Daily Archives: July 16, 2014

New uniforms trigger debate over GPD image

by nathan oster

The Greybull Town Council made changing the image of its clad-in-black police department a priority in its 2014-15 budget, earmarking $12,000 for the purchase of new uniforms that are more in line with classic police attire.

Getting to that point, however, is proving to be difficult.

Council members and the town’s police chief, Bill Brenner, butted heads over the issue during Tuesday night’s meeting, when Brenner appeared for the first time in the new gray pants that he ordered for himself and the other members of his department.

Brenner defended the decision, saying he “got little direction from the council,” and that he was “handed money” and “told you didn’t like black.” So he “took it upon himself” to order the pants, choosing gray to go with the black shirts and vests because those two colors have been the traditional colors of the GPD.

Brenner said residents he talked with in the park on the Fourth of July liked the new look.

Councilman Myles Foley offered no comment on the gray pants, but said as far as the vests were concerned, “I thought we were discussing under armor, not the SWAT look.” Foley also stated that he didn’t feel like the council had the opportunity to provide direction on the matter.

Brenner said the color of the protective vests could be changed, but that he and the other members of his department felt safer, more comfortable and more effective in them — as opposed to armor worn under a shirt.

“What I’d like to see,” said Councilman Clay Collingwood, “is a long-sleeved shirt and an inner vest. Something that looks more professional, more like a classic police officer as opposed to a tactical one. (The GPD) shouldn’t be portrayed as a tactical department; it should be a community-minded department. We provided (that direction) in a mission statement, but I don’t see it being implemented.

“The SWAT look needs to go.”

Brenner said he disagreed. “I don’t think it looks like SWAT gear,” he said.

Councilman Bob McGuire said the look of the department is a concern the public has brought to him and other members of the council.   “It’s what led us to request, in unity, that you do the things we asked you to do,” said McGuire.

Ross Jorgensen, the council’s police commissioner, took some of the blame for the miscommunication. Saying he was out of town for much of June due to unanticipated circumstances, he said the council’s wishes may not have been fully conveyed to the chief and pledged to meet with Brenner in the coming days.

Brenner said he has made an effort to do more community-style police work. He and members of the department have participated in a bike rodeo, taught a self-defense class and spoke in area schools about safety, and plans are in the works for a citizens police academy.

“I heard when all this started that we weren’t approachable, but I’m not seeing what you’re seeing, I guess,” said Brenner. “I talked with people in the park, joked with them, for two straight hours on the Fourth of July. I’m not seeing where people fear us. I feel like we are approachable.”

Councilman Myles Foley asked whether Brenner or his officers were doing foot patrols during the day. Brenner said officers walked the streets and visited with people during the Days of ’49, but don’t make a habit of regularly doing so because they don’t want to be very far away from their cars in the event of an emergency or crisis elsewhere in the town.

Collingwood wondered why foot patrols and business visits couldn’t happen during the day, when two officers are often on duty. Brenner said that is the time when he does his administrative work, and that if he’s out walking the streets, his workload would fall upon someone else in the front office, such as Administrator/Finance Director Paul Thur.

Collingwood called for a detailed breakdown of the administrative duties that Brenner performs. Mayor Bob Graham said that information was presented to the council about a year ago as part of a larger review of the GPD. But Jorgensen, the police commissioner, said that the information is available and that he would be happy to provide it to Collingwood.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Officials discuss on floodplain issues

by karla pomeroy

Big Horn County met with Federal Emergency Management Agency and Office of Homeland Security personnel Wednesday.

Prior to the meeting Land Planner Joy Hill said the purpose of the meeting is to clarify FEMA, state and local community roles in floodplain management under the National Flood Plain Insurance Program; to discuss community and property owner liability for floodplain development activities, including emergency measures and flood protection structures; discuss proposed regulation changes and answer questions concerning the NFIP and implementation of totally adopted floodplain management regulations.

Those who were expected to attend include representatives from OHS, FEMA, Big Horn County, Karen McCreery from Sen. Mike Enzi’s office and local legislators Sen. Gerald Geis and Rep. Mike Greear.

The meeting included site visits to areas that have had issues – Wyo-Ben, Mi-SWACO and the Whaley cabin on Beaver Creek Road.

Work to protect the Whaley cabin from flooding this spring was seen on a video on Facebook.

Mi-SWACO is where a landowner has expressed concern about a flood protection berm that was diverting water to their property.

In regard to Wyo-Ben, Hill had reported during the July 1 meeting that Wyo-Ben came to land planning over a year ago with a septic permit and at that time it was not in the floodplain and no development was planned. Today, they are planning some development and about 20 percent of the planned structure is in the floodplain.

“We don’t feel it is worth their time and effort to get a flood elevation certification,” She recommended moving forward to grant the permit.

She added that she spoke to FEMA about moving the area out of the floodplain since nothing changed in the landscape when it wasn’t in the floodplain and now it is. She was informed Wyo-Ben would have to do an elevation survey and go through the formal process to amend the floodplain map.

“This is a business impacted by erroneous floodplain designation,” Hill said.

(Due to press deadline, a report on the meeting from Wednesday will be published next week.)

In other land planning business:

The commissioners approved two simple subdivisions.

The commissioners in the July 1 meeting agreed to allow land planning to provide a letter to Bureau Vista stating they impose no limitations on proposed development of a cell tower. She said Bureau Vista on behalf of Verizon Wireless requested the letter as they are working on adding some antenna equipment to an existing tower outside Burlington.

Hill said, “Due to a lack of building codes and zoning, we do not really have any limitations to impose on this proposed development. Additionally their study had identified that the antennae will be attached to an existing tower and the proposed collocation will not result in any significant alterations to the existing setting or feeling of this historic resource (it is visible from an historic property).”

Hill said the Wyoming State Historical Preservation Office was requiring the letter.

Van Gelder says goodbye to Big Horn 100

by marlys good

It was a sentimental weekend for Tom Van Gelder who was bidding farewell not only to the Big Horn 100, but to his friends and neighbors in Greybull where he has lived for the past 44 years.

Tom and his family came to Greybull in 1970 when he purchased the Greybull Elevator. He and his late wife Arlene immediately got involved with the Canyon Cavaliers riding club, which was the precursor to the Big Horn 100.

Tom recalls, “We were invited to a Christmas party/dinner at Trapper Creek Lodge. During the business meeting I was elected vice-president of the Canyon Cavaliers. And it was at this same meeting that Dale Perkins suggested holding an endurance ride to raise money; that is how it all started. Everyone agreed that that it would be a good idea.

“It was a cool December evening, and I remember standing outside afterward and being asked what I thought (about the endurance ride idea). I said, ‘It will either make or break the club.’”

Canyon Cavalier members held deep, but diverse opinions on the idea of a Big Horn 100. Whether it was this division or some other reason, “Sometime in April the president-elect resigned and I was now the Big Horn 100 president.”

Tom admits he was a greenhorn to endurance rides. “Perkins knew a lot more than I did,” he said, but he was a quick learner and no time was wasted.

Ray Cheatham plotted the 100-mile course up the Big Horns while Tom Goton and others marked the trail and by July 15 the Greybull Standard declared, “Everything set for 100 mile horse ride.” In 1971, horses and riders left the Dresser turn-off north of Greybull at 4:30 a.m., went up to the Big Horns through the Dugway, Granite Pass, Lake Adelaide and then down the mountain to the finish line at the Bluejacket Guest Ranch.

Base camp for the 2014 Big Horn 100 was the Mel Pitcht Ranch, at 3880 Lane 31, Shell. The 100-mile route was essentially the same, but read: “Base camp to first vet check at Horse Creek; to Antelope Butte Ski area, to Battle Creek, around Adelaide, back to Battle Creek and down to the finish line at the base camp.”

Tom was just an organizer the first year. “I didn’t have a horse,” he laughed. But that changed. In the ensuing years he entered the ride 12 times and completed the 100-mile circuit six times.

One ride was especially memorable, he said. “My son (David) and I decided to do the Big Horn. Dave did all the conditioning of the horses, which neither knew much about at the time.

Tom recalls Cecil Dean told Dave, “I’ll tell you how to do it. You use the horse like I use money – a little at a time.”

When Tom and Dave took their horses for the pre-ride vet check, “Dave’s failed to pass the entry test. We had paid the entry fee and that was gone; so David changed horses; we went home, put some shoes on another horse in the pasture, went back and it passed the test.”

As fate would have it, Dave and his “unconditioned” horse finished the ride; Tom and his horse did not.

Tom made a host of friends in his long tenure with the Big Horn 100. He loved the camaraderie, the spirit of the ride, but his greatest enjoyment was “just the riding – being in the mountains.”

For the past several years he has resided at the Bonnie Bluejacket Memorial Nursing Home, but friends and family have seen to it that he gets to the pre-ride and post-ride festivities, assuring that he can still enjoy that camaraderie and meet and greet riders who have returned year after year. This year was no exception.

“Well, since I’m going to be living in Iowa, this was probably my last ride. It was very special to me – it was a little sentimental, you know.

“Tom Noll (from Meridan, Idaho) came up to talk to me. I’ve known him since he first competed. He gave a testimony as to what the ride meant to him and he said, ‘It changed my life.’ That made me feel pretty good.”

Tom was at the pre-ride festivities Friday night, up and out early to enjoy Saturday’s activities, which took him not only to the base camp, but up into the Big Horns, to Antelope Butte, around the loop and back down to base camp that night. Sunday he was out and about again, enjoying the breakfast, the award ceremonies – and saying goodbye to long-time friends.

He admits, “I was pretty used up.” But it was worth it.

Early Monday morning his two older sons, Tom Jr. and Doug, picked their father up at the nursing home and headed down the road to Iowa.

Perhaps Tom’s memories of his “last ride” will help shorten the journey to his new home.

 

 

 

Powers inducted into Naval Academy

McKenna Powers was inducted into the United States Naval Academy in an impressive ceremony held July 1 in Annapolis. Her mother and father, Cindy and Duane Powers, and her older sister Alex were present for the swearing-in ceremony.

McKenna’s big day started at 6:30 a.m. when the first group of recruits went through medical examinations and administrative processing and were issued their equipment.

At 5:25 p.m. the 1,192 plebes marched into the hall to receive the oath of office. Following the ceremony, any recruit who requested a personal swearing-in could do so. McKenna had requested her father, who has a long tradition with the Navy, do the honors. It was a special moment when he received his daughter’s first salute.

After the ceremony the newly sworn-in cadets were allowed 45 minutes with their parents, for pictures, hugs, kisses and goodbyes, after which the entire class marched into Bancroft Hall.

Cindy said, “When those big doors closed, all we could do was turn and walk away, hoping for great things for her future.”

After the ceremony, Duane left for Afghanistan, Alex flew back to Laramie, and Cindy returned to Greybull.

Recruits are cut off from all television and Internet access and are permitted to make just three phone calls (each a strict 30-minutes) in the seven-week stretch (Plebe Parents’ Weekend is Aug. 7 and recruits are allowed off campus).

McKenna’s first call was to her mother Sunday, July 13. In the short time they had, she said she enjoyed her roommates, one from California, one from Wisconsin, and had been in touch with the track coach who encouraged her to join.

“She said she was excited to try out for it and since they have to run everywhere all the time she should be in good running condition.”

 

Joe Molaskey

July 23, 1929 – July 14, 2014

A memorial service for Joe Molaskey will be held Friday, July 18, at 1 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church in Greybull. Joe, 84, died Monday, July 14.

He was born July 23, 1929, in Loveland, Colo., the son of Ralph and Hilda Molaskey. The family lived in Torrington for a few years before moving to Cody in 1941. Joe graduated from Cody High School in 1947.

He attended the University of Wyoming; his education was interrupted when his National Guard unit was activated. Joe served with the 300th Field Artillery in Korea from February 1951 until May 1952.

He returned from Korea and re-enrolled at the University of Wyoming where he met Dorothy Cooper; they were married in September of 1953.

Joe went to work for the Wyoming Highway Department in 1956, was transferred to Greybull in 1961, and retired in 1987.

Joe played football in high school and was a huge sports fan. He coached Little League and Babe Ruth and for many years was a pitcher for the Elks’ softball team.

He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church.

Joe’s parents Ralph and Hilda, his son Michael, brother Edward and sister Hazel preceded him in death.

He is survived by his wife Dorothy of Greybull; son Gary of Prescott Valley, Ariz.; two daughters and sons-in-law, Karl and Marilyn Brauneis of Lander and Bill and Carol Ainsworth of Tulsa, Okla; brother Bill Molaskey of Cody; five grandsons, one granddaughter and three great-grandsons.

Burial will be in the Donald J. Ruhl Memorial Cemetery; a luncheon for family and friends will follow at the First Presbyterian Church.

Memorial donations are being accepted at Bank of Greybull, 601 Greybull Ave., Greybull, WY 82426. Proceeds will benefit the First Presbyterian Church.

Maureen Justine Keily Anderson

March 2, 1928 – June 30, 2014

Cremation has taken and no services are planned for Maureen Kelly Anderson of Thermopolis. Maureen, 86, died June 30 in Thermopolis.

She was born March 2, 1928, in Anaconda, Mont., the daughter of William S. and Catherine Deeney Keily. She and her sister Anna Marie were raised in Anaconda, where she was baptized and confirmed at St. Paul’s Catholic Church.

Maureen graduated from Anaconda High School in 1946. She attended Montana State University in Bozeman and earned her degree in advanced cosmetology in 1949. She worked as a beautician until she married Douglas Anderson, March 3, 1953, at Holy Rosary Church in Bozeman.

While Douglas was managing airports the couple lived in Townsend and Belgrade, Mont. When Douglas started crop- spraying Maureen was his “flagger” in the fields. They moved to Greybull where Douglas flew for Hawkins and Powers and later moved to Basin.

For the past seven years Maureen resided at the Thermopolis Rehabilitation Center.

She enjoyed painting, golfing, fishing and camping with friends.

She was preceded in death by her husband Douglas in 1999, her parents, and her sister Anna.

She is survived by Anna’s children, Douglas’s sister, Harriett Drake in Billings, Mont., and Douglas’s brother, Bruce Anderson in Oregon.

Burial of cremains was at Terrace Gardens in Billings.

 

Olson, Roods winning combo at SSB Invite

by nathan oster

Golfers representing seven different states converged on Midway Golf Club last weekend for the annual Security State Bank Invitational.

The two-man, best-ball tournament is one of the club’s largest events of the year.

Twenty-eight teams competed, playing 18 holes Saturday and another 18 Sunday.

“Everybody had a good time,” said Jim Core, the tournament organizer.

The golfers who enjoyed themselves the most, in all likelihood, were Shawn Roods of Billings and Carl Olsen of Basin, who with a -28 won this year’s net title. With three teams finishing at -23, a scorecard was used to determine second through fourth.

In second was the team of Steve Grosch and Gordon Neumann, both of Worland.

Third went to father-son team of Jim and Clint Core of Boise, Idaho.

Another father-son team, Troy Ford of Arizona and Alex Ford of Colorado, placed fourth.

Fifth place went to a pair of locals, Bob Fink and Chuck Hopkin, who came in at -22.

In the gross scoring, the team of Chris Bundren and Jeff Vail, both of Worland, captured first place with a -13. Tyler Watts and Nick Kasperik of Gillette were second at -9.

Several golfers participated in a derby on Saturday afternoon in which an out-of-town golfer was paired with a local golfer to form seven teams. One team was eliminated on each hole until there was only one left standing.

That turned out to be the pairing of Chris Bundren of Worland and Tom Zierolf.

Nick Kasperik of Gillette and Chuck Hopkin of Basin placed second.

In third was the pairing of Tyler Watts of Gillette and Mike Larchick of Basin.