Daily Archives: February 27, 2014
by nathan oster
The Greybull Chamber of Commerce used its February meeting to plot a new course for the organization, which last month parted ways with its longtime executive director.
Selena Brown, who is volunteering during this period transition for the organization, said the meeting lasted more than three hours and covered a wide variety of topics, including the election of officers.
Barry Bryant, superintendent of Big Horn County School District No. 3, was elected president, while the board chose Sherri Emmett to serve as vice-president, Hilary Dooley to serve as secretary and Donette Prows to serve as treasurer.
The board also made a difficult decision regarding its affiliation with the United Parcel Service (UPS). Effective this week, the chamber has ceased serving as a drop-off location for UPS. The Basin Pharmacy will continue to provide those services, and of course, they can also make arrangements with UPS online, according to Brown.
The biggest problem was that the UPS system wasn’t paying for itself, according to Mayor Bob Graham, who also attended last week’s meeting. Brown said being a UPS drop-off site also required the chamber to have someone in the building at all times, which prevented that person from attending meetings or visiting local businesses.
“Plus we’re relying more and more on volunteers, and they really don’t want to have to learn the UPS system,” she said.
Board members also agreed last week to take on greater responsibilities in the running of the chamber. Julie Bilbrey and Bryant will be responsible for bylaws, Brown for the calendar; Bilbrey, Graham and Town Administrator Paul Thur for economic development, Kay Fleek for main street; and Prows and Bilbrey for membership and welcome bags.
Brown said one of the top priorities for the short term is to reopen the museum of flight at the airport. She said the chamber has been working with WYDOT and Big Horn County to address that goal, which emerged during last year’s community assessment process.
“We believe it could be a very important tourist attraction,” said Brown.
The chamber is still working on refining its hours. Right now the plan is to be open 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily, but that’s based on volunteers.
Brown said the board doesn’t have a budget right now for hiring a new director, and that it’s going to try to get by as long as it can with volunteer help. So far, people have been very willing to help, she said.
The meeting times for the monthly chamber board meetings have also changed. From this point forward, they will be held on the third Wednesday of the month, at 5:30 p.m., rather than the customary noon start time. The switch was made to better accommodate business owners, including restaurant owners who have a difficult time getting away at lunchtime.
“We’ll see how it goes,” said Brown. “If a lot of people find it unworkable, we’ll be very open to changing that. And we encourage anybody who has ideas or who would like to volunteer to come by. We’re open for business. We’re here for the town of Greybull and the businesses of Greybull.”
Brown called it “a very positive meeting” and added that the public is invited to attend future board meetings. “Just give us a call beforehand, and if you want to speak, let us know and we’ll put you on the agenda,” she said.
For more on the chamber, visit greybullchamber.com. Brown said the board hopes to start posting meeting minutes on the site very soon.
By Patti Carpenter
A video camera on every school bus, an 80-mile-per-hour speed limit on certain roads, increased funding for senior centers, the entire budget for the state and an abundance of other items were considered this week during the current legislative budget session.
Rep. Elaine Harvey of Lovell reported that it’s been a busy week in the House of Representatives, with many bills passing that will now be considered by the Senate.
Among those passed include a bill that will require video cameras on school buses. The camera will be used in part to record incidents where drivers ignore warning lights and pass a school bus illegally.
“Fly-bys are huge all over the state, creating a danger for school children,” explained Harvey. “Right now, bus drivers write down license plate numbers when cars that pass illegally. The problem is the license plate number only identifies who owns the car, not necessarily the driver. The video will provide better evidence for court cases by showing who was actually driving the car.”
Additionally, the House passed a bill that could increase speed limits on certain roadways. The bill will allow WYDOT to study which sections of Wyoming’s highways could best handle increased speed limits of up to 80 miles per hour.
“Several studies of interstate roads have shown that increasing the speed actually cuts down on fatalities,” said Harvey. “This will allow WYDOT to make changes where they think an increased speed limit makes sense.”
The House also passed the budget bill on its third reading on Friday, Feb. 21. Harvey said that although there are several areas of difference in the budget’s amendments, the overall message on the budget remains one of “fiscal prudency.”
“The legislature is committed to moving forward a fair, but conservative, budget that prioritizes Wyoming’s needs and invests in Wyoming’s people, jobs, communities, responsible mineral development and education,” said Harvey.
She added that the bill strikes a balance between current needs and long-term planning, appropriating $3.32 billion, which is a slight decrease from the previous budget, due in part to 300 fewer state employees and a requirement to hold back on the growth of state agencies.
“The budget contributes to the growth of the Legislative Stabilization Reserve Account (LSRA), commonly referred to as the ‘rainy day fund,’ while the Permanent Wyoming Mineral Trust Fund (PWMTF) also continues to grow,” explained Harvey.
Significant amendments include an increase from 2 percent to 2.5 percent pay increase for executive, judicial and University of Wyoming employees and changes to the state employee compensation package based on the Governor’s recommendations. Harvey noted that the Senate opted for a revenue neutral version that would ask state employees to pay for a share of their pension contribution increase.
Other amendments include added funding for the state’s community colleges to compensate them for enrollment growth. A funding increase for senior centers of $480,000 was added to the budget. Harvey said the increase would restore funding cut previously by the Division of Aging.
The amount of $5,000 was added to the budget to keep the state capitol open on Saturdays during Cheyenne Frontier Days.
Funding of $125,000 was added to establish and administer grants to counties with search and rescue teams trained to find a persons suffering from dementia related disorders like Down Syndrome, brain injuries, autism, Alzheimer’s or other conditions that cause wandering behaviors.
Other amendments include increased funding to counties from $81 million to $105 million and increased funding for local capital projects from $54 million to $70 million, a grant of $110,000 to Wyoming public television for the purpose of producing a Native American online education curriculum for Wyoming students, a budget of $25,000 to mint and market coins celebrating Wyoming’s 125th anniversary as a state and increased funding for early childhood programs.
The budget also provides for the Select Committee on Statewide Education Accountability to continue through Dec. 31, 2014. It also allows for a strategic investments and projects account of $70 million if earnings in the PMTF exceed projections. It budgets for a University of Wyoming “Top Tier” science program and increases funding to the Community College Commission to $5.3 million.
Several bills failed earlier in the session that would allow Medicaid expansion, and a first attempt to expand it through the budget also failed. Harvey said although the first Medicaid expansion amendment failed another one is expected to take its place for consideration.
A special session is being considered to review statutes impacted by SF 104, also known as the “Hill Bill.”
“With more than 37 statutes impacted by the passage of SF 104, including the fiscal year 2015-16 budget, legislators need sufficient time to deconstruct all of the interwoven statues and work with the Joint Appropriations Committee and the Joint Education Committee to manage the workload,” explained Harvey. “The short, 20-day session is focused on delivering a conservative, forward-thinking budget that plans for Wyoming’s future. For that reason, a special session was needed.
“SF 106, which provides for a process to address the 2014 Supreme Court decision relating to the structure and oversight of the state’s public school system, passed the Senate Rules Committee by a vote of 5-0 and has been referred to the (House) Appropriations Committee.”
by nathan oster
Friends of Tom Easterly’s have used the words selfless, loyal, adventurous and soft-spoken to describe the man behind the red Game and Fish shirt, baseball hat and friendly smile.
But to those who worked closest to him in the public arena, he was a reliable hand, steady in times of crisis, and a passionate voice for the importance of wildlife conservation and habitat.
Easterly, who took over as the G&F’s wildlife biologist in Greybull in 1992, died Thursday while on a ski trip with friends in Montana. He was 50.
A press release from the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office reports that he was found deceased in a hot tub at one of the residential condos near Big Sky Resort early Thursday morning.
The Gallatin County Coroner’s Office is currently trying to determine the cause of death.
“All I’d say is, this whole community’s really going to miss him,” said Mike Nelson, the fire chief in Shell. “He was always willing to help in any way he could.
“That’s what I’ll remember about him.”
Easterly joined the Shell Fire Department shortly after he moved out of Greybull, into a home in the Shell area. At the time of his death, he was the treasurer of the SFD.
Prior to that, he spent more than a decade with the Greybull Fire Department. Paul Murdoch, the current fire chief, described him as “a good hand,” and “someone you could rely on.”
Easterly also spent six years in town government. He was initially elected to serve a two-year term on the Greybull Town Council in 1996. Two years later, he was elected to serve a four-year term, which ran through the end of 2002.
But for the past 22 years, he, along with Game Warden Bill Robertson, have been the face of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department in Big Horn County.
Robertson said he met Tom while he was a fresh-out-of-college game warden in Lusk, when Tom — fresh out of college himself and working as a biological aide in western South Dakota — came over to help him during one of the more challenging hunting seasons.
“He helped me get through that, and I’ll never forget that,” said Robertson.
In 1992, Easterly settled in Greybull.
Robertson followed him here in 1995.
They’ve been working side by side ever since — Robertson as game warden, Easterly as wildlife biologist.
“Actually, he was one of the reasons I came here,” Robertson recalled. “I wanted to get into the Big Horns, so that was a big factor. But I knew a couple people, too — Tom being one.”
Easterly’s obituary, which appears on page 6 of this issue, contains great detail about Tom’s achievements in Game and Fish matters.
To Robertson, there was a common theme behind all Easterly did.
“Tom was unique in that, because of his background, he recognized the importance of wildlife habitat. In fact, that was the bumper sticker on his truck. ‘Habitat is where it’s at’ … or something to that effect.
“That’s a hard concept for a lot of people, who just want to get a trophy buck. But Tom understood the importance of quality habitat for wildlife species and preached that throughout his entire career — whether it was in hunter safety classes, or a resource management meeting, or in discussions with landowner. You have to have the groceries for wildlife in order for the population to be sustainable.”
Because of his approach and his ability to work well with people, Easterly was “sought after by individual landowners, small ranch owners, farm owners and other land management personnel.
“They’d ask questions like, ‘What can we do to this pile of sage brush to make it better habitat?’ And he’d work with them.”
When asked what he’d miss most about Easterly, Robertson said it was his even-keeled nature. “Tom was my buffer,” he said. “He didn’t rattle very easily. He was very patient. He understood individual personalities really well, and he was able to accept a lot of different personalities, and because of that, conflict was always avoided.
“He was easy going, never sought attention and always wanted to be of assistance. I‘m going to miss a lot of that, professionally, and I’ll miss him as a friend too.”
by nathan oster
Coach Mark Sanford was looking for his Greybull-Riverside wrestling team to step up for last weekend’s Class 2A West Regional in Lovell — and for the most part they did, putting six wrestlers through to the placing rounds and taking third as a team behind Cokeville and Lovell.
With 188 points, Cokeville would have been a tough catch for G-R, which tallied 135 points. But Lovell, with 147 points, was catchable. “We easily could have been second,” said Sanford, referring to just a couple of matches that slipped away. “But overall, the effort was good and we had some kids set themselves up pretty well for state.”
G-R had three champions in 152-pounder Jesus Burgos, 220-pounder Spencer Redland and heavyweight Tanner Bernstein, and two others, 138-pounder Cole Hill and 195-pounder Zane Edeler, who lost in the finals and took second. Tre Nelson, a fourth-place finisher at 113, rounded out the G-R placers.
Of the six, Burgos may have had the best tournament.
“He was probably the guy I was the most proud of,” said Sanford. The No. 3 seed going in, Burgos reeled off four straight wins, three of them coming by pin, including a stoppage of Dylan Lookingbill of Wind River in the final.
Burgos’ big conquest was a 7-6 win over Ellis Toomer of Cokeville, who entered at 33-13. Toomer beat Burgos earlier in the season, and at one point in Lovell, he was up 5-0. Burgos wouldn’t be denied, though, as he rallied to tie it at 5-5 and then take a 7-5 lead on a reversal.
Lookingbill, who had upset No. 1 seed Hyrum Hopkin in the semis, was up on Burgos too before the Greybull standout stuck him for a pin.
Redland and Bernstein didn’t have to work nearly as hard, as their brackets at 220 and 285 were sparse, in terms of competition. In fact, Bernstein didn’t wrestle until the semis, when he made quick work of West Homewood of Rocky Mountain to earn a berth in the final opposite Jose Gonzalez of Wyoming Indian. That one ended the same way with a Bernstein pin that secured his region title.
Redland’s road to the final included two quick pins — each of them coming in the first period. That set up another encounter with Patrick Forster of Shoshoni, and while Redland didn’t get the pin, he dominated, winning 6-0.
By winning their weight classes, the G-R trio assured themselves of being on the opposite side of the state bracket from the No. 1 seeds from the East Region, meaning the earliest they could clash would be in the final.
That won’t be the case for Hill and Edeler, who lost tough matches in their regional finales and will have to beat a No. 1 seed from the other side of the state in order to make it to the finals in Casper.
Hill, wrestling at 138, was impressive in his first two matches, winning one by pin and the other by majority decision, before running into Macen Petersen of Cokeville. The No. 1 ranked 138-pounder in 2A, Petersen emerged with the 9-0 win. To earn a rematch with Petersen, Hill would likely have to go through Moorcroft’s Toby Reynolds, who is 41-9.
Like Bernstein, Edeler didn’t have a match until the semifinals. In it, “He went out like a man possessed,” said Sanford, noting that a pin in 3:01 of Raustin Grandy of Cokeville was “an awesome achievement” for the GHS senior. In the final, he faced Sterling Baker, a Dubois wrestler with a sparking record of 40-2. Edeler was up to the challenge, and was within striking distance in the third period (5-0) when Baker notched a pin.
Nelson also had a big weekend for G-R at 113 pounds, winning two of his four matches to earn a trip to state. Sanford said the key win was his first one, a pin over Mat Dillon of Shoshoni. “He really came out like he needed to,” said Sanford, noting that Dillon was the No. 4 seed. “He had beaten us before, but we put him on his back and stuck him. It was a great way to start the tournament for Tre.”
Nelson also earned a win over Tia Hampton of Wind River, which was sandwiched between losses to Vincinzo Castle (in the semifinals) and Luciano Castle (in the third-place match), both of Thermopolis.
“Placing was what Tre really needed to do — and he did it by wrestling a good tournament,” said Sanford.
Weight by weight
G-R was open at 106, 170 and 182.
Jorge Carmona, the No. 5 seed going in at 120 pounds, went 1-2 and did not place, although he did qualify for state. Ditto for Marshall Gibbs, who went 1-2 and didn’t place at 126. Ryan Peoples rejoined the lineup at 132, and he proved his worthiness, winning two of his four matches. Sanford said he had hopes all three — Carmona, Gibbs and Peoples — would make it into the placing round.
Dylan Roberts lost his two matches at 132, and was unable to break through in a wrestle-off held Saturday for one of the extra state berths, which was available because only seven wrestlers were entered at 132 in the East Regional.
Ashton Wollam went 1-2 at 138 and qualified for state.
Nick Schlattmann wasn’t as fortunate at 145, going 0-2.
Chase Peoples advanced on two byes, but lost his only two contested matches at 145. He did, however, qualify for state.
Tyler Wollam, at 152, turned in a nice performance in “a tough weight class,” according to Sanford. Wollam lost his first match, but then pinned his next two foes before being ousted by Ellis Toomer of Cokeville in the consolation semifinals. “He really battled and earned his spot at state,” said Sanford.
Anthony Eibert was the hard-luck case for G-R. After showing promise during the regular season, he found himself in a tough spot at regionals after losing his opening round match to Colter Viehweg of Cokeville. Eibert needed to beat Jacob Winterholler of Lovell to advance to state, and was up by seven points late when he got put on his back and pinned.
Billy Jones qualified at 220 pounds, going 1-2. His one win was a good one, as he pinned Robert Logan of Rocky Mountain in 2:05.
G-R will head to the state tournament in Casper with a goal of winning a trophy. Moorcroft, the beast of the East, is the prohibitive favorite, with Cokeville lurking, among a pack of several other contenders which includes G-R.
“We needed to set ourselves up just a little better,” said Sanford. “We needed nine guys to place, not just six.”
by nathan oster
Seniors Kason Clutter, Payton Gonzalez, Logan Jensen, Paul Stewart and Bryce Wright couldn’t have written a better script for the final home game of their career.
Coach Jim Prather penciled all five into his starting lineup Friday night against Tongue River — and the group delivered, building a 14-1 lead before Prather ever went to his bench and setting the tone for what would be a 71-38 Greybull victory.
The win capped a 19-3 regular season for the Buffs.
“We haven’t always started seniors just because they are seniors on Senior Night,” said Prather. “But this was a year where Coach (Nolan) Tracy and I felt like these guys had put in a lot of time and effort into our program.
“They have had a tremendous team-first attitude through the season and during their times at GHS. In short, they earned the start. They deserved it.”
Clutter finished with 18 points, nine boards, and seven assists to lead the Buffs. He also grabbed nine rebounds and dished out seven more assists, giving him 153 for the year. Clutter needs just seven more to pass Travis Sylvester, whose 159 assists in 2012 are the most of the Prather era, which began in 1999.
Gonzalez went out with 10 points, Stewart with eight, Jensen with six and Wright with four, as the seniors accounted for 46 of the team’s 71 points.
The Buffs had another good shooting night, hitting 52 percent from the field, and had only 12 turnovers, six fewer than they had against the Eagles when the two teams met earlier this season in Dayton.
“When you only have 12 turnovers, you’re getting good shots at the basket and executing at a high level, it’s a tough combination for an opponent to overcome,” said Prather.
The regular season is, of course, just act one of a three-part play. But going 19-3 and finishing unbeaten in league play is a quite an accomplishment in itself.
“I congratulated the boys on a nice regular season, and I feel like since the Wyoming Indian game (which the Buffs lost by five in Ethete), they’ve been even more focused than they were early in the year. Their execution has improved. They’re playing better basketball.
“We walked out of that gym (in Ethete) feeling like we really could play with anybody, if we do our things correctly — and lately, we have been.”
The Buffs will be the No. 1 from the Northwest Conference when the Class 2A West Regional tips today in Riverton. The Buffs will take the floor at 7 p.m. at Riverton High School against Kemmerer.
The Buffs beat the Rangers 58-38 at the Big Horn Basin Shootout, but Prather said that means nothing for the rematch. “They have personnel now that they didn’t have then,” he said, referring to Tyler Roberts. At 14.1 points per game, he’s ranked fifth in the Southwest Conference in scoring.
“He’s a senior, 6-3, their best player, and he gives them a dimension they didn’t have the first weekend of the season,” said Prather. “Their size worries me; any time you have guys who are 6-5 (in the case of Tre Deeter, the Southwest’s leading rebounder) and 6-3 (Roberts), they are going to be tough guys for us to guard.
“My job as coach is going to be to convince our kids that what we saw the first time isn’t what we’re going to see this time,” he said.
Kemmerer didn’t have a good year, record-wise, finishing 7-14.
Greybull will play either Lovell or Big Piney on Friday, depending upon the outcome of Thursday’s games. The Buffs won’t need any introduction if it’s Lovell, a team they beat twice during the regular season.
Big Piney, though, isn’t the same team the Buffs clobbered 61-45 on the opening night of the season or the one that two days later was crushed by 1A power Burlington, 56-29. The Punchers have lost only once since that opening weekend, falling by nine at Wyoming Indian, and will enter the regional with a 19-3 record.
“I have a lot of respect for their coach,” said Prather. “There are only a few teams that play like we do. I think it’s a credit to our kids; they buy into the system and do the things we do well to impact how the game is going to be played. Well, Big Piney is very similar to us in that regard. Some of their kids are seniors who have been playing since they were freshmen, when they took some lumps. They qualified for state last year, though, and have played really well all season. If we’re fortunate enough to play them, it will be a big game. But first things first…we need to take care of business against Kemmerer.”
The goal, as always, is simply to win two before losing two.
“Our mission all along has been to be playing our best the final weekend of the season — and for us, we think of that last week as March 6-8, not the end of February. We don’t really worry too much about how we place at regionals, we just want to place.”
Tongue R. 12 8 4 14 — 38
Greybull 22 16 17 16 — 71
TONGUE RIVER — Main 2 0-0 4, Linhart 3 0-0 7, Jefferson 1 0-0 2, Scammon 3 0-2 6, Dockery 3 1-2 7, Schumacher 1 2-2 5, Buller 2 2-4 6, Dean H 0 1-2 1. Totals 15 6-12 38.
GREYBULL — Payton Gonzalez 4 2-3 10, Wyatt Nielson 1 0-0 3, Calder Forcella 3 0-0 6, Kason Clutter 6 3-3 18, Ryan Sylvester 4 0-1 8, Paul Stewart 3 2-4 8, Bryce Wright 1 2-2 4, Logan Jensen 3 0-1 6, Treston Tracy 4 0-1 8. Totals 29 9-15 71.
3-POINT GOALS — Linhart, Schumacher; Clutter 3, Nielson. REBOUNDS — Greybull 33 (Clutter 9). STEALS — Greybull 15 (Clutter, Stewart 3). ASSISTS — Greybull 23 (Clutter 7). TURNOVERS — Greybull 12.
March 2, 1949 – Feb. 25, 2014
Linda Lee Allen Sanders, 64, of Basin died at a Billings hospital on Feb. 25, 2014.
She is survived by her mother Lorraine Allen of Basin; daughter and son-in-law Sherry and Sean Williamson; and grandsons Andrew of Anaconda, Mont., Tyler and Brianna of Charleston, S.C., and Calvin of Basin.
Services will be 2 p.m. Saturday, March 1, at First Baptist Church in Basin.
A full obituary will be published next week.
Dr. L.A. Johnson, 88, died Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014, at South Big Horn County Critical Access Hospital between Greybull and Basin, Wyo., following a short illness.
Dr. Johnson, known as “Doc” to his family and friends, was born Oct. 23, 1925, at Kane, Wyo., to Clarence and Marie Weaver. Adopted as a young child, he was reared in Kansas by Dr. O.S. and Lucille Johnson.
Dr. Johnson attended Campion Academy, a Seventh Day Adventist boarding school, as a boy. He left school and lied about his age to join the U.S. Navy during World War II.
He married Ardis May Rasmussen, a Campion classmate, in 1947, following his discharge from the service. He returned to school and graduated from the Southern College of Optometry in Memphis.
In 1956, Dr. and Mrs. Johnson moved to Cody, where they reared their daughters, Cynthia Johnson Weed (Bill) and Linda Bean (Greg) and ran an optometry practice.
As a young man, Dr. Johnson served in a number of civic positions, including the local cemetery commission and Cody School Board.
He was an active member of the Cody Elks Lodge and Lions’ Club. Doc’s passion, though, was flying. He was a founding member of the Buffalo Bill Flying Club and used his pilot’s license to fly search and rescue, volunteer medical transport and assure that both friends and strangers were safely delivered to their destinations.
Doc loved Wyoming and found great joy in exploring its wildest corners. He fished and hunted throughout the Western states, Canada and Alaska, and was never happier than when he was outdoors.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Ardie, his granddaughter, Elizabeth Anne Weed, his grandson, U.S. Army Sgt. Coleman S. Bean and his longtime companion, Bonnie J. Kelly.
He is survived by his daughters, his granddaughter Rebecca Weed, grandsons Nathan Weed (Amy), Mat Weed (Stephanie), Nick Strickland and Padraic Bean (Kim), and four great-grandchildren, Alexander, Dexter and Madeline Weed and Aubrey Bean. Survivors also include his sisters, Jeanne and Louise, and his brother, Jack.
A memorial service will be held this spring in Cody. Memorial contributions in Doc’s name will be received at Big Horn Federal Savings Bank, P.O. Box 471, Greybull, WY 82426 and will go to the Big Horn County Senior Citizens Center, 417 S. Second St., Greybull, Wyo.
Atwood Family Funeral Directors, Inc. assisted the family with arrangements.
A celebration of the life of Thomas Gerrard Easterly was held Wednesday, Feb. 26 at the Greybull Elks Lodge. Tom, 50, died Feb. 20.
He was born Oct. 16, 1963, in Pierre, S.D., the son of Robert John “Bob” and Constance “Connie” Anne Stephany Easterly. He was the fifth of eight children.
Tom graduated from Raymond Central High School in Valparaiso, Neb., in 1981. He attended South Dakota State University and earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in wildlife science. He completed his post-secondary education in 1989 and began his career as a biologist working in both western South Dakota and southern Wyoming.
Tom moved to Greybull in 1992 where he assumed the position of wildlife biologist for the Department of Game and Fish. Tom focused his efforts on ensuring that the area’s native wildlife species were able to live in a sustainable habitat. Because of his commitment to the maintenance of the county’s wildlife population, Tom served as a key figure in negotiations between landowners, private groups and governmental agencies. Tom played an integral role in several Game and Fish projects in the area, including the release and reestablishment of the bighorn sheep population in Shell Canyon and on Little Mountain, and the introduction of Rio Grande wild turkeys in river drainages throughout the Big Horn Basin. His leadership was also a critical element in investigations surrounding the management and sustainment of the basin’s sage grouse numbers.
Tom was the chairman of the Big Horn Basin Sage Grouse Working Group, one of seven statewide public working groups initiated by the governor. He was also a liaison with the University of Wyoming sage grouse researchers in the Big Horn Basin.
Tom served as a member of Paintrock Basin’s Coordinated Resource Management Group to improve forestry management throughout the county and on the Bighorn National Forest Resource Advisory Council that allocated federal funds for area forest improvement.
Tom also worked with local chapters of Pheasants Forever, and the National Wild Turkey Federation; and was one of two biologists in the Wyoming Game and Fish Department on the National Wild Turkey Federation’s State Technical Committee.
Tom was a true outdoorsman and his passion and enthusiasm reached far beyond his career. He taught hunter safety courses, led community forums to reinforce the need for habitat management, and volunteered on both the Greybull and Shell fire departments. He was active in the Paintrock Hunter Mentor Program and the Worland Outdoor Education Day and met annually with high school seniors to answer questions about the wildlife biologist vocation.
Tom directed youth mountain biking clinics, and performed regular maintenance on bike trails throughout the region as a member of the Wyoming State Trails Council
Tom was a member of Greybull Elks Lodge and held many offices in the organization; served on the Greybull Town Council and was instrumental in the revitalization of the city park’s recreational facilities and athletic fields and the addition of the skate park.
Tom led a full life in his 50 short years. His friendship was selfless, encouraging and unwavering. He was adventurous and always ready to spend a day outdoors with his buddies, whether mountain biking, skiing, hunting or hiking. He was soft-spoken yet stubborn, an independent spirit yet fiercely loyal to his friends.
Tom is survived by his parents, Bob and Connie Easterly of Haxtun, Colo.; four sisters, Debra Easterly of Pocatello, Idaho, Diane Easterly Molloy of Lincoln, Neb., Cathy Easterly Josephson of Firestone, Colo., and Sue Easterly Johnson of Oak Harbor, Wash.; two brothers, Jim Easterly of Arvada, Colo. and Steve Easterly of Appleton, Wis., and many nephews and nieces.
Contributions can be made to the Tom Easterly Memorial and Scholarship Fund, Big Horn Federal Savings Bank, 33 N. Sixth, Greybull, WY 82426.
Memorial services for Eric Matthew “Matt” Ingersoll of Basin will be held at a later date. Matt, 53, died Jan. 31 at the Billings (Mont.) Clinic.
He was born Aug. 26, 1960, in El Paso, Texas, the son of Don and Ella Jane Ingersoll.
Matt enlisted in the United States Navy and served with a submarine division. After his discharge he was employed by the United States Postal Service and drove a truck hauling mail from coast to coast.
Matt moved to Story in 1993 and to Basin in 1994 where he worked for AC Supply, Russell Farms and J&E Construction.
When Matt was healthy there wasn’t anything he couldn’t do or fix.
His father, Don Ingersoll, and a brother, Mark Ingersoll, preceded him in death.
He is survived by his mother, Ella Jane Ingersoll; his children, Ian Dues, Erynne Dues, Christina Ingersoll Byers, Matthew Ingersoll and Jesse Ingersoll; one sister, Mary Louise Harris; one brother, Mike Ingersoll, and five grandchildren.
A celebration of the life of Ned G. Lieuallen will be held Saturday, March 1, at 2 p.m. at the Presbyterian Church in Fort Laramie. Ned, 82, died Feb. 13 in Fort Laramie.
He was born Oct. 27, 1931, in Berthoud, Colo., the son of Beach and Bessie Sloan Lieuallen. He grew up and attended schools in Colorado and Wyoming and graduated from Wheatland High School in May of 1950.
He joined the National Guard on Sept. 11, 1950. He served in the 141st Tank Battalion during the Korean War. He was promoted to tech sergeant in July of 1951, and was honorably discharged from the National Guard in June of 1952. For his service in Korea he was awarded the Korean Service Medal with two Bronze Service Stars, Overseas Bar and the United States Service Medal.
Ned was a true entrepreneur with a pioneer spirit. He was employed by the State of Wyoming as a brand inspector for 10 years. He owned and operated Lieuallen Trenching and owned and operated a local restaurant in Basin, but he was always happiest when he was farming, riding and running cattle.
He is survived by his long-time companion Linda Dunn and her children Robert Dunn of Fort Laramie and Linda Lee Pokorski of Hot Springs, S.D.; his sons and daughter-in-law, Mike Lieuallen of Sheridan, John and Billie Lieuallen of Sheridan, Jesse Lieuallen of Dallas and Shawn Young of Buffalo; two daughters, Michele Lieuallen of Florence, Mont., and Diane Lieuallen of Casper; two step-sons, Kit Moore of Thermopolis and Irvin Moore of Rock-Springs; 14 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.