Daily Archives: June 13, 2012

Towns move forward with sixth-cent proposals

by david peck

Mayors and other town officials gathered once again to discuss the proposed specific purpose sales tax Thursday, meeting this time in Frannie.

The officials worked long and hard on the so-called sixth-cent sales tax and agreed to move forward with a list of projects, but according the Lovell clerk/treasurer Valerie Beal, the various municipalities still have some work to do to complete a final list of projects and to decide how much funding to bond for and how much to take in monthly payments.

Beal explained that if the sales tax passes, the towns can accept monthly payments as sales tax revenue is generated, or they can bond for the money, and while the latter method produces all of the revenue up front, the bond accrues interest that must be paid back.

Towns can also select a combination of the two methods, Beal said, for instance taking “up-front” money for a capital project but taking operation and maintenance money over time.

“Towns are still narrowing it down,” Beal said. “They are still working on figures. We don’t have an exact amount yet.”

Working with the municipalities at Thursday’s meeting were bonds counsel Barbara Bonds, who is helping the towns with scheduling and assembling the resolution to be decided by the towns and county commissioners, and Mary Keating-Scott of George K. Baum & Co., who is assisting the towns with the sales tax numbers and presenting the project to the public.

Beal said the assembled officials went through the projects town by town, like they did a month earlier in Deaver, and most of the projects stayed the same, while others were modified. Bonds and Keating-Scott urged the towns to be specific, for instance asking the Town of Burlington name specific streets to be paved, rather than leaving it open.

Here is the current list as presented Thursday night, according to Beal:

Basin – 1) Remodel the currently vacant town hall annex and refurbish the existing town hall for a community center, $200,000; 2) if and when the state builds a new high school in Basin, remodel the existing gymnasium as a recreation center, $200,000; 3) fund operation and maintenance of the recreation center for 20 years, $800,000. Total: $1.2 million.

Burlington – Pave streets in town. Total: $2 million.

Byron – Provide matching funds for a sewer line replacement project on the south side of Byron, memorial park improvements, chip and crack sealing, recreation funding, renovate the pool in the former high school building and operation and maintenance of the pool. Total: $1,760,000.

Cowley – Resurface streets and improve intersections with curb and gutter and new aprons. Total: $2.3 million.

Deaver — Replace in-town water distribution system – mains and service lines. Total: $2 million.

Frannie – Rehabilitate the town irrigation water well, $1,216,250, and purchase a new pickup with a snowplow capacity, $46,405. Total: $1,262,655.

Greybull – Swimming pool operation and maintenance for 20 years, $2 million, and contributing to the construction of a new pool, $400,000, with the rest of the design and construction to be paid for by patrons of School District No. 3 if voters approve a bond issue. Total: $2.4 million.

Lovell – New building for the proposed Lovell-Kane Museum, $1.5 million; improvements to the rodeo grounds including a concessions building and restrooms, $110,000; new golf cart barn for the Foster Gulch Golf Course, $40,000; street paving and curb and gutter in parts of town currently without pavement, $550,000. Total: $2.2 million.

Manderson – Water tank and water main replacement. Total: $1.5 million.

Beal said each town must submit to Bonds final figures including how much funding would be bonded so she can prepare the bond and a resolution that would go the town councils and the county commissioners. Six of nine councils and the commissioners must approve the resolution in order for the sixth-cent tax to be placed on the November General Election ballot.

Lovell mayor Bruce Morrison said during a town council meeting Tuesday night that the towns each agreed to contribute $3,500 to put the bond and the resolution together and to begin the education process, but any promotion of the tax must be funded privately and will require the establishment of a political action committee.

Town joins fight for downtown trees

by nathan oster

A last-minute effort is underway to get trees planted some of the bumpouts that are currently under construction in downtown Greybull.

To date, the project is minus one in the tree category, as crews from S&S Builders earlier this spring removed the only tree that existed on the north side of Greybull Avenue between Fifth and Sixth.

No tree plantings were included in the design of the new downtown streetscape.

While there has been talk of planters going in the bumpouts at the intersections, Rodney Ross, a member of the Greybull Tree Board, said his desire, and the desire of many people he’s spoken with, is to have “trees in the ground, instead of in a pot.”

The problem is, the project is proceeding toward completion.

“We have a very small window of time here,” Ross told the council.

The tree board met last week to brainstorm ideas and involved the council on Monday night.

“Our suggestion is (to) get the state to hold off on filling in the bumpouts with cement and from pouring the sidewalks, especially on the west end, until the council, the chamber, people downtown and whatever citizens want to be involved can come up with an idea,” Ross said.

“We have to live with these things (the bumpouts),” said Ross. “We want to make them the best we can.”

There is already a tree in front of the Bank of Greybull, but the tree board is looking at three other bumpouts (those in front of Probst Western Store, the former Wyoming Classics building and the Scott McColloch law office), as well as possibly a fourth (in front of the Historic Hotel Greybull).

The council agreed to do what it could to help, including contacting WYDOT to work out the parameters of any potential beautification.

Bret Reed, of Engineering Associates, said there will be benches and planters in the bumpout areas, as well as a display of the memory bricks that have been sold by the Greybull Area Chamber of  Commerce.

In the contract, the completion date of the project is July 30.

In other business:

• The council recognized Kathy Smith, who will be reducing her role with the town when its new administrator/finance director, Joe Fischer, joins the staff on Monday. Smith, who lobbied for the hiring of an administrator, will remain the town clerk while assuming the municipal court clerk responsibilities of Kay Mattis, who is retiring at the end of this month.

The council thanked Smith for “22 years of faithful service” that often times was “above and beyond the call of duty.”

• Police Chief Bill Brenner was asked about several items in his monthly report, only one of which — a drug dog search in the Riverton/Lander area — was something other than a typo in the computer-generated report.

Brenner confirmed that the GPD did, in fact, send its K9 officer, Santana, and handler, Officer Shannon Armstrong, to Fremont County to assist in a drug search of school campuses in that area.

Brenner said that with so few drug dogs around the state, there is great cooperation among agencies with K9s.  Riverton has sent its drug dog to Greybull to assist with searches, he said, adding that in this case, Greybull was just returning.

“That’s the farthest we’ve ever gone, and we try to limit those trips to just one per year,” Brenner said, adding that “We don’t charge them (when we help them) and we don’t pay them (when they help us).”

• Bret Reed if Engineering Associates asked for and received the council’s OK to release the retainage for the 2010 sewer upgrade project. The project’s completion date is approaching, Reed said.

On another topic, the council gave the thumbs up to proceed with the energy-efficiency upgrade to the Herb Asp Community Center — with the stipulation that the bids must meet the approval of the engineers.  The bid opening is set for later this week.

• The council approved a variance to Kate Seneca to proceed with the construction of an 8-foot privacy fence between her property at 441 Second Ave. N. and a property located adjacent to the east.

In doing so, the council followed the recommendation of its Planning and Zoning Commission, which supported the request because the 8-foot fence would be just between the houses and the garages which are set back to the rear of the sites.  According to the minutes, the P&Z ruled the fence wouldn’t be unsightly or create any traffic hazards.

• The council approved its proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year on second reading.

• Steve Hoblit of Grace Fellowship Church approached the council to request two handicapped parking spaces in front of the church.  He said the church would like to paint them blue.

In the past, the council has approved similar requests from churches, including one from First Baptist.  It followed suit for Grace Fellowship, approving the motion with no dissenters.

• The council continued to wrestle with ways to regulate motorized skateboards and motor-driven cycles.

After discussion last month, Town Attorney Scott McColloch made tweaks to the proposed ordinance, including additional language that stated “no person shall enter any roadway, except while crossing a street in a designated crosswalk, upon roller skates, skateboards, motorized skateboard, toy vehicle, motor driven cycle without a 5-foot caution flag nor operate same without an approved safety helmet, knee and elbow pads and all such operation shall be subject to the uniform act regulating traffic on highways.”

The council further tweaked the proposed ordinance on Monday, removing the words “roller skates” and “skateboards.”

The council also tried to better define what type of vehicles would be subject to the ordinance.  Rodney Ross, in attendance to speak about another issue, asked where the town would draw the line.  He cited an adult couple in Greybull who frequently use motorized scooters to get around town.

To resolve the issue, the council agreed that any vehicles that the state would register should be exempt from the proposed ordinance.

“It’s very tough to regulate these things,” said Police Chief Bill Brenner at one point. “That’s why the State of Wyoming has steered clear of it and why they leave it up to the towns to decide.”

• Acting on a request from Brenner, the council approved a contract to house prisoners at the Big Horn County Jail.  Brenner said the agreement has been very informal in nature, and that the county is requesting official signed documents because it its refinancing the loan on the jail.

• Finally, Brenner reported on a number of updates he made to his department’s “guidelines manual.”

The updated manual addresses the use of personal electronic equipment — things such as personal laptops, iPads, iPods and e-readers — while officers are on duty.  They are prohibited in the updated manual. Personal cell phones are excluded.

Brenner said language was added to the manual regarding officer-involved shootings, at the request of the Division of Criminal Investigation. Brenner said the GPD has never had guidelines for this, but the DCI recommended it because there have been departments in the area that have had to deal with officer-involved shootings.

The guidelines manual also requires officers to incarcerate, rather than just cite and release, kids older than 18 but under 21 who are busted for underage drinking.  The old statute allowed officers to simply cite offenders. Kids under 18 who are busted will continue to be released to their parents.

Brenner said the guidelines manual addresses social networking websites — officers cannot go on Facebook, for example, and post pictures of their uniforms or discredit the department or the town in any way.

The chief also said the new guidelines manual ends the “ridealong” program and prohibits officers from  using their police vehicles for personal use, with no exceptions.

The council approved the guidelines manual.

• Mayor Frank Houk reported that a group of eighth graders are doing summer school work on the hill east of town. Their mission is to come up with a way to “make an impact” on motorists entering town, be it with lighting or landscaping.

They plan to make a presentation to the council next month, Houk said.

Adrian L. (Larry) Probst

Nov. 17, 1917 – June 5, 2012

Adrian L. (Larry) Probst, age 94, was born on Nov. 17, 1917, in Petersburg, Neb., to Lawrence and Crescentia Probst. Larry passed away on Tuesday, June 5, 2012 in Greybull, Wyoming.

He graduated from high school in Gillette, Wyoming, and is where he married Ora D. Ryan on Oct. 4, 1942. After serving in the U.S. Army during World War II, Larry settled in Greybull, Wyoming, in 1945, where he and his wife operated Probst Western Store for over 40 years.

Larry lived for his quarter horses and roping competitions. He was instrumental in establishing the Rodeo Club which supported the annual Days of ’49 celebrations and was a very strong Greybull Booster his entire life. In his later years, Larry and Ora spent many happy hours on the golf course.

He was preceded in death by his wife Ora; son, Kevin Probst; and granddaughter, Bethany Miller Amrich.

Larry is survived by his daughter, Pamela Miller (Tim) of Casper, Wyoming; son, Jeffery Probst (Nan) of Greybull, Wyoming and Green Valley, Ariz.; and his grandsons, Ryan Miller and Tyson Probst.

A viewing was held from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. on Monday, June 11, 2012 at the Atwood Family Chapel in Greybull, Wyoming followed by the Rosary that was said at 7 p.m. on Monday, June 11, 2012, at the Atwood Family Chapel in Greybull.

A Funeral Mass was held at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, June 12, 2012, at the Church of the Sacred Heart in Greybull, Wyoming with Father Ray Rodriguez as the celebrant. Burial followed in the Donald J. Ruhl Memorial Cemetery at Greybull. Following the burial, a reception for family and friends was held at the Greybull Elks Lodge #1431.

Memorials in Larry’s name in support of the Donald J. Ruhl Memorial Cemetery will be received at the Bank of Greybull, 601 Greybull Ave., Greybull, WY 82426.

Atwood Family Funeral Directors, Inc. was in charge of arrangements.

Lyle Edward Nelson

Sept. 11, 1938 – June 3, 2012

Funeral services for Lyle Edward Nelson were held June 8 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Worland. Lyle, 73, died of cancer June 3 at the Worland Rehabilitation and Care Center.

He was born Sept. 11, 1938, on the family farm south of Manderson, the son of Julius and Stella Pence Nelson. He grew up in the Emblem, Burlington and Greybull areas. He graduated from Greybull High School in 1956.

He married Jacqueline Braig Dec. 10, 1955. The couple had five children and were later divorced.

Lyle, after a season of farming, attended Barnes Business School in Denver to learning bookkeeping. He returned to Wyoming and worked at Broadbent and Healy Music Store in Worland as a bookkeeper, sales person, and instrument repairman.

Lyle was the bookkeeper for the LU Sheep Company and founded Worland Computer Services in 1969. He did computer work for four banks and assumed the bookkeeping work for a number of local businesses into the mid 1980s.

Lyle married Linda Baker Edmonds Feb. 3, 1978. They continued to make their home in Worland.

Lyle enjoyed woodworking, carpentry and other do-it-yourself projects. Lyle and Linda enjoyed traveling and visiting family and spent a month or two every year traveling in their motor home, visiting new parts of the country.

He was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

His parents preceded him in death.

He is survived by his wife Linda of Worland; his children and their spouses, Robert Nelson, Kevin and Karen Nelson, Mark and Marcia Nelson of Thermopolis, Chandra and Wes Pinkerton, Kristene Watson of Worland and Robert and Karlyn Edmonds of Wemtumja, Ala; siblings, Loren Nelson of St. George, Utah, Shirley Nelson of Denver, Carolyn Bosch of Sandy, Utah, Linda Schneider of Worland, Marvin Nelson of Cody and Debbie Weiner of Orange, Calif.; 17 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Burial was in Riverview Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Worland.

Memorial donations may be made to the American Cancer Society in care of Bryant Funeral Home, Box 524, Worland, WY 82401.

Ruby Howe

April 28, 1928 – June 8, 2012

Longtime Greybull resident Ruby Howe, 84, died Friday, June 8, 2012, at Bonnie Bluejacket Memorial Nursing Home. A family memorial will be held at a later date.

Ruby was born April 28, 1928, in Erda, Utah. She married Martin Howe in 1952. They sheep ranched on Beaver Creek for years before retiring and moving into Greybull to live.

They had been married for 35 years when Martin died in 1987.

Ruby worked hard and loved her family; she enjoyed watching her grandchildren grow up. She was gracious, kind to family and friends and lived with dignity.

Ruby is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Martana and Brent Keller of Cerulean, Ky.; one sister, Irene Warr, of Salt Lake City; one granddaughter and her family, Mardi and Pete Fordham, Alecia and Jazmin of Cadiz, Ky., and one grandson and his family, Nathan and Emily Downer and Lydia.

Majors sport perfect 6-0 mark

by nathan oster

Two weeks into the season and the Greybull Majors have yet to taste defeat.

Managed by Nolan Tracy, the team sported a perfect 6-0 record after a 7-0 drubbing of Worland Thursday night at the Art Schutte Athletic Complex.

Greybull plated five runs in the first and two more in the third in support of Brock Hill, who went the distance on the mound, surrendering just a single hit in five innings.

Morgan Dowling scored twice and had two runs batted in to lead the offense.  Max Mills, Dade Greene and Hill also knocked in runs for the winners.

The win came on the heels of five other triumphs for the team.

“It’s been a great start to the season,” said Tracy. “We have several returning 12 year olds and the 11 year olds played for me on the Minors team.

“We have experienced, knowledgeable players which helps in early season games.”

So does good pitching — and Greybull has been getting that from the foursome of Alex Schlattmann, Ross Padilla, Hill and Dowling.

“Plus the boys have batted really well and played tough defense,” Tracy said.

The team’s win streak included a 14-3 thumping of the Worland A’s, a 12-0 rout of the Worland Giants, a 10-5 win over Otto and a sweep of a doubleheader with Thermopolis, by 14-0 and 25-3 scores.

The Majors were scheduled to host Thermopolis on Wednesday, with games at 5:30 and 7 p.m.  The team plays in Otto today (Thursday, June 14), with the first game of the twinbill starting at 5:30 p.m.

Peterson tops women’s field in Emblem

by nathan oster

Brenda Peterson took first in her heat and first in the women’s main in the go-kart races held Saturday at the former beet dump site near Emblem.

Until this year, Brenda and her husband Kevin, who live near Emblem, had been the only Big Horn County riders in the Park County Kart Club.

Two more, Mike Riley of Burlington and Chris Palan of the Frannie/Deaver area, joined them for the Emblem races.

While none of them joined Brenda in the winner’s circle, it was another sign of the growing popularity of the sport here in Big Horn County.

At its peak, attendance for the event was estimated between 150-200.

“It was nice coming around one of the corners and having my own cheering section,” laughed Brenda, who was also the top female driver in the season-opening races May 3 in Powell.

Asked about the secret to her success, Brenda said, “Just don’t make a mistake that gives them a chance to pass.”

In the men’s division, Kevin placed third in his heat, fourth in the main.

The next go-kart races are planned June 30 in Powell.

Babe Ruth team loses 3 of 4 in Powell

by nathan oster

The Greybull Geckos took an undefeated record into the Powell Tournament, and while the weekend ledger showed three losses in four starts, their manager feels the weekend spent in Powell was a success.

“I was really pleased with how we competed, considering we didn’t have a full roster and were missing key position players,” said Joe Forcella, who manages the squad along with assistants Dusty Hill and Todd Zeller.

The Geckos were 4-0 going into their tourney opener against Powell, but they were plagued by “pregame jitters,” according to Forcella, and surrendered two runs in the first and another in the second to fall behind 3-0.

Powell put the game away in the top of the fifth, plating seven runs and eventually winning 12-2.

Riley Hill, who gave up four runs in three innings, took the loss, although Powell did most of its damage against reliever Justin Bacus.  The defense let Bacus down however, as just two of the eight runs he surrendered were earned.

Dawson Forcella was the hitting star, going 3 for 3 with a run batted in.  His brother, Calder Forcella, knocked in the other run for Greybull, which was limited to just six hits in the five-inning contest.

Greybull played a better all-around game later in the day on Friday in a 7-5 loss to Riverton, a team that advanced all the way to the championship game.  Four errors proved costly, according to Forcella.

“We gave them all they could handle,” said Forcella. “We just had two crucial errors at the wrong time … and that was the difference in the game.

“We eliminate those two errors and we win by two instead of losing by two.”

Greybull plated three runs in the top of the first and a single run in the second to take a 4-2 lead before Riverton pushed across four in its half of the second to move in front 6-2.

Losing pitcher Calder Forcella deserved a better fate.  While Riverton knocked him around a bit, collecting nine runs in four innings, just two of its seven runs were earned runs.  Forcella was around the plate, too, with 73 percent of his pitches being strikes.

Greybull finished with five hits. Oscar Gomez had two hits.  Calder Forcella had one, but it was a big one — a triple that plated two runs.  Riley Hill also had two RBIs for the Geckos, who stole seven bases.

The Geckos finally got in the win column when they topped Worland 7-1 on Saturday.

Hill and Calder Forcella each worked three strong innings on the mound.  Hill gave up a run on two hits, while Forcella gave up just a single hit, while fanning four, during his tour of duty on the hill.

After being silenced in the first two games, the Greybull bats came alive with nine hits.

Fabian Davila had three of them — two singles and a double — while Bacus and Calder Forcella each had two.  Gomez and Dawson Forcella had the other RBIs.

“We learned to play in a tight situation and finish a game when we needed to,” Forcella said, whose team broke open a tie game with four in the fifth and two in the sixth.

The momentum from that win didn’t carry over into the next game, however.

Forcella said he tried different pitching and catching combinations and it “turned sour quick.”

Cody plated five in the first, one in the second and six more in the third en route to the win.

Dawson Forcella worked just a third of an inning before giving way to Calder Forcella, who went the final three-and-two thirds.  The combined to give up 12 hits and nine earned runs while walking five and striking out two.

“We made the adjustments but couldn’t get over the hump to come back,” Forcella said. “We played right with them for the rest of the game, but couldn’t gain any to close the gap.”

Bacus went 3 for 3 and knocked in two of Greybull’s four runs. The other two hits were credited to Davila, who scored three of the five runs from his leadoff position.

With the weekend’s results, the Geckos saw their record dip to 4-3 overall.

“It was a great experience for the kids and they learned a tremendous amount by playing quality teams,” said Forcella. “They also realized that we can play with anyone; we just need to work hard and improve on eliminating the errors that shouldn’t happen.”

The Geckos will take this week off and aren’t scheduled to return to action until June 21 when they travel to Worland for a 6 p.m. start.  The next home game is set for June 28 against Cowley.

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