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Town Crier: This Just In

Town Crier: This Just In


Mended Hearts meets

Mended Hearts Chapter 242 will hold its regular monthly meeting at 7 p.m. on Monday, February 24. The speaker for February is Stacia Hill. Stacia is the emergency management coordinator with the Natrona County Sheriff’s Office. The subject of her presentation will be interfacing with the emergency personnel especially in difficult emergency situations. She will also discuss Project LifeSaver, which is used to help locate missing persons that are suffering from Alzheimer’s, dementia or other brain injuries, and AlertSense, which is the county’s new Mass Notification System.

All persons interested in having a “healthy heart” are invited to attend. Light refreshments will be provided following the meeting. The meeting will be held in the “Old Board Room” located off the west wing of the Wyoming Medical Center. When entering from the west parking garage, move toward the lobby. Take the first right just before entering the lobby, pass through the double doors and take the first left, which leads into the meeting room.

Nominees set for luncheon

The following women have been nominated for the Casper Woman of Distinction: Carolyn Griffith, Gail Schenfisch, Shawna Trujillo, Leah Reeb Varela and Marjori M. Winship.

The luncheon is sponsored by the Accounting and Financial Women’s Alliance and Soroptimist International of Central Wyoming. Please join for the 25th annual Woman of Distinction Luncheon to honor these women and choose the Woman of Distinction for 2020. The luncheon will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday, March 5, at the Ramkota Hotel. The charge for the luncheon is $25 per person and reservations are due February 27. Those making reservations made after that date will be charged $30. For reservations, please contact Dyann at 237-1334 or 258- 7071.

March orientations are set

Two orientation sessions will be offered in March for those seeking a High School Equivalency Certificate.

The first will be held Tuesday, March 10, and the second will be held Wednesday, March 18. There will be three sessions each day at 9 a.m., 1 and 6 p.m. and all will take place at the Adult Learning Center at Casper College.

“The orientation is required for all students who want to work on earning their High School Equivalency Certificate through the program,” said Chelse DePaolo-Lara, director. People who have not graduated from high school earn, on average, $553 a week compared to $730 for those who have graduated from high school. That means a person who has graduated will make $9,204 more per year than someone who hasn’t, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics earnings by educational attainment for 2018.

“All services are free and open to the public. The 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. Those wishing to attend one of the three orientations March 10 are asked to RSVP by Monday, March 9. Those wishing to attend one of the three orientations March 18 are asked to RSVP by Tuesday, March 17. Reservations may be made by calling 268-2230 or online at

Scholarship apps due in March

As part of a yearlong celebration of their 75th Anniversary, Morrison-Maierle will be awarding 11 $750 scholarships to graduating high school seniors. These scholarships represent Morrison-Maierle’s commitment to building the workforce of the future.

One scholarship will be awarded to a student from each community where Morrison-Maierle has an office. This includes Billings, Bozeman, Great Falls, Helena, Kalispell and Missoula in Montana; and Casper, Cody, Gillette and Sheridan in Wyoming; and Spokane, Washington.

Scholarships may be used by those attending a higher-education institution on a full-time basis starting in fall of 2020. Students of all majors and fields of study are encouraged to apply.

Morrison-Maierle is accepting applications from now until March 15, 2020. Late applications will not be considered. Download an application from Morrison-Maierle’s website.

Morrison-Maierle places high value on students who live out the company’s Core Values: Integrity, Respect, Commitment and Excellence. Priority will be given to students who demonstrate how they have applied these values to achieve a personal goal.

For more information, please contact Morrison-Maierle at

Founded in 1945, Morrison-Maierle has 11 offices throughout Montana, Wyoming and Washington. As a multi-disciplinary firm, it provides services in engineering, surveying, planning and natural sciences and is ranked among the Engineering New Record’s “Top 500 Design Firms” in the United States and Canada.

Texaco toys on display

Come see the Texaco toys and history displayed in the display case at the Casper Senior Center, courtesy of T. Kelley.

Author talks of living with autism

Eric D. Zimmerman will speak about his experiences growing up on the Autism Spectrum and discuss his latest book, “Love, Racing, & Autism,” at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 12, at the Natrona County Library. All are welcome to this free presentation sponsored by the Library and the Casper Autism Support group. Please join for an uplifting presentation about one man’s success overcoming his diagnosis to find meaningful employment, love and a passion for stock-car racing.

Zimmerman is the founder and technical director of The Buddy Project, a not-for-profit organization that provides free computers and other technologies to people with developmental disabilities. Growing up with Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of autism which hinders social interaction, Zimmerman understands first-hand how technology can overcome some of the barriers faced daily by the special needs community. When he learned that many of the disabled people in his Frederick, Maryland, community had no access to common household technologies such as computers, tablets, mobile phones or even email accounts, he decided to do something about it.

Using his computer skills and working out of his own home, Zimmerman founded The Buddy Project which refurbishes donated electronics, tailoring each item to the individual needs of the recipient. He recently received a grant that enables him to travel the country sharing his positive message with parent groups and other interested parties.

To learn more about The Buddy Project and Eric Zimmerman, please go to; the website for the Casper Autism Support group is; and the Natrona County Library’s website is

Humanities festival next week

The 35th Annual Casper College Humanities Festival and Demorest Lecture explores the topics of “ Mystery, Mayhem, and Madness” Feb. 18-22.

This year’s Demorest Lecture will be presented by Arielle Zibrak, Ph.D., assistant professor of English, director of English honors, and affiliated assistant professor of gender and women’s studies at the University of Wyoming. Zibrak will speak on “Believing Women: Madness and Misogyny in American Fiction.” Her presentation will take place Thursday, Feb. 20, at noon in the Wheeler Concert Hall.

The festival will begin Tuesday, Feb. 18, with a book club discussion of the Gilman piece “The Yellow Wallpaper.” The discussion will be moderated by Georgia Wheatley, Casper College women’s studies instructor, and include the director, Aaron M. Wood, and cast members of the college’s production of “The Yellow Wallpaper,” which was adapted to theater and dance by Wood. The discussion will take place in the Thomas H. Empey Studio Theatre.

Wednesday, Feb. 19, will begin with the Living Library from 10 a.m. to noon. Here, participants “... will borrow a person and have a conversation about their story. The purpose of the Living Library is to promote conversation, encourage understanding and foster a culture of inclusivity,” said Innella Maiers. The Living Library will take place in the Goodstein Foundation Library.

At noon, in the Goodstein Foundation Library Classroom, Ron Franscell will discuss his most recent true-crime book, “Alice and Gerald: A Homicidal Love Story.” The book focuses on Alice and Gerald Uden, who “ ... for decades Wyoming investigators struggled to connect their murderous dots,” said Innella Maiers. A complimentary copy of Franscell’s book can be obtained at the Goodstein Foundation Library on a first come, first served basis.

The Nicolaysen Art Museum will host the evening’s events beginning at 5 p.m. with the Wyoming Symphony Orchestra Wind Ensemble featuring Richard Turner and friends. At 5:30 p.m. a panel will discuss “Mystery, Mayhem and Madness in Visual Art.” Moderated by Holly Turner, Wyoming Arts Council board member, the panel will feature artists Ginny Butcher, Linda Ryan, Elaine Henry, Karen Henneck and Leah Hardy.

Thursday, Feb. 20, the festival will move to the Wheeler Concert Hall, beginning with a presentation at 9:30 by Franscell titled “What Hath Capote Wrought?” Franscell, an Edgar-nominated crime writer and Wyoming native, will explore the entangled histories of true-crime books and literary nonfiction, up to and including his narrative writing as a Denver Post journalist and author of two bestselling, true accounts about wicked Wyoming crimes.

At 10:30 a.m. Zachary Vreeman, D.M.A., will look at German composers who threw off traditional compositional rules to depict pure, often frightening emotions in their music in his presentation titled: “The Music of Mayhem and Madness: German Expressionism and World War I.”

At 2 p.m. following the Demorest Keynote at noon, Casper College English instructor and author Joseph Campbell, Ph.D., will present “The Madness of Dystopia.” Campbell, who holds a doctorate in young adult literature with a focus on dystopian literature for young adults from Illinois State University, will explore how books such as “1984,” “Brave New World” and “Fahrenheit 451,” as well as those intended for teens such as “The Hunger Games” and “The Wave,” warn about and help explore, what society and government gone mad would look like.

At 7:30 p.m. the premiere of the Casper College Theatre and Dance Department’s production of “The Yellow Wallpaper” will take place in the Thomas H. Empey Studio Theatre under the direction of Wood. The dance adaptation by Wood from the book of the same name, “ ... is an emotionally charged and darkly humorous examination of an isolated woman’s state of reality. Through the intertwining of dance, theater and multimedia elements, audiences will find themselves accompanying a woman as she restlessly rips through her delicate papier mâché identity,” said Innella Maiers.

Friday, Feb. 21, is the final day of talks and will begin at 9 a.m. with “Homer’s ‘The Odyssey’ in Song: A Modern Folk Opera.” Joe Goodkin, a Chicago-based singer/songwriter, will give a musical retelling of Homer’s “The Odyssey” through songs and lyrics inspired by Odysseus’ famous exploits.

At 10 a.m. Lance Jones will present ‘Saucy Jack in Whitechapel: The Crimes of Jack the Ripper.” Jones, a former police chief and museum teacher fellow of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, promises a “ ... walk through the fog in search of Jack the Ripper.”

The final presentation for the festival will take place at 11 and feature Casper College photography instructor Shawn Bush. Bush, a lens-based artist who grew up in Detroit, Michigan, and received his M.F.A. in photography from Rhode Island School of Design, will present “Sacrosanct Soil.” In addition to his talk, a gallery reception will be held at noon for Bush’s exhibition in the Mildred Zahradnicek Gallery, also titled “Sacrosanct Soil.”

Saturday, Feb. 22, is the final day of the festival and will take place in the Crawford Room at the Natrona County Library. Titled “Family Afternoon of Mystery, Mayhem, and Madness with a Movie,” the day will begin at 1 p.m. with a craft creating monkey masks and binoculars. From 2-4 p.m. the 1995 film “Jumanji” will be shown and pizza will be served.

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday lectures are free and open to the public, as well as the family afternoon at the Natrona County Library. Tickets for the Thursday night production of “The Yellow Wallpaper” are $12 for adults and $10 for students and can be purchased online at A complete schedule for the festival can be found at The Goodstein Foundation Library, Wheeler Concert Hall and the Thomas H. Empey Studio Theatre are located on the Casper College campus. The Nicolaysen Art Museum is located at 400 E. Collins Street, and the Natrona County Library is located at 307 E. 2nd. Street.

Casper College and the Wyoming Humanities Council are partners in presenting the Humanities Festival along with major funding from the Casper College Foundation and the Margaret Demorest Endowment.


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Community News Editor

Sally Ann Shurmur arrived at the Star-Tribune to cover sports two weeks after graduating from the University of Wyoming and now serves as community news editor. She was raised in Laramie and is a passionate fan of Cowboys football, food and family.

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