2019: The Top 10 Stories of the Year

2019: The Top 10 Stories of the Year

As the year comes to an end, the employees at SweetwaterNow can’t help but look back on the year and reflect on some of the stories that not only changed our lives, but those in the community as well.

Thank you for trusting us to share your stories. We are grateful to live in such an amazing community with so many great stories to tell. 


Sweetwater County Raises Over $75,000 For Make-A-Wish

(February 24, 2019)

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ROCK SPRINGS – Over the last two weeks, both Rock Springs High School and Green River High School schools worked diligently to raise money for the Make-A-Wish foundation.

Make-A-Wish aims to make wishes come true for children with life-threatening situations. Each year, Sweetwater County comes together to raise money to donate to the organization.

This year, Rock Springs ended up raising the most money with a staggering $45,534.25. Green River also brought in an impressive $34,249.09. The total between both schools equated to $75,783.34.

To read more click here.


Historic Steam Engines To Visit Downtown Rock Springs

(March 15, 2019)

ROCK SPRINGS– Steam engines gave transportation new meaning as they moved merchandise, food and people to different places in the world since the Industrial Revolution.

Union Pacific’s historic steam locomotives – Big Boy No. 4014 and the Living Legend No. 844 – are touring the Union Pacific system throughout 2019 to commemorate the transcontinental railroad’s 150th anniversary.

The Big Boy’s return to the rails is the product of more than two years of meticulous restoration work by the Union Pacific Steam Team. No. 4014 is the world’s only operating Big Boy locomotive.

To read more click here.


GRHS Teacher Earns Jostens Educator of the Year Award

Photo Credit: MJ Haug Photography.

(June 4, 2019)

GREEN RIVER — Bradlee Skinner is the epitome of everything you’d hope an educator would be. He is also one of three educators to receive this year’s Josten’s Educator of the Year award. The prestigious award will be given to the Green River High School teacher in person at the Josten’s national conference this July in Orlando, Florida.

Skinner was chosen out of 6,000 eligible schools that implement the Jostens Renaissance program. The other two recipients of the award are principals from Texas and Washington.

Jostens Renaissance is an educational division of the Jostens company best known for it’s yearbooks, caps, gowns and class rings. Jostens Renaissance focuses on improving a school’s culture and climate. There are many benefits such as teacher retention, high graduation rates and an overall positive environment for learning and teaching.

To read more click here.


“Cup Lady” Gives New Meaning to Community Service

Linda Rood shows a few local children how to arrange cups for a rainbow design.

(June 11, 2019)

ROCK SPRINGS — If you ever find yourself in the neighborhood of longtime resident, Linda Rood, you’ll more than likely see her elaborative fence art made out of plastic cups. The eye-popping designs range from the American flag to bumble bees. But more interesting than any of her intricate designs is the reason behind her colorful efforts: community service.

Years ago while passing through Evanston, Wyoming, Rood noticed a message that said, “Be Safe,” on the fence of a school. The cups lodged into the fence sparked her interest in the hobby and with her new found inspiration, the rest is as they say; history.

With a large fence of her own to portray images made out of cups, Rood began coming up with her own designs and displaying them to her neighbors and those who passed by. Each art piece is inspired by an image she sees in a book or her imagination. Her collection of over 500 cups in her garage grants her creativity unlimited possibilities.

To read more click here.


Rock Springs Girls Crowned Miss Wyoming and Miss Wyoming’s Outstanding Teen

Miss Wyoming, Jordan Hardman, and Miss Wyoming’s Outstanding Teen, Hannah Moore. Photo by Kerns Photography

(June 24, 2019)

ROCK SPRINGS — Two Rock Springs natives were crowned as Miss Wyoming 2019 and Miss Wyoming’s Outstanding Teen 2019 in Sheridan on Saturday, June 22, and will advance to compete at the national competitions.

Jordan Hardman, a senior at the University of Wyoming, was crowned 2019 Miss Wyoming. Hannah Moore, a senior at Black Butte High School, was crowned 2019 Miss Wyoming’s Outstanding Teen.

“I’m not sure how to put into words the feeling I have with one of my biggest dreams coming true. It’s indescribable,” Hardman said. “I worked so hard for so long and to hear my name be called was surreal.”

To read more click here.


Jennifer Sawyer Receives San Diego Trip from Dream Foundation

Jennifer Sawyer is joined by her family at Old Chicago this week to receive the details of her Dream Foundation trip to southern California next month.

(June 27, 2019)

ROCK SPRINGS — Local resident Jennifer Sawyer will be enjoying an all-expenses paid trip to San Diego, CA courtesy of Dream Foundation and Genetech in the next month.

Dream Foundation is a non-profit organization that serves terminally-ill adults and their families by providing end-of-life dreams that offer inspiration, comfort and closure. Jennifer applied for the trip through the foundation after she was diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Jennifer is 34 years old from Rock Springs who has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Her dream is to enjoy a beach resort vacation with her three children as they have never been to the beach or seen the ocean before now.

To read more click here.


Sheriff’s Office K-9 Team Tracks and Rescues Missing 4-Year-Old

Deputy Sheriff Derek Morrell, and his canine partner, K-9 Deputy Jara. SCSO Photo

(July 29, 2019)

ROCK SPRINGS– On Sunday, July 28, 2019, at approximately 6 pm, sheriff’s deputies responded to the 900 block of Jefferson Avenue in Rock Springs to assist officers from Rock Springs Police Department in locating a missing child.

The boy’s mother reported to police that her child wandered out of the yard while playing with their dogs, that she was looking but could not find him and that he had been missing for approximately 15 to 20 minutes. After providing a physical description, she further advised that her son suffers possible developmental disabilities inhibiting his communication skills. Minutes later, sheriff’s deputies and RSPD officers arrived in the area and began canvassing the surrounding neighborhood in vehicles and on foot in search of the missing boy.

At approximately 6:25 pm, a sheriff’s office canine handler, Deputy Sheriff Derek Morrell, and his canine partner, K-9 Deputy Jara, deployed from the residence in an effort to track the child. About ten minutes later, after forcefully dragging Deputy Morrell down an alley near Thompson Street, between Jefferson and Washington Avenue and behind the child’s residence, K-9 Deputy Jara adamantly alerted to a parked and locked vehicle in the alleyway.

To read more click here.


Local Veterans Share Their Love Story

(Nov. 14, 2019)

GREEN RIVER– Kael and Cheryl Brady of Green River met one week before they were both deployed to Iraq back in 2004 while serving in the Army.

Both Kael and Cheryl enlisted in the military because they didn’t have a desire to go to college. They both had family members who had previous served. Kael’s uncle served in Vietnam and both of his grandpa’s served in World War II. Cheryl’s grandpa was in the Korean War.

Why the Army? Well, for Cheryl it’s simple. She spent a little bit of time in the National Guard but ultimately made the switch to the Army because, “they’re the coolest.”

To read more click here.


RS Woman Celebrates 100th Birthday

(Dec. 6, 2019)

ROCK SPRINGS – For Ruthie Miller, today was a day like no other.

It was her 100th birthday. To commemorate the occasion, friends, family and even Rock Springs Mayor Tim Kaumo visited Miller at Sage View Care Center this afternoon for cupcakes and music. Throughout the party, Miller was wished a happy birthday, which she always responded back to with a big smile.

“I don’t know how to describe this,” Miller said.

To read more click here.


Community Pulls Together to Help Out Local Brothers in Need

The bottoms of the boy’s shoes had holes in them. The community rallied together to get donations together in one single evening to surprise the boys with the new gear the next morning. Photo contributed by Jenny Lawrence.

(Dec. 9, 2019)

GREEN RIVER- When a young Green River boy revealed to his school bus driver and school bus aide that his family could not afford a winter coat for him, they acted quickly in rallying the community together to help them out.

The boy stepped on the school bus without a coat on Thursday, December 5, and the Sweetwater County School District #2 bus driver Audrey Gomez Miner, and school bus aide, Jenny Lawrence, took notice immediately.

“He had an oversized sweater on,” Lawrence said. “I asked him where his coat was when he got on the bus and he said he didn’t have one and his parents couldn’t afford one.”

To read more click here.


Bonus story: Last, but not least, what would Wyoming be with out its newest landowners?

Kayne West Buys Massive, $14 Million Wyoming Ranch

(Sept. 6, 2019)

Wyoming — Kanye West is not just a Wyoming visitor anymore, because we’ve learned he just bought a massive property.

Kanye plunked down some serious money for a property called Monster Lake Ranch. The asking price was $14 million for the huge chunk of land outside Cody, Wyoming.

The Ranch itself has 8 lodging units and is known for “monster trout” fishing. It has 2 fresh water lakes, a restaurant, an event center and meeting facilities. And — it’s a ranch, right — so there are lots of horse barns, corrals and lots of horsies.

To read more click here.