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Tuesday notes

Jul 11, 2017 By Steven R. Peck, Publisher

Morning thunder

Anyone paying more attention to the local weather forecast than a quick glance at the projected high and low temperature graphic will recognize the familiar wording of the typical National Weather Service forecast for summertime in Wyoming:

"Mostly sunny skies, with a chance for afternoon and evening thunderstorms," it reads day after day this time of year. (In the days before online forecasting and cut-and-paste compositing, one member or another of our news staff typed those very words thousands of times in our daily "Today" column.)

What the forecast virtually never says is "early morning thunderstorm." But we got that very thingMondaymorning in the Wind River Basin, as thunder rolled through the valley around dawn - and brought some rain with it.Most unusual.

Column writers

We're publishing a column by staff writer Katie Roenigk today on this page. Soon we'll have one by staff writer Alejandra Silva as well. Both do a lot of news and feature writing for us, but column writing is rare for them. We'll take a lively local column over commentary from a national writer every single time.

Column and editorial writing has been one of our paper's strengths through the years, and we're glad these two Ranger staffers are on the opinion page this month.

Ned and Betty

Speaking of Ranger columnists, we have a gem in our every-other-Thursdaycorrespondent, Betty Starks Case. She's written for us since the 1980s.

She and husband Ned mark their 75th wedding anniversary thisSunday, July 16.

That's no misprint. 75 years.

We'll have a bit more on Betty and Ned later in the week. For now, however, two words - "congratulations" and "wow."

Vampire bugs

The first mosquito report of the season from Fremont County government monitorswas a pretty good one. We have reason to worry about mosquitoes this year thanks to the huge winter snowfall and the wet spring, followed by flooding. There's been lots of standing water around Fremont County, ideal conditions for big mosquito populations.

But, after a period in June when there was a rapid rise in mosquito numbers after the weather finally warmed, well-timed mosquito fogging has kept mosquito numbers pretty low in populated areas.

Remember, there's more to controlling mosquitoes than the simple pleasantry of not having to be bothered by them. Our county has been plagued by the West Nile virus in the past, including to the point of several fatalities. Humans get infected from mosquito bites, so control is a very real and very important public health issue.

We've said it before; you will see it again: Learn to love the sound of the mosquito fogger.

Junior's meeting

A word to the wise for Donald Trump Jr.: When you've said all along that you never had any meetings with any Russian nationals about the 2016 presidential election, and then it's discovered that you actually did, your first, best move shouldn't be to lie about it.

No one outside the conference room yet knows exactly what went on in that meeting which the younger Trump originally said never happened, then said was about Russian adoption laws, and now acknowledges was about the election and damaging information about Hillary Clinton - but the zigging and zagging doesn't exactly paint a picture of forthright conduct.

These types of stories continue to dog the Trump administration. Regardless of what the true nature of them turns out to be, it's clear that simple carelessness is a big part of the problems the White House can't seem to shake. That ought to be a correctable issue.

Rendezvous

It looks as if the Riverton Rendezvous will have 21 hot-air balloons in town this weekend for the annual balloon rally that has been one of the cornerstones of the Riverton summer for 37 years now. The Ranger is proud to be among the few "37ers" who have sponsored a balloon at every rally since the event began in conjunction with the city's 75th anniversary in 1981.

Our annual "Balloon Block" treasure hunt is in its home stretch this week, with all the remaining clues set to be printed byFridayafternoon. Keep your eyes peeled and minds sharp. The winner gets cash, plane fare to Denver, and Colorado Rockies baseball tickets in the third row on the infield.

(Ona related note, we plan to reprint the annual "Our Skyscrapers" editorial thisFriday, July 14. Some readers have said they look forward to it, so we'll dust it off againon Friday. Soft landings, everybody.)

Here's to a good week.

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