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Casper Wyoming

Mathematically Challenged Truck Driver Plows Into Casper Bridge

in News
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We’ve all had days when we’ve miscalculated measurements. Whether guessing the size of a cup for a recipe or how much gas is left in the car.

Usually the mistake is inconsequential. Not so much for this truck driver in Casper.

Turns out he/she was guessing the clearance under the overpass and was off by a bit.

The Casper Police department explained that “a truck, that was a bit too tall, tried to drive under the bridge which caused it to pull down some wiring.”

Crews, the department said, would be on scene for several hours to ensure the safety of the bridge and wires before opening it back to traffic.

Of course, slamming into bridges is not unique to Casper.

Every year in Boston, there’s a contest to see which mathematically-challenged college student will ignore warning signs and slam a moving truck into a bridge on Storrow Drive.  It happens so often, Bostonians call it getting “Storrowed.”

“The bridge will win. The ensuing mess will take hours to clean up and back up Boston’s serpentine traffic for miles,” laments the Wall Street Journal.

At 11:30 this morning, the Casper Police Department said the bridge was reopened.

Sadly, there doesn’t appear to be video of the truck ramrodding into the bridge but that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of video of other trucks making the same mistake. Enjoy this compilation video:

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Fly Tying: Ugly Bug Fly Shop Hosts Second Annual “Great Bug Battle”

in Travel
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Ice may still cover many of Wyoming’s fishable waters, but that doesn’t mean the state’s fly fishermen can’t get a jump start on the year with a little practice tying flies.

And that’s just what the organizers of this year’s Great Bug Battle in Casper are offering up.

The Great Bug Battle, entering its second year, gives fly tyers a chance to compete in what organizers describe as an “Iron Chef” type of contest, where competitors will be asked to tie flies using unusual materials and under interesting situations.

One of last year’s competitions saw an estimated 30 tyers using materials from a dollar store to make flies, said Corey Lincoln, manager of The Ugly Bug Fly Shop, the Casper store that organizes the contest.

“We just bought a bunch of stuff from a dollar store, threw out out there on the table and they used stuff out of there to tie flies,” he said. “We don’t do it to be serious, we just want the time to get together and have some fun with it.”

The event will be held beginning at 7 p.m. Friday at Casper’s Frontier Brewery, where those attending will be able to partake in beer brewed specially for the occasion.

The night will see fly tyers taking part in five or six different competitions, Lincoln said, with Ugly Bug owner Blake Jackson setting the terms of the contests.

Winners will walk away with promotional materials provided by several different companies, such as fly boxes, a waterproof duffel bag and a reel.

Attendees, including those who just show up watch the action, will also be able to bid on an original piece of artwork by Ty Hallock, a fishing guide known for his one-of-a-kind drawings of wildlife using Sharpies.

Money raised through the auction will be donated to “Casting for a Cause,” an organization that arranges fishing trips for women with breast cancer.

Last year, some 30 to 40 people turned out to watch the competition and Lincoln said he was hoping for a similar turnout this year.

There is no entry fee for the contest or to watch.

“Just come, tip your bartender, drink some beer and have a good time,” Lincoln said.

For more information on the Great Bug Battle, visit the Casper Area Convention and Visitors Bureau’s website at or see Ugly Bug’s Facebook page.

Eating Wyoming: Casper’s Little Shop Of Burgers

in Column/Food/Tim Mandese
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By Tim Mandese, Eating Wyoming columnist for Cowboy State Daily

It’s creepy, crawly, weird and wacky and offers up some of the best burgers around. A horror-themed restaurant serves up whimsy with a side of fries, and it’s the best kept secret in Casper.

Have you found yourself hungry for a good burger, but you’re surrounded by clowns and kings and endless drive-through lines? Well, if you’re in Casper, head north down Center Street….way down Center Street. Just before K Street, you’ll find a place that’s truly off the beaten path — Little Shop of Burgers

Walking into the Little Shop of Burgers, you’ll find it’s a treat before you even get seated. The walls are covered with vintage horror movie posters and the shelves are decorated with enough creepy items to make the most avid Halloween fan giddy. 

On one wall, there’s a movie poster for “The Mummy,” on another, one for “Dracula.” There’s a suitcase full of heads on a shelf, and playing on the speakers are songs that would fit in at a monster’s ball. On the top of the wall next to your table is a little girl’s doll with clown makeup that would send chills down the Joker’s spine. 

In September of 2018, owner Sarah Weikum opened this one-of-a-kind burger shop. Having worked in the restaurant business in places like San Francisco and New Orleans, as well as Casper, Weikum wanted to bring her love of good burgers and classic horror movies together in one place.

Menu items are all named with a macabre sense of humor. 

Burgers like “Fungus Among Us,” which is Sarah’s take on the classic mushroom Swiss burger. Then there’s the “Drac Attack,” a burger topped with garlic sauce and Havarti cheese.

Sarah recommends her favorite, the “Freddy,” a jalapeno and cheese lover’s dream. 

My go-to burger is “The Fester,” named for Uncle Fester from The Addams Family. It’s a bacon cheeseburger with an amazing barbecue sauce. 

All of the patties are made fresh by hand, seasoned, and each burger is cooked to order. 

Want something other than a burger? Look no further than the selection of chicken sandwiches. But which one? “The Ripper?” Barbecue sauce, bacon, cheddar and green onion on grilled chicken breast. 

Or maybe “Carnival of Chickens?” A crispy chicken sandwich, with your choice of cheese. 

All of the sandwiches at Little Shop of Burgers comes with PLOTS. What’s PLOTS? Pickles, Lettuce, Onions, Tomatoes and Sprouts of course. 

What about the sides? All the fries are fresh cut. My personal favorite, the garlic parmesan fries, will scare off the vampire hordes! But you can go for the crispy onion rings, tater tots, sweet potato fries, sweet potato tots (YUM) or chips. If you want a lower carb side dish option, there’s cottage cheese or side salad.

Shakes? Of course. New on the menu is a full lineup of fresh made milkshakes. You can order “The Gloop,” a Chocolate shake named after Augustus Gloop, the naughty chocolate-craving kid from the movie “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” It’s a shake so full of chocolate and chocolate chips, that you need a spoon, because a straw just won’t cut it. 

You have got to try the “Candy Man,” another name taken from “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” It’s a scrumptious Butterfinger delight.

As if the amazing burgers, fries, shakes and theme weren’t enough, Little Shop of Burgers has a movie screening room! Yes, you can watch a horror movie and eat your horror-themed burger and drink your horror themed shake, all at no extra charge! The screening room features family friendly movies such as “Goosebumps,” as well as the classic Universal Films monster movies and others. Check with your host to see what’s playing. Being the most popular room in the restaurant, it is often rented for parties and business functions. 

Little Shop of Burgers is located at 1040 N. Center St. and is currently open during its winter hours of 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Closed Sundays. In April, the restaurant will switch to its summer hours of 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. Phone: (307) 234-3472 

Follow Little Shop of  Burgers on Facebook to discover the daily specials. If you are an Instagrammer, look for them there as well. 

For a scary good burger, don’t be afraid to get the off the beaten path. If you are alive, dead or one of the undead, you’ll be glad you did.

Casper Rundown — What’s Happening in Casper, Wyoming

in Column/Tim Monroe
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By Tim Monroe, Cowboy State Daily

ENERGY  – Did you ever wonder how much oil and gas comes out of Wyoming’s fields? The Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission met in Casper recently.

Governor Mark Gordon chaired the first day’s activities. Supervisor Mark Watson gave his monthly report that showed oil production for October 2019 was 8,556,613 barrels, up about 9 percent from October 2018. Natural gas production was down about 10 percent from the previous year at 140,410,169 million cubic feet.

Supervisor Watson noted that applications for permits to drill (APD) were 1,060, down about 21 percent from November 2019. The rig count reported by Drill Info for the week of January 13 was 25, down 3 from the previous month. Converse County is still the leader in rig counts with rigs, down 1 from the prior report.

Baker Hughes historical records show Wyoming’s rig count is 24, compared to 33 rigs operating at this time last year.

LIGHTS OUT? – The city is encouraging residents to report streetlights that are burned out, flickering or damaged. The city will send repair crews out to make them operational. Outages can be reported using the City’s website atwww.casperwy.gov or by calling the Streets Division at 235-8283.

If the failing light is part of the Rocky Mountain Power system, get the pole number, usually found on a metal plate nailed to the pole, and call the power company or report it to the City. Streets Superintendent Shad Rogers said that with many people going to work and returning home in the dark “it is important to identify streetlights that are out or flickering.”

VACATION TIME – Where to go on our vacation this summer? Many people are thinking about a vacation trip when school’s out. VISIT CASPER, the destination management organization for Natrona County CHILLI, has joined tourism partners across the country to encourage people to participate in National Plan for Vacation Day, scheduled for Tuesday, January 28.

“Travel is a key economic driver in the United States and especially in Wyoming,” said Brook Kaufman, CEO of Visit Casper. “In Natrona County the tourism industry puts 2,600 people to work every day with spending in the county amounting to $293 million per year.” So, get your calendars and road atlas out to start your vacation planning. PS: The answer is 193 eateries in Casper!!

CASPER CHILLIN’ – The city council has agreed to a contract to spend almost $2.5 million to relocate the ice making equipment from the Casper Events Center to the city’s ice arena that is part of the Casper Recreation Center. The current equipment at the skating rink is 35 years old and has exceeded it’s operational life expectancy.

The switch-out should be completed by November 1. The project involves building a 1,250 square foot structure to house the transferred equipment. And, modifications may allow a second sheet of ice at the Recreation Center facility.

SEWER PROJECT – Back in the 1980s Casper built a fairly high capacity sewer line to serve Mills and western neighborhoods. Usage didn’t meet expectations so hydrogen sulfide gas built up in the line.

The City has applied for a state loan of some $8.0 million to rehabilitate the line between the western suburb and the waste treatment plant east of the soccer complex. The gas is a highly dangerous compound that can cause death if inhaled in high quantities.

Eating Wyoming: It’s Restaurant Week in Casper

in Column/Food/Tim Mandese
2780

By Tim Mandese, Cowboy State Daily

We all know the age-old question that’s vexed couples and families everywhere: “Where do you want to eat?” Which usually gets the dreaded reply: “I don’t know. Wherever you want to.” Normally followed by a grumble and someone ordering a pizza. 

There’s no reason to let this happen this week in Casper.

From now through Sunday, Visit Casper is partnering with dozens of restaurants, breweries, sandwich shops, tasting rooms and others to present “5150′ Restaurant Week.” Participating venues will have special offerings with price points of $3.07, in honor of Wyoming’s area code, $18.90, the year we became a state, and $51.50, Casper’s elevation. 

So the question isn’t where to eat, but how many places you can get to before Jan. 25? Let’s plan out a whole day and see where it leads us. 

Imagine: It’s early morning. You just just woke up and need coffee. Good coffee! Strong coffee! The first stop of the day is Scarlow’s Art and Coffee, located in downtown Casper on Second Street. When you get there, Barista Kate Magee says that Scarlow’s has a special on a single flavor latte for $3.07. But you tell her you want to hit the town and see what other things you can find to eat because you are getting hungry. 

“No problem.” Kate says. “We also have a ceramic Scarlow’s to-go cup for $18.90.” 

Perfect! You grab your hot latte and hit the road heading east on Second Street. 

Suddenly on the right side of the road, you spot the old-fashioned, shiny stainless steel, blast-from-the-past, Johnny J’s Diner. Inside, Joshua DeArmon, general manager, greets you and sees you to a table. You ask “What ya got Josh?” 

He tells you that you can start with their hot homemade cinnamon roll or pie with coffee or some other beverage for $3.07. 

“Yes please! Start me out with that. What else ya got?” 

He replies: “You can get two breakfast combos with french toast, waffle or pancake, and two cups of coffee for $18.90.” 

AWESOME! MORE COFFEE! 

With the coffee kicking in, you finish your breakfast, pay the bill and hit the road. Only you realize you are going 45 mph in a 30 mph zone — and you forgot your car.

Two hours later, you are about out of caffeine fuel and you come to a stop for lunch outside of Grab & Go Gourmet. All that coffee has left you hungry again. Inside you are greeted by Chef Maggie King, who proudly tells you their special is any two hot or cold sandwiches, two chips and two deserts for $18.90. 

After cruising around a while, you realize that — yes you guessed it — you’re hungry again. But this time, for just a little snack. 

Checking your phone, you go to 5150local.com and check out where to get your snack on. You spot Frosted Tops, Custom Cakes and Sweet Treats. Sounds good so you head on over. When you get there, you find out you can get any treat and a cup of coffee or hot cocoa for $3.07. 

WOOHOO! MORE COFFEE! 

You jump in the car and head out once again. After a long internal debate about who makes the best coffee, you see the sun is setting and, yeah, you’re hungry again. Time for dinner! 

Steak and lobster sounds good. It’s a good thing you spot the FireRock Steakhouse’s $51.50 special, steak and lobster with choice of appetizer or dessert. BINGO! 

The night grows late and the plate in front of you is empty, except a lobster shell, steak bone and a small piece of parsley (who eats that, anyway?). You’ve had a wonderful day! 

There’s a lot more out there to nosh on, so get out there and enjoy the 5015 Restaurant Week in Casper before it’s all over! Stop by check out the dozen other places to get filled up. And don’t forget THE COFFEE! 

Eating Wyoming is a semi-regular column on food, dining, coffee and all things related to them written by Cowboy State Daily staffer Tim Mandese.

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