THEM ON US: It’s all about the magnets, Stevie

By on April 2, 2013

JACKSON HOLE, WYO -

Follow plow progress online

Cyber junkies can follow the plowing progress of the road opening crews as they chew through a season’s worth of crusted snow in Yellowstone. An online roadmap of the park features a color-coded system complete with approximate plow location (what, no real-time GPS tracking?).

The site will be updated every morning Tuesday through Friday. Drivers work a four-day week, 10 prostate-pounding hours per day in the saddle. At press time, plows had made it to Old Faithful and Mammoth Hot Springs via the West entrance. No plows had started from the south or east gates.

Inventor Steve Kitto with his water bottle collection. CREDIT: Rebecca Huntington

Inventor Steve Kitto with his water bottle collection.
CREDIT: Rebecca Huntington

It’s all about the magnets, Stevie

Jackson Hole’s Steve Kitto was explaining on the radio to WPR reporter Rebecca Huntington how he came up with the idea for his magnetic water bottle top. “I was driving down the road from my house, which is pretty bumpy, and my lid from my water bottle came off and went under my gas pedal. And I immediately thought, ‘Why can’t I stick a magnet to the lid and make it stick to the side of the bottle.’”

Kitto began work on the perfect water bottle. Test-marketed and funded it on Kickstarter and received interest in a manufacturing company based in China that is going to mass produce his Liquid Hardware bottles for $25-a-piece.

Finally, Kitto’s wife, Mary, might get some peace. “It can be maddening just because it never stops,” said the fifth-grade teacher at the Wilson Elementary School. “He’s always got an idea, and it’s not a typical eight-hour workday. He’s not allowed to play with water bottles after 10 o’clock … just because you can hear the ‘tink, tink, tink’ of the magnet all night long.”

Move over Napa Valley

Quick, where is Huntley, Wyo.? It’s alright if you don’t know. They didn’t know in Rochester, NY, either, but Patrick Zimmerer is putting the tiny farming community on the wine industry map.

Zimmerer is the owner of Table Mountain Vineyards and Winery (www.wyowine.com) based in Huntley, a town of about 30 people. Each March, Zimmerer hauls his product off to Rochester for the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition which draws thousands of wines and wine makers.

Competing against more than 3,500 wines from 788 wineries from 20 countries, four provinces and all 50 states, Table Mountain Vineyards claimed two bronze medals for its entries: “Stampede White,” a dry white wine made from the Lacrosse grape, and its honey wine, “Wyoming Nectar,” made from local clover, honey and cinnamon. Zimmerer credits the Wyoming Business Council’s Wyoming First program with helping him market his fledgling winery since 2004.

 


About Jake Nichols

Jake is a work in progress.

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