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Lovell Chronicle
Lovell , Wyoming
July 19, 2012     Lovell Chronicle
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July 19, 2012

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July 19, 2012 ] The Lovell Chronicle ] 11 Smoking in designated areas allowed on fairgrounds BY KARLA POMEROY While signs posted along the midway at the Big Horn County Fair last year declared no smoking on the fairgrounds, few peo- ple complied, according to Sheriff Ken Blackburn. He said while the coun- ty has a policy of no tobac- co on county property, the county does not have an enforceable ordinance. At Tuesday's commissioner meeting, he sought input on how to handle tobacco at this year's fair. Blackburn said he agrees that smoking should not be allowed in any of the build- ings or the livestock barns. He said he also believes it should not be allowed in the grandstands or other areas where a large number of peo- ple are gathered. He said a no tobacco policy affects a lot of smoke- less tobacco users, which one usually finds at fairs and rodeos. Chairman Jerry Ewen said, "I'm OK with a no smoking policy. It is a health hazard." However, he said he would agree to a suggestion of designated smoking areas. Blackburn said if this year they can direct smok- ers to designated areas, then he can work with the county attorney's office on working on an enforceable ordinance for the future. The commissioners ap- proved a motion to allow smoking on the fairgrounds in designated areas. The sheriff and the fair board would determine the areas. DAVID PECK Curtis Abraham gave rides in his Robinson 1{44 Raven II helicopter to the delight of many Saturday afternoon and evening, dazing riders with a swing along a field, up and over Eagle Rock, down the Shoshone River and back to the landing site near the Byron Town Park. DAVID PECK Fans of the Byron Days Fireworks annually clog the park long before the display as shown by this aerial photo taken from Curtis Abraham's helicopter Saturday evening. DAVID PECK Gerrone and Latisha Bauer of Salt Lake City were two of the passengers who enjoyed a ride in Curtis Abraham's Robinson helicopter Saturday evening. Luminaria to light way for Relay for Life There are many touch- ing moments during the American Cancer Society Big Horn County Relay for Life, but none is more mov- ing than the luminaria cer- emony held just after dusk. This year's Big Horn Coun- ty Relay for Life Luminaria Ceremony will take place on Aug. 10 at 10 p.m. at the Lovell High School track. Luminarias are pa- per lanterns consisting of a lighted candle set in sand inside of a paper bag. During the luminaria cer- emony, the bags are ar- ranged to form inspira- tional words. The bags are rearranged throughout the night to form different in- spirational words. Lumi- narias can be purchased in advance from team mem- bers and planning commit- tee volunteers. Traditionally, luminar- ia are purchased in memory of a loved one who has died of cancer or in honor of one still bravely fighting the disease. Once purchased, they can be inscribed with the individual's name and are often decorated as a tribute to their lives. On the evening of the Relay, vol- unteers place the luminar- ia around the inside lane of the track. At dusk they are lit, the stadium lights are dimmed and a power point presentation is shown that honors those people who have fought the fight. Pictures of loved ones can also be placed on the power point. Donations collected by the teams and from the sale of the luminaria are used by the American Cancer Soci- ety to continue its mission to eliminate cancer as a ma- jor health concern. To purchase a luminar- ia, or to learn more about the American Cancer Soci- ety Big Horn County Relay for Life, contact Lori Schef- tier at 272-1601 or e-mail scheitctwest.net. The committee will also be collecting cans of food at the Red Apple Supermar- ket and the Hyart Theater to use as weights in the bot- torn of the bags. After the event, the canned goods will be donated to the local food bank. Speakers and tours at Bighorn Canyon NRA The staff at the Bighorn Canyon National Recre- ation Area invites the pub- lic to join researchers and special speakers at the Cal S. Taggart Bighorn Canyon Visitor Center in Lovell ev- ery Thursday at 7 p.m. for the summer speaker series. This Thursday, July 19, Emily and Dani, Big Horn Canyon sheep research- ers, will share information about their research proj- ects. Big Horn Canyon was named for the bighorn sheep that use this area. Emily and Dani will be dis- cussing the history of the sheep in the canyon, the importance of understand- ing the foraging behavior and habits when managing the population, and the ef- fect of terrain characteris- tics and forage quantity on the way the sheep use the land. They will also talk about population estimat- ing and the marking meth- od they will be using to es- timate the current size of the sheep population in the canyon. On Friday and Satur- day evening, visitors are also invited to attend one of the following campground presentations: July 20 - "Hey Rang- er, why can't 'we feed the bears?," Horseshoe Bend Campground Loop B Am- phitheater, Ranger Jessica Korhut, 8 p.m. July 21 - "Eddy Hul- bert The Silversmith," Horseshoe Bend Camp- ground Loop B Amphithe- ater, Ranger Danielle Peck, 8 p.m. July 21 -"Bear Neces- sities," Black Canyon, 3 p.m., Afterbay Amphithe- ater, 8 p.m., Ranger Adri- enne Moore. On Sunday July 22, Ranger Christy Fleming will conduct a tour of the Caroline Lockhart Ranch. The tour will begin at 1 p.m. at the Lockhart gate opposite the outhouse on the main park road and will last approximately 1 hours. The walk into the ranch is a half-mile round trip. Fleming will share pieces of Lockhart's history and What brought her tO the Dryhead. Accommodations can be made for handicap access to the ranch. Rangers are also con- ducting programs on Mark Garrison's Hidden Treasure Charter boat tours most Friday and Saturday after- noons at 2 p.m. through Au- gust 11. Rangers cover a variet- ies of topics from Crow leg- ends to geology. For information about upcoming programs or to make arrangements for ac- cessibility for the Lockhart tour, call the visitor center at 548-5406. School District One trustees review, approve new budget BY BOB RODRIGUEZ Patrons of Big Horn County School District One demonstrated significant unspoken trust and confi- dence in district trustees and staff by not attend- ing public hearings during which two budgets invol.ving millions of dollars were ap- proved for the 2012-13 fiscal year that began July 1. The seven-member board met Thursday eve- ning, July 12, in the cen- tral office in Cowley. Also attending were Richard Parker, business manager; Genevieve Mann, adminis- trative assistant; Mick Es- quivel, technology direc- tor; Superintendent Shon Hocker and a reporter for the Chronicle. No members of the general public were present. Trustees voted 7-0 to adopt the new general fund budget of $13.9 million as presented by Parker, who stood before the board with voluminous files and pro- vided insight and explana- tions as to the extensive and complex budget figures. Tongue-in-cheek, Chairman Dave Monk said, 'rou're in the hot seat." Parker first spoke for 34 minutes dur- ing the budget hearing for the district's main financial categories. Later, he prof- fered the district's recre- ation district budget during a hearing that lasted nearly 30 minutes and which in- cluded discussion regarding an insurance dilemma in- volving recreational events. Trustee Koleen Sponsel conducted that hearing as chairman of the rec board. The $87,990 rec bud- get was adopted 7-0. Funds come from a one mill levy and are disbursed to the five rec organizations in the communities in the dis- trict based on the number of students from each who at- tend the district's schools. It was stated that $135.86 per student is to be provid- ed. Allocations of $86,000 by community: Burlington $31,000; Byron $16,000; Cowley $29,000; Deaver $6,000; and Frannie $4,000. The $87,990 represents a cash balance, Parker said, with the difference between it and the adopted figure available for operational ex- penses if needed. The rec budget hearing included nearly 15 minutes worth of deliberation after Hocker advised that the in- surance carrier for the rec district wants an indemni- ty clause revised to hold the district harmless. Hocker stated that, "We would be putting liability on those groups" that conduct activi- ties under the rec program. Of concern to the carrier, he indicated, is the district being held responsible for injury if the district is not specifically at fault. He out- lined an example in which perhaps a dance group par- ticipant would suffer inju- ry by trying to jump over a broom handle. In that case the district would not be at fault, but if a piece of badly installed carpet in a district facility caused a mishap, then it would be a different story. Another aspect to lia- bility insurance, it was not- ed, is that not all activities under the rec programs oc- cur at district facilities. Sub- sequent to discussion about the multifaceted issue, no action was taken except that Hocker was directed to explore the matter with the attorney for the district. The primary budget for the district will require taxes totaling $2.7 mil- lion. Parker explained that this year's local sources amount to $2,187,986 while the figure last year was $2,000,373. He added that this year's county sources will amount to $633,543 and that last year's figure was $475,383. As another part of the district's financ- es, Parker and Hocker ex- plained a proposal during the regular meeting about raising annual base pay for the district's Wyoming Con- nections Academy teachers from $40,000 to $41,000. The vote was 5-0 in favor with Trustees Ed Riding and Sponsel abstaining be- cause of a possible conflict of interest. At one point, Trustee Brett Crosby asked Parker how much of the general fund budget goes for sala- ries and benefits. The busi- ness manager estimated that the figure is 74 per- cent. The superintendent offered the view that most school districts use from 80 to 83 percent of their bud- get for personnel and ben- efits. "Eighty percent is the rule of thumb," said Parker. Hocker stated that there is a slight rise for the district because of salary increases. LUNCH PRICES LISTED Regarding school lunch- es, the business manager said that elementary stu- dents will pay $2.30 and that middle and high school students will pay $2.60, representing a rise of 5 cents from the past school year. Breakfast prices will remain unchanged at $1.65 for elementary pupils and $1.85 for middle and high school diners. The milk contract for the new fiscal year is with Powell Dairy Service and Parker noted that there will be a 1-cent decrease per half pint of 1 percent milk and choco- late milk. Quipped Hocker, 'rhen have you seen any other prices drop?" Trustee Paul Rasmussen questioned whether the breakfast pro- gram is cost-effective, due to sparse participation. Parker explained that most break- fasts are served to students eligible for reduced-price or free meals. That satisfied Rasmussen with Chairman Dave Monk noting that chil- dren need to eat. Regarding the fact that the district entered the 2012-13 year without an adopted budget, Parker ex- plained the situation after the meeting. "The date of the budget meeting until this year was required to be on the third Wednesday of July," he said, 'ut that requirement was changed this past legislative session to be no later than the third Wednesday of July. So we are always starting the new year without an approved budget." Addressing the general fund, Parker said that reve- nues will total $13,972,049. Expenses are listed as Instruction $8,281,322; Instructional Support $774,880; General Sup- port $4,634,329; Transfers $281,518; and Cash Appro- priation $2,674,510. Under Special Programs, revenues are projected at $1,387,397 with expenses exactly that figure. Major Maintenance revenues are to be $550,811 and expenses $332,699 with a cash appropriation of $917,018. The Food Service cat- egory shows revenues of $390950 with expenses the same, and a cash ap- propriation of $28,505. The district sees its home rent- al income, said Parker, as $113,510 and expenses of $175,256. The former dis- trict office in Cowley, which was a residence, has been remodeled. The general fund bud- get also includes capital rojects with revenues of 858,018 and expenses of $1,607,119. Hocker said that a new bus shelter, plus construction of buildings at the two athletic fields to provide restrooms, stor- age and concession stands, plus press boxes, are to be involved. He indicated that the cost per each project could amount to around $80,000 to $90,000 and that caused Crosby to express astonishment. "That's astronomical," he said. "Are they going to be made of platinum?" Hocker explained that overall expenses will in- clude cinder blocks, instal- lation of utilities, electrical work and labor and that construction costs are not cheap. , After devoting nearly 90 minutes to the budget hearings and regular meet- ing, the board and Hocker adjourned to an executive session to address various employment matters. Exec- utive sessions are conduct- ed behind closed doors with the public and press barred. Upon returning to open ses- sion after approximately 30 minutes, no announcement was made, but subsequent- ly in returning to open ses- sion the board OK'd hiring Christine Glodt and Michael Loveland as teachers for the Connections Academy.