Cowboy State Daily Video News: Thursday, July 4, 2024

Thursday's headlines include: * Judge Says Wyoming Doesn’t Have To Follow Biden’s Trans Bathroom Rules * Cody’s Stampede Parade Kicks Off July 4th Celebrations in Wyoming * ‘Star Spangled Banner’ On A Chainsaw: A CSD Tradition

Wendy Corr

July 04, 20249 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 Thursday, the 4th of July. I’m Wendy Corr, bringing you headlines from the Cowboy State Daily newsroom - brought to you by Wyoming Senior Olympics - on July 10th you can help support senior athletes in Wyoming by participating in the WyoGives day of giving!

A federal judge Tuesday said Wyoming doesn't have to follow a new federal rule which would allow males identifying as females the ability to use female bathrooms. 

Cowboy State Daily’s Clair McFarland reports that the new rule was set to go into effect August 1st.

“The judge looked at the law, which is Title Nine, which was written to give women and girls opportunities in schools, so they wouldn't suffer missing out on sports or scholarships or other opportunities. And he looked at Biden's Final Rule, which is supposed to protect transgender students' access to various activities, and especially bathrooms and locker rooms. And he said that this rule doesn't fit within the law, it exceeds the bounds of the law, exceeds the intentions of the law.” 

The Judge blocked the rule from going into effect in Wyoming, Alaska, Kansas and Utah — as well as several schools nationwide that other plaintiffs and their children attend — while the case is ongoing.

Read the full story HERE.


State Rep. Rachel Rodriguez-Williams of Cody is concerned about a new facility set up to assist immigrants in Jackson and Teton County.  

Cowboy State Daily’s Leo Wolfson reports that Rodriguez-Williams sent a letter to the immigrant resource center known as “Casa Tlaxcala Jackson Hole,” asking a number of questions about its operations, and then publicized the letter in a press release.

“She believes it could potentially have the opportunity to allow illegal immigrants to vote in Wyoming elections and illegally receive welfare benefits as well… Representative Liz Stohrer, a Democrat from Jackson who's familiar with this organization, said that Rodriguez-Williams was inappropriately jumping to conclusions, and she should have reached out to the organization and actually communicated with it, rather than putting out a press release the day after she sent the letter.”

Officials at the center say the organization will neither help people register to vote nor help them receive public benefits. She said it is only designed to help people of Mexican descent receive help and reconnect with family in their homeland.

Read the full story HERE.


In Colorado, fireworks are limited to sparklers and that's about it. Cross the state line into Wyoming and almost anything goes - a point made in a viral video by comedian Taylor Calmus. 

Cowboy State Daily’s Mark Heinz spoke to the Colorado-based comedian, who created the video for his 700,000 followers on his “Dude Dad” YouTube Channel. 

“He grew up in South Dakota, which from what he told me, the fireworks regulations there are quite similar to they are in Wyoming, you can pretty much get what you want. And you can just go to these big stands by the roadside and, you know, get things that explode and flash and all the fun stuff. And then he moved to Colorado about four years ago and just says just insanely restrictive there.”

Calmus is a familiar figure on late-night TV, with many regular appearances on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and other TV shows and commercials. He said he has traveled to the Cowboy State to enjoy some genuine pyrotechnics, but he emphasized that he didn’t take them back across the state line into Colorado. That would be illegal. 

Read the full story HERE.


There’s no shortage of fantastic Fourth of July celebrations in Wyoming, but it seems everyone who’s anyone in the Cowboy State wants to make an appearance at the Cody Stampede Parades on July 3 and 4.

Cowboy State Daily’s Andrew Rossi has spent the last few Stampede Celebrations on the roof of the Irma Hotel, announcing the parade to the hundreds of people within earshot. He says Cody is the place to be on Independence Day.

“I mean, Senator John Barrasso, he's been there on both the third and the fourth for every year that I've been there, and probably many years before that. Senator Cynthia Lummis was there on the third, Harriet Hageman is going to be there on the fourth. Governor Gordon wasn't there this year, but he has been there in years past. It just attracts a lot of the notable people in the state and it's just a fun, electrifying atmosphere.”

Along with being an early kickoff to Independence Day, The Cody Stampede Parade also means it’s time for one of Wyoming’s most celebrated and legendary events — the Cody Stampede Professional Rodeo — which is celebrating its 105th anniversary this year.

Read the full story HERE.

And what started out as a way for one of our writers to annoy his neighbors has become a patriotic Cowboy State Daily’s tradition. 

Mark Heinz - who happens to own a lot of chainsaws - shares his 2024 chainsaw rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner.”

“A few years ago, a neighbor's college kids were blown up a bunch of fireworks and it was getting late and I was getting irritated. So you know what I'm gonna go… I'm going to play the Star Spangled Banner on one of my chainsaws because you know, I'm kind of into chainsaws and firewood cutting. I've got five chainsaws. So I pulled out one of my favorites and I played the Star Spangled Banner on it. Our daughter took video of it. And then a couple years later, when I started work for Cowboy State Daily, I showed that video to Jimmy Orr and he said, Whoa, we've got to do this for Cowboy State Daily.”

Happy Fourth of July, everyone.


Read the full story HERE.


Wyoming’s black bears are rambling and rambunctious, and lately they’ve been pushing into the Black Hills region and elsewhere in northeast Wyoming.

Outdoors reporter Mark Heinz spoke with Game and Fish large carnivore specialist Dan Thompson, who told him that the black bears showing up in northeast Wyoming so far are probably just wandering through.

“I talked to Game and Fish and to their knowledge, they don't really have an established black bear population in the Black Hills yet, insofar as a population where you have males and females breeding and the females raising cubs. It's more than likely just young male bears that are dispersing from places as far away as like, the Laramie range, or the Bighorn Mountains, or even they're coming down south from Montana.” 

The bears have been reported raiding beehives and chicken coops, but so far haven’t had any major conflicts with humans. 

Read the full story HERE.


The man accused of killing two people in 2015 at The Coin Shop in downtown Cheyenne is back in Wyoming.

68-year-old Douglas Smith was arrested last week at his home in California for allegedly shooting two people at the shop, then leading investigators in the wrong direction immediately afterward. Cowboy State Daily’s Leo Wolfson reports that Smith will face his first court hearing Friday.

“There was a delay in him coming back after he had been arrested in California about a week or so. And it was kind of unclear for a little bit what was going to happen with Smith. He had not immediately signed his waiver of extradition, which is basically saying another jurisdiction can pick him up to prosecute him. But it appears that he has signed that.”

Smith had long been considered just a witness in the case, but it wasn’t until authorities interviewed him again in 2023 that serious inconsistencies in his recount of the event started to emerge.

Read the full story HERE.


A man known around Casper by the nickname “Tree Killer” is suspected of being a major trafficker of fentanyl and methamphetamine in central Wyoming.

43-year-old William McKinney of Mills has been on the Wyoming Department of Criminal Investigation’s radar for several months, according to Cowboy State Daily’s Dale Killingbeck.

“This individual is called the tree killer because he has a tree killer tattoo on his neck… he seems to be a central figure in DCI efforts to stop fentanyl trafficking between Colorado and Cheyenne and the Natrona County area… And he now faces some drug trafficking charges, plus charges of trying to smuggling narcotics, particularly fentanyl into the Natrona County Jail.”

In addition to the current charges, McKinney was arrested and charged with possession of fentanyl and meth in May and faces arraignment on those charges August 13.

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 Daily Newsletter button on Cowboy State Daily Dot Com - and you can watch this newscast every day by clicking Subscribe on 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