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(Wed 10/15/14) - Who wants to go to Williston in December... audio here

That's Douglas City Administrator Tony Tolstedt, talking about a field trip to Williston, North Dakota, that's being planned for city officials... audio here

The Douglas City Council voted 4-1 Monday night to begin planning for the trip. Councilman Tony Reynolds was the lone no vote. Tolstedt said the trip would probably take place in December or perhaps January, depending on schedules and logistics.

 

(Wed 10/15/14) - What's in the Checkbook... The oil and gas boom has meant a lot more money coming into Converse County's bank accounts... and a lot more going out. County treasurer Joel Schell says they've added a new feature called Open Gov to the county's website... audio here

Schell says Open Gov helps us understand part of how the boom affects us... audio here

The treasurer says that these days, there's more income, and there's more outgo. He said it's good for the public to know how its money is being spent... audio here

A link to Open Gov is posted on the County's website and the Treasurer's website... anyone can access the information at www.conversecounty.org/opengov

 

(Thu 10/9/14) - Rumble strips, turn lanes, and maybe even passing lanes... all were discussed as possible near-term fixes for growing traffic issues on Highway 59 north of Douglas. Close to 150 people attended a community meeting Wednesday night at the Douglas High School auditorium. WyDOT Chief Engineer Del McOmie said they have some projects scheduled now in their transportation improvement program that will affect Highway 59... audio here

Both of those projects are funded now and should be done in 2015.

Another item on the wish list is a series of passing lanes between Douglas and Gillette... audio here

That project would again be contingent on funding by the State Legislature.\par During a question and answer period at the end of the meeting, there was much discussion of speed limits, with many people encouraging WyDOT to lower the speed limits through Bill, and on the 59 bypass from the Law Enforcement Academy out past the gas plant.

 

(Wed 10/8/14) -The cost of housing drives up the cost of living in Converse County. The State of Wyoming's Economic Analysis Division has released the state's Cost of Living Index for the second quarter of 2014, and Converse County sits behind Teton County as the second most expensive place to live in Wyoming. With a median of 100, Converse County scored a 109. While all other categories were either just above or just below the median, scarce housing because of the oil and gas boom sent that category up to 117 percent of average. Platte County was the least expensive place to live in Wyoming, with an index of 88 and housing costs at just 77 percent of the state average.

 

(Tue 9/30/14) - Hunters from across the nation visit Eastern Wyoming every fall, and a very special group of hunters come to Douglas today.

The 30th Annual Helluva Hunt welcomes 15 disabled sportsmen and women from across the country for a guided antelope hunt. Hunters arrive today for opening events, meet their guides, sight in their rifles, participate in trap shooting and relax at the opening banquet.

The hunt begins tomorrow morning. Several area ranchers contribute access to about 60 thousand acres of land. The Wyoming Game & Fish issues special permits to allow the disabled hunters to hunt from a vehicle. Each hunter is accompanied by one or more experienced guides.

The Helluva Hunt is completely funded, and the only cost to the hunter is for their transportation to and from Douglas.

 

(Thu 9/25/14) - Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet... Law enforcement agencies across Wyoming are partnering with the Drug Enforcement Administration to offer people a chance to safely dispose of prescription medication Saturday.

The DEA is working with state and local law enforcement to collect and dispose of the drugs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The chemicals in prescription drugs can harm wildlife or the environment if thrown away or flushed down a sink or toilet. Drugs left in trash bins or by the curb also can be stolen and abused.

Locally, collection points will be set up at the Douglas Police Department, the Evansville Community Center, the Torrington Police Department and the Platte County Sheriff's Office in Wheatland. You can also find a nearby collection site by visiting www.dea.gov and clicking on the "Got Drugs?" icon.

 

(Tue 9/23/14) - A new RV Park on Douglas's north side will get further review before it can proceed. Developer Chris Paquette has asked the Douglas City Council to rezone a 15 acre piece of property off of North 4th Street near the bypass from industrial to MH-2 so that they could build a 50 to 100 unit RV park. Paquette said that, in addition to providing much-needed housing for energy workers, the development would provide a better transition between ongoing industrial growth on Highway 59 and homes in the Northgate area... audio here

The primary holdup seems to be the City's new Master Plan, which designates the land as industrial. Lots to the south are currently zoned MH-2. The Douglas Planning and Zoning commission sent the project to the city council with a "do not pass" recommendation, in part because the proposal doesn't match current zoning as defined in the City Master Plan. Rather than approving or denying, the Douglas City Council last night voted to return the project back to the Planning Commission for review for possible amendment to the Master Plan... that would deal with the zoning issue... and simultaneous review of the specific project, which would be the proposed RV Park.

 

(Mon 9/22/14) - Room for two, non-smoking? Good Luck... Oilfield workers are packing Wyoming's hotels and staying longer as the state's oil and gas development grows. Here in Douglas, we know how hard it's been to find an empty hotel room. And the problem is spreading across eastern Wyoming.

Nearly 87 percent of Casper's hotel rooms were booked in July and August, many by oilfield workers.

Aaron McCreight, head of the Casper Area Convention and Visitors' Bureau, says the state is seeing an oil boom that is helping the overall economy. Officials say drilling is up, and there are more oil and gas jobs now than there were last summer.

Two new hotels are being built in Casper to accommodate more visitors. ONe new hotel is under construction here in Douglas, and another is in the planning stages.

Hotels in Gillette and Cheyenne say their occupancy rates are rising too. McCreight says the growing economy has also been a boon for tourism, necessitating more rooms.

 

(Thu 9/18/14) - Oil- and gas-fueled growth has made the Casper area one of the fastest-growing in the nation. A new report this week from the US Department of Commerce says Casper's gross domestic product grew by a little over 7 percent in 2013, making it the 11th-fastest growing metropolitan area in the country. Overall, the region is also doing well... Greeley and Billings also showed strong growth.

 

(Thu 9/18/14) - A new player in the Basin... The Denver-based Anschutz Corp. is putting new emphasis on increasing its oil industry operations in Wyoming.

On Wednesday, the company confirmed a $69 million transaction with Bill Barrett Corp. whereby Anschutz will gain drilling rights to about 30,000 acres in the Powder River Basin in northeast Wyoming.

Anschutz has been active in Wyoming in recent years but not in oil. Its subsidiary Power Company of Wyoming has proposed building the largest onshore wind farm in the country in south-central Wyoming.

Anschutz executive Joseph DeDominic says that the transaction marks a "major re-emphasis" on oil and gas in Wyoming by the company. He says Anschutz has contracted its first drilling rig in the basin, and it is expected to begin work in November.

 

(Wed 9/17/14) - Over 2200 Douglas area customers were left without power Tuesday afternoon when a contractor took out a power line with a dump truck. Construction crews were laying asphalt on Flicker Street east of Lone Tree trailer park. The driver reportedly left his dump bed up and pulled down a power line and two poles when he drove off. The accident happened at about 1pm... Rocky Mountain Power crews got the lights back on in most areas at about 2:30pm.

 

(Wed 9/17/14) - Push 'em farther away... A landowners' group is calling on Wyoming oil and gas regulators to strengthen proposed rules to increase the minimum distance between drilling rigs and dwellings.

The staff of the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission this month proposed increasing the minimum setback distance for a vertically drilled well to 500 feet. The minimum setback for wells drilled into the ground and then horizontally would increase to 750 feet. The current minimum distance is 350 feet for all drilling rigs.

The Powder River Basin Resource Council this week contacted Gov. Matt Mead and other commission members to ask that the setbacks be increased up to 750 feet for vertical wells and a quarter-mile for horizontal wells.

The five-member commission is set to act on final rules next month.

 

(Wed 9/17/14) - Local Man Honored... A Glenrock sheep rancher who helped create a lamb cooperative will receive an outstanding alumni award from the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Wyoming.

Brad Boner is one of several who'll be honored at Ag Appreciation Day this Saturday, Sept. 20, on the Laramie campus. Boner received his agricultural business degree in 1982, and raises sheep and cattle, along with his brothers and father. He was instrumental in creating the Mountain States Lamb Cooperative, which markets more than 250,000 lambs annually from 13 Rocky Mountain states.

The annual Ag Day Barbecue that raises money for agricultural student organizations is this Saturday from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. in the southwest corner of Fan Fest inside the Indoor Practice Facility.

Recipients will be recognized during Saturday's Wyoming-Florida Atlantic football game.

 

(Wed 9/17/14) - 2X Black Gold... The U.S. Energy Information Agency reports that oil production in the Powder River Basin has more than doubled over the past five years.

Oil output in the basin grew from 38,000 barrels per day in 2009 to 78,000 barrels per day during the first quarter of this year.

State Oil and Gas Supervisor Mark Watson says that the increased production is huge for Wyoming because it reverses a decline that had been going on for 40 years.

The increased oil production largely came from older oil fields in Campbell and Converse counties where production had declined over the years.

But the recent advancements in drilling and technology, chief among them fracking, have reversed the production declines those formations had been experiencing for years.

 

(Mon 9/9/14) - More Oilwell Setbacks... The Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission intends to unveil a proposal next week to increase the minimum distance between drilling rigs and dwellings.

The commission intends to call for a buffer of 500 feet between occupied buildings and vertical rigs. It would set a minimum distance of 750 feet for horizontal rigs.

The current distance is 350 feet for all drilling rigs.

The move comes in response to concerns from landowners over increasing oil production near communities. Much of the ongoing drilling is occurring around Douglas and Cheyenne.

Landowners had sought a greater distance, while industry argued that the current distance is working.

 

(Wed 9/3/14) - Off to a new corral... Sixteen Bureau of Land Management gentled wild horses were adopted during Wyoming Mustang Days, at the Wyoming State Fair, in Douglas, Aug. 12-16.

The BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program sponsored the annual adoption event, which also encourages previous wild horse adopters to showcase the abilities of their mustangs.

Nine gentled yearlings were adopted throughout the week, by silent bid.

Seven saddle-started horses were adopted Aug. 16. The adoption, through competitive bid, followed a demonstration by the trainers from the Wyoming Honor Farm and the Mantle Wild Horse Adoption and Training Facility, demonstrating the horses's abilities.

Wyoming Mustang Days also included the All Wild Horse Show, featuring 52 previous wild horse adopters and their adopted horses, competing in three divisions, Aug. 15.

 

(Tue 8/19/14) - The 2014 Primary Elections are in the books. 3,371 votes were cast in Converse County on Tuesday, a 52 percent voter turnout, but you'll have a chance to do it all over again in the General Election in November.

A reminder, the Primary Election in most cases simply determines who'll move ahead to General Election. Non-partisan elections, the city and town elections, work like this... double the number of open slots will move on to the general, and write-ins must receive at least three votes to advance.

Douglas Mayor Bruce Jones ran unopposed and got 950 votes, but there were 95 writes-ins... if the top write in got at least three votes, their name will be on the November ballot along with Mayor Jones.

Douglas City Council, two seats open, incumbant councilman Leroy Kingery got 679, John Crockett got 497, Steve Sorell got 411... all three will advance, along with one write-in.

Mayor, Town of Glenrock, Wm Douglas Frank got 325 votes, incumbant mayor Sue Dills got 276... they'll both advance.

Glenrock town council was a very close race... Chase Anfinson got 282, Dennis Flynn got 264, Tim Feeback got 262 and Misty Dalgarn got 248... two seats open, all four will advance to the general.

Rolling Hills had no one on the ballot running for mayor, but there were 57 write-in votes, so the top two will have the opportunity to advance. Rolling Hills town council, Jacque Stoldt got 73 votes, Brenda Williams had 62 and Vicki Widiker 23... all three, plus a write-in will move to the general.

Leda Price will be on the general election ballot alone as mayor of Lost Springs, and Arthur Stringham will advance for the Lost Springs Town Council.

 

In the partisan races, an equal number of Republicans and Democrats can advance for the open seats, and write-ins must receive 25 votes to advance.

In the balloting for Converse County Commissioner, incumbants Tony Lehner and Jim Willlox and challenger Robert Short will move on to the general election. Lehner was the top vote getter with 1838, Willox had 1545 and Short collected 1403. Incumbant Major Brown was 170 votes short at 1233 and will not get a second term on the commission. Darek Joppru got 1162 votes. The Democrats had nobody on the ballot Tuesday, but there were 44 write ins... if one received at least 25 votes, they may choose to be on the ballot in November.

Ross Gorman will hold on to the office of county coroner. He got 1953 votes... challenger Russ Dalgarn had 1000... only 18 write ins for the democrats, so Gorman will run unopposed in the November general. All other county offices ran unopposed and Republican, and none had enough Democratic write ins to see a challenge in November.

State legislature races, only one district is completely within Converse County, and that's House District 6... incumbant Republican Richard Cannady got 56 percent of the vote and will face challenger Liz Batton in the general election. Batton ran unopposed on the Democratic ballot.

In the other house & senate races, Converse County supported Jeff Wasserburger in senate district 23 and Eric Barlow in House District 3... Dan Kirkbride was unopposed in House District 4. Those wont be settled until we have final numbers from other counties represented.

In the state races, Converse County supported Senator Mike Enzi, Representative Cynthia Lummis, Governor Matt Mead, although Dr Taylor Haynes had strong support here... Mead marked 1477 ballots, while Haynes collected 1271. Cindy Hill had 284. Converse County also voted for Ed Murray for secretary of State, Mark Gordon for State Treasurer, Jillian Balow for Superintendant of Public Instruction and Cynthia Cloud for State Auditor. Those positions will all be settled when all precencts in all 23 counties are tallied.

Complete election results are available at conversecounty.org.

 

(Sat 8/9/14) - They were crashin' for cash Saturday night at the Wyoming State Fair.

Bo Gordon took the $2500 dollar purse for making the last hit at the Douglas Volunteer Fire Department Demolition Derby. Tony Long won $750 dollars for second place, Tim Janssen got $500 dollars for a third place finish, and Daryl Swift won $250 for 4th place.

Tony Long also won $500 for Best Of Show for his pink & green Lincoln, and Kelly Herrick was a thousand dollars richer, named Heavy Hitter for being the most agressive driver.

23 cars battled this year for a piece of the action.

 



And in Sports...

(Fri 10/24/14) - On to the Playoffs... the Douglas Bearcats end the regular season 6-1 with a 49-8 win over the Buffalo Bison. The Cats claimed six touchdowns in the first half... Colter Haman scored three times, Dalton Bergner went in on a 22-yard pass completion, Gage Pitt checked in with a 55-yard punt return, and Ryan Lebert pulled down an interception and returned it 60 yards for a touchdown. A minute into the third quarter, backup quarterback Ty Larson hit Blake Brooks for a 77-yard pass completion to run the score to 49-0. Buffalo scored late when Kason Filbert took it in from 3 yards out, the two-point conversion was good, and the final was 49-8 Douglas.

Also tonight, Cody shut out Powell 39-0, it was Jackson over Star Valley 39-31, Torrington beats Rawlins 50-28, and Green River finally got a win, knocking off Worland 42-20. Riverton shut out winless Lander 56-0 on Thursday night.

Opening round of the playoffs next Friday night, Douglas hosts Star Valley, Rawlins is at Cody, Powell's at Riverton and Torrington's is at Jackson.

(Fri 10/17/14) - #2 vs #1... and the second-ranked Bearcats beat the #1-ranked Riverton Wolverines, 15-3. At Riverton, the Cats scored first on a 2-yard run by Dalton Burgner, the PAT was good, and the Cats led it 7-0. Dietrik Becker scored on a three-point field goal with about 3 minutes left in the second quarter, the only score of the night for the Wolverines. Douglas led 7-3 at the half, and that's where the score stayed until Douglas's Layne George snagged an interception and ran it in with 1:35 left in the game. Colter Haman added a two-point conversion to stretch the lead to 15-3. Justin Leman grabbed another pick with 1:11 left, Cats QB Haize Weber took a knee twice, and Douglas gave Riverton their first loss of the season. The win guarantees Douglas the #1 seed from the East and homefield advantage as the playoffs begin in two weeks. Regular season play wraps up next Friday night when Douglas hosts the Buffalo Bison.

(Fri 10/10/14) - Douglas walks away with a Homecoming win... the Cats found the endzone six times and held the Outlaws scoreless on the way to a 41-0 win over Rawlins at Bearcat Stadium Friday night. Colter Haman scored three times... a 67-yard run, a 39-yarder, and once more from 35 yards out. Alex Locke ran one 80 yards up the near side for a score, James Willox took one in from 26, and QB Haize Weber hit Tanner Gamble for a 22-yard touchdown catch. Douglas improves to 5-1 with the win. The Cats travel to #1-ranked Riverton next Friday night.

(Thu 10/9/14) - No change at all in this week's 3A Football polls. The Wyopreps Coaches and Media Poll ranks Riverton at #1, followed by Douglas, Cody, Powell and Jackson. Cody plays at Jackson this week and hopes to hand the Broncs their first loss.

(Thu 10/9/14) - Douglas volleyball hosts a big rivalry match this afternoon... Homecoming v-ball matches #4 Douglas with the #3 Rawlins Lady Outlaws. In conference action, Rawlins is 1st in the southeast, and 4 Douglas is 1st in the northeast. Both are 4-0 in conference play... overall, Rawlins is 14-9, Douglas is 13-11. Tonight is Breast Cancer Awarness night, and the crowd's invited to wear pink. Freshmen play at 4, JV's at 5, and varsity volleyball starts play at 6pm at the DHS Rec Center Gym.

(Sat 10/4/14) - The Douglas Bearcats ran their gridiron record to 4-1 with a 20-13 win at Torrington. The #2 Bearcats and the unranked Blazers played to a scoreless tie in the first hale on Friday night, then traded touchdowns in the third. Douglas scored first on a 54-yard pass & run from QB Haize Weber to receiver Taner Gamble.. the PAT went wide and the Cats led it 6-0. Torrington scored on a 1-yard hop by quarterback Jace Canaday, the PAT was blocked, and the game was tied 6-6. The Cats answered with a 4-yard pass from Weber to Dalton Burgner, the two-point conversion was not successful, and Douglas led it 12-6. In the opening moments of the 4th quarter, Torrington qb Jace Canady finished a drive with a 9-yard pass to PD Miller, the PAT was good, and the Blazers claimed their only lead of the night at 13-12. Douglas took it back for good on a 9-yard run by Colter Haman... the two-point conversion by Weber was good, and Douglas claimed and held a 20-13 lead for the win. Douglas host Rawlins for homcoming this Friday night.

Also on Friday night, Natrona shuts out Kelly Walsh 49-0 in the Oil Bowl, the Glenrock Herders gave Coach Ray Kumpula his 100th career win as they knock off Burns 38-26. Wheatland beats Big Piney 46-0 in a game that was called at halftime due to injuries. Lusk takes a 48-6 win over Pine Bluffs, and Guernsey-Sunrise beat Hanna-Elk Mountain 26-16.

(Sat 9/27/14) - Cats win on the road... at Lander Friday night, the Cats dominated a struggling Lander squad, winning the night 34-0.

All Douglas scoring came in the first half... the first quarter saw Cats QB Haize Weber hit Tanner Gamble with a 22 yard pass for score, and Colter Haman took a 31-yard scramble to the endzone.

In the second quarter, Haman scored twice on one yard punches, and Weber threw one into the endzone to Lane George.

In the second half, Coach Jay Rhoades took advantage of the comfortable lead to get some playing time for his younger players

Douglas is 3-1 with the win... Lander falls to 0-4. The Cats travel to Torrington next Friday night.

(Thu 9/25/14) - The Douglas Bearcats remain #2 this week, but there's a lot of movement in 3A football in the latest edition of the WyoPreps.com Coaches and Media poll. Riverton's upset win previously top-ranked Powell moves the Wolverines up from #4 to #1... Douglas is at #2 again... Powell falls from 1 to 3, pushing Cody down from 3 to 4... the Jackson Broncs are steady in the 5-slot.

In 4A, #2 Natrona's 47-7 spanking of #1 Gillette vaults the Mustangs to #1, and the Sheridan Broncs follow from 3 to 2. Gillette drops to 3, East is steady at 4, and the Kelly Walsh Trojans ride a nine-point win over the South Bison into the #5 position.

Big Horn leads 2A again... Mountain View's up from 3 to 2, Newcastles upset of Wheatland moves the Dogies from 4 to 3 and drops the Bulldogs from 2 to 4...Greybull bumps Big Piney out of #5.

Not much change in 1A 11-man, where it's Cokeville, Lusk, Lingle-Ft Laramie and Southeast, just like last week... Upton/Sundance replaces Tongue RIver at #5.

And in 6-man the Guernsey-Sunrise Vikings continue to rip it up. The Vikes shut out Midwest 75-0 last weekend, and over three games they've outscored their opponents 201-19. Guernsey's a unanimous #1, followed by Snake River, Meeteetsee, Farson and Kaycee.

(Fri 9/5/14) - 0-1... The Douglas Bearcats opened the 3A football season tonight with a one-point loss to the Powell Panthers.

Douglas led 10-6 at the half on a 7-yard pass from Hayes Weber to Bay Parks and a 3-point field goal with seconds left in the half. Tanner Gamble pulled down an interception in the third quarter and ran it back 15 yards for a touchdown to stretch the lead to 17-6.

Powell fought back and took the lead when quarterback Carter Baxter ran one in with about 5 1/2 left to play.

Douglas travels to Cody next Friday night to meet the Broncs, who beat Buffalo 45-20 tonight. Kickoff Friday night at 6pm... our pregame coverage begins at 5:30 on KKTY's 100.1 FM.

(Tue 9/2/14) - The Douglas LadyCats volleyball team went three games to claim third place in the Gold Bracket at this weekend's Douglas Invitational. The Lady Cats beat the Lady Eagles from Lyman 25-22 in the first game... Lyman bounced back to claim game two 25-15, then Douglas iced it with a 15-11 win in the third game. Powell beat Wright 25-17, 25-17 to win the championship match.

Douglas volleyball's at the Gillette Invite this Friday and Saturday.



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