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Lovell Chronicle
Lovell , Wyoming
May 10, 2012     Lovell Chronicle
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May 10, 2012

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..", ...) 0;--.). .... ) &apos;) ') -gP ,., l- id:il t. I(/I/,)/..! : P ::!i:,'[!  i".(i:., :t.'*(- 0 ;:, :!' .I 7 [4 C () f ,q S f ...... S}'li!! ! I ON I/,),,.:'= ' <,' { .... ,, -, . r ) ,,:, e, I : 7: (,l /i .f II'l"h,l,,I,l,l,,I,,h,l,,I,l,,I,l,ll,,,,ll,,,,lll,,,I,l,l,i LOVELL What's Inside ... Man free on reduced bail Wizard of Oz staged Cowley spring rodeo results State Art winners Page 2 Page 9 __ Page 10 __ Page 16 LOVELL, WYOMING VOLUME 106, NUMBER 48 THURSDAY, MAY 0, 2012 75 Towns move forward on sixth cent BY DAVID PECK The mayors and town officials have spoken when it comes to the sixth-cent sales tax proposal - well, almost. Meeting in Deaver Thursday night, mayors and/or town repre- sentatives of the nine Big Horn County municipalities met to dis- cuss projects to take to voters at the November General Election for the proposed sixth-cent sales tax initiative. When Thursday's meeting be- gan, chairman Bruce Morrison went around the room and asked each town if their projects dis- cussed at the May meeting had changed. Here is the current list as noted by each mayor or town clerk Thursday: Manderson - Water tank and water main replacement, $2.2 million. Greybull - Swimming pool operation and maintenance for 20 years, $2.4 million, with the school district also going to voters in the district for $5 million for design and construction of a new pool. It was explained Thursday that not all of the sales tax money can be used for O&M, so a portion must be used to help construct the pool, as well. Basin - 1) Remodel the cur- rently vacant town hall an- nex and refurbish the existing town hall for a community cen- ter ($200,000); 2) if and when the state builds a new high school in Basin, remodel the existing gym- nasium as a recreation center ($200,000); 3) fund operation and maintenance of the recreation center for 20 years ($800,000) - total $1.2 million. Burlington - Address town's potable water problems or pave roads in town, $2 million. Frannie - Rehabilitate the town irrigation water well ($1,216,250) and purchase a new town pickup truck with a snow- plow capacity ($46,405), for a to- tal of $1,262,655. Deaver - Replace in-town po- table water lines - mains and ser- vice lines -- $2 million. Cowley - Resurface streets and improve intersections with curb and gutter and aprons at the intersections, $2.3 million. Byron - Matching funds for a sewer line replacement project on the south side of Byron, park improvements, chip and crack sealing and recreation funding -- $1,250,000. "There are still some ques- tions to be answered within our council," Mayor Bret George said Thursday, noting that the town will hold a public hearing on the sixth-cent projects on May 24. He said some citizens would like to use sales tax money to re- furbish the old school pool, but there are questions about wheth- er tax money can be spent on a building that is now privately owned. Lovell - New building for the proposed Lovell-Kane Museum, See 'PROJECTS,' page 7 DAVID PECK 2011 Junior Prom Queen Maci Maytakes a crown from a crown bearer's head to present to senior first attendant Jodi Walker (left) during the LHS Junior-Senior Prom grand march Friday night at the Hyart Theatre. Rocky Mountain High School announces 2012 valedictorian and salutatorian BY PATTI CARPENTER Ethan Strom was named vale- dictorian for the graduating class of 2012 at Rocky Mountain High School. Strom is a straight A stu- dent and member of the National Honor Society. He participated in track and field and participated on the school's cross-country team for three years. He is also a member of the art club. Strom hopes to attend the ITT technical school in Utah, where he plans to study electronics and en- gineering. He will continue art as a hobby. Strom works at Walmart and plans to live in Powell, while he raises money to attend the college of his choice. He considers him- self a "goal-setter" and tries not to "stress out too much" about things. He moved to Cowley when he was 6 months old and attend- ed schools in the community. His advice to his underclassmen is to always have goals, take deep breaths often and not to stress out about the future. He plans to speak on this topic in his address to his graduating classmates. Ashley Bridges was named salutatorian of her graduating class. Bridges is also a top aca- demic achiever at the school. She is a member of the National Hon- or Society and has held the posi- tion of president of the organiza- tion for RMHS. She has also held the position of vice president of the student body for her class, is a Valedictorian Ethan Strom member of Future Business Lead- ers of America, and Future Farm- ers of America and is a member of the student council. Bridges participated in vol- leyball, track and field and was basketball manager. In her speech on graduation day, she plans to talk to her class- mates about what they have been through together as a class and about the future. She has been accepted to at- tend college at the University of Wyoming on a full scholarship, where she plans to major in gen- Salutatorian Ashley Bridges eral studies at first. She is in- terested in both the medical and teaching fields. Her advice to her underclass- men is to "work hard" and "don't settle for less." Both students spoke about the uncertainties faced by their generation and their hope for a brighter future upon college grad- uation. They will both touch on this subject in their speeches at the Rocky Mountain High School class of 2012 graduation ceremo- ny that will take place on Tues- day, May 22. Plan announced to keep rural post offices open The U.S. Postal Service an- nounced a new strategy on Wednes- day that could keep the nation's smallest post offices open for busi- ness, while providing a framework to achieve significant cost savings as part of the plan to return the or- ganization to financial stability. The plan would keep the ex- isting post office in place, but with modified retail window hours to match customer use. Access to the retail lobby and to P.O. boxes would remain unchanged, and the town's zip code and community identity would be retained. "Meeting the needs of post- al customers is, and will always be, a top priority. We continue to balance that by better align- ing service options with customer demand and reducing the cost to serve," said Postmaster Gener- al and CEO Patrick R. Donahoe. "With that said, we've listened to our customers in rural America and we've heard them loud and clear- they want to keep their post office open. We believe today's an- nouncement will serve our cus- tomers' needs and allow us to achieve real savings to help the Postal Service return to long-term financial stability." The new strategy would be implemented over a two-year, multi-phased approach and would not be completed until Septem- ber 2014. Once implementation is completed, the Postal Service esti- mates savings of a half billion dol- lars annually. "The Postal Service is commit- ted to serving America's commu- nities and providing a responsible and fair approach for our employ- ees and customers," said Megan Brennan, Postal Service Chief Op- erating Officer. "The post offices in rural America will remain open unless a community has a strong preference for one of the other options. We will not close any of these rural post offices without having provided a viable solution." The Postal Service will pro- vide an opportunity for the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) to review this plan prior to making any changes. The Postal Service intends to file a request for an ad- visory opinion on the plan with the PRC later this month. Community meetings would then be conducted to review options in greater detail. Communities will be notified by mail of the date, time and location of these meetings. This new option complements existing alternatives, which in- clude: providing mail delivery ser- vice to residents and businesses in the affected community by either rural carrier or highway contract route; contracting with a local business to create a village post office; and offering service from a nearby post office. A voluntary early retirement incentive for the nation's more than 21,000 non-executive post- masters was also announced. Survey research conducted by the Opinion Research Corpora- tion in February showed 54 per- cent of rural customers would pre- fer the new solution to maintain a local post office. Forty-six per- cent prefer one of the previously announced solutions (20% prefer Village post office, 15% prefer pro- viding services at a nearby Post Office, 11% prefer expanded rural delivery). This strategy would en- able a town to possibly have a post office with modified hours, as well as a Village Post Office. The Postal Service has im- plemented a voluntary moratori- um on all postal facility closings through May 15, 2012. (See relat- ed stories.) No closings or changes to post office operations will occur until after that time. Mayors vote to continue county consensus funding formula BY DAVID PECK Mayors and/or representa- tives of Big Horn County mu- nicipalities gathering in Deaver Thursday night voted to maintain the current funding formula for the county consensus block grant program, leaving towns with the same funding formula they have had in recent years and requiring special districts to negotiate with the county for a slice of the pie. A proposal had come before the Big Horn County commis- sioners last week for each town, plus the county, to give 10 per- cent of their funding to special districts, and that idea did come up Thursday, but the towns ul- timately voted to retain the cur- rent formula. Under the formula, each in- corporated town, plus the coun- ty, would receive a base award of $35,000 from Big Horn Coun- ty's allocation of $1,407,505 from the Wyoming Legislature, with the balance distributed on a cal- culated rate of $90.63 per person in each community. The $1.4 mil- lion from the Legislature is for the 2012-14 biennium. Under the current formula, the Town of Lovell would receive $248,893.71 over the biennium, Greybull $202,399.02, Basin $151,463.31, Cowley $94,364.57, Byron $88,745.33, Burlington $61,102.28, Deaver $51,132.66, Frannie $47,507.34, Manderson $45,332.15 and Big Horn County/ special districts $416,564.63. Thursday's meeting began with Kris Robertson of I-Iyatt- ville explaining to the gathered officials the plans Hyattville - an unincorporated town - has to continue to upgrade the old Hy- attville school, now a community center, which has been gradually renovated over the years using grant money, local fundraising and volunteer labor. Robertson said the commu- nity center has been through See 'CONSENSUS,' page 7