KKTY NEWS June '11 Archive


(Tue 6/28/11) - No beer at the convenience store. The Douglas City Council said no last night to a request from Maverik Convenience Stores for the city's lone available retail liquor license. The license would have allowed Maverik to sell beer, wine and liquors at their store on West Yellowstone. Randy Roush, an executive director with Maverik Stores, said that their chain sells alcohol in 13 of their 23 Wyoming stores, and has a successful history of selling alcohol. Several community members spoke against giving the license to Maverik. Neb Simonton owns Sunset Liquor. She said that in a three week period, she got over 350 signatures on a petition that said in part... audio here

Kerry Shatto reminded the Council that just because they have an available liquor license, they don't have to grant it... audio here

The store's location across the street from Douglas Intermediate School was a key issue in the discussion... again, this is Kerry Shatto... audio here

The Council voted 4-1 against giving the license to Maverik. Councilman Dave Angiolillo was the lone dissenting vote.


(Tue 6/28/11) - The Douglas City Council decided to take the long view in dealing with regulations for temporary housing in the city limits. City Administrator Steve Henning last night gave the council a first packet of information collected by staff on what those ordinances might look like. The packet also included advice and experiences from other communities like Pinedale, Wyoming and Williston, North Dakota, where man camps have been a part of energy booms. The Council only made one decision on the issue last night night. That decision was that they would not deal with the issue on an emergency, one-reading basis. They'll go through the normal process of three readings and the associated public hearings to craft a set of ordinances.


(Thu 6/23/11) - That open liquor license will go back in play next week. The Douglas City Council will hear a request Monday night from Maverik Convenience Stores for the city's lone available retail liquor license. It's the same license that the Council denied to the Douglas Safeway store last month. This is not the first time the question has come up... Maverik applied for, and was denied, a retail liquor license when they originally built the store. Concerns at that time were the store's proximity to Douglas Intermediate School, and the idea of selling gasoline and beer in the same location. The Maverik store was built with liquor sales in mind... the dispensing room is through a sliding glass door beside the checkout area in the northeast corner of the building. The Council will consider the request at Monday night's Douglas City Council meeting, 7pm at City Hall. Council meetings are open to the public, and are broadcast live on Communicom Cable channel 61.


(Thu 6/23/11) - WYDOT will get out of town and closer to the Interstate. The Wyoming Department of Transportation is continuing to work on moving their Douglas shop complex farther out East Richards Street, near the Exit 135 interchange. Lowell Fleenor is WYDOT district 2 Engineer out of Casper... audio here

Fleenor says the project will also change the way you get on and off of I-25... audio here

Fleenor says if everything goes as planned, they'll let bids on the WYDOT shop project in October of 2011... best timeline for completion would be in mid-2013.


(Thu 6/23/11) - Wyoming has recorded its first case of a potentially fatal horse virus this year. State Veterinarian Jim Logan said Wednesday that tests confirmed a case of Equine Herpes Virus 1 in a horse from Johnson County. The horse has been isolated from other horses on the premises and the location is under quarantine. Another horse from the same location has been euthanized due to symptoms of virus, but tests to confirm the virus are pending.

Horses from around the state are in Douglas this week. On the Wyoming State Fairgrounds, the Wyoming State High School Rodeo Finals are underway, and National Director Dixie Huxtable says they're taking appropriate precautions... audio here

Huxtable says they have plans in place and a quaranteen area available should an animal get sick. She also said that there are some precautions that horse owners should take... audio here

State High School Rodeo performances are set for 9am and 6:30pm today, tomorrow and Saturday, with a final short-go performance on Sunday morning at the Wyoming State Fairgrounds here in Douglas.


(Thu 6/23/11) - Hundreds of people crowded the Douglas High School gym on Wednesday to pay their respects to a U.S. Marine killed earlier this month in Afghanistan. Many held small American flags at the service to show their respect for 22-year-old Lance Cpl. Sean O'Connor, a rifleman killed June 12 in Helmand province. O'Connor enlisted in May 2007, shortly after graduating from the high school where his funeral was held. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division at Camp Pendleton, Calif. His decorations included the Purple Heart and Combat Action Ribbon. Teacher Ed Sheridan said O'Connor took great pride in being the best. Sheridan noted that O'Connor was born on a Marine Corps base in California and that his father, Daniel O'Connor, was a Marine.


(Thu 6/16/11) - The body of twenty-two-year-old Marine Lance Cpl. Sean M. O'Connor will arrive in Douglas Friday afternoon. O'Conner, a Douglas High School graduate based at California's Camp Pendleton, was killed in combat in Afghanistan Sunday. O'Connor's body is scheduled to arrive in Douglas from Dover Air Base in Dover, Delaware, Friday June 17th at 2pm. He's expected to leave the airport at about 2:30pm, and will come in on 4th Street to Richards, to Cheyenne and on to Converse Funeral Chapel.

City administrator Steve Henning says people are welcome to line the route to honor O'Conner. (CORRECTION: The City of Douglas is not handing out free American flags at City Hall, as announced earlier.) Peak Fitness has free flags available... at Peak from 5 this evening til 1pm Friday, then they'll hand out flags Friday afternoon beginning at 1pm at Falkenburgs on East Richards.

Governor Matt Mead has signed a proclamation for flags to be flown at half-mast statewide from Friday afternoon til after the funeral on Wednesday.

O'Conner's funeral is scheduled for Wednesday, June 22nd at 10am at the Douglas Rec Center Gym. The funeral is open to the public. A private burial service will follow in the Douglas Park Cemetary.


(Tue 6/14/11) -The city of Douglas plans to honor a Marine killed in combat in Afghanistan. Twenty-two-year-old Lance Cpl. Sean M. O'Connor of Douglas, a rifleman based at California's Camp Pendleton, was killed in combat in Afghanistan Sunday. Douglas Mayor Bruce Jones says the city is making plans to honor him. O'Connor is the son of a Marine and was born at Camp Pendleton. He moved to Douglas when he was 7 and graduated from Douglas High School. He is the third casualty from the Marines' 1st Battalion since it took command of Sangin, an insurgent stronghold in the Helmand province, in April. Daniel O'Connor said his son believed in the mission in Afghanistan. He was scheduled to leave the Marines this year. Funeral services for Lance Cpl. Sean M. O'Connor are pending.


(Tue 6/14/11) - What you see is what you get. Converse County Emergency Manager Russ Dalgarn says that, barring any heavy rainfall, water levels on the North Platte River have stabilized and should not rise anymore. The Bureau of Reclamation is releasing 8,000 cfs of water out of Gray Reef Reservoir near Alcova. We are seeing 8,700 cfs passing the gauge near Orin. The Bureau is anticipating keeping their releases at this level through the 13th of July. The current forecast is to drop the releases down to 5,500 cfs by the end of July. With the river running higher and faster than normal, people should use extreme caution when near the banks of the river. Dalgarn says sandbags are still available if anyone needs them.


(Tue 6/14/11) - City water rates are going up... but it shouldn't affect your bill at all. At last night's council meeting, the Douglas City Council approved a resolution increasing the demand and commodity rate user charges for city water. The increase, however, only applies to those who use more than 31 thousand gallons of water a month... City Administrator Steve Henning said the rate increase won't affect most Douglas water users... audio here

Henning said the rate increase will allow the city to play catch-up in a department that's lost money... audio here

Oil companies have to use processed water for fracking... that's why you've seen all the water trucks lined up at the fairgrounds... they're waiting to fill those trucks at the city's bulk water station at Public Works. Henning said that the cost of filling 5-thousand gallon tanker would go up from $50 dollars to a maximum of $125 dollars... audio here

With the city facing expensive improvements needed to the Box Elder Spring Water transmission pipeline, water rate increases are required to pay for the debt service. By raising rates on bulk water users, the biggest water users shoulder the biggest share of the costs. The Council voted 5-0 last night to approve the increase as presented.


(Tue 6/14/11) - A state board has approved plans for two wind farms south of Glenrock. The Wyoming Industrial Siting Council voted 4-3 Monday to permit the projects which together will have 31 wind turbines. The council added a number of conditions to the permit. They include requiring developer Wasatch Wind to put up a nearly $19 million bond. Also the wind turbines will need to have safety lights that turn on to warn approaching aircraft. The Pioneer Wind Park will cost between $180 million and $200 million and generate 100 megawatts of power when completed.


(Mon 6/13/11) - The Department of Defense says a Marine from Douglas has been killed in combat in Afghanistan. The military said today that 22-year-old Lance Cpl. Sean M. O'Connor of Douglas was killed Sunday in Helmand province. O'Connor enlisted in May 2007. His decorations included the Purple Heart and Combat Action Ribbon. He was a rifleman assigned to the 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division at Camp Pendleton, Calif.


(Mon 6/13/11) - We'll see the results of a lot of numbers-crunching tonight. The Douglas City Council will hold public hearings on fiscal year 2011 budget amendments and the FY 2012 Douglas City Budget. The City will find iteslf in much better financial shao this summer. General fund revenue is projected to be up almost $1.5 million dollars, or 26 percent, for FY 2011, primarily due to continued record sales tax reciepts. This means the city will satrt FY 2012 with $1.8 million dollars more in the General Fund than was originally projected. The complete agenda for tonight's Douglas City Council meeting is posted on the City's website at cityofdouglaswy.com. The City Council meets tonight at 7 in council chambers at Douglas City Hall. Council meetings are open to the public, and are broadcast live on Comminucom Cable channel 61.


(Wed 6/8/11) - The snow has melted, but the river may still rise. Converse County Emergency Manager Russ Dalgarn says that, for the most part, warm weather over the past week has pretty much melted off the local snowpack in the northern Laramie Range, and local creeks and streams are slowing back down to normal flows. Dalgarn says that we can still expect the North Platte River to rise some more. Due to the increased runoff, the Bureau of Reclamation raised relases out of Gray Reef Reservoir at Alcova last night to 7800 cfs, and will increase flow to 8000 cfs tonight. We should see the peak flows on the river by late Friday afternoon, June 10th. With the combination of the local creeks and streams slowing, and the increased releases from upstream we will see a gradual increase in the level of the river up to an additional four (4) inches. Dalgarn says sandbags are still available for anyone who may need them. Residents in the west side of the County can get sand and sandbags from the landfill in Glenrock, residents in the Douglas area can get sand and sandbags at the County Road and Bridge yard in Douglas.


And in Sports...

(Mon 6/27/11) - The dust has settled in the Grandstands Arena, the horse trailers have headed home, and the Wyoming State Team has been set for next month's National High School Final Rodeo at Gillette. The top four cowboys and cowgirls in each event in the season points standings will represent the Cowboy State, and several local athletes rode a good performance at this weekend's State Finals here in Douglas to a slot on the Nationals team. Checking rough stock first, on barebacks, Neil Williams of Mills holds the top slot, 10 points ahead of Ace Thurston of Lance Creek. Seth Courson of Evansville and and Trey Gladson of Gillette round out the top four... Tanner Nauta of Douglas will be the alternate.

On saddle broncs, it's Colton Miller of Lance Creek, Neil Williams of Mills, Ryan Ellenson of Gillette and and Wiley King of Casper. Ace Thurston of Lance Creek's the alternate.

And on the bulls, the Wyoming team includes Hawk Whitt of Thermopolis, Bryce Burnell of Arvada, Cole Ponce of Big Horn and Drew Antone of Kinnear. Neil Williams of Mills is the alt.

Also making the trip to Nationals... Douglas's Kassidy Scott takes the second slot in goat tying; Austin Eller of Glendo and Justin Prewitt of Guernsey will be the #3 team in team roping; Dusty Moore of Douglas grabs the 3-spot in tie-down calf roping; Wheatland's Amelia McGuire holds the 4-spot in breakaway roping. Some familiar names in steer wrestling... Avery Jamerman of Wheatland holds the top slot... he'll be joined by Ace Thurston of Lance Creek, Austin Eller of Glendo and Casey Collins of Sheridan. Douglas's Dusty Moore is the steer wrestling alternate. Lance Creek's Colby Thurston and Gillette's Trapper Rieniets finish the season tied at 220 points each in boys cutting... the'll both compete at Nationals. And Casper's Taylor Mason makes the girls cutting team.

Stephani Klein from Wheatland was crowned Wyoming's High School Rodeo Queen on Sunday morning. 1st runner up was Kodee Williams form Pinedale.

Our year end all around cowboy is Ace Thurston from Lance Creek, and our year end all around cowgirl is Coralee Spratt from Lysite. Our finals all around cowgirl is Emily Faber from Rozet, and our finals all around cowboy is Neil Williams from Mills.

The National High School Finals Rodeo is July 17th through the 23rd at CamPlex in Gillette.

(Wed 6/22/11) - Wyoming's top high school cowboys and cowgirls wrap up their season at Douglas this week as the Jackalope City hosts the Wyoming High School Rodeo Association's state finals. Coming into this weekend's final action, Ace Thurston of Lance Creek leads the points standings on barebacks; Colton Miller of Lance Creek dominates the saddle broncs; and Hawk Whitt of Thermopolis holds just a 2 1/2 point lead over Cole Ponce of Big Horn on the bulls. Logan Murphy of Torrington heads up calf roping; Hayli Bonham of Laramie holds a big lead in breakaway roping; Austin Eller of Glendo is just two points ahead of Avery Jamerman of Wheatland in steer wrestling, and Douglas's Dusty Moore sits third in the event. Emily Faber of Rozet tops the goat tying; Chandler Markle of Scottsbluff leads the barrel racers; Shyann Lucas of Jackson holds a 20-point lead through the poles, and Coley Nicholls of Kinnear and Garrett Grieve of Baggs lead the team ropers.Taylor and Trapper Rieniets of Giilette lead the girls and boys cutting. In the chase for the All-Arounds, Coralee Spratt of Lysite leads the girls, and Ace Thurston of Lance Creek leads the boys.

Check in takes place on Wednesday, with rodeo performances scheduled for 9am and 6:30pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and final short-go performance on Sunday morning.

(Tue 6/14/11) - The Douglas Cats split a pair at Powell last night. In the opener, the Cats shut-out the Pioneers 3 to 0. Douglas ran all night stealing 7 bases and gettting timely hits from Mitch Espeland and Dylan Klava. Klava threw 7 inning of 1 hit baseball striking out 7. Powell came back and beat Douglas 4-1 in the nitecap. The Cats only had 4 hits in the late game, 2 from third baseman Allen Holmes. The Powell Pitcher kept the Douglas offense from stringing anything together. Dalton Cheever threw six innings scattering 7 hits and only giving up 3 earned runs in the loss. The Cats are now 5-10 on the American Legion season... they'll be back in action tonight at Cody... games at 5 and 7.

(Mon 6/13/11) - The North squad takes a 6-point win. At the 38th Annual Shrine bowl football game in Casper Saturday night, fans watched an offensive battle take place as the North beat the South 34-28. South scored first, but North led 24-14 at the half and never gave up the lead. Douglas's Justin Melton collected one touchdown for the south, a five-yard pass reception from Wheatland quarterback Ward Anderson. Clay Cundall of Greybull was named Offensive Player of the Game, and Sheridan's Dawson Osborn was tagged as Defensive Player of the Game.

(Mon 6/13/11) - The Wyoming boys and the Montana girls owned the floor this weekend. At the Wyoming-Montana All-Star basketball series Friday night at Sheridan, the Wyoming boys thumped Montana 92-77, while the Montana girls won their game at the Golden Dome 92-65. Saturday night on the campus of Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Taran Brown of Gillette hit 2 3's in the last 30 seconds of regulation, including the tying 3 with 3 seconds left, to tie the game at 75 and force OT. The Wyoming boys went on to a 90-84 overtime win, while the Montana girls took a 93-79 win. Glenrock's Shelby Stewart had 7 points Friday night and 9 points Saturday night for the Wyoming girls.