Articles from the April 15, 2020 edition


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  • First COVID-19 death in Wyoming

    Joshua Wood|Apr 15, 2020

    The first death related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Wyoming was confirmed on Monday by the Wyoming Department of Health. The death comes nearly a month after Governor Mark Gordon issued his first public health order closing public spaces and a month since Wyoming had its first confirmed case of COVID-19. According to the press release from the Wyoming Department of Health, the first confirmed COVID-19 death is a Johnson County man who had been hospitalized and previously confirmed to... Full story

  • Splish, Splash!

    Dana Davis|Apr 15, 2020

    The North Platte River received some unexpected traffic early Thursday, April 9, as a semi-truck and trailer plunged into its frigid waters near Fort Steele. The sight must have been something to behold as vehicles as large as this can weigh up to 80,000 pounds when fully loaded. One could imagine a mighty splash as the truck plunged into the river bed after threading the needle between a tree and the railing of the overpass. The recovery of the vehicle, however, was not as dramatic, although...

  • Melody Ann Huntley

    Apr 15, 2020

    Melody Ann Huntley, resident of Saratoga, Wyoming, passed away on April 4, 2020 in her home at the age of 65 years. She was born on November 30, 1954 in Rawlins, Wyoming. She attended school in Saratoga and graduated from Saratoga High School. On July 7, 1973 she married John W. Huntley. She was a loving mother, wife, grandmother and great-grandmother. She loved photography, square dancing, and spending time with her children, grandchildren, family, friends and the Rebekah’s. She will be sadly missed by her husband, John W. Huntley; her c... Full story

  • Taxation without representation?

    Joshua Wood|Apr 15, 2020

    “We have people that are not in the town of Saratoga that are receiving benefits from this joint powers board. It’s almost a taxation without representation issue if the Town of Saratoga can take the money and do whatever they want.” This statement from Carbon County Commissioner John Espy came on April 7 as the issue of whether or not enterprise funds held by the Town of Saratoga are considered restricted or unrestricted reached the Board of Carbon County Commissioners. As was reported previ...

  • Quarantine or shut it down?

    Joshua Wood|Apr 15, 2020

    As Wyoming continues to try and prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) through the public health orders issued by Governor Mark Gordon, the Board of Carbon County Commissioners (BOCCC) is concerned about possible blind spots in those orders. During the April 7 meeting of the BOCCC, Kandiz Fritz, Road and Bridge Interim Manager, informed the commissioners that contractors are beginning to arrive in Hanna and Medicine Bow for work on slated wind energy projects. “I’m reaching out...

  • Phoning it in

    Dana Davis|Apr 15, 2020

    The Town of Riverside implemented a web based video conferencing application, Zoom, for the meeting on April 9, 2020. Limited seating was still available for any members of the public that wished to attend the meeting. According to a press release from the Wyoming Press Association, governmental bodies can meet their open meeting obligations, while practicing social distancing to help protect public health, by conducting meetings via telephone or video conferencing if the public is given the...

  • Take it seriously even if you will never know for sure

    Mike Armstrong|Apr 15, 2020

    My last column was about me being sick and waiting for my advised quarantine to be over. It was still early in how hard COVID-19 was hitting the country and there were some folks who were suggesting to ride it out for the economy’s sake. I wrote about being opposed to this idea. Two weeks after my column went out, I think America has learned not paying attention to the seriousness of this virus in the beginning has caused nothing but hardship. As I write this, over 20,000 people have died. The m... Full story

  • Thank you to our heroes in the age of COVID-19

    Bill Sniffin|Apr 15, 2020

    Face it, we are living in unusual times. Probably the craziest times of our lives. The COVID-19 coronavirus has turned our personal lives, our towns, our state, our country and our world upside down. Folks that we all took for granted just three weeks ago are now recognized as heroes. I am talking about grocery store workers, janitors, truck drivers, local food delivery servicers, utility workers and many, many others. Notice that I did not mention doctors, nurses, EMTs, hospital workers and other medical personnel. Obviously, they are already...

  • Local banks invest in their communities

    Mike Armstrong|Apr 15, 2020

    Many small businesses in Carbon County have been impacted by the COVID-19 shutdown. The Coronavirus Aid and Economic Security (CARES) Act was created to help alleviate the damage to these businesses and their employees. The main force of the small business stimulus in the CARES Act is contained in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The $349 billion initiative, funded under the Small Business Administration (SBA) Business Loans Program Account, is meant to supply loans to businesses to...

  • Definitely not slowing down

    Joshua Wood|Apr 15, 2020

    Despite the grip that the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has on Wyoming, Carbon County is one of the counties with the fewest confirmed cases. As of Monday afternoon, the county had only four confirmed cases. Two of those cases were discovered and treated out of state and three of the cases are fully recovered. While confirmed cases in the county are limited, Carbon County Public Health and the Carbon County COVID-19 Incident Management Team are still preparing for additional confirmed cases. At t...

  • National Crime Victims' Rights Week

    Staff Report|Apr 15, 2020

    The Carbon County Sheriff’s Victim/Witness Program recognizes April 19-25, 2020 as National Crime Victims’ Rights Week by raising awareness about crime victims’ issues, promoting victims’ rights and honoring victims of all crimes. The 2020 theme “SEEK JUSTICE, ENSURE VICTIMS’ RIGHTS, INSPIRE HOPE” reminds us that the rights of crime victims are best protected when all participants in the criminal justice process—not only victims—are appropriately educated about victims’ rights. When we come together as individuals and as a community, we empow...

  • Friday Night Lights

    Mike Armstrong|Apr 15, 2020

    This has been a hard time for many in the United States. Not the least have been students, that have seen all of their school activities disappear in the wake of people trying to stay safe from the virus, that has infected many and killed tens of thousands throughout the nation. There are seniors even in danger of not being able to have graduation ceremonies in some states. This past Friday, Carbon County School District No. 2 (CCSD2) joined the country in paying tribute to the students...

  • Keeping company with the wolves

    Joshua Wood|Apr 15, 2020

    The Canadian poet Atticus once wrote "We are never alone, We are all wolves, Howling at the same moon." In recent weeks, that simple piece of poetry has taken on a very literal meaning as the streets of Saratoga have been filled with the sounds of howls at the same time every night. Saratoga is not alone in this phenomenon. Throughout Wyoming and throughout the United States, communities are seeing residents go outside and howl at 8 p.m. on a nightly basis. It seems to originate from a Facebook...

  • From Spirits to Sanitizer

    Mike Armstrong|Apr 15, 2020

    The Lodge and Spa at Brush Creek Ranch (Brush Creek) is joining the fight to help Carbon County stay safe by switching their distillery operations from making spirits to making hand sanitizer. According to a press release, Brush Creek Distillery never considered hand sanitizer as a future product release but the distillery's manufacturing set-up and the access to materials provides an opportunity for the timely production of sanitizer on a small-scale. Once additional supplies arrived the...

  • Faith like a rock

    Joshua Wood|Apr 15, 2020

    While the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has impacted everything from schools to local business, another aspect of life that has been affected is that of church goers. With the Holy Week having begun on April 5 with Palm Sunday and ending with Easter on April 12, churches everywhere have sought new ways to reach their congregations. One example is that of Pastor Gene Smith of the Platte Valley Christian Church in Saratoga, who has posted a livestream on his Facebook every day as he asks those watc...

  • Making Easter bear-able for those in need

    Joshua Wood|Apr 15, 2020

    In the weeks since the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has caused restaurants in the Valley to restructure their business, the area has been witness to multiple acts of kindness. As was reported previously (see "It's about helping others" on page 10 of the April 1 Saratoga Sun), one example of kindness was that of the Saratoga TechKids/SkillsUSA purchasing gift cards from all 10 Valley restaurants. This goodwill, however, is not isolated just to the Valley. Thanks to a number of monetary donations...

  • Toss a tip to your 'tender

    Joshua Wood|Apr 15, 2020

    It's been nearly a month since Governor Mark Gordon issued his first public health order which closed restaurants and bars to dine-in service. Wyoming, however, is not alone as states throughout the nation have enacted similar orders that have had an affect on those working within the service industry. While restaurants in Wyoming are allowed to provide curbside or delivery service, and now include wine or malt beverages with curbside pickup, it leaves much to be desired for bartenders whose inc...

  • Saratoga Museum tax district passes first hurdle

    Joshua Wood|Apr 15, 2020

    The Saratoga Museum and Historical Association (Saratoga Museum) has acquired enough signatures to follow through with their pursuit of a special tax district. As was reported previously (see “Saratoga Museum pursuing tax district” on page 2 of the February 26 Saratoga Sun), announced their intention to both the Board of Carbon County Commissioners (BOCCC) and the Town of Saratoga at their February 18 meetings. During the April 7 meeting of the BOCCC, Carbon County Clerk Gywnn Bartlett pro...

  • A Bar A to remain closed for summer

    Staff Report|Apr 15, 2020

    The A Bar A, a guest or “dude” ranch in Encampment, Wyoming, has announced that it will cancel its 2020 guest season due to concerns arising from COVID-19. This is the only time the Ranch has closed in 98 years of operation. The A Bar A is a Wyoming institution, known around the world for its family focus and unmatched hospitality. Ranch Managers Justin and Lissa Howe described the situation and the reasons for their decision “The effects of COVID-19 expand each day with impacts lasting well into the summer season. We have all learned a lot a...

  • Just a little over $8,000

    Joshua Wood|Apr 15, 2020

    The issue of whether or not to pay the full amount of a bill received by the Town of Saratoga from Childress Accounting and Consulting was just one of multiple discussions in the shortened meeting of the governing body on April 7. While the paying of the bills is often a routine matter for most boards, councils and commissions, it has not been uncommon for there to be dissenting votes from members of the Saratoga Town Council. Following a reading of the account payable in the amount of $109,914...

  • Resolutions and pursuit vehicles

    Joshua Wood|Apr 15, 2020

    While the Saratoga Police Department is hoping to obtain funds from a Mineral Royalties Grant (MRG) through the State Lands and Investments Board (SLIB) for two new vehicles, they will be adding a used one following the April 7 meeting of the Saratoga Town Council. At the regular meeting of the governing body, a new resolution was passed for the MRG application and lengthy discussion was held on the purchase of the used truck. New, Old Resolution As was reported previously (see “Talking ‘bout a...

  • Encampment suspends late fees

    Dana Davis|Apr 15, 2020

    While the Encampment Town Council meeting on April 9, 2020 was still open to the public, as government business is exempt from the State Health Officer’s order, seating was limited and spaced apart according to the new social distancing practices. Doreen Harvey, Encampment Clerk/Treasurer, had taken Governor Gordon’s recommendation and prepared the council with as much information as possible in writing ahead of time to make the meeting utilitarian as possible. The minutes, financial sta...

  • CCSD2 Staff Understand the Big Picture

    Mike Armstrong|Apr 15, 2020

    “The Carbon County School District No 2 (CCSD2) decided to use the Saratoga High School stadium to honor all our seniors who were not able to participate in their spring activities this school year, as well as show our support of our local first responders, medical personnel and all others who are risking their own well-being during this pandemic by participating in the nationwide ‘Be the Light’ campaign this Friday,” Zach Schmidt, assistant principal and former Saratoga High School head wr...

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