Daily Archives: July 12, 2012

Get ready to doff your HATS July 28

by marlys good

Just 16 days until HATS IV comes to the community — and the Herb Asp Community Center. Tickets can be purchased at Greybull Building Center, Ron’s Food Farm and at the Basin Chamber of Commerce office.

Organizers have done a little “tweaking,” this year but the one thing that hasn’t been “tweaked” is the entertainment.

This year it is Riders in the Sky, a group that has many honors, including two Grammy awards, seven WMA Entertainers of the Year awards, and multiple wins for Album and Group of the Year.  They have been inducted into the Western Music Association Hall of Fame, Country Music Foundation Walkway of Stars and The Walk of Western Stars, which includes Gene Autry, John Wayne and Roy Rogers.

Riders, whose first official performance was Nov. 11, 1977, has chalked up over 6,100 performances in 50 states and 10 countries. In 1982, they were the first exclusively western music artists to join the Grand Ol’ Opry.

The group includes Ranger Doug, Too Slim, Woody Paul – and along the way added “Stomach Steinway Stylings of Joey, the Cow Polka King.” Billboard Bessman counts them as one “of the most significant acts in the history of American music.”

The silent auction has been trimmed down to about half of what it has been. It will start at 4 p.m. and bidders can “up the ante” on the item(s) wanted until 15 minutes after the conclusion of the live auction.

This year‘s fun includes a raffle for dozens of items. The items — valued from $10-$20 to $100 for gas and gift certificates to some worth $300-$400 — will be numbered, listed and posted in the hall. Tickets can be purchased at the door, or in the community hall itself.

Drawings will be held intermittently throughout the evening. First winner gets the first prize listed and right on down the line.

Also new are the 12 custom-made, limited edition Hands Across the Saddle hats. In addition to the HATS logo, each will have a number embroidered on the back. One of the HATS hats will be included in the raffle, five in the silent auction and six in the live auction. Buy or win a hat and you are automatically entered in a second drawing and guaranteed to win something else at the end of the night.  These include two .45 caliber pistols, Smith&Wesson .380 Body Guard, .22 semi-automatic, knife; values extend to $600.

Already donated to the live auction is an original Ann Hanson oil painting, “High Water,” now on display at Bank of Greybull; a rustic oak wine cabinet crafted by Bill Van Grinsven of Wyoming Woodworks that can be seen at Ron’s Food Farm; two original sketches and one Printer’s Proof picture by Shoofly; Pittsburg Steeler tickets along with some travel bucks and a Henry Colt .4 Golden Boy rifle engraved with the HATS Logo and laser-autographed by Wilford Brimley.

A more complete list will be included in next week’s paper.

All of the costs incurred in putting on the HATS events are covered by donations from the generous people in and around the Big Horn Basin and beyond. The charity’s funds are exclusively used to help people in need of a “Hand Across the Saddle.”

If you would like to make a donation, either to offset part of the expenses, or to HATS itself to help neighbors and friends, it would be appreciated.

Ski area to pursue other WBC grant funds

by nathan oster

It may have ended in rejection, but the process that supporters of the Antelope Butte Ski Area went through in their pursuit of grant funding from the Wyoming Business Council was still a significant step in the right direction.

Mark Weitz, a spokesperson for the nonprofit Antelope Butte Foundation, said the application for business committed grant funding and the site visit that application triggered put the ski area project on the WBC’s radar screen.

“Without an application, you’re really just a phone call,” said Weitz.  “If you can get an application before the council, that formally starts the process of them working with you.”

Weitz said the WBC members who toured the site June 26 said that they were supportive of the project, but that the grant application was denied because they didn’t feel the pot of “business committed” grant money was the right source for the ski area improvements.

Those dollars are typically used to attract businesses that would generate high-paying tech jobs, Weitz said. “With the ski area being tourism based, it just doesn’t pay those same type of high salaries.  They told us it would be an uphill battle, but we knew that going in.”

Weitz said the foundation plans to approach the WBC again once a source of grant money other than the “business committed” pool is identified. “Bottom line, they really like this project, but what it represents doesn’t fit into the ‘business’ committed’ category.”

On another front, Weitz said legal documents are being prepared for Big Horn County to take ownership of the Antelope Butte Ski Area capital improvements, including the lift, the lodge garage and other facilities.  Under the plan, the U.S. Forest Service would retain ownership of the land.

The foundation is also preparing to have the lifts formally evaluated, noting that they haven’t been used in seven years and that the foundation wants to know precisely what must be done to get them fully operational.

Weitz conceded that it has been a slow process getting the ski area reopened and that the previously stated goal of being back in business by this coming winter is no longer realistic.

“We were ambitious in our thinking,” he said. “For it to happen by this winter, we’d need to be under construction right now … and we’re not at that point quite yet.  Realistically speaking, we’re looking at construction next summer, opening during the winter of 2013-14.”

Weitz said it’s possible that the first event at the new ski area could occur in the summer of 2013, citing recent changes that gave ski runs around the country the ability to be operational year-round. For example, he said the ski area’s lodge could be used for weddings or other family gatherings.

C. Dean Yonts

Jan. 11, 1951 – July 6, 2012

Memorial services for C. Dean Yonts will be held Thursday, July 12 at 11 a.m. at the First Presbyterian Church in Scottsbluff, Neb. Dean, 61, died July 6 in Scottsbluff after an extended illness.

He was born Jan. 11, 1951, in Powell, the son of Harold and Eva Yonts. He attended school in Byron and graduated in 1969. He enrolled at Northwest College and graduated in 1971. He went on to attend the University of Wyoming where he obtained his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agricultural engineering.

He married Kathryn “Kathy” Ann Books Sept. 7, 1975, in Kemmerer. The couple moved to Scottsbluff, Neb. Most of Dean’s career was spent working in irrigation water management as an associate professor at the University of Nebraska Panhandle Research and Extension Center in Scottsbluff. He enjoyed his work and liked working with producers in the “Wyo-braska” area.

Dean was very involved in youth activities. He coached soccer, softball and baseball, helped with Boy and Girl scouts and taught Sunday school at the First Presbyterian Church.

His parents, Harold and Eva Yonts, preceded him in death.

He is survived by his wife and daughter Marissa, both of Scottsbluff; his son Travis of Omaha, Neb.; three brothers and two sisters-in-law, Robert and Barb Yonts of Casper, Delmer and Peggy Yonts of Grant-Valkaria, Fla., and Larry Yonts of Powell and his sister and brother-in-law Gary and Linda Yonts Pangburn of Greybull.

A memorial fund has been established to Brent’s Place, a patient-assistance organization in Denver, in care of the family, or to the charity of the donor’s choice.

Elmer Dean Jackson

Dec. 14, 1920 – January 2012

Military honors and a celebration of the life of Elmer Dean Jackson will be held Saturday, July 21 at 11 a.m. at the Donald J. Ruhl Memorial Cemetery. A dinner with music and pictures will follow at First Baptist Church in Basin.

Elmer, 91, died Jan. 22 at his daughter’s home in Buffalo.

Elmer was born Dec. 14, 1920, the son of Samson and Lizzie Jackson. He attended schools in Greybull and Basin and graduated from Basin High School in 1941.

He married Arlene Clawson of Basin on Feb. 26, 1944, in Montgomery, Ala.

After his discharge from the U.S. Air Corps, the couple returned to Basin where he and Arlene made their home. They later moved to Worland where he worked as a gas plant technician for Pure Oil, and in 1960, he was employed by the REA.

After living in Glenrock and Cody, they moved to Gillette in 1970 where he worked as an electrician. He retired in 1986.

He married childhood friend Mickey Prather in 1995; they made their home in Arizona. Elmer returned to Buffalo in October 2011.

His parents, his first wife Arlene in 1993, three sisters, a brother and a grandson preceded him in death.

He is survived by two daughters and a son-in-law, Valorie Jackson of Casper and Mick and Renee Camino of Buffalo; seven grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and one great-great-granddaughter.

Donations in Elmer’s memory can be made to the Susie Bowling Lawrence Hospice in Buffalo in care of Adams Funeral Home, 351 N. Adams in Buffalo, 82834 or the American Legion Honor Guard of Basin, in Care of Atwood Family Funeral Directors, 419 W. C. St., Basin, WY 82410.

Helen Edith Reno Beckwith

March 14, 1936 – July 9, 2012

Helen Edith (Reno) Beckwith was born on March 14, 1936, to Neil and Nioma (Stacy) Reno of Powell, Wyoming. She attended school in Powell and graduated from Powell High School in 1954. She then attended Northwest Community College in Powell for two quarters before leaving and moving to Casper, Wyoming where she was employed by the Wyoming State Employment Service.

Helen married Leroy Owen Beckwith of Basin, Wyoming on October 30, 1955 at the First Presbyterian Church in Powell at the age of 19. After a brief honeymoon they traveled to the U.S. Naval Air Station, Glenview, Illinois. There, Helen was employed as a clerk stenographer for the Medical/Dental Service. Their first child, Tina Louise, was born on August 6, 1956 at Great Lakes Naval Station, Illinois. Their second child, Jody Ellen, was born on March 19, 1959 at Pepperell Air Force Base in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Helen worked there as a clerk stenographer for the Inspector General Department. Their third child, Jeffrey Owen, was born on July 31, 1962 at the Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colorado. Helen was a devoted mother to her children, teaching them good Christian values and concepts as they grew. She was also a good wife to her husband, following him in his Naval career for 21 years.

Helen’s next employment came when they moved to the Naval Air Station in Fallon, Nevada. She worked in the Special Services Department for six hours a day, thereby being able to get children off to school in the mornings and being home when they got there in the afternoons. Leroy retired from the U.S. Navy in May 1975. The family then moved to Sheridan, Wyoming where they bought a home and continued raising their children.

Helen worked at the Sheridan Agri-Center in Sheridan as a bookkeeper for two years before changing jobs and working for the County Grantsman for another year. During this time Helen was afflicted with Multiple Sclerosis and was finally unable to continue working.

Still, Helen accompanied her husband, Leroy, as they worked for the Mobile Missionary Assistance Program; working at Evangelical churches, retreat centers and camps across the United States, commencing in October 1986 until June 1996. During Helen’s travels with the MMAP organization, she procured a craft – making all occasion greeting cards from cloth. She soon became known as “the card lady.” Even when she was in the Bonnie Bluejacket Memorial Nursing Home she continued making her special cards and many people came to know her in a special way.

Helen is survived by her husband, Leroy; their three children, Tina (Beckwith) Rowan, Jody (Beckwith) Hoebelheinrich and Jeffrey Beckwith; one brother, Kenneth Reno of Scottsdale, Arizona; two sisters, Marge Scholz of Littleton, Colorado and Doris Mehl of Fort Collins, Colorado; six grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren, plus many nieces, nephews and cousins.

Viewings will be held at the Atwood Family Chapel in Basin, Wyoming on Thursday, July 12, 2012 and Friday, July 13, 2012 both from 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Funeral services will be held at the First Baptist Church in Basin, Wyoming on Saturday, July 14, 2012 at 11 a.m. with Pastor Kent Dempsey officiating. Burial will follow at the Mount View Cemetery in Basin. Immediately following the burial a luncheon for family and friends will be held at the First Baptist Church gymnasium.

Persons desiring to send donations may do so to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society at 400 East First Street, Casper, WY 82601-2558.

Helen was a member of the First Baptist Church of Basin, Wyoming. Helen desires that all persons strive to know her personal Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

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

Majors unable to shake batting slump

by nathan oster

A prolonged batting slump turned a promising start into a disappointing finish for the Greybull Majors, who dropped all three of their games at a recent tournament in Worland to end the season with a 9-7 mark.

There’s no debating where the tide of the season turned, as the team won all nine of its league games against Worland, Thermopolis and Otto and was flying high going into a tournament in Cody.  But it lost all four there — and couldn’t shake the slump while losing three straight in Worland.

“Batting was one of our strong points during our good stretch,” said Coach Nolan Tracy.  “If you looked through, we were scoring 14, 15 runs a game.  But once we got to the tournament, the most we mustered, I think was about seven.

“I don’t believe it was because the pitching was so much better than we’d seen (earlier in the year).  I’m not sure what it was … whether it was a confidence issue or what.  We just stopped hitting.”

The Majors managed to score in all three of their games in Worland — just not enough to be competitive.  They lost to Lovell 9-3, Powell 11-4 and Riverton 12-2.

Brock Hill and Max Mills each had three hits — two singles and a double — in the loss to Lovell, while Braeden Tracy had two, including a double and a single.  Greybull had nine hits in the game.  Those hits just did not come with runners on base.

No Greybull batter had more than one hit in the loss to Powell.  Alex Schlattmann had the only extra-base hit, a double.

Schlattmann also led the offense in the Riverton game, finishing with a double and a single.  For the game, Greybull was credited with just six hits.

Tracy said his pitching staff performed well in the two tournaments but was let down by its defense, and with the offense in a slump, those miscues which led to unearned runs proved too significant to overcome.

Looking ahead to next season, the Majors will lose four 12-year-olds in Alex Schlattmann, Max Mills, Morgan Dowling and Corbin Adams, who will be too old to play on the team, which is for kids ages 11 and 12.

Tracy hopes to recruit some new players to take their place.

Despite the seven-game skid to end the season, the Majors still finished with a winning record.

“We won the league crown, which was great,” Tracy said. “We just didn’t have a good showing in the postseason.  I was disappointed for the kids. As well as they played during the year … if they’d have done that in the postseason, they would have won some games.”

Geckos on a roll going into districts

by nathan oster

The Greybull Geckos capped off a perfect season of league play with wins over Otto and the Cowley A’s last week and hope to carry that momentum into their district tournament this week in Powell.

The Geckos, who now stand at 13-5, defeated Otto 14-7 on July 3 and crushed the Cowley A’s 18-0 on Thursday. The wins were the ninth and 10th league triumphs of the season for the Geckos, who are managed by Joe Forcella and Todd Zeller.

In Otto, the guests scored in every inning. A three-run first and a five-run second sent them on their way to the victory and made a winner of Jake Gifford, who got the start on the mound.  Gifford struggled with control, walking six, but surrendered just a single hit and only one earned run in his two innings.

Cade Dooley, Riley Hill, Dawson Forcella and Riley Hill also pitched for the Geckos, who limited Otto to just two hits in the game.

Cade Osborne was credited with a home run, a double and three runs batted in.  Riley Hill also knocked in three and was one of four other Geckos — Calder Forcella, Zack Zeller and Justin Bacus being the others — with two base hits.

The Geckos pummeled the Cowley A’s, using a 13-run second to send them to a 18-0 win.

Calder Forcella, Zeller and Dawson Forcella combined to limit the A’s to just a single hit in the four inning game. Hill again had two hits for the Geckos, while Bacus, Fabian Davila and Osborne each knocked in two runs.

“I was pleased that we didn’t lose a single league game this season,” said Coach Forcella. “We did drop a couple during the tournaments that we added, but all in all, we have had a great season.”

The Geckos will head to their district tournament this week knowing that they just need to finish among the top three teams to qualify for the state tournament.  According to Forcella, the Geckos open with Cowley at 4 p.m. today (Thursday, July 12) in Powell.  Cody and Powell will square off in the nightcap. Greybull will follow that up with early-morning games against Cody on Friday and Powell on Saturday. If there is a tie, the championship game will either be played Saturday night or Sunday morning.

“The exciting thing this year is that they will take three teams from our district to the state tournament,” said Forcella. “We should have a great opportunity to advance this year if we play like we have in the last couple of weeks.”

Golfers tee it up for scholarship money

by nathan oster

The 11th Annual Linda Madden Memorial golf tournament was held Wednesday, July 4 at Midway Golf Course.

This tournament is held annually on the Fourth and monies generated from this tournament support scholarships for local students.  The fund has been built up over the past 11 years and now supports 3 scholarships. This year’s scholarship recipients were Levi Kelly of Greybull and Hannah Hoffman and Spencer Kestner, both of Basin.

“This year’s tournament was the largest so far; we had 16 teams consisting of four members each for 64 golfers,” said Al Madden.  “We would like to express our appreciation to Midway Golf Course for its help in getting the course ready to play and all the sponsors that donated prizes and all the golfers that showed up to help support the scholarship fund.”

The tournament was a four-man scramble, with each team counting its best score per hole.

The foursome of Carl and Carmen Olson, Bob Fink and Chuck Hopkin took first, followed in second by Al and Irene Madden, Loren and Naomi Niemitalo.

Aubrey Owen, Travis Tigner, Greg Tharp and Matt Walker took third.

In fourth was the team of Spencer Kestner, Lonnie Koch, Ken Johnson and Eddie Johnson.

“This is a great way to spend a Fourth of July,” said Eddie Johnson, who helped run the tournament. “The funds go to a great cause, the golf course is busy and it is a good day of golf.  I would encourage all, even those who do not golf very often, to get involved. It is fun.”

The course will be busy again this weekend with the Security Invitational on tap for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

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