Cowboy State Daily Video News: Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Tuesday's headlines include: * Detour Around Teton Pass Weeks Away * Bill Gates In Kemmerer For Nuke Plant, Poker * Colorado Men Busted For Smuggling Lambos Thru Wyo

Wendy Corr

June 11, 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, for Tuesday, June 11th. I’m Wendy Corr, bringing you headlines from the Cowboy State Daily newsroom - presented by Cheyenne Frontier Days. From sun-up to sun-down - there’s something for everyone! Check it out at C-F-D RODEO DOT COM!!

A temporary detour around the “catastrophic” failure of Highway 22 over Teton Pass is in the works, but will take weeks. 

In the meantime, the quickest route to get between Jackson and Idaho will take drivers three to four times longer, according to Cowboy State Daily reporter - and Jackson resident - Jake Nichols.

“So add an hour to your commute. If you're going to do that. It's a drive around. The bigger problem, in addition to the amount of time it's going to take you, is it routes you through the other major commuter artery, which is Star Valley - and a lot of people commute up through a narrow Snake River Canyon. So now you're doubling the amount of traffic in there… I talked to a Wyoming highway patrolman already seeing 20 minute delays … exiting out of that canyon, which is significant for this part of Wyoming… And then you know, what if something happens in the canyon? Emergency response is going to be challenging.”

The collapse of Highway 22 over Teton Pass has severed the main way to and from work for a huge segment of Jackson’s out-of-town workforce. Cowboy State Daily’s Renee Jean talked to several business owners who are trying to address the crisis - but because of Jackson’s strict housing policies, the county commissioners are going to need to lift some restrictions.

“Jackson Hole mountain resort too is looking at, you know, what can we do if you could ease some of these restrictions? You know, we could put RVs here, we can have more workers here… Idaho workers don't typically qualify, are not eligible for Jackson's workforce housing. So that's another thing that would have to be kind of lifted in order to help make that kind of an effort go.”

The Wyoming Department of Transportation has their hands full with this stretch of highway - in addition to the collapsed section of highway, a mudslide at the head of Talbot Canyon at milepost 15 is causing drainage concerns.


Billionaire Bill Gates flew into Kemmerer on Monday for the groundbreaking ceremony of the $4 billion Natrium nuclear reactor project. 

Cowboy State Daily’s Pat Maio was on the tarmac when Gates arrived by helicopter Monday morning. He said the reaction by the public was mixed - there were a few protesters, but most people are eager to welcome a new era of energy development in what has been a coal-centered economy for decades.

“There were people that are upset about the fact that nuclear is coming to Wyoming. And they want Wyoming to stay focused on coal…their coal fired plant here has already begun the process of converting over to natural gas. And then… the 60 year old plant’s going to retire in 2036… So the nuclear plant will be around for a long time after that. And as Bill Gates said, there's plans to build more.”  

After all the groundbreaking-with-a-shovel poses with dignitaries from the Warren Buffett-owned PacifiCorp, and TerraPower LLC, along with Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon, Gates - one of the richest men in the world - headed over to a local fossil store to play a private game of Texas hold ’em poker with a few “regular folks.”

“I don't know too much about whether he won or what, but … the word was that you needed a $30 buy in. So I think Bill Gates probably can afford that.”


Grand Teton park rangers rescued eight people stranded overnight Saturday from a section of the Snake River called “The Black Hole." 

A whitewater guide told Cowboy State Daily’s Mark Heinz that the area is known as a truly gnarly and dangerous stretch of river.

“A raft hit a log snag and flipped, and I believe there were eight people involved. They got five out that evening, but then three had to spend the night on the upturned raft because they couldn't get to them before dark… And then at about 5 am Saturday morning, they were able to get a helicopter in there and… got them out with a lifeline on a helicopter.” 

The dangerous section of river is near the Bar BC Ranch north of Moose. It’s named the Black Hole because when the stretch first formed several years ago, it went right through what was essentially a flooded forest.


With the seemingly daily advancements in artificial intelligence AI) technology, it was only a matter of time before the first AI political candidates began virtually kissing babies and campaigning. For Cheyenne voters, that time is now. Cowboy State Daily’s Leo Wolfson says that Wyoming’s first AI candidate - for Cheyenne mayor - is registered with the elections office and everything.

“The name of the candidate is VIC, which stands for Virtual integrated citizen, and VIC is being run by Cheyenne resident, Victor Miller, who is the son of Cowboy State daily columnist Rod Miller. Victor Miller created VIC out of … frustration about Wyoming politics as a whole, which he believes is filled with bias and prejudice.” 

VIC is powered by ChatGPT, an AI chatbot and virtual assistant who Miller said has an IQ of 155. When asked how he feels about being tabbed to run for mayor and possibly serve Cheyenne, VIC responded to Cowboy State Daily that it’s, quote, “quite exciting.”


And a pair of men from Colorado were busted after trying to drive stolen Lamborghinis through Wyoming.

Cowboy State Daily’s Clair McFarland reports that 35 year old Andrew Blackman and 32 year old Dassman Fadil each face one count of felony theft, on suspicion of shutting off the GPS trackers on two Utah rental Lamborghinis and smuggling them through Wyoming.

“The guy who rented them out was tracking them via GPS tracker and noticed they were in Sweetwater County, Wyoming. So he called law enforcement, like, ‘my cars are going 100 miles per hour in Sweetwater County.’ And then he lost… track of them. Somebody disabled the GPS devices, according to the affidavit. And so the police did spot one of the Lamborghinis and pulled it over, and it had two men in it… they other Lamborghini was on a … flatbed tow truck. They said it got a flat tire along the way.” 

The cars, which can drive more than 200 MPH, are worth more than $550,000.


And that’s today’s news. Get your free digital subscription to Wyoming’s only statewide newspaper by hitting the subscribe button on And check out 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

Broadcast Media Director