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Tuesday notes

Apr 18, 2017 By Steven R. Peck

Sunny Easter

Mother Nature came through for the holiday weekend, delivering a suitably Easter-esque dayon Sunday. Many holidays have a strong weather connotation associated with them, and Easter is among the strongest. The mild day with a blue sky was Easter the way it's supposed to be.

Meanwhile, the forecasters say we can prepare for more wet weather - not a huge blizzard or spring downpour, but unsettled weather with a couple of rainy days ahead this week. In other words, springtime in the Rockies.

Mining Edition

Work in our office has begun on the 62nd annual Ranger Mining and Energy Edition. It's still a couple of months off, but it takes that long to do it right. Look for the big paper onWednesday, June 14. It's published each year to coincide with the annual convention of the Wyoming Mining Association. Sheridan is the host city this year.

Egg searchers

Easter has passed, but The Ranger's annual Easter Egg Hunt continues. We arrive today at the sixth of a possible nine clues. At stake for each of the two eggs is a $200 prize, plus an Easter basket for each finder. Java Java Espresso in Riverton, one of the page sponsors, has kicked in five beverage cards for each winner as well.

The hunt has interrupted our normal page format a few times. Today the Easter Egg Hunt page replaces the typicalTuesdayhealth page, for example. All will be restored to normal by next week.

As always with the Ranger's several treasure-hunt promotions each year, rumors abound. Last week someone declared with great authority that one of the two Easter eggs had been found in the rain gutter edging the roof of St. James Episcopal Church in Riverton. First, neither egg had been found as of9:30 a.m.Tuesday, when these words are being written on deadline. Second, a Ranger Easter egg never would be hidden at a church. Third, it would never be hidden in a place that required searchers to climb up to a rain gutter or anything else.

Happy hunting.

(BULLETIN: Egg No. 2 was returned lateTuesdaymorning. See page 1 for details.)

Dow Now

The stock market was treading water again last week, the streaking rally of the late fall and mid-winter apparently over for awhile. Consequently, our year-long investment experiment called Dow Now hasn't done much for awhile, either.

We have pretended to invest $1,000 in a fund which does nothing more than watch the Dow Jones Industrial Average as it rises and falls each day. Such accounts are called "index funds," and they don't require expert analysis of markets, or research on individual companies. It's simply a bet on the Dow going up or down.

For 10 months, the general direction of our hypothetical investment has been up since we began last June, shortly after the volatile "Brexit" vote in the United Kingdom. It sent markets down sharply for a few days last summer.

Since then, though, there have been a lot more ups than downs, and the investment is solidly ahead despite recent stagnation. Had you actually invested $1,000 in a DJIA index fund lastJune 24, as ofTuesdaymorning it would have been worth $1,155.22 - up more than 11 percent for the year but down about a buck from last week.

All-time low?

The president said last week that relations between the United States and Russia are at "an all-time low."

Let's hope not. In 1962 the two nations stood at the brink of nuclear war over a standoff in Cuba after Russia (then the Soviet Union) began installing nuclear missiles on the island 90 miles off the Florida coast.

It took an American naval blockade of Cuba to get Soviet Premier Nikita Khruschev to back down and remove the missiles. U.S. President John F. Kennedy managed the American side of things in an unnerving episode that lasted nearly two weeks. Several other Cold War confrontations involved military skirmishes by proxy.

What we have now is a war of words between a couple prideful egomaniacs - Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin. That's pretty familiar territory in the post-war relationship between our country and Russia. Things aren't good, but they've certainly been worse.

Alarm sounds

What were all those sirensMondayafternoon? The noise had nothing to do with the amusingly malfunctioning "noonwhistle" that has sounded at midday for about 60 years in Riverton but recently has been on the fritz.

Instead, these sirens were at Central Wyoming College, which was doing some testingMondayof its campus alert procedures. The college takes security and safety very seriously, and there is a system in place to inform and, if necessary, warn students and faculty if there is trouble on campus. A lot of it has to do with cell phones, texts and e-mails, but part of it is a good old-fashioned siren.

From the sound of thingsMonday, it appears to be working well.

Here's to a good week.

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