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In less than two weeks, the voters of Johnson County will have the opportunity to demonstrate what our community truly values.

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Earlier this month, the state Department of Education released parameters for reopening the state’s 347 schools. By early August, the state’s 48 school districts must submit their own plans in accordance with the guidelines. 

Walking down the canned goods aisle at the grocery store this week, one of the Bench Sitters overhead two young mothers visiting (at a social distance of course) and picked up on a few thoughts that would not occur to most of us who are well into our “Social Security years.”

The clock is ticking toward Aug. 24 – the first day of school in Johnson County. With less than seven weeks until students return to learning, many questions remain unanswered.

And just like that, the Fourth of July is here! Maybe it’s the pandemic or all the political noise, but somehow this holiday snuck up on the Bench Sitters a bit too fast. 

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Well-intentioned bipartisan legislation supported by Wyoming Sens. Mike Enzi and John Barrasso would allow state-inspected meat to be sold across state lines. Under normal conditions, this might create a boon for locally raised beef that could now be processed in Wyoming and sold under a pri…

It is budget season, and both the city and county are grappling with projected revenue declines of 20 percent or more. On Monday, the state’s first cost-cutting measures will go into effect – 10 of the state’s rest areas will be shuttered to reduce the Wyoming Department of Transportation’s …

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If there is anything positive to say about the summer of drought we are apparently facing, it would be that it has helped take local conversations away from coronavirus and rioting over racial issues.

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For nearly 15 years, we have heard about the United States Postal Service running in the red. Politicians have wrongly claimed that this is due solely to mismanagement, and that the USPS should be privatized. Certainly management could be improved. However, the real driver of these losses oc…

Like many of you, we have been getting a little stir crazy spending too much time in the house. I’ve noticed lots of things I could be working on, like patching that drywall in the upstairs guest bedroom or reorganizing my closets, but with the emerging warmer weather, the Wyoming wilderness…

As Wyoming and Johnson County take the first tentative steps to reopening businesses and public offices, it’s more true than ever that we are all in this together. Ensuring the communal success of efforts to reopen businesses will require each of us to bear a little personal responsibility. 

When a life-threatening spring flood is forecast for Johnson County, the Buffalo Bulletin breaks that news on our web page. We don’t do it for link clicks or to scare people, but rather so our community can take necessary precautions. As anyone who lives here knows, the weather can change ra…

Why do things like the pump in the water well or the furnace in the house always stop working sometime between Friday night and Sunday afternoon? That’s when any help you might be able to get will be on the “time-and-a-half” basis if available at all?

Do you have questions about Johnson County’s history? Do you sometimes wonder about the purpose of our historical sites or the people that settled our county? Do you find yourself pondering who was the architect for a particular building or what businesses have occupied that building? 

The time has come for Congress to act if Wyoming and indeed America’s agriculture industry is to survive. Over the years there have been multiple bills sponsored by both Democrats and Republicans to address inequities in the national ag markets. Yet, none of these bills have ever made it to …

Most folks who enter public service do so because they feel they can bring certain expertise and knowledge to the position. Certainly, anyone running for public office in Wyoming in the last five years has been aware of the significant financial challenges the state faces. 

I sat staring at a blank document, cursor blinking, for a long time. I wanted to share something upbeat and positive, but everything I attempted to write felt trite or insincere. I typed a few words only to delete them. I left for lunch, hoping that the writer’s block would be gone by the ti…

Like many of you, we have been getting a little stir crazy spending too much time in the house. I’ve noticed lots of things I could be working on, like patching that drywall in the upstairs guest bedroom or reorganizing my closets, but with the emerging warmer weather, the Wyoming wilderness…

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.

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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.

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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.

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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…

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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.

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

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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.

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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…