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Pinedale Wyoming Local News

Obituary - Ryan Michael Cothern (posted 3/1/2024)
Wyoming Legislature update – Feb. 29, 2024 (posted 3/1/2024)
Obituary - Leo E. Hakola (posted 2/29/2024)
Wyoming Legislature update – Feb. 28, 2024 (posted 2/29/2024)
Nordic Ski Grooming Report – February 29, 2024 (posted 2/29/2024)
Wyoming Legislature update – Feb. 27, 2024 (posted 2/28/2024)
Memorial Service for Tom Kellen March 2 (posted 2/27/2024)
Public Health is offering Healthy U Classes (posted 2/26/2024)
Celebration of Life for Janice Bernard March 1 in Pinedale (posted 2/21/2024)
Rec Board Grant/Budget Request hearings in March (posted 2/9/2024)

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March 2: Sublette County Republican Party 2024 County Convention - Saturday at 2PM at the Big Piney Library. All are

March 2: Green River Valley Cattlemen's Association Banquet - Social starts at 5:30PM at the Southwest Sublette County Pioneers Senior Center. Prime rib dinner. Tickets available at the Cowboy Shop or both Office Outlets. Tickets will not be sold at the door. Can also reserve tickets by calling Audra Rouge, 307-760-5737 or Jeannie Lockwood 307-260-8378. Raffles, auction items, music.
March 2 & 3: Pinedale Lions Club Big Fish Winter Derby - On Fremont Lake Always the first weekend in March. 2-Day derby with over $7,000 in cash and prizes. Hosted by the Pinedale Lions Club. This event is based out of Lakeside Lodge, four miles north of Pinedale and is operating under a special use permit with the Bridger-Teton National Forest, Pinedale Ranger District. Visit the Pinedale Lions Club Facebook page for a link to rules and regulations.

Scenic Wyoming Photos

Scenic photos by Dave Bell

Photos by Dave Bell


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February 17, 2024
Big Piney2.699
Regular unleaded average.
WY & US provided by AAA.

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Obituary - Ryan Michael Cothern (posted 3/1/2024)
6/10/1976 - 2/15/2024
Ryan Michael Cothern of Gladstone, MO was born on June 10th, 1976 to the loving parents of Michael "Mike" and Rebecca "Becky" Cothern in Bethany, MO.

From a young age, Ryan enjoyed sports, particularly his beloved Las Vegas Raiders, Kansas City Royals, and Los Angeles Lakers, and Wyoming Cowboys.

He enjoyed growing up in Pinedale, WY, often accompanying his father Mike on hunting trips and backpacking trips with his uncles and cousins. During his high school days in Pinedale, WY, Ryan excelled at football and basketball, garnering All Conference honors his senior year in high school. Ryan went on to attend the University of Wyoming where he graduated with a degree in Communications. It was at the University of Wyoming where Ryan would meet and fall in love with Emily Brandt, whom the two would later marry after graduation. This union would produce two loving children, Austin and Abigail (Abby). Ryan was a loving father to his two children.

Ryan would go on to work in the sports Video/Communication department for the University while Emily was working in her chosen profession of nursing. The two would later relocate to Missouri, where they would later divorce. Ryan would proceed to work other jobs in video production, amongst others. Ryan was always quick with a joke or witty comeback and would bring a smile to the face with those that he met.

He is survived by Michael and Yvonne Cothern of Martinsville, MO; brother Eric and Tiffany Cothern of Marion, IN; children Austin and Abigail Cothern of Lawrence, KS; Josh, Paige and Ripp Knight of Nampa, Idaho and numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Cremation of his ashes has taken place and graveside services will be held later this summer at a celebration of life in Higginsville, MO, where Ryan will be laid to rest next to his Mother, Becky. Rest in peace my beloved son, you will be missed.

Wyoming Legislature update – Feb. 29, 2024 (posted 3/1/2024)
Albert Sommers, House District #20 Representative
Hello Sublette County and LaBarge, this is Albert Sommers reporting to you from Cheyenne on February 29, the fourteenth day of the 2024 Budget Session.

Today we continued to work Senate File bills through second and third reading.

Three bills I want to highlight:
SF12 requires hide buyers to keep a bill of sale for two years and includes a record of the date of purchase and all brands and identification marks in the record. The bill of sale must also accompany the hide. Including brands and identification marks helps track and ensure the animal was not stolen. I am not convinced this bill is needed, and might actually be harmful. The current system has protected livestock producers from theft, and was well established with meat processors.

SF18 Amends Wyoming’s safe haven statutes to ensure compliance with the Wyoming Indian Child Welfare Act requiring safe haven providers to inquire about any tribal affiliation or Native American ancestry of a newborn child. Safe haven laws allow parents to remain nameless to the court when a parent relinquishes custody of a newborn without fear of legal repercussions, as long as the baby is unharmed. I support this bill, and I support the Tribes’ ability to determine the destiny of their children.

SF81 clarifies that entities formed by county memorial hospitals and other healthcare districts are covered under existing statute when they partner to expand and offer community services like joint EMS services. Presently, due to uncertainty about existing statute, such entities seek separate liability insurance at great expense to be sure they are covered. Clarifying the law lowers the cost of expanding care to Wyoming citizens. I support this bill.

Tomorrow we will continue to work through Senate Files in Committee of the Whole, second and third reading. We will also work on any concurrence reports on Senate amendments to House bills.

I can be reached at albert@albertsommers.com with questions or comments.

Leo Hakola
Obituary - Leo E. Hakola (posted 2/29/2024)
9/16/1946 – 11/07/2023
Leo Erland Hakola was born September 16th 1946 in Oakland, CA. He passed away peacefully November 7th 2023 at his family homestead in La Barge, WY. He was 77 years old and made the most of his time on Earth. Leo’s father was Hugo Hakola, and his mother was Lila Hakola. He is survived by his son Jess Hakola, his older brother Lauri Hakola, and members of his family extended. Leo had two sons born to Carmen Bagdon, Jess, who survives him, is mentioned above.

Leo spent his childhood years in Grand Coulee, WA and E. Wenatchee, WA. This is where he found great interest in Native American culture and outdoor skills such as hunting and trapping. He graduated from Eastmont High School in E. Wenatchee, WA. Leo pursued college at the University of Washington to the point of a Bachelor of Arts degree, but when the time came to receive his diploma, he said "keep it!"

Leo was an epic father to his two sons by providing a hard-working, creative, and meaningful upbringing. He took pride in sharing his extensive wisdom with his children, family, and friends. He was a great provider for his family and always made sure their needs were met or exceeded. Survival skills, marksmanship, hunting, trapping, camping, and proper craftsmanship were all traits of his. One of his most notable achievements is the restoration of his family homestead in the 1970’s.

For a majority of his life, Leo was an entrepreneur of the cultural arts. He traded goods from around the world, ranging from native American jewelry to African sculpture, and everything in-between. His knowledge of world history and culture developed into a deeply connected social network of folks from all over the planet. Trade beads were the main focus for his trade business for decades. Due to his unique ability to bargain and his knowledge of quality, African tribes presented him the official title of "Super Power." Leo lived in homage to Jesus Christ, as well as those ascended masters such as Buddha and Krishna.

Over the years, Leo made his appearance in films such as; "Dances with Wolves," "Mountain Men" and two of his own films, "Flintlock Wapiti" and "The Spirit of Rendezvous." Flintlock Wapiti documents Leo on a primitive elk hunt in the Wyoming Range, utilizing a flintlock muzzleloader for his method of take-down. "The Spirit of Rendezvous" captures the essence of present-day mountain man rendezvous, as well as tieing in a story of two beaver trappers who time travel with the assistance of a Leprechaun. The producing of these films is a testament to Leo’s passionate honor for American history. You can also see Leo in his element on "American Pickers" (Episode "One of Everything"). Leo’s love for each person’s unique soul attributes was the ultimate trademark of his personality, seeing every living being as a particular character who plays their role to contribute special value towards the greater good of life itself.

Being creative and working hard, that’s what made Leo the happiest. Leo Hakola was an extraordinary man with a heart of gold who embraced the un-bridled, full powered American Dream. The multitude and intensity of Leo’s experiences is impossible to describe. Those that knew him can attest to the fact that his modus operandi was not average or normal to say the least.

Memorial Services will be held in La Barge, WY on June 7th and 8th 2024.

Memorial contributions can be sent to: Jess Hakola, PO BOX 7, La Barge, WY 83123

"Always add a Bit of Art into everything you do"
Leo E. Hakola

Wyoming Legislature update – Feb. 28, 2024 (posted 2/29/2024)
Albert Sommers, House District #20 Representative
Hello Sublette County and LaBarge, this is Albert Sommers reporting to you from Cheyenne on February 28, the thirteenth day of the 2024 Budget Session.

Today, we continued the debate regarding SF09. The bill addresses procedures for school districts to communicate with parents and guardians about their children's information. Specifically, the bill requires schools to inform parents about available health services. It permits them to decline specific services while mandating compliance with reporting abuse or neglect. This legislation aims to strike a balance between parental rights and the responsibilities of teachers and school staff. We expect ongoing discussion on Third Reading. I support this bill, because I believe it has struck the balance between protecting the child and protecting the rights of parents.

SF60 advanced to Second Reading, focusing on large project funding for the Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust Fund. These funds support wildlife habitat improvement projects like the Upper Greybull Fish Passage, aimed at removing barriers to fish passage and enhancing irrigation. This funding plays a crucial role in securing additional grants and matching funds for such projects, which are vital for environmental conservation. The projects that are funded through the Trust Fund are good for agriculture, good for wildlife and good for Wyoming.

SF30, which clarifies that judges are also covered under the offense of influencing and intimidation, passed the House today, with my support. Upholding the independence and integrity of our judicial system is important, and the bill imposes a felony penalty, including imprisonment of up to five years and a fine of up to five thousand dollars, for such actions. The debate hinged on what was the appropriate maximum imprisonment for intimidation versus actual acts of violence. This bill started with a ten-year felony, shifted to a two-year felony, and then settled on a five-year felony.

SF45 empowers vulnerable adults, their families, or agents to take legal action against individuals who exploit them. This bill allows for the recovery of damages and reasonable attorney's fees, providing essential legal recourse for vulnerable adults. I fully support this bill as it progresses to Second Reading. This is a bill I worked on in the interim as a participant in the Mental Health and Vulnerable Adult Taskforce. A vulnerable adult is someone over 18 years of age who is unable to manage and take care of himself or his money, assets or property without assistance as a result of advanced age or physical or mental disability.

Tomorrow, we will continue to work on bills from the Senate, and conduct conference committees on bills when the House and Senate need to find common ground between the two positions. The Budget Bill is in a conference committee right now. As Speaker of the House, I appoint the House members to conference committees that work out the differences between the two chambers. I can be reached atalbert@albertsommers.com with questions or comments.

See links for higher resolution versions of ski trail maps
See links for higher resolution versions of ski trail maps
Nordic Ski Grooming Report – February 29, 2024 (posted 2/29/2024)
Mike Looney, Groomer
Leap Day Thursday, 9:30AM: Most trails above have been groomed this morning including Elkhart Park Road. There’s about an 1 inch of new snow over the last couple of days. 15F degrees. Have a good day.
This Nordic ski trail grooming report is courtesy of the Sublette County Recreation Board.

Related Links:
www.sublettetrails.org Additional information on winter and summer trail recreation in Sublette County, including maps and requested trail etiquette
White Pine-Kelly Park Ski Trail Map - (10.3MB PDF)
CCC Ponds Ski Trail Map - (1.84MB PDF)
Road and Weather links
www.visitpinedale.org Pinedale tourism website (links to lodging, dining, area information)
www.whitepinewyoming.com White Pine Resort, 307-367-6606, (Nearby alpine skiing, food services, restroom)
www.greatoutdoorshop.com The Great Outdoor Shop, 307-367-2440
www.sublettechamber.com Local businesses & services, 307-367-2242
www.golfpinedale.com Rendezvous Meadows Golf Course (Additional Nordic ski trails, food services, restroom)

Wyoming Legislature update – Feb. 27, 2024 (posted 2/28/2024)
Albert Sommers, House District #20 Representative
Hello Sublette County and LaBarge, this is Albert Sommers reporting to you from Cheyenne on Tuesday, February 27, the twelfth day of the 2024 Budget Session.

Today we worked bills on third reading and continued robust debate on several bills.

HB125, which repeals gun-free zones, passed the House with overwhelming support and now moves to the Senate. Yesterday, I proposed an amendment for home rule, but it was rejected. However, an amendment today allows local school districts to determine staff training parameters for concealed weapons permits. With these amendments, I voted in favor of the bill.

HB203 is a property tax bill that generated long debate and had many amendments. The bill would have removed property tax for a homeowner whose home is valued less than $1 million, by increasing sales tax by two cents. The bill was complex and would have made some significant changes to tax policies. While the bill failed, it was a good and important debate on tax policy. I voted against the bill because I believe it would have resulted in a flood of people from outside Wyoming into our county trying to avoid property taxes, which would further drive up home prices in our beautiful valley.

HB52 was heard on third and final reading today, and this was my bill. Originally it featured staggered levels of relief primarily aimed at seniors who are living on limited incomes and struggling to keep up with the severe increases in property taxes in the state. An amendment in second reading cast a wider net to provide relief to a larger group of Wyoming people. I brought an amendment to make this bill provide tax relief immediately, in 2024. The original bill would have taken the Department of Revenue a year to implement. This bill would backfill local government losses through a state appropriation. This would ensure our towns and counties can still function and not have to reduce critical services, while providing critical tax relief to Wyoming citizens.

HB60 also passed the House today, with my support. The bill creates a new category of extraordinary damage to grass by elk on private lands, if populations of elk are over objective. The bill requires the Game and Fish Department to reimburse landowners based upon private land lease rates for the affected area. I worked with Representative Crago, the Wyoming Stockgrowers Association, and Jesse Johnson with the Wyoming Wildlife Federation to find a compromise amendment that seemed to make everyone comfortable with the bill.

Tomorrow we will continue to introduce Senate Files and work bills on Second and Third Reading. I can be reached at albert@albertsommers.com with questions or comments.

Memorial Service for Tom Kellen March 2 (posted 2/27/2024)
Tom Kellen passed away on Monday, February 19, 2024. A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, March 2nd from noon to 2:00PM in the Lovatt Room of the Pinedale Library. The family invites friends to come and celebrate Tom’s life, swap stories, enjoy food, drinks and music. Please text Tom’s daughter Kim with any questions, 310-729-4945.

Public Health is offering Healthy U Classes (posted 2/26/2024)
Starting March 4th
Sublette County Public Health is offering a free 6-week Healthy U Workshop. Healthy U is an evidence-based Stanford University developed program for people with a chronic health condition, their caregivers, or any adult that wants to learn more about managing their health.

The workshop will be at Rendezvous Pointe in Pinedale, 425 W Magnolia Street, on Monday mornings from 9:00AM to 11:30AM, from March 4th through April 8th. Call Sublette County Public Health at 307-367-2157 to register.

Janice Bernard
Celebration of Life for Janice Bernard March 1 in Pinedale (posted 2/21/2024)
Janice Velma Parkinson Bernard passed away peacefully on February 9, 2024. She was born on March 1,1934 to kind and loving parents, Royden and Hilda Parkinson near Selkirk, Michigan in a log cabin which her parents built. After brother, Richard "Dick", was born, her family moved several times until her father purchased a farm in Hale, Michigan around 1949. Hale became Janice’s beloved home for nearly 60 years.

At 18 years old, Janice met Lyle Bernard who was on military furlough. With only one date behind them, he wooed her with letters from camp. One letter contained a photo of Lyle in uniform. "That was the man I fell in love with," she remembered. The couple married on July 16,1952 and two children, Lynn and Bill, followed. Janice and Lyle’s lifelong union was the source of her greatest joys in life–her happy marriage, children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and combined extended families. Janice was a champion of her loved ones, followed their pastimes, and relished in their pleasures and successes until the final days of her life.

Janice’s first job was at the Schofield Insurance company in Hale. As a young mother, she worked in their family owned restaurant. Later, she worked at Hale Elementary School. She was an avid reader, and can be credited for organizing the school’s first library. Then, she enrolled in beauty school, opened a beauty shop and gift shop which, among other things, sold Lyle’s handmade crafts. She ran both businesses until her retirement in 1993.

But by far, Janice’s favorite job was that of grandmother. She was a hands on, no holds barred grandmother who was all about her grandchildren. They still comment on how important they felt in her presence, and how she loved them "a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck". Janice devoted many of her retirement years to lovingly caring for Lyle during his prolonged Alzheimer's illness until his death in 2005.

During this time, she suffered a major stroke. She moved to Pinedale, Wyoming in 2007, setting up residence in the Sublette Center, her home for 17 years. She made many friends in Pinedale who enjoyed her beautiful smile and sharp wit. Janice loved people, visits from friends and family, and the opportunity to offer advice (welcome or not) to the young Sublette Center employees who compassionately cared for her over the years.

Throughout her lifetime, Janice held membership in the United Methodist and St. Paul’s Lutheran churches in Hale, Michigan, worshiping with the Parkinson and Bernard families respectively. In 2014, she joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and was later sealed to Lyle for time and all eternity in the Provo, Utah Temple.

She is preceded in death by her father, mother, and brother. She is survived by sons Lynn (Melissa) and William (Pam); grandchildren Ashley Cooke, Crista Means (Randell), Royden (Traci Giffore), Caitlyn, Spencer (Annie), and Sawyer; great grandchildren Stevan, Joshua, Elizabeth, Almina and Avery; Sister-in-law Sherrill Parkinson Milliron, and many nieces and nephews whom she loved dearly.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Sublette Center of Pinedale, Wyoming.

A celebration of life will be held Friday, March 1st at 7:00 p.m. at the Heritage Room of the Sublette Center in Pinedale.

Related Links:
Obituary – Janice Bernard, March 1, 1934 - February 9, 2024 Covill Funeral Home, Pinedale, Wyoming

Rec Board Grant/Budget Request hearings in March (posted 2/9/2024)
The Sublette County Recreation Board will hear GRANT/BUDGET REQUESTS for the fiscal year 2024-2025 in March in Pinedale and Marbleton.

March 12, 2024 at 6:00 pm
Courthouse in the Commissioner’s Meeting Room

March 13, 2024 at 6:00pm
Marbleton Town Hall

The members of the Rec Board would appreciate your cooperation in meeting the following guidelines when requesting funds:

A representative of your project/organization must attend one of the budget hearings and provide 11 copies of the completed grant application, a list of items requested in order of priority, a profit/loss statement and balance sheet. Your request packets should be four pages or less.

Grant applications will not be accepted after March 13, 2024

Grant applications can be obtained by contacting Board Clerk, Betty Cheeney at 307-360-8135 or Sublette County’s Website: https://www.sublettecountywy.gov/198/Recreation

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Current views from area web cameras. Travel and Weather info here.

WYDOT Web Cam on US 191 by Trappers Point, between Pinedale and Daniel
US 191 at Cora

WYDOT Web Cam on US 189 north of Marbleton at the junction with Hwy 351  - view looking south
US 189 north of Marbleton - View looking south

WYDOT Web Cam on US 191 at Farson
US 191 at Farson

See WYDOT for current road condition reports




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