Madzey and Lucas Lee Graham

Natrona County High School graduate and cinematographer Lucas Lee Graham, left, helped create testimonials for teacher Lance Madzey, right, as he worked to raise money for his TV and film class.

Courtesy AdoptAClassroom

Film funding

When his budget for new equipment was cut due to the school district’s funding crunch, Natrona County High School film teacher Lance Madzey took things into his own hands. Madzey launched a crowdfunding campaign that eventually netted $18,700 and allowed his classes to purchase new cameras, microphones, synthesizers and more. In tough financial times, it’s encouraging to see individual teachers go the extra mile to make sure their students have the tools to succeed.

Harvey aid

Thank you to all Wyomingites who pitched in to help the people of Houston after the devastating floods brought by Hurricane Harvey. At least 10 Red Cross staff and volunteers and 14 members of the Wyoming National Guard answered the call, while Grace Niemitalo of Casper organized a drive to collect personal hygiene items and Will Thompson hauled the supplies directly to Texas shelters. Then there are the countless donors who gave to the Red Cross and other aid organizations. It’s wonderful to see such an outpouring of support.

Suicide prevention

It was disheartening to see the 2017 Wyoming Suicide Prevention Conference cancelled due to low interest and scheduling difficulties. The need for education is greater than ever: Wyoming has consistently had among the highest suicide rates in the country, and earlier this year the Wyoming Legislature cut money for suicide and substance abuse prevention. We hope the 2018 conference will be well-attended.

Up in the air

While the planned cancellation of Allegiant Air’s service between Casper and Las Vegas is a disappointment, it is encouraging to know that transportation officials in Wyoming are working to improve commercial air service. Under one proposal, the Wyoming Department of Transportation would contract with airlines to provide service to the state’s airports. We look forward to a solution that will help make air travel accessible — and affordable — for residents and visitors to our state.

Fire danger high

The smoke hanging over Casper from massive wildfires in Montana and elsewhere should serve as a warning that fire danger is high across much of the state. The warm, dry days of late summer and early fall have brought some of the region’s biggest and most dangerous fires in recent years, including the Cole Creek fire in October 2015 and the Casper Mountain fire in September 2012. Keep aware of local restrictions, and postpone that backyard bonfire until conditions improve.

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