UW professor dies in avalanche while skiing
CHEYENNE (WNE) — A 61-year-old University of Wyoming professor has died after being caught in a backcountry avalanche while skiing in western Wyoming near the Idaho border.
Jay Norton, a UW Extension soil fertility specialist, was skiing March 17 in the Game Creek drainage on the western slope of the Teton Mountains near Victor, Idaho, when the avalanche happened, according to the university.
“We have lost a talented and beloved member of our community,” said UW President Ed Seidel. “Our hearts go out to his friends and family as we all grieve his loss.”
Norton’s spouse, Urszula Norton, is an associate professor in UW’s Department of Plant Sciences.
Norton was skiing with companions in Game Creek Canyon in Wyoming just east of Victor when Teton County Search and Rescue responded to the avalanche call, the Teton Valley News reported. The party had been staying at the Plummer Yurt, and Norton and an unidentified older woman were buried in the slide on the northeast aspect of Game Creek.
They were located and uncovered by their companions, according to Teton County Search and Rescue.
The woman was conscious, but Norton was unconscious. The companions performed CPR on Norton, but he died as search and rescue responded.
He was the second person killed in an avalanche-related incident in Teton County this season, said Teton County Sheriff Matt Carr.
This story was published on March 25, 2022.
Two in Marbleton charged with animal cruelty
PINEDALE — While undertaking a home visit of a Marbleton family on Jan. 20, a school resource officer, state caseworker and deputy discovered the home soiled with animal feces, urine and diarrhea from two loose dogs and a dog shut in a room by a cat locked in filthy kennel.
All of the animals appeared emaciated and malnourished, according to Deputy Krystal Mansur’s affidavit.
A small Chihuahua “with his hips showing” was in the home inhabited by Trenity A. Holcomb and William A. Moore, Mansur wrote, adding that vomit and at least 10 piles of animal feces were in the hallway.
Deputy Mansur said she heard a dog barking from a back bedroom and walked through fresh and aged animal feces to the room, where Holcomb brought out a dark brown pitbull mix dog. A “very emaciated and malnourished” orange cat was locked in a wire dog kennel so the dog couldn’t kill it, Holcomb told her, saying it was a stray.
Marbleton animal control picked up the cat.
The couple was told they had one week to clean the place because a baby could not be on the floor with feces and urine; a child was taken into protective custody.
Deputy Mansur spoke with county animal control officer Monte Miles about her concerns and he talked to the couple, asking if they would relinquish the puppy; it and the Chihuahua were taken to a veterinarian and checked, according to the affidavit.
Each of the six misdemeanor charges filed against Holcomb and Moore carries maximum penalties of six months in jail and $750 fines. The couple is scheduled to appear in Sublette County Circuit Court on March 30 at 11 a.m.
This story was posted on March 25, 2022.
WYDOT announces strategy for National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure funding
LYMAN (WNE) — Wyoming will soon receive National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) formula funds to use to facilitate electric vehicle infrastructure development, especially charging stations, around the state.
The funding is part of the Federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), signed by President Biden in November 2021.
The Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) is allocated $3.9 million this year and expects $5 million each year for the next four years for a total of $23.96 million for EV infrastructure over five years.
In preparation to execute NEVI funding and other program incentives, the state has developed a Zero Emission Vehicle Strategy and will circulate the strategy over the next month to allow the public and interested parties to provide comments and feedback.
Wyoming’s interstates have been designated as “Alternative Fuel Corridors” and under the NEVI program must have infrastructure installed first.
WYDOT and other state officials have scheduled public meetings around the state in early April to gather public input as well as feedback from potential bidders and other interested parties.
Each meeting is expected to have a virtual component so viewers can attend any meeting and see the proposed plan and make comments.
The meetings will be held in Cheyenne, Casper, Cody, Riverton, Jackson, Rawlins, Gillette and Sheridan.
Those interested in making a public comment can also email dot-publicaffairs@ wyo.gov. For more information, visit https://www.dot.state.wy.us/ home/planning_projects/zero-emissionvehicles/national-electric-vehicle-infrastructure-(nevi)-program.html.
This story was published on March 25, 2022.