Cowboy State Daily Video News: Tuesday, June 4, 2024

* Legislature Still Wants To Tax Electric Vehicles * Wyoming Coal Bust Means Budget Cuts Coming For State * Hundreds Starstruck Over Jackson’s Giant New $8M Planetarium

Wendy Corr

June 04, 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 Tuesday, June 4th.

An 83-year-old South Carolina woman visiting Yellowstone National Park was gored by a bison Saturday, while hiking the Storm Point Trail at Yellowstone Lake.

Cowboy State Daily’s Greg Johnson reports that the bison lifted the woman at least a foot off the ground with its horns.

“Other than serious injuries we don't know how badly she was hurt. However, it's the second bison attack in the park so far this year. The first was a man in April who got drunk and kicked the bison before it attacked him - this one, there's no word on whether she provoked it or anything, but the National Park Service did warn people to stay away, and reported that the bison was defending its space.”

The elderly woman in Saturday’s attack sustained serious injuries and was airlifted to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls, Idaho.


The Wyoming Legislature wants electric and plug-in hybrid vehicle users to pay their fair share, and for the second straight year is considering a fuel tax for EV owners fueling up at high-speed charging stations in the state.

Cowboy State Daily’s Leo Wolfson reports that EV drivers right now pay no state fuel tax, the largest source of revenue the Wyoming Department of Revenue taps into for maintaining roads.

“Electric vehicles are not taxed at all by the state on their consumption. Currently, they do have to pay a licensing fee, a $200 licensing fee when they are registered in the state. But as far as after that, and it's an ongoing use as far as taxes, there's no charges at all, and the state of Wyoming and the Wyoming Department of Transportation are trying to recoup these costs.”

The tax of 4 cents per kilowatt hour would only apply to Level 3 DC fast chargers, such as the Tesla Supercharger stations. It would not include Level 2 public charging facilities that are more common in homes, restaurants, hotels, workplaces and other public locations such as malls and parking garages.


Campbell County, located in the heart of the coal-rich Powder River Basin, plans to trim spending by more than $25 million in anticipation of a prolonged coal bust.

Energy reporter Pat Maio says the cuts come as the Bureau of Land management proposes to stop coal leasing on public land. 

“It's bad news because they get a lot of ad valorem revenue out of that, and they use it to fund their budget for the county… they're cutting their budget by 3%, in anticipation that they're going to be losing revenue. Coal production is down 20% year over year, first three months of the year… they could be trimming the budget from $151 million down to $125M, or more. And services get cut - everything from, you know, adult treatment to Child Services to … the recreation center, all that stuff is up for grabs on cutting.” 

Campbell County has been here before, as has Wyoming. As the heart of the Cowboy State’s coal-rich Powder River Basin, the county is a canary in the coal mine to predict the health of the local and state’s economies.


Jackson Hole Mountain Resort’s new $8 million planetarium was unveiled this weekend, and even Bill Nye the Science Guy was among the highly impressed attendees. The giant 1-meter telescope is the second largest in Wyoming - and business reporter Renee Jean was there to experience the giant telescope’s grand opening.

“You think it's immovable because it's so freakin big. And then you're standing there and you're getting used to it's non-moving-ness. And all of a sudden, it kicks in to play, it starts swinging around. And it's like, oh my gosh, the aliens have just landed and taken over! I mean, I literally saw people jump back when they started moving. And they're like, eyes as big as quarters.… Well, when it stops moving, you know, it's scoping out a new spot to look at in the sky. When it stops moving. It's not over because the dome has got to adjust, right? So the next thing you hear is this shaking sound all around you. And it's the dome twisting so that it's aligning with that telescope, so that it can look at a new deep space area of the sky.”

Nye told Cowboy State Daily he could just envision a future where people rode the Gondolas up for a Planetarium show, then ski back down at night, with the stars overhead.


The pelt of an endangered Wyoming black-footed ferret is back where it belongs in the Meeteetse Museums after a visitor stole it on an “impulse.” 

Despite the odds of finding it, Cowboy State Daily’s Andrew Rossi reports that the artifact was recovered intact, and the thief - 21-year-old Miles Huff from Missouri - was arrested, prosecuted and punished.

“The Meeteetse museum had a pelt of a black footed ferret out on display, and one day a guy came in, he became overwhelmed with the urge to take it, and he took it. So they contacted the Park County Sheriff's Office. They didn't think they could get it back. But they got security footage, they found the van of the culprits. And they tracked them down and the guy surrendered the pelt. He had no excuse other than he had the impulse to do it. And he did it.” 

Huff was sentenced to time served, six months of unsupervised probation and $420 in fines and costs. That’s a small price to pay, especially considering that if he had taken the stolen pelt of an endangered species across state lines, he could’ve been charged with a federal crime.


It was a close call but Tator, a black Labrador retriever, got into some meth last week, while he and his owner were playing fetch at a park in Gillette. Tator survived - but his owners told Cowboy State Daily’s Clair McFarland that he was wired out of his mind - with his tail wagging "1,000 miles per hour."

“They got him into the vet there in Gillette, and the vet called for a drug test. His blood tested positive for methamphetamine. No one's sure how much he consumed or whether he ate it or sniffed it, snorted it. But they ended up taking him to Rapid City, because there's an overnight observation there at the emergency vet, and so they took him there, and he got an IV treatment, got some food down, and was released in the morning.” 

By Friday morning Tator was still lethargic from being sedated, but he’d had an IV flush and he’d had both food and drink. The hospital released him, and his owner says he’s back to being his normal, goofy self.


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.


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

Broadcast Media Director