KKTY NEWS June 09 Archive

(Mon 6/29/09) - Fire officials are investigating the cause of a Saturday fire night at a Douglas church. No one was hurt in the fire at Frontier Baptist Church at 2345 East Richards, but the Douglas Volunteer Fire Department took more than two hours to put out the blaze. The fire apparently started in an unused walk-in cooler behind the building. Frontier Baptist Church owns the building that used to be the old Hoggie's Country Inn restaurant on East Richards across from the truck stop. While the cooler was a total loss, damage to the church building was minimal.


(Fri 6/25/09) - A federal judge has denied a former Wyoming highway patrol trooper's request to dismiss federal charges against him. Former trooper Franklin Ryle has pleaded not guilty to three civil rights charges alleging he violated a Wal-Mart truck driver's rights during an aborted murder plot early this year. Ryle's attorney sought to have two of the charges dismissed. He argued that federal prosecutors had misapplied the law. U.S. District Judge Clarence Brimmer yesterday denied Ryle's motion to dismiss the charges. Federal prosecutors say Ryle took the truck driver into custody in January with plans to kill the driver and crash the truck into his patrol car to collect damages from Wal-Mart. Ryle aborted the plan and released the truck driver.


(Fri 6/25/09) - Jackson Police Chief Dan Zivkovich has told his staff and the town manager he's resigning. Town Administrator Bob McLaurin said he believes Zivkovich will leave around July 10 for a police academy job in Massachusetts. Zivkovich said earlier this month that he had a conditional offer of employment in Massachusetts. Zivkovich was a former director at the Wyoming Law Enforcement Academy here in Douglas.

(Thu 6/25/09) - A deputy-in-training for the Converse County Sheriff's Department has resigned after his arrest on drunken-driving charges outside the Wyoming Law Enforcement Academy in Douglas. Twenty-three-year-old David Ocampo of Douglas told the Casper Star-Tribune in Wednesday's editions he was arrested last week after a scuffle at a bar. Ocampo says he was attacked after trying to defuse a confrontation. He says he left the bar, moved his car a short distance and got a ride to the academy. Police say witnesses claim Ocampo hit someone with a beer bottle. Officers say they saw him back up his car at high speed and later found him in a car outside the academy. Ocampo has apologized to the community, saying officers must live up to a high standard.

(Thu 6/25/09) - Unemployment jumps again. Wyoming recorded a seasonally adjusted jobless rate of 5 percent in May, its highest level since June 1999 and up from 4.5 percent in April. The Wyoming Department of Employment's Research and Planning Section says the state's over-the-year job growth rate was minus 1.6 percent, its worst performance since 1987. Still, Wyoming's unemployment rate was better than the national average for May of 9.4 percent. The mining and natural resources sector in Wyoming lost 2,500 jobs over the year while construction lost 2,400 jobs. The highest unemployment rates for May were in Big Horn County at 7.6 percent and Lincoln County at 6.6 percent. Albany County recorded the lowest rate at 3.1 percent, followed by Sublette at 3.6 percent, and Campbell and Goshen counties at 4.1 percent. Here in Converse County, unemployment jumped from 2.6 percent in May of 2008 to 4.7 percent this May.

(Thu 6/25/09) - Father's Day was bitter-sweet this year for thousands of soldiers deploying with the National Guard's 115th Fires Brigade as they marked the official end to the pre-deployment process in Fort Hood, Texas. The brigade includes more than 2,300 guardsmen from units in Wyoming and four other states. Several soldiers from Douglas and Glenrock are among the group. They arrived at Fort Hood in mid-April to train with the First Army Division West's 120th Infantry Brigade. The brigade will depart late this month to spend approximately nine months in Kuwait and Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

(Wed 6/24/09) - A federal judge says he's not inclined to grant a former Wyoming highway patrol trooper's request to dismiss federal charges against him. Former trooper Joe Ryle of Douglas is accused of violating a Wal-Mart truck driver's rights during an aborted murder plot early this year. He has pleaded not guilty to three civil rights charges. Ryle's lawyer asked U.S. District Judge Clarence Brimmer yesterday to toss two charges. The lawyer says Ryle couldn't have violated the trucker's rights by kidnapping him because Ryle didn't take him across state lines. Brimmer says he will enter a written ruling later. The judge says he's inclined to agree with prosecutors that federal civil rights violations don't require proving the same elements as prosecuting a federal crime.

(Mon 6/22/09) - Douglas residents will get a couple more chances to watch their city council in action. In addition to their regular broadcasts of City Council meetings, Communicom Cable has begun broadcasting the council's pre-meeting work sessions on cable channel 61. The work sessions begin at 6:30pm and council meetings are held at 7pm on the second and fourth Mondays of each month. And if you can't catch the meetings live, Communicom is now rebroadcasting council work sessions and meetings at noon on Wednesdays on channel 61. Work sessions and meetings will be re-broadcast weekly on Wednesdays until the next meeting occurs.

(Mon 6/22/09) - Council is scheduled to meet tonight for their second meeeting of June. In tonight's pre-meeting work session, Council will discuss final budget adjustments, revised sewer and water rate calculations, and get details on a sanitation rate adjustment. On the agenda will be an emergency appropriation ordinance adopting the fiscal year 2010 budget. Council tonight will also consider a conditional use permit for a daycare on Meadow Drive in an R2 zone, will consider a TEAL grant application to create a bike and walking path on city-owned land along the abandoned rail line from Robin Lane to Richards Street, which would serve the West Plains Subdivision, and will also consider a resolution adopting the city's Integrated Solid Waste Management Plan that will outline the continued use of the Douglas Municipal Landfill. Council 's work session begins tonight at 6:30 at City Hall, with the city council meeting to follow at 7pm. Council meetings are open to the public, and are broadcast live on Communicom Cable Channel 61.

(Thu 6/18/09) - A federal prosecutor is standing by a charge against a former Wyoming Highway Patrol trooper in an alleged scheme to kidnap and murder a Wal-Mart truck driver. An attorney for 42-year-old Joe Ryle of Douglas has asked a judge to dismiss a charge that Ryle solicited another trooper, Devan Henderson, to participate in a violent crime. Prosecutor Edward Caspar on Wednesday filed a response defending the charge, saying Ryle is accused of depriving the trucker of his constitutional rights. Ryle is accused of unlawfully arresting the trucker in January. He allegedly planned to kill him, stage a crash and collect settlement money, but released him without finishing the plan. Ryle has pleaded not guilty. Henderson hasn't been charged.

(Tue 6/9/09) - No bells, frills or whistles... that's how Douglas City Administrator Bobbe Fitzhugh described the 2009-2010 budget that she presented to the Douglas City Council last night. The $16 million dollar city budget came in at about $549 thousand dollars under last year's budget. In her overview, Fitzhugh noted that department heads were asked to present operating budget requests at or below prior year figures. There are no cost-of-living increases proposed in this year's city budget. The report noted strong cash reserves due to healthy sales and use tax collections, but projections are showing a cautious leveling of those numbers. The City Council is expected to adopt the city's budget at their next meeting on Monday, June 22nd. The City Council also put a lock on paychecks last night. The council voted to put a freeze on salaries, bonuses and other types of compensation pending review by council and staff.

(Mon 6/8/09) - All three of the members of Wyoming's Congressional Delegation were in Douglas this weekend. Senator Mike Enzi, Senator John Barrasso and Representative Cynthia Lummis were at the Wyoming State Fairgrounds Saturday for the opening luncheon of the 61st Annual Wyoming Boys State. Senator Barrasso had advice for the Boys Staters... audio here

Senator Enzi is a former Wyoming boys Stater...audio here

Enzi attended Wyoming Boys State in Douglas 48 years ago, in 1961. Representative Lummis told the boys to take advantage of the chance to meet other future leaders... audio here

The 61st Annual Wonderful Wyoming Boys State gives high school senior boys from across the state a chance to learn the fundamental principals of American government through actual practice and control of city and state offices over the week of Boys State. Activities continue through Friday at the Wyoming State Fairgrounds, with a trip to the state capitol in Cheyenne on Thursday. Wyoming Boys State is an annual program sponsored by the American Legion.


(Wed 6/3/09) - The bridge is open! Douglas residents again have two ways to cross the North Platte River in Douglas as the Yellowstone Highway bridge reopened today. The first traffic crossed the five-lane bridge at around 12:10 this afternoon. The new bridge replaces an 86-year-old structure that was closed last spring due to its deteriorating condition. Featuring two walking lanes and decorative boulevard-style lighting, the bridge also showcases Douglas's mascot, the Jackalope, with custom iron cutouts along its railings. WYDOT says they'll continue to do finish work on the bridge over the next couple of weeks, an traffic may by limited to two lanes at times, so you'll need to continue to watch out for contruction workers and equipment. WYDOT also says that they'll probably close the Pearson Street detour on Thursday, so drivers who've become used to using Pearson will have to re-route.


(Tue 6/2/09) - A busy Memorial Day weekend for the cops at Glendo Reservoir. Game and Fish Department law enforcement officers issued 27 citations and 24 warnings for a total of $4,630 in fines for fishing and boating violations at Glendo over the long weekend. The special Law Enforcement Task Force, made up of nine game wardens, was in place to address the large boating crowds at Glendo on holiday weekends. However, cool rainy weather kept boating violations to a minimum and most citations issued were for fishing violations. Glenrock Game Warden Gary Boyd said the number one violation was for over-the-limit of fish . Game & Fish issued 13 citations and seized 222 walleye from anglers who had too many fish. One group of four anglers from Colorado and Utah had 45 walleye, and another group of six anglers from Colorado had 71. The possession limit for walleye is six fish per angler.

(Mon 6/1/09) - You'll have to be patient just a little bit longer... the new Jackalope Bridge on West Yellowstone won't be opening til Wednesday. Jim Barnes is WyDot District Two resident engineer... audio here

Barnes says they'll still be doing finish work after the bridge opens... audio here

Once again, the tenative date to open the bridge is now Wendesday, June 3rd.


And in Sports...


(Tue 6/30/09) - A new look for Wyoming's American Legion Baseball Tournaments. Next month's District tournaments will include both AA and A teams, instead of splitting out into separate tournaments as they have in the past. The North District Tournament in Casper will see AA teams from Casper, Sheridan and Gillette, as well as A teams from Casper, Gillette, Sheridan, Riverton, Cody, Jackson, Lovell, Powell and the Douglas Cats. The South District Tournament in Rock Springs will include AA teams from Rock Springs, Laramie, Evanston, Torrington and Cheyenne, as well as A teams from Cheyenne, Laramie, Rawlins, Wheatland and Newcastle. District Tournaments are set for July 23rd through the 25th... the top four teams from each district will advance to the State Tournament in Rock Springs July 29th - August 2nd.

The Douglas Cats are at home tonight. Douglas hosts a pair with Laramie... games at 5:30 and 7pm at Nida Field at the Douglas Rec Center.

(Mon 6/29/09) - A Douglas cowgirl will advance to national competition. At the Wyoming State High School Rodeo here in Douglas this weekend, Raegen Scott had a fast run in the short go yesterday morning to finish second in the 3-go average in barrel racing. Added to her season standings, Scott makes the Wyoming team for Nationals. Brayden Huxtable was not so lucky. Huxtable led the standings in steer wrestling coming into the short-go yesterday morning. He drew a rubberneck steer that wouldn't go down, fought him for just over thirty seconds and had to take a no time. Huxtable will serve as alternate in steer wrestling on the Nationials team. Raegen Scott will also serve as alternate in goat tying. The 2009 National High School Finals Rodeo gets underway July 19th in Farmington, New Mexico. Click here for complete State rodeo results and Nationals qualifiers.

(Thu 6/25/09) - The State High School Rodeo Finals get underway in Douglas this morning, and several area cowboys and cowgirls are high in the standings coming into this final weekend of action. Jordan Thurston of Lance Creek leads the state in goat tying, Raegen Scott sits in the #2 slot in barrel racing, Brayden Huxtable of Douglas sits second in steer wrestling, and JR Vezain of Lance Creek is tied for second in barebacks. Rodeo performances are scheduled for 9am and 6:30pm today, tomorrow and Saturday. Sunday morning there's a church service at 8 in the Ft Casper building... crowing of the queen is Sunday morning at 10, grand entry's at 10:30 and the final rodeo short-go performance is Sunday morning at 11.

(Thu 6/25/09) - A pair of losses last night for the Cats. In American Legion baseball play at Torrington, Douglas lost 5-1 in the early game, ans 14-4 in the nitecap. The Cats travel to Powell for tournament play this weekend... they'll meet Billings in the first game Friday at 4pm.

(Mon 6/15/09) - A short game for Wyoming's All-Star football players. Saturday night's Shrine Bowl game at Casper was cancelled due to rain and lightning as thunderstorms moved through the area. The game was called Saturday night at 9pm, about the time that the National Weather Service at Riverton put the Casper area under a tornado warning due to storms northeast of town. The game was tied 3-3 when it was called early in the second quarter. It was just the third time that the game's been called in the 36 year history of the series.

(Mon 6/15/09) - All-star roundballers took a split this weekend. In the Wyoming-Montana All Star basketball series, Montana took the Friday night game at Sheridan, 117 to 94. Wyoming came back Saturday night to take a hard-fought, 90-86 victory at Rocky Mountain College in Billings. Rage Geringer of Guernsey-Sunrise hit a game-tying 3-point shot to produce overtime and then scored nine of his game-high 20 points in the extra session.\line\line Both of the girls games saw the win go north of the border. Montana bashed Wyoming 82-53 at Sheridan Friday... Wyoming narrowed the gap Satuday night at Billings, but still lost 83-76.

(Mon 6/15/09) - Muddy arena conditions may not have helped the times and scores, but the Wyoming High School Rodeo Association wrapped up their spring season with a pair of rodeos in Douglas over the weekend. All jackpots were cancelled due to conditions, and event organizers made the decision midweek last week to move pole bending and barrel racing into the north arena. Scores should be available a little later this morning, and we'll know then who'll represent Converse County when the Wyoming State High School Finals Rodeo returns to Douglas. The State Finals Rodeo starts Wednesday, June 24th and runs through Sunday the 28th at the Wyoming State Fairgrounds.\line\line }

(Mon 6/1/09) - The Cats go 0 for 4 this weekend... In American Legion Baseball play, Douglas fell 17 to 3 and 11-10 at Laramie, then dropped both games of their home opener on Sunday, losing a pair of close games to Sheridan, 11-10 and 5-4. Douglas will try to get back into the win column tomorrow night when they host a 9-inning game with Casper. Opening pitch Tuesday night at 6 at Nida Field.