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Submitted by Newsroom on March 7, 2012 – 2:10 pmNo Comment


City leaders vote for decorative lighting on Federal

By KVOW/KTAK News Director Leslie Stratmoen

RIVERTON, Wyo. — Riverton city leaders decided Tuesday night to tack on $21,000 more dollars to the near $575,000 to be spent on the rebuilding of the city’s main south gateway at Monroe and Federal to match the decorative lighting on Main.

The bulk of the money pays for deteriorating infrastructure, which includes a water main across the intersection and parallel sewer lines. The city agreed to do the work because the state’s coming in to reconstruct the road to the tune of $3 million. The city hopes to find a mineral royalties grant to pay for at least half its portion of the project.

Steven Weaver

City Administrator Steven Weaver said it only makes sense to upgrade the infrastructure before the new road goes in. So the question was whether to let the state pay and maintain the lighting or get decorative lighting for a fraction of the cost. The state’s picking up the remaining $225,000, but the city now takes on the responsibility of maintenance.

Work at the intersection is part of the Wyoming Department of Transportation’s upgrades along Federal Boulevard, which is the main north south corridor through town. For this section of the project, the road will be rebuilt south of the intersection, then northward up the hill about four blocks to Washington Avenue, which runs along the south side of City Park.


County foresees budget cuts

By KVOW/KTAK News Director Leslie Stratmoen

RIVERTON, Wyo. – It looks like Fremont County Commissioners will be asking all departments and elected officials to cut budgets by 5 percent because the county’s coming up $300,000 short in expected revenue for next year.

According to published reports, the county’s treasurer Scott Harnsberger told the commission the general fund revenue is dropping to $22.2 million for the fiscal year starting July 1. Contributing to the decrease is the $383,000 drop in federal payment in lieu of taxes, known as PILT, and a state funding source fall of $119,000.

On the upside, he said property taxes are showing an increase of $316,000 for the upcoming year, a rise that comes as the county’s total assessed valuation is increasing about $32 million in the new fiscal year.


Shurtleff gets detention for misdemeanor vehicular homicide

By KVOW/KTAK News Director Leslie Stratmoen

RIVERTON, Wyo. – As reported earlier, a Riverton man has been sentenced to two years of home detention for misdemeanor vehicular homicide.

31-year-old Gaven Shurtleff received his sentence Monday and was also ordered to pay $4,000 in fines for his part in causing the deaths of the Riverton couple, Anthony and Deaun Smith, who were both in their mid-50s.

According to published reports, he gave an impassioned remorseful account of the fatal morning to a packed court of about 100 people. He said he “messed up,” by starting out with a sap-covered windshield, then not slowing down that morning in August when he saw a construction sign while travelling on Highway 789 near Boysen Reservoir.

So, with the morning sun glaring into eyes that were already admittedly five-percent blinded by Stargardt’s disease, he focused on the centerline of the highway while driving his Dodge 5500 truck at 67 mph and crashed into the back of the Smith’s car. They died at the scene.

Judge Wes Roberts admittedly passed down a light sentence because the case did not involve what he called “intentional violence.”


Governor signs redistricting, greenhouse gas bills

By KVOW/KTAK News Director Leslie Stratmoen

CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Gov. Matt Mead said redistricting is not an easy job, but must be done every 10 years to match new census figures. He thanked his state legislators this week as he signed the redistricting bill into law, knowing it would not please everyone.

“It is such a difficult process,” he said, so wanted to commend the lawmakers for their efforts.

This week the governor also signed into law a bill that allows Wyoming to regulate greenhouse gases. In doing so, he said the state will continue its legal challenge of the Environmental Protection Agency’s decisions regarding a State Implementation Plan.

He described the new Wyoming law as “an important change” that’s needed for the state to take a leading role over the federal government in regulation of its own greenhouse gases. Without the law, he said, the federal government would regulate greenhouse gases in Wyoming meaning companies producing the gas would have to apply to both the state and federal government.


Ag photos needed for contest

By KVOW/KTAK News Director Leslie Stratmoen

RIVERTON, Wyo. — The Wyoming Business Council’s Agribusiness Division is now accepting photos for its annual contest. The competition is open to both amateurs and professionals from youth to adult. Photos must be ag-related and taken in Wyoming, then submitted by Sept. 1.

Organizers say there are no subject categories, but suggest photos of crops, livestock, farm animals, ag-recreation and activities or agricultural scenes. They may be black and white or color. Contestants can submit multiple entries.

The grand prize is $300, with first and second place for the adult winners paying out at $150 and $75, respectively. First and second places for the youth contest pay out $50 and $25, respectively. All photos become property of the Agribusiness Division and winners will be published in the 2013 AgriCulture Calendar issued in the fall.

Marketing specialist Terri Barr of the Agribusiness Division says the contest has grown since its beginning five years ago, from 28 submitted photos the first year to 300 last year. Considering Wyoming’s base of exceptional amateur and professional photographers, she said, they hope to receive a record-breaking number of entries this year.

For information on how to enter go online to or call 307-777-2807. 

Each submitted photograph should be accompanied by a completed and signed application form.  The photos must be at least 300 dpi in jpeg or tiff format.  Each submitted photo should include the location of the picture, the contestant’s name and a title (optional) on the back of the photograph.  Digital photos may be submitted on CD or via email. For questions or to receive the application and contest rules, contact Terri Barr at or 307.777.2807.   Applications, contest rules and tips are also available online at in the Ag and Business Assistance Section.  All photos become property of the Agribusiness Division and may be used in marketing materials, publications and the AgriCulture Calendar.      For a free copy of the 2011 AgriCulture calendar featuring last year’s winning photos and submissions, contact Barr. 



City postpones Spencerville rezone hearing

By KVOW/KTAK News Director Leslie Stratmoen

RIVERTON, Wyo. – The public hearing on a rezone of property on the north side of Riverton in a subdivision known as Spencerville has been postponed until the next council meeting on the 20th.

City Administrator Steven Weaver said the council wanted more information on the issue before it rules on the rezone request made by a property owner to turn it into light industrial from agricultural.

As it is, the Master Plan the city paid $150,000 to have created foresees the future growth of that area as high-density residential.

The rezoning request is coming from the Fueschel family who wants to sell the seven-acre field to a company for construction of a fabrication plant for flatbed trailers.

A concern raised overnight is whether the road leading into the property can handle the traffic.

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