Continuing the Crook County News Since 1884

Articles from the February 18, 2021 edition


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  • Searching for a snack

    Feb 18, 2021

    Bald eagles often migrate during winter in search of better sources of food. This particular local resident, pictured near Rupe Hill during the cold snap, may be wishing he’d gone a little further south this year....

  • Smith wins appeal

    Sarah Pridgeon|Feb 18, 2021

    The Wyoming Supreme Court has overturned the jury’s guilty verdict in Marty Smith’s conviction as an accomplice to the death of local man Doug Haar. Smith was sentenced to up to 18 years in jail on felony counts of accessory before the fact to involuntary manslaughter and accessory to aggravated assault and battery. Haar died from traumatic asphyxiation in the early hours of August 1, 2018 after an altercation with Smith and Jessie Johnson at a local travel center. Smith and Haar were said to have bickered and then begun pushing each other. Whe...

  • Wood shop burns in early morning fire

    Sarah Pridgeon|Feb 18, 2021

    A wood shop near the center of Sundance caught fire in the early hours of Friday morning, leading to a total loss of the structure but no injuries to people or damage to surrounding buildings. The structure was located on North West Street, across the alley from some houses but in a large open spot. The fire was called in by the landowner, who lives across the alley and had been unable to extinguish the flames himself. “We suspect it was started by the chimney on a wood stove. It was a c...

  • Cold snap breaks local records

    Sarah Pridgeon|Feb 18, 2021

    The bitterly cold air that settled across this region for around ten days has led to a number of new record low temperatures, according to statistics released by the National Weather Service. This includes record-breaking lows in Crook County. At Devils Tower, the previous record temperature for February 13 was -20 degrees Fahrenheit, which was set in 2007. This was beaten by the -29 degrees recorded on February 13 this year. The Devils Tower area also saw its February 15 low temperature record...

  • Legislature signals support for rare earths

    Sarah Pridgeon|Feb 18, 2021

    As support grows for rare earth minerals on the national level, so too has the Wyoming Legislature signaled its desire to see the industry grow in this state. A bill signed into law last week aims to support efforts to expand rare earth mining in Wyoming. Senate File 43, Wyoming Energy Authority Amendments, makes adjustments to the list of projects that can be supported by the Wyoming Energy Authority (WEA). This allows the WEA to utilize its existing authority to support and issue bonds for projects involving rare earths, as well as critical...

  • Mary Ellen Osloond

    Feb 18, 2021

    On Tuesday, February 9, 2021, Mary Ellen Osloond, 90, passed away at her home with her husband and son at her side. Mary Ellen was born on March 3, 1930, in Deadwood, South Dakota, to parents Hiland and Mable (Daniels) Davis. She married her sweetheart “Stretch” Raymond Earl Osloond Sr. on August 12, 1953. They welcomed their son Ray Ray to the world in 1959. Mary Ellen graduated from Black Hills State Teachers College in 1962, with a Bachelor of Science in Education. Mrs. Osloond was a bel... Full story

  • William "Bill" Lee Willey

    Feb 18, 2021

    William “Bill” Lee Willey, 78, of Coalville, Utah, formerly of Hulett, Wyoming and Belle Fourche, South Dakota, gained his heavenly wings at Intermountain Healthcare in Murray, Utah, on February 4, 2021, with his loving family holding his hands as he transitioned from this life and onto his next journey. Bill was born in Belle Fourche on February 9, 1942, to Lee Everett and Lola Irene (McAmis) Willey. His life began on the T-Cross Ranch in Alva, Wyoming, with the family moving to the ranch on... Full story

  • Florence Singleton

    Feb 18, 2021

    Florence Singleton, 67 of Hulett, Wyoming, passed away on February 10, 2021 at Monument Health in Rapid City, South Dakota. Florence Ann Margret Martinez Singleton was born on Jan 10, 1954, to Abenicio (Benny) Martinez and Alivra (Vira) Juanita Trujillo Martinez. Florence was born and raised in the area of Shoshoni, Wyoming. She was the youngest of three sisters and loved being the baby. She graduated from Shoshoni High School and went on to study at CWC. Florence met the love of her life Dave... Full story

  • Giving spirit continues at the library

    Feb 18, 2021

    Electronic Reader Libraries were recently purchased for the Sundance Library by the Vondriska Memorial. Each of the libraries has a selection of books accompanied by a MeReader, which reads each book aloud. Your little one can select what book they wish the Me Reader to read aloud, then they will be prompted to press buttons of specific shapes and colors as they go through the book. This fosters a lifelong love of reading while teaching great early learning concepts. Four libraries were purchase...

  • Resident royalty

    Feb 18, 2021

    Recently crowned Sundance Assisted Care resident queen Louise Griffin and king Ronnie Smith....

  • Feb 18, 2021

    By Senators Cheri Steinmetz and Ogden Driskill; Representatives Hans Hunt, Shelly Duncan and Chip Neiman Wyoming is facing historic revenue shortfalls. Declining energy production and prices, which have long been our state’s economic drivers, have created a budget deficit that is going to get even worse in the next two biennia. The Legislature and residents have to decide: our government must either create new revenue streams (taxes) or significantly reduce government services and programs. N...  Website

  • Letters to the Editor

    Feb 18, 2021

    Dear Editor, Congratulations to Liz Cheney for putting the country before politics. I admire her for doing so, when knowing she would be ridiculed for taking this action. I wish more politicians would do this for the sake of our country’s best interest. Instead of upholding someone who has no respect for anyone or for what our country stands for. Every time I view the films of Jan. 6, 2021, it is so hard to realize this took place in the United States. Very disheartening and was uncalled for. Respectfully, Tiny Bush Dear Editor, Regarding ...

  • My Wyoming

    Bill Sniffin, Cowboy State Daily|Feb 18, 2021

    Using both tight budgets and a pandemic as excuses, the dumb idea of limiting printed public notices in Wyoming newspapers has reared its ugly head again in the Legislature in Cheyenne. Wyoming citizens should be both outraged at this proposal plus the fact that their taxes are paying for the lobbyists who are pushing for it. Crazy. Here is a fact: there are some people in government who like working out of the public’s eye. They do not like reporters or, worse yet, pesky citizens poking their noses into their work. To many of our city and c...

  • This Side of the Pond

    Sarah Pridgeon|Feb 18, 2021

    There is scandal afoot in my homeland. For reasons best known to their mutual marketing teams, two British purveyors of breakfast foods are trying to promote a disastrous combination of flavors. Before you, in your enviable innocence, will be able to process the true evil of this campaign, I’ll need to explain the two ingredients involved. The first is a breakfast cereal called Weetabix™. I’m told it’s available on these shores but, while it’s the most popular cereal in Britain, it doesn’t even...

  • Health orders ease

    Sarah Pridgeon|Feb 18, 2021

    Thanks to the improving situation across Wyoming, public health order changes that took effect this week have eased restrictions in several ways. This includes a loosening of pandemic-related rules for restaurants, gyms, indoor and outdoor events and organized sports. The statewide mask mandate, however, will remain in place for the time being. The new orders took effect on February 15 and run until February 28. They include an increase in the number of people who may sit together in a restaurant or theater from six to eight. The limit of one... Full story

  • This Week at Your Library

    Kim Heaster|Feb 18, 2021

    The library doors are open. We will still be doing curbside delivery if you would prefer not to come inside. In compliance with the statewide mask order, MASKS ARE REQUIRED to enter the library. If you do not have a mask, one will be provided. Children under 13 MUST be accompanied by an adult. Two computers are available for adults. Teen and Children’s computers are not available. Displays: If you have a collection that you would like the world (or at least Sundance!) to see, please let us know. We have two locking cases that we would love t...

  • Woman sentenced on possession charges

    Sarah Pridgeon|Feb 18, 2021

    Sarah Lenchner of Illinois has been given a suspended sentence for a felony count of possession of a controlled substance, third or subsequent offense after being arrested in the Moorcroft rest area in association with a stolen vehicle. On April 7, 2020, just after 8 a.m., a Wyoming Highway Patrol officer was dispatched to a suspected stolen vehicle at the Moorcroft rest area that had been remotely disabled. Along with a second officer, he approached the rest area and observed two occupants in the back seat. Lenchner was searched after being...

  • Suspended sentence for Gillette man charged with possession

    Sarah Pridgeon|Feb 18, 2021

    Gage Vauthier of Gillette has been given a suspended sentence on a felony charge of possession of a controlled substance after meth and marijuana were allegedly found in his vehicle after it crashed on the highway in Crook County. On May 4, 2020, a Wyoming Highway Patrol trooper was notified by dispatch at around 5:30 p.m. that a subject was walking east on U.S. Hwy 16 and a single vehicle crash had taken place near milepost 210. The trooper arrived at the scene and observed a woman on foot, traveling west. The woman allegedly told the trooper...

  • Deferred judgement for Denver man caught with marijuana

    Sarah Pridgeon|Feb 18, 2021

    Ayub Kouri of Denver has been given a deferred judgement and order of probation on one felony charge of possession of a controlled substance. On September 7, a Sheriff’s Office deputy was patrolling Highway 585 when he recorded a vehicle traveling at a recorded 98 mph. The deputy initiated a traffic stop and approached the vehicle. According to court reports, he noticed that three of the vehicle’s windows were open and the vehicle was occupied by two males. The driver, Ayub Kouri, provided a rental contract. Both men allegedly stated they wer...

  • Circuit Court

    Feb 18, 2021

    Speeding – Bradley Aukon, SD, 81/70, $115; Matthew S. Reabold, Sheridan, 94/80, $140; Ryan Jones, SD, 92/80, $120; Jasmine Eason, CO, 103/75, $200; John Plocher, MT, 79/70, $103; David Piekarczyk, WA, 77/70, $99; Michael D. Coronato, Hulett, 78/65, $135; Jeffrey Neubert, WA, 102/75, $195; Johnathan Strickler, Casper, 85/75, $105; William Joseph Markert, Hulett, 40/30, $105; Nathaniel Luke, FL, 79/70, $103; Evan Boggs, OH, 85/75, $105; (truck) – Roy J. Monington, SD, 61/45, $435 No Seat Belt (driver) – Michael D. Coronato, Hulett, $25; Logan...

  • Emergency rental assistance program to roll out soon

    Sarah Pridgeon|Feb 18, 2021

    The Wyoming Department of Family Services (DFS) has been instructed to make preparations for administering a new federal program that has distributed $25 billion throughout the nation for households unable to pay rent and utilities due to the pandemic. Of that funding, Wyoming has been allocated $200 million. These Emergency Rental Assistance payments are being made directly to the states, U.S. territories, local governments for populations over 200,000 and Indian tribes. At least 90 percent of the funds must be used for direct financial assist...

  • County under severe drought conditions

    Sarah Pridgeon|Feb 18, 2021

    Despite the recent influx of snow, drought conditions have been worsening across Crook County over the last month. The U.S. Drought Monitor has now placed the entire county under severe drought conditions. At the D2 level of the classification system, pasture conditions will be poor, overgrazing will be reported, hay is more scarce and dust increases. Trees and vegetation also become stressed, with well levels declining. One month ago, according to the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS), the eastern side of the county was...

  • Devils Tower seeks public input on improving employee housing

    Feb 18, 2021

    The National Park Service (NPS) seeks feedback on a project to upgrade substandard employee housing in the monument. The existing six-unit, single-story building was built in 1961 as part of the NPS Mission 66 program – an initiative launched to improve facilities by 1966, the 50th anniversary of the NPS. Since then, very few upgrades have been made to this facility and it is currently unable to meet park needs. None of the units adhere to physical accessibility standards, and there is no f...

  • Lawmakers tackle forest health

    Nick Reynolds, Casper Star-Tribune Via Wyoming News Exchange|Feb 18, 2021

    CASPER — Every year, the Wyoming state forester is statutorily required to update the Legislature on the health of Wyoming’s forests. In a typical year for members of the Joint Committee on Agriculture, State and Public Lands & Water Resources, the report is a valuable resource for identifying problems that face the state’s forestlands, encouraging cooperation between state and federal agencies and, potentially, developing solutions to address those problems. 2020, however, was not a typical yea...

  • Tribal hunting rights case returns to court

    Kristen Czaban, The Sheridan Press Via Wyoming News Exchange|Feb 18, 2021

    SHERIDAN — Attorneys for Crow tribal member Clayvin Herrera argued in a written filing in 4th Judicial District Court that the latest ruling on the case surrounding tribal hunting rights by Sheridan County Circuit Court should be reversed and remanded, again. Circuit Court, which issued its ruling in June 2020, concluded that issue preclusion applies to both the occupation and conservation ruling and cited prior cases — primarily Crow Tribe of Indians v. Repsis and Ward v. Race Horse — that considered similar issues. Issue preclusion centers ar...

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