Monthly Archives: April 2013
by nathan oster
Greybull High School’s Make-A-Wish campaign is in full swing.
Monday night the floor of the GMS Gym was packed with people sweating to the Latin Beat for a Zumbathon that raised $350 for the campaign, which benefits a 15-year-old boy from Gillette, Jonathan, whose wish is to be famous.
Concession sales at tonight’s Donkey Basketball game will also benefit the Make-A-Wish campaign. The event, a fundraiser for improvements to the Herb Asp Community Center, begins at 7 p.m. in the GMS Gym.
Tickets are available at the customer service counter at Ron’s Food Farm, or at the Greybull Recreation District office. Tickets at the door will cost $8 for adults; $6 for kids grades seven through 12 and $4 per ticket for children in kindergarten through sixth grade. Children 4 and under will be admitted free.
GHS has also announced a change in the date of the Make-A-Wish dodgeball tournament. The event will now be held May 13.
By David Peck
The Wyoming State Loan and Investment Board last week approved a $37,500 planning grant for Big Horn County’s proposed Countywide Strategic Plan for Economic Development.
Lovell Inc. Director Sue Taylor attended the SLIB meeting at the Herschler Building in Cheyenne Thursday morning. The Wyoming Business Council had previously approved the grant, and it was on the consent list, Taylor said. SLIB approved the grant unanimously with Gov. Matt Mead absent and Secretary of State Max Maxfield presiding.
The planning grant includes a 25 percent cash match of $12,500 for a total strategic plan budget of $50,000. The towns of Lovell, Greybull and Basin are providing matching money based on $1.25 per resident to the tune of $2,906 from Lovell, $2,218 from Greybull and $1613 from Basin, with the balance of the match — $5,763 – coming from Big Horn County minus whatever future matching amounts the other communities come up with, also based on $1.25 per resident. Taylor said a number of the six other municipalities in the county have verbally agreed to the match.
Though Taylor wrote the grant, she pointed out that Big Horn County is the sponsor of the grant and that the money will not go to Lovell Inc. It will go to a consultant who will develop the strategic plan.
Taylor said a request for qualifications will be issued in May, and she is busy drafting that RFQ, working with Big Horn County and the nine incorporated municipalities. The next step would be the formation an advisory committee from the towns and the county, and the committee will select the consultant for the strategic plan, probably in late June.
In July the committee would meet with the consultant to agree upon the key components of the strategic plan and the expected outcomes. Public participation is scheduled to begin in September.
Taylor said the source of the planning grant is the Business Ready Community Program and represents a new grant category for SLIB.
The strategic plan
Taylor said the strategic plan is designed to help all Big Horn County communities with their economic development efforts.
“The plan will address what our strengths are as a county by looking at the building blocks of economic development so we will have a realistic plan for retention, expansion and recruitment,” she said.
The public will be heavily involved in the planning process, which will include three measurable goals:
• The participation of all nine incorporated municipalities;
• Two hundred individual citizens participating in the planning process;
• Forty current business owners participating in the process.
The main indicator of success for the strategic plan is to be able to name a minimum of three projects identified in the final plan that can begin to be implemented within six months whether it be the expansion of an existing business or further development of a current segment of industry.
Taylor said the consultant will review all existing county and municipal documents and work out a cohesive plan to meet the needs of the entire county.
“It’s not another master plan or a land use plan,” she said. “It’s a plan specific to economic development.”
by nathan oster
The Big Horn County School District No. 3 board of trustees made several personnel moves, including accepting the resignation of one of its longest-tenured teachers.
Kathy Jensen, who has spent 34 ½ years at Greybull Middle School, submitted her letter of resignation, effective at the end of the current school year. Supt. Barry Bryant told the board that one factor that influenced Jensen’s decision was her desire to make all the activities of her youngest son Logan, who will be a senior at GHS next year.
Among the board comments voiced in accepting the resignation, trustee Steve Hoblit thanked Jensen “for her many year of helping kids by being a mentor and friend to them,” while trustee Eddie Johnson, a former GMS teacher, said he saw first-hand the “the number of hours (she and her husband Ken) spent at the school.”
After accepting her resignation, the board made two hires, adding Nicole Greene and Michelle McColloch as special education paraprofessionals at Greybull Elementary School. In both cases, the hirings cover the remainder of the current school year as well as the 2013-14 school year.
The board’s final personnel moves came after it emerged from a nearly one-hour executive session.
The board voted to “follow the superintendent’s recommendation” regarding the rehiring of the district’s classified personnel for 2013-14. In an interview after the meeting, Supt. Barry Bryant said the three building principals each made recommendations to rehire all classified staff — and that also ended up being his recommendation to the board.
Board members also accepted the superintendent’s recommended changes to the salaries and benefits of the district’s certified and classified staff for 2013-14. For certified staffers, the board allowed movement along the steps and lanes while agreeing to keep insurance and retirement contributions the same. Classified personnel also moves one step — in addition to getting a 30-cent-per-hour wage increase.
As for the administrators, pay raises ranged from a low of $1,000 to a high of $2,500, depending upon where each administrator currently falls within the salary range for his or her position with the district.
by nathan oster
A team from Greybull High consisting of seniors Dane Gifford and Elliott Robertson, junior Alex Havener and sophomores Annaliese Fitzsimmons and Jake Gifford was among the 11 Wyoming squads that competed in the final Wyoming Academic Challenge meet of the season.
The competition was held at Central Wyoming College in Riverton.
After four rounds of pool play, Greybull had 590 points after winning its first two rounds and coming in second in the last two.
Overall in pool play, the team finished ahead of four teams, but behind six including Cheyenne East, Campbell County and Big Horn who were tied for second, Tongue River and Riverside who tied for third, and Big Piney who finished in fourth.
GHS beat out Laramie, Worland, Sheridan and Evanston, but it wasn’t enough to get the team into the medal round.
“But I was very happy with their play,” said Lynn Forcella, the team’s advisor. “It was solid all day long led by the strong showings of Alex Havener and Dane Gifford.”
The first round saw a back-and-forth competition between Greybull and Campbell County which came down to the last 10-point question. Havener came through for the win, 160-150.
In game two, Greybull jumped out to an early lead, ahead by 10 questions at one point, before Tongue River pulled ahead at the halfway mark. The Buffs lagged behind for the next 10 questions and then finally surged late to win by 20 points, 190-170.
Game three pitted the team against the eventual state champion, Cheyenne East. “I felt that we played a little scared, but in reality held our own against the big team,” said Forcella. “Although we lost 210-140, I was not at all disappointed in our play.”
In the last game of the day Greybull fell short to Big Piney but finished ahead of Evanston with the scores going 130, 100 and 70, respectively.
In the championship round Cheyenne East went on to gain top honors for the day followed by Big Horn, who was also the small school championship team. Campbell County took third over-all, finally beating out a tenacious Riverside team in a five-question playoff.
GHS graduates “the Great Dane” this year, Dane Gifford, and “he will be missed for his solid presence over the last four years,” said Forcella. “It was pretty fun to watch how every year he got stronger in competition. This year he was our team captain and led our team with poise.”
Elliott Robertson “will also be missed, not just for his presence on the team but also because he is just such a fine young man. He is always a pleasure to take with the team and always an excellent representative of Greybull.”
Alex Havener was a pleasant surprise this year, according to Forcella. “He has always done well, but I saw serious growth in his play over the course of the season. He just came on so strong,” she said. “He should easily step into that senior leader role next year.
“We have six strong sophomores coming up in Annie Fitzsimmons, Lynae McBride, Emma Nelson, Andrew Bottom, Justin Bacus and Carly Mosegard as well as two quality freshmen in the ranks, Margaretha Tinglund and Kevin Sample.
“If we can keep those kinds of numbers and that quality of players, I think we are going to see some good things happen in the next couple of years. We should continue to be a threat and maybe even move into the position of being the team to beat.”
May 8, 1933 – April 10, 2013
Cremation has taken place and per her wishes no services are planned for Sally Elsie Patterson of Shell. Sally, 79, a friend of the Paton family, died April 10 at Bonnie Bluejacket Memorial Nursing Home.
Atwood Family Funeral Directors, Inc., assisted the family with arrangements.
A private memorial service for Evelyn Lorene Sparks was held April 13 at the First Baptist Church in Basin. Evelyn, 96, died April 7 at Powell Valley Care Center.
She was born in 1916 in Scottsbluff, Neb., the daughter of Charles and Nellie Inman Ingalls. She attended schools in Lucerne, Thermopolis and Greybull, and completed her education in Worland.
She married Johnny Sparks in Worland in 1935. The family moved from Worland to a farm near Otto in 1948. Evelyn later moved to Basin where she resided for nearly 40 years.
Evelyn and several of her friends enjoyed providing homemade lunches at the Greybull sales ring and she worked for a short time at Fountain Drug in Basin. She later went to work at the Big Horn County Treasurer’s office in Basin where she worked for 30 years.
She was a member of the First Baptist Church and the Women’s Bible Study and at one time served as the Wyoming state president of the Fraternal Order of Eagles.
Her parents, former husband Johnny Sparks, son Donald Sparks, two brothers and a sister preceded Evelyn in death.
She is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Wayne and Carol Sparks of Burlington; daughter Loralee Clause of Las Vegas; former daughter-in–law Sally Sparks of Riverton; 10 grandchildren, including Richard and Marie Sparks of Otto and Dona and Bob Becker of Powell; 19 great-grandchildren and 10 great-great-grandchildren.
Burial was in Mount View Cemetery in Basin.
Memorial services for Loretta Lael Wroot of Billings, Mont., were held April 14 at Dahl Funeral Chapel in Billings. Loretta, 77, died April 10 at St. Vincent Healthcare.
She was born March 27, 1936, in Greybull, the daughter of Richard and Belle Frederickson Wheeler. She grew up and received her education in Greybull. She attended the University of Wyoming.
Loretta lived in Ten Sleep before moving to Billings in 1974. From 1985 to 1990, she lived in Colorado Springs where she worked at her brother’s CPA office. In Billings she worked at Treasure State Costume and for the Selover Honda car dealership.
Loretta loved to play the organ, square dance and clog; was a talented artist who loved to paint; she also created beautiful birthday and wedding cakes. She enjoyed staying in touch with friends via Facebook. She was a member of the Heights Ditzy Divas of the Red Hat Society.
Loretta was preceded in death by her parents and her grandparents, Wesley and Myrtle Wheeler and Frank and Olive Frederickson.
She is survived by her children and their spouses, William Wroot of Loveland, Colo., Carl and Lael Wroot Parker, Dawn Wroot Townsley and Leon and Theresa Wroot Roll, all of Billings; Dirk and Leah Wroot Agee of Colorado Springs; her sister, Sally Watson; two brothers, Larry Wheeler and Dean Wheeler; 16 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Interment of ashes will be held at a later date. Memorials may be made to LaVie, an early pregnancy center, 44 Wicks Lane, Billings, MT 59105.
by nathan oster
Greybull Middle School athletes turned in some “really great times and distances” before Saturday’s Cloud Peak Invitational was brought to a halt by wind and rain, according to the team’s head coach, Renae Waddell.
The 800 meters, 200 meters, medley relay and mile relay were all casualties of the weather.
“We have a group of kids out this year that have been working really hard and it shows in how they compete in the meet,” Waddell said. “The sixth-grade team was at a bit of a disadvantage as they had to compete with the seventh-grade team. However they still did a really great job and didn’t let that stop them.”
In the boys division, the GMS eighth graders placed fifth with 60 points. The GMS seventh graders were ninth with 39.5 and the sixth graders 10th with 21. On the girls side, the Greybull eighth graders were seventh with 41 points, the sixth graders were eighth with 33 points and the 12th graders were seventh with 18 points.
Winning performances were turned in by Miguel Gomez in the seventh-grade long jump and triple jump, Hannah Good in the eighth-grade girls shot put, and the eighth-grade 400-meter relay team of Mason Stebner, Cade Dooley, Dawson McEwen, and Dustin Fox.
In addition, Waddell announced the winners of the program’s Tracker of the Week awards. They were Good for the eighth grade, Max Mills for the seventh grade and McKenzie Mazur for the sixth grade.
“All three have been working really hard in practice and it showed in how they competed and placed on Saturday,” said Waddell.
GMS athletes are scheduled to compete in Cody this weekend.
“Hopefully the weather will hold out and we can get a couple of good practices in before then as well,” Waddell said.
BOYS SCORES — Rocky Mt. 171.5, Powell 171, Lovell 163.5, Meeteetse 98, GMS 8th 60, Burlington 52, Worland 1 50.5, Worland II 46, GMS 7th 39.5, GMS 6th 21, Ten Sleep 19, Cloud Peak 15.
100 METERS, 7TH — 2, Braeden Tracy, 12.99. 3, Max Mills, 13.16. 4, Miguel Gomez, 13.34.
100 METERS, 8TH — 5, Dustin Fox, 12.83. 8, Dawson, McEwan, 13.83.
1,600 METERS, 7TH — 6, Jose Araiza, 6:25.52.
LONG JUMP, 7TH — 1, Miguel Gomez, 16-3 ½. 5, Braeden Tracy, 15-1. 7, Max Mills, 14-4 ½. 8, Eduardo Burgos, 13-7.
LONG JUMP, 8TH — 3, Dustin Fox, 15-11. 4, Dawson McEwan, 15-7 ½.
TRIPLE JUMP, 8TH — 1, Miguel Gomez, 33-4 ¼. 6, Eduardo Burgos, 27-6 ½.
HIGH JUMP, 7TH — 3, Braeden Tracy, 5-0.
HIGH JUMP, 8TH — 4, Dawson McEwan, 4-10. 6, Cade Dooley, 4-10.
SHOT PUT, 8TH — 2, Dawson Forcella, 36-1 ½. 3, Cade Dooley, 34-7. 6, Mason Stebner, 33-5.
DISCUS, 8TH — 2, Dawson Forcella, 125-10.
400 RELAY, 7TH — 5, Greybull, 1:17.33.
400 RELAY, 8TH — 1, Greybull, 52.72.
GIRLS SCORES — Powell 246, Rocky Mt. 141.5, Cloud Peak 100, Lovell 79, Burlington 52, Meeteetse 43.5, GMS 8th 41, GMS 6th 33, Worland I 30, Worland II 29, Ten Sleep 25, GMS 7th 16.
100 METERS, 7TH — 5, Sydney Tschiffely, 14.9.
400 METERS, 7TH — 4, McKenzie Mazur, 1:14.47.
1,600 METERS, 7TH — 7, Kristen Collingwood, 7:16.0. 8, Paige Flock, 7:21.0.
75 HURDLES, 7TH — 5, Megan Mikus, 14.75.
75 HURDLES, 8TH — 4, Jordan Flitner, 14.59.
200 HURDLES, 7TH — 7, Tatem Edeler, 39.21.
LONG JUMP, 7TH — 6, Brittany Ogg, 11-6. 8, Sydney Tschiffely, 11-2.
LONG JUMP, 8TH — 4, Jordan Flitner, 13-1.
TRIPLE JUMP,7TH — 7, Kendall Wright, 22-3. 8, Shaya Wamhoff, 22-2 ½.
TRIPLE JUMP, 8TH — 4, Jordan Flitner, 26-3.
HIGH JUMP, 7TH — 2, McKenzie Mazur, 4-1. 3, Tatem Edeler, 4-0.
HIGH JUMP, 8TH — 4, Hannah Good, 4-0.
DISCUS, 7TH — 2, Megan Mikus, 62-3.
DISCUS, 8TH — 5, KieAnna Ridgway, 55-5 ½.
400 RELAY, 7TH — 5, Greybull, 1:04.35.
SHOT PUT, 8TH — 1, Hannah Good, 25-0. 8, KieAnna Ridgway, 18-10.
by nathan oster
Junior Logan Jensen made Greybull’s biggest splash at the high-powered LA Kohnke Invitational, heaving the discus a personal-best 128 feet, 4 inches to top all 2A throwers in the event.
Jensen finished third behind Garrett Lynch (158-9) and Vince Sleep (146-10), both of Powell.
“A huge improvement” is how Coach Jeff Sukut described Jensen’s effort, which easily topped his previous personal best, 118-4. “He was in there against some pretty powerful throwers.”
One of them was his own teammate. Calder Forcella, a sophomore, placed fifth with a heave of 125 feet, 9 inches. His personal best this season is a 132-8 effort at the recent D&D Invitational in Worland.
“The way those two are throwing is just great,” said Sukut.
Those two efforts in the discus accounted for 10 of Greybull’s 17 team points, as the Buffs placed fifth in the 10-team field, which included 3A powers Powell and Cody, as well as Lovell, which is a contender for this year’s 2A crown.
The 400-meter relay team also placed, finishing third in 48.75 seconds. Team members included Calder Forcella, Alex Hebb, Kyler Flock and Dylan Brenner. The time wasn’t their best effort of the season, but it was still good, Sukut said, considering the windy, chilly conditions.
Jarrod Johnson scored the 17th team point with an eight-place finish in the 1,600 meters.
A junior, Johnson is in his first season with the Buffs. “He’s what I’d call a natural mile-runner,” said Sukut. “He’s definitely on target for a trip to state. He has a good chance of doing it by place. I’m happy with his performance so far.”
On the girls side, Greybull landed in eighth place with 10 points. McKenna Powers scored all of Greybull’s points. She was third in the 800 meters, running a 2:48.16, and fifth in the triple jump, going 31 feet, 8 inches. Neither were personal bests, but Sukut said she’s make progress, particularly in the triple jump. “It sounded like she had her steps down really well,” he said.
Some of the top performances by non-placers included:
• Kyler Flock, who took ninth in the 400 meters.
• Wyatt Good, who in his return to the oval after two weeks away earned a 12th in the 300- and a 15th in the 110-meter hurdles.
• Chai Durfee, who ran a personal best, 21.51 seconds, en route to a 19th-place finish in the 100-meter hurdles; and
• Sydney Eckman, who ran a 1:09.95, a personal best, and placed 12th in the 400 meters. “A sub 70 time for a freshman is very good,” said Sukut. “Sydney thinks she’s a sprinter, I’ve always seen her as more of a middle distance runner, and I think she proved she could be a good one. I think she could run the 800 too.”
The meet was called prior to the final event due to the weather. The Buffs were just thankful to be there, as the meet they planned to attend, the Wyoming Indian Invitational, got called off earlier in the week.
The Buffs will compete in Lovell on Saturday, where Sukut expects many of the same teams to attend that were in Powell last weekend.
GIRLS – Powell 126, Cody 119, Worland 84, Lovell 66, Sheridan 22, Tongue River 21, Ten Sleep 18, Greybull 10, Riverside 8, Meeteetse 5, Burlington 3.
100 METERS – 23, Aftin DeRosa, 15.26. 24, Britney Fink, 15.33. 34, Alex Preis, 17.67.
200 METERS – 16, Fink, 31.99. 19, Sydney Eckman, 32.28.
400 METERS – 12, Eckman, 1:09.95. 13, McKenna Powers, 1:10.93. 18, Lynae McBride, 1:23.83.
800 METERS – 3, Powers, 2:48.16.
100 HURDLES – 19, Chai Durfee, 21.51.
300 HURDLES – 15, Durfee, 1:08.44.
HIGH JUMP – 15, DeRosa, 4-1.
TRIPLE JUMP – 5, Powers, 31-8. 21, Durfee, 25-3.
BOYS – Powell 140, Cody 140, Lovell 72, Burlington 31, Greybull 17, Tongue River 17, Riverside 8, Meeteetse 7, Worland 6, Sheridan 5.
100 METERS – 11, Kyler Flock, 12.49. 22, Calder Forcella, 12.82. 24, Dylan Brenner, 12.93. 41, Gerald Fulkerson, 13.89. 44, Wyatt Nielson, 14.13. 50, Daniel Kinsman, 15.64.
400 METERS – 9, Flock, 59.39. 14, Ryan Sylvester, 1:00.33. 23, Keegan Jenness, 1:08.02.
800 METERS – 10, Jarrod Johnson, 2:31.35.
1,600 METERS – 8, Johnson, 5:38.53.
110 HURDLES – 15, Wyatt Good, 19.32. 18, Waytt Nielson, 20.65. 20, Cesar Sosa, 21.70.
300 HURDLES – 12, Good, 48.17. 19, Nielson, 55.59. 20, Sosa, 56.95.
400 RELAY – 3, Greybull, 53.07.
HIGH JUMP – 19, Alex Hebb, 5-1.
LONG JUMP – 20, Sylvester, 15-10 3/4. 36, Kinsman, 11-5.
DISCUS – 3, Logan Jensen, 126-4. 5, Calder Forcella, 125-9.
by nathan oster
The Greybull Town Council has tapped a man with more than 10 years of management and supervisory experience in the U.S. Antarctic Program (USAP) to be its new administrator and finance director.
Paul Thur is expected to begin work in early May. He will replace Joe Fischer, who resigned at the end of last year to return to his native Wisconsin.
The council voted to accept the recommendation to hire Thur that came from a hiring committee consisting of Mayor Bob Graham, Councilman Clay Collingwood, town department heads Kathy Smith and Bill Brenner and community members John King and Frank Houk.
Graham said 10 people applied for the position and five were interviewed before the committee decided that Thur was the best person for the job. He was in attendance at Monday night’s meeting along with his wife Dawn Crist Thur, a Greybull native and current employee of Big Horn County School District No. 3.
Contacted on Tuesday, Thur said he had “mixed feelings” of both excitement and trepidation.
Excited, because he’ll be embarking on a new challenge. “I haven’t had a new job in more than 16 years,” he said, noting that before he went into management roles for Raytheon and then Lockheed Martin, he logged five years (2002-07) working in construction related fields, also within the USAP. “I haven’t had to go out and interview in a long time, and I’m going to a new entity, which is exciting.”
Where the “trepidation” comes in, he said, “is the things I’ll be tasked with learning in my first few months on the job — all the ins and outs of all the departments. I want to do a good job.”
Thur said he thinks it will be fun becoming a productive, active member of the Greybull community, where his wife and her family have established roots.
The Thurs have been living in Greybull since August and Paul has been “telecommuting” in his role as traverse operations manager for Lockheed Martin. That has required some travel back and forth between here and Denver.
Graham told the council on Monday night that Thur would need about three weeks to tie up all the loose ends on his current job. His first day with the town is tentatively set for Monday, May 6.
Thur holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from George Mason University, a post-baccalaureate certificate in forensic DNA analysis and serology from the University of Florida and an MBA with a global management concentration from the University of Phoenix.