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Lovell Chronicle
Lovell , Wyoming
August 6, 2015     Lovell Chronicle
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August 6, 2015

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CHRONICLE - DAVID PECK Lovell Area Chamber of Commerce President Janet Koritnik presents a certificate of congratulations to Good 2 Go manager Carolyn Cox during the expanded store’s grand re-opening event on Wednesday, July 22. Miracle explained by former Cokeville sheriff BY PATTI CARPENTER Hyart Theatre mov- iegoers were afforded the rare opportunity to hear first hand from Ron Hart- ley, a deputy sheriff who responded to and partici- pated in the subsequent in- vestigation of the 1986 hos- tage situation featured in the movie “The Cokeville Miracle.” The incident made na- ti’Onal headlines when Da- vid and Doris Young, a deranged couple from Ari- zona, entered the Cokeville Elementary School build- ing in May of 1986, taking 136 students hostage, in- cluding four of Hartley’s own children. The couple threatened the children, their teachers and other staff with guns and a home- made bomb that eventual- ly went off, injuring many of the hostages but killing none. Many survivors say the fact that there were no fa- talities among those taken hostage was nothing short of a miracle and attribute that miracle to prayer and to angel-like apparitions that aided them during the explosion. Some later rec- ognized the apparitions as ancestors pictured in fami- ly albums. The two perpe- trators were the only peo- ple who died during the Cowley News “RON HARTLEY incident. Hartley, who is a close friend of Lovell residents Tom and Suzie Newman, made a special appearance after the Thursday and ly happened, because if it would have been made like a documentary showing every single fact, it would have put people to sleep in about five minutes.” He said a series of mir- acles happened during that fateful day. The first mir- ' acle was that none of four officers who lived in the town were actually in the town when the incident happened. He Said he was visiting a friend in south- ern Utah when the inci- dent first began to unfold and, in retrospect, feels his police training would actu- ally have been a detriment in this particular situation. He said the fact that law enforcement was slow to respond probably prevent- ed the couple from setting off the bomb sooner, which may have cost lives. He said when he Friday night showings of first returned to town he the movie, giving his own gripping firsthand account of the incident and how it changed him spiritually. He said Friday that the movie was fairly true to the facts, but the film’s direc- tor TC Christensen toned down the violence in order to keep its PG rating. “What you saw tonight is actual facts,” said Hart- ley. “It is portrayed differ- ent than the way it actual- saw the ambulances and thought it must be some kind of emergency training drill. In what he referred to as yet another miracle, the first person he ran into when he entered the town was the emergency man- agement coordinator for the area. He said the EMC just happened to be in town on other business when the incident occurred. He said the fact that she was there and able to coordinate the emergency response imme- diately really helped get immediate medical ser- vices to those who were in- jured in the blast. Since Hartley was as— signed to investigate the incident, he was able to speak in great detail about facts he learned during his investigation. One fact he learned was that many of the survivors reported see- ing angel-like apparitions that they said protected them during the incident and guided them to safety. Hartley, who was not much of a spiritual man at. the time, was skeptical at first but became a believer after hearing so many eye- witness accounts, includ- ing accounts by his own children. He said learning about these facts in connec— tion with the incident af- fected him deeply on a spir— itual level and changed his life forever. In a touching moment, a young boy from the au- dience asked Hartley if he was really afraid to pray as portrayed in the mov- ie. He brought the young boy forward, hugged him and assured him that, though he was afraid to pray at that time, he is not afraid anymore and does so frequently. Cowley’s newest citizen is welcomed with open arms BY DRUE TEBBS-MEEK 307-548- 6901 Cowley has a new citi-, zen. Nicholas and Brittani . Sponsel have a new baby boy named Nathan Jon Sponsel. Nathan was born Wednesday, July 29, and weighed in at 7 pounds, 7 ounces. His grandparents are Jon and Cheryl Hunsak- er, of Oregon, and Nick and Koleen Sponsel, of Cowley. This is the young couple’s first child and he has been welcomed to the world by all his family and cousins and community members. I learned something new about Nick Sponsel last evening when I talk- ed to Koleen about her new grandson. Nick’s given name is Nathan. Since I’ve known him since he was a young boy, it was a surprise to discover that his given name is Nathan. Koleen said when he was young- er, his aunt didn’t like his name so she began call— ing him Nick and soon ev- eryone called him by that name. Interesting what you learn even at an older age. Congratulations to the Sponsel and Hunsaker families. Koleen also men- tioned that they now have seven grandchildren and they are fortunate to have their three kids and grand- kids living in Cowley. We all should be lucky. Wel- come to the world, young and beautiful baby boy. For a few days in the end of July it was cool, so I assumed that fall was on the way. But the. days have been hot, the Wind blew last week and it was so strong I began to worry that my old trees were going to land on my roof. The Big Horn Mountains had a micro- burst and the campers were thrown around like they were sticks. Luckily, no one was hurt, only the emp- ty campers. The tempera- tures have been in the 90s and I’m wondering if that’s why this month is some- times called “The Dog Days of August.” I’ll have to look that up. It’s a good thing most of us have air conditioning. This makes me remember the days before air condi- tioning; when we grew up we didn’t even know that word. I remember in the summer all five of us kids would sleep outside on the porch, where the dogs slept, on the couch and in sleep- ing bags. We didn’t care be- cause it was so hot in the upstairs rooms where we normally slept. My home is very old, built in the 1900s, and it is really cool in the daytime, but begins to heat up at four or five in the afternoon. As children, we went to the canal and swam to cool off. We had open ditches then where we waded and played, but at night it was smothering heat. I don’t re- member if we had fans back then. But, when you’re a kid you just don’t think about it and we enjoyed the days of childhood. ("U‘U‘ Luke Leonhardt, son of Charlie Leonhardt and Sandy Harrison, is now liv- ing in the late DeVere and Madge Marchant Hinck- ley home. He is engaged to Sarah Oard of Dubois. Her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Dar- ren Oard, hosted a fami- ly engagement celebration for the two in Dubois at the KOA campground. There were more than 20 Leon- hardt family members in attendance and around 13 of the Card relatives at- tended the weekend party. They got to know one another and went hiking, four- wheeling and motor- cycling among other ac- tivities. The group played hard and had a great time together. Luke’s grand- mother Bobi Jo Leonhardt enjoyed herself, as did the parents of the couple, sib- lings and cousins. Sar- ah was so thrilled because her sister, Bobbi, and her grandmother Roberta of Sa- lem, Ore., traveled to Du- bois to be with the family. I enjoyed caring for Bobi Jo’s dog Ginger for the week- end, even though my cats were walking through the house and yard growling and sulking. What a grand weekend for all involved. August 6, 2015 The Lovell Chronicle 15 Grant returns from mission Mark Grant, son of Mar- ianne and Michael Grant of Lovell, recently returned from serving a two-year mis- sion for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He got back from complet- ing his mission to Washing- ton state on Jan. 19, 2015. Mark, now 21 years old, started out his service in the downtown Seattle area, and then he was transferred to the new Washington-Fed- eral Way Mission when his area expanded and split, only three months after he’d started. A few highlights from his mission, said Grant, were visiting Washing- ton’s Mt. Rainier; he also really enjoyed the diversi- ty of living and serving in a very multi-cultural area, and was able to experience a handful of different Asian cultures while he was there. He also said that he got MARK GRANT used to “lots of rain,” but that it was “usually more like a misting type of rain” that wasn’t too bad. Currently he is attend- ing the University of Wy- oming as a full-time engi- neering student. Grant was recently at home over spring break and mentioned that his future plans include con- tinuing to “study a lot and graduating.” Simmons becomes Eagle Scout and leaves for mission Cannon Simmons, 18, son of Rachel and Mi- chael Simmons of Cowley, leaves for his mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints this week. He has been called to serve for two years in the Texas San Antonio Mission. Simmons said he feels more excited than nervous, and mentioned that he’s look- ing forward to serving every day and having the time to dedicate to it. “This is that first step from high school and living at home, where you go out and start doing things for yourself,” said Simmons. Proud mom Rachel Simmons said she is look- ing forWard to his letters and to hearing about his experiences. “I’ve seen his testimony grow so much,” she said. She also said she is grateful for the preparation that Cannon has put into the calling. His experiences will be hot, someone told him, as the area he’ll be living in gets about three months of loo-degree weather. He found out that they also cook a lot of barbecue, so he’s looking forward to the food, as well. He will spend a very short 12 days in the Missionary Training Center before diving right in to his area of service. No stranger to hard work, Cannon had a Court of Honor in June for his Ea- gle Scout Award, which he actually earned when he Byron News CANNN SIMMONS was 16. According to Rachel, he was glad to have earned the award, but wasn’t wor- ried about the ceremoni- al side of things. One of his scout leaders encouraged him to have the Court of Honor so that some of the boys who look up to Cannon could participate and also be inspired to get their own Eagle Scout Award by his example. Cannon said the hard- est badge for him to earn was the Environmental Sci- ence badge, and that his favorite was Aviation. He follows in the footsteps of fa- ther, Michael, who is also an Eagle Scout. “While some people say that it’s the moms who get the kids their Eagles, I real- ly feel like Cannon did it on his own,” said Rachel about the process. Cannon was quick to point out that his family was always there for him with lots of support whenev- er he needed it. Movie night in Byron BY PAMELA COZZENS HOPKINSON 307-272-8979 pamhopkinson@gmail.com The upcoming week promises to be a busy one. The first annual Princess Bride festival will be held at an outdoor showing of the classic movie on Monday, Aug. 10. The family mov— ie night is free and will be held on the football field at 9:20 pm. Come dressed as a princess or pirate and re- ceive free popcorn. Glow swords and wands will be sold along with con- cessions. If we have weath- er issues, the movie will be moved to the indoor audi- torium. Come join us and watch the Princess Butter- cup and her true love Wes- ley conquer the Fire Swamp. Come witness “The Great- est Swordfight in Modern times” and many more trials and finally discover “True Wuv.” On Thursday, Aug. 13, the Town of Byron Recre- ation Dept. is hosting an open house at the recreation and event center. Barbecue will be served and there will be drawings for a free year- ly membership, blender bot- tles and T-shirts. Come see the newly designed weight room and sign up for spe- cial offers on memberships, which include free classes. The open house will be fol- lowed by the public meeting. On Thursday the town council will hold a pub- lic meeting regarding the Highway/Main Street proj- ect. This is the first meet- ing for community members to give input regarding the Main Street look. The project is scheduled for 2019. That seems far in the future, but there are many layers to this endeav- or, including decisions about water and sewer. There will be discussion of the median strip, sidewalks, beautifica- tion, planting trees, flowers, parking, street lights and more. The council has ap- pointed an ad-hoc commit- tee headed by Sherry Rag- ath to help see the project through from beginning to end. This meeting will be your chance to give voice to ideas you may have or ask questions about the project. It will be held in the Recre- ation Center auditorium at 7 pm. Come and be a part of the future look of Byron. a