$500,000 gift to fund NCHS scoreboards

Natrona County High School will receive new digital scoreboards at Cheney Alumni Field and in its gymnasium thanks to a $500,000 donation from the new owners of the Wonder Bar.

The scoreboards will feature video playback for football and basketball. The donation will also help improve the non-digital scoreboard for indoor track.

The donation comes from the Cercy family. They announced it Friday during an assembly at the school.

Tony and Caryl Cercy presented the school with a check during the assembly.

The donation comes only a few months after the family gave $1 million to the David Street Station project.

Tony and his son, Cole, purchased Casper’s iconic Wonder Bar this fall. They plan to reopen the establishment with a restaurant downstairs and an upstairs sports bar. The popular bar will be renamed “C-85 at The Wonder Bar.”

Tony Cercy owned Power Service Inc. until earlier this year. He sold the Casper equipment maker to NOW Inc., a publicly traded company worth $1.79 billion, in April.

Search ‘$500,000 donation for NCHS scoreboards’ on trib.com for the full story.

More covered under Obamacare

The number of Wyomingites without health insurance has dropped 23 percent since the Affordable Care Act was enacted in 2010, a new federal report shows.

The report, released last week, found that more than 22,000 people in Wyoming have gained coverage through an online marketplace created by the health reform law.

The law enacted an individual mandate, meaning people had to obtain coverage or face a fee. It also blocked insurance companies from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions and extended to 26 the age at which children had to leave their parents’ plan.

Data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services shows that the law, also known as Obamacare or the ACA, has affected around 4,000 young adults in Wyoming through its age extension. As for the marketplace, the data says 22,076 people have received Obamacare through the exchange.

The future of the ACA and the extended coverage it provides is uncertain as president-elect Trump and many congressional Republicans, including U.S. Senator John Barrasso, discuss repealing or revising the law.

Search ‘Wyoming coverage Obamacare’ on trib.com for the full story.

Yellowstone opens

for winter travel

Yellowstone National Park roads opened to the public for motorized oversnow travel last Thursday at 8 a.m.

Visitors will be able to travel the park’s interior roads on commercially guided snowmobiles and snowcoaches from the North, West and South entrances. Visitors who have proper permits can also participate in the non-commercially guided snowmobile program. Travel through the park’s East Entrance over Sylvan Pass is scheduled to begin Dec. 22.

The road from the park’s North Entrance at Gardiner through Mammoth Hot Springs to Cooke City is open to automobile travel all year.

Those planning a winter trip to the park are reminded that the weather is extremely unpredictable, and road closures or delays can occur with little or no warning. Visitors should carry personal emergency survival equipment and dress appropriately for outside activities in extremely cold weather.

Most stores, restaurants, campgrounds and lodges are closed during winter, but limited services are available at Old Faithful, Mammoth Hot Springs, Tower Junction and some warming huts throughout the park. Check with the park before planning a trip.

Search ‘Yellowstone open for winter season’ on trib.com for the full story.

Cowboy State Games to return

The Cowboy State Games will be returning to Wyoming in January after a nine-year break, the Casper Sports Alliance announced Thursday.

The games began in 1986 in Cheyenne and lasted for two decades, peaking at 5,000 athletes competing annually, before petering out in 2007.

A couple brought back statewide games under a different name in 2013, and events were held as recently as November, but John Giantonio, director of the Casper Sports Alliance, said the duo did not have the resources to bring the games in line with national standards and asked the Sports Alliance for help.

“I said, ‘Absolutely we’d love to,’” Giantonio said. “These are the people of Wyoming’s games.”

Events this winter will include figure skating, snowshoeing, skiing, air hockey, ice hockey and bowling.

While Giantonio is still finalizing locations for some of the February games, he said ice hockey may be held in Cody. There are plans to hold a softball tournament in Gillette over the summer.

“These aren’t the Casper Cowboy State Games,” he emphasized.

Search ‘Cowboy State Games return’ on trib.com for the full story.

Dealers oppose uncapped

liquor licenses

Casper-area liquor dealers are increasingly anxious that the Wyoming Legislature will remove the population-based cap on liquor licenses, which currently sell on the secondary market for up to $300,000 due to their limited quantity.

Local bar owner Matt Galloway laid out the arguments against removing the population cap last week at a Casper City Council work session.

To the council and in an interview, Galloway said that the public perception of bar owners as wealthy and coddled by Wyoming’s strict liquor laws was inaccurate. He said a sudden removal of the license cap would put owners who have invested up to six figures in them at a disadvantage.

City council members have been increasingly critical of the population-based cap on licenses since July, when they awarded a new liquor license to the Old Yellowstone Garage and were forced to reject other attractive applications.

The Wyoming Association of Municipalities has also called on the Legislature to holistically review liquor regulations in the state to give cities and towns more control over how many licenses they grant.

Search ‘uncapped liquor licenses’ on trib.com for the full story.

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