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Your friend Sven is sitting at his old Royal upright typewriter with a blank stare on his face this week. He won’t speak. Not even blink. We think he is either in a mind-numbing trance or might be semi-comatose.

Just over three weeks after Wyoming recorded its first case of the coronavirus, there is still much that remains unknown about the virus, how it will affect our community and when it will pass. 

The Bench Sitters have been trying hard to come up with positive thoughts during these days of “sheltering in place” – or as we were told back in the days of our youth, “You are grounded!”

By virtue of the social distancing necessitated by the spread of COVID-19, you and your family will be spending a lot of time at home the next few weeks.

“Everything we do before a pandemic will seem alarmist. Everything we do after will seem inadequate.” – Michael Leavitt, former HHS Secretary under President George W. Bush

The 20-day legislative session ended with a budget for operation of state government, including schools and colleges. However, no agreement could be reached on a construction budget, and we adjourned without an appropriation bill for state construction. That saves, for now, $162 million.

It only took a few warm days last week to change the landscape from white to brown, raise Clear Creek to early spring levels and finally remove the deep ice ruts and holes from most of Buffalo’s side streets.

There was brief talk this legislative session of expansion of the Medicaid program, a major component of the Affordable Care Act. That move quickly fizzled out. Here’s why.

his week, as newspapers across the nation celebrate Sunshine Week – a week dedicated to pursuing government transparency at every level – it’s appropriate that we thank elected officials who believe in and defend the public’s right to know.

One of my Senate colleagues recently sported an unfamiliar lapel pin: the profile of the Grim Reaper, complete with a scythe. The Grim Reaper is an old symbol of death, and he uses the sickle to harvest the souls of the living.

The Bench Sitters have been keeping an eye on the Wyoming Legislature since they went into their semi-annual budget session, and we notice they are very busy not addressing the problem of not having enough money to meet all the demands to keep things running.

More than 65 Johnson County Healthcare Center employees are set to receive a healthy pay boost in April, and that’s good news for local families, the healthcare center’s bottom line and our community.

Even in a tough budget year, there are a few bright moments. One such was a visit to the Capitol by the Icanberry family of Kaycee.

On Monday, the late Peggy Drury was once again honored as the Boys & Girls Club of the Bighorns took a giant step toward realizing a dream they have chased for nearly two decades: The club broke ground on a new home that they own. When the club relocates to 189 North Cedar Street this su…

As a kid growing up in the ’80s, I knew exactly what the secret sauce was: it came on a burger and it was, well, a sauce.

“The Legislature does its work by committee,” observed the late John Patton, a former local state legislator.

A few weeks ago, you will recall, we woke up one morning to more than 6 inches of fresh snow and knew winter had really arrived. One of the Bench Sitters was driving on DeSmet early that morning and noticed a “weaving” bicycle track on the road.

Once again, the Wyoming House of Representatives has failed all the people of our state. Last week, with a simple procedural vote and no debate, the House voted to strip Medicaid expansion out of the consensus agenda, leaving Wyoming as the sole state in the intermountain West to fail to exp…

When SafeTech Solutions presented its long-awaited report to the Johnson County Rural Health District, it came as no surprise that our community has excellent ambulance service. Both ambulance services in Buffalo and Kaycee earned praise for the quality of care and patient satisfaction. The …

The Summit, Elk Mountain and The Sisters on Interstate 80. Laramie Peak on Interstate 25. Separation Flats north of Rawlins. South Pass southwest of Lander. Piney Creek interchange on I-90. The list goes on and on.

In the five years since former Gov. Matt Mead began championing expanding Medicaid in the state, much has changed – including the state’s finances and the Affordable Care Act itself.

One of the recreational opportunities in Buffalo that gets a lot of use all year-round is the walking path system which stretches from West Hart Street near the Bozeman Steak House all the way to Grouse Mountain.

If the road to hell is paved with good intentions, then the road to waste may be paved with free transportation.

A few years back, a week or two in late January with daytime highs in the 40s would have been amazing. Now we are starting to take it for granted. This was the month we could expect at least a week with the thermometer well below zero for portions of each day.

On Feb. 10, the Wyoming Legislature will convene for its biannual budget session to hammer out the budget with even less revenue than anticipated. Word came last week from the state’s Consensus Revenue Estimating Group that the Legislature will have roughly $72 million less to work with this…

Johnson County is ground zero for an aging population explosion. The median age for the county in 2016 (45) is substantially higher than the median age for both the state (37) and the country (38). As the population ages, the need for senior services is likely to grow.

The Bench Sitters have seen a number of articles on the subject of cats over the past years. There have been essays on how to give a cat a pill and even how to give a cat a bath. Most are pretty hilarious to be sure.