Wyoming Briefs Nov. 1 2023


October 26, 2023

Train derails in Yoder

TORRINGTON (WNE) — The quiet little town of Yoder shook last Wednesday afternoon when a handful of locomotive cars slid off the railway tracks.

“At approximately 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon, local time, 11 railcars on the Union Pacific train derailed just west of Yoder, Wyoming,” Mike Jaixen, a Union Pacific spokesman said. “There were no injuries and no release of hazardous materials, though a small amount of sand was released as the cars were moved afterwards. This incident remains under investigation.”

The cars were carrying a load of sand from Western Proppants.

Yoder residents witnessed the massive cleanup crews working well into the night.

“Inevitably, it’s something that may look worse than it is,” said Tony Curcio, Director of Strategies for Western Proppants. “The material we handle is, again, sand that comes from the dunes northeast of Torrington. No chemicals or any hazmat materials were involved, just good old sand.”

This story was published on November 1, 2023.

Average gasoline prices drop nearly 8 cents in the past week

CHEYENNE (WNE) — Average gasoline prices in Wyoming have fallen 7.8 cents per gallon in the last week, averaging $3.56 per gallon on Monday, according to GasBuddy.com’s survey of 494 stations in Wyoming.

Prices in Wyoming are 28.3 cents per gallon lower than a month ago, and stand 8.8 cents per gallon lower than a year ago. The national average price of diesel has fallen 3.4 cents in the last week, and stands at $4.43 per gallon.

According to GasBuddy price reports, the lowest price in the state Sunday was $2.87, while the highest was $4.20, a difference of $1.33 per gallon.

The national average price of gasoline has fallen 5.3 cents per gallon in the last week, averaging $3.45 on Monday. The national average is down 36.3 cents per gallon from a month ago, and stands 27.4 cents per gallon lower than a year ago, according to GasBuddy data.

This data was compiled from more than 11 million weekly price reports covering over 150,000 gas stations across the country.

This story was published on November 1, 2023.


Wyoming boosts financial assistance for eligible homeowners

AFTON (WNE) — The Wyoming Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) Program has expanded to include partial claims and increased the maximum payment from $17,000 to $35,000. These changes aim to help more Wyoming homeowners who struggled during the COVID-19 pandemic keep their homes and achieve financial stability.

Wyoming received $50 million in homeowner assistance provided by the U.S. Department of the Treasury for its HAF Program. Since launching in May 2022, the HAF Program has helped 1,496 Wyoming homeowners with a total of $11.2 million in assistance.

The recent expansion offers assistance to homeowners who restructured their mortgages in order to save their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic but now face large payments at the end of their mortgage. Those who experienced a COVID-related financial hardship after Jan. 21, 2020 and took a partial claim second mortgage may now be eligible for assistance.

With the changes, eligible homeowners can receive up to $35,000 in assistance as a one-time award to pay. The prioritization of aid will be as follows: mortgage reinstatement, partial claim assistance, delinquent “other expenses” and finally, forward mortgages.

The application is only available online at dfs.wyo.gov/haf.

For application assistance, please contact the call center toll-free at 1-888-WYO-HAFP (1-888-996-4237) during the hours of 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The HAF Program is a temporary federally funded assistance fund. Don’t wait to apply. Funds are limited.

This story was published on October 30, 2023.


Rock Springs Village Inn closes after 40 years

ROCK SPRINGS (WNE) — Rock Springs has lost a long-standing restaurant.

The Village Inn, which opened its doors in June of 1983, served locals and visitors for the very last time on Wednesday, Oct. 25.

The 40-year-old dining establishment, located at 2028 Dewar Dr., was the go-to for locals to have their first meal of the day. College students gathered at Village Inn to enjoy a cup of coffee with their favorite slice of pie after an evening at the movie theater.

Representatives from Village Inn made no comment to Rocket Miner regarding the closure.

Rocket Miner reached out to Village Inn in Casper and discovered it too had closed on the same day.

According to the company’s website, the first Village Inn Pancake House opened its doors in Denver, Colorado in 1958. The company had more than 100 corporate and franchise restaurants, located primarily in the Rocky Mountain region, the Midwest, Arizona and Florida.

Village Inn isn’t the only franchise to close its doors this year in Wyoming. In January, I-HOP closed in Rock Springs and Casper.

“It is never a good thing to see a business close its doors,” said Rick Lee, CEO of the Rock Springs Chamber of Commerce. “Closed businesses mean people’s lives are upended and families are affected.”

This story was published on November 1, 2023.


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