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Look To The Skies For Northern Lights Sighting Tonight

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Residents of Cheyenne and southeastern Wyoming will have an opportunity to see the Northern Lights, also known as the aurora borealis, on Tuesday night.

The light show, which rarely is visible in Wyoming, will be high on Tuesday but likely won’t be visible in the state on Wednesday.

To find it, don’t look straight up and expect a laser light show like Laser Floyd or Laser Zeppelin like you might see at a planetarium. Instead the lights will be visible low on the horizon (bring your own music).

The aurora is best seen — here comes the really obvious stuff — from a location with clear, dark skies and the best time to view it will be between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m., the university said.

We have no idea how to capture the show on camera. But the Wyoming Stargazing Club does offer some tips. (It doesn’t help us because all we have is a cardboard disposable camera that we last used in 1997).

How is it possible that we can see the aurora borealis in September? We thought it was a winter thing.

Not so. Again, we look to the Wyoming Stargazing Club for answers. They tell us that the phenomenon can happen any time of year and in Jackson, they’ve witnessed it every month.

The auroral displays will be visible on Tuesday from cities in Canada down to Minneapolis, Minnesota and Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The aurora borealis is a luminous glow seen around magnetic poles at the northern and southern hemispheres.

The light is caused by collisions between electrically-charged particles in space and oxygen and nitrogen gas in Earth’s atmosphere. Duh.

For more information, check out the University of Alaska-Fairbanks‘ Geophysical Institute.

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Enzi Suggests Renaming Post Office After Thermopolis Postmaster

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

U.S. Sens. Mike Enzi and Tom Carper, D-Delaware, introduced a bill this week to honor former Thermopolis Postmaster Robert Brown by renaming a post office after him.

Brown, a lifelong resident of Thermopolis, passed away earlier this month at the age of 94. His career with the U.S. Postal Service spanned 44 years, including 18 years as the postmaster.

The bill is co-sponsored by U.S. Sen. John Barrasso, Brown’s son-in-law. Enzi also had a personal connection to the Brown family, as Brown’s wife Jerry was the senator’s first Sunday school teacher.

“Bob Brown will be sorely missed in his community and I can think of no better way to honor someone with such a long and storied career with the U.S. Postal Service, as well as with the people of Thermopolis, than to introduce this bill to name the Thermopolis post office after him,” Enzi said in a news release. “That historic building holds the memories of a veteran who came home to work and spent his entire career in that building, winding up as postmaster.”

Jerry Brown preceded her husband in death earlier this year, according to his obituary.

Brown passed away with family at his side at the Central Wyoming Hospice and Transitions in Casper. According to his obit, Brown was known for his “ever-present smile” and kind manner.

“My father-in-law Bob Brown was an American hero who inspired everyone who was ever privileged to know him,” Barrasso said. “He was known by many in his hometown of Thermopolis as the nicest guy in town. After returning from serving in WWII and Korea, Bob served his community for many years as a postmaster. I would like to express my deep appreciation and admiration to Sens. Enzi and Carper for introducing this bipartisan legislation to honor Bob. I cannot think of a more fitting way to honor his service and his memory.”

The late postmaster graduated from Thermpolis High School in 1943 and was inducted into the U.S. Army in March 1944. He served in World War II and returned to service in 1950 in the Korean War as a member of the National Guard.

Following his WWII service, Brown returned to Thermpolis to begin his career with the USPS. While working there, he met his future wife and they were married Sept. 18, 1949, in Billings, Montana.

After retirement, Brown and his wife began delivering Meals on Wheels, which he enjoyed up until late last fall. 

Besides Bobbi Barrasso, Brown is survived by his son Mike, a granddaughter and many other family members.

“I was never fortunate enough to meet Robert Brown, but I know that he dedicated his life to service — first in World War II, then in the Korean War and then for years in the U.S. Postal Service as a postmaster. And I know that our country is better for his lifetime of service to others,” Carper said. “I want to thank my colleague, Sen. Enzi, for graciously allowing me to be his wingman in this effort to rename the Thermopolis post office in Mr. Brown’s honor. While he’s no longer with us, I know that his memory will live on for generations in the community he served so well.”

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C.J. Box “Big Sky” Series To Premiere In November

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

The television series adapted from C.J. Box’s Cassie Dewell novels, “Big Sky,” will premiere in November, ABC announced this weekend.

“Big Sky” will premiere on Nov. 17 on ABC. The company also released two more teaser trailers, although they were longer than the two released in August.

The series has already been ordered for a full first season, so fans will get the opportunity to see how the mystery plays out over those episodes.

The show will focus on private detectives Cassie Dewell (Kylie Bunbury) and Cody Hoyt (Ryan Phillipe), who team up with Cody’s estranged wife, Jenny, to search for two sisters who have been kidnapped by a truck driver on a remote road in Montana.

The detectives soon find out those aren’t the only girls who have disappeared, beginning a race against time to stop the killer.

The first new teaser shows Hoyt speaking with a police officer about how he’s searching for two missing girls (who are seen being abducted) while the song “Stand by Me” plays over the background, menacingly.

The second teaser more prominently features Dewell and Hoyt investigating the abductions, as well as uncovering a deeper mystery.

The show is being created by TV writer and producer David E. Kelley, who has also created shows such as “Big Little Lies,” “Boston Legal,” “Ally McBeal” and “Mr. Mercedes.” Kelley will write multiple episodes and serve as the showrunner for the first season.

Box will act as an executive producer on the series.

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Missing Texas Man Found, Returned Home After Last Being Seen In Laramie

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

More than a month after going missing from a Laramie airport, Texas man Roy Anderson Jr. has returned home.

The Laramie Police Department announced the good news on Wednesday on Facebook. The 37-year-old was last seen at the Laramie Regional Airport by an employee on Aug. 4, which is also the last day anyone in his family had any contact with him.

An initial investigation revealed Anderson traveled to Denver. Laramie officers and investigators worked with agencies in Colorado and Texas to determine his location and welfare.

The agencies confirmed Anderson was in the Denver area and interacted “several times” with public safety agencies while in Colorado. The records indicated Anderson didn’t need and wasn’t interested in assistance from the agencies, though.

On Sunday, the lead officer on the case in Laramie received word from the Harker Heights, Texas, police that Anderson returned home.

Anderson was entered into the National Crime Information Center last month after Laramie police received a call on Aug. 12 about unclaimed luggage at the airport.

Anderson’s suitcase was sent back to his family in Texas. Most of his personal effects were still in the luggage, but not his wallet or cell phone.

His phone charger, however, was in the bag. The phone was apparently turned off while he was missing.

The family was unsure why Anderson was even in Wyoming, as he had no relatives or friends in the state.

The family was especially concerned because Anderson needed medication for both diabetes and for symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder he suffers after having served as a contract worker in Afghanistan.

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Study: Wyoming’s Favorite Snack Is Doritos

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

A recent study uncovered that Wyoming has a favorite snack — Dorito chips.

However, it wasn’t immediately clear whether Wyomingites preferred nacho cheese, cool ranch or another particular flavor.

Online educational platform Shaw Academy surveyed 4,000 Americans with a Google Survey in August about what snack foods they would like to have while studying or focusing on a task.

More than half of the states, 27, chose the Snickers candy bar as their favorite study snack.

Alaska, Maine, Michigan and New Jersey all had sweet teeth, picking both Snickers and Oreos as their go-to snacks. Oreos were the second-favorite snack, voted as the top choice by 18 states.

Pennsylvania and Washington both chose chips, but Wyoming went specifically for Doritos.

Arizona and Wisconsin preferred more savory snacks, choosing popcorn as their go-to.

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Cody’s Vertical Garden Enhances Downtown

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By Wendy Corr, Cowboy State Daily

Visitors to Cody this summer might be able to pick their own salad greens straight from the garden – downtown.

This summer, a hydroponic garden was installed in Bell Plaza, a public space in the heart of downtown Cody. Bernie Butler works for the city, but is volunteering her time to take care of the vertical garden that has been placed for the benefit of the community.

“It’s just to get the community involved in growing edibles, besides a dirt base,” Butler said. “And it’s more of an art form, too, just to enhance this plaza that we have it in.”

A vertical garden is just what it sounds like — plants placed in upward reaching rows instead of spread out across the ground. The plants are raised in a hydroponic system which uses nutrient-rich water for nourishment rather than dirt.

Butler said Cody is one of several Wyoming cities to embrace the vegetable growing technique.

“They partnered with Travis Hines out of Pinedale, he has Bio-Logic Designs,” she said. “He built this frame for it, brought everything down, we planted the plants, which he supplied, and filled up the tank – we have fish and aqua plants in there. He just got us going.”

The funds for the garden came from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, funneled through the Wyoming Business Council. Amy Quick, the Northwest Regional Director for the Business Council, said the project benefits communities in a number of ways.

“Eleven different communities throughout the state are participating, including, of course, Cody, but Sheridan, Rock Springs, Casper are a few other examples,” Quick said. “And it’s just a really great opportunity to get some community involvement, focus on nutrition, education, economic development.”

Butler pointed out that the produce from the garden is available to anyone.

“I do have a couple older people that come by almost every night, and they take some lettuce and some kale, and the mint is their favorite.”

Butler adds that once colder weather arrives, the garden will move to Eastside Elementary, where students there will take over the process – and the produce.

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“Yellowstone” TV Series Looking For Extras To Film This Week In Missoula

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Any actor who might be in the Missoula, Montana, area this week has the opportunity to be an extra on the TV series “Yellowstone.”

According to the “Yellowstone Montana Extras” Facebook group, the series will be shooting a hospital scene on Thursday and multiple extras are needed.

The categories for extras include: male and female hospital visitors between the ages of 20 and 50; male and female doctors between the ages of 35 and 60, clean-cut and of average sizes, and female nurses of average sizes.

All extras will be paid, but must submit to a coronavirus test. Actors should have open availability on Thursday.

Submissions can be emailed to yellowstoneextrasmontana@gmail.com and should include a name, age, phone number, height and weight and a current photo. Men should include their coat, shirt, pant and shoe size. Women should include their bra, waist and hip measurements, as well as scrubs and shoe sizes.

The subject line should include which extra category you are submitting for (visitor, nurse or doctor).

The Facebook page regularly updates with calls for extras.

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Friendly Black Bear Puts “Arm” Around Lovell Teacher To See What She Was Reading

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By David Peck, Lovell Chronicle

Ilene Henley was enjoying a good book at her family campsite on the Big Horn Mountains on July 12 when she saw something out of the corner of her eye. 

It was a black bear – and, fortunately, a friendly one – with an apparent interest in what Henley was reading. 

“It was a little before 8 p.m. and my father and husband had left to get water at the ranger station off (Forest) Road 14,” said Henley, a Title I reading and math teacher at Rocky Mountain Middle/ High School who resides in Lovell. 

“I’d just settled into reading in my lounge chair behind our camper. In my peripheral vision I saw movement, but by the time I looked up, I’d started a new book club with a yearling black bear,” she said. “He was very friendly as he loped over to the chair, placed his paws on the wooden armrest (from which I slowly moved my arm).

“The black bear leaned in closer to check out the book I was reading (Clive Cussler) and decided he liked it, so he placed his paws on my thigh and seemed to be reading along.”

So what do you do in a situation like that? In her case, Henley decided that less was more. 

“About this time, my husband (Bob) called out to me. I was still fully reclined, just staying as still as I could trying to remember what I was supposed to do with my fuzzy buddy,” she said. “The second time he called me, I hollered back, ‘There’s a bear! Come here!’ The sound of my voice interrupted the bear’s reading and he quickly lumbered off the way that he came. My husband didn’t even see him.” 

As a frequent visitor to the Bighorn National Forest with her family, Henley warned them about the young bruin. 

“I did warn my sisters and parents, so we left young children and little dogs home the next weekend. Sure enough, the yearling came to check things out several times that weekend,” Henley said. “Between my husband and my brother-in-law (Brad Trowell), the bear was scared up a tree where he stayed for quite some time, shimmying higher and higher and making random noises, though surprisingly, never a growl. 

“The family took a little ride toward evening. When we returned, we found a number of things torn and on the ground. There were also muddy paw prints where the bear had checked out a camper, a truck and a solar panel.”

Word got out to the forest rangers, who stopped by for a report.

The family’s two weeks at one site were up the following weekend, but before moving to a new site, they saw no sign of the bear that weekend. 

“Perhaps he found a different book to read,” Henley said. “I hope all the students returning to school this week find some great books and adventures this academic year.”

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“Restaurant: Impossible” To Tackle Hawk Springs Eatery In September

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Hawk Springs, population 45, is going to see a major influx of people in town over the next few weeks.

The reality television series “Restaurant: Impossible” will be filming at The Emporium, one of the two eateries in the town outside of Torrington, in September.

In the show, Chef Robert Irvine renovates and revamps failing restaurants in two days with a budget of $10,000. It’s comparable to the reality series “Kitchen Nightmares,” hosted by chef Gordon Ramsay.

Usually, Irvine and his team buy new decor for the restaurant, redesign and slim down the menu and improve the quality of the dishes.

The Emporium describes itself as having a “rustic atmosphere that contains historic and unique decor.” Its menu features western staples such as Rocky Mountain Oysters, chicken fried steak, hamburgers and flat iron steak in addition to higher-end offerings such as osso bucco and ribeye.

We included some photos to show you how busy this place gets (packed) and perhaps to show the “before” as in the upcoming “before and after” photo when the makeover is completed.

The restaurant already looks awesome now so it will be fun to see what happens..



According to 106.3 Cowboy Country, “Restaurant: Impossible” will film at the restaurant “sometime” in mid-September, with the grand reopening planned for 7 p.m. on Sept. 20.

Guests are invited to attend the grand opening and can sign up by emailing the production team at volunteer@restaurantimpossiblevolunteers.com. The deadline is 1 p.m. on Sept. 11, and interested guests should use the subject line “1706 WY RESERVATIONS.”

In the reservation email, provide your full name, email address, cell number, the size of your party and the names of those in your party. Reservations are first-come, first-serve.

Guests are responsible for paying for their own meal. If selected, a reservation confirmation will be sent at a time close to the dinner date.

No guests under the age of eight will be allowed. Guests will be required to wear masks at all times, until service begins and food arrives.

The grand reopening will follow coronavirus safety guidelines to ensure the safety of the guests, restaurant staff and production crew. Social distancing guidelines will be followed on set.

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Who Is The U.W. Grad That President Trump Naturalized on Tuesday Night?

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

If you were watching the naturalization ceremony at the White House during the Republican convention on Tuesday night, you might have taken note that President Trump mentioned that one of the new citizens went to the University of Wyoming.

That led us to wonder: who is she?

We contacted the University and they told us that Neimat Awadelseid, of the Sudan, graduated from the university with a Ph.D. in animal science in 1995. Awadelseid now lives in Alexandria, Virginia.

Awadelseid was one of three women and two men to take the oath of citizenship in a ceremony presided over by Trump at the White House on Tuesday afternoon.

Once they were done, the president welcomed all five of the new citizens to the “greatest country on the face of God’s Earth.” He also told them how much he and the other officials appreciated having them there.

“It is an honor for me to be your president, thank you very much,” he told the group.

Awadelseid has been a permanent U.S. citizen since 2012, according to Trump, who also complimented her “beautiful” name. She is married with three children.

She is also a trained veterinarian and has worked as a substitute teacher in Alexandria, Virginia, since 2004.

The president also complimented Wyoming when reading off Awadelseid’s achievements.

“Great place, great state,” he said.

To watch the part of the ceremony where Awadelseid is featured, fast-forward to 6:30.

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