Cowboy State Daily Video News: Thursday, May 16, 2024

Thursday's headlines include: * Denver Mayor Mad At Wyoming Sheriff For Billboard * Arrest Made In Shooting Death Of Casper High School Student * 1986 Cokeville Bombing: The Miracle That Was Almost The Worst US School Disaster

Wendy Corr

May 16, 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 Thursday, May 16th.

Laramie County Sheriff Brian Kozak, based in Cheyenne, said he’s heard from about 100 “contacts” or prospective hires in the past 24 hours since Cowboy State Daily reported on the billboard in a story that was picked up across the nation.

But Cowboy State Daily’s Clair McFarland reports that the mayor of Denver disputes the claims made on the billboard, saying that the city’s police department is funded just fine, thank you very much.

“The Denver Mayor bristled at the billboard, pointing out that Denver Police make a lot more, especially in higher level positions. I mean, sometimes $30-$40,000 a year more than Laramie County Sheriff's deputies do. And just sort of pushing back on this idea that the cops are lacking funding there in Denver - there was an $8.4 million cut to the Department last month to address the city's migrant crisis. And the mayor is basically saying no, that's not defunding, we're just moving some things around and it's not actually hurting any officers.” 

Kozak said he believes that with Wyoming’s generally lower cost of living, and the state’s lack of income tax, agents on the northern side of the state line have “more money in their pocket” at the end of the day.

A Casper 17-year-old was charged with first-degree murder Wednesday in the shooting death of a local high school girl.

Cowboy State Daily’s Dale Killingbeck reports that the teenager, identified only as E.C. in court documents, had reportedly bragged about wanting to have a “gun battle” with police.

“He was charged in Casper Circuit Court and listened intently as the judge read the charges of first degree murder and also a stalking charge against him. Bond was set at $1 million. And the prosecutor, in asking for the $1 million bond, said that a month ago he had been talking about some kind of shootout with police. So, the judge agreed and set bond at $1 million.”

The judge did not mention the victim’s name, Lenea Brown, which was released by the Natrona County Coroner’s office earlier Wednesday.

The president of Rocky Mountain Power says their proposed $116.3 million electricity rate hike for Wyoming residents is due to increased inflation and coal market disruptions. 

Cowboy State Daily’s Pat Maio attended an information workshop hosted by RMP president Dick Garlish, who pointed out that this hike would be in addition to an 8.3% increase that went into effect Jan 1st.

“The President was telling me, Dick Garlish, that the inflation really hit them hard - like a grocery store or like the gas at the pump, you know, they've been hit hard by that. Plus, there's been a lot of disruptions in the coal market, there was a huge coal mine fire in Utah at the Lila Canyon mine that forced them to look elsewhere for coal. And because you're buying that coal, like on a spot market basis, the coal is gonna be a little bit higher.”

Other RMP workshops are planned in Riverton and Rock Springs this week, and Cody on May 28.

Sleeping Giant Ski Area and Zipline near Cody had to close for the winter ski season because of a lack of snow.

But Cowboy State Daily’s Andrew Rossi reports that damage caused by too MUCH spring snow is keeping its popular zipline shut down for the summer.

“They got so much snow in April that when that snow melted, it created a tremendous amount of runoff, which ended up damaging and causing a lot of destruction to the basement of the ski lodge. So that was the kind of their sign that they were going to keep the resort closed for the summer so they could focus on training staff and making repairs in anticipation for next winter - which, they hope that the 2024-25 winter season there'll be enough snow where they can actually ski at the ski resort.”

The Sleeping Giant team is waiting for the final report on the extent of the lodge's damage before deciding the next course of action. 

The iconic sign for the historic Hitching Post Inn is going to find a new home at the Paul Smith Children’s Village at the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens.

Cowboy State Daily’s Renee Jean said the Gardens will be involved in efforts to restore the sign, which was the last remnant of a hotel known for decades as the Second Capitol of Wyoming.

“That's really a great location for the sign, lots of people go through there to see the sign. And of course, that village is named after the former owner of the Hitching Post, Paul Smith. So it's really kind of an appropriate place for it to land.”

But the saga of the sign took an unexpected turn when workers discovered a person living IN the concrete base of the sign.

“Apparently a foot was sticking out from the sign as the equipment was approaching to take that down. And so of course, they stopped, you know, to let the person know, hey, this sign is coming down.” 

There will be a fundraising effort to raise money to restore the sign, which will eventually be displayed at the Children’s Village.

On May 16, 1986, David Young wheeled a bomb into the Cokeville, Wyoming, elementary school planning to blow it and 154 hostages into oblivion. Many who were there that day say angels saved them from becoming the worst school disaster in U.S. history. Cowboy State Daily’s Jake Nichols went back in time on the anniversary of the near-epic tragedy, which rocked this small community filled with people of faith.

“There's people not of faith, particularly investigators, the bomb technician that studied this, that they're not going to buy a story that angels saved these kids. But they came around, and rightly so. And even besides the angel aspect, there's a hero aspect. Can you imagine every boy and girl from kindergarten to sixth grade in the town of Cokeville, population 500, should they have died in that explosion? That's an entire generation gone. And many of the EMTs, the police, the firefighters working that scene had kids in that building. They were the heroes to be able to perform under that pressure.”

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