Daily Archives: May 2, 2013

Board fills elementary positions

by nathan oster

Personnel issues were the focal point of a special meeting Monday night of the Big Horn County School District No. 3 board of trustees.

The board accepted four resignations, including:

• Brittany Miller, who has been serving as the district’s elementary physical education teacher, activities director and head high school volleyball coach. She has accepted a position with the school district in Worland, where she and her husband reside.

• Jeff Hunt, from his assistant middle school track coaching position.

• Jared Collingwood, from his assistant high school football coaching position.

•Kerri Thiel, from her assistant high school girls basketball coaching position. The board recently agreed to place her on a one-year leave, citing her desire to return to the position.  But Thiel has since had a change of heart and wanted it to be considered a resignation.

There were a few arrivals to go with the departures — and all of the new hires will work at the elementary school.

Michaela Williams was hired as the new elementary counselor, Tess Reed was hired as an elementary special education teacher and Mary Packard got the nod for the elementary custodial position, which is for the remainder of the current school year and the 2013-14 school year.

In one final act, the board agreed to add an additional elementary special education teacher to the 2013-14 staffing plan.  Supt. Barry Bryant cited the current special needs enrollment and the recent arrival of another high-needs student as the rationale behind the new position.

Bryant said the district could have hired a paraprofessional, but that his recommendation was to hire a certified teacher.  “We will be able to provide more services … and also help some other special education compliance issues,” Bryant said in his staff report.

The additional position would cost the district around $80,000 the first year.  Beyond that, it would be a reimbursable expense, as special education costs are covered by the state.


Laird promoted to command sergeant major

Michael Laird of Greybull became the newest command sergeant major in the Wyoming Army National Guard after a series of movements among some of the senior ranking enlisted soldiers in the state.

The moves provide new opportunities for full time and traditional National Guardsmen to serve Wyoming’s soldiers.

Laird was promoted from sergeant major to command sergeant major, identifying his responsibility for soldiers in a particular command. His responsibility came after he was transferred from the state’s Recruiting and Retention Battalion, based in Cheyenne, to the 2nd Battalion, 300th Field Artillery, based in Sheridan.

“Command Sgt. Maj. Laird is the right soldier at the right time to guide our state’s only artillery battalion,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Thomas Allan, Wyoming’s state command sergeant major. “As sergeants major, we have a responsibility to guide our officers and our enlisted forces with the knowledge and experience accumulated over careers spanning decades.”

Laird takes over for Command Sgt. Maj. Harold Pafford of Cheyenne, who assumed responsibility for the 115th Fires Brigade, headquartered in Cheyenne. Pafford replaced Command Sgt. Maj. Troy Guimond, of Cheyenne, who assumed responsibility for the Recruiting and Retention Battalion, headquartered in Cheyenne.

Laird said less than 1 percent of all the people who join the Army ever rise to the rank of command sergeant major.

“It’s the highest rank that I can carry as a noncommissioned officer,” he said. “To be able to work with and help train over 400 solders, and get them ready not only for conflicts around the globe but also for state missions that come about due to emergencies, is really the opportunity of a lifetime.

Laird was born in Iowa, but moved to Wyoming with his parents when he was in the sixth grade. He’s spent 40 years in the Big Horn Basin, graduating from Basin High School in 1984.   He currently resides in Greybull, where he owns his own business, Laird Sanitation.

Laird said he was a junior in high school when he and a group of friends joined the Wyoming National Guard.  He has served the Guard faithfully for nearly four decades, including a one-year tour in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Mike and his wife Andrea have two children.  Brendon, 17, is a sophomore at Greybull High School, while daughter Brianna works in Sheridan.

He said he never imagined he’d climb to the rank of command sergeant major. “My goal was to be a first sergeant, to be in charge of a battery of soldiers, which is about 70 soldiers,” he said. “Now I’m in charge of 400. It’s quite an accomplishment, but the most important thing is being able to help train all these guys and work with them.”


Colleagues, friends remember Hinman

by karla pomeroy

Big Horn County Commissioner Thomas S. “Scotty” Hinman resigned the position on April 18 and a week later passed away from leukemia. County officials and others took time to remember the man who served Big Horn County as a firefighter, an emergency medical technician, original member of the South Big Horn County Search and Rescue, three school boards and most recently a Big Horn County commissioner.


Scotty Hinman was hired by Big Horn REA on Aug. 18, 1970, and worked until his retirement on May 3, 2001. He worked as a lineman, line foreman and as the master electrician for the cooperative. His dedicated service to the REA and to the members it serves is sincerely appreciated.

Big Horn REA General Manager Jeff Umphlett


The history of my and Scotty’s family goes back into the pioneering days of the Shell and Beaver Creek community. My earliest memory of him is of riding the Beaver Creek school bus when we were children. He was seven years older than I and was one of the “big kids” to me, but he was kind to the younger children, never bullying or belittling them, always willing to come to their defense when needed. His trait of looking out for the underdog was one he carried with him throughout life; one that was frequently on display when the commission considered controversial issues. Scotty was a man of strong convictions and great courage, traits that were evident as he clearly spoke his mind about whatever situation was at hand. I respected him as a man with no guile — he was exactly who he presented himself to be and one never had to guess what he was thinking. He would speak his mind clearly, leaving no room for doubt about where he stood. After he formed an opinion, it was unshakable and would be defended to the last full measure. I also respected him for his loving commitment to his wife, his children, his grandchildren and his friends.

Now we face the task of filling Scotty’s vacant seat on our Board. Everyone adds a bit of their own character and personality to the places they live and work, and replacing him is going to be a challenge. It is my prayer that the process will provide a positive leader who will be equally dedicated to the welfare of the people of Big Horn County.

Commission Chairman Jerry Ewen


I enjoyed working with Scotty and am glad I had the opportunity to get to know him better during his position as a county commissioner. Scotty always came in with a cup of coffee, a big smile on his face and a joke to tell. He was proud to be a county commissioner following in the footsteps of his family. He was also very proud of his kids and his grandkids and their accomplishments and would brag about them every chance he got.

Big Horn County Treasurer Becky Lindsey


I have only been a county resident and employee a short time but Scotty’s dedication to do what was in the best interest of citizens of this county always impressed me. I have had the pleasure of working more closely with Commissioner Hinman as the County Clerk and in my duties as Clerk of the Board of the County Commissioners since October. Scotty’s presence and wonderful sense of humor will be greatly missed in my office and in the Commission Chambers.

County Clerk Lori Smallwood

I was very fortunate to be one of those individuals who had the opportunity to spend time with Scotty in conversation three or four times a week. Everyone knows of Scotty’s reputation as a storyteller and prankster, and we all thoroughly enjoyed that side of him. That was his personality. There was, however, another side of Scotty that I learned to appreciate perhaps even more than the side that most would see — his importance as a piece of history to this county. His knowledge of our county was endless; from childhood recollections of the way things were, to who owned what land in early times, to when roads were built, he knew it all. If you wanted to know how something came to be in Big Horn County, odds are he knew the answer. I have knowledge that I could never have had, if it had not been for Scotty.

Airports Manager Carl Meyer

Our time knowing Scotty was brief, in the grand scheme of things. However, his impact on us was long lasting. Scotty was a frequent flyer in our office. His near-daily visits ensured that the coffee pot was always brewing and our seats were kept warm. A day without his laughter and stories was not a normal day; we came to require his presence to get on with our daily business. We all know Scotty was a great talker, but he was also a really good listener. He was tolerant, kind and made you feel like family. Our hearts are heavy as we adjust to the loss of this great man. To the entire Hinman family, we feel your pain, but we will definitely keep Scotty alive in spirit forever. He’ll never be forgotten.

Land Planner Joy Hill and the planning staff

I knew where I stood with Scotty; no ifs, ands, or buts. Scotty always had a joke or story for me. He would drop by the sheriff’s office and jail just to visit and have a cup of coffee.

Sheriff Ken Blackburn

Scotty was always a joy to see come into the assessor’s office as he usually had an interesting anecdote to share with us. As he came through to fill his coffee mug in our breakroom he would make sure he stopped to say hello to each of the staff. On occasion he would bring a big can of coffee to add to our supply, which was really appreciated. He will be greatly missed by the assessor’s office!

County Assessor Gina Anderson and staff

I don’t think I ever saw Scotty Hinman without a smile on his face.  He always had the latest lawyer joke for me, and I loved hearing the stories about his past antics; at least, I think they were about his past antics. I didn’t know Scotty long enough, but I’m very glad for the time I did. He’s left big shoes to fill as a commissioner and as a man.  Unfortunately for all of us, I’m pretty sure the mold was broken when God made him.

Former County Attorney Georgia Antley Hunt


Mr. Hinman is survived by his wife, Karen of Basin; his daughter, Connie (Todd) Werbelow of Emblem, and grandkids, Ben and Kelsie Anson; his daughter, Lori (Greg) Dorr of Jamestown, N.D.; his son, Alan (Cheryl) Hinman and two step-granddaughters, Katie and Lindsey Graham of Lyman; his sister, Nancy (Rick) Vonburg of Torrington; his sister-in-law, Dorothy (Johnny) Gibler of Basin; his brother-in-law, Bob (Sharon) Michaels of Worland; as well as countless other family members and friends.

Memorial services were Monday, April 29, at the First Baptist Church in Basin. Memorials in Scotty’s name will be received at Big Horn Federal Savings Bank, P.O. Box 471, Greybull, WY 82426-0471 with proceeds to go to benefit the Big Horn County Library.

‘Faith County’ on GHS stage

by marlys good

“In Mineola, a small town located ‘somewhere in the middle of nowhere in the South,’ a colorful collection of good ol’ country folk gather at the Faith County Fairgrounds for this year’s county fair. In a place where beehive hairdos are still the rage and Saturday nights are reserved for the tractor pulls, there’s still competition in the arts and crafts category and plenty of gossip to be found at the lemonade stand run by the ladies of the church.”

So reads a brief synopsis of the comedic play “Faith County,” written by Mark Landon Smith that will be presented by Greybull High School thespians Friday, May 3 and Saturday, May 4. Performances will be 7:30 p.m. Admission is $2 or donations of canned goods for the food pantry at the Community Outreach thrift shop.

The nine characters include a bossy gossip, flirtatious poetess, uptight preacher’s wife, the mayor’s wife who drinks too much, the hairstylist still crowing about winning the elementary spelling bee, the smitten pig farmer, local mechanic, gas jockey and a sweet, young pregnant country girl.

Characters will be portrayed by Sammi Stewart, Gabriela Tinglund, Charisma Roberson, Brittany Cheatham, Cesar Garay, Jacob Gifford, Shelby Winkler, Anja Louis and Jarrod Johnson.

The action centers around a concession stand filled with baked goods, blistering gossip and … love.


Frances Evelyn Hopkin

OBIT Frances Hopkin2Aug. 20, 1928 – April 26, 2013

Graveside services for Frances Evelyn Hopkin of Otto will be held Saturday, May 4 at 11 a.m. at the Otto Cemetery. Frances, 84, died April 26 at Powell Valley Hospital.

A viewing will be held Friday from 5-7 p.m. at the Atwood Family Funeral Home in Basin.

She was born Aug. 20, 1928, in Gould District, Big Horn County, at the home of her parents, John and Christina Boelens Snyder. She attended grade school in the old Gould schoolhouse and then attended school in Greybull and graduated from Greybull High School.

After graduating Frances went to work at the Big Horn County Courthouse.

She married John S. “Johnny” Hopkin March 12, 1947, in Billings. They were sealed for time and eternity in the Ogden Temple in 1980.

Frances, a lifelong homemaker, helped her husband farm. After the death of her husband in 1981, Frances went to work as the custodian at the Otto school. When the school in Otto closed, she worked as a school custodian in Burlington until she retired.

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

Her husband and parents preceded her in death.

She is survived by two daughters and sons-in-law, Bill and Eileen Duncan of Basin and George and Linda Marcus of Otto; nine grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.

Melvin L. “Roy” Olsen

1942 – 2013

Cremation has taken place and a celebration of the life of Melvin L. “Roy” Olsen of Greybull will be held at a later date. Roy died of cancer April 24 at Spirit Mountain Hospice House in Cody.

Roy was born in Helena, Mont., in 1942, the son of Elmer and Mary Jo Olsen. He served in the United States Air Force from January 1961 until August 1964. He began his career with the railroad in May of 1965 and retired in November of 2000 due to health issues.

His parents and two sisters, Ada Martin and Donna Martin, preceded him in death.

Roy is survived by his wife of 42 years, Beverly, of Greybull; one daughter, Tracey Davidson of Helena, Mont.; two sons and daughters-in-law, Travis and Michelle of Magnolia, Del. and Troy and Mellisa of Windsor, Colo., and three grandchildren.

Thomas “Scotty” Hinman

OBIT HinmanMay 3, 1939 – April 25, 2013

Memorial services for Thomas “Scotty” Hinman were held April 29 at the First Baptist Church in Basin. Scotty, 73, died April 25 at St. Vincent Hospital in Billings.

He was born May 3, 1939, in Billings, the son of George and Genevieve Whaley Hinman. He grew up on the family farm in Shell, received his education in Shell and Greybull and graduated from Greybull High School.

Scotty married Karen Ann Michaels of Basin on Oct. 11, 1963. He was employed by Big Horn REA for 31 years, working as a journeyman, lineman, line foreman and master electrician.

He believed in giving back to his community and spent many years as a fireman, an EMT, and was an original member of South Big Horn County Search and Rescue. He served on three school boards and most recently as a Big Horn County commissioner.

Scotty had a quick wit and was always ready with a story and  had a smile for everyone. His favorite vacation spot was the Big Horn Mountains where he loved to fish, hunt and relax with his family. He loved playing cards with family and friends.

He is survived by his wife Karen of Basin; two daughters and sons-in-law, Todd and Connie Werbelow of Emblem and Greg and Lori Dorr of Jamestown, N.D.; son and daughter-in-law, Alan and Cheryl Hinman of Lyman; sister and brother-in-law, Rick and Nancy Vonburg of Torrington; sister-in-law, Dorothy and Johnny Gibler of Basin; brother-in-law, Bob and Sharon Michaels of Worland; two grandchildren, Ben and Kelsie Anson, and two step-granddaughters, Katie and Lindsey Graham of Lyman.

A private family burial was held at Whaley Cemetery.

Memorials in Scotty’s name are being received at Big Horn Federal, Box 471, Greybull, WY 82426-0471. Proceeds will benefit the Big Horn County Library.

Powers, Forcella pace Buffs at Thermop

by nathan oster

McKenna Powers placed in three of her four individual events, Calder Forcella captured third in the discus and Wyatt Good added an eighth in the 300-meter hurdles to account for the Greybull scoring at Friday afternoon’s Bobcat Invitational in Thermopolis.

The Buffs placed 18th out of 21 teams in the girls division and 19th out of 22 teams in the boys division.  Powell and Lovell took home the girls and boys team titles, respectively.

“It was a tough meet,” said Coach Jeff Sukut, estimating that more than 500 athletes attended.

One week earlier, the Buffs turned in 25 personal-record performances.

They didn’t see that same across-the-board productivity in Thermopolis.

“In some areas, we made progress,” he said. “In others, we lost a little ground.”

Powers was the day’s top performer.  The junior accounted for all nine of Greybull’s team points in the girls division.  Her best effort came in the 400 meters, where she placed third in a time of 1 minute, 5:52 seconds.  It was her best time of the year in the event.

Powers didn’t run her best time in the 800 meters, but she didn’t need it, earning a seventh with a time of 2:46.46.  She rounded out the scoring with an eighth in the triple jump, turning in “one of her best jumps of the year,” a 31-3 1/4-foot effort.

In other girls division highlights, Sukut noted that Mackenzie Bollig, Aftin DeRosa, Britney Fink and Sydney Eckman all ran pesonal-best times in the 100 meters. DeRosa finished 20th, Bollig 23rd, Eckman 28th and Fink 29th.

Sukut said Lynae McBride also shaved several seconds off her best time in the 400 meters.

Forcella accounted for six of the seven Greybull team points in the boys division. His throw, 125-4, wasn’t a personal best, but ranked third overall and second among 2A throwers in Thermopolis.

Wyatt Good scored the other team point, running a 45.99 to earn an eighth in the 300 hurdles.

Greybull’s 400-meter relay team, which has already qualified for state, had an off day.  Dylan Brenner missed the meet due to illness.  Jake LaFollette ran in his place.  The team didn’t finish the race, as they were disqualified due to a bad handoff.

Among non placers, Sukut said Kyler Flock had “a good day,” running personal-bests in the 100 and 400 meters; Treston Tracy improved by almost 4 feet in the shot put and Herme Mendez and Jarrod Johnson each shaved several seconds off their personal bests in the 1,600 meters.

The Buffs should enjoy more individual and team success this weekend at the Longhorn Invitational in Meeteetse.  There won’t be as many teams, for one thing.  And there certainly won’t be as many big schools.

Sukut said he expects the tempo of practices this week to be “upbeat” before “gliding into the tapering process” next week.


BOYS – Lovell 63.25, Powell 60, Lander 60, Riverton 58.5, Wind River 56, Big Piney 53.5, Pinedale 40, Dubois 39, Shoshoni 38.5, Thermopolis 34.25, Wyoming Indian 32, Worland 27, Cody 23, Meeteetse 20, Rocky Mt. 15.25, Ten Sleep 9, Burlington 8, Riverside 8, Greybull 7, Cody 6, Farson 2.25, Powell 1.5.

300 HURDLES – 8, Wyatt Good, 45.99.

DISCUS – 3, Calder Forcella, 125-4.

GIRLS – Powell 89, Thermopolis 83.33, Dubois 47, Big Piney 46.33, Worland 42.83, Pinedale 39.83, Shoshoni 33, Lander 32, Lovell 31, Riverton 28, Cody 28, Meeteetse 27, Western Heritage 24.33, Ten Sleep 23, Riverside 16, Burlington 14, Farson 10, Greybull 9, Wind River 8.33, Wyoming Indian 8, Rocky Mt. 6.

400 METERS – 3, McKenna Powers, 1:05.52.

800 METERS – 7, Powers, 2:46.46.

TRIPLE JUMP – 8, Powers, 31-3 3/4.

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