April 8, 2013
The untold story of Sen. Lester Hunt’s suicide

image

(Caption: Former Gov. David Freudenthal and author Roger McDaniel share a laugh during the mock trial of Sens. Joseph McCarthy, Styles Bridges and Herman Welker at St. Marks Episcopal Church in Cheyenne on Sunday. Photo by Alan Rogers.) 

Almost 60 years have passed since Wyoming Senator Lester C. Hunt shot himself in his Capitol Hill office. He is one of six U.S. Senators to commit suicide in office. And yet little has ever been written about the circumstances surrounding his death.

Until now. 

Rodger McDaniel contends in his new book, “Dying for Joe McCarthy’s Sins: the suicide of Wyoming Senator Lester Hunt,” that McCarthy, along with Senators Styles Bridges and Herman Welker, badgered Hunt with blackmail threats until he killed himself.  

On Sunday, a star-studded lineup of Wyoming politicos prosecuted the three senators to coincide with the book’s release.The mock trial was held at St. Marks Episcopal Church in Cheyenne, the church where Hunt was laid to rest in 1954.

Former Gov.David Freudenthal, a former U.S. Attorney, served as prosecutor. Diane Lozano, director for the State’s Public Defender’s Office, was defense counsel. Former State Supreme Court Justice Michael Golden oversaw the proceedings. Some 400 people packed the church pews. 

Hunt’s death is a story full of political intrigue and personal tragedy. Control of the Senate was at stake and Washington was an even more toxic place than it is now, evidenced by the arrest of Hunt’s son, Buddy. His crime: hitting on an undercover male police officer in a D.C. park.

Just as amazing, in my mind, is the fact that Hunt’s story went untold for so long. We’ll try and explain why in next Sunday’s paper. 

- Ben

April 8, 2013

brittanymarcoux:

americanguide:

NEW HOPE - SOUTHEASTERN NEW ENGLAND

With every season’s change, I’m reminded of Seamus Heaney’s “Blackberry Picking.” It’s a beautiful poem not only about the loss of blackberries, but also about the transience of all things on earth. I’m particularly thinking of the last line, “Each year I hoped they’d keep, knew they would not.” It’s the perfect expression of hope combined with truth.

Spring has officially arrived here in southeastern Massachusetts, and while most of the remains of winter have receded, there are still traces of snow haunting the shade. The adage, of course, is that March comes in like a lion and leaves like a lamb, but these recent blustery days have revealed little softening from fang to fleece.

So I can’t be the only one searching for new hope, hoping that warmer weather is right around the corner; hoping that longer days of radiant sunshine loom; hoping that these vulnerable shoots of green will bloom into a dense, verdant landscape. And, fortunately, I find that hope everywhere, even in these weather­-wracked arborvitae trees—that with just a little help from twine will soon shake off winter.

Heaney’s poem ends on a note of despair, but the line is buoyed by the reminder of “Each year”—that cyclical hope, that little twine. As the ripeness of summer cannot sustain, nor can the cold New England winters—and everywhere I look there are signs of new hope.

—Text by Brian McGuire; Photos by Brittany Marcoux

* * *

Brittany Marcoux is a Guide to Rhode Island and an At-Large Guide to New England for The American Guide. She’s a photographer and a native New Englander. Follow her work on Tumblr or via her website.

March post for American Guide - and today finally feels like Spring!

There is hope for us New Englanders!

(Source: americanguide)

April 8, 2013

The Wyoming Life Resource Center in Lander cares for our state’s most vulnerable citizens. It serves around 90 clients — some suffering brain injury, some born with severe mental and physical disability, some who endured abuse at other institutions.

But this kind of care is expensive. The average price per patient is more than $300,000.

“That cost seemed exorbitant,” state Rep. Elaine Harvey, R-Lovell, told reporter Christine Peterson.

State lawmakers have called for a study of the Life Resource Center to see where money can be saved. Part of the study will look into whether more center clients can be transitioned to community-based disability services in their hometowns. In Wyoming, populated mostly by small towns of a few thousand people, these kinds of services can be scarce.

“You judge a society by how well-off the least well-off are,” said state Sen. Cale Case, R-Lander, who is also a guardian of a center resident. “In this case, I can’t help to think we are judged by that.”

Christine and Casper Star-Tribune photographer spent several days at the Life Resource Center recently. Read the stories and see more of Dan’s photos at www.trib.com.

Study could decide future of Wyoming Life Resource Center

How does the Life Resource Center compare to other state disabled-care facilities?

Lander residents worry about jobs, clients at Wyoming Life Resource Center

April 4, 2013
Have you seen this bird around Casper?
The common redpoll winters in Wyoming and summers in the Yukon. He should be flying on by now, but has been spotted lately around the Audubon Center at Garden Creek.
He hasn’t been seen near Casper for a couple of years and birders aren’t sure why. Now, he’s hanging around longer than he should.
This is the time to raise those binoculars. Spring migrations bring a plethora of species either stopping here for the summer or just flying through.
For more spring bird watching tips, read Ben Storrow’s Open Spaces story.
Photo by Casper Star-Tribune photographer Dan Cepeda.

Have you seen this bird around Casper?

The common redpoll winters in Wyoming and summers in the Yukon. He should be flying on by now, but has been spotted lately around the Audubon Center at Garden Creek.

He hasn’t been seen near Casper for a couple of years and birders aren’t sure why. Now, he’s hanging around longer than he should.

This is the time to raise those binoculars. Spring migrations bring a plethora of species either stopping here for the summer or just flying through.

For more spring bird watching tips, read Ben Storrow’s Open Spaces story.

Photo by Casper Star-Tribune photographer Dan Cepeda.

April 1, 2013
Long-delayed DKRW coal conversion plant still lacks complete financing

dustinbleizeffer:

By Dustin Bleizeffer

Eight years after it was first announced, DKRW Advanced Fuel’s $2 billion coal-to-gasoline plant slated for Wyoming remains unfunded, was recently declared out of compliance, and construction once again has been delayed.

DKRW, the Houston-based company headed by ex-Enron executives, is offering few specifics about its own current financing other than to say it is pursuing private investment on the international market, and that it still has a viable project in Wyoming.

But it’s been a rough year, so far, for DKRW’s ambitions in Wyoming. The company also hit a snag in permitting due to the delay in construction.”

Read the complete article at WyoFile.com

April 1, 2013
jchambone:

Wyoming Brown.

jchambone:

Wyoming Brown.

April 1, 2013
stfrancissocialclub:

Astronomer E. E. Barnard on one of his final scientific missions, observing a solar eclipse in Green River, Wyoming on June 8th, 1918. Barnard’s most famous discovery was Barnard’s Star, a very low-mass red dwarf star about six light-years away from Earth in the constellation of Ophiuchus, the Snake-holder.
Courtesy of Passing Strangeness

stfrancissocialclub:

Astronomer E. E. Barnard on one of his final scientific missions, observing a solar eclipse in Green River, Wyoming on June 8th, 1918. Barnard’s most famous discovery was Barnard’s Stara very low-mass red dwarf star about six light-years away from Earth in the constellation of Ophiuchus, the Snake-holder.

Courtesy of Passing Strangeness

April 1, 2013

I still remember the first time I saw Victor Wooten. It was 2010 and I was living in Northampton, Mass. Wooten was in town for the night to play a show with Bela Fleck and the Fleckstones. 

I was only vaguely familiar with Wooten then. His name was frequently mentioned in conversations about the great bassists by people who knew much more about music than I, which, admittedly, is almost everyone. Of course, I forgot that his name was ever mentioned in such conversations. 

You might imagine my amazement then when Wooten started into his first solo. I’d never heard the bass played like that before. It sounded almost like a lead guitar, except with the rhythm, tone and what can only be described as the funk of a bass. 

Afterwards I called one of my well informed friends and said something like, “Dude, I just saw Bela Fleck and they had this bassist…”

I didn’t finish my sentence. “You saw Victor Wooten,” he exclaimed, and then proceeded to launch on a lecture about the greatness that is Victor Wooten.

So why subject you to this long ramble about my friends and concerts gone by? Victor Wooten will be in Casper on April 10. According to Casper Underground, a Facebook page, Wooten will be hosting a class at Natrona County High School and then preforming at the school at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at NC, Kelly Walsh and Hill Music Company, according to the Underground.

I’d strongly recommend buying tickets. Years from now you’ll find yourself rambling along about the time you saw Victor Wooten play the bass. It’s a special thing to behold.

- Ben   

April 1, 2013
Jack Bundy sits in the dining room of the Central Wyoming Rescue Mission before heading out to search for apartments on Monday in Casper. Bundy came to Wyoming in the fall of 2012 and stayed with friends, in a motel, and briefly in rehab before arriving at the shelter. He earns $1,200 to $1,300 per month as a dishwasher but has been unable to find affordable, permanent housing.

"Caught in the Cold: Wyoming homelessness on the rise" is a two-day look at the causes and costs of homelessness in the Cowboy State.
Reporter Benjamin Storrow discovered that Wyoming’s strong energy economy often increases homelessness, attracting out-of-state job seekers who come with no place to live and squeezing out the lowest wage workers.
The issue deserves a look.
Here are links to his stories:
"Wyoming’s strong economy pushes rise in homelessness"
"Six hours with two of Wyoming’s homeless job hunters"
"Wyoming struggles to develop plan to address homelessness"
"A conversation with the new head of the Casper Housing Authority"

Jack Bundy sits in the dining room of the Central Wyoming Rescue Mission before heading out to search for apartments on Monday in Casper. Bundy came to Wyoming in the fall of 2012 and stayed with friends, in a motel, and briefly in rehab before arriving at the shelter. He earns $1,200 to $1,300 per month as a dishwasher but has been unable to find affordable, permanent housing.

"Caught in the Cold: Wyoming homelessness on the rise" is a two-day look at the causes and costs of homelessness in the Cowboy State.

Reporter Benjamin Storrow discovered that Wyoming’s strong energy economy often increases homelessness, attracting out-of-state job seekers who come with no place to live and squeezing out the lowest wage workers.

The issue deserves a look.

Here are links to his stories:

"Wyoming’s strong economy pushes rise in homelessness"

"Six hours with two of Wyoming’s homeless job hunters"

"Wyoming struggles to develop plan to address homelessness"

"A conversation with the new head of the Casper Housing Authority"

March 29, 2013
WyoFile.com

wyofile:

WyoFile is an independent, nonprofit news service focused on the people, places and policyof Wyoming. Recognizing the rapid decline in resources among traditional news outlets, WyoFile offers supplemental in-depth coverage of complicated subjects and issues ranging from tax policy to trends in Wyoming culture. Designed as a one-stop venue for Wyoming news, WyoFile produces regular commentary and analysis as well as daily summaries and links to important Wyoming-related stories in the state and national press.

Written and edited by leading Wyoming journalists and educators, WyoFile is a non-partisan public interest site for people who care deeply about the civic and cultural health of our state. The site provides news and information that enables the residents of Wyoming to become informed and engaged contributors to important public issues.

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