SVI Media is a part of the Wyoming News Exchange. These stories come courtesy of the WNE.
Sheridan studies naming park for Wallop
SHERIDAN (WNE) — Sheridan City Council is scheduled to consider a resolution that would rename North Park to Malcolm Wallop Park, in honor of the late Wyoming senator.
Kim Love, a Sheridan businessman, and Kendall Hartman, who worked on Wallop’s staff while he was in Congress, presented the proposal to council during a study session last week and explained the renaming would commemorate Wallop for legislation he championed that provided a major boost to community development efforts in Sheridan.
“Some of us feel as though the community of Sheridan owes a deep debt of gratitude to Senator Wallop for a very specific action he took back in the 1970s,” Love said.
In 1977, Congress passed the Surface Mining Control Act, which tightened regulations on coal mining considerably. Recognizing that the act would harm many of his constituents, Wallop — who lived in the Sheridan area and served as one of Wyoming’s senators from 1977 until 1995 — introduced an amendment that required the federal government to compensate property owners who would not be allowed to mine under the new rules.
Whitney Benefits became on of the major beneficiaries of Wallop’s amendment.
The federal government compensated the organization with $65 million. With that funding boost, Whitney’s value skyrocketed from about $7 million to more than $70 million, Love said.
And Whitney poured those resources into the community.
“I would suggest the things that (money) has enabled Whitney to do over the last couple of decades may have had a larger impact on the way Sheridan looks today than anything else,” Love said.
Cody man arrested on child porn charge
CODY (WNE) — A Cody man is charged with distributing and possessing child pornography, a felony carrying a minimum five year prison sentence.
Carl Watts, 35, was documented possessing and posting on social media site Tumblr six different photos that constitute as blatant child pornography.
When talking to the special agent with the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation in October 2018, Watts, “began to cry” recalling re-posting images of child pornography about 50 times in the past, the agent said.
Watts was also allegedly found with 289 images related to the sexual exploitation of children on his Dell desktop computer. From this batch 15 identified child victims of sexual exploitation were found.
Among the group of photos he uploaded one contained an identified child victim, while the other children were unknown. The children in these photos were aged 5-12-years old.
An agent said of the photos submitted, Watts also uploaded five that would be considered child erotica. He did not receive payment for uploading any of the photos, he said.
In conversation with Watts, he admitted to “re-blogging” porn of underage girls performing sexual acts with bananas.
Watts was arrested July 13 and booked into the Park County Detention Center, where he still remains.
After appearing in circuit court Waters set his bond at $25,000 cash-only. Watts could receive up to 12 years in prison and $10,000 for his alleged crimes.
He will return to court Aug. 28 for a preliminary hearing.
Yellowstone fire danger rises to ‘high’
POWELL (WNE) — The fire danger level for Yellowstone National Park is now considered high.
There are no fire restrictions currently in place in the park. Campfires are only permitted within established fire rings in campgrounds and some backcountry campsites, the National Park Service said. All campfires must be cold to the touch before abandoning.
On Sunday, a new lightning-caused wildland fire was detected approximately 1 mile west of Dunraven Pass. The 0.1-acre Carnelian Fire is smoldering in an area that last burned in 1988, according to a Monday news release from the National Park Service.
The Park Service said crews are monitoring the fire, and smoke may be visible from the park road. There are no area, campsite, or trail closures at this time.
“The Greater Yellowstone area is a fire-adapted ecosystem,” the Park Service said. “Fire plays an important role in maintaining the health of this area’s wildlife habitat and vegetation.”
Wyoming this Weekend, Aug. 23-25
By The Wyoming News Exchange
A celebration of aviation at the state’s only spaceport tops the list of events going on around Wyoming this weekend.
Green River’s annual Spaceport Days, featuring an outdoor movie screening, fly-in, pancake breakfast and more, will be held Friday and Saturday at the Greater Green River Intergalactic Spaceport, about five miles south of Green River.
Events begin Friday night with the outdoor screening of a “Star Wars” movie, followed Saturday by the arrival of airplanes and pilots for the pancake breakfast. Attendees will be able to look at the various planes brought to the event, as well as examine a UH-60 “Blackhawk” helicopter and an air rescue helicopter. A “Husky” airplane built by Aviat in Afton will also perform aerial stunts.
Other events scheduled for the weekend include:
The Cody Country Car Show on Friday and Saturday;
The Jurassic Classic Mountain Bike Festival in Lander through the weekend;
Firearms training by Silver Spur Outfitters in Encampment on Saturday and Sunday;
A “Downtown Riverton Historic Tour” on Saturday;
The “Rendezvous City Beef Round-Up: Taste of the West” in Riverton on Saturday, and
Casper’s “5150 Festival” on Saturday.
For more information on these and other events, please visit the Wyoming Tourism Division’s website at TravelWyoming.com.