Daily Archives: July 9, 2014

Fires burn 80 acres near Shell, Hyattville

by nathan oster

All it takes is a single spark to ignite a blaze on a windy day, and Monday certainly qualified as one of those, with wind speeds of 15 to 30 miles per hour measured every hour at the south Big Horn County airport in Greybull.

The wind and the dry conditions made for a busy day for south Big Horn County firefighters, who were called to put out grass fires near Shell and Hyattville that combined to burn about 80 acres of land.

The first one, reported around 9:30 a.m., started at the Morris Smith residence on Lane 35 ½, between Greybull and Shell, when the wind tipped over a burn barrel, according to Shell Fire Chief Mike Nelson.

The fire ended up burning 61 acres, but no structures were damaged.

Nelson credited members of the Greybull Fire Department for their assistance.

“They were awesome,” he said, adding that the BLM, South Big Horn Search and Rescue, and a Forest Service hand crew also assisted at the scene. A helicopter arrived on scene as well to assist, but wasn’t used.

It was, however, utilized later in the day in Hyattville, according to Brent Godfrey, the county fire warden. A fire there burned 19 acres of mostly BLM-owned forest near Medicine Lodge Archeological Site before members Hyattville, Basin, Manderson and BLM firefighters brought it under control. The helicopter “mopped it up,” dumping water from above on the fire scene. Less than an acre of Medicine Lodge property was affected and no buildings or cultural areas of the park were threatened by the fire, according to site superintendent Brooks Jordan.

Godfrey said it started with a single spark. “Two guys were cutting on a trailer,” he said. “They had watered down the area beforehand, like they should have, but one spark bit them. And with the wind the way it was, (the fire) was off to the races.”

While the two fires on Monday were “freak things” due to windy conditions, Godfrey said the fire danger index right now is high and that if there isn’t any relief soon from the weather, he may soon have to ask the county commissioners to enact a fire ban.

His advice to county residents: “If you’re going to burn in barrels, put screens over the top, and be careful with all outdoor burning — things like barbecue grills and charcoal grills included. Anybody using cutting torches should make sure to have water nearby, so what happened yesterday doesn’t happen again.”






HATS VI just around the corner

by marlys good

Circle Saturday, Aug. 9, on your calendar, dust off your hat and get ready for some fun at the sixth annual Hands Across the Saddle gala fundraiser.

Tickets, $50 each, are available at Greybull Building Center, Lisa’s Restaurant, Ron’s Food Farm and at Security State Bank in Basin. They will be available up to the day of the event and at the door, but early purchase would make it much easier for the chefs to plan and prepare the meal.

There will be something old – including the popular “heads or tails” game, the live auction, great entertainment with Gary Mule Deer in the spotlight, delicious food prepared by chefs extraordinaire Chris Dalin and Robb Howe and served up by members of the Lady Buff basketball team and Buff coach Jeff Hunt; and something new including a couple of innovative card games with great prizes to the winners, an Alaskan cruise, a Heritage Collectible HATS display knife (one of one).

Pre-event and dinner music will be provided by Pat Erickson and Lilly Cruise of Miles City, Mont. The two have performed together in small groups, but will be performing as a duo this time around.

Cruise has been a professional piano player for 50 years. He played in a country music touring band (hit No. 2 in 1987), worked on “Hee-Haw” and played keyboard for the last two HATS events.

Cruise was Miss Montana in 1980 and a non-finalist talent award winner at the Miss America pageant. After winning the American Talent Search in 1985 she signed a record deal in Nashville. She loves big band and swing music.

The auction will include four pictures by Shoofly; Ann Hanson’s newest limited edition (No. 4 of 50); A 1970 Sharps .54 calibre black powder rifle that has never been fired; a 12’ x 14’ composite deck package; pellet grill; Lucy Stillson quilt; Denver Bronco getaway with airfare; three game Colorado Rockies/Arizona Diamondbacks getaway with airfare (great seats); a replica antique oak icebox made by Pete Reinschmidt of Otto; works by local artists Karyne Dunbar and Linda Jolley; Big Horn County commemorative .22 rifle (No. 1 of 25) and a Wyoming Centennial .330 rifle. More is coming in all the time.

Anyone with new items they would like to donate can contact Scott Good at (307) 272-4466.

Since its inception in 2009, the money raised from HATS has helped families in crisis in nearly every town in the four-county area that includes Big Horn, Washakie, Park and Hot Springs. The charity will mark its sixth anniversary with the knowledge that right at $500,000 has been distributed to their friends and neighbors in need.

The annual events are made possible by unsung, unpaid volunteers from across the community, committed to helping others and willing to donate their time/talents/labor to make them a success.

County valuation declines by $11.5 million

According to Big Horn County Assessor Gina Anderson, the valuation dropped from $289,109,390 to $277,654,615. The decrease was due to a $19 million decrease in state assessed valuation. The loss would have been worse had local valuation not increased by $7.5 million.

Local valuation total was at $103,813,525. State assessed valuation was at $173,841,090 with the county’s total valuation at $277,654,615.

The largest decreases in state assessed valuation came in bentonite with a drop of $12,446,882 from 2013. Oil also showed a big drop of $7.8 million from last year.

Others dropping in valuation were gypsum, sand/gravel, gas distribution, gas pipeline, major electrics, cable and satellite, cellular telecommunications and rural telephone.

Natural gas, $903,022, railroad, $441,659, and reseller telecommunications had the highest increases in valuation for state assessed. Also increasing were liquid pipeline, rural electrics, municipal electrics and major telecommunications.

For the local assessed valuation, Anderson said the “irrigated crop land was up. She said the valuation is based on the five-year weighted average of hay sale. It’s been going up the last three years but I think it’s going to taper off.”

Anderson said, “We’re going to be looking at all ag lands in the county to see if adjustments need to be made in classifications.”

Fourteen special districts lost valuation, Anderson said, mainly from the drop in bentonite and oil valuations. The largest drops came in School District 3, $11,244,142, North Big Horn Hospital, $13,927,738, Fire District No. 1, $15,535,650, Byron Cemetery, $8,771,880, Lovell Cemetery, $5,720,129, Shoshone Conservation District, $13,659,253.

All municipalities showed an increase in valuation except for Frannie, which dropped $2,404. The town of Basin, which had decreased the last three years, increased $237,423 to $6,552,349. Lovell also showed a considerable increase of $251,771 with Cowley increasing $221,537. Byron had the fourth largest increase at $140,246.

Municipal valuations are as follows:

Basin, $6,552,349.

Burlington, $1,403,184.

Byron, $2,210,799.

Cowley, $3,859,640.

Deaver, $848,720.

Frannie, $523,545.

Greybull, $8,909,682.

Lovell, $10,529,509.

Manderson, $553,169.

Margaret F. Hyatt

OBITHyatt, Margaret F2Oct. 23, 1915 – July 3, 2014

Funeral services for Margaret F. Hyatt will be held Friday, July 11 at 10 a.m. at Hot Springs Christian Church in Thermopolis. Margaret, 98, died July 3 at Thermopolis Rehabilitation and Care Center.

She was born Oct. 23, 1915, in Czar, Alberta, Canada, the eldest daughter of John and Mabel Beckman Fester. She was raised and received her education in Czar. Following her high school graduation she attended the Misericordia School of Nursing in Edmonton, Alberta, to become a registered nurse.

After receiving her degree she moved to Worland where she worked for Dr. L.S. Anderson at his new hospital.

It was in Worland where she met Samuel Wesley Hyatt. They were married June 6, 1943, in Denver and made their home at the Hyatt Ranch near Hyattville.

She was a member of the Hyattville Methodist Church where she taught Sunday school and served as a church officer. Margaret served as the chairman of the annual Hyattville Harvest Dinner for 25 years.

Wes and Margret were active in local community affairs including securing the former Hyattville School for the Hyattville Community Center.

Margaret was a 4-H cooking leader for many years and was known as an excellent seamstress. She won ribbons for her sewing and knitting at the Big Horn County Fair.

Margaret was an artist, working in oils, watercolors and charcoal and was president of the Art Guild in Hyattville.

Margaret and Wes loved to go dancing, and to travel when he was on the board of directors for the Society for Range Management.

The couple moved to Thermopolis in the 1990s where they lived in a condo and then in the Wyoming Pioneer Home.

Her parents, her husband Wesley Hyatt in 2007, her son and daughter-in-law, Lance D. and Joyce Hyatt, and her brothers Vern, George, Ralph and Homer Fester, preceded her in death.

She is survived by one brother Melvin Fester of Wainwright, Alberta; two sisters and brothers-in-law, Jim and Marlene Livingston of Edmonton and Leonard and Audrey DeBord of Wainwright, Alberta; two grandsons, John Wesley Hyatt of West Valley City, Utah, and Eric Hyatt of Butte, Mont., and numerous nieces and nephews.

Following the funeral service there will be a graveside service at Riverview Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Worland at 11:45 a.m. following by a luncheon at 12:30 p.m. at the Green Hills Golf Club Restaurant in Worland.

Memorial donations may be made to the Hyattville Community Center, Box 41, Hyattville, WY 82428.


Charles B. “Chuck” Cornett

June 7, 1943 – July 5, 2014

Cremation has taken place and the memorial service for Charles B. “Chuck” Cornett is today (Thursday, July 10) at 10 a.m. at Veile Mortuary Chapel in Worland. Chuck died July 5 at Washakie Medical Center in Worland.

He was born June 7, 1943, at Basin, the son of Charles Cone and Mel Messina Durfey Cornett. He was raised in Hyattville, attended grade school in Hyattville, and graduated from Manderson-Hyattville High School in 1961.

He married Barbara A. Goodwin July 3, 1963, in Kilgore, Neb.

After graduating from high school he began a lifetime of working in agriculture. He worked for several area farms as a farmhand with a great deal of time on the Bob Lass Farms.

In 1986 he went to work as an oilfield roustabout, then went to work as a mechanic for Bob White Small Engine Repair Shop. In 1992 he went to work as a propane deliveryman for Big Horn Co-op and worked there until he retired.

He and his sons had been active in tractor pulling and loved building their own tractors with big block heavy engines. He also loved fishing.

Chuck was a member of Worland Eagles Aerie 3096.

His parents, his sisters Jo Craft and Molly Worm, and his brother Donald Cornett preceded him in death.

He is survived by his wife Barbara of Worland; two sons and a daughter-in-law, Jerry and Cami Cornett of Greybull and Mike Cornett of Powell; one sister, Pati McKim of Manderson; two grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.

Burial of cremains will be at 11:45 a.m. at Mount View Cemetery in Basin. This will be followed by a lunch at the Worland Eagles Club in Worland at 1 p.m.

Memorials may be made to the Chuck Cornett Memorial Fund, c/o Security State Bank, 320 North 10th, Worland, WY 82401.


Golfing for scholarships

by nathan oster

Fifty golfers spent the Fourth of July at Midway Golf Course competing in the 13th annual Linda Madden Memorial tournament and raising scholarship money for the youth of the community.

The Madden family sponsors scholarships for graduating seniors each year.

“When the tournament started, there was enough money raised to support one scholarship,” said Eddie Johnson, a club member. “This year there were three scholarships awarded to local area students.”

Nevin Brown, Kara Michelena and Alexandra Preis were the recipients this year.

As for the golfing itself, it followed a scramble forfeit, with golfers competing for prizes.

First place went to the team of Al Madden, daughter Naomie and son-in-law Loren Neimitalo, with a score of 51.5.

Finishing in second was the team of Dave and Kelly Williamson and Curt and Casey Massey, with a score of 55.4.

The foursome of Doug Freier, Paul Koenig, Cevin Gordon and Ryan Jolson took third with a 56.

A special prize was awarded to a team of golfers — Jerrold and John Preis, Grant Cadwallander and Butch Moore — for their finish at the bottom.

“While it turned into a pretty sultry day, the golfers all seemed to enjoy themselves throughout the day,” said Johnson. “All of us know what the money is raised for and we appreciate how Al and his family are giving back to the kids of our communities. Al does a great job of raising sponsorships for this tournament and provides a pretty good meal for us after we are finished playing.”

Midway will host the Security State Bank tournament Friday, July 11 through Sunday, July 13.

Looking further down the road, tickets are still available for the “ball drop” fundraiser on Saturday, July 19. Contact Johnson or inquire at the club if you would like to purchase one.

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