Daily Archives: April 6, 2012

Train’s brake, bearing like sparked fire

by nathan oster

Firefighters from Greybull, Basin, Worland the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management were all needed to tame a brush fire that engulfed a large chunk of mostly private land Monday afternoon between Basin and Greybull.

Brent Godfrey, the Big Horn County fire warden, said he got a call around 4 p.m. from a concerned citizen, alerting him to a fire burning along the river bottom. The location was described by dispatch as directly east of the radio station, which lies halfway between Basin and Greybull.

Upon arrival at the scene, Godfrey immediately called out Greybull and Basin firefighters and, fearing the blaze would spread onto nearby BLM land, also notified the Cody interagency dispatch.

The Forest Service and the BLM sent trucks, as did the Worland Fire Department.

“We spent until about 10:30 working on it, making sure it wasn’t going to go anywhere,” Godfrey said early Tuesday afternoon. “They went out again today before noon and have been mopping up the hot spots.”

Godfrey estimated that the blaze consumed “70 to 80 acres” and said it was likely caused by a train with either a bad bearing or a hung brake.  The fire consumed mostly private land belonging to Wilford Brimley.  Some BLM land to the south also burned, he said.

Without the help from outside agencies, the fire would have been much worse, he said.

“That thing could have kept going down the river and we would have still been fighting it this morning.”

Godfrey added, “People need to be extremely cautious when burning right now and they need to make sure they are letting the sheriff’s office of the Lovell Police Department know before they are going to conduct any controlled burns.  The fuel moistures and the fuels are extremely dry and fire departments are having to fight a lot of uncontrolled burns.”


Meyer hired to run county airport

by karla pomeroy

The Big Horn County commissioners appointed Carl Meyer of Greybull as the new airport manager.

Chairman Jerry Ewen said several qualified applicants were interviewed. He said there is no exact starting date as the county is giving Meyer to complete projects at his current employment.

Willie Bridges will continue as acting airport manager, a position he has had since mid 2011 when the entire airport board resigned and the commissioners opted to change management strategies at the county’s two airports.

In other business at the Tuesday, April 3 meeting:

*The contract for the high risk rural road signage project has been received but was not received in time for the county attorney to review prior to Tuesday’s meeting. The commissioners approved a motion allowing the chairman to sign the contract upon review by the county attorney.

*Stefanie Padilla from the county engineer’s office provided a change order for the Basin Library project for new interior entry doors installed with hardware including automatic handicap opening and closing features to match the exterior doors that are already being installed. Padilla said the items were removed in the initial bid to make sure the project came in within budget. The cost of the change order is $10,997.

Padilla reported that work is continuing on the contract with B&G regarding to fuel sales.

*The commissioners asked if anything had been done on removal of the bars in the old county jail where the land planning and engineering office are located. Padilla said some work has been done. The commissioners said they would check with Ken Blackburn who volunteered to remove the metal on his free time and if a schedule can’t be set then the commissioners will contract for someone to handle the project.

*The commissioners approved renewal of several liquor licenses in the county — Hyattville Café, Trapper Creek Lodge, Paint Rock Inn in Hyattville, Oasis Bar near Lovell, The Hideout at Flitner Ranch east of Shell, Dirty Annie’s Country Store east of Shell, Deer Haven Mountain Resort LLC east of Ten Sleep, all retail liquor licenses; Midway Golf Club, north of Basin, for club or limited license; and Antler Inn, Old Shell Lodge, Snowshoe Lodge and Wyoming High Country for retail malt beverage permits.

*The county will be planning retirement parties for Maxine Ruppert, who retired as first deputy in the Clerk of District Court office last month, and will be planning a north end retirement party in August for Charles Fletcher a road and bridge employee for the north crew.

School district’s grad rate at 80 percent

by nathan oster

Greybull High School’s graduation rate dipped to 80 percent in 2010-11, putting it above the state average and squarely on the cutline of the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) graduation rate approved by the U.S. Department of Education.

Only nine of the state’s 48 school districts failed to meet the 80 percent threshold required for AYP.  The ones that didn’t include Washakie 1, Sweetwater 1, Carbon 1, Laramie 1, Natrona 1, Niobrara 1 and Fremont 14, 38 and 21.

According to the Wyoming Department of Education, 5,468 of the 6,857 who were eligible to graduate in the spring of 2011 actually earned their diplomas, which amounted to a 79.7 percent statewide gradation rate.

That is a slight dip from the previous year’s 80.4 percent graduation rate, which was based on 5,416 gradates from a cohort group of 6,735 eligible students.

The release explains that a “cohort graduation rate” is based on a group of students who begin as first-time ninth graders in a particular school year and then graduate with a regular high school diploma in four or fewer years.

The Greybull school district’s graduation rate had been on the upswing since a sharp, one-year falloff in 2008-09, when it dipped to 72 percent.  That year, 36 of the 50 eligible students in the cohort group graduated. But the district bounced back nicely in 2009-10. With a graduation rate of 92 percent (33 graduates, 36 eligible), Greybull ranked first in Big Horn County.

The state’s report for 2010-11 put the Greybull district’s graduation rate at 80 percent, with 36 graduates coming from a cohort group of 45 students.  With that rate, the school district topped the state average, but was below the graduation rates of the three other districts in the county.

GHS Principal Barry Bryant, who will take over as superintendent next year, said he expects the graduation rate for the current senior class to again top 90 percent.  As of Tuesday, he had it at around 92 percent for the 2011-12 cohort.

“The problem is, we are talking about some pretty small class sizes,” he said. “I think we’ll have 42 kids graduate this year … and if you’re missing just a few of those kids, it amounts to a lot (in terms of the graduation rate).”

Bryant said he has made keeping students in school one of his top priorities in his first year at GHS.

“Even one dropout is too many,” he said.  “We want every kid to graduate.”

Bryant said the school board’s goal is a 90 percent graduation rate and that it’s “attainable. But the only way is to stay on top of it. If a kid is not at school, we’re looking and trying to figure out why … we’re not waiting for someone to tell us.”

Buff boys third, girls fourth at Riverside

by nathan oster

The second meet of the season was almost a mirror image of the first for the Greybull High School track team.

Like the Bill Gerrard Invitational, the Riverside Invite was a small meet with just five teams in the field.  One big difference, however, was that this time Lovell, with its 60-plus team members, was in attendance.

“That definitely made it a little more competitive,” said GHS track coach Jeff Sukut, whose boys placed third place and girls captured fourth.  The Bulldogs, who are among the top teams in 2A, won both divisions, racking up more than 200 points in both boys and girls competition.

The Buffs had no new automatic state qualifiers and collected one win during the course of the day, that coming in the 1,600-meter relay. The foursome of Calder Forcella, Jesus Burgos, Chris Ogg and Julian Wiley ran a 4:03.6, which was two-tenths of a second slower than the 4:03.2 they ran on their home track in the season opener.

Sukut also praised his young sprinters, including Fabian Davila who ran second to Burlington’s Ben Mancuso in the 100 meters; and fellow freshmen Forcella and Ogg, who were fifth and seventh, respectively, in the event.

“All the times in the running events were a little off,” Sukut said. “The weather started off really nice…but then the wind came up and it got pretty blustery.  Definitely not as good of conditions as the first meet.”

The Buffs finished two, three and four in the 400 meters, with Wiley running a 57.69, Forcella a 58.47 and Burgos a 58.52.  “Those times should come down,” Sukut said. “When they start running in the 54-55 range, those are decent times (that could place for them down the road).”

Sukut also noted the efforts of two throwers: Oscar Gomez, who finished third in the shot put, and Forcella, who captured third with a personal-best heave in the discus.

The Greybull girls didn’t win any individual events, but Lindsay Kern and McKenna Powers both knocked on the door.

Kern placed second in the shot put, an event in which she AQ’d in week one, while Powers earned seconds in the 800 and the long jump. In the 400, where she AQ’d on her home oval, Powers took fourth.  Her time was a little of — but still better than her best clocking from last season, according to Sukut.

The Buffs were scheduled to compete in Worland on Tuesday and are at the Wind River Invitational in Pavilion today.  GHS will not attend any meets next week while on spring break, although Sukut said he plans to bring the kids back midweek to practice for the homestretch of the season.



BOYS — Lovell 243, Burlington 103, Greybull 91, Rocky Mt. 40, Riverside 36.

100 METERS — 2, Fabian Davila, 12:35.  5, Calder Forcella, 12.82.  7, Chris Ogg, 12.93.

400 METERS — 2, Julian Wiley, 57.69.  3, Forcella, 58.47.  4, Jesus Burgos, 58.82.

110 HURDLES — 5, Wyatt Good, 18.49.  8, Wyatt Neilson, 22.43.

300 HURDLES — 5, Good, 48.46.

LONG JUMP — 4, Wiley, 17-7.

SHOT PUT — 3, Oscar Gomez, 36-4 ½. 4, Aiden Jenness, 33-11.  7, Brady Shoemaker, 31-10.

DISCUS — 3, Forcella, 105-11.  5, Gomez, 101-7.  6, Logan Jensen, 98.  7, Shoemaker, 95-6.

TRIPLE JUMP — 4, Fabian Davila, 36-7 ½.  8, Burgos, 31-0.

1,600 RELAY — 1, Greybull (……….), 4:03.6.


GIRLS — Lovell 245, Burlington 84, Riverside 51, Greybull 49, Rocky Mt. 15.

200 METERS — 6, McKenzie Bollig, 32.68.

400 METERS — 4, McKenna Powers, 1:05.66.

800 METERS — 2, Powers, 2:48.61.

1,600 METERS — 3, Juliana Mendez, 7:39.58.

LONG JUMP — 2, Powers, 14-1 ¾.

SHOT PUT — 2, Lindsay Kern, 32-1 ¾.

DISCUS — 3, Kern, 87-4.

TRIPLE JUMP — 5, Powers, 29-9 ¼.  8, Bollig, 24-9 ¼.

Dodgeball teams raise Make-A-Wish dollars

by nathan oster

Thirteen teams entered the dodgeball arena, but only one survived.

The C Team outlasted the Groganslayers in Monday night’s championship match, and as spectators filed out of the GMS Gym, team members Dawson Forcella, Fabian Davila, Calder Forcella, Brendon Laird, Bryce Wright and Ryan Sylvester celebrated the moment, hoisting the trophy into the air for all to see.

It was a fitting ending to an entertaining night of dodgeball.

Members of the Groganslayers team, which finished second, included Stephen Kerr, Matt Grovenstein, Luke Zeller, Rob Nuttall, Dylan Thornberry and Wyatt Good.

As is always the case, however, the night’s big winner was the Make-A-Wish organization.

The GHS Student Council is raising money for Jordan, a 17-year-old Worland boy. Jordan has a brain tumor, and his wish is to meet Brad Pitt, his favorite actor as well as a well-known philanthropist and humanitarian.

GHS secretary Tina Spragg said that between admission and entry fees, the event generated $573 — slightly less than last year, but still a good fundraiser.

The Student Council is using multiple events to raise money, including a Zumbathon held Thursday night at Buff Gym, Penny Wars at the elementary school, and a number of other smaller, school-oriented events.

Erma J. Chapman Schmidt

Oct. 30, 1919 – March 31, 2012

Cremation has taken place and a memorial service for longtime Greybull resident Erma J. Chapman Schmidt of Pueblo, Colo., will be held May 23 at the First Presbyterian Church in Greybull. Erma, 92, died March 31 at University Park Care Center in Pueblo where she had moved to be near her son.

She was born Oct. 30, 1919, in Milburn, Okla., the daughter of Stephen and Anna Leutkehans. She grew up, received her education and graduated from high school in Milburn.

Erma married Joseph Chapman in Atoka, Okla., in 1938. The couple moved to Wyoming in 1938 and eventually settled in Greybull where they built and operated the Antler Motel. Mr. Chapman died April 23, 1962.

Erma married William Schmidt Sept. 5, 1964, in Greybull. She continued to operate the motel until selling it in 1970.

The couple enjoyed an active retirement, traveling around the United States. They enjoyed gardening and provided many people with vegetables from their garden and fruit from their trees and vines. Mr. Schmidt died Oct. 5, 1994.

Erma was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Greybull where she served in several offices. She was also active in several Greybull organizations.

Others preceding her in death were a son, Stephen, and a step-great-grandson.

She is survived by her son Theadus Chapman of Pueblo; three stepchildren, Anna Lewis and Andy and Pat Schmidt; three grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, five step-grandchildren and five step-great-grandchildren.


Jacqueline Lee Pollard

April 19, 1935 – March 27, 2012

Memorial services for Jacqueline Lee Pollard will be held April 14 at 2 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church in Greybull. Jacqueline, 76, died at her home in Greybull on March 27.

She was born April 19, 1935, in Greybull, the daughter of Charles “Bunk” and Ruby Frieling Rimer. She grew up and received her education in Greybull, graduating from Greybull High School.

She married George W. Pollard Sept. 12, 1965, in Greybull; they later moved to Kemmerer.

Jacqueline worked for a telephone company in her early years of marriage and was later a stay-at-home mom and homemaker.

Jacqueline was a member of the First Presbyterian Church. She enjoyed calligraphy, camping, fishing, shopping and spending time with her family.

Her parents, Charles and Ruby Rimer, brother Clarence Elmer Rimer, sisters, Dorothy “Joan” Rimer Funk and Charlene Marie Rimer Collingwood preceded her in death.

She is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Dena and Dalen Davis of Greybull; brother Charles “Butch” Rimer, sister and brother-in-law Judy and Gary Emmett; brother-in-law Don Collingwood; two grandchildren, Dalen Davis and Terra Robbins, and two great-grandchildren.

Donations in Jacqueline‘s name can be made to Big Horn Federal Bank, 33 N. Sixth St., Greybull, WY 82426. The donations will go to defray expenses of her burial.


Helen Jewel McPeek Caufield

Feb. 15, 1920 – Feb. 19, 2012

No funeral services will be held but a private celebration of the life of Helen Jewel McPeek Caufield will held at a later date. Helen died Feb. 19, in Redding, Calif., where she had resided for 33 years

Helen was born Feb. 15, 1920, in Lander. Her family moved to Casper where they homesteaded on Casper Mountain. When Helen was 3 years old, the family traded the homestead on Casper Mountain for a farm on the Greybull River. She attended schools in Basin, Otto and Greybull and graduated from Greybull High School in 1938.

She worked for the Farm Security Administration until she married Sherman J. Caufield on May 1, 1940. The couple lived near Cody during the 1940s and into the ‘50s at which time they moved to Worland where they lived at the Wyoming Boys Industrial Institute where Sherman was a shop foreman. They later moved their young family to Manderson where Helen helped her husband operate his automobile repair business.

In 1963 the family moved to Colusa, Calif., where she worked for the Colusa County Public Library for five years. They returned to Worland in the late 1960s and Helen worked as a reporter for the Northern Wyoming Daily News.

Helen enjoyed camping, painting, reading, crafts and spending time with her family.

Her parents, Wintferd Addison and Carrie McPeek; husband Sherman Caufield in 2008; daughter Connie Harris in 2003; two brothers, Keith McPeek and James McPeek; and two sisters, LaRoice Mayland and Lela Snyder, preceded her in death.

She is survived by three children, Thomas Caufield of Gloucester, Va., Jeanne Westley of Beaverton, Ore., and Susan Atten of Redding, Calif.; brother, Lyle McPeek of San Dimas, Calif.; eight grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren and four great-great-grandchildren.


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