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Wyoming Hosts Hawaii on Senior Day Saturday

in News/wyoming cowboys football
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 It is a series that began back in 1978 and has been played 26 times since that over the next 44 seasons — the Wyoming Cowboys and Hawaii Rainbow Warriors will kick off the 26th meeting in their long-standing series Saturday in Laramie.  Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.

Both teams are coming off big wins last week.  Wyoming defeated Mountain Division leader Utah State by a score of 44-17 in Logan, Utah.  Hawaii won at home by a score of 50-45 over Colorado State.  The Cowboys will bring a 6-5 overall record and a 2-5 Mountain West record into Saturday’s game.  Hawai’i is 5-7 overall and 2-5 in the Mountain West.

Wyoming Earns Bowl Eligibility for the Fifth Time in Six Years

With its win over Utah State last Saturday, Wyoming earned bowl eligibility with its sixth win of the season.  It marks the fifth time in the last six seasons that Wyoming is bowl eligible.  The Cowboys played in the 2016 Poinsettia Bowl, won the 2017 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl and captured the 2019 Arizona Bowl.  The Pokes were also 6-6 in 2018, earning them bowl eligibility, and are currently 6-5 this season.

Saturday’s Game Will be Senior Day, Wyoming Seniors Have Been Part of Great Success at Wyoming

Saturday will mark the final home game for several University of Wyoming senior football players.  During their time as Cowboys, the program has enjoyed a great deal of success.  Due to the NCAA granting players an extra year of eligibility following last year’s COVID shortened season, several current Cowboy seniors have been part of the Wyoming Football program since 2016.  Here are some of the accomplishments this year’s senior class has been a part of:

      •Three eight-win seasons in 2016, ’17 and ’19

      •Earned bowl eligibility in 2016, ’17, ’18, ’19 and ’21

      •2016 Hosted Mountain West Championship Game

      •2016 Poinsettia Bowl

      •2017 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Champions

      •2019 NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl Champions

      •A 5-1 record against rival Colorado State

      •Defeated SEC member Missouri in Laramie in 2019

Muma Named One of Six National Finalists for the 2021 Butkus Award 

Wyoming linebacker Chad Muma was named one of six finalists for the prestigious Butkus Award on Monday, Nov. 22, 2021.  The Butkus Award honors the nation’s best linebackers in the nation.  This is the 37th year of the Butkus Award.

The six finalists for this year’s college award include: Muma; Darrian Beavers, Cincinnati; Nakobe Dean, Georgia; Damone Clark, LSU; Devin Lloyd, Utah; and Leo Chenal, Wisconsin

Winners of the college and high school awards are expected to be selected on or before Dec. 7. The pro winner will be announced in early 2022.

This season, Muma is averaging 10.9 total tackles per game to rank No. 2 in the Mountain West and No. 4 in the nation.  He is also averaging 6.8 solo tackles per game to rank No. 1 in the MW and No. 2 in the nation.  Muma is tied for No. 2 in the nation in interception returns for touchdowns.

Valladay Could Become Only the Fourth Cowboy to Post Two 1,000-Yard Rushing Seasons 

Only 11 Cowboys in the 125-year history of Wyoming Football have rushed for 1,000 yards in a single season.  One of those is current Cowboy Xazavian Valladay, who ran for 1,265 yards in 2019.  He will enter this Saturday’s game vs. Hawai’i with 942 rushing yards this season.  He needs only 58 more yards this season to reach the 1,000-yard mark for the second time in his career.

Only Brian Hill, Ryan Christopherson and Dabby Dawson have posted two 1,000-yard seasons in their careers.  Valladay could become the fourth.

Wyoming’s 1000-Yard Rushing Seasons

1.   Brian Hill                          2016        1,860

2.   Brian Hill                          2015        1,631

3.   Ryan Christopherson      1994        1,455

4.   Nico Evans                      2018        1,325

5.   Gerald Abraham              1987        1,305

6.   Devin Moore                    2008        1,301

7.   Xazavian Valladay         2019        1,265

8.   Myron Hardeman            1977        1,165

9.   Dabby Dawson                1988        1,119

10. Marques Brigham            1998        1,114

11.  Jim Crawford                  1956        1,104

12.  Ryan Christopherson      1993        1,042

13.  Dwight Driver                  1992        1,027

14.  Dabby Dawson               1989        1,005

      Xazavian Valladay          2021           942

Swen Rushes for a Career High 169 Yards at Utah State,

Records Longest Run From Scrimmage in 125 Years of Wyoming Football History 

Wyoming junior running back Titus Swen rushed for a personal best 169 yards at Utah State on Nov. 20, 2021.  Included in that total was a 98-yard TD run that is the longest run from scrimmage in Wyoming school history.  The previous long was 95 yards by former Cowboy running back Nate Scott against Central Michigan in 2000.  Swen’s 169 yards marked the third 100-yard rushing game of his career and second of this season.

Valladay and Swen Form Dynamic Running Back Duo

Wyoming’s offense has the luxury this season of having two premier running backs in Xazavian Valladay and Titus Swen.

Valladay has rushed for 942 yards this season.  Swen has ran for 718.  Combined, the two have accounted for 1,660 of Wyoming’s 2,222 rushing yards or 74.7 percent.  Valladay has four 100-yard games this season, while Swen has two of his own in 2021.

Defense Shines in 44-17 Win at Utah State, 

Limiting High-Powered Aggie Offense to 17 Points

One of the keys to Wyoming’s 44-17 win over Utah State on Nov. 20 was the way the Cowboy defense limited the powerful Utah State passing attack, that was averaging 315 yards per game, to only 181 yards.  Wyoming’s defense also held the Aggie offense, which was averaging 33 points per game, to only 17 points.

The Utah State offense was able to complete only 45.2 percent of its passes (19 of 42) for 181 yards and averaged only 4.3 yards per pass attempt and only 9.5 yards per pass completion.

Utah State rushed for only 181 yards and accounted for 362 yards of total offense.  In the second half, the Cowboy defense also shutout the Aggie offense.

Iron Men — Offensive Line Leads the Way for Wyoming’s Outstanding Rushing Attack 

Wyoming’s offensive line has a group of iron men when it comes to the number of games they’ve started and played in their careers.

Chief among those are senior center Keegan Cryder, who will be starting his 43rd consecutive game Saturday.  That is every game that Wyoming has played over the past four seasons.  Cryder has never missed a start during his college career.  Close behind him is senior right guard Logan Harris, who will be starting the 42nd game of his career on Saturday.

Leading the way for Wyoming’s successful rushing attack in 2020 was a dominant group of offensive linemen.  Entering the 2021 season, Wyoming had eight O-Linemen returning with starting experience.

Returning Offensive Linemen              Career Games Played    Career Starts

Logan Harris, OG                                    52                                     41

Keegan Cryder, C/OG                             42                                     42

Rudy Stofer, OT                                       37                                     25

Eric Abojei, OG                                        33                                     26

Alonzo Velazquez, OT                             32                                     30

Frank Crum, OT                                       29                                     22

Zach Watts, OG                                       20                                       8

Latrell Bible, OT                                       18                                       6

Career Totals (As of Nov. 22, 2021)       263                                   200

Levi Williams Enjoyed a Career Day in Win at Utah State

Cowboy quarterback Levi Williams enjoyed a career best day in UW’s 44-17 win at Utah State on Nov. 20.

Williams threw for a career high 242 yards against the Aggies.  He also completed a career best 80.0 percent of his passes (12 of 15).  Williams threw TD passes of 40 and 17 yards with only one interception.  He added 22 rushing yards for 264 yards of total offense.

Neyor Records Back-to-Back 100-Yard Receiving Games at Boise State and Utah State

Over the past two weeks, Wyoming sophomore wide receiver Isaiah Neyor has performed at an extremely high level vs. two of the top teams in the Mountain West.  On Nov. 12 at Boise State, Neyor caught six passes for 126 yards and one touchdown vs. the Broncos.  Neyor followed up that performance on Nov. 20 at Utah State with four receptions for 125 yards and his 10th receiving TD of the season.

Neyor had his first of three 100-yard  receiving games as a redshirt freshman in 2020 when he caught three passes for 102 yards at Nevada. 

Cameron Stone Earned MW Special Teams Player of the Week for Performance at Utah State

Wyoming Cowboy kick returner Cameron Stone was named the Mountain West Conference Special Teams Player of the Week for his performance in a 44-17 road win at Utah State on Nov. 20.  Stone returned a kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter at Utah State, giving Wyoming a 14-7 lead on way to a 44-17 road victory.  It was Stone’s first career kickoff return for a TD.  The 99-yard return was the second longest in Wyoming’s 125-year history.  Only a 100-yard kickoff return by Wyoming’s Sonny Jones vs. Colorado College in 1948 was longer.  Stone’s 99-yard return came immediately after USU had tied the game at 7-7 in the first quarter.  The sophomore from Rosharon, Texas, added a second kickoff return of 25 yards to account for 124 yards in kickoff returns and average 62.0 yards per return.  It was Stone’s first MW Player of the Week award.

Common Opponents

The Wyoming Cowboys and Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors have played four common opponents in 2021 — Colorado State, Fresno State, San Jose State and Utah State.  Wyoming has a 2-2 record against those opponents, and Hawai’i is also 2-2. 

Common

Opponents        Wyoming vs.                 Hawai’i vs.

Colorado State   W 31-17 (+14), Home     W 50-45 (+5), Home

Fresno State       L 0-17 (-17), Home         W 27-21 (+6), Home

San Jose State   L 21-33 (-12), Away         L 13-17 (-4), Home

Utah State           W 44-17 (+27), Away      L 31-51 (-20), Away

Wyoming and Hawai’i Meet for the 26th Time, Will Battle for the Paniolo Trophy for the 25th Time

The Wyoming Cowboys and Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors will play for the 26th time in the two schools’ histories when they kick off today.  The two teams will be competing for the Paniolo Trophy for the 25th time. 

Wyoming and Hawai’i first played each other in football back on Nov. 18, 1978, with Hawai’i winning that first meeting in Honolulu by a score of 27-22. 

The Paniolo Trophy has been a part of the series since 1979.  In the second year of the series, a group of Hawai’ian residents, with roots in Wyoming, donated a statuette of a Cowboy preparing to toss a lariat.  The traveling trophy is named the Paniolo Trophy as Paniolo is the Hawai’ian word for Cowboy. 

At the time the traveling trophy was introduced to the rivalry both schools were members of the Western Athletic Conference, as Hawai’i joined the WAC in 1979.

Wyoming leads the Paniolo Trophy portion of the series with 15 wins to Hawai’i’s nine victories.  The overall series is led by Wyoming 15-10, when including Hawai’i’s win in the inaugural 1978 game. 

For the next 19 years, from 1979 to 1997, the two teams competed for the Paniolo Trophy.  After Wyoming’s 35-6 win in the 1997 meeting in Honolulu, the series between the two schools ended.  Due to the rotating schedule of the then 16-team WAC, Wyoming and Hawai’i weren’t scheduled to play in 1998.  In 1999, Wyoming joined the Mountain West Conference, which interrupted the series for 15 years.  

When Hawai’i was invited to join the Mountain West Conference, beginning in 2012, the two schools began discussion of a renewal of the Paniolo Trophy competition.  But over that 15-year timespan the Paniolo Trophy was lost, which became a story in itself.  Each school searched for it, but it was not to be found.

Enter a new group of Hawai’i fans to continue the tradition.  The Paniolo Preservation Society, a group dedicated to preserving Hawai’i’s rich Cowboy heritage, proposed a new trophy.  Led by the Society’s President, Mrs. Patricia C. Bergin, a bronze maquette, featuring Hawai’ian native Ikua Purdy roping a wild stag bull, was donated to the two schools in 2013 to mark renewal of the series.  Purdy became the first Hawaiian inducted into the National Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame in 1999.  The bronze is a reproduction of a larger work by noted western sculptor Fred Fellows.  The reproduction measures approximately 20″ long and 12″ high.

The series was renewed in 2013, when Hawai’i joined the Mountain West as a football playing member school.  Wyoming recorded a 59-56 victory in the first overtime in Laramie in 2013.  Hawai’i won in 2014 in Honolulu by a score of 38-28.  In 2017, the Cowboys and Rainbow Warriors played another overtime game, with the Cowboys winning 28-21 in the first overtime.  UH won the 2018 meeting in Hawai’i by a score of 17-13, and Wyoming captured the most recent meeting in the series in 2020 in Laramie by a score of 31-7.

Where to Watch and Listen

Every Cowboy Football game is broadcast live on the 26 radio affiliates of the Cowboy Sports Network.  Announcers are Dave Walsh, Play-by-Play (38th year), Kevin McKinney, Color Analyst (24th year) and Reece Monaco, Sideline Reporter (11th year).  The pregame show begins 90 minutes prior to kickoff.

This week’s game will be telecast on Spectrum Hawai’i.  The only way to watch the game is by downloading the Team1Sports app on your phone or tablet and watch from those devices.  Fans can also screen cast to their televisions if they have the right phone and TV.  Saturday’s announcers will be Kanoa Leahey (Play-by-Play) and Rich Miano (Color Analyst).

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Plane Crash Rediscovered Over The Weekend in Grand Tetons Was From 1988

in News/Search and Rescue
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By Jennifer Kocher, Cowboy State Daily

The wreckage of an airplane spotted in the Gros Ventre drainage this past weekend was from a crash more than 30 years ago, authorities said.

Hunters reported finding the collapsed but largely intact airplane late Friday night, according to Tim Ciorcarlan, search and rescue aviation advisor for Teton County Search and Rescue (TCSAR), who led the recovery mission Saturday morning. 

The hunters had taken photographs of the fuselage and wings that were buried under a mound of snow, Ciorcarlan said, and the search crew had little to go on after research yielded no evidence of any missing airplanes or recent plane crashes in the area.

The TCSAR crew of staff and volunteers ascended the steep 3,000-foot, heavily timbered Crystal Butte, about three miles outside Jackson, where they found the wreckage.

“It looked like a flattened beer can,” Ciorcarlan said. “The whole plane was there, but it was really smushed. Like it pancaked from the sky, nose down. You can see the wings and fuselage, but it was smashed really badly.”

His crew was able to straighten the wreckage enough to discern the airplane’s tail number.

It turned out the airplane, a Mooney M20F, had crashed in August 1988 during the peak of the fires in Yellowstone, killing both the pilot and passenger. 

According to the report by the National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB), the plane had been climbing at 11,000 feet through thick smoke from area forest fires shortly after leaving Jackson Hole when it hit two trees and plunged to the ground. Pilot Robert Yoreck, 50, and his passenger both died on impact.

Loss of control, collision with mountainous/hilly terrain were listed as the probable cause of the crash. 

Though the bodies had been removed and the incident well reported, the debris remained on site in well preserved condition, its windscreen remaining crystal clear and its paint showing little evidence of fading in the sun.

The crash seems to have been largely forgotten by members of law enforcement and the local aviation community. Ciorcarlan, who has responded to every airplane crash report in Teton County since 1993, had no knowledge of the crash before climbing the butte Saturday.

It turns out, the hunters Friday were not the first group to report the wreckage.

It turns out it had been reported by hunters about two decades after it occurred.

“This plane should not have been a mystery,” Dave Hodges, a Teton County Sheriff’s Office detective who was on the search, told Cowboy State Daily Wednesday.

“It had crashed in 1988 and was reported at the time,” he said. “Both the pilot and passenger died and were recovered.  All done. But somehow, through the little cracks in the system, it was forgotten about. It was again reported in 2008 by hunters. But once more slipped through the system.” 

Authorities thought the report made Friday might involve a new crash, Hodges said, because the initial information was vague.

“The preliminary input was insufficient to the point no prior historical contacts were revealed,” he said. “It was only when we returned from the crash site and sat down at the computer, now armed with more exact data, that it was revealed in the TCSO historical data base.”

It’s not clear why the plane has been left on the mountain.

That decision to remove debris is typically left up to either the owner and/or insurance company, according to Keith Holloway, media representative for the NTSB, who said his agency does not participate in the removal of aircraft debris.  

This time, however, Ciorcarlan said searchers painted a big yellow “x” on the airplane’s fuselage with a date of the crash to indicate the crash has been investigated. 

He and the volunteers were nonplussed about the steep hike or unnecessary recon work on their part.

“It really is a nothing burger, so to speak,” he said. “We just went for a walk.”

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Buffalo To Be Featured On HGTV Show

in News/wyoming economy
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By Wendy Corr, Cowboy State Daily

Buffalo is in the spotlight for a new HGTV show that intends to give parts of the town a makeover.

But some residents fear the attention might backfire for the community with a population of 4,593 nestled at the foot of the Bighorn Mountains in northern Wyoming, best known for its annual “Longmire Days” festival.

The “Home Town Kickstart Presented by PEOPLE” program has three goals for each community it visits, according to HGTV. 

First, refresh the home of a local hero; second, give a small business a beautiful upgrade; and third, reinvigorate a public space.

“I think it is a great thing for Buffalo and the people and small businesses,” said Krista Palmer, who has lived in Buffalo her entire life. “It will let people know how special a place Buffalo really is.”

Staff at Buffalo City Hall agree, according to City Clerk/Treasurer Julie Silbernagel.

“It all started with someone nominating Buffalo,” she told Cowboy State Daily. “I  have no idea who nominated us, but production company representatives visited Buffalo this summer and determined that our town would be a good fit for the show.”

Buffalo is one of six communities selected from thousands of submissions to HGTV to receive this “kickstart.” Others selected for the show were Cornwall, New York, Winslow, Arizona, LaGrange, Kentucky, Thomaston, Georgia, and Minden, Louisiana.

According to the network, each communities will benefit from the expertise of the popular network stars used to lead the makeovers and added visibility from an appearance the popular magazine “People.”

“We are thrilled to highlight stories about everyday heroes working towards positive change in their communities,” commented Dan Wakeford, People magazine’s editor-in-chief.

But not everyone is excited about the attention. Comments on Sheridan Media’s story about the selection revealed concern by some residents.

“This a terribly sad thing,” said one commenter, who said he grew up in western Wyoming and watched his community be destroyed by development and media exposure. “Rural gentrification rips apart long standing communities and upends the values that make small towns special.”

On the other hand, some residents see this as an opportunity to breathe life into what is primarily a tourist town.

“Buffalo needs something that caters more to its locals,” said Penny Corbett, who has lived in Buffalo her entire life. “I, for one, am someone who shops out of town, shops on Amazon, because I don’t want to buy my kids and grandkids birthday presents at Family Dollar, nor do I want to buy a $55 blouse for my 5-year-old granddaughter at a downtown store.”

Corbett pointed out that since Shopko closed down a few years ago, the town doesn’t have any sort of department store that provides essentials for residents.

“When I was growing up, we had The Cobbler (shoe store),” she explained. “We had the New York Store and the Pants and Tops Shop. We had places in town where you could go and get what you needed.”

But because of the town’s small size, Corbett said residents pay more for services and goods in Buffalo than they might in nearby Sheridan (with more than three times Buffalo’s population), even though both towns are on interstate highways. 

“One of the things that I’ve learned about Buffalo as an adult is that we pay higher shipping rates,” she said. “Nobody has an explanation for it. Two major interstates go through here — the gas truck has to drive right by Buffalo to get Sheridan, and yet (Sheridan’s) gas prices are lower than ours. Makes no sense.”

So from Corbett’s perspective, a little “revitalization” might go a long way towards giving the town a much-needed economic boost. 

“To have somebody come in here, like HGTV, to help revitalize a downtown business and help maybe a couple of other stores that are trying to cater more towards locals, with a flair to attract tourists as well, it could show Buffalo in a different light.”

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Wyoming’s Kindness Ranch: Pet Of The Week

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By Jen Kocher, Cowboy State Daily

“Black Friday? No thank you! Black Cat? Yes please!

All adoption fees waived until the end of the year for black cats. Just say you heard it from Cowboy State Daily.

Say hello to Abigail Curly Tail!

This adorable, petite, 5-year-old black cat is just an absolute love. She has a difficult time bonding with other cats sometimes, but given time, she could do very well in a multi-cat household.

Abigail was used in vaccine research and should have no long lasting effects from her time in the lab.

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Better Weather For Wyoming Ski Areas Coming In December

in News/Recreation
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By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily

The outlook for snow in Wyoming through the rest of November is not good, especially for the state’s ski areas preparing to open their lift lines for the season, according to a Wyoming meteorologist.

But that will change once December rolls around, according to Don Day, founder of Cheyenne’s DayWeather.

“While the ski areas are probably sweating bullets right now, I am bullish things will turn around in December,” he told Cowboy State Daily. “And it will happen in early December.”

One of the state’s ski areas, Grand Targhee in Alta, opened for the season Wednesday with a snow base of 30 inches and 69% of the resort open for skiing.

The Jackson Hole Mountain Resort planned to continue its long-standing tradition of opening for the season on Thanksgiving Day, although the terrain available for skiing would be limited, according to the ski area’s website.

“Mother Nature has been off to a slow start on the lower mountain, but with increased snowmaking capacity and a dedicated staff working around the clock, we are thrilled to open our lifts this Thursday,” Mary Kate Buckley, the area’s president, said.

Four of the state’s other ski areas — Snow King Resort in Jackson, Hogadon near Casper, Snowy Range near Centennial and Sleeping Giant near Cody — planned to open between Dec. 3 and Dec. 11, according to the website Ski Central.

Day said by the time the areas open in December, decent snow should start falling in the state’s mountains.

“About the first weekend in December, it will get much colder and the mountain snows will kick in,” he said.

Day attributed the sudden switch in weather conditions to La Nina, a weather event that occurs when temperatures on the surface of the Pacific Ocean fall to levels that are lower than normal, affecting weather globally.

“It’s very typical in a La Nina to have alternating months that can go warm and dry and then the next month it can go the opposite,” he said.

The only ski area that has not announced an opening date is White Pine near Pinedale.

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Wyoming Obituaries: Week Of November 18 – 24, 2021

in Wyoming Obituary/News
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By Jen Kocher, Cowboy State Daily

Here’s a list of recent deaths of Wyoming residents and those with close affiliations to the state for the week of Nov. 18 – 24, 2021. Our condolences to family and friends:

Nov. 18:

Nov. 19:

Nov. 20:

Nov. 21:

Nov. 22:

Nov. 23:

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Barrasso Shares Thanksgiving Dinner with Wyoming Troops in Bahrain

in News/John Barrasso
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BAHRAIN – U.S. Sen. John Barrasso had Thanksgiving Dinner with Wyoming sailors and Marines serving in Bahrain, according to the senator’s office.

Barrasso visited with service members who are currently stationed at Naval Support Activity Bahrain, which is home to U.S. Naval Forces Central Command and U.S. 5th Fleet. 

NSA Bahrain provides operational support to U.S. and Coalition Forces in the Middle East and ensures the security of ships, aircraft and remote sites.

“In Wyoming, we are always so grateful for the brave service of our men and women in uniform. This includes our sailors and Marines who are serving ten time zones away from home right now in Bahrain,” Barrasso said.

“They’re eyeball to eyeball with Iran in the Persian Gulf and are doing an incredible job protecting America and our allies,” he said. “Bringing a little bit of Wyoming to our troops serving overseas on Thanksgiving is a tradition I look forward to every year. I made sure to let them know that everyone at home is thinking of them and looking forward to their safe return.”

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Wyoming Nuke Expert: Nuclear Reactor On Moon Is Logical Next Step

in Energy/News
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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Photo: Dave Bell, Wyoming Mountain Photography

Although the conversation over the last few months here in Wyoming has focused on the new nuclear reactor scheduled to come to the Cowboy State in a few years, don’t be surprised if the next location discussed will be the moon.

Sure, it may sound like something out of a science fiction film, but Wyoming nuclear energy expert David Miller thinks it is a logical next step for the nation to take.

Last week, NASA announced that it was seeking proposals for a fission surface power system on the moon, as its scientists are looking to establish a sun-independent power source for missions to the moon by the end of the decade, according to ABC News.

“I don’t know what else you would use, because while solar panels could work, there are long periods of time where particular areas of the moon aren’t exposed to sunlight,” Miller said. “If there’s going to be a manned moon base, I would much rather have a nuclear power plant keeping me warm and helping me do whatever I need to do.”

The proposed reactor would be built on Earth and then sent to the moon. If successful in supporting a sustained human presence on the moon, the next objective would be Mars.

Miller did note that an accident involving solar panels would also be more likely on the moon than an accident involving a nuclear power plant.

“It makes sense for us to associate ‘nuclear’ with ‘bomb’ since the 1950s as it did to associate ‘electric’ with ‘chair’ 100 years ago,” he said. “It’s beyond a shadow of a doubt in my mind that nuclear is the only way forward from this point. In my opinion, coal has a lot more issues and kills far more people than nuclear ever thought about killing.”

He added that using nuclear energy in space travel is nothing new, as nuclear isotopes were used to power the Voyager probes and others like it that were sent to travel the solar system. It is impossible to send out more fuel for an expedition like that, so nuclear energy is the best choice, he said.

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Canadians Charged After Evanston Bust Uncovers 750 Pounds Of Meth, Coke

in News/Crime
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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Two Canadian men are facing federal charges after being caught with almost 750 pounds of methamphetamine and cocaine during a Uinta County traffic stop last month.

Darren Kareem Hall and Brandon Layton Rampersaud each are charged with one count of intent to distribute methamphetamine, which carries a sentence of 10 years to life in prison if found. They could also be fined $10 million.

According to court documents, around 10 a.m. on Oct. 24, Wyoming Highway Patrol trooper Scott Neilson was patrolling eastbound Interstate 80 near Evanston when he saw a red Dodge Caravan with Florida license plates traveling east and speeding at a rate of 84 mph in a 75 mph zone.

Neilson conducted a traffic stop and made contact with the two men, both of whom had Canadian drivers licenses. Rampersaud, the driver, apologized for speeding.

Court documents said Neilson could smell marijuana in the vehicle and saw two multi-colored backpacks, two elongated cardboard boxes and black bags inside.

Neilson brought Hall to his Highway Patrol vehicle, where the trooper’s K-9 partner Max alerted to some type of odor on Hall.

Hall told the trooper he and Rampersaud were on a road trip back to Canada, saying they had been in Las Vegas for two days for a concert. Upon inspecting the vehicle’s rental agreement, Neilson saw that the car had been rented in Los Angeles and was scheduled for drop-off in Chicago.

Hall returned to the Dodge and sent Rampersaud back to Neilson’s patrol car, where the K-9 again alerted to some type of odor.

When asked about their travel plans, Rampersaud said the men had been in Los Angeles and were headed to Denver, and then they would go to Chicago.

After giving Rampersaud a ticket for speeding, Neilson informed the man of his right to remain silent and mentioned the marijuana odor. Rampersaud said the marijuana belonged to Hall and had been purchased in Las Vegas.

Rampersaud did say that the marijuana was gone, but that an empty bag may still be in the car. In response to further questions from Neilson, Rampersaud denied transporting large amounts of drugs across the country.

According to Neilson’s affidavit, he went back to the Dodge and mentioned the marijuana smell to Hall and Hall produced a dispensary-style plastic tube used for storing pre-rolled joints from the passenger door pocket. He was then placed in the backseat of the patrol car, while Rampersaud was in the front seat.

While in the car, the vehicle’s camera recorded Rampersaud asking Hall what the trooper was doing and Hall informed him that Neilson was going to search the vehicle. Rampersaud told Hall that they were in trouble, albeit in different words.

Max the K-9 was deployed to sniff around the vehicle, while Hall punched the metal cage of the car and Rampersaud expressed concern.

Neilson unzipped a large black bag and found several large, clear plastic bags containing a white substance later identified as meth. A thorough search of the vehicle uncovered 635 pounds of methamphetamine and 112 pounds of cocaine.

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Wyoming Energy Authority Chairman: Biden’s Oil Release “Drop In The Bucket”

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

A plan to release oil from the nation’s strategic oil reserve to reduce gasoline prices will not amount to much, according to Wyoming Energy Authority chairman Paul Ulrich.

The White House on Tuesday announced the U.S., along with five other countries, including China, will dip into its national reserves in an effort to ease soaring gasoline prices. President Joe Biden ordered the release of 50 million barrels of oil.

However, Ulrich said that the number amounts to about two and one-half days of oil consumption in the United States.

“It truly is just a drop in the bucket,” he said.

America’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve holds about 605 million barrels of oil in underground salt caverns in Texas and Louisiana. It was created following the 1970s Arab oil embargo to store oil that could be tapped in an emergency. 

There is also a limit to how much can be released at once.

While the hope is that the release of the oil will reduce prices, but Ulrich said he did not believe that Biden’s move would make much of a difference at all.

“Aiming for policy change to address rising natural gas and energy prices would be enhancing, encouraging and incentivizing oil and gas production on federal lands,” Ulrich said. “We in Wyoming have a long track record of balancing major emission reduction efforts and conservation efforts while providing affordable and reliable energy.”

Other experts agree with Ulrich’s assessment.

“We’re talking about adding, at best, a day’s worth of supply to the global market,” Troy Vincent, an analyst at market research firm DTN, told CBS MoneyWatch.

Gas prices are 50% higher than they were one year ago, averaging a little more than $3.40 per gallon nationally. Wyoming’s average gas price Wednesday was about $3.42 per gallon.

Once cheaper fuel hits the market, it takes between three and seven days for consumers to see lower prices at the pump, Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, told CBS MoneyWatch.

The reason for the delay? Gas stations, even when they get cheaper fuel, lower prices at the pump by only a cent or two in order to preserve their profits, while carefully watching what their competitors are doing. 

Anyone in southeast Wyoming might want to consider heading to Buford, home of some of the state’s lowest gas prices, to fill up if they are going on a longer trip.

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