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Around Wyoming brings you news from around the state, keeping you informed with brief updates of stories you may have missed.

Around Wyoming, Tuesday, February 13

Maverik convenience stores and gas stations are scattered throughout the West. But, they got their start in Afton. In 1928, 20-year-old Reuel Call used the money he had made renting out roller skates to open a two pump gas station in Afton. Just four years later, he opened a second location in Jackson. He had been partnered with a national brand, but in 1954, he de-affiliated and renamed his stores “Maverik,” which means unbranded.

JC Penney is another chain with Wyoming roots. The department store was founded in Kemmerer, where the original store still stands. James Cash Penney started as a clerk in a Golden Rule store, which was a small dry goods store. He did so well that he was sent to manage the Evanston store. Soon after, Penney bought out the other owners at the Kemmerer location and started expanding. But first, he gave the chain its more recognizable name: JC Penney.

Taco John’s was also a Wyoming creation. It started in 1968 in a small trailer called “Taco House” in Cheyenne. Its original logo was a devil and its original motto was “The hottest spot in town.” In 1969, John Turner, the owner, sold the franchise rights to two men who renamed it Taco John’s in his honor.

Ivy started as a science news intern in the summer of 2019 and has been hooked on broadcast ever since. Her internship was supported by the Wyoming EPSCoR Summer Science Journalism Internship program. In the spring of 2020, she virtually graduated from the University of Wyoming with a B.S. in biology with minors in journalism and business. When she’s not writing for WPR, she enjoys baking, reading, playing with her dog, and caring for her many plants.