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

Fire starter pleads guilty

A seasonal employee has pleaded guilty to starting a fire at the North Entrance of Yellowstone National Park, the park announced Wednesday.

Curtis J. Faustich, a seasonal concessionaire employee in the park, admitted to dropping a lit cigarette on the ground while sitting at a picnic table and igniting the fire, a park news release said. He has been sentenced to three months in jail.

Faustich appeared Tuesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Carman at the Yellowstone Justice Center in Mammoth Hot Springs. While in court, Faustich pleaded guilty to the charge.

In addition to jail time his sentence includes $5,000 in restitution and two years of unsupervised probation. He will be prohibited from entering Yellowstone for two years, the news release said.

— Rebecca Huntington

Paint for El Paso

Some Jackson Hole residents are reaching out to a grieving community in El Paso, Texas, following a mass shooting that killed 22 people there last weekend.

“Probably every community in the U.S. feels a sense of hopelessness,” Jackson resident Heather DeVine said. “Other than talking to their local government representatives, it’s also really important to show that you have some compassion and some empathy for communities that are suffering. Whether that’s due to gun violence, or hate crimes or even a natural disaster, it’s important for communities around the world and the country to come together and show solidarity.”

To make that show of empathy and solidarity from Jackson Hole, DeVine is inviting anyone who is interested to come to Powderhorn Park to paint wooden stars that will ultimately be sent, along with letters of support, to the El Paso community. Painting begins at 5 p.m. Wednesday.

— Allie Gross

Hoback water plan eyed

The newest attempt to find a solution for water-quality problems in Hoback has begun.

At its meeting Monday the Teton County Board of County Commissioners approved a memorandum of understanding with the Teton Conservation District “formalizing the roles, responsibilities, and obligations of each party,” according to a county staff report. Commissioners identified water quality, specifically in Hoback, as an area of focus for 2019-20 and asked the Conservation District to lead the charge in developing a new plan for the area, where public and private water sources have shown elevated levels of nitrates in drinking water for years.

Part of the memorandum allows the district to hire a facilitator for the process so that it can continue to be part of the steering committee working on the issue.

The district’s board approved a contract with Legacy Works Group, and the commissioners’ “yes” vote makes the deal official.

— Tom Hallberg

Canyon trees to be thinned

U.S. Forest Service contractors will start thinning out trees along a popular canyon running up the west slope of the Tetons.

The Caribou-Targhee National Forest has announced a start date of Aug. 19 for the Teton Canyon Hazardous Fuels Reduction Project. The project is intended to create a buffer along the forest boundary near Teton Creek, with the goal of keeping wildfires in the forest and away from private residences.

— Mike Koshmrl

Preservation stay granted

In one of Jackson’s oldest and best preserved neighborhoods, every building is precious.

That’s how Katherine Wonson, chairwoman of the Teton County Historic Preservation Board, explained the board’s decision to stall the demolition of a home on East Pearl Avenue, a street that begot the broader East Jackson area and that remains remarkably untouched by modern development.

Elected officials agreed to delay a demolition permit for the site by 90 days.

That grace period buys time for preservationists to either make a deal with the property owner to keep the building where it stands or arrange to move it elsewhere.

— Cody Cottier


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