Wyoming news briefs for September 21


Yellowstone breaks another monthly visitation record

CODY — Yellowstone National Park continued its summer of historic visitation with a record-breaking 921,844 recreation visits in August.

This beat the previous record set in August 2017 when 916,166 people came, many for the solar eclipse. 

In July, the Park had its first month of visitation with more than a million visitors.

So far in 2021, the Park has hosted 3,590,904 recreation visits, a 15% increase from the same period in 2019 and 40 percent from 2020.

In order to break the annual visitation record set in 2016, only 666,274 people will have to visit the Park over the remainder of the year. This number has been exceeded in September alone the last three years in a row.

During 2021, the Park has broken every monthly record for visitation besides January and February. 

The East Entrance had its third busiest August on record with 42,927 visitors. It was the fourth busiest of the five gates in the Park, ahead of the Northeast Entrance.

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Gas prices fall 3.4 cents in week

CHEYENNE — Wyoming gas prices have fallen 3.4 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.47 per gallon Monday, according to GasBuddy.com's daily survey of 494 stations in Wyoming.

Gas prices in Wyoming are 8.4 cents per gallon lower than a month ago, and stand $1.31 per gallon higher than a year ago.

According to GasBuddy price reports, the cheapest station in Wyoming was priced at $2.97 per gallon Monday, while the most expensive was $4.10, a difference of $1.13 per gallon.

The national average price of gasoline has risen 1.3 cents per gallon in the last week, averaging $3.18 per gallon Monday. The national average is up 1.8 cents per gallon from a month ago and stands $1.01 per gallon higher than a year ago.

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Quarantine lifted in Riverton for those with antibodies

RIVERTON — People with COVID-19 antibodies no longer have to quarantine after coming into contact with infected people, local school officials said last week. 

The new protocol has been incorporated into the COVID-19 mitigation plan a Riverton schools, superintendent JoAnne Andre-Flanagan said Tuesday. 

“So now if you have a positive antibody test … you don’t have to quarantine,” she told the Fremont County School District 25 Board of Trustees. 

The “get out of jail free card from quarantine” lasts 90 days, she added, so if a parent suspects their child contracted COVID-19 over the past three month but “just never got them tested,” they still could take an antibody test to be eligible for the quarantine exemption. 

Some board members noted that the preferred method for inoculation is via vaccination due to the health risks involved in contracting COVID-19, but they hoped the new rule would decrease the number of students in quarantine — a number that currently stands at about 6 percent, Andre-Flanagan said, with the majority of those students at Riverton High School.

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Gillette man killed in single-vehicle rollover

GILLETTE — David Sterling Jr. of Gillette was killed early Saturday morning when his pickup truck rolled over.

Deputies responded to an OnStar report of an accident on Union Chapel Road east of Sleepy Hollow about 1:30 a.m. Saturday. When they arrived, a 2020 GMC Sierra was found rolled onto its passenger side off the road with Sterling outside near the  truck, said Undersheriff Quentin Reynolds.

Sterling, 49, is believed to have been driving east down Union Chapel Road when he slid into the borrow ditch south of the road, continued driving then launched off of where the ditch hits a crossroad. His vehicle may have gone airborne before landing, rolling once and landing on its side, Reynolds said.

He was found dead on the scene and deputies believe he was launched through the truck’s sunroof. Reynolds said alcohol and speeding are believed to be factors in the crash. Empty Bud Light cans and an empty bottle of vodka were found on the scene.

The causes of death are believe to be head and chest trauma from the crash, said Campbell County Coroner Paul Wallem.

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