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Saratoga Skijoring 2023: A Broken Leg, Plenty Of Wrecks, And A Great Time

in Wyoming Life/News/Tourism
Saratoga, Wyoming, on Sunday, Feb. 5, 2023. Photo StevePeterson.photo

Visitors to Saratoga’s skijoring championship this past weekend will found a scene reminiscent of spring break, but it’s in the snow. Instead of college pranks, there’s skijoring, with some of the best steak and pea moments — aka wrecks — around. 

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Wyoming Conservatives Demand Answers From Pfizer Over Project Veritas Video

in News/Legislature/politics

In a letter written to the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, 22 conservative members of the Wyoming House said they wanted an explanation of claims made in a Project Veritas video including a claim that Pfizer is trying to capitalize financially by spreading disease, not curing it.

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Chinese Balloon Fears Not Enough To Pass Ban On Foreign Ownership Of Wyoming Property

in News/Legislature
Rep. Bill Allemand. (Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily)

Despite growing concerns about the threat China poses to the United States, a bill to ban foreign ownership of land, including mines and oil fields, failed to pass the Wyoming House of Representatives on Monday. 

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Rep. Ward Calls Out ‘Medical Cartel’ As Wyoming’s Postpartum Medicaid Expansion Clears First Reading

in News/Legislature
(Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily)

Rep. Jeanette Ward said the “medical cartel” is to be blamed for America’s high rate of infant mortality, treating pregnancy as a disease rather than a healthy event.  “It has nothing to do with this bill,” she said.

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Legislator Says Horse Slaughter ‘Worked Well’ Before, Could Be Answer To Wyoming’s Wild Horse Problem

in wild horses/News/Legislature
A herd of wild mustangs on the run in Wyoming. (Getty Images)

There was a small step Monday toward Wyoming wild horses possibly being sent to slaughter, as the Wyoming House passed a resolution calling for Congress to allow it.

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Scientists Say People In Colder Climates May Live Longer

in Wyoming Life/News/weather

Good news for Wyomingites… Science has proven that cold temperatures can prolong the life of cells. This “refrigerator effect” helps to slow the aging process, scientists say, while also killing off dangerous insects and bacteria that may otherwise survive in warmer climates.

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Lummis: Wyoming’s Drawing The Blueprint On Cryptocurrency

in News/Cynthia Lummis/Legislature
U.S. Sen. Cynthia Lummis addresses the Wyoming Senate. (Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily)

In a glowing speech on the floor of the Wyoming Senate on Monday, Sen. Lummis referenced the Legislature’s work on developing Wyoming as a leader in digital assets, an industry Lummis has shown great interest in. 

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Shoshone Tribe Changes Mind, Will Not Make Hunting Pact With Wyoming

in Native American Tribes/News/Hunting
(Clair McFarland, Cowboy State Daily)

Though at first in support of legislation underpinning an off-reservation hunting agreement with Wyoming that would define tribal members’ treaty right to hunt any unoccupied lands throughout the state, the Eastern Shoshone Tribe’s government on Friday sent Gov Gordon a letter withdrawing its approval.

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Prosecutor: Riverton Walmart Has One Of The Highest Theft Rates in Nation; Criminals Say They Don’t Care If Caught

in News/Legislature/Crime

Longtime prosecutor in Fremont County Ember Oakley said there is a big increase in organized retail theft at Riverton’s Walmart and offenders have admitted that a few days in jail is a small price to pay for all the shoplifting they get away with.

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Down, But Not Out: Legislator Tries Again To Opt Wyoming Out Of CDC Health Mandates

in News/Health care/Legislature
Rep. Jeanette Ward, R-Casper, talks about her bill to exempt Wyoming from federal public health guidelines. (Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily)

Rep. Jeanette Ward saw her first attempt to push back on COVID-19 public health measures fail but by a razor thin margin. So, she’s trying again. Her new bill would give the governor the option to ignore federal mandates.

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Wyoming Lawmakers Vote To Spend $550 Million Over Original Budget; Earmarks $1 Billion Into Savings Too

in News/Legislature/Wyoming budget
Sen. John Klolb, R-Rock Springs, talks on the Wyoming Senate floor on Friday. (Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily)

Spenders and savers squared off over the $550 million extra dollars put into the 2023 supplemental budget that passed through the Wyoming House of Representatives on Friday evening.

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As Fight For Overtaxed Colorado River Comes To Boil, Wyoming Looks To Protect Its Interests

in Colorado River/News/Legislature
Lake Mead, which is fed by the Colorado River, is down considerably. (Getty Images)

Wyoming water specialist Chris Brown warned that Wyoming has a direct interest into the growing Colorado River crisis that could affect millions of people. Wyoming’s rivers account for 15% of the Colorado River’s water.

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Archeological Group Says Bill To Protect Site Near Ghost Town In Platte County Could Endanger It

in News/Legislature
Test excavation of one of the Sutton stone circles conducted by Sunrise Powers II co-principle investigators George Frison and George Zeimens. (Photo Courtesy Sunrise Historic And Prehistoric Preservation Society)

A nonprofit group says a bill that would fence in and protect an archeological site in Platte County is not only unnecessary, but potentially detrimental, and that they plan to oppose it. 

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‘Convention of States’ Passes Senate Committee, Barlow Says “Bring Gov’t Back To The People”

in News/Legislature
Senate Corps Elections and Political Subdivisions on January 26, 2023.

Speaking in favor of the Convention of States resolution, Sen. Eric Barlow, who has attended four national conferences on the convention, said, “I find great comfort that it comes back to the states and the people. They get to ultimately make this decision.”

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Wyoming Legislators Try And Fail – Again – To Defund UW Gender Studies Program

in News/Legislature
(Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily)

Wyoming lawmakers tried and failed Friday to defund UW’s gender studies program which include courses titled: Introduction to LFBTQ Studies, Feminist Theories, Queer Theory, Pop Music & Sexualities, and Intimate Relationships.

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Biteman’s Anti-Woke Investment Bills Keep On Truckin’ : ‘ESG Is The Invisible Gun To Your Head’

in News/Legislature
Sen. Bo Biteman has proposed a pair of bills targeting doing business with entities that espouse ESG policies. (Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily)

Both of Sen. Bo Biteman’s bills that would prohibit Wyoming from contracting with companies or investment managers that engage in economic boycotts of fossil fuel industries passed first and second readings by wide margins on the Senate floor this week.

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Harriet Hageman Starting To Show Some Humor And Personality On Social Media

in News/politics
Harriet Hageman using gas stove

Freshman Congresswoman Harriet Hageman is starting to show some personality on her Twitter feed. From mocking the movement to ban gas stoves to lampooning the Biden administration on the Chinese spy balloon, Hageman is interspersing humor along with policy statements.

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‘Groomed And Preyed Upon:’ Detransitioner Who Had Double Masectomy At 16 Shares Regret

in News/Health care/Legislature
Luka Hein testified to Wyoming lawmakers Friday about her experiences detransitioning from gender medicalization. (Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily)

After emotional debate, a proposed Wyoming law that would prohibit doctors from prescribing transgender-related treatments to minors unanimously passed its first legislative committee hearing Friday.

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Showdown Over Guns In State Capitol: “Gun-Free Zones Are Soft Zones For Mass Shooters”

in Guns/News/Legislature
(Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily)

Although a spokesperson for anti-gun group said permitting concealed carry in public spaces could create shootouts, Rep. Jeremy Haroldson said allowing citizens to carry arms wouldn’t spawn gunfights, it would discourage would-be mass murderers.

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When Chinese Spy Balloon Flew Over Crook County, Wyomingites Wanted To Shoot It Down

in News

There were plenty of Wyomingites ready and willing to help shoot the balloon down when it flew over Crook County, among them former state lawmaker Tyler Lindholm. “There’s some guys out in the woods who have the capability, and I think it would have been a hoot,” he said.

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Property Tax Relief A Possibility In Wyoming After 16% Jump Last Year, 36% In Teton County

in News/Taxes/Legislature
Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Prior to the pandemic, property taxes in Wyoming were rising 3% to 4% annually, according to state figures. But last year, they jumped 16% on average across the state. The increase was much larger in some counties, like Teton County, where it was 36%.

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Gun Owners vs Banks: “I Don’t Want Government To Know If I Bought A Twinkie, Let Alone A Gun”

in Guns/News/Legislature

Gun owners and bankers were at odds on Thursday over legislation that would allow people to sue banks if they track credit card purchases of guns. Wyoming bankers, however, say they have no control over credit card processing at the national level.

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Boom, Boom: Out Go The Lights! Wyoming Capitol Goes Dark, Power Outage Hits Cheyenne

in News/Legislature
The Wyoming Senate continues working with natural light through a power outage at the Capitol on Friday. (Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily)

The State Capitol went dark on Friday as a power outage hit Cheyenne at around 2pm. Legislators kept on working though. Some said they even preferred the atmosphere.

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Biteman Says He’d Feel Safer Packing Heat In Capitol, Votes To Eliminate Concealed Carry Bans

in Guns/News/Legislature
(Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily)

When a woman began acting in a hostile manner in the gallery of the Senate on Thursday, Sen. Bo Biteman said, “The person looked very agitated and not right. I was thinking, ‘I wish I had my gun.’ I should be able to protect myself.”

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Thunderbirds Cancel 2023 Cheyenne Airshow Because Airport Is Under Construction Again

in News/cheyenne frontier days
Getty Images

The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds will not be performing during this year’s Cheyenne Frontier Days due to safety concerns. Because the Cheyenne airport will be under construction yet again, the Thunderbirds said lack of a working emergency runway caused them to cancel.

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Lawmakers Kill, Stall Bills Targeting ‘Porn’ In Wyoming Schools And Libraries

in News/Legislature/Education
Rep. Jeannette Ward, R-Casper, on the House floor at the Capitol in Cheyenne. (Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily)

Two legislative committees this week shut down two proposed laws aimed at keeping obscenity out of public libraries and schools. Detractors said the best way to handle the issue was at the local level.

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State to Pull $3 Million From St. Stephen’s Indian School, Give To Tribal DFS Instead

in Native American Tribes/News/Legislature/Education

Citing constitutional concerns now that the school is under federal control, Wyoming lawmakers are on track to pull about $3 million in state funding from St. Stephen’s Indian School on the Wind River Indian Reservation. 

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Medicaid Expansion Amendment Dies; Becoming Annual Tradition In Wyoming

in News/Health care/Legislature
Sen. Cale Case, R-Lander, made an impassioned plea on the Senate floor Wednesday for Medicaid expansion. (Matt Idler File Photo for Cowboy State Daily)

Attempts for Medicaid expansion failed on Wednesday night despite State Sen. Cale Case’s emotional plea for the measure. Every Medicaid Expansion bill over the last 10 years has failed in Wyoming.

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Getting Up In The Middle Of Night When It’s 35 Degrees Below Zero To Capture The Green Comet

in Wyoming Life/News
The green comet as seen through the lens of photographer David Bell, who endured minus 35 temperatures to photograph the celestial phenomenon. (Photos By David Bell and Peggy Bell)

David Bell of Pinedale battled the cosmos and minus 35-degree temperatures to find and snap photos of a one-in-50,000-year green comet passing close enough to Earth to see.

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Lindholm Says Wyoming Should Sue Federal Reserve Over Digital Bank Rejection

in News/wyoming economy/cryptocurrency
Tyler Lindholm (right), photo by Matt Idler

Now that the Federal Reserve has shut a Wyoming Special Purpose Depository Institution out of its centralized systems, Tyler Lindholm who helped write Wyoming’s digital asset laws, said it’s time for the state to sue the Federal Reserve.

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Lawyer For Wrong-Way Driver Suggests He Was Concussed, Not Impaired After Crash That Killed 5

in Interstate 80/News/Crime
Arthur A. Nelson

The Wyoming Highway Patrol trooper who arrested Arthur Nelson after he caused a multi-vehicle crash that killed five students by driving the wrong way on Interstate 80 said he failed extensive field tests for driving impaired.

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Biteman’s Anti-Woke Investment Bills Clear Committee Unanimously

in News/Legislature
Sen. Bo Biteman, Photo by Matt Idler

The Senate Revenue Committee passed two of Sen. Bo Biteman’s bills that would prohibit the State of Wyoming from contracting with companies or investment managers who engage in economic boycotts of fossil fuel industries or otherwise put politics over fiduciary responsibility.

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Dog-Gone It! Varmint Blasting Enthusiasts Say It’s Getting Tougher To Blast Prairie Dogs In Wyoming 

in News/wildlife

Blasting prairie dogs is a popular activity in Wyoming, but some enthusiasts say finding good shooting spots on public land is getting tougher. One North Carolina man is putting out a call on social media to see if any Wyoming ranchers want him to come and rid their land of the rodents.

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Bill Would Allow Homicide Charges For Drug Dealers When Their Customers Die

in News/Legislature/Crime

State Sen. Cale Case was the lone no in a 4-1 committee vote to advance a bill to the Senate floor expanding the criminal charges available for adults who deal deadly drugs. He says Senate File 181 isn’t specific enough to distinguish offenders who act with malice.

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Giant Five-Mile Long Methane Cloud Floated Over Douglas

in Energy/News
International Methane Emissions Observatory/NASA

An intentional gas release from a Tallgrass Energy facility near Douglas produced a cloud of methane nearly five miles long. The company reported to officials that only 2.1 tons of methane were released, but scientists studying the data believe it was more.

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Wyoming’s Grandparent Visitation Law Survives Repeal Effort Despite ‘Heartbreaking’ Testimony

in News/Legislature
Sen. Bo Biteman, photo by Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily

Saying the Wyoming’s laws outlining grandparent visitation rights desperately need an overhaul, Sen. Bo Biteman call a legislative committee’s narrow 3-2 vote to axe his bill “very heartbreaking.”

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‘Western Heritage’ Bill Passes Committee; Would Prohibit Communities From Banning Rodeos

in Wyoming Life/News
(Jackson Hole Rodeo via Facebook)

House Bill 95 would make it so local governments couldn’t ban rodeos “just because it doesn’t align with their certain ideology,” said bill sponsor Rachel Rodriguez-Williams. An animal rights activist said Wyoming needs some “Californication.”

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Make Way For Dirty Charlotte and Old Faithful, Wyoming’s Newest Signature Cocktails

in Wyoming Life/News/Business
Mallory Pollack pours an Old Faithful, a unique cocktail made with Wyoming Whiskey. (Renée Jean, Cowboy State Daily)

Booze, a Wyoming tradition even before statehood. And to celebrate booze at the Wyoming Tourism Conference, distillers across the state were challenged to make new concoctions. And they succeeded…

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From Boom To Bust: US – And Wyoming’s – Oil Industry Learns From Mistakes

in Energy/News
(Cyclone Drilling Photo)

Advancements in hydraulic fracturing technologies brought a revolution in U.S. oil and gas production. For a while it seemed the boom would never end, but the busts came. After a few hard lessons, America’s oil and gas industry has become more efficient, more cautious and more mature.

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Wyoming Lawmakers Vote To Reduce Early Voting Window, Require Post-Election Audits

in elections/News/Legislature
Secretary of State Chuck Gray testifies in favor of a raft of legislation that would impact Wyoming elections. (Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily)

Wyoming elections would be subject to post-election audits and early voting windows would be shortened under a bill advanced by a legislative committee Tuesday.

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Young Wyoming Chefs Get Police Escort, Then Bake Winning Cake At Statewide Competition

in Wyoming Life/News
Laramie High School students Kinley Wade, Brooklyn McKinney and Rylee Otte decorate their cake at the ProStart competition in Cheyenne. (Renée Jean, Cowboy State Daily)

A weekend snowstorm and multiple pileups closed Interstate-80 and threatened to shut Laramie High School culinary students out of a cooking competition in Cheyenne. It took a police escort, but they made it and then won.

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Powell Police Chief Supports Adult ‘Amber Alert’ System That Would Help Alzheimers Patients

in News/Health care/Legislature
(Getty Images)

Powell Police Chief Roy Eckert knows firsthand the heartbreak of watching a loved one succumb to Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Now he and other Wyoming law enforcement officers are pushing for a statewide alert system to protect vulnerable adults.

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Crossover Voting Bills Advance, But Weaker Than Some Wyoming Conservatives Want

in elections/News/Legislature
People line up in Cheyenne to vote in the 2022 general election. (Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily)

A bill that will restrict crossover voting in Wyoming passed through a legislative committee on Monday. The bill would allow voters to change their party affiliation up to 45 days before the primary election.

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Mining Association Skeptical Of Study That Says Only 1 Coal Plant In U.S. Operates Cheaper Than Wind/Solar

in Energy/News/coal
(Babock & Wilcox)

The Wyoming Mining Association’s Travis Deti said the study is problematic because it doesn’t factor in the costs of maintaining reliability on the grid. “The fact is, wind and solar just aren’t reliable,” he said.

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Outdoor Gear Businessman Says His Wyoming “I Hate People” Decal Is One Of His Bestsellers

in Wyoming outdoors/News

Don’t get Craig Bell wrong, just because one of the most popular products with his Wyoming customers is a vinyl decal proclaiming “I Hate People,” that doesn’t mean he actually hates people. Except when he sees a trailhead full of cars…

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Abortion Foes Clash At Capitol On New Wyoming Abortion Ban

in abortion/News/Legislature
Rachel Rodriguez-Williams, R-Cody, center, is the sponsor of House Bill 152. (Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily)

Proponents of House Bill 152 on Monday said Wyoming needs to cement its position as a firm right-to-life state, while opponents said legislators shouldn’t have the authority to determine when life begins.

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Wyoming’s Anti-COVID Mandate Bill Chooses ‘Our Freedom’ Over Federal Money, Says Sponsor

in News/Health care/Legislature
(Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily)

By a narrow two-vote margin, the Wyoming House of Representatives has advanced legislation that would prohibit hospitals, businesses, schools and any other facility in the state from mandating COVID-19 vaccinations and other related health requirements such as the wearing of face masks.

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$10 Million ‘World-Class’ Shooting Complex Could Make Wyoming An International Destination

in Wyoming outdoors/News
Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Wyoming has missed the mark by not having a world-class shooting complex that could draw tourism and boost the state to international status among firearms and archery enthusiasts, say proponents who are trying to launch the project. 

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Efforts Underway To Ensure Wyoming Residents Get First Crack At Shed Antlers

in News/Legislature/Hunting
The large elk antler arch is one a Jackson, Wyoming, landmark. (Getty Images)

Once considered a niche activity, “shed hunting” for elk and deer antlers has become profitable and exploded in popularity. So much so that some legislators say Wyoming residents should have a three-day head start over non-residents

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