Cowboy State Daily Video News: Monday, June 24, 2024

Monday's headlines include: * Cody Restaurant Owners Jailed * Cheyenne Interstate Fix To Cost $500 Million * Rodeo 101: Explaining Wyoming’s Favorite Sport

Wendy Corr

June 24, 202410 min read

Wendy thumbnail 6 24a
(Cowboy State Daily Staff)
Watch on YouTube

It’s time to take a look at what’s happening around Wyoming, for Monday, June 24th. 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!


The owners of an iconic Cody restaurant are in trouble with the law after allegedly getting into an altercation with customers Wednesday night that escalated to making terroristic threats and assaulting a local police officer.

Cassie’s Steakhouse co-owner Randel Hooper is facing a felony charge for allegedly kicking and sending a police officer to the hospital. His wife, Courtney, is facing three misdemeanor charges related to the incident, according to Cowboy State Daily’s Leo Wolfson.

“Courtney Hooper reported to police that she got in a verbal dispute with some customers where they said that they would kill that her if they if she got their face… Police were called and it appeared that the the event had just de escalated at first. … After the officers or rat left, the Hooper's went over to the Big Bear motel where the couple was staying and further instigated the situation… during the situation. Randall Hooper was arrested. And while they were trying to put him under arrest, he ended up kicking a police officer in the head.”  

If convicted, Randel Hooper could face up to 10 years in prison and $10,000 in fines. Read the full story HERE.


The cloverleaf interchange where Interstates 80 and 25 intersect in Cheyenne is set to get a $500 million overhaul. 

Cowboy State Daily’s Pat Maio reports that the plans include huge flyover bridges to keep thousands of semi trucks moving freight across the West.  

“The world today is different than the 1960s, when they built that cloverleaf, and trucks were, believe it or not, shorter than they are today. Also, they're taller, and the wind catches them, and going too fast. And you get cars mixed in with trucks, then bad things happen, right? I think the numbers I found, there was 160 collisions on that interchange alone since 2018. 17% of all accidents at that interchange involved trucks, 18 wheelers, heavy duty trucks. And the national average was like 4% at an interchange. So as you can see, it's like, what, more than four, almost five times higher than the national average on that interchange alone.”

If things go smoothly with lining up state and federal money, with 80% or more coming from the federal government, a best guess at completing a new interchange in Cheyenne could be sometime in the early to mid-2030s.

Read the full story HERE.


The tale of a donkey named Diesel that went missing only to turn up five years later living with an elk herd sounds like a great only-in-Wyoming story.

And as the story has gone viral with video of Diesel just chilling with his elk buddies, people on just about any social media platform are reporting he’s a Wyoming donkey.

Only he’s not, and neither is the elk herd that’s adopted him, according to outdoors reporter Mark Heinz.

“This happened in … a little town called Auburn, California. And those aren't even Rocky Mountain Elk in the video. Those are Tule elk. It's a different species…  He was part of a Bureau of Land Management wild burro round up and adoption in 2018. And then in 2019, he took off and it would make sense, if he started his life as a wild burro in Nevada. And reportedly, he's fought off some coyotes and a mountain lion, which again would make sense. If you're a wild burro living in Nevada, you'd better know how to fight, especially things like coyotes and mountain lions.”

According to the couple who adopted Diesel in 2018, Diesel seems to be thriving with the herd.

Read the full story HERE.


“The Mysterious Disappearance of Etta Place,” a new single from Canadian pop star Kiesza, is not just about Wyoming.

The haunting tale was inspired by a poem written 50 years ago by Worland historian Clay Gibbons, which Kiesza learned about when she and several friends stayed at Gibbons’ ranch. Cowboy State Daily’s Renee Jean says Gibbons chose the locations for Kiesza’s music video - which were filmed in Wyoming as well.

“He recites the poem, and she's like, ‘Clay, that's really good. I want to record it’… not too long after that she calls him up, says, ‘Guess what, Clay, your poem is going to be part of a record, it's going to be on my new song, “The Mysterious Disappearance of Etta Place.” And I want to come to Wyoming and I want to do some filming and you need to, you know, come up with some Wyoming locations so we can do this song the right way.’”  

The song that Gibbons inspired has been viewed - so far - over 73 thousand times on Kiesza’s YouTube channel. 

Read the full story HERE.


The National Pony Express Association’s annual re-ride of the famous Pony Express route between St. Joseph, Missouri, and Sacramento, California galloped through Wyoming and kicked up dust again this weekend in the Cowboy State.

Riders entered Wyoming from Nebraska on Thursday evening and left the state south of Evanston about 2 a.m. Sunday, according to Cowboy State Daily’s Dale Killingbeck.

“I was able to talk to several riders and some of them have been doing this for 14 years. And there was a young man from Glenrock who's on his first ride, he was really excited about it. I asked him how he felt about taking the Oath of the Pony Express Association, and he said that it was a bigger responsibility, which it was, because they are actually carrying some thousand pieces of mail in the mochilla that is on those horses.”

A GPS tracking device on the mochila allows people from all over the world to follow it from the National Pony Express Association’s web page.

Read the full story HERE.


Summer in Wyoming is rodeo season. Hundreds of thousands of fans attend regular community rodeos, county fair rodeos and, of course, the largest outdoor rodeo in the world. 

But if you’re a newbie to the sport, Cowboy State Daily’s Jake Nichols breaks it down.  

“So many people in Wyoming grew up around rodeo and still may not understand a lot about it, or the events - and then a lot of people are newcomers to the state or are visitors to the state, and they're gonna go to a rodeo, and it's probably, you know, better if you're informed a little bit about what the events are. What is the cowboy or cowgirl trying to do? So this is really kind of in depth, but chewable info for the rodeo novice.”

Read the full story HERE.


A judge Friday ordered a mental exam for a Casper teen who’s charged with first-degree murder for allegedly stabbing and killing another teenager at Eastridge Mall in April.

Cowboy State Daily’s Dale Killingbeck reports that Jarreth Plunkett is one of two teens, who were both 15 at the time of the crime, charged with killing 14-year-old Bobby Maher while he was trying to protect his girlfriend.

“His attorney entered two pleas to each of the four charges that he faces, and that was not guilty and not guilty by reason of mental illness or deficiency. And so that means that there's going to be an examination at the Wyoming State Hospital of the defendant and then they will proceed from there.”

Along with first-degree murder, Plunkett faces charges of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, aggravated assault and battery, and misdemeanor theft.

Read the full story HERE.


Social media feeds are flooded with photos of Yellowstone bears, but it doesn’t mean there are more bears. It just means the park is packed with tourists, and there are more cameras pointed at the bears than ever. That’s according to outdoors reporter Mark Heinz.

“There's more people than ever, and everybody's got a camera now. So everybody's taking pictures of bears, and posting them all over social media. So Yellowstone bears are getting a lot of attention. The one professional wildlife photographer I talked to down in Grand Teton said it's actually been a little quiet there, even 399 and her cub Spirit, you know, the big celebrity bear of all time, even she has been somewhat less visible than usual.” 

Bears have been out of their winter dens for a while now, and they are fully out of their post-hibernation lethargy so their appetites are really kicking into high gear. That means they’re out and about more, foraging for things to eat, and making them more visible to gawking crowds.

Read the full story HERE.


A time-blackened sword that once belonged to Wyoming’s legendary mountain man Jim Baker has just been given to the Little Snake River Museum, where Baker’s original cabin still stands.

Cowboy State Daily’s Renee Jean says Baker’s beloved 1869 Sharps rifle is on display at the museum, as well.

“We don't have any photos of him with a sword. But we do know that he had a sword. The sword was inherited by William Stocks, he lives in Dixon. The sword was given to his great grandmother some time after Jim Baker convalesced at her boarding house in Dixon in 1891.”

Baker is best known for the Battle Creek Fight, in which Baker is credited with holding off an Indian force of hundreds with just two dozen trappers.

Read the full story HERE.


Wyoming’s historic Fort Laramie has been called the most important fort not only in Wyoming, but in the entire West. Cowboy State Daily’s Dale Killingbeck visited the fort that was considered a lifeline for emigrants, offered housing for troops, and was a strategic meeting place where whites and natives could resolve their differences.

“You can just get immersed in history. The place has buildings that go back to the time of the famous Indian treaties. You can see where the cavalry lived. And the important thing I found was just that it played such a key role in so many events in the West, and it's probably the arguably the most important place in the West in terms of the development of the West in the war decades of the 19th century.”

At its height, the fort boasted 110 buildings and housed six to eight companies of men comprised mostly of infantry and some cavalry troops. 

Read the full story HERE.


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.

Share this article



Wendy Corr

Broadcast Media Director