Wyoming news briefs for November 16

Wyoming gas prices fall by almost 5 cents

CHEYENNE — Wyoming gas prices have fallen 4.7 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.41 per gallon Monday, according to GasBuddy.com's daily survey of 494 stations in Wyoming.

Gas prices in Wyoming are 2.6 cents per gallon lower than a month ago, and stand $1.28 per gallon higher than a year ago.

According to GasBuddy price reports, the cheapest station in Wyoming was priced at $2.83 per gallon Monday, while the most expensive was $3.99, a difference of $1.16 per gallon.

The national average price of gasoline has fallen 2.6 cents per gallon in the last week, averaging $3.40 per gallon Monday. The national average is up 9.5 cents per gallon from a month ago, and stands $1.28 per gallon higher than a year ago.


Woman dies after car crashes into fireworks building

EVANSTON — A tragic accident claimed the life of a longtime Evanston resident early on the morning of Sunday, Nov. 14. 

Fidelina Saavedra, 66, was on her way to work when the car she was driving crashed into Phantom Fireworks on Overthrust Road. 

A press release from the Evanston Police Department states officers responded to Phantom Fireworks at 7:14 Sunday morning after receiving a report that a vehicle had crashed into the building and smoke and fire were coming from the vehicle. 

There were flames on the hood of the vehicle when officers arrived; however, they were able to locate one person inside and get her out for transport to Evanston Regional Hospital, where she later succumbed to her injuries. 

According to the press release, an examination of the crash site showed that Saavedra’s vehicle had been traveling north on Overthrust Road prior to accelerating to a high rate of speed and leaving the roadway at the intersection of West Cheyenne Drive. 

The vehicle then traveled across the open field and through the parking lot prior to hitting the Phantom Fireworks building. 

The EPD release states the events leading up to the crash are still under investigation and the Wyoming Highway Patrol is assisting in that investigation.


Yellowstone visitation breaks record with two months to go

POWELL — Without counting attendance at Yellowstone National Park in November and December, the nation’s first national park has already posted its busiest year ever with nearly 4.8 million visits. 

For much of the year, the park set monthly records. Visits were down 12 percent in October (316,662 visits) as compared to October 2020 (which was the busiest October on record with 359,889 visits). Weather may be partially to blame for the lower numbers, but they were still much higher than October 2019, which saw only 171,339 visits. 

So far in 2021, the park has hosted 4,789,644 recreation visits, up 28 percent from the same period last year, and up 20 percent from 2019. The previous record was set in 2016, with 4,212,782 visits. 

Visitors have flocked to natural spaces in response to social distancing efforts due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Interestingly, the park surpassed the record despite having very few foreign visitors; the Biden administration just lifted restrictions for vaccinated foreign travelers on Nov. 8. A report compiled by the National Park Service prior to the pandemic found international visitors from 25 countries comprised 17 percent of total visitation to the park in the previous record year. 

Yellowstone Superintendent Cam Sholly had guessed that 2021 would be a record-breaking year back in April. 

“I predict it will be the busiest on record — and ironically,” he said then. “I mean, look at COVID last year: Who would have thought that we’d be having this conversation a year ago?”