(Wed 1/28/15) - The
Douglas City Council received an earful from
city and county residents on Monday night over the
proposed annexation of the Seven Trails subdivision
west of Douglas. During the public comment period,
several speakers brought up a variety of issues... audio
Annexation of the Seven Trails
subdivision to the City of Douglas would bring in
just under 1300 acres of land owned by Wagonhound
Land and Livestock on the west side of town. The
Douglas City Council passed the annexation 5-0 on the
first of three readings.
(Tue 1/27/15) - Road
improvements to help deal with increased traffic on
Highway 59 north of Douglas are in the
WyDOT says they want to build
rumble strips, turn lanes and passing lanes between
Douglas and Wright, and Governor Matt Mead put
funding for the first phase of construction in his
supplemental budget request.
In an exclusive interview with
KKTY Radio yesterday morning, the governor said he's
hoping the Legislature will back his request... audio here
Governor Mead has requested
$21.2 million dollars for road improvements on
Highway 59 between Douglas and Gillette.
(Tue 1/27/15) - The
Wyoming Highway Patrol has a new liason with
the Wyoming Law Enforcement Academy.
Colonel John Butler has
appointed Trooper Randy Starkey, a seven year Patrol
veteran stationed in Lusk, as the new Academy
Coordinator Sergeant for the Patrol. Sergeant Starkey
takes over the position for Lieutenant Chris Schell,
who now supervises the Casper area road division.
Sergeant Starkey will be
responsible for coordinating, facilitating and
supervising the Patrol's recruit training program at
the Wyoming Highway Patrol Basic Academy at Douglas.
Starkey will be the initial influence with the
Patrol's new recruits during their initial 28 weeks
(Fri 1/23/15) - Wyoming coal
production increased by 2 percent in 2014.
According to preliminary
federal statistics, Wyoming coal production increased
from 388 million tons in 2013 to 396 million tons in
2014. That reverses a four-year decline.
Peabody Energy's North Antelope
Rochelle complex saw output increase by 6 percent,
from 111 million tons in 2013 to 118 million tons, in
Cloud Peak Energy's Antelope
coal mine was up 7 percent at 2.3 million tons.
The production increase was
accompanied by a slight rise in employment and
offered welcome news to a beleaguered industry
battered by low prices, rail backlogs and a
tightening regulatory environment.
(Fri 1/23/15) - An new
oil pipeline that will cross through Converse County
will have new owners. Kinder Morgan Inc announced
this week that they'll enter North Dakota's Bakken
oilfields with a $3 billion acquisition of Hiland
Partners. The deal is slated to close during the
first quarter of this year.
Hiland operates oil pipelines
and natural gas processing systems primarily in the
Bakken shale in North Dakota and Montana.
Hiland's assets include the new
Double H 84,000 barrels-per-day pipeline that will
move Bakken crude from North Dakota to Tallgrass
Energy Partners' Pony Express pipeline at Guernsey,
Wyoming. From there, Bakken flows will move to the
U.S. crude futures hub in Cushing, Oklahoma.
The 12-inch Double H pipeline's
route runs across a little over 70 miles of Converse
County. The Double H is expected to start up by the
end of January and expand to 108,000 bpd in a year.
(Thu 1/22/15) - They'll
be freezin for a reason in just over 24
hours... Douglas's Jackalope Jump will be held Friday
afternoon at Douglas High School.
Event organizer Ron Casalenda
says the Jackalope Jump is the Wyoming version of a
Polar Bear Plunge, and they do it for a very good
Casalenda says Jackalope
Jumpers take pledges to raise money for Wyoming
Special Olympics, and there'll be a bunch of people
willing to get cold and wet... audio
Monies raised goes to Special
Olympics Wyoming... audio
Awards will go to the top
indivdual fundraiser, the best costume, the most
money raised by a Special Olympics athlete, the
largest group, and the most money raised by a group.
The Douglas Jackalope Jump will
be held Friday afternoon at 1:45 on the ballfields
behind Douglas High School. If you're interested in
jumping, registration begins at 12:30pm.
(Wed 1/14/15) -
Planning for more drilling... A good turnout
for last night's public meeting at the Wyoming State
Fairgrounds hosted by the Bureau of Land Management's
Casper Field Office. The BLM is in the process of
developing alternatives in the Converse County Oil and Gas
Environmental Impact Statement. Mike Robinson is the project
manager for the BLM... he said they got some good
questions at last night's presentation... audio here
The Converse County Oil and Gas
Project proposes to drill approximately 5,000 oil and
natural gas wells in Converse County in an area
encompassing approximately 1.5 million acres, during
a 10-year period.
Robinson said that the BLM's
work now helps them plan for future activity... audio here
Written comments taken after
last night's presentation will be used to help
develop the environmental impact statement. A draft
EIS for the project is expected to be published in
the summer of 2016. The final EIS will be due in
2017, so there's another year and a half worth of
work before the project can move ahead.
(Tue 1/6/15) - A utility company
will pay $2.5 million in fines, restitution
and community service after pleading guilty to
killing golden eagles and other birds at two Converse
County wind farms.
The Migratory Bird Treaty Act
violations stem from the deaths of 38 golden eagles
and 336 other protected birds at PacifiCorp's Seven
Mile Hill and Glenrock/Rolling Hills wind farms.
The company entered the plea
Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Wyoming.
The Justice Department and
Portland, Oregon-based PacifiCorp announced the
agreement Dec. 19. Under the deal, the company agreed
to pay fines as well as restitution and community
service with a total value of $2.5 million.
Company officials say they're
working to protect migratory birds.
(Wed 12/31/14) - A
Wyoming Highway Patrolman stationed at Douglas has
retired. Wednesday marked Lieutenant Nate
Hughes' last day with the Wyoming Highway Patrol.
Lieutenant Hughes spent 24 years with the State
Patrol... he joined in 1990 and was initially
stationed in Wamsutter as a Patrolman. In 2005,
Lieutenant Hughes transferred to Douglas as the
division supervisor for the Douglas, Glenrock and
Lieutenant Hughes was a lead
DUI instructor for both state troopers and all law
enforcement in Wyoming instructing at the Wyoming Law
Enforcement Academy. Lieutenant Hughes is also one of
the first Drug Recognition Experts in Wyoming.
Although retired from the
Patrol, Lieutenant Hughes is not done with his law
enforcement career. He'll continue serving local
citizens from his new position with the Converse
County Sheriff's Office in Douglas.
(Thu 12/30/14) - The historic
Carnagie Library in Lusk should be a little
warmer this winter.
A recently-completed project
has restored and renovated the original windows in
the 1919 library building. The newly-restored windows
and new, thermally-efficient, removable storm windows
were a fraction of the cost of completely replacing
the originals. They should also lower the building's
utility costs considerably.
Lusk's library building is one
of 16 Carangie Libraries built in Wyoming. Five are
still in use... the others are at Lander, Rock
Springs, Newcastle and Wheatland.
(Fri 12/26/14) - Oil
producers looking to pipe crude to Guernsey,
Wyoming, and then Cushing, Oklahoma, have been
granted an extended opportunity.
Hiland Crude LLC has announced
a deadline extension to receive shipper commitments
for its Double H Pipeline and Tallgrass Pony Express
Pipelines. The Double H pipeline will receive crude
from the Bakken and the Powder River Basin. The Pony
Express Pipeline will connect to Cushing.
The Double H pipeline is a
488-mile pipeline currently under construction that
orginates near Dore, North Dakota and Syndey,
Belle Fourche Pipeline Company,
in conjunction with Bridger Pipeline LLC, announced
that they will also work to move Bakken crude through
Guernsey. The two pipeline companies have issued an
open season call to get volume commitments to support
expansions of their common carrier pipeline systems
that move Bakken and Powder River Basin crude through
Guernsey on its way to Cushing.
(Fri 12/26/14) -
Wyoming's unemployment rate fell slightly to
4.5 percent in November, in part due to a seasonal
decrease in tourism.
The Wyoming Department of
Workforce Services says the rate fell 0.2 percentage
points from October and matches the state's
unemployment rate in November 2013.
Converse County had the lowest
unemployment rate in November at 2.8 percent followed
by Campbell at 3 percent and Sublette at 3.2 percent.
Teton County had the highest
unemployment, rising from 5.2 percent to 7.9 percent,
which was expected because the summer tourism season
had ended and the ski season had not yet begun.
(Wed 12/24/14) - Winter
fishing on the North Platte River just got a boost with
the release of 1,400 rainbow trout southwest of
Casper and in Douglas.
The rainbow trout come from the
Boulder Fish Hatchery near Pinedale. The Wyoming and
Fish Department says the rainbows average 13 inches
long. They include older hatchery fish retired from
egg production. Game and Fish commonly releases such
fish as well as extra younger fish it has raised for
Some 700 fish were released in
the North Platte between Alcova and Gray Reef dams.
Another 700 fish were released in the North Platte
near Keith Rider Park in Douglas.
(Mon 12/8/14) - The
Douglas City Council has given their approval
to a couple of worker-targetted housing projects.
At Monday night's meeting,
council approved an application to develop an
extended-stay hotel at 1163 Prosperity Drive in the
Douglas Business Park. Granite Peak Development will
build a four-story Value Place hotel with 124 rooms.
City Council also said yes to
an application to develop a Mobile Home Park at 914
North 4th Street. Developer Ron McNare said there
would be 51 spaces in the new mobile home park.
Both projects hope to break
ground this spring.
(Mon 12/8/14) - The
Wyoming Highway Patrol is sending more troopers
to patrol a highway through the booming oil patch in
the Powder River Basin.
Traffic on Wyoming Highway 59
between Gillette and Douglas has surged more than 40
percent over the past year. Oil production in the
area has doubled over the past five years.
The Highway Patrol began
assigning additional troopers to the highway in
October to try to reduce speeding, aggressive driving
and illegal passing.
Ten troopers already patrol the
100-mile stretch of highway. The Highway Patrol plans
to send special details of up to eight additional
troopers two to three times a week.
Highway Patrol officials say
the additional troopers will come from the Casper and
(Fri 12/5/14) -
Increasing energy traffic on Highway 59
north of Douglas has brought on a stronger presence
by the Wyoming Highway Patrol.
Troopers have increased their
enforcement efforts between Douglas and Gillette,
working altered shifts, and additional troopers have
been brought in from other divisions to assist.
From October 25th through
November 25th, Wyoming State Troopers issued 325
citations and 141 warnings on WY 59 between Douglas
and Gillette. Violations cited include speed, seat
belt, improper lane use, following too close,
improper turning, stop sign, impaired driving,
careless driving, equipment violations, driver's
license violations, registration violations, vehicle
insurance, drug possession, underage alcohol
possession and commercial vehicle violations.
In this same time frame,
preliminary numbers show 31 crashes occurred on WY 59
between Douglas and Gillette. One of those crashes
resulted in one fatality, eight of those crashes
resulted in 14 injuries and 22 of those crashes
resulted in property damage only.
(Wed 12/3/14) - Several Converse
County musicians have earned high school All-State
honors. Douglas High School's Jarak Brown
and Morgan Grosdidier, and Glenrock High School's
Corbin Blanton have been named to the 2015 Wyoming
All-State Band; Douglas's Olivia Kitterman and
Glenrock's Chris Sater have been named to the
All-State Orchestra; and Ashley Borman and Carson
Black from Douglas and Mary Cotton and Jonathan Finch
from Glenrock have been named members of the 2015
All will perform as part of the
Wyoming High School Activities Association's All-State Music Festival January 19th and 20th at