Wyoming Local News
Pinedale Local News
Albert Sommers, House District 20 Representative
Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016:
Hello Sublette County, this is Albert Sommers reporting to you from Cheyenne on the eve of the 2016 Budget Session of the 63rd legislature. The session officially convenes on Monday, February 8, and will end in approximately 20 working days. Wyoming’s economy hinges on our mineral industry, which has seen major price declines. As a result, estimated revenues for the State of Wyoming, during fiscal years 2016, 2017, and 2018, have declined by over 700 million dollars since January 2015. Due to these declines, portions of the state budget will likely be reduced significantly.
There will be a great debate on what programs should be cut, and regarding how much capital construction the State should fund.
Governor Mead’s budget has been drastically changed by the Joint Appropriations Committee. The Governor included Medicaid Expansion, but the JAC cut that program. Medicaid Expansion has been a hotly debated topic. The Affordable Care Act allowed states to apply for Medicaid Expansion, but Wyoming has refused to participate. Medicaid Expansion covers what is often referred to as "the working poor," and much of this population gets its health care through the emergency room, which has resulted in increasing uncompensated care from health providers. There is a need to cover this population, but the economic effects of Medicaid Expansion upon the State of Wyoming have not been easy to follow. I remain concerned for this population who are stuck in a donut hole created by Obama Care, but I need more consistent program cost information before I can support expansion. Medicaid Expansion will likely resurfacethis session, and I would be interested in what the citizens of Sublette County think about this issue.
The Appropriations Committee has made other cuts to the Governor’s budget that will be hotly contested, including cuts to K12 education, family literacy programs, property tax relief for low income seniors, and early childhood education grants. We will also debate how much capital construction should be conducted with state dollars, when other budgets are seeing significant declines.
I am working on three or four bills of my own. One bill would allow electronic notification of assessment schedules, if a property owner chooses to participate. A second bill will make some revisions in Title 25 (involuntary hospitalization for those who are a threat to themselves or others), to help local authorities in the early detention process. The third bill is a joint resolution asking Congress to seek delisting of grizzly bears and gray wolves from Endangered Species Act designation.
This session, I hope to provide daily updates on KPIN Radio (101.1 FM) and Pinedale Online, while providing the same updates to the Roundup and the Examiner for printing. My updates will also be posted to my website, albertsommers.com, and to my facebook page. If you have questions or concerns, I can be reached at email@example.com.
Report courtesy of Mike Looney, Groomer
Saturday, February 6, 2016, 9:30AM report: Old Road Trail, Upper and Lower Surveyor, Kelly Tie-in, Kelly Park, Half Moon Tie-in all groomed this morning. Rest of the trails should be in good shape. Going to the Golf Course now – blew in last night. Will have that done before lunch. CCC trails in pretty good shape – probably will do that tomorrow morning. Still have moose around up above. Thank you to those folks who are taking care of the pet poop problem. I really appreciate it – helps a lot to keep the trails nice and clean.
This Nordic Ski Trail grooming report is courtesy of the Sublette County Recreation Board. For more information, call or text Mike Looney, groomer, 307-360-8488. Permission granted for other outlets to redistribute this Nordic ski trail grooming report.
X-C Ski Trail Map (PDF)
Road and Weather links
www.visitpinedale.org Pinedale tourism website (lodging, dining, area information)
www.whitepineski.com White Pine Ski Resort, nearby food services
White Pine Snow and Grooming Update - 2/6/16 (posted 2/5/16)
Avalanche Awareness Clinic Feb. 13 (posted 2/5/16)
ASK FLORA – Herbs for Winter Health (posted 2/5/16)
Pinedale Travel and Tourism Request for Qualifications (posted 2/5/16)
‘Wyoming’s Other Mammoth Kill: The La Prele Mammoth Site, Converse County, Wyoming’
The Upper Green River Basin Chapter of the Wyoming Archaeological Society will hold their next meeting on Tuesday, February 16 at the Museum of the Mountain Man in Pinedale. There will be a short business meeting starting at 6:30PM and then the talk should start around 7PM. Everyone is welcome to come listen.
Special guest speaker for the evening is Todd Surovell, a Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Frison Institute at the University of Wyoming. He is an expert in Paleoindian archaeology, New World colonization, lithic technology, and geoarchaeology. He has worked throughout the Rocky Mountain west and Great Plains.
Surovell’s talk will be: ‘Wyoming’s Other Mammoth Kill: The La Prele Mammoth Site, Converse County, Wyoming.’ The La Prele Mammoth site was discovered in 1986 in cutbank on La Prele Creek northwest of Douglas, Wyoming. In the spring of 1987, George Frison and a small crew tested the site and recovered more than 80 skeletal elements of a young Columbian mammoth, one flake tool, and fourteen flakes. This initial work suggested human interaction with mammoth, but due to a dispute with the landowner, investigations at the site were halted abruptly. No work was done at the site for the next 26 years. In 2014 and 2015, we returned to the site with the University of Wyoming Archaeological Field School to determine whether the site was indeed a mammoth kill and to investigate how much of the site remained. After two seasons of work, we are now confident that the La Prele Mammoth site is a Clovis-aged mammoth site and almost certainly a kill site. Additionally, we have expanded the boundaries of the site and discovered a secondary work area 12 m away from the mammoth that contains some unique and unexpected features for a mammoth kill in North America.
www.sublette.com/was Upper Green River Basin Chapter, Wyoming Archaeological Society
Man found unresponsive near local park in Pinedale (posted 2/6/16)
Girls Freeride Ski Clinic February 12th and 13th (posted 2/5/16)
Sublette County Rural Health Care District Board of Trustees Special Meeting Feb. 8 (posted 2/5/16)
Sublette County Rural Health Care District
February 4, 2016: The Sublette County Rural Health Care District is pleased to announce two new additions to its healthcare team and the community! Keri Hull, ACNP and Michelle Chavez, FNP are both taking on new patients in your local clinics. Keri, who is dually certified as an acute care and family nurse practitioner, and Michelle, a family nurse practitioner, each bring a unique set of medical skills and experience to Sublette County, as well as a passion for rural medicine.
Keri, who joined the District last October, spent the last 6 years in Alaska working as a critical care and ICU nurse in Anchorage and Sitka. She says, "In rural medicine, weather and time create huge challenges and you are not always able to provide the care that is needed. But I enjoy the trouble-shooting and problem-solving that comes with not having everything at my fingertips." Keri has brought her husband and baby girl along with her to Sublette County and they are excited to spend some time enjoying the Winds and Wyoming Ranges. Keri is currently seeing patients at the Pinedale Medical Clinic.
Michelle is the newest addition to the Marbleton-Big Piney Clinic. After 30 years working as an RN, she received her Nurse Practitioner license in 2013. She, too, has experience working in the rural setting and brings with her the critical ER and trauma experience that are necessary in Sublette County. "I love rural medicine, especially pediatrics. And I really enjoy the mountains and seeing all the wildlife here". Michelle moved here with her husband and 2 dogs and is currently working towards getting her private pilot’s license.
The addition of Keri and Michelle are consistent with the District’s mission to provide accessible, patient-focused care. With the growing complexity of health care and the diminishing availability of primary care physicians, the role of the nurse practitioner in primary care has soared. Nurse practitioners are registered nurses with advanced training. With the exception of surgery, nurse practitioners are allowed under state regulations to provide many of the same services performed by physicians. These services include diagnosing and treating health problems, either routinely, urgently or emergently; performing well-child and adult care checkups; prescribing medications; and teaching health promotion and disease prevention to patients. Additionally, Keri and Michelle both meet the District’s strict provider requirements of having ER experience and being certified in Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Pediatric Life Support, Advanced Trauma Life Support and Management of Difficult Airway. These certifications are rigorous and require ongoing recertification. All of which are not typically required in non-rural practices.
"Family nurse practitioners have a long history of providing exceptional patient care to the residents of Sublette County. The Health District has utilized numerous nurse practitioners and physician assistants in the past including RCHD Board of Trustee Kris Roork and Leslie Hagenstein, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC. Leslie has been and continues to be an integral member of our medical provider team providing clinic and emergency room care at both the Marbleton-Big Piney Clinic and Pinedale Clinic. She along with others have paved the way for the RHCD to expand the role of the NP especially in light of the District’s effort to decrease expenditures while maintaining exceptional patient care. The expense of salary is nearly cut in half with a NP. Average salary ranges for a nurse practitioner in rural areas with a call commitment ranges from $92,000- $124,000 while physician salaries range from $205,000 to $270,000.00. It is not the intent of the RHCD to replace our physicians but to move to a complement of the two that fits both our community needs and the budget. This will occur by attrition. Another factor playing into the transition to Nurse Practitioners is the District’s strategic plan to transition the clinics to Provider Based Rural Health Clinics to benefit from the cost based reimbursement. One of the criteria is utilization of mid-level providers 50% of the time the clinic is open," states Malenda Hoelscher, Health Care Administrator.
While the District is thrilled to welcome Keri and Michelle, they are also sad to announce that Dr. Debbie Brackett is no longer seeing patients at the Marbleton-Big Piney Clinic. Dr. Brackett has transitioned her patients to other providers at the clinic as of Monday, February 1st to assure seamless transition of care including outstanding blood work and other diagnostic tests. Additionally, the District will be saying "Aloha!" to Dr. Shannon Evans in April. Dr. Evans has been a highly-regarded member of the Marbleton-Big Piney Clinic team since August 2011. She will be trading in her snow boots for flip flops as she heads to Hawaii to start the next chapter in her career. The District would like to thank Dr. Brackett and Dr. Evans for their service and dedication to their patients in Sublette County and wish them well as they move forward.
With the vacancy being left by Dr. Evans, the District has retained the services of Merritt Hawkins to recruit a family practice physician. Merritt Hawkins is the nation’s leading permanent physician and allied health care professional placement service. They have successfully recruited numerous providers to Sublette County in the past including Dr Evans, Michelle Chavez, FNP, Dr. Dave Kappenman and Dr. Eliz Albritton.
Click here for pictures
Pinedale Online Editor’s note: In response to our inquiry about the status of Dr. Shannon Evans, Dr. Debbie Brackett and Dr. David Burnett at the Marbleton Clinic, the SCRHCD answered: "Dr. Evans is moving to Hawaii. She submitted her resignation on December 22, 2015. We are currently recruiting a physician to take her place. Dr. Brackett has opted not to renew her contract and is no longer seeing patients. The care of her patients is being transferred to Michelle Chavez, FNP. Dr. Burnett is currently negotiating his contract with the RHCD board." Anyone with questions or concerns is always welcome to contact the Sublette County Rural Health Care District, 307-276-4451, or come to one of their regular monthly Board meetings, which alternate between Pinedale and Marbleton. The next board meeting will be on Wednesday, February 17, 2016 at 6:00PM at the Marbleton Town Hall. www.sublettehealthcare.com.
Sublette County Rural Health Care District Facebook page
Court rules in favor of County Clerk in civil lawsuit brought by Sheriff (posted 2/4/16)
Sublette County Unified Fire
PINEDALE, WY - The Sublette County Unified Fire Chief, Shad Cooper recently completed the Executive Fire Officer Program through the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, MD. The Executive Fire Officer Program is a professional development series of ACE accredited, graduate degree courses taken over a four-year period. The courses and accompanying applied research projects provide senior fire officials with a broad perspective on various facets of fire and emergency services administration. The executive level curriculum focuses on how to exercise leadership when dealing with difficult or unique problems within communities. The curriculum prepares fire service leaders to transform their organizations from being reactive to proactive in nature.
EFOP graduates are acknowledged as having demonstrated a commitment to reduce the nation’s loss of life and property from fire and related emergencies by pursuing professional development through completion of the National Fire Academy sponsored courses. Each of the four courses require writing extensive written research projects with an emphasis on leadership development, community risk reduction, and emergency incident prevention. It is also important the students must apply what they have learned in the classroom to existing situations in their own community. Each project is peer reviewed, evaluated, and published through a formal process. The Executive Fire Officer Program takes over 2,000 hours of self-study and formal classroom training to complete.
Cooper explained, "It was truly a challenging and rewarding experience to complete this program. The EFO program is the preeminent executive level fire training program in the United States. During my time in the program, I was able to meet and study with Fire Chiefs from large metropolitan cities, small communities, and even some Fire Chiefs from other countries."
WLCI Local Project Development Teams hold February meetings (posted 2/4/16)
BLM holds combined Pinedale Anticline Annual Planning meetings Feb. 18 (posted 2/4/16)
Town of Pinedale
The offices and employees of Pinedale Town Hall have been moved to the Town Shop and Animal Control at 61 S County Road 123. Town Hall, 210 W. Pine Street, is closed completely for abatement of asbestos, until further notice. All Town business will be conducted from the Shop or Animal Control. Phone and fax numbers will remain the same. Town Council meetings, Board meetings, and Commission meetings will be held at the Sublette County Library at their normally scheduled times. For directions or information please call, 307-367-4136.
www.townofpinedale.us Town of Pinedale
Movie ‘Unbranded’ to be shown in Pinedale Feb. 26 (posted 2/3/16)
Pinedale Local and Pinedale Online are designed and maintained by Wind River Web Services LLC in Pinedale, Wyoming. News stories are contributed by members of the community. Our office is located in Office Outlet in Pinedale, 43 S Sublette Ave. We welcome story contributions by anyone from the community about upcoming events. Credits: Photos by Pinedale Online unless otherwise credited. We welcome photo contributions, especially for the Pinedale Local top picture and "Out and About" photo gallery. To submit photos, please send as high resolution photo as available (preferably larger than 1000 pixels on horizontal dimension.) Top header photos should have a narrow horizontal element that can be extracted to fit the banner space. Pinedale Online/Wind River Web Services LLC also owns and maintains the Sublette.com and BigPiney.com companion sites. All site content is copyright 2012. Photos, graphics and written content may not be used without advance permission from Pinedale Online/Wind River Web Services LLC. Please contact us for more information or questions about using content found on our site, firstname.lastname@example.org, 307-360-7689. If you find any broken links on our site, please let us know. Thank you for visiting us!