Daily Archives: May 15, 2014
by nathan oster
The Big Horn County School District No. 3 board of trustees on Tuesday approved tentative budget numbers for the school district itself, the recreation district and the new BOCES with Northwest College for the 2013-14 school year.
It was step one in the budget process.
The board won’t hold its annual budget hearing until July.
The numbers that were presented on Tuesday were tentative ones.
Supt. Barry Bryant said he and Sandi Menke, the district’s business manager, set a goal of having $1 million in the beginning cash/cash carryover column, give or take $100,000 either side of that total.
As it now stands, carryover is anticipated to come in around $911,000.
Bryant said the district is proposing to beef up its technology rotation line item, citing a desire to purchase half the new computers for the new middle school in the 2014-15 fiscal year, and the remaining computers in the following fiscal year.
Food service continues to be a drag on the bottom line. Like virtually all others around the state, the district went in the hole running the program two years ago. The gulf was around $133,000. For this year, it’ll be slightly better, with an anticipated deficit of around $115,000. “We’re still working on that one,” said Bryant.
In personnel moves, the board accepted the resignation of Kerri Thiel, an interventionist/ELL teacher at the elementary school; as well as the resignations of two coaches who were recently assigned to different coaching positions.
Jeremy Brandl resigned as the GMS assistant wrestling coach to become the head coach of the program.
Tami Wright left her post as a GMS assistant girls basketball coach to take an assistant coaching position with the GHS Lady Buff basketball program.
In other news from the first half of Tuesday’s meeting:
• The board recognized as its stakeholders of the month the entire transportation department.
“Everything we do is based on you getting kids to school,” said Bryant, who noted that he’s received just one complaint all school year — amazing considering the number of busses that are in circulation each day.
Howard Gernant, who supervises the department, noted that by school year’s end, the district’s busses will have logged nearly 200,000 miles.
The bus drivers the district honored included:
• Calder Forcella provided for the student body, providing updates on the recent school election in which he was elected president, Fabian Davila vice president, Brett Stephens secretary, Julianne Carlson treasurer and Paige Flock public relations specialist.
Forcella said this year’s Make-A-Wish campaign generated about $1,200 and that the student body plans to do another fundraising campaign next year.
• In the community remarks section, Charlene Collingwood again raised the possibility of the district transporting GHS students who would like to swim to Worland for the upcoming fall season. No action was taken. She was given until the June meeting to get commitments from students who would like to swim with the Warriors — six is the minimum for the board to consider it. She and the district will work on the bussing issue together. That, said Bryant, is the issue. “The hard thing for us is finding a driver,” he said. Collingwood said she had someone in mind, but was told that person would need to meet the district’s requirements for a substitute driver.
by karla pomeroy
The Big Horn County commissioners last fall wanted to ensure that no county employee was supervised by a state employee, especially when it came to public health. With legislation enacted this year making that possible, two of the commissioners are now seeking to hold the county harmless and without any liability, which could put the majority of the public health services in jeopardy in the county.
In the regular meeting last Wednesday, May 7, the commissioners met with Big Horn County Public Health Nurse Manager Kimberly Cowan, along with Linette Johnson, state supervisor, and Karen Mahan, state nursing chief, via teleconference.
Mahan said they needed to have the county approve the budget for the two administrative assistant employees, one at the Greybull office and one in Lovell. The budget is $79,000, less than the current $82,000 budget.
The county then needs to set a work session with public health to go over the memorandum of understanding, which includes the statement of work, outlining responsibilities of both the state and the county, and the Business Associate Agreement.
Grant said, “I’m not sure it’s worth going any further until we are assured there is no county responsibility.”
Mahan said the MOU is for the Maternal and Child Health services, which are required by state statute. She said public health can bill the state for the time spent on the services and that money comes back to the county, up to $63,000 biannually.
“If you don’t sign the contract you don’t get the revenue,” she said.
Mahan added, “It was originally our understanding the board’s concerned was liability of county employees being supervised by state employees. That’s how the legislation was based, to provide a method in these positions. From our perspective it wasn’t our understanding the county didn’t want any liability.”
Grant said his concern with the MCH documents is that it leaves the county with all the liability of a program the state is running.
MCH includes home visitation services for pregnant women. According to state statute the service “shall” be provided in each county. Other services such as immunizations and long-term care assessments are listed as services that “may” be provided.
Ewen said, “What we asked for is to be revenue neutral and employees to be state employees and it sounds like what we are getting.”
Grant said, “My understanding is that the county wouldn’t have any liability.”
Ewen said the county is liable like any of the county facilities since public health is housed in the county-owned senior center buildings in both Greybull and Lovell.
Hyde asked if the commissioners agreed to the budget would it commit them to a contract. Mahan said no, nothing would be signed but it would allow the budget to be submitted to the governor for approval so the positions could begin to be advertised.
Mahan noted, however, if no contract is signed, services would stop after Sept. 30. Terms of the agreement can be negotiated between the county attorney and the attorney general’s office.
Cowan said about 60-70 percent of the time for the nurses is spent on MCH services. “That’s what we do. We have a huge clientele of moms and babies in our county.”
Mahan said while MCH is mandated by statute, services will be limited without county funds.
Cowan said it would decrease services if the MCH contract is not signed.
Grant said, “If they’re mandated to do the services, then we can drop the program.”
Ewen said he would not go along with that.
“We are charged with the health, safety and welfare of citizens. If we dissolve the program a lot of thought needs to go into it because it’s very important to a lot of people,” Ewen said.
Hyde said, “We want to help fund the program but we want you to run it. It should be so simple.”
He added, however, “What are we going to be able to afford. I’d rather see law enforcement on the streets than health nurses teaching mothers how to change diapers. I hope it doesn’t come to that.”
The commissioners will meet with public health in a work session on May 29.
Per their concern about supervision, the county has reached a new agreement with the University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service so the new administrative assistant that is hired will be a UW employee, not a county employee.
by nathan oster
The fireworks campaign is $1,500 closer to its goal, thanks to the Greybull Town Council.
Councilman Myles Foley, who is leading the campaign on behalf of the Greybull Area Chamber of Commerce, had set a goal of raising $7,500, which is what it would cost for a 15- to 18-minute display on the Fourth of July.
Back when the fire department was putting on the show, the town would earmark $750 for the fireworks show. Since the fire department quit doing it for safety reasons, there haven’t been fireworks in Greybull on the Fourth.
Citing input gained from last year’s community assessment, Foley and the chamber are working to change that. Heading into Monday’s meeting, the chamber had raised, $2,791 — with the largest chunk of that coming from local businesses which agreed to put up $500 apiece.
Foley asked the council for whatever it felt comfortable donating.
Councilmen Ross Jorgensen and Bob McGuire were not present, so the decision came down to Foley, Councilman Clay Collingwood and Mayor Bob Graham.
Graham said he’s heard from some constituents “who have a hard time with us burning up our money” and some who don’t.
Saying the town needs to support celebrations and events, Collingwood recommended giving the chamber $1,500, and when put to a vote, all three men voted in favor of his suggestion.
“This is part of making our community a better place to live, along with everything else we’ve been doing,” said Foley.
With the town’s commitment and some other donations that trickled in on Tuesday, the total raised to date climbed to around $4,300. Collection buckets are current in place around town for residents who would like to donate.
by nathan oster
The filing period for the offices to be voted upon in the Aug. 19 primary election is now open.
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 have declared their intentions to seek re-election include 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 up this fall, as the terms of Mayor Bob Graham and Councilmen Bob McGuire and Ross Jorgensen (who was appointed when Graham moved into the mayor’s chair) are all set to expire at year’s end.
Graham, McGuire and Jorgensen have all said they are mulling another run for office. The incumbents whose seats are not up this year include Clay Collingwood and Myles Foley.
The final day of the filing period is Friday, May 30.
To file for the council seats, visit Town Hall.
To file for one of the county positions, you can do so at the courthouse in Basin.
by nathan oster
After coming up short in Thermopolis, Greybull High School athletes who are bidding for state berths will have one more opportunity to punch their tickets to Casper at this week’s Class 2A West Regional in Lander.
A top-eight finish in an individual event or a top-four finish in a relay will get it done.
“I’m hopeful,” said Coach Jeff Sukut, who saw six of his athletes — Calder Forcella, Kyler Flock, Alex Hebb, Ryan Sylvester, McKenna Powers and Cade Dooley — better the automatic qualifying standards in their respective events during the regular season.
For the rest of the Buffs, it’s do or die time.
Among the non-qualifiers, Sukut said the trio of Sydney Eckman, Logan Jensen and Aftin DeRosa appear to have the best chance of qualifying by placing at the regional meet, which will unfold on Friday and Saturday.
“As always, our goal is to qualify as many as possible,” said Sukut. “I’m not as worried about team points — I just don’t think we have the numbers to earn a lot of team points. But hopefully we get a few more qualified — and hopefully everyone on the team improves their times and distances.”
In addition to 2A, the Lander oval will also be the site of the 1A and 3A west regionals, so it figures to be a busy couple of day. Prelims are on Friday, with finals to follow on Saturday.
The Buffs wrapped up the regular season Friday at the Thermopolis Pre-Regional. Because it was on the weekend prior to regionals, it drew a large field of teams, with more than 20 showing up to compete.
As for his kids, Sukut said it was “kind of like ordering a sweet and sour dish at a Chinese restaurant.” In other words … some good, some not so good. “We had a couple of PRs, but not very many.”
The GHS girls finished 10th with 21 points.
McKenna Powers placed in three events, with her top finish coming in the 300-meter hurdles. She placed second in the event — but only because she stumbled crossing the final hurdle. “She was running a great race and would have gotten first,” said Sukut.
Powers also added fifth-place finishes in both the 200 meters and the triple jump.
Rounding out the GHS scoring was Sydney Eckman, who placed fourth in a personal-best 2:37.16 in the 800 meters. Her time was more than a second faster than her previous best.
Among the other Lady Buffs, Sukut said Alex Foster ran a personal best in the 100 meters and that Aftin DeRosa came within two-tenths of a second of setting a PR in the 200 meters.
The highlight on the boys side may have been the 100-meter dash, as Greybull’s two sprinting standouts, Kyler Flock and Alex Hebb, got to measure themselves against one of the top sprinters in the state in Jace Marx of Big Piney.
Marx won this round, running an 11.23, but Flock wasn’t far behind, finishing second in 11.35. Hebb was sixth in 11.6. “It was a great race,” said Sukut, noting that after the top two, just 11 hundredths of a second separated third from sixth.
Flock and Hebb placed fourth and fifth, respectively, in the 200 meters — and both joined forces with Calder Forcella and Ryan Sylvester on the 400-meter relay team which placed second behind Thermopolis.
Sukut said the regional and state competitions could come down to Thermopolis, which has the fastest 400-meter relay team in the state, and Greybull and Rocky Mountain, which have been right on the Bobcats tails most of the year.
Forcella placed in both of his field events, taking third in the discus and sixth in the shot put.
Among the nonplacers, Sukut noted that Dawson McEwan ran a personal best in the 400 meters and that Cesar Sosa did the same in the 300-meter hurdles.
The Greybull boys placed ninth in the final team standings.
GIRLS — Lovell 114, Worland 83, Cokeville 78, Rawlins 64, Big Piney 60, Thermopolis 47.5, Meeteetse 33, HEM 28, Wyoming Indian 28, Greybull 21, Burlington 21, Saratoga 14, Shoshoni 14, Rocky Mt. 13.5, Western Heritage Lutheran 13, Wind River 13, Riverside 3, Farson 2.
300 HURDLES — 2, McKenna Powers, 50.89.
800 METERS — 4, Sydney Eckman, 2:37.16.
200 METERS — 5, McKenna Powers, 28.68.
TRIPLE JUMP — 5, McKenna Powers, 31-8 ½.
BOYS — Cokeville 81.5, Thermopolis 77, Dubois 56, Lovell 54, Rawlins 48, Big Piney 47, Rocky Mt. 43, Saratoga 39, Greybull 37, Shoshoni 33, Worland 27.5, Burlington 27, HEM 23, Wind River 21, Riverside 18, Wyoming Indian 18, Meeteetse 9, Farson 4.
100 METERS — 2, Kyler Flock, 11.35. 6, Alex Hebb, 11.6.
400 RELAY — 2, Greybull (Flock, Hebb, Calder Forcella, Ryan Sylvester), 45.47.
200 METERS — 4, Flock, 24.58. 5, Hebb, 24.61.
DISCUS — 3, Calder Forcella, 131-6 ½.
SHOT PUT — 6, Calder Forcella, 40-5.
June 27, 1927 – May 13, 2014
Graveside services for former Greybull resident Holland “Junior” Hughes of Vernal, Utah, will be held Saturday, May 17 at Donald J. Ruhl Memorial Cemetery in Greybull. Junior, 86, died May 13 in Vernal.
A complete obituary will be printed in next week’s edition.
Dec. 13, 1921 – March 22, 2014
Graveside services for Priscilla Ann McKinney, who died March 22 at her home in Downey, Cal., will be held Saturday, May 17, at 11 a.m. at Mount View Cemetery in Basin.
Lewisia Chapter 16 of the Order of Eastern Star will officiate.
June 9, 1942 – May 10, 2014
A celebration of the life of longtime Greybull resident Michael Ray Goggin will be held Saturday, May 17 at 1 p.m. at the Greybull Elks Lodge. Mike, 71, died May 10 at his home.
He was born June 9, 1942, in Winfield, Kan., the son of Raymond Leroy and Clara Edith Westcott Goggin. He married Bonnie Jeann Allen Feb. 14, 1965, in Coronado, Calif.
Mike was an engineer for the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad for over 30 years.
He was preceded in death by his wife Bonnie on Dec. 19, 1999; his son Wray; his parents, Clara and Raymond; one brother, Donald, and his sister, Bonnie Jo.
He is survived by two daughters, Nicole and Shannon; his adopted daughter, Mary; partner, Lynda Umburger; two sisters, Janet and Theresa; two granddaughters and two great-grandsons.