Cowboy State Daily Video News: Friday, June 14, 2024

Friday's headlines include: * Jackson Commuters Give Up, Take Bus * Man Gets Jail For Leaving Yellowstone Boardwalk * Cheyenne City Clerk OK With Artificial Intelligence Candidate

Wendy Corr

June 14, 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 Friday, June 14th. I’m Wendy Corr, bringing you headlines from the Cowboy State Daily newsroom - Presented by Cheyenne Frontier Days - starting July 19th, from sun-up to sun-down - there’s something for everyone! Check it out at C-F-D RODEO DOT COM!

With their commute time now quadrupled because of the closure of Teton Pass, more and more workers who live in Idaho and work in Jackson are taking the bus rather than making the drive.

Early Thursday morning, Cowboy State Daily’s Pat Maio stepped on the coach bus offered up by the city of Jackson’s Southern Teton Area Rapid Transit, or START. On the road, he visited with the workers who have decided they’d rather have someone else do the driving.

“These are not billionaires that are taking the bus. These are regular people, you know, a daycare worker, you know, a bank employee… they didn't want to deal with that three hour commute, so they're taking the bus, which is cushy. It's a nice coach, brand new… I experienced the commute. It's a beautiful commute. I wish I had that kind of commute in LA…People were reading a book… Another person was doing their work on their laptop, because they got great Wi Fi service on this bus.”

For these commuters, a three-hour bus ride sure beats driving in bumper-to-bumper traffic, more hard-earned money spent on gas, and more exhaustion from a long commute that has tripled or quadrupled in time since the collapse of the highway that was the shortest route between home and work in Jackson.


A 17-year-old Campbell County teen is being charged as an adult with attempted first-degree murder, for allegedly stabbing his mother in the back while she was in bed sleeping.

Tharles Smith is accused of stabbing his mother, Karla, with a 13 and a half inch knife overnight Monday, fracturing her left shoulder blade and damaging her left lung. That’s according to Cowboy State Daily’s Jen Kocher.

“His parents wanted to move him out into a different house, because he was acting up, and he didn't want to go. And so he was angry. He was supposed to move shortly, and they just been over to the new place, and they returned home that night. And the parents had talked to him, and he just kept getting madder, but didn't say anything. So when it came time to get to sleep, he wasn't able to sleep because he was too mad. And he, as his parents slept, he just went in and put a knife in his mother's back. And he told the police later that he wasn't sure why he did it. He was just mad, and he felt like they were giving him up.” 

If convicted, Smith stands to face life in prison, a fine of not more than $10,000, or both. 


A Washington state man had plenty of time to consider whether breaking the rules in Yellowstone National Park was worth it, when he was given seven days in jail for leaving the boardwalk at Steamboat Geyser for a better photo op.

Cowboy State Daily’s Andrew Rossi reports that while many people have been caught doing similar things, the sentence for 21-year-old Viktor Pyshniuk was unusual because it included jail time for thermal trespass.

“A 21 year old Washington man says he stepped off the boardwalk to get a better picture of Steamboat Geyser. What angle he was going for is anybody's guess. But luckily, a park ranger caught him in the act. And that was his explanation, and he was sentenced - he paid the usual $1,500 fine and court fees, but he was also sentenced to seven days in jail, which isn't guaranteed. When you're found guilty of thermal trespass in Yellowstone, there can be jail time.” 

Several people have avoided jail time after expressing remorse for their actions. Irish actor Pierce Brosnan was found guilty of thermal trespass in March, but admitted the foolishness of his actions and apologized in court and on social media, so the judge issued a fine of $1,500 without any probation.


The city of Cheyenne’s chief election official is standing up for an artificial intelligent bot named VIC in its campaign for mayor.

Cheyenne City Clerk Kristina Jones sent a letter to Secretary of State Chuck Gray on Wednesday saying she disagrees with Gray’s opinion that the campaign of Wyoming’s first AI political candidate, a computer-generated persona named VIC, should be shut down almost as soon as it started.

“Jones said that basically because the candidate is kind of one and the same with its human counterpart, which is Cheyenne resident Victor Miller, then it should be considered legitimate, that it's a real campaign. However… she did pose some legitimate questions about Miller not giving his name as the candidate... the candidate's name is Vic, which stands for Virtual Integrated Citizen…  if elected mayor would go through the AI bot, not him. So it's kind of an interesting dynamic, to say the least.”

The Laramie County Attorney’s office is investigating VIC’s candidacy and whether it’s legal. It will be up to Laramie County to decide the fate of VIC’s campaign. 


The Pryor Mountains straddle the Wyoming-Montana state line near Lovell and are probably best known for a wild mustang herd that roams the mountains.

But a black bear stole the spotlight Tuesday — if only for a short while. Cowboy State Daily’s Mark Heinz reports that the bear strolled up and chomped on a trail camera set up near a watering hole on the Montana side.

“On Tuesday, one of these bears - it's really kind of hysterical to watch - he just kind of strolls up to the camera and then, you know, bites on it - you get a full on shot right down his mouth down his throat, then he's pawing at it and butting it with his head. And then he finally just gets bored and walks away, but it's hysterical to watch.”

Nancy Cerroni, who with her husband Steve monitors the Pryor Mountain Mustang herd, says the bear wasn’t harmed and no equipment destroyed in the making of the video.

And that’s today’s news! For a deeper dive into the people and issues that affect Wyoming, check out The Roundup, video conversations with the most interesting people in the Cowboy State. A new episode drops tomorrow, when I have a conversation with WYDOT spokesperson Cody Beers. You can find the link on our website, on our YouTube Channel, and wherever you get your podcasts. And of course, you'll find it in our FREE daily newsletter!

Thanks for tuning in - 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