Continuing the Crook County News Since 1884

Articles from the March 11, 2021 edition

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  • Family home lost in fire

    Sarah Pridgeon|Mar 11, 2021

    Three fires on Saturday can all be traced to a similar cause, including one blaze that entirely consumed a family home. Each began as an old slash pile that continued to smolder for several days before reigniting. The largest of the fires took place in the Rifle Pit Rd. area and reached an estimated 104 acres in size. Firefighters arrived on scene around 4 p.m. to tackle it, says Fire Warden Doug Leis. “It was a pretty violent fire,” he says. “It was the type of thing where you’ve just got to st...

  • County ends discussions of solid waste

    Sarah Pridgeon|Mar 11, 2021

    The Crook County Commissioners have decided once and for all that a solid waste district will not be formed to investigate the future of trash in this county. At last week’s meeting, the plan for an investigative “think tank” was also scrapped, bringing to an end the question of whether the county-wide community can work together to find a single solid waste solution. As the gathering began, Commissioner Kelly Dennis began the process of selecting names for the “think tank,” an idea put forward in February as a compromise. At that time, hav...

  • County puts pause on dissolving water district

    Mar 11, 2021

    At a public hearing on Tuesday, the Crook County Commissioners agreed to place a hold on the process of dissolving the Aladdin Water District due to the community’s desire to see things put back on track. However, Commissioner Jeanne Whalen requested that the hearing be continued until next month to hear “the other side of the story.” Since a notice was sent to members of the district in February about last week’s hearing, the commissioners heard that significant progress has been made to rectify the organizational problems. A new board h...

  • Public Health hosts vaccine clinic

    Mar 11, 2021

    Crook County hosted its first large vaccine clinic last week when 350 people received a dose of Moderna in a single day. The by appointment-only clinic allows Crook County Public Health to catch up on the backlog caused by national weather issues a couple of weeks ago, which caused delivery to be delayed around the country. The gymnasium at Central Office was converted into a vaccination clinic on Wednesday with assistance from EMS departments, Crook County Medical Services District, Emergency... Full story

  • John Edwin "Jack" Pridgeon

    Mar 11, 2021

    John Edwin “Jack” Pridgeon, 87 of Beulah, Wyoming, formerly of Moorcroft, Wyoming, passed away on Friday, March 5, 2021, at his home at Beulah. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 15, 2021, at First Presbyterian Church in Moorcroft. Inurnment will be at 2:30 p.m., in the family lot in the Greenwood Cemetery in Upton, Wyoming. Arrangements are under the care of Fidler-Roberts & Isburg Funeral Chapel of Sundance. Online condolences may be written at Full story

  • Vanda Kay Steele

    Mar 11, 2021

    Vanda Kay Steele, 67 of Sundance, Wyoming, passed away on Tuesday March 2, 2021, at the Crook County Memorial Hospital in Sundance. A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 10, 2021, at Fidler-Roberts & Isburg Funeral Home in Sundance. Inurnment will follow in Green Mountain Cemetery at Sundance. Arrangements are under the care of Fidler-Roberts & Isburg Funeral Chapel of Sundance. Online condolences may be written at Full story

  • Leah Lorraine Ballou

    Mar 11, 2021

    Leah Lorraine Ballou, 78, of Hulett, Wyoming, passed away peacefully, with family by her side, on March 1, 2021 at Rolling Hills Healthcare in Belle Fourche, South Dakota. Leah was born to parents Lee and Evelyn Shepherd on April 12, 1942 in Lusk, Wyoming and spent most of her childhood years growing up on ranches in Harrison, Nebraska, Van Tassell and Lingle, Wyoming. Leah graduated from Lusk High School in 1960 and went on to attend Casper College from 1960-1962. Leah married Wayne Ballou on January 25, 1964 and they resided in Hulett for 57... Full story

  • Richard Allen Paauwe

    Mar 11, 2021

    Richard Allen “Rick” Paauwe, age 60, passed away in Hudsonville, Michigan on February 21, 2021. He was a 1978 graduate of Grandville High School. He went on to join the United States Marine Corp, where he also received a certification in engineer equipment operator. He got a ribbon for sea service deployment and a badge for rifle sharpshooter. He became a master electrician and ran his own business, Rick’s Electric. Richard married Tomoko Miyagi; they resided in Hulett, Wyoming for over 20 years. Richard Paauwe was an avid outdoorsman who l... Full story

  • Smell of spring

    Mar 11, 2021

    Tuesday was not a good day to visit Old Stoney…if you were a skunk. The unlucky critter took to the street around noon, seemingly having wandered over to see what the activity in front Old Stoney was all about. Anticipating the smelly creature was likely unhealthy, officials dispatched the wayward polecat before it could potentially cause trouble. As the weather warms, skunk activity increases and pet owners are reminded to ensure their animals have current vaccinations. All community members a...

  • City goes ahead with franchise agreements

    Sarah Pridgeon|Mar 11, 2021

    Hearing no concerns from the citizens of Sundance, the city council will move ahead with its idea to introduce formal franchise agreement requirements with utility companies that serve citizens within town limits. The move was suggested in the light of looming budget cuts from the state, as a way to add a little more revenue for the city. “The revenue picture is not any better,” said Mayor Paul Brooks, referring to the council’s decision to take a month to think about the idea. In that month, he added, nobody has contacted the council or city...

  • Hospital board considers term limits

    Sarah Pridgeon|Mar 11, 2021

    Should there be a limit on the number of years a person can sit on a board of trustees? Those currently serving the Crook County Medical Services District took a step towards answering this question on Friday, when the suggestion was made to institute term limits. “I honestly think there should be a two-term limit. That’s just my opinion,” commented Trish Habeck as she raised the topic during discussion of updating the board’s bylaws. Chairman Mark Erickson agreed, stating that he likes the idea because “new blood refreshes all the time” and...

  • Plans put forward for electric car recharging stations

    Sarah Pridgeon|Mar 11, 2021

    Electric car owners may soon have a place to charge their vehicles in the center of Sundance, if Powder River Energy’s plan moves ahead. The Sundance City Council heard on Tuesday that the cooperative would like to place a couple of recharging stations in front of its building. “I like the idea because I like the guy who comes to town and plugs his car in and has lunch and buys a painting and goes to the hardware store,” Mayor Brooks said as he shared the concept with the council. “It generates sales tax.” Brooks said he would not be against t...

  • CCMSD to plan hospital building remodel

    Sarah Pridgeon|Mar 11, 2021

    The Crook County Medical Services District is looking into the possibility of instigating a remodel of the hospital in Sundance. To get the ball rolling, the plan is to ask an architectural firm to create a phased plan of the upgrades and replacements needed to bring the old building up to date. At this point, said CEO Micki Lyons on Friday, enough money has been put into the old building and the district cannot afford a new one. Rather than rely on a bandaid approach, she suggested hiring an...

  • City reconsiders recycling

    Sarah Pridgeon|Mar 11, 2021

    The City of Sundance is considering a change to its recycling program that would remove it as a mandatory service for residents. Public Works Director Mac Erickson presented this suggestion to the council last week on the basis that the number of people taking advantage of curbside recycling has dwindled. Erickson estimated that only around 15% of people are actually putting out their recycling. In a neighborhood of 30 houses, he said, it’s not uncommon for just four households to set out their items. Erickson suggested that the council r...

  • Circuit Court

    Mar 11, 2021

    Speeding – Alex Fiferman, IA, 80/70, $105; Dustin Mathews, ND, 88/80, $101; Roy Smith, TX, 67/45, $180; Karina Herbert, Gillette, 90/75, $135; Luke A. Jensen, SD, 79/70, $103; Jose Salais Ambriz, CO, 86/70, $140; Tracy S. Nash, WA, 86/80, $82 Fail to Drive Vehicle within Single Lane – Dieumaitre Joachim, FL, $90 No Registration and Improper Display of Tabs – Earl Murphy, CO, $90 No Valid Title, Registration and License Plantes – Jean Alcinor, GA, $140 No Valid Driver’s License – Bradley Aukon, SD, 8170, $140 Fail to Provide Proof of Liabilit...

  • Crook County Sheriff

    Mar 11, 2021

    Feb. 22 – Three VIN checks. Paper service. Traffic stop. Booked in new inmate. Fingerprints for outside employment. Multiple assists to other agencies. Assisted Wyoming Highway Patrol. Fire paged out. Business checks. Feb. 23 – Two VIN checks. Fingerprints outside employment. Multiple civil assists. Harassment complaint. Animal complaint. Business checks. Multiple house watches checked. Destruction of property. EMS paged out two times. Feb. 24 – Four VIN checks. Paper service. Two traffic stops. Business checks. Open door report. Animal compl...

  • Letters to the Editor

    Mar 11, 2021

    Dear Editor, Recently Sundance Councilman Joe Wilson and I attended the March Crook County Commissioners meeting. We asked the commissioners to form a solid waste district in Crook County. After a discussion was held on the subject, a motion was made and seconded to not form a district. The vote was taken, it was two to one not to form a Solid Waste District. Commissioners Dennis and Whalen completely ignored the survey they authorized two years ago. The survey was approximately 60 percent in favor of forming a Solid Waste District....

  • This Side of the Pond

    Sarah Pridgeon|Mar 11, 2021

    I’m so proud of you guys. I thought the Brits were the only ones incapable of coming up with sensible names for things, but you’ve gone and proven me wrong. Following in the grand tradition of the United Kingdom’s snow removal team, the Department of Transportation for the State of Minnesota recently launched a contest to name its incoming fleet of snowplows – one new plow for each of the eight districts. They can’t possibly have expected a scholarly reaction and that’s good, because the...

  • Not the end for Winterfest, council hears

    Sarah Pridgeon|Mar 11, 2021

    This isn’t the end for the Sundance Winter Festival, the city council heard last week. This year’s event was eventually cancelled, but not due to ongoing issues with finding volunteers to run it; rather, there simply wasn’t enough snow to build a course. City Attorney Mark Hughes shared his thoughts about this on Tuesday, commenting that it was a “tragedy” the event was not held. Though he said he was aware the cancellation was not actually connected to the loss of the event’s volunteer organizers, it did make clear to him that losing the festi...

  • Rodeo Royalty Committee to meet

    Mar 11, 2021

    The Crook County Rodeo Royalty Committee will meet at 1 p.m. on March 21 at the Devils Tower View. Anyone interested in the Rodeo Royalty contest or being on the committee is welcome to attend. Lunch is available to order....

  • Black Hills Snow Course Readings

    Mar 11, 2021

    Site Name Elevation (ft.) Current Snow Depth (in.) Current Snow Water Equivalent (in.) 30-year Median (1981-2010) SWE Last Year’s SWE Current Percent of 30-year Median SWE Bear Lodge Divide 4680 6.7 1.4 1.6 3.1 88 Blind Park Snotel 6870 20.0 4.6 6.4 8.9 72 Cole Canyon Snotel 5870 20.0 3.5 5.0 7.9 70 Ditch Creek 6880 17.1 2.9 3.1 6.6 94 Little Bear Run 6240 15.1 2.2 3.3 4.6 67 Mallo 6420 22.9 4.0 6.0 8.0 67 Mount Tom 5560 18.8 2.5 3.7 5.1 68 North Rapid Creek Snotel 6250 20.0 5.0 5.9 7.1 85 Reuter Canyon 6280 20.0 3.7 7.2 10.1 51 Upper S...

  • Public notice bill dies on third Senate reading

    Stephen Dow, The Sheridan Press Via Wyoming News Exchange|Mar 11, 2021

    SHERIDAN — On third reading Friday, the Wyoming House defeated a bill some legislators said would limit government transparency by moving public notices out of newspapers. “I’m not quite there with the notion that we pull the funding that makes sure that we get information out to our public,” Sen. Bill Landen, R-Casper, said. Senate File 17, sponsored by the Senate Corporations, Elections and Political Subdivisions Committee, would have allowed cities, towns, counties and school districts to move their public notices — including meeting m...

  • Wyoming News Briefs

    From Wyoming News Exchange Newspapers|Mar 11, 2021

    Wyoming unemployment rate falls slightly CHEYENNE (WNE) — The Research & Planning section of the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services reported Monday that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell from 5.2% in December to 5.1% in January. Wyoming has recently completed a comprehensive annual revision of its unemployment data. The revised data show that the state’s unemployment rate peaked at 8.5% in May 2020 and has steadily decreased since then. Wyoming’s January unemployment rate of 5.1% was much lower than the U.S. rate of...

  • Bulldog teams bring home third place state finishes

    Rebecca Maupin|Mar 11, 2021

    SHS Boys The Sundance boys’ basketball team traveled to Casper this past weekend to compete in the 2A state basketball tournament. Up against some stiff competition, the Bulldogs were able to walk away with a third-place finish. The opening round of the tournament placed the number one seeded team from the east, the Sundance Bulldogs, up against the number four seeded team from the west, the Greybull Buffaloes. In their first meeting of the season, both teams took a quarter to feel each other o...

  • Headed to Bristol

    Mar 11, 2021

    Former Sundance resident Dillon Johnson looks over a wheel bearing as he prepares to head out for a week of race action at Bristol Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. Johnson will be racing his late model as part of the Dirt Nationals series that begins on Monday and runs through next Saturday. An estimated 1200 drivers, spread across eight classes, are expected to compete. As part of its 60th anniversary celebration, the storied race track was covered in dirt and will host a number of dirt racing...

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