By on June 14, 2016

Rodeo queen flags down Nat Geo

160615TOU-1_origIn honor of Flag Day, National Geographic ran a pictorial story on flags from around the world. The feature, written by Melody Rowell, published on June 11.

The photo gallery featured 15 photos of flags from all over the globe, taken in various years. The lead shot was one of JH Rodeo royalty displaying the Stars and Stripes. It was captioned: “A cowgirl queen carries the American flag for a rodeo at the Teton County Fair in Jackson, Wyoming.”

The queen is actually 2015 Junior Princess Lexi Daugherty, daughter of former county planning director Jeff Daugherty. Sarah Andrews is also in the background of the shot.

“Super cool,” Jeff commented.

Jackson Hole closes

160615TOU-2_origIt’s true: Jackson Hole has closed. The headline appeared in the NYC area last week, prompting more than one local to take note and repost on social media.

Fear not, the Jackson Hole in question is the upper west side diner named Jackson Hole, not the valley currently gearing up for a banner summer tourist season. The Manhattan eatery on Columbus and 85th is famous for its specialty burgers. It had been in business since 1972. Other locations, including two in Manhattan, two in Queens and another in New Jersey, remain open.

Feds buy park land

160615TOU-3_origInterior Secretary Sally Jewell announced her department’s intent to help out the state of Wyoming by purchasing 640 acres of inholdings within Grand Teton National Park for $46 million. Jewell made the declaration in Jackson while attending the Western Governors’ Association conference. Wyoming has owned the property since statehood.

The agreement is contingent upon the feds forking over $23 million from the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which holds revenue generated by offshore oil and gas royalties. President Obama’s 2017 budget has not yet been approved by Congress, however. The remainder of the purchase price is expected to be covered by private fundraising.

The deal is good only until the end of the year, Jewell warned. If not completed, the land in Antelope Flats could be sold at auction and potentially subdivided for development. “You think about mansions or condos or parking lots—it doesn’t make any of us feel very good,” Jewell said.

Standing with Orlando

160615TOU-4_origGovernor Matt Mead ordered both the state flag and the U.S. flag to be flown at half-staff at all public buildings out of respect for the victims of the mass shooting on Sunday, June 12, 2016 in Orlando, Florida. The issue is pursuant to President Barack Obama’s proclamation ordered on Sunday. All flags should be flown at half-staff until sunset Thursday.

Displaying the flag at half-staff can be problematic for some looking to celebrate Flag Day on Tuesday. For those unable to adjust the height of a flag fixed on a pole, experts say normal display of the colors is not considered disrespectful. Some choose to affix a black ribbon to the top of their pole to signify a nation in mourning.

A vigil to remember the victims of the nation’s deadliest mass shooting took place Tuesday night on the town square. The event was organized via a pop-up Facebook page called “Love for Orlando.” Planet scribes Andrew Munz and Meg Daly launched the effort.

Disease creeps toward JH

160615TOU-5_origSeveral regional news outlets picked up on the slow creep of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) toward Jackson Hole. The disease affects deer, elk and some moose. It is usually fatal. There is a fear that it can be transmitted to humans but that has yet to be proven.

Recently, a dead doe deer was found to be carrying the disease in Star Valley Ranch. Earlier this spring, CWD turned up in two mule deer in the Cody area. Incidents of CWD now surround the valley. No wildlife in Jackson Hole has ever tested positive for CWD. PJH

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