KKTY NEWS June '10 Archive



(Tue 6/29/10) - The 4th of July means picnics and barbecues, flags and fireworks... and the Douglas Volunteer Fire Department is looking for some help from the community to help finish paying for this year's fireworks show. The annual event features a half-hour show that costs the department about $6 thousand dollars each year. According to the fire department's Cher Bailey, they've collected about $45 hundred dollars towards this year's fireworks display. The department sent out letters to area businesses earlier this month and got good response, but Bailey says some of the letters came back as undeliverable, so they're putting out the call to businesses and individuals once again to help cover the final $1500 dollars of the show, which is presented to the public free of charge. If you or your business would like to make a donation, large or small, eveything is appreciated, mail it to PO Box 679 in Douglas, or drop off your donations at My Realty or Arrow Electric.

This year's Boomin' 4th of July Celebration begins at dusk, around 9:30pm Sunday night, at the back parking lot at Douglas High School. While you won't be able to park in the parking lot itself, you're welcome to park on the adjoining streets... or bring a blanket or lawn chairs and enjoy the show from the practice field on the east end of the parking lot. As always, music to watch fireworks by will be provided at the high school and on your radio on KKTY-99.3 FM.

(Mon 6/28/10) - The City Budget is up for approval tonight. At the June 14th Douglas City Council meeting, a much-smaller draft fiscal year 2010-2011 Douglas Municipal Budget was presented in a public hearing to the city council. After a couple of weeks to digest the contents of the paperwork, the council will tonight move ahead with action on that budget. Tonight's council work session is set for 6:30pm... the City Council meeting is at 7. Both are open to the public in the council chambers at Douglas City Hall. Council meetings are also broadcast live on Communicom Cable channel 61. The complete agenda and packet for tonight's meeting is available online at www.cityofdouglaswy.com.

(Fri 6/25/10) - Good news from up-river. Converse County Emergency Manager Russ Dalgarn says the Bureau of Reclamation has started to cut back the release out of Grey Reef Reservoir at midnight last night by 250 cfs. At midnight they were releasing 7005 cfs. They plan to continue cutting the releases at midnight each day by 250 cfs for the next 5 days until they reach the 6000 cfs release rate. We have not been at that release rate since the 16th of June. They plan to hold that rate through the 6th of July before making any further cuts to the rate. July 21st is the projected date to be near normal river flows for this time of year.

With the decreases in flow and height of the river levels the ground water will slowly start to return to normal as well aiding those living near the river with their septic system flow issues. The projected maximum level for Glendo Reservoir has been lowered to 4,648.79 for the 3rd of July. This will be an increased elevation change of less than one vertical foot from current conditions. Inflows into the upper North Platte drainage have been lower than initially anticipated providing more storage capacity in both Seminoe and Pathfinder.

(Fri 6/25/10) - As expected, water continues to rise at Glendo State Park resulting in increased flooding to campsites, roadways and structures. The good news, however, is that State Park officials have opened additional designated campsites and three day use areas. With the addition of these designated campsites and the help of Glendo Marina, Glendo State Park now has 202, which is roughly half of the number of sites available during a normal year. Many of these sites are already occupied. Glendo Marina reports they have 40 campsites available In addition, Howard's, located at the Glendo exit #111 off of I-25 is now offering 35 free spaces for RV camping, first come, first serve only. Visitors can inquire at: (307) 735-4252. Additionally, Glendo State Park staff have opened four day use areas -the West and East end of Shelter Point; the picnic shelter at Two Moon campground and Dune Campground at Sandy Beach.

(Tue 6/22/10) - Too much water, and the tourists are coming. That was the basic message yesterday as state officials, the media, area residents and stakeholders met at Glendo Reservoir for an update on the North Platte River system. High water levels have forced Glendo State Park to cut back severely on services offered. About 80 percent of the Park's campgrounds are underwater, the 4th of July weekend is less than 2 weeks away, and over 15 thousand campers and boaters are expected at the lake on the biggest weekend of the year. John Lawson, with the Bureau of Reclamation, says they expect levels to continue to rise on the lake until July 4th, with another 3 feet of water coming before levels stabilize and begin to drop. State and park officials are scrambling to come up with a plan to deal with expected boaters and campers on the upcoming holiday, as well as expected cleanup and reclamation when the water begins to go down.

(Tue 6/22/10) - River levels will rise just a bit more here at Douglas. With warmer temperatures forecast for later this week, the primary concern on the North Platte River system is more snowmelt than anticipated coming into Seminoe Reservoir in south centeral Wyoming. The river system is close to being "direct run", meaning that they are almost out of storage space for runoff or anything that may come from thunder storms. Converse and Natrona County Emergency Management Agencies have told the Bureau of Reclamation that we could handle an additional 500 cfs of water in the river. This small bump in total flow from Grey Reef should only bring the level of the river up one to two inches. However, it will increase the storage capacity over the next 6 days by 10,000 acre feet in Seminoe Reservoir for the additional forecasted runoff. This bump was scheduled for midnight last night. We should see the results of that release, a 1 to 2 inch rise in the river through Converse County by 10pm tonight.

(Thu 6/17/10) - More water on the way... it looks like we'll see high water on the North Platte River here at Douglas for the next week or so. Record inflows into Seminoe Reservoir, the first reservoir on the North Platte River system, have caused Seminoe and Pathfinder Reservoirs to fill quicker than expected. The Bureau of Reclamation has begun increasing releases out of Gray Reef Reservoir to keep Seminoe and Pathfinder from filling past the flood pool stage. The increased releases out of Gray Reef will probably continue through next week, and that will keep moderate to high flows on the North Platte from Glenrock to Orin. As of Thursday morning, river stages at Orin are running about 6 inches below the bankfull stage. Glendo Dam is near capacity, and the Bureau of Reclamation says they'll likely start filling Guernsey Reservoir next week. Low-lying campsites along the banks at Guernsey will probably end up underwater. Low lying areas along the North Platte between Glenrock and Orin should be continually monitored for flooding for the next week. Bureau of Reclamation says we'll probably see higher river velocities on the North Platte than we've seen for the past twenty-five years.

(Thu 6/17/10) - The wind won't stop the mail today... this year is the 150th anniversary of the Pony Express, and a commemorative ride passes through eastern Wyoming today. 15 to 20 Pony Express Riders are taking part in the ride... they made a mail exchange and had breakfast at the Deer Creek Museum in Glenrock at 5 this morning. The Pony Express meets the Iron Horse in Douglas this morning from 9:30 to 10:30. The riders will change out horses, there'll be a presentation commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the Pony Express, there'll be refreshments, and the riders will continue south to Glendo. Several area post offices are also offering special commemorative postmarks and special cachet souvenier envelopes. Contact the post offices at Glenrock, Glendo, Wheatland, Guernsey, Manville, Van Tassell, Lance Creek, Lingle or Fort Laramie for more information. The Pony Express ran from St Joseph, Missouri to Sacramento, California, from April of 1860 to October of 1861. Many local place names were originally Pony Express stations, including Little Muddy, Deer Creek, Boxelder, LaPrele, Bedtick and LaBonte in Converse County, and Elkhorn, Horseshoe and Cottonwood in Platte County.

(Tue 6/15/10) - Due to high reservoir levels and excessive rain, many Glendo State Park campgrounds and facilities have been closed til further notice. State Park officials say it's likely that due to the limited camping space available and the expected rising water levels, the majority of the park will be closed until the weekend. Gary Schoene of Wyoming State Parks says people should be very cautious for a variety of reasons... audio here

Flooding has necessitated the closure of the following facilities:

Elkhorn Campground and boatramp, Bennett Hill campground and boatramp, Indian Point campground and boatramp, Waters Point, Colter Bay, Sagebrush, Broken Arrow, and Burnt Wagon campgrounds, Muddy Bay camping area and a partial closure of Sandy Beach campground.

The following areas are still open as of Tue 6/15, 5pm... Red Hills, Reno Cove, Custer Cove, Whiskey Gulch campground, Shelter Point campground, Two Moon campground and part of Sandy Beach. Boat ramps are still open at Reno Cove, Whiskey Gulch and Glendo Marina.

If water levels continue to rise, additional areas may need to be closed. Boaters are urged to use caution and be on the lookout for submerged trees and other debris. For up-to-date information, call Glendo State Park at 307-735-4433.

(Tue 6/15/10) - Don't hold your breath on five lanes of traffic on 4th Street in Douglas. In a presentation to the Douglas City Council last night, WyDot's Lowell Fleenor went over the state's construction plans in Converse County for the next six years. Fleenor said that dwindling funding has forced WyDot to cut back and adjust some projects... audio here

Fleenor says WyDot has scheduled work on 4th Street for fiscal 2012... audio here

In 2014, WyDot is still planning major construction on East Richards from the interchange to Mesa Drive... audio here

Fleenor said there'll be changes made to the way exit 135 flows into town... audio here

Fleenor said that Richards from Mesa to 4th is on the calendar for 2015, but at this point it will be rehabilitation of the current three lanes rather than an expansion to five lanes. He emphasized that availability of funding and traffic patterns could change WyDot's plans as time goes on.

(Tue 6/15/10) - Sleazy! A federal judge says the state of Wyoming's treatment of a Wal-Mart trucker kidnapped by a rogue state trooper during an aborted murder plot was sleazy. U.S. District Judge William Downes didn't rule Monday on the state's request to dismiss the trucker's lawsuit. Former trooper Joe Ryle of Douglas pleaded guilty last year to charges that he kidnapped Colorado trucker Richard Smidt and intended to kill him. Ryle said he planned to stage an accident with Smidt's truck to extort money from the company. The Wyoming Attorney General's Office asked Downes to dismiss Smidt's lawsuit because he signed a settlement last year. Smidt's lawyer says the settlement is void because state officials never told Smidt that Ryle had intended to kill him.

(Tue 6/8/10) -A Casper woman is dead following a Friday accident just east of Shawnee on Highway 18/20. The Wyoming Patrol says 80-year old Beverlyn Konings was eastbound on US 18/20 when she lost control of her vehicle. Evidence at the scene indicates she made a series of steering corrections in her lane of travel before she finally over steered sharply to the left. This maneuver caused her vehicle to cross both the east and west bound lanes before she then over corrected sharply to the right. The vehicle rolled 1 1/2 times before falling off the end of a culvert. The Highway Patrol says Konings was not wearing her seat belt, and was ejected from the vehicle.

(Tue 6/8/10) - Converse County goes back to work. In the latest numbers from the Wyoming Department of Employment, Converse County mirrors State of Wyoming trends as unemployment moves downward. April of 2010's unemployment rate dropped to 5.9 percent, down from 6.4 percent the month before. 5.9 percent is still up from a year ago, when April unemployment was at 5 percent. State wide, the unemployment rated's at 7.2 percent, down from 7.7 percent in March, but up from 5.5 percent a year ago. The national unemployment rate stands at 9.5 percent.

(Thu 6/3/10) - Welcome, Cameco! Gov. Dave Freudenthal is welcoming to Cheyenne the nation's top uranium producer and recipient of Wyoming's biggest state environmental fine. Cameco Corp. recently moved its U.S. headquarters to Cheyenne from Lakewood, Colo. Over three years, Cameco has paid more than $1.1 million in state environmental penalties for violations at its Smith Ranch-Highland uranium mine northwest of Douglas in Converse County. Freudenthal said Wednesday the state is monitoring Cameco's mine diligently. Cameco spokesman Ken Vaughn says Cameco takes compliance very seriously and the problems that led to a record $1 million fine in 2008 weren't acceptable. Freudenthal last week accepted from Cameco a $50,000 gift to the Wyoming Wildlife Trust Fund, a state account for improving wildlife habitat.

(Tue 6/1/10) - Six candidates will vie for three seats on the Converse County Commission. Friday, May 28th was the deadline to file for the August 17th primaries, and the ballots are now set. In the County Commission race, incumbants Jim Willox, Ed Werner and Tony Lehner and challengers Major Brown, Doyle Evans and Dean Horr will compete for three four-year terms. Incumbant Ross Gorman faces a challenge from Russ Dalgarn for the county coroner's office. Three candidates have filed to run for Converse County Sheriff... current sheriff Clint Becker will run against George Meyer and Jeff Nelson. Pam McCullough and Mike Eathorne will compete for the Clerk Of District Court position. Four incumbants will run unopposed... County Attorney Quentin Richardson, County Clerk Lucile Taylor, County Treasurer Joel Schell and County Assessor Dixie Huxtable.

(Tue 6/1/10) - No shortage of Republicans running for Wyoming's governor's office. Gubernatorial candidate Matt Mead is out on the campaign trail... he stopped by the KKTY studios this afternoon, and Mead says he's working hard to meet voters and convince them to vote for him... audio here

Another Republican gubenatorial candidate, Colin Simpson, will be in Douglas Thursday afternoon for a Meet'N'Greet. Simpson invites the public to come have Coffee With Colin Thursday afternoon at 3pm at the LaBonte Coffee Shop.

And in Sports...


(Mon 6/28/10) - Let's take a look back at a big weekend of rodeo... the Wyoming State High School Rodeo Finals were at the Wyoming State Fairgrounds here in Douglas. Winners in each event...

JR Vezain of Cowley scored a 74 to top the barebacks... Lance Creek's Ace Thurston tied for 4th, and Tanner Nauta of Douglas finished 7th with a 55.

Niki Baumann of Sheridan won the goat tying, while Douglas's Raegen Scott finished 4th.

In breakaway roping, teammates Treyele Gottschall and Hayli Bonham of Laramie each clicked a quick time of 2.65 seconds to tie for the top spot. Kassidy Scott of Douglas finished 8th.

Around the barrels, Marlys McGuire of Wheatland timed an 18.034 to win the event... Douglas's Raegen Scott finished 2nd with an 18.149.

Taylor Kelly of Sheridan scored a 64 to win the saddle broncs.

Lander's Riley Krassin wins the calf roping with a 9.51... Douglas's Dusty Moore is 7th.

Shyann Lucas of Jackson tallies a 21.079 to win the pole bending.

Riley Krassin of Lander pins his steer in 4.87 to win the steer wrrestling, while Ace Thurston of Lance Creek finishes 4th, Dusty Moore of Douglas is 6th and Austin Eller of Glendo is 7th.

On the bulls, Cole Ponce of Big Horn and Ezra Coleman of Rozet both score a 59 to tie for 1st.

Cinnamon Smith of Gillette wins the qualifying round of girls cutting, and Logan Bell of Gillette wins it on the boys side.

And in team roping, the Nicholls kids from Kinnear go 1-2... Corbin Nicholls and Matt Scheick of Riverton finish in 1st, and Devin Nicholls and Cole Robinson of Moorcroft finish second. Trae Seebaum of Douglas and Cord Johnson of Gillette finish 6th.

Cole Robinson wins the State Finals Boys All-Around Cowboy, and Devin Nicholls is the State Finals All-Around Cowgirl. Riley Krassin of Lander is the boys reserve all-around, and Douglas's Raegen Scott is girls reserve all around.

(Sun 6/13/10) - A second half comeback comes up just a point short, and the South squad loses 27-26 in Saturday night's Shrine Bowl all-star football game at Casper. After grabbing the first score of the night on a 34 yard field goal by Colter Rood of Green River, the South team trailed for the rest of the first half and took a 17-12 deficit in to the halftime locker room. After the break, South squad head coach Jay Rhoades of Douglas engineererd a 65 yard drive on the opening possesion of the second half. Glenrock's Dustin Worthington scored on a 4 yard TD run. Douglas's Pierre Etchemendy added the 2pt conversion run. South 20 North 17, 10:00 mins left in the third. The game stayed close, but Matt Frost of Cody kicked a 35 yard field goal and the North took the lead 27 to 26 with :36 seconds to play in the game and claimed the win. The series is now even at 17-17 and 3. The North was now won two in a row. Its only the second time the Shrine Bowl has been decided by a single point. For the South team, Dustin Worthington (Glenrock) had 6 catches for 50 yards; Kyle Grott (Central) 3 catches for 49 yards; Pierre Etchemendy (Douglas) 17 carries for 68 yards and 1 td, and Wes Padilla (Rock Springs) connected on 13 of 19 passing for 144 yards. Wes Padilla of Rock Springs was the Offensive Player of the Game, while Leland Pfiefer of Hulett was the Defensive Player of the Game.

(Fri 6/11/10) - Rodeo fans will enjoy the first in a string of summer competition at Douglas this weekend. The Wyoming High School Rodeo Association's Douglas Rodeo starts with cutting competition this afternoon at 4pm. Saturday's performance begins at 10am... Sunday's performance at 9am at the Wyoming State Fairgrounds. The State High School Rodeo Finals are back here at Douglas Wednesday through Sunday June 23rd through the 27th. National High School Finals Rodeo comes home to the Cowboy State July 18th through the 24th at Camplex at Gillette.

(Mon 6/7/10) - A Douglas athlete is in line for a statewide award. The 5 boys and girls finalists have been announced for the Milward-Simpson Athlete of the Year Award. It is considered the highest honor for an athlete, and will be awarded in late June.

Boys Finalists: Pierre Etchemendy - Douglas (Football, Wrestling, Track), Caleb Her Many Horses - Wyoming Indian (Cross Country, Basketball, Track), Colin Herold - Thermopolis (Football, Basketball, Track), Lucas Nolan - Kelly Walsh (Football, Basketball, Track), Austin Woodward - Sheridan (Football, Basketball, Track)

Girls Finalists: Baillie Gibson - Natrona (Volleyball, Basketball, Track), Paige Neves - Burlington (Volleyball, Basketball, Track), Erin Kirby - Evanston (Volleyball, Basketball, Track), Ellie Rice - Jackson (Cross-Country, Basketball, Soccer), Hannah Pollart - Powell (Volleyball, Basketball, Track)

(Mon 6/1/10) - A former Bearcats football and basketball coach takes over at his alma mater. Buffalo has hired John Hepp as their new boys basketball coach. He replaces Paul Prosinski who he has assisted the last four years. Hepp coached football for several years at Douglas, and led the basketball program for 1 year at Douglas winning the state title that year.