Tom Duncan grew up in Lander. He comes from a family of Scottish immigrants that settled in Wyoming in the 1880s. In 1900, Duncan’s grandfather trailed 5000 sheep to Fremont County, where he began a ranch along the western border of the Wind River Indian Reservation. Duncan tells the family story of their Native American neighbor, Togwotee, for whom Togwotee Pass is named.
Today, the long awaited ground breaking for the 41 million dollar Wind River Job Corps took place. The project was first conceived in 2005 and thanks to support of Senator Mike Enzi it finally received federal approval. It’s the first Job Corps for Wyoming which is the only state without such a facility.
Sandy Barton of the Fremont County Board of Cooperative Education Services or BOCES spearheaded the effort from the start. She told Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck that it will have a major impact on Fremont County and the state.
Energy Fuels Inc. plans to acquire Strathmore Minerals Corporation, a move that will establish Energy Fuels as one of the biggest uranium companies in the U.S. The organizations have signed a letter of intent, under which Strathmore shareholders will end up owning about 20% of Energy Fuels shares.
CEO of Strathmore, David Miller, says the companies are a good match for each other. Both organizations have Wyoming projects.
Teton county residents are the healthiest in Wyoming. That’s according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute’s County Health Rankings. The least-healthy county was Fremont.
The tribes on the Wind River Indian Reservation have signed a six-month temporary contract with Fremont County to continue solid waste disposal services there. The previous contract expired earlier this month.
With casinos operating successfully in Fremont County, anecdotes abound that gambling addiction is becoming a widespread problem. Fremont Counseling Services is reacting accordingly by starting a gambling awareness group to educate people about the signs and symptoms of gambling addiction, and how to engage someone suspected of being a problem gambler.
Director of Fremont Counseling Services Gerry McAdams says they haven’t necessarily seen an increase of clients with the problem, but they’re going ahead with the classes anyway.
The U.S. Department of Labor is finally starting the process of looking for contractors to build the Wind River Job Corps in Riverton. The site, which will provide vocational training for disadvantaged live-in students, has been slow going. Director of the Fremont County Board of Cooperative Education Services, Sandy Barton, says this is great news for the center.
HOST: There have been rumors that Fremont County is experiencing a rise in gambling addiction amongst its residents. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov reports that whether the rumors are true or not is still unclear, but some services are popping up to address it regardless.
ZHOROV: The Wind River Hotel and Casino in Riverton is full of chirping slot machines, game tables, bright lights, and…gamblers.
There are differing opinions regarding how much good gaming has brought to the county and tribes. But there is also concern about gambling addictions.
Fremont County and Lander Regional Hospital have reached a settlement in a yearlong lawsuit over unpaid bills for mental health examinations for residents who may need to be hospitalized.
The county will pay $457,000 for evaluations from 2009 to Dec. 15. Lander parent company LifePoint Hospitals had sought more than $800,000 in unpaid bills from the county. Both sides disputed how much the county owed for evaluations of patients who faced involuntary hospitalization for mental illness.
The Fremont County Attorney's Office says 35 people have been indicted in connection with an alleged drug distribution ring in central Wyoming. The Casper Star-Tribune (http://bit.ly/rVGjbk ) reported that 22 of the 35 suspects have been arrested as of Friday. The indictments came from a grand jury that met from Nov. 28 through the 30th. They involve the distribution of cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana and prescription medication.