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Tuesday notes

May 7, 2013 By Steven R. Peck

Sunny sighting

What was that bright, warm object in the sky on a Monday in Fremont County? We consulted the experts and have determined that it was the sun.

Yes, we are experiencing the first early-week period in more than a month without a snowstorm. May weather that actually feels like May weather finally is here.

Needless to say, it's been a slow warm-up for spring, with leaves just now emerging in most places in the Riverton valley.

The pattern is reminiscent of the unofficial but familiar spring calendar which used to say that the large trees would leaf by May 15 , the crabapple blossoms would emerge in time for Memorial Day, and the lilacs would hang around through Father's Day if we were lucky.

That progression has come much earlier over the past 20 years or so, but this year it seems like old times.

School plays, old and new

Our weekly Sunday feature called "The way it was" this week drew some nice responses in person and at The old photograph showed preparations for the Riverton High School all-school play in 1938.

In case you're wondering, RHS is hard at work on a school play this year as well. Director Annette Thornton's drama students plan to stage "Les Miserables" later this month. Watch for coverage in The Ranger.

Five in the 500

If you have money in the stock market, then you probably have reason to smile. Chances are your state retirement account is looking better. Your 401(k) account is healthier than it's been in awhile, as is your company pension plan or similar annuity or brokerage fund with a basis in stocks.

Look no further for proof than our ongoing "Five in the 500" experiment. On Jan. 20, we imagined investing $500 in a stock fund based only on whether the S&P 500 went up or down each day -- not individual stocks, but the fund index itself.

As of Tuesday morning, that $500 would have grown to $532.24, growth of a bit more than 6 percent to date. That's not a huge return, but it's a solid one.

Students of the year

The Ranger and Lander Journal hosted the annual Fremont County Students of the Year luncheon Monday afternoon.

Nine students were recognized by their schools, and each receives a $500 higher-education scholarship from The Ranger. The scholarships are funded largely by more than a dozen sponsors every Sunday on the weekly Student of the Week page that has been running in The Ranger for 30 years, and in the Journal for 14.

We hope you'll read more about the Students of the Year in this space on Sunday, May 11, and please take time to notice the final "SOTW" page of the school year on that date as well.

Finally, our thanks to Central Wyoming College for a good lunch and hospitable welcome. We all had a good time for a good reason.

Graduation time

Speaking of the end of the school year, look for our annual graduation edition in the next few days. We'll have pictures from an early ceremony or two, previews of all the others, and added coverage tied to outstanding Fremont County students.

At the heart of the edition remains the array of pictures and names of hundreds of young people passing a meaningful milestone in their lives. We're always glad to be a part of it.

New face

The Ranger welcomes a new advertising sales representative this week. He's Brian Tucker, a Fremont County native with experience in teaching, coaching and school administration, along with good, longtime alliances in agriculture, outdoor recreation and more.

He's getting up to speed on the nuts and bolts of newspaper advertising, and our readers and customers will be seeing him on the streets in the coming days. Please join us in wishing him well in his new position.

Champs again

What a fine year it has been for the Riverton High School boys sports program. Our talented, hard-working Wolverines won their conference championship in football, basketball and soccer during the 2012-13 school sports year -- and they would have won conference wrestling as well had the conference tournament been scored the same way that regular-season tournaments are. As it was, they finished an eyelash out of first place there.

The performance of these boys has been fun for the newspaper to cover, a joy for spectators to watch, and a unifying source of community pride as the youth have represented our high school, our city and our county.

This season is unprecedented in more than a generation. Congratulations to the boys, their coaches, and their families. Cherish these times, as the rest of us will.

Here's to a good week.

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