Daily Archives: January 30, 2014

Economic development tops priority list

by nathan oster

A group of Greybull community leaders on Thursday identified projects geared toward economic development, the expansion of the local housing market and the promotion of tourism and recreation as the top priorities for the immediate future.

The discussion took place during a two-hour, follow-up meeting with Kim Porter, a program manager for the Wyoming Rural Development Council and the leader of the resource team that visited Greybull in September to conduct the community assessment.

The assessment occurred over a three-day period. More than 100 people attended the 14 listening sessions.  The resource team also collected 339 comments from the schools and online comments from another 45 people.

The assessment focused on three questions:

1)     What do you think are the major problems and challenges in Greybull?

2)     What do you think are the major strengths and assets in Greybull?

3)     What projects would you like to see completed in two, five, 10 and 20 years in Greybull?

Kim Porter, the team leader, provided the approximately 25 attendees on Wednesday night with an overview of the main themes recorded by the resource team.

They were broken down as follows for the group:

• Economic Development, including jobs, underutilized assets such as the industrial park, airport and railroad, downtown revitalization, business recruitment and retention, housing (rentals, affordable, condition, assisted living, and tourism;

• Community Facilities, including pool, museum(s), multi-use community center (recreation, fitness, meeting/conference space;

• People, including improved communication, need for volunteers, teamwork, proactive vs. reactive, diversity and community-oriented policing;

• Youth, including bullying, drugs and alcohol, lack of activities, and retention;

• Promotion, in terms of getting people to stop and stay, including town entrance signage, beautification, marketing and community events.

Off of that list, the group that assembled on Wednesday night was split into five smaller groups and asked to narrow the focus by choosing their three top priorities.   By the end of the discussion, Porter had grouped them into three primary areas.

Economic development topped everyone’s list, as attendees agreed that the most important short-term goal should be finishing the cleanup of the industrial park, maximizing the potential of the call center building, recruiting new businesses, retaining existing businesses and further developing of the workforce.

Under housing, the group called for an emphasis on improving housing options locally, including the need for more quality rentals, additional assisted living units and housing that is of generally better quality and more affordable.

The tourism and recreation component was identified as the third priority It encompassed, on the tourism side, an aviation or natural history/geoscience museum of some kind, and on the recreation side, the need for a swimming pool/splash pad, support for efforts to open The Shack and Antelope Butte Ski Area and the development of new amenities in the park.

Porter ended the meeting by telling the group that she’d be incorporating all the input received into a matrix for the mayor and the town’s administrator/finance director.










Forest Service returning to Greybull

by nathan oster

The U.S. Forest Service announced Thursday that it is moving forward with the construction of a new building in Greybull that will become the new home of the Medicine Wheel/Paintrock Ranger District office.

Forest Service operations in Big Horn County have been headquartered in Lovell since the merger of the Medicine Wheel and Paintrock districts in 1996.  Prior to that, Greybull had been home to the Paintrock operations.

But even after the 1996 merger, Greybull remained the home of the Wyoming Interagency Hot Shot crew.

Now, apparently, it’s getting the main office back, too.

According to a USFS release, the selection of Greybull was the result of a competitive bidding process which stipulated that two locations — Greybull and Lovell — be considered for the new facility. The selection, continued the release, was based on the lowest price for the technical specifications required by the agency.

Twenty-eight employees — including 18 now working in Lovell — will work from the new office, which will be located on a 3-acre piece of land on the south edge of town, just beyond the Murdoch Oil facilities which lie on the east side of U.S. Highway 16-20.

The property, which is owned by Overland Enterprises, is currently considered to be part of the county.  Mayor Bob Graham said Tuesday that the town is exploring the possibility of annexing it, and has talked to Paul Murdoch, owner of Murdoch Oil, since his property lies between town limits and the site eyed by the USFS.

“But whether it’s annexed or not, considered part of the town or the county, it’s going to happen,” said Graham.

Included in the USFS’s projected total of 28 permanent employees are 10 Hot Shots who have been stationed in Greybull.  They, too, will office in the new facility.  The Forest Service plans to retain ownership of the Hot Shots’ current building, located at 1220 N. Eighth Street in Greybull.  Dave Hogan, the district ranger, said “it’ll be utilized differently — probably more as a work center.  The key point is, all of the permanent Forest Service employees will be under one roof.”

The new Greybull facility, which is scheduled for completion in March of 2015, will be approximately 8,500 square feet. The Medicine Wheel/Paintrock Ranger District office in Lovell, which is smaller by comparison, will remain open until the new office is completed.

In an interview Tuesday, Hogan said the selection of the Greybull site is the culmination of several years of discussions.  Through that process, the USFS received mutiple offers.  The one it ultimately chose, to build in Greybull, was “the most affordable and technically acceptable” for the Forest Service, said Hogan.

Hogan said that in addition to that, the Forest Service views the move to Greybull as a way to get all of its permanent employees under one roof.  Being in Greybull, USFS personnel will also be more centrally located within the ranger district, which stretches from Hyattville to the Montana line, and have better winter access to the Big Horn Mountains via U.S. Highway 14.  U.S. Highway 14A, which connects Lovell to the Big Horns, closes during the winter months.

Mayor Bob Graham said a company based in Golden, Colo., got the bid to construct the facility in Greybull.  When completed, it will be leased to the Forest Service.

There are still obstacles to overcome, but Graham said he doubts that any of them would hold up the project.  For the town, the challenge is going to be annexing the property, considering no part of it is directly connected to the town.  If it were annexed, the town could be the provider of utilities such as water, sewer and sanitation.

Town Attorney Scott McColloch is involved in Overland Enterprises, which owns the land in question, and for that reason, Mayor Graham stated that Kent Richins, a Worland-based attorney, has been retained to guide the town through the annexation process.

Graham said he and other town officials have been in talks with the Forest Service for more than a year, and that the announcement that Greybull had been chosen as the site of the building couldn’t have come at a better time.

Graham was a town employee when the ranger districts merged in 1996.

“I just remember it was a huge disappointment for everyone in our community,” he said.

Now the Forest Service is coming back.

“Obviously, it’s a huge boost for our town,” said Graham. “I mentioned at the assessment meeting the other night that we’ve been looking for that one spark that would create some drive, some incentive, some sense that good things are going to happen in our community. I think this could be that spark, the thing that gets people to say, ‘Wow, maybe Greybull is moving forward, maybe it is going to grow.’

“To a place like Cheyenne, adding 15 to 20 jobs might not be that big of a deal. But for a town our size, it’s huge.”


















Flitner’s Miss Rodeo Wyoming bid gets boost

Shell Hall was filled to capacity Saturday night as residents turned out for a benefit to raise money for Morgan Flitner in her bid to become Miss Rodeo Wyoming 2015. Over 200 people enjoyed an evening of dining, dancing and visiting with friends and neighbors.

Between ticket sales and the live and silent auctions, about $10,000 was realized.

The saddle donated by Augie Garcia was sold for $800 in the live auction. It was donated back for re-auction, went for $725, and then was donated back to the next fund-raiser scheduled at the Irma Hotel in Cody Feb. 28.

The signed print by Ann Hansen went for $1,875; it will also go on to the Cody fundraiser.

Music for dancing was provided by Stewart Reed and Friends.

Flitner, a 2012 graduate of Greybull High School, currently holds the position of Cody Stampede Queen. She will be traveling this summer throughout Wyoming and neighboring states to represent the “Rodeo Capital of the World,” and “help people understand the values and traditions by which we live,” she said.

Linda Louise Dorn Boson Smith

April 13, 1954 – Jan. 19, 2014

A memorial service for Linda Louise Smith will be held this summer. Linda, 59 of Shell, died Jan. 19 at South Big Horn Hospital.

She was born April 13, 1954, in Greybull, the daughter of Cyrus J. and Louise Lindsay Dorn. She received her schooling in Greybull and lived in the Big Horn Basin all of her life.

Linda married Ralph Smith Oct. 13, 2005, in Thermopolis.

She loved to cook and was an exceptional chef. She enjoyed outdoor activities, watching wildlife and horses.

Her parents, her brother Bill Dorn and her daughter April Michalek preceded Linda in death.

She is survived by her husband Ralph Smith of Shell; three sons and daughters-in-law, Chris and Alicia Jerup of Casper, Troy and April Jerup of Bondurant and Nate and Tasia Boson of Rapid, City, S.D.; one stepson, Rocky Smith of Basin; two step-daughters and a step-son-in-law, Trevon and Misty Wollam of Basin and Annie Smith of Worland, and 10 grandchildren.


Thomas Welch Croft

OBIT Thomas CroftMay 19, 1959 – Jan. 26, 2014

Funeral services for Thomas Welch Croft will be at 1 p.m. Friday, Jan. 31, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Cowley. Tom, 54, died Jan. 26 at the Billings (Mont.) Clinic Hospital.

He was born May 19, 1959, in Lovell, the son of Edward Marchant and Ora Louise Welch Croft, the second of six children.

Tom graduated from Northwest College in Powell with an Associate Degree in graphic arts. He had a keen eye for measures and levels and loved to build and create. He also loved music and enjoyed writing songs with his brothers.

He served a two-year mission for the LDS Church in Tallahassee, Fla.

Tom married Vicki Renae Lynam in 1980. They had six children.

Tom enjoyed rock climbing, rock hunting, skiing and riding his mountain bike down the Big Horn Mountain highway. He took advantage of any time he could spend at the Croft family cabin.

He is survived by his wife, Vicki Lynam Croft; his parents, Edward and Louise Welch Croft; his six children and their spouses, Thomas Winfield and Kelly Croft an Keith an Brook Renae Grant of Cody; Morgan Rae Crof of Billings, Michael and Madison Louise Grandalen of Cowley, Joseph William Croft and Eston Lynam Croft, both of Lovell; three brothers, Edward Welch Croft, Max Welch Croft and Scott Golden Croft; two sisters, Leisha Croft Workman and Kathleen Croft-Jolley and 13 grandchildren.

Burial will be in the Cowley Cemetery.


Wrestlers win Bobcat Invitational

by nathan oster

The Bobcat Invitational may not be what it once was in terms of size and quality, but winning the team title on Saturday in Thermopolis still provided a much-needed boost for the Greybull-Riverside wrestling squad.

The Buffs, who for the first time this season found themselves out of the top five in 2A on wyowrestling.com, accumulated 146.5 points to top the seven-team field.  Among the teams in that field were Lovell, which wyowrestling.com had ranked fourth in 2A, and Thermopolis, the fifth-ranked team in 2A.

The Bobcats finished second with 121.5 points, Columbus, Mont., was third with 115, Lovell — with several kids missing — was fourth with 106, Wind River fifth with 86.5, Worland JV sixth with 65.5 and Dubois seventh with 52.

G-R finished with only two champions, as Zane Edeler took top honors in the combined 182-195 class and Spencer Redland did the same in the combined 220-285 class.  Edeler, normally a 195-pounder, feasted mostly on 182-pounders en route to compiling a 4-0 record, according to Sanford.

As for Redland, he was perfect 3-0, notching a win over teammate Tanner Bernstein in the final.  Bernstein usually goes at 285, or heavyweight, for the Buffs.

G-R was open at 106.

Jorge Carmona went 2-3 and finished fourth at 113.

Tre Nelson, who didn’t make weight at 106, gave it a go at 120 and won two of his three matches to capture second place.

Marshall Gibbs, at 126, went 1-2 and finished third.

Dylan Roberts went 2-3 and placed third.

Nick Schlattmann went 0-2 and placed third at 138.

Cole Hill went 2-1, losing only to Thermopolis standout Zack Larson, en route to a second-place finish at 145.

Ashton and Tyler Wollam represented G-R well at 152.  Both won two and lost two.  Tyler earned fourth place, while Ashton landed in fifth.

At 160-170, Anthony Eibert went 3-2 and placed third.

Rounding out the G-R effort were heavyweights Bernstein, who went 2-1 and placed second, and Billy Jones, who went 0-2 and didn’t place in the 220-285 class.

“While the level of competition wasn’t what we needed, it was good for the kids to come out of there with a victory,” said Sanford. “But we need to be able to do that against stiffer competition as well.”


Powell dual

The tournament win came two days on the heels of a 63-11 thrashing at the hands of Powell.

Led by Nate Urbach, the Panthers are a 3A powerhouse.  Not only are they the top-ranked team, but they also have five wrestlers who hold down No. 1 ranking in their respective weight classes on wyowrestling.com.

While the score suggests it was a rout, Sanford said, “I didn’t feel terrible about the effort we put out on the mat.  We wrestled hard.  We didn’t say, ‘Oh my gosh, it’s the black-and-orange, Powell.’  We battled them.”

G-R was credited with two wins  — one came on a forfeit at 220 pounds, which is Spencer Redland’s turf, the other on a major decision by 113-pounder Jorge Carmona, who beat Marshall Wittick 15-1.

Several Buffs turned in solid performances in losing efforts, however.

Jesus Burgos lost 6-1 to Matt Widdicombe, the No. 2 ranked 152-pounder in 3A.

Tyler Wollam “had a good effort” before getting pinned by Jacob Davis, the No. 2 ranked 160 pounder in 3A.

Zane Edeler, at 195, “went for broke too early in the match” and ended up getting pinned in the first period by Zack Thompson.

Tanner Bernstein suffered the same fate at heavyweight, losing by a first-period pin to Rowdy Gard.  Bernstein did get the first takedown in the match, however.

Tre Nelson did a “a fine job” in his first foray at 106, losing 9-3 to Noah Wozney, who for a time was the No. 2 ranked 106-pounder in 3A.   Sanford said Nelson put Wozney on his back in the third period, and that as the season winds down, 106 — and not 113 or 120 where he started the year — is where Nelson will enjoy the most success.

Sanford also offered kudos to Marshall Gibbs for his work against Nic Urbach at 126.  Urbach is ranked No. 1 in 3A, and while he did record a second period pin, he had to earn it, as Marshall “battled through everything Nic threw at him in the first period.”

The most competitive match of the night came in the finale when Cole Hill lined up opposite Kye Catlin at 145.  Catlin, ranked No. 1 in 3A, got the first takedown and led 3-2 after one.  But Hill, ranked fifth in 2A, rallied in the second to tie it at 4 apiece.  In the final period, Catlin scored a point on an escape, then two more on a takedown when Hill got out of position while in the process of going for a takedown of his own, all of which added up to a 7-4 Catlin win.


This week

G-R gets to stay home this weekend, as the Buffs will host a dual with Wright on Friday night followed by their annual memorial tournament on Saturday.

Whereas in the past they have been joined by Moorcroft, this year Wright will be the only team on the dance card for Lovell and Greybull on Friday night.  Wright and Lovell will dual at 6 p.m., followed by the Greybull-Wright dual at 7 p.m.

Saturday’s tournament starts at 10 a.m.  Moorcroft won’t be here, but several other quality 2A teams will be.  As of Monday, the field included Shoshoni, Wind River, Rocky Mountain, Thermopolis, Dubois and some representatives of the Powell and Cody teams.

Sanford said the weekend will feature a number of important head-to-head matchups, and that his team “needs to be ready to compete” starting the moment it steps onto the mat against its 2A rivals, some of whom they won’t see again until the regional tournament. He called Shoshoni “the team to beat” in the team competition.










Buffs pad conference lead

by nathan oster

The Greybull Buffs seized the upper hand in the race for the Class 2A Northwest Conference title last week by beating Rocky Mountain, their closest pursuer in the standings, and Thermopolis at Buff Gym.

With the wins, the Buffs improved to 5-0 in conference play, with just three conference matchups remaining on the schedule — one at home against Riverside, the two others on the road against Rocky Mountain and Lovell.

Not only did the 62-53 win over the Grizzlies on Thursday further pad the Buffs’ lead in the conference race, but it also represented a breakthrough of sorts for the Greybull boys.

“Rocky Mountain has been a tough matchup for us,” said Coach Jim Prather. “In fact, we haven’t gotten a win against them in two years.  You have to go back three years to find the last time we beat them. They’ve had our number.”

Early on, it looked like that would continue.  The Grizzlies led by five after one quarter, 16-11, before the Buffs caught and surged ahead of the visitors in the second quarter.

Prather attributed the 16-5 run to “an adjustment we made in our zone defense.” Rocky hit four three-pointers before that adjustment, but just one over the course of the final three quarters afterward.

At the half, Greybull led by six, 27-21.

The Buffs never trailed again — although Rocky Mountain kept it close to the end.

Midway through the third, after the Grizzlies had cut the lead to two, 36-34, Ryan Sylvester hit three-pointers on back-to-back possession, which stretched the Greybull lead back up to eight, 42-34.  He finished with nine in the quarter, 12 for the game.

But the Buffs still needed their stars to shine down the stretch.  Rocky wouldn’t go away.  In fact, the Grizzlies were down by just one, and needed only a free throw to knot the game at 50 apiece.  They didn’t get it — and from that point on, Greybull outscored Rocky 12-4, with Treston Tracy netting four and Kason Clutter six in the decisive fourth quarter.

Clutter finished with 18, Sylvester 12 and Tracy 11 for Greybull, which shot 42 percent from the field.

Prather said the keys to the victory were his team’s work on the boards — Greybull finished with 37 boards — and on the defensive end. Through their press, the Buffs didn’t force a lot of turnovers, “but we cut down on driving lanes and pushed the ball away from the spots where they wanted it to go, especially in the second half.”

The three-pointers by Sylvester were huge, Prather said. “I’ve talked with Ryan and told him, that’s a role we want him to play,” said Prather. “When he’s open, and when other teams are focusing on stopping Kason, Treston and Payton, Ryan needs to step up and take the shot.”

Prather also credited Logan Jensen and Zack Zeller for sparking the team off the bench.

“When you press and play an up-tempo game, you’re not going to play five kids for 32 minutes,” he said.  “You need guys who can contribute off the bench.”

The Buffs followed that up with a 65-47 win over Thermopolis on Friday night.

The game resembled the one earlier this month in Thermopolis, which Greybull won by 27.

In both, the Buffs focused on slowing the Bobcats’ primary scorers, Skylar Thomas and Cornwell.  The duo combined for just 18 Friday night, with Thomas netting 10 and Cornwell eight.

Prather called it “a workmanlike effort,” noting, “There’s no question our focus and attention had been on Rocky Mountain.  I wasn’t surprised to see a little letdown.  But we went about our business.  It was one of those games where we could get any shot we wanted … it was just a matter of shutting them down.”

Clutter had one of his best all-around games of the season, finishing an assist short of a triple double. He tallied 12 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and had nine assists and three steals.  “Every night he plays well, but to be one assist from a triple double … There haven’t been many of those during my tenure here. It’s a good indicator of how involved he was in many facets of the game.”

Tracy also had a big game for the Buffs, connecting on 9 of 16 shots and finishing with 18 points and 11 points.


This week

The Buffs have only game on the slate this weekend — and it’s a non-conference test Saturday at Tongue River. Like the Grizzlies, the Eagles have given the Buffs fits in recent years — especially in their new gym in Dayton.

“I planted a seed before everyone left for the weekend,” said Prather.  “I told the kids we haven’t played very well over there and that this would be a good year to rectify that.”

Tongue River is 3-11, but according to Prather, has the type of team that has traditionally given the Buffs fits, with good quickness on the perimeter, an ability to spread the floor and knock down a lot of three pointers.


Rocky Mt. 16   5 15 17 — 53

Greybull 11 16 15 20 — 62

ROCKY MT — Mangus 1 0-0 2, Higgins 2 0-2 4, Jewell 6 0-0 13, Horrocks 0 1-2 1, Winland 1 0-0 2, Simmons 6 2-2 16, Simmons 2 0-0 4, Coleman 3 3-4 11.  Totals 21 6-10 53

GREYBULL — Payton Gonzalez 2 2-3 6, Fabian Davila 1 0-0 2, Kason Clutter 9 0-0 18, Ryan Sylvester 4 1-2 12, Paul Stewart 2 4-7 8, Zack Zeller 1 0-1 2, Bryce Wright 1 1-2 3, Treston Tracy 4 2-2 11.  Totals 24 10-17 62.

3-POINT GOALS — Sylvester 3, Tracy; Simmons 2, Coleman 2, Jewell.   REBOUNDS — Greybull 37 (Clutter 10, Stewart 9).  STEALS — Greybull 17 (Stewart 6).  ASSISTS — Greybull 15 (Clutter 6).  TURNOVERS — Greybull 20.


Thermop   3 10 20 14 — 47

Greybull 14 10 20 21 — 65

THERMOPOLIS — Thomas 3 3-5 10, Rollings 1 2-2 5, Shaffer 3 0-0 6, Cornwell 3 2-4 8, Waller 3 0-3 7, Herold 1 4-5 6, Rush 2 0-1 5.  Totals 16 11-20 47.

GREYBULL — Gonzalez 2 1-3 6, Davila 2 0-0 4, Wyatt Nielson 1 0-0 3, Calder Forcella 1 0-0 2, Clutter 5 2-2 12, Sylvester 1 1-2 3, Stewart 4 1-4 9, Zeller 0 2-2 2, Wright 1 2-4 4, Logan Jensen 1 0-0 2, Tracy 9 0-0 18.  Totals 27 9-17 65.

3-POINT GOALS — Gonzalez, Nielson;  Thomas, Rolling, Waller, Rush.  REBOUNDS — Greybull — 50 (Clutter 13).   STEALS — Greybull 13 (Clutter, Sylvester 3).  ASSISTS — Greybull 24 (Clutter 9).  TURNOVERS — Greybull 21.

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