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Town Crier: Tuesday's Highlights

Tuesday support meetings

Alcoholics Anonymous: 6:30 a.m., 917 N. Beech; 8:30 a.m., 500 S. Wolcott; 10 a.m., 328 E. A; noon, 500 S. Wolcott; 2 p.m., 917 N. Beech; 5:30 p.m., 1124 Elma, Imitate the Image Church; 5:30 p.m., 328 E. A; 7 p.m., 500 S. Wolcott, closed; 7 p.m., 520 CY; 8 p.m., 328-1/2 E. A; 8 p.m., 328 E. A; 8 p.m., 917 N. Beech. Douglas: 7:30 p.m., 628 E. Richards (upstairs in back). Unless otherwise noted, all meetings are open. Casper info: 266-9578; Douglas info: (307) 351-1688.

Narcotics Anonymous: Noon, 500 S. Wolcott, 12-24 Club; 7 p.m., 15th and Melrose, at the church. Web site:

Final orientation Tuesday

The next orientation sessions for those seeking a High School Equivalency will be at 9 a.m., 1 p.m., or 6 p.m., on Tuesday at the Adult Learning Center at Casper College. Those wishing to attend one of the three orientations are asked to RSVP at 268-2230 or

“The orientation is required for all students who want to work on earning their High School Equivalency Certification through our program,” said Chelse DePaolo-Lara, director. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics earnings by educational attainment for 2016, people who have not graduated from high school earn on average $504 a week compared to $692 for those who have graduated from high school. That means a person who has graduated will earn $9,776 more per year than someone who hasn’t.

“All of our services are free and open to the public. Our High School Equivalency Preparation includes social studies, science, language arts, reading, writing, and math,” DePaolo-Lara noted. The Test of Adult Basic Education is given to determine what areas of study an individual needs to concentrate on.

In addition to High School Equivalency Preparation, the ALC also provides English as a Second Language classes. All students interested in more education receive help finding a college and/or career pathway.

Free tax assistance has new location

The Natrona County VITA Program, a United Way of Natrona County initiative, runs Tuesday through Saturday through April 12, 2018. The hours are Tuesday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The service is closed Sunday and Monday. The new location is 350 Big Horn in Casper, located off of Poplar Street close to I-25. This is a first come, first serve program, no appointments will be scheduled. Individuals must bring their social security card, photo identification and the appropriate paperwork with them.

For a complete listing of required paperwork, please visit the website listed below. The initiative is supported by funding from the Wyoming Free Tax Service and United Way of Natrona County.

If you have any questions, please call (307) 337-7411 during hours of operation or visit the website, or on Facebook.

Winter clearance at Methodist thrift

The winter clearance sale has begun at the Methodist Thrift Shop, 611 West Collins. The sale has been changed this year to run only to March 21. All merchandise is half price now with prices going down. Come shop early while the selection is good.

Store hours are Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Donations of clean clothing and other merchandise is welcome during store hours.

The store will be closed March 22 to 25 for cleaning and restocking. Monday, March 26, the shop will reopen with all new spring merchandise.

The thrift shop is staffed with volunteers of the First United Methodist Church, with proceeds going to Holy Cross and Interfaith. Your support helps us to support these entities which we appreciate.

For more information, call 234-6611.

Parkinson’s support new location

The Parkinson’s Support Group will be meeting starting March 13 at the new, second facility for Rocky Mountain Therapy, 120 S. Forest. This support group is open to anyone with Parkinson’s or caring for someone with Parkinson’s. The guest speaker for the March 13 meeting will be Heather Meier, Project Out Program at Wyoming Independent Living. She will be discussing ways to keep individuals with a debilitating condition to continue living at home. Meetings will be held on March 13, May 8 and June 12 at 5:30 p.m. To RSVP or with questions, call 577-5204 and ask for Jerri.

Dem men meet

Please join the Democratic Men’s Group at 5:30 p.m., at the Parkway Plaza in the Gourmet Room (enter by coffee shop). Debbie Bovee (HD 36) D-Natrona will talk about running for office and give a legislative update. Attendees can order from the menu. For more information, call Steve Sword at 258-4539.

Evening in the

Word begins

Evening in the Word women’s bible study will dive into the updated Discerning the Voice of God by Priscilla Shirer at 6:30 p.m., in room 1321 at Highland Park Community Church. Learn to recognize God’s character, language, tone of voice and understand the role of the Holy Spirit. Books are $15. Classes involve whole group videos and small group discussion for seven sessions. Contact Gwen at 262.0719 for questions. Bring your bibles and join us.

Never Too Old

Book Club

A book discussion of young adult novel “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas will be held at 6:30 p.m., at Crescent Moon Coffee Stop. The Never Too Old Book Club, sponsored by the Natrona County Library, discusses young adult literature with adult appeal. The group is open to both teens and adults, with parent-teen pairs especially encouraged. Pick up your free copy of “The Hate U Give” at the Natrona County Library’s second floor service desk. Call 577.READ x101 for more information.

Air-service bill passes; sent to Mead for signature

RIVERTON —The Wyoming Legislature has approved a statewide air service improvement bill that includes funding from the Legislative Stabilization Reserve Account, or “rainy day” fund.

The $15 million allocation was a point of contention during debate in both the Senate and the House of Representatives.

The money will pay for implementation of a commercial air service improvement plan developed by the task force SF 40 creates.

Based upon the task force recommendations, the Wyoming Aeronautics Commission can enter into competitive bidding for a statewide commercial air service contract to replace the smaller, individual contracts counties and cities, including Riverton, negotiate annually with commercial airlines.

Regional competition

Some legislators who argued against the $15 million allocation said the money shouldn’t be spent until the SF 40 task force is able to complete its study.

On Thursday, Wyoming Rep. Scott Clem, R-Gillette, said the task force might find that the state doesn’t need as many airports as it currently contains.

He alluded to Fremont County in particular, referring to the “center part of the state” where there are “two towns that are really close together.”

Maybe, Clem suggested, the study will determine a commercial airport in Fremont County is “counterproductive” and only serves to “take away business” from the airport in Casper.

“Let’s devise a plan and follow it ... once we figure out (which) airports we’re going to have,” he said. “We don’t need the $15 million yet.”

Wyoming Rep. Chuck Gray, R-Casper, cautioned that SF 40 was “drawing different regions of the state against each other.”

“We’ve seen where this is kind of going,” he said. “I really think if this moves forward you’re going to see that in the way it’s implemented; it’s just going to continue.”

By contrast, Wyoming Rep. Tom Walters, R-Casper, countered that the program SF 40 envisions “brings the state together.”

Rainy day

Other representatives took issue with the idea of taking so much money out of the LSRA for air service improvements while the state contends with a “budget challenge situation.”

“We’re cutting education in our budget, we’re cutting core functions—things that were constitutionally mandated,” Wyoming Rep. Bo Biteman, R-Ranchester, said during discussion Tuesday. “We’re cutting those because we don’t have the money, yet we’re spending $15 million out of our rainy day emergency fund to subsidize air service. ... We can’t afford this.”

Wyoming Rep. Nathan Winters, R-Thermopolis, whose house district covers part of Fremont County, agreed that the $15 million should not be allocated at this time. He said the funding allotment would weaken the state’s negotiating power when developing a statewide contract for commercial air service.

“I don’t like signaling our intention in the midst of the bargaining process,” he said.

Some lawmakers said it’s common to put projects out to bid before providing the money for the work. But Wyoming Rep. Lloyd Larsen, R-Lander, and Wyoming Rep. David Miller, R-Riverton, both argued that it isn’t practical to request proposals from airlines without a funding allocation.

“If you want a business-class lesson on how not to negotiate, this is it: Take the money away,” Miller said. “This is no way to negotiate.”

On Friday, Wyoming Sen. Michael Von Flatern, R-Gillette, said five airlines already have expressed interest in the statewide commercial air service contract. Other senators said those airlines won’t be interested in submitting proposals if the funding allocation isn’t in place.

In brief

Man dies by suicide outside Sheridan police department

A 65-year-old man died by suicide Saturday outside the Sheridan Police Department, authorities announced Monday.

Mark Underhill called 911 from a parking lot next to the police station around 7 a.m. He said he had a gun and intended to shoot himself.

When police arrived shortly after, officers told him to put the gun down. Underhill then shot himself and died immediately.

‘In God We Trust’ Bill Dies In Wyoming Senate

CHEYENNE — A bill that would allow for displaying “In God We Trust” placards in Wyoming public school classrooms and state government buildings has died in the state Legislature.

KGAB-AM reports that House Bill 133 died when the Senate failed to vote on it. The bill had passed the House earlier.

Under the bill sponsored by Republican Rep. Cheri Steinmetz, of Lingle, placards donated by people would have been allowed to be displayed prominently in the state Capitol, the library and lobby of public schools and other state buildings.

Steinmetz had said that the “In God We Trust” phrase is the nation’s motto and is displayed at a lot of federal buildings as well as on U.S. currency.

Taiwanese diplomat sees opportunity in Wyoming

CHEYENNE — A Taiwanese diplomat had a good time last week in Cheyenne.

Wyoming lawmakers voted Wednesday and Thursday to send a bill providing funds to Gov. Matt Mead’s desk for a trade representative to Taiwan. And later that day, the diplomat received an enthusiastic reception from Cheyenne Mayor Marian Orr. The two discussed ways to better connect the Capital City to Taiwanese sister city, Taichung.

In an interview Thursday morning, Vincent Yao, director general of the Taipei Office of Cultural and Economic Affairs in Seattle, said he expected both meetings would pay dividends in trade and other partnerships down the road.

Taiwan was the 13th-largest buyer of Wyoming products last year, according to U.S. Census Bureau data, and the ninth-largest seller. Yao said he hopes to improve both rankings.

Brief contributed by the Wyoming News Exchange.