Daily Archives: February 10, 2012

Twenty apply for superintendent vacancy

by nathan oster

With Gary Meredith retiring this year, Big Horn County School District No. 3 has begun the process of selecting its next superintendent.

Dave Haller, chairman of the school board, said the district received 20 applications and that a committee of school employees and community members is now whittling the list to identify the candidates who will be brought in for interviews.

The school board is expected to review the applications when it meets for its monthly meeting on Feb. 14.

Meredith, who sits on the committee, said he is “very pleased with the quality of the applicants.”

The school district has taken a different approach to filling this opening.

The last time, when the task was filling the post vacated by Craig Sorensen, the district hired the Wyoming School Board Association to guide it through the search process. That process led to the hiring of Martha Young.

This time, the board opted to go it alone. Rather than hiring the WSBA, the district treated the opening like any other vacancy, running ads on the WSBA website and elsewhere.

When asked about the “reach” of the advertising, Meredith said this approach “worked very well.  There was no issue with that. The ad was posted … and within 24 hours, I had a call from someone in South Carolina.”

The committee overseeing the search, in addition to Meredith, consists of Jim Prather, Sandy Menke, Sara Schlattmann and Paula Scott, all of whom are school employees, as well as board member Jamie Flitner.

Meredith said the committee intends to meet again Friday, Feb. 10 to select a group of finalists. Those candidates will then hand those candidates over to four different committees — school board, school staff, community stakeholders and central office/administration.

The finalists will interview with each of those committees, with the window of those interviews likely being between Feb. 20 and March 9.

Meredith said he hopes to be in a position to make a recommendation to the school board in March.

Former town official arrested for larceny

by nathan oster

Greybull’s former public works director was arrested Friday on multiple felony and misdemeanor counts of larceny by bailee (public servant), some dating back as far as 2007.

Randy Rumpler, 52, made his initial appearance in court Monday. He sat quietly while Judge Randy Royal read the particulars of the charges against him, all of which stem from a months-long investigation conducted by members of the Greybull Police Department and the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation.

Rumpler is charged with two felony counts and two misdemeanor counts, and in court Monday, he entered a plea of not guilty to the misdemeanor charges.

Royal set a $10,000 signature bond for Rumpler and scheduled the preliminary hearing on the two felony counts for Monday, Feb. 13, although all parties agreed that the proceeding would likely be continued to a later date.

The Greybull Town Council fired Rumpler in November. At the time, it followed the recommendation of Mayor Frank Houk, who in a subsequent interview alleged that Rumpler had converted assets of the town for personal purposes.

The specifics of those allegations are spelled out in the Affidavit of Probable Cause, which was filed with the court on Feb. 3, the day Rumpler was arrested at his home in the 300 block of Ninth Avenue North.

All four of the charges against Rumpler fall under the header of “larceny by bailee.”

Wyoming statute provides that “a bailee, a public servant or any person entrusted with the control, care or custody of any money or any other property who, with intent to steal or to deprive the owner of the property, converts the property to his own or another’s use” is guilty of larceny.

The dollar amount of the items alleged to have been converted is what determines whether the charge is a felony or a misdemeanor.  If the value of the property is more than $1,000, it is a felony, punishable by imprisonment for not more than 10 years, a fine of not more than $10,000, or both.

If the value is less than $1,000, it’s a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment for not more than six months, a fine of not more than $750, or both.

The first felony count against Rumpler alleges that on or about Oct. 23, 2010, he sold 65 pounds of stainless steel, 760 pounds of yellow brass and 260 pounds of copper belonging to the town to Pacific Steel and Recycling.

The value of those items was set at $1,514.50.

The second felony count alleges that on or about June 6, 2007, Rumpler purchased a 6.5 horsepower industrial generator for the town, then took the generator to his own residence for his own use.

He later allegedly traded that generator, valued at more than $1,000, to another town employee, Mike Packer, for a smaller generator that Packer had purchased from Greybull Building Center. The affidavit further alleges that Rumpler had GBC change the invoice from Packer’s name and had it billed to the town.

The first of the two misdemeanor counts against Rumpler alleges that on or about July 1, 2011, he sold 230 pounds of yellow brass and 72 pounds of copper belonging to the town and totaling $491.90, to Pacific Steel and Recycling, and did so in his own name and not as a public employee.

The second misdemeanor count alleges that on or between May/June of 2009 and the spring of 2011, he took leftover wood flooring that was purchased by the town for installation at the Herb Asp Community Center and installed some of it in the dining room of his residence. He also allegedly traded two boxes of the wood flooring to Bill Roady for two bags of reloading shot.

The affidavit further alleges that Rumpler purchased supplies for his side business of fixing chainsaws with his Town of Greybull credit card.  The items were purchased at Greybull Building Center, and Rumpler has since returned them, according to the document.

The affidavit describes how a tip from a local resident who knew Rumpler and had concerns about him “taking advantage of his position” led authorities to launch the investigation.

According to court documents, Rumpler told the tipster in the fall of 2010 that he planned to take a pile of brass to Billings to sell because the city did not do anything with it.  A short time later, Rumpler allegedly told him that he had sold the brass and used the money to buy things and pay off some bills.

Rumper allegedly made comments to this person that he felt the town “owed” him because he was a salaried employee and worked a lot of overtime and was not compensated for that time.

As part of the investigation, DCI agent Juliet Vibe interviewed Greybull Recreation District Director Chris Waite last December about the wood flooring that would become central to one of the two misdemeanors against Rumpler.

Sometime during the winter of 2008 or spring of 2009, Rumpler measured the bathrooms and roller rink storage area for new flooring.

That flooring was installed in May/June of 2009 by the Rocky Mountain Work and Witness team, which came to the community and volunteered its time on various projects.

Waite recalled that there were “five to six” boxes of flooring leftover, and that those boxes sat at the Community Hall for quite some time before Rumpler sent a town employee over to retrieve them.

In the spring of 2011, when the recreation district was planning to put new flooring in the front entrance to the skating rink, Waite contacted Rumpler to see if the leftover flooring was still available.

Rumpler allegedly informed him that it had been used and there wasn’t any left.  Waite proceeded to order additional flooring for the entryway.

The wood flooring that allegedly was not used in Rumpler’s home was later traded to Bill Roady in exchange for two bags of reloading shot.  Roady insisted to Agent Vibe that he did not know how Rumpler had come to acquire the flooring.

John Frentheway, the deputy Big Horn County attorney, told Judge Royal that he did not believe Rumpler was a flight risk and would appear in court to answer to the charges against him.

Rumpler’s attorney, Adam Sisk of Cody, agreed, saying that Rumpler was aware “for quite some time” of the potential for charges to be brought against him, and that there was “absolutely no risk” that he would leave and not return to court.

“He has already spent three nights in jail, and he knows the consequences of not coming back,” said Sisk.  “Plus he has no criminal history.”

Sisk asked that Rumpler be released on his own recognizance, and while in agreement that he wasn’t a flight risk, Royal still opted to set bond at $10,000.

On a related note, Rumpler has filed an appeal of the town’s decision to terminate him and the hearing on that matter has been scheduled for early March at Town Hall.

Rumpler was a town employee for nearly 25 years, dating back to his hiring in June of 1987.  He became public works director in June of 2007, when he replaced Ron Vanderpool.

Hetzel only placer at Riverton tourney

by nathan oster

Greybull-Riverside didn’t make much noise in the varsity division at the Ron Thon Memorial, producing only a fourth-place finish by 160-pounder Nathan Hetzel and 22 team points in what is widely considered to be the most competitive prep tournament of the season in Wyoming.

Held in Riverton, the Ron Thon attracted 706 wrestlers from 41 Wyoming teams.

Gillette won the team title with 217 points, followed by Cheyenne East (194) and Douglas (159.5).  Lovell was tops among the 2A West teams in the field, taking ninth with 99 points.  Cokeville, with 50 points, ranked 17th.  G-R landed in 25th, getting points not only from Hetzel but also Stephen Kerr in the 138-pound division.

“It was a very tough tournament, but I thought the way we were wrestling was good,” said Coach Mark Sanford, who actually entered the majority of his kids in the junior varsity division. “The thing is, at that level, you cannot make big mistakes. Sometimes, you can’t even make little mistakes.  And you have to wrestle the full six minutes…you can’t let up.”

Sanford said the effort was there, and were it not for an injury to Gabe Villegas, it would have gone down as a positive, learning experience for the Buffs.

If there was a downer, it was the Villegas injury. After an opening-round bye, he was engaged with his first opponent, and wrestling well, when he suffered what appeared to be a dislocated elbow. He was taken to a hospital and checked out. His status moving forward is uncertain, Sanford said.

Hetzel was the team’s top finisher.  The No. 4 seed going in, he opened with a pin of a Star Valley opponent, then needed to face his old nemesis, Jacob Beck of Lovell. As he did at the Greybull tourney, Hetzel came out on top — although this time it was much closer, with Hetzel surviving 7-5 in overtime.

In the semifinals, he ran into Tanner Olson of Gillette. Olson came out on top 7-1 and went on to win the title.  Hetzel, though, came back nicely, defeating Tyler Patterson of Powell 6-4 to earn a spot in the third-place match. In it, he got pinned by Lane Reed of Douglas in 3:57.

“He hit the No. 1 and the No. 3 seeds — those are the only two kids who beat him,” said Sanford. “I was pleased with Nate, especially since he really wasn’t feeling all that well going in.”

Sanford also had high praise for Kerr, who went 2-2 at 138 pounds and just missed earning a spot in the place matches.  “He went on a nice little run on the backside” after losing to the No. 4 seed,” Sanford said. His victories came over wrestlers from Rawlins and Worland.

“Not a bad showing for Stephen, although it would have been great if he could have gotten one or two more wins,” Sanford said.

G-R’s other varsity wrestlers went two and out.

Matt Grovenstein, the team’s 120-pounder, lost to the No. 1 seed, then fell victim to “walking into a nice headlock” in a match-up with a wrestler from Green River.

At 132, Levi Kelly drew an opponent from Evanston, and although he jumped out to an early lead, he couldn’t hold it and lost 17-4.  Kelly — and other Buffs — learned the hard way that Evanston kids wrestle very well from the bottom position, Sanford said. Kelly also lost his second match, falling to a Glenrock wrestler.

Luke Zeller found himself in “probably the tournament’s toughest weight class,” with “a lot of quality kids in the mix there, ” according to Sanford. The No. 3 seed going in, Zeller lost to a kid from Evanston 10-6.  The match was tied 6-6 when Zeller went for the win, but got taken down and gave up a two-point nearfall. Zeller then lost to “a quality kid” from Riverton.

Zeller wasn’t the only 2A wrestler to struggle in Riverton.  Nathan Grant of Lovell did not place either.  Jake Jones of Rocky Mountain, finished behind both Grant and Zeller in Greybull, was the only one of the elite 2A 152-pounders who placed, and he finished sixth.


JV division

Several Buffs had standout performances in the junior varsity division.

At 112, Kyle Strasheim went 2-2 and came within a one round of placing.

Chris Ogg “wrestled really well,” winning six of his eight matches to finish fourth at 120.  He opened with a pin, lost 6-5 to a Sheridan kid who had beaten him earlier in Powell, then rallied “on the backside” to win five straight before dropping his finale in the third-place match.

Jesus Burgos went 3-2 at 138 pounds but did not place.

Spencer Redland won four of his five matches at 170 pounds and placed third.  The only one he lost, though, was a big one.  That’s because his opponent was a kid from Dubois, Jesse Hawk, who he had split with earlier in the season.  With the win, Hawk has now won two of the three matches and will likely get a higher seed at regionals. That said, the loss should not overshadow what was otherwise a very good effort by Redland, according to Sanford.

Zane Edeler was a real force at 220 pounds.  By weekend’s end, he was kicking himself for his only loss.  After beating kids from Kemmerer and Cheyenne East, Edeler found himself up against a Powell kid in the semifinals — and was winning the match 10-3 when he got put on his back and pinned. The Powell kid went on to win the JV title, while Edeler wiped the mat with his next opponent, needing less than a minute to register the pin and earn the third-place finish.

Trenton Kelly, the team’s heavyweight, went two and out and did not place.

G-R closes out the regular season with a 6 p.m. dual today (Thursday, Feb. 9) in Cody.


Buffs win the big ones, fall in Ethete

Neil Getzfreid pulls down a rebound in the Riverside game.

by nathan oster

Coming off a string of “lackluster” performances, Coach Jim Prather and the Greybull Buffs entered a crucial tripleheader against Riverside, Lovell and Wyoming Indian last week knowing that they needed to start building momentum for the upcoming Class 2A West Regional in Riverton.

By the end of the weekend, they had done just that, winning the two games that mattered most — 50-47 over Riverside on Thursday and 60-58 over top-ranked Lovell on Friday — and giving Wyoming Indian all it wanted before faltering late and losing 82-63 Saturday in Ethete.

In the process, the Buffs improved to 14-6 overall and put themselves in prime position to lock down the conference’s No. 2 seed for the regional tournament.

“Absolutely, it was a successful weekend,” said Prather. “We got the two games we needed — the conference games — and we played better than we had in a long time.”

The weekend did not start well, however.

Facing a Riverside team they had clubbed earlier in the season, the Buffs came out flat. Two minutes in, all five starters were on the bench.  “In a game as important as that one, I fully expected the kids to come out and play with the intensity and focus that generally characterizes our team,” Prather said of the starters’ benching.  “I didn’t feel like we had that early on. We had some defensive lapses, and some poor decisions on defense.

“I’ve learned in my years of experience that there’s one thing that captures the attention of athletes — and that’s playing time.  The other attempts and methods hadn’t worked too well up until that point.”

The “second five” of Wyatt Good, Brady Shoemaker, Paul Stewart, Payton Gonzalez and Edward DeCabooter played the majority of the minutes in the first quarter — and played well. Although they trailed 17-8 after one, the Buffs were in the process of “righting the ship,” Prather felt.

The momentum didn’t really begin to swing, though, until the 7:00 mark of the second when Prather reinserted the trio of Kason Clutter, Austin Frazier and Travis Sylvester.  When they checked in, Riverside led 19-8.

The Buffs immediately went on a 10-3 run to get back within four, at 22-18.

That set the stage for a three-point bomb at the buzzer by Frazier that pulled the Buffs to within one, 27-26.

“That really gave us momentum and a big emotional lift,” Prather said. “To have played as poorly as we did, and to be down by only one going in, was huge.”

The teams traded leads throughout the second half.  The Buffs pulled away later, however, getting a clutch three-ball from Frazier and then, in the final minute, getting a steal and a bucket by Gonzalez, a field goal from Hayden Goton and free throws from Sylvester and Frazier to seal the deal.

Frazier finished with 18 followed by Clutter with 10.  Riverside got good production from its top guns, as Brynnt Wood netted 17 — none in the fourth quarter, however — and Clint Getzfreid chipped in 16.

Prather said the key to the victory was defense, noting that his team gave up just 30 points total over the last three quarters. “We played with a lot more tenacity (after the first quarter),” he said.

The Buffs used the come-from-behind victory as a springboard into Friday’s game with Lovell.

“An emotional, hard-fought win like that can do wonders for morale,” Prather said. “For us, it was something we needed. We had been playing some lackluster ball the last couple of weeks. We felt good going into Friday’s game.”

In every season, there are wins … and then there are signature wins.  Greybull’s wire-to-wire, 60-58 win over the No. 1 ranked, and only twice-beaten Bulldogs, will go down as one of the latter.

When the two teams met earlier this season, it was all Lovell. But the rematch was a dogfight, as the Buffs better defended Lovell’s top two scorers, Brandon May and Cody Savage, and were better on the boards and in the turnover column.  Travis Sylvester and Hayden Goton were credited with “manning up” on May and Savage, respectively.

“The entire game was a better reflection of what we expect to do each time out, and that’s to play with tenacity on the defensive end, to get after the boards on both ends — we outrebounded Lovell at both ends — and to play with more confidence offensively.

“It was huge that we hit a couple of shots early and jumped out to an early lead.  The kids seemed to play with more spark and fire after that.”

Playing inspired ball, the Buffs led 17-8 after one and 34-25 at the half.  The Bulldogs made several runs at them in the second half, on several occasions trimming the lead to just a single point, but never took the lead.

The Buffs used a pair of clutch baskets by Clutter — one a three, the other a runner in the lane — as well as four big free throws by Neil Getzfreid to finish off the Bulldogs.  Frazier again led the way with 18, followed by Clutter with 13 and Getzfreid with 13.

Greybull finished with 39 rebounds — 11 by Goton — and 12 assists — six by Sylvester — to go along with only 14 turnovers. Two more telling stats: Greybull shot 42 percent from the field and 62 percent from the line.

“To me, I think (this game) affirmed my belief all year that we are capable of playing with anyone in 2A.  But in order to do that, we have to execute in all facets of the game.  The kids recognized they hadn’t done as well as they could.”

After the two emotional wins, it would have been easy for the Buffs to simply go through the motions Saturday in Ethete. But they went there to win. After one, the Buffs led.  At the half, they trailed by seven. And after three, the deficit was 12.

But Greybull cut the lead to seven, and had the ball, midway through the fourth quarter, but could get no closer. It was too much Wyoming Indian — and John Sounding Sides.

“A phenominal offensive player,” Sounding Sides netted 42 points, which included seven three-pointers.  “He hit a bunch — some contested, some from so far away we maybe didn’t think we needed to guard him,” laughed Prather. “He’s simply a great player.”

This week

The Buffs will close out the conference schedule with a  road game at Rocky Mountain Friday before returning to Buff Gym Saturday for an encounter with Big Horn.

The Griz won the first meeting.  But with their win over Lovell, the Buffs can go a long way toward locking down the No. 2 seed with a win in Cowley. The keys to victory are “finishing inside” — the Buffs missed a number of shots in close in the first meeting — and to take better care of the ball.”

Riverside 17 10 11   9 – 47

Greybull   8 18 11 13 – 50

RIVERSIDE – Getzfreid 5 4-4 16, Herman 3 0-0 8, Miller 1 2-3 4, Johnson 1 0-0 2, Wood 6 5-11 17.  Totals 16 11-18 47.

GREYBULL – Payton Gonzalez 2 1-2 5, Austin Frazier 5 5-6 18, Edward DeCabooter 0 0-2 0, Wyatt Good 0 1-2 1, Kason Clutter 4 0-2 10, Travis Sylvester 0 1-3 1, Neil Getzfreid 3 0-0 6, Hayden Goton 3 0-0 6, Brady Shoemaker 1 1-2 3.  Totals 18 9-19 50.

REBOUNDS – Greybull 31 (Getzfreid 11).  STEALS – Greybull 17 (Gonzalez 5).  ASSISTS – Greybull 13 (Sylvester 5).  TURNOVERS – Greybull 19.

Lovell   8 17 14 19 – 58

Greybull 17 17 12 13 – 60

LOVELL – May 3 2-2 9, McArthur 3 2-3 9, Hinckley 0 0-1 0, May 1 1-2 3, Baxendale 1 1-2 3, Hultgren 2 2-7 6, Clark 6 1-1 13, Savage 6 3-5 15.  Totals 22 11-18 58.

GREYBULL – Frazier 8 2-6 18, DeCabooter 1 0-0 2, Clutter 3 6-7 13, Sylvester 3 0-3 6, Getzfreid 4 5-5 13, Goton 3 0-0 6, Goton 1 0-0 2.  Totals 23 13-21 60.

REBOUNDS – Greybull 39 (Goton 11).  STEALS – Greybull 8 (Clutter 4).  ASSISTS – Greybull 12 (Sylvester 6).  TURNOVERS – Greybull 14.

Greybull 16 18 15 14 – 63

Wyo. Indian 15 28 18 21 – 82

GREYBULL – Frazier 6 3-6 18, DeCabooter 1 0-0 2, Wyatt Good 1 0-0 3, Clutter 8 1-3 20, Sylvester 2 0-0 4, Paul Stewart 0 2-4 2, Getzfreid 4 1-2 10, Goton 0 2-2 2, Shoemaker 1 0-0 2.  Totals 23 9-17 63.

WYO INDIAN – Aragon 4 0-0 8, Clifford 2 2-2 7, Howell 1 0-0 2, Mitchell 2 1-1 5, Longtime Sleeping 1 2-2 4, Spoonhunter 5 0-0 12, Soundingsides 15 5-5 42, Williamson 1 0-0 2.  Totals 31 10-10 82.

REBOUNDS – Greybull 43 (Getzfreid 10).  STEALS – Greybull 4.  ASSISTS – Greybull 13 (Sylvester 7).  TURNOVERS – Greybull 28.

G&F pre-season setting meeting set Feb. 16

The Wyoming Game & Fish Department is increasing efforts to communicate and coordinate with the hunting public beginning with “pre-season setting” meetings this year.  The meeting in Greybull is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 16, 6 to 8 p.m. at the Greybull Town Hall meeting room.

Tom Easterly, wildlife biologist from Greybull, said, “Typically, we hold our hunting season meetings after we’ve already formulated the hunting seasons.  This year, we’ll be trying something different.”

“These ‘pre-season’ meetings will give the public an opportunity to express their opinions before we develop our opinions. They’ve held several pre-season meetings in other towns across the state,” Easterly said, “and it sounds like they’ve been well attended with some constructive suggestions provided by the public.”  A similar meeting was held Jan. 8 in Lovell.

However, Easterly cautions that, “We’re still forced to operate within the hunting season structures outlined in the application booklets that are already available to the public.”

The 2012 application booklet was released to the public back in late December or early January.  License types and opening dates were printed in those booklets.  Some limitations were also listed.  Easterly added, “We have some wiggle room to get more liberal with the seasons, but we cannot get more restrictive than what was printed in the application booklets.”

“We can’t always change seasons to suit one person’s desires,” Easterly added, “but we have made changes based on public input in the past.  If a person attends a pre-season meeting, they can also attend the regular public meeting to see if we were able to incorporate their recommendations or if not they’ll find out why.”

The regular public hunting season meetings will also be held across the state.  Easterly said that the usual meeting was already scheduled for March 22, also at Greybull Town Hall, 6 to 8 p.m. If someone cannot make the pre-season meeting, they can still visit with Game & Fish personnel about the 2012 season after they’ve been formally proposed and discussed within the agency.

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