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NEWS BRIEFS for Monday, June 17

Detroit-bound Delta flight makes emergency landing at Cheyenne 

CHEYENNE (WNE) — Pilots of a Delta Airbus A321 made an emergency landing at Cheyenne Regional Airport on Friday afternoon, leaving airport staff scrambling to assist more than 200 passengers and crew members for at least nine hours.

Around 3 p.m., pilots detected rising temperatures in the cargo compartment of a plane headed from Salt Lake City to Detroit, and deployed the aircraft’s fire extinguishing bottles.

“As soon as they did that at 35,000 feet, they knew they needed to land at an airport quickly” said Cheyenne Regional Airport director Tim Barth. “And, we were it. I got a call around 3:15 p.m. as I was leaving. They said ‘we’ve got an inbound Delta Airbus that’s on fire,’ which got my attention.”

It’s still unclear whether fire was found on the plane, but passengers re-boarded to retrieve belongings after it was cleared by firefighters. No injuries were reported.

But passengers headed east were in good spirits following the incident.

“I’d never heard of Cheyenne before this,” said Mark Galsworth. “But we’re making the best of it, the only thing missing is maybe some beer.”

There was no beer, but Delta did give airport staff the company credit card to arrange catering through Little America.

“They’ve been taking care of us,” said Detroit resident Yolanda Screws.

“They even brought in two different meals. We can’t leave the terminal unless we want to book another flight or drive down to Denver,” Screws said.


West Nile virus detected in Laramie mosquitos

LARAMIE (WNE) — West Nile Virus was found in a mosquito sample in Laramie last week, the city announced in a news release Friday morning.

The sample was taken from traps within city limits monitored by city of Laramie Mosquito Control and will be sent to the Wyoming State Veterinary laboratory for confirmation.

Laramie is still considered at the lowest risk level, Level 1, for infections based on guidelines from the Center for Disease Control for a phased response to WNv surveillance data.

On Monday, the Wyoming Department of Health announced its first documented case of WNv in 2019, a person in Campbell County.

At this time, the city of Laramie’s news release said, no avian, equine or human cases have been reported in Albany County.

Tyler Shevling, Mosquito Control supervisor, told the Laramie Boomerang on Friday morning that while WNv has been found in the city in the past, it was not detected last year.

In order for the city to be elevated to a Level 2 infection risk, he said it would take “lots of vector mosquitoes being found in our surveillance traps.”

“We’re just not finding that,” he said. “There’s not a lot of vector mosquitoes out there, we just happened to have a pool of the ones we did find test positive.”

West Nile virus often shows no symptoms in infected people, according to the CDC. About one in five people will show symptoms, including fever, body aches, vomiting or a rash. About one in 150 people who become infected will develop serious, sometimes fatal, illness.


Weatherby celebrates opening of Sheridan plant

SHERIDAN (WNE) — Weatherby, Inc. officially opened the doors of its Sheridan manufacturing facility Thursday, kicking off an operation that officials believe will be a boon to both the local and state economies.

Last year, the iconic firearms manufacturer announced it would move from California, where it had operated since its founding in 1945, to Sheridan. Thursday, state and local officials celebrated the company’s move as a victory in Wyoming’s ongoing push to diversify its economy.

Weatherby’s opening also represents the continued growth of light manufacturing in Sheridan.

Weatherby President Adam Weatherby told the hundreds of attendees who showed up to witness the grand opening that while the company will draw on its, and Wyoming’s, traditions, the opening of the new facility represents a step forward.

“This isn’t about the past, it’s about the future,” Weatherby said.

Weatherby said 71 employees will staff approximately 30,000 square-foot manufacturing facility, many of whom were hired locally.  

Wyoming offered a stark contrast to California which, Weatherby said, is exactly what the company was looking for.

“We moved from the highest population state to the lowest population state; the highest taxes to the best taxes; the not-so-best gun laws to the absolute best gun laws,” Weatherby said.


Riverton High School to offer Arapaho language classes

RIVERTON (WNE) — Two classes on the Northern Arapaho language are coming to Riverton High School.

The Fremont County School District 25 Board of Trustees approved the course offerings in its final meeting in May.

Parents and students have been suggesting the idea for years, RHS principal John Griffith said in his request for the courses, but the opportunity never was realized. Now, however, Griffith said the school has a staff member with a desire to teach the language.

The proposed courses are Arapaho Language I and II.

The first class will acquaint students with the basic sounds that make up the Arapaho language. They also will learn the Arapaho alphabet, Griffith wrote in his request.

In Arapaho II, students will use the basic sounds of the Arapaho language to form Arapaho words and phrases in order to have conversations or tell short stories, Griffith wrote, noting the importance of the lessons to the preservation of Arapaho language and culture.

“(We are) trying to step forward in a very clear manner to honor that maintaining of the native language,” FCSD 25 superintendent Terry Snyder said during Griffith’s presentation.

“I’m really excited about this. I think it’ll be a great course for the kids and the native tribal members.”

He pointed to the difficulties the district has experienced when attempting to offer an Arapaho language course in the class, indicating that the “biggest challenge” has been finding the right instructor.

“We think we’re going to get it done this time,” Snyder said. “We’re really pleased (and) optimistic.”