Wyoming news briefs for December 21

Gas prices down by 4.6 cents in last week

CHEYENNE — Wyoming gas prices have fallen 4.6 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.28 per gallon Monday, according to GasBuddy.com's daily survey of 494 stations in Wyoming.

Gas prices in Wyoming are 11.8 cents per gallon lower than a month ago and stand $1.11/g higher than a year ago.

According to GasBuddy price reports, the cheapest station in Wyoming was priced at $2.69 per gallon Monday, while the most expensive was $3.74, a difference of $1.05 per gallon. 

The national average price of gasoline has fallen 2.3 cents per gallon in the last week, averaging $3.30 per gallon Monday. The national average is down 10.5 cents per gallon from a month ago, and stands $1.10 per gallon higher than a year ago.


Northwest College receives $3 million donation

POWELL — The Northwest College Foundation recently received a donation of $3 million from a Cody couple — the largest single gift the foundation has ever received. 

At Monday’s NWC Board of Trustees meeting, Foundation Executive Director Shelby Wetzel said the donation would fund two endowed chair positions for the science and education departments. 

It will be the first time NWC has had these kinds of positions, with Wetzel noting they differ from division chairs. An endowed chair is a faculty position that is privately funded by an endowment, which ensures the position lasts as long as the college exists. It’s both an honor to the appointed chair holder and an enduring tribute to the donor who establishes it. 

“We are tremendously grateful for our donors’ generosity and dedication to education at Northwest College,” NWC Interim President Lisa Watson said in an announcement of the donation. “This lasting gift is truly a landmark moment for NWC, one that ensures our ability to support academic opportunities for years to come and reflects the amazing support for our institution.” 

The gift will create two endowments — each valued at $1.5 million — with investment proceeds supporting the chair positions and special programming. The first priority for funding will be salary support for each position. The NWC Foundation will also provide an incentive or reward for the faculty members named to each chair.


Pedestrian dies after being hit by car

CHEYENNE — A pedestrian died after being hit by a vehicle Sunday afternoon.

At about 5 p.m., Cheyenne Police responded to a vehicle incident involving a pedestrian near the 3600 block of East Lincolnway, according to a Monday morning news release from the department.

A preliminary investigation showed the incident occurred when an unidentified 62-year-old Cheyenne man attempted to cross East Lincolnway in an unlit area where there is no crosswalk. While crossing, he walked into the path of an oncoming BMW sedan. The driver swerved left, but was unable to avoid the collision.

The man suffered critical injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene. Pedestrian impairment is being looked at as a factor in the collision.

The driver was not injured and remained on-scene to assist officers. There were no signs of driver impairment or excessive speed.

This case remains under investigation by the Cheyenne Police Department.


Sheridan College to offer software degree

SHERIDAN — After nearly one year of collaboration with Cardiff University, the University of Wyoming and other community colleges across the state, Northern Wyoming Community College District will soon offer an associate degree in software development.

Mark Thoney, an NWCCD instructor in computer science, has led the effort locally. He said the idea for the program began when UW President Ed Seidel asked computer science faculty from the university and community colleges to develop a program based on the model from Cardiff University, located in Wales.

According to UW officials, the online program will help UW and community colleges accomplish their objective of preparing Wyoming residents to participate in the 21st century workforce and diversify the state’s economy.

“In many respects, the economies of Wales and Wyoming have much in common, including a historical reliance on natural resources production and tourism,” Seidel said in a press release earlier this year. “Cardiff University’s software engineering program, part of an effort to help diversify Wales’ economy, is considered internationally to be particularly innovative and effective. We’re excited about the prospect of helping bring it to the people of Wyoming.”

NWCCD’s computer science faculty has submitted all the necessary paperwork to begin offering the degree option in fall 2022, but is awaiting final approval from the Wyoming Community College Commission and other entities.

The program is part of the Wyoming Innovation Partnership, an initiative unveiled in January 2021 that is a collaboration between UW and the state’s community colleges. The goal is to diversify the state’s workforce and attract new businesses to the area.