Andrea von Kampen, Resonant Rogues perform August 15 in Pinedale (posted 8/13/2020)
PFAC Soundcheck August 15th in Pinedale
Final PFAC Soundcheck Summer Music Series Concert
Pinedale Fine Arts Council
Pinedale’s Soundcheck Summer Music Series concludes Saturday, August 15 with Nebraska-based singer/songwriter Andrea Von Kampen (trio), Asheville folk-noir act The Resonant Rogues (duo) and special guest Jason Tyler Burton (solo). Music starts around 5:00 p.m.
All Soundcheck shows are presented by the Pinedale Fine Arts Council (PFAC) and take place at American Legion Park in downtown Pinedale. All shows are free to the public.
Andrea von Kampen is an independent folk singer-songwriter based in Lincoln, Nebraska, whose effortless vocal delivery has been praised by Hear Nebraska as "soulful and worn-in." In a review of Andrea’s debut album, Old Country (2019), Ear To The Ground Music said, "The inflection in von Kampen’s vocal has the conviction of a gospel track and the sincerity of a Dylan folk ballad."
The Resonant Rogues have been winning over audiences worldwide with their signature blend of string band music since 2013. Following their musical inspirations from their home in the Appalachian mountains all the way to the Balkans, through Paris by way of New Orleans, their original songs speak to the heart with poetic lyrics, and appeal to the ears with stellar musicianship and arrangement.
Wyoming musician Jason Tyler Burton writes engaging songs that will make you lean in a little and really listen. He is careful with the places and people he writes about, telling complicated truths with humor and grace.
Due to COVID-19, all performances will be scaled down for safety with enforced social distancing, attendance caps and other measures in place. Please visit PFAC’s website for complete details regarding COVID-19 at pinedalefinearts.com.
For the full Soundcheck lineup, COVID-19 details and more info please visit pinedalefinearts.com
Stage 1 fire restrictions go into effect August 13 (posted 8/12/2020)
On Bridger-Teton National Forest and Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming
The Bridger-Teton National Forest will implement fire restrictions beginning Thursday, August 13.
These restrictions allow fires only in designated and installed fire rings or grills at designated campgrounds or picnic areas. Fires are allowed in the Teton and Gros Ventre Wilderness areas but not the Bridger Wilderness under these restrictions. Smoking is also restricted to certain locations.
Fire restrictions on the Bridger-Teton National Forest include:
• Lighting, building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire, barbecue or grill is allowed only at designated recreation sites such as established campgrounds or picnic areas. Use of portable stoves and lanterns using gas, jellied petroleum or pressurized liquid fuel, or use of a fully enclosed sheepherder type stove with a spark arrester screen is permitted.
• Smoking is allowed only in an enclosed vehicle, building (unless otherwise prohibited), developed recreation site, or while in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials (i.e. parking lots, developed campsites, or locations surrounded by water).
Campfires in Grand Teton National Park are limited to designated and installed fire rings and/or grills. Campfires are not allowed on the National Elk Refuge. All campfires and warming fires should always be attended to. So far Teton Interagency Fire personnel have extinguished 168 unattended or abandoned campfires this summer.
Fire danger for the area is High. During times of elevated fire danger, a campfire is not encouraged. Visitors could be held liable for suppression costs if their campfire becomes a wildfire. All campfires must be completely extinguished before leaving a site. Campers and day users should have a shovel on hand and a water bucket ready for use. Soak, stir, feel, repeat. Make sure your campfire is "dead out" and cold to the touch before departing.
The following restrictions exist year-round on federal public lands:
• Operating a chainsaw is prohibited in national parks. Operating a chainsaw on national forest lands is permitted only when equipped with a USDA or SAE approved spark arrester that is properly installed and in effective working order. Operators must also carry a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher with a minimum rating of 2A and one round point shovel with an overall length of at least 36 inches.
• Discharge of fireworks and use of explosives requiring blasting caps are prohibited.
Violation of these prohibitions is punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization, and/or by imprisonment for more than six months.
For specific information about fire conditions, guidelines and restrictions, designated recreation sites and locations where fires are allowed on the Bridger-Teton National Forest, visit www.TetonFires.com. The website also has updated information about fire activity in the area and fire prevention suggestions.
The public is encouraged to report illegal campfires, as well as smoke reports, to Teton Interagency Fire Dispatch at 307-739-3630.
Tribasin Fish Passage and Watershed Restoration Project begins in Upper Greys River Watershed (posted 8/12/2020)
TU and BTNF joint media release
Trout Unlimited (TU) and the Bridger-Teton National Forest (BTNF) announced today (Wednesday, August 12, 2020) that Phase 2 of the Tribasin Fish Passage and Watershed Restoration Project is scheduled to begin during the summer of 2020.
The project is a large-scale, multi-phased project initiated in 2018 to improve ecosystem function and reconnect stream habitat for cutthroat trout and other native fish species on BTNF lands.
This year’s construction implementation includes replacing an undersized culvert on the Greys River, near the confluence of Shale Creek, with a newly constructed bridge, as well as replacing three undersized culverts on Mink Creek, Clear Creek, and the West Fork Greys River. Construction is scheduled to begin August 17, 2020 will last approximately two weeks.
During this time, BTNF will temporarily close the Shale Creek Road (Forest Service Road 10126). The Shale Creek Road is located in the upper Greys River watershed. The closure will occur near the confluence of Shale Creek and the Greys River. The public should also be aware that construction could also slow traffic on the Greys River Road (Forest Service Road 10138) near where the Shale Creek Road joins the Greys River Road. The BTNF and TU would like to thank the public in advance for their cooperation during this important work.
This work is made possible through a unique collaboration between TU, BTNF, and other partners. The Tribasin Fish Passage and Watershed Restoration Project represents an opportunity to reconnect over 21 stream miles for native cutthroat trout and measurably improve water quality in the heart of Wyoming "CuttSlam" territory. The project seeks to protect, reconnect, and restore streams on BTNF lands associated with a commercial timber sale and its access routes. The "Tribasin" project area lies at the headwaters of three basins and encompasses three native cutthroat trout species distributions (Snake River, Bonneville, and Colorado River cutthroat).
Click on this link for more on this story: Tribasin Fish Passage and Watershed Restoration Project
Wyoming Health Orders extended through August 31st (posted 8/12/2020)
Outdoor gathering limits eased
Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon has announced that updated public health orders will ease restrictions on the size of permitted outdoor gatherings beginning August 16.
Public Health Order No. 2 has been updated to allow outdoor gatherings of no more than 50% of venue capacity, with a maximum of 1,000 people as long as social distancing and increased sanitization measures are in place. Indoor gatherings in a confined space remain limited to 50 persons without restrictions and 250 persons if social distancing and sanitization measures are incorporated.
"We are seeing promising trends but we want to continue to exercise caution as schools around the state prepare for reopening," Governor Gordon said. "We have seen outdoor events occur safely this summer and we want to ensure that schools are able to host spectators for their outdoor activities this fall."
The public health restrictions that apply to restaurants, bars, gyms and performance spaces will remain in place through August 31. Faith-based gatherings such as church services and funeral homes will continue to be permitted to operate without restrictions, with appropriate social distancing encouraged. Public Health Order No. 1 includes a requirement that students wear face coverings in schools in situations where 6 feet of separation cannot be maintained. Specific exemptions are listed in the order.
Over the past 14 days, Wyoming has averaged 30 lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 per day, with 412 new cases confirmed since July 29. From July 12-26, Wyoming averaged 37 lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 per day with 523 lab-confirmed cases reported.
The Wyoming Department of Health and the Governor continue to strongly recommend the use of face coverings in public settings where it is not possible or reasonable to stay physically apart. On Wyoming’s COVID-19 dashboard the categories of number of new cases and new hospitalizations continue to be rated, "Concerning."
The updated orders are attached and can be found on the state's COVID-19 website.
Wyoming records 29th coronavirus-related death (posted 8/12/2020)
A man from Uinta County who previously tested positive for COVID-19 has died, according to the Wyoming Department of Health. The older adult man had health conditions recognized as putting patients at higher risk of serious illness related to COVID-19 and had been hospitalized. This brings the count for coronavirus-related deaths in Wyoming to 29 over the time period of eight months into 2020.
Deaths among Wyoming residents are added to the state’s coronavirus-related death total based on official death certificate information. If the disease did not cause or contribute to the person’s death, that person’s death is not reflected in Wyoming’s count of coronavirus-related deaths even if the person is known to be positive for the virus.
Among Wyoming residents, as of August 12th, there have been 2,584 lab-confirmed cases and 489 probable cases of COVID-19. Wyoming has a population of approximately 550,000 people. This is a death rate of approximately .005% among the general population. There have been 84,328 people laboratory tested for COVID-19 to date in Wyoming. The majority of the people tested who have been sick have not had the disease, but rather were ill with something else.
For comparison, there have been 65 motor vehicle fatalities on Wyoming’s roadways to date in 2020. (100 in 2019, 62 in 2018, and 88 in 2017).
The state and county COVID-19 dashboards can be found on the Wyoming Department of Health website here.
Census takers to start visiting nonresponding households in Wyoming (posted 8/12/2020)
U.S. Census Bureau
Beginning Tuesday, August 11th, Census takers in Wyoming will be following up with households that have not yet responded to the 2020 Census.
The current self-response rate in Wyoming is 57.6%. The Census Bureau will need to visit the remaining addresses to collect responses in person.
Households can still respond now by completing and mailing back the paper questionnaire they received, by responding online at 2020census.gov, or by phone at 844-330-2020. Households can also respond online or by phone in one of 13 languages and find assistance in many more. Those that respond will not need to be visited to obtain their census response.
Protecting Health and Safety
The Census Bureau and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) are working together to protect the health and safety of the public and our employees. Participation in 2020 Census interviews should present a low risk of transmission of COVID-19.
Census takers are trained to rigorously and universally follow these CDC recommendations to mitigate the risk of transmission:
• Wearing face masks
• Maintaining social distance of 6 feet or more
• Practicing hand hygiene
• Not entering homes, and conducting interviews outside as much as possible or practical
Household members encountered by census staff are encouraged to maintain social distances during interviews and practice the CDC’s other recommendations as much as possible.
What Households Can Expect
Census takers are hired from local communities. All census takers speak English, and many are bilingual. If a census taker does not speak the householder’s language, the household may request a return visit from a census taker who does. Census takers will also have materials on hand to help identify the household’s language.
If no one is home when the census taker visits, the census taker will leave a notice of their visit with information about how to respond online, by phone or by mail. People are encouraged to cooperate with census takers and ensure that everyone who was living in their household as of April 1, 2020, is counted.
How to Identify Census Takers
Census takers can be easily identified by a valid government ID badge with their photograph, a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark, and an expiration date on the badge. To confirm a census taker’s identity, the public may contact the Denver/Dallas Regional Census Center at 972-510-1800 to speak with a Census Bureau representative.
About the 2020 Census
The U.S. Constitution mandates a census of the population every 10 years. The goal of the 2020 Census is to count everyone who lives in the United States on April 1, 2020 (Census Day). Census statistics are used to determine the number of seats each state holds in the U.S. House of Representatives and informs how billions of dollars in federal funds will be allocated by state, local and federal lawmakers annually for the next 10 years.
For more information, visit 2020census.gov.
Fremont County man succumbs to coronavirus (posted 8/7/2020)
Source: Wyoming Department of Health
A Fremont County man previously confirmed as testing positive for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has died, according to the Wyoming Department of Health. This bring the toll to 11 in Fremont County and 28 in the state. The older adult man had health conditions recognized as putting patients at higher risk of serious illness related to COVID-19 and had been hospitalized.
There have been 21,061 people tested for COVID-19 in Fremont County. Of those, 429 have come back as confirmed cases with 328 now reported as recovered. In Fremont County, the bulk of the confirmed cases that have been tested are under the age of 19, according to the Wyoming Department of Health County dashboard. The second highest confirmed case category is age 19-29 for Fremont County.
According to the Wyoming Department of Health website, the bulk of people who have died are age 65 and older, with a smaller fraction in the 19-64 age category. There have been no deaths of people under the age of 18 in Wyoming. 80+% of the people who died had underlying conditions that compromised their health.
Wyoming has a population of approximately 550,000 people. With 28 deaths to date attributed to the disease, Wyoming has a .005% death rate among the general population due to COVID-19. In the general population, .4% have tested positive for the disease.
In Wyoming, 79,468 people have been tested for COVID-19. Of those who have been tested, there have been 2,449 positive results. Wyoming has 3% positive of people tested for coronavirus.
By comparison for risk of death, Wyoming has had 65 motor vehicle fatalities to date in 2020, 100 in 2019, 62 in 2018, and 88 in 2017.
Sublette County has had 0 deaths due to COVID-19 in 2020. 698 people have been tested for the disease. There have been 31 confirmed cases, 26 of those are now called recovered. The Wyoming Department of Health website dashboard does not show age ranges for positive COVID-19 test results in Sublette County.
Wyoming’s state public health orders are in effect until August 15th, unless renewed.
For more information about COVID-19, visit the Wyoming Department of Health website: https://health.wyo.gov/publichealth/infectious-disease-epidemiology-unit/disease/novel-coronavirus/
U.S. Census Bureau encourages everyone to ‘Stop the Knock’ (posted 8/5/2020)
U.S. Census Bureau
The U.S. Census Bureau is inviting Wyomingites to join in our STOP THE KNOCK campaign. The campaign kicked off earlier this week and is designed to encourage residents to respond to the Census now, to lessen the possibility of a Census employee knocking on their door this month.
Currently the state of Wyoming holds a 57.4 percent self-response rate, which is below the national average of 63.1 percent.
Households can still self-respond now by completing and mailing back the paper questionnaire they received, by responding online at www.2020census.gov, or by phone at 844-330-2020 (English). Households can also respond online or by phone in one of 13 languages and find assistance in many more.
CENSUS TAKERS IN NEIGHBORHOODS
Census takers will start working next week in neighborhoods throughout Wyoming. They will be visiting households that have not yet self-responded to the Census, to assist residents in completing their 2020 Census and collecting responses. Census takers will follow local public health guidelines, will be wearing masks, and are trained on social distancing protocols.
Census takers are hired from local communities. All census takers speak English, and some are bilingual. If a census taker does not speak the householder’s language, the household may request a return visit from a census taker who does. Census takers will also have materials on hand to help identify the household’s language.
If no one is home when the census taker visits, they will leave a notice of their visit with information about how to respond online, by phone or by mail.
Census takers can be identified by a valid government ID badge with their photograph, a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark, and an expiration date on the badge. To confirm a census taker’s identity, the public may contact the Denver/Dallas Regional Census Center at 1-800-852-6159.
RURAL WEEK OF ACTION
The Census Bureau is calling for all communities to stand up and be counted. The Rural Week of Action is targeting rural communities across Wyoming by reaching out to community leaders, business owners and residents to encourage their neighbors to respond now to the 2020 Census.
Rural communities count on Census data. Census responses provide data that can attract new businesses and the jobs that come with them. It also helps to disperse billions of dollars in federal funding. That includes money for things like:
• Emergency Management/Disaster Relief
• Rural Education
• Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
• Medicare Part B
• State wildlife grants
• Rural business enterprise grants
• Critical Infrastructure
Census data is also used to determine representation in Congress, to make sure rural voices are heard.
Every household is encouraged to respond now. It’s not too late to self-respond, online at 2020census.gov, by phone at 844-330-2020 (English) or by mailing back the paper form that was delivered to their household.
CARES Act grant funding available for education (posted 8/5/2020)
Adult Education Grant Program
Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon
Adults who are unemployed or underemployed due to COVID-19 are now eligible for a grant to pay for education at one of the state’s community colleges or the University of Wyoming. This is possible due to funding Governor Mark Gordon provided to the new program.
The Governor has allocated $7.5 million in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding to the Adult Education Grant Program, which will provide scholarships to Wyoming adults between the ages of 25 and 64 who are unemployed or underemployed due to the impacts of COVID-19.
"During this crisis these grants will help impacted workers obtain new skills and advance their careers," Governor Gordon said. "They will also help Wyoming progress towards its goal of building a highly trained, well-equipped workforce."
"The Wyoming Community College Commission strongly supports the Governor’s announcement of the Adult Education Grant Program," said Dr. Ben Moritz, Deputy Director of the Commission. "Working adults are facing both economic and pandemic-related challenges and need training and education to obtain the skills employers are looking for. This grant program opens up these training opportunities to working adults who need it."
The funds will be administered through an application process, with an opening date expected to be announced very soon. The Governor continues to work with the University and community colleges to develop a program to provide assistance to all students with financial need that have been impacted by COVID-19.
It follows on the heels of the recent allocation of $26.5 million to help aid UW with its safe reopening plan and $32.5 million for community colleges for their plans. The Governor has also allocated nearly $51.5 million in CARES Act funding to support the operations of K-12 schools around the state. Those funds will support the reopening of schools and include $42.5 million for technology to support distance learning, $7.3 million for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and $1.7 million to bolster food security programs.
These distributions are just a portion of the $1.25 billion Congress allocated Wyoming through the CARES Act. The State Legislature passed new laws during a May special session guiding how that money can be spent. To date, Governor Gordon has allocated approximately $710 million of those funds to address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID Relief application period opens August 4 (posted 8/4/2020)
Applications are open for the next round of COVID Relief. If you took a loss based on health orders or had COVID-related expenses that have not been previously reimbursed, now is the time.
This funding is for Wyoming small businesses with 100 or fewer employees and non-profit organization that lost revenue due to public health orders or have incurred COVID-19 related expenses. Funding of up to $300,000 is available.
Click on this link to learn more: www.wyobizrelief.org
Wyoming affected by Salmonella outbreak linked to red onions (posted 8/3/2020)
Wyoming Department of Health
With a growing outbreak of Salmonella Newport infections linked to eating red onions, the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) is encouraging caution among state consumers.
At least 16 cases have been identified among Wyoming residents so far, with at least 396 cases nationally. Wyoming cases have been reported so far from Campbell, Carbon, Crook, Goshen, Natrona, Sheridan and Teton counties with half of outbreak-associated cases from Campbell County.
"People ill in connection to this outbreak described eating raw onions in freshly prepared foods, including salads, sandwiches, wraps, salsas and dips," said Tiffany Greenlee, surveillance epidemiologist with WDH. "That’s why we’re recommending residents should not eat, serve or sell any onions from Thomson International Inc. or products made with these onions."
Advice from Greenlee also includes:
• Check refrigerators and kitchens for potentially affected onions or fresh foods made with them.
• Check packages or look for stickers on an onion to see if it is from Thomson International, Inc. If it is, don’t eat it. Throw it away.
• If you can’t tell where onions are from, don’t eat them. Throw them away.
• Look for foods with onions and do not eat them if it’s unknown where onions came from. Throw them away, even if no one got sick.
• Wash and sanitize any surfaces that may have come in contact with onions or their packaging, such as countertops, refrigerator drawers, knives and cutting boards.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
• Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps 6 hours to 6 days after being exposed to the bacteria.
• The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most people recover without treatment.
• In some people, the illness may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the bloodstream and then to other places in the body.
• Children younger than 5 years, adults 65 years and older and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness.
More information about salmonella and outbreak updates can be found from the CDC at https://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/newport-07-20/index.html.
Rocky Mountain Power extends help for customers behind on bills (posted 7/31/2020)
Rocky Mountain Power
With many Rocky Mountain Power customers experiencing difficulties paying bills in the wake of the economic downturn caused by COVID-19, the company is extending its suspension of late fees and service disconnections to customers who set up payment plans and stay on track. Customer care representatives can also connect customers with energy assistance programs and other payment arrangements. The company also matches donations to the energy assistance programs 2-to-1 for those looking to help others in the community.
While regular billing cycles and disconnections for nonpayment have resumed, Rocky Mountain Power will continue an ongoing customer outreach campaign to inform customers about expanded, flexible payment plan options and energy assistance. Outreach methods include the following:
• Information for energy assistance is provided on the bill and on customer accounts online
• Customers with past due balances receive calls, emails and/or letters encouraging them to contact the company for payment arrangements
• Residential customers can elect to participate in a 12-month payment plan with a lower monthly payment for the first four months or an equal payment plan with the current bill and any past due balances rolled into a fixed payment amount each month
• Commercial customers can have up to six months to pay any past due bills
• Payment plans may be renegotiated or extended recognizing the income fluctuations customers may experience as the economy recovers
Rocky Mountain Power encourages customers to speak with a Rocky Mountain Power customer care representative who can help provide peace of mind and assistance. Helping customers through this difficult time as we provide safe, reliable power is our number one priority.
Customers can visit www.rockymountainpower.net/billhelp or call us toll free at 1-888-221-7070. Customer care representatives are always available and ready to help.
As a reminder, scammers are actively targeting energy customers in our region. If you receive a call, text or email threatening to shut off your power unless you pay immediately, it’s a scam. Stay aware and be safe.
Hazardous fuels reduction continues along Skyline Drive (posted 7/24/2020)
Bridger-Teton National Forest
The Bridger-Teton National Forest, Pinedale Ranger District is continuing progress with the Skyline Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) Hazardous Fuels Reduction Project this summer.
The project is a 2,247-acre project, designed to reduce and remove hazardous fuel loading along Skyline Drive including the Sylvan Bay Summer Homes, Fremont Lake Campground, Elkhart Park, Kelly Park, and White Pine Resort. Contract and Forest Service crews are thinning trees and piling the debris to be burned at a later date.
Firewood and timber products are one of the outcomes of this project. The project objective is reducing the risk of a high intensity wildfire in these high use areas while increasing the safety of the public and firefighters in the event of a wildfire occurrence. The project also enhances wildlife habitat, recreation, timber product (timber sales), forest health, and site visibility along roadways.
Currently two timber sales are occurring near the White Pine Ski Area along Skyline Drive. These areas are posted with signs. Motorist and recreationalist are asked to stay out of these areas and allow crews to work safely.
The tree thinning piles along roadways can be found along Skyline Drive from Kelly Park to Elkhart Park. Larger firewood diameter material was left un-piled within 40-feet of the roadway to allow the public the opportunity to gather firewood.
Firewood permits are $7.00 per cord and may be obtained by calling the Pinedale Ranger District at 307-367-4326.
Other areas of firewood are currently being felled and mechanically piled in several different areas. These areas are otherwise inaccessible to the public due to no legal routes for vehicles and/or steep or rocky terrain. Forest Service crews are working in the area presently and will have several cords of firewood made available to the public when the crews are finished. Social media will be utilized to broadcast the location and times of firewood area availability. These areas will be gated and will have Forest Service personnel at the entrances to offer guidance and maps along with checking wood permit tags. Please stay tuned to the Bridger-Teton National Forest Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/BridgerTetonNF) and Twitter (@BridgerTetonNF) pages. Some firewood areas will be made available by mid-August. As other locations are completed, more areas will be made available through the fall months.
This project has been supported and funded by multiple partnerships with the US Forest Service including Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Wyoming Wildlife Natural Resource Trust, Mule Deer Initiative, Wyoming Game and Fish Commission, and the Forest Service and NRCS Joint Chiefs' Landscape Restoration Partnership supported through the Sublette County Forest Collaborative.