THEM ON US: No. 98 hits home with Shepards

By on April 30, 2013


Broncs best in state

U.S. News and World Report found favor with our local high school, ranking Jackson Hole High as the best public school in the state. JHHS placed 1,159th out of 21,000 public high schools nationwide, receiving a silver medal from the magazine. It is thought the ranking places JHHS somewhere in the top 5.5 percent in the United States.

Sheridan, last year’s state best, placed second to Jackson. They were the only schools in Wyoming to receive mention from the glossy. U.S. News and World Report began ranking high schools in 2007. School for the Talented and Gifted in Dallas, Texas grabbed top honors in the country.

It’s good news for Jackson considering Wyoming’s overall high school graduation rate fell below 80 percent (78.9) for the second straight year.

Don’t hate on me, mate

According to the Brisbane Times, prospective jurors in the trial of the “Robin Hood” bank robber are being asked whether they have hostility toward Australians. Corey Donaldson is from Melbourne.

“Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. My name is Corey Donaldson and my accent is from Melbourne, Australia,“ Donaldson said addressing a pool of jurors during the four-hour selection process last week.

Judge Alan Johnson then asked jurors, “Does anyone have any anger or negative feelings against people who come from Australia or the continent of Australia?”

One female juror disclosed she worked with a lady from New Zealand.

“Do you get along well with her?” the judge asked.

“We get along fine,” she replied.

Nine women and three men were selected to judge Donaldson. The trial is expected to last a week.

No. 98 hits home with Shepards

Jason Collins is out of the closet and into Wyoming history.

Jason Collins is out of the closet and into Wyoming history. PHOTO CREDIT: USA Today

Basketball standout Jason Collins became the first athlete in a major American team sport to come out as gay. He did so with a tribute to Matthew Shepard.

Collins had always told reporters he wore the number 98 so that NBA refs would have a hard time flashing the number with their hands to courtside officials after one of his numerous fouls (the seven-foot tall center finished last season with more personal fouls than points). But he came clean to Sports Illustrated recently when he dropped the bomb that he’s been living a lie.

“A college classmate tried to persuade me to come out then and there. But I couldn’t yet,” Collins stated in SI. “My one small gesture of solidarity was to wear jersey number 98 with the Celtics and then the Wizards. The number has great significance to the gay community. One of the most notorious antigay hate crimes occurred in 1998. Matthew Shepard, a University of Wyoming student, was kidnapped, tortured and lashed to a prairie fence. He died five days after he was finally found. When I put on my jersey I was making a statement to myself, my family and my friends.”

Shepard’s parents, Dennis and Judy, told the Casper Star-Tribune they were stunned to hear their son had such an impact on Collins.

Wyoming runs on batteries

Just as the coal market looks like it’s crapping out, word is that Wyoming may be harboring a massive domestic supply of lithium. The United States currently imports 80 percent of its lithium needs, mainly from China. Getting some homegrown stuff for this nation’s unquenchable thirst for batteries would be a much-welcomed opportunity.

The largest domestic supply of lithium is currently Silver Peak, Nevada. The Rock Springs Uplift is a 25-square mile play that could yield 228,000 tons of lithium, doubling Silver Peak’s production.

The brines from the Rock Springs Uplift are relatively magnesium-free (reducing manufacturing costs) and nearby infrastructure already in place for delivering soda ash could be utilized to bring shipping costs down even more.

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