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Lovell Chronicle
Lovell , Wyoming
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April 12, 2012     Lovell Chronicle
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April 12, 2012
 

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LOVELL What's Inside ... A surprise prom guest _ Page 2 Spring concerts begin _ Page 6 School calendar changes Page 12 FCCLA students bring home gold Page 13 LOVELL, WYOMING VOLUME 106, NUMBER 44 THURSDAY, APRIL 12, 2012 75q Citizens weigh in on 'hot topics' at public meeting BY DAVID PECK A meeting last week to gauge public opinion on various local projects drew a modest number of interested citizens who were not hesitant to state their opin- ion on the matters at hand. Between 40 and 50 citizens went to the Lovell Community Center to share their thoughts on a number of topics including the future of the Main Street me- dian strip, the sixth-cent sales tax proposal, the location of a Ve- rizon Wireless communications tower, proposed entryway en- hancements and what to do with the Mustang Days Rose Parade during Main Street construction. People were able to move from station to station Thurs- day during the open house style meeting. The hot topic Thursday ap- peared to be the median strip, and according to a simple tally of comment sheets passed out at the meeting, 22 of 26 people who expressed an opinion on the top- ic "voted" in favor of permanent- ly removing the median strip. Three others wrote that they wanted to keep the median strip, and one person suggested a mod- ified median. The median strip is to be removed during a future Main Street overlay project that will include the installation of new water and sewer mains, a proj- ect tentatively slated for 2014. Because the sewer main lies di- rectly under the current me- dian strip, the median is to be removed in the project, but the Wyoming Dept. of Transporta- tion is asking people for com- ments during the planning pro- cess under way and a decision from the Town of Lovell about whether WyDOT should plan for the median to be rebuilt as part of the project, which would be an additional cost. Most of those who favor per- manently removing the median strip said a median-free street would be far easier to keep clean during the winter. One citizen wrote, "The me- dian strip is a hazard in winter. The streets need to be cleaned See 'MEDIAN STRIP,' page 8 Keegan Weinand examines one of the chocolate eggs he collected at the Easter Egg hunt in hetd in Cowley. Kane Ferguson of Byron was thrilled to win the special football basket at the Easter egg hunt in Byron on Saturday. PATTI CARPENTER PHOTOS Daisey Weinand of Cowley attended her first Easter Egg hunt in Cowley on Saturday. Little Alynna Monterde of Lovell seemed baffled by the colorful objects she found in the snow at the Easter egg hunt in Byron. Dist. 2 works with State on remodel project BY PATTI CARPENTER The North Big Horn Coun- ty District No. 2 school board fo- cused its attention for two hours on a full agenda Tuesday night, which included items relating to the upcoming facility remodel, next year's school calendar, stu- dent testing and proposals re- garding the number of hours stu- dents should sit in the classroom. The meeting was overflowing with students lined up to receive special recognition for their recent accomplishments. Lovell High School Principal Scott O'Tremba and Student Body President Le- anne Winterholler accepted a cer- tificate on behalf of the staff and students of the school for having the highest graduation rate in the state of Wyoming. "This is a total team effort by the community, students, teach- ers and board members," said Big Horn County School District No. 2 Supt. Dan Coe. "Graduation is certainly that culminating event where everything we worked on as a school system comes to frui- tion." The Wyoming Football Foun- dation recognized Eli Moody and Mark Grant as scholar/athletes. Jacob Asay was selected to at- tend the American Legion Boys State conference. Shay Kite, Kas- sidy Hetland and Holly Wilker- son were selected to represent the school at the American Legion Girls State conference. Journ- ee Burton, Mesa Matthews and Tessa Watson were recognized for winning medals at the recent FCCLA State convention. Mariah Harford and Katie Hoover were acknowledged for receiving the High School Summer Institute award. District math contest win- ners JD Mickelson, Dylan Hult- gren, Alex Sawaya and Bran- don Wolvington were recognized. McKayan May was named stu- dent of the month. Maintenance Director Ron Massine demonstrated the com- puter technology he has been us- ing in his energy management duties for the past two years. Be- fore the technology was imple- mented, Massine had to physi- cally walk through each of the three schools every morning to See 'SCHOOL,' page 7 BLM wild horse gather expected this summer BY PATTI CARPENTER The Bureau of Land Manage- ment has released its final En- vironmental Assessment (EA) for a 2012 non-helicopter gather of wild horses within the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range. The report analyzes the effects of a non-helicopter gather to remove excess wild horses within the wild horse range. The BLM field office received about 1,000 individual comment letters and 63 unique comments on the preliminary EA, and considered those in making the final decision to remove the excess number of horses from the herd. Methods used to remove the horses will include bait trapping, water trapping, herding or a com- bination of these techniques. Only horses under 3 years old will be targeted for removal. Consider- ation will be given to genetic fac- tors that could impact the overall well being of the herd. None of the horses gathered will be intention- ally harmed or sold to slaughter. The gather is expected to begin sometime after June and will take place over a period of time in a va- riety of locations within the wild horse range. "Obviously, there are a lot of feelings that emerge about such an action. Gathers are always dif- ficult. This especially holds true here, in the Pryors, when we get to know individual horses as well as friends," wrote wild horse ad- vocate Matt Dillon on his blog the day the report was released. Dillon is the former director of the Pryor Mountain Wild Mus- tang Center in Lovell. The group monitors the humane treatment of the horses and maintains a me- ticulous record of their gene pool. Some evidence indicates that this particular herd maintains a fairly pure bloodline that dates back to the horses of early Spanish con- quistadors. Dillon and other wild horse aficionados support the preservation of this bloodline. According to a recent Bureau of Land Management census, 150 adult horses and 17 of their foals currently live on the Pryor Moun- tain Wild Horse Range. Based on previous research conducted by the BLM, this is at least 30 horses more than ideal number or AML (Appropriate Management Level) to support both a healthy range and a healthy herd, which ac- cording to BLM studies is 90-120 adult horses, excluding the foals. According to information released by the BLM up to 50 horses may be removed in the upcoming gath- er in an effort to maintain an opti- mal herd size. "I think it is important for management decisions to be based on science," said Dillon. "The cur- rent AML is based on a scientific method of determining the carry- ing capacity of the range, and so it is difficult to argue with it. Obvi- ously, we'd like to see more hors- es out there. I think we will see an increase in AML in the future that reflects all of the work being done on the range." According to information re- leased by the BLM, the proposed gather is necessary to achieve a thriving natural ecological bal- ance and maintain multiple use relationships, including a vari- ety of resources and uses, such as wildlife, wilderness values, rec- reation, cultural values, as well as wild horses on the range over the next several years. Vegetation See 'HORSE GATHER,' page 8 One of the wild horses from the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range grazing near the entrance to the range last winter. Wild horse advocates have named this young stallion Jesse James. He is the little brother of Kapitan, one of the stallions who was killed tragically on the highway last summer.