Monthly Archives: August 2013

GHS reacts to release of PAWS scores

by nathan oster

The 40 Greybull High School juniors who took the ACT during the 2012-13 school year fell short of matching the scores posted by their peers statewide as well as by the previous year’s class of juniors at GHS, according to a report released last week by the Wyoming Department of Education.

GHS students came away with an average composite score of 19.3.  For the 2011-12 school year, the school’s composite was 19.4.  The statewide average for 2012-13, according to the report, was 19.7.

A closer look at the numbers reveals that the GHS juniors compared favorably with the rest of the state in reading.  The GHS test-takers averaged a 20.4.  Statewide, the average was 20.1 in reading.

But GHS students lagged behind the state averages in the areas of English (GHS posted a 17.8, the state an 18.8), math (GHS 19.4, state 19.6) and science (GHS 19.4, state 19.8).

Supt. Barry Bryant acknowledged that the scores were “disappointing, as I know our students are better than the scores attained,” and that “We have work to do to improve students’ achievement on the ACT.”

GHS Principal Ty Flock went deeper into the numbers.

“My first reaction was, we had some kids score really well,” he said. “In fact, we had one kid with a perfect score (36) in reading. That’s a reason to celebrate.”  So too, he said, were scores posted by certain other students in individual subjects. Several topped 30 in English, math, science or reading.

“What affected our overall average, however, were the students who didn’t score really well,” he said. “Some dropped off into the 12s and 13s.  Our concern, my concern, is that those students are not scoring where we’d like them to be scoring.

“But there was a very real discrepancy between our students who scored high and our students who scored low.  There weren’t a lot in between.”

This year is the first in which the ACT acts as the state assessment for high school juniors, which meant all juniors were required to take the test to measure academic performance of the state’s standards.

Flock said GHS is in the process of shifting its emphasis toward helping individual students.

“We have to shift how we are preparing kids for the ACT,” Flock said. “PAWS was aligned to state standards; the ACT isn’t.  Now we need to focus more on the Common Core standards.

“We do teach to the test, in a sense, but I believe if you’re teaching to the test, whether it’s PAWS or the ACT, students are going to learn and that’s what it’s all about. If you’re teaching to the ACT, it’ll not only prepare students for the tests, but also teach them skills they need to be successful in college.”

Flock said other steps have been, or will soon be, taken to boost student performance.  For example, a new reading program will target students who need help in that area, while at the same time, the school is redefining how it’s after-school time is spent to better reach students who are struggling in math.  Flock added that teachers of other subjects are also being asked to do more “literacy instruction.”

While GHS scores were almost across the board in the same ballpark as the scores posted by last year’s junior and this year’s statewide scores, Flock said science “is a concern of mine. We have great science programs and they’re doing some really good things. But our science scores, not just here but statewide, aren’t where I’d like to see them.

“What it’s all about is growth. We want our kids to continue to grow. That’s why we’re adopting new curriculums and why teachers are doing curriculum mapping that is aligned to the Common Core standards. It’s more of an emphasis on learning as opposed to working for grades.”

Bryant predicts that ACT scores at GHS “will rise as we move from focusing on PAWS to the ACT and also move to the Common Core.”

According to the state release, Washakie County School District No. 2 posted the state’s highest composite average, a 22.4.  Big Horn County School District No. 2 was among a group of districts not far behind, coming in at 21.5.


Enzi, Cheney make pitches to Tea Party

by nathan oster

If the American flags that lined both sides of the driveway weren’t enough of an indication, the speakers who took their turns at the podium proved it beyond the shadow of a doubt.

Saturday afternoon’s third annual Big Horn Basin Tea Party Picnic held on attorney Rob DiLorenzo’s ranch outside Emblem was an event splashed in patriotism, serving up not only the usual dialogue about property, individual and gun rights but also some of the first public volleys in the race for U.S. Senate and a stirring defense by the state’s embattled superintendent of public instruction.

More than 300 people attended the gathering, which began promptly at noon and lasted into the early evening hours.  While the main course was barbecued pork and beef brisket, behind the microphone, that distinction belonged to U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi and his challenger, Liz Cheney, who whet the public appetite for the campaign to come.

The two candidates — Enzi, who has held the Senate seat since 1997, and Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney — are both bidding for the Republican nomination, which will be on the ballot in the 2014 primary election.

Enzi took the stage first, telling attendees that while August is a month away from the affairs of Washington, D.C., it’s hardly a time of rest.  Through a series of listening sessions, including one held two days earlier in Greybull, Enzi is “traveling 5,000 miles getting opinions” from constituents about what needs to be done in the nation’s capital.

Enzi offered harsh criticism of President Obama’s signature health-care legislation, referred to by many as “Obamacare.”

“That bill needs to be repealed,” he told the crowd. “If we can’t repeal it, we should de-fund it.  If we can’t de-fund it, we should dismantle it.”

Enzi said he offered a president an alternative, which he called “a 10-point plan,” but that Obama never considered it. “He doesn’t listen to the American people; he just campaigns,” said Enzi.

He also questioned why the Obama administration feels it can be exempt from the Obamacare legislation. “In Wyoming, legislators live under every single law that they pass,” he said.

Shifting to spending, Enzi said the federal government has spent too much. “I voted against HARP and I voted against the stimulus, and I know that is what started the Tea Party,” he said.  On a related note, he said he’s committed to ridding the federal budget of items in dublication, saying it would “take care a good part of the deficit.”

So, he said, would his “Penny Plan.”  The idea is to spend 1 penny less for every federal dollar that is spent.  Do it for two years and the federal government could balance its budget.  Once it’s done that, it could go for 2 cents and start eating away at the federal deficit.

Enzi said he wants to continue looking into the intelligence failure that led to BenGazi, as well as the NSA’s tapping of phone records and the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups nationwide.

Enzi said he’s proud of the state for not requesting waivers to the national education program.  “We need to reign in the waivers that this president does which have no basis in law,” he said.   By illegally offering waivers to the national education system, Obama is trying to curry support for key provisions in No Child Left Behind.

Enzi applauded the other members of the Wyoming congressional delegation, U.S. Rep. Cynthia Lummis, who was in attendance, and Sen. John Barrasso, who according to Enzi, was “checking on our troops.”

“We are three separate personalities, and together, we can deal with three different types of people,” he said. “We meet regularly,” which is something that not all state congressional delegations can say.

Enzi ended his comments by saying that Republicans are looking forward to the next election, when they hope to gain control of the U.S. Senate, and touted himself as a true Wyoming conservative who has cast more than 5,000 votes on half of the state’s people..

He said his conservative lifetime voting record is 93 percent, and that it’s 100 percent when it comes to supporting right to life and small business causes. He also cited his “A” rating from the gun owners association.


Cheney on attack

Cheney, a Fox News analyst, took the offensive almost from the start, saying that, “When you look at where we are today, we’re living through a moment that has historical precedent.” Years down the road, the decisions of today will have shaped history.

“Sometimes you don’t realize you’re living through the moment until you get past it, but make no mistake, right now, we are living through a moment of decision.”

Cheney said the time is up for the “go along to get along attitude,” asking attendees, “Are you going to continue supporting business as usual in Washington? Or are you going to stand and fight for our freedoms?”

Enzi gave “a list of what’s wrong in Washington,” she said, “But happening in Washington today isn’t getting the job done.  This president’s expansion of the role of the federal government in our lives has gotten worse by the day in the last 4 ½ years.”

Later she added, “Across the board, especially here in Wyoming, we are feeling the pain of this president’s policies.”

In a poke at Enzi, she said you need look no further than Gillette (where Enzi launched his political career) to see the damaging effects of Obama’s “war on coal. We need somebody in Washington who is going to lead on that issue,” she said. “Someone who will stand up and not just cast votes.”

Federal regulations that come down from the EPA and the BLM are choking  farmers, ranchers and industry. “It isn’t enough for a sitting senator to list the problems; a sitting senator needs to say, ‘Here are the solutions.’”

More compromise with the Obama administration is not the answer for Republicans. “Everybody agrees on the importance of compromise for the good of a nation,” she said. “But too often, all the compromise is coming from our side.  When all the compromise comes from one side, it’s called capitulation. We’re the party of Ronal Reagan. We deserve better.”

Cheney called Obamacare “a disaster for all of us and a disaster for the nation,” adding “We have to make sure it never takes effect.” She said if it does, Enzi should lead the charge to send the money back to the U.S. treasury.

On foreign policy, Cheney said Obama came into office intending to weaken the nation, and that he “doesn’t believe in the sacred nature of our Constitution” and feels like he can “operate outside the Constitution” because he’s got the national media in his corner.

“A lot of folks out there say ‘Conservatives, your time has past.’ They tell us our time has past.  They tell us we’re done. Every time I hear someone say that, I tell them, ‘What I believe isn’t a fad or a fashion. What I believe in are the documents that are the foundation of this democracy.’”

Cheney ended her speech by emphasizing the three words of the Constitution that appear larger than all others are “We the people,” adding, “They are the most important words in that document.  We are the inheritors of an incredible legacy.

“We can no longer go along to get along. That isn’t going to cut it. We have to stand up and fight.”


Other speakers

Lummis used her time to talk about defense — and in particular, the president’s insistence on reducing the nation’s nuclear arsenal.  According to Lummis, all of the nation’s land-based missiles are in Wyoming, Montana and North Dakota. “They can be targeted to any site in the world via pinpoint GPS and land on a person’s head in 20 minutes,” she said. “Now that’s deterrence.”

Obama “wants to take these weapons from warm status and mothball them. Even (Russian President Vladimir) Putin looked at him with an incredulous expression. Even he knows it’s a bad idea.  So how come Barack Obama can’t figure it out?”

Tom DeWeese, who was introduced as “the founder of the American Policy Center” and “the world’s foremost expert on personal property rights,” discussed Agenda 21 and the loss of personal property rights.

Wayne Simmons, a Fox News terrorism analyst who once worked for the Central Intelligence Agency, said mosques are springing up on the East Coast and that it’s a bad sign for the nation.  Mosques, said Simmons, are where terrorists are recruited and where money is laundered.

Another speaker, Commander Kirk Lippold, was captain of the USS Cole when it was attacked on Oct. 12, 2000 — 11 months before the 9/11 attacks.  It was docked in the port of Aden in Yemen for a routine fueling stop when it was rocked by an explosion.  Seventeen sailors died and 37 more were wounded.  Lippold spoke of that and



The superintendent of public instruction, Hill has been at odds with Gov. Matt Mead since he signed Senate File 104, which stripped her of many of the powers of her office.  She is currently challenging the constitutionality of that legislation and vowing to run for governor.

She referenced something Enzi said earlier in the afternoon about he wished Wyoming had never applied for a No Child Left Behind Waiver. “On Feb. 28, after the governor had taken SF 104 and signed it, he directed the Department of Education to apply for the NCLB waive.

“You need to know that.”

Hill said she would never have applied for the waiver and that Mead made a mistake by doing so.

Using a story from her past, she recalled how her family is from Germany, and that one of her ancestors, a journalist, was beheaded for writing about what was happening in Nazi Germany.  He believed he was doing the right thing.

“My questions since I was a little girl for all those who didn’t stand up is, ‘Why?’  Now when I  think about SF 104, people are not losing their lives.  Those who passed SF 104 … in a way … did us a favor.  How can having our constitutional rights stripped away be a good th ing? Here’s how: It has brought us togther.  It has connected us.

“When we look into each other’s eyes, we cannot harm each other. So when I think about the last week (and approaching the Supreme Court) … I believe those who passed SF 104, if they’d had looked into your eyes, and you into theirs, they could never have passed it.”

Tea party

DiLorenzo, whose ranch hosted the picnic, said in an interview Tuesday that he’s already begun planning next year’s gathering.

“When we started 4 or 4 ½ years ago, it was just myself, Bob Berry and Robin Berry,” he said. “Our first picnic, we had one large tent … and about 150 people.  Then we said, ‘We should get two tents’ and 250 people showed up.  This year, we said, ‘We better have three tents.’ And then 350 people showed up.”

DiLorenzo said future picnics will feature fewer politicians and more speakers from “all over the country” talking about topics of interest to Tea Party members.



Lady Buffs optimistic about chances

by marlys good

Coach Sara Schlattmann and assistant coach Laura Hodgson have the Lady Buff netters rarin’ to go for the North Big Horn Tournament in Lovell this weekend. The tournament is the kickoff for the 2013 volleyball season and fans will get a preview of what they can expect to see on the court.

Thirty-three girls, including eight returning varsity players, reported for two-a-day practices that began Monday, Aug. 19. With school getting underway Tuesday it was a tiring week for the athletes. “The girls worked very hard and we did a lot of conditioning,” Schlattmann said. “They were definitely tired by the end of the week, but it was worth it.”

The focus has been on basic skills, according to the coach. “We know that passing and serving are the key to winning.”

The team is focused; there has been little or no complaining, and Schlattmann said all the players seem to be working to better the team. “These girls have their sights on big things this season.”

The coach said the athletes recognize that “there is a lot of talent on this team and no one’s position is a given.”

Schlattmann noted that, “At this point in the season we have a lot to improve upon. We are going to have to work hard at being smart players because we are not necessarily big hitters,” although she has seen a big improvement already.

With the opening matches just a day away, the coach has not settled on who will be starters, or even determined who will be going to the tournament for sure. “We anticipate taking about nine girls for the varsity tournament, which will be held at Rocky Mountain High School in Cowley, and 10 or 11 for the junior varsity tournament (in Lovell).”

Pool play Friday afternoon has the Buffs in a pool with Burlington, Lovell A and Ten Sleep. Greybull will play Ten Sleep at 3 p.m. and Burlington at 5 p.m.

Pool B includes Kemmerer, Lovell B, Meeteetse and Rocky Mountain.

Team will be seeded into the bracketed tournament Saturday based on their records in pool play

The junior varsity Buffs, under the watchful eye of Hodgson, will face Rocky Mountain at 4 p.m. Greybull and Meeteetse play at 5 p.m. Friday.

Saturday they will go up against Kemmerer at 10 a.m. and Burlington at 2 p.m.

“I think we’ll see a variety of levels of play this weekend, but it is a good tournament to try different rotations and positions. This early in the season we just really want to get the girls some playing time and see how they perform in competition.”

Schlattmann has high praise for former coach Brittany Miller. “I just can’t say enough for what she did to get this program rolling. I learned so much from her and how she coaches. These girls are well disciplined and focused and she deserves the credit for that. I hope we can continue to build on this in the years to come.”



Short camp doesn’t dampen optimism

by nathan oster

Through the first week of practices, the Greybull Buffs are light years ahead of where they were at a comparable time one year ago, according to head coach Justin Bernhardt.

“It’s been nice being able to hit the ground running from the first practice,” said Bernhardt, who is entering his second season as the team’s head coach.  “They know the verbiage, so as a result, we have been able to get by with a lot fewer walk throughs.”

With only one day of two-a-days before the start of school, it’s been a different type of training camp for the Buffs — as well as for other 2A teams around the state.  “It helps that it’s their second year in the system and that we have about 90 percent of our starters back.”

The Buffs will open the season with a Week 0 game Friday night against Riverside.  Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.

Bernhardt and his assistant this year — Jeff Hunt, Jeremy Brandl and volunteer Chad Keisel — got a glimple of what they have to work with this season during an intrasquad scrimmage on Saturday morning.

Bernhardt called it “encouraging,” said, “We saw a lot of improvement.  Communication on both sides was good.  The kids are learning to talk.  On offense they are learning to read coverages.  On defense they’re learning to recognize the different offensive sets.  They’ve gained in football intelligence. Obviously, we’ve still got a lot to clean up, but the effort has been awesome.”

As of Tuesday, the roster stood at 33 players.

While the starting lineups have yet to be finalized, Bernhardt said Calder Forcella has won the starting quarterback job, citing the strides he’s made “on his football intelligence” as well as the way he’s matured, both physically and as a leader. “He seems more in command this year,” said the coach.

Paul Stewart and Dawson Forcella have the inside track to starting at the two running back positions, but Fabian Davila is expected to get carries as well.

On the outside, Bernhardt feels good about his receiving corps.  The starting four is pretty much set, he said, noting the Forcella’s primary pass-catchers figure to be Kyler Flock, Kason Clutter, Wyatt Nielson and Davila.

“But we’ve got some guys who need to step up to those guys some blows,” Bernhardt said, referring to a group that includes Alex Hebb, Marshall Gibbs and, when healthy, Chris Ogg.

The offensive line is “a work in progress,” Bernhardt said.  Cody Strauch, Elias Ewen and Gabe Keisel are vying for the starting job at center; the two who don’t earn that spot will likely be part of the rotation at guard along with Oscar Gomez and Bryce Wright. Logan Jensen and Justin Bacus are in line to be the starting tackles.

Jensen, Gomez and Strauch all got starts on the line last season for the Buffs.

Bernhardt said he hopes to “get a good rotation going” on the defensive line, saying it’s important to have “fresh” players at those positions.  Stewart, Jensen, Gomez, Keisel and Dylan Getzfreid are among the top players along the line.

At inside linebacker, the Buffs figure to use Strauch, Wright and Matt Brown, while on the outside, “We’re still mixing bodies in,” Bernhardt said, adding that Gibbs, Dawson Forcella and Hebb are now manning those posts.

The strength of the defense may well be in the secondary, where all four starters return.

Payton Gonzalez and Davila will man the cornerback positions, with Calder Forcella and Wyatt Neilson the top two safety.

Everyone will get playing time on Friday night against Riverside.

“We need to treat this like any other game — and not just because it’s a rivalry game,” said Bernhardt. “With a limited number of practices, two weeks between the start of camp and the first game, we’ve got to get in our live reps. We’ve got to get our kids out there.  They need experience playing a full game.  Some of them are battling for positions to see who is going to play (starting the following week against Big Horn).”

While the length of camp is a concern, Bernhardt said it’s trumped by a sense of optimism.

“I’m excited about having all these returnees and what they’ve done over the summer,” he said. “We’ve got a long way to go before Friday, but when the ball kicks off on Friday and on the Fridays that follow, I think it’s going to be a fun year for us coaches and the kids too.”


FRESHMEN — Arlo Averette, Mason Stebner, Dawson McEwan, Gabe Keisel, Dawson Forcella, Dustin Fox, Elias Ewen, Clancy Stoffers, Jake Harrold, Dylan McEwan, Cade Dooley, Austin Paxton.

SOPHOMORES — Jose Carmona, Marshal Gibbs, Luis Burgos, Eric Agular, Eric Viscincio.

JUNIORS — Oscar Gomez, Chris Ogg, Calder Forcella, Justin Bacus, Dylan Getzfried, Jorge Carmona, Fabian Davila, Wyatt Nielson.

SENIORS — Kyler Flock, Paul Stewart, Payton Gonzales, Cody Strauch, Bryce Wright, Alex Hebb, Logan Jensen, Kason Clutter, Jesus Burgos.







Doris Jean Judy

OBIT Doris JudyFeb. 24, 1931 – Aug. 21, 2013

Funeral services for Doris Jean Judy were held Aug. 27 at the Atwood Family Chapel in Greybull. Doris, 82, died Aug. 21 at South Big Horn County Hospital.

She was born Feb. 24, 1931, in Lovell, the daughter of Arvil and Julia Farmer Beall (pronounced Bell). She attended schools in Frannie and Deaver and graduated from Deaver High School as class valedictorian. She attended Northwest Community College in Powell, paying her way by babysitting and housekeeping.

After receiving her degree from NWC, she began her teaching career in Grants Pass, Ore., and then taught at Powell. She continued her career by teaching fifth grade at Greybull Elementary. She was a dedicated teacher with a soft spot in her heart for students who had difficult times in their lives.

Doris married Kent Judy over the Thanksgiving holiday in 1954.

Doris went on to earn her bachelor’s degree from the University of Wyoming and continued teaching at Greybull Elementary. She retired in 1986 after 27 years of service.

She was a member of Eastern Star and an honorary member of the FFA.

Her parents and a sister, Edna Graham, preceded her in death.

She is survived by her husband Kent of Greybull and her brother and sister-in-law, Keith and Ruby Lee Beall of Frannie.

Burial and dedication of the grave were held at the Deaver Cemetery followed by a reception at the home of Carol and Mike McMillin in Cowley.

Memorials in Doris’ name are being received at Big Horn Federal Savings Bank, Box 471, Greybull, WY 82426-0461.


Janice Oleta French

Nov. 4, 1949 – Aug. 23, 2013

Per her wishes, cremation has taken place and no services are planned for Janice Oleta French, who died Aug. 23 at her home in Greybull.

Janice was born Nov. 4, 1949, in Greybull, the daughter of James Wayne and Geraldine Faye Burns French. She grew up and received her education in Greybull and graduated from Greybull High School.

Janice worked at Lisa’s restaurant in Greybull for many years.

She was a member of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Greybull Drove 30 BPO Does and Carnation Rebekah Lodge 26.

Her father, mother and brother, James Walter French, preceded her in death.

She is survived by three brothers and two sisters-in-law, Gerald and John French, both of Greybull, David and Debbie French of Wright and Norma French of Las Vegas; two sisters and a brother-in-law, Bruce and Barbara Flyr of Las Vegas and Joyce Krogman of Gillette.


Arleta Velma Pike Cochron

OBIT CorhrunDec. 13, 1919 – Aug. 27, 2013

A memorial service for Arleta Velma Pike Cochron of Lovell will be held in Clovis, Calif., at a later date. Arleta, 93, died Aug. 27 at New Horizons Care Center in Lovell.

She was born Dec. 13, 1919, in Snyder, Okla., the daughter of William and Rosa Jane Southern Pike. She attended Altus High School.

Arleta married Nolan “Bud” Charlie Cochron Nov. 10, 1934, in Friendship, Okla.

Arleta and Bud lived in Oklahoma before moving to Matador, Texas, to homestead. In 1940, they moved their small family to California. She moved to Shell in March 2011 to live with her daughter.

Arleta was a retired sales clerk. The Lord knew her for her love of family and service. She always responded to the need of others, whether it was visiting the sick, cooking, or just providing a listening ear. She loved to travel, family get-togethers, reading, watching sports on television and reading the Bible.

She lived in Wyoming for just a short time, but she loved the Big Horn and Pryor mountains, the colors and rock formations and was thrilled when she saw the wild horses for the first time.

Arleta was preceded in death by her parents and her eight siblings and their spouses.

She is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Richard and Darla Saam of Shell; two sons and daughters-in-law, Stan and Lynn Cochron of Lovell and Jim and Charlene Cochron of Fresno, Calif.; 10 grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren and three great-great grandchildren.


Bob Carothers

June 12, 1919 – Aug. 19, 2013

Memorial services for Bob Carothers will be held Saturday, Aug. 31 at 4 p.m. at the Shell Community Hall. Bob, 94, died Aug. 19 at his home in Laurel, Mont.

He was born June 12, 1919, in a wilderness home at the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in the Selway National Forest in Idaho, the son of John W. and Nellie Boylan Carothers. As a young child, his family moved to Greybull. He lived in several different locations with his family before moving to the Boulder, Colo., area. He joined the United States Army during World War II and was in combat at Normandy Beach in France.

After his discharge from the army, he returned to the Boulder area and purchased a home on Lee Hill. He worked as an engraver for the Crocket Bit & Spur; it was there he developed his distinctive and beautiful handwriting skills.

He married Erva Kingsbury in 1951. Their son Buck was born in Colorado.

The young family moved back to Wyoming, living first in Hyattville and then the Shell community where their daughters, Jennie, Millie and Neta were born.

As a small boy his first sentence was, “Mommy, draw me a horse,” and from that time on he was drawing, then painting, horses and western scenery. Several of his paintings were published on the cover of Western Horseman magazine. Most of his paintings and his “Bucking Bronco” sculpture were sold in the mid 1900s.

Although Bob never completed high school, he was an avid reader and continued to grow and learn of many things including health, history and the Christian faith.

He moved to Laurel in December 2012 to live with his youngest daughter and her family. He made good memories with outings to the mountains and barbecues in the yard. He attended the Baptist and Adventist churches and continued to work on his “Flower Girl” sculpture as long as his strength allowed.

His parents; his brother Willy, a fighter pilot who died during World War II; and his sister Francis, preceded him in death.

He is survived by his wife Erva Carothers; his children, Buck Carothers, Jennie Carothers, Millie Low and Neta Bare; 10 grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.



Marshal: Plug-in likely cause of fire

by nathan oster

While cautioning that it’s still under investigation, a state fire marshal said Tuesday that there is a high probability that a dried-out, plug-in air freshener caused the house fire Friday afternoon at 516 11th Ave. N. in Greybull.

“I’m pretty sure of it,” said Richard Embrey, who investigated the fire.  “Historically there have been cases throughout the country where fires have started because of the Glade plug-in malfunction … if you will.

“When those go dry, they have a tendency to get hot because the electricity is still going through them, heating up the element.  They’ve been known to cause fires elsewhere and I think that’s what happened in this case.”

No one was home at the time of the fire, which was reported to authorities shortly after 4 p.m.  In fact, the owner of the home, Matt Good, was out of the state on Friday, visiting his father in Minnesota.

Embrey concluded that the fire started in the living room and credited Greybull firefighters for their work saving the structure. “The structure itself is still solid,” Embrey concluded. “It’s not a total loss; I think it could be fixed up and lived in again.”

At the present time, however, the home is uninhabitable.  Good has temporarily moved into a trailer house that once belonged to his great grandmother, Ina Harvey, and is still owned by his family.

Embrey encourages anyone who purchases the Glade plug-ins to check them regularly.

“A few years ago, they came out with a public service announcement warning people that once those plug ins went dry, they should change them immediately or take them completely out of the wall,” said Embrey, citing a study done by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

As for the fire itself, Paul Murdoch, the Greybull fire chief, was on the road and unable to respond.  But he offered kudos nonetheless to the members of his department who responded to the fire call.

“Our guys did a good job on it,” he said. “It was fully engulfed when they got there. Flames were coming out of the windows.  They saved the house pretty well.  Structurally it’s still in good shape.  The fire didn’t burn anything up other than furniture,” although considerable smoke and water damage was reported.

Assisting the GFD at the scene were members of South Big Horn County Search and Rescue, the Greybull Police Department and the Big Horn County Sheriff’s Office.






Town gears up for community assessment

The Town of Greybull is hosting a Rural Resource Team visit September 17-19, 2013. The community sponsors of this event are the Greybull Area Chamber of Commerce and the Greybull Economic Development Board.

The Resource Team is being invited into the community to assist in:
1) developing an objective community assessment based on community input; 2) holding listening sessions for the community at large (where the team listens to the community suggestions); 3) facilitating a resource team town meeting; 4) delivering a resource team report to the community, complete with resource team members’ personal recommendations; and 5) providing post-resource team support and follow-up.

The resource team consists of a panel of knowledgeable individuals from outside the community who are actively involved in some area of rural community development. They volunteer their time and services as a resource team member.

The community is invited to attend any of the one-hour listening sessions, which will be held Tuesday evening and all day on Wednesday and on Thursday morning, in order to answer the following three questions:

What are the major problems and challenges in the community?

What are the major strengths and assets in the community?

What projects would you like to see accomplished in the community in the next two, five, 10, and 20 years?

On Thursday night, the resource team will facilitate a town meeting where 1) the listening session responses will be read; 2) Major themes in the community will be provided; and 3) the resource team members will give the community a preview of their recommendations to be included in the resource team report.

In an effort to foster as much community participation as possible, community sector representatives will be asked to assist in publicizing the resource team visit and recruiting individuals to attend the listening sessions. All community members are invited to attend one of the listening sessions, even if they have not been previously contacted.

For information on the resource team effort, the listening session process, or the listening session agenda, contact community resource team planning leader Julie Bilbrey at 765-9319.



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