Daily Archives: May 1, 2014

Three share valedictory honors at GHS

By marlys good

Logan Jensen, Sabrina Heuschkel, McKenna Powers and Ceirra Carlson are the top graduates of the Class of 2014. Logan, Sabrina and McKenna share valedictorian honors and Ceirra Carlson, just a spot back, is the salutatorian.

The four excellent scholars have achieved a goal they set as elementary and middle school students and are looking forward to the challenges ahead as they leave the halls of Greybull High School.

Jensen, the son of Ken and Kathy Jensen, plans to attend the University of Wyoming to pursue a major in astronomy/astro-physics. “But that could change,” he laughs. Down the road he would “hopefully” be working for NASA.

His career choice has been influenced by his older brother Trevor. “He was going into the science field and gave me an idea of what I needed to try for; what I had to look forward to. He’s out there right now doing an internship in Mississippi on dolphin research. He was in Florida, now in Mississippi, working his way through it.”

He has especially enjoyed classes taught by Joel Kuper (science) and Michael Blissitt (math). “Their classes were in my target fields, things I was interested in. I enjoyed their classes and had a lot of fun.”

In addition to membership in the National Honor Society and Student Council, Logan has competed in football, basketball and track all four years.

Looking beyond GHS, Logan says he is going to miss “being in classes that are small enough I know everyone, laid back enough you can have some fun and still learn.”

Sabrina is the daughter of Steve and Paula Heuschkel. In addition to the National Honor Society, Sabrina interests have centered on music. She plays in the jazz, concert and pep bands, so it is no surprise that Michael Jaycox has been one of her most influential instructors; she also notes the influence of John Kunkel. “Through Mr. Jaycock I’ve become more comfortable with music; I’ve gained more self-confidence. With Mr. Kunkel, it’s the same thing.”

She also gives credit to her parents (“They have done so much for me”) and her friends. “They have just helped me become more comfortable with myself and have encouraged me with the goals I have set.”

She plans to attend the University of Wyoming to earn a degree in either astrophysics or psychology with a goal of earning her master’s degree in one of the two fields and eventually do research.

McKenna Powers, daughter of Duane and Cindy Powers, won’t have much time to think about her May 18 graduation. The regional track meet is May 16-17 in Lander and the state track meet, for which she has already prequalified, is May 22-24. Graduation will be sandwiched in between the two.

McKenna will have six weeks after the state meet to get ready for the next big step in her life. She is to be inducted into the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. on July 1. That will be the realization of a dream she has had since she was 14 years old, partially fueled by her father who spent 20 years as a Navy pilot and is currently flying in Afghanistan, where he is under contract. “I’ve always wanted to be in the military,” she said, and serving her country went hand-in-hand with that choice.

Her final goal is to be a naval aviator.

McKenna is a member of the National Honor Society. She has participated in basketball, volleyball, track and this fall competed in indoor track with the Worland High School team. But her favorite sport has always been track. “I love track seasons, track practices, meets — and my teammates. It is fun,” she said. Her involvement in activities did not detract from her academic studies.

McKenna gives all the credit for her success to her parents. “They always make sure I’m trying my best and are always encouraging.”

McKenna said she wouldn’t change a thing about her life. “Everything came out exactly the way I planned.” She did admit, with a laugh, that along with her determination, work ethic, and emphasis on academics, “There might have been a little bit of luck involved.”

Ceirra Carlson, the salutatorian, is looking forward to earning a degree in environmental engineering. She had hopes of attending the University of Michigan, but after looking further she realized it was financially impractical.

She has elected to attend Sheridan College for the first two years. “It was one of the junior colleges (in Wyoming) that had courses in the exact degree that I want to major in.” Her excellent academic record has earned her multiple scholarships so “it will pretty much pay for the first two years. After that I can pretty much go where I want.”

The week before graduation Ceirra will be in Los Angeles competing in the International Science and Engineering Fair. This is her third trip to the international fair; her first trip was as an observer; this is her second time as a finalist.

She has been active in volleyball and basketball, played soccer for Worland High School for two years; is a member of FBLA, Student Council, Science Club, Spanish Club, Pep Club and the National Honor Society.

Her advice to underclassman is to be involved. “Everything I remember about high school isn’t going to be about going to classes every day. It will be FBLA, Student Council … things like that where I met and made new friends that I will remember. I am going to miss that.”

She will be serving an internship with the Bureau of Land Management in Worland this summer. It is no surprise that she will be working as “an environmental aide type of person.”

Ceirra said her parents, Mike and Shelby Carlson, are the most influential people in her life. “They do so much for me.”

The four will be giving their respective addresses at graduation exercises May 18 at 3:30 p.m. in the Buff Gym.


Board approves another sped teacher

by nathan oster

Big Horn County School District No. 3 will add another full-time, certified special education teacher for the 2014-15 school year as it tries to keep up with the increasing demands of its student population.

Director of Special Service Lee Clucas made the request during a special meeting of the school board Monday night, saying he had evaluated all of the district’s in-house options, including moving paraprofessionals.

In the end, it simply came down to needing another certified position.

One reason is because the number of students requiring special services continues to grow.

Two additional high needs students moved into the district recently. Both are at the 6-12 level.

“Since I’ve been the director, and this is my third year, numbers have steadily climbed,” said Clucas. Fifty percent of the district’s Life Skills students have moved into the district within the past three years, he said.

The type of student receiving special services also varies greatly, he said, noting that there are middle school students who are diploma bound, middle school students who are not, and high school students who are diploma bound, and high school students who are not.

“We have kids going in all different directions,” he said.

In summing up the issue, Clucas said “the need has grown beyond what you can do with one certified staff member.” Right now that person is Dawn Thur.

The plan is to separate students with behavior problems from those in the Life Skills program, he said. Right now they are together — and in some cases, it’s led to Life Skills kicks picking up the poor behavior they see from the students with behavior issues. Clucas said he hopes the person hired to fill the new position will take those students, which will allow Thur to focus on the Life Skills students.

When asked how long the position will be needed, school officials indicated that they don’t foresee much change in demand. It was noted that the third-grade class would be one to watch for several years to come, as it has a diverse group of students with differing needs.

Clucas said the number of autistic students, in particular, has skyrocketed — and not just in the Greybull district. It’s a statewide and national trend, he said.

In other business Monday night:

• The school board made several hires, including selecting Brett Hanlin to step in for the retiring Ted Menke as the English teacher at GHS.

Several coaching vacancies were also filled, as the board chose Jeremy Brandl to become the head coach of the Greybull-Cloud Peak wrestling team and Christine Farmer to serve as an assistant volleyball coach for the GMS program.

At the high school level, Tammy Wright was hired to be the assistant girls basketball coach and Michaela Williams was hired to be the assistant volleyball coach.

• With the new middle school going out to bid this week, the school board positioned itself to make two enhancements to the building that are above and beyond what will be approved by the School Facilities Commission.

The board voted to authorize the chairman and the superintendent to sign an “enhancement” form that would ask bidders to include air conditioning for the GMS Gym and a new electronic sign for the front of the building.

By taking the action it did, the board didn’t approve the AC or the sign, but positioned themselves to have both included in the bids that they hope to consider as part of their June 10 monthly meeting.

The estimated cost of the new cooling coils for the GMS Gym is $14,000, while the difference in the cost of upgrading the sign from the one called for by the SFC ($17,000) to an electronic version like the one now at the high school ($40,000) would be around $23,000.

When bids are considered, the board will have the option of including the two “enhancements” with the understanding that it will need to use district funds, not funds from the SFC, for those projects.






Filings for primary election open May 15

by nathan oster

The first significant date of the 2014 election season arrives two weeks from today, on Thursday, May 15, with the opening of the filing period for the various municipal and county positions that will be on the ballot this fall.

The filing period for the offices to be voted upon in the Aug. 19 primary opens May 15 and closes May 30.

Two of the three seats on the Big Horn County Commission will be up for grabs this year. Jerry Ewen of Shell is the only one of the three not up for re-election.   Incumbents Keith Grant and John Hyde (who was appointed to replace Thomas “Scotty” Hinman) have already announced their intention to seek another term.

All of the elected county offices will also be up for election this year.

Department heads who declared their intentions to seek re-election at the recent Lincoln Day Dinner included Clerk Lori Smallwood, Assessor Gina Anderson, Attorney Michelle Burns and Sheriff Ken Blackburn.

Three of the five seats on the Greybull Town Council will also be available this fall, as the terms of Mayor Bob Graham and Councilmen Bob McGuire and Ross Jorgensen (who was appointed when Graham ascended to the mayor’s chair) are all set to expire at year’s end.

Graham, McGuire and Jorgensen all indicated this week that they have yet to decide whether they are going to seek re-election. The incumbents whose seats are not up this year include Clay Collingwood and Myles Foley.

The filing period for special districts opens Aug. 6 and ends Aug. 25.

The general election is Nov. 4, 2014.



Clutter chosen to play in all-star games

by nathan oster

Kason Clutter, who led the Greybull Buffs to a third-place finish at the state tournament in March, has been selected to play in a pair of all-star basketball games this summer.

Clutter will be the only 2A player on the Wyoming All-Star team that will once again be taking on the best from the state of Montana. That all-star series will be held in June, with games planned in Billings on June 13 and Sheridan on June 14.

He will be joined on the Wyoming team by Cody Kelley and Seth Moerkerke of Gillette, Josh Fearing of Cheyenne Central, Khyler Cummings of Cheyenne South, Brandon Hinze of Cody, Lennon Spence of Rock Springs, Reed Ritterbusch of Sheridan, Alex Collier of Rawlins, Greg Vandeventer of Douglas and Kason Clutter of Greybull.

Clutter has also been selected to play on the North team in the Wyoming Coaches Association North-South all-star game to be played July 26 in Casper.

He is the first Buff chosen to play in the two all-star games since Colter King did it in 2004.

“They’re well deserved honors for Kason,” said Jim Prather, his head coach at GHS.

Prather explained that only one 2A player from the north is chosen for the WCA All-Star game.

“Between the two of them, the Northwest and Northeast conferences get one player — and to be that kid, it’s a huge feather in his cap and a recognition of the countless hours spent on his own, working on his game in the gym,” said Prather.

“I think Kason would also be the first to tell you, though, that individual accolades are also the result of a lot of players who helped the team along the way.”

Klutter was selected to the teams based on a recent tryout in Sheridan. He plans to attend Sheridan College in the fall and hopes to continue his basketball career there.

“We haven’t had kids from here play in these games very often,” said Prather. “Kason was a heck of a player for us … I think he’s getting some of the recognition that he earned on the court.”

Leon Clyde Pruett

Aug. 11,1938 – Nov. 1, 2013

Memorial services for Leon Clyde Pruett will be held Saturday, May 10 at 9 a.m. at the First Baptist Church in Thermopolis (310 S. Sixth).

Mr. Pruett, 75, died Nov. 1, 2013, at the VA Medical Center in Sheridan.

Mr. Pruett was the administrator of the Wyoming Retirement Center for 12 years. He went from the retirement center to Evanston where he served as administrator of the State Mental Hospital for five years. He retired in 1995 and the Pruetts moved back to Basin.


Priscilla Ann McKinney Dunnum

Dec. 13, 1921 – March 22, 2014

Graveside services for Priscilla Ann McKinney Dunnum of Downey, Calif., will be held May 17 at 11 a.m. at Mount View Cemetery in Basin with Lewisia Chapter 16 OES officiating.

Priscilla, longtime resident of Basin and respected attorney in Downey, Calif., died at her home in Downey on March 22.

She was born Dec. 13, 1921, in Deaver, the daughter of Thomas and Constance Skovgard McKinney. She grew up and received her education in Basin and moved to California to complete her legal education at USC and Loyola Law School. She was admitted to the bar in January 1948.

Priscilla, her husband Carroll M. Dunnum and their three children moved to Downey in 1954 and opened the law firm of Dunnum and Dunnum. She continued to practice law for over 50 years.

Priscilla was instrumental in the incorporation of the City of Downey and was active in the community. She was the first woman city council member and the first mayor pro tempore. She was also the spearhead in the planning and building of the Civic Theater, instrumental in planning the new Downey Community Hospital and served as chairman on the Downey Community Hospital Authority.

She was a member of numerous charitable organizations and held positions on many of their boards.

She taught estate planning and trusts at the Downey Adult School, and was also a teacher at Christ Lutheran Church.

Priscilla always remembered her roots in Basin. She was initiated into the Lewisia Chapter of the Order of Eastern Star on Dec. 23, 1948, and served as Worthy Matron in 1978. She maintained a 50-plus-year membership.

She is survived by two daughters, Carolyn Sloan and Ann Howe; one son, Monte Dunnum; son-in-law, Ralph Howe; grandson, Thomas Sloan, and two nephews.



Betty Marie Durtsche Jones

Nov. 15, 1926 – April 26, 2014

A memorial service for Betty Marie Durtsche Jones will be held Saturday, May 3 at 10 a.m. at the First Baptist Church in Basin. Betty, 87, died April 26 in Casper.

She was born Nov. 15, 1926, in Greybull, the daughter of Ellis Anson and Effel Rose Schenck Letzkus. She grew up in the Big Horn Basin and received her schooling in Greybull.

She married Emil Arthur Durtsche on May 7, 1943, in Hardin, Mont. The couple had three children, Effel, Harold and Jay. Emil died Dec. 23, 1984.

Betty married Jack Jones Nov. 10, 1991, in Avenal, Calif. He died July 10, 2008.

Betty was a nurse’s aide at the Wyoming Retirement Center for 16 years before she retired. She enjoyed watching butterflies and collecting rocks. The most precious things in her life were her children and grandchildren.

Her parents, Ellis and Effel Letzkus; husbands, Emil A. Durtsche and Jack Jones; son, Harold E. Durtsche; daughter, Effel R. Rea; grandchildren, Ronnie Rea, Harold Durtsche and Brenda Swander; and two brothers, Harold Letzkus and Leroy H. Letzkus, preceded her in death.

Betty is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Jay L. and June Durtsche of Thermopolis; son-in-law Buster Rea; four grandsons, two granddaughters; 14 great-grandchildren and four great-great-grandchilden.

Burial will be in Mount View Cemetery.


Samuel “Sam” Edward Beresford

March 3, 1938 – April 27, 2014

A memorial service for Samuel “Sam” Edward Beresford of Greybull will be held in Cincinnati, Ohio at a later date. Sam, 76, died April 27 at Bonnie Bluejacket Memorial Nursing Home.

He was born March 3, 1938, in Cincinnati, Ohio, the son of Samuel Edward and Audrey Mae Wagner Beresford. He grew up and received his schooling in Cincinnati, and furthered his education at Ohio State in Columbus, Ohio. Sam served for a short time in the Peace Corps.

As a young man he was interested in agriculture and farmed in Ohio before venturing west to buy a farm in Emblem. Sam later became an independent contractor until he retired due to health issues.

Sam loved to travel the world, especially throughout Europe. He enjoyed skiing and ice fishing.

Sam belonged to the Catholic faith. He was a member of Trout Unlimited.

Sam’s parents, Samuel and Audrey, preceded him in death.

He is survived by two sisters, Kathryn Beresford of Warren, R.I. and Sally Hicks of Fairfield, Ohio; four nieces and a nephew.


Robert “Bob” Dean Bentley

June 12, 1929 – April 27, 2014

Memorial services for Robert “Bob” Dean Bentley will be held Saturday, May 3, at 1 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church in Greybull. Bob, 84, died April 27 at Bonnie Bluejacket Memorial Nursing Home.

He was born June 12, 1929, in Greybull, the son of Otis Lee and Virginia Chapman Bentley. He was raised and educated in Greybull and graduated from Greybull High School. He continued his studies at the University of Wyoming.

Bob served in the U.S. Army Signal Corp from 1951-53. He married Neva Ehninger July 3, 1953, in Billings.

He was a conductor for the Burlington Northern Railroad for 43 years.

Bob was a member of the First Presbyterian Church; Greybull Elks BPOE Lodge 1431, and served on the Greybull Town Council for four years. He enjoyed hunting, fishing and playing cards.

His parents, Otis and Virginia Bentley, his sister, Virginia Lee Johnson, and a niece and nephew preceded him in death.

He is survived by his loving wife Neva Bentley of Greybull; two sons, Mark Bentley and Alan Bentley, both of Greybull; daughter and son-in-law, Bernie and Barbara Bentley Robertson of Monroe, Wis.; daughter-in-law, Susan Hendry-Bentley of Cheyenne; seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

A reception for family and friends will be held in the basement of the First Presbyterian Church immediately following the service.

Memorials in Bob’s name will be received at Big Horn Federal Savings Bank, Box 471, Greybull, WY 82426. Proceeds will go to Bonnie Bluejacket Memorial Nursing Home.


William Benjamin Redland

April 10, 2014 – April 28, 2014

William Benjamin Redland came into this world on April 10, 2014, born to Abby and Ben Redland of Basin.

He was an incredibly loved baby who brought more joy to his parents’ lives than they ever imagined possible. He was more than his parents could ask for. He loved snuggling with his Mommy and Daddy on their chests and being kissed.

His favorite things to do were to eat and snuggle, and he did those often. Will also brought an unbelievable amount of joy to all his grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. Will was loved beyond measure by everyone who had the privilege of meeting and snuggling with him, as well as those who had not yet had the opportunity to meet him.

Will’s Mommy and Daddy knew how precious he was and never took a single second for granted with him. They knew they loved him before they met him and were absolutely thrilled to welcome him into this world and to watch him grow up.

Unfortunately, their time with him was unexpectedly cut short due to an aggressive infection caused by Group B Strep that caused meningitis. William passed away peacefully in the arms of his parents on April 28, 2014, at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Billings.

William’s parents would like to thank the doctors and nurses at Powell Valley Hospital and St. Vincent’s Hospital for the wonderful care and compassion shown to Will and his family.

Will’s grandparents are Steve and Susan Frank of Fleming, Colo. and Rolly and Deb Redland of Ten Sleep, WY.

A graveside service will be at 10 a.m. for William on Saturday May 3, at the Ten Sleep Cemetery. Visitation for family and friend will be from 4-6 p.m. on Friday, May 2, at Bryant Funeral Home Chapel.

Online condolences may be made at www.bryantfuneralhomeonline.com.

(Paid obituary)

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