Cowboy State Daily Video News: Friday, May 24th, 2024

Friday's headlines include: * Massive Snowstorm Keeps Beartooth Highway Closed * Insurance Company Yanks Wyoming Homeowner Policy After 42 Years * Cody Is Not The Only Community Suing Over LDS Temples

Wendy Corr

May 24, 20245 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 24th.

The National Park Service and the Montana Department of Transportation, or MDOT, hoped to open the Beartooth Highway for Memorial Day weekend. Mother Nature had other plans.

The opening of the Beartooth Highway, a popular scenic drive outside Yellowstone National Park, was scheduled for 8 a.m. Friday. But Cowboy State Daily’s Andrew Rossi reports the opening has been delayed because of “deep, drifting snow.”

“They're expecting another two feet of snow on the Beartooth Highway just on Thursday, and it's possible there could be more over the weekend. So MDOT says they might be able to clear part of the highway from Red Lodge up to a spot called Vista Point, but they won't clear it to the Wyoming State Line. And the National Park Service has confirmed that it's going to keep the Wyoming side of the highway closed throughout Memorial Day weekend.” 

The Park Service issued several other road closures in Yellowstone on Thursday. Sylvan Pass, the route between Yellowstone’s East Entrance and Fishing Bridge, was closed for most of the day due to slick roads and stuck vehicles.

A retired couple in the tiny Carbon County town of Dixon have landed in no-man’s land when it comes to insuring their mobile home. After 42 years of carrying coverage continuously with their insurance company, never missing a payment and never turning in a claim, their company dropped their coverage.

The couple told Cowboy State Daily’s Renee Jean that they believe many other senior citizens are facing similar difficulties.

“They own a mobile home, which has always been harder to insure. And they got a notice that their rate was going to go up by $1900. They’re senior citizens, they're living on a fixed income. That wasn't something they could afford. They shopped around, they thought they had found a new insurance, then they accepted lower coverage with a lower premium. But then that insurer raised the roof on the rates, and that's left them with no affordable options.” 

Mobile homes have always been more difficult to insure. Now, most companies don’t want to bother with them at all.

A Cheyenne judge Thursday sentenced a former Wyoming Highway Patrol Trooper who raped a woman to 10-15 years in prison.

But Cowboy State Daily’s Clair McFarland reports that state Representative Landon Brown of Cheyenne lobbied the judge for leniency, calling former state trooper Gabriel Testerman, quote, “a man of God.”

“He pointed to the fact that Testerman has maintained his innocence all along. You know, he didn't go so far as to say that he disbelieved the jury. He said he trusts the process, but he pointed to Testerman’s good character as reported by other people, and his role in the community, and said that he would do well on a suspended sentence or probation.”

However, Judge Robin Cooley agreed with the prosecutors, that Testerman had violated the trust the community had placed in him as a law enforcement officer.

Lander-based Visionary Metals, whose chief executive has family ties to the famed uranium heartland community of Jeffrey City, is staking a potential $1 billion claim on America’s next big strategic mineral — nickel.

CEO Wes Adams told energy reporter Pat Maio that his startup company is in an exploratory stage to dig up nickel and its byproduct, cobalt, in the Granite Mountains north of Jeffrey City. 

“The deposits that he's identified are in two different prospects. One is called the King Solomon prospect, and the second one is called the Tin Cup prospect. And a prospect can have deposits in them anywhere from 10 million to 50 million tons of ore… So this could be a rather significant find for him.” 

At $10 a pound for nickel, that could mean there’s a total of $1 billion of ore in the two prospects claimed by Visionary Metals.

The scenario that’s played out in Cody over the past year, with locals suing to halt plans to build an LDS temple, is happening in cities all over the United States.

Cowboy State Daily’s Leo Wolfson reports that communities in Texas and Utah are seeing similar battles.

“A lawsuit has been filed in Heber City, Utah, over almost identical circumstances and parties as the Cody one - like Cody, it was filed by neighbors who are opposing the structure. In the town of Fairview, Texas, which is a North suburb of Dallas, there's also may be a lawsuit imminent, especially after a planning Zoning Commission recommended rejecting a proposed temple there. The mayor of Fairview has said that the temple has already threatened to take legal action about this.” 

Cody mayor Matt Hall told Wolfson that many city officials didn’t know the City code was written in a way that circumvents the council.

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.

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Wendy Corr

Broadcast Media Director