Daily Archives: April 26, 2012

County may ultimately own ski area

by karla pomeroy

If all goes well and according to the latest plan, Big Horn County would take ownership of Antelope Butte Ski Area Capital Improvements and the Antelope Butte Foundation would have the ski lift and lodge open for the 2012-2013 winter season.

It’s a big ‘if” however and the county and foundation members understand that but after a meeting April 14 between the foundation, the foundation legal counsel and the county commissioners, they have new direction.

Foundation President Mark Weitz there has been no formal decision by the U.S. Forest Service but Supervisor Bill Bass is supportive of the plan. He sais the plan would be to have the county take ownership of the Antelope Butte Capital Improvements, which would be the lift, the lodge, garage and other facilities. The land would still belong to the Forest Service.

Commission Chairman Jerry Ewen said for the county to take ownership there is a specific process that has to take place. First the Forest Service would have to declare the improvement “excess property” and show it doesn’t need them. “They obviously don’t since the buildings have been vacant for six or seven years.” After that declaration, the process goes to the General Services Administration who would offer the facilities to other federal agencies.

“There’s none around that would be interested. The only other federal agency in the area is the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) and they wouldn’t be interested,” Ewen said. If and when there is no interest from federal agencies, the facilities would be declared surplus property and become available to other public entities.

Ewen said the land could be transferred to the county at minimal or no cost through a public benefit conveyance, if the county can show a benefit for owning the property.

The county then would lease the facilities to the foundation for operations.

“They have a legal firm guiding them and this idea looks pretty good,” Ewen said. He said the county and/or the Forest Service would require a bond be in place to handle any future demolition and reclamation of the land. He said the Forest Service is requiring a clause on any special use permit that the operator is responsible for removing all the facilities and reclaiming the land if the business fails.

“We don’t want to put the county at risk for any cash for acquiring the land or for reclaiming the land later,” Ewen said.

“They’ve got an energetic board of directors who are committed to this project,” he said, adding that to have the ski area open this coming winter is an “optimistic schedule and the first thing that has to happen is the public conveyance.”

Weitz said the board first considered the option of having either Big Horn or Sheridan county take ownership of the facilities but then looked at other options and came full circle this month. “It does look like the public-private partnership would be the best fit and it’s easier for the federal government  to dispose of the land to a government entity,” Weitz said.

He said the next step will be setting up the agreement between the county and the foundation so once the county has ownership the foundation can get on the property and get a better look at the facilities and develop accurate costs of getting the lodge and lift operational.

“We need to get access to the property to really determine cost estimates,” Weitz said, then more concentrated fundraising will occur. He said it’s easier to raise funds if you have something tangible for people.

He said with the county having ownership of the facilities, the foundation would be able to apply for Wyoming Business Council grants through the county.

As for the timeline, Weitz said the Forest Service won’t give them any specific dates. The best scenario, he said is the process takes just a few months and they can begin work this summer. If it takes until this fall or winter they have lost the construction season to get things operational this year.

Weitz said they have $175,000 raised in cash and pledges and much more in volunteer labor and material donations for the lodge.

He said while Meadowlark Lodge and officials in Johnson County have expressed concern about the area supporting two ski areas, the numbers show the ski areas can survive. He said the best financial numbers were when both Antelope Butte and Meadowlark were in operation.

He said they have the support of Red Lodge, Sleeping Giant and other skiing operations in the area.

From a tourist standpoint, the more opportunity there is, the larger attraction it will be for skiers. He said if skiers can come and try several different areas all within a half-day drive of each other, that’s a good thing.

For more information on the Antelope Butte project or on ways to donate, go online at www.antelopebuttefoundation.org or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/AntelopeButteFoundation. The foundation is currently working on obtaining 501-3-c status but in the mean time is operating under the Wyoming Community Foundation so donations are tax deductible.

Hires push GES closer to full staff

by nathan oster

With the two fourth-grade teachers, Sharon Tranas and Marilyn Edeler, retiring and longtime fifth-grade teacher Cheryl Hunt moving up to the middle school, the upper grade levels at Greybull Elementary School will have an entirely new look next school year.

The Big Horn County School District No. 3 board of education has made several moves in recent months to put staffing in place for the start of school in the fall. The most recent ones were the hirings of Nathaniel Boyer and Kallie Young.

Principal Brenda Jinks said she is nearly done filling all the openings.

Boyer, who is currently living in Michigan, is in line to replace Mrs. Cheryl Hunt, who is moving over to the middle school next fall to work as a reading specialist.   Boyer will be paired with Mrs. Kim Curtis, who will have the other fifth-grade class at GES.

Boyer will come to GES with a degree in elementary education from Western Michigan University.

He is currently teaching at St. Mary’s School in Paw Paw, Mich.

The fourth-grade posts currently held by Edeler and Tranas will be filled next year by Jeff Hunt, who is moving up from his third-grade classroom, and Kerri Thiel, who will be leaving her special education post.

Lisa Michelena will leave Junior Kindergarten next fall to join “Timmy” Anderson as third-grade teachers.

There will be no changes in the teaching assignments for grades K-2.  Sarah Bowe and Sarah  Zeller are in line to teach kindergarten, Patsy King and Margaret Bockman the first grade and Vicki Collingwood and Paula Heuschkel the second grade.

Stepping in for Michelena in the junior kindergarten program will be Young, who this month is wrapping up her student teaching requirement in Laramie.  She is scheduled to graduate in May with an elementary education degree from the University of Wyoming.

Jinks said Anne Babiuk, who was hired by the board in March, would step into the special education teaching position to be vacated by Marilyn Maubauch.  The board has yet to fill the special ed post to be vacated by Thiel.

Jink said the philosophy behind the changes is to avoid putting new teachers on islands, pairing them at grade levels with more experienced teachers. “We discussed it as a PLC, and what we wanted to do is … shore up every grade level, and put our experienced teachers in strong mentoring positions for the new ones coming in.

“The staff has just been fantastic.  They’re willing to do whatever is in the best interests of our students.”

Flock gets the GHS principal job

by nathan oster

An Upton man has been hired as the next principal of Greybull High School.

The Big Horn County School District No. 3 board of trustees on Thursday night voted to extend a contract offer to Ty Flock.  He will replace Barry Bryant, who is in line to become the district’s new superintendent.

Flock has been the curriculum director for Weston County School District No. 7 in Upton since 2007.  Prior to that, he was a pre-kindergarten through grade 12 principal in the Lingle-Fort Laramie (Goshen County) school district from 1998-2007.

In all, he has spent 19 years in education, 14 of them in education leadership at the building level, according to his resume.  He owns a bachelor’s degree in elementary/middle school education from the University of Northern Colorado, a master’s in curriculum and instruction from the University of Colorado and is currently pursuing his doctorate in the superintendent’s program through the University of South Dakota.

Flock said in an interview Monday that he applied for the Greybull position for three reasons, noting that he likes the area, the high school and the school district as a whole — and its reputation for academics and athletics.

He said the community’s agricultural roots also appeal to him.

Flock is originally from the Torrington/Lingle area, which is also a strong agricultural part of the state.  “I’ve worked with a lot with students who are from that farming and ranching background, so that part about the Greybull job was a big draw for me.”

Flock said he’s excited to get to Greybull and start his new adventure, and he said his enthusiasm is shared by his wife of 20 years and their three children — a son who will be a junior and daughters who will be in the seventh and fourth grades in Greybull.

David Eugene Warfel

April 6, 1945 – April 19, 2012

On April 19, 2012, an angel came from heaven and took our beloved husband, daddy and Grandpa Mac by the hand and led him home.

Dave was born to George and Mildred Warfel in Lovell, Wyoming, on April 6, 1945. He attended school in Hyattville, Greybull and graduated from Basin, Wyoming, after which he went to Casper College.

Dave met the love of his life, Sandra Jane Smith, in May of 1962 and the couple married on April 9, 1966. From that day forward, the couple would remain devoted, each other’s right hand and best friend. The couple’s joy continued when they were blessed with two beautiful girls, DaNae and DaNette. Dave felt so blessed to have his three girls protecting him through his life.

In 1990 Dave was then blessed again with his “one and only” grandson, Gene. Dave learned early on in his life the Lord was not done blessing him with beautiful women. In 1993, along came his first two granddaughters, Lacee and Brailey; in 1995 granddaughter number three, Kobie; 1999, Rylee; and last but not least 2001, his last granddaughter, Harlie.

He is survived by Sandi, his wife of 46 years, and their daughters, DaNae (Pablo) Good and DaNette (Dave) Messinger.

He is preceded in death by his parents and his mother and father-in-law.

Mac, thank you for always being our rock in our day-to-day struggles; you always made us believe that if we believed in ourselves, there wasn’t anything we couldn’t do.

Daddy, being your daughter was a blessing from above. You were an example every day of what a true father and husband should be. Your loving word of wisdom could always soothe a broken heart. You’re in our hearts forever and no man could ever fill your shoes.

Babe . . . I miss and love you so much. Right now my heart hurts so bad for the love we have always had, but comforts me in knowing we will be together again.

A viewing was held on Monday, April 23, 2012, followed by the funeral service at 2 p.m. at Atwood Family Chapel in Greybull. Pastor Derek Mowery officiated at the service. Burial followed at the Donald J. Ruhl Memorial Cemetery in Greybull and a reception followed at the Greybull Elks BPOE Lodge #1431.

Memorials will be received in Dave’s name at Security State Bank, P.O. Box 531, Basin, WY 82410-0531. Proceeds will go to Hands Across the Saddle.

Atwood Family Directors, Inc., was in charge of arrangements.

(Paid obituary)

Buffs enjoy individual breakthroughs in Lovell

by nathan oster

It was a tough day for the team, but several individuals turned in personal bests for Greybull High School at Saturday’s Lovell Invitational.

“My philosophy has always been that while it’s nice to get ribbons and medals and earn lots of points as a team, the real goal is for each athlete to keep improving — and our kids are doing that,” said Coach Jeff Sukut.

The Buffs were on top of their games because they had to be.  In addition to the host Bulldogs who are likely the cream of the crop this year in 2A, the meet also attracted two powerful 3A teams in Riverton and Powell as well as 2A contender Thermopolis and traditional 1A powerhouse Burlington.

Given the level of competition, team points were few and far between for the Buffs.

The girls finished ninth out of 11 teams, scoring 10.5 points on the strength of a second-place finish by Lindsay Kern in the shot put and on a pair of places by McKenna Powers, who took fifth in the 400 and sixth in the 200.

The boys mustered just five points and placed 11th, with all five of its points coming from the revamped 1,600-meter relay team of Dylan Brenner, Jesus Burgos, Calder Forcella and Chris Ogg, which took fourth.

That foursome ran a 3:54.28, which was more than a second faster than its best time of the season prior to the meet, a 3:55.84.

Kern continues to raise the bar in the shot put.  She AQ’d in her first meet, and has beaten that AQ performance twice now. She added 1 ½ inches to her personal best, finishing with a heave of 33-9 ½, which trailed only a thrower from 3A Powell.  Kern was the top 2A finisher in the field.

Powers rounded out the scoring, but in both of the events in which she placed, her time was a tick below her personal best.  She did turn in a personal best in the triple jump, soaring 31-0 ¼ to top her previous record of 29-9 ¼; she finished just out of placing in seventh.

Both girls were in the hunt for berths in the upcoming Wyoming Track Classic before being edged out at the finish line by other athletes. There are only eight spots available in each event — and they go to the athletes, regardless of their classifications, with the best times and distances.

While those athletes are the ones who did the scoring for the Buffs, Sukut said he was every bit as excited for several non-placers who set personal bests in Lovell, including the following athletes:

• Megan Euerle, a junior, who shaved nearly a second off her previous best in the 100 meters, finishing in 15.51.

• Brenner, who ran his best time in the 100, an 11.81, and the 200, a 25.06.

• Calder Forcella, who turned in two personal bests — a 12.08 sprint in the 100 meters and 119-foot, 9-inch heave of the discus that netted him a sixth place.

• Logan Jensen, who threw 31-9 ¾ in the shot put and 108-9 in the discus, both personal bests.

• Oscar Gomez, who threw a personal-best 108-4 in the discus.

Sukut said he was pleased with his team’s performance, especially considering he went in with a roster of just 15 kids.  Several kids were out of town, while another was ill, he said.

Looking ahead

The Buffs return to action Friday when they travel to Thermopolis for the annual Bobcat Invitational.  The meet starts at 1 p.m. and will be the first of two straight in Thermop, followed May 4 by a pre-regional qualifier.

While some athletes will have a shot at AQ’ing on their times and distances, Sukut said the goal is simply to “be ready to hopefully make a little bit of noise” at the Class 2A West Regional, which will be held May 11-12 in Riverton.

 

LOVELL INVITATIONAL

GIRLS — Lovell 129.5, Powell 102.5, Thermopolis 64.5, Riverton 56, Shoshoni 40, Burlington 26, Riverside 17, Western Heritage Lutheran 11, Greybull 10.5, Rocky Mt. 7, Wind River 7.

200 METERS — 6, McKenna Powers, 29.96.

400 METERS — 5, Powers, 1:05.34.

SHOT PUT — 2, Lindsay Kern, 33-9 ½.

BOYS — Powell 187.33, Lovell 109.33, Thermopolis 61, Burlington 50, Shoshoni 41, Rocky Mt. 24.3, Riverton 14, Meeteetse 8, Wind River 8, Riverside 6, Greybull 5.

1,600 RELAY — 4, Greybull (Dylan Brenner, Jesus Burgos, Calder Forcella, Chris Ogg), 3:43.28.

DISCUS — 6, Forcella, 119-09.