Monthly Archives: September 2013
by nathan oster
Approximately 35 local resident joined those who had submitted their input online by participating in the first three listening sessions of Greybull’s community assessment on Tuesday afternoon and evening.
A team of volunteers led by Kim Porter, a program manager for the Wyoming Rural Development Council, heard from people of varying backgrounds during the three sessions, which were held at Town Hall and The Speakeasy.
The first session — the one planned for people in the retail, business, industrial, utilities and insurance sector — drew the biggest turnout of the day. The second session, set aside for the professional/finance/banking sector, drew only three people, but 10 crowded into the Speakeasy for a general listening session to cap off the day.
Several common themes emerged from the sessions.
When it comes to challenges facing the community, people at both sessions agreed that the community lacks things for young people to do, the downtown area is suffering from the loss of businesses and empty storefronts and that tourists aren’t stopping.
A sampling of the comments:
• “There’s nothing for kids to do…things like a swimming pool, bowling alleys, theaters. We have had them all at one time or another. We’ve lost them all.”
• “The downtown area is suffering. It’s sad to see so many empty buildings.”
• “The lack of a community pool is a terrible thing.”
• “The town lacks good, high quality rental units.”
• “We need to work together more.”
• “With businesses closing at a rapid rate, our tax base is disappearing.”
• “We have a nation of unfit kids … healthy activities are being lost.”
• “We lack attractions to retain and attract young people.”
• “More tourist activities are needed during the summer months.”
• “Volunteer involvement is on the decline.”
• “There is too much negativity in the community. We need to get over that; we need to quit being so self serving.”
• When people come to Greybull, they need a reason to stay here. Things close up so early…what do you do in this town if you’re a tourist and it’s after 5 o clock?”
• “We need to clean up our river.”
• “We don’t have enough community activities; it would be great to get something going again on the Fourth of July.”
While no one had any trouble naming the challenges facing the community, the list of its assets was equally long. Residents at both sessions said they enjoy living in Greybull, citing its small-town atmosphere, close proximity to the mountains and reputation as a good place to raise a family.
Some of the other assets that were mentioned on Tuesday were the railroad, the airport, the industrial park, the stress-free, laid-back lifestyle, the friendly and creative people who live here and a number of forward-thinking business people.
Porter also asked people who attended the listening session to think about projects they’d like to see completed in the next two, five, 10 and 20 years. She encouraged them to dwell on what the projects would cost, but rather to imagine what they would like to see if they left town and returned in two, five, 10 and 20 years.
Other members of the resource team that is in town conducting the assessment are April Thompson of Rock Springs, Sue Taylor, the executive director of Lovell, Inc., Kristin Phipps with the Office of Tourism, Andrea Massey of Trident Energy Services and Dan Clark, a private consultant with experience in Air Force and with the Department of Environmental Quality.
The assessment concludes today with three sessions this morning in the GHS auditorium. The education sector goes at 8 a.m., the recreation/jobs session is at 9 a.m. and the tourism/chamber/economic development sector goes at 10:40 a.m.
The team will present a report on what it heard during a town hall style meeting at 7 p.m. at the Herb Asp Community Center.
by marlys good
There are birthday parties – and then there are birthday parties. There are parties with a few guests, ones with a roomful of guests, or a once-in-a-lifetime party that has fence-to-fence guests (110 at last count) filling the back yard.
That was the type of party Thelma Smith enjoyed July 4 in an early celebration of her 90th birthday hosted by her daughter and son-in-law, Connie and Lane Keisel at their home in Fairview, Utah.
All eight of Smith’s children, their spouses and most of their children/grandchildren were in attendance. Canopies were set up over the tables in the back yard to protect guests from the hot sun and the whole scene was bright with balloons and banners.
There was no dearth of food and activities for “kids” of every age – water pool, water slide, football, basketball, volleyball, fish pond, horseback riding, hula-hoop contest and candy toss with a large slingshot. You name it they probably played it, either planned or impromptu.
Topping off the festivities was a backyard movie with the film projected on the shop door. Kids rolled out their sleeping bags, everyone got comfortable, (“You gotta have popcorn and candy,” Smith wrote) and the film began.
Smith said she considered herself “a very lucky mother. I thank my dear family for the marvelous occasion. With this kind of support I may live to be 100,” she wrote.
Smith’s husband, the late Metz, died in 1995. Thelma served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Las Vegas for a year, and then moved to Utah to be nearer to family.
Then about a year ago, the Keisels moved Smith into a small guest house at their home in Fairview. “It has become my headquarters and offers me all the comforts of home,” Smith said.
Funeral services for Loretta Fay Brown were held Sept. 14 at Davis Funeral Home in Riverton. Loretta, 79, died Sept. 4 at the Help for Health Hospice Home in Riverton.
She was born May 4, 1934, in Sunset, Okla., the daughter of Haurice “Honk” and Florella Welcome Woods Fausset.
When Loretta was an infant, the family moved to Worland. Loretta graduated from Worland High School in 1952, attended Asbury College in Kentucky for a year and then attended the University of Denver where she received her nursing degree in 1957. (She played clarinet in the University of Denver marching band.)
Loretta and her children moved to the family farm outside of Worland in 1970. She worked as a nurse for Dr. Whitemore. She later served as the director of nursing services at Bethesda Care Center in Worland, and also worked as a realtor for several years.
In March 1987 Loretta moved to Riverton where she served as the director of nursing at Wind River Healthcare. She later became the administrator of the facility. She retired June 1, 1996.
On May 6, 1995, she married Ken Brown at the United Methodist Church in Riverton.
Loretta was a member of the United Methodist Churches in Riverton and Worland and enjoyed singing in the choir. She was also a member of the Riverton and Worland Soroptimists and the Meadowlark Good Sam Club.
She lived life to the fullest. She loved to golf, camp, ride her trail bike, fly fish, press flowers and make cards; hunting birds and big game, riding horses, dancing and playing the piano. She was known as a great cook, seamstress and an avid skier, working as a ski patrol at Meadowlark Ski Resort.
She was preceded in death by her parents and a grandson, Wyatt William Fausset Hunt.
She is survived by her husband Ken of Riverton; sons, Allan Hill and his partner Sergio of Los Angeles, Mark and Evi Hill of Riverton; daughter and son-in-law Marvin and Cheryl Hill Hunt of Greybull; step-daughter Kimberly Parks of Billings; two step-sons, Eric Brown of Azebaijan, and Kenneth T. Brown of Casper; sister and brother-in-law, Bill and Phyllis Glanz of Worland; four granddaughters and two step-grandchildren.
Cremation has taken place and a memorial marker will be set at Riverview Cemetery in Worland.
Memorial contributions to the Help for Health Hospice Home can be made in care of: Davis Funeral Home, 2203 W. Main St., Riverton WY 82501.
by marlys good
The Greybull Lady Buffs opened conference play with a three game victory over Riverside Thursday night, 25-13, 25-10, 25-12. Greybull kept the Rebels off balance in all three games with both their serves and their hitting attack.
“The girls stayed very focused and played well,” said Coach Sara Schlattmann. “I was very proud of them.”
Schlattman said serving was the key. The 92 percent for the team was led by Brett Stephens who was a perfect 22 of 22 with four aces. Aftin DeRosa and Britney Fink were also perfect from behind the line. The Buffs also registered 25 kills and four blocks in the three games.
Greybull had just a day to savor the victory before they headed over the mountains to the Big Horn Tournament.
The Buffs shared a pool with Kaycee, Burlington, Tongue River and top-ranked Wright. The format was two games to 25. The Buffs got off to a good start by beating Kaycee, 25-13, 25-18 and Burlington, 25-16, 25-21. Tongue River proved to be a tougher opponent and the Buffs lost the first game, 8-25, but grabbed the momentum and won the second game, 25-19. In the culmination of pool play Saturday morning Greybull faced Wright, a “very solid team currently ranked first in the state,” according to Schlattmann. The Panthers lived up to the hype and beat the Buffs, 13-25, 15-25.
“We did some really great things, rallying, digging and working very hard. We just had a few mental lapses, and got ourselves in a hole we couldn’t dig out of,” Schlattmann said.
The pool record gave the Buffs an eighth seed into the bracketed tournament. Schlattmann noted, “This is the first time we have ever made it into the top bracket in this tournament since I have been coaching,” she aid.
Unfortunately, Wright was the top seed in the top bracket and the Buffs had to face them in the first match. The results were almost exactly the same as in pool play with Wright winning 13-25, 15-25.
“We struggled in our serve receive and that caused us to get behind early and we were not able to recover. We now know what the top competition looks like and we will continue to work on the details so we can compete and win these matches come tournament time.”
The Buffs host Rocky Mountain in 4, 5 and 6 p.m. matches today (Thursday, Sept. 19). Saturday it’s off to Thermopolis for a 16-team tourament.
by nathan oster
Enrollment is up sharply this fall in all three Big Horn County School District No. 3 buildings.
As of Aug. 27 — which was one full week into the 2013-14 school year — the district’s enrollment was set at 532 students, an increase of more than 40 students compared to the 490 counted on the opening day of the 2012-13 school year.
Greybull Elementary School, with 223 students on the books on Aug. 27, has experienced the biggest gains. The school opened last year with 202 students. By September, it had fallen to 197. But when school let out in May, it had grown to 216.
The school has one of the largest classes in the district, with 47 kids in the third grade. The district addressed this problem with the hiring of an additional third-grade teacher, giving it three total.
The second grade is another large one, with 44 students on the books. But at that level, there are just two teachers.
Other class numbers from GES include 11 in junior kindergarten, 32 in kindergarten, 32 in first grade, 29 in fourth grade and 28 in fifth grade.
GMS opened last year with 123 students, but this year its opening enrollment came in at 131, an increase of eight. According to numbers supplied by the school office, the seventh grade has 48 kids, the eighth grade 45 and the sixth grade 38.
Greybull High School’s enrollment grew by eight students, rising to an opening day enrollment this year of 178 compared to the 170 who were counted on the opening day last year.
The breakdown by class shows 46 freshmen, 45 sophomores, 47 juniors and 40 seniors.
by nathan oster
The schedule of listening sessions for the Greybull community assessment has been finalized.
The assessment, which is being sponsored locally by the Greybull Area Chamber of Commerce and the Greybull Economic Development Board, will occur between Tuesday, Sept. 17 and Thursday, Sept. 19.
A rural resource team will conduct the assessment, which will involve gathering input from the various segments of the community and then developing a report for the community’s use that is based upon the input received.
The first two listening sessions will take place at Town Hall on Tuesday, Sept. 17. The first one, at 3 p.m., will focus on the retail, business, industrial, utilities and insurance sectors. That will be followed at 4 p.m. by a session on professional, financial and banking sectors. A general listening session will cap the day, starting at 7 p.m. at the Speakeasy.
A full day is planned on Wednesday, Sept. 18. The agriculture listening session, at 8 a.m., and the session for the fire, EMT, law enforcement and government sectors, at 9 a.m., will both take place at Town Hall.
Greybull Alliance Church will be the site of the church sector listening session at 10:15 a.m.
The senior center will host the next three listening sessions. Senior citizens will have their say at 1 p.m., the health, medical and social services sectors at 2 p.m. and the veterans and civic clubs will weigh in at 3 p.m.
The final two sessions of the day on Wednesday will take place in the GES cafeteria, with youth and family going at 6 p.m. followed by a general listening session at 7 p.m.
The final three listening sessions will take place in the GHS auditorium on Thursday, Sept. 19. The education discussion is set for 8 a.m., followed by recreation and jobs at 9 a.m. and the tourism, chamber and economic development discussions at 10:45 a.m.
The resource team is scheduled to discuss the findings of its report at a 7 p.m. meeting that night at the Herb Asp Community Center.
Julie Bilbrey, who is coordinating the assessment for the chamber and the economic development board, said the public is welcome and encouraged to attend any of the listening sessions.
While the listening sessions are set up to solicit public input, they are not the only way for local residents to weigh in on the direction of their community.
In the survey, community residents are being asked:
1) What are the major problems and challenges in your community?
2) What are the major strengths and assets in your community?
3) What projects would you like to see accomplished in your community in the next two, five, 10 and 20 years?
For information about the resource team effort, the listening session process or the listening session agenda, contact Bilbrey at 765-9319.
Seth Hoblit has accepted the position as youth pastor at Grace Southern Baptist Church. The 2011 GHS grad had been serving an internship as Grace Southern since returning home from his sophomore year at Grace University in Nebraska.
“About halfway through June I got it on my heart that I wanted to stay and work full time with kids. Rather than going back to school this would give me hands-on experience,” Hoblit shared. He began talking to Pastor A.J. Jenness about his thoughts and “I started to feel that this was what was going to happen, but it was up to the church to vote on it.”
The decision to accept the job was an easy one, according to Hoblit. “When God laid it on my heart, it was the decision for me to make.”
After enrolling for on-line classes with Colorado Theological Seminary, Hoblit said, “God was showing me I could do both.
“Their program, the way it is set up, I take one class at a time until I can knock my way through it. I can focus (on the class) but have the same amount of time to focus on kids – reach out to them.”
He admits that he misses the many close friends he has at Grace University. “I have some great friends; I was dedicated to them, but I talk to three-quarters of them on a weekly basis and that helps.”
He’s a busy young man. He has his online class, prepares for Wednesday night youth group meetings and Bible study Sunday mornings, plays his guitar for the praise songs led by Wende Jenness prior to Sunday morning worship, “does odd jobs outside of the church and I like to meet up with kids for lunch – see how their days are going,” he said with a smile. He also helps Tina Terry “shuffle” kids to and from the newly opened Christian pre-school held in the basement of Grace Southern.
“I’m young and I have the energy and this is what I love to do. I enjoy the kids; they make it all worth while.”
Hoblit felt he was called into full-time youth ministry before he went to college. “To me ministry is focusing on getting people to Christ; numbers and denomination might be good, but I would say that bringing any kid to Christ is a good goal for me.
“I am excited to see the leadership of the students spread out from the church into the schools, to see where that will lead so kids can see themselves as peers.”
Down the road, Hoblit can see himself “working for youth in this area until God calls me in another direction. I look forward to what God has in store for this community and growing the Body of Christ.”
Hoblit is the son of Steve and Kelli Hoblit. His sister Leah recently accepted a job teaching music at a middle school in Rock Springs.
by nathan oster
Greybull High School came away from its Week 0 tune-up against Riverside without any major injuries and feeling like they got the best of their rivals to the south for the fifth consecutive year.
The 52-30 victory won’t appear anywhere in the record books, since it came just 12 days into the season and in Week 0 of the WHSAA football calendar, but it was a positive step nonetheless, said Justin Bernhardt, who is in his second season as the head coach of the Buffs.
“Considering the short camp — virtually no two-a-days and just 12 days to prepare — I really liked the speed we were able to play at,” said Bernhardt. “I would have liked to have more of the offense installed before the first game. Even though we have a lot of returnees … it’s not just the practices that we missed this year, but also the meeting time.
“It’s just going to be a gradual process where we continue to add as we go along.”
Bernhardt said he liked his team’s intensity, especially early.
The Buffs never trailed in the game. In fact, it took them less than two minutes to score. Their opening drive covered 71 yards and was capped by a 9-yard touchdown pass from Calder Forcella to Kason Clutter.
Moments later, with 8:23 to play in the quarter, the Buffs scored again, as Wyatt Nielson hauled in a 40-yard pass from Forcella. The catch and run made it 14-0, and while the Rebels did chip away at that lead on a 2-yard-run by Cole Hill with 10:18 to play in the second, it was the Buffs who went into the locker room at halftime leading 30-8, thanks to two more Forcella-to-Clutter touchdown connections.
The Buffs started quickly in the second half as well. A 29-yard touchdown run from Forcella and the two-point conversion that followed made the score 38-8. Riverside didn’t threaten the rest of the way, as its two scores — one coming on a long pass from Roycer Mercer to Brian Vigil, the other on a Mercer run — were offset by two more Greybull touchdowns to account for the 52-30 final margin.
Bernhardt said he liked the 556 yards of total offense generated by his team, but not the 436 yards surrendered by the Greybull defense. The Rebels connected on 16 of 29 passes for 279 yards and had another 157 yards on the ground on 45 carries.
“It’s never good to give up as many yards as we did and 30 points, but Riverside is going to be a competitive team in 1A,” Bernhardt said. “They have a great coach and their kids played hard, they played tough, and they played with a sense of urgency.
“I don’t know if they expected to beat us, but they had to feel good being as competitive as they were.”
Tackling was by far the biggest problem for the Greybull defenders, Bernhardt said. Well, that along with the fact that several Greybull freshman were pressed into duty early — and most if not all by the second half, when Riverside did most of its damage.
“I really liked seeing some of our younger kids get as much playing tie as they did,” said the coach. “We have a talented class of freshmen and we got them a lot of playing time in the second half; that might not always be the case in some games. But they were able to get their first taste of football.”
The same goes for two of the team’s top four receivers, in Clutter and Kyler Flock. Clutter, who is back in Greybull schools after spending his junior year elsewhere, was the team’s leading pass catcher, with 10 receptions for 116 yards. Flock, out with an injury last season, hauled in three for 26 yards.
“In some ways, even though we have a lot of returnees, this is still a pretty new group as a whole,” said Bernhardt. “There’s definitely a different chemistry to this year’s team that is nothing like last year. I think the kids expect to win. They are more confident.”
Along with tackling, Bernhardt said he was a little disappointed in his team’s lack of consistency, particularly after starting both the first and second halves quickly. “I think they dropped it down a gear, to be honest,” he said. “Not that they quit, but they dropped the intensity, the speed, the sense of urgency that they came out of the locker room with.
“I was pleased with the effort and the execution, but against 2A teams, and especially a couple that we have coming up here, we won’t be able to afford times when we put it into cruise control.”
Does any team in the state have a tougher opening two weeks than the Buffs?
In 2A, anyway, the answer is likely no.
In every preseason poll of note, Big Horn and Mountain View are ranked as the top two teams in the state. Wyomingfootball.com has Mountain View at No. 1 and Big Horn No. 2, while the wyopreps.com poll has the two teams flip-flopped, with Big Horn at No. 1 and Mountain View at No. 2.
“Either way you look at it, we’re going to have a No. 1-ranked team each of the next two weeks,” said Bernhardt. “We’ve definitely got a lot to clean up between now and then.”
The Buffs will travel to Big Horn on Friday for a 1 p.m. kickoff against the Rams, who played Lovell in Week 0 action and is coming off a season in which they lost just a single game, that coming in the semifinal round of the playoffs.
Bernhardt said he feels good about his game plan going in.
“If the kids show up and play a full game like they’re capable of playing, we should be plenty competitive,” he said.
G — Kason Clutter 9 yard pass from Forcella (Wyatt Nielson run).
G — Nielson 40 yard pass from Forcella.
R — Cole Hill 2 yard run (Royce Mercer run)
G — Forcella 4 yard run (Clutter pass from Forcella).
G — Clutter 10 yard pass from Forcella (Flock pass from Forcella).
G — Forcella 29 yard run (Paul Stewart run).
R — Hill 4 yard run (Vigil pass from Mercer).
R — Brian Vigil 63 yard pass from Mercer (Mercer run).
R — Mercer 5 yard run.
G — Fabian Davila 54 yard pass from Forcella (Stweart run).
G — Stewart 32 yard run.
RUSHING — Riverside 45-157; Greybull 38-251 (Calder Forcella 13-111, Paul Stewart 11-101, Dawson Forcella 10-30, Fabian Davila 1-(-2), Dawson McEwan 2-8, Wyatt Nielson 1-3);
PASSING — Riverside 16-of-29 for 279 yards; Greybull (Calder Forcella) 19-of-28 for 305 yards.
RECEIVING — Greybull: Kason Clutter 10-116, Paul Stewart 1-17, Fabian Davila 2-56, Wyatt Nielson 3-90, Kyler Flock 3-26).
DEFENSIVE STANDOUTS — Payton Gonzalez led with 22 defensive points, which came on 10 assisted tackles, 3 solo tackles and 3 pass breakups. Other point leaders were Dawson Forcella with 22, Paul Stewart with 17, Logan Jensen and Bryce Wright 16 and Dylan McEwan 15.