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Pinedale Online is Pinedale, Wyoming on the web. We give our viewers, locals and out-of-area visitors, a "slice of life" snapshot window into our world view of what is happening in Pinedale. Visit us for current local news on what is happening, photos of local events, links to area businesses and services and more. We are long-time area residents and are happy to answer questions if you are planning a visit to our area. Much of our information is by community contribution.
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Area II Winter Games
The Area II Winter Games of the 2018 Wyoming Special Olympics was held Friday, January 19 at the White Pine ski area.
Chandler and Ian led the assembled competitors in a rousing recitation of the Athlete Oath: "Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt."
When the cheering ended, approximately 100 athletes dashed off to the first sport on their list. Sports included: Giant Slalom, Slalom, Snowshoe racing, Nordic racing and Snowboarding.
Jase and Jesse were tuning skis for the athletes and they said the athletes from Lander had been coming over every week to train. They had two requests. Make them fast and they wanted the same skis they had every week. Turns out, they had kept a log of the ski numbers and so each athlete was happy.
A Uinta County Sheriff Office employee was helping with medals and I learned law enforcement has the reputation as being a backbone of the Special Olympics. I didn't know that...but recalled three years ago that Deputy Lance Gehlausen had walked with athletes in those opening ceremonies.
Up on the ski hill Sublette County Sheriff KC Lehr and Casey Manning were recording times of the athletes as they ran thru the slalom gates. I recognized Zac Knudsen from three years ago when I last covered this event and met him as he crossed the finish line. "It felt wonderful," he exclaimed when I asked him how his run went.
Doc Johnston and I fought over the same door as I tried to go in the lodge and he tried to come out. "This is by far my favorite event of the year," he said. "I wouldn't miss it for anything."
I went in the lower level of the lodge and Slalom athlete Jax was sitting there eating a peanut butter and strawberry sandwich on a hotdog bun. "I'm doing a frozen food review," he cracked. "It got cold in my pocket."
I ran into old friend and Multi-Olympian Amy Linn, (who prefers to be called "Turbo" when she is on the track) and we caught up with each other. I learned Amy has been competing in athletics for about 25 years and in the Special Olympics for 10 years. A while later I took a photo of her as she took off on her Nordic skis for a 1500 meter race. Her closest competitor was Robbie and he beat her off the start and finished just ahead of her at the finish for the Gold, but Amy was pleased with her Silver medal.
I found White Pine owner Alan Blackburn in the lodge and he was pleased with the event. "I'm delighted that this has become an annual event. Our staff and the Olympians enjoy this day and we enjoy having them here."
As I was writing this story I sent a text to area organizer Gail Hamner. "We are looking forward to going to Jackson for the State Championships in two weeks. It is rewarding being involved in the Special Olympics. If anyone would like to be involved, contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org"
Click on this link for more pictures: Wyoming Special Olympics 2018
Terry Allen: email@example.com
www.specialolympicswy.org Wyoming Special Olympics
Critical Access Hospital to be called Sublette County Medical Center (posted 1/22/18)
Wolf News Roundup 1/17/2018 (posted 1/17/18)
The Sublette Examiner posted an article saying all charges have been dropped against four people arrested on August 25, 2017 for allegedly being involved in a large-scale marijuana growing operation at ‘Wyomatoes’ greenhouses near Big Piney, Wyoming. On Jan. 5, Sublette County Attorney Clay Kainer submitted four requests to dismiss all felony and misdemeanor charges against the defendants. No explanation has been given for why the charges were dropped. Possession, sale, trafficking, and cultivation of marijuana are illegal in Wyoming. Possession of under three ounces of cannabis is a misdemeanor that can be punished with up to a year in jail and a $1000 fine; possession of over three ounces is a felony in Wyoming. Click on this link to read the full story: All pot bust charges are dismissed By Joy Ufford, Sublette Examiner, January 16, 2018.
Visitation to Grand Teton Park sets another record (posted 1/16/18)
Large dogs encountered in remote areas are protecting sheep herds, do not take them
Sweetwater County Sheriff's Office
The Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office issued an updated advisory Tuesday (Jan. 16) concerning working sheep dogs.
Sheriff Mike Lowell said one male Great Pyrenees, a large breed favored by sheepherders, was recently picked up in the Jamestown area west of Green River and another north of Rock Springs in the vicinity of the Stassinos Ranch Road and brought to city animal shelters by well-meaning people who believed they had been abandoned.
As is often the case, these particular dogs were not abandoned or dumped, however; but were working sheep dogs.
County Animal Control Officer Chris Thomas explained the situation: "People pick these dogs up and bring them in with the best of intentions, but once these dogs are removed from their working environment and brought into town, they quickly lose their herding skills and their owners usually don’t want them back. It creates a serious problem."
Officials ask that people encountering large dogs in remote areas not pick them up or feed them, but note their location and notify the Sheriff’s Office. A County animal control officer can then go to the scene, assess the situation, and take appropriate action.
ACO Thomas is shown here with "Lou," a Great Pyrenees mistakenly thought to be abandoned last year and brought to the City Animal Shelter in Rock Springs. Sheriff Mike Lowell warned that such large breeds are often used as working sheep dogs; once they are brought into town, they lose their herding instincts and their sheepherder owners do not want them back. Lou was lucky; Rock Springs City Animal Shelter staff saw to it that he was neutered and received his shots and he was adopted out to a ranch family.
FWS eyes lynx delisting (posted 1/14/18)
Last time it didn’t freeze over was in 1981
It looks like this might be another rare year when the surface of Fremont Lake might not freeze over. We usually get several weeks of sub-zero weather during December and January that are cold enough to freeze over our area lakes, but so far that hasn’t happened this winter, much to the disappointment of ice fishermen. The last time Fremont Lake didn’t freeze over was in 1981. We know this because each year the Pinedale Boat Club has a barrel drop guess contest, putting a barrel out in the middle of the lake and then recording the exact time when the ice melts and it falls through. The one who guesses the closest day and time wins the $500 prize that year (must be a Boat Club member to participate). Those times can be found here: http://www.pinedaleonline.com/boatclub/
Pictured here are some photos by Dave Bell of the ice formations around the edge of Fremont Lake. Click here to see more of Dave’s photos of the ice formations: Newly Formed Ice on Fremont Lake
Groups ask court to reinstate grizzly protections (posted 1/10/18)
The Wyoming Senior Games will be held in Pinedale Thursday through Saturday, February 8-10th. Anyone over the age of 50 is invited to participate. Events include Alpine skiing, Slalom and Giant Slalom, snowshoe, Nordic skiing – Classic and Freestyle, hockey, pickleball, swim meet, racquetball, speed skating, indoor walking, a climbing competition and more.
- Any person turning 50 years of age ON OR BEFORE December 31, 2017 is eligible to participate.
- Registration fee is $50. Register online at https://wyoming.nsga.com/registration
-To request a paper registration form by mail, contact Amber Anderson at 307-367-2832 ext. 6248.
For more information visit www.wyseniorolympics.com.
WGFD talks mule deer management (posted 1/10/18)
Polaris® to host official ‘RANGER Country USA’ celebration and donate RANGER® vehicles
MINNEAPOLIS (Jan. 8, 2018) – After three weeks of voting, Polaris® will award Pinedale, Wyoming, with the title of "RANGER Country™ USA." Located in west-central Wyoming, the town secured the most votes to win the title. To commemorate the RANGER-lifestyle embodied by Pinedale, Polaris will host a RANGER Country USA party which will include an official naming ceremony, donation of three Polaris RANGER® vehicles to deserving organizations and a special guest appearance. Polaris also will award the other four towns that participated in the campaign by donating three Polaris RANGER vehicles to local organizations.
This past fall, Polaris rolled its one-millionth RANGER utility side-by-side vehicle off the assembly line at its manufacturing facility in its Huntsville, Alabama. To commemorate this significant milestone, Polaris began a search for "RANGER Country USA" with country music star Jake Owen. The national campaign asked consumers to visit rangercountryusa.com and vote for the town they believed was most-deserving. Video profiles devoted to each town, showcasing the beauty of the land and the authenticity of the people were featured on the site. Corning, Arkansas; Darlington, Wisconsin; Spring Creek, Nevada; and Stephenville, Texas were among the four other towns vying for the title.
"All five of these towns embody the essence and hard-working values of RANGER and represent the RANGER country lifestyle," said Kyle Duea, Marketing Vice President of Off-Road Vehicles. "In the eyes of Americans across the nation, Pinedale stood out as the town most deserving of the title ‘RANGER Country USA’ for helping us achieve our one-millionth milestone."
Everyone who casted a vote as a part of the "RANGER Country USA" campaign was automatically entered for the chance to win an all-new 2018 Polaris RANGER XP 1000.
"I’ve said it from the beginning, as a guy from a small-town, these are my people and I could not be prouder to be a part of an initiative recognizing hard-working Americans across the nation," said Owen. "All said and done, Pinedale won the title and I cannot wait to see what Polaris has in store for the celebration!"
Touted as "all the civilization you need," Pinedale has a rich "mountain man" heritage, celebrated every July at the Green River Rendezvous, where the history of early American fur traders, trappers, and Native Americans is relived. With a population of 1,895, the town serves as a gateway to Wyoming’s famed Jackson Hole area, where residents and tourist alike enjoy the breathtaking scenery, hunting, skiing and wildlife viewing that the three surrounding mountain ranges provide.
Since its introduction in 1998, Polaris RANGER has continuously set the standard for utility side-by-side vehicles with its industry-leading capabilities. With over one-hundred owner-inspired improvements, the all-new 2018 RANGER XP 1000 represents the culmination of nearly two decades of innovation.
For more information about Polaris and "RANGER Country USA", visit Polaris.com, and follow on Facebook.com/PolarisRANGERATV, on Twitter @PolarisORV and @polarisorv on Instagram. To find out more and read the official rules, visit rangercountryusa.com.
Polaris Industries Inc. (NYSE: PII) is a global powersports leader that has been fueling the passion of riders, workers and outdoor enthusiasts for more than 60 years. With annual 2016 sales of $4.5 billion, Polaris’ innovative, high-quality product line-up includes the RANGER®, RZR® and Polaris GENERAL™ side-by-side off-road vehicles; the Sportsman® and Polaris ACE® all-terrain off-road vehicles; Indian Motorcycle® midsize and heavyweight motorcycles; Slingshot® moto-roadsters; and Polaris RMK®, INDY®, Switchback® and RUSH® snowmobiles. Polaris enhances the riding experience with parts, garments and accessories, along with a growing aftermarket portfolio, including Transamerican Auto Parts. Polaris’ presence in adjacent markets globally include military and commercial off-road vehicles, quadricycles, and electric vehicles. Proudly headquartered in Minnesota, Polaris serves more than 100 countries across the globe. Visit www.polaris.com for more information.
Polaris Ranger Country USA video YouTube
The Sublette County Rural Health Care District (SCRHCD) Board of Trustees held a Special Meeting on Friday, January 5th in the Lovatt Room of the Pinedale Library to discuss the Critical Access Hospital (CAH). Approximately 25 members of the public attended.
Three topics were on the agenda for discussion and vote, and the meeting was limited to these three topics:
1. Deciding which site to purchase for the hospital
2. Deciding whether or not to include a clinic in the hospital construction
3. Deciding whether or not to include an ambulance building in the hospital construction
The Board considered three possible site locations. After evaluating merits of each site, the Board voted purchase the Bloomfield property as the location for the new hospital. The possible location in the Redstone subdivision south of the Sublette County Ice Arena was deemed less than optimal because of nearby residences and noise and traffic concerns. The other property being considered was a large vacant lot west of High Country Suites, north of US 191 on the west end of Pinedale. The Bloomfield location was approved by a vote of 4-1.
The Board also voted unanimously to approve moving the Pinedale Medical Clinic to the new hospital location. There was universal support for this plan, since without it, the medical staff would be located on opposite sides of Pinedale, making it difficult for medical personnel and patients to quickly travel between the Clinic and the Hospital. This was approved by a vote of 5 to 0.
The third discussion and decision topic was what to do about the Pinedale Ambulance barn. Both the clinic and adjacent ambulance barn buildings are owned by Sublette County and leased to the SCRHCD. It was decided that it would be preferred to have the ambulance services at the new hospital site location. The Board wanted the hospital designers to try to incorporate the ambulance barn logistics when designing the building plan options. If it becomes too expensive to include with the hospital construction, that aspect would be postponed to a later time. The cost to add the ambulance barn building into the hospital complex would be about $1.7 million additional to the hospital price tag.
Cost to build the new hospital will be $25-$30 million plus an additional $25-$30 million in interest, for a total cost of about $60 million for taxpayers over the lifetime of the 40-year loan. This does not include annual operational or personnel costs.
The new hospital/clinic building will be owned and managed by the Sublette County Rural Health Care District and is expected to be built by 2020. It is not known at this time what will happen to the old Pinedale clinic and ambulance barn, which are owned by Sublette County and leased to the SCRHCD.
The Pinedale Clinic was built in 2008 and is ten years old. The Pinedale Ambulance barn opened in 2007. The Pinedale Medical Clinic emergency room is already considered out of date and would require something like $500,000 to update it to expected new regulations (also true for the Marbleton Clinic).
Next steps in the CAH process are to complete the Preliminary Architectural Report by January 31 and to get USDA Rural Development Loan approval.
Thank you to Bob Rule, KPIN 101.1FM Radio, and the Sublette County Rural Health Care District, for their contribution to this report.
Rural Health Care District board continues to move forward with Critical Access Hospital Pinedale Online, October 4, 2017
Pinedale Medical Clinic Construction Update Pinedale Online, May 28, 2007
Pinedale Clinic Opens Pinedale Online, January 7, 2008
Sneak preview inside the new Pinedale Medical Clinic Pinedale Online, October 3, 2007
Sand Draw Rescue Center and Ambulance Barn construction (now closed) Pinedale Online, June 1, 2007
Pinedale Ambulance Barn Pinedale Online, June 11, 2007.
WYG&F to hold open houses to discuss SW Wyoming fisheries