Catherine Wheeler

Phone: 307-222-4208
Email: cwheel11@uwyo.edu

Catherine Wheeler comes to Wyoming from Kansas City, Missouri. She has worked at public media stations in Missouri and on the Vox podcast "Today, Explained." Catherine graduated from Fort Lewis College with a BA in English. She recently received her master in journalism from the University of Missouri. Catherine enjoys cooking, looming, reading and the outdoors.

Ways to Connect

Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce

The Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce has started a relief fund for employed or recently employed locals who need some additional help.

As of Tuesday afternoon, about $270,000 have been received or pledged to the Sheridan Area Employee Relief Fund. The Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce started the relief fund to help people who live and work in the county and need extra support. The fund opened for applications on April 6.

State of Wyoming

Existing statewide public health orders will remain in effect until April 30, but Gov. Mark Gordon said the state will soon start to ease restrictions brought on due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

City of Gillette

The Gillette City Council has approved funding that will allow two play areas to be built at a sports complex.

The city is already building three new soccer fields at the Energy Capital Sports Complex to attract more sports competitions like soccer and softball tournaments.

Wyoming Business and Industry Federation

Chambers of Commerce across the state are taking steps to ensure local businesses survive the coronavirus pandemic.

The Wyoming Business and Industry Federation is made up of several chambers of commerce and advocates for businesses in the state. It's developed a two-phase plan.

Cheyenne Regional Airport

Thanks to recent federal legislation, 33 airports in the state will receive aid to support operations.

The CARES Act includes $10 billion for qualified U.S. airports. Wyoming will receive $49.75 million, spread amongst its airports, in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Many have been affected by a lack of travel, with some altering the number of flights coming in or out or pausing operations altogether.

Sheridan Community Land Trust

The Sheridan Community Land Trust (SCLT) has been granted $235,000 to secure two voluntary conservation easements in Sheridan County.

The two easements will help the organization maintain not only the land and water resources but also habitat for animals like greater sage grouse, mule deer and several species of migratory birds.

wyomingfoodbank.org

The Wyoming Food Bank of the Rockies is deploying its resources to help people who have been impacted by the coronavirus.

Food Bank Director Tony Woodell said they are delivering twice the amount of food they regularly bring to their partners across the state.

Sheridan College

A local education foundation, Whitney Benefits, has donated a 3D printer along with supplies to Sheridan College.

Its donation will help the college to make personal protective equipment, or (PPE) in response to an increase in demand after one of the college's printers broke. The gift totals approximately $28,000.

sheridanwyoming.com

This story is part of a two-part series on how schools across the state are handling the switch to adapted learning.

When Superintendent Craig Dougherty first heard Gov. Mark Gordon's orders extending closures of public places through the end of April, he knew the district would have to switch to virtual learning.

Wyoming High School Activities Association

The Wyoming High School Activities Association (WHSAA) announced it is canceling spring sports this year.

The 3A/4A high school state basketball tournaments were canceled back in March. Now, WHSAA is furthering cancelations, which will affect outdoor track and field, soccer, golf and tennis.

David Maulik

At the start of the week, Tyler Kerr was one of the few people in the office at the University of Wyoming's Student Innovation Center. He and his team had a busy weekend 3D printing 115 face masks for Wyoming.

Catherine Wheeler

The Sheridan VA Health System has announced it is stopping in-person visits at some of its community clinics.

The Riverton VA clinic has stopped face-to-face visits as of Monday, March 30. Clinics in Afton, Evanston and Casper will do the same starting on Monday, April 6. That's due to concern over the spread of the coronavirus in those communities.

Public Domain

Public health officials in Campbell County are warning the spread of the coronavirus in the community is likely wider than confirmed cases show.

There are five confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Campbell County as of Wednesday evening, but the local public health department says it's monitoring 159 individuals who may have the disease. Those people and their families are in home-isolation.

Catherine Wheeler

Since health officials are asking residents to practice social distancing and avoid gathering in groups of more than 10 people, a conservation group has decided to host its regular spring clean-up differently this year.

The Sheridan Community Land Trust will be hosting the clean-up of local trails and parks virtually.

Wyoming Department of Education

Top state officials are requiring Wyoming schools stay closed through April 17. State Superintendent Jillian Balow and the Wyoming Department of Education have been working with districts across the state to help figure how schools will work for all students if closures persist.

Wyoming Public Radio's Catherine Wheeler spoke with Balow first about how statewide exams have been canceled for this year.

Northern Wyoming Community College District

The Northern Wyoming Community College District has announced it will postpone spring commencement ceremonies as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a letter sent to students, faculty and staff, District President Walter Tribley said students will still graduate and receive diplomas this spring, and that they hope to reschedule commencement for December.

Catherine Wheeler

A group of state agencies have been working for years to acquire funding to build a state-run skilled nursing facility for veterans. Now, Wyoming's application is in the final stretch.

Google Earth

City and county officials have entered into an agreement to support the Sheridan area's air service.

In August 2019, Sheridan County and the Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) brought in SkyWest as the Sheridan County Airport's service provider. That's part of the state's capacity purchase agreement, and the bigger idea to bring more reliable air service across the state.

Vasiliymeshko / Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0)

There are 18 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Wyoming as of Thursday, March 19, spread between Sheridan, Fremont, Park, Laramie and Teton Counties.

Wyoming Game and Fish Department

Approximately 75 pronghorn have died in a 35 square mile area north of Gillette this year. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department has identified the cause: a bacteria called Mycoplasma bovis, which is usually found in cattle and has not been known to affect pronghorn.

CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION

On Tuesday, March 17, the Wyoming Department of Health reported the eleventh confirmed case of the coronavirus in the state. The department says the newest case is an older man in Laramie County, and he is not currently hospitalized.

State health officials are following up with people who may have had close contact with him.

CCO Public Domain

School districts across Wyoming have announced they are closing until April in compliance with Gov. Mark Gordon's recommendation.

Gordon and State Superintendent Jillian Below announced Sunday evening that schools should stay closed until at least April 3, and students should practice social distancing to prevent further spread of the coronavirus.

Catherine Wheeler

The auditorium at the Sheridan VA Health Care System is a space for veterans to come, shoot pool, play board games, or just hang out.

But on Tuesday, March 3, it was serving as an art gallery. The VA is hosting its annual Creative Arts Festival that allows veterans from across the state to submit a wide range of artistic creations.

VCU Capital News Service / Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0)

The Campbell County School District's Board of Trustees approved the new policy that looks to prepare staff in the event of an opioid overdose.

The Campbell County School District will now allow staff like school nurses, coaches, and secretaries to be trained to recognize the signs of an overdose and properly administer naloxone, or Narcan, which is a nasal spray that can rapidly reverse an opioid overdose.

CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION

There is one reported case of COVID-19 in the state. The Wyoming Department of Health reported a Sheridan County woman was confirmed to have the novel coronavirus.

Sheridan Memorial Hospital Chief Medical Officer Dr. John Addlesperger said the patient is staying at home and feeling better, as of when she was diagnosed. Some people who have had contact with her are in quarantine, but haven't shown any symptoms as of now, he added.

Campbell County School District

The Campbell County School District Board of Trustees approved an agreement with the city of Gillette aimed at making schools in the city safer.

District administrators have been working for months on getting more school resource officers, or SROs, in the district's junior high and high schools in Gillette city limits.

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