Gillette

Cooper McKim

On a bright morning outside Gillette, Darlene Rea is getting ready to job search. She might visit Sheridan this afternoon. Until two months ago, Rea worked in Blackjewel's warehouse - receiving freight, writing invoices and finding parts. But since the coal company's abrupt bankruptcy, she's been stuck looking for work.

Courtesy Wyoming Business Council

The Wyoming Council For Women announced the winner of its second annual Woman Entrepreneur Award.

Catherine Wheeler

Pyrotechnics Guild International is a group for people who love fireworks. The organization is celebrating its 50th birthday this year and brought its yearly meet up to Gillette this month. The pyrotechnicians brought some of the biggest fireworks the city has ever seen. Wyoming Public Radio's Catherine Wheeler has more from Gillette's week of fireworks.

https://www.gillettewy.gov

The Gillette City Council has taken the next steps to expand local athletic fields.

Wikimedia Commons

The U.S. Department of Commerce has awarded a Campbell County organization a grant aimed at diversifying the economy.

Anna Rader

Campbell County has purchased a piece of land that will soon be home to the area's new visitor center.

The members of Pyrotechnics Guild International (PGI) are gathered in Gillette this week to celebrate the fireworks trade organization's 50th year. The organization has around 1,600 members.

Missy681 via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

Emergency services in Campbell County are employing a new service that allows people to text 911 for emergencies.

Wyoming Food Bank of the Rockies

The Wyoming Food Bank of the Rockies' mobile pantry will be visiting Gillette over the next couple of weeks to support people affected by the recent mine closures.

Blackjewel Belle Ayr sign
Vikki Strande/Facebook

Blackjewel employees in Wyoming could soon miss their second payday; it's approaching quickly on July 26. The recently bankrupt coal company has already passed one payday on July 12 since filing for Chapter 11 reorganization on the first of July.

Campbell County

Campbell County Commissioners have approved an agreement with the city of Gillette that hopes to bring economic diversification to northeast Wyoming.

Rory Wallett stationed in his office since July 1. This is where he's spent most of his time coordinating with workers around the country
Cooper McKim

More than a week has passed since Blackjewel filed for bankruptcy and sent home 576 workers. They're still waiting to hear if they're laid off or heading back to work soon. Employees are stuck in limbo, but many are not struggling to keep busy.

Blackjewel Belle Ayr sign
Vikki Strande/Facebook

The laid-off employees of bankrupt Blackjewel mining are filing a class-action lawsuit against the company.

Informational session held for former Blackjewel employees
Cooper McKim

Former Blackjewel workers still have health insurance. Twenty to 30 percent of dislocated employees have found new jobs. Not all mine customers have abandoned Blackjewel. That's the good news coming from Brandy Elder, Blackjewel's Human Resources manager, at an information session in Gillette on Monday.

Since 4 p.m. yesterday, Gillette's Wyoming Workforce Center has seen 160 people visit from Blackjewel. This morning, the center opened up early and still had people lined up at the door. The West Virginia coal company Blackjewel LLC filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy yesterday and has since closed the doors to its mines due to a lack of cash.

Catherine Wheeler

On a sunny and warm Friday in Northeast Wyoming, Levi Jensen and I drove east on Highway 51 out of Gillette.

Cooper McKim

A $7.5 million competition to develop products out of carbon dioxide is less than a year away from its final stage. The NRG Cosia Carbon XPRIZE competition will take place at the Integrated Test Center outside of Gillette. Five teams are nearing the point where they can set up operations. Wyoming Public Radio's Cooper McKim speaks with Marcius Extavour about how teams are progressing and what's still to come.

A few of the many letters requesting an equity committee on Cloud Peak's court docket
Prime Clerk

More than 300 individuals who own stock in Cloud Peak Energy are looking for a seat at the table in the coal giant’s bankruptcy. Together, the group owns more than 24 percent of Cloud Peak's stock. The shareholders are asking the court to appoint an equity committee to represent their interests.

These ratios for Cloud Peak's mines are not only high, but Cordero Rojo's get's increasingly higher. The higher the ratio, the more dirt is necessary to remove before reaching coal.
SEC Filings

Cloud Peak followed up its Friday bankruptcy filing with insight on what's been going on behind the scenes. Like many assumed, the Gillette-based coal giant did seek out buyers. The company had international investment bank J.P. Morgan lead the search. 

Cordero Rojo Mine Reclamation
Wyoming Mining Association

A struggling Powder River Basin coal company has put off two interest payments again. It will be the fourth extension. One is for debt due in 2021 and the other for 2024. Cloud Peak Energy negotiated with debt holders to put off paying until May 10. Past extensions have lasted a month, two weeks and one week.

Earl Andrew / Wikimedia Commons

The city of Gillette will host the National Curling Arena Championships in April of 2020, the first time a major curling event will take place in Wyoming.

Catherine Wheeler

This week's snowstorm brought several inches of snow and snow drifts between three and six feet high in areas of Wyoming. On Thursday morning, Gillette residents started to dig themselves out, and downtown Gillette's parking was impossible. City crews had to wait until Thursday night in order to address the problem.

J. Stephen Conn via https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/

The Gillette teen who is accused of planning to shoot several teachers and students at his is school pleaded not guilty to nine counts of attempted first-degree murder.

Cooper McKim

Hundreds of train cars overflowing with coal extend alongside a road. Trucks haul the same energy resource in a large pit on the other side of the road. The highway is outside of Gillette, Wyoming, commonly called the coal capital of the U.S.

Catherine Wheeler / Wyoming Public Media

A Gillette art and framing shop held a show over the weekend featuring three generations of artists to spotlight the region's art community.

Catherine Wheeler

The kindergarten classrooms at Stocktrail Elementary in Gillette are just like any others. But in one, it sounds a little different than what you might expect.

That's because at Stocktrail two sections are part of a dual-language immersion program (DLI). That means students spend half of their day speaking only Spanish and another half speaking English.

Miles Bryan


Aftab Khan and his family have lived in the Gillette area for over a hundred years, and a few years back the family opened a mosque there. Bret Colvin started a Facebook page called Stop Islam In Gillette and, after the mosque opened, he knocked on the door during services while a large number of people rallied behind him, some of them armed. The event was covered extensively in the local and the international news. Quickly, the online rhetoric between them grew ugly. 

But until now, they’ve never met in person.

Integrated Test Center Facebook Page

The Integrated Test Center is open for business. The Gillette-based facility is aimed at research and testing new uses for carbon dioxide, say, as a building material, common fuel, or green concrete. Many hope the center will find new, profitable uses for coal — Governor Matt Mead is one of them. In a brief conversation, the Governor discussed his expectations for the project and the risks that come with it.

Mark Christensen speaking in front of the House Subcommittee on Natural Resources
House Committee on Natural Resources

Congress is considering a bill called the POWER Counties Act that would re-direct funds back to mineral-producing counties. The reclamation fund within the Mineral Leasing Act typically supports water projects, like dams, but now has an excess of money thanks to increased mineral leasing. 

Wyoming Integrated Test Center
Tri-State Generation and Transmission

The Integrated Test Center (ITC) in Gillette will host five finalists for the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE competition later this year. The 10 teams were selected this week, down from 27 in the semi-final round. The remaining five teams will be located in Alberta studying natural gas instead of coal. 

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