Wyoming News Briefs 9-1-23


August 31, 2023

Wyoming decides to leave National School Board Association

POWELL (WNE) — The Wyoming School Board Association, which includes Park County School District 1, is no longer a member of the National School Board Association (NSBA).

Kim Dillivan, PCSD1 board chairman, said he does not anticipate a change to the school board’s professional development as a result of Wyoming’s exit.

Individual school boards can still be a member of the NSBA, but Dillivan does not see a difference between membership to the NSBA or the Consortium of State School Board Associations (COSSBA) in terms of professional development opportunities offered to school boards.

To his knowledge PCSD1 does not intend to individually join the NSBA.

Roughly half of the U.S. school board associations have opted to leave the NSBA in the months and years following a 2021 letter sent by the NSBA to President Joe Biden in response to school board enforcement of COVID-19 policies.

It requested law enforcement aid due to “threats of violence and acts of intimidation.”

The letter compared some parents to domestic terrorists.

The NSBA has since issued an apology and leadership has changed, but many state school board associations have opted to move to COSSBA.

In July 2022, the WSBA decided to retain membership to the NSBA at least for one year while also joining COSSBA, Dillivan said. This July the WSBA board of directors looked at its membership again and requested input from the state’s individual school boards before voting on whether or not to leave the NSBA in July; 12 directors voted to leave, five directors voted to stay and two were absent.

For more information about COSSBA, visit cossba.org.

This story was published on August 31, 2023.


Sheridan High School band to perform at Holiday Bowl in San Diego

SHERIDAN (WNE) — Members of the Sheridan High School marching band will head to San Diego, California this December to perform at the Holiday Bowl, a postseason NCAA Division I college football game.

Sheridan High School band director Chad Rose said around half of the band’s 140 members will travel to the game, with kickoff scheduled for 5 p.m. Pacific Time, Dec. 27 at Petco Park. The game will be televised nationally on FOX.

SHS students will perform as part of a mass band made up of other musicians from around the country during the halftime show.

Rose said he’s traveled with different bands to perform at the Holiday Bowl in the past and was able to work with bowl game entertainment organizers to add the SHS band to the halftime lineup for this year. Band members will perform custom-written music, which Rose said will likely be a mashup of crowd-pleasing pop tunes.

Rose also said he believes the experience of traveling and performing in front of a packed stadium will provide a “core memory” for students.

“We just want to provide the chance for these kids to get to collaborate musically with some students from pretty different parts of the country in a very different environment than what we're used to in December,” Rose said. “Getting to play for a bowl game is a whole different experience. When you're there in front of 40,000 people it's a little different than Homer Scott Field … so that's an experience those kids will remember.”

Aside from the performance, Rose said he hopes to spend a few days giving band members the opportunity to sightsee and take in the culture of southern California.

This story was published on August 31, 2023.


50th annual Fort Bridger Rendezvous this weekend

LYMAN (WNE) — This year’s Fort Bridger Rendezvous and black powder shoot will run throughout Labor Day weekend and serves as a step back in time to the American West’s pre-1840s in the Rocky Mountains.

The Fort Bridger Rendezvous continues to be the second largest visitor event in Wyoming, bested only by Cheyenne Frontier Days. It is also the largest Rendezvous in the nation.

The Rendezvous is a place where visitors can rub elbows with buckskin clad mountain men and Native Americans in ceremonial dress. It replicates a time in the early frontier when men lived by their wits in the sparsely inhabited western mountains and spent the winter trapping for furs. The early 1800-rendezvous period, 1825-1840, preceded much of the westward expansion.

The Rendezvous features a full slate of events: shooting, knife and tomahawk throws, archery shoots, Native American dancing at the bandstand and kids’ activities. This year, in celebration of the 50th year, there will be a ‘Gray Beard Mountain Man Run.

The Fort Bridger State Site got its name from the famous mountain man Jim Bridger, a man who went west as a company trapper and then became a free trapper.

For more information, see https://fortbridgerrendezvous.net/.

This story was published on Sept. 1, 2023.


Torrington 4-H livestock judging team wins state, will go to national competition

TORRINGTON (WNE) — Hard work has paid off for a Torrington 4-H livestock judging team that took top honors at the state contest in Douglas and is now preparing for the national competition in Louisville, Kentucky.

In livestock judging, 4-H members learn to judge cattle, sheep, goats and pigs.

“We judge four animals in a class, evaluate which one is the best animal and which is the worst animal,” said one member, senior Connor Booth. “Then we back it up in a set of oral reasons of why [we placed each one the way we did].”

“Goshen County has been in the top five at many national contests many times,” Coach Tessa Shaw said. “We’re in the upper echelon of the teams that are qualifying and attending these events. That’s pretty remarkable.”

This team will travel to the North American International Livestock Exposition (NAILE) in Louisville, Kentucky, and be gone from Nov. 9 to 14.

Livestock Judging Coach Bradie Mackey explained that this trip is a little more than just a trip to nationals; it will also include tours of other agricultural areas in this region. Before attending the contest, the kids will get the opportunity to learn about how ag differs in other states.

“What’s really unique from the standpoint of what we do here at 4-H is it’s not just the exposure to life goals and practical hands-on experience,” Mackey said. “It’s also an educational opportunity. The last three teams that we’ve had here in Goshen County that went to Louisville, each kid went to college on some sort of a livestock judging scholarship.”

This story was published on Sept. 1, 2023.


Woman sentenced for aggravated assault, battery

SHERIDAN (WNE) — Mele Rigdon, 31, was sentenced in 4th Judicial District Court Wednesday for one count of aggravated assault and battery. Rigdon pleaded guilty to the charge June 28 after reaching a plea agreement with the state.

During an altercation on Sept. 28, 2022, Rigdon assaulted a victim with an exercise weight, causing the victim to sustain broken bones.

Sheridan Police Department Officer Bradley Wood, the first officer to arrive at the scene, testified as a witness for the state.

He said he observed an abrasion on Rigdon’s neck, which she claimed was a result of the victim grabbing her by the throat. Wood said he has had run-ins with the victim before, confirming the victim has been cited over the past year for driving under the influence and stalking and has been trespassed from the Wyoming Department of Family Services.

Defense attorney Anna Malmberg said Rigdon’s presentence investigation revealed no criminal history of violence and argued that Rigdon be a candidate for probation to allow her to work, see her children and seek community support.

In her statement to the court, Rigdon apologized to the victim for her actions. She said she plans to take the necessary steps to move forward and to become a better person and parent.

Fourth Judicial District Court Judge Benjamin Kirven said he found Rigdon’s statement to the court to be genuine and appreciates her focus on bettering herself, but due to the severity of the violence in this case, he believed Rigdon was not a fit candidate for probation.

She was sentenced to 13 to 15 months incarceration with 339 days of credit for time served.

This story was published on August 31, 2023.


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