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Lovell , Wyoming
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January 2, 2014     Lovell Chronicle
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January 2, 2014
 

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January 2, 2014 I The Lovell Chronicle I ,5 Byron resident outsmarts seam artists BY PATTI CARPENTER Gary Gruell knew it was just too good to be true when he received a check in the mail in the amount of $5,956.35. The very legit- imate looking check arrived along with a letter stating that he was a third place winner in the Publisher's Clearing House contest. All Gruell had to do was cash the check and send the money to a stranger in or- der to collect his winnings of $1.5 million. Had Gruell taken that next step, which more than likely would have asked him to send the cash by Western Union, he would have later been ad- vised by his bank that the check was not good and he would be legally required to pay the money back to the bank. "I didn't believe it at first, because I just don't have that kind of luck," said Gruell, who has actually entered the PCH contest in the past. "Then I looked at the letter again and it looked so legit. It even had my name on it. So, I called the number on the letter." Gruell's skepticism returned when the per- son at the other end of the telephone line asked him to cash the check for cash and to call back with cash in hand for further instructions. "That just didn't make sense to me, so I went straight to the source. I called Publisher's Clearing House and they told me it was a scam," said Gruell. Gruell also brought the check to his bank and was told by a bank employee the sheriff. "My mama always told me, if it sounds too good to be true, it's too good to be true," said Big Horn Coun- ty Sheriff Ken Blackburn. "We see this type of scam a lot and unfortunately a lot of people fall for it and end up losing a lot of mon- ey. Sadly, a lot of these scams prey on the elderly and the scam artists work hard to confuse them and sometimes convince them to send the money. "Sometimes we'll get a call from the grocery store or a bank telling us that someone is trying to cash one of these checks. Some- times we're able to talk peo- ple out of sending the mon- ey. Other times, people end up losing thousands of dol- lars. We have a person in the county right now who lost about $7,000 this way and there is no way to get the money back." Gruell was one of the lucky ones who did not fall for the scam. "It makes me sad to think that hundreds of peo- ple probably got this same letter and probably half of them fell for it," said Gru- ell. "I'm just glad I caught on right away. The whole thing seemed very real and very convincing." "To give you an idea of how a big a problem this is, the FBI has a website to report this sort of thing and they are getting about 4,000 hits a day," said Blackburn. "With our econ- omy the way it is right now, people are thinking, 'Wow, $5,000. I can really use that.' Those are the people According to Black- burn, a typical scam usual- ly asks the person to send money in order to receive a larger sum of money. Oth- er scams include telling an elderly person their grand- child is in jail in a foreign country, asking the con- cerned grandparent to send money. Some scams are just mining for information like social security num- bers and birthdates, which is information that can be used to open fraudulent credit cards. "If you didn't initiate the call, it's most likely a scam," said Lovell Chief of Police Nick Lewis. "I would say that is a good rule of thumb." Lewis keeps a file with copies of fraudulent letters and emails received by lo- cal residents. The file is about seven inches thick. "Another tip is if any- one asks you to send mon- ey by Western Union," said Lewis. "Almost all of the scams that ask for money, want you to send it by Western Union. People need to understand that no matter what address you send the money to, it can be picked up anywhere in the world using the West- ern Union passcode." Lewis said scammers are using any type of com- munication device avail- able to them. That includes the U.S. Postal Service, email, text, cell phone or regular telephone. "It's a constant prob- lem," said Lewis. "We re- ceive at least two or three calls a week from citizens reporting they were ap- ON THE RECORD IN BIG HORN COUNTY BIRTHS We are interested in printing the births of North Big Horn County babies. Please call and personally report these births by con- tacting the Chronicle at 548-2217. Born to Breianna and Joshua Wiggins at the Powell Valley Hospital on Dec. 20, 2013, at 3:52 p.m., a boy, Reed Alexander Wiggins, weighing 6 Ibs. 7 oz. Grandparents are Wayne and Barbara Wimmler and Jerry and Carolyn Wiggins. Born to Camille and Matt Walker at the Pew- ell Valley Hospital on Dec. 23, 2013, at 7:29 p.m., a boy, Brody Matthew Walker, weighing 7 Ibs. 11 oz. Grandparents are Denney and Lin- da NeVille and Mel and Ann Walker. Born toAmy and Chris Cozzens atthe Pew- ell Valley Hospital on Dec. 23, 2013, at 9:43 a.m., a boy, Carter Cash Cozzens, weighing 6 Ibs. 5 oz. Grandparents are Chris and Loretta Mann and Mark and Leanne Cozzens. MARRIAGES Marriage licenses issued from the Big Horn County Clerk's office recently were: Barry Nathan Bayert and Susan Marie Rieck, both of Basin Rodney Leroy Cox of Riverton and Gwen Elizabeth Hoyt of Basin Police report Stolen U-Haul vehicle turns up in Lovell The Lovell Police De- partment received the fol- lowing calls for the week of Dec. 23 ,- 30: Dec. 24: Police officers re- sponded to a report of a man who appeared to be sleeping in a car that was running in the parking lot of a local bar. Norm Camp- bell was cited for DUI and transported to the Big Horn County Detention Center in Basin. Dec 25: Police were asked to check on the welfare of an individual who ap- peared to be walking in the cold pulling a suitcase. Offi- cers checked with the man who appeared to not need assistance. Dec. 26: An employee of the parks department reported evidence that a car drove on the grass in Great West- ern Park. The damage ap- peared to be minor. Police checked on the welfare of a couple sitting in a parked car that was running for a long peri- od of time. The couple ap- peared to be OK and said they were not bothered by the fumes from the running vehicle. Dec. 27: A vehicle reported stolen from a U-Haul deal- ership in Texas was turned into the Lovell U-Haul dealership. Police assisted authorities in Texas to re- cover the vehicle. Dec 28: A local resident reported that he was con- cerned that someone may have tried to break into his vehicle. Police are wait- ing for further information from the person reporting the crime. The above calls were received by the Lovell Po- lice Dept. Persons arrested are presumed innocent un- til proven guilty in a court of law, and charges made upon initial arrest may be amended or dismissed as determined by the County Attorney. The # 1 Vehicle Safety Restraint is YOUR WINDSHIELD If yours is broken please call us ... We can fix it] Tires Mayes Brothers Towing & Repair Body Shop Paint & Body 339 Penn. Ave., Lovell 307-548-7042 that it was most likely a these scam artists are look- proached with one sort of fraud. His next call was to ing for." scam or another." County Flood Plain Development regs available, for public review Monday :: BY KARLA POMEROY rectly to district court, feet, making the case to The Big Horn County ,, Bridges agreed, noting, FEMA and then if the coun- commissioners made some Once you make a decision, ty has to downsize it could decisions to work toward fi- it seems unlikely your opin- drop to 500 as a compromise. nalizing the Flood Plain De- ion would change with an Commissioner Keith velopment Regulations, and will approve a draft at next week's Jan. 7 meeting. The commissioners will then have the regulations open for public review and have a public hearing on the proposed regs on Jan. 21 at 11 a.m. Proposed draft regula- tions will be available for public viewing at all three main county libraries, the County Clerk's office and County Land Planning of- fice beginning Jan. 6. Engineer Willie Bridg- es came to the commission- ers at the Dec. 17 meeting with questions on the regu- lations. He said they need- ed to establish the size of accessory buildings allowed in flood plain areas, as well as to establish the enforce- ment and appeal process. Currently, as proposed, the commiss]oners would make a decision on whether to al- low development in flood plain areas, and the com- missioners would also han- dle the appeal. Chairman Jerry Ewen said the appeal could go di- appeal. District court would be next step after an appeal to commissioners." He added that there is a method to handle vari- ances or exceptions from the rules and regulations already in place and a per- son when applying for a de- velopment permit would have an opportunity to ex- plain the need for any vari- ance before an initial deci- sion is made. In regard to the acces- sory building size, Bridges said the Federal Emergency Management Agency is re- luctant to approve buildings 500 square feet or larger. FEMA's recommendation is 100 square feet. Ewen said along the Shell Creek flood plain there are large open sheds and enclosed sheds and barns. While everything would be "grandfathered" in, it would impact new construction. "The smaller that build- ing is, the harder it will be to enforce," Ewen said. Commissioner John Hyde suggested putting the regulations at 1,000 square Grant agreed with the idea, noting, "A lot of our farmers are the ones who will be im- pacted and they want ma- chine shops." Bridges said that no permit would be required for open-faced facilities in flood plain areas. As for enforcement, Bridges said he will work with the county attorney's office and have resolutions ready for the commission- ers at their meetings Jan. 7 establishing the size of the accessory building and the free board distance. Bridges said one foot is the bare minimum. The commissioners voted to set it at two feet. Bridges said the free board distance is the "height the county es- tablishes for a finished floor elevation if someone builds in a flood plain. Free board is the distance from the base flood elevation (as de- termined by the developer or as set by FEMA) to the safety factor height," which in this case would be two feet above the base flood elevation. Bic Horn Basin Outlook Weekend Outlook ;limate Almanac Normats for 01/01 to 01/05 Recreation Outlook fmeruencv DISASTER Doesn't Sleep... then neither do we! Call the professional service team. Smoke, Fire, Water Damage & Mold Remediation CODY: 527-9998 POWELL: 754-9999 Toll Free: 1 -800-660-61 81 www.varneycleancare.com 00I00RNEY CLEAN CARE Carpet Upholstery Air Duct Cleaning Aud's Fo:00: Corners Call your der in now and pick it up at the drive through! Fried Pick/eS ' Super Nocho Burgers Hot Wings Chicken .... Sandwiches i i i ! i 195 W. Main, Lovell 307-,54S-749;$ Hwy. 310 in Deaver 307:272-9695 Main dish choi include: Orange chicken, black pepper beef, honey glazed pork, Mongolian 6B0 pork, Kung Pao chicken, beef wlpepws. Add rice or noodles, wontons, dumplings, wings, egg rolls, Asian slaw... Open M0nday-Saturday Lunch: 11 am-2pm|Dinner 4-8pm Minchow's FOOD COURT 353 E. Main, Lovell 548-7979 !ii :the ice:cream .t- i00% ef Hamburgers And More Mon.-Thurs: 10am-gpm Fri. & Sat. 10am-10pm Sun.: 10am-8pm Big Horn County Long Range Forecast Wednesday Scattered snow showers 36115 Thursday Partly cloudy 351 16 Friday Mostly cloudy, snow showers 30/16 Saturday Chance of snow showers 32 / 28 Sunday Snow showers late 31 / 20 Pacific disturbances and moisture will be moving across the northern and central Rockies over the next five to seven days. This will keep snow showers in our forecast and also allow for colder temperatures at times. Accumulations of snow in the Basin look generally small. However, snow should be heavy at times in the mountains. Lovell Greybull Average High/low 2915 Avenge HIglVlOw 0t$ Record High/Low 55 in 1998 -42 in 1924 Record Hioh/Low 55 n 1998 -25 n 201 ! ,, y ...... ....... A',r 0, : O.Q7? Record 24hr. Precip. 0.42" in 1972 Record 24hr. Precip. 1.10" in 1996 Jet Stream Forecast for 01/05 Sunrise & Sunset Sunrlee Sunlmt WY 7'i AM  Thursday 7:49 AM 4:48 PM Saturday 7:48AM 4:41 PM National Weather Service Forecasts: hit p :/h,vww.crh .nose .gov/riw/index.ht m , ,,. .,, ..  ,'" .o. .,., ,,, Powell . Cody . "%" 301 / 201 Basin   30 / 20S" ',  .... 30S / 20S , , .......  Worland .... ,%. " -. 30s / 2011 i. ',,. ., -hermopollSl , .... Big Horn Lake - Colder than normal temperatures will " " s a . e . continue to be a possibility. We will also have a chance of additional snow showers. River Basin River Basin B  Rk, er; ! t38% Yellowstone National Park - Snow looks to be rather Shoshone River 125% of normal Upper Yellowstone River 119% of normal likely across the Park over the course of the weekend. nake River 109% of normal Madtson Hers 109%ofnorma Temperatures will also be turning a little colder. "Road and Travel - (1-888-996-7623) or (307) 772-0824; Cellular: #ROAD Big Horn Mountains - On and off snow will be a Road and Travel on the web- http:l/wydotweb.ltate.wy.ul/web/hlghwlly/text road.html possibility across the Big Horns. Look for breezy to F ...... t prepared by: Dc'/VV/echerl Inc. Cheye.nne, WY 82001 windy conditions as well. www.aayweather.com WC.ATHER JOURNAL Date H L Prec. Dec: 24 16 00 Dec. 25 39 1 Dec. 26 27 2 ,00 Dec. 27 3! 10 .00 Dec. 28 37 14 .00 Dec, 29 3 Dec: 30 3i 4 Dec.31 35 2 Pmv/ded by Western Sugar Co-0p Big Horn Lake level; 3635.7 ft. (as Tues; . 31, 2013) Big Horn County Forecast sponsored by Apple 9 East Main, Lovell, Wyoming