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Towncrier
Town Crier: Thursday's Highlights

Thursday’s Highlights</&h1>

Thursday 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., 328 E. A; 7 p.m., 500 S. Wolcott, closed; 8 p.m., 328 E. A; 8 p.m., 4600 S. Poplar, closed; 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.

Al-Anon: 7 p.m., A New Beginning, 500 S. Wolcott, Ste. 200. Douglas: 5 p.m., Converse County Library, conference room 2nd floor, 300 E. Walnut.

Narcotics Anonymous: Noon, 500 S. Wolcott, 12-24 Club; 8 p.m., 4700 S. Poplar (church basement). Web site: http://www. urmrna.org.

Free Holocaust seminar begins

From Thursday through Saturday, Casper College and the Natrona County School District will present “Through the Eyes of Many: Experiences in the Holocaust,” a seminar for students and teachers at the high school level, college faculty and students and interested members of the public. Sessions begin at 9 a.m., 1 and 5 p.m., on Thursday and Friday. The seminar is made possible by a grant from the Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES). There is no charge to attend and all sessions will be held in the Wheeler Concert Hall in the Music Building at Casper College, with the exception of a Saturday lecture by Holocaust survivor Inge Auerbacher from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday in the Natrona County High School auditorium. Because of space limitations, tickets are required for that talk, but there is no charge. Tickets are available at eventbrite.com under local events or at the Casper College Fine Arts office. High school students are particularly encouraged to attend the morning session on Saturday, which will be led by Danny M. Cohen, a professor at Northwestern University and the founder of the Unsilence Project, an organization which exists to tell the the stories of marginalized people.

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, www.wyomingfreetax service.org or on Facebook.

PIC/Star Lane

parent teacher

Pathways Innovation Center and Star Lane Center will be having their Parent Teacher Conferences from 4 to 7 p.m., at the school.

Hockey helps

the hungry

Casper Amateur Hockey Club’s annual Hockey Helps the Hungry, supporting the Salvation Army, is at the Casper Ice Arena. The event starts at 5:30 p.m., with a little scrimmage between the 8U’s and some of Casper’s firefighters. Stick around to see who gets bragging rights as Casper Oilers High School teammates become rivals in the annual Kelly Walsh v. Natrona County battle on the ice. Admission to the event is a non-perishable food item or a monetary donation to the Salvation Army. Casper Hockey seniors will also be honored for their time and dedication to the club and the sport of hockey. For more information, contact Diane at (307) 315-0188.

Drumming at UU

The public is invited to attend the Unitarian Universalist Community of Casper services and other events at 1040 West 15th Street, just north of the CY Avenue Albertsons. “UU Casper” is a radically-welcoming, doctrine-free church celebrating open hearts and open minds. “UU’s” are people of many beliefs and backgrounds, but who are aligned in the desire to make a difference for the good. Services are Sundays at 10 a.m., and child care and a youth religious exploration program are available.

On Thursdays, March 8 and 22, Brenda Evans will lead a Meditation Drumming Circle from 7 to 8 p.m. No experience is necessary, and world instruments will be available to share during this free and free-flowing drumming circle.

Beekeepers meet

Thinking about become a beekeeper? Or you already have hives? Join others to learn about bees and meet area beekeepers. Natrona County Beekeepers Association will meet at 7 p.m., in the basement of the College Heights Baptist Church, 600 West 21st Street.

Corvette

owners gather

Individuals with access to a Corvette are invited to attend the monthly meeting of Central Wyoming Corvettes at 7 p.m., at the Holiday Inn, 721 Granite Peak Dr. To learn more, visit the web page and find us on Facebook.

Reserve for

Saturday Forum

“Wyoming’s Economy and its Future,” will be the topic presented by Cheyenne community leader, former legislator and Democratic candidate for governor, Mary Throne, JD, at the Saturday luncheon meeting of the Democratic Women’s Forum at the Ramkota Hotel.

Throne was born in Gillette and grew up on a ranch on Wild Horse Creek. She moved to Cheyenne to work as assistant attorney general from 1992-1999, and then was in private law practice.

Democratic Women’s Forum meetings are open to all persons interested in attending, regardless of gender. Buffet luncheon is served in the Ramkota’s dining room at noon for $15 including tax and gratuity. Reservations are expected by Thursday morning by calling Cherie at 265-6597.

Cemetery tree removal, free firewood

On Thursday, tree companies will begin removing dead and hazardous trees throughout Highland Cemetery. For the safety of all visitors, sections of the cemetery will be closed. The closures will be temporary and will change daily during the removal which is expected to take two weeks. A total of 46 trees are scheduled to be removed.

City crews will be hauling those trees suitable for firewood to a marked location near the cemetery main office and the wood will be available free of charge while supplies last. Those interested in collecting firewood must fill out a waiver before loading and hauling. Waivers will be available at the cemetery office (1860 East 12th Street) and at the Casper Service Center (1800 E K Street). The cemetery office will have extended hours of 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday from March 8 to March 23. The Casper Service Center is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

For questions or additional information, contact the cemetery office at 235-8317.


Towncrier
contributed
Town Crier: Helping Others

Helping Others</&h1>

Friends

establish fund

Friends and neighbors of Sharon Marocca, 70, who died in a fire last week at her St. Anthony Manor apartment, have established an account to help with final expenses. Contributions may be made to the Sharon Marocca Memorial Fund at any Hilltop National Bank location in Casper. They hope to raise enough to pay for an autopsy, cremation and burial expenses.

Joshua’s gets truck

A big rave to Jim See and Wyoming Transportation and Storage. They donated a truck from their fleet to help Joshua’s Storehouse do food rescue pick ups — a free truck with a lift. He heard of the need for a truck with a lift and generously offered the truck to Joshua’s Storehouse. Wyoming people are the best. Thank you Jim, for keeping it local.

Meals on

Wheels needs volunteer drivers

Meals On Wheels needs meal delivery volunteers. Volunteers must have a valid drivers licenses and proof of automobile insurance. After training, each volunteer delivers a meal route, once weekly Monday through Friday. Routes go out anytime between the hours of 10 a.m. and noon. Each route takes about an hour. A volunteer can easily deliver during a lunch hour. Meal deliveries are made to senior and home bound citizens who are unable to prepare meals or to grocery shop for themselves. If you are unable to commit to an assigned day each week, we are in need of substitute volunteer drivers. As a substitute driver, you fill in whenever you are available. If interested, call 265-8659 to make arrangements for training.

Free QPR for Christian community

“J.R.’s Hunt; for life” in partnership with Restoration Church and the Natrona County Suicide Prevention Task Force offers free QPR training for the Christian community at 2 p.m., on April 28, 2018, at 411 South Walsh in the main church sanctuary at Restoration. The agenda consists of a short word of introduction, the QPR training and a question answer segment after the training. Everyone can benefit from this training that is the industry’s leading approach to suicide prevention and is an excellent way for individuals and organizations to help empower their communities to effectively intervene on behalf of suicidal and in-crisis people. You will receive help with recognizing depression and other mental illnesses and life issues that may lead to suicidal ideations as well as practical hands on training. No registration is necessary for you to come learn how to save a life. Contact Jenny Hunter jlh35@ hotmail.com for information.

WMC needs specific volunteers

Do you enjoy helping others and have a warm personality? The Wyoming Medical Center is looking for volunteers to assist at the Information Desk on the Operating Room and Intensive Care Unit. Volunteer duties include tracking families of patients to provide surgical updates, and escorting patients and families. Volunteers are needed Monday through Friday for three or four-hour shifts, from 5 a.m. to 3 p.m. To become a volunteer at Wyoming Medical Center contact Lisa Johnson, volunteer coordinator, at 577-2794, or lnjohnson@wyomingmedicalcenter.org.

Thanks for theater support

Casper Theater Company would like to thank all the people who purchased series tickets for the new mini-series, Chez Tres Chic. The production sold out in mid-January, and the response has been overwhelming. Thanks to local bakeries and restaurants, Frosted Tops, Jacquie’s Bistro and Bar, The Flour Bin, Stacie’s Bakery and Sherrie’s Place for providing desserts for the five episodes. The third episode of the series will be this Sunday at 2 p.m. Thanks also to Greater Wyoming Federal Credit Union for the last three years of support. Without the support of Casper, the arts would not survive, and we are grateful every day that we have that wonderful support.

Donate to hospice boutique

Memory Lane Boutique, located in the admin building of Central Wyoming Hospice, is welcoming donations of gently used jewelry, art, housewares, purses, quilts, toys, games, etc. Items may be dropped off at 319 S. Wilson St., between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. All donation proceeds go towards supporting Central Wyoming Hospice and Transitions.

Store donates pet food

The Tractor Supply Co. store in Casper is donating 80 bags of pet food to feed dogs and cats in need of adoption. Tractor Supply presented the pet food donation to Casper Humane Society.

“More often than not, animal shelters and rescues depend greatly on food donations to support the pets they take in that await adoption,” said Rob Harmon, manager of the Casper Tractor Supply store. “Our goal at Tractor Supply is to do our part in helping adoption efforts in our community because we know that pets are more than just dogs and cats, they are family.”

In addition to the pet food donation, the Casper Tractor Supply hosts pet adoption events throughout the year. Visit TSCEventPartners.com or call the store at 234-6743 to learn more about working with Tractor Supply for pet adoption events.

Troopers seek HOF nominees

The Troopers Drum and Bugle Corps Hall of Fame (HOF) annually recognizes individuals for distinguished service, contributing to the health, growth, and advancement of the Troopers.

First presented in 2011, this is the most prestigious honor given by the Troopers Drum and Bugle Corps to its former members, administrators, instructional staff, volunteers, and significant supporters.

Anybody may nominate an individual for consideration to the HOF.

The Troopers Alumni Association Committee selects the final HOF honorees annually from the list of nominees, subject to review and final approval by the Troopers Board of Directors.

The Troopers will induct the new 2018 Troop HOF member(s) at a special ceremony in Casper on July 12 or 13, 2018.

The HOF has four categories of members: marching member with at least three competitive seasons, administration/staff, volunteer and special achievement.

The deadline for submission is April 30, 2018. Send nominations to troopersalumni@gmail.com. For more information or for questions, call Tony Monterastelli, 773-852-2234.

Gallery says thanks

ART321 would like to thank all artists, volunteers, donors and community members who have been involved in the great team effort behind the success of Art 321. If you have submitted work to a show, offered artwork for sale in our gift shop, donated operating funds, volunteered to help hang a gallery show, worked on a committee or at our front desk; if you have attended an opening reception or art walk or purchased a work of art, we want you to know that we are grateful for your support. We would not be receiving the Governors’ Arts Award if not for all of you who have contributed to make Art321 a success.

Quilts of Valor Wednesday

The Crossroads Quilters chapter of the Quilts of Valor Foundation will be meeting weekly from 1 to 4 p.m., on Wednesdays at the Central Wyoming Senior Services center, 1831 East 4th St., in the activity room. Quilters who are interested are welcome to attend. For more information contact Jan Whitney, 237-7709 or Linda Tackett, 253-0110.

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, www.wyomingfreetaxservice.org or on Facebook.

Suicide prevention training

Suicide prevention training, QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) conducted by a trainer from the Prevention Management Organization, will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., April 15 (register by April 10) and April 24 (register by April 19).at Christ Episcopal Church, 415 W. Cedar in Glenrock. The training is open to everyone age 16 and older. There is no charge but please register in advance by calling Leigh at 258-2524.

Joshua’s invites board applications

Joshua’s Storehouse seeks new board members. Those interested in setting policy and raising funds to provide nutritious food to families and individuals in need, as well as household furnishings at an affordable cost, are asked to submit a letter of interest to Board President Audrey Cotherman at Joshua’s Storehouse, 334 S. Wolcott St. Joshua’s prefers experienced board members or those willing to learn the fiscal and policy-making responsibilities of a board member.

Thanks to Probation & Parole

Joshua’s Storehouse would like to give a great big thank you to Jay from Probation and Parole for the wonderful food drive he ran. He was tremendously successful, collecting over 2,700 pounds of food along with some cash donations. A lot of local residents will benefit from all of his hard work.

Make-A-Wish Wyoming welcomes volunteers

Make-A-Wish Wyoming is looking for volunteers to support its mission of granting a wish to every Wyoming child with a life-threatening medical condition.

Volunteer wish granters are specially trained to work directly with children and their families to determine the child’s true wish and then help plan, create and fulfill that wish. The opportunity is flexible and allows volunteers to give time based on their own schedules. Help provide hope, strength and joy to children and families in your community when it’s needed most.

The organization is also looking for people who are interested in helping with community events designed to raise funds and awareness.

To learn more about these volunteer opportunities and others, or to refer a child to the program, call 307-234-9474, email mburton@wyoming.wish.org or visit wyoming.wish.org.

Fleece blanket project

The Fleece Blanket Project meets on the third Saturday of each month from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at First Christian Church, 520 CY Ave. Everyone is welcome to come for an hour or two, or for the entire time. The project continues on March 17, 2018.

As of Dec. 16, the group has made 674 blankets since we started on Jan. 30, 2016. The blankets are fringed and tied so we need people who can cut and people who can tie. If you haven’t tied a blanket before, we can show you how.

The blankets that are made are given to people in need of comfort and warmth. Blankets have been given to people who are homeless, to those who are struggling, and to people who need to know that someone cares about them. We also give blankets to organizations that provide services to those in need.

We can use donations of fleece as we use two yards of printed fleece and two yards of a solid color fleece per blanket. If you have any questions, please call First Christian Church at 234-8964 or email Debbie Mestas at debmestas@gmail.com.

Chorale board selected

The 2017-2018 Casper Children’s Chorale Board has been selected. Serving this year will be: Shawn Galles, president; Michelle Thompson, VP public relations; Caridee True, VP contributions; Caitlin Vondra, VP children’s projects; Melissa and Ryan Klinger, VP trip coordinators; Linda Fittje, publicity; Johnna Ward, secretary, and Laura Skiles, treasurer. These positions are volunteer and require a time commitment from each board member. We thank each of them for their service to our community and to the children and families of the Casper Children’s Chorale.

Become a ski patroller

Casper Mountain Ski Patrol is recruiting for candidate patrollers.

Individuals who enjoy skiing and boarding who would like to join the team of outdoor emergency care technicians are welcome to inquire.

For more information, time and place of the informational meeting, contact Mark Bower at 307-215-6075.

Disabled vets need volunteer drivers

The Disabled American Veterans need volunteer drivers to take veterans to their medical appointment at the VA hospital in Cheyenne. The volunteer driver will transport them in a VA vehicle. If you are interested, please call the DAV transportation office in Cheyenne at 307-778-7577 for further information.


Crime-and-courts
Bills addressing stalking, marijuana move forward

Stalking penalties could be getting steeper in Wyoming.

A bill sponsored by the Joint Judiciary Committee passed the state Senate with amendments on Tuesday and was approved Wednesday by both chambers of the Legislature. As amended, the legislation will also expand the definition of harassment.

Currently, Wyoming statutes define the term as “a course of conduct” that would make a reasonable person “suffer substantial emotional distress, and which does in fact seriously alarm the person toward whom it is directed.” The legislation would expand that definition to include actions that would make a reasonable person fear for their safety, that of another person or for the safety of their property.

If signed into law by Gov. Matt Mead, the legislation will increase the maximum punishment for misdemeanor stalking from six months to one year and increase the maximum penalty for felony stalking from five years to 10. It will also give judges the ability to sentence a person convicted of misdemeanor stalking to up to three years of probation, rather than the maximum of one year.

Meanwhile, a loophole in Wyoming law that has induced judges to throw out marijuana convictions is one step closer to being closed.

Legislation to close the legal loophole passed the Wyoming Senate last week and on Monday a substitute bill was approved 7 to 1 by the House Judiciary Committee. The bill still requires the House’s approval and the Senate to OK the changes — or a legislative conference — before it can reach the governor’s desk.

Wyoming judges have on at least two occasions thrown out marijuana possession cases because state law identifies marijuana as a plant. The proposed legislation would also identify other forms of marijuana in state law, including extracts, edibles and liquids.

The committee’s substitute bill is identical to a House bill that aimed to rewrite Wyoming marijuana laws with less specificity than the original Senate version. That bill failed a February introductory vote 10 to 49.

Although the substitute bill would close a loophole, it wouldn’t as closely address the varying concentrations of THC in marijuana products.

A separate bill aimed at making it easier for wrongfully convicted people to present evidence in hopes of exoneration will need to earn another vote before it can go to the Governor’s desk. The bill was approved by the House last week and passed a second reading in the Senate on Wednesday.

In Wyoming, people convicted of crimes have a two-year window in which they can present non-DNA evidence in an effort to have their conviction overturned. After that time period, the only evidence they can introduce to fight their conviction is DNA evidence.

If the bill becomes law, that two-year window will be eliminated.

A similar bill that would have relaxed restrictions on how wrongly convicted people could seek to have their convictions overturned failed in the face of opposition from the Wyoming Attorney General’s office last spring.

The bill was supported by the attorney general this year, after representatives from his office and other interested parties helped rework the legislation.


State-and-regional
Riverton students express concerns about high school safety

RIVERTON — Local students are urging increased safety precautions at Riverton High School in the wake of the February shooting that left 17 dead at a school in Parkland, Florida.

Inspired by the Parkland students’ resulting activism on gun laws, RHS junior Ella Hauck and senior Kat Tyler told the Fremont County School District 25 Board of Trustees there are actions administrators could take — unrelated to gun access — that would make students safer.

“We feel unsafe in our school, and our children are unsafe,” Tyler said. “Every kid in this country now goes to school wondering if this day might be their last.”

On Thursday, superintendent Terry Snyder and RHS principal John Griffith held a roughly two-hour meeting with Hauck, Tyler and freshman Darious Tillman about the safety concerns. As a result, Griffith will head to Cheyenne on Monday — along with Hauck, Tyler, Tillman and student Joseph Thorton — so the students can try to convince legislators that further cuts to K-12 school funding are likely to harm existing safety measures that the Riverton school district has in place.

Hauck said RHS students are now participating in the “movement” started by students at Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

“Please do not add your names to the list of the adults who are failing us,” Hauck told the Riverton school board.

Tyler said the district should add more school resource officers or use teachers to more thoroughly monitor the school grounds.

The district employees three SROs: one at RHS, one at Riverton Middle School and one covering local elementary schools.

Tyler said at least one SRO also is needed to monitor the walkway between the James H. Moore Career Center and RHS.

“There are too many entrances and exits in school for only one SRO to be protecting,” Tyler said. “Every day, every 50 minutes, kids walk from the high school to the career center.

“There is no security measure in place to protect those students on that walk — and it’s pretty long. When I come in from lunch, the front doors are unlocked, and there’s no one in the office. I’m aware that this is ... lunch hour and everyone needs a lunch, but there should at least be someone in there filling in.”

Tyler said students also are frequently let in the school’s side doors — ones that are supposed to be locked during school hours. Staff members should be used to monitor those entrances during class periods, she said.

Tyler said she doesn’t want the school to “become a prison,” noting her opposition to having metal detectors at entrances, or any other “extreme measures.”

When she conducted an informal poll about the idea of arming teachers, she said she was unable to find any teachers comfortable with carry a gun in the school.

“I know plenty of teachers that would die for their students, but we’re hoping (they) never have to,” she said.

Snyder thanked the students for sharing their concerns.

“The unfortunate part is that your fears are very real,” he said. “You’re in a different position to look at this than we are.”

Snyder said the situation will be exacerbated if the Wyoming Legislature passes some of the major cuts to school funding that are currently being debated.

Legislators are currently weighing cuts that, if passed, could reduce Riverton’s annual block grant by up to $3 million.

The block grant funding the state provides does not cover SROs, but Snyder said if the cuts are passed, the district would be unlikely to have any excess funds to pay for the officers.

Snyder said that having the students warn legislators about the safety implications of further cuts in Cheyenne would “be a very good seed to plant in their mind.”

School board chairman Carl Manning said that, when it comes to lobbying legislators, “students talking is a very powerful thing.”

Snyder said the district has made safety improvements a priority since he became superintendent.

The district has added “vestibule-controlled entries” to all schools and replaced staff members’ keys with digital key cards that can be deactivated “within minutes” if lost.

The district also has upgraded its security cameras.

“We have cameras everywhere,” Snyder said. “We’re always watching.”

Teachers have also received training on the new “Run, Hide, Fight” method of surviving an active shooter.

“If we have active shooters, I want our teachers to be active thinkers,” Snyder said.

Snyder added that he’s sure students occasionally put rocks or pencils in side doors to prop them open for friends.

“It’s not the friend we worry about so much as the person behind the friend who barges in,” he said.

Such “impurities” in the system need to be address, he said. “There very well could be some adjustments that we could make, and sometimes there are some adjustments that can be made than don’t cost anything,” he said.

Board member Becky Lancaster said that students also need to develop a culture that encourages their peers to “say something if you hear something.”

“Sometimes the best information that comes to the adults is from the teens,” she said.

Board member Larry Chouinard also echoed that students need to be “the first line of defense. You hear more than we are ever going to,” he said. “We’ve had some bad things stopped in the last 25 years because kids came forward.”