Daily Archives: June 12, 2013

Board approves 12 new hires

by nathan oster

The Big Horn County School District No. 3 board of education accepted the resignation of a 25-year employee, Vickie Collingwood, and approved a dozen new hires during their meeting Tuesday night at GHS.

In a letter dated May 24 — the last day of school — Collingwood announced her plan to step down, saying it was with “mixed emotions.  It has been a privilege and a joy to serve the children of Greybull Elementary for the past 25 years. I have by far learned more from them than they have from me.

“It has been a passion and love that I have dedicated my heart and soul to, but feel it is time to pursue other avenues.”

Collingwood, in her letter, went on to thank the board for the supportive role that it played and its commitment to education and the children of the community.

The board also accepted the resignation of Justin Bernhardt, who had been serving as a GHS Senate sponsor.

On the hiring side, the board had a list of 12 that it approved in one swoop, including hiring Christine Farmer to teach second grade and Cody Kalberer to serve as a GMS math interventionist/English Language Learners specialist.

Ten extracurricular posts were also filled, including four at the high school and six at the middle school.  They are as follows:

• Laura Hodgson, GHS assistant girls basketball coach;

• Jeremy Brandl, GHS assistant football coach;

• Laura Hodgson, GHS assistant volleyball coach;

• Brand Ogg, GHS assistant wrestling coach.

At the middle school level, the following hires were approved:

• Renae Waddell, GMS head volleyball coach;

• Becky Sorensen, GMS assistant volleyball coach;

• Tami Wright, GMS assistant girls basketball coach;

• Hanson Jordan, GMS assistant track coach;

• Jeremy Brandl, GMS assistant wrestling coach; and

• Dusty Hill, GMS assistant football coach.


Other news

In other school board business Tuesday night:

• The school board recognized three stakeholders of the month:  The Rev. Becky Anderson, Jean Petty (for serving as a Wyoming School Board’s Association advocacy liaison), and David Bottom, executive director of The Shack.

• The board approved an out-of-district request that will allow Chad and Jamie Keisel’s three children — Gabriel, ninth grade; Zackary, seventh grade; and Abigail, fifth grade — to attend Greybull schools this coming year.

• The agenda for future meetings is going to look a little different due to policy changes approved by the school board Tuesday night.  A consent agenda is being added to quickly dispatch of items considered to be routine and non-controversial or have already been discussed.

• By appointment, the board chose Sandi Menke to continue to serve on the School Risk Retention Program board of directors.

• The board approved school-wide Title I status for Greybull High School.  With the move, GHS joined GMS and GES, both of which had already been granted Title I status.

“This will allow utilizing Title I funds schoolwide for GHS and not just for targeted students,” said Supt. Barry Bryant in his staff report. “The priority still remains GES, GMS, and GHS for fund allocations.

“This status could also help to acquire other grants based on being schoolwide Title I.”

The board complemented curriculum and grants coordinator Sara Schlattmann and GHS Principal Ty Flock for their behind-the-scenes work on the Title I designation.


Pool plan goes belly up

by nathan oster

A last-ditch effort to convert the swimming pool to an outdoor facility appeared to run aground Monday night when the Greybull Town Council voted 3-2 against asking the Big Horn County School No. 3 board of trustees to delay the demolition of the pool.

Citing financial reasons, Mayor Bob Graham and Councilmen Bob McGuire and Ross Jorgensen said they could not support a plan to save the pool that Councilmen Clay Collingwood and Myles Foley have been putting together in recent months, with help from Marvin Hunt.

Collingwood said he believes the pool can be saved.  Most of the problems, he said, could be resolved, simply by removing the roof.  And as an outdoor pool, the building wouldn’t need much of the equipment that’s considered deficient.

“The building is bullet proof … mostly concrete and cinder block,” he said, before offering a motion for the town to approach the school board one more time and ask them to consider halting the demolition and turning the building over to the town. To make up for the green space that would be lost by the district, Collingwood proposed that the town purchase an adjacent lot — its current owner is asking $30,000 — and turn it over to the school district in trade.

Hunt said it would cost between $20,000 and $25,000 for A.W. Hunt Construction to take down the roof of the pool — although that price would be considerably less if volunteers stepped forward to help.

To re-open, the pool would also need a new liner.  Hunt said he got a quote of $70,000 to $85,000 for a vinyl pool liner, which would come with a life expectancy of 20 years.  Hunt and Collingwood acknowledged that the current facility would also require some electrical work in order to reopen.  The deck drains would also need to be redone, Collingwood said.

For the plan to work, the town would also need to absorb monthly operation and maintenance costs, although Hunt, Foley and Collingwood all suggested that they would be considerably less than the $8,000 per month projection they’d been given to operate the pool as an indoor facility.

Collingwood admitted that it’s “late in the game,” but that he’s willing to try.

Supt. Barry Bryant, in attendance to discuss another pool matter, confirmed that, saying the district has already executed a contract with an architect for the demolition.  The current sticking point is the abatement of asbestos and removal of chemicals from the building, but Bryant said those issues should be resolved by the end of the summer.

“We’re looking at trying to do the demolition before winter,” he said.

The School Facilities Commission has had money earmarked for the demolition for several years, but set it aside until the community had an opportunity to weigh in on two proposed tax measures that would have paid for the construction, operation and maintenance of a new indoor pool.

Both measures went down to defeat in November, a point emphasized on Monday night by McGuire, the most vocal critic of Collingwood’s plan.

“The (people) have spoken,” he said. “I commend you (Clay) for your willingness and desire, but it’s done.  It’s over.”

McGuire’s comments came toward the end of his argument against supporting Collingwood’s plan.  Earlier he had cited the length of time that had been devoted to the pool issue, the cost of Collingwood’s proposal and the difficult decisions the town was forced to make elsewhere in the proposed budget for next year.

“We hear, ‘My kids are going to drown because there is no place to swim,’ and ‘There’s nothing for kids here to do,’ I think that’s generally what we’re talking about,” McGuire said. “I think, as a member of this council, my response to that is, we’re tasked with making sure toilets flush, that when residents turn on the water they get water, and that when you’re driving, you can get from Point A to Point B without falling in a pothole.”

“Those priorities,” he said, take priority over a swimming pool.  “Is it the town’s responsibility to provide a pool? It would be nice.  I’d have no problem with that.  But can we afford it?  I’m having some problems with that.

“If the school, though the state, doesn’t have the money for it, where is the town going to find the money?”

Collingwood took a far different viewpoint, saying, “As community leaders, we have a responsibility to help this town grow.  We must have water and sewer and streets and all that, but we can’t keep growing if we keep losing these community assets.

“It’s fine, if you’re close to retirement, but if you’re young and have kids, you recognized the importance of having things for those kids to do.  We can’t keep losing these assets and expect people to keep moving here — or even stay here. I believe it’s my responsibility…and I’ll take that on. That’s what I’ve been doing.”

McGuire countered that people don’t live in Greybull’s because of its amenities — they live here because they found work here.  Of greater importance, he said, is infrastructure, adding that the pool is a “luxury” item.

Collingwood told McGuire he was  underestimating the importance of community assets like the pool.  He said the town devotes time and resources to economic development, but will have a difficult time drawing any potential enterprise to town if it cannot offer anything for the children of potential employers.

“Say we were looking at a small manufacturing plant that could bring in 10 jobs,” he said. “They are going to say, ‘Yeah, I could build here, but are we going to be able to keep our employees here?’  And, ‘Do you have things to keep people in the community?’  I think the pool is one of those things.”

McGuire said something is “askew” if the criteria of a successful community is having a pool.

Hunt disagreed.  “One thing we owe our kids is a place to swim, a place to go without a coach.”  He said turning the pool into an outdoor facility is the cheapest way to provide it. “Every generation since I’ve been here has had a pool,” he said. “Now we are going to be the generation that isn’t going to have one? Everyone else has had a pool.”

Bryant said he agreed with McGuire, in the sense that his recommendation to the school board has been, and will continue to be, to proceed with the demolition.

Jorgensen said he opposed Collingwood’s plan for financial reasons, pointing out, as he had done earlier in the meeting, that the town is budgeting to take money out of its reserves in the coming fiscal year.  He said he feared the town would be getting “a white elephant” if it took over the pool.


School plan rejected

Later in the agenda, the council took up another pool-related matter, this one brought forward by Bryant on behalf of the school district.

Bryant asked the council to abandon a portion of Sixth Avenue North, directly in front of the swimming pool, so that the district could turn it into green space after the pool is removed. In that newly-created green space, the district would have put a shot and discus competition areas as well as a practice field.  Bryant added that students would have been able to cross the street there without fear of being hit by a car.

The council was unanimous in its opposition to the plan, citing among other things the way it would enlarge the “closed” GHS/GMS campus, its potential impact on businesses and semi-truck drivers.










Coffee Barn offers drive-up option

by nathan oster

Greybull wasn’t without a drive-up coffee shop for long, as Teresa Collingwood over the Days of ’49 weekend opened The Coffee Barn on North Sixth Street. By doing so, she filled a void for drive-up coffee that was created when Sidekick Pizza and Subs closed earlier this spring.

Teresa said the decision to leave the Children’s Resource Center, where she had worked for seven years, and open her own business was made almost entirely for family reasons. She and her husband J.T. have a 1-year-old daughter, Josie, whose pull, she admits, is far stronger than any job.

“She’s pretty much the whole reason I’m doing this,” she said Tuesday morning between customers. “I’m still going to work for them one day a week.  But they wanted me to go back into teaching.  I love it there, I really do.  But I want to be with Josie.”

Teresa said she chose the name “Coffee Barn” because it “fits with my personality. I was raised on a farm (on the outskirts of Spokane, Wash.) … and it kind of fits down here, since we have a lot of cowboys.”

She said she worked as a barista throughout her high school and college years and always dreamed of owning her own coffee shop. Thanks to her father and brother, she now has one —one that they built from the ground up to accommodate her and her daughter.  The back room is in the process of being set up as a play area for Josey.

Teresa said she plans to be open seven days a week.  She has been getting to work around 5:30 a.m. and seeing her first customers between 6 and 6:30 a.m.  While she plans to work most of the hours herself, she is open to the idea of eventually hiring one or two people to help.

“Everybody’s been so supportive so far, especially during ‘49ers weekend,” she said.

The Coffee Barn offers something for every coffee lover’s taste buds.

“I can make any type of iced or gourmet type of coffee,” she said.

Patience pays off for parade winner

by nathan oster

The winning entry in this year’s Days of ’49 parade wasn’t a float, but rather, a grouping of three horses that were a testament to the virtue of patience.

Jessica Catlett, a groomer at Saam’s Vet Clinic in Basin and owner of Jess’s Grooming, spent most of Thursday and Friday and part of Saturday morning painting the three horses, which she borrowed from Dan and Gretchen Anders and Richard and Cassie Russell.

One horse featured an American flag on one side, the Wyoming flag on the other.

Another horse was painted like a zebra.

The third horse was a billboard promoting Jess’s Grooming and Saam Vet Clinic.

When asked how she did it, Jessica said the horse with the American and Wyoming flags on it was the most difficult of the three. She spent all day Thursday working on it, with Brittany Butz doing her best to keep the horse steady.

“Just had to be patient,” she said. “When (the horse) moved, we stopped.  When it started getting antsy, we took it for a walk.”

The most challenging part was painting the white stars on the blue background. “It took 2 ½ hours just to do that,” she said. To ensure that each star looked the same, she used a stencil to create an outline, then went back over it with a brush.

Also assisting Jessica with the entry were Ryan Howe, who led one of the other horses, and Newt Butz, who threw candy to spectators lining the parade route.

Second place went to the Town of Greybull’s entry, “Rollin’ for the Gold.”

Bank of Greybull placed third, with its “9ers, Miners, 49ers” float.  “Dressed as miners, we search for the elusive gold in the snow-capped mountains,” was the way they described their float.

Honorable mention went to Lisa’s.

’49er rodeo champs crowned

by nathan oster

The rodeo grounds was the place to be during Days of ’49 weekend, as cowboys and cowgirls of all ages competed for cash and prizes during the main rodeo Friday night and the kids rodeo and merchant roping on Saturday afternoon.

Zack Oliver won the bull riding.

In the women’s barrels, the top four spots were filled by Afton Peterson, first in 18.33 seconds; Taylor Werbelow, 18.50; Dasha Kelso, 18.58, and Dominique Allred, 18.65.

Paige Flom won the junior barrels, posting a winning time of 18.54.  Payten Sorensen was next in line with a time of 20.35, followed by her younger brother Jace Sorensen, who finished in 21.39.

In team roping, the father-son team of Scott Collingwood and J.T. Collingwood captured first place, finishing in a blazing 7.69 seconds.  Dex Maddock and Kurtis Barry were second in 7.78, followed by Cactus Floy and Dustin Park (12.34) and Tia Edwards and Casey O’Neil (13.34).

Kaleb Asay won the calf roping, finishing in 13.25.  Talon Cooper was second with a time of 13.91.

No scores were posted in the bareback riding, saddle bronc riding and in the wild horse race.

At Saturday afternoon’s kids rodeo, no one posted a time in the steer riding.

But buckles were awarded to all the winners of the barrel racing, including Cooper Zierolf in the 6-and-under division, Paige Flom, 7-9; Dasha Kelso, 10-14, and Taylor Werbelow, 15-18.

In the pole bending, Colton Bitton won the 6-and-under division, Flom again topped the 7 to 9 year olds, Logan Nunn won the 10-14 division and Tyler Steed won the 15-18 division.

The merchant roping competition was won, in a time of 23.15 seconds, by the Good Mining team of Gene Good and Lacee Good.   Pab Good Trucking was second, finishing in 24.36.  Probst Western Store, with a time of 29.0, took third.

Glenn Mowell

The community is invited to join family and friends at a gathering to honor the memory of Glenn Mowell on Saturday, June 15 at 4 p.m. at the home of Veda Gerrard, 3247 Valley View Road.

Veda’s home is nine miles east of Greybull.  To get there, turn left at the Valley View Ranch sign, then stay left at the sign.  She can be reached by phone at 765-2837.

Glenn was born June 17, 1932, in Greybull and died on Oct. 22, 2012, in Lafayette, La.

Glenn’s family is travelling in from Louisiana, Washington, Oregon, California, Texas and various parts of Wyoming.

Glenn’s wife Linda Mowell, and their daughter Carla Mowell and son John Mowell, as well as his daughter Cindy Cormier, invite the community to join the family at this gathering to honor his memory.


Melvin (Roy) Olsen

A celebration of life and burial of ashes for Melvin (Roy) Olsen, a longtime Greybull resident who died April 24, 2013, will be held Friday, June 14 at 1 p.m. at the Donald J. Ruhl Memorial Cemetery.

A reception will follow at the Greybull Elks Lodge.





Mark V. Fisher

Sept. 10, 1964 – June 9, 2013

A memorial service for Mark Fisher, a former resident of Greybull, will be held today (Thursday, June 13) at 2 p.m. at Restoration Church in Casper.  Attire is jeans casual. Mark died June 9 in Casper.

Mark was born Sept. 10, 1964, and while he grew up in Hill City, S.D., he called Wyoming his home.

Mark is survived by his wife of 30 years, Sheila Fisher, and his daughter, Jess Fisher.

He was preceded in death by his son, Zach Fisher, and his father, Owen Fisher.

Mark instilled the passion of all things outdoors within his children. He especially loved elk hunting with Zack and fishing with Jess. Mark’s compassionate nature and unconditional love for all was an inspiration, and he will be greatly missed by the many lives he touched.

In lieu of flowers a memorial has been established.



John Wayne Ellerbee

OBIT John EllerbeeDec. 6, 1945 – June 3, 2013

A memorial celebration of life for John Wayne Ellerbee, 67, of Basin will be held Tuesday, June 18 from 6 to 7 p.m. at the FOE Airie 3086 in Basin.  The memorial will include a buffet.

John died suddenly on Monday, June 3 on his property on Basin Gardens Road in Basin.

John was born Dec. 6, 1945, at Columbia, Caldwell Parish, La., to John L. and Mary Blanche (Kelly) Ellerbee.

John moved to the Big Horn Basin in July 2004.  He retired from the oil field.  He was a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles Aerie 3086.

John is survived by his beloved other, Edi Hood of Basin; his sons, Rebel Paul Ellerbee and Curt DeWayne Ellerbee, both of Baton Rouge, La.; and his daughters, Kimberley J. Kaiser of Casper and Kimberly Dawn Winn of Monroe, La.; and six grandchildren.

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