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Casper’s most famous turkey went missing. A reporter investigates.

November 22, 2017 in News

I met Casper’s own wildlife celebrity on my second day in town. There, in the middle of Wolcott Street, stood a large male turkey. The threat of my 3,000-pound car, idling feet from his fragile bird body, didn’t even appear to ruffle his feathers. I peered at him from behind my windshield. He looked back at me, his beady bird eyes surrounded by his bright red, bald head. I honked. He blinked. I honked again, and then slowly inched my car toward him. He continued to stare until my bumper was inc... continue reading

Lawmakers consider changing the rules for small wind farms that sell to Wyoming utilities

November 21, 2017 in News

Wyoming wind is in demand, but as the industry changes so should the regulations that govern it, according to some state lawmakers. Small wind farms that have cropped up in the state benefit from a ‘70s-era federal law meant to open a niche for developers in the monopoly that is the electricity market in places like Wyoming. Large utilities like Rocky Mountain Power have to buy the electricity that these small producers generate on a 20-year-contract. But Wyoming has some wiggle room on how that law... continue reading

State reports show slight improvement to Casper’s economy

November 20, 2017 in News

Casper took a major hit after energy prices sank a few years ago, but a recent state report shows that the city’s economy is slowly mending. “We may never get to where we used to be, just because of the trends and the pressures on the energy sector, but we are certainly making progress,” said Tom Pitlick, the city’s Chief Financial Officer. The Casper Business-Cycle Index, an economic indicator that is designed to provide a current assessment of the city’s economy, was registered at a value ... continue reading

WyoTech owner announces new student enrollments ceased

November 9, 2017 in News

The WyoTech owner has announced that the institution will no longer enroll new students and current courses will be taught out. Zenneth, the nonprofit education provider that bought 56 Corinthian Colleges Inc. campuses including WyoTech Laramie, announced Wednesday that only three of its Altierus Career College campuses would be accepting new students. The announcement comes after 18 months of layoffs, closures and budget reductions at large institutions in Albany County in southeastern Wyoming. ... continue reading

Meant to target tourists, proposed sales tax bump would apply to Wyoming restaurants, hotels and more

November 8, 2017 in News

What was initially billed as a “tourism tax” morphed into a leisure and hospitality tax at the Joint Interim Revenue Committee meeting here on Tuesday. Why? Because it doesn’t just tax tourism. It never did, really. First proposed in September by the travel industry itself, the bill would impose a 1 percent sales tax on a host of businesses that cater at least in part to tourists. The bill is intended to ensure a dedicated source of funding for the state tourism office by taxing tourists themselves... continue reading

Wyoming Women Warriors group grows, evolves

November 6, 2017 in News

The light blue stickers posted on the front door of Jacquie’s Bistro, Brunch & Bar aren’t large or particularly flashy, but the café’s owner hopes they send a powerful message. “Me too,” reads one sign. “I believe you,” states the other. The phrase “Me Too” has become a popular rallying cry on social media in the last month, meant to encourage victims of assault to share their stories and support others. And inside the restaurant on Thursday morning sat a handful of women living tha... continue reading

Mead approval rating falls sharply, but he remains one of the nation’s most popular governors

November 3, 2017 in News

Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead remains one of the nation’s most popular governors, but has seen his approval rating dip nearly 10 points since the summer, according to a poll released Tuesday. The poll, conducted by research firm Morning Consult, found that 59 percent of Wyoming voters approved of the job Mead is doing while 23 percent disapproved. That ranks Mead ninth in the nation. Still, the October rating showed a sharp decline from July when a poll by the same firm found Mead with a 67 percent approva... continue reading

Downtown Casper development agency again seeks public funding

November 2, 2017 in News

An organization working to promote downtown Casper has resumed its effort to seek a reoccurring source of public funding for its work. The Downtown Development Authority is asking the City Council to earmark future funding for its efforts through a mechanism called tax increment financing. Tax increment financing is a way to set aside funds for a specific project or purpose, Pete Meyers, the city’s assistant financial services director, explained at the Council’s work session last week. One year o... continue reading

Coal company denied permit for first new Wyoming mine in decades appeals to court

November 1, 2017 in News

An eastern coal company recently denied a permit to mine in northern Wyoming is appealing to the courts, but said it will continue working with regulators to clear up what the state has labelled as deficiencies in its mining plan. In an appeal filed Friday, the company’s lawyers argue that there were a number of procedural errors leading up to and following a citizen’s board decision that Ramaco Carbon’s mining plan failed to address environmental concerns. The board’s opinion was followed by a d... continue reading

Open house for Hogadon Basin Ski Area’s new lodge set for Saturday

October 31, 2017 in News

Skiers and snowboarders used to complain about a variety of issues at Hogadon Basin Ski Area’s old lodge. The building was in poor condition and wasn’t handicapped-accessible. There weren’t enough bathrooms. Purchasing ski passes and rental equipment involved going to separate locations. But that was the former facility. After more than a year of construction, the new city-owned lodge is complete, and community members are invited to an open house at 3 p.m. Saturday to explore the new buildin... continue reading