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Dog Ejected From Car During Rollover, Found OK

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

A dog was thrown from a vehicle during a rollover near Cheyenne Wednesday morning, but her story thankfully had a happy ending.

Chulu and her owner were involved in a rollover accident near Cheyenne on Wednesday around 7:30 a.m., although neither were injured, according to the Cheyenne Animal Shelter.

The Wyoming Highway Patrol requested the assistance of Cheyenne Animal Control on Interstate 25 just outside of the city shortly after the accident, when troopers learned a dog had been ejected from the vehicle during the accident.

Animal control officers arrived on scene and immediately began searching for Chulu, as they didn’t know if she was injured or not.

Footprints in the snow led officers to believe someone found the dog on the side of the highway and picked her up, which was exactly the case. Chulu had been taken to the animal shelter, where staff coordinated a return with her owner.

The owner was delighted to be reunited with Chulu and the two returned to their home in Nebraska on Wednesday.

“From all the staff at the Cheyenne Animal Shelter, we wish Chulu and her owner a safe trip back home to Nebraska!” the animal shelter said in a social media post.

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Riverton Student Names New Supercomputer

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Wyoming NCAR Supercomputer
Courtesy: ©UCAR; photo by Carlye Calvin
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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

A Riverton middle school student got the opportunity last week to name one of the world’s fastest supercomputers.

Cael Arbogast submitted the winning name “Derecho” for the new system being installed at the National Center for Atmospheric Research Wyoming Supercomputing Center in Cheyenne.

The term “derecho,” derives from the Spanish word for “direct” or “straight ahead,” and refers to a line of powerful and damaging storms that often pack hurricane-force winds and unleash heavy rains and flooding. It’s the type of destructive weather event that scientists hope to learn more about by using the new supercomputer to conduct advanced simulations of atmospheric conditions and other aspects of the Earth’s system.

“I picked this name because a derecho is an intense, widespread and fast-moving windstorm that travels long and great distances bringing many storms with it,” Arbogast wrote with his submission. “This new supercomputer has to move at fast speed for everybody to use all across the country. I thought this name would be a good fit provided that lots of scientists and others will be using this computer all across the country and for weather all throughout the world.”

“Derecho” was selected out of more than 200 submissions from K-12 students all over Wyoming.

Derecho will become operational in early 2022. Built by Hewlett Packard Enterprise, the supercomputer will have the theoretical ability to perform 19.87 quadrillion calculations per second.

That is about 3.5 times the speed of scientific computing performed by the current NWSC supercomputer, “Cheyenne.”

“We are very excited to have such a meaningful name for this powerful new supercomputer,” said Anke Kamrath, director of NCAR’s Computational & Information Systems Laboratory. “The state of Wyoming has been a wonderful home for the supercomputing center, and we could not be more pleased that ‘Derecho’ comes from a Wyoming student.”

Once it begins operations, Derecho is expected to rank among the top 25 or so fastest supercomputers in the world.

“This name is perfect,” said Ed Synakowski, vice president for research and economic development at the University of Wyoming. “Cael’s suggestion projects intensity, directionality, connectedness and complexity. The name immediately conveys that one is talking about a machine that is exciting and purposeful. The students stepped up beautifully in offering this and other great candidate names for this new system.”

Derecho will be used to advance the Earth system sciences, enabling researchers to better understand a range of phenomena that affect society, from hurricanes and seismic activity to climate change and solar storms.

Although it won’t be used for forecasting, Derecho will help scientists improve the tools needed to better predict severe weather, flooding and other damaging events.

“Our school and community are beyond proud of our student, Cael, for being selected for this prestigious honor,” said Riverton Middle School Principal Aziz Waheed. “To be able to name one of the fastest supercomputers for the National Center for Atmospheric Research is not something many people in the world can say they have done.”

Funding for Derecho, which will cost $35 million to $40 million, comes from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

NCAR also works with Wyoming schools to highlight the importance of scientific research and the opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers.

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Garth Brooks, Blake Shelton to Headline Cheyenne Frontier Days’ Night Shows

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Garth Brooks and Blake Shelton are among the headliners for this year’s Cheyenne Frontier Days’ night shows.

The entire headlining lineup was announced Thursday evening, just one day after CFD officials announced the “Daddy of ‘Em All” would be returning this summer at full capacity with no mask mandate for attendees.

The night show concert series will consist of:

  • July 23: Garth Brooks with Ned LeDoux
  • July 24: Thomas Rhett with Rhett Akins, the singer’s father
  • July 25: Cody Johnson with Aaron Watson
  • July 28: Maren Morris with an opening act to be announced
  • July 29: Eric Church with Ashley McBryde
  • July 30: Kane Brown with Restless Road
  • July 31: Blake Shelton with John King

“We are so glad to be sharing this lineup for 2021 tonight,” said Randy Krafft, chairman of the rodeo’s Contract Acts Committee.  “It has been a long year for all of us and we can’t wait to welcome our fans back to Frontier Park.”

Shelton, Church and Rhett were all rescheduled from the 2020 rodeo, since CFD was ultimately canceled last summer due to the coronavirus pandemic.

This year’s 125th celebration is dedicated to the memory of late country singer and former rodeo cowboy Chris LeDoux. A bronze statue of LeDoux will be added to the sculpture collection at Frontier Park.

Additionally, there will be nine days of professional rodeo, culminating in the championship on July 31.

The event will also feature hundreds of vendors, a full carnival, artists, food and music to celebrate the history and culture of the American West.

Tickets will go on sale at 9 a.m. on April 15 and can be purchased at www.cfdrodeo.com or by calling 307-778-7222. The ticket office won’t be open for in-person sales at this time.

Concert ticket prices range from $49 to $94, with rooftop seating starting at $150. Daily rodeo tickets range from $18 to $35.

A $3 discount is offered on rodeo tickets and $5 discount on concert tickets purchased before July 1. Professional Bullriders performance tickets range from $25 to $105, with special Elite Seating and VIP tickets also available at various prices.

Fans can upgrade to a Frontier Nights® Fast Pass for early admission to the Party Zone, a voucher for best-available same-day rodeo tickets and a souvenir rodeo program. For a full events schedule and profiles of musical acts, go to www.cfdrodeo.com.

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Visually Impaired Green River Girl Gets Special Easter Egg Hunt

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

A Green River girl got the chance to participate in a special Easter egg hunt this week with the Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Department.

Braylie Blair, 5, is visually impaired, so the sheriff’s department decided to create an egg hunt that would be just for her, according to a social media post. They used electronic eggs that beep to allow visually impaired children to find eggs by hearing them rather than seeing them.

“This morning, our hearts are full!” the department wrote in the post.

The egg hunt took place on Thursday, with Baylie finding tons of eggs and getting plenty of goodies in time for Easter. Hopefully, the Easter bunny won’t mind her head start on the weekend holiday.

“Spoiler alert: I think we had even more fun spoiling her than she did finding the eggs. Thanks for visiting! Happy Easter!” the department wrote on social media Thursday.

The Sweetwater Bomb Squad helped assemble the eggs in time for Baylie’s hunt.

The eggs came from the International Association of Bomb Technicians and Investigators, which established the Rachel Project in 2005.

The project was created after a bomb technician wanted to find a way to allow his blind daughter to participate in Easter egg hunts like other physically-able children.

The eggs also teach visually impaired children mobility and location skills.

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Sublette County Gets New K9 And Dog Body Armor

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

The Sublette County Sheriff’s Office has a new furry colleague joining its ranks, taking over for a K9 officer that died in November, the organization announced this week.

On Tuesday, the office introduced K9 Frankie to the world as the newest member of its agency. Frankie is a 2-year-old Belgian Malinois from Mexico.

The dog has been training with Deputy Krystal Mansur, who will be her handler. Frankie has been trained to detect illegal drugs.

Frankie is taking over for the office’s late K9 Tonka, who passed away in November.

“Deputy Mansur described her partner as the best, sweet, loving, dog with a great nose and loved to work,” Sergeant Travis Bingham said. “She went on to say (Frankie’s) two favorite things were finding drugs, and her ball.”

In addition to bringing Frankie on board, the office received a donation of body armor for its newest teammate.

The bullet and stab-proof vest comes from the nonprofit organization, Vested Interest in K9s, which provides these type of vests to law enforcement and related agency animals.

Frankie’s vest was embroidered with the sentiment “In memory of K9 Ike, Vancouver Police Department.”

Since its inception in 2009, Vested Interest has provided more than 4,210 vests to K9 officers in all 50 states at a value of $6.9 million, financed by both private and corporate donations.

Each vest has a value of $1,744 to $2,283, weighs an average of 4 to 5 pounds, and comes with a five-year warranty.

The program provides vests for U.S. dogs at least 20 months old that are actively employed and certified with law enforcement or related agencies.

There are an estimated 30,000 K9 officers in the United States.

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Man Rides Horse Thru Convenience Store in Montana; No One Cares

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By Jimmy Orr, Cowboy State Daily

A video of a man riding a horse through a convenience store in Montana didn’t seem to bother anyone. Especially the owners of the convenience store.

In fact, TownPump — a Butte, Montana, based company — found the video so engaging it posted the video on its social media pages.

No one seems to know who the man — or horse — is, but the security cameras caught the rider on horseback perusing through the new convenience store in Bozeman last week.

One might think the rider would be banned for such an offense. But in the Rocky Mountain West, horses are part of the culture. It’s not uncommon to see someone on a horse in the drive-thru of a fast food restaurant 

So instead, Town Pump has invited the mystery man back — on one condition.

“While we understand that you might have a codependent relationship with ol’ Paint, we do ask that you dismount, ask your bronco to wait outside, and enter our stores solo in the future,” a spokesman for Town Pump wrote.

“We will be glad to welcome YOU back, sir — but next time no horsin’ around please,” the spokesman said.

A story like this, of course, is made for television where on-air personalities salivate to throw out awful gut-wrenching puns.

“Looks like a healthy horse, he must be on a stable diet,” said KULR anchor Cory Howard.

No one asked the horse why he had such a long face, however.

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Park County Search and Rescue Saves Dirt Bike Crash Victim

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A Powell man was rescued from rugged terrain in Park County this week after crashing his dirt bike in a remote area over the weekend.

Bradford James Meredith, 65, was spotted by an airplane dispatched to search for him Monday morning and then taken to a Montana hospital for treatment of injuries he suffered in a dirt bike crash Sunday evening.

According to reports from Park County Search and Rescue, Meredith left his home in Powell around noon on Sunday with the intention of riding his dirt bike, either in an area near the Powell Municipal Airport or the Little Sand Coulee.

According to Meredith’s wife, those are the places he normally rides, but she didn’t know exactly where he was going when he left the house.

Around 11 p.m. Sunday, the Park County Communications Center received a report that Meredith was missing. Park County deputies responded to the area where his wife thought he might be and began searching all accessible roads for Meredith’s van.

The search was suspended at 3 a.m. Monday, but resumed later in the morning.

On Monday morning, Park County Search and Rescue was activated, using a fixed wing aircraft to search the area.

About an hour later, volunteers in the plane spotted Meredith’s van parked off of a rugged two-track trail about two miles from the Powell Airport.

Three minutes later, they saw Meredith lying in front of his wrecked dirt bike in a steep drainage area. Deputies got to him and said Meredith was responsive, but was displaying signs of hypothermia and several serious injuries.

Meredith believed he crashed sometime around 5 p.m. Sunday.

He was taken to St. Vincent Hospital in Billings, Montana, on Monday for further treatment, but his condition is unknown at this time.

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Platte County Sheriff K9s Receiving Body Armor Donation

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Three Platte County Sheriff K9 officers will soon receive body armor thanks to a charitable donation.

K9 officers Pancho, Picolo and Toro will receive bullet and stab protective vests as the result of a donation from the nonprofit organization Vested Interest in K9s, which provides these type of vests to law enforcement and related agency animals.

Pancho’s vest is sponsored by Scott and Carol Pollard of Big Flats, New Yorkm and will be embroidered with the sentiment, “In memory of Boreal.”

Picolo’s vest is sponsored by Robin Zoller of Latham, New York and will be embroidered with the sentiment “Born to Love – Trained to Serve – Loyal Always.”

Toro’s vest will be embroidered with the sentiment, “In honor of Chief Mark Estell, Jerome, Illinois.”

A request for comment placed to the sheriff’s department wasn’t immediately returned.

Delivery of the vests is expected in to eight to 10 weeks. The body armor for the K9 officers is U.S.-made and custom-fitted.

Since its inception in 2009, Vested Interest has provided more than 4,210 vests to K9 officers in all 50 states at a value of $6.9 million, made possible by both private and corporate donations.

Each vest has a value of $1,744 to $2,283, weighs an average of 4-5 lbs., and comes with a five-year warranty.

The program is open to U.S. dogs at least 20 months old and actively employed and certified with law enforcement or related agencies.

There are an estimated 30,000 K9 officers in the United States.

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Cheyenne Firefighters Deliver Baby Boy During Blizzard

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Wyoming measles-free, but officials urge preventive action
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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Some Cheyenne firefighters took on a new job temporarily this week when they helped deliver a baby boy during the historic snowstorm that blanketed much of southeast Wyoming.

“As access into the call was hampered by deep snow, part of the crew from Ladder 1 rendered care to mom, and delivery and care to baby, while the other members dug access for the ambulance,” Cheyenne Fire Rescue officials said in a news release.

It wasn’t clear when the baby was born, since the blizzard began on Saturday, but it sounded as if the mother and baby were doing just fine.

Cheyenne Regional Medical Center spokeswoman Kathy Baker could not share information about the family due to privacy and health reasons.

Cheyenne Fire Rescue did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

This is just one example of how Cheyenne residents were put to the test earlier this week due to the blizzard.

The city itself on Monday put out a request for citizen help with plowing the roads, since the city was hit with almost 31 inches of snow over a two-day period.

Gov. Mark Gordon declared a state of emergency on Wednesday due to the blizzard, allowing the director of the Wyoming Office of Homeland Security to mobilize state and federal personnel and resources to help get the state back up and running after the storm that dropped more than 30 inches of snow on some areas.

It also directs the Adjutant General, in consultation with WOHS and Gordon, to deploy, if needed, the Wyoming National Guard to areas of the state that have been identified for emergency assistance.

The record-setting snowstorm forced the closure of Interstates 25 and 80 through Tuesday, caused power outages and led to the closure of city, county and state offices and school districts in southeastern Wyoming for multiple days.

During a news conference on Tuesday, Cheyenne Mayor Patrick Collins urged patience from residents who were ready to leave their homes after being trapped for days.

“I know that a lot are restless today,” Collins said via videoconference. “We’ve been stuck for three days now and we all want to get out. But our police department would ask you not to get out in your cars and become part of the problem.”

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C.J. Box’s Latest Book “Dark Sky” Debuts #3 On New York Times Bestseller List

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

C.J. Box’s latest novel will debut in the top five of the New York Times Best Sellers list, the author announced this week.

Dark Sky,” the latest entry in Box’s Joe Pickett series, will debut at No. 3 in combined hardcover and ebook sales and No. 4 in hardcover sales on the March 21 list, he announced on social media.

“We’re extremely happy to report that DARK SKY will debut as the #3 book in combined hardcover and ebook sales and the #4 book in hardcover sales on the March 21 New York Times Best Seller List!” Box wrote on Twitter. “And that sales are up 21% overall! Thanks to you, readers, for making this happen.”

The book was released earlier this month and follows Pickett as he accompanies a Silicon Valley CEO on a hunting trip, but finds out that something more sinister is afoot.

This is the 21st book in the Pickett series, which is in the works to be adapted as a live-action show as well. Not much information has been released about the show, but it is expected to begin production in Canada sometime this summer.

Making the NYT Best Sellers list isn’t a new accomplishment for Box, but it is something to celebrate, nonetheless.

It’s shaping up to be a good year for the Wyoming author, with the success of the latest Pickett novel, the adaptation of the series and the hopeful continuation of “Big Sky,” the ABC series adapted from Box’s Cassie Dewell novels.

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