Daily Archives: January 17, 2013

GMS recipient of national award

by nathan oster
Greybull Middle School finds itself in some elite company. Only 66 schools in the nation can call themselves a National Title I Distinguished School — and GMS is one of them.
David Holbrook, a representative of the Wyoming Department of Education, presented a plaque to GMS Principal Scott McBride during the school’s awards assembly held Friday morning in the GHS auditorium.
Holbrook, speaking for Supt. of Public Instruction Cindy Hill who was unable to attend, told students and staff that each state may select two schools for national recognition — one for exceeding its adequate yearly progress for two or more years, the other for significantly closing the achievement gap between student groups.
GMS’s nomination was based the school meeting the criteria of significantly closing the achievement gap, Holbrook said.
According to the Department of Education, GMS closed the achievement gap in the following ways during the 2011-12 school year:
• In the sixth grade, the school moved the percentage of its Free and Reduced Lunch students scoring “proficient” or “advanced” in reading from 68 percent in 2010-11 to 95 percent in 2011-12. The non-Free and Reduced Lunch group increased from 74 percent to 92 percent. This equates to a 9 percent close in the achievement gap for this subgroup of students in reading.
• In the seventh grade, the school increased the percent of students at “proficient” or “advanced” in reading. The Free and Reduced Lunch group moved from 48 to 79 percent, the non-Free and Reduced Lunch group moved from 74 percent to 83 percent. This equates to a 22 percent close in the achievement gap.
In seventh-grade math, the percentage of students testing “proficient” and “advanced” moved from 48 to 74 percent within the Free and Reduced Lunch group, and from 79 to 88 percent within the non Free and Reduced Lunch group. This equates to a 17 percent close in the achievement gap.
• In the eighth grade, the school increased the percent of students “proficient” and “advanced” in reading from 47 to 67 percent within the Free and Reduced Lunch group and from 81 to 88 percent within the non-Free and Reduced Lunch group. This equates to a 13 percent close in the achievement group.
Faculty from the school will be invited to travel to Nashville for the National Title I Association conference.

Good Samaritans clear streets

by marlys good
“Baby, it’s cold outside” or “Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.” Take your pick. Either would be appropriate considering the cold temperatures and snowfall that have hovered over the area since Friday, Jan. 11.
Although the cold and stormy weather was predicted, people were lulled by the 52-degree high recorded Thursday, Jan. 10. Twenty-four hours later snow was falling and the mercury had dropped into the low teens. Since that time the airport has registered overnight subzero temperatures that dipped to -7 early Sunday morning. By noon Monday the mercury had “shot up” to 11 degrees, which felt almost like a heat wave.
The area was blanketed with snow Friday that fell horizontally due to the brisk wind, but sidewalks had been cleared – just in time for the 4-5 inches of new snow that fell Tuesday. The good news was there was no wind; the snow lay where it fell.
It was business as usual for the Good Samaritans who donned stocking caps, coveralls, gloves, boots and the warmest, heaviest winter coats they owned to sweep sidewalks and clear driveways.
A lot of the Good Samaritans use four-wheelers with a snow blade, which was the “shovel of choice” for Earl Dooley, who was out bright and early Tuesday. Dooley has almost a regular route of friends and neighbors he helps out, but added, “When I see snow that needs moved, I do it.”
The phone rang again and again at Downtown Auto but there was no one to answer it because both Buzz Collingwood and Justin Wisehart were out clearing snow.
Collingwood uses a small tractor with a blade, as does Terry Kunkle. But Ricky Madsen was spotted on Greybull Avenue clearing the white stuff away with an old-fashioned snow shovel and broom.
Although the snow caught many residents by surprise, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Riverton said a winter weather advisory had been issued Monday night.
Sidewalks and streets should be cleared by the time temperatures hit a predicted 20-25 degrees above late this week.
But don’t put those blades, shovels and warm clothes away just yet; this is still the middle of January – and it IS Wyoming.

Shell Post Office hours to be cut

by nathan oster
The Shell Post Office won’t be closing, but its hours will soon be reduced as the U.S. Postal Service tries to streamline its operations in Wyoming and around the country.
$3 billion. That’s how much the USPS lost last year, according to Gary Sims, manager of post office operations for the state of Wyoming.
Sims was in Shell Thursday night, talking to a group of about 35 local residents who had gathered to discuss the fate of their post office, which is currently open eight hours a day Monday through Friday and three hours every Saturday.
Sims said within the first two minutes of his presentation that the USPS had no intention of closing the Shell Post Office.
“We know how important post offices are to small rural communities,” Sims said, adding later in the meeting that nearly half of the approximately 142 post offices in Wyoming are in line for some sort of reduction in business hours.
Prior to the meeting, the USPS sent surveys to 162 Shell Post Office users. Seventy-two of them were returned to the USPS. And 86 percent (62) of the respondents favored the idea of realigning the post office’s hours of operations. On eight of the remaining 10 surveys, no selection was made.
Based on that survey and its own operational needs, the USPS proposed a reduction in hours to four, Monday through Friday, with the window of 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. recommended.
Several other Big Horn County post offices are also looking at reductions. Among them, Cowley would drop from eight to six each day, Byron from eight hours to four.
Sims said the USPS based its recommendations on the amount of revenue that comes across the counter and the amount of mail that each post office receives.
He emphasized that the USPS has no intention of changing Saturday office hours in Shell. The proposal sets those from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
“We’re not touching Saturdays,” he said, pointing out that Saturday is actually one of the most profitable days of the entire week for the USPS.
Sims said the USPS hasn’t considered closing the Shell Post Office, nor would it as long as someone is available to work there — and right now, a person is in place to do jus tthat.
Mary Flitner, who was among the residents in attendance, said a lot of people use the Shell Post Office to buy their stamps and mail their packages.
Sims emphasized that if Shell customers want to help the cause of their post office, the best way to do so would be by buying stamps and mailing their packages directly from the Shell Post Office, rather than doing so in area post offices such as Greybull, Worland or Billings.
“(Revenue) is the driving force of what will drive decisions regarding this post office,” he said. “You need to do your business here.”
Sims clarified that the USPS looks at “walk in revenue” — and that customers who buy their stamps online or elsewhere and then mail their letters in Shell aren’t adding to the revenue of the Shell Post Office.
Sims said the USPS is proposing no changes to any of the mail delivery routes — and that what is being proposed deals only with the hours of operations of certain post offices in the state.
Sims said the USPS is “looking at everything” in an attempt to solve its financial troubles, including stopping Saturday delivery. Just by dropping down to five days a week, the USPS would save about $2 billion annuallly, he said.
Some audience members asked about whether the USPS could post a stamp vending machine somewhere in the community to make up for the hours cut from the post office. But Sims said the USPS has pulled every vending machine nationwide.
For people needing stamps, Dirty Annie’s currently has a limited number available. And Jim McLauchlan, who owns the business, said he plans to continue to provide that service.
Another topic of discussion centered on packages that arrive for pickup at the Shell Post Office. With reduced hours, customers will have smaller windows in which to pick up their packages.
There are currently four parcel lockers at the post office, and it was pointed out that the USPS could put a key to the locker in the mailbox of the package’s recipient so that it could be picked up after hours.
The final, and perhaps most important, issue of the night dealt with the specific hours of operation for the Shell Post Office. The USPS had suggested 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., but Shell residents who attended the meeting asked spoke in unison about wanting those hours pushed back — either from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. or from noon until 4 p.m.
After the meeting, Sims said he planned to send a notice to the post office in the near future, informing customers of the new hours. As of Monday, that notice had not arrived in Shell.
Sims said the reduced hours could take effect within one to two months.

Lloyd D. Craft Sr.

Dec. 16, 1928 – Jan. 7, 2013
Funeral services for Lloyd D. Craft Sr. will be held today (Thursday, Jan. 17) at 1 p.m. at the First Baptist Church in Worland. Lloyd, 84, died Jan. 7 at his home in Fairfield, Wash.
He was born Dec. 16, 1928, in Worland, the son of Henry and Lena Craft. He was raised on the family farm in Manderson. He served in the United States Navy. After his discharge he married Elizabeth Ruth Kaiser on June 22, 1951.
Lloyd and Liz were in the farming business for many years. They also had a welding business, L.C. Welding, which they operated from 1974-1994. They returned to farming in 1994. The couple enjoyed fishing, hunting, gardening and doing crossword puzzles.
A few years after Liz’s death, Lloyd married Patricia Patrick Breither June 26, 2005, in Fairfield, Wash., where they made their home.
His parents, his wife Elizabeth, sisters Margret Akers, Helen Benson and Viola Faure, brother George and great-grandson Joseph Geelan preceded Lloyd in death.
He is survived by his wife Pat of Fairfield, Wash.; five sons, and one daughter and their spouses, Lloyd Jr. and Terri Craft of Worland, Doug and Vicki Craft Herron of Denver, Steve and Sally Craft, Jeff and Tess Craft, Kevin and Connie Craft and Chris and Teresa Craft, all of Worland; two brothers and a sister-in-law, Bill and Ione Craft of Greybull and Claude Craft of Basin; 19 grandchildren; two step-grandchildren, and 13 great-grandchildren.
Burial will be in Riverview Memorial Gardens Cemetery with military honors provided by American Legion Post 44.
Memorial donations may be made to the Worland Learning Center, c/o Bryant Funeral Home, Box 524, Worland, WY 82401.

Buffs sweep Lady Rebels, Eagles

by marlys good
The Lady Buffs notched their first conference win Friday night win in a 61-39 victory over Riverside then tacked on a second victory in a non-conference 61-24 game with St. Stephens Saturday.
Junior Ceirra Carlson and sophomore Brett Stephens had a field day pouring in 19 and 16 points respectively against Riverside.
The Buff defense stymied Riverside’s big duo of Cydnie Clark and Brittany Vigil and held the Rebels to just eight points in the first half.
“The girls did a great job on Clark and Vigil,” said Coach Jeff Hunt. “We knew we had to stop them early so they couldn’t get on a run and that’s exactly what we did”
They only ran the game plans for one quarter, “then we were able to work on some other things,” said the coach. Hunt had put together a game plan for Riverside and “we only had to run it for a quarter, then were able to work on some other things.”
Carlson and Stephens “shot really well,” Hunt said, noting that Carlson knocked down three of four from long range. “Between the two of them they scored 35 points and made four of five from the arc. Karlina (McIntosh) also had a great offensive game with nine points.”
St. Stephens hardly put up a struggle Saturday as the Buffs routed the Lady Eagles 61-24.
“St. Stephens was not a well-disciplined team,” Hunt said. “Their JV was a good team, but their varsity team didn’t even make a real attempt to play us. They couldn’t do anything to stop us, nor did they try.”
Hunt used his entire bench; scoring was spread between eight players with Carlson leading the way with 23. Georgi Hall had a season high 10 points and “did a good job finishing around the basket,” according to Hunt.
Noticeable by her absence was McKenna Powers. The junior sustained an injury in the Thermopolis game and “never fully recovered. She will be back next year,” Hunt said, noting “It is a huge loss for us. She is very aggressive on defense and caused some problems for teams. She was our leading rebounder and second on the team in steals. We will definitely miss her.”
Also on the injured list, but expected to return, is Nevin Brown.
The Buffs would like nothing more than to extend their win streak to four when they take on conference foes Rocky Mountain in Cowley today (Thursday) and host Thermopolis Friday.
Rocky Mountain and Greybull are fighting for third place in the conference. Tip-off is at 5:30 p.m.
The Lady Bobcats beat the Buffs Dec. 15 in their first conference match, and are coming off an overtime loss to league-leading Lovell last weekend.
Hopefully the Buffs put a game plan together that will stymie Jordan Leyba and Dana Bjorhus. But Desi Rangel, who hit the free throw that put the Lovell game into overtime, cannot be overlooked. The game starts at 5:30.

Greybull 15 20 10 16 – 61
Riverside 6 2 13 18 – 39
GREYBULL — Micheala Denniston 2 0-2 4, Georgi Hall 2 0-0 4, Ceirra Carlson 7 2-6 19, Biri Gallegos 2 1-4 5, Brett Stephens 7 1-1 16, Karlina McIntosh 4 0-0 9, Sarah Bockman 1 1-2 3, Madi Edeler 0 1-2 1. Totals 25-68, 6-17 61.
3-POINT GOALS — Carlson 3, Stephens 1, McIntosh 1. REBOUNDS — 29 (Stephens 9, Gallegos 5, Carlson 4, Denniston 4). STEALS — 12 (Carlson 4, Stephens 3). ASSISTS — 10 (Carlson 4). TURNOVERS — 16.

Greybull 21 17 16 7 – 61
St. Stephens 6 3 9 6 – 24
GREYBULL — Denniston 3 0-0 6, Hall 5 0-0 10, Carlson 9 5-8 23, Hunter Grant 1 0-0 2, Gallegos 2 4-6 8, Stephens 2 1-2 5, McIntosh 1 0-0 2, Bockman 2 1-2 5. Totals 26-62 11-18 61.
REBOUNDS — 32 (Stephens 8, Carlson 7, Bockman 5). STEALS — 15 (Carlson 7, Bockman 3). ASSISTS — 9 (Carlson 3). TURNOVERS — 17.

Buffs snap eight-game losing skid

by nathan oster
After going more than a month without a win, the Greybull Buffs picked up two of them in as many days last weekend, beating conference rival Riverside 58-37 on Friday and then going on the road Saturday to notch a 72-55 win over St. Stephens.
The win over St. Stephen’s was Greybull’s first road win of the season, and it lifted the team a couple games closer to the .500 mark, at 6-8, heading into important Class 2A Northwest Conference showdowns later this week against Rocky Mountain and Thermopolis.
“Hard work in practice pays dividends,” said Coach Jim Prather. “Sometimes you don’t always see those manifested in the final score, but as a team, we felt like we were making progress. Finally this last weekend we were able to put a couple in the win column.”
The Buffs snapped an eight-game skid against Riverside, racing out to a 22-8 lead after one quarter and extending it to 34-11 at the half en route to the 21-point win, which was Greybull’s first in conference play this season.
When it’s Greybull and Riverside, you can throw out the records, Prather had said before the game. Separated by just seven miles, the schools are longtime rivals — and the kids know each other from their various activities.
“When you’re talking about a rivalry game like that one, first you must deal with those emotions,” Prather said. “We knew our kids were going to play hard … and we expected the same from Riverside.
“A lot of times in rivalry games, it takes kids a while to get rid of that extra energy and settle in. But credit our kids. They played with a lot of poise, ball movement was good, and we set ourselves up for some great shots around the basket.”
In the first quarter alone, Paul Stewart and Payton Gonzalez had opportunities for three-point plays after scoring and getting hacked in the act of shooting. Gonzalez had seven of his team-high 21 in the first quarter.
“From the start, we were able to get the ball where we wanted to and the kids were able to capitalize on those opportunities,” said Prather.
Gonzalez led the way for the Buffs, hitting 9-11 from the field as part of his 21-point effort.
“He had an excellent game,” Prather said. “He was aggressive, but at the same time, he let the game come to him. He didn’t force things. When the shots were there, he took them.
“Paul (Stewart) established himself around the basket, and Quinton (Haley) was aggressive around the basket,” Prather said of his two big men, who each netted nine in the win. “Those are the things we’re looking to get from our post players.”
Greybull had a good shooting night, hitting 48 percent of its field goal attempts, something Prather attributed partly to confidence.
Wyatt Good, who turned an ankle in Burlington, returned to the lineup and contributed right away, chipping in eight points to go along with a team-high three assists.
The Buffs followed that up with an even better performance Saturday in St. Stephens. It was a four-point game at the half, but the Buffs put some distance between themselves and the Eagles with a 27-18 third-quarter surge. Haley sparked it, scoring 10 of his 20 points in the frame.
Prather called it “another nice effort in regard to focus and concentration. We ran our offense better than we have in a long time, and that meant we got the ball where we wanted it to go — and we got the shots that we wanted.”
Gonzalez also had it working in St. Stephens, sinking nine of 18 from the field to finish with 22 points. He also had four steals, tops on the team. Stewart also finished in double digits with 10.
Prather called it “a breakthrough win, in the sense that we hadn’t won on the road” to that point of the season. The weekend as a whole provided a shot in the arm for a team that had struggled mightily in its first two games after the holidays.
“If back to back wins don’t elevate the conference level of the kids, I’m not sure what button you can push to change that,” Prather said. “The kids felt great Saturday on the bus ride home. We needed to play well and put back to back games together.”

This week
A big weekend looms on the horizon for the Greybull boys, who face Rocky Mountain today (Thursday, Jan. 17) in Cowley before returning to Buff Gym on Friday night to tangle with Thermopolis. Game time is 7 p.m. at both locations.
Rocky Mountain and Thermopolis are the two teams directly ahead of the Buffs in the conference standings. The Grizzlies swept the Buffs last year. “They were one of my choices in the early part of the season to be one of the better teams in 2A,” Prather said. “They’ve got seven fine players, they are athletic, they can put a lot of pressure on the ball, which we saw last year.”
Thermop fended off the Buffs the first time around, winning in double overtime in December.
“We’d like to think home-court advantage is worth a couple of points,” Prather said. “If we get an opportunity to close the deal, hopefully we’ll be able to do that this time. We’ve gotten better in the weeks since we played them. We’ll see how it shakes out.”

Greybull 22 12 11 13 — 58
Riverside 8 3 12 14 — 37
GREYBULL — Payton Gonzalez 9 3-7 21, Calder Forcella 1 0-0 2, Wyatt Good 2 4-4 8, Quinton Haley 4 1-2 9, Ryan Sylvester 1 0-0 2, Paul Stewart 4 1-3 9, Fabian Davila 1 1-2 3, Logan Jensen 0 0-2 0, Treston Tracy 2 0-0 4. Totals 24 10-20 58.
RIVERSIDE — Getzfreid 1 2-3 4, Vollan 3 0-0 8, McKim 2 1-3 5, Mercer 1 2-3 4, Vigil 1 2-2 4, Roussan 1 0-0 2, Schwede 1 3-4 5, Deniz 2 1-2 5. Totals 12 10-17 37.
3-POINT GOALS — Vollan 2. REBOUNDS — Greybull 32 (Haley 6). STEALS — Greybull 19 (Stewart 7). ASSISTS — Greybull 14 (Good and Stewart, 3). TURNOVERS — Greybull 22.

Greybull 16 14 27 15 — 72
St. Stephens 14 12 18 11 — 55
GREYBULL — Gonzalez 9 1-2 22, Forcella 1 0-0 3, Good 2 2-5 7, Haley 10 0-0 20, Sylvester 0 2-2 2, Stewart 3 4-4 10, Tracy 4 0-0 8. Totals 29 9-13 72.
ST STEPHENS — S. Brown 1 1-2 3, C. Littleshield 6 2-3 18, R. Roman 0 5-6 5, S. Teran 5 1-2 12, L. Oldman 7 1-4 17. Totals 19 10-17 55.
3-POINT GOALS — Gonzalez 3, Forcella, Good; Littleshield 4, Oldman 2, Teran. REBOUNDS — 46 (Haley 11, Good 10). STEALS — Greybull 9 (Gonzalez 4. ASSISTS — Greybull 21 (Good and Sylvester, 5). TURNOVERS — Greybull 19.