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Lovell Chronicle
Lovell , Wyoming
January 7, 2021     Lovell Chronicle
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January 7, 2021

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Janua 7, 2021 I The Lovell Chronicle 3 continued from page one North Big Horn County’s business sector also felt a heavy impact from the coronavirus pandemic, as several businesses were forced to temporaril close their doors in Marc . in response to COVID-19’s ‘ arrival. Local banks closed 1 their lobbies and moved to attend to their customers , through the drive-up . window. Restaurants also had to close their doors, delivering food to patrons through carry— out services. Gyms had to limit attendance if not shut down completely. Other businesses, such as Kurt’s Cuts and numerous beauty salons,- found themselves unable to serve customers or make an income for weeks. The Hyart Movie Theatre also closed its doors for an extended period. The Red Apple Supermarket found many of its shelves bare throughout March and April as cleaning products, alon with dry and canned goo s, were in high demand as people stocked supplies. Closed businesses were allowed to open their doors under new restric— tions at the end of April, as stimulus funds from both the federal and state level were made avail— able to businesses in May, giving local companies much—needed relief. Despite the pub- lic health orders limiting public gatherings, com— munity celebrations still found a way to occur in 2020. Mustang Days’ tradi— tional parade was convert- ed into a reverse parade. Parade attendants drove their way through the pa- rade as the parade floats and attractions greeted attendants stationed on the sidewalk. The Christ- mas mingle was also held in December, but this year children had to Zoom San- ‘ta. Still, many communie 7 ty traditions, such as the. 3 MuStang Follies and the Pioneer Day Variety Show, had to be canceled in 2020, unable to occur due , to health orders. With every story of hardship due to COVID—19 in 2020 i came stories of generosity and goodness as the j residents of north Big j Horn County stood up to 3 the pandemic in myriad ways. Meals are served daily from noon to 1 PM Call 307-548—6556 for home delivery before 10:30 AM Mon—Fri. on the day you need the meal. Meal Prices: $3 suggested donation for SAMS registered people over 60 and accompanying spouses, $5 for all others. Menu is subject to change due to availability of items. In late March, as the pandemic first began to impact Wyoming, Linda NeVille organized 16 wom— en to produce masks ev— ery day for North Big Horn Hospital. At the same time, Karen Spragg organized her own sewing group to create laundry bags for the hospital. Local schools used 3D printers to print out masks for medical staff, producin 135 masks in the space 0 only a few weeks. Wyoming Lime, CETCO/American Colloid, the Town of Lovell, the Lovell Police and Haskell Funeral Home also quick— ly donated materials to lo- cal medical facilities. This is only a narrow depiction of the volunteer efforts that instantly occurred as COVID—19 hit. Also worthy of recog— nition are the tireless and quiet efforts of medical staff, first responders and school employees, who have directly risked expo— sure every day to provide emergency services and provide education for 10- cal students, all while tak- ing on an increased work- load. Those on the front lines included grocery store workers and delivery truck drivers who worked throu h the pandemic to provi e needed goods. The Big Horn Coun- ty government quickly set up an incident command team that directed coun- ty efforts to respond to the pandemic. The group organized the acquisition and drop—offs of person— al protection equipment, made accessible and pro— vided relief funds to busi- nesses throughout the county, and guided school districts and businesses through the various health orders that have been im- plemented by the state. In response to an increase in crime, particularly do- mestic and substance abuse, and an increase in suicide attempts, the team 'has’also'been pursuing additional mental ,health resources, including in- creasing mental health training to the area. After two challenging years, Western Sugar as had a more than solid year in north Big Horn County. The full crop of 400,000 tons of sugar beets was harvested in the 2020 season, with the sugar content above average at 18 percent, with some beets quite a bit more than that, according to Western Sugar Factory Manager Shannon Ellis. The sugar content is well above the forecasted 16.93 percent, an improvement agriculturalist Mark Bjornstad called exceptional. It’s a welcome and needed improvement from last year, when an ear— ly—season freeze saw 40 percent of the crop left in the ground, and 2018 when a powerful summer hail— storm wiped out a si nif— icant portion of the eet crop. Many leadership positions in north Big Horn County saw a change in 2020-It began with Rick Woodford’s resignation in January as the superintendent of Lovell schools. Former Lovell Middle School Principal Doug Hazen was hired in March to replace Woodford as interim superintendent Nancy Cerroni guided the district through the opening months of the COVlD—19 pandemic. District. No. I soon followed with a pair of transitions of their own. Greybull Middle School Principal Betsy Sammons, a former teacher at Lovell Elementary and a resident of Cowley, was hired to replace the retiring Karma Sanders as the principal at Rocky Mountain Elementary School during the spring. Superintendent Ben Smith announced to his school board in October that he would be stepping down at the end of June 2021. In November, Matt Davidson, the current principal of . Burlington Schools, was hired to replace him. North Big Horn Hos— pital saw their long-time CEO Rick Schroeder retire this year. Originally plan- ning to end his career in June, SchrOeder ih'st‘e'ad 'opted to stay at helm for several more months to help guide the hospital through COVID—19. He fi- nally retired in December. Eric Connell, previous— ly the CEO of Daniels Me- morial Healthcare Center in Scobey, Mont., has re- placed Schroeder in the position. The Town of Lovell also gained a new mayor this year in between elec— tions. Former Lovell mayor Kevin Jones stepped down CENTER CLOSED Happy New Year Chicken I ,mozzarella Swiss steakw omato Baked‘chicken V I. H322? 'Jahuéiirfi Baked fish, cheddar Italian vegetables, fruit cup, grape juice, whole grain bread mum-o Spaghetti w/ meat sauce, asparagus w/ parsley, Cindy’s roll, sliced banana, garden vegetable salad " 3‘" January 13 <% Beef pepper steak, rice, carrot coins, whole wheat bread, Jean’s vegetable salad, apple ’ ' Januaryzsj"f~ Beef & barley soup, crackers, whole wheat bread, pickled beet & onion salad, pineapple Betty cheeSe stick, garden bounty salad, cinnamon roll, apricots . Bratwurst, herbed potato bake, green beans, whole wheat bread, apple brown Betty, garden vegetable salad sauce, rice pilaf, carrot coins, French bread, pineapple cream whip, mixed green salad Sierra turkey casserole, spinach, baby carrots, fresh strawberry, whole grain bread ,nmyts “ fried steak, mashed potatoes, milk gravy, peas, apricots, whole grain bread Chicken enchilada, peas & onions, lettuce 84 tomato salad, tropical fruit salad, Bakers Source brownie Lasagna, Italian vegetables, bread, melon cup, tossed salad Chef salad, whole wheat crackers, peaches, cranberry orange bar Meatloaf, 0 en .browned potatoes, green beans, whole grain bread, Jell-O w/ fruit cocktail lettuce, tomato, pickles & onion, fruit cup, mixed relish tray , amen. Chicken pot pie w/ potatoes, carrots, peas & biscuit, French style green beans, mixed green salad, fruit pizza Chili dog, ketchup, Cabbage roll casserole, baked potato, Pacific blend vegetables, chunky applesauce, chocolate surprise, cupcake , January134 ‘ = i ganuaryfil : mashed potatoes, herbed broccoli, banana bread, chilled fruit cocktail, creamy coleslaw Janeen“ Sweet & sour meatballs, brown garden rice, Oriental vegetables, homemade bread, creamy confetti coleslaw, sliced bananas . Janeen 22 French dip w/ Au Jus, tri—colored potatoes, broccoli craisin salad, peaches . ram '- Baked chicken, augratin potatoes, green beans, hot roll, melon cup, lettuce & tomato salad LOVELL DRUG 164 E. Main 307—548—7231 ’North Big ‘J'fom C ‘Hbsyitafl‘lisrricr 3137-5485200 www.nhhh.(om 70 E. Main 307-548—7120 from his post in Septem— ber after accepting a po— sition in Utah. Council— man Tom Newman was appointed mayor -by. the town council in October. The Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area is looking for a new su— perintendent after Mike Tranel accepted a promo— tion to become the deputy superintendent of Yellow— stone National Park. He began his tenure in May of 2018. An interim super- intendent is planned to be in place by the end of Jan- uary as the job search for a permanent replacement continues, but Tranel ex- pressed confidence in the park department heads that remain in place. The November election brou ht in a slate of c anges locally. Bruce Jolley of Lovell was elected as county commissioner, replacing Deb Craft. Deb Fink was voted onto the Lovell School Board, replacing incumbent Keith McIntosh, and Holly Michaels, Jared Boardman and Don Hatch were elected to the District One ‘ school board, replacing three trustees who did not seek re-election. Ronald Christensen was welcomed to the North Big Horn Hospital Board. Karma Sanders was seated on the Byron Town Council. Steven Richardson, Marty Roedel and Keara Poole were newly elected to the Frannire Town Council. The COVID—19 pandemic appears to have brought with it some unexpected silver linings. Visitation remained strong at the Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area, despite the several—month closure of the Lovell Visitor Center, as local people enjoyed “staycations” and residents of population centers drove to Wyoming to 'escape “COVID—19 crowds.” Through the end of August, tent camping was up 73 percent, growing from 348 site uses in 2019 to 603 one year later. RV camping was up from 1,843 sites in 2019 to 2,501 in 2020, a 35.7 percent increase. with “That goes along the national trend,” Chief of Interpretation Chris- ,ty Fleming Chronicle in told the Lovell October. Church A Sunday Worship Service 9 AM Sunday School 10:30 AM Wednesday Prayer Rev. Kurt McNabb 307—548-7390 56 E. Main St., Lovell www.10vellbiblechurchwy.net 6:30 PM Fleming also said that trail use was up as well as boat use of the lake. Aquatic In— vasive Species tests are an incomplete way of track- ing boat use. AIS tests giv— en in July jumped from 763 to 1,020 from 2019 to 2020. August saw an even more significant leap, from 554 to 1,035. The Kane Historic Trail was dedicated Sep— tember 25 at the town site east of Lovell near Big Horn Lake. Another unforeseen silver lining appears to be the local real estate market, which saw a notable increase in activity in 2020. From August of 2019 to August of 2020, 65 residential properties sold, according to statistics from the Northwest Wyoming Board of Realtors Multiple Listings Service. According to realtor Sarah Johnson, the increase in real estate interest began at the start of the COVID-19. pandemic. Johnson theorized that the attraction was due to north Big Horn County being a more rura, . spread out location and favorable mortgage rates, which plummeted after the economic troubles spurred by COVID-19. “I don’t think the timing is a coincidence,” Johnson told the Chronicle in August. P roj ect 5 continued unabated in north Big Horn County, with the Town of Cowley erecting a new, much larger water tower and enjoying the sight of two towers side by side for several months, while the Town of Lovell went forward with a project to greatly enhance Constitution Park. Lovell received word in September of a $300,000 grant award after application to the State of Wyoming for Land and Water. Conservation Fund money “for'gEh-jase I, which includes a "Splash pad and new playground. A second round of grant funding was applied for in December after local companies stepped forward to enhance the park for Phase II of the project, including an amphitheater, flow track and walking- path. major renovation project was also complet— ed this year at the North Big Horn Senior Center. Church SERVICES Sunda 1-3PM Pastor Gerald Cox 970-629-2085 at Assembly¥i God Church .1 310 Idaho Ave., Lovell “ EDUCATION CUTS continued from page one enrollment of the district’s online school, Connection Academy, climbing expo— nentially this year from 400 students to more than 1,000, the district will have more funding to cushion the blow. “With all indications, the cuts would not be as drastic for us,” Smith said. “Our (per-pupil funding) has drastically improved with our virtual students. But, it could be devastating for many districts across the state. We just don’t know yet.” Smith said the district "has also asked the state to increase the carry-over savings allowed for each school district. Currently school districts are allowed to save just 15 percent of state-allocated funds for the upcoming school year. Smith said increasing that amount would give dis— tricts more of a cushion. “I don’t want to overre— act ri ht now. We’re having lots 0 discussions with our admin team. It’s import— ant to think about things ahead of time,” Smith said. “We’re likely looking at bleaker times ahead as far as the funding piece goes, but we will all work togeth— er to address those needs. We want to protect jobs the very best we can. We want to provide the very best ed— ucation for our students as well. We want to maintain the programs that we have and not try to affect them so much. All of those things we will look at as we move forward.” Rocky Mountain Mid— dle/High School Principal Tim Winland, in an email, praised his staff’s efforts this year and said the pos- sible cuts are especially troublesome when consid— ering the lengths staff have gone to in order to make classroom learning and ex- tra-curricular activities possible this year. “We have a wonderful dedicated staff Who contin— ,. 116, to fight'th'e battle, every day. They’ juggle teaching their content, with sani— tizing, social distancing, wearing masks, teaching face to face and sometimes remotely all at the same time,” Winland said. “They are going above and be- yond their job descriptions. Especially the coaches who not only have to coach the sport but dis ense tickets and ensure a1 safety p'ro- tocols are in place. What a terrible year to be talking about budget cuts, after all the teachers are doing to make face to face instruc— tion possible in the midst of a pandemic.” St. Joseph’s Catholic Church 1141 Shoshone Ave. ' Lovell, WY Rosary Sunday 10:30AM v Sacrifice of the Mass Sunday 11 AM Daily Mass 8. Confession Check monthly calendar on www.3tJosephLovellcom Fr. Glen Szczechowski For weekl schedule call 54 -2282 TAKE ADVANTAGE or Low RATES! 414/ flay/‘1}: Lflf/GL ra/V/Zg/ Mortgage Loans 0 Bridge Loans New Construction Loans Competitive rates and fees 100% in-house financing available Local market knowledge Joseph Shumway Branch Manager NMLS #566147 Big Horn Federal 8EastMain Lovell,WY82431 307.548.2703 bighornfederalmm