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Lovell , Wyoming
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May 27, 2010     Lovell Chronicle
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May 27, 2010
 

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6 I The Lovell Chronicle i May 27, 2010 www.LovellChronicle.com terans take honor flight BY BRAD DEVEREAUX About 60 years following the start of World War II, local veterans who fought in the United States Armed Forces were giv- en a chance to visit the memorial that was built in their honor. World War II veterans Bob Baird, Bob Doerr, Pete Harvey and Frank Wilker- son participated in the Honor Flight last week, a service that takes WWII veterans to Washington, D.C., free of charge, to view the newly completed WWII memorial. "It was kind of unbelievable," said Bob Baird, who was in training as an infantry- man just before the atomic bomb fell on Ja- pan to end the war. He later was deployed to Korea. "When I went into service, everywhere we went there were people with food to give and handing out stuff to soldiers," he said. "That has been a thing of the past, but it astounded me how many people were there (during the honor flight). There were so many people lining up in two lines to shake our hands as we got on and off the plane and made our way to the memorial." The group, along with more than 100 other Wyoming veterans and guardian Ter- ry Wilkerson boarded the plane in Chey- enne Tuesday, May 18, landing at Dulles Airport near Washington, D.C., for a social hour and dinner. Frank Wilkerson, who served in the Navy beginning at age 17, was asked to give an invocation to the room before the meal. Wilkerson said he must have done a good job because everyone was shaking his hand following the meal. The veterans were bussed with a police BAv DEvtrx Guardian Terry Wilkerson (left) poses with World War II veterans Frank Wilkerson, Bob Baird, Pete Harvey and Bob Doerr at the WWII Memorial in Washington, D.C. escort to the memorial the next morning. The normally 1.5-hour trip took them only about a half hour to make because of the police escort, Doerr said. The veterans met Senators Mike Enzi and John Barrasso and Rep. Cynthia Lum- mis before visiting other nearby memori- als built for conflicts in Korea and Viet- nam, as well as other landmarks at the capitol. "It was very well organized," Doerr said. "You couldn't turn around without someone trying to help you do something." With one guardian to every three vet- erans, there was plenty of help for any- one who wanted to go on the flight. There were veterans in wheelchairs and others who needed oxygen, and a team of medi- cal professionals accompanied the honor flight. The oldest veteran on the trip was 95, Wilkerson said. Harvey said he was reluctant to go on the Honor Flight at first until Doerr con- vinced him to sign up. Harvey said it was his first time on a commercial jet, which was also a fun experience. He said he was impressed with how helpful everyone was, noting that he only spent $1.20 on a pack of gum the entire trip. Each veteran said they would highly recommend the trip to any veterans who haven't taken advantage of it yet. "I just didn't think I'd ever get to see it," Wilkerson said about the memorial. "It's the greatest thing they're doing to take us out to see it." "Any veterans who want to go, they can go in just about any condition," Wilk- erson said. "It was a really great experi- ence, and a quick trip. Now that it's over, it seems kind of like a dream." "It was pretty nice," Harvey said. If any veteran gets a chance to go, I wouldn't turn it down." The World War II Memorial was opened to the public in 2004. It honors the 16 million who served in the U.S. armed forces, more than 400,000 who died, and everyone who supported the war from home. RocketsX BRAD DEWREAUX Cole Simmons grabs his rocket as it falls from the sky during the Rocky Mountain Elementary School rocket launch Friday morning. School construction Summer building projects under way BY BRAD DEVEREAUX As the 2009-10 school year draws to a close, lo- cal school districts are get- ting ready to begin summer projects to prepare for the next year of classes. The largest project in Big Horn County School District No. 1 is the comple- tion of the $22-million Rocky Mountain 6-12 facility in Cowley. Superintendent of Schools Shon Hocker said a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new building is sched- uled for July 23. Included in the project is a six-lane track, which is scheduled for completion before school begins, but could possibly go later, Hocker said. The School Facilities Commission will pay for the majority .of the project, Hocker said, but the district has to pay about $900,000 for an auxiliary gym that is outside the SFC's fund- ing model, as well as add- ed costs for bleachers and a few other enhancements. The Big Horn Academy is currently being converted into district offices in an on- going project that will con- tinue through the summer, Hocker said. The project cost is about $1.5 million, which will be paid for with SFC major maintenance funds. A significant remodel is beginning this week at the Burlington shop, Hocker said. The facility was being vacated earlier this week to make way for the approxi- mately $300,000 project be- ing paid for out of SFC ma- jor maintenance funds. A six-lane track at Bur- lington is ready to be built, Hocker said, and the dis- trict is waiting for funds to be released July 1 for con- struction to begin July 2. $250,000 in funding for the track was secured through state legislation that cre- ated the SFC's budget this year, and the district will have to pitch in about $100,000, Hocker said. Hocker said the new tracks would be a "huge benefit" to the track teams at Rocky Mountain and Burlington, which have done excellent despite hav- ing to travel to neighboring schools with tracks for prac- tice and using other make- shift methods. The district will also prepare Rocky Mountain Middle School for win- ter storage and is current- ly working to turn Rocky Mountain High School over to the Town of Byron. LOVELL SCHOOLS There are several con- struction projects going on this summer at Big Horn County School District No. 2 in addition to the routine projects like landscaping and maintenance, accord- ing to Superintendent of Schools Dan Coe. Lovell Middle School will get a new roof and a set of bleachers, Coe said, total- ing $420,000 in SFC major maintenance funds. Repairs will be made to the parking lot at the Lovell High School gymnasium for a cost of $367,000 in capital construction funding from the SFC, Coe said. Another $1.5 million in capital construction will be spent on a $1.5 million proj- ect at LHS to replace boil- ers, HVAC, windows and perform asbestos abate- ment in the boiler room. The summer project is con- sidered phase one of the LHS remodel, Coe said, with the other phases of the project expected to begin in the next four to six years. Other phases will include a commons area, kitchen, multi-purpose performance space and redesigned class- rooms. Coe said the board de- cided to move toward a re- model of LHS opposed to new construction because with a remodel, the district won't lose any square foot- age and the existing build- ing is in good shape, but needs some upgrade;: Coe said. A new high school would be built smaller to adhere to SFC guidelines. A remodel would also happen quicker, Coe said, estimat- ing new construction could take more than 10 years to begin. Summer school will be held at Lovell Elementary School because of the proj- ects at LMS and LHS, Coe said. A small project will be done to install concrete trenches at LES to make water from the new park- ing lot flow away from the building, Coe said. These Lovell banks will be closed Monday, May 31, 2010 ._ Federal / Gybul], PoweH, Thermopo[is, Cody, Worland, Lovell 00irst National Bank00Trust 548-2751 284 E. Hain Lovell !ii: Let us never forget the patriotism and courage of those who sacrificed everything for the sake of the country they so dearly loved. It is an honor to recognize the heroism and service of these great American heroes. They have forever earned a place in the heart of our grateful nation. 548-2213 t79 E. 3rd Lovell IC