Wyoming news briefs for July 7


Gas prices jump again

GILLETTE – There’s little good news for your wallet when it comes to gasoline prices this week unless you look at it this way: It’s been seven years since it cost you so much to fill up at the pump.

But the bad news is that it’s costing you more than 6 cents a gallon more this week in Wyoming than it did the week before as prices continue to escalate.

Wyoming gas prices averaged $3.28 a gallon Tuesday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 494 stations in Wyoming. Gas prices in Wyoming are 22.5 cents a gallon higher than a month ago and stand $1.20 a gallon higher than a year ago.

The last time people paid that much for gasoline was in 2014, when prices in Wyoming stood at $3.58.

The national average price of gasoline is unchanged in the last week, averaging $3.12 a gallon today. The national average is up 7.9 cents per gallon from a month ago and stands 94.3 cents a gallon higher than a year ago.

Goshen County had the lowest gas prices in Wyoming at $2.994, followed by Converse and Sheridan at $3.079 and Campbell at $3.163. Highest were Platte at $3.549, Uinta at $3.506, Sweetwater at $3.429 and Teton at $3.399. according to GasBuddy.

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State Fair tickets on sale now

DOUGLAS – The Wyoming State Fair tickets for entry and all events are now on sale. This includes all Grandstand entertainment as well as carnival wristbands and admission. 

Tickets can be purchased online at wystatefair.com.

The Ford Grandstand Arena will house the main performance stage and will feature a concert from headliner Walker Hayes Aug. 20 in addition to a variety of other family-friendly events and fan favorites including the State Championship Ranch Rodeo Aug. 17, PRCA Steer Roping & Rodeo Aug. 18-19, PRCA Slack and WPRA Breakaway Slack Aug. 19, and the Demolition Derby Aug. 21. 

Other musical performances throughout the week include Pierce Avenue, Chad Bushnell, The Rock Bottom Boys and Caitlyn Ochsner. 

Non-musical entertainment will include strolling acts, motorbike stunts, magic shows, sword-swallowing, shopping and a cornhole tournament.

As always, livestock shows and exhibits will play a crucial part in the week's activities. 

All live music and entertainment are free with admission ($8/adults and $3/ children 12 and under) and grandstand events are $20. 

For a full lineup of events plus more information, please visit the website at www.wystatefair.com.

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Two motorcyclists killed in accident in Bighorns

SHERIDAN — Two motorcyclists died Saturday after a vehicle hydroplaned and crashed into the riders while driving on U.S Highway 14 in the Bighorn Mountains. 

Plattsburg, Missouri couple Robin D. and Brett E. Dickerson, 58 and 56 years old, respectively, were pronounced dead on the scene, Wyoming Highway Patrol Lt. Erik Jorgensen told The Sheridan Press Tuesday morning.  

At 4:03 p.m. Saturday, a family of four adults from Sheridan was traveling in a 2007 Ford Crown Victoria down toward Sibley Lake in a heavy rainstorm with very poor tire tread, according to a WHP press release sent Tuesday at 3:19 p.m. 

As the driver attempted to curve the vehicle to the right, the vehicle hydroplaned and struck the first motorcycle, a 2000 BMW K1200LT motorcycle. The vehicle then slid and hit the second motorcyclist, riding a 2016 Indian Scout Sixty ATV, throwing both riders off their vehicles into the trees. 

Both motorcyclists were wearing helmets and succumbed to injuries sustained in the accident at the crash scene. 

All occupants of the Crown Vic were wearing a seatbelt and transported to the Sheridan Memorial Hospital for injuries sustained in the crash. Equipment failure and speed on the part of the Crown Vic driver are being investigated as potential contributing factors.

This is the 46th and 47th fatalities on Wyoming’s roadways in 2021 compared to 47 in 2020, 84 in 2019 and 47 in 2018 to date. 

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Rocky Mountain Power rates to decrease

ROCK SPRINGS — The Wyoming Public Service Commission approved new rates for Rocky Mountain Power customers, following a review that began in 2020. 

Overall, customer bills will go down an average of 3.5 percent as the remaining benefits of the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 are passed through to customers over the next three years, according to a press release. 

In a separate decision, the commission approved a decrease of 2.4 percent in the company’s annual energy cost adjustment mechanism on an interim basis. 

The energy cost adjustment tracks the difference between forecast and actual power costs, which include the costs of fuel and purchased power. 

Together, the average net price change from the general rate review and the energy cost adjustment is an average 5.9-percent decrease. 

Both changes took effect July 1. 

On average, residential customer bills will decrease 3.1 percent as a result of the order, the release stated. 

Typical residential customers using 660 kilowatt-hours per month will save about $25.44 on their annual energy bill. Large industrial customers, representing more than 60% of the electrical usage in Wyoming, will see decreases of 8 percent for Schedule 46, large general service; and 8.4 percent for Schedule 48T, transmission voltage.

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Bear killed in self defense near Big Horn

SHERIDAN — Wyoming Game and Fish Department personnel received a report the evening of July 1 that a black bear had been shot and killed by a homeowner near Red Grade Road.

The responding game warden interviewed the homeowner and investigated the scene. He determined the bear, an adult female, was killed in self-defense after charging the homeowner at less than 10 yards.

The warden searched the surrounding area, but found no cached carcass, cubs or other resource that the bear might have been defending, which may have explained the aggressive behavior.

“Human-black bear encounters are rare and usually result in the bear fleeing the area,” said Sheridan Region Wildlife Supervisor Craig Smith. “However, this incident serves as a stark reminder that bears can be unpredictable and may exhibit aggressive behavior when they feel threatened.”

WGFD personnel also responded to multiple other bear conflicts July 1. 

That morning, a bear was reported accessing unsecured garbage at a cabin on the Bighorn National Forest.

Another bear was reported in the backyard of a residence in Dayton.

A third bear was reported accessing unsecured garbage at a residence west of Sheridan. It had accessed unsecured garbage at the same location the previous day.

According to WGFD personnel, the uptick in reported activity the past few days may be related to reduced natural food sources due to the hot, dry weather in recent weeks. It is not unusual for bears to move through areas of Sheridan County, but if drought conditions persist, conflicts may increase.

The WGFD website has several informational resources for people living or recreating in bear country to learn more online about bear behavior and preventing conflicts.

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