Monthly Archives: October 2012
by nathan oster
The Shopko era is officially under way in Greybull.
With the cutting of a ceremonial ribbon on Thursday morning, store manager Andy Smith welcomed shoppers who had assembled for the grand opening of the store as well as the specials and giveaways offered in conjunction with it.
Just as Pamida had done, Shopko began its association with the Greybull community by making a generous donation of $2,500 to Big Horn County School District No. 3. Barry Bryant, the superintendent of schools, was present to accept the donation.
Mike Beckley, a regional supervisor for Shopko, said shoppers would immediately notice that the new store has a more “open atmosphere” than one they saw when they visited the old Pamida store.
He also touted the improved product lines offered by Shopko.
The Greybull store is one of approximately 170 former Pamidas being converted to Shopko Hometowns this year.
Smith called it an exciting day not only for Shopko but also for him and his team of employees, who were tasked with empting nearly a dozen semi trucks full of merchandise within a 3 ½ week period.
“This is the day we’ve been working toward,” Smith said, a sense of relief in his voice. “The team (of employees) that I’ve got here is just fantastic. In fact, I’d take them over anybody’s else’s team…they are that good.”
According to a company release, Shopko is a $3 billion retailer that operates almost 350 stores in 22 states throughout the Midwest, Mountain, North Central and Pacific Northwest regions.
by marlys good
The Greybull Lady Buff netters survived the pigtail match to earn a berth at the Class 2A West Regional and had hopes of making it through the bracket to earn a trip to the state tournament, but it did not happen.
Greybull lost its opener to the Lady Blue of Shoshoni, 21-25, 22-25, 13-25 and then, in one of the tournament’s bright spots, got by Wind River 23-25, 25-22 25-23, 25-20 to set up a loser-out, winner-to-state match Saturday morning against the Lady Rangers from Kemmerer.
The Buffs won the first game, 25-19 and had the momentum, but Kemmerer, ranked among the top three or four teams in 2A, wasn’t to be denied. Greybull couldn’t overcome the powerful Ranger attack, and never regained the momentum. They lost the next three games, and the match, 17-25, 21-25, 19-25.
Greybull had to pack its bags, head home, and regroup for another year.
No individual or team statistics from the regional tournament were available from the Buff coaching staff.
Coach Brittany Miller summer the tournament up by saying, “Overall the kids played outstandingly. As a coach all you can ask for is that they give maximum effort and our girls played their hearts out. They went point-for-point the first two games with Shoshoni and looked impressive and had a phenomenal win against Wind River,” a team that had beaten Greybull twice this season. As for the match with Kemmerer, Miller said, “They played hard and were so close to getting to that state tournament.”
Coach Miller said the coaches talked to the girls after the match, “telling them how proud we were of their heart and effort, and thanking our three seniors, Sarah Bockman, Biri Gallegos and Michaela Denniston, for their leadership. All three were key contributors to our team, both on and off the court.”
Then the coaches talked about next year and the direction of the GHS volleyball program.
“Last year was the first time in years we made a regional tournament, so to get there again was a huge step. Now that is our expectation every year.”
Looking at the varsity roster at regionals, in addition to her three seniors, Miller played two freshmen, Madi Edeler and Britney Fink, sophomore Brett Stephens, and juniors McKenna Powers and Ceirra Carlson. All will be returning, and returning with tournament experience, which is a big plus. “I couldn’t be more excited to start next season,” Miller said.
Miller was overwhelmed by the parent/fan support all season as well as at regionals. “We had parents feeding our team pre-game dinners, packing snacks and meals for our road trips, decorating the bus to send us to regionals.” And at the tournament, Miller said she had parents from other schools “commending the fan base from Greybull and how loud and encouraging they were. Our parents went above and beyond,” she said.
by nathan oster
The Worland Warriors got top-12 finishes from every swimmer and diver on their roster en route to a third-place finish last weekend at its conference meet.
Taylor Werbelow, who attends Riverside, provided one of the highlights for the Warriors, qualifying for the state meet in the 50 freestyle. “She has been working really hard toward this goal so it was nice to see her qualify in prelims,” said Coach Kim Wyman.
Werbelow placed fifth in both the 50 and 100 freestyles.
Elizabeth Dietrich, who hails from GHS, placed fourth in the 100 freestyle and eighth in the 100 breaststroke.
Brianna Jolley claimed a third in the 200 freestyle and a fourth in the 100 butterfly.
Brittany Butz contributed an 11th in the 500 freestyle.
In the relays, Jolley and Dietrich swam on Worland’s medley relay team, which took third; Dietrick and Werbelow were on the second-place finishing 200 free relay, and Werbelow and Jolley were on Worland’s 400 free relay, which also placed second.
The Warriors are spending this week gearing up for their sate meet, which will be held this weekend in Gillette. Prelims are Friday afternoon. Finals follow on Saturday morning.
“The team will be tapering and anxiously awaiting this culminating event,” said Wyman. “We had many successes this past weekend and too much fun! The girls swam very well and really came together as a team. It was very exciting to be a part of.”
By KARLA POMEROY
The Big Horn County commissioners unanimously selected Deputy Clerk Lori Albers to be the new county clerk through 2014.
Albers duties started immediately since the former clerk Dori Noyes began her duties as clerk of district court Oct. 1. Albers will finish Noyes four-year term through 2014. She was one of three candidates interviewed by the commissioners. Albers Deputy Clerk Deb LaBudda and former deputy clerk Beth Lampman were selected as the three candidates to submit to the commissioners by the Republican Central Committee.
Commission Chairman Jerry Ewen said, “We had two candidates currently working in the office. Any of the three could have done the job.”
He said Albers had quite a varied background and experience that could prove beneficial in the role of clerk.
“Her positive, energetic management style will serve the public well,” Ewen said.
He praised the work of the Republican Central Committee for narrowing the list to submit to the commissioners. “I asked if they would rank the candidates and they said they would submit them only in alphabetical order,” Ewen said.
Albers, in an interview this week, said, “An opportunity like this doesn’t come up a lot. I love a challenge. Sure I would have loved to have a few more years but this is a great opportunity and I have the background, especially in budgeting from San Diego State University.”
She said she “definitely” plans to run for the office in 2014. “I would love to have the legacy in this office that Ellen (Cowan Whipps) has. It’s neat that this office is thought of as Ellen’s.”
As for the transition into the new position, Albers said, “I’m hoping the transition between Dori and myself is seamless. We have a great team here. Everyone does a great job with the daily operations.”
She said while the office has made progress in the area of customer service in the past few years, she has some ideas to even make it more customer friendly.
“My short-term goal is to get through the General Election as smoothly as the primary, and we’re on pace to do that,” Albers said. She said then she’ll turn her attention to other items.
While having worked in the office for two years, Albers said she understands most of the duties of the clerk, compared to a deputy clerk but admits she anticipates a few surprises.
She said she has a great staff to work with, Noyes is “just upstairs” and has already offered her help and support.
“I feel fortunate we have a great team and I have some great resources,” Albers said, adding that she has already met a lot of the other clerks in the state and they will prove to be valuable assets of information and experience and assistance. She said she’s already learning a lot just reading the e-mail the clerks exchange.
She said the office will be seeking a new deputy clerk soon.
Albers was raised in Cody and then was transplanted to San Diego until moving back to Wyoming in 2010, residing in Basin. She began working at the county clerk’s office in 2010.
She said she has a wide range of knowledge of the office and look forward to the challenge and new responsibilities becoming the county clerk will present.
In her resume she submitted to the Republican Central Committee, Albers said prior to her move back to Wyoming, she worked at San Diego State University (SDSU) Research Foundation for the 23 years; starting at an entry level position and working her way up, working directly with many diverse executive directors and faculty researchers for 17 years.
“As part of my many job responsibilities I developed program concepts, proposals and budgets, contacted federal and non-federal funding agencies and individuals, secured financial commitments and subsequently administered that funding in a fiscally responsible manner, in accordance with sponsor (federal, state and local) and university guidelines.”
She wrote to the committee, “My skill set and personality are ideal for this position. My experience at SDSU evolved in levels of responsibility and allowed me to grow with the organization expanding my skill set and to develop an in depth knowledge of requirements for each process and project. I worked directly with several research faculty on disparate programs all requiring high levels of detail, accuracy and organization. I handled program and proposal development, budgetary planning, implementation and daily management across all of them.
“I am extremely familiar – and comfortable – with performing many tasks, simultaneously. I have managed staff ranging from two to 10 employees and have a strong team environment management style.
“I believe my excellent working relationship with my coworkers and dedication to our work in the clerk’s office will make this time of transition much smoother for our team as we continue to serve the citizens of Big Horn County.”
Albers has two children, an 18-year-old son Duston and a 16-year-old daughter Bailey, both of whom live in San Diego.
by marlys good
Sometimes there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
For Shalyn and Chad Kiernan of Billings that “light” is their 8-pound, 19-3/4-inch long baby boy, Gavin Michael, who came into the world Sept. 4, to complete a family circle that includes his parents, grandparents, Michael K. and Lyna Smith, Jeraline Bachman and Kenny Gilbert, all of Greybull, and Autumn and Wade Kiernan of Billings, and great-grandparents, Marie and Don Gemmell, also of Greybull.
The miracle story began in November of 2011. Chad and his father-in-law had enjoyed a successful hunting trip, bagging two cow elk, which they had to drag out of a draw. Chad felt tired all the following week but attributed it to just “being out of shape.”
Turned out to be a bit more than that. The following Thursday he noticed a lump on his neck. A trip to a specialist diagnosed his problem as Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Chad underwent surgery immediately and was facing six months of chemotherapy which was scheduled to start the day after Christmas.
The young couple was in shock. They had wanted to start a family and knew the chemo would make that impossible. They decided to stop birth control and Shalyn became pregnant soon after.
To make sure the baby was normal, doctors started ultra-sounds “ultra-early.” The couple hit another snag when doctors found a lime-sized tumor on Shalyn’s ovary when she was three-months pregnant.
Specialists performed surgery to remove the tumor and the ovary. The baby survived. After a week spent in the hospital doctors said no further treatment was needed and Shalyn was dismissed, cancer-free.
The next six months dragged by. Shalyn suffered through terrible bouts of morning sickness the entire time, but kept eating a little each day, fighting to give her baby every chance.
Meanwhile, Chad finished his chemo in early June, was doing well and was in remission. They removed the port from Chad’s chest in early July and the family had a real celebration.
The 10 months of worry, wondering, hope and prayer came to a happy ending on Sept. 4 when Gavin Michael arrived at the Billings Clinic. The new father said Gavin’s birth left him “overjoyed. I can’t explain how I felt.”
Although the family calls Gavin a “miracle baby” the miracle actually began 10 months ago, the lowest point being when Chad was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Chad said if he had not been diagnosed with cancer and had to undergo chemo, the decision to start a family would probably have been postponed; the ultrasound would not have been taken, and Shalyn’s “borderline malignant” tumor, would not have been discovered. Both Chad and Shalyn know there were a lot of “what ifs” before they welcomed their new son.
“He’s growing fast,” Chad said proudly. “He’s a pretty needy lad right now,” he laughed, referring to the sleepless nights and restless days. But he and Shalyn relish every moment.
“Everything happens for a reason,” said Shalyn. “Someone was definitely looking over us the whole time. I am so thankful that Chad is in remission and that Gavin was born healthy. We just feel really blessed at this moment.”
No services are planned at this time for Emily Anne Bucklin, 67, who died Friday, Oct. 5, 2012, in Sheridan.
Anne was born Dec. 22, 1944, in Greybull, the daughter of Donald L. and Dorothy Chase Gould. She grew up and received her education in Greybull.
She enjoyed gardening, doing crafts, reading, and local Big Horn Basin history.
Her parents and her husband preceded her in death.
She is survived by her brother and sister-in-law, Walter and Vera Gould of Sheridan; one sister, Donna Gould of Phoenix, Ariz., and three nephews, Jay Gould of Jackson, Don Gould of Sheridan and Peter Stevens of Chicago.
Memorials in Anne’s name can be made to Bonnie Bluejacket Memorial Nursing Home, 388 S. U.S. Hwy. 20, Basin, WY 82410 or to the Sheridan College Foundation, Peggy Gould Nursing Scholarship, Box 6328, Sheridan, WY 82801.
by nathan oster
Healthier than they have been at any point since week zero, the Greybull Buffs rode an electrifying performance by sophomore Fabian Davila and an opportunistic defense to their first conference win of the season on Friday night.
The 30-6 victory not only broke the seal on the win column for the Buffs, who improved to 1-5 overall, 1-4 in Class 2A West Conference. It also represented a turning of the page for a team that endured its share of hardships over the previous five weeks.
“It was definitely an emotional game,” said Coach Justin Bernhardt, who logged his first win as a head coach in Wyoming. “When you think about all the work, all the time we put in as a team and a coaching staff … it was a great feeling. I didn’t think we’d have to wait this long.
“I’m usually not a rah-rah type, but I got pretty excited. I broke out the pom-poms for this game … hard not to, considering all we’ve been through.”
From the opening kickoff, it was Greybull’s night.
Davila is usually one of, if not the fastest player on the field — and he showed off his wheels on the opening kickoff. The sophomore found a crease in the Kemmerer coverage and took it 91 yards for a touchdown that seemed to set the tone for the entire night.
“We definitely needed something like that to start the game,” said Bernhardt. “We wanted to get the momentum right off the bat; that’s why we wanted the ball, and didn’t defer when we won the flip.”
Bernhardt said the electrifying return was a payoff for “a lot of extra time” that the team devoted to special teams during practice last week. “When I saw it open up the way it did, I knew he was gone,” Bernhardt said.
After that crushing blow, the Buffs never let the Wranglers off the canvas. Greybull found the end zone again with 5:54 to play in the first on a 10-yard pass from Calder Forcella to Connor Petty. The Buffs scored twice more before halftime to go up 24-0, getting a 13-yard run from Forcella and a 40-yard, Forcella-to-Davila hookup with just 1:13 left in the second quarter.
Greybull didn’t score another offensive touchdown.
Kemmerer appeared to be on the verge of breaking through early in the fourth quarter, but Davila stepped in front of a pass and returned it 99 yards for his third touchdown of the game, which gave the Buffs a 30-0 lead.
The Rangers finally did get on the board, connecting on a long pass play as time expired.
But it was too little, too late.
The Buffs owned the night — offensively and defensively. They gained 127 yards on the ground, 137 through the air, and limited Kemmerer to less than 190 yards of total offense.
“We had had a good week of practice, and it was fun being able to run the systems we put in during two-a-days and against Basin,” said Bernhardt. “They were 4-1, yes, but we were getting most of our guys back, with the exception of Rob Nuttall and Cody Strach, and we were confident.
The Buffs didn’t play a perfect game, Bernhardt said. Twice in the first half, they turned the ball over inside the Kemmerer 20-yard line. One was on an interception, the other on a dropped pass on a fourth-down play.
But those missteps were washed away by the numbers on the scoreboard at the final horn. Bernhardt said that while he, his coaches and players are “pretty excited to finally get the monkey off our backs,” it was also “bittersweet” from the standpoint of what might have been.
“There was some realization, I think, that if it wasn’t for some bad breaks, that would have been the team on the field all year. They were 4-1 going in. It wasn’t a shock to beat them, but to beat them like that … it just said a lot about the kind of team we have.”
“Other than the Lovell game, I don’t think there’s been a game this season that we wouldn’t have won, had it not been for the injuries. We could very well be 5-1, instead of 1-5, right now.”
With just one conference win, the Buffs would need a miracle — and help from other teams — to make the Class 2A West Conference playoffs. Four teams already have three conference wins — and just to get into the playoff conversation, the Buffs would need to win each of their final two games, which is tricky since they wrap up the season against No. 1 ranked and unbeaten Lyman.
This week, though, figures to be a lot easier. Big Piney, 1-5 overall, 0-5 in the conference, is the opponent. The two teams will square off Friday in Big Piney. Kick off is at 3:30 p.m.
“Like us, their record isn’t great,” Bernhardt said. “But they have a solid football team with a good quarterback who makes a lot of plays for them. They have had a couple of close ones, like us. But if we play with the same enthusiasm we played with against Kemmerer, and clean up some of the stuff we need to clean up…it should be another pretty good day for us.”
Kemmerer 0 0 0 6 – 6
Greybull 12 12 0 6 – 30
G – Fabian Davila 94-yard kickoff return.
G – Connor Petty 10-yard pass from Calder Forcella.
G – Forcella 13-yard run.
G – Davila 40-yard pass from Forcella.
G – Davila 99-yard interception return.
RUSHING – Greybull 36-127 (Forcella 15-67, Paul Stewart 5-11, Jesse Chestnut 16-49); Kemmerer 40-100.
PASSING – Greybull 9 of 18 for 137 yards; Kemmerer 8 of 16 for 90 yards.
RECEIVING – Greybull: Petty 2-32, Davila 4-88, Bryce Wright 3-17.
DEFENSIVE STANDOUTS – Greybull: Calder Forcella and Jesse Chestnut tied for the team lead with 25 defensive points. Chestnut had three tackles for loss, Forcella had two interceptions. Paul Stewart, with two tackles for loss and two sacks, trailed with 22 total points. Payton Gonzalez finished with 15, Luke Zeller 13 and Bryce Wright 10.
by nathan oster
Greybull Elementary School has launched a new anti-bullying initiative that rewards students for good behavior and teaches them not only to identify bullying behaviors but also what to do if they are victimized.
The school invited parents to attend an hour-long presentation on the Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) and Olweus Bullying Prevention Program. Classroom discussions and a pizza party followed.
Jacinda Campbell, a GES guidance counselor and member of the committee that put the presentation together, said the school is focusing on bullying because it’s a problem.
“You hear it all over the news, and here is no exception…bullying happens everywhere,” she said. “A lot of students don’t know what bullying is. They can’t look at a situation and say, ‘OK, that is bullying.’
“Having a program such as OELYS gives kids a concrete idea about what (bullying) is. Then I can teach them the skills for standing up against it and the importance of reporting it to an adult.”
Campbell said there are varying forms of bullying. There is the face-to face bullying, in which you can see the person doing the bullying. And then there is the behind-the back, rumor spreading form.
Campbell hopes that by teaching kids about bullying early on, while they are still in elementary school, that they will be better able to deal with it by the time they reach middle school and high school, where bullying “often times escalates into bigger issues.”
The middle school is also implementing the Olweus program, said Campbell. The program does not extend to the high school level, however.
At Friday morning’s kickoff, Jinks told the students and a small gathering of parents that the state has required that school districts develop anti-bullying programs — and that she wanted the students to strive to become “PBIS stars.”
PBIS stands for Positive Behavior Interventions and Support, and through an hour-long presentation, the anti-bullying committee made up of Mrs. Sarah Zeller, Mrs. Kim Curtis as well as Campbell and Jinks, outlined the types of behavior they expect from students.
Each presentation described ways to be safe, respectful and responsible in different school settings, such as in the classroom, in hallways, on the playground, in the cafeteria and in the restroom.
Shifting gears to Olweus, Jinks said, “We will not tolerate bullying at Greybull Elementary School. Bullying behavior can be name calling, over and over, even when the other person tells you to stop and that you’re hurting them and you keep doing it. … Or if you’re mad at one person because they like playing with a different person.”
Jinks outlined three anti-bullying rules that will be in effect at GES moving forward.
“One, we will not bully others.
“Two, we will try to help students who are bullied.
“Three, we will try to include students who are being left out.
“And four, if we know someone is being bullied, we will tell an adult at school and an adult at home.”
Jinks said classrooms will hold weekly meetings to discuss bullying and other school issues and she introduced programs in which students can earn Star Tickets and classrooms can earn Star Bucks for exhibiting positive behavior.
For every 10 Star Bucks its collects, each classroom will be allowed to put a piece of a puzzle in place. Between now and December, the goal will be to complete that puzzle, as an entire school working together. If it succeeds, the reward, Jinks said, will be an all-school trip to a movie in either Powell or Worland.
by karla pomeroy
The Big Horn County Republican Central Committee advanced three names to the commissioners for possible appointment to the vacant county clerk position, all with experience in office.
Republican Chairman Dave Mattis said 25 members came to the meeting at the Weed and Pest Building to listen to the seven candidates and cast votes. The three finalists are Acting Clerk Debra LaBudda, current Deputy Clerk Lori Albers and former deputy clerk Elizabeth Lampman.
The commissioners set a meeting for Friday to interview the candidates and then make their selection. By statute they have five days from receiving the names to make the appointment. Mattis said he would notify the county on Wednesday.
The commissioners at Tuesday’s meeting, in anticipation of being notified Wednesday, set interviews for 9, 10 and 11 a.m. with a special meeting for the appointment to follow the final interview.
The person will serve the rest of Dori Noyes’ term through 2014. Noyes was appointed and began duties this week as the clerk of district court following Vickie Larchick’s retirement.
Same ride, in large part many of the same riders, same route, same month — every year. Might not sound exciting, but for Dave Haller, who has been participating in the 160-plus mile bike ride to benefit the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation, there is always something new about it all.
This was Haller’s fifth ride, and he could probably have traveled the course with his eyes closed. Cyclists begin the course in Sundance, go to Devil’s Tower, Hulett, Aladdin Junction and back to Sundance, a distance of about 80 miles. Sunday the ride goes from Sundance to Aladdin, Belle Fourche and then Spearfish before ending up back in Sundance, which completes the 160 miles.
Haller said there are always a few different people participating each year. “We had a good group out of Cheyenne who always ride, but a lot of them had other commitments this year. But, there were people from Denver who came. They have a chapter in Denver, so for them to come clear across the state to participate in this ride — I thought it was neat.”
One thing that is definitely not always the same old, same old, is the weather. “One year we had a head wind the last 20 miles of the ride,“ which made that last 20 miles seem like 100, Dave said. “This year we had a tail wind the first day – so it was a beautiful ride, then the second day we had that headwind again.”
Haller said the ride also gives you an opportunity of “seeing the good in people you hadn’t noticed before.” This year a fellow rider stopped and removed a dead animal from the middle of the road so riders behind them didn’t have to see it. A small thing maybe, but Haller said, “To take the time to stop the ride and do that, I think says something about his character.”
Haller said the one constant of his five years of participation is “the sense of satisfaction I get from helping a good cause.”
He and wife Darla hold a yard sale prior to the annual rides with all proceeds benefitting the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation.
They are gratified each year at the number of people who donate items or money “just to help out with the cause.”
The next ride is a year away, but Haller, an admitted “exercise nut,” thinks he’ll be in Sundance again next year, just because “I still believe it is for a good cause.”