Monthly Archives: May 2014

Council puts $1,500 toward fireworks

by nathan oster

The fireworks campaign is $1,500 closer to its goal, thanks to the Greybull Town Council.

Councilman Myles Foley, who is leading the campaign on behalf of the Greybull Area Chamber of Commerce, had set a goal of raising $7,500, which is what it would cost for a 15- to 18-minute display on the Fourth of July.

Back when the fire department was putting on the show, the town would earmark $750 for the fireworks show. Since the fire department quit doing it for safety reasons, there haven’t been fireworks in Greybull on the Fourth.

Citing input gained from last year’s community assessment, Foley and the chamber are working to change that. Heading into Monday’s meeting, the chamber had raised, $2,791 — with the largest chunk of that coming from local businesses which agreed to put up $500 apiece.

Foley asked the council for whatever it felt comfortable donating.

Councilmen Ross Jorgensen and Bob McGuire were not present, so the decision came down to Foley, Councilman Clay Collingwood and Mayor Bob Graham.

Graham said he’s heard from some constituents “who have a hard time with us burning up our money” and some who don’t.

Saying the town needs to support celebrations and events, Collingwood recommended giving the chamber $1,500, and when put to a vote, all three men voted in favor of his suggestion.

“This is part of making our community a better place to live, along with everything else we’ve been doing,” said Foley.

With the town’s commitment and some other donations that trickled in on Tuesday, the total raised to date climbed to around $4,300. Collection buckets are current in place around town for residents who would like to donate.

Filing window opens for town, county seats

by nathan oster

The filing period for the offices to be voted upon in the Aug. 19 primary election is now open.

Two of the three seats on the Big Horn County Commission will be up for grabs this year. Jerry Ewen of Shell is the only one of the three not up for re-election.   Incumbents Keith Grant and John Hyde (who was appointed to replace Thomas “Scotty” Hinman) have already announced their intention to seek another term.

All of the elected county offices will also be up for election this year. Department heads who have declared their intentions to seek re-election include Clerk Lori Smallwood, Assessor Gina Anderson, Attorney Michelle Burns and Sheriff Ken Blackburn.

Three of the five seats on the Greybull Town Council will also be up this fall, as the terms of Mayor Bob Graham and Councilmen Bob McGuire and Ross Jorgensen (who was appointed when Graham moved into the mayor’s chair) are all set to expire at year’s end.

Graham, McGuire and Jorgensen have all said they are mulling another run for office. The incumbents whose seats are not up this year include Clay Collingwood and Myles Foley.

The final day of the filing period is Friday, May 30.

To file for the council seats, visit Town Hall.

To file for one of the county positions, you can do so at the courthouse in Basin.




No new qualifiers in Thermop

by nathan oster

After coming up short in Thermopolis, Greybull High School athletes who are bidding for state berths will have one more opportunity to punch their tickets to Casper at this week’s Class 2A West Regional in Lander.

A top-eight finish in an individual event or a top-four finish in a relay will get it done.

“I’m hopeful,” said Coach Jeff Sukut, who saw six of his athletes — Calder Forcella, Kyler Flock, Alex Hebb, Ryan Sylvester, McKenna Powers and Cade Dooley — better the automatic qualifying standards in their respective events during the regular season.

For the rest of the Buffs, it’s do or die time.

Among the non-qualifiers, Sukut said the trio of Sydney Eckman, Logan Jensen and Aftin DeRosa appear to have the best chance of qualifying by placing at the regional meet, which will unfold on Friday and Saturday.

“As always, our goal is to qualify as many as possible,” said Sukut. “I’m not as worried about team points — I just don’t think we have the numbers to earn a lot of team points. But hopefully we get a few more qualified — and hopefully everyone on the team improves their times and distances.”

In addition to 2A, the Lander oval will also be the site of the 1A and 3A west regionals, so it figures to be a busy couple of day. Prelims are on Friday, with finals to follow on Saturday.

The Buffs wrapped up the regular season Friday at the Thermopolis Pre-Regional. Because it was on the weekend prior to regionals, it drew a large field of teams, with more than 20 showing up to compete.

As for his kids, Sukut said it was “kind of like ordering a sweet and sour dish at a Chinese restaurant.” In other words … some good, some not so good. “We had a couple of PRs, but not very many.”

The GHS girls finished 10th with 21 points.

McKenna Powers placed in three events, with her top finish coming in the 300-meter hurdles. She placed second in the event — but only because she stumbled crossing the final hurdle. “She was running a great race and would have gotten first,” said Sukut.

Powers also added fifth-place finishes in both the 200 meters and the triple jump.

Rounding out the GHS scoring was Sydney Eckman, who placed fourth in a personal-best 2:37.16 in the 800 meters. Her time was more than a second faster than her previous best.

Among the other Lady Buffs, Sukut said Alex Foster ran a personal best in the 100 meters and that Aftin DeRosa came within two-tenths of a second of setting a PR in the 200 meters.

The highlight on the boys side may have been the 100-meter dash, as Greybull’s two sprinting standouts, Kyler Flock and Alex Hebb, got to measure themselves against one of the top sprinters in the state in Jace Marx of Big Piney.

Marx won this round, running an 11.23, but Flock wasn’t far behind, finishing second in 11.35. Hebb was sixth in 11.6.   “It was a great race,” said Sukut, noting that after the top two, just 11 hundredths of a second separated third from sixth.

Flock and Hebb placed fourth and fifth, respectively, in the 200 meters — and both joined forces with Calder Forcella and Ryan Sylvester on the 400-meter relay team which placed second behind Thermopolis.

Sukut said the regional and state competitions could come down to Thermopolis, which has the fastest 400-meter relay team in the state, and Greybull and Rocky Mountain, which have been right on the Bobcats tails most of the year.

Forcella placed in both of his field events, taking third in the discus and sixth in the shot put.

Among the nonplacers, Sukut noted that Dawson McEwan ran a personal best in the 400 meters and that Cesar Sosa did the same in the 300-meter hurdles.

The Greybull boys placed ninth in the final team standings.



GIRLS — Lovell 114, Worland 83, Cokeville 78, Rawlins 64, Big Piney 60, Thermopolis 47.5, Meeteetse 33, HEM 28, Wyoming Indian 28, Greybull 21, Burlington 21, Saratoga 14, Shoshoni 14, Rocky Mt. 13.5, Western Heritage Lutheran 13, Wind River 13, Riverside 3, Farson 2.

300 HURDLES — 2, McKenna Powers, 50.89.

800 METERS — 4, Sydney Eckman, 2:37.16.

200 METERS — 5, McKenna Powers, 28.68.

TRIPLE JUMP — 5, McKenna Powers, 31-8 ½.


BOYS — Cokeville 81.5, Thermopolis 77, Dubois 56, Lovell 54, Rawlins 48, Big Piney 47, Rocky Mt. 43, Saratoga 39, Greybull 37, Shoshoni 33, Worland 27.5, Burlington 27, HEM 23, Wind River 21, Riverside 18, Wyoming Indian 18, Meeteetse 9, Farson 4.

100 METERS — 2, Kyler Flock, 11.35. 6, Alex Hebb, 11.6.

400 RELAY — 2, Greybull (Flock, Hebb, Calder Forcella, Ryan Sylvester), 45.47.

200 METERS — 4, Flock, 24.58. 5, Hebb, 24.61.

DISCUS — 3, Calder Forcella, 131-6 ½.

SHOT PUT — 6, Calder Forcella, 40-5.







Holland “Junior” Hughes

June 27, 1927 – May 13, 2014

Graveside services for former Greybull resident Holland “Junior” Hughes of Vernal, Utah, will be held Saturday, May 17 at Donald J. Ruhl Memorial Cemetery in Greybull. Junior, 86, died May 13 in Vernal.

A complete obituary will be printed in next week’s edition.


Priscilla Ann McKinney Dunnum

Dec. 13, 1921 – March 22, 2014

Graveside services for Priscilla Ann McKinney, who died March 22 at her home in Downey, Cal., will be held Saturday, May 17, at 11 a.m. at Mount View Cemetery in Basin.

Lewisia Chapter 16 of the Order of Eastern Star will officiate.


Michael Ray Goggin

June 9, 1942 – May 10, 2014

A celebration of the life of longtime Greybull resident Michael Ray Goggin will be held Saturday, May 17 at 1 p.m. at the Greybull Elks Lodge. Mike, 71, died May 10 at his home.

He was born June 9, 1942, in Winfield, Kan., the son of Raymond Leroy and Clara Edith Westcott Goggin. He married Bonnie Jeann Allen Feb. 14, 1965, in Coronado, Calif.

Mike was an engineer for the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad for over 30 years.

He was preceded in death by his wife Bonnie on Dec. 19, 1999; his son Wray; his parents, Clara and Raymond; one brother, Donald, and his sister, Bonnie Jo.

He is survived by two daughters, Nicole and Shannon; his adopted daughter, Mary; partner, Lynda Umburger; two sisters, Janet and Theresa; two granddaughters and two great-grandsons.

Undone tasks, grandkids await for Weekes

by marlys good

Francie Weekes is retiring from her job as speech and language patholigist in the Greybull school district, but she won’t be moving far from her roots.

Francie, the daughter of John and Madeline Oleson of Emblem, was born in St. Luke’s Hospital right here in Greybull, raised on the family farm at Emblem, received her education in Greybull and graduated from Greybull High School in 1970. “It took two school buses to get all the kids into Greybull,” Francie recalls.

One year spent at Northwest College in Powell was followed by three years in BYU where she graduated in 1974 with a double major in speech pathology and elementary education. She returned “home” and signed her first teaching contract — to teach at the one-room school at Emblem.

She asked for a release from her contract to serve an 18-month mission in Venezuela for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Se returned to work as a speech pathologist in Thermopolis; married Ken Weekes and moved to Ten Sleep where she taught GED night classes.

This was followed by a move to Worland where she and Ken established Ken’s Ag Center. In addition to helping establish the business, Francie worked for Absaroka Headstart and the Children’s Resource Center as a speech pathologist.

In 1993 Ken and Francie, daughter Jill and son Matt, purchased her parent’s farms, moved Ken’s Ag Center to Greybull and put down more roots.

In 1994 she returned to the Greybull school district as a full-time speech pathologist. “In a family meeting we asked our children if they wanted a working Mom. They thought it would be wonderful. They wouldn’t have to ride the bus to school,” she laughed. It was a double blessing because Francie “loved working in the same place they were.”

As the SLP, Francie worked with students in kindergarten through the age of 21 in four areas of communication: articulation, language, voice and stuttering. The students were a joy. “I love to teach students and watch the progress they made from initial evaluation until they exit the program,” she said. “I learned that early intervention is an important key to success. It is very satisfying to work with students who could not speak intelligibly and then seeing them exit the program.”

Francie said she has been privileged to work with wonderful students and staff, and the two paraprofessionals who have worked with her during the past 20 years – Darlene Cheatham and Deb Crist. “They were vital to the success of my program.”

Francie said the 2013-14 year “was one of my best years ever. However, I have things to do. I want to accomplish tasks I have postponed for some time.” She is looking forward to have time to spend on researching family history, “Temple attendance, working with my husband, and spending time in Utah with my brother, John Oleson and sister Cheryl Stott.”

Francie and Ken are also looking forward to spending more time in Buffalo, visiting their son-in-law and daughter, Jake and Jill Wright, and grandchildren Grace, Ava, Torrun and Levi.

‘“We have built a cottage across the mountain and will be there often,” Francie said, “to just enjoy watching them grow up and participate in a multitude of activities.”



Bandits drop close ones on opening weekend

by nathan oster

They didn’t necessarily get the outcomes they wanted, but the members of the South Big Horn Little League’s minors team got something every bit as important last week, as they went through the experience of playing their first officially sanctioned Little League games.

Big Horn Federal is sponsoring the team of mostly 8-, 9- and 10-year-olds, who are going by the name of the Bandits.

Game one was Thursday at the Art Schutte Sports Complex.

The Otto-Burlington team was the opponent.

The game went four innings, with Otto coming out on top 4-3.

Manager Ken Wright wanted it to be a learning experience for his team, so he used a different pitcher in each inning, with Isaac Gayton, Coby Henderson, Weston Adams and Cale Wright each working a frame.

“I wanted them all to get a taste of it,” he said.

There wasn’t a lot of hitting. So early in the season, pitchers for both teams struggled to find the strike zone, which meant a lot of walks — and a lot of base stealing. Wright said it was to be expected.

“Realistically, the whole team is new,” he said. “Last year we were supposed to have two games — and we didn’t even get both of those in. So by Little League minors standards, it was the first game for all those kids. Overall, I think it went pretty well”

Beto Diaz-Rios and Cale Wright were credited with Greybull’s only hits.

On Saturday the Bandits played in Lovell. Again it was a four-inning affair. And again, it was close.

“It was 6-6 with two outs and two strikes on their batter in the bottom of the fourth” when things went south for the Bandits. Lovell plated six runs before the final out of the inning was recorded to win 12-6.

The same four pitchers worked the Lovell game.

Offensively, the Bandits got a pair of hits from Cale Wright, as well as an inside-the-park home run by Weston Adams.

It was Opening Day for the North Big Horn Little League, so the games were only part of the fun, Wright said. Some members of the majors team participated in a Hitter’s Challenge and there was a bouncehouse and games for the youngersters.

Opening Day for the South Big Horn County Little League will take place Saturday, May 17. Plans are still being finalized for that. Before then, the Bandits will get in several games, starting today (Thursday, May 8) at 5:30 p.m. in Otto. On Saturday, May 10, the Bandits host Lovell starting at 10 a.m.



Governor talks economic development, flooding

by barbara anne greene

Council members, mayors, town manager and clerks from Greybull, Basin and Manderson met Gov. Matt Mead at Greybull Town Hall Wednesday to discuss the ice jams that affected the towns and county in March.

Greybull Mayor Bob Graham opened the meeting by thanking the governor for coming. Mead, who was joined by his policy analyst Colin Mckee, addressed the group, then opened the floor for questions.

“2011 as you recall was a bad flood year,” said Mead. “We spend a lot of money as a state.”

Mead said the average moisture level in the state is higher now than it was in 2011. Big Horn County is No. 1 in the state right now in the terms of flooding. “We are very concerned about it. With what happened with the ice blockage the guard packed over 100,000 sandbags,” he said. “They didn’t have to deploy all of those. I’ve told the guard and Homeland Security the issue on these floods is there is no use in putting out sandbags after the fact. “

He said they are going to be very aggressive and hit spots hard if it looks like there is going to be a problem. Even though the weather may change, he will be O.K with the criticism. “What I’m not O.K. with is for us not to do everything we can before the water hits,” he said. “You all let us know if it is coming and we will be there.”

Mead anticipates that fires will be an issue this summer. “When you have good spring moisture you are going to have big summer fires. There is going to be a lot of material out there. We are already planning for fire season just in case.”



Mead said two budget sessions ago he requested and received $155 million dollars in funding: An initial $135 million plus an additional 20 million for the supplement budget.

“When we went into this budget session, we did an analysis of what our revenue was and I felt very comfortable when the counties, municipalities and others said they wanted about $174 million. We rounded that up to $175 million.” He went on to say there was some doubt during the legislative session on whether it would be approved but it was.

While it may be good news, he said that once it is spread out, no town, county or municipality is getting a huge boost. Revenues for Wyoming are ahead of forecast per Mead so there will be another chance to look at the budget in a supplemental session but he wants people to keep in mind that the $175 million is more than the budget and supplement budget from two years ago.

“We are starting off in a better place as it comes to local funding,” he said. “I will continue to push for that. It is also my belief we recognize statewide all the different coffee cans we have depending on the market $16-17 billion dollars in savings. And for a state of 580,000 give or take, that is a lot of savings.”

Mead cautioned that while this is serving the state very well, the market is the market and no one can predict what is going to be.



Mead said while savings are great the money also needs to be invested in to infrastructure…roads, sewers, bridges have value every day and add to the economic development and safety. “I will continue to push that issue on local funding.”

David Cooper, mayor pro-tem of Basin, thanked the governor for his support of the towns and the monies for infrastructure. Mead talked about how across Wyoming there are water systems that are 50 to 60 years old with tile pipes. “Remember our economic development priority one is not recruiting new business. Priority one is keeping the businesses you have. They will not stay if they can’t get water.”

He recently traveled to Alberta Canada to see an industrial park that is roughly 300 square miles. The Canadians had an area they wanted to put infrastructure into and invite industry to come in. Everything from refineries to petrol chemical issues. Having them in close proximity would be beneficial. The example the governor gave was, “If you have one plant here and one in another part of the country, this plant may have a waste product that it has to deal with in an environmentally friendly way. But that other plant over there may consider it feed stock.” By co-locating many types of industries you get the advantage of having what may be waste to one being useful to the other. “The symbiotic value of having them together in a place where they can help each other with many different things including innovation, technology and workforce”.

Mead said he had visited with some legislators last session and the state is trying to move forward with this idea. While they don’t have a location or size selected yet, the idea of keeping the processing of Wyoming’s minerals (bentenite, oil, coal, uranium) in state instead of shipping out for processing would add value to those products. “When you add value to the products you add value to the economy and strength of jobs,” he said.

They are going about developing the process of site selection, what is the state’s role and what does the state want to see. Mead said they will be inviting private industry to be involved in the process.



In Mead’s view coal is under attack by the federal government. “It is problematic. The problem partly starts with a fundamental lack of knowledge by the public as a whole about where energy comes from.” Forty percent of the electricity in this country is produced by coal, said Mead. He went on to say coal is a wonderful resource that provides inexpensive fuel and if coal is taken out of the mix it is going to be individuals not companies that pay for that. “The cost of everything will go up. Food, transportation, housing costs.”

Mead spoke about the Visual Haze Rule which is an act from the federal government that said they are going back to a point in time and are going to look out and say this is what the air looked like. “It is not a health standard. It is not a safety standard. It is what you can visibly see in the air.”

“The western states said they were going to go back and we want the air to look like it did at that point in time.” This happened prior to Mead taking office. Wyoming began working on a state implementation plan on how to get to that point. The state came up with a plan and presented it to the federal government last year. It was rejected and the feds said Wyoming had to have the federal plan. “The difference between the state plan and federal plan is that the state gets to the same point a couple of years later but during that period of time what you visibly can see there is no difference.” The other difference between the plans is that the federal plan cost hundreds of millions dollars more, according to Mead. “Company A isn’t paying for it. You’re paying for it. I’m paying for it. The economy is paying for it and the manufacturing are paying for it”

“We will be in litigation on this undoubtedly.”

Mead said the state already has already seven or eight law suits against the EPA.



Mead said he asked the legislature for $15 million for an integrated test center, which they granted. “The state will build the facility near a coal plant and get the stream off the plant. Rather than saying this is pollution, we tell these scientists find a use for it. We know it has CO2 in it. We know enhanced oil recovery is important. What else can we use that for?”



Another issue with the EPA is what they did on the Wind River Indian Reservation. “I respect the tribes have a point of view on where the boundaries are. But what bothers me about what happened there is that the EPA came into the state of Wyoming without notifying me, without notifying any state officials and said we are redefining the state boundaries by an excess of a million acres.”

“They notified us after the fact. So you get a clear picture this is a regulatory agency. This is not congress. It is a regulatory agency coming into the state of Wyoming and redefining state boundaries. This is an issue that should be paid attention to by citizens across the country.”



“We have had some remarkable success working with the legislature to expand broadband connectivity speeds across the state of Wyoming.” Connectivity can be a huge equalizer with telemedicine, tele-education and telecommuting. “I have pushed that and I can tell you that companies recognize what Wyoming has. Microsoft has upped their ante in Wyoming to 500 million dollars. They do it because we have low cost electricity, low cost connectivity and a good work force. They do it for cooling cost … cause everyone can tell you Wyoming is cooler than Texas.”




Barry Bryant, president of the Greybull chamber and superintendent of Big Horn County School District No. 3, brought up how the chamber is opening a Museum of Flight.

“Our biggest resource untapped here is tourists. We wave at them when they go by and wave at them when they come back by,” said Bryant, who said there may be an application to the SLIB for funding the museum.

“I would be excited about that,” said Mead. “Just flying in today I was looking at those planes, with tourism being our second largest industry.”

Last week he attended the Wyoming Chamber Partnership’s award banquet. “Part of my discussion there was I can go through where Wyoming is economically and we appreciate the chambers support across the state.”

“Economic development through tourism is huge. Remember two years ago when natural gas prices were falling through the floor. As a matter of fact we had meetings where people said you are going to have to pay to get rid of natural gas. That was the state of this great recession. But that same year tourism cut this trend line that was straight up. It is a nice sustaining industry in Wyoming.

“I’ve added dollars to tourism because it isn’t just the direct dollars from tourism. A lot of people that went here on their honeymoon or vacationed here three years in a row they chose Wyoming. It is nice to be chosen.”



“Landfills are going to continue to be an issue,” said Mead. The state has set aside $45 million with $17 million available now to help with landfill closures. The strict requirements make it hard for small communities to come up with the match, said Mead. He suggested that the Wyoming Association of Municipalities look at the requirements to see if they are too restrictive. Big Horn County has been recommended for a grant and loan to close the south end landfill and build a transfer station. (This application was approved by the SLIB on May 1)



Manderson Mayor Randy Brown expressed his concern about the damage done to the dike during the ice jams. The town has sent a request to the SLIB for an emergency grant. The repair will take $975,000. (The grant was approved on May 6)

Greybull Mayor Bob Graham asked the governor what he could do to get the National Guards C-130s in Cheyenne brought to Greybull for repair at B&G Industries. Mead said he didn’t have a good answer but has talked about the issue with some of the powers involved in that process. “Part of the guard is funded by the federal government. There are certain things on the rules. I don’t know exactly where we are at on this but I will make a note and try to get back to you with a better answer.”

Commissioner Keith Grant discussed a meeting with the Forest Service. “The biggest issue with haze is forest fires. The federal government won’t recognize that.” Mead agreed and said he has testified about the haze issue in Cheyenne at a regional haze hearing. “Which point in time you choose for regional haze allows you to manipulate everything afterwards. Who says what the right visibility is and the standard? It is so loosie goosey on what they are trying to do. “

“In mentioning that it not just regional haze. You need to do more in managing your forests.” Mead noted that the healthiest forest in Wyoming is in the Black Hills where they have had active timbering for over 100 years. “There are more trees today than there was 100 years ago. That shows what active management and responsible timbering can do.”

Mead said he has been working with the legislature to find a way for the state to help to manage the forest. The forest service and BLM have indicated they are not getting the staff they need on the ground. “Particularly in the southern portion of the state where a sawmill is opening back up in the Saratoga area. If that is the stall, you don’t have the manpower. It is in our interest to help with the manpower so we can have more active timbering in that area.”

Commissioner Jerry Ewen expressed a concern about the access to public lands. “We just finished up our statewide county commissioner meeting last week and an item that is more and more central to our conversation is our concern about the access to the public lands,” said Ewen. “That is our life blood. Our access to the reserves, resources of public land. There are more and more layers of control being established. Which pretty much means access becomes more and more limited.” Ewen said there is movement to begin the process to resume the control over public lands. He asked the governor where he stands on this.

“Federal land management issues are so complex.” Mead gave the example of how last spring the east entrance to Yellowstone was going to have a delayed opening because there was no money to plow, according to the Park Service. They blamed the money shortage on the sequester. The Cody chamber raised money to pay for the snowplows and the governor authorized the Wyoming Department of Transportation to come up there.

“Wyoming is a little over 50 percent owned by the federal government on the surface. Utah looked at enabling language for statehood. They have moved forward in saying that these federal grounds actually belong to the state. So the question was, can we do that in Wyoming?” He asked the Wyoming attorney general to look at that. The attorney general’s view was that each state has a little bit different language in terms of statehood. He concluded that Wyoming’s language was not quite as strong as Utah’s. However Wyoming will be watching what happens in Utah.

Mead said in Wyoming probably doesn’t want to take over all federal lands. The examples he gave were Warren Air Force Base and missile sites throughout Wyoming. “We see in checkerboard areas for example southwest Wyoming,” said Mead. “If you can’t afford to manage them let’s look at the state taking over the some of that ground and not only solving a problem. Turning it into an asset that the state can manage well. We have a greater motivation than anyone from Washington and greater expertise. Not only in land issues but wildlife too.”

“We can do it better and we can do it responsibly. If Utah has success we will look at it. We will also need to be prepared because there will be a high expectation that that access will be there and we do the job we said we could do if we take those lands.”

Mayor Graham asked about a state section of land east of Greybull that he feels the town could manage better. “We nominated that land last year to the SLIB for the use for the town of Greybull but there were some issues out there with some clean up. It was stopped at the staff level because of the clean up. It has now moved forward because DEQ gave them a plan to clean that up. It is in the appropriations bill it should go to bid in June. Cleaned up by August.”

Mead said that the state has blocks around the state of 40 acres here, 80 acres there that are only bringing in $200 a year. “We need large blocks of land because it is easier for us to manage. You can actually get a grazing lease on it.” The state should be open to those being nominated for a town, county, municipality or a private to take over. There should be a way to sell or swap this land, he said.








Hello Goodtimes to perform at Hills Alive

by marlys good

Four young Christian men with a love of music, Adrian Melin, Seth Hoblit, Keegen Jenness and Jud Foote, combined their respective talents to form the band Hello Goodtimes and have entered a contest that will take place in July in Rapid City, S.D. at Hills Alive, a huge free Christian event. (Melin and Hoblit are GHS grads; Jenness, the youngest of the foursome, is a junior. All four are members of Grace Southern Baptist Church where Hoblit serves as youth minister.)

Hello Goodtimes, will be playing original inspirational songs written by Melin and Hoblit, guitarists and vocalists for the band. Jenness is the master of the drums and Foote plays bass.

The winner of the contest will be decided by vote. You can listen to their music on:; or listen and vote on:

The four gravitated together through a mutual love of God and music. They started as a praise band; their music ranges from inspirational rock to reggae.

When asked which comes first — the music or the words — Hoblit and Melin agreed that it all starts with the music. As they play and experiment, things begin coming together. Both agree that during this initial process words or phrases sometimes come to them as they are “feeling” their way into the music.

Hoblit said the lyrics “embrace the struggles of everyday Christian living that “Gen YZ” can relate to easily. The two lyricists have collaborated on 13 songs and are still going strong to add to their repertoire.

Hoblit describes Hello Goodtimes, as “a band of strong, young believers that desire to proclaim Christ and praise Jesus with contagious joy in all we do.”