fremont county

Savannah Maher

 

Fremont County, which continues to lead the state in confirmed COVID-19 cases, will be without a public health officer until August. Dr. Brian Gee chose to step down from the job after his term ended on Tuesday.

According to County Commission Chairman Travis Becker, the COVID-19 pandemic abruptly turned the public health officer position from a relatively casual role to an 80-hour per week commitment.

An unofficial July Fourth parade organized by Lander residents will go forward with the city's blessing. In an email sent via a community listserv, Lander Senator Cale Case said he and city officials helped the organizers secure a WYDOT permit to shut down Main Street to avoid the "dangers and chaos" of an unsanctioned celebration.

Savannah Maher


More than 100 people gathered at Riverton City Park on Monday night to honor George Floyd, the 46-year-old Black man who died last week after a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for more than eight minutes. Demonstrators chanted "Black Lives Matter" and "Justice for Floyd" along Federal Boulevard before holding a candlelight vigil for Floyd. The event, which was organized by young people from the Wind River Reservation, remained peaceful.

Wyoming Public Radio's Savannah Maher compiled this audio postcard from the vigil, featuring the voices of Black and Indigenous demonstrators.

CDC

The Wyoming Department of Health announced it will start updating the number of probable COVID-19 cases in addition to lab confirmed cases. These are individuals that have taken the COVID-19 test and received a positive. While a probable case is someone who has had close contact with a lab-confirmed case and has symptoms consistent with COVID-19.

Arapahoe School District

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

This week, all 48 Wyoming school districts launched their adapted learning plans. For some, that means leaning more heavily on online tools that had already been incorporated into the curriculum. But other districts, including many on the Wind River Reservation, are starting from scratch.

Charles Willgren via https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Fremont County currently has the highest number of known COVID-19 cases in Wyoming - nine out of 20 that have been confirmed in our state by Friday. Eight of Fremont County's cases are residents or staff members at Lander's Showboat Retirement Center, and state health officials say the ninth case is directly related to that cluster.

Loring Schaible

It's been a busy week for newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Wyoming. Still, many in our state are wondering why so few tests have been administered. State Department of Health Spokeswoman Kim Deti told Wyoming Public Media that amid a shortage of tests, medical providers are prioritizing those at highest risk.

Loring Schaible

One of Fremont County's nine confirmed COVID-19 patients went to SageWest Health Care in Lander last week, but was sent home without being tested for the disease. That's according to the patient's daughter, who said her mother began showing symptoms, including a severe cough, that same week. 

Charles Willgren via https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Wyoming has risen to 19. Those cases are spread between Sheridan, Fremont, Park, Laramie and Teton Counties.

Loring Schaible

Following national and state-level declarations, the city of Lander has declared a state of emergency locally. The announcement came on Tuesday, after the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Fremont County rose to eight.

Google Maps

The Wyoming Public Health Laboratory has identified seven new cases of COVID-19. 

Wikimedia Commons

Wyoming's second known COVID-19 patient is an older male resident of the Showboat Retirement Center in Lander. Officials with the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) say his case has not been linked to foreign or domestic travel. That signals that he was likely exposed by another member of the community.

Savannah Maher

Karen Zoller's two rescue dogs, Macy and Izza, love to run and explore. So, she takes them to public trails around Fremont County where she can let them off leash.

Central Wyoming College

Students at Central Wyoming College will soon be able to learn the ins-and-outs of livestock slaughtering and meat processing. That's thanks to a nearly $800,000 grant from Wyoming Works, a statewide program aimed at helping adult students develop vocational skills and secure employment.

Flickr Creative Commons

Officers with the Riverton Police Department will soon be equipped with body cameras. According to Police Chief Eric Murphy, the change comes in response to the recent deadly shooting of Anderson Antelope by a Riverton Police Officer.

Savannah Maher

After weeks of back and forth with the county attorney, Fremont County Coroner Mark Stratmoen has called off a public inquest into the September police shooting that killed Anderson Antelope. In a Thursday morning press release, Stratmoen wrote that his office has been "obstructed from completing the process" and that the manner of Antelope's death will be certified as "undetermined."

Savannah Maher

It's been just over two months since a police officer shot and killed 58-year-old Anderson Antelope outside of a Walmart store in Riverton. This afternoon, Fremont County Attorney Patrick Lebrun released a statement saying that the officer's actions were justified, and that his office will take no further action on the case.

Flickr Creative Commons

 

State lawmakers and police are looking for new solutions to a loophole that has long allowed non-Native people some degree of immunity from law enforcement on the Wind River Reservation.

The Fremont County Alliance Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault is asking for the community's help to build a new shelter.

Those charged with municipal crimes in Riverton can now be sent to a jail nearly 100 miles away in Worland. 

CC BY-SA 2.0: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en

In the 2018 election, Native American communities around the country complained about incidents of voter suppression, and some complaints occurred here in Wyoming.

CREDIT PITCHENGINE COMMUNITIES / COUNTY10.COM

  

For years now, Fremont County in central Wyoming has been swamped with high waters that have damaged homes and highways. In 2011, the National Guard was even called in to help. But this year was different, even though rivers rose higher than ever before. 

Wyoming Public Radio’s Melodie Edwards sat down with Fremont County Emergency Management Coordinator Kathi Metzler and Information Officer Tammy Shrower to find out what everybody did right this time.

Rocky Mountains, Wind River Range
Provided by Wikipedia

A flood watch is active in the north central part of Wyoming. Recent warm weather combined with a spring snow storm is speeding up the already high levels of runoff in the state’s mountains.  

Streams in the eastern and central part of the state are also beginning to run high: in the Shoshone, Big Horn, Wind, and Powder River Basins.  

In the Wind River Mountains, snow pack is 237-percent higher than usual according to the emergency management agency in Fremont County. 

Pitchengine Communities

With most of the mountains in western Wyoming still covered in deep snow, communities downstream are bracing for the spring runoff. National Weather Service meteorologist Trevor LaVoie said it’s flooded along the Big and Little Wind Rivers every spring for the last six years. He said people living on the Wind River Reservation and in other communities along those rivers should begin preparing for flooding now.

Aaron Schrank

Jane Juve makes her morning rounds through the same building where she served as Riverton’s city attorney two decades ago. Now she’s the Riverton Police Department’s new ‘community relations ombudsman.’

“If you feel like your civil rights have been violated, you’re more than welcome to come to my office in city hall,” Juve says.

Miles Bryan

In a classroom at a Riverton activity center kids are sitting in a “connection circle.” They toss a ball around, and whoever has it has got to say what makes them happiest.

“I’m happiest when I am around my family,” one girl says before bouncing the ball to a boy. “I’m happiest when I’m riding my dirt bike,” he replies.

The idea is that if two kids are happy when they are doing the same thing, they make a connection. It wouldn’t feel out of place at an  alternative high school–it’s actually an alternative to juvenile detention.

Suriel via flickr

The Albany County Library received an emergency infusion of over $100,000 this week.

That money was allocated by the Albany County Commissioners to help the library cover a budget deficit of around $70,000 dollars for this fiscal year.

“We would have had to completely gut the programming and materials. No more programming and materials for the year,” says library manager Joey Dingess. “To be quite honest, we wouldn’t be able to pay our bills the rest of the year.”

Several residents have been asked to evacuate their homes in Wood’s Landing because an access road was flooded by the rising Laramie River.  And residents in the towns of Saratoga and Encampment are on alert for evacuations, as high snow melt floods the North Platte River.  Flooding in Park and Fremont Counties has not led to evacuations, but officials are wary of rainfall this weekend.  

Kathi Metzler is the Emergency Management Coordinator in Fremont County where she’s monitoring the Wind River.

Patrick Goggles has been serving in the Wyoming House of Representatives since 2005. But at the end of the recent budget session, he announced that he won’t be seeking reelection in 2014. Goggles is a democrat from House District 33, which includes a piece of the Wind River Indian Reservation in Fremont County.

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