Them on Us: Pardon our pollution

By on January 9, 2013
Laramie River Station - courtesy

Laramie River Station – courtesy

Jackson Hole, Wyo.-Wyoming again is home to one of the stinkiest power plants in the country, according to the Environmental Integrity Project. The national nonprofit watchdog compiles an annual list of top polluters in the nation. Laramie River Station, near Wheatland, made the Top Ten list last year and once again, for 2011, the plant was ranked second in carcinogenic metals toxins emission.

EIP found 3,000 pounds of arsenic; 2,507 pounds of chromium; 750 of cobalt; 2,458 pounds of lead; 2,204 pounds of nickel; and 8,535 pounds of metals total were emitted by the Wyoming plant. Basin Electric Power Cooperative runs the facility and told Casper Star Tribune the report is misleading. They say the plant captures the ash from almost all of the metals it produces and transports it to a disposal site, rather than releasing it into the atmosphere.
The plant went online in 1982.

USA Today loves ‘em some Pokes
Under the direction of coach Larry Shyatt, the Wyoming Cowboys basketball team is off to a 13-0 start and is now nationally ranked. USA Today took note.
“No. 1 Duke (14-0), No. 2 Michigan (15-0) and No. 3 Arizona (14-0) headline this year’s unbeaten ranks, but No. 25 Wyoming (13-0) is the most surprising of the teams with unblemished records. Wyoming is nationally ranked for the first time since USA Today Sports took over the coaches poll in the 1991-92 season. The Cowboys haven’t been in the Associated Press’ Top 25 since 1988.”

The writer, Scott Gleeson, went on to speculate when each of the undefeated teams would finally get their first loss: “The Cowboys’ non-conference schedule was unimpressive despite convincing wins – a resume-building victory against then-ranked Colorado on Dec. 1 and a road game at SMU on Jan. 2 – so the Mountain West Conference slate will answer a lot of questions with New Mexico, San Diego State and UNLV all challenging to win the league. Wyoming has proven it can play away from home, coming back from 19 points down to stun Missouri Valley contender Illinois State on Dec. 4, but its first major road test will come Jan. 24 at UNLV. “First loss prediction: Jan. 19 vs. San Diego State.”

NBC still stuck on unsolved disappearance
Amy Wroe-Bechtel left her house for a jog on July 24, 1997. She was never seen again. Bechtel became one of the most baffling missing person cases in Wyoming history and the frustration quickly spread across the country. NBC’s “Unsolved Mysteries” ran a segment on Amy a year after her disappearance.
Now, 15 years later, NBC is once again featuring the story in its documentary program “Disappeared.” TV crews visited Lander last June to do some preliminary taping for the episode, which aired last night on NBC Discovery.

Crews interviewed the lead investigator, Fremont County Sheriff’s Detective Sgt. John Zerga, and former Sheriff Dave King, along with some of Bechtel’s family members.

Camera crews from NBC reportedly filmed reenactment scenes on the Loop Road switchbacks where Amy was last seen with search-and-rescue personnel. They also shot near the Burnt Gulch Road in the Shoshone National Forest where Bechtel’s friends found her unlocked white Toyota at 1 a.m. July 25, 1997. The keys were reportedly in the ignition.

Incidentally, Zerga announced back in June that the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office had a new lead it was following up. “This one looks promising to law enforcement … it could be the break we’ve been looking for,” he told Wyoming Public Radio.

Bechtel had been married to her husband Steve for only 13 months when she went missing. After initial questioning he hired a lawyer and has refused to cooperate with further investigations. He eventually moved to Utah, remarried, and returned to the Lander area to open a fitness center.

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