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Kanye West

Kanye West’s Wyoming Used Car Fleet Sells For $435K; Truck Sells For Record Price

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Kanye West’s fleet of cars sold for nearly $435,000 this week, which was a pretty good deal, according to a Cheyenne city councilman and car salesman.

The winning bids for the seven cars, which were sold through Nampa, Idaho-based Musser Brothers Auction, totaled $434,780, according to TMZ. The fleet included a 2016 Ford F-350, a 2017 Ford F-250, a 2018 Ford F-150 Raptor, a 2019 Ford F-150 Raptor, a 2020 Ford Expedition XLT Max and a 2020 Ford Expedition Limited Stealth edition.

“If you do dirty math, those vehicles are about $55,000 a piece, plus buyers’ fees,” councilman Scott Roybal told Cowboy State Daily on Tuesday. “With the used car market right now, it’s pretty reasonable. We’re selling some cars with 200,000 miles on them for $10,000 right now.”

The outlet also reported that the 2019 Raptor sold for $86,900, including the 10% buyer premium, which made it the most expensive Ford Raptor ever sold.

“I’m just saying, I have a 2017 GMC 2500 lifted sitting in my lot with 100,000 miles on it and it’s going for $70,000,” Roybal said. “The price is going to vary depending on the vehicle, but I will also say that a fool with money is welcome everywhere.”

He also explaind that the vehicle likely was selling for around $77,000, but the auction house added an extra 10% premium, allowing it to pocket more than $8,000 from the sale of just one truck.

Roybal joked that he wanted the name of the buyer who purchased the 2019 Raptor, as he had more cars to sell them.

More than 800 people bid on the vehicles, a number Roybal was not surprised to hear.

“You’re sitting around, got a couple hundred thousand in the bank and you see this go up for sale?” he said. “Some of the bids are going to be pure boredom, some will be because he’s a world-famous rapper and some will be because these are ranching vehicles and they can get beat up more.”

Originally, West sold the vehicles back to Fremont Motors in Cody where he originally purchased them. He has also placed his ranch, Monster Lake, up for sale for $11 million.

It was not clear whether it was dealerships or private buyers, or both, that purchased West’s vehicles.

Last month, West’s “Psalm Cody Commercial” LLC listed seven commercial properties within Cody’s city limits for sale at a total price of $3.2 million.

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Wyoming Car Industry Vet Says Kanye’s Vehicles At Online Auction Currently A Good Deal

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By Wendy Corr, Cowboy State Daily

If you’re looking for a used vehicle and like the idea of a celebrity having owned it previously, then Kanye West’s Wyoming fleet may be of interest.

Now that West — or “Ye” as he calls himself now — is leaving Cody, he’s decided to put six of his vehicles that he used on his ranch up for auction.

Scott Roybal, a city councilman in Cheyenne, who has worked in the car industry for 30-plus years, said the prices — as they currently stand — are a good deal.

Of course, that may change as the auction doesn’t end until November 23.  But until then, prices are good, he said.

Up for grabs include a 2016 Ford F-350, a 2017 Ford F-250, a 2018 Ford F-150 Raptor, a 2019 Ford F-150 Raptor, a 2020 Ford Expedition XLT Max, and a 2020 Ford Expedition Limited Stealth edition.

“The ‘17 Ford is bid at $36,750 – actually I can see these on a lot at probably somewhere around that $40,000-$42,000 range,” Roybal said.

He said the Ford Expeditions are currently bidding at far-below market value and the two Ford F-150 Raptors are tracking fairly close to what they would normally sell for. 

But on the whole, the auction is starting out on the low side, he said — which is surprising given the state of the industry.

“With the car market the way it is right now and with [car dealers] not being able to secure a lot of new cars, the used car market has kind of exploded,” he said.

As for the vehicles being owned by Kanye, it didn’t impress him. It’s the condition of the vehicle that matters.

“They might be worth less because they were owned by Kanye,” he said.

The auction house would probably disagree with that.

Mark Musser, of Musser Brother Auctions in Cody, said there’s been “a lot of interest” in these vehicles.

“The phone’s been ringing off the hook, and a lot of emails and a lot of other inquiries. We’re getting thousands of visits per day,” Musser said.

Even at the moment he was on the phone with Cowboy State Daily, Musser said 120 people were on the website looking at the vehicles.

Originally, West sold the vehicles back to Fremont Motors in Cody where he originally purchased them. Musser then came up with the idea to auction them instead.

“Right after I saw that Fremont Motors had those vehicles, I approached the general manager at Fremont and I said, ‘Hey, these would make a great auction just because of the history behind these vehicles,’” Musser said.

Musser said his guess is as good as anyone’s regarding the prices the vehicles will bring when the auction closes in three weeks.

“I have no guess where this thing’s going to land when it’s all said and done,” he said.

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Kanye West Places Ranch Up For Sale For $11 Million

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By Wendy Corr, Cowboy State Daily

Kanye West’s retreat from his Wyoming getaway continues.

West Ranch, formerly known as the Monster Lake property, has been put up for sale.

That adds to the list of properties West owns that have appeared in real estate listings recently.

Less than two weeks ago, West’s “Psalm Cody Commercial” LLC listed seven commercial properties within Cody’s city limits for sale at a total price of $3.2 million.

Two of the seven properties for sale through DBW Realty have structures on them, the other five are vacant lots, ranging in size from 0.66 to 2 acres. The most expensive property is a business building Big Horn Avenue, at the northeast entrance to Cody, with a list price of $1,299,000.

West’s purchase of the ranch property caused a splash in the tabloids when it was announced in September of 2019. The land and all its buildings were listed at $14 million when rapper-slash-billionaire picked up the land south of Cody, and his company has put it up for sale this week at a price of just $11 million.

“With just under 4000 deeded acres and two spring-fed lakes, Monster Lake Ranch is a premiere outdoor recreation opportunity, located just minutes from Cody, Wyoming,” according to the video listing from DBW Real Estate.

The listing goes on to describe how the property – and its neighboring 4,500 acres of leased BLM land – is perfect for hiking, trail riding, stock growing and fishing.

The property itself encompasses 3,885 acres, and has been the source of contention between West and the Park County Commissioners. Shortly after his purchase, West got crossways with county officials when his representatives applied for a permit to build a 72,000 square-foot meditation center there.

However, the permitting process was stopped when representatives told the Park County Planning and Zoning Commission that West wanted to add a residential aspect to the project.

West retains ownership of Bighorn Mountain Ranch, a larger property near Greybull, that he reportedly paid $14.5 million for back in 2020.

The website TMZ speculated that the sale of West Ranch may a sign of reconciliation between West and his high-profile wife, Kim Kardashian, although other tabloids dispute that idea. The two have been in the middle of divorce proceedings since February, but were spotted together at her recent gig hosting “Saturday Night Live.”

A few weeks ago, West dropped $57.3 million on a residence in Malibu, which was designed by Tadao Ando, a renowned Japanese architect.  According to the website “Haute Residence,” the sale marks the second most expensive real estate purchase for a Malibu residence this year.

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Kanye West Puts Cody Commercial Property On Market

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By Wendy Corr, Cowboy State Daily

Rapper Kanye West’s company has put seven of its commercial properties in Cody on the market.

In a development that raises questions for the economic boom expected to follow the move of West’s Yeezy shoe company to Cody, the seven properties officially owned by Psalm Cody Commercial LLC have been listed for sale at a total price tag of $3.2 million.

The listing of the properties comes less than two years after they were purchased.

Two of the seven properties for sale through DBW Realty have structures on them, the other five are vacant lots, ranging in size from 0.66 to 2 acres. The most expensive property is a business building Big Horn Avenue, at the northeast entrance to Cody, with a list price of $1,299,000.

The sale, which was made public late last week, casts into doubt the high hopes for a much-needed boost to the town of 10,000 that relies primarily on tourism and agriculture for its economic foundation.

Kanye West’s announcement in 2019 that he was moving his Yeezy Shoe operation to Cody was welcomed by local economic leaders.

In October 2019, it was reported that the Grammy-winning billionaire had purchased commercial property in Cody, just a month after his widely publicized purchase of the Monster Lake Ranch south of town.

Psalm Cody Commercial received approval from the Park County Planning and Zoning Board to put up a 4,800-square-foot temporary structure on one of the properties structure to house the Yeezy Adidas operation.

The board stipulated, however, that the company must take the pre-fabricated structure down within 60 days after the six-month temporary period

.“If the thing’s still there after a year, then we have a problem,” Richard Jones, P&Z board member, said at the time.

The pre-fab building is still there, two years later.

Less than six months after West’s purchase of the Big Horn Avenue property, Psalm Cody Commercial made a deal with Lannett Corp. to allow for use of its abandoned building on County Road 2AB, in the industrial corridor north of Cody. 

The Pennsylvania-based drug manufacturing company had originally leased the land for its building from Forward Cody, the town’s economic development organization, but chose to move its operations elsewhere before construction was even completed. 

In July of 2020, it was reported that West’s “Yeezy Apparel” had struck an agreement with Lannett to use the abandoned, half-built structure for production and production support.

However, very little visible progress has been made on the property in the 14 months since that agreement was announced.

The property on County Road 2AB is not owned by Psalm Cody Commercial, according to Park County records.

According to information available, the multi-million dollar ranches that West has purchased south of Cody and at the base of the Big Horn Mountains near Greybull are not listed for sale.

Kanye West Files Docs To Change Name To Ye

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

One of Wyoming’s most famous residents has filed action in a California court to have his name legally changed to one word.

Kanye West filed documents in Los Angeles Superior Court earlier this month to have his name changed from Kanye Omari West to just Ye, his longtime nickname and the name of his 2018 album, according to The Associated Press.

He would have no middle or last name, despite the fact his soon-to-be ex-wife, Kim Kardashian West, and their shared four children would all continue to carry West’s surname.

In the documents, West said he wanted to change his name for personal reasons. A judge must approve the name change before it becomes official.

West has been going by the nickname on social media platforms for years and in 2018, he wrote on Twitter that he was no longer “the being formally known as Kanye West. I am YE.”

This is the most recent in a string of eccentric behavior shown by West in recent years.

Last year, he entered the presidential race too late to be considered in most states’ primary elections, but still voted for himself for president during the 2020 election. He noted it was his first time voting, as well.

Recently, he has been hosting various listening parties in stadiums in Atlanta and Chicago for his upcoming album, “Donda,” named after his late mother.

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Lummis Praises Kanye’s Vision For Wyoming

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

U.S. Sen. Cynthia Lummis has touted Wyoming’s arguably most famous resident, Kanye West, and his vision for the state following reports he is worth nearly $7 billion.

On Thursday, Lummis retweeted conservative pundit Candace Owens, who wrote a post praising West and claiming he was the richest Black man in U.S. history.

“Grateful that Kanye’s vision includes creating jobs in Cody, Wyoming,” Lummis wrote in her retweet.

According to CNN, West just became a billionaire last year, but is now one six times over, with his worth now being around $6.6 billion. Much of this wealth is from apparel lines, mainly his Yeezy shoe line with Adidas and a clothing line deal with the Gap.

The rapper has been planning to establish a production facility for Yeezy shoes in Cody, but there have been stops and starts to that plan.

Lummis, through a spokeswoman, told Cowboy State Daily on Friday that it would only make sense the rapper would want to do business in Wyoming.

“Wyoming is consistently rated the best state to do business, and it makes sense that a successful artist like Mr. West would recognize the Cowboy State as the perfect place for chilling, trying to stack his millions,” Lummis spokeswoman Abegail Cave said. “Our state has natural beauty, great communities, and low tax rates for individuals and business owners alike. Welcome to the good life, Kanye.”

West has been relatively quiet over recent months, especially after losing the presidential election in November. He did tease another possible run in 2024, though.

West’s wife, Kim Kardashian West, filed for divorce last month. The two share four children.

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Kim Kardashian Files for Divorce From Kanye West

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Wyoming officially has a new (and mega-famous) bachelor, because Kanye West is back on the market after six years of marriage.

On Friday, Kim Kardashian West filed for divorce from the rapper, with whom she shares four children ranging in age from seven years to 20 months. Gossip website TMZ obtained the court documents.

No date of separation was listed in the filing.

This was the first marriage for West and the third for Kardashian. The two met in the 2000s, but finally made it official in 2012 after West professed his love for the socialite in the song “Cold.”

The two have reportedly been living separate for months, with West taking up residence at one of his mansions in Cody and the socialite staying in Los Angeles.

The culmination of the divorce will likely be a central storyline on the final season of the reality series “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” on which West regularly makes appearances alongside the four children.

West has exhibited bizarre behavior in the last year, such as throwing his hat into the presidential race months last summer (far too late to make any headway), and even admitted in a speech that he and Kardashian considered aborting their eldest daughter.

Unsurprisingly, West didn’t win the presidential election, but teased a 2024 run on Twitter, the last post he has made on the social media website.

The rapper has also been diagnosed with bipolar disorder in recent years.

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Kanye West’s Cody Manufacturing Site May Start Again After Pause

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By CJ Baker, Powell Tribune

Following a months-long lull, an economic development official says operations may soon “kick back into gear” at Kanye West’s manufacturing facility in Cody.

West and his apparel business, Yeezy, began setting up a sample/prototype lab on the city’s northern edge in late 2019. However, there have been stops and starts.

Speaking on KODI 1400 AM last week, Forward Cody CEO James Klessens said leaders of the Yeezy facility on the city’s north side “put that on hold in October.” There was, he said, “a whole bunch of moving pieces in Kanye’s world and he just pressed pause.”

However, Klessens said his understanding is that Yeezy’s operation “is going to kick back into gear shortly.”

“I don’t know what date that is,” he said on KODI’s Speak Your Piece program. “But I understand that it’s on the plan to begin again in this first quarter of 2021.”

Speak Your Piece host Darian Dudrick noted that it’s West’s decision to make, “so we’ll keep our fingers crossed that everything keeps going as planned.”

“And I guess we have to be hopeful that it does occur,” Klessens responded. “You know, he [West] was right on the cusp, I think, of getting something really powerful built … and I believe that they’re still online.”

Yeezy is leasing a pair of interconnected facilities on Road 2AB that were previously used by Cody Laboratories. With some assistance from the state government, the pharmaceutical company had planned to construct a large drug-making campus at the site and add perhaps 100 jobs to the roughly 135 employees it already had. However, its corporate owner, Lannett Company, later backed out of the project, laid off its existing workers and shuttered Cody Labs in 2019.

Forward Cody owns a portion of the facilities being leased by Yeezy — a former Cody Labs warehouse constructed with the help of a $2.35 million state grant — while the company is leasing an adjoining building directly from Lannett.

Klessens welcomed West’s move into the then-vacant facilities in December 2019, calling the timing “so fortuitous for our community” and noting the jobs the move could bring. But in November, Klessens said he wished Yeezy would be more clear about its plans — and he expressed concern about a “‘here today, gone tomorrow’ type of relationship.” 

“I am hopeful he [West] continues to explore investment in our community,” Klessens said on KODI last week. “I know his world changes rapidly.”

Although West became famous as a musician, he became a billionaire through his ownership of Yeezy.

When the rapper Lil Baby visited West’s ranch south of Cody in late July, “I didn’t actually see [West] work on music too much,” he said in an interview with NME that was published Friday. “But I saw him working more in a different form — working on his clothing line and his shoes. That’s even more inspiring than the music.”

Through a partnership with Adidas, Yeezy has launched a series of high-priced sneakers that have drawn intense demand. And last year, Yeezy and West kicked off a new partnership with Gap to create a line of “modern, elevated basics for men, women and kids at accessible price points.”

West has indicated Cody could factor into Yeezy Apparel’s partnerships with both Gap and Adidas.

Adidas currently has two open jobs listed in Cody: a design director and a senior developer of footwear for Yeezy. Although the company originally posted the jobs in November 2019 and March 2020, listings on third-party job sites indicate they were re-posted within the last month — alongside additional posts for a senior manager of material development and a footwear pattern engineer.

Speaking on KODI last week, Klessens noted West has spoken about his desire to “onshore” Yeezy’s manufacturing process, by bringing operations back to the U.S. from places like China.

“I’m hoping,” Klessens said, “that we can continue to be one piece of that project that he’s bringing back stateside.”

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Kanye Didn’t Win This Year (Maybe), But There’s Always Next Time

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

We haven’t checked in on the arguably most famous Wyoming resident Kanye West in a couple weeks, and we wanted to see how he was taking the presidential election.

Turns out, he’s fine, even though it would seem like he lost by a huge margin.

However, we still have a few weeks before the Electoral College delivers the final results, so West could possibly pull an upset win, but it’s unlikely.

He recently again teased another bid for the presidential seat in 2024, posting a photo of himself with the caption “KANYE 2024.” Seeing as it is 2020 and nothing surprises us anymore, we’re happy to just wait and see.

West has been touting a campaign for the highest seat in office for years, but finally announced his official run in the summer, after missing numerous deadlines to appear on ballots across the country for the primary.

He selected Wyoming preacher Michelle Tidball as his running mate.

West even received endorsements from high profile figures such as SpaceX/Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Chance the Rapper.

He didn’t appear on any ballots in the Wyoming primary or general elections, but West confirmed he voted for himself on Nov. 3, posting a video to Twitter, showing that he wrote in his own name in that space and submitting it.

There was no word on who he voted for when it came to the local races, such as Cody mayor or city council, but we are holding out hope West will come through as a write-in candidate for every open office in the town.

Hopefully no one sees a sad West walking around Cody. If you do, cheer him up.

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Dave Chappelle Hanging Out With Kanye West In Wyoming

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Dave Chappelle and alleged presidential candidate Kanye West have been relaxing at the latter’s home in Wyoming, a recent Twitter video showed.

Chappelle, West and a number of other friends gathered outside of West’s ranch in Cody to film a short video for Twitter. In it, West asks the comedian to tell a joke and “make the world smile.”

“Brotherhood is real,” Chappelle said. “Love is real.”

This wasn’t what West wanted, so he continued, laughing with his friends, to beg the comedian to say something funny or tell a joke because “we need something to lift our spirits.”

Chappelle, with a cup in his hand, said that he was still on his first cup of coffee for the day. West then asked for an uplifting joke.

“Now you know I don’t write those,” Chappelle responded.

“THANK YOU DAVE FOR HOPPING ON A JET TO COME SEE ME DOING WELL,” West wrote in the tweet with the video. “DAVE YOU ARE A GOD SEND AND A TRUE FRIEND ALL LOVE.”

West is preparing to release a new album, “Donda,” on Friday.

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Kanye West Building 52,000 Square Foot Mega-Mansion Outside of Cody

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We’ve all been there. With kids and visiting family there just isn’t enough space.

That’s why when we heard about Kanye West’s decision to build a 52,000 square-foot mansion at his ranch outside of Cody, Wyoming, we could empathize.

TMZ is reporting that West has received the OK from Park County officials to build the 10-bedroom home on his property.

Not only a home, but two underground garages which reportedly measure 10,000 square feet per garage — understandable as well, as everyone needs space in their garage.

The entertainment website is also reporting that West will also be constructing a couple of lake houses on the property as well.

West has been in the news recently with his Twitter announcement that he’s joining President Trump and former Vice President Biden in the quest for America’s top job.

“We must now realize the promise of America by trusting God, unifying our vision and building our future. I am running for president of the United States! #2020 VISION,” he wrote.

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Trespassers Cited At Kanye West’s Ranch

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In unrelated incidents, a pair of young men were caught trespassing on Kanye West’s Cody area ranch in recent weeks.

Park County authorities filed misdemeanor criminal trespassing charges against the two, though one of the cases — against a 22-year-old Denver man — is set to be dismissed because of concerns about the defendant’s competency.

Drew C. Togher, a 22-year-old delivery driver, reportedly traveled from his residence in Denver to West Lake Ranch this month.

“I was going to see if I could meet Kanye West,” Togher explained in court last week.

He passed multiple no trespassing signs before being stopped by security personnel early on the morning of Sunday, June 14. After spending roughly a half-hour trying to get Togher to leave, the security officers called the Park County Sheriff’s Office at around 6:15 a.m., charging documents say.

When Deputy Ethan Robinson arrived on scene, he found Togher acting “agitated and impatient.”

“I asked Drew if I let him go with a citation if he would come back, and he responded impatiently while looking around that he would not,” Robinson said. However, believing that Togher would “likely return to the property and create more issues,” the deputy arrested him.

When Togher appeared in Park County Circuit Court the following day, he seemed confused about the proceedings and asked for several of the advisements to be repeated multiple times and spoken more slowly.

When Circuit Court Judge Bruce Waters asked Togher if he had a mental disability, the defendant said that “I hear stuff” and described it as being like a “pirate’s curse.”

Togher sought to plead guilty to the misdemeanor trespassing charge, but Judge Waters entered a not guilty plea on his behalf and appointed an attorney for him over concerns about his competency.

Deputy Park County Attorney Jack Hatfield recommended that Togher be released on a signature bond — citing in part a lack of any past criminal charges — with strict orders to stay away from West, his family and West Lake Ranch.

Judge Waters warned Togher that he could have no contact “in any way shape or form with Kanye West, or any member of his family, including extended family members.”

“So no contact directly or indirectly, no attempts to text him, email him, contact him through social media,” Judge Waters advised Togher. “There’s to be no contact with them in any way shape or form, any of them, do you understand me?”

“Same go for him?” asked Togher, referring to West.

“No, this applies to you,” Waters said. “You are not to have contact with him for any reason.”

Togher then asked what would happen if the musician and entrepreneur contacted or messaged him.

“Yeah, I think that’s a long shot; I don’t know,” the judge responded. However, “if he contacts you, you are not allowed to speak with him, talk to him, have anything to do with him. Do you understand that?”

Togher said he did, but he soon asked the judge to go over the bond conditions again.

“I can’t think about the guy at all?” Togher asked at one point, also asking for the definition of “indirect” contact, followed by questions about, “What if I get, like, a signal?” and finally, “what if they’re [messing] with me?”

Judge Waters ultimately decided he would not be releasing Togher on a signature bond and instead set bond at $5,000 cash and ordered a mental evaluation.

“I am concerned for your mental wellbeing. … I have doubts about your ability to comply with bond conditions,” Judge Waters told the defendant.

Togher spent the rest of the week in jail, but was later released to his mother, who traveled from Pennsylvania to Cody to pick up her son and take him home, Hatfield said. The prosecutor said he plans to dismiss the case without prejudice, “and charge [Togher] again if he comes back to Mr. West’s place.”

“Hopefully,” Hatfield said, “he’ll just stay away.”

Meanwhile, the prosecutor is continuing to pursue a Powell man, 19-year-old Henry Waters, who was reportedly caught on West’s property back on May 19. In that instance, Henry Waters was stopped by security personnel, who reportedly noted that his pants were down.

“He admitted that he was masturbating there on Mr. West’s property,” Hatfield said during a Friday court hearing.

In a follow-up interview, Hatfield said that, according to the account given to the sheriff’s office, the defendant said he had simply been looking for a place to pull over.

“He [defendant Waters] stated he did not know he was on private property or who lived there, but they must be very important” given the security personnel, Deputy Robinson reportedly wrote. However, Hatfield said the defendant had passed a half-dozen no trespassing signs.

Defendant Waters pleaded not guilty to criminal trespassing on Friday and was released on a signature bond pending further proceedings.

Among other bond conditions, “do not have any contact in any way shape or form with one Kanye West or any member of the West family,” Judge Waters, no relation, advised the defendant, adding, “you are not to be on the property, on the driveway, on the entrance or within the boundaries of that property in any way shape or form.”

Defendant Waters said he understood.

A trial is tentatively set for Aug. 13.

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West’s influence on Cody grows

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By Wendy Corr, Cowboy State Daily

The influence of rapper Kanye West on the community of Cody continues to grow after his purchase of a ranch in Park County.

West in 2019 bought the Monster Lake Ranch and made his first public appearance in Cody during his “Sunday Service” in August.

Since then, he has purchased the building that used to house Cody Laboratories, a manufacturer of generic prescription pain medication that closed in July, to create prototypes for his “Yeezy” shoe brand.

James Klessens, the chief executive officer for Forward Cody, said the building turned out to be a perfect match for West’s needs.

“He asked if there was available space,” he told Cowboy State Daily. “We showed him the space, magic was made, the deal was cut and they are right now working to set up a prototyping operation here in our community.”

Klessens pointed out that West is the latest celebrity to live in Cody, the first being western showman “Buffalo Bill” Cody, who the town is named for.

“I think it’s interesting that 100 years ago we had a global superstar lived in our community,” he said. “One hundred years later, we have another.”

Like Cody, West’s interests seem to expand beyond entertainment, Klessen said.

“Buffalo Bill was about newspapers and hotels and outfitting,” he said. “Mr. West is not only involved in the entertainment business … but he’s involved in this whole apparel and footwear making company and he has a great interest in sustainable housing and sustainable building practices.”

West’s efforts to develop his interests have not occurred without occasional bumps.

Earlier in the year, his representatives applied for a permit to build a 72,000 square-foot meditation center at his ranch. However, the permitting process was stopped when representatives told the Park County Planning and Zoning Commission that West wanted to add a residential aspect to the project.

“In adding residential, it changes the whole process it needs to be reviewed under and the permitting process,” said Park County Commissioner Dossie Overfield. “So that is when the Planning and Zoning commission denied the request just on the basis that it’s not now what he originally applied for.”

In addition, some questions surround how the development might proceed in the face of a new executive order from Gov. Mark Gordon regarding the protection of sage grouse habitat and mule deer migration corridors.

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is working to determine whether the meditation center would disturb sage grouse habitat.

West also recently purchased the Bighorn Mountain Ranch near Greybull, although his representatives have not announced his plans for the property.

West brings opera rehearsal to Cody High School

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Music students at Cody High School got a glimpse into the world of professional music in November when Kanye West brought the cast of his new opera to Cody for rehearsal.

West’s opera, “Nebuchadnezzar,” was performed Nov. 24 at the Hollywood Bowl after rehearsals by dancers and musicians at Cody High School on Nov. 21.

“They had about 50-plus dancers in there, plus over 100 in the choir and then they had the soloists,” said Wade French, Cody High School’s band teacher. “They were just writing the opera as they were performing it, as they were rehearsing it.”

West, who this year bought a ranch near Cody and has moved the headquarters for his clothing and shoe business to the city, contacted the high school when he needed rehearsal space, French said.

One of French’s students who got the chance to play saxophone with West’s group said the experience has convinced her to pursue music in her future.

“They know what it’s all about,” said senior Kate Beardall. “They know what the music industry is about. And they really just opened my eyes to what I want to do.”

The opera, according to a news release, tells the story of an ancient Babylonian king and his “transition from wicked, imperious, self-declared ruler to a true believer who finds salvation in his faith.”

French said the experience of watching professional musicians practice and put their own spin on the material was interesting.

“It was the music that was very impressive,” he said. “We got to see that first-hand. We got to see those artists and those musicians creating it and really just tweaking it. Making it their own.”

Kanye holds ‘Sunday Service’ in Cody

in News/arts and culture
2098

One of Cody’s newest residents introduced himself to the community on Sunday with a “Sunday Service” attended by thousands.

Kanye West, who reportedly purchased the Monster Lake Ranch just south of Cody earlier this month, staged his “Sunday Service” at the Powwow Garden at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West.

For the service, West flew 80 gospel singers to Cody, where they sang Christian praise songs and gospel hymns.

West has held his the “Sunday Service” events around the country, but they are generally not open to the public. 

However, the public could attend Sunday’s event. It was announced Friday on social media and people began lining up for the service on Saturday night.

Brian Kekauoha and two of his fellow students from Brigham Young University drove for eight hours from Provo, Utah, for the event, arriving in Cody at 1:30 a.m. Sunday.

Hannah Brooks of Thermopolis did not have to travel as far, but made sure she was up early for the service in any case.

“I couldn’t believe it,” she said. “I saw it on the Internet (Saturday) night and I’m like ‘I’m going to bed early so I can get up early and drive to Cody.’”

The size of Sunday’s crowd for the event was estimated at 3,500.

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