News of Riverton, Lander and Fremont County, Wyoming, from the Ranger's award winning journalists.
Jun 4, 2013 - By Steven R. Peck
"What is so rare as a day in June?" asked the poet James Russell Lowell in a line familiar to most of us who took freshman English. To get an idea of what prompted the question, just step outside any morning this month. Take some deep breaths. Watch the light dance on the leaves. Hear the song of the birds. You'll get the idea.
(Incidentally, are there lines of poetry being written today that will be memorized and quoted a century from now? Perhaps that's a function now filled by our pop music lyrics.)
The big, big paper
Now we're in for it. The first section of The Ranger's 58th Annual Mining and Energy Edition came rumbling off the press Tuesday morning. There is no turning back (not that we were ever thinking of it anyway). At least six more sections of the big paper will be reported, photographed, written, sold, designed, edited and printed between now and Wednesday, June 19, when the edition will be complete.
Along those lines, we probably will opt not to publish Diversions as its own, separate section for the Sunday paper over the next couple of weeks, so that our pressroom and mailroom time can be available for the special edition to be printed.
As always, the "bones" of Diversions -- opinions, columns, letters, Dear Abby, the puzzles and the horoscopes -- will be presented in Section A.
Making the mail
We appreciate the comments we have received about our mail delivery issues prompted by a change in the postal deadline that took effect in mid-May -- especially the encouraging and supportive ones. An editorial in this space last week gave a glimpse of how something imposed from the outside can change how we do things on the inside.
Last week we "made the mail" two of the four weekdays, and this week we will try to better that performance. It is a process that will take some time to adjust, but we have been working on it and will continue to do so.
Speaking of insider glimpses, an odd series of circumstances has presented itself to The Ranger newsroom in the case of the death of Tad Paul Barnson. His were the skeletal remains located in March on the Wind River Indian Reservation about seven years after he had gone missing. A family member who lives out of state has been communicating with our newsroom from time to time. The relative has given details and interpretation of the events that led to Barnson's death. It is unusual that an "insider" of this nature wants to speak to us in this fashion, and we have learned through the years not to accept what people in this person's situation tell us as factual or reliable without verification.
So far, however, much of what she has told us behind the scenes has been true once the official account is released by the authorities. With that as the preface, if even half of what this person says about this case turns out to be true and verified by investigators, then it will prove to be one of the more interesting news items we've covered in years.
Five in the 500
It has been three weeks since we updated the status of our imaginary investment exercise called "Five in the 500." On President Obama's second inauguration day, we imagined making a $500 investment in the Standard & Poor's 500 index, which is a very broad-based collection of stocks in hundreds of companies intended to paint a comprehensive picture of the U.S. economy. Since we last updated, the S&P 500 reached some spectacular new highs before retreating to somewhat lower levels. Still, had you invested $500 in the S&P 500 the day the president took the oath of office for the second time, as of Tuesday morning that investment would have been worth $539.77. That is a solid return on any investment, and a whole lot better than a lot of things that could have tempted your money this year.
Making our case
Word is that Riverton school superintendent Terry Snyder attended a meeting of the state school facilities board in recent days to make Riverton High School's case for a school auditorium and new wrestling facility. The auditorium is a glaring shortcoming in our school district, and the wrestling venue is a need apparent to anyone who takes the time to notice the teams' circumstances.
The community owes its appreciation to the superintendent for taking the arguments to the state level. Everyone says it's a long shot, but the only way to ensure it won't happen is not to ask. Good luck.
Here's to a good week.