Week in Review

The shack at the weigh station on Highway 22 near the Wyoming/Idaho state line sustained collateral damage in a two-vehicle crash Sunday evening. Neither driver was seriously injured in what the Wyoming Highway Patrol described as a “driver’s side to driver’s side head-on collision,” but the weigh station shack wasn’t so lucky.

This is a selection of the stories printed within the past week in the News&Guide’s sister publication, the Jackson Hole Daily. For full versions of each of these stories and more go to JHNewsAndGuide.com.

UW aid, tuition to rise

The University of Wyoming announced July 18 that its board of trustees had approved new financial aid awards for the 2020-21 school year, though students overall will see higher costs.

The highest awards are increases to existing ones: In-state students with a high school GPA of at least 3.96 and an ACT score over 32 will receive $6,500. Many of those students already qualify for the state’s Hathaway Scholarship Program, so the money will be on top of what they receive from that award. The new $6,500 awards will cover students who meet the requirements but are not selected for the Trustees Scholars Award program, which covers tuition, room and board for the top 100 Wyoming students.

In-state students with a GPAs of 3.88 and ACT scores over 28 will be given $3,500, a significant bump from the $1,000 they have received in the past. Two new awards will be given to those with ACT scores of about 25 and GPAs of 3.69 ($1,500) and with ACT scores of about 22 and GPAs of 3.26 ($500).

Trustees also approved $1 million in need-based scholarships meant to cover post-Hathaway costs for Wyoming students whose families cannot pay the difference.

The new financial aid offerings come at the same time the university trustees approved raising tuition in the 2020-21 school year. For in-state students the hike is modest, just $6 per credit hour, from $139 to $145. Out-of-state students will see a much higher bump, from $558 to $603 per credit hour, about 8%.

—Tom Hallberg

Poacher gets stiff penalty

A Star Valley man won’t be allowed to legally hunt until he’s twice his current age after being caught shooting four buck mule deer, lopping off their antlers and leaving the animals’ carcasses to waste.

Thayne resident Stetson Long, who was 19 at the time of the crime last November, was sentenced to six months of jail time at the Lincoln County Detention Center after pleading guilty last week. He was ordered to pay the Wyoming Game and Fish Department $16,000 in restitution, was stripped of his hunting privileges for 20 years and lost his fishing privileges for 10 years.

Lincoln County Attorney Spencer Allred called Long’s folly one of the “most egregious” poaching cases in Wyoming history.

Although sentenced to six months in jail last Friday, Long is being allowed to work a job in the oil and gas industry in order to save money to pay his restitution. He’ll have to report to jail on Dec. 3, Allred said.

—Mike Koshmrl

History of Hole surveyed

An online survey offers the chance to weigh in on what is most essential to the character of Teton County and how to preserve the community’s heritage.

The survey is available through Aug. 14 and seeks public input on revamping weak and outdated regulations for Town Square.

For information and a link to the Historic Preservation and Town Square Zoning survey, go to JacksonTetonPlan.com.

— Cody Cottier

Coyote whacking bill fails

An effort to criminalize running down and running over coyotes with snowmobiles was shot down last week by a legislative committee.

Rep. Mike Yin, of Teton County, unsuccessfully sought to prohibit killing, injuring or torturing predatory animals using snowmobiles last legislative session. He tried again last week to bring the bill to an interim committee in Thermopolis, but the lawmakers declined with scant support.

Sen. Glenn Moniz, of Albany County, scolded bill proponents for grandstanding “one idiot who put a video on YouTube.”

“I think in the process of trying to fight this, we need to tell the whole story,” Moniz told gathering members of the Travel, Recreation, Wildlife and Cultural Resources Committee. “Coyotes are considered a predator. ... We have a predator board that regulates predators in the state of Wyoming.”

Because of the absence of regulations, people kill coyotes with tactics typically illegal for other species, such as using aircraft, electronic calls, and, occasionally, running them over with snowmobiles. Graphic videos Lisa Robertson and others have posted online of so-called “coyote whacking” have gone viral, drawing the ire of hunters and nonhunters disgusted by a brutal tactic that violate fair-chase ethics.

Yin said the bill failing twice, he’s “unfortunately” likely going to drop the effort.

“I think this is something that reflects poorly on the state of Wyoming,” Yin said.

—Mike Koshmrl

 

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