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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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6 J The Lovell Chronicle I January 2, 2014 PATTI CARPENTER Lovell High School students Jordan Harper and Emilee Reasch sing at a choir concert held on Thursday, Dec. 19 in the Lovell Middle School commons area. MDU and county reach agreement on Road 17 gas line issue BY KARLA POMEROY Big Horn County and Montana Dakota Utilities have reached an agreement on Road 17. During the Dec. 17 regular commissioner meeting, Evan Woolston and Shane Pitt of MDU met with the com- ,nissioners to discuss the line that was installed in the oad without a county permit. The ,ounty initially had 'asked MDU to move the line. "We'd like to leave the gas line on Road 17," Woolston said. "It was an oversight to install at that location, rather than get a private easement or move it to the side, but due to the expense of moving it we'd like to leave it and main- tain that road to your satisfaction." Chairman Jerry Ewen said before addressing that is- sue he'd like to address the overall issue of doing the work without going through the proper permitting process. Woolston said that MDU has been in the community a long time and knows the process but there was a changing of the guard from the Billings office to the Sheridan office and "we dropped the ball. We don't intend on repeating that practice." Engineer Willie Bridges presented a letter to Woolston and the commissioners that outlined requirements the county would want met if MDU is to leave the line in place on Road 17. The requirements included: If at any time the county finds the location of the line to be in conflict with the interests of the county, MDU will remove it and place it outside the area of conflict at no cost to the county. If repairs to the line are made, certain criteria to meet county standards must be met. During repairs to the line, at no time shall an open trench be left open unattended after business hours. When the line needs to be replaced it will be placed outside the traveled way of the road and within two feet of the right of way fence. "I find this a reasonable approach," Ewen said. "Our primary concern is to protect the integrity of the road." Bridges suggested approving the conditions and at- taching them to the permit. Commissioner John Hyde recused himself from dis- cussion and voting since he lives on Road 17. .Details of blending learning conference shared with School District One Trustees BY PATTI CARPENTER The highlight of the Big Horn County School Dis- trict No. One school board meeting this month was a report by district admin- istrators on their atten- dance at the International Association for K-12 On- line Learning (iNACOL) conference. The focus of the confer- ence was on blended learn- ing, which is a blend of in- struction delivered over a computer platform and tra- ditional classroom instruc- tion. Rocky Mountain Mid- dle/High School Principal Tim Winland, Rocky Moun- tain Elementary School Principal Karma Sanders, Special Education Director Wes Townsend, Burlington School Principal Matt Da- vidson and Curriculum Di- rector Patrice Riley all had glowing remarks about the conference. All of the adminis- trators agreed that that blended learning was an excellent way to provide students with the opportu- nity for individually paced instruction and that the potential for tailoring pro- grams to the needs of stu- dents was tremendous us- ing the blending learning model. Special Education Di- rector Wes Townsend said he thought the blended learning model provided an excellent way to reach at- risk students. "Major components of addressing at-risk students were grading students by what's been completed, tu- toring availability and not tying grading to the quar- ter, semester or year sys- tem," he explained in his re- port. "With this avenue for instruction, students can either continue their class- es whenever they are gone or can pick up in the unit of instruction they were on when they left school re- gardless of when the grad- ing period ended." Around 2,000 school administrators from across the country attended the conference, which was held in Florida in October. In 2013, iNACOL changed the name of the annual conference from the Virtual School Sym- posium to the iNACOL Blended and Online Learn- ing Symposium stating on its website that the new name "more accurately re- flect the breadth of tracks, sessions, issues and people represented at the annual conference." It was an opportunity for the group of administra- tors from Big Horn Coun- ty School District No. One to learn about the latest trends, challenges, and op- portunities in e-learning, to interact in session pre- sentations and to gain ac- cess to information about the latest research and best practices being utilized in the field. School District No. One has been in the forefront of on-line learning and Supt. Shon Hocker said he thinks the blended model is the way of the future. In other matters, a fa- cility report noted that al- though the new playground equipment has been de- livered to Rocky Moun- tain Elementary School it could not be installed due to sub-zero weather condi- tions at the time of delivery. Hocker announced that Dec. 11 was a make- up day at all schools for a snow day closure held on Dec. 3. He explained the state law requires schools to hold classes 175 days per year and the state was properly notified of both the closure and the make- up day. Hocker also invit- ed members of the school board to attend a Wyo- ming School Boards Assoc. training session in Casper in January. Several board members expressed an in- terest in attending. The schedule for pub- lic school board meetings for the year 2014 was an- nounced. The first meet- ing will be held on Jan. 14, 2014. Subsequent meet- ings will be held on the sec- ond Tuesday of the month throughout the year. All school board meetings are open to the public. Early morning fire burns shop An early morning fire claimed a shop on the edge of Deaver Tuesday. Deaver-Frannie Vol- unteer Fire Dept. Assis- tant Chief Nick Loftus said firemen were called to 160 Lane 8 on the east edge of Deaver at 7:31 a.m. to tack- le a blaze in a shop owned by Jim Fuller. The fire was fully involved when fire- men reached the shop, and it was a total loss, Loftus said. Firemen had not estab- lished a cause of the fire by press time, he said. Lost in the fire were tools, an air compressor, a small tractor and a propane tank, which exploded, Lof- tus noted. Fire and smoke could be seen from a wide area. Fuller was able to save some rabbits he had in the shop. The fire scene was cleared at 9:46 a.m., Loftus said. He added that he ap- preciates the Lovell Volun- teer Fire Dept. for assisting at the scene. "They are always a huge help," Loftus said. Alert reader Jennifer Gould sent this photo of a shop fire in Deaver early Tuesday morning. The fire consumed a shop owned by Jim Fuller and was a total loss. COURTESY PHOTO Fair Board reteives another extension BY K&RLA POMEROY The Wyoming Business Council voted Dec. 5 to grant another extension to the Big Horn County Fair Board to secure funding for a match for the $500,000 grant. WBC Board Member Lee Lockhart of Worland said the WBC had initial- ly granted an extension to Dec. 1. "The board didn't meet that. They said they had the money pledged, but some people wanted to wait to donate until after the new year," Lockhart said. The WBC then voted to give the board an extension until Feb. 15. The coun- cil has approved the grant with contingencies, includ- ing the requirement that the board have the match in hand before a grant con- tract is finalized and money from the grant can be spent. At Monday's monthly board meeting, Casey So- renson reported that anoth- er $33,250 had been collect- ed and put into the building fund for a total of $151,300. He said they still have $92,750 to collect, noting what Lockhart had said, that some donors want to wait until after the first of the year. He said some "checks are in the mail," but overall, "I think everyone's good for it." He said that while that will meet the match requirement, additional funds still have to be raised for the construction of the indoor youth multi-purpose facility. Paintrock FFA Chap- ter Advisor Jared Board- man said his FFA kids have been calling to seek dona- tions and have collected some that are not included in Sorenson's total. "They want to do more," he said, and should have more time after the first of the year. Sorenson then moved to name the indoor are- na and multi-purpose fa- cility after Big Horn Rural Electric and Basin Electric. He said the two companies can decide if they want to share the naming right or how they want it to read. He said Big Horn REA has donated $55,000 and Ba- sin Electric $25,000 with an additional $15,000 pledged. Andy Perkins said the board had initially con- sidered the naming rights for anyone donating up to $100,000 or more and this is close. The board approved the motion unanimously. It was noted that there is a misconception that Ba- sin Electric is the town of Basin's electrical system and it is not. In other facility news, chairman Felix Carriza- les said a county resident asked about Synergy's bid, which states that it con- tains 5 percent for contin- gencies. Sorenson said that is a good thing in that the bid includes a portion for unplanned contingencies. Carrizales said he believes the resident misunderstood the language, thinking an additional 5 percent could be added to the bid. He said the resident also asked if the board had asked for samples of bids from Synergy's subcontractors. Boardman said general contractors are responsible for keeping subcontractors within the budget the gen- eral contractor bid. Carrizales then asked about the possibility of making the kitchen area into a restaurant for some- one to own or lease. He said he knows someone who is potentially interested. The board agreed that the idea is worth investigat- ing whether it's even feasi- ble or not. The board also appoint- ed Carrizales as the board's representative to provide construction monitoring, something required by the WBC grant. '/ou're not going to be out there on your own," So- renson said. "I'll still be here. (County Clerk and grants administrator Lori Smallwood) will be helping with a lot of the grant stuff.