Daily Archives: May 23, 2013

Rec district steps up for youth sports

by nathan oster

The Greybull Recreation District’s board of directors hired a new director and committed to assume a greater administrative role for youth baseball and other intramural sports programs during its meeting Monday night at the Herb Asp Community Center.

Topping the agenda was the hiring of a replacement for Chris Waite, who left the district at the end of April and is now working in Billings. His assistant, Heather Howe, was immediately appointed the “interim” director, and on Monday night, she officially got the permanent job.

Her hiring was approved on a 4-1 vote, with Clay Collingwood voting nay.  Collingwood was sitting in for Myles Foley, who is the town council’s parks and recreation commissioner. Foley was unavailable, but he had given Collingwood permission to cast votes on his behalf.

Howe’s promotion created a vacancy in the assistant director’s post.  The board agreed to begin advertising the position, setting the hours at not to exceed 29 and the starting pay at $12 per hour.

The board and its new director spent most of Monday’s meeting talking about youth sports.

A group including Ken Wright, who has taken the reigns of the youth baseball program this summer, as well as baseball moms Janelle Craft and Carrie Hunt (whose husband Jeff is also a baseball coach) approached the board with myriad concerns about the state and direction of all the district’s sports programs.

All three called up on the recreation district to take a greater organizational role in the sport.

“I heard that you’ve been looking at doing away with some intramural sports and making them ‘league’ sports like baseball and soccer are,” said Craft. “I’m hoping that isn’t the case and that the rec district will continue to support these intramural programs.

“(Former Director) Chris (Waite) did a great job introducing more of the arts to the community, but I’m concerned that intramural sports seem to be declining.  I’d like as much time put into sports as some of the arts program.  There’s a proper balance there — and I don’t think we’ve found it yet.  Looking at the summer schedule, I don’t see a lot of organized sports activities for our kids.”

Craft urged the rec board to offer training or guidelines for coaches to follow, not only in baseball but in all sports. “I know how hard parents can be on coaches,” she said. “Parents want coaches to produce winning tams, but if teamwork and leadership isn’t taught at the intramural level, coaches aren’t going to have a lot to work with when the kids get to the middle school and high school levels.”

Ken Wright, who grew up in Greybull, moved away in 1988 and then returned two years ago, said he’s noticed the decline in youth sports. Especially baseball, a sport he’s trying to keep going this spring.

“When I was growing up here, baseball was really important in this area,” he said. “Talk to people my age, and one thing they remember is the Greybull baseball program being very strong, and being something kids looked forward to doing each year.”

Wright said he knows of one family that chose not to settle in Greybull because its youth sports programs are lacking.

“It’s hard to recruit young families to the area if you don’t have some of the sports program. Existin rec programming is good, and is a good recruiting tool.  But it doesn’t cover all genres of opeople.

“With us no longer having a pool, when you think of the demographics in this community, if there’s no pool, no baseball program, there isn’t a lot of things for kids to do when school is not going.”

Wright appealed to the rec district for the formation of a board or subcommittee to oversee and guide the youth baseball program. He emphasized, however, that parents also need to step up and be part of the solution.

“Most of the people who are involved are 8 to 5 people who are going out at 6 or 7 at night and not getting home until 9,” Wright said. “It’s unrealistic to have a completely parent-run organization. That’s why I’d like to see a committee under the rec district.”

Wright said that while T-ball and coach pitch numbers are good, the upper levels are struggling to field teams.  There won’t be a Babe Ruth team in town this summer, as the core of last year’s state tournament team will either be joining a Senior Babe Ruth team in Worland or a Legion squad in Lovell. Wright said his Minors team roster currently stands at 12, while the Majors team coached by Scott McBride has a roster of 10.

Wright said Lovell has a thriving baseball program and will field multiple T-Ball, coach pitch, Majors and Minors teams this summer.

“We’ve had this conversation, and a lot of us agree with you,” said Barry Bryant, the Greybull superintendent and a member of the rec board.

Discussion then shifted to whether one committee might be able to oversee all the intramural programs, the distinction between “league” and “intramural” sports, spending on field maintenance and the deficiencies of the three fields in the Art Schutte Sports Complex. The playing surfaces on all three diamonds are a concern, according to Joe Forcella, a rec board member and baseball coach.

When the board resumed the discussion later in the meeting, the focus was on how the district might be able to help not only baseball but all intramural sports.  In the end, the board agreed to assume greater responsibility in the administration of the major intramural sports, including baseball.

Board members also agreed that a youth sports committee would be a positive step and that the bylaws that govern youth sports need to be reviewed and possibly rewritten, including the language that limits the activity fee to $3 for intramural sports.


Swimming lessons

There may be a glimmer of hope for parents who would like to get their children enrolled in swimming lessons this summer. With the pool now closed, Howe has been researching possible alternatives.

The outdoor pool at the Greybull KOA has emerged as a possible location for lessons. Howe said she’s visited with Cor Bijvank, who is “open to the idea.” His primary concern is liability. “He doesn’t want it to fall on him,” Howe said.

Howe and Bijvank plan to continue their discussions.

Howe said Bijvank indicated that he’d only make the pool available for lessons in the mornings.  Afternoons will be reserved for guests of the campground.  She added that lessons may not start until July because the water is typically still chilly in the mornings through the end of June.

Howe said she also checked with the Yellowstone Motel (which is “not interested”) and with the Basin pool, which informed her that it could only accept seven swimmers in June and 10 in July.

On top of it all, Howe said the current pool supervisor, Amy Kania, has resigned. But Howe said she knows of someone who might be able to oversee a two-week swimming lesson program.

If the rec board and the KOA can reach an agreement, the payment of lifeguards won’t be an issue, as there is still funding available from the annual contributions of both the town and the school district.

In other business

• Howe said the sale of pool equipment netted $389 in donations.

• In the remodeling report, the board agreed to seek additional quotes for new kitchen floording.  Howe had received one, from King’s Carpet One in Worland.  Board members agreed that it came in higher than expected.  The plan is to install vinyl flooring, rather than tile.

Hospital pursuing new physician

by barbara anne greene

South Big Horn County Hospital Administrator Jackie Claudson reported to the board that she is continuing to recruit actively for a doctor to replace Brendon FitzSimmons who resigned last month. She said at Thursday’s meeting that they were sad to lose him but wanted to assure the community that they will continue to provide the same high quality healthcare.

In the nursing home report Claudson talked about all the activities that were planned for National Nursing Home Week. She went on to say that about 95 percent of the staff in Bonnie Bluejacket Memorial Nursing Home were doing well on the new computer system.

Claudson told the board for the hospital/clinic report that the survey done by the state went very well. The community survey portion showed no high level deficiencies. The life/safety portion of the survey was “one of the best surveys in the state at any hospital, any size, excellent.” Claudson said she was told.

Lisa Stafford, administrative assistant, told the board that the health fair didn’t seem as busy. She is already working on ways to improve for next year. Sondra Stafford, no relation to Lisa Stafford, won the emergency survival kit drawing.

Board Treasurer Jack Preston gave the financial and treasurer reports. The report indicated that the hospital was at 71 percent of its year to date budget for July 2012 to April 2013.

The board approved a tentative budget for the new fiscal year that starts July 1. Board member Bill Burbridge asked Claudson how the numbers were arrived at. She indicated that she reviewed historical data and made some adjustments to revenue based on the cuts from the national sequestration. The budget is approximately 5 percent higher than last year’s.

Preston also gave the performance improvement report. He said that participation was good and that he was pleased with the presenters.

The board went into an executive session to talk about personnel issues.

Board OKs coaching assignments

by nathan oster

The Big Horn County School District No. 3 board of trustees has finalized all but a few of its extracurricular assignments for the 2013-14 school year.

The board approved the assignments, as recommended by GHS Principal Ty Flock and GMS Principal Scott McBride, after it emerged from a brief executive session May 14 in the GHS library/media center.

At the high school level, GHS will have a new Art Club sponsor, as Teresa Boyer will step in for the soon-to-be-retired Karyne Dunbar.  Sara Schlattmann will be the head volleyball coach and Nolan Tracy the new activities director after their hires were approved by the board.

Several positions remain open, including assistant football coach (to replace Jared Collingwood), assistant wrestling coach (to replace Todd Zeller) and assistant girls basketball coach (to replace Kerri Thiel).

The district is also looking for a broadcasting supervisor to replace Bob Leach, who resigned.

There are more openings at the middle school level.  The district must still hire an assistant football coach (to replace Joe Forcella), a head volleyball coach (to replace Thiel), an assistant girls basketball coach (to replace Jacinda Campbell), an assistant wrestling coach (to replace Brant Ogg) and an assistant track and field coach (to replace Jeff Hunt).


Other news

In other news emerging from the May 14 meeting of the school board:

• GES Principal Brenda Jinks reported that classes have been enjoying their various “enrichment” trips.  One such group, the fourth graders, is current enjoying the annual Yellowstone Expedition.

• GMS Principal Scott McBride said the grading scale that the changes to the grading scale that were approved earlier this year have gone over well and will also be in place for the 2013-14 school year. The final GMS awards assembly of the year is set for Friday, May 24, 12:30 p.m., in the auditorium.

• Special Services Director Lee Clucas shared the “report card” for the district’s special programs.  The district came in at 99.2 percent on the report, which was based on 11 indicators.  While below the target score of 100 percent, the Greybull district did top both the state (97.3) and cohort (98.0) scores.

“It was a good report card,” said Clucas. “Obviously, we have some room for improvement. But we beat the state and cohort averages, which was nice to see.”

• The district’s May 1 enrollment was 513, an increase of 24 from the 489 counted on Aug. 21, 2012.

No more diagnosing rocks in ears for Hesco

By marlys good

Marilyn Thom graduated from Montana State University with a bachelor’s degree in nursing in 1973. She was working shift work at West Park Hospital in Cody, and with two daughters, Heather who was 7, and Heidi, 5, Marilyn decided to move to Greybull where she took over the school nurse position from the late Marie Hart.

“I thought the hours would work better with my girls growing up,” she said. “Heather started first grade taught by Neva Bentley and Heidi was in the kindergarten taught by Ginny Core.

“There was no training for the job so I just figured things out for myself, with the help of some of the other school nurses in the area.”

She has been with Big Horn County School District No. 3 ever since (along the way she married widower John Hesco). “I have thoroughly enjoyed this job; I will miss everyone,” she said. But she loves everything about nursing. “I don’t remember a time when I didn’t want to be a nurse,” she shared. “I have worked in hospitals, in doctor’s offices; I enjoyed it all.”

Anything can happen when you are “doctoring” young school children, but Hesco said, “the funniest was when a student came in with a rock in his (or her, she didn’t say) ear.” The student said, “It just jumped up from the playground and went in my ear.”

Although Marilyn will miss the kids she has seen in her nurse’s office work, as well as the staff and administrators at the schools, she won’t have a lot of time to worry about it.

“John and I plan to travel some to visit our kids and grandkids; we would like to visit Alaska and Hawaii, and maybe take a cruise or two,” she said with a smile in her voice. If that is not a busy enough schedule, she added, “I’m sure I’ll find some volunteer things to keep me busy, too.”

Nursing home honors volunteers

BBMNH Volunteersby marlys good

LaWana Rainey, Helen Crane and Dorene Ludwig were honored as this year’s volunteers of the year at Bonnie Bluejacket Memorial Nursing Home.

The three are unsung heroes to staff and residents and give countless hours. Someone tallied up what the three would have earned if they were paid even a minimum wage and it came to $32,850.

“There is no way the value of these wonderful volunteers could actually be measured monetarily,” according to Activities Director Vicki Wright.

The honors were bestowed May 16 during National Nursing Home Week. Rainey is the “chief caretaker” of the two cockatiels, Mr. Chatter and Freckles. She makes sure the cages are cleaned and the birds are fed regularly and have sufficient water. If Rainey is not able to be there, two residents, Doris Noyes and Stella Greer, and staff members Loretta McDonald and Sheila Rudd step in to see the birds are well cared for.

Helen Crane is at the piano every Thursday afternoon and plays a wide variety of songs ranging from old favorites to military songs and show tunes, and accompanies the residents for a sing-a-long.

Crane’s partner at the piano is Ludwig, who plays classical pieces from classical composers such as Chopin, Bach and Beethoven. She intersperses her playing with brief history lessons on the origin of the pieces and how they have affected the musical of contemporary songwriters.

During the festivities Mark Cheshier played songs from the ‘60s, favorite country western melodies and favorite old-time hymns on the guitar.

The Historic Hotel donated gift certificates to the honorees for luncheons at Mylos.

Darlene L. Claycomb

OBIT ClaypoolAug. 12, 1939 – May 10, 2013

A memorial service to celebrate the life of Darlene L. Claycomb will be held Monday, May 27 at 2 p.m. at the Upton Community Center. A reception will follow. Darlene, 73, died May 10 in Upton.

She was born Aug. 12, 1939, in Ft. Morgan, Colo., the daughter of Herman and Henrietta “Hattie” Stumpf. The family resided in Cheyenne.

She graduated from Cheyenne High School in 1957 and married Dick Claycomb in February of 1958. The first seven years of their life together was spent working and traveling the rodeo circuit. The family resided in Ten Sleep, Greybull and Laramie before moving to Hulett in 1973. In 1982 they moved to Upton and later to Lusk. They retired in 1996 and moved back to Upton.

Darlene worked in banking and insurance. She was a bookkeeper at American National Bank in Cheyenne, a teller at Wyoming National Bank in Casper, and head of the proof department at Laramie’s First National Bank. Darlene also worked at ADI Insurance in Upton and at Farm Bureau Insurance in Luck. She also served as adult education coordinator in Upton.

Darlene had a contagious smile, sparkling eyes, a quick wit and a keen, edgy sense of humor. Her kind heart and creative mind made everything she touched beautiful. She taught all what it means to have a true servant’s heart in the quiet ways she put the needs of others ahead of her own. She never spared her time, compassion or generosity.

Darlene loved spending time with her family. In later years her grandchildren were her greatest joy and their relationship with her was special.

She was preceded in death by her father Herman Stumpf and brother Ed Stumpf.

She is survived by her husband Dick; daughter and son-in-law, Evin and Tracy Oneale; son and daughter-in-law, Troy and Cheri Claycomb; her mother Hattie Stumpf; siblings, Norma Brown, Herman Stumpf, Arlene Keuck, Joyce White and Tom Stumpf; sister-in-law Peggy Gibb; brother-in-law Don Claycomb, and five grandchildren.

Contributions in Darlene’s memory can be made to the Upton Ambulance Fund, Box 278, Upton, WY 82730.



Donald Bruce Bristow

OBIT BristowMarch 5, 1951 – April 29, 2013

Donald Bruce Bristow, 63, died April 29 in Riley, N.M.

He was born March 5, 1951, in Greybull, the son of Robert and Sula Bristow. He graduated from Greybull High School and attended Casper College.

He did a lot of traveling in the United States and even lived in Mexico for a few months. He eventually settled down in the rural area of Riley, N.M.

His father Bob preceded him in death.

He is survived by his son Isaiah; his mother Sula of Arizona City, Ariz.; brother Dave of Paonia, Colo.; sister and brother-in-law, Cynthia and Bill Clarey of Arizona City; two granddaughters, a niece and three great-nephews.


GHS qualifiers earn state hardware

by nathan oster

Greybull High School thinclads ended the season on a positive note, as all six team members who made the trip to the State 2A Track and Field Championships in Casper returned home with at least one medal.

“I think it went very well,” said Coach Jeff Sukut.

The Buffs placed 14th in the girls division with eight points and 16th in the boys division with nine.

“When you take only six kids, it’s hard to compete as a team,” said Sukut. “But my philosophy over the years has always been that it’s not always about where you place as a team. It’s about how the kids finish, and our kids improved a ton over the course of the season.”

As the only female qualifier, junior McKenna Powers represented herself and the team very well.  She was the only Greybull athlete who placed in two events, earning a fourth in the 800 meters and a sixth in the triple jump.

Powers was on top of her game in the 800 meters.  She ran a 2:30.63, a personal best and more than three seconds faster than her seed time (2:33.95). Kim Shumway of Lovell won it, finishing in 2:15.8.

“McKenna ran a really good race,” said Sukut. “She came out and ran a really good split in her first lap, and it was really close coming off the curve and down the stretch over the last 120 meters or so.  I didn’t know if she’d have enough left. But she closed well, passing a couple of girls and ending up in fourth place.” Powers beat a group of five runners to the finish line, as less than 1.5 seconds separated fourth from eighth place.

Powers also turned in her best effort of the season in the triple jump, soaring 31 feet, 11 ¾ inches, good for sixth place.  It was just three inches shy of her personal best, a 32-2 ½ turned in last year.

In her other event, Powers placed 12th in the 400 meters, running a 1:05.63, which was “one of her better times this year, but off the pace of her personal best, a 63 which she ran last year,” Sukut said.

Burns won the girls division with 98 points, nipping runner-up Lovell and its 90 points.

The highlight on the boys side was the performance of the 400-meter relay team of Calder Forcella, Kyler Flock, Alex Hebb and Dylan Brenner.  The foursome didn’t run at regionals, but it didn’t show in Casper.

“We were probably a longshot going in,” Sukut said. “There were a lot of good times, teams running 45s and 46s, and I knew if we ran in the 47 range, where we had been running throughout the season, there was no way we were going to place.”

The boys went out and left it all on the track, saving their best performance for last.  They finished in 46.05, which was their best time of the season and second only to Lusk in their heat.  Big Piney won it with a 44.87.

“We had great handoffs and that was the key,” Sukut said.

Logan Jensen collected the team’s other four points with a fifth-place finish in the discus. It capped a year of tremendous growth for the GHS junior, who last year as a sophomore threw 107 feet at the regional and didn’t even qualify for the state meet. This year, Jensen not only qualified, but uncorked a throw of 128 feet, 8 inches in Casper to earn his fifth-place hardware.

Calder Forcella, a sophomore, also competed in the discus, but didn’t place among the top eight.  His 117-foot, 10-inch effort ranked 10th in 2A and was 6 feet shy of his best throw of the season.

Alex Hebb also placed 10th in his only individual event, the long jump. His best jump was 16 feet, 6 ¾ inches.

Sukut said both Forcella and Hebb will benefit from their first experiences on the state meet stage.

Lovell was the class of the 2A boys division, collecting 127 points.  Lusk was well back in second place with 74 ½  points.

Dylan Brenner was the only senior among the six GHS state qualifiers and will be missed next season, said Sukut.

“He was with me for four years — and was a mainstay on our relay team,” said Sukut.  “It was like icing on the top of the cake for him and that team to finish fourth at state.  Dylan’s a good, coachable kid and we’ll miss him a lot.”

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