riverton

Savannah Maher


This summer, the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers sparked a wave of protests across the country. The first Wyoming community to join that national movement wasn't Laramie or Cheyenne, or even Jackson Hole. It was Riverton.

Courtesy of the Brown-Howell family

 

Update: Mr. Brown's body has been transported from Salt Lake City to Riverton, and the Brown-Howell family has received a loan from the Northern Arapaho Tribe that will cover transportation costs. The family is still accepting donations through its GoFundMe page to cover other funeral expenses.

The extended Brown-Howell family of Riverton lost a loved one to COVID-19 this month. 73-year-old John Nelson Brown II was hospitalized with the illness in Fremont County in June. Due to his age and an underlying health condition, he was life-flighted to the University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City for specialized treatment. He died there on July 10, after spending nearly three weeks on a ventilator.

In addition to mourning their father and grandfather, five of Brown's family members have also tested positive for COVID-19 in recent weeks. Some have been hospitalized or quarantined and are unable to work. The family is struggling to afford funeral expenses, and they are asking for the community's help.


Taylar Stagner

Central Wyoming College in Riverton has had an increase in new student applications, but a dip in returning students enrolling in classes. Since March 30, the community college has been teaching classes online to help curb the spread of COVID-19. CWC is worried the stressful semester has taken a toll on returning students.

Robert Martinez

Governor Mark Gordon honored five Wyoming artists with the 2019 Governor's Arts Award, including visual artist and graphic designer Robert Martinez. Martinez is Northern Arapaho and Chicano, and grew up in a family of talented painters and beadworkers on the Wind River Reservation. He draws and paints portraits using bright, contrasting tones in a style intended to challenge the viewer's assumptions of what Native people and Native art should look like.

"You see many depictions of Natives as black and white or sepia toned, and that connotes to a dead culture," Martinez said. "So, one of the things I was doing with this bright paint was I wanted to show that we're not dead, we're alive and strong."

Wyoming Public Radio's Savannah Maher visited Martinez at his studio outside of Riverton and talked with him about his work and what it means to be one of only a few people of color ever awarded the state's top artistic honor.

Savannah Maher

Temperatures dipped below 10 degrees in Riverton on Monday, Jan 20. But that didn't stop more than 100 people from participating in the city's 17th annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day "Walk for Unity."

Savannah Maher

Some residents of Fremont County are calling for the release of more information about a September police shooting that killed 58-year-old Anderson Antelope and the encounter that led up to it.

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.

Savannah Maher

It's been nearly a week since a man was shot and killed by law enforcement outside of a Walmart store in Riverton. Last night, community members held a vigil for the man, who has been identified as 58-year-old Anderson Antelope, a citizen of the Northern Arapaho Tribe.

Savannah Maher

The victim of Saturday's police shooting in Riverton attacked an officer with a knife before he was shot and killed, according to the Fremont County Attorney's Office. County Prosecutor Pat Lebrun wrote in a statement released just before 2:00 p.m. on Monday that an officer was trying to arrest the victim.

Riverton High School

The University of Wyoming marching band "Western Thunder" took a trip to Riverton to perform at a high school football game against Cody. The event, called "Bring the Thunder" is part of an effort to get students excited about going to college - and to recruit new members of the marching band. Wyoming Public Radio's Savannah Maher was there to see the two bands meet, and she sent us this postcard.

London Homer-Wambeam

Wyoming residents probably haven't noticed much change in how cities collect recycling over the past year. But your bottles, cans and paper may be going to different places than they were a year ago.

Photo by Jimmy Emerson, DVM via CC BY-NC-ND 2 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

Last February, the 10th Circuit Court ruled that the city of Riverton is not inside the Wind River Reservation boundaries, prompting the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho tribes to ask for another hearing. This week, the court rejected that request. Wind River Native Advocacy Center board chair Sergio Maldonado said the next step for the dispute is the U.S. Supreme Court.

Darrah Perez

It's been two years since a white city employee opened fire at a Riverton detox center, killing one Native American and wounding another. To commemorate the tragedy, the community hosted a peace march.

About 80 people walked from the Center of Hope detox center down Main Street to the city park. Children carried signs that read, “Peace,” and “Lives Matter” and “Humanity 4 All.”

Organizer Ron Howard said the goal of the march was to raise awareness so the children of Riverton can grow up safely here.

The Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone tribes said they plan to work together to appeal a Tenth Circuit Court ruling made Wednesday declaring that the city of Riverton is not located within reservation boundaries.

A 1905 Act passed by Congress opened up 1.4 million acres of Wind River Reservation land for settlement to non-Indians. Then in 2013, the EPA ruled in an air quality study that the city of Riverton was part of that acreage and rightfully belonged within reservation boundaries.

Melodie Edwards

Kids and horses gather on a dusty riding ground on a ridge overlooking the snow-capped Wind River Range. Northern Arapaho Social Services Director Allison Sage starts the day’s ride as he always does: with a prayer and introductions.

“We’re using Arapaho language,” he says. “We’re saying nee'eesih'inoo. That means ‘my name is.’ So you say, nee'eesih'inoo and then how you feel.”

Pitchengine Communities / County10.com

Over the weekend, the Little Wind River reached its third highest peak on record, causing flooding that’s left many on the Wind River Reservation and in Fremont County displaced.

The Red Cross of Wyoming has opened an evacuation center at the Riverton Fairgrounds for the nearly 300 people affected by the flooding. Spokeswoman Pat Kondas says, people need to stay ready to evacuate as late as through the middle of this week.

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.

Alejandra Silver / Riverton Ranger, Inc.

    

Next Thursday in Fort Washakie on the Wind River Indian Reservation, tribal and non-tribal community members will gather together to talk about how to solve the problem of escalating racial tensions in the area. The U.S. Justice Department offered to sponsor the meetings following the shooting of two Northern Arapaho men by a white man last summer at a detox center in Riverton. The forums are part of a four-part curriculum intended to build toward a set of practical goals that the community can agree to implementing.

The man who shot two Northern Arapaho men inside a Riverton detox center last year has been sentenced to life in prison without parole. The victims’ families say they are still searching for justice and healing.

On Thursday, a judge sentenced 32-year-old Roy Clyde—a white city parks worker—to life in prison without parole for the murder of 29-year-old Stallone Trosper.

Stallone’s uncle, James Trosper, says his family has felt it important to turn to the values they’ve been taught as Native Americans.

The city of Riverton hosted a community forum last week to help reduce racial tensions that have been building there. In July, a white city employee shot two Native American men at a detox center, killing one and seriously injuring the other. Some tribal leaders say it was a hate crime. And with a federal court decision pending on whether Riverton falls within reservation boundaries, tensions have been escalating.

Two Wyoming groups have started a petition urging lawmakers to pass a hate crimes bill in the state.

Hate crime laws impose tougher penalties on criminals who target their victims because of things like the victim's race or religion. Wyoming is one of just five states that does not have one.

The Wind River Native Advocacy Center and Wyoming Association of Churches are gathering signatures. They say their efforts are in response to the July shooting of two Northern Arapaho men by a white Riverton parks employee at a local detox center. One man was killed in that attack.

Jimmy Emerson via Flickr Creative Commons

The City of Riverton will hold a peace march this Saturday to celebrate tolerance and equality in the wake of the shooting of two Native American men by a white city parks worker last month.

Both victims were sleeping inside the Center of Hope detox center when they were attacked. James "Sonny" Goggles, Jr., 50, was seriously injured and Stallone Trosper, 29, died.

The event was organized by Ron Howard, an enrolled member of the Northern Arapaho Tribe who teaches preschool on the Wind River Reservation.

The Riverton Police Department will soon hire a staff member to investigate claims of race-based discrimination.

The person hired for the position will not be a police officer, but will work closely with police when conducting investigations, says Riverton police chief Mike Broadhead.

“I see this as a position to serve as an educator,” he says. “To help people who have been victims of bias to have an outlet that is healthy and to make them feel like they don’t have to go home frustrated. I want to give them a voice.”

A new translation is making old Viking poems accessible to general readers. The stories of gods and heroes were written down in 13th century Iceland. But for translator Jackson Crawford—who lives in Riverton—the existing English translations of the Poetic Edda were just hard to read.  

Wyoming Public Media

The final piece of the puzzle for a long-awaited Wind River Job Corps program has been found.  Management and Training Corporation of Utah has been chosen by the U.S. Department of Labor to operate the Wind River Job Corps Center.  

Job Corps trains students who come from families below the federal poverty level. Sandy Barton of the Fremont County Board for Cooperative Education Services has been working on the project for ten years and says the selection means that Wyoming’s first Job Corps will finally open.

10th circuit Federal court judges have denied Andrew Yellowbear's request to become a “friend of the court” in a case about the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision that the city of Riverton falls inside reservation boundaries. Yellowbear was convicted by a state court in the 2004 murder of his infant daughter. He argues he should have been tried in a federal court since, according to the EPA, Riverton is part of the reservation.

Wikimedia Commons

Possibly the longest running lawsuit in Wyoming history came to an end last Friday in Worland. Judge Robert Skar signed a final decree that brought closure to a controversial water rights case. The case examined some 20,000 possible water rights claims in and around the Wind River Indian Reservation over the course of 37 years. Water law professor Jason Robison was at the historic signing.

Jimmy Emerson via Flickr Creative Commons

The Wyoming Department of Education will hold its fifth annual Native American Education Conference this week in Riverton. The goals of the conference including boosting communication between schools and the Native American families they serve—and integrating tribal culture into curriculum.

Last year, the high school graduation rate for Native American students in Wyoming was 42 percent, compared to 78 percent for all students. Conference coordinator Keja Whiteman says that gap signals the need for this event.

Aero Icarus via Flickr

Great Lakes Airlines will be losing a partnership with the national Frontier Airlines. That’s the latest in a series of setbacks Wyoming’s only airline has suffered recently.

Under the partnership, Frontier has been marketing and selling tickets for Great Lakes. That practice, called “code sharing,” will come to an end.

Riverton airport manager Paul Griffin says the change means people flying Great Lakes are going to have more to worry about when they transfer to Frontier.

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