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Top 10 Stories that Defined the Oil City in 2015

So many things happened this year in our Oil City, some good, some bad, and some down right ugly. Tragedies and triumphs our community faced, but we came together to overcome some great losses and continued to move forward. We bring to you the top ten stories that helped to shape and define our Oil City in 2015. The passing of Casper legend, Mick McMurry On March 10th, 2015 at about 5:00 a.m. the Casper Police Department responded to the McMurry residence for a report that Mick McMurry had passed away unexpectedly. ​ ​ Mick was a brilliant entrepreneur and businessman and a philanthropist. He had a vision for his Wyoming and never stopped doing all he could to build a better Wyoming. He loved Wyoming and was proud to call it home. He goal, to Build a Better Wyoming. Casper and Wyoming will always hold you in our hearts RIP Mick McMurry. Officer involved shooting on Kit Carson ​ On July 12, 2015, at approximately 7:50 pm Casper Police Department Officers served a search warrant for distribution and trafficking of controlled substances and illegal firearm possession in the 1600 block of Kit Carson. Upon entry into the residence, officers encountered an armed male presenting lethal force toward the officers. The actions of the male resulted in an officer firing upon the male, who subsequently succumbed to fatal gunshot wounds. The male was identified as 27 year old Christopher Charles Benton. RIP Christopher Charles Benton and we are thankful that our local law enforcement officers were not injured in this incident. Cyclist in stable condition after being struck by truck, missing suspect opens up on social media On May 29, 2015 the life of one Casper man, Anthony Raymond was changed for ever and Casper made a statement to protect and ensure bike safety throughout the community. Casper Police Department responded to the area of 2300 Block of E. Yellowstone for an accident with injury, dispatch advised that a truck struck a male on a bicycle. The truck fled the scene and stopped a short distance away. The occupant of the vehicle took off running, north towards Burlington Street. Officers later identified 25 year old Michael Carpenter as the driver from witnesses and the occupants in the vehicle and he was found guilty of reckless driving, driving while under suspension, and fleeing the scene of an accident. Welcome Home Wyoming Vietnam Veterans! In June Wyoming gave Wyoming Vietnam Veterans a proper welcome home at the Casper Events Center. Governor Matt Mead commented at the celebration, “Freedom is not free, this country had to change course to recognize our freedom and to recognize our Vietnam Veterans. It touches me so deeply to welcome all of you home and thank you for your drive and vision of a better country and state,” said Mead, “On behalf of the State of Wyoming we all say thank you for your service and God Bless you!” Human remains identified as missing man from Kansas Do you remember the human remains that were found in the Wolf Creek area? Natrona County Sheriff’s and Coroner’s Office confirmed in May that the human remains discovered in the Wolf Creek area of Casper were that of 22-year-old Michael Bradyn Fuksa, through dental identification, made by Dr. Robert Byrd. The cause of death was determined to be a single gunshot wound to the head, an apparent suicide, according to Natrona County Coroner Connie Jacobson. Fuksa went missing after his vehicle was found abandoned on I-25 between Douglas and Wheatland in July 2009. His remains were discovered by two hikers on Sunday, May 3, 2015. ​ Al Roker visits the Oil City Do you remember standing out in front of Lou Taubert in wait for celebrity Meteorologist Al Roker on a bitter cold Sunday night? Many filled the street with signs and western gear ready to welcome Al to "Our Neck of the Woods". ​ Deceased Male located this morning in the 600 block of South Center S t. On September 7, 2015, Casper Police Department Officers responded to an alley in the 600 block of South Center Street, in Casper, Wyoming, where a deceased male was located. The whole area around the 600 block was blocked with police tape, and the town was curious what had happened on Labor Day. The Natrona County Coroner, Connie Jacobson has identified the young man found in the alley behind the Elks’ Club in Casper on Sept 7, 2015 as 24 year old Christopher Lyn Bridge who is a resident of Casper. RIP Christopher Lyn Bridge. ​ The missing boy found with the community's help In April three-year-old Xavier Kosmann-Lyons from Mills was reported missing in the 900 block of Badger Lane, according to Mills Police and Fire Departments. Through the help of social media and numerous shares and a true community effort, Xavier was found safe Saturday afternoon. He was found at 1700 Chamberlin Rd he was found alive and well, happy, and playing near some horses. Xavier told responders on scene that he wanted to go for a horseback ride. ​ 2015 Citywide Smoking Ban​ In November the citizens of Casper took to the polls and the City of Casper elected to adopt an official city wide smoking ban. After a close vote, 46.14% (2894 votes) “For” the ordinance that would have made smoking allowable and 53.70% (3368 votes) Against the ordinance; therefore, the city adopted a full smoking ban. Some we happy, others were not, and the smoking ban would later take a toll leading to the Famous Sandbar to shut down. Cole Creek/ Station Fire The October fire changed the lives of everyone in the Oil City community. The fire that is said to have began along Metro Road, known as the Bail Fire, jumped a few fences with the Casper wind and swept Station Road and many along Cole Creek Road by surprise. The area was evacuated, but thirteen homes were lost to the flames and many others damaged. The fire burned 10,000 plus acres, killed many animals, and displayed many. The Station Fire torn families apart, yet it brought our community together and our firefighters stepped in and worked countless hours to keep us safe. We tip our hats to our community firefighters for their efforts in the Cole Creek Fire. ​ Now we will look to the future of 2016 and do what we can to help move Casper and Natrona County forward! Feature Photo: h.t Robin Granger/Pitchengine Communities #oilcity #news