(Shoshoni, Wyo.) – A public meeting about Boysen State Park and hosted by the Wyoming Division of State Parks, Historic Sites and Trails has been rescheduled for 6 p.m., May 15 at the Shoshoni Fire Hall, 106 E. 2nd St..
During the meeting, the public will be invited to provide input to the Parks Division regarding Boysen State Park. Parks staff will be on hand to provide information and answer questions on such topics as how visitor use information is captured, the rules and regulations for Boysen State Park, and other park related topics.
For more information, please call 777-2416.
In honor of National Tourism Week, May 5-13, the Wind River Visitors Council, (Fremont County’s Lodging Tax board), is providing the newest economic information on county tourism. Tourism is Wyoming’s second largest industry after energy.
According to Dean Runyan Associates, which analyzes the economic impact of tourism on the state for the Wyoming Office of Tourism, visitors spent $137.7 million in Fremont County in 2011. Prior to 2009, visitor spending was increasing in double digit percentages. During the national recession, 2009 tourist spending in Fremont County decreased to $118.7 million, from a high of 2008’s $139 million. Visitor spending began increasing again in 2010 reaching $128.5 million, and in 2011, jumped again to $137.7 million.
This year marks the 28th commemoration of National Tourism Week. Tourism is a vital part of the world and nation’s economy and accounts for a significant share of global employment. Eight percent of Wyoming’s total employment is in the tourism sector. In Fremont County more than 1,500 jobs are in the tourism industry, accounting for $42 million in wages.
Where did the $137.7 million get spent in 2011? Visitors to Wind River Country spent the following:
$18.9 million on lodging
$35.7 million on food service and food stores
$41 million on local transportation and gas
$20.9 million on arts, entertainment and recreation
$18.9 million on retail sales
$800,000 on airplane transportation
This means that for every $1 spent on lodging in our communities, another $6 dollars was spent on other travel-related services and retail shopping. Fremont County ranks 8th out of the 23 counties in the State in travel spending in our visitor industry. Visitors also generated $1.4 million in local tax receipts and $3.2 million in state tax receipts from travel spending in Fremont County.
According to Scott Goetz, Executive Director, Lander Area Chamber of Commerce, “Over the last 10 years, tourism has increased in Lander and has become one of the most important factors in economic development in this community. The retail and restaurant segments have continued to be a steady and provide a nice variety for tourists and residents.”
Goetz continued, “The growth in rooms in Lander has made it possible to accommodate an escalation in the number of visitors. The Wyoming Catholic College has continued to grow and has accounted for an expansion in educational tourism that has nicely complimented the National Outdoor Leadership School. The Lander Art Center, Museum of the American West, Fremont County Pioneer Museum and others continue to expand their visibility and broaden offerings and special events are valuable components of what attracts visitor’s to this area each year. The Lander Brew Festival has become the premier festival in Wyoming and attracts visitors from throughout the United States as well as oversees.”
Statewide, the popularity of scenic drives, wildlife viewing and backpacking are ranked high by visitors. Fremont County is well represented in what tourists like to do including visiting a state or national park, scenic drives, wildlife watching, hiking or backpacking, or visiting Native American sites. These activities ranked in the top 20% for Fremont County.
Jim Davis, director of the Riverton Chamber of Commerce said, “Even with high gas prices, the number of requests for vacation packets at the Riverton Chamber from people who wish to visit the Riverton area has continued to increase. We send out 3 to 4 packets daily. Some Mondays we may send 10-12 packets. Since the first of the year, the Chamber has sent out over 250 information packets. People are still planning to travel and take vacations and want to visit Wind River Country.”
Wind River Country’s tourist attractions have also garnered national and international attention in recent years.National Geographic magazine named Lander America’s “top adventure town,” and Outdoor Life ranked the town number 15 in its list of top towns for sportsmen. Six of the top 20 towns on this list were in Wyoming. Dubois meanwhile was honored with the number two spot in True West magazine’s Top Ten True Western Towns for 2011 and “American Cowboy Magazine” recognized Dubois as one of “The Best Rural Towns of the West.” Such attention brings in more visitors, which is critical for local businesses.
June Bonasera, director, Dubois Main Street, Inc. said, “Dubois has many assets that brings the traveler to our community, such as the Headwaters Arts & Conference Center, and Dubois Museum. Cultural and heritage travelers recognize Dubois as a destination where our history, authentic western culture, fine shopping and dining, abundant wildlife and hospitality shine.”
She continued, “Recent awards including a ‘Cowboy Keeper Award’ by the National Day of the Cowboy Organization for preservation of western and cowboy heritage, and feature articles in leading western magazines earned our community the distinction to not only be a top-notch travel destination, but ‘The Best Place to Raise a Family in Wyoming’ by Bloomberg Business Week.”
–Wind River Visitors Council
(Cheyenne, Wyo.) – “William” zoomed to the top of the list for Wyoming’s most popular boy baby names in 2011, joined by “Emma” as the number one choice for girls, according to the Wyoming Department of Health’s Vital Statistics Services Program.
William held the top spot on the boys’ list for 2011, followed by Jacob, Jackson, Parker, Mason and Liam. “Interestingly, William was not on our most popular names list for the previous year,” said Jim McBride, Vital Statistics Services Program manager with the Wyoming Department of Health. “Perhaps Prince William’s royal wedding in England last year helped make it a more popular name.”
For girls, Emma was the number one name chosen in 2011, followed by Olivia, Sophia, Addison and Isabella/Madison.
“Last year, births were down somewhat over 2010,” McBride said. The program recorded 7,336 births to Wyoming resident mothers during 2011, which is decreased slightly from 7,541 in 2010.
McBride noted Wyoming is following the national trend with a decrease in teen births since 2007. In 2011, there were 625 births to young mothers ages 14 to 19 while in 2007 there were 922 births to young mothers.
For 2011, there was an average of 20 births a day in the state. September 6 was the most active day for new babies with 33 births; April 3 was the slowest day with only two births.
McBride said the oldest mother was 47 and the youngest mother was 14. The year’s largest baby arrived weighing 11 pounds and 13 ounces. Wyoming saw 120 sets of twins born in 2011.
The Vital Statistics Services Program promotes and protects the health of Wyoming by serving as the official custodian of all vital records in the state and by disseminating health information in support of health and social planning efforts. More Wyoming statistics and information about the program can be found online at http://www.health.wyo.gov/
(Lander, Wyoming) – A three man crew with America’s Most Wanted stopped in Lander today to interview detectives about 44-year-old Wesley Nebeker, a former Lander resident who is at large and wanted on 18 felony warrants for sexual abuse of a minor. Nebeker was arrested in November of 2010 on two counts of providing drugs to a minor, but he was released a short time after. A year later the 18 felony warrants were issued and Nebeker left town. The last sign of Nebeker authorities were able to find was his 1998 silver Toyota Camry in December of 2011, located in a remote area near the north rim of the Grand Canyon. Searches were conducted by foot and aircraft, but they were not able to locate Nebeker and they now have reason to believe he could be as far away as Spain.
Nebeker is a caucasian male, weighing 230 pounds and is 6 foot, 6 inches tall with brown hair and brown eyes. He was the manager of the Downtown Motel on Lander’s Main Street before fleeing.
Anyone with information on Nebeker’s whereabouts is urged to call the Lander Police Department at (307) 332-3131.
By Ernie Over, managing editor, County10.com
(Lander, Wyo.) – One issue discussed at today’s meeting of the Wyoming Veterans Commission in Lander was the topic of burials for indigent veterans.
Fremont County Coroner Ed McAuslan appeared before the group Thursday morning seeking support for creating uniform and consistent standards statewide for indigent veteran burials.
“I believe we need to handle the remains of our veterans better, especially because of their dedication and service to our country. To say they are eligible only for the least expensive burial possible does not begin to cover the costs involved,” he said.
McAuslan said the last indigent veteran burial in Fremont County cost nearly $6,000, but under present agreements, only $1,800 of that cost is covered. He said he made up the difference through his Coroner’s budget.
“The problem is that the state state statute dealing with this issue is not defined well, it’s too vague,” he said. “For example, the terms included in the statute are not defined. What does ‘preparation’ mean. Is that embalming? It’s not defined. And $1,800 does not cover the cost for burial in a veteran’s cemetery, especially when you consider purchase of the plot, ‘preparation’ or cremation, transportation and the like.”
The Commission asked McAuslan to do some follow up work with the state’s Coroner and Funeral Directors Associations and perhaps even the Wyoming County Commissioners Association and report back to them.
“I think we can get behind this after these other groups weigh in on the issue, we don’t want to take the lead here,” said Commission vice-chairman Lee Ally.
By Ernie Over, managing editor, County10.com
FIRST in a series
(Lander, Wyo.) — After 16-years at the golf professional in Worland, Don Abbott is now the pro at the Lander Golf Course. One month into his new duties, Abbott said his new challenge here is working out well.
“It’s a learning experience every day getting to know people, but there is such a positive environment I’m happy to be here.”
As the golf pro, Abbott is in charge of the day-to-day operation of the golf course, including the clubhouse and pro shop. Additionally, he is in charge of scheduling play on the 18-hole public course, setting up league and tournament play and doing what he enjoys most, teaching folks how to play the game.
I think we are real fortunate here to have Joe Stoudt as our new golf course superintendent, he has brought some real positive improvements to the course.
Abbott talked about his new role with County10.com managing editor Ernie Over:
Abbott offers golf instruction, both individually and through courses as those offered by the CWC Lander Center for beginning golfers and through the Lander Parks and Recreation Department. “Our Junior Session I runs June 4-7 and the second section is July 23-26. The program is for young golfers ages six to 18. The fee is $40 and the sessions are limited to 24 students per session and age group. The age groups are 6 to 8; 9 to 12, and 13 to 18. Call 332-GOLF to register.
“Our Women’s league started last Wednesday and the Men’s league will start in June, on Thursdays,” he said. “Eventually I would really like to be able to do some golfing clinics here for groups, but that’s down the road.”
The Lander Golf Course has a membership base of 140 people, which Abbott said includes juniors, family, single and couple memberships.
To schedule a tee time, or for information, call Abbott at 332-4653.
Fremont County Sheriff’s Office
Anderson Antelope, 29, Riverton, arrested for pedestrian under the influence.
Riverton Police Department
Brian Goich, 18, from Riverton, arrested on a Fremont County Warrant.
Joel Clymore, 75, Riverton, arrested for driving under the influence.
A man was assaulted on the 200 block of North Federal Boulevard shortly after purchasing a bottle of liquor. The suspect fled the scene with the bottle of liquor before officers arrived. The victim suffered minor injuries including a punch to the head but he was not treated or taken to the hospital. This incident is still under investigation.
Officers responded to a call on the 800 block of East Adams Avenue, the property owner believed five individuals inside of the apartment were smoking marijuana. When officers arrived they could not find any evidence or traces of marijuana.
Lander Police Department
Waylon Lajeunesse, 41, of Fort Washakie was arrested for probation revocation.
A 13 year old male and a 12 year old male from Lander were cited for tobacco violation, according to Chief Jim Carey, the violation did not take place at a school.
(Lander, Wyo.) – Friends of St. Sen. Cale Case of Lander began receiving emails from the vacationing lawmaker today, relating details of a bicycle crash in which the Lander man suffered a broken collar bone and a slight concussion while touring in Turkey. Fortunately for Case, his bicycling partners included orthopedic surgeons.
The text of Case’s email:
“I am safe and fine. Great trip to Turkey except small mishap on bike has left me with a broken collarbone,” he wrote. ”Traveling with two orthopedic surgeons, so well covered. Turkish emergency hospital great and one of the American docs (Jack Crosland) did bone work. No surgery, should be fine, although will probably have some bone overlap. Helmet saved head, slight concussion and a few other maladies. Do not remember what happened, next biker and Turkish lady said it was a dog on the road. Friend, Frank Nightingale is taking care of me.”
Case is expected to return to Lander next week.
An exercise enthusiast, Case is often seen jogging or riding his bicycle around town.
An economist, Case represents SD 25 in the Wyoming Legislature. He was first elected to the State House of Representatives in 1993 and moved up to the Senate in 1999.
(Lander, Wyoming) – The 15-year-old suspect in a homicide where two Hudson residents were stabbed to death and their home set ablaze is requesting to be tried as a juvenile. Jude Blackburn is being charged as adult and faces a total of nine felony counts including two counts of murder in the first degree, two counts of conspiracy to commit murder in the first degree, first degree arson, two counts of aggravated robbery and two counts of conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery.
In the motion to transfer his proceedings to juvenile court, his attorneys Robert L. Stephans from Jackson and Jamie M. Woolsey from Casper, state “There is a reasonable likehood of rehabilitation of the Defendant by use of the procedures, services and facilities that are only available in the juvenile court.” The document goes on to say it would be in the best interest of Blackburn if the juvenile court would provide training, treatment and rehabilitation for the 15-year-old to become a functioning and contributing adult.
Blackburn’s arraignment was set to take place Thursday afternoon in Fremont County District Court in Lander, the date for his arraignment is now pending on Judge Marvin L. Tyler’s decision.
The 15-year-old was one of five suspects arrested in connection of the November 2011 deaths of Elva Quiver and Eric Likes. During his preliminary hearing in March, Brady Lee Patrick, an agent with the Department of Criminal Investigation said Blackburn was picked up by Laziur Stephen Hanway Jr., Samantha Hanway and Joseph Jenkins on their way to Hudson in a stolen pickup truck. That is when Blackburn learned about their plan to rob Eric Likes and Elva Quiver.
According to the testimony, while Samantha and Blackburn waited in the pickup, Laziur and Jenkins were invited into the home by Likes and were offered to stay the night. After Likes went to sleep, the two males returned to the truck and that is when Blackburn said he recalls seeing Laziur take a folding knife from the vehicle and encouraged Jenkins to carry through with the robbery. Blackburn claims that he and Samantha Hanway entered the home nearly an hour later after Likes and Quiver were dead. He said Likes was not moving or talking, but laying there making gurgling noises. Blackburn says he began looking through the home and was looking through a dresser drawer and went to set it down but accidentally struck Likes in the head. He claims he was instructed by the one of the other suspects to strike Likes a second time.
Through an interview with Blackburn, Patrick says the young man admitted to taking a small bag of marijuana and a pipe from the residence. He also admitted to lighting a roll of toilet paper on fire in an attempt to set the couch on fire and burn the home. Blackburn says he was unaware the house did not burn that night and did not know the other three suspects returned two days later to set the house on fire in order to cover up the crime.
As Fremont County’s News Leader, we strive to bring you breaking news the moment it happens. Today, we’re going a step further to ensure you’re plugged-in to the latest news and headlines from around your community.
Introducing the County 10 Mobile App, an up-to-the-second look at the news around you. This new app delivers all of the content County 10 readers have come to rely on and then some. Tap the menu to access news, video stories and photos from around the region or post a news tip via your smartphone instantly!
“More people are connected than ever before, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re accessing County 10 from a desktop computer,” explains PitchEngine CEO, Jason Kintzler. “We knew that a big portion of our readers (nearly 50%) were getting our real-time news on their smartphones and other mobile devices, so it made sense to create this app.”
Kintzler explained one of the important things the app does is enable County 10 readers to submit news tips to the editorial team.
“I believe listening to our readers is what’s driving this amazing growth,” said Kintzler. “Fremont County has never had this sort of community platform before. In years past, the newspapers decided what was newsworthy. That’s just a century-old way to look at things,” he said.
The County 10 News App is also able to send ”push notifications” for breaking news alerts and more to ensure our readers are truly the first to know.
Kintzler said the app is going to be made available free to the first 1,000 County 10 readers that download from either the Apple App Store or Google Play Store for Android. On your device? Click here to get it now!
“This app is a result of listening to our Riverton, Lander, Dubois and other readers and you can expect it to evolve and adapt with their feedback,” said Kintzler.
By Ernie Over, managing editor, County10.com
(Lander, Wyo.) – Wyoming State Auditor Cynthia Cloud and members of the Wyoming Veterans Commission toured the Fremont County Veterans War Memorial and learned the history of the site Wednesday evening. The Commission’s quarterly meeting is on tap today at the Peaks Conference Center at the Best Western Inn.
With the temperature hovering around 80 degrees and half of the assembled group shielding their eyes from the late afternoon sun, Lander resident Trinidad Herrera related the history of the site to the commissioners and commission staff. His efforts to keep the project focused and moving forward over the years was acknowledged by all present. Also in attendance were Beverly and Monte Paddleford from Eagle Bronze, who related stories about the impact the casting of the Memorial’s centerpiece of a WWII soldier had on the staff and artists there. Paddleford said the experience was personal and emotional “because we knew everyone involved.”
The statue was modeled by a young solider from Dubois, Chance Phelps, who was killed in action in Iraq just six months after his father, sculptor John Phelps, began working on the heroic centerpiece of the memorial.
Paddleford also gave an impassioned plea to the group. “Driving by here in the morning when there is no one around, this memorial reminds me of a new beginning. I think we have a window in time to mentor our young people, and I’m talking to all the grandparents here and urging you to talk to your grandchildren,” he said. “They know nothing of our history, and I encourage all of you to become involved. Resurrrect patriotism and tell the story of sacrifice, there is a price to be paid for freedom.”
The quarterly business meeting of the Commission begins at 8 a.m. with posting of the colors by the Richard Pogue Post 81 of Fort Washakie. Scheduled to appear at the meeting is Wyoming Adjutant General Luke Reiner.
Wyoming Veterans Commission members include Herm Emmett, Lee Alley, Pete Quinnell, Ron Akin, Linda Allgeier, Travis Deti, Al Ellesfson, Jana Ginter, Pat Lawson, Chuck Sutter, Lyle Wadda, and Ron Wood.
Lawson and Wadda are local members of the commission.