Cowboy State Daily Video News: Monday, May 27, 2024

Monday's headlines include: * Standoff Over Wolf Torture In Daniel * UPS Drivers Dish Dirt Over Rural Delivery Practices * Grizzly Attack Survivor Said He Never Let Go Of Bear Spray

Wendy Corr

May 27, 20246 min read

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(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

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 Monday, May 27th.

After weeks of preparation, nearly 1,380 miles on the road and a couple of tense hours beforehand, the Hogs for Hope caravan — organized in response to a wolf that was tortured and killed in Daniel — finally rolled through that town at about noon Sunday.

With stoked emotions and strong opinions on both sides of international outrage and debate sparked by the wolf abuse, the potential for trouble was there. And although locals barred the caravan from reaching their destination - the Green River Bar in Daniel, where the wolf was killed - the event ended peacefully, according to Cowboy State Daily’s Mark Heinz.

“They just did a quick ride through town with a police escort. They didn't stop. It just went maybe 15-20 miles an hour through the town of Daniel. And if you've ever been to Daniel, it doesn't take very long to get through that town. There was a little bit of heckling from some of the locals. Other than that, a peaceful low key event, that the caravan itself was four motorcyclists followed by about a dozen vehicles.” 

Shortly before rolling into Daniel, organizer Jonas Black announced to the group that donations for wildlife conservation groups had hit nearly $130,000.

If you pay extra to have a package delivered on a Monday and it doesn't arrive until Tuesday, that's not what most folks would call "on-time delivery."

And while customer tracking might show that it didn't arrive until Tuesday, UPS internal tracking might well show the delivery was made "on time."

Those examples are just a few of the frustrations rural Wyomingites have shared with Cowboy State Daily’s Renee Jean - and there seem to be no answers to the problem.

“I did talk with a couple of truck drivers for UPS. And they told me that that is not uncommon that they're seeing that their internal tracking does not match what customers are getting. So we don't know why that is or what might be going on there.” 

UPS has consolidated deliveries in certain ZIP codes, saying the changes will help drivers more efficiently serve customers. The changes will affect fewer than 1% of deliveries each day, but the company said it is constantly evaluating and modifying its network.

A Wyoming native and longtime sheriff of Spokane, Washington, says he’s very familiar with the lead organizer of the murky new political group Honor Wyoming, which is behind a number of advertisements and social media posts that rank legislators according to their voting record.

John Guido has been named in multiple business filings as the lead organizer behind Honor Wyoming. Ozzie Knezovich told Cowboy State Daily’s Leo Wolfson that Guido has ties to the notorious 2016 Bundy standoff in Oregon.

“He tells me that he went to a 2023 meeting involving the new shadowy political group Honor Wyoming…  The meeting was led by John Guido, who has been noted as a leader of the group and multiple documents. And even more interesting, interestingly, they had Heather Scott speak… it's been proven that she was involved in the 2016 Bundy standoff in Oregon, assisting some of the members who were in the standoff during that event.” 

What struck Knezovich as most telling about the 2023 meeting was how few of the people in attendance were Wyoming residents, with only three or four raising their hands when he asked. 

In late 2022, electrician Matthew Balcazar was barely four weeks on the job at the Dave Johnston power plant near Glenrock, when he and a co-worker were severely burned in a coal dust combustion fire in a storage silo. 

Balcazar told energy reporter Pat Maio that life for him will never be the same.

“He and his partner went on top of the silos which hold the coal. And as he was entering the area of the room, I guess you would call it, he noticed some blue flames coming from the floor. No sooner did he say that, then the entire room lit up. He got severely burned… there was an OSHA, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, investigation, which found that there was a serious infraction on the part of Pacific Corp for failing to follow certain safety standards. And they were fined about $10,400 bucks. That's it. For a serious infraction of OSHA laws.”

Balcazar returned to work Jan. 19th of this year, but he’s unable to perform the same electrical work as before the fire, because of the injuries to his hands. 

And the disabled veteran who was mauled by a grizzly on Sunday in Grand Teton National Park said he never let go of his bear spray during the attack. 

35 year old Shayne Burke told Cowboy State Daily’s Andrew Rossi that when the bear went in for the "kill shot" to his neck, she bit into the can. He said it was the most violent experience of his life.

“He chronicled the whole thing. What happened, the sequence of events, how he survived…  He said he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. And everyone acknowledges that he did everything right. He was making noise, he deployed his bear spray, and he had the wherewithal to actually cover his vitals while he was being attacked. So even if he did get seriously injured, which he did, he could survive the incident. So his big message was to be prepared, and that it was their environment.”

Despite sustaining severe injuries, Burke supports the National Park Service’s decision to let the bear be.  

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.

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Wendy Corr

Broadcast Media Director