Cowboy State Daily Video News: Thursday, May 2, 2024

Thursday's headlines include: * Photographer Captures First Video of Grizzly 399 * Laramie Pedophile Who Disemboweled Himself Gets Prison * Gillette Company Gets Prized Contract For Kemmerer Nuke Project

Wendy Corr

May 02, 20248 min read

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(Cowboy State Daily Staff)
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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 Thursday, May 2nd. 

Using a spotting scope from several hundred yards away, wildlife photographer Ryan Kempfer caught the first video of the year of Grizzly 399 and her gigantic cub.

Outdoors reporter Mark Heinz says the pair were foraging in brush and timber at about 5 p.m. Tuesday, and both were looking gorgeous according to the photographer, who just happened to be in the right place at the right time.

“They were seeing a bear off in the distance, wasn't sure what bear it was, you know, set up a spotting scope, started getting video through that, and sure enough, didn't take them too long to figure out that it was in fact 399 and her cub. They're looking good, looking quite healthy, out foraging for food. The cub is almost unbelievably gigantic. Though you know, the way this photographer said, the cub who is just a year old, he's a yearling cub, is as big or bigger than a lot of sub-adult cubs that are two years old, so he's gonna be a big boy, obviously.” 

The two world-famous grizzlies were first reported out of hibernation this year after a brief nighttime sighting April 21.

 Wyoming is just over two weeks away from beginning construction on the much-anticipated Bill Gates-backed Natrium plant, the nation’s first miniaturized nuclear reactor for commercial power. 

And Cowboy State Daily’s Pat Maio reports that a Gillette-based company, Earth Work Solutions, has won a prized contract to begin the work in southwestern Wyoming.

“It's gonna start grading the ground and building, putting pipe in the ground and drainage ditches and other ways to control sediment, as they begin construction of this nuclear facility by the railroad tracks that run past Naughton coal fired plant in Kemmerer. It's a big deal for them. It's a diversification move for Earth Work, which has historically been, you know, doing work for railroads, the coal mining industry up in the Powder River Basin, and also in the oil and gas industry, which is how it kind of got started. It's about a 54 year old company, and you know, it's a conservative, small business. So this is a game changer for them. It's a very positive thing for their company.”

The groundbreaking that is expected to begin May 20 is the first tangible evidence that the United States is embracing a new source of power that could one day dot the electrical grid as a replacement for coal- and gas-fired generation.

Cody High School Principal Nathan Tedjeske is the latest Wyoming educator to win the prestigious Milken Educator Award, called the “Oscars of Teaching.”

And nobody was more surprised than he was, which showed on his face when Tedjeske was announced as the winner in front of an all-school assembly at CHS on Wednesday morning - an assembly that he himself helped to coordinate. Cowboy State Daily’s Andrew Rossi was at the assembly.

“All of the, like, local representatives, Senators’ representatives were there, of course the superintendent of Park County School District #6 knew, the superintendent Public Instruction, Megan Degenfelder knew, but they kept the circle pretty small. And then even the school didn't know. A lot of the people who were there, they were just told to come to an assembly that was for superintendent Degenfelder’s visit, which is unusual. And Tedjeske said he was putting this whole thing into place, but he had no idea what was happening. He spent four weeks planning his own ceremony, not knowing that he was going to be the educator of the hour.”

Superintendent Degenfelder presented Tedjeske with a giant check for $25,000, which comes with the national award.

A Daniel man who sparked global outrage after being accused of the capture, torture and killing of a wolf, has been paid tens of thousands of dollars through trucking contracts with the various state agencies.

Outdoors reporter Mark Heinz says Cody Roberts has for years been a contractor for the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission and Wyoming Department of Transportation, including a contract that’s active through the end of this fiscal year.

“Many people have reached out to us, concerned or upset that Cody Roberts of Daniel has contracts with some state agencies, including the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission, and Wyoming Department of Transportation, to do trucking services. He does run a trucking company out of Daniel. And so we looked into that, and yes, both WYDOT and Game and Fish told us that he at least had some contracts with them… I mean, these agencies, they contract with local vendors, be they trucking companies, construction companies, whoever they contract with local people all the time to do various jobs all over Wyoming. So nothing at all unusual about that. What's unusual about this, of course, is, Cody Roberts is the man who's at the center of that huge controversy over the wolf that was captured and abused and killed in Daniel.”  

The Sublette County Attorney’s Office is investigating whether more charges might be filed against Roberts.

An 80-year-old Laramie man who slashed his own neck and partially disemboweled himself while police tried to arrest him for molesting an 8-year-old was sentenced Wednesday to between six and eight years in prison.

John Silva is 80 years old, uses a wheelchair, and is hard of hearing. But Cowboy State Daily’s Clair McFarland reports that the charges against Silva are, quote, “egregious,” according to the Albany County prosecuting attorney.

“Silva had an older charge dating back to late 2005, where he was exposing himself to young kids, the youngest being seven. And he was convicted on that charge and apparently spent some time in prison. So when police came to arrest him for sexually abusing an eight year old girl in Laramie, he was hiding out in the bathroom for half an hour. And finally a woman in the hall went to get him and found his neck bleeding from a slash wound, and his belly gaping open with some intestines protruding. And he kept saying, ‘I don't want to go back to prison. You wouldn't believe the treatment I got there.’ He said that people sexually abused him and messed up his face.”

Albany County Deputy Attorney Becky Farley said Silva’s statements to a probation officer before sentencing were troubling, because he blamed the victim and dodged accountability.

And the weary Carnegie Library building in Green River, Wyoming, turns the pages of history back to the turn of the 20th century, when American steel philanthropist Dale Carnegie wanted to spread culture across the land.

But Cowboy State Daily’s Dale Killingbeck reports that there are rumblings on local social media and around the Green River community about what to do with this historic structure that first opened its doors July 4, 1907.

“I talked to a couple of County Commissioners today and they said the building is very deteriorated. It's going to take a lot of money to save the building. But they have no plans right now to tear it down. But they do plan to address the building and not pass it on to the next generation of commissioners in the county. There are concerns in the county and outside the county about another historic building going down, but there has been no decision made one way or the other.”

The building served the community until 1980, when the library was moved into its current location two blocks east of its original site. The building has stood empty for at least a decade.

And that’s today’s news. Get your free digital subscription to Wyoming’s only statewide newspaper by hitting the subscribe button on And don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel! 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