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Tuesday notes

Mar 5, 2013 - By Steven R. Peck

Marching toward spring

March is the month when spring begins, but winter isn't going quietly. After mild weather over the weekend that most definitely was spring-like, we had more snow Monday and a chilly Tuesday morning with the temp only about 10 degrees at the time of what passes for the "morning commute" in the Riverton Valley.

Just so you know, the official first day of spring of 2013 is Wednesday, March 20.

Spring forward

In the new order of things, we don't even have to wait until spring to "spring forward." Yes, it seems early, but Daylight Saving Time returns Sunday, March 10. Turn your clocks ahead an hour before you go to bed, or else you'll be late for everything Sunday morning.

Daylight Saving Time used to be a six-month proposition, but in recent years it has been extended to eight months. It will remain in effect this year until Sunday, Nov. 3.

Early departure

The Wyoming Legislature made good on its fast-paced promise, adjourning last week two full days ahead of schedule. The familiar "40-day general session" ended up being a 38-day session instead.

By law, the Legislature is only supposed to meet for a certain number of days each year, although special sessions can be called under special circumstances. But unused days can be stored up. So, by not using the full 40 days this year, lawmakers now have at their disposal a couple of extra days for next year's budget session, which is scheduled for 20 days but already is expected to be a doozy -- so the two added days might be needed.

Five in the 500

It was a good week for our Five in the 500 experiment -- or at least it would have been had we really invested $500 in the Standard and Poors 500 Index.

Following up on our "Thou in the Dow" test from 2011-12, we imagined a $500 investment in the less-famous S&P 500, using President Obama's second inaugural as the starting date.

A week ago the hypothetical fund had dropped below $500, but the S&P 500 has been crackling since then. As of Tuesday morning, that investment would have been worth $510.45.

Top talkers

Riverton High School is the host this year for the National Forensic League district qualifier Thursday through Saturday. The top speech and debate performers from western Wyoming will be in town competing for the opportunity to represent our state at the NFL nationals in June.

NFL District is a big deal for these teams, who compete in a longer season each yearş than football, basketball, volleyball, wrestling, swimming, soccer or track. National Forensic League events comprise the largest academic competition in the United States for high school students, with hundreds of thousands of participants, and this group always includes many of the brightest, most-engaging kids in school.

Coach Annette Thornton has built one of the top speech teams in Wyoming over the past decade, with national qualifiers emerging year after year.

She and RHS activities director Jeremy Hill have sounded the call for judges of the various events. A bit of expertise is necessary for some, but most events simply require an attentive adult with an appreciation for the spoken word.

If you can help out, please contact Thornton or Hill at 856-9491 -- the sooner the better.

March 5, 1953

We wrote last week about the change in "volume" and "number" in our newspaper publication year. We start over at No. 1 on our first publication day of March.

But it was on this date -- March 5 -- that the first newspaper carrying the Ranger name was published in 1953, making this our exact 60th anniversary.

That new Ranger, which was the result of a merger between the Riverton Review and the Riverton Times, was a twice-weekly product -- Tuesday and Thursday -- compared to the once-weekly schedule the Review and the Times had been on.

We've reproduced a miniature version of that first-ever Ranger front page on page one of today's edition.

We plan more 60th anniversary observances in the months ahead. In the meantime, keep reading.

Here's to a good week.

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