Cowboy State Daily Video News: Friday, April 26, 2024

Friday's headlines include: - Wyoming Threatens To Sue Over New EPA Rule Designed To Kill Power Plants - 20 Wyoming Homicides So Far In 2024, 6 In Fremont County - 'New Levels Of Stupidity' Already Seen In Yellowstone

Wendy Corr

April 26, 20247 min read

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It’s time to take a look at what’s happening around Wyoming! I’m Wendy Corr, bringing you headlines from the Cowboy State Daily newsroom, for Friday, April 26th. 

Coal-fired power plants across the United States, including in Wyoming, could close permanently within the next decade as a result of federal environmental rules released Thursday, which significantly reduce pollutants emitted into the air and toxic wastes dumped into streams.

But Energy reporter Pat Maio says closing down coal-fired power generation would scuttle Wyoming’s legacy coal mines, which produce about 40% of the nation’s thermal coal. And those legacy mines are already facing hard times - Maio spoke with John Drexler, president of Arch Coal, who said that its 2024 first quarter performance fell short of expectations as thermal coal demands dipped from its Powder River Basin mines in northeastern Wyoming — and layoffs are a possibility.

“it's difficult for a company like Arch and Peabody - which is the other major coal company in the Powder River Basin - It's difficult for them, I would think, to plan on production somewhat, because of this new rule, or rules, I should say several rules, dealing with clean water, clean air and resource conservation management practices. All these rules taken together are going to just reduce the amount of coal that's going to be produced in the Powder River Basin potentially because the levels by which, or the percentages by which they want to reduce all these pollutants, toxins or whatever, it's going to impact coal fired plants.” 

Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon is threatening litigation to stop the federal government’s actions, which he says could undermine the Cowboy State’s economy.

Since wolves were released in Colorado in late December, there’s been speculation over when they might cross into Wyoming. 

Outdoors reporter Mark Heinz says that the latest tracking data suggest they might be coming right up to the state line, or possibly crossing it.

“the Colorado Parks and Wildlife, they've been putting out monthly, what they call wolf activity maps since they released the ten Wolves there in December. And basically this is just taking - the wolves that they released all had tracking collars on them - taking the trip tracking data and kind of showing where they’ve been around the state… The maps can be a little general because they don't go by specific location, they go by drainage. In other words, if a wolf has been in a drainage, the entire drainage is marked as having wolf activity in it. So we can't be sure. Colorado Parks and Wildlife is being a little secretive about the exact location of the wolves, I think simply because they want the wolves to be left alone, not harassed, that sort of thing.”

Wolves remain fully protected in Colorado and may not be hunted by the public. If they cross into southern Wyoming, they’ll be in the Cowboy State’s predator zone for wolves. That means they may be killed on sight at any time.

Wyoming has had 20 homicides so far this year, with six of those in Fremont County, coroners from around the state report.

Cowboy State Daily’s Clair McFarland contacted all 23 Wyoming county coroners this week, and while 15 counties have reported zero homicides, the outlier is Fremont County, which has registered six verified homicides.

“At least one more, it could be tentative with the sheriff's office investigating the suspicious death from earlier this week. So with just the six confirmed, that's 30% of the total statewide tally of 20 to date this year. And that's irregular, of course, because Fremont County comprises 6.8% of the state's population.” 

The Weston County coroner said that the area’s low population does contribute to the zero-homicide status - but he also said it helps that everyone there is armed.

When Ocean Andrew started his popular On the Hook Fish and Chips food truck in Laramie, he had no intention of franchising the concept.

But his territory has grown over the past 10 years, with 13 trucks that operate in 17 different states, including Wyoming. So Andrew told business reporter Renee Jean that he’s taking the plunge to get to the next level, and will soon offer franchises in states all across America.

“he never thought he would franchise the business. He was going to keep it corporate, you know, he likes to be hands on, making sure the quality is really good. But what he's learned as the company gets larger, he gets further and further away from that. And the way to fix that is a franchise, because that owner has a vested interest in their business, making sure the quality is just right.” 

Right now, the franchise is only available where the company is duly registered, but Andrew said he is pursuing registration across the United States.

The latest screenshot from Yellowstone National Park’s Old Faithful webcam shows the nearly desolate landscape of the Upper Geyser Basin on Thursday morning. The only living things in sight are a single person and a single bison.

And despite the vast emptiness around them, the human can’t resist getting within a few feet of the giant animal - an action that fits right into the purpose of the Facebook group “Yellowstone: Invasion of the Idiots,” where the video was prominently featured.

The page’s owner, Jen Mignard, told Cowboy State Daily’s Andrew Rossi that even as early as this incident has come in the year, it’s not even the first of the stupid tourist stunts caught on camera this year.

“she anticipates that we're in for this season that she's already seeing her words, not mine, new levels of stupidity in the park already in 2024. And as we get further into the season with more tourism and more cameras in the park. Well, there's just going to be plenty of content on the invasion of the idiots page this year.” 

History has taught Mignard that spring and fall are Yellowstone's peak seasons for idiotic acts. Summer is relatively quiet by comparison.

And that’s today’s news. Get your free digital subscription to Wyoming’s only statewide newspaper by hitting the subscribe button on I’m Wendy Corr, for Cowboy State Daily.

Radio Stations

The following radio stations are airing Cowboy State Daily Radio on weekday mornings, afternoons and evenings. More radio stations will be added soon.

KYDT 103.1 FM – Sundance

KBFS 1450 AM — Sundance

KYCN 1340 AM / 92.7 FM — Wheatland

KZEW 101.7 FM — Wheatland

KANT 104.1 FM — Guernsey

KZQL 105.5 FM — Casper

KMXW 92.5 FM — Casper

KBDY 102.1 FM — Saratoga

KTGA 99.3 FM — Saratoga

KJAX 93.5 FM — Jackson

KZWY 106.3 FM — Sheridan

KROE 930 AM / 103.9 FM — Sheridan

KWYO 1410 AM / 106.9 FM  — Sheridan

KYOY 92.3 FM Hillsdale-Cheyenne / 106.9 FM Cheyenne

KRAE 1480 AM — Cheyenne 

KDLY 97.5 FM — Lander

KOVE 1330 AM — Lander

KZMQ 100.3/102.3 FM — Cody, Powell, Medicine Wheel, Greybull, Basin, Meeteetse

KKLX 96.1 FM — Worland, Thermopolis, Ten Sleep, Greybull

KCGL 104.1 FM — Cody, Powell, Basin, Lovell, Clark, Red Lodge, MT

KTAG 97.9 FM — Cody, Powell, Basin

KCWB 92.1 FM — Cody, Powell, Basin

KVGL 105.7 FM — Worland, Thermopolis, Basin, Ten Sleep

KODI 1400 AM / 96.7 FM — Cody, Powell, Lovell, Basin, Clark, Red Lodge

KWOR 1340 AM / 104.7 FM — Worland, Thermopolis, Ten Sleep

KREO 93.5 FM — Sweetwater and Sublette Counties

KGOS 1490 AM — Goshen County

KERM 98.3 FM — Goshen County

Check with individual radio stations for airtime of the newscasts.

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Wendy Corr

Features Reporter