Wyoming news briefs for December 23

School enrollment increases by 54

GREYBULL — Fall school enrollment in Wyoming’s 48 school districts increased by 54 students compared to last year.

K-12 enrollment data for Wyoming public schools for the 2021-22 school year show a significant decline in enrollment in two districts with large virtual programs, which indicates students are returning to their local school district for in-person instruction.

There also was a 5 to 10-percent drop in enrollment at three of the school districts on the Wind River Indian Reservation.

This data was gathered from all school districts throughout the state in a snapshot performed on October 1, 2021. The agency does not collect numbers of students who are homeschooled or are enrolled in private school.

Wyoming's total K-12 enrollment has ebbed and flowed over the past 30 years, climbing as high as 101,000 in 199394 before plummeting to 83,705 in 2005-06. In the seven of the past 10 years, Wyoming’s total K-12 enrollment has risen, with the only exceptions occurring in 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2020-21.


Worland to appeal 2020 census

WORLAND — The final Worland City Council meeting of 2021 opened Tuesday night with a statement to the community from Mayor Jim Gill. 

Gill said the 2021 year has been a challenge for many in the community due to the various COVID-19 variants. 

“We are a resilient community who has worked to get through these trying times,” Gill said. 

He added that it was disturbing to the city to get the 2020 census report that showed a loss below 5,000 in population and a “community in decline.” 

Gill said, “I am sure you all agree that this is simply not the case.” 

He said the city will pursue the issue to the “nth degree to prove we are still a vibrant and growing community with a population exceeding 5,000 residents. 

“It’s important because it will and is costing us a considerable amount of revenue. We will be filing an appeal on the census data early in the new year.”


Shoshone Forest leader stepping down

POWELL — After four years of leading the Shoshone National Forest, Supervisor Lisa Timchak is moving on. 

Forest officials announced Monday that Timchak has been selected to become supervisor of the BeaverheadDeerlodge National Forest in southwestern Montana. 

“This was a difficult decision for me as I treasure the people and landscapes of the Shoshone National Forest and the surrounding communities,” said Timchak, adding, “I want to thank everyone for making my four-year tenure here such an amazing experience.” 

Timchak has been the Shoshone supervisor since early 2018, based in Cody. She replaced former Supervisor Joe Alexander, who served in the role for more than six years. 

Prior to coming to the Shoshone, Timchak was district ranger for the Tally Lake Ranger District of the Flathead National Forest in Kalispell, Montana and has more than 30 years of Forest Service experience in Montana. 

Her last day as supervisor of the Shoshone will be Jan. 28.


Lovell says ‘thanks’ for help restoring vandalized tree

LOVELL — In what might be a record for brevity, the Lovell Town Council conducted a 12-minute meeting Tuesday, Dec. 14, running through a short agenda at the community center in short order. 

Perhaps the highlight of the meeting was Mayor Tom Newman reading a thank you note to the community from parks director Gary Emmett regarding the recent theft from and vandalism of the town’s Christmas tree at Nevada and Main. 

Wrote Emmett: “Taking from the classic Christmas story of ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas,’ we would like to thank the community members who rallied around the Christmas tree to help with redecorating it after it had been vandalized and stripped of the ornaments from its branches. 

“Chuck Robison and his granddaughter, who saw the broken ornaments strewn about the Emblem Highway, gathered them up and returned them to Town Hall, hoping that they were still salvageable to re-hang on the tree. 

“(Thanks to) Robert O’Conner, who bought and donated two dozen ornaments to hang on the tree, and to the  anonymous townspeople who took it upon themselves to make and hang additional decorations on the bare tree.

“It is because of community members like these that, when faced with the adversity of a terrible plight, they came together to fight the good fight.

“To the people of Lovellville, thank you for a wonderful sight.”