Daily Archives: January 10, 2014

2013 in Review: July through December


Jensen elected U.S. senator at Boys State

Logan Jensen, American Legion Post 32’s delegate to Wyoming Boys State, won election to the U.S. Senate, which was one of the most prestigious offices filled by high school students during the annual leadership camp held June 1-7 in Douglas.

On the last day, as is the custom, the Boys State attendees got to travel to Cheyenne, where Logan was fortunate enough to spend time in the offices of U.S. Sens. John Barrasso and Mike Enzi.

Jensen, who will be a senior this fall at Greybull High School, is a member of the National Honor Society, serves on the Student Council, is a three-year letterman in both track and basketball and a two-year letterman in football.


Classes of 1953, 1958 gather in Greybull

A lot of catching up on years gone by, a lot of reminiscing, a lot of laughter and a lot of memories of high-school antics were the focus of a combined reunion of the GHS classes of 1953 and 1958.

Fifty-one people, including alumni and spouses, gathered at the Uptown Café Friday night to kick off the weekend activities. Saturday morning almost the same group returned to the Uptown for breakfast and then made their way to the Senior Citizen Center. A steady stream of friends, neighbors and former classmates passed through the center throughout the afternoon (11 a.m.-4 p.m.), stopping for a few minutes, sometimes staying an hour or so, to catch up, get reacquainted and enjoy light refreshments.


Branding Iron reopens under new ownership

The Branding Iron is back in business.

The bar at the corner of First Avenue South and Sixth Street, which was owned for many years by Bill and Betty Shem, then for about 3 ½ years by John and Jean Laws up until it closed in the summer of 2012, is now under the ownership of Al and Wendy Martin.

“I couldn’t be more excited,” said Wendy.


Hotshots saddened by Arizona tragedy

The pain of losing 19 highly trained firefighters from the Granite Mountain Hotshots extended far beyond the city limits of Prescott, Ariz., where they were members of that community’s fire department.

Across the nation there was mourning within the entire wildland firefighting community, which includes the members of the Wyoming Hotshots, who train in Greybull and serve under the leadership of Matt Prentiss of Basin.

The Wyoming Hotshots were fighting a fire in Colorado when the 19 members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots lost their lives while battling the 2,000-acre Yarnell Hill fire that ignited south of Prescott.

“We were devastated,” Prentiss said of his crew’s reaction to the news.  “We had worked with (the Granite Mountain Hotshots) a few times on different fires. Our relationship was strictly a working relationship, but they were a great crew … we enjoyed working with them.”


County approves reduced budget

The Big Horn County commissioners approved an $11.7 million general fund budget at Tuesday’s budget hearing.

The general fund budget was $1.3 million less than the $13 million budget approved last year. In addition to the general fund budget is $3.7 million for the airports, $175,000 for the fair budget and $519,375 for the library budget. The county will levy the full 12 mills allowed by state statute to fund the general fund, airport, library and fair budgets.


Speakeasy liquor sales suspended

The Greybull Town Council has shut down liquor sales at The Speakeasy after a private citizen raised concerns about the legality of an elected official holding a liquor license in the community that he serves.

The suspension of the liquor license came after the council emerged from an hour-long executive session Monday night.

Councilor Myles Foley, who owns The Speakeasy, would not speak on the record about the development on Tuesday morning, saying only that he would comment at the appropriate time and that he and the town have begun the process of transferring The Speakeasy’s liquor license to his girlfriend and business partner, Lori Davis.

The process of transferring the license is expected to take four weeks, at a minimum. During that time, The Speakeasy is prohibited from selling any alcoholic beverages, according to Town Attorney Scott McColloch.


McCollochs team up to win SSB Invite

Scott and Michael McColloch finished four shots ahead of their closest pursuers, the team of Dave Walton and Shawn Roods, to win the more prestigious net title in last weekend’s Security State Bank Invitational at Midway Golf Club.

The McCollochs finished with a two-day net score of 121, following rounds of 61 and 61.

The Walton-Roods team came in at 125, with scores of 63 and 62.


One-room schoolhouse holds lots of memories

Clair and Arlene Cheatham held a “grade school reunion” at their home on Shell Creek July 6, inviting everyone who had attended the one-room Stone School six miles east of Greybull to share memories of bygone days.

He noted, “One doesn’t hear of too many grade school reunions, but one room, eight-grade schools are different. Some of us spent eight to 10 years together in one room, with one teacher who cared about us.”

Although officially named the Odessa School, to early pioneers of Shell Valley and the surrounding communities it is known simply as the Stone School.

Former Stone School students attending in addition to the host were Dwain Cheatham of Powell, Robert Akin (who attended for just one year), Harry Barnett, Mary Bond Dempster of Lovell, Alice Forbes Chapple of Hardin, Mont., Francis “Frankie” Good, Leora “Lee” Good, Harry Grisham, James Grisham of Lovell, Johnny Herren, Roy Herren of Billings, Sharon Peterson Silcocks of Whitehall, Mont. and Kathy Stevens of Emblem.


Decline in natural gas, oil impacts valuation

After seeing a significant jump in valuation last year of $30 million, Big Horn County saw a decrease in valuation by $5 million.

According to figures from the Big Horn County Assessor’s Office, last year’s valuation was $294,606,744 and it dropped to $289,109,390. The biggest change is in the state assessed valuation, Assessor Gina Anderson said. The county’s state assessed valuation dropped from $198,849,143 to $192,882,139. The biggest decreases came in oil and natural gas with natural gas dropping $2.4 million in valuation. Oil dropped $6.8 million in valuation from a three-year high last year of $129 million to $122.2 million this year.

There were also decreases in valuation in railroad, gas distribution companies, major electrics, municipal electrics, major telecommunication, cable and satellite, rural telephone and sand and gravel.

In contrast to oil and natural gas, bentonite continued its increase in valuation for the fourth straight year, jumping $3.3 million this year to $47.1 million.


Councilman charged with selling alcohol illegally

A town council member and part-owner of a popular downtown restaurant was arrested along with his girlfriend and business partner Wednesday morning on charges that they sold alcoholic beverages while their license was suspended.

Myles Foley, who joined the town council in January, and Lori Davis, own the Historic Hotel Greybull as well as Mylo’s Coffee Shop and The Speakeasy, both of which operate out of the hotel building.

They were led into the courtroom of Judge Tom Harrington approximately three hours after their arrests for their arraignment.  By the end of that proceeding, Harrington had agreed to release both Davis and Foley on $10,0000 signature bonds.

The charge of selling alcohol without a license is a high misdemeanor that carries a maximum penalty of a $1,000 fine and/or one year in jail.



Police budget scrutinized

Cutting an officer from the police force could save the town more than $10,000 annually, but it would hardly be a good tradeoff if it resulted in a decrease in services, including the end of 24-hour police coverage.

That, as much as anything else, seemed to be the consensus that emerged from a town council work session that was held Monday night at Town Hall and attended by approximately 25 community residents, most of them vocal supporters of the GPD.


While the total sales figure fell short of last year’s, averages were up across the board for Friday night’s junior livestock sale at the Big Horn County Fair in Basin.

“It was a good sale,” said Sara Schlattmann, longtime clerk of the sale. The total sale, not counting add-ons, brought $188,592, which was slightly less than the $190,756 generated by the 2012 sale.  But Schlattmann was quick to point out that fewer animals were sold this year, too.  In 2012, 138 were sold; this year, there were 132.

Averages climbed across the board.


Keisel optimistic as camp opens

Brett Keisel made a huge entrance when he arrived at Pittsburgh Steelers training camp, and his performance matched that during the   team’s first full week at Saint Vincent College.

The 12th-year defensive end arrived at camp in an enormous dump truck, saying that the area was like a construction zone. Keisel also wore a No. 99 hard hat because the Steelers were “constructing our team.’


Some good, some bad in PAWS scores

Big Horn County School District No. 3 officials don’t know yet whether any of their buildings or the district as a whole will end up being among those failing to make adequate yearly progress, but say they are generally pleased with their students’ performance on the 2013 Proficiency Assessments for Wyoming Students (PAWS).

The school district’s goal was to put at least 90 percent of its students in the “proficiency” and “advanced” categories — and in some areas like third grade math, where 100 percent of the test takers tested at that level, the district met its goal.

GMS Principal Scott McBride said he was pleased with his students’ performance on the test, particularly in the area of reading.  GMS came away with 91 percent proficient and advanced in the sixth grade, 88 percent in the seventh grade and 90 percent in the eighth grade.

GMS saw 78 achieve proficiency in sixth-grade math, 90 percent in seventh-grade math, 79 percent in eighth grade math and 60 percent in eighth grade science.


SD#3 welcomes 10 new teachers

There will be a whole lot of getting-to-know-you time when students head back to school on Tuesday.

Big Horn County School District No. 3 has 10 new teachers, as well as several others who have moved into new positions with the district.

Greybull Elementary School will experience the most change.  Seven of the 10 new teachers will work at GES, including Christine Farmer, who will teach second grade, and Ryan Harder, who will teach third grade.

Other new GES certified personnel include Michaela Williams, counselor; Tess Reed and Kamie Kazmar, who will both teach special education; Tracy Boyer, who will serve as the school nurse, and Jeremy Brandl, who will teach physical education.

GMS has two new employees in Cody Kalberer (math/ELL) and Laura Hodgson (counselor).

Teresa Boyer is the only new teacher at GHS, as she steps in to teach art. But two others are in new positions.  Dawn Thur has moved over from GES to teach special education/life skills while Nolan Tracy, until now a PE teacher, has assumed the additional responsibility of activities director.


Marshal: Plug-in likely cause of fire

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.


HATS raises another $63,000

HATS V was another unqualified success and between the ticket sales (including pre-sale, tables and at the door), live and silent auction, raffle and the fun “heads and tails” contest $63,905 was raised. The entire amount will benefit people in need of a “hand across the saddle.”

This year’s breakdown includes: ticket sales, $20,000; raffle, $3,100; live auction $38,100; silent auction, $1,930; heads or tails, $775 (won by Kim Coyne).

From its inception in 2009 to HATS IV in 2012, 350 families and individuals from Thermopolis to Powell and all the communities in between were assisted to the tune of $350,000. This does not include assistance provided in 2013.


Tea Party event held in Emblem

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.



School enrollment soars

Enrollment is up sharply this fall in all three Big Horn County School District No. 3 buildings.

As of Aug. 27 — which was one full week into the 2013-14 school year — the district’s enrollment was set at 532 students, an increase of more than 40 students compared to the 490 counted on the opening day of the 2012-13 school year.

Greybull Elementary School, with 223 students on the books on Aug. 27, has experienced the biggest gains.   The school opened last year with 202 students.  By September, it had fallen to 197.  But when school let out in May, it had grown to 216.


Public health future up in the air

Big Horn County and the Wyoming Department of Health and the Public Health Nursing Division have a few months to iron out differences to keep public health operational in the county.

The commissioners have told the state that they will not sign a new contract, which ends with the fiscal year June 30, 2014, if the situation with the administrative assistants remains the same.

Keith Grant said, “We’re not going to have any more county employees working for the state.” He said the county no longer wishes to have county employees who are supervised by state employees such as with public health, Women and Infant Children program and the Cooperative Extension Service. (See related story on Extension.)

There are two administrative assistants with the county public health program, one in Lovell and one in Greybull. Both are county employees supervised by state employee and nurse manager Kimberly Cowan.

Cowan told the commissioners Tuesday that the Lovell position is currently vacant and they are looking to fill the vacancy but wanted the county’s feedback.


Assessment under way

Approximately 35 local resident joined those who had submitted their input online by participating in the first three listening sessions of Greybull’s community assessment on Tuesday afternoon and evening.

A team of volunteers led by Kim Porter, a program manager for the Wyoming Rural Development Council, heard from people of varying backgrounds during the three sessions, which were held at Town Hall and The Speakeasy.

The first session — the one planned for people in the retail, business, industrial, utilities and insurance sector — drew the biggest turnout of the day.  The second session, set aside for the professional/finance/banking sector, drew only three people, but 10 crowded into the Speakeasy for a general listening session to cap off the day.

Several common themes emerged from the sessions.

When it comes to challenges facing the community, people at both sessions agreed that the community lacks things for young people to do, the downtown area is suffering from the loss of businesses and empty storefronts and that tourists aren’t stopping.


Homecoming royalty to be crowned Friday

Will it be Nevin Brown, Ales Preis or Jarely Castro?

Paul Stewart, Kyler Flock or Cesar Garay?

Those are the questions that will be answered Friday night when the 2013 GHS homecoming queen and king are announced and crowned at the halftime of the Greybull-Pinedale football game.

Attendants include: Freshmen: Tré Nelson and Stevie Wamhoff; sophomores Jorge Carmona and Karla Corral, and juniors, Wyatt Nielson and Lynae McBride.



Kunkel, Ewen pie-baking champs

When the tasting was all done, it was Cathy Kunkel and Kathy Ewen getting the nod as the 2013 champions of the “Sweet Tea Pie” fundraiser at the Greybull Public Library Thursday. Through the event, $825 was added to the library fund.

Kunkel’s “Pumpkin Cheesecake Praline” was the judge’s choice for the tastiest pastry while Ewen’s “Dulce LaLechera” was the People’s Choice.

Both winners received gift certificates.


Judge sends road petition to commissioners

A road petition that was denied by the Big Horn County commissioners in 2011 is now back in their lap after a district court ruling.

According to a Fifth Judicial District Court ruling by Judge Robert Skar, filed Sept. 23, the issue of a private road petition originally filed by Mary and Patrick Whaley of Shell and Buffalo, is “remanded back to the Board of County Commissioners who shall proceed with Petitioners’ (Whaleys) application for a private road by appointing viewers and appraisers pursuant to Wyoming Statute.”

Big Horn County Attorney Michelle Burns, who met with the Big Horn County commissioners last week in executive session, said “Since it is pending litigation I have no formal comment at this time.”


Win sends Lady Buffs to regionals

For the first time in many years, the Greybull Lady Buffs will not have to play a pigtail match to qualify for the Class 2A West Regional volleyball tournament in Lander.  A 25-20, 20-25, 22-25, 25-17, 15-11 victory over Thermopolis Friday assured the Buffs of a No. 2 seed.

Coach Sara Schlattmann said, “The girls were excited about how they played; they have a weight lifted off their shoulders by officially being out of the pigtail game. That was a huge relief.”


Two-story design chosen for GMS

Following the recommendations of their teachers and students, the Big Horn County School District No. 3 board on Oct. 8 approved a two-story “sunrise” design for its new middle school building.

If funding is ultimately approved by the legislature this winter, the new middle school would be built on the green space between the south door of the high school and the GMS Gym.

The building’s size and cost would be dictated by the School Facilities Commission. Right now, the district is operating under the assumption that the building could be up to 14,710 square feet and that its budget is going to be around $4.7 million.



Charges against restaurant owners dropped

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.

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.”


No positive brucellosis tests yet

The first full week of the big-game hunting season didn’t produce any big surprises — and that’s a good thing when it comes to brucellosis testing.

Throughout the fall, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department has been encouraging Big Horn Mountain elk hunters to assist in the surveillance effort by taking blood samples and either sending them in or leaving them at collection sites.

“As of Saturday, I was hearing that (the state lab) had tested 80 samples already and that there had been no positives at all in the areas we’re most concerned about (areas 38, 39 and 40),” said Tom Easterly, a wildlife biologist for Game and Fish.


Powers appointed to U.S. Naval Academy

For the majority of GHS students, Oct. 21 was just an ordinary day. But for McKenna Powers the “ordinary” day turned into something very special.

“I was in the girls bathroom when I got a text from my mom saying I had received my official appointment to the Naval Academy. I was floating on air the whole day,” Powers said with a wide smile.

Powers will be inducted into the Academy in Annapolis on July 1,2014.


Council shelves pit bull ordinance

The Greybull Town Council has scrapped its controversial pit bull ordinance on the recommendation of the town’s animal control officer, who stated during its meeting last week that he’d been inundated with phone calls and e-mails from people who opposed the change.

“From all the comments I received, I want you all to know that I did listen,” said Doug Youngerman, the animal control officer. “We went viral I think, because I heard from people from New York to California — and everywhere in between.”

Youngerman, the staunchest proponent of the ordinance amendment last month, urged the council not to pass it on second reading, citing the will of the people and his support for a revised ordinance, which was given first reading by the council in the night.


Five Buffs on all-conference grid team

The Greybull Buffs put five players on the Class 2A West all-conference football team.

The Buffs who made the squad included seniors Kason Clutter and Bryce Wright and juniors Calder Forcella, Fabian Davila and Wyatt Nielson.

Greybull finished fifth in the conference this season, going 3-4 in conference play and 3-5 overall.



Antelope Butte fundraiser nets more than $32k

This past Saturday, the Antelope Butte Foundation (ABF) hosted a fundraiser,

“Butte-ify the Big Horns,” a fundraiser for the Antelope Butte Foundation, raised over $32,000 from generous donors.

Attended by over 200 residents, it was the community’s first detailed look at the project designed to reopen the Antelope Butte Ski & Recreation Area, which last operated in 2004.

“We have spent the last 18 months doing our homework and ensuring Antelope Butte can be viable moving forward,” said Mark Weitz, president of the ABF. “After concluding this is totally doable, we wanted to roll out our plans to the community and begin asking for support. The community’s response was phenomenal and we are encouraged to make it happen.”


New ER doc joins South Big Horn County Hospital

He fell in love with Wyoming as a teenager when he worked on a ranch west of Cody. He bought his first adult pair of cowboy boots from Wayne’s Boots. He had dreams of returning to Wyoming to run his own ranch.

The ranch dream never came true but the one of returning did. Dr. David Fairbanks is the new director of Emergency Medicine for South Big Horn County Hospital. He started in November.

Fairbanks grew up in Bethesda, Md., the oldest of four boys born to David N.F. and Sylvia Fairbanks. His father is an ear, nose and throat surgeon and his mother is a teacher. His grandfather Avard T. Fairbanks is a sculptor of international renown.

He is a graduate of Brigham Young University and the University of Virginia School of Medicine. His trauma surgical internship was done at Washington Hospital Center in Washington, DC. While serving in the United States Air Force he was deployed for four tours as a flight surgeon during Operation Desert Storm. He was named 7th Wing’s Flight Surgeon of the year.


Local teens witness 64-yard field goal

Brock Hill and Shayla Cheatham were witnesses to history Sunday in Denver, as the two local teens and Punt, Pass & Kick competitors were standing behind the end zone waiting to be introduced at halftime when Matt Prater’s kick sailed over the crossbar in front of them.

Covering 64 yards in total, it was the longest field goal in NFL history and it the sent Broncomaniacs into a frenzy that didn’t subside until the Broncos had wrapped up their 11th win in 13 games and clinched a berth in the AFC playoffs.  “What an atmosphere,” said Shayla’s mother, Shalene Cheatham.


Hansen is Holidazzle grand marshal

Marion Hansen, owner of the Uptown Café, has been selected as the grand marshal of the 2013 Holidazzle parade.

“She was very surprised,” said Hansen‘s daughter, Joni when her mother was presented with a bouquet of flowers, a plaque and sash Monday afternoon, “but she knew something was going on when I made her come back to the restaurant at 2 p.m.”

Marion Hansen has been a fixture at Uptown Café for years. She was a fixture when it was Parker’s Café, and she worked for then owner Chuck Shirran as a cook, a waitress, you name it.


Line break turns out the lights

There is no such thing as a good time for a power outage, but the one that sent local residents scurry for back-up heat sources during the early morning hours on Friday came at one of the worst possible times of the year.

The Big Horn Basin, and for that matter all of Wyoming, has been in a deep freeze over the last 7 to 10 days, with the mercury rarely if ever climbing above zero during this frigid stretch of early December. So when the power went out Friday morning at 3:42 a.m., it caused widespread panic.


Legion in position to start building renovations

American Legion Post No. 32 Commander Paul Linse has announced that renovations to the Legion Hall building on North Fifth Street are expected to begin soon.

Donations from American Legion members and individuals from the community now total more than $6,500, which is more than 10 percent of the total amount Post 32 will require for the total renovation project costs.

Linse said Post 32 has also applied for grants from a variety of sources and feels confident the building will be restored to a state better than the original hall, giving the community an attractive venue for a variety of events and activities.





2013 in Review: January through June


Murdoch’s win home lighting contest

The Greybull Area Chamber of Commerce has announced the winners of its holiday home decorating and lighting contest — and the top two finishers should come as no big surprise to longtime readers of the Standard.

First place went to the Paul and Claudine Murdoch residence at 232 Sixth Ave. N.

Finishing in second was the Ron and Elaine Huff residence at 424 S. Third St.


Mayor Graham outlines 2-year goals

There was a changing of the guard on the Greybull Town Council Thursday night, as Bob Graham was sworn in as mayor and Myles Foley and Clay Collingwood began their four-year terms.

Gavel in hand, Graham thanked the outgoing council members, Kay Fleek and Jan Johnson, as well as Mayor Frank Houk. “I just want you to know, I appreciate all of you, how you’ve helped me grow on this council and with the town,” said Graham. “It’s a little different sitting on this side after spending 15 years on the other side (as a town employee).

“Thank you for your help and confidence in me.  I hope I can fill those shoes and move the town forward for the next two years.”


GMS a National Title I Distinguished School

Greybull Middle School finds itself in some elite company.  Only 66 schools in the nation can call themselves a National Title I Distinguished School — and GMS is one of them.

David Holbrook, a representative of the Wyoming Department of Education, presented a plaque to GMS Principal Scott McBride during the school’s awards assembly in the GHS auditorium.

Holbrook, speaking for Supt. of Public Instruction Cindy Hill who was unable to attend, told students and staff that each state may select two schools for national recognition — one for exceeding its adequate yearly progress for two or more years, the other for significantly closing the achievement gap between student groups.

GMS’s nomination was based the school meeting the criteria of significantly closing the achievement gap, Holbrook said.


Shell Post Office hours to  be cut

The Shell Post Office won’t be closing, but its hours will soon be reduced as the U.S. Postal Service tries to streamline its operations in Wyoming and around the country.

$3 billion.  That’s how much the USPS lost last year, according to Gary Sims, manager of post office operations for the state of Wyoming.

Sims was in Shell, talking to a group of about 35 local residents who had gathered to discuss the fate of their post office, which is currently open eight hours a day Monday through Friday and three hours every Saturday.

Sims said within the first two minutes of his presentation that the USPS had no intention of closing the Shell Post Office.

“We know how important post offices are to small rural communities,” Sims said, adding later in the meeting that nearly half of the approximately 142 post offices in Wyoming are in line for some sort of reduction in business hours.


Longtime retirement calls it quits

CPA Bruce Bergstrom has put away his ledgers and is “closing the books” on his accounting practice which has been a mainstay on Greybull Avenue for the past 39 years.

His decision to retire has nothing to do with the fact that he will turn 73 in June.  Simply put, Barb told his clients, “Barb and I want to move on to the next chapter in our lives.”


Council can’t agree on appointment

A special meeting of the Greybull Town Council ended the way it began — with a governing body of four and one empty chair.

Mayor Bob Graham and Councilmen Bob McGuire, Myles Foley and Clay Collingwood failed to reach a consensus in their first attempt to appoint someone to complete the remaining two years of Graham’s council term.

Les Lowe, Rod Collingwood, Ross Jorgensen, Lindsey Casey and Dave Havener had filed letters of interest with the town, but none of them received the three votes necessary to secure the appointment.

With Foley leaving town for a month and legal counsel needing time to determine where the town goes from here, the council isn’t expected to pick the matter up again until sometime in March.



BBBS in transition mode

The resignation of two key staffers and the expiration of a 21st Century Community Learning Grant that had been supporting its after-school programming have combined to deal a crippling blow to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Wyoming.

Lisa Beamer, the local agency’s chief executive officer, confirmed on Tuesday that Jen Prentiss, who had been serving as the program director in Big Horn County, had resigned, as had Kellie Asmus, the Americorps VISTA assigned to the Greybull office.

Asmus, whose last day was Friday, said she came to the conclusion that “the program wasn’t a good fit for me, and didn’t align with my future interests.”

Prentiss had an even larger role for BBBS. She has served as the program manager for more than two years, but will be leaving for good today.  She has accepted a job working for Gottsche, which has moved into a new facility in Basin. She will be running Gottsche’s wellness program, including fitness programming.


Buffs give Chiefs a scare

If the Greybull Buffs are fortunate enough to make it to the Class 2A West Regional, they will know that at the very least, they can compete against the teams from the southwest corner of the state.

The Buffs are 4-1 against the Southwest Conference — and their only loss, a 48-47 setback Saturday to Wyoming Indian, may have been more impressive than their four combined wins over Big Piney, Kemmerer, Shoshoni and Wind River, all of which came in the Big Horn Basin Shootout.

Playing their third game in as many days after a 67-37 thrashing of Riverside and a 52-37 loss to conference leading Lovell, the Buffs went toe to toe with the No. 2 ranked Chiefs for 32 minutes Saturday afternoon at Buff Gym.


Preis celebrates 98th birthday

Friends and relatives gathered at Bonnie Bluejacket Memorial Nursing Home Tuesday, Feb. 5 to honor Geneva Preis on her 98th birthday.


Let’s Talk Cellular pulls out of town

Let’s Talk Cellular, which unexpectedly pulled out of Greybull last year, has now closed its doors in Cody, Powell and Thermopolis, as well.

Sandi House, owner of the Verizon authorized retailer, said in a statement that she plans to retire, stay home and expand her alpaca operation.

“The cellular business has been good to us,” she said. “It has been fun and we have all enjoyed getting to know the people in our communities.  But it’s time to pursue other avenues.”

House and her Let’s Talk Cellular team members thanked customers for their support over the past 10 years.


Greer, Van Gelder King and Queen of Hearts

Tom Van Gelder and Stella Greer were crowned King and Queen of Hearts at a special Valentine’s Day party held at the Bonnie Bluejacket Memorial Nursing Home.

Both residents and staff voted on their “favorites” with Dian Sixberry assisting in counting the returns. The two won election by a slim margin, staving off a “tie” that would have resulted in a “royal court” instead of a king and queen.


Mat team places fourth at state tourney

A season that began with question marks up and down the order and with only six kids having any state wrestling experience whatsoever ended on a high note for Greybull-Riverside last weekend at the Casper Events Center.

The Buffs brought home a trophy, which was the goal, finishing fourth in the 21-team field with 126.5 points and trailing only 2A champion Moorcroft-Hulett (which set a new 2A team record with 263 points), Cokeville (170) and Lovell (147.5).

Thirteen of G-R’s 15 state qualifiers won matches in Casper.  Leading the charge were its eight placers: Luke Zeller, second at 160; Cole Hill, third and 145; Spencer Redland, third at 195; Jesus Burgos, fifth at 138; Rob Nuttall, fifth at 170; Zane Edeler, fifth at 220; Tanner Bernstein, fifth at 285; and Matt Brown, sixth at 182.


Upheaval on Shell Canal Board

As annual membership meetings go, it was a doozie, featuring talk of lawsuits, allegations of wrongdoing by public officials and even claims that ballots from a recent election had been improperly counted and reported.

But by the end of the night, the members of the Shell Canal Company had had their say. The results of the first “annual membership meeting” held Feb. 4, 2013 were declared invalid, and as the clock neared 11 p.m. the membership finalized its new board, which now consists of Quinton Noyes, Tom Delaney (incumbent), LeRoy Klitzke (incumbent) and Ray Weese, along with holdover Gary Good.

Voted out of office were Barbara Burbridge and Boyd Van Fleek.

The Shell Canal Company has approximately 130 members. Approximately 70 showed up for Monday’s annual meeting, which was moved from the Greybull Public Library to the Greybull Elks Lodge to accommodate the anticipated large turnout.


Herrins honored for 72 years together

It was Oct. 12, 1940 when Marcella Johnson and Dan Herrin entered St. Vincent’s Catholic Church in St. Paul, Minn., clasped hands and vowed: “…for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, to love, honor, and cherish; from this day forward until death do us part.”

After weathering 72 years of “better, worse, richer, poorer, sickness, health,” Marcella and Dan are as committed to each other as they were as newlyweds.

Father Tom Ogg of St. Mary Magdalene and Sacred Heart Catholic churches in Worland and Greybull, representing Worldwide Marriage Encounter, the original faith-based marriage enrichment program in the United States, sponsored by the Catholic Church, presented Dan and Marcella with a framed parchment certificate for being “the Longest Married Couple in Wyoming.”



Sidekick to close, make way for Family Dollar

Greybull would lose one of its restaurants but gain a Family Dollar store if a proposed real estate transaction is completed in the coming weeks.

Dean and Sheila Waddell, owners of Side Kick Pizza and Subs on North Sixth Stret, have announced plans to close their business. On a sign hanging in their front door, and in an advertisement appearing in this issue, the Waddells offered thanks to the community for its support over the years.

Prior to opening at their current location in 2004, the Waddells dispensed coffee out of a drive-through building in the Ron’s Food Farm parking lot.


Study: Renovation of GMS best option

A consulting firm hired by the state is recommending that Big Horn County School District No. 3 pursue renovations to its middle school to address concerns about crowded hallways and other building deficiencies.

“Using the state’s approved methodology, you do not have a capacity issue at the middle school and you are much farther from having a capacity issue at the high school,” Jack Mousseau, an architect with MOA Architecture, told school board members and staffers during a meeting Wednesday night at GHS.

Because of that, he said the school district would not stand a good chance of securing funds from the School Facilities Commission for the construction of a new middle school, although that was one of the three options considered by MOA.


Council decides: It’s Jorgensen

Ross Jorgensen, who for six years served as the town’s public works director, was appointed to the Greybull Town Council Monday night, ending an at times contentious internal struggle over who would complete the remaining two years of Bob Graham’s four-year term.

Jorgensen’s appointment, which was approved by a unanimous vote, capped a 45-minute discussion in which the council failed to agree on the appointment of Dave Havener and refused to put to a vote the appointments of either Rod Collingwood or Lindsey Casey.

The council had decided the fate of a fifth candidate, Les Lowe, in January.  The third-place finisher in the November general election, Lowe failed to get a majority of the council votes, as he received the backing of both Clay Collingwood and Myles Foley, but was opposed by Mayor Bob Graham and Bob McGuire.   Three votes were needed to win the appointment, and because he had gone to a vote, he could not be brought up for another vote.


Board sticks to its guns, wants new school

The Big Horn County School District No. 3 board of trustees has elected to pursue the construction of a new middle school rather than make the renovations to its existing building that were recommended by a consulting firm hired to do a capacity study of the GHS/GMS campus.

By unanimous vote, the board chose to “roll the dice,” so to speak, citing the age and condition of the current GMS building, the impact of the recommended renovation plan on current and future school programs, and an overriding concern that the district’s argument for a new GMS would be hurt by any improvements made now.


Brown wins People’s Choice award

The Historic Greybull Hotel was filled to overflowing Friday night as about 300 people roamed the rooms and halls to view the 51 illuminated exhibits displayed by Big Horn County School District No. 3 art students.

Each “critic” could vote on his/her favorite and when the votes were counted, the “people’s choice” was the project of GHS senior Nevin Brown, who received a ribbon, certificate and $100.

Brown’s project started with an old window frame stored in the family garage.  The glass was replaced with mirrors centered with a picture of her and her boyfriend. A shelf was built onto the frame, and feathers, candles, flowers and white lights highlighted the project.


Landfill board OKs closure of south landfill

Based on recommendations from Howard Johnson of Inberg-Miller Engineers of Riverton, the Big Horn County Solid Waste Board voted at their regular meeting to move forward with Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (WDEQ) in closing the south end landfill.

Johnson’s firm did a topographic survey of the landfill in 2009 and 2013. The board reviewed the differences. Johnson and Gary Grant, landfill manager had reviewed how much had been filled in since 2009 and the average of tons that have been received per year. Based on this they came up with a remaining life of 10-15 years for the south landfill. The board asked Grant to contact the WDEQ to set up a meeting with them to discuss the closure.



Flitner “Lady-in-Waiting” for Cody Stampede

Morgan Flitner was crowned the 2013 Cody Stampede Lady-in-Waiting at the Irma Hotel in Cody March 16 at the conclusion of a day-long contest that included horsemanship, public speaking and questions, modeling and judges’ interviews. The eight contestants were also scored on a 100-question rodeo test that included everything from livestock diseases and Wyoming current events to PR history and awards.

Flitner, this year’s Stampede Lady-in-Waiting, will become the 2014 Cody Stampede Queen in January and compete for Miss Rodeo Wyoming in August 2014.


Longtime GHS/GMS art teacher resigns

Personnel issues were front and center during a special meeting Thursday of the Big Horn County School District No. 3 board of trustees.

The board accepted four resignations, made four new hires and agreed to create another teaching position at the elementary school, where the student-to-teacher ratio of 20 to 1 currently exceeds the state’s recommended 16 to 1.

Topping the list of resignations was Karyne Dunbar, the art teacher at GHS and GMS.  She has been with the district since 1981 — and even though she was not in attendance to hear it, she drew a round of applause from the board and audience for her years of dedicated service to the district.

The board moved swiftly to fill the position, approving a motion later in the meeting to offer the GHS/GMS art teacher position to Teresa Boyer, whose husband, Nathan, is a teacher at the elementary school.


Thur hired as new town administrator

The Greybull Town Council has tapped a man with more than 10 years of management and supervisory experience in the U.S. Antarctic Program (USAP) to be its new administrator and finance director.

Paul Thur is expected to begin work in early May. He will replace Joe Fischer, who resigned at the end of last year to return to his native Wisconsin.





District pulls the plug on swimming pool

The clock has officially struck midnight for users of the Greybull swimming pool.

Supt. Barry Bryant announced on Friday that he had closed the pool, citing a fire marshal’s conclusion that the building is “not structurally safe” and a structural engineer’s opinion that it is “unfit for public occupancy.”

The pool was funded through the end of June and the school board and town council had recently agreed to each chip in $8,000, for a total of $16,000, to cover the months of July and August.

The plan was to try to keep it open through the end of the summer, but Bryant said concerns about the safety of people using the pool prompted him to take the action, which he immediately conveyed to members of the school board and the mayor Bob Graham.

In an email, fire marshal Dale Link said, “From looking at the corrosion on the main structure of the building and the piece I picked off with my finger the building is not structurally safe.”


Positive brucellosis tests create unease

Officials from the Wyoming State Livestock Board urged local cattle producers to be proactive in monitoring their herds for brucellosis following the recent announcement from the Game and Fish Department that two elk taken in the Big Horn Mountain had tested positive for the bacteria.

“If I was a producer in this area, I would want to get some surveillance testing in my cattle herd to assure myself that it wasn’t there — or to find it quickly if it was,” said Dr. Jim Logan, the state veterinarian. “If you go through the calving seasons with one infected female that calves in your herd, you will know it the next year.

“The longer you wait to find it, the greater the risk of inter-herd spread.”

Logan was one of several Wyoming Livestock Board and Wyoming Game and Fish officials in attendance at a public meeting Thursday night at the Greybull Elks Lodge attended by approximately 50 local producers.

While Logan’s call was for livestock producers to be proactive, even he acknowledged early in the evening that no one yet knows what to make of the two positive tests, which was discovered in elk taken in Hunt Area 40.


Rec district losing its director

The Greybull Recreation District has begun its search for a new director after Chris Waite announced late last week that he was resigning in order to accept a position as the volunteer coordinator for the Billings Recreation District.

Waite will remain on the job through the end of this month, at which time he will turn over the reigns to Heather Howe and Trista Williams, who during Monday’s meeting of the Greybull Recreation Board were appointed interim director and interim assistant director, respectively.

Howe has been serving as the assistant director and Williams as the roller rink supervisor.


Can’t get enough goldfish racing

What started 10 years ago as a “Mardi Gras-type party” has grown and evolved into one of the most anticipated events of the spring in Greybull under the direction of Kevin and Brenda Peterson and their legions of cooks and support people.

More than 150 people filed into the Greybull Elks Lodge on Saturday night, drawn by the lure of fresh shrimp and crawdads and another round of “championship goldfish races” featuring racers with names like “Jamaican Me Crazy,” “Fish-N-Chicks,” and “Knotty Tonight.”

Brenda Peterson estimates that 148 people were fed and that another 15 to 20 paid to watch the racing, which drew to a conclusion when Ryan Howe and his fish, “Oliver Clothesoff,” crossed the finish line ahead of a fish directed by Kelle Saldana.


Commissioner Hinman resigns

Thomas S. Hinman  “Scotty” announced his resignation late last week in a public letter to the citizens of Big Horn County.

His letter states, “Regrettably I must resign from my position as county commissioner due to health issues. I greatly appreciate the opportunity that you have given me to serve you as commissioner for the past six years. It has been an honor and privilege that few get to experience, and for that I thank you.”

Hinman is in the midst of his second term as a commissioner, having first been elected in 2006 and re-elected in 2010.

Commissioner Hinman remembered

Big Horn County Commissioner Thomas S. “Scotty” Hinman resigned the position on April 18 and a week later passed away from leukemia.



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.


GHS names top graduates

Hunter Grant, Sarah Bockman, Michaela Denniston and Dane Gifford share valedictory honors for the Greybull High School Class of 2013. Luke Zeller is the salutatorian.


Buffs qualify two more at regional

The Greybull Buffs will be sending six athletes to the State 2A Track and Field Championships in Casper after McKenna Powers and Logan Jensen punched their ticket at the regional meet in Lander.

Powers and Jensen join the four members of the 400-meter relay team, Dylan Brenner, Calder Forcella, Alex Hebb and Kyler Flock, who qualified earlier in the season by bettering the 2A qualifying standard.

The Buffs didn’t have the firepower to make a run in the team standings, finishing ninth in both the boys and girls divisions.  Lovell won both divisions, collecting 170 points in the girls and 148.83 in the boys.  Greybull tallied 17 in the boys division, nine in the girls division.


Mayor: Levee ‘provisionally accredited’

Greybull residents won’t have to pay higher flood insurance rates as long as the town continues to make progress toward recertification of its levee.

Mayor Bob Graham made the announcement during the May 13 meeting of the Greybull Town Council, telling his fellow council members and the audience that if nothing else, it buys the town more time.

Graham said he asked representatives of the national flood insurance program for an extension but was originally told no. “But then they called back and said, ‘We appreciate you moving forward with the project and will adjust the provisional accredited levy (designation) to the new mapping tool that will come out in August or September.

“That PAL will stay attached, which means that Greybull residents will not need to pay increased rates for insurance as long as we show progress toward levee certification.  If we run into a stalemate, or don’t show action and keep them up to speed on our progress, then the PAL will be lifted and our people will have to pay higher insurance rates.  So it’s like an extension.”


Campaign for new middle school continues

Big Horn County School District No. 3 may be a step closer to getting a new middle school.

Supt. Barry Bryant believes he’s making progress in his bid to convince the School Facilities Commission that an approximately $4.5 million solution that includes building a new middle school and remodeling both the current middle school and GMS Gym is the best one for the school district and its patrons.

Bryant made his comments after a May 16 presentation to the School Facilities Commission.

“I was 50/50 before I went down, but I’m 90/10 now … 90 percent sure we’ll get a new middle school by the time all is said and done,” said Bryant.

Bryant said the SFC was “very receptive” to his presentation, in which he pointed out flaws in the recent capacity study done by MOA Architecture. In it, the cost of a new middle school was set at $10 million.


Memorial Day bring turbulent weather

The weather system that stormed through Big Horn County on Memorial Day served as a reminder that tornados can happen here, too — and not just in Oklahoma and Kansas, the two states that get the most twisters.

Chris Jones, a warning coordination meteorologist for the National Weather Service, said residents of Johnson County — and particularly around Kaycee — saw tornado warnings issued three times in a five-day span of the last week.

But the only reported touch-down of a funnel cloud occurred just on the outskirts of Big Horn County in neighboring Park County.  According to Jones, a tornado (or at least, what appeared to be one on photographs) was observed 20 miles southeast of Cody, or 11 miles northeast of Meeteetse.

It appears the tornado was on the ground for 15 to 20 minutes, until around 11:18 when it lifted back up into the thunderstorm. By that point, it was approximately 17 miles northeast of Meeteetse.

No damage was reported.



Town proposing hike in sanitation fees

Greybull residents would notice a $2 increase on their monthly utility bills if the town’s proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2014 is approved in its present form on third and final reading Monday night.

Council members agreed to incorporate the $2 hike into the budget when they met to give it a second reading on Tuesday, May 28.  The hike would come in sanitation fee, where residential customers currently pay $22.50 per month and business customers pay $35.50.

If it clears third and final reading, the increase would take effect July 1 and generate an estimated $20,000 annually for the town.  It would be the second increase in as many years in the sanitation rates. In July of 2012, they rose by 50 cents.



Coffee Barn opens on Sixth

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.


Baxter Black booked for HATS

HATS will be “doffed” this year on Saturday, Aug. 17 at the Herb Asp Community Center. The fifth annual charity event will feature entertainment by Baxter Black, cowboy, poet, philosopher, former veterinarian and radio and television commentator.

Black drew rave reviews when he appeared at the 2009 fundraiser, and guests will enjoy the same quality show this year.


SFC approves plan to build new GMS

Three months after it rolled the dice, the Big Horn County School District No. 3 board of trustees has apparently come up a big winner in its bid for a new Greybull Middle School building.

Supt. Barry Bryant announced during a special meeting Monday night that the School Facilities Commission had approved the project, doing so on the recommendation of the School Facilities Department staff and the architectural firm, MOA, which earlier this year conducted a capacity study of the GMS/GHS campus.

MOA, the SFD, and ultimately, the SFC itself, all supported the plan pitched by Greybull staff and school board members, which calls for the construction of a 14,710-square-foot addition onto the Greybull Middle School Gym, the remodeling of 5,017 square feet on the opposite side of the GMS Gym, and the conversion of the current GMS into an administrative central office.


Have bats and gloves, will travel

With no Babe Ruth or Legion teams in Greybull this summer, local boys who have wanted to play baseball have had to load up their gear and join teams from other communities to get their fixes of America’s pastime.

The Forcella boys — Calder and Dawson — and Justin Bacus are playing American Legion ball with the Lovell Mustangs, Bryce Wright is in his second season with the Powell Pioneers, and Brock Hill and Morgan Dowling are playing with the Worland Indians, a Babe Ruth squad.


Schwartzes celebrate home lighting win

by nathan oster

Ray and Maria Schwartz, who live at 25 N. Third Street, have been named the winners of the 2013 Greybull Holiday Home Lighting Contest, which was sponsored by the Greybull Area Chamber of Commerce, Ron’s Food Farm and Rocky Mountain Power.

“I’m flabbergasted,” said Ray upon learning of the honor, which came with a $75 cash prize.

Ray and Maria married three years ago, so this was only their second Christmas together.

Last year, their display received an honorable mention in the contest.

Wanting to do better this year, they spent a little extra money and time.  Lights were hung on the fence and on the little trees between the sidewalk and the curb.  Displays featuring an angel and a reindeer with a sleigh were added, as was a miniature manger scene featuring the baby Jesus that was built by Ray and blessed by the local Catholic priest.

Even with all those enhancements, Ray didn’t think it would be enough to win.

“I told Maria, ‘We’re not rich people; we can’t afford all those big, blow-up things.’  I told her, Maybe, just maybe, we’ll move up to third.’ But she said, second place, Papi.  We’re going to get second place.”

Turns out, they did one better. It was their first win — but it might not be their last.

“I think (Maria) wants even more next year,” laughed Ray. “It tickles her whenever people drive by, slow down and look at the lights.  I think it makes her proud.”

Maria, who is from Guadalajara, Mexico, doesn’t speak English.  Through her husband, she said she was thrilled to take top honors in this year’s contest.

Judges awarded second place, and a $50 prize, to Ron and Elaine Huff, who reside at 424 S. Third St.

Chuck and Tina Spragg, who live at 317 10th Ave. N., placed third, which was worth $25.

Judges awarded a pair of honorable mentions, giving one to Chris Gross (109 Sumac) and the other to Darryl and Linda Cooper (625 Third Ave. N.).  Those two homes received turkeys, courtesy of Ron’s Food Farm.

The judges this year also voted on the best new holiday home lighting display, with $100 put up by Paul and Claudine Murdoch, whose home is typically in the run for top honors in the contest.  This year they asked that their home not be judged — and put $100 into a pot for new home decorators.

First place in this category went to the Debbie Weidenhaft home at 305 Sixth Ave. S., followed by the Brent and Pattie Hoff residence at 332 Sixth Ave. N. and the Ann Stearns residence at 305 Second Ave. S.

Weidenhaft won $50, the Hoffs $30 and Stearns $20.

Two more honorable mentions — and Ron’s Food Farm turkeys — went to the Mary Crichton residence at 317 First Ave. S. and the Michael and Michelle McColloch residence at 75 Highway 14.



Lady Buffs falter in conference opener

by marlys good

“It was definitely not one of our better games,” said Greybull Lady Buff Coach Jeff Hunt of his team’s 44-35 loss to the Lady Bobcats in the conference opener Friday in Thermopolis.

“We struggled shooting. We were getting pretty good shots, they just weren’t falling,” he added.

The Bobcats had little trouble finding the range, especially in the first half. “They hit a lot of big shots,” Hunt said. “We had a difficult time stopping their post (Hoffman) and she had a great game. We had no answer for her.”

The shooting problems would have been bad enough but combined with 30 turnovers, it was too big a hurdle to overcome.

But the Buffs gave a valiant effort. Down 37-20 going into the final quarter, Greybull went into overdrive. “We came out aggressive and went on a 13-1 run to get within five points,” Hunt said.

“Ceirra (Carlson) took control of the game with about five minutes left. She played great defense that led to some quick steals and points and the other girls fed off of her. It was just a little bit too late,” according to Coach Hunt.

Carlson ended the game with eight points, five rebounds and six steals. Sophomore Florina Villegas led the defense with seven rebounds and added to her stats with four steals and five points.

“I think the girls realize they need to play that aggressive all the time. I was proud of how they responded to a big deficit. We just need to work on coming out quick in the third quarter.”

Greybull has a chance to even its conference record at 1-1 Friday night when Lovell comes to town for games at 4 and 5:30 p.m. The Buffs will stay right in Greybull for Saturday’s action against Burlington at 4 and 5:30 p.m.

Thermopolis 9  11  17    7 – 44

Greybull 8    7    5  15 – 35

GREYBULL — Madi Kraft 1 2-2 4; Ceirra Carlson 4 0-1 8; Brett Stephens 1 1-2 3; Madi Edeler 0 1-2 1; Karlina McIntosh 3 0-0 6; Florina Vellegas 2 1-2 5; Jordan Kraft 3 0-0 8. Totals 14-47 5-9 35.

3-POINT GOALS — J. Kraft 2. REBOUNDS — Greybull 26 (Villegas 7, McIntosh 6, Carlson 5). STEALS — Greybull 15 (Carlson 6, Villegas 4). ASSISTS — Greybull 0. TURNOVERS —Greybull 30.


Fair mulls demo derby or Monster Truck rally

by karla pomeroy

Fair entertainment was the main topic of discussion at Monday’s fair board meeting including demolition derby versus Monster Truck event, free concert and prices for grandstand events.

The board was approached with a request from Security State Bank to continue to handle the ticket booth and clerk for the grandstand events, but they would like to change rates to an event $10 to avoid making change for the current $8 rate. Board member Casey Sorenson said the concern is that making change makes the lines longer at the ticket booth.

A motion to change the rates to $10 for adults and $5 for 16 and under died for lack of a second.

Andy Perkins said the Lovell rodeo rates increased from $8 to $10 this past summer and attendance was down. County 4-H Educator Gretchen Gasvoda said the same thing happened at the Cowley rodeo.

Sorenson, who made the motion, said he liked giving the youth who were at the fair the price break of $5.

The board approved changes to the carnival contract that Town & Country Shows requested. Once the contract is signed, the carnival and water park will be a feature for three years at the Big Horn County Fair.

Fair Manager Vangi Hackney said she has contacted the Monster Trucks company about bringing a small show to the county fair this year in lieu of a demolition derby. She said she doesn’t have firm pricing as the company is waiting on a decision from Lincoln County to determine if they can do a route from Billings which would result in a price reduction.

The board asked Hackney to talk to county search and rescue to see if they would be interested in running the derby as a fundraiser and to talk to the Haley family, who expressed interest in helping with the derby.

Hackney will report back on both options at the February meeting.

The board discussed whether or not to have a free concert and if so, did they want it on a Tuesday night again.

There was discussion about moving it to Monday night between the two horse shows but ultimately the board decided not to have a free evening concert.

The free stage acts will run from Wednesday through Saturday.

The board discussed where the free stage will be located. County Maintenance Supervisor Fred Werner said it would depend on where the new indoor multi-purpose facility is located. If it is located west of the current main facility the free stage can be located in the same place it has been the past few years. If the building is located south of the current facility, which is favored by Carl Nielsen and Tim Flitner, the free stage act would have to be moved. Werner said a location could be found for the free stage with a couple of options to consider.

In other business the board:

•Purchased an embosser stamp for meal tickets.

•Approved using all the same livestock judges as last year most fairs rotate every two years.

•Tentatively set the livestock sale for 6 p.m. on the Friday of the fair but moving from the Big Horn REA Arena to the show arena due to concerns of moving livestock around the construction site.

•Added western pleasure and English pleasure to open class in the horse show.

•Tabled election of officers until February when the entire board can be present. Chairman Felix Carrizales was absent.

•Set the theme for this year’s fair as “Welcome to the Future – Big Horn County Fair” and highlight the new facility with a photo of the architectural rendering on the cover. Major donors of the project will be honored on the cover.

•Heard discussion about whether to move the programmed ride to Monday. Hackney and Gasvoda recommended leaving it on the second day of the horse show but looking at adjusting some scheduling.

•Heard a request to move all open classes to the end of the horse performance show. Gasvoda said the problem with that is it requires set up twice for barrels, poles, reining and other events and this would make the show longer.

•Heard from Hackney there are a lot of changes in the rules this year as they were updated to reflect the current state fair rules. The board discussed ways to enforce the slick shorn rule for sheep. Sheep must be slick shorn at weigh-in in order to be shown and sold at the fair. A board member and the sheep superintendent will be on hand at weigh-in to make sure the rules are followed.

•Heard from Werner a recommendation to make sure the construction contract for the new facility states the construction site be appropriately fenced at all times and that construction would shut down during fair week.

•Heard from board Treasurer Casey Sorenson that they have $244,000 committed with $229,000 required for the grant match from the Wyoming Business Council. He said they have $197,800 collected. All funds must be collected by Feb. 15, according to the deadline set by the WBC Board.

Assessment follow-up meeting Jan. 22

by nathan oster

The Town of Greybull has announced the date and time of the follow-up meeting with the resource team that conducted the community assessment last fall for the Wyoming Business Council.

The meeting will be held Wednesday, Jan. 22 at 6 p.m. at the South Big Horn Senior Center.

Team leader Kim Porter will facilitate the meeting, which will be a review of the findings of the community assessment held in September, followed by a prioritizing session.  Public input is critical so that the town can prioritize projects in line with community priorities.

For more information, please contact Town Hall, 765-9431.



Schematic design offers glimpse of new GMS

by nathan oster

The vision for Greybull’s new middle school is coming into focus.

Karen Kelly and Jim Beal, representatives of CTA Architects Engineers shared a schematic design for the building, to be constructed in the open space between the GMS Gym and Greybull High School, with Big Horn County School District No. 3 staff and board members earlier this week.

CTA is about 10 percent of the way through the design process, and the purpose of Monday night’s special meeting of the school board was to give the board a chance to weigh in on the work done to date.

Like the teachers had reportedly done earlier in the day, board members said they liked what they saw from the design.  More meetings are planned to further refine the design, which calls for a two-story building attached to the existing GMS Gym.

According to CTA, the new GMS “will provide 21st century technology, collaboration spaces and daylighting that supports and enriches the learning experience of students.  It will be a vibrant and efficient workplace for teachers and staff … and inviting to parents … and a good neighbor to the surrounding area.

The project will include renovations to the existing GMS Gym.  Built in 1938, it will receive renovations to its existing locker rooms and computer labs.  The locker rooms will be brought up to ADA standards with a ramp system, privacy screens for the showers will be provided, and receive new finishes.  The existing computer labs will be opened up into one large area, rather than the current smaller, partitioned areas.

According to CTA, the facility will be designed to 16,014 feet, approximately 5,017 square feet of the gym will be renovated, and the total construction cost is anticipated to be $4.69 million.

The construction timeline calls for the renovated school to be completed by the end of the spring semester of 2015.

Kelly told board members Monday that the budget numbers, which are set by the School Facilities Commission, are “doable,” but she added, “We think it’s going to be tight, so we are going to have to stay on top of it so we don’t go over.”

Given that, she said when the project is put out for bid, the essential elements will be included in the base.  Others will be defined as extras, or add-alternates, from which the board will be able to pick and choose, based upon its priorities.

In their presentation, Beal and Kelly gave board members an overview of how the building they are designing would fit within the campus as well as how its interior space would be utililized to best meet the needs of GMS students and instructors.

The primary entrance to the building would be from the east.

The parking lot in front of the high school, now designated for GHS staff parking, would be converted into a visitor parking lot and parent drop-off location for the new middle school.  In the process, several of the existing parking spaces there would be lost.  CTA is looking at expanding the parking lot to the south, but space in that area is limited by a number of large trees, which the board has stated that it does not want to remove.  One possible solution for GHS staff, who would be losing their parking lot, is better utilization of the parking lot on the south side of Buff Gym, extending east toward GHS and the Quigg Building.

The bus drop-off location for the new GMS would be on the south side of the GMS Gym.

From the east entrance, visitors would immediately enter a security vestibule, like the one at the current GMS.  To gain access to the building, they would need to be buzzed in by someone in the secretary’s office, which will be located next to the vestibule along with the offices for the administrators.

Upon entering, visitors would immediately find themselves in central commons area, with large glass windows facing the east (allowing sunlight to enter) and classrooms oriented around the central core, which would be circular in shape.

As it’s currently proposed, there would be circulation corridors that link the building to both the front and back of the GMS Gym.

The regular classrooms would be built to hold 24-25 students.

Two full-size classrooms plus the science classroom and an RTI room would go on the first floor.

The second floor would feature three full-size classrooms, plus a special education room that would be the same size as a regular classroom.

The core of the building would be circular in shape.  Inside would be the ELL classroom on the ground floor, possibly special education on the upper level.

Kelly and Beal said one of the key issues that has yet to be resolved are where to put additional restrooms, both for students and staff.  But Kelly said that after meetings with staff, “I think we’ve got some options” we can explore.

Kelly and Beal said the commons area would have an “open” feel, both on the lower level and upper level, which would feature a balcony with safety railing of some sort.

While board members were supportive of the overall concept, they did question some of the parking issues that would be created — in particular by the loss of parking spaces in front of the high school.

Beal said it’s unavoidable — unless a different location for bus drop-offs is identified.

Kelly ended the presentation with several optimistic notes, saying that she believes CTA will be able to design a great school within the budget set by the SFC, that the bids should come in low “because one of the most cost-effective places to be building in Wyoming right now is the Big Horn Basin,” and that teachers would ultimately love the additional space.   The full-size classrooms will be about 200 squre feet larger than the largest classrooms at the current GMS, she said.

Wyoming at heart, Keisel beloved by Pittsburgh fans

by randy tucker

The rush of reporters surrounding him said more about his character and career than any of his already impressive statistics.  Greybull’s Brett Keisel is at a crossroads in his football career.

The 35-year-old former Buff played perhaps his last NFL game against the Cleveland Browns at home in the friendly confines of Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.

While most post-game interviews focus on the coach, quarterback or owner, the Pittsburgh press and later the fans, surrounded their favorite, transplanted “Yinzer” number 99 following the Steelers’ 20-7 win over the rival Browns.

The game finished the regular season and the errant toe of Kansas City’s Ryan Succop eliminated the Steelers from the playoffs a few hours later in San Diego.

A nagging case of plantar fasciitis has plagued the 6-6 285-pound defensive end for most of the season but on the final day of the season the speed, power and experience that has made him a mainstay of the Steelers defense was evident once again.

Keisel tallied a quarterback sack, a tackle for loss and forced a fumble in perhaps his final game.

As the final gun sounded Keisel made his way to the center of the field and found Brown’s all-pro lineman Joe Thomas.  Thomas and Keisel have battled for years and the mutual respect was evident as both 6-6 giants gave each other a big hug and shook hands following the contest.

As Keisel walked towards the tunnel to exit the stadium a crowd of three thousand fans huddled together just above the exit trying to get his attention.

The big man took the time to shake or slap hands with everyone in reach then departed for the depths of the Heinz Field home locker room.

A professional football locker room following a game is often a zoo of players, coaches, media and organization workers. This afternoon all the attention focused on #99 as only a handful of reporters spoke with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger or other players.

The primary question centered on the Steelers faint playoff hopes at that point and on Keisel’s future.  Keisel answered eloquently and stated he would like to return to the Steelers for another season but understood the practicalities of professional football and decisions that had to be made for the good of the team.

As the crowd cleared he was asked if he had any message for the kids back home in Greybull.
Though obviously weary from playing a game on a cold day in the rain and from answering a half-hour of questions he immediately brightened up and said, “Yea, the Buffs are having a great year. They’ve won like seven games in a row. I read the Greybull Standard every week and follow the basketball team in the paper and on the Internet.  Tell them to keep up the good work.”

When told the Buffs were the favorite this season in the Northwest Conference, even over traditional power Lovell, Keisel grinned and said, “It’s always a good season if you beat the Bulldogs.”

His humility is compelling and one of the reasons he is a favorite in the working class city of Pittsburgh.  Keisel is one player who has never forgotten his roots. Whether those roots are in playing football for the Buffs, in the low post for the same team or running a leg of the 4×100 meter dash and throwing the shot and discus Keisel maintains his roots in Big Horn County.

His career stats speak for themselves with just under 400 tackles, 29 sacks and a single interception that resulted in his only touchdown, a 79-yard return against Tampa Bay at Raymond James Stadium in 2010.

It may be the conclusion of a great career for the defensive end but the Steelers would be wise to find a spot for a man with such incredible rapport with the fans and the Steel City as a whole.


(Randy Tucker is a sportswriter for the Riverton Ranger who was in Pittsburgh for the Steelers’ final game of the season against the Cleveland Browns. He filed this report for the Ranger and shared it the Standard.)



With help from Cundall, Eagles go 8-2

by marlys good

Three years ago, we knew exactly where Clay Cundall was. He was entrenched at Greybull High School, tearing up opponents as the quarterback for the Greybull Buff football team. Clay was a three-year all-conference selection, twice named to the all-state team, and was recognized as a Wyoming “Super 25” player two times.

He exchanged the GHS gridiron for the gridiron at Chadron (Neb.) State. Redshirted as a freshman, Clay, who now tips the scales at 220 pounds, finished his second season as an active member of the Chadron State Eagles as an outside linebacker. During the 2013 season, Clay played in 11 games, started in two of those and had 21 tackles to his credit. He also was credited with breaking up two passes.

Playing at the college level is a whole new ballgame, Clay shares.

“The game is much faster; players are bigger and more athletic and everyone is a hard hitter. It is very competitive, even on a day-to-day basis. Schemes are complex and much work is required on your own time if you want to improve. Everyone is always making himself better and battling for playing time,” he explains. “Every day requires a lot of hard work. Days are filled with practice, film study, weight training, and of course, classes and school work. All the hard work makes playing on Saturdays very rewarding.”

This year the Eagles finished the season 8-2, missing out on a playoff spot. “As a team we did many good things, but we have much to improve on. Training begins immediately after the winter break and spring ball begins in March. It is during the off-season that we make many of our improvements, on a personal level and as a team. I feel we have a bright outlook for next season as many of us who gained a lot of game experience will be returning.”

Clay intends to enjoy those final two years and earn his college diploma. After that, “I am going to teach high school English and hopefully coach football and track.”

Clay is the son of John and Kris Cundall of Rock Springs.

Preparation pays off in Thermop

by nathan oster

As impressive as his team’s 78-51 win Friday night in Thermopolis was, it was the work the Greybull Buffs put in during their holiday break practices that left the biggest impression on their head coach, Jim Prather.

“When you’ve been coaching as long as I have, you see the gamut — and I have,” he said. “Every team is different.  I’ve seen some kids come in and waste time during the break.  But this team, they were focused, locked in … they understood what we were trying to do and they got better in practice.  As a result, I felt confident we were going to go down there and play well.

“For a conference game, on the road, first time back after the holidays, they certainly did that,” said the coach, whose team now stands at 8-1 overall and 1-0 in the Class 2A Northwest Conference.  “It all started with the preparation.”

The “six fantastic practices” over the holiday break couldn’t have come at a better time.  In their final game of 2013, the boys suffered their first and only loss of the season, falling 66-45 to Burlington, the top-ranked 1A team in the state.

Thermopolis didn’t pose as many challenges as the Huskies, but in Tyler Cornwell and Skyler Thomas, the Bobcats have two very legitimate scoring threats.  They were the focal point of the Gryebull defense.

Cornwell finished with 19, Thomas 15.  Both did most of their damage in the second half, though, when the game was no longer in doubt.  Greybull led 22-9 after one and 42-18 at the intermission.

“In scouting them, we knew they were an athletic team and that they ran a lot of their offense through their two primary players,” said Prather. “Initially on defense, we wanted to control where the ball was going to go — and our press did a fantastic job of that.

“And beyond that, we wanted to limit the number of shots Cornwell and Thomas got, and our 1-3-1 zone did that quite well in the first half.  They got loose a little in the second half, but by then the game was firmly in our control.”

On their end, the Buffs dominated.  As a team, they shot 53 percent from the field, including 58 percent from two-point range.  On top of that, their 30 baskets came on 27 assists, a percentage “that shows their willingness to work together.  Five kids working together are tougher to guard than just one.  The kids have bought into that concept.”

Kason Clutter lit it up for the Buffs, finishing with 18 points. Payton Gonzalez was next in line with 12, followed by Paul Stewart with 11.

The win was a big one for the Buffs, who have games this weekend against another conference rival in Lovell and the aforementioned Huskies.  Both games will be played on the Buffs’ home court, though.

Lovell, according to Prather, “will be the biggest team we play all year,” which is going to present some challenges. “We have a little size, with Treston (Tracy) and Kason (Clutter) around the basket.  We don’t match up with them well in the paint.  So we’ll have to make sure we can do the other things we like to do — like press and push the ball away from the bucket.”

The Bulldogs are the reigning 2A champs, and while they lost their entire starting five to graduation, they have a tradition of putting “skilled athletes” on the floor. “They have a new coach, a new system, and they getting acclimated to that.  I suspect they’re going to keep getting better and better as the season progresses. I’m glad we’re playing them now, so early in the year.”

On the plus side, the Buffs are “as healthy as we’ve been all season,” with Wyatt Nielson returning from a knee injury and Fabian Davila working his way back into the lineup after joining the team a few weeks into the season.   Both players should get varsity minutes and further enhance the team’s depth.

On Saturday the Buffs get another shot at Burlington.

“It’ll help if we’re coming off a good game Friday night,” said Prather. “Our focus, however, will be Lovell.  Some of the things that were exposed as areas where we needed work have hopefully been addressed and fixed and will show up against both Lovell and Burlington.


Greybull 22 20 24 12 — 78

Thermop   9   9 19 14 — 51

GREYBULL — Payton Gonzalez 4 2-2 12, Colten Flitner 2 1-2 5, Calder Forcella 1 0-0 2, Kason Clutter 7 3-4 18, Ryan Sylvester 3 1-2 7, Paul Stewart 5 1-5 11, Zack Zeller 2 2-3 6, Bryce Wright 2 0-0 4, Logan Jensen 1 2-4 4, Treston Tracy 4 1-2 9.  Totals 31-58 13-24 78.

THERMOPOLIS — S. Thomas 5 3-4 15, A. Rush 1 1-2 3, T. Cornwell 7 4-4 19, J. Rolling 2 2-5 6, Schaffer 4 0-1 8, E. Harold 0 0-1 0.  Totals 19 10-17 51.

3-POINT GOALS — Gonzalez 2, Clutter; Thomas 2, Cornwell.

REBOUNDS —  Greybull 40 (Tracy 11).  STEALS — Greybull 13 (Sylvester, Wright 3).  ASSISTS — Greybull 27 (Stewart 7).  TURNOVERS — Greybull 14.

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