The winter edition of Wyoming Artscapes magazine, always a lift when it arrives, features how the late Forrest E. Mars, Jr. is the recipient of a Governor’s Arts Award. The story profiles Mars’ philanthropy with Sheridan County, not only with the arts, but also with local education and culture. He died last July.
“If Forrest hadn’t been involved, the Brinton would have gone bust. Wyoming and Sheridan would have lost a major attraction. (He) was the best partner you could have,” so said Brinton executive director and curator Ken Schuster in the story. In addition to providing major support for the Forrest E. Mars, Jr. Building at the Brinton Museum, which opened June, 2015, Mars provided financial support for the new Mars Agricultural Center at Sheridan College, the Mars Black Box Theater at the WYO the Whitney Rink at the M&M’s Center; his gifts also included support to the Sheridan Senior Center, the WYO, and the forthcoming aquatic center, among many other charities and facilities.
Notes from the Wyoming Press Association’s annual meeting in Cheyenne. It’s a group that’s been meeting since 1877. To wit:
• Kristen Czaban (managing editor) and I shared a table during the annual Associated Press meeting and breakfast. Sitting with us was Joe McGowan, former AP bureau chief in Denver, Boston and Indianapolis. He was a foreign and war correspondent who spent 42 years with the AP and broke big stories with interviews with Cuban leader Fidel Castro right after the Cuban Missile Crisis, covered earthquakes in Peru, wrote the first worldwide stories about Mother Teresa and reported on the 1965 India-Pakistan war. He’s from Sheridan and a Pure Dee newsman. He lives in Broomfield, Colo., and has written a book about his experiences. It’s always good to see him.
• The AP won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for 2016. They published a series of stories about how southeastern Asian slaves are providing the labor for the U.S. seafood supply.
• Some numbers: The AP called 4,778 races for state legislatures, governorships, Congress and others and got the call right in 99.8 percent of them. There were more than 6,000 AP stories generated from Wyoming in 2016 with half of them coming from AP members. The most read Wyoming stories were Liz Cheney’s congressional race, news about the state’s coal industry and the Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.
• Bruce Moats was the recipient of the Milton Chilcott Freedom of Information Award. It was only the fifth time WPA has made the award. Chilcott was the longtime publisher of The Sheridan Press who championed access to public records and open meetings. Moats, now a lawyer with his own practice in Cheyenne specializing in First Amendment cases and employment, was a reporter for Chilcott and The Press in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
• The Press received 25 Pacemaker Awards from the WPA for news coverage, photojournalism, marketing, sports, features, graphic design and advertising presentation, website design and digital coverage. Those award winners included Czaban, Mike Dunn, Mike Pruden, Justin Sheely, Jon Cates, Camry Lapka, Lisa Marosok, Nicole Scofield and a good many that read, “staff,” as there is much mutual cooperation hereabouts. As publisher, it’s terrific to share the same atmosphere with these professionals.