Monthly Archives: March 2013
James J. Royal, 54, passed away early Friday morning on Feb. 8, 2013.
A private family service will be held in Basin at 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 15, 2013, at Peace Lutheran Church.
Jim was born on Feb. 1, 1959, in Basin, Wyo., to Larry and Dorlene Royal.
He married Angie Huddleston in 1981. To this union Ashley Renae Royal was born.
In 2001 he married Cheryl Wirthlin.
Jim graduated from Basin High School in 1977. He attended University of Wyoming, graduated from Rocky Mountain College in Billings with a degree in Business; he then obtained his CPA certification. He was employed by Porter-Muirhead, Rosco Steel and WL Plastics as comptroller.
Jim was preceded in death by his father Larry Royal.
He is survived by his wife, Cheryl; daughters Ashley and Amy of Casper; parents Walter and Dorlene Mayland of Basin; brothers Randy (Dawn) of Greybull, Wyo., Scott of Carson City, Nev.; stepbrothers Scott (Tracey) Mayland of Casper, Wyo., Ben (Teri) Mayland of Basin, Wyo.; nephew Grant of California, nieces Mikayla of Carson City, Nev. and Brennah of Basin, Wyo.
Memorials to Rocky Mountain Oncology in Mr. Royal’s honor would be appreciated by the family.
Condolences for the family may be left at bustardsfuneralhome.com.
Cremation has taken place and the ashes of Donald Joseph Benasky will be scattered at his favorite place in Shell Canyon at a later date. Don, 67, of Greybull, died Feb. 1 in Las Vegas, Nev.
Don served in the United States Air Force for 22 years and retired with the rank of master sergeant. Formerly of Nashua, N.H., and Sheridan, Don liked to help people. He used to build computer systems to give to people who needed them. Most recently he was building and repairing bicycles. He was known as “Mr. Bicycle Man” to the children at Greybull Elementary School.
Don enjoyed bicycling and fishing but his greatest passion was his motorcycles. He did all his own maintenance, gave rides, toured the United States and Canada and attended the annual motorcycle rallies in Sturgis, S.D.
Don was preceded in death by his parents, Verna and Leonard Benasky of Miles City, Mont.
He is survived by his daughter Alene Benasky and her husband Jeffrey Swanberg of Las Vegas; two brothers, Edward Benasky of Helena, Mont., and Robert Benasky of Blaine, Wash.; one sister, Carol Bakle of Columbus, Ohio, and two grandchildren.
Donations in Don’s memory can be made to Community Outreach, Box 123, Greybull, WY 82426.
by nathan oster
If the Greybull Buffs are fortunate enough to make it to the Class 2A West Regional, they will know that at the very least, they can compete against the teams from the southwest corner of the state.
The Buffs are 4-1 against the Southwest Conference — and their only loss, a 48-47 setback Saturday to Wyoming Indian, may have been more impressive than their four combined wins over Big Piney, Kemmerer, Shoshoni and Wind River, all of which came in the Big Horn Basin Shootout.
Playing their third game in as many days after a 67-37 thrashing of Riverside and a 52-37 loss to conference leading Lovell, the Buffs went toe to toe with the No. 2 ranked Chiefs for 32 minutes Saturday afternoon at Buff Gym.
In the final minute of the game, the Buffs had two chances to go ahead, but both times, they failed to get off a shot, allowing the Chiefs to get away with their 17th win of the season to go with only two losses (both to Lovell).
Coach Jim Prather said he saw it coming.
“I told the kids in the locker room before Wyoming Indian game that they are so close to moving into the upper echelon of teams, which is where we want to be come tournament time,” Prather said.
So on what did Prather base that opinion?
He certainly had to like what he saw Thursday night in Basin, where for the second time this season the Buffs overwhelmed the Rebels early and cruised to the 30-point win, which guaranteed them no worse than a No. 4 seed for the regional and home-court advantage for the pigtail game.
The Buffs focused their effort on stopping Clint Getzfreid — “a nice, proven player on our level.” Getzfreid finished with 11, but all of them came in the second half. By then, the Buffs were well on their way to the win.
“The kids played like they were on a mission,” Prather said.
No one more so than Payton Gonzalez, who lit it up for 26 points, including four three-pointers. “He was on fire,” Prather said. “He has an element of quickness that’s hard for Riverside to match up against. He was able to get a couple to fall on quick drives to the basket early, and I think once he saw those go in, he was able to get a few to go down from three-point range. Credit our kids for finding him.”
What Prather saw Friday night in Lovell was less encouraging, as the Bulldogs again dominated play early, building a 19-7 lead after one, a 32-15 cushion at the half and a 40-19 lead after three before the Buffs put up 18 points in the final quarter to make it a more respectable 15 point deficit at the final buzzer.
“But I thought we were much improved with our press offense,” Prather said, adding that he could live with the 18 turnovers, considering the No. 1-ranked Bulldogs “have been playing as well defensively as any team I’ve seen in a long time.”
The tempo was more to the Buffs’ liking in the rematch as well.
In the end, Prather was happy his team scored more, and gave up fewer, than in the first game, a 60-35 Lovell win. “They just made more shots than we did,” Prather said. “But I thought our kids battled … they weren’t intimidated.”
Cody Savage was again a major factor in the paint, finishing with a team-high 16 for the ‘Dogs.
That set the stage for Saturday and the only meeting of the year with the Chiefs, who are the reigning 2A champs. Wyoming Indian entered the game with the top scoring offense in the 2A West, averaging 68.9 points per game and winning by an average of more than 20 points.
What they got at Buff Gym was “the best defensive effort” of the season by the home team.
The game was knotted at 17 apiece after one. The Chiefs stretched it to 10, 35-25, at the half, but the Buffs didn’t wilt. In fact, they did the opposite, limiting the Chiefs to just 13 points in the third and fourth quarters while their offense was in catch-up mode.
Trevor Williamson, WIHS’s top inside player, netted 12 points in the first half, but was blanked in the second half. And Alvin Spoonhunter, who averages 17 per game, was held to eight, with all but two of those coming in the first half.
“We talked at the end of the first, when the score was 17-17, that the pace was too fast, that if we played four quarters at the same tempo as the first, it was going to favor the Chiefs,” Prather said. “The kids were really focused. If you can hold a Wyoming Indian team to 13 in a half, you’re doing something right.
“That was the key for us to climb back into the game. It was the best man-to-man defense that we’ve played this season.”
The Buffs had their chances to win. Wyoming Indian didn’t score in the final four minutes. Treston Tracy converted an old-fashioned three-point play at the 3:34 mark that made it 48-44, then buried one from behind the arc at 1:27 to make it a 48-47 game. But the Buffs could get no closer.
Gonzalez led the way with 18.
The Buffs will close out the conference portion of their schedule Friday night when Rocky Mountain comes to town. With four conference wins, the Grizzlies are in the hunt for the No. 2 seed. Even with a win, the Buffs can’t catch them and are locked into the No. 4 seed.
“They are playing well … but I have thought all along that they are one of the better 2A teams in the state,” Prather said. “They’re still young. They haven’t been as consistent as they want to be, but none of that matters if you peak at the right time — and Coach Simmons sure seems to have them peaking at the right time.”
Game times are 4 and 7 p.m.
Saturday Big Horn comes to town for games at 1 and 4 p.m.
Greybull 25 16 12 14 — 67
Riverside 6 8 8 15 — 37
GREYBULL — Payton Gonzalez 9 4-5 26, Zack Zeller 1 2-2 4, Calder Forcella 1 0-1 2, Wyatt Good 5 3-4 15, Quinton Haley 3 2-2 8, Paul Stewart 3 2-2 8, Fabian Davila 1 0-0 2, Treston Tracy 1 0-0 2. Totals 24-63 13-16 67.
RIVERSIDE — Getzfreid 4 2-3 11, McKim 3 2-2 8, Mercer 4 2-4 10, Vigil 1 0-0 2, Koch 1 0-0 2, Deniz 2 0-1 4. Totals 15 6-10 37.
3-POINT GOALS — Gonzalez 4, Good 2; Getzfreid. REBOUNDS — Greybull 35 (Haley 11). STEALS — Greybull 19 (Forcella 7). ASSISTS — Greybull 14 (Gonzalez 4). TURNOVERS —Greybull 13.
Greybull 7 8 4 18 — 37
Lovell 19 13 8 12 — 52
GREYBULL — Gonzalez 4 0-0 9, Zeller 1 0-0 2, Cody Strauch 1 0-0 3, Forcella 0 2-2 2, Good 1 0-0 2, Haley 2 3-5 7, Ryan Sylvester 1 0-0 2, Paul Stewart 2 0-0 4, Tracy 2 2-2 6, Aidan Jenness 0 0-2 0. Totals 14 7-11 37.
LOVELL — Tippetts 2 0-0 4, McArthur 1 1-2 3, Wolvington 1 0-0 2, Hultgren 4 0-0 9, Nicholls 2 1-2 5, Kite 0 1-2 1, Ellis 2 1-2 5, Clark 3 1-3 7, Savage 4 8-10 16. Totals 19 13-21 52.
3-POINT GOALS — Gonzalez, Strauch; Hultgren. REBOUNDS — Greybull 18 (Stewart 4). STEALS — Greybull 5 (Forcella 3). ASSISTS — Greybull 9 (Logan Jensen, Wyatt Good 2). TURNOVERS — Greybull 18.
Wyo. Indian 17 18 4 9 — 48
Greybull 17 8 10 12 — 47
WYOMING INDIAN — Penatec 3 1-2 7, Gardner 1 0-0 3, Clifford 4 0-2 9, Howell 3 1-3 7, Spoonhunter 4 0-2 8, Williamson 5 2-3 12, Aragon 1 0-0 2. Totals 21 4-12 48.
GREYBULL — Gonzalez 7 2-6 18, Forcella 3 0-0 6, Good 1 0-0 2, Haley 2 0-0 4, Stewart 3 3-8 9, Tracy 3 1-1 8. Totals 19 6-15 47.
3-POINT GOALS — Gardner, Clifford; Gonzalez 2, Tracy. REBOUNDS — Greybull 35 (Tracy 8). STEALS — Greybull 11 (Gonzalez, Forcella 4). ASSISTS — Greybull 16 (Gonzalez 7). TURNOVERS — Greybull 33.
by nathan oster
The best wrestlers in the state were in Riverton last weekend for the Ron Thon Memorial, a meet that annually gives wrestlers from small squads like Greybull-Riverside a chance to see how they stack up against their weight-class peers from the 3A and 4A ranks.
Gillette won the tournament, earning 264.5 points, followed by Cheyenne East with 195 and Powell with 161.5. The Panthers’ top rivals in 3A, Star Valley (121.5) and Douglas (112.5) rounded out the top five.
With just three wrestlers entered in the varsity, Greybull-Riverside finished well off that pace, landing in 24th with 26 points. That left them behind 2A foes Moorcroft (92 points), Cokeville (87), Lovell (87), Thermopolis (39.5) and Dubois (30).
Luke Zeller was the only G-R wrestler who placed, taking fourth at 160 pounds.
Zeller, a senior, pinned his first two opponents before running into Rudy Batista of Riverton. When the two met at last year’s Ron Thon, Batista beat Zeller. But this year it was a different story, as Zeller notched a 6-4 overtime win.
That pushed him into the semifinals and a matchup with Brecken Biggs of Natrona County. Coach Mark Sanford said Zeller turned in a great performance against Biggs. Zeller was up 7-5 when Biggs, with five seconds to go in the second period, scored a point on an escape. Now down just one, Biggs tied the match at 7-7 with another escape in the third period, then put it away with a takedown and a near-fall. The final was 11-8, and while Zeller turned in a valiant effort, Sanford said he was kicking himself after the match for giving up the late escape and for making a technical mistake that led to the takedown and near-fall.
Zeller went on to beat Cade Noble of Cheyenne South to earn a spot in the third-place match. But in that contest, he fell 7-2 to his old rival, Nathan Grant of Lovell. Sanford said he didn’t think Zeller was where he needed to be mentally for the Grant matchup — and it cost him.
“But fourth place, at that tournament, is great,” Sanford said, adding that Zeller was seeded sixth going in. “It was a little disappointing because we thought we should have been in there for first and second. We would have had a hard time beating (Lukas Poloncic of Gillette), but it would have been nice showing the world you’re one of the top two wrestlers (in your class) in the state of Wyoming.”
G-R’s other varsity entries were Jesus Burgos, who went 0-2 and did not place at 138, and Spencer Redland, who went 1-2 and did not place at 195.
Sanford said Burgos had a tough draw. His opener was against Alex LaCasse of Gillette, who entered as the No. 3 seed. LaCasse got the better of Burgos, pinning him at the 3:59 mark. “He was just a half step ahead of us on most of the stuff he ran,” Sanford said.
The loss dropped Burgos into the consolation round, where he lost to Lance Lucas of Wheatland 3-0. “We just couldn’t score on that kid,” Sanford said.
That was also a problem for Redland. His weekend began in nice fashion. After an opening round bye, Redland scored a 4-3 win over Kolton Hall of Newcastle, “a kid we hadn’t seen before, which was good.”
In the quarters, Redland faced Christian Robinson of Cheyenne East. It was a tight match, but Robinson eventually won it, 3-2. Redland then had to face Casey Savage of Riverton — and again, he dropped a tight decision, losing 3-1.
Sanford said that in all three matches, Redland wrestled with a lot of heart, but failed to capitalize on opportunities to score. Sanford said he wants Redland to “open things up a little bit” instead of wrestling so conservatively.
The rest of the team was entered in the junior varsity division, and while several wrestlers did go two and out, Sanford was encouraged by the efforts turned in by several team members.
Cole Hill had a bounce back weekend at 145, placing fifth. Hill won four matches and in two of them, against wrestlers from Wind River and Wright, he avenged losses from earlier this season — a big step for the freshman.
Anthony Eibert, at 152, went 2-2, with both of his wins coming by pin.
Matt Brown was a second-place finisher at 182. He won his first three matches to make the final, and included in that stretch was a big win over a Cokeville wrestler. But in the final, he lost 3-2. “Matt purposely didn’t buy a sweatshirt because he said he wanted to win one — and he came within one point of doing so,” said Sanford.
Rob Nuttall, in his first extensive action since returning from an injury, went 2-2 and did not place 170. “Not bad for Rob,” said Sanford. “It’s just good to have him on the mat again.
Tanner Bernstein captured third place at 195, with his only loss coming to the wrestler who went on to finish second. In the third-place matchup, he scored a major decision over a wrestler from Powell.
At 215, Zane Edeler won his first match 6-3, his second match by pin and his third match by pin (over a wrestler from Shoshoni who had had his number prior to that). He lost 8-5 in the final, but it was overall “a very good weekend” for Edeler, according to Sanford.
Those who went two-and-out included Marshall Gibbs, Ryan Peoples, Chase Peoples, Jarrod Johnson and Luke Young.
“Overall, it was a good effort for our team,” said Sanford. “The things that are beating us are things we can work on to improve. The bad thing is, when we get tired, we quit thinking about technique and fall into bad habits. We have to keep pushing each other to get where we want to be.”
The Buffs will wrap up the regular season tonight (Thursday, Feb. 7) with a dual in Basin against Cody.
by nathan oster
The resignation of two key staffers and the expiration of a 21st Century Community Learning Grant that had been supporting its after-school programming have combined to deal a crippling blow to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Wyoming.
Lisa Beamer, the local agency’s chief executive officer, confirmed on Tuesday that Jen Prentiss, who had been serving as the program director in Big Horn County, had resigned, as had Kellie Asmus, the Americorps VISTA assigned to the Greybull office.
Asmus, whose last day was Friday, said she came to the conclusion that “the program wasn’t a good fit for me, and didn’t align with my future interests.” She has asked to be reassigned to a different BBBS agency in the hopes of completing her one-year commitment to VISTA, which ends in July. She is also considering moving closer to her hometown of Cincinnati.
“I think Big Brothers Big Sisters does a lot of good things for the community — and I hope that it continues to do so,” she said.
Prentiss had an even larger role for BBBS. She has served as the program manager for more than two years, but will be leaving for good today. She has accepted a job working for Gottsche, which has moved into a new facility in Basin. She will be running Gottsche’s wellness program, including fitness programming.
Beamer credited Prentiss for her contributions to BBBS. “We wish her the very best,” said Beamer. “Jen did such an awesome job for us and for Big Horn County.”
Without Prentiss and Asmus, there is no one left to staff the Greybull office, which is located in the Herb Asp Community Center. Beamer said the BBBS board, which oversees the agency, will be meeting this month and that the situation in Greybull will be one of the topics of discussion. What becomes of it, ultimately, will be up to the board, but Beamer indicated that she would like to hire a part-time person to staff it, even if it’s just for one day a week.
“What I will say is that we will not stop providing services,” she said. “What’s happened nationwide is, because we have taken such big funding hits, the national office has given us much better technology to provide support in our communities and we don’t need as many people as we’ve had in the past.”
BBBS of Northwest Wyoming covers Park, Washakie, Hot Springs and Fremont counties in addition to Big Horn. Across the agency, there are 100 kids receiving services, and Beamer said the national organization now sees that as a workload that can be handled by one employee.
After school program
In a letter sent home with Greybull students, BBBS announced that it would not be running an after-school program beyond Jan. 24, 2013 — and that it would just be managing the various matches that are in place.
Beamer said the 21st Century grant had been providing approximately $157,000 annually in support of BBBS’s after-school programming. That funding source, which had been renewed on a an annual basis, dried up at the end of December. “Our five years were up,” Beamer said.
When it kicks in again in June, BBBS won’t be getting any of it. Instead, the school district is applying for the funding, believing that it is in a position to be able to offer after-school programming to the district’s students.
“And that actually makes a lot more sense,” Beamer said. While the $157,000 ran “a number of BBBS activities” in addition to the Greybull after-school program, Beamer said BBBS will be better served in the long run by focusing on preserving existing matches and building new ones.
“That’s what we do,” Beamer said. “Big Brothers Big Sisters is a mentoring program, so we were lucky for a few years to be able to branch out and do some neat programs. But the money isn’t there anymore, so we’re doing what we can.
“At the end of the day, most people in business will say you have to stay true to your mission, and our mission is provide children facing adversity with strong, enduring, professionally-supported, one-to-one relationships that change their lives forever.”
Prentiss acknowledged that the loss of the funding to run the after-school programming was a contributing factor in her decision to resign from BBBS. Another, though, was an organizational shift that placed greater responsibility on her shoulders.
When the program directors in two other counties in the agency resigned, the two remaining program directors, Prentiss and another director, were asked to take responsibility for the entire five-county area.
“That made the job a lot more stressful,” she said. “I got in it to help the families of Big Horn County; it’s hard to oversee a county when you aren’t physically there and don’t know the dynamics of that county.”
Prentiss said she feels that BBBS has made a difference in the community, not only in the lives of the kids, but also for the adults who work with them.
BBBS announced in its letter that existing matches will continue to be supported. It is currently running four programs: community-based matches, couples matches, school-based matches and Lunch Buddy matches.
“I think the organization, the plan, the mentoring … all of it has a place within our small communities,” she said, adding, however, that the key to future success will be not only the decisions made by Beamer, but also whether the community steps up to support the program.
“If people in Big Horn County want to continue to have the program, they need to make that known to her,” Prentiss said. “Whether that’s by making financial donations or by supporting programs by being volunteers, whatever makes sense to them.”
by nathan oster
The Greybull Fitness Center will be closing for good at the end of the month.
Owner Jeraline Bachman on Monday announced her impending retirement, calling it a difficult decision but one she felt she had to make due to “changing circumstances” in the market.
Gottsche has moved out of the Wyoming Retirement Center and into downtown Basin, and with the additional space that was gained, it will be able to do more in terms of fitness offerings.
Bachman said the Basin-Greybull community isn’t large enough to support both facilities, but she emphasized that Gottsche’s move is a positive thing overall.
Bachman hopes the seniors who have been using her facility will travel the seven miles to check out what Gottsche has to offer, and that she will be retiring with no ill will whatsoever.
She owned the fitness center for eight years, and while initially it was run by her daughters, she and her office manager, Suzen Yarborough, have been at the helm in recent years.
“I just want everyone to know how much I appreciate their loyalty and friendship,” Bachman said. “We did have some wonderful people, including some who have been with us since the beginning.”
As for all the fitness equipment that she has acquired, Bachman said she isn’t planning to sell it, at least it first. She’ll shut the business for good on Feb. 28, then “let it set” for a time, in case anyone else in the community might want to purchase it from her.
Jan. 17, 1943 – Jan. 26, 2013
Memorial services for Shirley Ione Werbelow were held Feb. 4 at the First Baptist Church in Powell. Shirley, 70, died Jan. 26 at Spirit Mountain Hospice in Cody.
She was born Jan. 17, 1943, at Lewiston, Idaho, the daughter of Horace David and Margaret Isabel Watkins Clements.
She lived in California and Washinton for many years. She taught fourth grade in Tacoma, Wash., for 28 years and also tutored children. She enjoyed landscaping and collecting bears.
Shirley married Pete Werbelow July 7, 2007, at Kent, Wash. They moved to Powell in 2007.
Shirley attended the First Baptist Church at Powell and helped with the AWANA program. She was a member of the Red Hat Society. A lifelong Republican she worked for the presidential campaigns of both Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan.
Shirley is survived by her husband Pete of Powell; her son Sam Rama of Washington; four stepchildren, Richard Werbelow of Billings, Troy Werbelow and Teresa Werbelow both of Gillette and Leeann Werbelow of Albuquerque, N.M.; one grandson, five step-grandchildren and two step-great-grandchildren.
by barbara anne greene
The mayors of eight of the nine incorporated towns in Big Horn County are reviewing their plan for the sixth-cent sales tax and are preparing another question for the voters.
At last Thursday’s mayors meeting at the Basin City Arts Center, the group of mayors and clerks, with Byron unrepresented, addressed the failed sixth-cent sales tax from the November general election.
The sixth-cent sales tax question may come back but with some changes. Lovell Mayor Bruce Morrison said “We got beat up pretty bad so I’m just throwing this out … now’s the time to start if we’re interested in doing this again. I don’t think we can wait.”
The mayors discussed cutting the amount in half, finding additional money to match the tax money and re-evaluating each project and deciding if it was worth it.
The mayors agreed that if the projects were right that they would have greater support from the people.
Two of the reoccurring complaints they all heard about the tax was when would it stop and why should I help a town I don’t live in. For example do Lovell people care about a swimming pool in Greybull? Do Basin residents care about streets in Burlington?
Another concern was how to get support from the unincorporated areas in the county … Hyattville, Shell, Otto and Emblem and one suggestions was to have the county commissioners go in to these communities and find out what projects there could benefit from the sixth-cent sales tax.
Burlington’s town clerk Penny Jones expressed concern for the smaller communities. “We don’t have a large business pool or resident base to draw from.”
Manderson Mayor Randy Brown echoed Jones concerns. “Our revenues are not high enough.”
Cowley Mayor Joel Peterson said, “If we could take our projects and we could find an expert at finding money and give them the projects for the county and say where are we going to find some money. Once we have that aspect we could go back to the people in the community and say we’ve done our part. Now how bad do you want these things done.”
Basin Mayor Amy Kania said that “when we first sat down originally no one really wanted to say we needed to set a limit. I think it is important that our dollar amount is obtainable.”
Peterson agreed saying, “Everyone said this thing will never be paid off.”
Greybull Mayor Bob Graham said that he too heard concerns about this. “We said this tax has a life. Once it is paid off it will die. We cited state statues. We gave it to the people. I don’t know how we can change that perception.”
Kania told of recently being in a business in Greybull where the man next to her at the counter (not knowing she was a mayor that promoted the tax) was commenting to the sales clerk “we need to find a way to capture the revenue from all the hunters that come through.” This got a laugh.
Graham said that most people seemed not to understand how many things were exempt from this tax and who is really paying the bill for this tax and what is exempt like “groceries, pharmaceuticals and gasoline. Sixty percent of the tax would be paid by transient people moving through this community.”
There was some discussion about working harder at getting the county commissioners involved and supportive.
Jones said one of the frustrating parts is holding public meetings and no one shows up. “We can do our part finding extra funding and help but it stills comes back to the public voting and understanding,” she said.
Kania suggested having a presence at community events to help educate and inform people. “We need to talk about it at every public council meeting and the newspaper is there. People will read about our project so when the time comes they will say oh yeah I know about this project.”
The mayors agreed to work on their individual projects by asking themselves and their community, are these really worth it? They also need to get the town councils, commissioners and community on board and explore additional funding options. They set a target date of June.
Mayor Kania had opened the meeting by inviting the mayors to come to the Big Horn County Solid Waste Board’s work meeting next month in Lovell. The mayors and/or representatives from the towns may want to be involved in that meeting as the board discusses solid waste baling and transfer stations. “This is our opportunity. We have officially been invited. I would encourage mayors or councils members to represent your community at this meeting,” she said.
The next mayor meeting will be at 6 p.m., April 25, in Lovell.
by nathan oster
A special Friday night meeting of the Greybull Town Council ended the way it began — with a governing body of four and one empty chair.
Mayor Bob Graham and Councilmen Bob McGuire, Myles Foley and Clay Collingwood failed to reach a consensus in their first attempt to appoint someone to complete the remaining two years of Graham’s council term.
Les Lowe, Rod Collingwood, Ross Jorgensen, Lindsey Casey and Dave Havener had filed letters of interest with the town, but none of them received the three votes necessary to secure the appointment.
With Foley leaving town for a month and legal counsel needing time to determine where the town goes from here, the council isn’t expected to pick the matter up again until sometime in March.
The meeting began with each of the five candidates taking a turn at the podium. Each offered brief overviews of their background and qualifications, as well as their reasons for pursuing the appointment.
Lindsay Casey went first. She told the council that she, her husband Brent (a Greybull police officer) and their children had lived in the community for five years and that they are enjoying their time in the community. She teaches dance classes and works as a substitute teacher, but admitted her favorite job is being a homemaker.
Casey summed up her candidacy by saying she simply “wants to stand up for what is good and right, morally.”
Les Lowe noted that he has lived in the Greybull community for 44 years and held various jobs. For the past eight, he has worked for Tim Kershner Construction. Lowe ran for office in the fall and got 183 votes in the general election, trailing both Foley, with 494, and Collingwood, 478.
Lowe said he would like to see more businesses brought to town and for the industrial park lots to be developed.
Jorgensen said he has lived in Greybull for the past 15 years. He spent six years as the town’s public works director and is currently employed as a circuit rider for the Wyoming Association of Rural Water Systems.
In his presentation, he emphasized his work with various governing bodies on water-related issues, as well as his experience in working with funding agencies, managing budgets, reviewing construction plans and dealing with the Department of Environmental Quality.
Jorgensen said he was pursuing the vacant position because, at two years, it wouldn’t require as big of a commitment as a four-year term. He offered ideas for growing the local economy and said he wanted to make the community a better place for kids.
Rod Collingwood is also a longtime member of the Greybull community, spending all but a couple years of his life here. He is currently employed by TCT.
In his presentation, Collingwood spoke about the last election cycle. He was one of four candidates to file for the two openings. He ran in the primary, received 188 votes and finished third (behind Foley, 261 votes, and Clay Collingwood, 231, but ahead of Lowe, 85 votes), but publicly withdrew from the race prior to the general election. Because the ballot had already been printed, his name still appeared on the ballot in November; Greybull voters gave him 134 votes.
Collingwood explained his withdrawal from the race by citing “health issues” and “changes with my work.” Fearing he would not be able to give 100 percent to the job, he backed out. But he told council members Friday that he was healthy and ready to serve.
“I didn’t want to water down the vote, but as it turned out, there were still some votes that came in for me and had that effect,” Collingwood said, adding that after the general, several people asked him why he withdrew. “Then this opportunity came about … and here I am before you.”
Havener, currently the pastor of Greybull Alliance Church, told the council that he’s been in the ministry for 30 years, and that of all the stops he’s made, Greybull tops the list. “I envy those who say they have grown up here,” he said “I’d love to be able to say I’ve been here for 50 years.”
Havener said he was simply interested in serving the community, that he had no agenda, and looked forward to working with others with a common goal of bettering the community. Like Jorgensen, he said he viewed the two-year position as a more appealing option than a four-year term.
With one seat vacant, Bob Graham, the town’s mayor, announced before the discussion began that he would be voting — but that state statute prohibits the mayor from either making a motion or seconding one. For that reason, the decision of whom to nominate rested with the three councilmen.
Turning to face the candidates and audience, Councilman Bob McGuire said he had given considerable thought to the five candidates and their letters of interest, and that the task before the council would be to find the person who is best for the town of Greybull.
McGuire didn’t say which candidate he preferred, just that his goal was to appoint “someone who is better than me.”
Clay Collingwood said that while he felt all of the candidates hearts were in the right place, he favored one candidate for sticking with it. Foley concurred, saying that he, too, had made up his mind as to whom he would like to see appointed to the vacancy.
Moments later, Foley nominated Lowe for the position. Collingwood seconded Foley’s motion, pointing out that Lowe filed to be a candidate, answered the questions put to him by the newspaper and people attending a candidate’s forum before the election and stayed in the race until the end. Added Foley: “He stuck with it, went through the process and does represent quite a few people in this town who voted for him.”
When the vote was taken Foley and Collingwood voted “aye,” Graham and McGuire voted “nay.” The motion died, however, because three votes were needed to represent a majority of the governing body.
With Lowe out of the picture, McGuire offered a second motion, nominating Rod Collingwood. But that motion was met by silence, as neither Foley nor Collingwood offered a second. When sufficient time had passed, Graham stated that motion died for lack of a second.
Hearing that, Foley attempted a second time to nominate Lowe, but was informed by Town Attorney Scott McColloch that since a vote had already occurred, there could not be another one that night.
In an attempt to head off the impasse, one of the three remaining candidates, Jorgensen, withdrew his letter of interest and threw his support behind Rod Collingwood, calling him a good businessman who understands economics and infrastructure.
That left just two candidates: Casey and Havener. As the discussion began to shift to where the town goes from here, McColloch noted that the council was not yet out of options, citing the two candidates who had not been nominated.
McGuire said he didn’t think it mattered — and Foley and Collingwood proved him right by saying they were comfortable with their decision to back Lowe and did not wish to make another motion.
Foley will be out of town in February, and with plenty of legal questions to investigate, the council agreed to table the matter until March. McColloch suggested that if it cannot be resolved by the council, it may need to go to a district judge.
As of now, the town plans to re-advertise for letters of interest prior to the March meeting.
In an interview Monday, Mayor Bob Graham took the blame for the impasse, saying that as the leader of the council, he should have anticipated that a stalemate might occur and had McColloch research options prior to the meeting.
Funeral services for William “Bill” Russell Lynam will be held Friday, Feb. 1 at 11 a.m. at the Basin/Greybull LDS Chapel. Bill, 79, died Jan. 28 in Lovell.
He was born August 12, 1933, in Greybull, the son of Robert and Delberta Lynam. He grew up in Greybull with his sister and brothers. One of his most vivid memories was of hopping a train to Billings where he drove truck until they discovered he was only 15 years old.
Bill joined the United States Navy in 1950. He served on the USS Balduck as a signalman.
Bill married Kay LaPrile Winkler June 1, 1956, in the Burlington LDS Chapel; they were later sealed in the Idaho Falls LDS Temple.
They began their married life living in a tent at Shell Reservoir where Bill helped construct the Shell Reservoir Dam. He also helped build South Big Horn Hospital. He was a heavy equipment operator and ran scrapers and graders for the bentonite plants for more than 20 years.
He later drove heavy equipment for Big Horn County Road and Bridge.
Bill was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He enjoyed camping at Shell Reservoir, hunting, fishing, hosting hayrides and mud fights in the canal with his grandchildren.
Bill moved to Lovell where he could be closer to his wife, Kay, who lives in the New Horizon’s Care Center.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents; his brothers “Diz” Lynam, Joe Castro and Tom Castro, and two granddaughters, Baylee Dickinson and Cassie Croft.
He is survived by his wife Kay of Lovell; four children and their spouses, Vicki Croft of Lovell, Larry and Connie Lynam Dickinson of Thermopolis, Robert and Heather Lynam of Morgan, Utah, and Kurt and Kim Lynam Acton of Cody; his sister, Leota Harkins of Casper; 19 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren.
Burial will be at Mount View Cemetery in Basin.