reclamation work. A pilot car will guide traffic through the project area during daytime working hours. Drivers should expect heavy truck traffic and delays of up to 15 minutes. Work is scheduled to last through September.
  • The Little Snake River football team just wrapped up team camp in Colorado as the Rattlers look to stay one of Wyoming’s beat heading into next season.
  • The slumping Rockies fell to the Phillies 9 to 3 yesterday. Colorado lost 10 of its last 13 games. Five games behind the first place Diamondbacks, the Rockies will try to find their groove this weekend against the Texas Rangers, who are also struggling.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Today’s Headlines:

  • In Saratoga, a local contractor wants to build a storage unit facility on the overlook above the saw mill as a way to provide a buffer between the heavy industrial site and nearby homes.
  • Since its launch last November, the Outlaw Buddies program at Rawlins High School has garnered considerable attention. It’s first-ever such program in the state. Now it has been nominated “Most Outstanding Chapter” by Best Buddies International.
  • The Badger Creek Fire grew to 7-thousand acres on Wednesday and the first report of damage to structures was announced. Albany County Sheriff, David O’Malley, said last night that one cabin and two outbuildings in the Wold Tract area were destroyed.
  • Whether you are new to the area or just want to get into the sport of fishing, an opportunity to learn about the Platte Valley’s waters is available this weekend. Wyoming Game and Fish is hosting a fishing workshop Friday evening in Saratoga.
  • Summer begins one week from today, which coincides with the kickoff of the annual concert series in Rawlins, Music in the Park. The Thursday night shows run through August 16th.
  • Saratoga cowboy, Kasen York, has added a handful of belt buckles to his collection as he dominated the High School State Finals Rodeo.
  • The Rockies ripped the Phillies 7 to 2 to snap their five game skid. With the win, the Rockies make up some ground in the NL West.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Today’s Headlines:

  • The Badger Creek Fire more than doubled in Size on Tuesday and continues to impact travel along the southern edge of the Medicine Bow National Forest east of Saratoga. The latest estimate puts the fire at 5,233 acres. Wyoming 230 remains closed between the Wyoming State Line and Woods Landing.
  • In Saratoga, about 15-hundred dollars have been allotted for improvements to the town’s swimming pool. The issue – the wading pool is too cold so people don’t use it.
  • The Sinclair Wyoming Refining Company has issued a community challenge to area residents in an effort to raise money for the Boys and Girls Club of Carbon County. Despite adjusting its staffing, hours of operation, and membership costs, the non-profit organization geared toward children continues to struggle.
  • Being frugal during the school year has paid off for Carbon County School District #1. Having an excess in carry over funds in the general budget, the board has dispersed funds to the Carbon County Higher Education Center, the Recreation Board, and employees.
  • Tracking the progress of former Wyoming Quarterback, Josh Allen, as he looks to make a name for himself as an NFL rookie.
  • The Rockies continue to dig themselves into a hole.This puts the Rockies five games behind the first place Diamondbacks.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Today’s Headlines:

  • Whipped by strong westerly winds, the Badger Creek Fire burned through a six-mile stretch of beetle-killed pine and dried out vegetation on Monday. Its massive column of smoke was visible from a weather satellite in space. When the smoke cleared last night, officials estimated that the fire had grown to 23-hundred acres. A crew of 70 firefighters with the help from six fixed-wing aircraft tried to slow the advance of the fire through the morning. By early afternoon, flames leaped the state highway on their big run to the east. Aaron Voos with the US Forest Service said that forced more evacuations and the closure of Wyoming 230.
  • Rawlins residents came out in droves to take advantage of the annual Free Dump Days hosted by the City of Rawlins – Public Works Department. The week long event wrapped up Sunday afternoon.
  • School security tops the list of subjects being discussed by the Legilature’s Joint Education Committee during its interim meetings this summer. The committee met last week to discuss options that could be implemented in Wyoming schools to keep students safe.
  • Little Snake River football coach, Jack Cobb, was part of the staff leading the South roster in the 2018 Shrine Bowl.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Today’s Headlines:

  • A wildfire burning in Albany County two miles north of the Wyoming State line forced the evacuation of three rural communities Sunday evening. As of 9 pm last night, the Badger Creek Fire near Forest Road 501 was reported to be about 100 acres in size and not contained. Albany County officials issued evacuation orders for the communities of Mountain Home, Wold Tract, and WyoColo. Pre-evacuation orders are in place for the communities of Foxborough, Fox Park, and Miller Lake. Officials with the US Forest Service are advising dispersed campers in the area relocate to other sites away from the fire zone. The fire is burning in an area with beetle killed lodge pole pine. About 122 homes have been evacuated, according to emergency management services. Affected residents are being asked by county officials to check in at the Harmony School off of Wyoming Highway 230. The weather forecast is calling for hot, dry conditions over the next few days with temperatures in the 70’s and west winds that could be gusty. The Badger Creek Fire is approximately 10 miles south of the 2017 Keystone Fire, which burned 2,500 acres.
  • While two local contractors put in bids to work on Saratoga’s Water Master Plan, the Wyoming Water Development Commission selected an out of county firm to evaluate the current condition of the town’s water system.
  • Three Platte Valley residents survived a high-speed, head-on collision last week. All are recovering from the injuries and are feeling lucky to be alive.
  • While hoping to meet with the public to discuss vegetation of the forest near Ryan Park in June, the US Forest Service says a meeting will have to be postponed until later in the summer to gain a better idea of where treatments would be most effective.
  • Carbon County will be represented by two cowboys at the High School National Finals Rodeo.