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TexasTowelie

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Gender: Male
Hometown: South Texas. most of my life I lived in Austin and Dallas
Home country: United States
Current location: Bryan, Texas
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2011, 03:57 AM
Number of posts: 77,641

About Me

Middle-aged white guy who believes in justice and equality for all. Math and computer analyst with additional 21st century jack-of-all-trades skills. I'm a stud, not a dud!

Journal Archives

University of Wyoming to close office in Jackson, will maintain overall service there

The University of Wyoming is closing an office it had in Jackson, though it’s overall maintaining services in the town.

The office, housed in Jackson’s Center for the Arts, is where a Riverton-based UW recruitment and enrollment official held monthly office hours, according to a university press release. The closure is part of a spate of moves to shutter now-obsolete distance-learning facilities around the state.

According to the release, sent earlier this month, the site helped deliver distance-education courses via web conferencing. But advances in technology that allow students to take the same courses through their own computers have made such offices unnecessary.

The Jackson Hole News and Guide reported last week that the university chose not to renew its lease on four rooms in the arts center.

Read more: https://trib.com/news/local/education/uw-to-close-office-in-jackson-will-maintain-overall-service/article_40060540-5356-561b-ba5a-8f9b7538da42.html

New York Stock Exchange warns Wyoming coal producer it's at risk of being delisted

The New York Stock Exchange has warned one of Wyoming’s largest coal producers that it could be delisted, following consistent weak performance of the company’s stock.

Gillette-based Cloud Peak Energy’s common stock has been trading below $1 per share at the close of the market for 30 days in a row, prompting a notification on Wednesday that the company had six months to remedy its low stock price or it would be delisted from the NYSE.

Cloud Peak operates the Antelope and Cordero Rojo mines in Wyoming and the Spring Creek mine in Montana. The company employed about 850 miners in Wyoming as of September. It recently announced that it was considering selling itself -- among other options -- in the face of an untenable coal market. Cloud Peak was trading at 35 cents late Thursday.

Cloud Peak was the only large Wyoming player that did not file for bankruptcy during the coal downturn, when three large coal firms operating in the state sought Chapter 11 protection.

Read more: https://trib.com/business/energy/new-york-stock-exchange-warns-wyoming-coal-producer-it-s/article_8a58b14e-ab60-55de-ad55-f90831ffeef5.html

Wildlife managers: Teton mountain goats must go

JACKSON – Aloft in a helicopter surveying the Tetons the other week, Aly Courtemanch again spotted mountain goats in new nooks of the range.

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department biologist also saw something concerning her and other wildlife managers in the region: native bighorn sheep mingling with their exotic mountain-dwelling relatives.

“Again this winter we saw goats expanding into some bighorn wintering areas,” Courtemanch said. “And we actually did see a bighorn sheep ram very close to a group of mountain goats in Upper Cascade Canyon. They might be sharing the same little patch of winter habitat.”

She estimated the distance from sheep to goats at 30 yards.

That proximity is potentially perilous for Teton’s bighorn sheep herd, which has never been exposed to a number of deadly pathogens that the goats, migrants from the Snake River Range, are known to harbor. Species-to-species transmission is possible at any time, and could result in an outbreak of deadly pneumonia that could diminish the bifurcated bighorn herd, which numbers just 100 head. Disease could wipe out the entire bighorn bunch due to its small size.

Read more: https://www.wyomingnews.com/news/from_the_wire/wildlife-managers-teton-mountain-goats-must-go/article_5366cd4c-09a6-11e9-93fb-03df13d7db79.html


Mountain goats are seen in Death Canyon at Grand Teton National Park. Courtesy

WYDOT awarded grant for I-80 winter safety improvements between Laramie and Rawlins

Those who frequently travel on Interstate 80 are no strangers to winter road closures and unsafe conditions, but the Wyoming Department of Transportation is trying to improve on that. After winning a federal grant, WYDOT has enhancements planned for a 45-mile stretch of the interstate between Laramie and Rawlins, making the section safer for winter travel.

Keith Fulton, assistant chief engineer with WYDOT, said the main goal of the I-80 Winter Freight Improvement Project is to “reduce those wintertime crashes” as well as control the spacing and flow of traffic along the section of interstate.

The $20 million Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development grant from the Federal Highway Administration will be used to make truck passing lanes on the interstate’s uphill stretches, as well as install parking areas for travelers to wait out winter storms.

Fulton said the engineering team at WYDOT did an analysis as part of its master plan for I-80, examining sections across the state and determining what areas needed improvements.

Read more: https://www.laramieboomerang.com/news/local_news/wydot-awarded-grant-for-i--winter-safety-improvements-between/article_b69997d3-0e3d-5bfe-8cb0-d1915c38efda.html

University of Wyoming wins gun case

State law does not prevent local governments from regulating guns manufactured outside of Wyoming, Albany County District Court Judge Tori Kricken ruled this week.

“To the extent that the Wyoming Firearms Freedom Act preempts regulation of firearms by cities, towns, counties, political subdivisons and or/any other entities, it does so only with respect to firearms, firearm accessories and ammunition that are manufactured in Wyoming,” Kricken wrote in her order for summary judgment.

The ruling came as part of a lawsuit against the University of Wyoming by Lyle Williams, a Uinta County man who argued it was illegal for the school to ban guns on campus.

Williams was cited in April after carrying a gun on the Laramie campus during the Wyoming State Republican Party Convention in April.

Read more: https://www.laramieboomerang.com/news/local_news/uw-wins-gun-case/article_f716078f-7627-51bb-932c-57e8e5d3e48c.html

'Critical infrastructure' bill rides again; criminalizes protest against the fossil fuel industry

A Lander lawmaker has again introduced the controversial critical infrastructure protection bill from the 2018 legislative session, which opponents said was designed to criminalize protest against the fossil fuel industry.

Rep. Lloyd Larsen (R-Lander) is lead sponsor on a new iteration of the bill, which died in the waning hours of the 2018 Legislative session when the Wyoming House rejected the Senate’s attempts to override Gov. Matt Mead’s veto.

The new bill offers modest changes to the previous version — mostly cleaning up language after hectic attempts to make the bill workable last session. A flurry of amendments on the House floor in the session’s waning hours made it difficult for Legislators to keep track of what was and wasn’t in the measure, Larsen said. Last year, “there were a lot of people scratching their heads and kind of saying ‘where are we at now?’” he said.

Like the first version, Larsen’s House Bill 10 would create new crimes for people who impede, or trespass with the intent to impede, “critical infrastructure.” The bill defines critical infrastructure with a long list of types of facilities related to Wyoming’s key industries.

Read more: https://www.wyofile.com/critical-infrastructure-bill-rides-again/

Friess machine urges lawmakers to override local authority

A dispute over a proposed private school expansion in Teton County has some legislators girding for a renewed fight over local vs. state control in the upcoming legislative session — this time with Foster Friess’ political influence and spending power in the fray.

Supported by the nonprofit family foundation of unsuccessful gubernatorial candidate Foster Friess, the Jackson Hole Classical Academy wants to build a new campus in an area that doesn’t currently permit the proposed development. The request is riling neighbors, consuming county officials and now spilling over county lines into state politics. The school would construct 116,000 square-feet of buildings on part of an 80-acre rural site.

Teton County rules limit the size of structures in rural zones to 10,000 square feet and would prohibit construction of two large buildings proposed for the private, nonprofit school. Commissioners are scheduled to decide early next year whether to change rural zoning rules throughout the county to allow buildings up to 30,000 square feet and open the door for development of the new campus — a decision that school proponents could circumvent with help from Cheyenne.

School backers have begun lobbying state lawmakers for “legislative relief” from the county restrictions, according to Rep. Andy Schwartz (D-Teton County) and other lawmakers.

Rea more: https://www.wyofile.com/friess-machine-urges-lawmakers-to-override-local-authority/

Colorado propane shortage prompts emergency declaration

DENVER — Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper has declared a disaster emergency because of a propane shortage that could leave 33,000 customers without enough fuel in the midst of winter.

Hickenlooper's declaration, issued Tuesday, temporarily relaxes restrictions on how many hours propane truck drivers are allowed to work. The order says rules that prohibit ill or fatigued drivers from working are still in effect.

State officials blame the shortage on production problems at Colorado propane facilities. Suppliers have begun to bring in propane from out of state, requiring longer trips for delivery drivers.

Officials say expected cold weather will make the shortage worse.

Hickenlooper says shortage is primarily affecting rural areas of the state.

https://gazette.com/news/colorado-propane-shortage-prompts-emergency-declaration/article_761db68a-0801-11e9-a229-6f36e5a73a1b.html
(no more at link)

Calling Hank Hill to the rescue...

Thieves steal $800,000 in jewelry at Colorado luxury hotel

ASPEN — Authorities say three men stole about $800,000 worth of diamond-encased jewelry from a display case in the lobby of The Little Nell hotel in Aspen.

The Aspen Daily News reports that police say one of the men involved in the theft Friday used a screwdriver to pop open the locked case and put a necklace and at least one ring and a set of earrings into a backpack.

The items belonged to Piranesi, a New York City-based business that has an outlet in Aspen.

Piranesi employee Veronica Sumner says Piranesi has had the display case in the hotel's lobby for marketing purposes for more than 20 years.

Read more: https://gazette.com/news/thieves-steal-in-jewelry-at-colorado-luxury-hotel/article_c19ce9d4-08c2-11e9-a8a2-9f13e427544a.html

Colorado freezes admission to psychiatric hospitals for patients who are not in the criminal justice

Colorado freezes admission to psychiatric hospitals for patients who are not in the criminal justice system


There are 94 beds at the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Fort Logan in Denver.

Starting Christmas Eve, the Colorado Department of Human Services announced patients discharged from them are being replaced with someone in the criminal justice system.

People who have not been charged with a crime will not be given a bed for the foreseeable future.

"So, essentially, in order to get mental inpatient mental health services you have to commit a crime," Disability Law Colorado director of legal services Alison Butler said.

Read more: https://gazette.com/news/colorado-freezes-admission-to-psychiatric-hospitals-for-patients-who-are/article_a9af562c-09da-11e9-9ae2-3f13f3906c7f.html
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