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 story and more go online to JHNewsAndGuide.com.
Six-lion family spotted
An adult lioness with a single kitten stepped into the frame of Jackson Hole resident Tiffany Smith’s Nest home security camera.
Then a second kitten, then a third — still normal. The fourth youngster of the clan that stepped into the frame was a relative rarity. And the fifth? That made the litter extraordinarily large for a mountain lion, experts say.
“It’s extremely rare,” Wyoming Game and Fish Department large carnivore supervisor Dan Thompson said. “And it’s a pretty amazing thing to see.”
To Thompson’s recollection five-kitten litters are hard to come by in Wyoming. A six-cougar family was once spotted in the southwestern part of the state, and another had been previously verified in Jackson Hole. The third such six-cat clan was documented just this week roaming through large-lot residential areas west of Jackson.
Wyoming Game and Fish isn’t taking any type of action with the lion family unless it sticks tight to residential areas, spokesman Mark Gocke said.
Hospital touts lifestyle medicine
For decades doctors have recommended healthy lifestyle choices as a way to fight diseases. Now, St. John’s Health has an entire program dedicated to improving patients’ lives through wellness programming.
Dubbed “lifestyle medicine,” the hospital will begin offering wellness coaching and other tools to help patients have better outcomes without the use of medication or invasive procedures. Many offerings are tools St. John’s already provides, but with a more tailored focus.
Starting March 2, St. John’s will offer several modalities for patients, including one-on-one wellness coaching, tobacco cessation counseling, nutrition consultations and diabetes education. The program focuses on six pillars of patient health: nutrition, sleep, relationships, exercise, stress management and avoiding risky substances.
“We investigated cutting edge programs around the nation,” Wellness Department Director Julia Heemstra told the hospital board. “Lifestyle medicine is the most cutting edge.”
Parishoners protest street plan
One of the most controversial parts of a luxury condo development downtown turned out to be a 3-foot narrowing of the road it shares with St. John’s Episcopal Church.
Dozens of parishioners gathered Feb. 18 at Town Hall out of concern that the project on Glenwood Street would compromise the safety of pedestrians who frequent the church campus.
But elected officials, on the advice of the town’s experts in street design, unanimously approved the narrowing.
“I don’t think there’s a transportation engineer in the country who’s going to tell you a wider street is safer for pedestrians,” Planning Director Paul Anthony said.
Narrow streets motivate drivers to slow down, rather than force speeding cars into cramped spaces. They also shorten the distance pedestrians must travel to cross the street.
The issue arose during the public review process for a 28-unit condo project at the corner of Glenwood and Gill Avenue, It calls for 18 short-term rental units, six market-rate residential units and five workforce housing units.
Along with the street narrowing, the Town Council approved the development plan as a whole.