Continuing the Crook County News Since 1884

Articles from the April 7, 2022 edition

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  • Hearts of gold

    Lexie Marchant|Apr 7, 2022

    Despite snow and frigid temperatures, the first annual "Heart of Gold" livestock show was held March 30 at the Crook County Fairgrounds in Sundance. Participants from Sundance Elementary learned about showing and the care of a variety of animals. These students were taught basic livestock care and show skills by members of Crook County 4-H and Bearlodge-Sundance FFA. The idea for the livestock show came from the National Association of Extension Youth Development Professionals annual conference...

  • Second booster recommended for some

    Sarah Pridgeon|Apr 7, 2022

    COVID-19 is at its lowest levels in many months across Wyoming. Last week, there were just 60 known active cases across the state, only one of which was in Crook County. With the newest variant, Omicron BA.2, now said to be the dominant strain in the United States, it’s too early to call the pandemic over. However, with predicted cases and deaths dropping, the public emergency in Wyoming at an end and restrictions largely lifted, it’s fair to say that the nation has entered more of a “maintenance mode”. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) i...

  • Scouting for information

    Sarah Pridgeon|Apr 7, 2022

    Established last fall, a new collaborative covering the northeast of Wyoming is looking to improve outdoor recreation in this area – and needs your help for its first steps towards doing so. The Northeast Wyoming Outdoor Recreation Collaborative (NEWORC) has two ideas for projects this summer, but first needs to discover the identity of the Eagle Scout who installed a life jacket kiosk at Keyhole State Park. “We need to find out who this person was or if anyone remembers anything about it,” says Commissioner Jeanne Whalen, who is part of the NE...

  • RER hires new top staff, confirms demo plant schedule

    Sarah Pridgeon|Apr 7, 2022

    Rare Element Resources (RER) last week announced that it has developed a timeline for its rare earths demonstration plant that should see construction complete within around two years and the test itself done around a year later. Meanwhile, the company has appointed a new chief financial officer. RER scaled down its staff considerably after the Bearlodge Project was put on hold in 2016 due to financial woes. Aside from its boards of directors, management has been handled by President, CEO and Director Randall J. Scott. With the demonstration...

  • Nominees announced for Circuit Court judge

    Sarah Pridgeon|Apr 7, 2022

    Three names have been chosen to fill the seat of Circuit Court Judge in the Sixth Judicial District, which was vacated recently by Judge Matthew F.G. Castano upon his appointment as District Court Judge. The Judicial Nominating Commission has submitted the names of three candidates to Governor Mark Gordon for his consideration, after completing its consideration of all those who expressed interest in the role. The three names are Jacqueline K. Brown of Casper, Lynda R. Bush of Sundance and Nathan J. Henkes of Gillette. The governor must...

  • Leta Viergutz

    Apr 7, 2022

    Leta Viergutz, 80 of Gillette, Wyoming, passed away March 28, 2022, at the Wyoming Medical Center in Casper, Wyoming, after a lengthy illness. She is survived by her daughters, Daviett Gray, Pearl Daniello, and Jodie Titel; eight grandchildren and six great- grandchildren. She is also survived by her sister, Maxine Huber and numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband, Lloyd Viergutz; daughters, Deb Petit and Evelyn Viergutz; son, Steven Viergutz; her parents, Henry and Myrtle Shumway and grandson, Barry Gray. A... Full story

  • Eileen Garman

    Apr 7, 2022

    Eileen Garman, age 82 of Alzada, Montana, died Thursday, March 31, 2022, at the Belle Estate in Belle Fourche, South Dakota. The funeral service will be held 10:30 a.m. Thursday, April 7, 2022, at the Christian Life Center in Belle Fourche, with Pastor Andy Anderson officiating. Visitation will be 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at Leverington Funeral Home of the Northern Hills in Belle Fourche. Interment will take place at 2 p.m. at Moorcroft Cemetery, in Moorcroft, Wyoming. Eileen's funeral service will be broadcasted live online, on her obituary page... Full story

  • Marabel Frances Gates

    Apr 7, 2022

    Marabel F. Gates, 97, passed away peacefully in living faith on April 1, 2022. She was born July 27, 1924, in Sheridan, Wyoming. She was a lifelong member of the Old Apostolic Lutheran Church. She was born to Fred R. and Frances S. (Roberts) Blakeman, the eldest of 14 children. The family was raised in the Crook County area of Wyoming. She graduated from Moorcroft High School in 1941 and went to Black Hills State Teachers College in Spearfish for a year. She received her certificate to teach school for three years, which she did in Wyoming at... Full story

  • Diana Lynne Hardesty

    Apr 7, 2022

    Diana Lynne Hardesty, age 72, of Dardanelle, Arkansas, died Monday, March 28, 2022, at St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center. She was born July 29, 1949, in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, to Robert Henry and Caroline Jean Lynn Spencer. She was a United States Air Force Veteran and a fun-loving individual. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Ken Hardesty; and the father of her son, Richard T. Welsh. Survivors include her son, Richard Welsh of Denver, Colorado; two brothers and a sister-in-law, George Spencer of R... Full story

  • Public meeting to address WYO Help community action plan

    Apr 7, 2022

    WYO Help (formerly Goshen Help), a community action agency, is seeking input from the public about access to public resources. They will hold a public meeting on Wed., Apr. 20 at 10:30 a.m. at the Senior Center in Sundance to explain and discuss WYO Help’s community action plan for Crook County and to seek citizen’s attitudes about housing, access to health services and food insecurity. As a community action agency, WYO Help is designed to be a hub for the communities we serve. While we are not responsible for every service that is pro...

  • Paving operations to begin on US 14 east of Devils Tower Junction

    Apr 7, 2022

    The Wyoming Department of Transportation and its contractor Croell, Inc. will begin construction on a ten-mile stretch of US 14 between Sundance and the Devils Tower Junction of US 24 the week of April 11. The scope of this project is to install pipe irrigation, repair soft spots, widen shoulders at select locations, add a turning lane at mile marker 196.5 and install a new electrical weather system at mile marker 186. Once these items are completed, the road surface will be milled and repaved and a chip seal surface will be added. Paving is...

  • Barn applications available

    Apr 7, 2022

    Barn applications for the 4-H Learning Lab housed at the Crook County Fairgrounds in Sundance are now available. 4-H and FFA members are eligible to use the barns for their Crook County Fair projects. Spots are available for sheep, goats, swine and, new this year, beef projects. Students must fill out an application and turn in a refundable $100 deposit for use of the barns. Applications are available at the 4-H Extension Office at 309 Cleveland St or email [email protected] for an electronic version....

  • Library to host pioneer aviator program

    Apr 7, 2022

    Crook County Library is hosting the program "Pioneer Aviator of the Black Hills: Neva Esmay Pluimer" by Tim Velder on Fri., Apr. 22 at the library meeting room in Sundance. The program will begin at 7 p.m. and is free to the public. Who was the unsung hero during the 1941 parachutist rescue at Devils Tower? Who was the first civilian pilot to fly after the bombing at Pearl Harbor? Who was the only woman to train pilots and rig parachutes for servicemen at the Black Hills Airport? Who was the...

  • Museum exhibit to tour Crook County libraries

    Apr 7, 2022

    The Wyoming State Museum’s traveling exhibit, Barn Here, will be on a mini-tour of northeast Wyoming with the Crook County Library, beginning in April. Wyoming barns differ greatly in style and function from barns in many other parts of the United States. This exhibit, which uses photos from the State Historic Preservation Office, examines barns from throughout Wyoming. It was made possible by the Wyoming Council for the Humanities. Tour Schedule: • April, Sundance Library, 414 E Main St • May, Hulett Library, 401 Sager Ave • June, Moorcro...

  • Wyoming's namesake ship makes history

    Ashley Berumen, Chief Petty Officer, Submarine Group Ten|Apr 7, 2022

    It has been more than 12 years since women were authorized to serve aboard submarines. While women comprise nearly one-fourth of the Department of Defense's total force, only a small fraction of women serve on submarines. The 15 enlisted women serving aboard the ballistic-missile submarine USS Wyoming's (SSBN 742) Blue Crew, homeported at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Georgia, recently reached a milestone accomplishment for all women who serve. These submariners made history when they became the first enlisted female crew to complete a ballis...

  • Letter to the Editor

    Apr 7, 2022

    To whom it may concern, It appears that the rare earth element demonstration processing plant envisioned to be placed in Upton, WY is well funded with a commitment from the Department of Energy (DOE) of $21.9 million and $25 million from shares. The rush to opening up a new processing plant is of course motivated by the need for rare earth elements to sustain the green revolution in the form of wind mills, solar panels and batteries (it takes about a ton of rare earths to make one wind charger). But, in the process of retooling for that...

  • This Side of the Pond

    Sarah Pridgeon|Apr 7, 2022

    I can’t believe it’s been almost two weeks and we’re still talking about less than a minute’s worth of footage during an award show that most of us forgot to watch. In case you somehow managed to miss out on the drama: Will Smith slapped Chris Rock on stage at the Oscars for making a joke about his wife’s shaved head, which Rock may or may not have known was due to alopecia. Tens of millions of people watched the footage in the aftermath – far more than saw it live. The “slapping incident” now...

  • UW Extension to host invasive grass, weed workshops in Gillette, Sheridan, Sundance

    Apr 7, 2022

    Workshops about invasive grasses and weeds are scheduled in early May in Gillette, Sheridan and Sundance. Sponsored by University of Wyoming Extension, the free public workshops – all covering the same topics – are scheduled for 3-6 p.m. in: • Gillette: Tues., May 3, George Amos Memorial Building Cottonwood Room • Sheridan: Tues., May 10, UW Extension Center, 1090 Dome Loop • Sundance: Tues., May 17, Crook County Courthouse Community Room The workshops are for those wishing to learn more abou...

  • Recreationists asked to help protect bats from white-nose syndrome

    Sarah Pridgeon|Apr 7, 2022

    Wyoming Game and Fish is asking cavers, climbers and explorers to clean their shoes and gear both before and after visiting caves after white-nose syndrome (WNS) was identified for the first time in Carbon and Platte counties. WNS, a disease that has been devastating for bats across the nation over the last few years, is already known to be present at Devils Tower. Cleaning gear helps to prevent unintentional spread. WNS erodes the skin of hibernating bats and causes them to wake up more often, taking up valuable energy. It kills bats through...

  • Bird flu outbreak reaches Wyoming

    Sarah Pridgeon|Apr 7, 2022

    The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) warned on Wednesday that the presence of bird flu has been confirmed in Wyoming. The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) have found the highly contagious virus in non-commercial, mixed-species backyard flocks in Johnson, Fremont and Park Counties. The samples were tested at the Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory, part of the National Animal Health Laboratory Network, and then confirmed at APHIS laboratories in Iowa. Bird flu has now been detected in wild birds in 14 states – n...

  • Gordon announces in Buffalo he will seek second term

    Victoria Eavis, Casper Star-Tribune Via Wyoming News Exchange|Apr 7, 2022

    CASPER - Gov. Mark Gordon announced his reelection bid Monday, offering an upbeat message after a first term dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic and economic challenges. "I do believe that Wyoming is the best place on the Earth bar none, and I believe Wyoming's best days are ahead of it," said Gordon, a moderate Republican. "And that's because of you: the people of Wyoming." Gordon's time in office has been challenging, and he's faced criticism from his party's right wing. He angered many...

  • Despite threats, lawmaker will run

    Victoria Eavis, Casper Star-Tribune Via Wyoming News Exchange|Apr 7, 2022

    CASPER — Rep. Landon Brown had two press releases on his computer: one that announced he was bowing out of the Wyoming Legislature and one that said he was running for reelection. He sent the latter one Friday, but only after weeks of mulling over the pros and cons of what being a state lawmaker in Wyoming entails these days. Increasing incivility in the statehouse gave Brown second thoughts about running again. In Brown’s view, that incivility steadily increased after former President Donald Trump took office, but really accelerated with the o...

  • Wyoming News Briefs

    From Wyoming News Exchange Newspapers|Apr 7, 2022

    Average Wyoming gasoline prices down half a penny in past wee CHEYENNE (WNE) — Average gasoline prices in Wyoming have fallen 0.5 cents per gallon in the last week, averaging $4.06 per gallon Monday, according to’s survey of 494 stations in Wyoming. Prices in Wyoming are 40.8 cents per gallon higher than a month ago, and stand $1.19 per gallon higher than a year ago. According to GasBuddy price reports, the cheapest station in Wyoming was priced at $3.69 per gallon Sunday, while the most expensive was $4.59, a difference of 90 cen... Full story

  • Crook County Sheriff

    Apr 7, 2022

    Mar. 28 – Eight VIN checks. Nine paper services. Six traffic stops. Business checks. Suspicious activity. House watch. EMS page. Mar. 29 – Two VIN checks. Paper service. Traffic stop. Home alarm. Property damage. Search warrant. Juvenile probation. Civil standby. Citizen assist. Animal complaint. Multiple prisoner transports. EMS page. Mar. 30 – Two VIN checks. Two traffic stops. Business checks. Three EMS pages. Citizen assist. Motorist assist. Suspicious circumstances. Theft report. Traffic hazard. Trespassing report. Welfare check. Coron...

  • Circuit Court

    Apr 7, 2022

    Speeding – Timothy Perry, Rozet, WY, 90/75, $135; Jacob Batters, Thunder Bay, ON, Canada, 87/70, $145; Thomas John Kern, Arlington, WA, 88/75, $125; James Fiorello, Rapid City, SD, 87/75, $120; Ryan Eaton, Saint Onge, SD, 89/80, $103; Natalie Wintch, Valley City, ND, 87/80, $99; Wesley Leong, Rapid City, SD, 95/80, $135; Ian T. Connely, Gillette, WY, 86/75, $115; (minor), Sundance, WY, 114/80, $230; Matthew Bozek, Seattle, WA, 97/75, $170; Ryan Hardesty, Valparaiso, IN, 79/65, $130 Drive While License Cancelled, Suspended or Revoked – Gary Dal...

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