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National Park Service considers doubling entry fees for Yellowstone and Grand Teton

October 25, 2017 in News

The National Park Service is floating a steep increase in entrance fees at 17 of its most popular parks, mostly in the West, to address a backlog of maintenance and infrastructure projects. Visitors to the Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Yosemite, Zion and other national parks would be charged $70 per vehicle, up from the current fee of $30 for a weekly pass. At others, the hike is nearly triple, from $25 to $70. A 30-day public comment period opened Tuesday. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke says the entran... continue reading

Pathways Innovation Center likely to see wholesale changes as enrollment continues to fall

October 24, 2017 in News

The Natrona County School District will completely overhaul its approach to Pathways Innovation Center, moving away from the project-based learning upon which it was founded as the facility enters its second year with just 138 students. “The number of students selecting the program ... has dropped significantly in the Pathways academies this year, and we don’t ever see it reaching 1,000, for sure,” Natrona County High School principal Shannon Harris told district officials Monday afternoon. ... continue reading

City installing new playground, starting partial demolition of former Plains Furniture store

October 23, 2017 in News

Casper’s kids will have a new place to play this spring. The City of Casper recently tore down the 23-year-old play structure at Paradise Valley Park and are preparing to install a new playground, according to a press release from the Public Services Department. The $47,600 project will be funded using Optional One Cent Tax. The new playground will offer a variety of equipment including a slide, swings, spinning seats, bongos, bars, a rock climbing structure and two zip lines. “When we are sele... continue reading

Wyoming capitol renovation proceeding on schedule as more historic discoveries made

October 20, 2017 in News

The Wyoming capitol’s $300 million restoration project is on pace to be completed by 2019, and state workers could start moving into a completed portion of the complex by this spring, according to Suzanne Norton, project manager with the state’s Construction Management Division. The Capitol Square Project includes both the state capitol itself and the nearby Herschler Building, which houses state offices. Planning began in 2003, and work started in 2014. Norton said that construction was about 40 ... continue reading

Adapting with Wyoming pride: Welding shop turns to home decorations in effort to diversify

October 18, 2017 in News

Sparks flew as welders worked at tables and knelt beside oil production skids. The raw steel bases will be shipped off to an oil field to secure equipment to the ground. One welder stood by the plasma table as the machine’s arm lowered into a 4- by 8-foot steel plate last week. The tip glowed and sparked as it carved a bucking horse shape out of the metal plate. That’s not what the machine was made for, Double D Welding and Fabrication manager Jason Dye said. Originally, the company bought it to m... continue reading

Barrasso, Cheney support Trump’s health care changes

October 17, 2017 in News

Sen. John Barrasso and Rep. Liz Cheney praised President Donald Trump for pulling the plug on what they called illegal payments to insurance companies, which were used to help low-income Americans pay health care costs. While a spokesman for Sen. Mike Enzi called the payments unlawful, it’s unclear whether the senator supports Trump’s move. The spokesman did not respond to follow-up questions. The move was one of two Trump made last week that will likely change the complexion of the health care la... continue reading

Taking Wyoming’s pulse on the coming wind boom, feds initiate sage grouse changes, methane rule uncertain

October 11, 2017 in News

It was a windy week in Casper, appropriate given the number of wind stories that ended up in the paper since last Monday. Each came from the same conference, a two-day forum about wind development at the University of Wyoming. It'd be overkill to lay out each of the topics from that conference for a newsletter. In short, the forum addressed the coming wind build out in Wyoming, and highlighted the diversity of opinions that exist about the future of wind development in the state. ... continue reading

Montana pipeline proposed to transport CO2 for oil recovery

October 10, 2017 in News

An energy company is seeking federal approval to build a pipeline in eastern Montana that would transport the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide for use in oil production along the North Dakota border. The $150 million pipeline would begin near the Wyoming border and stretch 110 miles to the Cedar Creek Anticline, an aging oil field near Baker, Montana, Denbury Resources spokesman John Mayer said. ... continue reading

Wyoming oil and gas operators pleased by federal walk back on methane rule

October 9, 2017 in News

Natural gas is frequently a by-product of oil production, and if there are no gas pipelines in an oil field, operators will burn that gas off. It usually comes out in a rush at the beginning of production and rapidly tapers off. And it’s a practice that has been a sticking point for environmentalists, and the subject of multiple regulations from Wyoming and the feds. One of those rules has been causing confusion since the start of the year: The Bureau of Land Management’s methane waste reduction rule... continue reading

Wyoming pharmaceutical company lands new state loan

October 6, 2017 in News

The State Loan and Investment Board on Thursday approved loaning an additional $12 million to a pharmaceutical manufacturer that is expanding its operations in northern Wyoming. The board — Gov. Matt Mead and the four other statewide elected officials — unanimously approved the new loan for Cody Laboratories, which is a subsidiary of the Philadelphia-based Lannett Co. ... continue reading