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Lovell Chronicle
Lovell , Wyoming
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March 22, 2012     Lovell Chronicle
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March 22, 2012
 

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CHRONICLE 4 I The Lovell Chronicle I March 22, 2012 Sheriff outlines policy on coverage; family riding in vehicles To Gary and Cindy Thoreson- parents to Gus and Cole Thore- son-and owners of T&T Tack, Lovell, Wyoming: I put this pen to paper and start over, again and again, try- ing to find the words or appre- ciation and heart felt gratitude, from the pit of my stomach and the depths of my heart. And still words cannot give justice to the greatfulness I have for two young cowboys. Two young men raised with ctiaracter, manners and calloused hands, their hearts as true as their hands. Hands that build fence and hold a rope of strong horses. Hands that picked up two little girls and carried them across deep snow and safely to a warm pick-up. Helping me to keep Mi- chael warm, supplying blankets and literally the coats off of their backs. These boys were raised with decency and honesty, character and integrity. Their greatest gift was love. Every one of these quali- ties radiated one cold and windy night. I want to tell you the kind- ness and the genuine spirit these boys have, boys that are now men. There are people that come and go in our lives, some that are honest and some that are not, some we easily forget and some we never will. I want you to know I saw each of their spirit over and over again. Honesty and care, men of integrity and truth as it was simply told through their eyes. I write this letter to you because God gave these boys to you and they reflect values you instilled in them. Thank you for raising two great men. Love and thank yous, JoDawn, Jacqueline and Aspen Leonha dt Dear Editor: I would like to inform the pub- lic about a few of the issues raised in a letter to the editor in last week's paper. I worked for or with the Big Horn County Sheriff since 1978. Since 1978 most, if not all, of the five Big Horn County Sheriffs have allowed and actually encour- aged the officers to take family members in the patrol vehicles. While working for the Big Horn County Sheriffs Office from 1979 to 1990, when I did forest patrol it was common for me to take my family with me during this duty. There were many other events and situations where I took fam- ily members with me while in my patrol vehicle with the sheriff aware that this was being done. One of the other issues that seemed to bother the author of the letter was the Big Horn County van that's parked in Lovell at one of the employee's homes. This employee of Big Horn County has special train- ing in crime scene investigation and evidence handling. She has been at several crime scenes in- volving the Lovell Police Depart- ment and she has given valuable assistance in finding, collecting, documenting and storing of evi- dence for our department. From finger prints, gunshot residue and numerous other evidence is- sues she has done an outstand- ing job. The reason she has a Big Horn County van at her home is because when she is called upon to help at a scene in Lovell, Deaver or any other commu- nity, it wouldn't make sense to have to drive her personal ve- hicle to Basin, get the van and drive back to Lovell to the scene. Numerous times she is off duty and is called out to assist at the scene and she never complains about losing valuable family time. She is a valuable asset to all of Big Horn County and having the van available when needed saves a lot of wasted driving time when responding. Recently, we completed the process in having the dispatch centers in Basin and Lovell gain the capability to answer all calls and paging for each other. This means to the public that if one of our dispatch centers is either ex- tremely busy, has a power outage or has to be evacuated, service to the citizen goes uninterrupted. Sheriff Blackburn and his staff have been instrumental in getting this completed to the benefit to all the citizens of Big Horn County. The working relationship be- tween the Lovell Police Depart- ment and the Big Horn County Sheriffs Department has never been better. Sheriff Blackburn and his staff go far beyond what is expected to make sure this re- lationship stays intact. From as- sisting officers responding to calls, transporting prisoners and helping at crime scenes, Big Horn County Sheriff Blackburn and his staff can always be counted on when needed. I have had numer- ous calls where Sheriff Blackburn has responded to the scene and usually is the last one to leave. He gives leadership, professional- ism and compassion when dealing with stressful situations to both the citizens and other emergency responders: Anyone that is in a public po- sition knows that being a target for criticism is just part of the job and we all accept this fact. But what I wanted to let the citizens of Big Horn County know is that Sheriff Blackburn and his staff are dedicated law enforcement of- ricers that take pride in serving' the citizens of Big Horn County:' Sheriff Blackburn and his staff are doing an outstanding job for our county and have my full sup- port. Nick Lewis Lovell Chief of Police Dear Editor, I would like to address whoev- er shot our family dog and threw her in the canal. Sadie went missing Tuesday, March 13. We do not know how she got out of our yard nor how she came to be dumped ten miles from home. Thanks to some very nice people she was found just outside of Byron, in the canal, near the cemetery. On Thursday the 15 we brought her body home. I went to pick up four kids from school, and had to tell them this horrible news. We came home and buried her together. I will never be able to put into words how devastating this has been. Sadie was my baby, my con- stant companion. She pulled me through some of the hardest trials of my life. We played, cried and grew together. Our favorite thing to do was sit together under our favorite blanket. I would like for you to know that you have literally brought me to my knees in grief. I do not understand how or why someone would do something so cruel and heartless. You have succeeded in devastating a whole family, as well as ruining small ones' inno- cent outlook. So congratulations. I sure hope it was a good time for you. If anyone knows anything about this, please contact us. We would really like to know who did this and why-307-250-1487. The Tina Nicholson Family Dear Editor, This is in response to Barba- ra Anderson's letter in last week's newspaper. We are fortunate to have the employees who are currently work- ing in the Big Horn County Sher- iffs Department. Their career is a passion for them and they strive to make our community a better place. They keep their vehicles and equipment readily available 24 hours a day in order to respond quickly to emergency situations. The "driver of the van" often works out of the office in the An- nex in Lovell. She purchases sup- plies for the Department at busi- nesses in Lovell. She assists in more aspects of the Department than there is space here to list. She (as well as all law personnel) has missed many familyevents be- cause she has been called out, of- ten with little or no sleep, to take care of someone she does not know who has been a victim of a crime or an accident. You may see her vehicle at any time in any town in the county if her services are needed. It is ob- vious your "snooping" came from unreliable sources and you should be extremely embarrassed by your behavior. You only have to contact the Department with your ques- tions and concerns and they will be very open to you. The "driver of the van" is lucky to be alive after being hit head on by a drunk driver. Even though she was badly injured, she went to the aid of the drunk driver un- til emergency medical person- nel arrived. Contrary to your un- informed statement, she was the only person in the vehicle. Because you only "snooped" for selective in- formation, you did not care to find out that the 14-year-old van with over 200,000 miles was not re- placed at taxpayers' expense, but was repaired with little or no cost to taxpayers. The Sheriffs Department and its Search and Rescue squads do a lot of business with grocery and convenience stores on both ends of the county. When you see a marked vehicle there, they are supporting local businesses in- stead of taking our money out of the county. Again, you were igno- rant of the facts before making as- sumptions. Ironically, the first person you will call if you need help are the same ones you have been malign- ing. What makes them so great is that they will treat you with dig- nity and respect even if you have not earned it. Joan Nixon Lovell Postmaster: Send address changes to: The Lovell Chronicle, USPS 321-060 234 E. Main, Lovell, Wyoming 82431 (307) 548-2217 Published every Thursday Periodical postage paid at Lovell, Wyoming Editor and Publisher: David Peck www.lovellch ronicle.com 2011 MEMBER 2010 AWARD-WINNING NEWSPAPER SUBSCRIPTION RATES In Big Horn and Park Counties $28 In Wyoming $40 Outside Wyoming $45 Single copy 75 Dear Editor: As the sheriff of Big Horn County, it is my responsibility to listen to citizens' concerns. I wel- come the opinions of others, as it gives me perspective and input in making policy for our county. Too often people "snooping" do not get all the facts. The following facts may help this matter come to light. *Big Horn County has limit- ed resources, including the num- ber of patrol deputies for public safety. *When I became sheriff 24- hour coverage in the county and seeing deputies out and about were big issues. -By expanding our services to 24 hours, Big Horn County depu- ties have done a tremendous job reducing drunk driving, which has in turn reduced our state highway death average, making roadways safer for citizens. Since this pa- trol change, Big Horn County's solve rate on burglaries has risen to around 70 percent, one of the highest in the state. .Expanding to 24-hour cov- erage without increasing officers created a burden for visibility during daytime hours. Two dep- uties have also left the street to serve in the school. Actually, we have increased services with few- er personnel. Regardless of whether my deputies or I are on duty or not, we are always on duty! Having patrol vehicles allows immediate response, saving valuable time when minutes count. I won't list all the examples of how off-duty deputies have saved lives by be- ing with their equipment and arriving on the scene of a crisis prepared; however, it is a consid- erable list. Phone calls start at my house around 6 a.m. and continue into and during the night. People ap- proach me at the grocery store, restaurants, church, school activi- ties, and other public forums with cases, concerns and requests. This is exactly how approachable I expect my entire staff to be. If the public has this access to their law enforcement "off duty" then law enforcement should have the tools to do their job off duty. The price the county is paying for access and visible patrol is not wages but fuel; a very good trad- eoff for Big Horn County in spite of rising fuel costs. Dear Editor, Regarding the proposed sixth- cent addition to the sales tax in Big Horn County: In its March 8 edition the Chronicle ran the fol- lowing headline---"Greybull asks for support on sixth-cent sales tax." This might lead some to be- lieve that the Town of Greybull is asking everyone in the c6un- ty to pay for its swimming pool while non-residents of Greybull would receive nothing in return. This is simply not true. A sixth- cent tax will provide Big Horn's towns of less than 1,000 popula- tion with a rare opportunity---an outright grant of money for a ma- jor project(s). Unlike many State and Fed- eral aid programs this money would NOT be a loan. No five- figure "matching money" would be required. Further, grants to Big Horn's small towns, under a sixth-cent tax, would be made without regard to population. Without population being fig- ured in to the size of a grant ALL of the county's nine towns are on Letters to the editor The Lovell Chronicle welcomes let- ters from its readers and will make every effort to print them. Letters longer than 400 words may not be printed. Letters must be signed and include the address and telephone number of the writer, Unsigned letters will be discarded. Writ- ers are limited to two letters in any 30 What better use of our vehi- cles than to be seen in a school zone with a marked unit so other motorists in the area will check to see that they are driving safely. When I see a light bar or marked unit the first thing I do is unconsciously tap the brakes and check my speed, seat belts and signals. In that moment, I have been visibly reminded to re- check my driving and that stays with me for some time. Tell me as a reader and citizen you don't do the same thing. As for the matter of family in the vehicle, I encourage it with liability waivers. I feel that in a world of increasing animosity to- ward the profession of law en- forcement, it is good for youth to see us as human beings trying to help others, not as the black ski- masked door-breaking thugs so- ciety has begun to perceive, even though that approach is some- times mandatory. The only way to change where our country is headed is to begin at home with a thing called the golden rule. What better place to start than with our children. Be- ing sheriff or a deputy is a life- style, not an 8-5 job. Fuel is a small cost so the community has better access to my staff. I con- sider it money well spent. What's best for Big Horn County is not always what's popular for the na- tion or other government entities. I get it that government has got- ten too big; I'm trying to balance this. I am not afraid to paddle my canoe upstream alone if needed. Additionally, the deputy in question saves the library and the county a tremendous amount of time and money by transport: ing books, l cen. S platess d ocu: ments back and forth almost daily. While I welcome input, often the input I receive is from people who have an axe to grind because my staff and I did our jobs, as we are expected to. Regardless, I'm glad to set the record straight and I will continue to maintain open communication. The high road is not easy, how- ever, winners take action and los- ers blame others. I will continue to serve and work to balance an ever-darkening world with a posi- tive "Mayberry" attitude. Com- passion does not mean weakness and we stand ready to respond. Ken Blackburn Big Horn County Sheriff equal footing. Each of the six Big Horn towns with populations un- der 1,000 could, in theory, receive a grant of an equal, or larger, amount than Lovell, Greybull or Basin. In my view a sixth-cent tax, and the projects that could be funded by this tax, see Big Horn County as a single living and growing community, what bene- fits one town can have a positive effect on the county's other eight towns. Would those who oppose this tax prefer to see the opposite-- a Middle Ages environment in which Big Horn's nine towns are all walled-off fiefdoms who look upon each other with distrust? Such an attitude would be a dis- service to the well-established spirit of neighborliness the people of Big Horn County have demon- strated time and again. Attend the next council meeting in your town. Voice your support for the sixth-cent addi- tion to the sales tax. Jack Cordner, mayor Town of Frannie day period. All letters must conform to the law of libel and be in good taste. They may be mailed to The Lovell Chronicle, Box 787, Lovell, WY 82431, or delivered to our office at 234 E. Main St., Lovell. A strict 1:00 p.m. Tuesday deadline will be enforced.