Daily Archives: October 16, 2013

Tailgate before the final home game

by nathan oster

A number of local businesses are joining forces to throw a big tailgate party on the evening of the final home football and volleyball contests of the season on Friday, Oct. 18.

The schedule calls for a tripleheader of volleyball matches between Greybull and Lovell at Buff Gym, with the varsity contest projected to start around 5 p.m., as well as the regular season home finale for the Greybull Buffs, who play Big Piney at 7 p.m.

The tailgate party will start at 5:30 p.m. on the concrete basketball court between GHS and GMS.  Fans can enjoy free cheeseburgers, hamburgers, hot dogs, chips, drinks and ice cream while cheering on the Buffs.

Sponsors of the tailgate party include the Bank of Greybull, Big Horn Co-op, Big Horn Federal, Big Horn Rural Electric Company, Greybull Building Center, Greybull Standard, Murdoch Oil and Ron’s Food Farm.



Charges against restaurant owners dropped

by nathan oster

A judge has granted the state’s request to dismiss all criminal charges against Myles Foley and Lori Davis, the owners of The Speakeasy in downtown Greybull.

Foley and Davis had each been charged with selling alcohol without a license in a case that began when the Greybull Town Council, on which Foley is currently serving a four-year term, decided to suspend The Speakeasy’s liquor license.

Foley held a liquor license when he ran for a seat on the town council, but was unaware at the time of the state statute that prohibits sitting council members from holding liquor licenses in the communities that they serve. He was elected in November of 2012, joined the council this past January and served into the summer before being informed of the state statute.  Soon after, the council voted to suspend The Speakeasy’s license until it could be transferred to Davis alone.

The arrest of Foley and Davis in July on charges that they had served alcohol, in violation of the verbal notice of suspension provided by the council, triggered a public outcry, which included a torrent of letters to the editor, most of them in support of the two business owners.

The latest chapter unfolded Oct. 10 when special prosecutor Timothy J. Blatt, the deputy Park County and prosecuting attorney, filed a motion in the Circuit Court of the Fifth Judicial District in Big Horn County.

In it, Blatt said, “It is in the best interests of justice that this matter be dismissed without prejudice.”

In his order, Judge Harrington wrote, “The Court, having reviewed the motion and being fully informed in the premises, finds that good cause exists to grant said motion.”

Blatt did not immediately return phone calls left with his office in Powell seeking comment.

Big Horn County and Prosecuting Attorney Michelle Burns issued the following statement:  “The charges were dismissed without prejudice, meaning they are subject to re-filing; as such, it is not appropriate for this office to make comment at this time.”

Blatt was appointed as a special prosecutor in the case on Aug. 22.

In the motion she filed with the Circuit Court, Burns cited the letters that appeared in the Standard as the reason behind her decision to seek a special prosecutor.  Burns alleges that the Standard did not check the accuracy of the claims made by the letter writers and that it should not have published any of the letters while a criminal case was pending. She said that by doing so, it “put her in a position of not being able to effectively carry out her duties as a prosecutor.”

Foley said he and Davis are “thankful that our justice system saw the truth and that they came to the correct decision,” adding, “I want to the thank the people of this community for all of their support and well wishes.”





Study considers impact of wildlife warning reflectors

Study determining effects of wildlife warning reflectors on wildlife-vehicle collisions moves to Big Horn County

The Wyoming Department of Transportation and Conservation Research Center of Teton Science Schools are continuing a three-year study this fall and winter to evaluate the effects of wildlife warning reflectors on wildlife-vehicle collisions in Big Horn and Fremont counties.

This fall and winter’s study is limited to the areas between Basin and Greybull on U.S. 16/20, and west of Riverton on U.S. 26.

Part of the study involves covering wildlife warning reflectors with bags to study deer behavior with and without the reflectors working as they are intended.

“The researchers are studying the reflector installations about one mile at a time at night — both with the reflectors uncovered and with the reflectors covered with white canvas bags,” according to Cody Beers, WYDOT public relations specialist in Riverton.

Field research on the three-year study is occurring this fall and winter in Big Horn and Fremont counties. The Teton Science Schools research team will be parking near the highway this fall and winter to conduct its research.

In 2007, WYDOT began installing wildlife warning reflectors (deer delineators) throughout Big Horn, Hot Springs and Fremont counties. Between 2007 and 2010, wildlife warning reflectors were installed west of Riverton on 4.7 miles of U.S. 26 between Kinnear and Riverton, and just north of Kinnear; on six miles of U.S. 16/20 between Greybull and Basin; on 3.3 miles of U.S. 20 between Wind River Canyon and Thermopolis; and on 8.9 miles of U.S. 20 between Thermopolis and Lucerne.

“More than 75,000 wildlife-vehicle collisions have been recorded in Wyoming during the past two decades, and of these, 7,500 have occurred within a 60-mile buffer of Thermopolis,” said Morgan Graham, Conservation Research Center Geographic Information Systems manager and principal investigator of the study.

More than 17 million vehicle miles driven are recorded daily in Wyoming, and Fremont, Big Horn and Hot Springs counties rank seventh, 18th and 23rd, respectively, as counties with the most daily vehicle miles driven. But Big Horn, Hot Springs and Fremont counties also rank first, third and sixth, respectively, in the most wildlife-vehicle collisions per vehicle mile driven in Wyoming.

Graham said the study will determine the effect of the wildlife warning reflectors on the wildlife-vehicle collision rate; will quantify factors that influence wildlife-vehicle collisions; and will examine the effects of wildlife warning reflectors on deer highway crossing patterns and behaviors.

“A properly installed modern wildlife warning reflector system consists of a series of roadside posts with unique reflectors mounted to face across the roadway,” Graham said. “As vehicles pass with headlights on, light is reflected in a moving pattern across the road at various angles. Approaching wildlife will notice the reflected light, causing them to halt until the vehicle and lights have passed.”

The manufacturer of the reflector system (Strieter Corp.) reports a 78 to 90 percent reduction in deer-vehicle collisions, but results of independent studies have varied on systems installed throughout the United States.

“Current information does not provide a definitive conclusion on whether modern deer delineators are effective, nor is it clear if they influence deer behavior,” Graham said. “Our study will provide much-needed data on deer delineator efficacy as a wildlife-vehicle collision mitigation tool. It will address the effect of deer delineators on roadside deer behavior, and it will develop an understanding of deer road crossing selection.”

Graham said results of the study should help WYDOT make future “informed decisions regarding transportation planning, roadway improvements and mitigation recommendations.”


Win keeps Buffs alive in playoff hunt

by nathan oster

There are no “gimmes” this year in the Class 2A West Conference, where parity reigns.

Four conference games were played last weekend, and in three of the four, the margin of victory was eight points or less.  The only “blowout” felt like anything but, as Greybull was forced to tough-out a 26-14 win over an amped-up Kemmerer team celebrating its homecoming.

With two weeks left in the regular season, only Lovell has separated itself from the pack, sitting atop the conference standings with a 5-0 record.  Six of the other seven teams sit within a game of each other — either at 3-2 or 2-3 — bidding for the three remaining playoff spots in 2A.

The Buffs are one of those teams on the playoff bubble — and they needed a win in Kemmerer to keep their playoff hopes alive. It didn’t come easily.  Seeking their first win, the Rangers came out fired up and gave the Buffs their best shot.  It wasn’t enough — even against a banged-up Buff team that was missing two starters in Kason Clutter and Kyler Flock and had several others playing through injuries.

Bernhardt said the Buffs had to rely heavily on their freshman, and that after they worked out the jitters in the first quarter, they performed very well.

Kemmerer scored first, opening an 8-0 lead.  But the Buffs scored twice in the second quarter to take a 12-8 lead into the half.  Bernhardt said he sensed the game turned in Greybull’s favor around the start of the second quarter. “Even though the score suggested it was not a blowout, we felt like we controlled the game from the first quarter on.”

The Buffs scored their first two touchdowns on a 26-yard pass from Calder Forcella to Fabian Davila and a 1-yard run by Paul Stewart.  They added to it in the third quarter, going up 18-8 on an 18-yard pass from Forcella to Wyatt Nielson.

Kemmerer closed the gap to 18-14 with a touchdown of its own before the Buffs sealed the deal with 2-yard Forcella run which came with 3:26 to play in the fourth quarter. The two-point conversion that followed, on a pass from Forcella to freshman Cade Dooley, accounted for the 26-14 final.

Bernhardt said the stats don’t do justice to the kind of game Forcella played at quarterback.  “He was on like never before,” the coach said of his junior signal caller. Forcella finished 17 of 25 for 139 yards, but had several passes dropped.

The Greybull ground game, meanwhile, churned out an average of 6.2 yards per attempt, with Forcella finishing with 131 yards and Stewart 64.

“I think our offensive line played its best game of the year,” said Bernhardt, noting that in addition to bulldozing holes for the backs, the line also gave Forcella time in the pocket to pick apart the Ranger defense. The Buffs finished with 334 yards of offense.

On the defensive side, the Buffs did a good job of slowing Kemmerer and its wing T offense, Bernhardt said.  It all added up to a Greybull win, its second in conference play to go against three losses.

“It was probably one of the better feelings I’ve had, as coach, since I’ve been here,” said Bernhardt. “We’ve had several tough losses this season.  After the Lovell game, I added it up and the four teams that beat us were a combined 20-4.  In each of those games, we fought all the way to the end.

“I’m proud of the kids for winning in Kemmerer.  It shows what we’re capable of. Kemmerer was a good football team.  A good bunch of kids. To go on a long road trip like that and get a win, with as many freshmen that contributed, it was a good feeling for everyone — the entire team and all the coaches.”


This week

Bernhardt emphasized that it’s now the one-game-at-a-time point of the season, where teams on the playoff bubble run the risk of paying too much attention to what other teams are doing and not enough attention to their own business.

The focus for the Buffs this week will be Big Piney — and that’s it, said the coach.

“Big Piney is one of the teams that pulled off an upset last week by beating Pinedale,” said Bernhardt. “We have to bring our A game. They’re a much improved football team with a good quarterback and they’re going to be coming in here on a high note.  We need to take care of business and get this win. Then we’ll see how things look when we go to Lyman.”


Greybull 26, Kemmerer 14

G — Fabian Davila 26 yard pass from Forcella.

G — Paul Stewart 1 yard run.

G — Wyatt Nielson 18 yard pass from Forcella.

G — Forcella 2 yard run (Cade Dooley pass from Forcella).

RUSHING — Greybull 31-195 (Forcella 19-131, Stewart 12-64, Davila 1-0).

PASSING — Greybull (Forcella) 17-of-25 for 135 yards.

RECEIVING — Nielson 7-15, Davila 5-52, Dooley 1-8, Dustin Fox 2-9.

DEFENSIVE STANDOUTS — Payton Gonzalez turned in one of the best games of the season by any Buff, finishing with 32 defensive points on 12 assisted tackled, six solos, two tackles for loss and a pass breakup.  Cody Strauch followed with 24 points, which included 15 assisted tackles.  Logan Jensen followed with 22, which included a sack.  Other defensive leaders included Bryce Wright, 15 points, and Paul Stewart and Fabian Davila, with 14 apiece.





Robert Eugene “Gene” Riddle

April 14, 1926 – Oct. 9, 2013

Funeral services for Robert Eugene Riddle were held Oct. 12 at Bryant Funeral Home in Worland. Gene, 87, died Oct. 9 at Spirit Mountain Hospice in Cody.

He was born April 14, 1926, in a small cabin in Ten Sleep, the oldest of four children of Robert Leroy and Frances Riddle. When he was 9 years old he and his younger sister built a child-sized log cabin on the mountain.

Gene enlisted in the U.S. Navy when he was 17 and served on the U.S.S. Sabik in the Pacific. He was present at both the Battle of Leyte Gulf and the atom bomb test at Bikini Island. After his discharge, he returned to Ten Sleep and helped his father run their trucking company. He also sprayed crops in his Piper airplane.

He married Barbara Brown Sept. 17, 1950, in Cody.

He was employed by Mobil Oil Company for 32 years. When he retired in 1986, he was senior production supervisor of a multi-state area, but was based in Wyoming. Innovations he made in the field are still being used today.

He and Barbara moved from Big Piney to Basin after he retired.

Gene enjoyed playing golf with his children and grandchildren, watching the Colorado Rockies play baseball, and was an accomplished fisherman, pilot, carpenter and mechanic.

His parents and two sisters, Lois Mulholland and Joan Riddle, preceded him in death.

He is survived by his wife, Barbara; two sons and daughters-in-law, Darrel and Grace Riddle of Rapid City, S.D. and Dale and Cathy Riddle of Springville, Utah; two daughters and sons-in-law, Jan and Bob Goodrich of Spearfish, S.D., and Joyce and Al Watson of Enid, Okla.; one brother, Kenneth Riddle of Shawnee, Okla.; 10 grandchildren, eight step-grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

Memorials will be donated to Special Olympics of Utah (BYU Cougars) Provo, Utah, Worland Ambulance and the Worland Senior Center in care of Bryant Funeral Home, Box 524, Worland, WY 82401.


Donald H. Olson

July 29, 1927 – Oct. 15, 2013

Funeral services for Donald H. Olson will be held Saturday, Oct. 19 at 11 a.m. at Atwood Family Chapel in Greybull. Don, 86, died Oct. 15 at Bonnie Bluejacket Memorial Nursing Home from complications of cancer.

He was born July 29, 1927, at Emblem, the son of Olive and Henry Olson. The family later moved to a small place north of Greybull where Don spent most of his life.

He received his education in Greybull and graduated from Greybull High School with the Class of 1945.

He enlisted in the U.S. Navy and was issued his military clothing on V.J. Day.

He married Dawn Van Winkle in 1950. They slowly built a grand house on the home place north of Greybull, and Don resumed his career with the railroad, which began in high school when he worked on a section crew. He served as a clerk from the old CB&Q days, with steam, to the new slick computers of Burlington Northern Santa Fe. He retired in 1989.

Throughout his railroad career he continued to run the small family farm.

Don was a lifetime member of BPOE 1431.

He had an easy smile and a keen sense of humor. In his later years he enjoyed having coffee with his friends at the Sugar Shack.

His parents, Olive and Henry Olson, and sister Florence preceded him in death.

He is survived by his wife Dawn of Greybull; two sons and daughters-in-law, Donald “Bruce” and Peggy Olson of Miami, Fla., and Barry and Ruth Olson of Williamsville, N.Y.; sister and brother-in-law, Frances and Merrill Johnson of Peoria, Ill.; seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.


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