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As the kerfuffle at the Wyoming Republican Party convention last week made crystal clear, the internal politics of the Cowboy State’s largest party are anything but congenial and civil. Laramie and Natrona counties, the two largest population centers in this vast state, were left basically w…

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At first look, increasing the elected officials in the county from $100,000 a year to $108,500 a year in a single whack seems too much, and it may be, but the real issue isn’t year one but years two through four of compounding salary increases. Based on the proposal before the county commiss…

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Richard Paquette made a strong statement Saturday as he stuffed more chocolate pieces into another yellow plastic Easter Egg. He commented how amazing it is that the Douglas community comes together every year to make sure the Hoppy Easter Egg Hunt is a raving success, regardless of cost.

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A psychologist friend of mine once told me that anger isn’t an emotion but rather a mask for those feelings that scare us a little more than we can handle. Primarily, those feelings are helplessness and fear – those two demons that haunt our dreams at night. They make us scared to wake up in…

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Your citizen legislature convened in mid-February with a mountain of priorities to deliver in a finite amount of time. This was no ordinary Budget Session. Redistricting, the biennial budget, American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) allocations, local government funding and capital construction proje…

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The phone cut through the quiet at 2 a.m. The deep, gravely voice at the other end was mid-sentence when the phone was picked up. It was Boonie, a Vietnam veteran.

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The Wyoming Legislature finished the 2022 Budget Session last week. The main tasks of the session were somewhat unique between dealing with the first budget surplus since 2015 and redistricting the legislature. As chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, I am also thankful for a very su…

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Police departments, historically anyway, have tended to operate in somewhat of a self-contained vacuum. It’s easier and more comfortable not to engage the community outside the police department walls about what is happening inside those walls. That insular approach to policing, of course, i…

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A few years ago, when the tourism advocates wanted the legislature to institute a statewide lodging tax, we argued that was a bad idea for smaller counties like ours that are not centers of tourism but rather event-driven markets. Think Wyoming State Fair.

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My son called the other night just to tell me that someone had broken Tonya Jorgenson’s Douglas record for scoring the most points in a high school basketball game.

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We always love the idea of trying something new to help our economy grow and create new jobs. Often that involves training and investing in ourselves. So, at face value, the idea of a construction technology program at Eastern Wyoming College/Douglas campus sounds perfect.

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If we needed any more evidence of the great divide among Wyoming Republicans, it manifested itself last week in an effort to try to derail the state GOP central committee’s selection of a state superintendent.

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Here’s the $3.5 million question: What does Wyoming need to do to develop an economy that isn’t so dependent on the minerals industry?

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It’s been a full year (as of tomorrow) since the riot at the Capitol. And in the world of Wyoming Republican far-right politics that dominates the party’s hierarchy these days, not much has changed since that day when GOP Chairman W. Frank Eathorne said he attended the event and witnessed on…

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On Monday, Memorial Hospital of Converse County CEO Matt Dammeyer released the latest, but surely not the last, Covid-19 vaccination policy for their staff. The hospital policies, originally driven by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ rules for anyone accepting federal payments,…

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Emotions are raw and running high around the healthcare vaccination mandates. That is completely understandable. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, commonly known as CMS, has mandated any medical facility which accepts their payments will have nearly all of their employees vaccin…

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Gov. Mark Gordon isn’t wrong about his opposition to federal overreach (see the guest editorial on this page). Government governs best when it governs least. That’s a basic Republican principle and one Wyoming has long not only applauded but fought to maintain in the Cowboy State and with ou…

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Often, when we are talking about community enhancements – government-speak for recreation and beautification projects that seem to somehow get labelled by the public as wasteful spending – we forget what they really mean. Jobs.

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As Wyoming’s economy and her communities continue their recovery from the impacts of the global pandemic, the state is now faced with a new challenge. How do we best utilize the additional stimulus funds the federal government has appropriated to help Wyoming regain its footing?

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The explosion of social media in the last decade and a half has opened the door wide to what had been a relatively obscure and infrequent occurrence – hate mail. Now, anyone in the public eye – especially those involved in anything even slightly controversial – are subjected to volumes of ve…

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While sometimes it seems these community celebrations just kind of happen without much forethought or effort, the reality is quite the opposite. We, as a society, have come to take events like Jackalope Days and Deer Creek Days for granted, but the planning and volunteer hours invested in ma…

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Last week, the Douglas City Council members asked their attorney to draft a new ordinance addressing public documents. What that eventually may look like remains to be seen, but the simple fact that our elected leaders took that important jump to correct a 2015 misstep is heart-warming to th…

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Federal Judge Ronald Bush in Idaho earlier this month stopped work on 449 oil and gas leases in our state encompassing 334,762 acres – including some in Converse County – as he sided with environmental groups against the Bureau of Land Management over sage grouse habitat.

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During a luncheon with former Wyoming Secretary of State Rita Meyer quite a few years back, she said something profound, and as the years have worn on her words have become more so. “Wyoming is the only state where deficit spending is defined by being able to put less into savings than you d…

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As I get older, the month of October is turning out to be one of my absolute favorite months of the year. There’s a few reasons why that is, the chilly weather, trees showing their orange and red hues, the smell of wood fireplaces in the air and I can bring my favorite sweaters and soft wrap…

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Last week I received a tour of the property that is set to become the new steak house in Douglas. The building is still very much under construction, but just walking around the massive space and hearing about the plans from marketing manager Jen Pollock and chef Andy Revella made it clear t…

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Public notices are not controversial things. The public values them, according to nearly every poll taken across the country. The notices run in newspapers because they provide you, the public, valuable information about what your government is doing with your tax dollars.

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Former Sen. Al Simpson once was quote as saying that “everything in Wyoming is political, except politics. And that’s personal.” He said that a long time ago, and probably stole it from someone else to start with, but we doubt he would have realized the timelessness of his words given the cu…

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Last week I took a drive down to Wheatland to do some shopping at a couple thrift stores that I had my eye on.

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Every once in a while, we get asked why we would dare run this letter or that letter, or why we run a political cartoon about which some may disagree or find truly offensive. The answer isn’t necessarily simple, but the concept behind our decisions is simple. It’s called freedom of expressio…

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Memorial Hospital of Converse County has partnered with Western Medical Associates for years in very limited respects, as it had for several decades with Wyoming Medical Center – the publicly owned, quasi-privately run hospital in Natrona County and many other medical institutions.

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As if things weren’t hard enough for Wyoming’s small businesses, news comes that the Trump administration plans to claw back a chunk of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds legitimate businesses have used as a lifeline to keep their employees on the payroll.

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V ery few things in American life these days enjoy the broad, cross-party and cross-ideology support as the U.S. Post Office. Enshrined as the only government agency specifically mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, the Postal Service has had its own share of woes and headaches – financial an…

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The coronavirus pandemic has laid much of the American economy on its back — but a bright spot has made the disaster less crippling than it might have been. That is the Paycheck Protection Program, which funneled money back to workers through small businesses.

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I see poetry in the clouds and hear music in the wind. While stress and setbacks will inevitably claw at the back of your neck at times, we can always fight this grasp by standing atop a hill just before sunset and soaking in fiery wisps of cloud and inhale gusts of sweet breeze.

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The Wyoming legislature may be taking up the anti-Republican position of raising taxes to fund state government this year, while the city of Douglas has suggested a quarter-cent sales tax to fund economic development work in all its variations. While we certainly can understand the desire to…

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Gov. Mark Gordon was right not to jump on the “lock down the state” bandwagon that was closing down the economy across the country in March, and instead proceed with smaller, less draconian measures as the data for our state became available. He is also right not to jump on the bandwagon now…