Monthly Archives: October 2013

Town awards contract for tennis courts

by nathan oster

It may still lack a swimming pool, but by the end of 2014, Greybull could very well have both a splash pad where young people could beat the heat in the summer months as well as a resurfaced tennis court facility.

The Greybull Town Council on Oct. 21 agreed to enter into a work contract agreement with Pavement Maintenance, Inc., which for $24,783, will clean and level the cracks, do hot pours and then follow that up with a layer of clear coat and striping for tennis and basketball courts.

The work will commence in the spring and come with a five-year guarantee.

Councilman Myles Foley, who outlined the particulars of the contract, said the playing surface would have a life expectancy of seven to 10 years. After the first five years, he said, a clear coat would need to be applied every couple years, at an anticipated cost of approximately $1,500 per application.

“I think this is the way to go,” Foley said, adding, “This will let us see whether it gets used.  If it does, we can put some more money into it (after it reaches its life expectancy).”

Whereas right now there are only tennis courts within that fenced area, the new surface will provide a court for tennis, with standards that can be raised to accommodate sports like badminton and volleyball, as well as a court alongside it for basketball, with hoops on both ends.

In its budget for the current fiscal year, the town had earmarked $70,000 for the tennis court project, so there will be some money left over in that line item for the proposed splash pad, which appears to have the backing of the council.

Having come up empty in talks with the school district to put the pad between the tennis courts and the elementary school’s K-2 playground, Mayor Bob Graham and Administrator Paul Thur are now in the process of evaluating other locations.

The vacant lot adjacent to the Herb Asp Community Center was one possibility mentioned, while another was the city park, though it would likely require a pretty large chunk of the existing green space.

Funding was a major topic of the Oct. 21 discussion.  Graham explained that grant funds through Land and Water Conservation Funds wouldn’t be available until October of 2014 — too late to do any good before next summer.

Graham asked for and received permission from the council to pursue other grant funding through the Community Facilities Program, which would require a 15-percent local match.  To get that grant funding, the town would have to apply to the Wyoming Business Council by Nov. 15 and to the Office of State Lands by March of 2014.

Thur was directed to contact Leah Bruscino of the WBC for additional details on the grant.

The Sykes Foundation is another potential funding source for the splash pad, and in the end, the council agreed to apply for this funding, which could be used to assist with the conceptual design and engineering of the splash pad, along with the unused money from the tennis court project.

Graham said if things fall into place, a splash pad could be in place and ready for use as early as June 1of next year.  The splash pad, as he envisions it, would be nothing like a pool, but rather an outdoor area built on a concrete slab that could feature fountains, wading ponds and other water features.

“Ten Sleep has one and you’d be amazed how many kids use it,” he said.

A wading pond would also be considerably less expensive than an indoor pool, according to Graham and Thur.

As for the location, Councilman Clay Collingwood cast a vote for putting the wading pool in an area large enough to one day accommodate a swimming pool. “I’d like to see them in the same place,” he said.

In other business discussed Oct. 21:

• In his monthly report, Thur noted that the town had spent just under $4,300 on the community assessment thus far, with “a few costs still hanging out there.”  The town also took in $700 of in-kind donations.

Financially speaking, at the quarter pole of the fiscal year, “everything is looking good,” Thur said. “Several categories are ahead of the year-to-date pace.”

In terms of technology, Thur said the town will soon be in a position to take credit card payments for things such as utility bills, contractor license and court fines.  Collingwood asked if the town would also have the ability to put customers on auto-pay, where their credit or debit accounts are automatically charged every month.  Thur said he’d look into it.

• Town Foreman Dalen Davis was asked about plans to grade the alleys before winter hits.  He said he’s “hoping to get there,” noting that his department has been running pretty lean in recent weeks due to people being sick or on vacation.

The fact that TCT is planning to do a lot of work in the alleys in 2014 was also mentioned as a reason, although Collingwood said that shouldn’t be an issue. “TCT will be obligated to put the alleys back in the condition they found them in,” he said.

Davis said the grader the town uses in the alleys doesn’t work very well on extremely hard surfaces.  Collingwood agreed, calling it “a glorified toy” and saying “We need to work on a different solution.”

• Police Chief Bill Brenner said the radar sign that had been at the east entrance to town is currently off the streets.  The GPD purchased a trailer for the sign, but there have been complications getting the radar equipment installed on that trailer.

• In the economic development report, Mayor Graham stated that a public comment period is now open on a statewide rail plan and that Carl Meyer, who sits on the economic development committee, is working on a public transportation concept that would connect passenger rail transportation through Wyoming. Graham said it could be a boon for Greybull if a depot were to be built here, something that would allow passengers on those trains to patronize businesses here.

Collingwood called it “a great idea,” but said “it’s come up before.”  Graham didn’t deny that, but said that with the tracks on the east side of the Big Horns so congested due to industry, the tracks on the west side “could be more of an express route” for passenger trains.

Responding to a question about the US Forest Service and its search for a new location, Graham said the process of selecting a site has been delayed by the government shutdown.  He said he hopes to have an answer from them by December on whether they’ll be relocating to Greybull.

• Collingwood, who represents the town on the Big Horn Regional Joint Powers Board, said the board was in the process of seeking additional grant money to cover unforeseen project costs.

He also raised a concern about an e-mail that had Mayor Graham had sent to Big Horn Regional, informing them that he (Collingwood) didn’t have the authority to vote on behalf of the town on regional water matters. Collingwood said the board’s charter gives him that right, and that the board’s lawyer concurred, and for that reason, he said he felt “undermined” by the mayor’s email.

Graham, who was the town’s representative to the joint powers board prior to Collingwood, said he never voted to raise rates without first running it by the full council. “Even though I was representing the town, I felt it had to come from this board,” Graham said. “I didn’t feel like I could do that on my own.”

Collingwood said he still plans to run everything by the council.  If he had to run it by the council every time, he would have to abstain when votes were taken, which would essentially leave the decision in the hands of the other six joint powers members. “That would negate our vote, which I don’t feel would be very productive.”

Councilman Ross Jorgensen said on matters concerning regional water, “what I would have to go on is your recommendation, anyway.”  For that reason, he said, “I have no problem with it.”

• In the water hearing part of the meeting, Councilor Bob McGuire raised the possibility of imposing a penalty clause for reoccurring accounts.  The mayor asked Utility Clerk Beverley Jacobs, Thur and Collingwood to come up with a solution.

• The town is in the process of adding a public comment period to its monthly agenda, and with that in the works, Thur presented an outline of the rules that would be set for those comment periods.

An organizational chart was also presented for discussion purposes. Foley raised the idea of developing a parks and recreation department that would exist on its own, rather than under the umbrella of the public works department.

Foley said the change would ease Davis’ workload, both now and in the future, especially if the town ultimately gets a new swimming pool.  But the council took no action on Foley’s proposal to create a separate department.

Councilor Ross Jorgensen said most Wyoming cities, including ones far larger than Greybull, operate their parks and recreation departments under public works.

• The council approved a bill of sale for a brick chlorinator building that is no longer used by the town and is located on private land.

• A flood plain ordinance was presented and approved on first reading.

• Graham pointed out that the alley and street under the current high school were never vacated — and presented for approval resolutions to rectify the problem, which were endorsed by the council.

• The council pushed its November meeting date back a day due to Veterans Day, which falls on the third Monday.  The meeting will now be held Tuesday, Nov. 12.

 

Ruhl monument gets a new apron

by nathan oster

The memorial to Donald J. Ruhl in the cemetery that bears his name moved a step closer to completion on Wednesday afternoon when an apron was installed around the granite monument that stands as a tribute to Greybull’s only winner of the Congressional Medal of Honor.

“The shape of the base was part of the design from the beginning, and it was always intended to be red,” said Paul Linse, who coordinated last week’s project, just as he has the entire development of the Ruhl monument site. “It became clear very quickly that there was no granite source for a blood-red base.

“A call to a high-performance concrete testing laboratory, Blue Concrete, started things off.  I asked the engineer, Julie, if her product would handle “110 degree heat in the summer, minus 40 degree cold in the winter, wind-blown sand at over 60 miles per hour, and alkaline irrigation water more caustic than lime?”

Her response: “It will still be there after the granite monument has blown away.”

Thomas Designs, located in Salt Lake City, was the determined to be the nearest fabricator.

Blue Concrete developed a red dye just for the concrete and donated it, and other materials, to Tyler Thomas Blaine to fabricate in his shop in Salt Lake City.  Linse said Tyler did the project at a very low price, including delivering and installing the piece, so he dictated the timeline for the installation.  It occurred Wednesday on a swing through the area on his way to Yellowstone National Park to see the changing fall colors.

“The cemetery board is very grateful to Todd Zeller, who volunteered to operate the high-lift loader volunteered by Riverfront Construction,” said Linse, adding that his friends from the coffee group at the Sugar Shack volunteered to lower the base onto its mountings by hand. “My gratitude is extended to all who helped.”

 

Elk hunters assisting with brucellosis surveillance

Elk hunters are helping with a brucellosis surveillance effort in the Bighorn Mountains by collecting blood samples from elk immediately after harvest. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department mailed blood sample kits to some elk hunters holding limited-quota licenses for hunt areas in the Bighorn Mountains. Hunters that did not receive a kit or will be hunting in a general area can obtain a blood sample collection kit at the Sheridan or Cody regional offices.

Game and Fish laboratory supervisor Hank Edwards, says, “The weather has made elk hunting in the Bighorns difficult over the past couple of weeks. As of Oct. 18, only 160 samples have arrived at the lab in Laramie. Of those, 89 are suitable for testing. A big thank-you goes to all hunters that help with these surveys.”

To collect a useable blood sample, hunters should follow these tips:

• Carry your sample kit with you in the field; collect the blood sample as soon as possible.

• Blood should be collected from the neck, heart, or chest cavity.

• The blood sample should never be frozen; it should be kept cool.

• Ship the sample as soon as possible (in one to two days) to prevent spoilage, or deliver it to the Cody or Sheridan regional offices in-person.

A video at the Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s website (wgfd.wyo.gov), demonstrates the proper collection of a good blood sample.

 

Lady Buffs fall short of State bid

by marlys good

When it comes to the regional tournament, teams know going in that the formula for a bid to the state tournament is simple –win two before you lose two.

The Lady Buffs and Lady Cougars of Wind River found themselves in that position Saturday morning when they faced off across the net in Lander, site of the Class 2A West Regional. Unfortunately, the Lady Cougars of Wind River prevailed.

Greybull took the momentum from Friday’s lopsided victory over Rocky Mountain into the match and won the first game in overtime, 26-24. Things went downhill from there and the Cougars won the next three, 25-18, 25-20, 25-15.

“Wind River got warmed up in game two and then we had some defensive errors we didn’t adjust to,” said Coach Sara Schlattmann.  “Wind River has some big hitters that we struggled to defend against.”

Schlattmann said that much of the time when the Buffs lost during the season, it was “errors on our side of the net. But against Wind River we just seemed to get overpowered in games two, three and four. Give credit to Wind River. The Southwest Conference was very strong this year.”

Of the four state qualifiers from this side of the state, Lovell is the only team from the Northwest to advance. They will join Kemmerer (tourney champs), Wind River and Shoshoni in Casper this weekend.

After losing Friday’s opener to the scrappy Lady Blues from Shoshoni 25-15, 23-25, 22-25, 13-25, the Buffs faced a loser-out game with conference foe Rocky Mountain later that evening.

The Grizzlies had upset the Buffs in the final match of regular season and the Buffs were determined to prove that it was an upset and keep their dream of a trip to state alive.

It didn’t take them long to prove their dominance as they routed the Grizzlies in three short games, 25-6, 25-16, 25-8.

They were halfway there; just a single win away from Casper, before they were derailed by Wind River.

Schlattmann said the opening loss to the Lady Blue could be blamed on “a series of small errors over the course of the match; that made the difference.”

She was extremely pleased with the Buffs in the Rocky match. “We played phenomenal and the girls really redeemed themselves for their end-of-season loss. It was so much fun to watch the girls just take control of the match and not look back.”

Summing up her first year as head coach, Schlattmann said she couldn’t be prouder of her team and “how the girls improved over the course of the season. We definitely played some great volleyball; it was so much fun.”

The athletes had set a goal of making it to state and “they were sorely disappointed they did not make it. It is difficult when you don’t quite reach your goal. But we had other goals too. One was to become a true team that worked for each other and not individual gain. I felt like we accomplished that. Our girls worked hard to focus their efforts on believing they could win; they stayed positive, even when things weren’t going their way. Many times we were able to pull through downswings and come back and win games.”

Schlattmann said the Lady Buffs theme for the year was: “And Then Some,” an idea that to be a great team you had to work hard like all teams do; but to be great, you had to do more. It gave us focus for the season.”

The Buffs lose senior leaders Cierra Carlson and McKenna Powers to graduation this year. “I just can’t say enough good things about them,” Schlattmann said.

“They have been hard workers and dedicated athletes ever since I met them. They played significant roles on the team and were integral to our success. I enjoyed them immensely. They set quite a positive example for their teammates. I have appreciated all their hard work this year – and in past years.”

Next year should be another good one for the Buffs who have a solid core of returning players, to go with underclassmen with varsity experience. “It will pay off for us next season,” said the coach.

Schlattmann also praised assistant coach Laura Hodgson. “She was extremely helpful; it was nice to have her perspective when we were making important decisions.”

Christine Farmer, Renae Waddell and Kerri Thiel volunteer their time and that was a big help, Schlattmann said. “Having such a large team, it was nice to have more hands to help with drills.”

 

Buffs miss playoffs, finish 3-5

by nathan oster

The Lyman Eagles dashed the playoff hopes of the Greybull Buffs on Friday, winning 36-26 in a game played in Lyman.

Greybull, which needed not only a win but also help from other teams, got none of it, finishing at 3-4 in Class 2A West Conference play — a game back of Thermopolis, which at 4-3 secured the fourth and final playoff berth from the West.

While disappointed about not making the playoffs, Coach Justin Bernhardt had nothing but good things to say about this year’s squad, noting that they “played really, really well” in their finale and gave Lyman a good test, just as they had virtually every other opponent this season.

The Buffs played five 2A playoff teams in 2013, and in three of them, the margin of victory was eight points or less.  In a fourth game, the one Friday in Lyman, it was 10 points.

“If you ask me, I’d say Lyman has as good a chance as anyone of winning it all in 2A,” he said. “It was great to see our kids respond the way they did.”

The Buffs reversed one important trend in Friday game.  They had been slow starters on the road all season, but at Lyman, they were the ones to draw first blood.  A 62-yard pass from quarterback Calder Forcella to wideout Wyatt Nielson gave the Buffs a 6-0 lead at the 11:28 mark of the opening quarter.

But Lyman seized control in the second quarter. Twice, the Buffs saw drives end deep in Lyman territory — once on a fumble, the other time on an interception.  Lyman capitalized, too.  Just like that, the Buffs found themselves in a big hole.

“We should have gone in at the half at least tied — if not ahead,” said Bernhardt, citing the turnovers. “You can’t turn the ball over against anyone and expect to win — and that’s especially true against a quality team like Lyman.

“If we’d have cashed in those two drives, we’d have been in the game.”

The Buffs drew closer with scores just before half (on a 20-yard pass from Forcella to Kason Clutter) and at the 3:48 mark of the third (on a 5-yard run by Paul Stewart) to pull to within 10 points, at 28-18.

But Lyman scored in the fourth quarter, extending its lead to 36-18, before the Buffs tacked on a touchdown in the game’s final minute to pull to within 36-26 on a 30-yard pass from Forcella to Davila.

The Buffs couldn’t get much going on the ground, finishing with 52 yards on 17 attempts, but they lit it up through the air.  Forcella finished with one of his best games of the season, completing 22 of 37 passes for 324 yards.

“From start to finish, I think we clicked on offense as well as we have all year,” said Bernhardt. “We were able to run at a hurry-up tempo, more than in any other game in the two years I have been here.”

Lyman’s rushing attack was the difference, however.  The Eagles entered the game with two of the top four rushers in 2A, in Tui Magalogo and Landen Bradshaw, and with the top-rated rushing offense in 2A.

“They have the best running back in the state, and their quarterback is basically a running back playing quarterback,” he said. “I liked our defensive game plan, though. We went in there and weren’t intimidated at all. Our kids expected to win and played like it. We just didn’t get the stops we needed, when we needed them.”

The Buffs put all their defenders at the line of scrimmage, daring the Eagles to throw — and it worked. Bernhardt said he could recall only one big pass  play for the Eagles — and it came on a play when a Greybull defender was in a position to make the play but missed the ball by inches.

“The way we were in the game the whole time, as a coach, it was something fun to see,” said Bernhardt.

 

Season recap

The Buffs finished 3-5 overall — or 4-5 if you want to count their Week 0 triumph over Riverside.  But it wasn’t good enough to get them into the playoffs.  Looking back on the season, Bernhardt said the Thermop game is the one that ended up costing his team.

“In all my years of coaching, no game will haunt me like the Thermopolis game,” he said. “We got off the bus and had such a slow start in the first half, but then we came back and shut them out in the second half and played so well.  They are a good team.  They should have beaten Lovell in Lovell.  The way we came back at the end, then having the two, two-point conversions called back. It really felt like we won that game.  But on the plus side, it gave our kids confidence to do what they did the rest of the season.”

The Buffs will lose nine quality seniors (more on them and the season as a whole next week), but will return a solid nucleus, including a number of freshmen who had to step up this season. “With as much playing time as they got — and having so many juniors who have now been in the system for two years — I’m really excited about what we’re going to have next year,” he said.

That can wait, though, Bernhardt said.  Right now, it stings, not making the playoffs.

“If we’d have got in, I think we’d have had as good a short as anyone of making it to Laramie,” he said. “But the most important thing was, in every game, the kids played to the last whistle.

“Especially in this game, when we were on the road and down by a few scores, they played to the last second.  They wanted to be in the playoffs. They felt like they were a playoff team.  Even though they didn’t make it, I couldn’t be prouder of the kids for the way they never quit.  They played as hard in the fourth quarter as they did in the first, which is a real testament to them and their desire to win.”

 

Lyman 36, Greybull 26

G — Wyatt Nielson 62-yard pass from Calder Forcella.

G — Kason Clutter 20-yard pass from Forcella.

G — Paul Stewart 5-yard run.

G — Fabian Davila 30-yard pass from Forcella (Clutter pass from Forcella)

RUSHING — Greybull: 17-52 (Forcella 12-31, Stewart 5-21).

PASSING — Greybull (Forcella:) 22 of 37 for 324 yards.

RECEIVING — Clutter 10-133, Nielson 8-132, Fox 2-18, Davila 1-30, Stewart 1-11.

DEFENSIVE STANDOUTS — Payton Gonzalez led with 29 defensive points, coming on 14 assisted tackles and 6 solo stops as well as a fumble recovery.  Next in line was Cody Strauch with 25 (16 assisted tackles, 2 solo tackles, 1 fumble recovery), followed by Chris Ogg and Bryce Wright, each with 19 defensive points.

 

Rec district calls on GHS students

by nathan oster

A group of students from one of Ralph Wensky’s industrial arts classes at Greybull High School is helping to develop a vision for future improvements to the Herb Asp Community Center.

Heather Howe, director of the Greybull Recreation District, told the recreation district’s board of directors Monday night that she’d reached out to Wensky to see if he and his students could help create some drawings for a grant she is pursuing.

She said she gave Wensky’s class “a wish list of things we’d like to do” and that students have visited the community hall twice to get measurements.

Wensky, in an email, said he hadn’t taught any architectural drafting in a few years, but is doing so this year through this project.  So far, it’s been well received. “The kids seem very excited to do architecture instead of the regular mechanical drafting we normally do,” he wrote.

“We are going to help out by coming up with some floor plan ideas that incorporate some of the changes the board would like to make,” wrote Wensky. “It’s pretty open ended, so my students will take their ideas and see what they can change/remodel in the building.”

The first priority is to make a floor plan of the building as it currently exists. Three of his more experienced (second-, third- or fourth-year) students in Cody Strauch, Jordan Nielson and Mariah Mills, are tackling that aspect of the project while Wensky brings the beginners up to speed.

Eventually they will team up and start talking changes to the existing floor plan.

“I hope to take it far enough that they actually meet with Heather and the rec board to present their ideas and get feedback,” wrote Wensky.

Howe said the grant she’s pursuing, a Community Facilities Grant, has a December deadline for applications.

In other rec district news discussed Monday night:

• Howe said the washer and dryer have been installed, though an electrician needed to come in and change a plug for the dryer, at a cost to the district of around $300.  She added that the doors to the storage area are broken and that a solution is needed.

On the subject of improvements, Howe said the rec district received its bill from the town for the installation of air conditioning at the community hall.  The rec district’s share came to around $3,700.

• Supt. Barry Bryant offered the only update on the swimming pool project, saying demolition is currently being held up by the abatement process.  The state will be paying for the demolition — a good thing, consider the price of demolishing the pool has climbed from an estimated to $141,000 to closer to $300,000, Bryant said.  But by the time the abatement is done, all of the leftover pool chemicals will have been dealt with.  Bryant said his best guess on when the pool might be ready for demolition is either winter or spring.

• Howe reported that the storm on Sept. 17 caused both vents on the south side of the building to leak again.  She’s been in contact with Dalen Davis, the town foreman, as well as Everett Bond of E&M Heating and Air Conditioning.  She was told to continue to try working with Bond to fix the problem.

• Howe covered all the programming hits and misses in her monthly director’s report.

The district held a “teen dance” on Oct. 12, with 22 students attending.  Howe said she and Trysta Williams recently met with the GMS Student Council to discuss what programs they’d be interested in.  “Most of them are things we’ve done before,” she said, adding that it’s a challenge to get news about rec district programs to middle school students.  Most of them expressed a desire to get text messages — Howe said she’d be looking into ways of doing that — or to get program information through the mail.

Roller skating numbers have been very good, with the early skate averaging 15-20 students and the late skate 20-40 students. The district will be running a food drive for Community Outreach in November, offering $1 off admission in exchange for a non-perishable food item.  She said the district has also been giving older skaters a chance to skate for free by serving as a “roller rink monitor” during the early skate.

Intramural boys basketball starts Tuesday, Oct. 29.

EdZooCate, where a representative of Zoo Montana brought animal ambassadors to Greybull on Sept. 20, drew around 80 attendees.

Messy Me wrapped up Tuesday. Nine kids were involved in that class, which offered a variety of messy activities and crafts.

The Get Up and Glow 5K went off with 41 participants.  There were three stations along the route where different glow-in-the-dark/LED items could be picked up, according to Howe.

Lindsay Casey has seven students in her creative movement class and 11 in her performance dance class.

Cathy Thomson is coming down from Lovell to teach gymnastics again this year.  Thirty-two children are participating in three difference classes.

The rec district’s “How to Be a Zombie” event wasn’t very successful, with just two attending. But the Haunted Hall, also held last week, was deemed a success, with 80 people going through the hall, which was decorated in scary movie themes.

Among the upcoming classes and programs are Lil Hoopers, an after school skate, a self defense course taught by members of the Greybull Police Department, a send out cards class and the harvest party.

Buffs top Big Piney in home finale

by nathan oster

The Greybull Buffs made their final home game of the season a night to remember, beating a pesky Big Piney team 33-20 to even their record in the Class 2A West Conference at 3-3 and keep their playoff hopes alive.

“It was a huge win for our team,” said Coach Justin Bernhardt, whose team sits at 3-4 overall heading into the final weekend of the regular season. “We’ve been saying, every game is like a playoff game. We still have a ways to go.  But it’s nice to get back to .500 (in the conference).”

Bernhardt said the game resembled the Kemmerer game, in the sense that the Buffs again started slowly (they trailed 8-0 early) before they hit their stride.  “We just seemed to be going through the motions in the first quarter,” said the coach. “But after that, even though it was 20-20 at the half, I felt like we had the momentum, and like we outplayed them in the second, third and fourth quarters.”

Big Piney came to play, though. “They’re much improved from last year; I don’t know where they found them, but they got some big linemen, their tailback is fast and their quarterback is a good one. But it was still a game, like Kemmerer, where I thought we should have probably won by 20 or more points.”

Quarterback Calder Forcella certainly did his part. He had a hand in all five Greybull touchdowns, rushing for two scores and connecting with Dustin Fox, Fabian Davila and Justin Nielson on the other three. Forcella was 23 of 39 passing for 222 yards and also led the Greybull rushing attack with 85 yards on 16 carries, a healthy 5.3 yards per attempt.

Forcella was every bit as important on the defensive side.  In recent weeks, he’s been on the sidelines while the defense was on the field, working with the young receivers who are being pressed into duty and scripting plays for the next drive.

But Bernhardt sent him out there to play safety against Big Piney, and with him out there in the second half, “We were able to add some complicated calls at safety.  He helped us roll our safety, disguise our blitzes.  It really shut Big Piney down.”

Forcella didn’t do it alone, though.  According to Bernhardt, it was a team effort, and the young kids needed to step up due to injuries to starters seem to be gaining in experience and confidence each week.

Kason Clutter, returning from an injury, was a force for the Buffs, catching 11 passes for 101 yards, both team highs.  Often times, his catches extended drives. That was the theme of the night, said Bernhardt, noting that the Buffs didn’t get many big plays, but strung several long, time-consuming drives together to pull out the win.

 

This week

Heading into the final weekend of the regular season, Lovell, at 6-0 in league play, has wrapped up the conference title. Six teams have won at least two games, and while a couple would require a miracle, all six remain alive in the hunt for the conference’s four playoff berths.

Mountain View and Lyman, both 4-2 in conference play, have the inside track for two of those spots.  Greybull and Thermopolis sit a game back at 3-3, while Big Piney and Pinedale sport 2-4 records.

The playoff picture is a murky one in the 2A West. But for the Buffs, it’s pretty simple heading into Friday afternoon’s game at Lyman.

“We have to win, period,” said Bernhardt.

It won’t be easy.  Lyman is better than its 4-3 record suggests.  Two of those losses were to highly-ranked 2A teams in Wheatland (32-28) and Lovell (32-26).  The third was a 30-22 loss to Mountain View in Week 6.

“They should have beaten Lovell,” said Bernhardt. “They rushed for over 300 years that game, but threw two pick-sixes and lost by a touchdown.  Like Lovell, they lost a lot of kids. But also like Lovell, they got a lot of kids out, they’ve got tradition, and they expect to win every time they step on the field.”

The key for the Buffs will be “stopping or at the very least disrupting their running game,” said Bernhardt. Lyman is pretty one-dimensional on offense, but “they do it well. We’ve got to stop their power.  When they try to kick it outside, we have to turn it back in.

“Offensively, if they have a weakness on defense, it’s probably their secondary.  We have to hit some big plays, and we have to eliminate some of our dropped balls.”

 

Big Piney   8 12 0 0 — 20

Greybull 14   6 7 6 — 33

G — Calder Forcella 2 yard run (Jesus Burgos kick).

G — Forcella 8 yard run (Burgos kick).

G — Dustin Fox 10 yard pass from Forcella.

G — Fabian Davila 16 yard pass from Forcella (Burgos kick).

G — Wyatt Nielson 30 yard pass from Forcella.

(Big Piney scoring plays were unavailable)

RUSHING — Big Piney 46-235; Greybull 40-134 (Forcella 16-85, Paul Stewart 13-28).

PASSING — Big Piney 12 of 23 for 58 yards; Greybull (Forcella) 23 of 39 for 222 yards.

RECEIVING — Greybull: Kason Clutter 11-101, Fabian Davila 3-18, Wyatt Nielson 5-55, Paul Stewart 1-16, Dustin Fox 3-31).

DEFENSIVE STANDOUTS — Several Buffs had big games on the defensive side and finished with 20 or more points.  Davila led the way with 28, coming on 2 assisted tackles, 5 solo stops, 4 pass break-ups and an interception.  Stewart was next in line with 23 (5 assisted, 5 solo, 1 sack, 1 fumble recovery), followed by Logan Jensen with 22 (7 assisted, 2 solo, 3 tackles for loss, 1 pass breakup) and Matt Brown with 21 (6 assisted, 1 solo, 1 tackle for loss, 2 fumble recoveries.

FFA team tops in livestock judging

by karla pomeroy

The Paintrock FFA team of Spencer Redland, Payton Gonzalez, Bree Dooley and Colten Flitner won the FFA livestock judging contest as well as the overall team at the NILE (Northern International Livestock Exposition) in Billings last week.

Advisor Jared Boardman said, “They beat a total of 72 teams from seven states and even Canada in the FFA division.” To win the overall team they beat a total of 95 teams.

He added, “The win really surprised me. Going into the contest I thought we had the ability to win it, but after we saw our scores I didn’t think we had pulled it off. When they announced that we had won I was really excited for all of them. They have worked hard over the last several years to get to this point. Hopefully, this win will propel us into a great year of competition.”

He said this is the team’s second win in three years at the competition for FFA but last time one senior 4-H team beat the Paintrock FFA team for the overall champion. Bringing home the bronze boot was a first for the chapter.

Individually, Flitner was sixth high overall out of more than 260 FFA students; Dooley was 13th overall and Gonzales 15th overall.

Redland was fifth overall in oral reasons

Redland said, “The team really pulled together. We all seemed to rotate having good days throughout the year at different contests. It makes the team strong having four high quality members. Hopefully,m we can put it all together for our future competitions and keep on winning.”

Dooley said, “To beat so many teams from so many different states and even countries was really exciting. We have won contests before but this is the biggest and most talented field we have competed against.”

Also at the NILE, Jordan Flitner competed in her first FFA contest as an individual and placed in the top half of the contest.

 

No positive brucellosis tests yet

by nathan oster

The first full week of the big-game hunting season didn’t produce any big surprises — and that’s a good thing when it comes to brucellosis testing.

Throughout the fall, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department has been encouraging Big Horn Mountain elk hunters to assist in the surveillance effort by taking blood samples and either sending them in or leaving them at collection sites.

“As of Saturday, I was hearing that (the state lab) had tested 80 samples already and that there had been no positives at all in the areas we’re most concerned about (areas 38, 39 and 40),” said Tom Easterly, a wildlife biologist for Game and Fish. “Unfortunately, a lot of hunters have been saying that they forgot their kit or didn’t take it with them.  Brucellosis is not a big concern for them. But for ranchers, it definitely is.

“Our vet has said that if we get over 200 samples, it’ll be a good sample size.  So it’s definitely a positive sign, having 80 something samples by the 19th of October. I’m betting we’ll be able to make the 200-sample goal.”

Easterly said the first week of the season has gone pretty well overall, but that there seem to be fewer non-resident deer hunters in the area. “I don’t know if they went further north or further south, but I suspect our deer harvest will be down a little this year,” he said.  “The ones I’ve talked to are enjoying themselves.  But unfortunately, (nonresidents) are also the folks who typically take the first deer they see.  So most of the ones that have been taken have been pretty small.  A couple of locals did nice some nice bucks, though.”

The buck season ends today (Thursday, Oct. 24), but does can still be taken in most hunting areas through at least the end of October.  Some seasons run through the end of November.  Up around Lovell, some stretch all the way into December.

Game Warden Bill Robertson said the big-game season, “started like molasses.  The first two days were pretty miserable, to the point where I wondered what was going on.  But then I started getting reports of a good deer harvest.  Not a lot of big deer, but of people finding bucks to kill on the forest, which was encouraging.”

Robertson said he talked to a group of hunters from Wisconsin who had filled five of their six tags.  “They thought hunting was as great as could be,” Robertson said. “So it depends who you talk to.  Some locals may grumble about deer numbers being down — and they may be right to do that because I do think numbers are down.”

Easterly agreed, saying he anticipates that the G&F will consider changes to some seasons in future years.

Easterly said some nice bull elk have been taken. “Folks are having to work for the bulls, but they are getting into them.”  Robertson, though, said he’s heard a lot of frustration from people hunting elk. The weather has impacted the hunt, he said. In Area 40, the snow has hampered road access. “People haven’t been able to get to their spots due to poor conditions, particularly around Horse Creek Mesa and Sunlight Mesa,” said Robertson.

“In Area 41, a large number of elk have already moved onto private land, where they aren’t accessible to anyone except for outfitted clients.  In other areas, elk have moved into remote canyons.”

One hunter killed an elk from long distance in one of those canyons, but had exhausted himself packing the animal out, piece by piece.  “Hunters need to assess their ability to retrieve the carcass before they choose to go after one in those remote locations,” said Robertson.

Robertson said he’s written a few citations, mostly for trespassing.

“It seems a lot of folks get frustrated with not being able to find deer where they are hunting, so when they see deer on people’s properties, for some reason, they feel like they should be able to take them without permission.  That’s trespassing.”

Shooting from the road is another big one, he said.

“Again, people get frustrated by not being able to find them where they went, and they get tired easily.  So when an opportunity presents itself, they choose, poorly, to shoot from a public road.”

Robertson said he’s also cited hunters for taking an animal of the wrong sex — i.e., for shooting a small buck when they had a doe tag. He encourages hunters who have yet to fill their tags to take the extra time to make a positive ID before firing a shot at their target.

 

 

 

 

Council talks pit bulls, cat licenses

Ordinance amendments would address pit bull concerns, require cat licensing

by nathan oster

The Greybull Town Council on Monday approved on first reading an ordinance amendment that would require cat owners to license their pets and another one that would address concerns about the pit bull population in Greybull.

Doug Youngerman, the town’s animal control officer, introduced both ordinance amendments during Monday meeting, as well as a “Trap, Spay, Neuter, Vaccinate and Return to the Streets” cat-management plan that he wants to implement in cooperation with local veterinarians.

The first ordinance amendment, to Chapter 6.04, would make licenses a requirement for cats, just as they have been for dogs.  The proposed ordinance would read as follows in Chapter 6.04.030:  “It is unlawful for any person to own or keep a dog or cat within the Town of Greybull without first obtaining from the town clerk of the Town of Greybull license for such dog or cat and paying the fee therefore as provided by this chapter.”

The town clerk would provide a metal plate or tag with each license, bearing the number of the license and the year for which it was issued, and that plate or tag would need to be attached to the cat at all times.

Youngerman said most Wyoming cities require cat licenses, and that the licensing requirement “will help me know which cat belongs where.”  He will also push for microchips to be implanted in cats, saying that with a reader in his truck, he could immediately determine the owner of any cat that he picks up.

Youngerman said the ordinance amendment also gives him “more teeth to go after dogs that are being badly abused in town,” by allowing him to go onto private property to conduct animal welfare investigations.

The new ordinance would also make it illegal for anyone to “willfully allow any animal to fight, worry or injure another animals.” He said he recently took a call involving three pit bulls that were fighting.  There was nothing he could do about it because they were “on the wrong property.”  The amendment “gives me another way to get in there and do something about it.”

The amended ordinance would also give the animal control office the right to chemically immobilize to humanely capture animals. Youngerman called it “a last resort,” saying the only time he could imagine using it would be to retrieve a vicious dog on the loose.

The part of the amended ordinance that drew the most discussion pertained to kennel licenses.

Youngerman said some people in town have 15 to 18 cats, others seven to 11 dogs.  If the amended ordinance is ultimately approved, those people would be grandfathered in and not have to purchase a kennel license. But as their dogs die, they would not be able to replace them without purchasing a kennel license.

The license or annual renewal inspection fee for kennels would be $2 per year.

The council devoted considerable time to defining a kennel.  The ordinance amendment that was proposed by Youngerman defined a kennel as “composed of three or more animals of any one species.” The council instead opted to set “four or more of any animal species” in its definition.

Councilman Myles Foley spoke in support of the ordinance amendment, calling it “a good way to control people from getting carried away,” while Councilman Bob McGuire said he supports making people more accountable for their pets.  Often times, he said, the problems aren’t the pets themselves; it’s their owners, who don’t take good care of them and are inconsiderate of others.

 

Pit bull ordinance

The section of the town code falling under the header of noisy, vicious and prowling cats and dogs would be radically re-written under a proposed amendment that would more tightly regulate ownership of pit bulls.

The current ordinance defines a vicious dog as any dog that “attacks, rushes or bites, snaps or snarls or in any manner menaces any person, vehicle or other animal outside the premises of its owner or keeper, or shows any plausible tendency to do so, without provocation.”

To Youngerman, that doesn’t go far enough. His proposal is for the creation of an ordinance, 6.08.070, that deals with pit bull breed dogs and other vicious dogs.

The ordinance would set as a definition for pit bull “any American pit bull terrier, American Staffordshire terrier, Staffordshire bull terrier or any dog which as the appearance and characteristics of being predominantly in any one or more of the aforementioned breeds.”

Youngerman said this community has been fortunate that no one has been injured in a pit bull attack.  “We have some very scary pit bulls out there,” he said, adding that five have had to be euthanized since Aug. 31.  During that same time frame, 14 new ones have been registered by the town.

Youngerman said there is justification for pursuing a ban on pit bulls, saying that many other communities have already done so.  But he stopped short of making that his recommendation, instead favoring a plan to more tightly control pit bull ownerships.

The new ordinance would put an end to the days when owners left their pit bulls tied to a chain in their yard. If approved, owners would be required to keep their pit bulls “indoors, in a securely enclosed and locked pen or kennel approved by the town’s animal control officer or in a fenced area approved by the animal control officer, except when leashed.”

If the pit bill is out its confined area, it would have to be on a leash no longer than 4 feet and it would have to be muzzled at all times, states the ordinance. A pit bull owner would also be required to provide the animal control officer with two color photographs of the pit bull.

“I’m afraid of what could happen” if we don’t take action, said Youngerman. “We’re going to have a child or another human being killed. I’m trying to get a handle on this before we have an attack.”

A pit bull owner would also be required to post signs on his or her property, warning passers-by that there is a pit bull on the property, and provide the town with proof of public liability insurance in a single amount of $250,000 for bodily injury to or death of any person or persons.

Youngerman said the new ordinance wouldn’t restrict anyone’s choice to own a pit bull, but it does say that if they are going to own them, they must take full responsibility for their pet.

At one point in the discussion, Police Chief Bill Brenner was asked if he’s received any reports of dog-fighting rings in Greybull. “We have had our suspicions,” he said, “but we haven’t gathered enough evidence to warrant it.”

Youngerman said he doesn’t believe there are dog fighting rings in Greybull, but he didn’t rule out the possibility that pit bulls were being trained to fight here and taken to other parts of the country for competitions.

Councilman Clay Collingwood said he doesn’t feel like the ordinance goes far enough, encouraging the town to expand the list from just pit bulls to other dogs known to be vicious, using the American Kennel Club’s definition.

Youngerman said pit bulls belong in a class by themselves, noting that he’s used spray effectively on other breeds.  But with the pit bull, it doesn’t even slow them down.

Councilman Bob McGuire, who ultimately cast the only dissenting vote on first reading, said he’s been chewed on by all breeds in his 30 years in law enforcement and that he felt the ordinance was a kneejerk reaction.

He said it boils down to personal responsibility. He said a vicious animal is a vicious animal. “If the meter reader can’t walk into your yard with the expectation of safety, that is a vicious animal,” he said. “As the owner, you have to take responsibility, either by building a kennel or providing for safety.”

McGuire said the town already has an ordinance on the books and that the new one isn’t needed.  People just need to be responsible for their pets, he said.

Collingwood said he, as much as any other councilman, he opposes unnecessary ordinances, but that he supports this one.  Having a 2-year-old son is one reason, he said, adding that kids, in particular, might not always know to be afraid of pit bulls that they encounter. “I may be more nervous because I have young children, but I’d rather take care of it now than take care of it later,” he said.

Brenner added, “There’s a reason they are banning them all around the United States. Towns and cities aren’t banning other breeds; they’re only banning pit bulls.”

Councilman Ross Jorgensen said he would approve the ordinance on first reading, but wants additional information about what other municipalities in Wyoming have pit bull ordinances on the books before he gives it a second reading.

 

New program

In its other pet-related action on Monday, the council scheduled a budget amendment hearing for Nov. 12 on the “Trap, Spay, Neuter, Vaccinate and Return to the Streets” plan that was pitched by Youngerman.

The plan is to transfer $1,500 from allocated capital sales tax in the highway lighting project to general fund expenditures for trap/spay/neuter/return program.

In a report to the council, Youngerman said feral cats are “running rampant” in the town.  Since taking over as animal control officer, Youngerman said he’s trapped 296 cats and kittens, and in just about all cases, he’s found local farmers to take them.

But with those cats having multiplied and the same farmers begging for mercy, Youngerman has been left with no choice other than euthanization.  So far, 23 have met their demise in that fashion, depleting his veterinary budget in the process.

In describing the new program, Youngerman said he’d trap the feral cats, take them to a local vet for a spay/neuter (Dr. Gotfredson said he’d charge $10 for males, $12 for females) and then return them to the location where they were originally trapped.