News of Riverton, Lander and Fremont County, Wyoming, from the Ranger's award winning journalists.
Sep 13, 2013 - The Associated Press
Body of Worland man found in canal
WORLAND -- The body of a 91-year-old man who had been missing for several days has been found in Worland.
Police Chief Gabe Elliott says George Sumida's body was discovered in a canal Wednesday.
Sumida had been the subject of a region-wide alert that activated the emergency broadcast system on radio and televisions in several counties.
Elliott says an autopsy was to be done to help determine what happened to Sumida.
Sumida went missing sometime Saturday.
He was last seen that night leaving the Elks Club after playing cards.
Sumida, who had the early onset of dementia, was reported missing on Sunday morning by his daughter-in-law.
Beer lobby opposes tax talk
CHEYENNE -- The idea of increasing Wyoming's state tax on beer -- the nation's lowest -- is drawing opposition from wholesalers who say it would hurt their ability to compete and put a dent in drinkers' pocketbooks.
The Wyoming Legislature's Interim Revenue Committee is set to discuss a proposed hike in the tax Friday in Buffalo. The state hasn't increased the tax since it was levied at 2 cents a gallon in 1935. The median beer tax nationally is 19 cents.
Sen. Ray Peterson, R-Cowley, chairman of the Senate Revenue Committee, has proposed raising the tax to help pay for substance abuse treatment.
Pat Higgins owns the Orrison Distribution Co. in Cheyenne, one of 15 beer wholesalers in the state. He is scheduled to testify against an increase in the beer tax Friday.
Higgins said surrounding states haven't raised their tax on beer in recent years. For instance, Colorado's beer tax is 8 cents a gallon and hasn't be raised since 1986, he said.
"The reality is that if the tax goes up, the price just gets raised, and Joe Sixpack pays the price," Higgins said.
He said that in general, Wyoming retail beer prices are fairly competitive with surrounding states that have a higher tax.
Lummis-owned land up for sale
CHEYENNE -- About 5,000 acres of ranch land and associated structures owned by the family of U.S. Rep. Cynthia Lummis near Cheyenne is up for sale for more than $8 million.
The property, listed as the Lummis Ranch South Camp, is located just southeast of Cheyenne's city limits. It has been used as a pasture for cows or young horses. The sale includes a three-bedroom house, garage, barn and corrals.
The land is one of several parcels in and around Cheyenne that is largely controlled by Lummis, R-Wyo., and her family.
Del Lummis, the congresswoman's brother, is the president of Arp and Hammond Hardware Co., the family-operated business that owns the property. He said it has been with the family for about 30 years.
He said the family decided to sell it because he and his siblings were looking to diversify their investments.
"This is really an attempt to address our estate issues as we get older," he said. "Land is a good investment, but it is not terribly liquid as we begin to look at retirement."
Cynthia Lummis has been named among the richest members of Congress. She made Roll Call's list of 50 richest members in 2009. But she has since fallen off its annual list.
Her most recent congressional financial disclosure statement lists that most of her net worth comes from her holdings in Arp and Hammond Hardware Co., Lummis Livestock Co. and Old Horse Pasture Inc.
She and her husband own $1 million to $5 million worth of assets in each of the three companies, according to the report.
Del Lummis said there are no immediate plans to sell any of the other properties that the family owns in the Cheyenne area, adding that there is no rush to sell the Lummis Ranch South Camp.
"It's not a fire sale or anything like that," he said. "We are kind of just testing the water at this point."