Articles written by Gary Honodel


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  • Madi Dunning reigns at National Make It With Wool Contest

    Gary Honodel|Feb 1, 2024

    The 76th annual ‘National Make It With Wool Contest’ was held in Denver CO in mid-January. Contestants from 25 states competed in creating wearable garments using fabric or yarn that is at least 60% wolf fiber. They can sew, knit, crochet or felt the clothing that is then judged for construction quality and fashion. Madi, competing in the Junior division, representing ages 13-16, was selected as the National Junior Winner. She also won the Top Junior Construction Award, and second place in the M...

  • U.S. Senate Candidate Visits Saratoga

    Gary Honodel|Feb 1, 2024

    Casper businessman Reid Rasner, who is running for the United States Senate seat currently held by John Barasso, visited Saratoga last Tuesday, January 23. Mr. Rasner spent the day in Saratoga visiting the North Platte Medical Center, and several other businesses. He also met with local media outlets, including the Sun, before capping off the day with a town hall at the Platte Valley Community Center. There Mr. Rasner made a few comments before turning the event over to a question and answer...

  • The 40th Saratoga Lake Ice Fishing Derby was a true ruby

    Gary Honodel|Jan 25, 2024

    Saratoga Lake was turned into an outdoor village last weekend, replete with RVs, food trucks, a temporary Chamber of Commerce office with an ATM and hundreds of ice fishing shelters. The occasion was the 40th Saratoga Lake Ice Fishing Derby held January 20 & 21, staged and hosted by the Saratoga/Platte Valley Chamber of Commerce. Under the capable leadership of Chamber Director, Amanda Knotwell, this year’s event saw over 700 people at the lake village; 637 of them registered participants. T...

  • Lady Panthers pressed by Wind River

    Gary Honodel|Jan 11, 2024

    There was a battle of big cats at Saratoga High School Friday night, when the Cougars of Wind River visited the local Lady Panthers. Wind River brought along an aggressive full court press defense, that they employed from the opening jump to the final whistle. The Lady Panthers were playing up in class against 2A Wind River and came out on the short side of a 62-41 final score. Coach Heather Bartlett was not disappointed by the game noting that playing the larger school, and experiencing the...

  • Union Fundraiser

    Gary Honodel|Jan 11, 2024

    Leading into Christmas every Union office in Wyoming staged a charity fundraiser. The individual offices could select a cause they wanted to support, so the local branch, here in Saratoga, choose the Must Love Dogs Sanctuary. Last Friday, January 5, a check for $275- was presented to Theresa Ramsey, Chairman, of the organization, a registered 501(c3), by Kyle Thompson, manager of the Union office. Ms. Ramsey commented “We really appreciate Union choosing our organization. This is a slow p...

  • Saratoga Resort holds Christmas party for area elementary students

    Gary Honodel|Dec 21, 2023

    Saratoga Hot Springs Resort opened their doors to elementary school students from Saratoga and Encampment last Friday, December 15. The event, known as, “Chef Ted’s Gingerbread Unveiling & Santa Workshop” featured games, a coloring contest, cookies & hot chocolate, a visit with Santa - and of course, the incredible hand built Gingerbread House. Various rooms and areas at the Resort were set aside for the different activities. The dining area was dedicated for the drinks, snacks, coloring and g...

  • Lady Panthers play in the Wrangler Invite

    Gary Honodel|Dec 21, 2023

    The Saratoga High School Lady Panther’s spent the weekend in Shoshoni, competing in the Wrangler Invite. They played Burlington, Meeteesee and Rocky Mountain. Although the Panthers finished 1-2, Coach Heather Bartlett cited the strong competition as exactly what the team wants. She added “Coach Moon and I are seeing improvement at every practice and in every game. This is the second time we have played Burlington, and even though they won both games our girl’s were much more competitive in th...

  • Ugly Sweaters make great music

    Gary Honodel|Dec 14, 2023

    There was a Standing Room Only crowd gathered at the Platte Valley Community Center Auditorium the evening of December 5th, and they were treated to a wonderful concert by the students from Saratoga Elementary School. The Ugly Sweater Concert featured eight musical numbers, some narration and some entertaining choreography. Under the skilled direction of Ms. Ivy Palmer, Music and Band Teacher at SEM, the kids staged a truly enjoyable show that garnered loud applause after every number. And a sta...

  • Pearl Harbor Memorial

    Gary Honodel|Dec 7, 2023

    Today we recognize the significance of this date in the history of the United States. On Aug. 23, 1994, the United States Congress designated Dec. 7 as National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. Each year on Dec. 7, Pearl Harbor Survivors, veterans, and visitors from all over the world come together to honor and remember the 2,403 service members and civilians who were killed during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The ceremonies begin with a moment of silence at 7:55 a.m.,...

  • Helping Hands, helping the community

    Gary Honodel|Nov 30, 2023

    Anyone who wanted a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, or anyone alone for the holiday, had an option to have that meal and enjoy some company. Platte Valley Helping Hands a local non-profit organization offered Thanksgiving dinner, for no charge, at the Platte Valley Community Center on Thanksgiving Day, November 23. They also delivered meals to area homes. The volunteers working with Helping Hands last Thursday provided 173 delicious meals in our area. Helping Hands was organized in 1996,...

  • The Coat Tree - a special blessing for the community

    Gary Honodel|Nov 23, 2023

    Driving down 1st Street you will see coats hanging from a tree in the yard of St. Barnabas Episcopal Church. This unique ministry began last year when someone told Virginia Parker that they had seen three men walking to work in below zero weather without coats. Sensing a need in the community Ms. Parker enlisted the help of her sister, Ginger Peters, and they began to visit area thrift stores buying all of the winter coats they could find. Initially they handed those coats directly to...

  • Veterans Day dinner held at the Saratoga American Legion

    Gary Honodel|Nov 16, 2023

    Area veterans and their guests were honored at the annual Veterans Day dinner at the Angus Eng American Legion in Saratoga Saturday night. Those in attendance enjoyed an excellent dinner, prepared by the Legion staff, shared in reflections and remembrance over the course of the evening. One poignant moment came when Legionnaire Don Ainsworth shared memories of boyhood friend Darwin Judge USMC. Judge and his fellow Marine, Charles McMahon, were the last two American casualties of the Vietnam...

  • New benches for the ice rink

    Gary Honodel|Nov 16, 2023

    When the Kiwanis Club wanted some new benches for the Platte Valley Kiwanis Ice Rink on Veterans Island they knew just where to turn. Kiwanis members Cindy Carnes and Barbara Youngberg contacted Todd Weber, Industrial Tech teacher at Saratoga Middle/High School. Mr. Weber enlisted two of his outstanding students, seniors Jax Pagnac and Tuker Carricato. The end result show that Mr. Weber choose the right men for the job. Barbara and Cindy were impressed with the craftsmanship and excited to be...

  • Wyoming's own - F. E. Warren Air Force Base

    Gary Honodel|Nov 9, 2023

    Wyoming is home to only one military installation, but that base, F.E. Warren in Cheyenne, has a notable history, and continues to play a significant role in the nation’s defenses. Originally established in 1867 as Fort D. A. Russell, F. E. Warren Air Force Base is the oldest continuously active military installation within the Air Force. The former Army fort turned over to the, then, newly formed branch, upon its inception, in 1947. Today it is home to the 90th Missile Wing and Headquarters, 2...

  • Soldiering across four decades

    Gary Honodel|Nov 9, 2023

    As we were working on this special Veterans Day section the Sun, of course, wanted to include stories from area service members. Then there was some discussion about including my father’s story as well. I was a little reluctant since it doesn’t have a local tie. But, yes, it is interesting. Interesting enough that I am going to share it here. My father, Frank, is one of the horse soldiers you see in this old photo. I’m not sure many people realize that the U.S. Army and the National Guard...

  • Lady Panthers compete in Regionals

    Gary Honodel|Nov 2, 2023

    The Lady Panthers of Saratoga High School traveled to Riverton last weekend for the volleyball Regionals. The team opened the tournament with a 3-1 win against Dubois. Unfortunately they just could not find their rhythm during the tournament and dropped the next match to Cokeville 0-3. They then faced Burlington, a team they had defeated twice over the course of the season. Throughout the sports world, at all levels of competition, they say beating the same team three times in a season is very...

  • Lady Panthers finish busy week. Prep for regionals.

    Gary Honodel|Oct 26, 2023

    Last week was a busy one for the Lady Panthers volleyball team, with three matches in the span of four days. They played an away match with Hanna Elk Mountain on Tuesday, October 17th, hosted Little Snake River Valley at SHS on Thursday and then traveled to Niobrara County the next day for a 1:00p match. The Lady Panthers won their matches with HEM and Niobrara County, and although LSRV won that contest Coach Lisa Teichman noted “that was our strongest defensive match of the entire season”. She...

  • SHS cross country finishes the season at the State 2A Championships

    Gary Honodel|Oct 26, 2023

    Saratoga High School cross country travelled to Cheyenne on Saturday, October 21, for the 2A State Championship. Panther runner Marilee Williams finished in 3rd place overall in the Women’s Varsity event. That finish placed Marilee on the All-State team for the fourth straight year. The top Panther in the Men’s Varsity was Bennett Keel finishing in 14th place. Senior runner Tyler Greenberg took 22nd in his last cross country meet for SHS. The team achieved a 6th place finish in Wyoming 2A. Coa...

  • Panthers take state leaders to the wire

    Gary Honodel|Oct 26, 2023

    Lingle-Fort Laramie high school brought an undefeated football team to face off with the Saratoga Panthers last Friday night. If they had any ideas of a walk through against the 2-5 Panthers they would soon learn, like every other opponent Saratoga has faced this season, that the team plays with purpose between the lines. The Panthers used their solid power running game to drive the opening possession down the field after the opening kickoff. Throwing only one pass on that drive they controlled...

  • Saratoga Middle School Football Goes Undefeated

    Gary Honodel|Oct 19, 2023

    No matter how many years a player participates in any given sport, or even what level of play they might ascend to, they will look back at very few, if any, undefeated seasons. The Saratoga Middle School Panthers accomplished the rare feat this Fall completing a perfect 7-0 record. Their schedule included five away games. After opening away at Burns, the team had back-to-back home games, then moved through four road games in a row. Very impressive for young players, like this, to travel well and...

  • Panthers football squares off with state champs

    Gary Honodel|Oct 12, 2023

    Last Thursday evening at Robert Hileman Field the Hornets of Pine Bluffs High School visited for a football game with the Panthers of Saratoga High School. It was a perfect night for football, although not a perfect result for the host team. Pine Bluffs left the field with a 33-6 win. The first quarter, and midway through the second, the action was back and forth. Pine Bluffs did move out to 14-0 lead, but on the kickoff following that second score Panther Allyster Ingraham found the corner and...

  • Farming flowers, creating a special kind of art

    Gary Honodel|Oct 12, 2023

    Flowers adorn every special occasion. They are an important part of Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and weddings. They say thank you, get well soon and sorry for your loss. Throughout a calendar year and across the holiday cycle flowers decorate rooms, churches and banquet halls. Where do all those flowers come from? Enter the floriculturist - a flower farmer in plain speak. And Saratoga has one of their own, Brooke Seitz of Barefoot Brooke Farm. The farm grows all of their own blooms during the...

  • Panthers emerge in defensive battle

    Gary Honodel|Oct 5, 2023

    In the Homecoming game, the previous week, the Saratoga Panthers exploded for 54 points against visiting Guernsey. Last Friday night in their game played at Wright they only scored 6. But 6 was enough. The smothering Panthers defense shut their opponent out to secure a 6-0 win. Saratoga forced four turnovers on the night. Defensive standout Hazen Williams had a fumble recovery. Allyster Ingraham recovered two balls forced away from Wright ball carriers. Griffin Barlett added an interception....

  • Saratoga Elementary School Hosts Ag Day

    Gary Honodel|Oct 5, 2023

    Students at Saratoga Elementary School enjoyed an opportunity for outside the classroom education last Thursday during Ag Day 2023. Sponsored by the Saratoga-Encampment-Rawlins Conservation District and the Carbon County CowBelles, there were presenters from several local agriculture producers and ag agencies on hand. The program featured hands-on activities and information showcasing the Wyoming farm & ranch agri-business industry. The students got to see and touch big tractors, herding dogs...

  • Saratoga Middle-High School hosts The Shana Ward Memorial Invitational

    Gary Honodel|Sep 28, 2023

    The population of Saratoga increased by over 20% last Friday afternoon. Just for a few hours and all in the form of cross country athletes from high schools around Wyoming. Twenty teams, with 418 runners, were entered in the Shana Ward Memorial Invitational held at the Saratoga Inn and Resort golf course. The day was ideal for running, with temps in the mid 60’s. There was something of a breeze - generally not a great thing for distance runners, but the trees of the corse helped keep that in c...

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