County 10’s top 10 stories from 2023 are…

    (Fremont County, WY) – As 2023 comes to a close, it’s a time for us to reflect on the year. While there was no single event impacting the entirety of the 10 all at once (maybe snow), there were some newsy ups and downs throughout the year.

    We haven’t fully experienced our current winter, but the 2022/23 winter offered record-setting snow amounts. I think most of us remember this well…and are bracing for round two.

    Newly elected officials took their oath of office in January. Dubois, Hudson, and Riverton are all under new leadership, with new mayors Patricia Neveaux in Dubois, Sherry Oler in Hudson, and Tim Hancock in Riverton. Matt Pattison was re-elected as mayor of Pavillion. The same goes for Joel Highsmith in Shoshoni and Monte Richardson in Lander.


    Lander’s 4th of July fireworks change-up announced in February caused a stir, but it ultimately resulted in the fireworks display being reinstated at the rodeo grounds on the 4th of July.

    Fremont County has seen some economic growth through the opening of several new businesses.

    The biggest news in April came from the oil spill at Steamboat Butte Oilfield, where roughly 34 barrels of fluid escaped from a leaking flowline – consisting mostly of water, but also oil.

    Renovations on Great Plains Hall in Arapahoe and Blue Sky Hall in Ethete were completed, and they opened to the community for powwows, birthdays, funerals, and other tribal events.


    Athletes Lewis Fancher and Luke Bappe headed to Berlin for the Special Olympics World Games in June. Lewis carried the torch, and Luke participated in track.

    The 85,000-square-foot Central Wyoming College Rustler Ag & Equine Complex opened their doors to students and the community in August. The complex has classrooms, offices, labs, and two connected indoor arenas. It also has a custom-exempt meat processing facility.

    The controversial Via Ferrata in Sinks Canyon State Park came to an end in August. Ultimately, the financial burden associated with securing the necessary certification was too substantial to proceed with the project.


    Good Portions, a mobile soup kitchen, opened this summer. It is owned and operated by Shanna Choate, who makes sure everyone has access to a warm meal and a place to sit down, eat, and share their stories.

    Local musicians Feike van Dijk, Cherokee Brown, and the Big Wind Singers all participated in the Mountain Rhythm Reset in Jackson in September. The retreat was put on by the Raven Drum Foundation, which was founded by Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen and his wife, Lauren Monroe.

    The suspects in the Jocelyn Watt and Rudy Perez double homicide case that rocked Riverton in 2019 were all sentenced, with the final being Brandon Monroe. He received two concurrent life sentences at his hearing in September for the murders of Jocelyn and Rudy.


    Not only did one, but two local schools receive $100,000 fitness centers in October. Arapahoe Schools and Lander Middle School were each awarded “DON’T QUIT!” Fitness Centers this year.

    Record snowfall fell in Riverton on Thanksgiving. The storm dropped 22 inches of snow on the ground in Riverton, breaking the previous record for snowfall in a 24-hour period. The previous record was set on April 1, 1979, when Riverton received 17 inches of snow.

    While the above stories were all important and well-covered (we’re probably forgetting a few), our readers decided on the top posts of the year. Based on reader engagement, here are THE top ten posts of 2023:

    #10 – An unconfirmed sighting of a mountain lion in Riverton along the River Walk in May announced by the Riverton Police Department created quite the stir. Though nothing ever came of the possible sighting.

    #9 – In February, we were still in the thick of winter and had an incoming winter storm. The National Service in Riverton had released snowfall probabilities, and the outlook was grim for those not wanting any more snow.

    #8 – South Pass is always risky business during the winter months when it comes to possible closures, chain laws, etc…Wyoming Highway Patrol issued over $9,000 in citations to closed gate runners during a single-day closure in February.

    #7 – In January, many Fremont County residents experienced loud booms that rattled their homes. No, it wasn’t Yellowstone. It was frost quakes, which typically occur at night when severe temperature drops are most likely to happen, and while not deadly like earthquakes, they are known to shake buildings and rattle windows.

    #6 – This one takes us back a few years to when the Gas Hills was used as a military training site, leaving behind remnants of the Casper Army Air Force Base.

    #5 – The 2023 Wyoming Legislature passed several bills that made changes to Wyoming Game and Fish Department laws and regulations.

    #4 – Former Chicago Bulls small forward Scottie Pippen enjoyed a Dubois getaway in July. He called it an “unforgettable time” and a “true gem of the outdoors.”

    #3 – Last winter was hard on many things. Not only the people of Fremont County but also things like our trees. This story dives into why the evergreens were turning brown.

    #2 – We find ourselves back on South Pass in February when a driver decided to run a road-closed gate and got stuck…and fined.

    #1 – Drumroll….the number one story most engaged by our readers has absolutely nothing to do with Fremont County, but involves Discovery Channel’s “Dirty Jobs” host, Mike Rowe. He was in Casper in October, and his tab at The Silver Fox was picked up by the anonymous “Tall Cowboy.”

    There you have it, the top posts generated by County 10. We’re looking forward to 2024, and we’ll be there to cover the top stories from our local communities. As always, if you know of something going on in the 10, please let us know by emailing us at [email protected]!


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