Cowboy State Daily Video News: Friday, May 3, 2024

Friday's headlines include: * Google Maps Strands More Tourists Near Yellowstone * Hageman Tells Reisner Campaign To Stop Misleading Voters * Man Who Went On Meth-Fueled Violent Rampage Denied New Trial

Wendy Corr

May 03, 20247 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 Friday, May 3rd.

Six people became stuck on Highway 212 near Cooke City for 10 hours when Google sent their two-wheel-drive vehicle on a closed, snowpacked road. The tourists somehow missed the 'road closed' sign and the massive amount of snow.

And Cowboy State Daily’s Andrew Rossi points out that the tow truck driver from Cody who rescued the family was not surprised at all. 

“It was a family that was determined to get to Yellowstone. They knew the east entrance was closed, but they thought that the north entrance road, or the Northeast entrance road was open, which isn't wrong. It is open at this time of year. There's just that nine mile gap between the east entrance and the entrance to the Beartooth highway that isn't plowed. So they got caught in a snowstorm up there, at around midnight of all times, and they got stuck in the snow and they were stuck there for 10 hours until Zac Beardall out of Cody could come and rescue them. So it's not that uncommon - he said for this time of year, close to the opening of the park, people don't know what to expect, or they don't anticipate that there's still going to be winter conditions in the mountain.” 

The East and South entrances of Yellowstone are scheduled to open Friday morning, weather permitting. As the days progress, more melting snow should make the roads leading to the park less hazardous.

Peabody Energy Corporation, which runs the world’s most productive coal mine in northeastern Wyoming, saw its profit slip 79% from a year ago as production in the region’s surface mining operations sunk to one of its lowest levels in a decade.

Peabody operates three mines in the Cowboy State’s coal-rich Powder River Basin, and all are displaying similar performance, according to Energy reporter Pat Maio.

“The guidance going forward, like into the second quarter, they're saying like 15 ½ million tons is what they're forecasting, which is down rather significantly. I think 30 million tons was the high mark back around ‘14 or ‘15, that period, and which was probably when most of the mine, or coal, was pulled out of that area.”

If the steep declines continue, Maio reports that the loss of those mineral revenues could impact the state budget.

U.S. Rep. Harriet Hageman’s campaign wants Wyoming Senate candidate Reid Rasner to stop making social posts that the campaign believes are meant to lead people to think she is supporting and endorsing his campaign against U.S. Sen. John Barrasso.

Cowboy State Daily’s Leo Wolfson obtained a cease and desist letter sent by Representative Hageman’s attorney, which states very clearly that Rasner does not have her endorsement. But he says Rasner has been prolific - and creative - in his attempts to link his campaign to her office.

“Some of the posts include messages such as ‘Hang on, Harriet, I am on my way, the Wyoming congressional delegation 2024 is getting stronger.’ A different variation of the same post says ‘The Rasner-Hageman duo will crush the deep state.’ What's also important to note with all these posts is that he's in the photo with each of these posts, posing with Hageman at an event from a few months ago. So it's yet to be seen what will happen with this, but it's probably not a positive thing for the Rasner campaign, considering Hageman's strong popularity in Wyoming.”

Hageman has not endorsed any candidate in the U.S. Senate race at this time.

The Casper Hall of Justice was evacuated and shut down for several hours Thursday because of a suspicious package. 

Cowboy State Daily’s Dale Killingbeck reports that the building houses the Casper Police Department, Natrona County Sheriff’s Office and Natrona County District Attorney’s offices.

“The Hall of Justice in Casper was locked down and evacuated for a couple hours today starting just before noon, because of a suspicious package that arrived at the Hall of Justice. And some members of the special response team that deal with hazardous materials showed up, went into the building. And after a couple hours, everything was decided,  it was an all clear.”

This was the second Wyoming courthouse in three days closed for a potential threat. A hazardous materials threat prompted an evacuation of the Campbell County Courthouse in Gillette on Tuesday. Whether the Casper and Gillette courthouse incidents could be related wasn’t known at the time this story was published.

A man who in 2021 unleashed a meth-fueled violent crime rampage on homeowners and hunters in Douglas was denied a new trial by the Wyoming Supreme Court on Thursday.

Cowboy State Daily’s Clair McFarland reports that 43-year-old Solomon Preston Bolen is now serving 30-40 years in prison for the shooting, but is appealing the Wyoming Supreme Court, arguing that his attorney didn’t serve him well enough at trial.

“Court documents described just a bombastic crime spree, where Bolen is shooting two different hunters through their legs with one bullet, during sort of a truck chase in a circular driveway and is ripping through fields and stealing guns and breaking into homes and asking everyone wild questions. His argument was that his lawyer, and his trial judge should have put the question to the jury whether he could not be considered guilty, because he was essentially crazy at the time that he committed these crimes.” 

Wyoming defendants can’t be found not guilty for mental incompetence if their mental incompetence was primarily self-induced - in this case, fueled by the amounts of methamphetamines Bolen had used prior to the incident.

The MVP of Tuesday night’s Major League Baseball game between the Arizona Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Dodgers was Matt Hilton. But don't bother looking for the 37-year-old right-hander on either team’s roster.

Hilton, who grew up in Buffalo, Wyoming, is the hero beekeeper who saved Tuesday’s game from 20,000 Africanized bees. 

Cowboy State Daily’s Jake Nichols spoke with Matt about the team’s need for his unique skills.

“Are we surprised it took a guy from Wyoming to get the show on the road at Chase Field? Probably not. It might have been a little enlightening to learn a swarm of bees could actually pose some level of threat to baseball fans. But I think the real eye opener in this story is the fact that Chase Field, home of the world champion Arizona Diamondbacks, has a pest control company on call 24/7 for just such an emergency. Brilliant.”

After completing his task Tuesday to a standing ovation, Hilton was invited to throw out the ceremonial first pitch. 

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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