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August 19, 2010     Lovell Chronicle
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August 19, 2010
 

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10 I The Lovell Chronicle I August 19, 2010 www. LovellChronicle.com Sen. Enzi visits M-I, TCT on county swing BY KARLA POMEROY AND NATHAN OSTER U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi and his wife Diana have been touring Wyoming business- es while Congress is out of session and on Monday the Enzis visited two Big Horn County businesses: M-I SWACO north of Greybull and TCT in Basin. TCT General Manager Chris Davidson said prior to Monday's afternoon tour that he was contacted by Enzi's office about the tour and would be talking to Enzi about some proposed federal regulations that could hurt the rural telephone compa- ny. He said he was also ex- cited about the opportunity to show Enzi and members of his staff - Press Secre- tary Elly Picket and Chief of Staff Flip McConnaughey, the operation at TCT, add- ing that "most people are surprised with the technol- ogy we have here." Davidson gave Enzi a brief description of the com- pany with 120 employees, about 50 in the Basin head- quarters. He said 70 percent of telephone subscribers also subscribe to broadband. He said the company offers 20 MB (once the new fiber optic cable and operation comes online) in Cody, down to 1 MB through fixed wireless in remote areas. One regulation proposal Davidson told Enzi he was concerned about is a propos- al to put a 4 MB ceiling on rural areas before telephone companies could qualify for the Universal Service Fund money. "This would effectively shut offour funding," David- son said, adding that while TCT wants people in rural Wyoming to have the same connectivity as urban areas, it's impractical in some ar- eas of Wyoming. Enzi said, "The biggest problem is getting people to understand how spread out we are." In outlining some of the community service projects, Davidson told Enzi about TCT being a strategic part- ner with Eleutian, who was using the TCT conference room Monday for a meet- ing. Eleutian President Kent Holiday said, "Without TCT we wouldn't be here. There would be 600 people not em- ployed at Eleutian. Without the broadband (TCT pro- vides) we couldn't do our business." Holiday said the com- pany is struggling to ex- pand in Casper because the broadband provider is not at the level that TCT has in the Big Horn Basin. "Businesses need infra- structure, knowledge base and capital. Other 'Eleu- tians' will come once they know the technology broad- band is here," Holiday said. He told Enzi that the key is to get other communities in Wyoming to duplicate TCs model. He said some of the candidates for super- intendent of public instruc- tion have discussed offering more services to schools on- line, but the problem is that some areas of the state could not offer those services with the technology available. "The state could learn a lot from the TCT model," he said. Davidson told Enzi that along with offering some of the strongest technolo- gy, providing phone, Inter- net and TV services, they also provide local channels to broadcast meetings, lo- cal ball games and school events. He also said, "Our em- ployees are home grown." Richard Wardell, network manager, is a former math teacher and Holiday noted that Davidson is a former John Deere salesman. "A lot of training is done in-house," Davidson said, but added that TCT takes advantage of the workforce KARLA POMOY Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo), left, visits with TCT WEST board chairman Cliff Alexander Monday at the TCT offices in Basin. Sen. Enzi was in town Monday to visit several Basin businesses. grants to provide additional training. Earlier in the day at M-I, the Enzis were given a tour of the bentonite pro- duction facility and received an encouraging report from Tim Fagley, the plant's gen- eral manager. Fagley said M-I is in the process of rebounding from what was a very difficult year in 2009. "We took a pretty good licking last year," he said, noting that the plant pro- duced just 400 tons, a sig- nificant drop from the pre- vious year, 2008, which was a record year for the plant. He said the plant expects to produce about 600 tons this year, and up around 650 tons next year. Fagley also noted that the plant's "lost time in- cident rate" dropped last year. One problem, he said, is the labor force. "We're hiring nonstop right now," he said, noting that about a dozen people were added while he was away on a brief vaca- tion. "We haven't been able to find as many people as we need." He said M-I is "expand- ing" and intends to roll out two additional shifts in the coming months. Before going on a tour of the plant, Fagley applauded the senator for the votes he has cast in support of the state's minerals industry during his term in the Sen- ate. 75 YEARS AGO AUGUST 15, 1935 The Level/Chronicle Lovell's new concrete tennis courts have been completed this week on the school grounds, and it is expected they will be ready for public use next week, supt. G.V. Cutler advised the Chronicle. The courts were completed as a dona- tion and school project, after be- ing started as an ERA project last spring. Not much was accomplished on the courts when the change in the federal set-up to the WPA left the school without any federal re- lief money to apply to their con- struction because of new rulings. A possibility that Lovell's guard armory may be finished with federal funds appeared last week when Col. R.L. Esmay went to Denver to confer with WPA of- ficials on a proposed $350,000 ar- mory construction program. AUGUST 16, 1935 The Cowley Progress Advertising copy on front page: Why America Prefers Budweis- er ,,, Companion of Good Health. Pure, wliolesome food and drink: are necessary to have and to keep a healthy body. Because it is pure, nourishing and rich in tonic quali- ties, BUDWEISER has long been the favorite beer of those who guard their health. It is brewed from the cream of each year's bar- ley crop and from selected Ameri- can and imported Bohemian hops. BUDWEISER is sealed in sterilized bottles and every bottle is pasteur- ized. It is strength-building as well as refreshing - a sensible and satis- fying drink at any time. ANHEUS- ER - BUSCH ST. LOUIS. Wher- ever you ask for it ... be sure you get the genuine Budweiser, The Health Drink. Cocoa-Cola Bottling Company, Distributors, Thermopo- and its approaches from Highway 310 at the east and west city limits, is now being completed by a Pacific Power and Light Company crew. 25 YEARS AGO AUGUST 16, 1985 Work on the Foster Gulch Golf Course is proceeding close to sched- ule despite continued difficulty in getting enough volunteer work- ers to the site southwest of Lovell lis, Wyoming. to help lay irrigation pipes. Fos- ........ *:' ....... ' ....... ' ter] Gulch Golf Club board mem- '::" 50 YEARS AGO :::/::: : ber Earl Diekson said most of the AUGUST 18, 1960 " work done thus far has come from (Photo of Main Street light): a small number of people who have A bright future is in store for the donated time and equipment in the streets of Lovell. Installation of effort to get the irrigation pipes for thirty-three 21,000-lumen mercury the proposed nine-hole course in vapor street lights on Main Street, the ground by winter. 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