News Roundup: Vogelheim continues to outraise legislative candidates; county approves apartments at Legacy Lodge

Plus, all you need to know about elections, efforts to elevate Wyoming’s female artists and restoration work at the Teton Raptor Center.
Teton County voters must turn in ballots before 7 p.m. on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 8. (Hanna Merzbach/KHOL)


County commissioners approve apartment permit at former Legacy Lodge

After months of consideration, the Teton County Board of Commissioners approved a proposal on Nov. 1 to convert 57 units to apartments in Legacy Lodge, a former assisted living facility in Rafter J. 

Commissioner Mark Newcomb was the only commissioner to vote against the permit. He said he would prefer that the building return to providing assisted living. 

Instead of being used for housing seniors, the board decided that at least half of the units will be turned into apartments for  critical service workers, such as teachers or local medical providers. Chair Natalia Macker said this doesn’t diminish the need for senior living in Jackson and spoke to the challenge of prioritizing certain workers.

“We are placing value on certain jobs and certain individuals that may occupy those jobs, but at the end of the day all humans are valuable,” she said.

Despite the vote, workers won’t be able to move in anytime soon. Rafter J property owners are suing the county to prevent the new apartment development, and legal proceedings are ongoing. Additionally, 65% of Rafter J homeowners will need to support the development for it to move forward.

Vogelheim continues to outraise all county legislative candidates

New reports show that the Republican candidate for House District 23, Paul Vogelheim, is vastly outraising all other candidates running for legislative offices in left-leaning Teton County. 

Vogelheim’s filings to the state show that he has raised over $90,000. His competitor, Democrat Liz Storer, has raised about $43,000.

Andrew Byron, the Republican candidate for House District 22, trailed closely behind Storer in funding. He has raised about $40,000 in donations.

Byron, Vogelheim and the other county Republicans saw an influx of cash from the Teton County GOP, which contributed $15,000 to each campaign. The Teton County Democratic party didn’t contribute to individual campaigns.

More information is publicly available here.

What you need to know about voting in Teton County

Election day is around the corner. On Tuesday, Nov. 8, polling stations will be open across the county at locations including Teton County Library and the Teton County/Jackson Recreation Center. Voters can turn in ballots between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. 

For residents voting absentee, it’s too late to mail in ballots. The safest bet is turning in ballots at the 24-hour drop box in front of the Teton County Administration Building on South Willow Street. These ballots must be turned in by 7 p.m. on Election Day. 

County clerk Maureen Murphy encourages all Wyomingites to get out and vote.

“In my 14 years in the county, I’ve seen races come down to 30 votes,” Murphy said. “So, your vote really does matter even if you think it doesn’t, and this ballot has a lot of different local impacts that can really affect what’s happening.”

New Wyoming committee aims to elevate female artists on national stage

Women from across Wyoming are coming together to elevate the state’s female artists on a national scale. 

Former Wyoming state legislators, community leaders and art advocates formed the newest state committee for the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C.

Jackson-based fine art adviser Shari Brownfield sits on the committee and said the goal is to spotlight female artists, who have been historically underrepresented in museums and galleries.

“Our voice in Wyoming, especially in the art world, tends to be a bit more quiet on the national stage, and we believe that our artists deserve the same spotlight as artists in New York or California,” she said.

The museum will present a Women to Watch exhibit in 2024, and Wyoming curator Tammi Hannawalt nominated five Wyoming artists to participate. Two of them — Katy Ann Fox and Bronwyn Minton — live in the Teton region.

Brownfield said the environment is a source of inspiration for both artists’ work.

“We live in a vast, gorgeous and minimally-populated state, and it serves as an inspiration, as well as something that might hold back the artists of Wyoming,” she said.

Next spring, the National Museum of Women in the Arts will select one of the Wyoming women to participate in the upcoming exhibit. 

Teton Raptor Center near historic restoration goal

This story comes from Eric Galatas, with the Public News Service.

The Teton Raptor Center was recently awarded a $10,000 grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation to help the site become a year-round destination for anyone interested in learning about the region’s owls, eagles, hawks, falcons and other wild birds. 

The Center’s Amy McCarthy said the property, which sits along Highway 22 heading into Wilson, was originally a classic ranch for prized herefords spanning 137 acres.

“[It] encompassed a number of outbuildings, a homestead, as well as the iconic wind-proof Gothic Hardeman Barn. That’s the real treasure and icon of the property,” McCarthy said.

From the 1930s through the 1980s, Hardeman Barns was a working ranch. When developers moved in to build townhomes, the Jackson Hole Land Trust stepped in to purchase the barns and meadows to conserve what is widely seen as a “character-defining” property for Jackson Hole valley communities.

Want More Stories Like This?

Donate any amount to support independent media in the Tetons.

KHOL 89.1 Jackson Hole Community Radio Membership Support Ad

About Hanna Merzbach

Hanna is KHOL's senior reporter and managing editor. A lot of her work focuses on housing and local politics, but also women's health — and whatever else she finds interesting. You can hear her reporting around the country and region on NPR, Wyoming Public Radio and community radio stations around the west. She hails from Bend, Oregon, where she reported for outlets such as the Atlantic, High Country News and Oregon Public Broadcasting. In her free time, you can find Hanna scaling rock walls or adventuring in the mountains.

Related Stories

Pin It on Pinterest