Monthly Archives: June 2012

Coming soon: Shopko Hometown

by nathan oster

A banner hanging above the front door of the Pamida store in Greybull tells the tale.

Change is coming … and soon, in the form of a Shopko Hometown store.

Shopko announced on Monday that the liquidation of the store had begun, alerting customers that they could find savings of up to 30 percent off all items in many departments, including apparel, shoes, sporting goods, toys, bed and bath, furniture, electronics and many more.

“This liquidation sale is the first step in the conversion process from Pamida to Shopko Hometown and this means great deals for our customers as we look to clear out the existing merchandise to make way for Shopko Hometown’s enhanced merchandising mix,” said Paul Jones, Shopko President, Chairman and CEO, in a news release.  “We are eager to be one step closer to bringing the Shopko Hometown experience to Greybull.  The Shopko Hometown format has already been overwhelmingly embraced by customers in seven markets where we have already converted stores.”

According to the release, Shopko Hometown combines Shopko’s strong reputation of health services and customer service with a broad and dynamic offering of strong national brands and high-value private label brands of apparel, home furnishings, toys, consumer electronics, seasonal items, and lawn and garden products – all in attractive, well laid out, easy-to-shop store formats that range from 15,000 to 35,000 square feet.

As with all sales, the selection will be best early on so shoppers are encouraged to take advantage of the deals early.   The store’s pharmacy will remain open and will be accepting new patients throughout the entire conversion process.

“We want customers to be assured that the Pamida Pharmacy will remain open and ready to serve customers throughout the entire store liquidation sale and conversion process,” said Brandon Tolman, RPh, pharmacy manager.  “In addition, our pharmacy staff will remain the same now and after conversion to Shopko Hometown.  Our shared commitment is to provide your patients with the same great service they are used to.  We look forward to continuing to serve the pharmacy and healthcare needs of Greybull and the surrounding area for years to come.”

Shopko will invest approximately $80 million into Pamida store conversions which occur in phases through the end of the year.  Once the liquidation sale is complete, the store conversion will take approximately 5-6 weeks from start to finish and will include new interior and exterior signage, updated and supplemented fixtures, improved store design and layout, as well as an expanded merchandise mix.

Andy Smith, who has been the manager of the Greybull Pamida store, said the store would not need to close at any point during the conversion to Shopko.

Shopko is owned by affiliates of Sun Capital Partners, Inc., a leading private investment firm focused on leverage buyouts, equity, debt, and other investments in market-leading companies.

No fireworks, but a fun Fourth planned

by nathan oster

While fireworks won’t be lighting up the skies over Greybull this year, there will still be an old-fashioned Fourth of July picnic in the city park for those wishing to celebrate the country’s independence.

Chris Waite, director of the Greybull Recreation District, said “We’re keeping things the same” as they have been with respect to the picnic, which means there will be all the usual family games, with a few new ones sprinkled in for good measure.  The picnic runs from 6 to 8 p.m.

The Greybull Police Department will be participating, offering kids a chance to check out the inside of their squad cars.  The Greybull Fire Department has also been invited to continue its tradition of offering rides on fire trucks.

Caveman Kitchen will be the only food vendor in attendance and is expected to start serving around 5:30 p.m.

Citing safety concerns and property damage that resulted from last year’s show, the Greybull Fire Department recently announced that it would not be shooting fireworks from atop the bluffs this year.

So if you want to see fireworks this year, you’re going to have to leave the county.

Basin won’t be doing a fireworks show, nor will there be one on the north end of the county, where fireworks just lit up the skies last week to cap Mustang Days and where another show isn’t planned until Byron puts on its display on July 14.

Fireworks shows are planned in the surrounding communities, however, all of them starting at dusk on the Fourth of July.  Here’s a rundown of Fourth of July happenings in those communities:

• In Cody, fireworks will be shot off over the river, which is north of the city toward Heart Mountain.  If you’re going, the best place to see the show is from atop Skyline Drive or from the rodeo grounds.

If you like rodeo, check out the Stampede.  The action starts at 8 p.m. on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday nights and at 5 p.m. on the Fourth.  As for the parades, there will be two, starting at 9:30 a.m. on both Tuesday and Wednesday.

• In Thermopolis, fireworks will be shot from the top of Roundtop Mountain (above the ballfields).  There will also be a Fourth of July Pedal and Pet parade, starting at 11 a.m.

• In Powell, the spectacle will start at dusk.  To see the big show, , go east on South Street (Lane 9) and take a right on Road 7, just before the cemetery. The site of the annual fireworks show is on city of Powell property, and it is illegal to light fireworks on Powell city property without a permit.

WYDOT, town near deal on landscape specifics

by nathan oster

Town officials and the Wyoming Department of Transportation are making progress toward an agreement on a beautification plan for downtown Greybull.

Bret Reed of Engineering Associates said Tuesday that it’s “close” to being a done deal.

At last Thursday’s meeting, the specifics of that plan were pitched for the first time to WYDOT officials. It included tree planting in three of the bumpouts as well as planters and benches along the two-block stretch of Greybull Avenue between Fifth and Seventh streets.

Reed said WYDOT balked at the proposal to plant a tree in the bumpout in front of the McColloch Law Office, saying it would be on top of a storm drain. WYDOT instead suggested that it be planted closer to the building, Reed said.

Reed said WYDOT also wants to see the planters and benches installed closer to the buildings  — and farther away from the street.

The tree plan has also changed, Reed said. Originally it called for three different types — a Canadian red cherry, a Japanese tree lilac and a tartarian maple.

After concerns were raised about the Canadian red cherry being a fruit tree and thus attractive to birds, it was removed from the proposal, replaced by a second maple tree.

Reed said the plan now calls for the maples to go in front of the McColloch building as well as the bumpout in front of the former Wyoming Classics buildings.

The lilac tree would go in front of the Historic Hotel Greybull.

Contruction update

A crane has been dominating the downtown landscape during the past week, as crews have been drilling the holes for the supports of the overhead structure at the intersection.

Holes have been drilled to the depth of 26 feet in front of the Bank of Greybull, the Wyoming Classics building and the Historic Hotel Greybull.  A fourth hole, going down 9 feet, was drilled in front of Probst Western Store.

Meanwhile, the parking lot at the intersection of First Avenue North and Sixth Street has been paved.

Fink-Hopkin team wins Redi-Mix title

by nathan oster

Bob Fink and Chuck Hopkin emerged victorious in the championship derby, which was the culminating act of the Big Horn Redi-Mix Match Play held over the weekend at Midway Golf Course.

The tournament attracted 20 two-man teams, for a total of 40 golfers, and featured 45 holes of golf that preceded the championship derby.

Golfers were arranged in four flights according to their combined handicaps.

Jim Marshall and Dave Williamson of Worland won Flight 1, followed in second by the Midway-based team of Mike Longshore and Gary Pangburn.

In Flight 2, the team of Bob Fink and Chuck Hopkin, representing Midway, took first.  Second went to the team of Ken Johnson and Eddie Johnson, also of Midway.

The Midway domination continued in Flight 3, as Curt Massey and Al Madden captured first place, followed in second by the team of Carl Olson and Dave Walton.

Bob Holden and Dennis Swafford of Worland won Flight 4, nipping the Midway-based team of Ron Boyd and Mike Yeager.

The championship derby consisted of the four first-place wininers of the flights and the next three highest point totals from the match play.  One pair of golfers was eliminated per hole with a winner decided on Hole No. 7.  Fink and Hopkin placed first, followed by the Holden-Swafford team in second and the Johnson-Johnson pairing in third.

Some lucrative hole-in-one prizes were available, thanks to Lisa’s, Pab Good Trucking, the Bank of Greybull and Overland Express. While there were a couple of very close shots, no one was able to collect the $10,000 prize.

“It was a great weekend for golf, the course was in great shape and the people that worked to make it a successful weekend did a great job,” said Eddie Johnson, who handled publicity for the tournament. “The golfing was challenging but a lot of fun.  This was the first “major” of the year for Midway Golf Course and there are more tournaments to follow.”

The next event at Midway will be the Linda Madden Memorial Tournament on July 4.  Those wishing to play need to get signed up at Midway or call 568-2255 for more information.

Babe Ruth team wins Worland tourney

The Greybull Geckos celebrate their win at the Worland tournament.

by nathan oster

A break in the schedule apparently did the Greybull Geckos some good. After losing three of four to top-shelf competition in Powell, the Geckos returned to action last weekend and couldn’t be stopped, winning 8-2 Friday in Cowley and then stringing together three straight victories to claim the championship at a tournament in Worland on Saturday.

With the wins, the Geckos improved to 8-3.

Coach Joe Forcella called his team’s 8-2 triumph over the Cowley Rockies “a great bounce-back” after the Powell tournament.  Calder Forcella limited the Rockies to just two hits and fanned nine in five innings to pick up the win.

Calder and Dawson Forcella, Oscar Gomez and Zack Zeller each had two hits to pace the offense, which banged out 10 in the five-inning contest.  Cade Dooley stole three bases and Dawson Forcella two.

“Our defense stayed solid for the full game,” said Coach Forcella, who credited Zeller, in particular, for his slick fielding plays that helped the Geckos keep the Cowley offense in check. “Those plays really made the difference to get out of the innings with no damage.”

A four-run fifth inning sent the Geckos to the win.

“It’s always nice when you hand Cowley a loss on its own turf,” said Forcella.

Still brimming with confidence, the Geckos went to Worland on Saturday and took care of business, beating Otto 12-7, Thermopolis 15-5 and Worland 6-4 to capture the title.

The Geckos overcame an early 4-1 deficit against Otto.  Four-run outbursts in both the fourth and fifth innings were the difference.  Zack Zeller, who came on in relief of Oscar Gomez, picked up the win.

Treston Tracy had two hits, including a triple, and knocked in two runs.  Calder Forcella also tripled and had two RBIs.  Justin Bacus and Dawson Forcella also finished with two hits.

Bacus was the difference in the Thermopolis game.  After Cade Dooley surrendered five runs, Bacus came on and pitched three scoreless innings, striking out two, to get the victory.

It was a hit parade for the Greybull offense, as Zeller and Dawson Forcella each had two hits to lead the 10-hit attack.  Tracey and Dawson Forcella were each credited with two RBIs.

The Geckos claimed the title with a hard-earned 6-4 win over Worland in which they scored in every inning.  Bacus worked four quality innings, giving up just four hits while fanning four.  Just one of the four runs scored by Worland was an earned run.  Zack Zeller earned the save, pitching a hitless and scoreless fifth.

Fabian Davila went 2-for-3 and stole four bases out of the leadoff spot.  Zeller, Calder Forcella, Dante Sylvester and Tracy also contributed two hits for the Geckos, who finished with 13 for the game.

“It was nice to win this tourney … we got a lot out of our young players,” said Coach Forcella. “Miguel Gomez got his first appearance on the mound and handed out several strikeouts against Otto.  Cade Dooley also opened up against Thermop and got some good experience.

“Our team always seemed to have someone step up when we needed a big play or hit to change the momentum of the game.  For example, Wyatt Nielson had a great hit against Thermop to right center to drive in a run.  Treston Tracey had a couple of hits that drove in two runners.  Riley Hill through out people from third base a couple of different times to end the inning.  Zack Zeller laid down a squeeze bunt to shake up the opponent.  Jake Gifford made it to first on a third strike dropped ball to find himself getting around the bases and scoring a run. Dante Sylvester at second base made several plays.  Dawson Forcella was consistent at the plate driving in several runs.

“I was really happy with Justin Bacus who closed the game out with Thermop and then opened with worland.  Oscar Gomez and Calder both stayed strong with big bats.  Fabian Davila with his base running.  No one could throw him out while he stole base after base.  We have a special team in that they are not selfish in any way.  They believe in each other and trust each other to make a play when needed.  They are a special group of kids.”

The Geckos host a league game with Cowley today (Thursday, June 28) starting at 6 p.m.

This weekend they will play at a tournament in Rawlins.

Connie Overgaag Wamhoff

Nov. 16, 1943 – June 16, 2012

A memorial service for Connie Overgaag Wamhoff will be held Thursday, July 5 at 11 a.m. at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Greybull. Connie, 68, died June 16 at her home in Billings, Mont.

She was born Nov. 16, 1943, in Greybull, the daughter of Bernie and Gen Overgaag. She graduated from Greybull High School in 1961. She married Gary Wamhoff June 2, 1961.

Connie was known for her kind heart, generous spirit and sense of humor. Students at Greybull High School voted her the “wittiest” girl for the GHS 1959 annual. She was a terrific cook, loved working jigsaw puzzles and was a voracious reader.

Her mother Genevieve and husband Gary preceded her in death.

She is survived by her daughter Chancie Wamhoff and grandson Gavin Wamhoff, both of Billings; her father, Bernie Overgaag of Pinedale; two sisters and a brother-in-law, Judy Grenier of Cheyenne and Gary and Terry Busch of Alexandria, Minn.; and her brother and sister-in-law, John and Michelle Overgaag of Pinedale.

Memorial donations may be sent to the family in care of Chancie Wamhoff, 7434 Lewis Ave., Billings, MT 59106 or to the charity of the donor’s choice.

Harold E. Meier

Feb. 6, 1932 – June 17, 2012

Cremation has taken place and a private family service for Harold E. Meier will be held at a later date. Harold, 80, died June 17, in Mesa, Ariz.

Harold was born Feb. 6, 1932, in Denver, the only child of Henry A. and Ruth Winsor Meier. He grew up in Greybull and graduated from Greybull High School in 1951. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in geology in 1954 and served in the United States Army Engineering Corp until 1956. In 1959, Harold earned a Juris Doctorate from the University of Wyoming College of Law where he received the prestigious Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation Scholarship.

Harold married Joan Carrol Preis in 1958 and moved to Lander in 1959 where he practiced law with Crofts, Mockler and Meier. For the next 18 years, Harold practiced law, served as Fremont County Justice of the Peace from 1959-1961; Lander City Police Judge, 1961-1962; Fremont County Prosecuting Attorney, 1962-1967; U.S. Magistrate from 1967-1969; and state legislator from Fremont County from 1969-1977; and as chairman of the Management Council from 1976-1977.

Harold and Joan moved to Casper in 1977 where he worked as vice-president and general manger for Teton Drilling until 1982. He was in private practice with the Casper law firm of Schwartz, Bonn, McCrary and Walker.

Harold married Suzanne Braden July 5, 1985. They moved to Sheridan where he practiced law with Lonabaugh & Riggs. In 1999 they moved to Cheyenne where he worked with the Wyoming Attorney General’s Office as head of the Tax Division and was senior partner with Meier Law Office, P.C. Most recently he served as Of Counsel for the firm Hathaway & Kunz, P.C.

Harold was a member of the Wyoming State Bar, American Bar Association. Wyoming Trial Lawyers and the Uniform Laws Commission. He served as president of the Lander One Shot Antelope Hunt, the Wyoming Mining Association and the Wyoming State Bar Foundation. He was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Wyoming College of Law in 2009.

His parents, Henry A. Meier and Ruth Winsor Meier, preceded him in death.

He is survived by his wife Suzanne Braden Meier, two sons and daughters-in-law, Scott W. and Kathryn Meier of Cheyenne and Douglas C. and Kimberly Meier of Big Horn; daughter and son-in-law, Gary and Celia A. Meier-Ando of Scottsdale, Ariz.; two stepchildren, Douglas Braden of Idaho and Brandith Braden of Montana; five grandchildren and two step-grandchildren.

The family asks that any memorials be given to the charity of your choice or the National Parkinson Foundation, Gift Processing Center, Box 5018, Hagerstown, MD 21741.

Johnny Craig Gibler

Aug. 24, 1951 – June 22, 2012

Johnny Craig Gibler, former Basin, Wyoming resident, age 60, passed away late Friday evening, June 22, 2012 at Shepherd of the Valley Health Care Center in Casper, Wyoming, and has gone to be with Jesus following a brief encounter with cancer.

Johnny was born a wee baby topping the scale at two and one-half pounds, August 24, 1951, the son of John S. and Marjorie Osborn Gibler in the old Basin General Hospital. His childhood summers were spent with his Crusch family in Montana enjoying area celebrations, rodeos and new friends.

Johnny was raised in Basin and attended Mrs. Saban’s pre-school prior to elementary school and Basin High School with his graduating class of 1970.

He loved his families and always carried Jesus in his heart. His favorite book to read was his Bible with a goal of reading it cover to cover. He liked sharing God’s word with others and lived according to “The Ten Commandments.” He was received as a member of the First Baptist Church in Basin, December 17, 1967.

Johnny had a keen interest in the antiques he had collected and would have been happy to live the older, slower and quiet way of life. He loved little children, music, pets and shopping for plants for the rose garden at Shepherd of the Valley or an empty location inside to delight the staff and residents.

A diamond willow cane made by his father was always at his side. Johnny enjoyed eating out, especially at Red Lobster. He was a pleasant, dress pants, white shirt and jacket type of guy, preferably with a fedora and his cane.

Johnny is survived by his parents, John and Dorothy Gibler of Basin, Wyoming, Marjorie Crusch and stepfather Larry Crusch of Joliet, Montana; a brother, Marvin (Kelly) Crusch, also of Joliet, Montana; four sisters, Johnna (Pat) Ely of Basin, Wyoming, Amy (Bill) Brown and Susanne Flores, all of Billings, Montana and Stephany Sundheim of Nashua, Montana; many loving nieces and nephews, and a host of special friends at Shepherd of the Valley in Casper.

He was preceded in death by his sister, LaRae Gibler Cummings; grandparents, Shelby and Macyl Gibler, Albert and Molly Osborn and John and Helen Michaels.

A memorial service will be held at noon on Friday, June 29, 2012 at the First Baptist Church, Basin, Wyoming with Pastor Kent Dempsey officiating.

A luncheon for family and friends will immediately follow the service at the First Baptist Church gymnasium.

Memorials in Johnny Craig’s name will be received at Security State Bank, Box 531, Basin, WY 82410 and proceeds will go to the First Baptist Church at Basin, Wyoming and to the Shepherd of the Valley Health Care Center at Casper, Wyoming.

Atwood Family Funeral Directors, Inc., is in charge of arrangements.

(Paid obituary)

Kenneth Edward Tanner

March 6, 1938 – June 17, 2012

Kenneth Edward Tanner left this world early in the morning of June 17, 2012, at Buffalo Creek Farms in Ten Sleep, Wyoming.

Kenneth was born on March 6, 1938, the son of Vashti and Clarence Richard Tanner. His older brother, Charles Richard, preceded him in death on April 10, 2012.

Kenneth attended the schools of Fordyce, Arkansas, from the elementary years, graduating as a senior in 1956. Kenneth was selected a football all-star on the first all-star team in the state of Arkansas. He was granted a football scholarship with the Southern State Muleriders in Magnolia, Arkansas, in 1956-57. Kenneth transferred to the University of Houston, graduating with a B.S. degree in Geology in 1962. Following graduation he was employed as a geologist for Magnet Cove Barium Corporation (later Dresser Industries) in Houston, Texas. In his capacity as a geologist, he traveled worldwide evaluating mineral deposits for 19 years.

Kenneth married Paula June Harrelson on March 8, 1958, in Houston, Texas. Each year with Kenneth was an adventure for Paula. Three children were born of this marriage: Dana Eric (deceased 1979), Beth Ellen and Sally Elizabeth.

His dream of a farm was achieved when he created Buffalo Creek Farms in Ten Sleep, originally a desert land entry, drilling two 4,000-foot water wells in conjunction with partners in 1972. He left Dresser Industries in 1981 to concentrate on Buffalo Creek Farms and to develop local bentonite mining ventures.

Preceding Kenneth in death were his father and mother, Clarence Richard and Vashti Tanner; his brother, Charles Richard; and his son, Dana Eric.

Survivors include Paula Harrelson Tanner, spouse; two daughters, Beth Ellen Johnstone (Casey), Ten Sleep, Wyoming, and Sally Elizabeth Krei (Roger Lovato) Santa Fe, New Mexico; five grandchildren, Megan Elizabeth Krei, Thornton, Colo., Katrina Alexis Taylor (Stuart), Ten Sleep, Wyoming, Jarryd Fitzgerald Krei, Northglenn, Colo., Jesse Eric Johnston, Basin, Wyoming, and Kimberly June Elizabeth Lovato, Santa Fe, New Mexico; two greatgrandsons, Jhett Alexander and Cash Tanner Taylor, Ten Sleep, Wyoming, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Kenneth was especially proud that four generations resided on Buffalo Creek Farms. He was a wonderful father, grandfather and great-grandfather and will be missed by his loved ones and many friends.

Memorial may be made to Billings Clinic Foundation, Oncology Research, 2917 10th Avenue North, Billings, MT 59707; Hot Springs County Memorial Hospital, 150 East Arapahoe Street, Thermopolis, Wyo. 82443, or a charity of your choice.

Memorial services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Friday, June 22, 2012, at the Atwood Family Chapel at 620 Greybull Avenue, Greybull, Wyoming, with the BPOE Elks Lodge No. 1431 team officiating. A reception for family and friends will immediately follow the services at the Greybull BPOE Elks Lodge No. 1431. Memorial graveside services will take place at Tanyard Cemetery in Fordyce, Arkansas, at a later date.

Atwood Family Funeral Directors, Inc., is in charge of arrangements.

(Paid obituary)

Bruce W. Lopp

April 12, 1947 – May 25, 2012

Memorial graveside services for longtime Worland resident Bruce Wayne Lopp will be held Wednesday, June 27 at 9 a.m. at Mount View Cemetery. Bruce, 65, died May 25 at Washakie Medical Center in Worland.

Bruce was born April 12, 1947, in Springfield, Mo., the son of Wayne Clarence and Edna Roseane Bray Lopp. He worked as a contractor doing commercial and residential construction for most of his adult life. He retired due to failing health.

Atwood Family Funeral Directors, Inc., is in charge of arrangements.