News of Riverton, Lander and Fremont County, Wyoming, from the Ranger's award winning journalists.
Dec 4, 2012 - By Steven R. Peck
Is this early December or late March? The weekend�s weather could have passed for either � windy, sunny and dry, with temperatures in the upper 50s. Had we been roused from hibernation without a calendar in sight, it would have been hard to tell which was which. Perhaps the Christmas lights would have been the tip-off.
The warm temperatures are unusual, but high winds in early December are not. A glance back at December newspapers from days of yore often shows headlines about windy days and nights between Thanksgiving and Christmas in our otherwise not-so-windy part of the world. It�s tempting to go find a kite.
Find the Football
Anticipation is growing this week as the Find the Football Contest enters what, by necessity, must be its final three days. The scrambled-letter clues are about to get much more specific, but only if you�ve been paying attention to the earlier hints. The final published clue is Thursday, Dec. 6, with $250, two Denver Broncos football tickets, and an autographed Peyton Manning jersey on the line, along with two additional $50 prizes.
Meanwhile, today is the day we will post the first of two consecutive clues at our newspaper�s website, dailyranger.com. It�s not imperative for success in the football treasure hunt to read the online clues, but it probably would help. Happy hunting.
Speaking of Thursday, Dec. 6, that�s also the day The Ranger welcomes a new columnist to its opinion page. Actually, Clair McFarland isn�t entirely new. Several years ago she wrote a few columns when she was a high school student. Today she�s a young homemaker and mother who writes with humor, insight and considerable skill about life in the domestic trenches (and other things as well).
We�re pleased and excited about this new �voice� in The Ranger, and we think readers will feel the same as they get to know Clair through her columns. Be watching Thursday.
Flags around Fremont County will be lowered two times this week, one for a solemn national day of remembrance, the other for a local one. Tuesday�s half-staff observance is for former Fremont County legislator Mike Svilar of Hudson, who died last week at age 83. He served in both the Wyoming House and Senate in the 1960s and came close to returning to the Legislature in a couple of close-shave elections in later years. In addition to the Fremont County flags, Gov. Mead has ordered the flag at the Wyoming Capitol to be lowered Tuesday as well.
Then, on Friday, Dec. 7, Fremont County joins in the nationwide half-staff observance to mark and remember the �date which will live in infamy� � the attack on Pearl Harbor by Japan, which opened the door to America�s entrance to World War II.
If you were able to see any of the Riverton �mini invitational� basketball tournament over the weekend, then you saw one of the best Riverton Wolverines boys basketball teams in memory. This is a big, fast, tough, experienced and confident team that will prove very difficult to beat this season. Keep an eye on the Wolverines.
And the Riverton girls did something they hadn�t done in years, winning two consecutive games. Times have been tough in recent years on the basketball court, so this is a major step forward for the girls.
As for the boys, this was our last chance to see them in action for a good long while. The quirky schedule doesn�t show another home game for the Wolverines for almost two months. Next home date: Friday, Jan. 26.
Annals of crime
The shocking news of the Casper College murders and suicide Friday hit even harder than they might have in Fremont County when we came to learn that the on-campus victim was James Krumm, a former Lander resident who worked at the Wyoming Life Resource Center.
Although this is a story no one in Wyoming would ever have expected to cover � or wanted to � it was important news that required some vigorous effort on deadline. Given the circumstances and importance of the story, we note with some pride that we were the first Wyoming news media operation to identify Professor Krumm by name, and for 24 hours were the only one to do so.
We have no quick statistics on hand for how many homicides are committed with a crossbow and arrow, nor how many of those occur on a college campus, nor how many of those are followed by the assailant stabbing himself to death, and how many of those involved a son attacking his father shortly after killing his father�s girlfriend.
Finally the pyramid becomes so narrow at the top as to render what happened Friday at Casper College so rare as to be unique in the annals of American crime.
That�s nothing to be proud of, but it was � and is � a riveting story that no one will ever forget.
Here�s to a good week.