THEM ON US

By on September 24, 2014

Downhill run

Jackson Hole, Wyoming – Jackson Hole Mountain Resort took a bit of a tumble in Ski Magazine’s annual reader’s poll (much to the delight of some local pow hounds). JHMR barely cracked the top 10 this time around after a No. 1 ranking in 2013.

Ski Magazine editor Greg Ditrinco told the Casper Star-Tribune that for decades, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort was seen as “a really kick-butt destination for skiing,” and is only recently gaining more mainstream popularity as evidenced in JHMR’s strong finishes in the poll over the past three years.

Anywhere in the top 10 is a good place to be, resort president Jerry Blann said.

Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia grabbed the top spot. JHMR fell to eighth.

State of bliss

Tell us something we don’t know. WalletHub.com produced their list of Happiest States based on 26 key metrics ranging from emotional health, to income levels, to sports participation rates.

Wyoming ranked sixth in the survey, particularly excelling in Commute Time (second), Income Growth and Income Level (both third). Our depression index dragged down our overall score. Wyoming continues to struggle with high suicide rates. The state ranked 26th in that category.

Utah was the happiest state. At the other end, Alabamans couldn’t get out of bed.

Kid author booked again

Local author Dale Woolwine just had his second book go under contract and begin production phase. Not bad, considering his first children’s book, Fighter, Fighter, Firefighter will hit bookstores any day now.

Tate Publishing and Enterprises announced last week they were signing Woolwine on for a second book, Soaking Wet. Woolwine says on his Facebook page he has just started production with the second book.

Woolwine and his wife Julie moved from Jackson to Pinedale in 2005. Their eight-year-old daughter, Abbie, suffers from Niemann-Pick Type C, an extremely rare terminal illness. A co-worker set up the family with an online funding source at www.gofundme.com/abbie-woolwine.

Drone pilot banned from YNP

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Drones and dimwits in Y-stone. Photo courtesy NBC News.

The German national who dunked his drone in Lake Yellowstone has been banned for one year from entering Yellowstone National Park.

Andreas Meissner, 37, launched his Phantom 2 at the lake’s marina only to watch it almost immediately lose power and crash into the lake. A diver recovered the drone and the attached GoPro camera 10 days later.

According to Colorado’s 9News: “The crash came a month after the National Park Service banned the use of unmanned aircraft throughout the national park system. Two other drone operators face similar federal charges, including one who accidentally crashed a drone into Yellowstone’s Grand Prismatic Spring on Aug. 2. That drone has yet to be recovered.”

No post-tax gas bloat in Wyoming

Motorists worst fears did not materialize at the pump last year after a 10-cent increase in fuel tax went into effect July 1, 2013. According to an analysis performed by the Casper Star Tribune using data from GasBuddy.com, average gas prices for unleaded jumped 5 cents per gallon in the first three quarters of 2014. Diesel prices rose 8 cents a gallon.

“Wyoming citizens do not bear the entire load in the gas tax,” Michelle Panos, Mead’s spokeswoman, told the Star Tribune. “The price at the pump did not increase by 10 cents.”

A decline in world oil prices and a favorable regional fuel market were the main reasons prices at the pump in Wyoming remained relatively stable, according to Rep. Mike Madden, R-Buffalo, an economist who studied gas prices statewide.

Gay vows could boost economy

The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights organization, will be hiring a full-time Wyoming employee.

Officials from the Washington, D.C.-based organization said a staff member would focus on nondiscrimination protections for LGBT people in housing, employment and public spaces. The employee will also work to prevent harassment and violence against LGBT people, and reduce the stigma of HIV and AIDS.

Meanwhile, a study by the Williams Institute, which researches sexual orientation law and public policy at the University of California in Los Angeles’ School of Law, found that legalizing gay marriage would be a boon to Wyoming state coffers.

An estimated $2.4 million could pour in from Wyoming resident grooms and grooms or brides and brides if same-sex marriage was legalized in the Cowboy State, according to the study.


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