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Articles written by Sarah Pridgeon


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  • SPOT tax to appear on this year's ballot

    Sarah Pridgeon|Apr 11, 2024

    Voters will be asked this year to again approve the Specific Purpose Sales and Use Tax (SPOT), which raises money that goes directly to the four municipalities and the county and is used for infrastructure needs that are often difficult to fund elsewhere. This time, at the suggestion of Pine Haven Mayor Karla Brandenburg, the amount to be raised for each entity may be increased from $1.5 million to $3 million. This doesn’t change the amount of the tax itself – it’s still just a penny, she said, and it’s a penny that is already in place,...

  • CCMSD appoints new Hulett trustee

    Sarah Pridgeon|Apr 4, 2024

    Bob Richey resigned his position as the Hulett trustee for Crook County Medical Services District last week and was immediately replaced with the appointment of Robin Hibbard. “I have his resignation with me today,” said Trustee Sandy Neiman, who told the board that Richey has stepped down due to personal circumstances. In the letter he submitted to the board, read by Neiman, Richey said, “It has been my honor and privilege to serve on the board but, due to unforeseen circumstances, I will no longer be able to meet my duties as treasurer and t...

  • CCMSD to benefit from statewide ultrasound program

    Sarah Pridgeon|Mar 28, 2024

    Crook County Medical Services District (CCMSD) is among the healthcare providers set to benefit from a statewide initiative to increase access to ultrasound technology. Funded by the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, the initiative will see $13.9 million divided among hospitals and healthcare centers to purchase 143 ultrasound devices and to provide training for the new equipment. CCMSD will receive a grant total of $415,000 for ultrasound equipment in the hospital and each of its three clinics in Sundance, Moorcroft and Hulett....

  • Migration boosts county population

    Sarah Pridgeon|Mar 28, 2024

    Wyoming is getting more crowded – and Crook has been welcoming more new residents than almost any other county. According to new data from the Wyoming Department of Administration and Information, Crook County gained the second most newcomers during 2023, leading to a population increase of 2.3%. This percentage represents a total of 173 new people now residing in the county, bringing the population estimate to 7592. Sublette County beat this percentage only slightly at 2.5%. A total of 17 counties saw population increases, while six saw d...

  • Fourth judge added to district court

    Sarah Pridgeon|Mar 21, 2024

    The Sixth Judicial District is adding a fourth judge to its ranks thanks to legislation that was signed into law last week. The Sixth Judicial District covers Crook County, as well as Campbell and Weston counties. The bill increased the number of judges in the district from three to four and appropriated $1.24 million to fund the additional judge for the first two years, beginning on July 1. It also authorized three full-time positions for the personnel necessary to staff and support the new judge. SF-53 sailed through the legislature with...

  • Burn ban now in effect

    Sarah Pridgeon|Mar 14, 2024

    With fire season already underway, Crook County is now under burn restrictions. Fire Warden Charlie Harrison requested the restrictions be put in place last week, telling the county commissioners that more Wyoming acres burned in February than in the entirety of 2023. While the county has had a little moisture recently, in some places there was "barely any", he said, and temperatures are still above average. "There's no good news in the forecast," he said. While the restrictions have been put...

  • CCMSD looks to introduce mental health for seniors

    Sarah Pridgeon|Mar 14, 2024

    Crook County Medical Services District (CCMSD) is gearing up to introduce mental health services for seniors through a program that would see all its costs reimbursed through Medicare. As this means the program would not cost the district to run, it’s possible that the revenue could in the future be used to fund an additional mental health service for younger age groups. Senior Solution The Board of Trustees heard a presentation last week from Kirby Johnson of Senior Life Solutions, a program offered by Psychiatric Medical Care of Tennessee. T... Full story

  • Dry winter reduces flood potential

    Sarah Pridgeon|Mar 7, 2024

    There's not much chance of flooding this spring, according to the National Weather Service (NWS). The county continues to slide into drought conditions after a winter that brought little snow. The flood outlook summary for this spring is below average across all of northeastern Wyoming and western South Dakota. This is the time of year for ice cover on streams, rivers and lakes to melt and for ice-jam flooding to potentially occur. Flooding from snowmelt on the plains typically takes place betwe...

  • CCMSD launches new records system

    Sarah Pridgeon|Mar 7, 2024

    Crook County Medical Services District (CCMSD) is about to flip the switch on a new electronic medical records system (EMR) – a project more than a year in the making. Please forgive any hiccups in service while the new system is implemented, says a press release from the district announcing the launch. “At CCMSD, our mission is ‘Proudly providing high quality care, putting patients first’ and partnering with a new EMR will do just that,” states the press release. “Taking our software into the future to maximize efficiency and patient car...

  • Fires burn 1600 acres

    Sarah Pridgeon|Feb 29, 2024

    Two wildfires that ignited on Sunday burned a combined estimated total of 1600 acres and required a sizeable response from firefighters around the county and beyond. In New Haven, a fire located on a combination of private and state land is estimated to have reached 400 acres. According to Fire Warden Charlie Harrison, crews that responded to the fire included Oshoto, Carlile, Sundance, Pine Haven and Hulett. The lower portion of the fire was located in grass, but around 70% of the fire was in...

  • Flu shots still available

    Sarah Pridgeon|Feb 29, 2024

    With an influx of influenza A and B cases spreading through the community, Crook County Public Health is alerting anyone who has not yet had their flu shot this year that a limited number of doses are still available. Public Health currently has fewer than 50 doses of regular flu vaccine and high-dose vaccine for those aged over 55 years. If you would like to take advantage of one of these remaining doses, contact Public Health at 283-1142....

  • County supports Purple Heart proposal

    Sarah Pridgeon|Feb 15, 2024

    The county has formally offered its support to the Town of Hulett’s efforts to designate a Purple Heart Highway in tribute to those wounded in service to their country. The effort would designate Highway 24, which runs from south of Devils Tower, through Hulett and east to Aladdin, as part of the symbolic and honorary system of roads, bridges and monuments nationwide that honor the men and women who have been awarded the Purple Heart. The Purple Heart Trail was established in 1992 by the Military Order of the Purple Heart and originates at Mt....

  • Tough decisions ahead for zoning

    Sarah Pridgeon|Feb 15, 2024

    After hearing the results of an outreach effort on the question of zoning, the county commissioners will take some time to consider what comes next. Should the county stop right here and cease to pursue the thought of zoning? Should it go ahead full speed, starting with updates to its land use plan and then moving on to the creation of a zoning document? Or should it delay the ultimate decision about zoning, for now focusing on the land use plan updates that are needed either way? This was the decision – “Whether we do or we don’t, or we partly...

  • Hulett woman sentenced for receiving narcotics through the mail

    Sarah Pridgeon|Feb 8, 2024

    A Hulett woman will serve four years in federal prison on charges that she ordered narcotics through the mail. According to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Wyoming, Donna Singleton has been sentenced to 48 months for use of a communication facility to facilitate a felony drug offense. The sentence was imposed on February 1 by Chief U.S. District Court Judge Scott W. Skavdahl. Singleton’s arrest occurred during an investigation by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) into a large drug operation that involved shi...

  • Hulett man sentenced on strangulation charges

    Sarah Pridgeon|Feb 8, 2024

    Christopher Walter of Hulett has been given a deferred sentence on a felony charge of strangulation after an incident that took place last March at a motel in Hulett. According to court reports, Hulett Police Department responded to a reported verbal dispute at the motel on March 25, 2023, that occurred at around 5:30 a.m. During the dispute, Walter’s actions allegedly transgressed into physical and mental harm. He was accused of striking a female victim several times in the face with an open hand, leading EMS to suspect a broken jaw. He was a...

  • County criticizes national effort to manage old-growth forests

    Sarah Pridgeon|Feb 8, 2024

    Crook County is calling for the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) to rethink its plans to amend every national forest land management in the nation to create one overall strategy for managing old-growth forests. In a comment letter signed by the county commissioners last week, the county criticizes the one-size-fits-all approach and the USFS’s failure to include local governments in the process. “Upon reading through it, it will affect all the National Forests in Wyoming, which includes the Black Hills; it will also include Thunder Basin National Gras...

  • County graduation rates stay higher than state average

    Sarah Pridgeon|Feb 1, 2024

    Once again, the students of Crook County have outdone the state average with a graduation rate for the 2022-2023 school year of 89%. This places Crook County School District among the top 15 in the state, which has 48 school districts. "We appreciate that our graduation rate is above the state average but, to be honest, our goal is always going to be 100%," says Superintendent Mark Broderson. "Graduation rates include many factors that are out of a school's control but we want all students to wa...

  • Bank warns of counterfeit bills following incident in Billings

    Sarah Pridgeon|Feb 1, 2024

    With an unknown number counterfeit hundred-dollar bills believed to now be in circulation after an incident in Billings, MT, last week, Andy Miller, President of Sundance State Bank, is warning businesses and citizens that some could make it through to Crook County. “I don’t know how much trickle will make it through to our area, but there’s certainly potential,” he says. “Be aware when you take a $100 bill from somebody to make sure it feels right, make sure it looks right, make sure the security features are there and just be cautious because...

  • Legislature meets soon for budget session

    Sarah Pridgeon|Jan 25, 2024

    The Wyoming State Legislature meets for its 67th session soon and there are numerous ways for the public to participate or listen in. This year is a budget session, which means it will last approximately 20 legislative days. The other factor that sets it apart from a general session is that, aside from the budget bill, all other bills will require a two-thirds vote in the Senate or House in order to be introduced. The session begins on February 12 and a wide range of bills have already been assi...

  • County concludes input sessions on zoning

    Sarah Pridgeon|Jan 25, 2024

    The last in a series of public meetings aimed to gauge the community's opinion of zoning was held in Sundance on Wednesday evening. The commissioners have been examining the potential need for zoning in the light of more than usual development taking place around the county. However, before taking any steps towards developing a zoning plan, they were keen to gather input from county residents. As she had done at meetings in the three other municipalities, Community Planning and Zoning Consultant...

  • Commission stands firm on refusing to add to county maintenance roster

    Sarah Pridgeon|Jan 11, 2024

    The answer is still no, the commissioners told two local residents last week. The county will not be adding any more miles of road to the 600 already maintained, they said, because it cannot afford to do so. Scott Pomerenke and Eric Akola approached the commissioners to ask them to reconsider adding a quarter mile of Old Sundance Road in the area where it meets Beaver Creek Road to the route of the county's snowplows. This request was originally made in August, on the basis that snow tends to...

  • Large-acre subdivision gets go-ahead to organize service district

    Sarah Pridgeon|Jan 11, 2024

    The developer of one of the county's newer large-acre subdivisions has received approval from the county commission for its petition to form an improvement and service district for the 46 parcels contained within. A public hearing took place for the proposed Yellowstone L&R Ranch Improvement and Service District. The developer is Yellowstone L&R Ranch, a South Carolina limited liability company. The purpose of the district is to repair and maintain the roads within the subdivision, though it wil...

  • County approves ambulance funding resolution

    Sarah Pridgeon|Jan 11, 2024

    The Crook County Commission has passed a resolution that will increase the amount of reimbursement Crook County Medical Services District (CCMSD) receives for ambulance services, with the intention of ensuring these services remain affordable to keep providing in the future. A public hearing for the resolution was set for January's regular meeting of the county commissioners, after a 45-day notice period is complete. At that hearing, the commission heard that County Attorney Joe Baron had...

  • Wyoming State Parks launches new booking website

    Sarah Pridgeon|Jan 4, 2024

    Wyoming State Parks has announced the launch of a new reservation and permit sales system that it says will offer a more streamlined experience for recreationists looking to enjoy the state’s outdoor opportunities. The new website allows you to refine your needs when staying in a state park, from the type of camping or lodging you’d prefer through to the type of camping equipment you will bring. Once you select from the available options, you can view maps detailing exactly where each available site is located and additional information, suc...

  • The Year in Review

    Sarah Pridgeon|Jan 4, 2024

    January As the annual Wyoming Legislative Session kicked off, Jason Perry was honored during the opening ceremonies for his work as Hulett's ambulance director and his efforts to get all of Hulett's EMTs certified as paramedics. Meanwhile, Ogden Driskill took the oath as President of the Senate and Chip Neiman was selected as House Majority Floor Leader – which, to the best of his knowledge, was a position never before offered to a freshman legislator. Crook County Medical Services District (CCM...

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