KKTY NEWS Apr 11 Archive


(Mon 4/25/11) - CHIEF EVANS FIRED... The City Of Douglas hangs out the help sign ad again. Following more than two hours in executive session, the Douglas City Council voted to terminate Police Chief Ryan Evans. Here's City Administrator Steve Henning... audio here

Douglas Mayor Bruce Jones was the lone dissenting vote. The action follows a month of upheaval at the Douglas Police Department. On Tuesday, April 12th, Sergeant Ron Casalenda and officer Nyle McDonald were placed on administrative leave. An external investigation was conducted on April 14th and 15th. Police Chief Ryan Evans was placed on suspension Sunday the 24th, and Casalenda was returned to duty as acting police chief.

(Mon 4/25/11) - What's next for Converse County Oil? Plenty of good questions and plenty of answers offered as state officials met local landowners and lawmakers last night at the Douglas High School auditorium. The panel discussion on state agency oversight of the Niobrara shale oil development was hosted and moderated by Wyoming State Senator Jim Anderson. The panel included Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission Supervisor, Tom Doll; John Corra, the Director of the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality; and Mark Eisele, Laramie County land owner and Vice President of the Wyoming Stock Growers Association. Wyoming State Engineer Pat Tyrrell said the group welcomed an opportunity to answer questions... audio here

Tyrrell said they heard a lot of questions about water use in a potential oil play... audio here

Senator Jim Anderson said he called the panel discussion to give folks a chance to learn more about the Niobrara Shale oil development... audio here

About 75 people attended Monday night's meeting.

(Mon 4/11/11) - At the end of the meeting, no action taken, and hopefully, no action needed. The Converse County Commmissioners held a public hearing this afternoon to consider putting a temporary weight limit on county roads. The 20-ton weight limit was proposed in response to a request last week by several county residents who had concerns about the possibility of gravel trucks from a new quarry using Natural Bridge and Spring Canyon Roads. The commissioners seemed to be prepared to put the 90-day temporary weight restrictions in place to allow time for engineering studies to be completed, but concerns were voiced about ranchers needing to take cattle to market, and tourist busses needing access to Natural Bridge this summer. After about a half-hour's discussion, Diemer True, representing Signet Stone, the gravel quarry hauling the rock, came up with a suggestion... audio here

True said that while they worked out a long-term solution, he'd voluntarily hold the weight limit on trucks coming out of the quarry... audio here

While there was still some concern voiced about the number and the speed of the trucks using those rural roads west of town, the commissioners and many of those in attendance seemed happy with the True's offer to run half-loaded trucks while the engineering studies are completed and everyone works towards a long-term solution.

(Mon 4/11/11) - Over a hundred people showed up at the Converse County Courthouse for public hearings to discuss Wasatch Wind Energy's request for a county permit to construct a 62-turbine wind park in the mountains south of Glenrock. In addition to hearing many comments pro- and con- from members of the public, the commissioners heard tonight from the applicants, Wasatch Wind and from the Northern Laramie Range Alliance, who's opposing the development. Michelle Stevens with Wasatch said they appreciated the chance to answer questions tonight... audio here

Peter Nicolaysen is legal council for the NLRA... audio here

Converse County Commission Chairman Mike Colling says he feels like the commissioiners got a lot of valuable input to help with their decision making process... audio here

Following last night's hearing, the Converse County Commisioners have three options... grant Wastatch Wind's request for a permit, grant the permit with limited conditions, or deny the permit. Colling said that the State Industrial Siting Council will hold a hearing in late May, and the County will make its decision before then... audio here

If Wasatch gets its needed permit approvals, construction could begin on the first phase of the Pioneer Park Wind Farm project sometime this summer.

(Mon 4/11/11) - The Converse County Commissioners have a busy afternoon ahead of them today. The Commissioners will hold a special meeting at 4:30 p.m. this afternoon in the Commissioners" Chambers at the Courthouse to consider adopting an amendment to Converse County Resolution 13-07 addressing weight limits on county roads to include Ayres Natural Bridge Road (CR 13). Several county residents addressed the Commissioners last week with concerns about the possibility of gravel trucks from a new quarry using Natural Bridge and Spring Canyon Roads. Area rancher Leon Chamberlain spoke for the group and presented a list of nine major concerns. The group requested a public hearing to set weight limits at a 25 ton maximum, have a DEQ study regarding dust and an Environmental Impact study. If the resolution is adopted by the Commission, a public hearing will promptly be scheduled where interested parties can comment on the adopted resolution as amended.

At 5:30 pm this evening, the Converse County Commission return their focus to wind energy, specifically Wasatch Wind's proposed Pioneer Wind Park projects south of Glenrock. The two-phase project would erect a total of 62 wind turbines and would generate about 100 megawatts of power. Tonight's hearing will discuss Wasatch's request for a county permit and allow public input on that request. In their posted guidelines for tonight's hearing, the Converse County Commissioners state that... "Through a thorough and in-depth public process, the County has adopted a permit for wind energy in Converse County. Now that we have a permit, the County"s obligation is to determine if the application meets the requirements set forth in the permitting process. After the hearing the Commissioners will have 3 options - 1: Grant the permit... 2: Grant the permit, with limited conditions... 3: Deny the permit. If the Commissioners determine that the applicant has met the requirements of the permit, the County is obligated to issue the permit as provided for by state law and the County permit." At tonight's hearing, Wasatch will get 15 minutes to present its project, then the hearing will be open to the public. Individual speakers will be limited to 5 minutes each, and commissioners are requesting that comments be focused on the application submitted by Wasatch Wind and how they addressed the requirements of the permit. This is the first hearing for any project under the county's new industrial permitting process. Tonight's public hearing is, of course, open to the public, it begins at 5:30pm at the Converse County Courthouse in Douglas.

(Mon 4/11/11) - No Quiet Crossings for Douglas... The Wyoming Department of Transportation plans to review railroad crossings around the state to help develop quiet zones in cities and towns. The Wyoming Legislature this year put up $5 million for improvements in communities most affected by train noise. While Douglas has three crossings in town, the Jackalope City is not on WYDOT's list for quiet zone crossings. The state has set the following communities as top priorities: Casper, Cheyenne, Evanston, Gillette, Laramie, Lusk, Newcastle, Rawlins, Sheridan, Torrington and Wheatland. Gregg Fredrick is WYDOT's assistant chief engineer. He said Monday that the department is considering installing new gate systems and horns at crossings to reduce noise while maintaining public safety. Reviews of railroad crossings will begin this summer.


(Fri 4/8/11) - A couple of familiar names receive appointments to the Wyoming Community Development Authority Board of Directors. Governor Matt Mead has named Pat Hand and Rob Boner to serve four-year terms on the WCDA Board. Hand and Boner replaced Kemmerer attorney Joe Bluemel and Gillette retired banker Ron Bailey, who both had reached the end of their two-term limits. Hand is a retired attorney who currently lives in Cheyenne. Prior to settling in Cheyenne, he was an attorney in Douglas for 45 years. He has served on the Board of Directors for the Wyoming Highway Commission and on the Environmental Quality Council. He currently volunteers with the Wyoming State Bar Association and also sits on the Cheyenne Historical Preservation Board of Directors. Boner is a lifelong Wyoming resident and a partner in a family ranching operation in Converse County. Boner is a school board member in Converse County School District #1 and a member on the Converse Area New Development Organization Board of Directors. The WCDA finances affordable housing in Wyoming - this includes financing first-time homebuyer loans, housing rehabilitation loans, and allocating federal funds for the construction and preservation of affordable rental housing.

(Fri 4/8/11) - The National Guard goes deer hunting at Camp Guernsey. Increased air traffic at the camp has made the deer that frequently gather on and around the runway, a growing safety issue. Camp Guernsey Joint Training Center has received a special permit from the Wyoming Game and Fish Department to harvest 20 mule deer to mitigate safety concerns on the camp's runway.\line Twelve deer have been harvested under the permit, which was issued Jan. 5 and runs throughout the calendar year. Stipulations on the permit include all harvested deer must be tested for chronic wasting disease by labs at the University of Wyoming, the meat from the deer that test negative must be donated for consumption, and any antlers must be turned over to the Game and Fish. Two of the deer tested showed positive results for the disease and have been properly disposed to minimize further wildlife infection.