KKTY NEWS Apr 09 Archive


(Mon 4/27/09) - Jurisdictional issues are holding up resolution of drainage problems on Brownfield Road at the West Plains subdivision. The Douglas City Council got an update on the problem tonight. When the subdivision was first brought into the city in the late 70's, no requirements were placed for curb and gutter or drainage on Brownfield Road, which was then and is now a county road. When the property was developed in the past few years, roads were paved and now drain out onto Brownfield Road, which isn't able to handle the amount of water that drains out. That, in turn, creates problems for adjacent landowners, who've suffered water problems this winter. Douglas City Attorney Jim Hardee explains the legal issue... audio here

City Administrator Bobbe Fitzhugh told the council the the question of jurisdiction leaves the property owners going in circles... audio here

While the City can't legally fix a County road, Fitzhugh says they're still trying to come up with a possible solution... audio here

Again, the meeting between the city, the county, the developer and the landowners will be next Tuesday, May 5th, at the County Commissioners chambers at the Converse County Courthouse.

(Mon 4/27/09) - Unemployment numbers in Converse County are following the statewide trend... they're going up. Numbers released last week by the Wyoming Department of Employment showed Converse County unemploymnet at 5 percent in March... that's up from 4.3 percent in February and 3.1 percent in March of 2008. Counties with the highest unemployment rates in the state were Big Horn County at 8.7 percent and Lincoln County at 8 percent... the lowest unemployment rate was in Sublette County at 3.3 percent. Statewide, unemployment stands at 4.5 percent... the national rate is at 8.5 percent.

(Thu 4/23/09) - The lawyer representing a Wyoming state trooper accused of violating another man's rights in January by kidnapping him at gunpoint and unlawfully arresting him has asked a judge to dismiss the charges. The Justice Department last month filed charges against trooper Joe Ryle of Douglas. He remains in custody in Gering, Nebraska. Details of the allegations against Ryle have been sealed in court. Assistant Federal Public Defender Jim Barrett represents Ryle. Barrett filed a request Wednesday asking U.S. District Judge Clarence Brimmer of Cheyenne to dismiss the charges. Barrett says federal law requires a person to take another across state lines against their will to support a charge of kidnapping. Barrett says that didn't happen in Ryle's case.

(Wed 4/22/09) - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plans to kill two wolves that are believed to have killed a yearling calf in the Laramie Mountains south of Glenrock. Mike Jimenez, the service's wolf coordinator for Wyoming, says a rancher in the area of the Deer Creek drainage south of Glenrock reported the depredation last week. Wildlife Services agents confirmed the calf was killed by wolves. Jimenez says it's common for wolves to disperse around the state during the winter, but this is the farthest east that wolves have been spotted in Wyoming. Jimenez says the two black wolves apparently paired up southeast of Casper and are not collared. While wolves are protected as endangered species, Wildlife Services routinely kills wolves that attack livestock.

(Tue 4/21/09) - The Converse County Sheriff's Office has arrested a Gillette man who didn't report to prison after being convicted of distributing drug paraphernalia. Jeffrey Wayne Doles had been wanted since December for not reporting to serve a three-year federal prison sentence. He was picked up in Converse County on Friday. The 38-year-old Doles sold water pipes and other smoking accessories from a Gillette store called Hip Hop Hippies. He was acquitted of drug paraphernalia charges in state court but a federal jury convicted him last year on three counts of distributing drug paraphernalia. Doles called The Associated Press on Monday, April 13, and proclaimed his innocence. A reverse phone check revealed that Doles had called from the home of his mother and sister in Gillette.

(Mon 4/20/09) - A lawyer representing a Wyoming state trooper accused of federal civil rights violations has asked a judge to send the trooper for mental health counseling. The Justice Department last month charged Trooper Joe Ryle of Douglas with violating another man's civil rights in January by kidnapping him at gunpoint and unlawfully arresting him. Ryle is a 12-year veteran of the patrol and remains in custody at a detention center in Gering, Nebraska. Assistant Federal Public Defender Jim Barrett in Cheyenne represents Ryle. Barrett has filed papers in court informing U.S. District Judge Clarence Brimmer of Cheyenne that Ryle is so depressed that it might affect his ability to consult with his lawyer. Barrett asked\par the judge to allow Ryle to get mental health counseling in Nebraska.

(Mon 4/20/09) - This week is Severe Weather Awareness Week across Wyoming, and John Sullivan with the National Weather Service in Cheyenne says it's a good time to shift our thoughts from blizzards to tornados... audio here

Sullivan says that during Severe Weather Week, schools, businesses and people in their homes can think about how they'll respond if and when thunderstorms produce large hail and wind in their area... audio here

Sullivan says you can get more information on Severe Weather week at their website... audio here

National Weather Service/Cheyenne

(Mon 4/20/09) - Douglas music lovers will get a free earful tonight. The Douglas Area Chamber of Commerce and the Douglas High School Music Department present "Winds of Freedom", a woodwind quintet from the United States Air Force's Heartland of America Band. The group performs classical, jazz and standard woodwind quintet music. Admission to the concert is free, but tickets are required. You can pick up your free tickets today at the Douglas Chamber at the depot at Center and Brownfield. The concert begins tonight at 7 at the Douglas High School auditorium.


(Fri 4/17/09) - A Conversation With US Senator John Barrasso... Senator Barrasso talks with KKTY's Dennis Switzer about the budget, immigration, gun rights and his Easter trip to Afghanistan and Iraq last weekend. The interview lasts almost 17 minutes, so we've broken it down into three parts to make it easier to download...



(Fri 4/17/09) - The Rocky Mountain Power Foundation has awarded a $2,500 grant to the Boys & Girls Club of Central Wyoming to help support Power Hour, a program for 6- to 18-year-old students in Glenrock and Douglas. Converse County Boys & Girls Club area director Kristine Koss says Power Hour is one of the Club's strongest programs... audio here

Koss says it's more than just homework, though... audio here

Leslie Blythe is Rocky Mountain Power's customer and community service manager... she says the $2500 dollar grant is part of an ongoing program... audio here

Blythe says the Rocky Mountain Power Foundation is excited to be able to help out an organization that plays such a strong part in the community... audio here

(Thu 4/16/09) - The Wyoming Department of Transportation has broken ground on a project to widen U.S. Highway 287 from Laramie to the Colorado border. The stretch of road has been the site of numerous fatal accidents, including a 2001 crash in which Shane Shatto of Douglas and seven other members of the University of Wyoming men's cross country team were killed in a head-on collision. The department on Wednesday started work to expand the highway from two to four lanes for about 26 miles. The first phase of the project is the expansion of a four-mile stretch of the road between mileposts 415 and 419, south of Tie Siding. Department resident engineer Steve Cook says the state budgeted $9.1 million for the project's first phase. Cook says the department doesn't know how long the entire project will take.

(Thu 4/16/09) - A handful of heavy metal for Douglas High School's Skills USA team. At last week's state competition, the Skills crew brought home five gold medals, three silvers and two bronzes. The team of Tanner Chenowith, Skeeter Judd and Trae Seebaum placed first in Community Service, Paul Switzer placed first and Tim Fosmo placed second in Motorcycle Service Technology, Bray Huxtable earned gold and Phil Harmeyer went bronze in Precision Machining Technology, Zach Steward placed second in Related Technical Math. In the Welding competition, Blake Parks took the gold and Curtis Stoltenberg earned a bronze, and in intermediate Welding, Trae Seebaum beat Bray Huxtable by one point... Seebaum placed first, Huxtable placed second. The Douglas chapter also earned 3A Chapter of the Year honors. All gold medalists at last week's State competition will head for Skilss USA's National Competition in Kansas City in June.

(Tue 4/14/09) - Federal stimulus monies could buy a couple of bus stops for Douglas. That's a project being explored by Douglas Public Transportation. Director Trish Harrison presented the project to the Douglas City Council last night. $400 million dollars of President Obama's stimulus package is targetted towards transportation projects, and Harrison said they'd like to apply for grants for passenger shelters. She said the streetside bus stops would help keep their busses out of busy parking lots... audio here

Harrison said their proposal would include three bus stops, located off of main streets... one on Oak Street at 4th, just south of the Douglas Grocery Parking lot... audio here

Harrison said that Douglas Public Transportation would be responsible for maintenance and upkeep of the proposed shelters. Douglas City Council passed a motion to approve a resolution supporting the shelters. DPT can now pursue grant funding for the project.

(Mon 4/13/09) - A really big windfarm for Converse County? The State Board of Land Commissioners has approved a special-use lease for a $4 billion wind farm in the western part of the county. The Clipper Windpower Development Company project would be much larger than other wind farms projects in Converse and Natrona counties. Rocky Mountian Power's Glenrock Wind Farm includes 158 wind turbines... Duke Energy's Campbell Hill Project, which will be built this summer, will include 66 turbines. The total Clipper Windpower project will be built in phases, with a total capacity of 2,000 megawatts from 800 turbines, and will encompass 109,740 acres, including 7,614 acres of state land. The Board of Land Commissioners on Thursday approved a special use lease on the state's land for 35 years.

(Wed 4/1/09) - Duke Energy says it will build a 20-turbine wind plant near Cheyenne and has lined up power purchase agreements with two regional utilities. The Charlotte, N.C., company says it plans to start construction of the 42-megawatt Silver Sage Windpower Project this spring and begin operation by the end of the year. The plant will be located west of Cheyenne, adjacent to Duke Energy's 29-megawatt Happy Jack wind farm. Black Hills Corp. says its subsidiary, Cheyenne Light, Fuel and\par Power, will purchase 30 megawatts of Silver Sage energy. The Platte River Power Authority, based in Fort Collins, Colo., has agreed to purchase the remaining 12 megawatts.

Duke Energy is also developing the Campbell Hill Wind Farm, a 66-turbine project northwest of Glenrock that will that will produce up to 99 megawatts of power when it goes on line later this year.

(Wed 4/1/09) - A Wyoming state trooper accused of federal civil rights violations will remain in custody. The U.S. Department of Justice last week charged that trooper Franklin Joseph Ryle of Douglas kidnapped a person at gunpoint in January and unlawfully arrested him. A federal magistrate last week sealed court papers spelling out details of the government's case against the trooper. Ryle appeared before a federal magistrate on Tuesday in Casper. The 41-year-old waived his right to a preliminary hearing that would have required a federal lawyer to lay out the case against him in court. Ryle also waived a detention hearing, meaning that he will remain in custody until he's arraigned in federal court later. Lawyers on both sides declined comment after the hearing.