BGCCW homework help

The world is full of distractions and that can make it hard for youngsters to tackle homework. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Wyoming is expanding its services to teens which will include homework help. A brand new Teen Club will open in the fall at Dean Morgan Junior High, giving students a safe place to go after school to bond with friends and get homework completed.

Youth ages 13-18 will be welcomed at the new Club site. This is in addition to the Teen Club located at the Main Club on East K Street in Casper. There will be no weekly charge for teens to attend or to receive Club services. A $10 annual membership fee applies.

Programs offered will be similar to what is offered at the Main Club’s Teen Center including Cowboy Ethics: Be Somebody, Money Matters, SMART Program, Career Launch, Power Hour, Keystone leadership club, gym activities, and tech time. Members will have the opportunity to gain knowledge in art, college readiness, career exploration, healthy relationships and lifestyles, and financial literacy.

The hub of activities for the Dean Morgan site will be the cafeteria and will be open from 2:45 – 5:30 p.m. each day following the school day.

This expansion falls in line with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s “Year of the Teen” where the organization as a whole is working to reach more teens at a critical developmental stage in their lives. BGCCW three year strategic plan for teens includes expansion into middle schools to provide the proven, world class programming the Club is known for.

For more information about the Dean Morgan site or Teen Programming, please contact Chris Stier at (307) 473-5553.

Arts Awards nominations

Each year the Governor’s Arts Awards recognize artists, arts organizations and patrons who display excellence in the arts and outstanding service to the arts in Wyoming. Now in its 35th year, the Wyoming Arts Council’s 2016 Governor’s Arts Awards is now open for nominations.

Any Wyoming citizen, organization, business or community may be a Governor’s Art Awards (GAA) nominee. Accomplishments that are noted should reflect substantial contributions made in Wyoming that exemplify a long-term commitment to the arts. Special consideration will be given to nominees whose arts service is statewide.

Established in 1982, these awards were first made possible by an endowment from the Union Pacific Foundation in honor of Mrs. John U. Loomis, a lifelong patron of the arts. Over the years, individuals and organizations from more than 20 Wyoming communities and statewide organizations have been honored for their dedication to the arts in Wyoming.

The Wyoming Arts Council has a public nomination process with nominations due in early October. The Award Ceremony takes place in Cheyenne in February, and is a gala event with a number of elected officials attending. The Governor gives a State of the Arts speech, awardees are honored, and there is some kind of entertainment, usually by an awardee. This year's ceremony is scheduled for Feb. 3.

Previous GAA recipients are not eligible for nomination, but nomination of previously unselected nominees is encouraged. Nominations must be emailed or postmarked no later than Oct. 3, and emailed to arts@wyo.gov or sent to: Governor’s Arts Awards Wyoming Arts Council 2301 Central Avenue, 2nd Floor Cheyenne, WY 82002.

Nomination forms are available for download at the WAC web site, www.wyomingartscouncil.org. For more information, contact 307-777-7742 or brittany.perez@wyo.gov.

New travel warnings as Zika reaches U.S.

As the Zika virus reaches Miami, Florida, travelers from Wyoming, especially pregnant women or those who may become pregnant, are urged to pay attention to Zika-related travel warnings, according to the Wyoming Department of Health.

Recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) include:

Pregnant women should not travel to the newly identified area in Florida or other Zika-affected locations.

Sexual partners of pregnant women who live in or who have traveled to an affected area should consistently and correctly use condoms or other barriers against infection during sex or abstain from sex during the pregnancy.

All pregnant women who live in or travel to an area with active Zika virus transmission, or who have sex with a partner who lives in or traveled to an area with active Zika virus transmission without using condoms or other barrier methods to prevent infection should be assessed for possible Zika virus exposure during each prenatal care visit and tested according to CDC guidance.

Women and men who traveled to this area should wait at least 8 weeks before trying for a pregnancy; men with Zika symptoms should wait at least 6 months.

Anyone with possible exposure to Zika virus and symptoms of Zika should be tested.

The most common symptoms of Zika virus disease are fever, rash, joint pain and red eyes. The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week.

More information and frequently updated CDC travel warnings can be found at http://www.cdc.gov/zika/index.html.

Free ‘Weeds of the West’ e-pub

Pigweed, dogbane and horsetail are among plants featured in the free downloadable “Weeds of the West,” a guide to more than 350 species found around the home, farm and ranch.

The guide, available as a pdf or ePub at bit.ly/weedswest, aids in identifying species that compete with native plants, horticultural and agricultural crops or are toxic to livestock and people.

Entries include descriptions, habitats and characteristics for weeds growing in all western states, including Hawaii. More than 1,000 photographs show early growth stages and mature plants, plus important features for identification.

Abundance and ability to reproduce, compete and spread rapidly often characterize weeds. According to the editors, the “weed” label does not mean a plant is always undesirable or cannot be beneficial under certain circumstances.

They give as examples species undesirable on grasslands for livestock as being valuable wildlife forage or habitat elsewhere. Some species poisonous to livestock are valued as ornamentals, and some nearly universally unappreciated weeds may help reduce soil erosion on disturbed sites.

Published by the Western Society of Weed Science, Cooperative Extension of the United States and the University of Wyoming, “Weeds of the West” is one of more than 500 guides and how-to videos available from University of Wyoming Extension (see bit.ly/UWEpubs) covering livestock, wildlife and Wyoming open spaces, plus gardening, estate planning, energy planning and other topics.

For more on weeds, see “Wyoming Weed Watchlist,” “Cheatgrass Management Handbook” and “Weed Control in Gardens and Lawn.”

Collaborative Housing Partnership

Casper Housing Authority and Interfaith of Natrona County announced a strategic partnership to streamline service delivery through a one stop shop for families in crisis. The two industry-leading organizations are teaming up to lead the community in collaborative service delivery to families and individuals in need.

“We know that collaboration is the key to addressing the poverty issues facing the Casper community and we are thrilled to be joining forces,” said Carrie Blaze, Interfaith Executive Director. “Our Teams are working together for the good of our community.”

The Interfaith of Natrona County Team recently moved their administrative offices into the newly renovated Casper Housing Authority offices at 145 N. Durbin, in downtown Casper. With only a few days to move the organization, volunteers, agencies and veterans showed up to assist, generating the spirit of cooperation of which both agencies are well known.

“CHA has a long rich history partnering with Interfaith and we are thrilled to be working closely with them once again,” said Kim Summerall-Wright, Casper Housing Authority Executive Director.

Interfaith will have the same hours and phone number.

Interfaith of Natrona County joins Casper Housing Authority and Habitat for Humanity the Heart of Wyoming at the Durbin Street offices.

Interfaith of Natrona County is a 501c3 organization that provides emergency services to those living at or below the poverty level. Interfaith has served Natrona County for nearly 32 years.

Casper Housing Authority is a Public Housing Authority providing safe affordable housing for over 600 Casper families in need.

New State Parks Director

Governor Matt Mead has named Darin Westby as Director of the Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources effective immediately. Westby replaces Milward Simpson who announced his resignation in July. Westby has a degree in Mechanical Engineering, his Civil Professional Engineering license and a certificate in public management. He has worked for State Parks and Cultural Resources for over 15 years and is currently the Field Support Chief.

“I have great appreciation for Milward Simpson, his work and his accomplishments,” said Governor Mead. “One of his many successes is the fostering of great leadership within the Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources. The great internal candidates for this position are a sign of the strength and talent in the agency. Darin Westby is a strong leader and has demonstrated skill within the agency and in outside endeavors. I am confident the agency will continue to achieve and evolve under his direction.”

"I believe that improving the knowledge of our organization and instilling pride in ownership is the key to maintaining the highest level of success for any organization,” said Mr. Westby. “I am a very proud citizen of the state of Wyoming and I am excited to serve the Governor and the public as the Director of this agency."

Trim trees for safety

With the start of school fast approaching, the City of Casper would like to remind commercial and residential property owners and tenants to remove or trim any overgrown tree limbs, shrubs, bushes, or other vegetation that obstructs visibility for traffic, alley access for vehicles and the walkability for pedestrians on sidewalks and crosswalks.

To ensure compliance with City ordinances, ask yourself these questions: Can pedestrians walk safely down the sidewalks? Do vehicles have a clear view of street signs, crosswalks, traffic signs, stop signs and oncoming traffic at intersections? Can city service vehicles and other traffic navigate safely down the alleys? Can your dumpster be emptied without interference from overhanging branches?

If you answered “no” to any of these questions, then it is time to take action. City ordinances require that trees, bushes and shrubs that overhang a street, alley or sidewalk need to be trimmed to at least 15 feet above the surface of the street or alley, and 8 feet above the sidewalk.

Trees, bushes, shrubs and other growth need to be cut back to the property line along the street, alley or sidewalk to allow clear access for either vehicles or pedestrian traffic.

Tree limbs and clippings can be taken to the compost yard at the City of Casper Solid Waste Facility for no charge. For additional information, contact Code Enforcement at (307) 235-8254.

Information on extra trash days and the proper disposal of limbs and shrubbery can be obtained by contacting the Solid Waste Facility at (307) 235-8246. If you have questions regarding proper tree trimming/pruning techniques, contact the Parks Department at (307) 235-8283. Information can also be obtained via the City’s website at www.casperwy.gov.

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