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Lovell Chronicle
Lovell , Wyoming
October 18, 2012     Lovell Chronicle
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October 18, 2012

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I,I What's Inside Lots of abduction tips 5 Trail dedication Saturday 6 RMHS homecoming photos 8 Regional volleyball bracket 11 LOVELL, WYOMING - VOLUME 107, NUMBER 19 THURSDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2012 - 75 PATTI CARPENTER A group of cheerleaders leads the crowd at a pep rally and bonfire on Thursday night as part of the homecoming festivities held at Rocky Mountain High School last week. BY DAVID PECK Plans are set for the first Fall Festival to be held in conjunction with the annual Lovell Holiday Bazaar this Friday and Saturday, Oct. 19-20. The festival is a spinoff from and an addition to the Lovell Pumpkin Festival and is being tied in with the Bazaar at the Lovell Community Center, said Lovell Inc. Director Sue Taylor, one of several organizers of the event. The Bazaar will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Taylor said, and the Lovell Farmers' Market will be moved out to the commu- nity center for its final session this fall, starting at 4 p.m. Friday. The Bazaar will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, and the Fall Festival will continue from 1 to 4 p.m. with kids games at the National Park Service Visi- tor Center. Code Red Tactical will sponsor an obstacle course and a kid-friendly turkey shoot, Taylor said. Other games are planned, as well, and Ranger Shawn Wil- liams will demonstrate throwing an atlatl. People attending the kids games are encouraged to take in the Lovell-Kane Museum display at the visitor center, Taylor noted. At 4 p.m. the Fall Festival will move back to the community center, Taylor said, where a bake- off will be held in three catego- ries: pumpkin, apple and choco- late. Sponsored by Cowboys and Cook Catering, entry forms are available at the Hen Hoase, the Lovell Area Chamber of Com- merce and the Byron Bar. Entries may be dropped off at the community center from 4 to 5 p.m and judging will be held See 'FALL FESTIVAL THIS WEEKEND,' page 7 BY KARLA POMEROY Fifth Judicial Circuit Court Judge Thomas Harrington noti- fied the Big Horn County com- missioners at Tuesday's regular meeting that the Wyoming Su- preme Court will be closing the Lovell Circuit Court office on July 1, 2013, as a cost-saving measure. Judge Harrington said the Supreme Court completed a clerk study in April. "Based on those numbers we are losing a clerk po- sition," he said. There are three positions currently, and staff would be re- duced to two -- the clerk and an assistant. He said the two cur- rent assistant clerks have agreed to work half time each, splitting one of the full-time positions. The Supreme Court is looking at closing three satellite offices in the state, Lovell, Powell and Du- bois. They estimate the savings from closing the three offices over a five-year period will be nearly $300,000, according to their bud- get report for 2013-2014, Har- rington said. According to the report, they estimate a savings annually from the Lovell office of $21,387.27, which includes reducing staff to half time. Harrington said the problem is that they are already eliminating the clerk position. Other savings are in mileage and office expense 7 According t6 their study there were 1,284 filings in Lovell in 2011, 841 for traffic and 263 civil/small claims cases. The estimated savings for Powell is $4,224.17 and Dubois is $13,863.50. The report states additional savings comes from eliminating equipment and technology needs. "I can't tell you how much I oppose this move. I think it's the wrong direction to go," Har- rington said. He added that he wrote a memo last spring but no one noticed. He said he didn't know if the county could cover the costs to keep the office open. Chairman Jerry Ewen said, "Our approach is going to have to be political rather than financial. We don't have the funds to pick up the tab." Commissioner Thomas "Scot- ty" Hinman added that the coun- ty could get local legislators involved. Harrington said he has heard a Park County legislator is work- ing on introducing legislation to try and prevent the closings. He said that the issue is administrative. "I don't think they're going to change anything unless someone picks up the tab," adding that the Legislature has asked each department to cut budgets next year by 8 percent. Ewen asked Harrington how he thought the change would im- pact circuit court. "Everything will be filed in Basin. We're worried about where we're going to put the files," he said. "This is an admin- istrative action that doesn't have to go through the Legislature un- less the Legislature takes action and says we're not closing any COUrtS." His biggest concern, however, is "access to justice for residents of Big Horn County." He said if a business in Lovell has a $200 See 'CIRCUIT COURT OFFICE TO CLOSE,' page 7 BY DAVID PECK Organized quickly in thewake of last week's abduction of an 11-year-old Cody girl, a "Be Smart, Be Safe" child safety meeting at the Lovell Community Center Monday evening drew a large crowd of par- ents and children. Organized by the Lovell Police Dept. and the North Big Horn Hospital District, the session conducted by Chief of Police Nick Lewis included many practical tips for both parents and kids. Lewis said he compiled all of the best practices he could research in his Power- Point presentation, hammering home over and over again that children should be wary of adults they don't know. He also em- phasized how important it is for families to remain vigilant long after the heightened alert caused by the Cody case subsides. Lewis said he would like to develop a refrigerator magnet that would help fami- lies keep in mind the most important safe- ty tips to keep in mind. THE PRESENTATION Lewis begin Monday's session with some statistics, noting that a child be- comes missing or is abducted every 40 sec- onds in the USA. He said there are three primary types of kidnapping: a family member abduction, 49 percent; an acquain- tance abduction, 27 percent; and a strang- er abduction, 24 percent. In 80 percent of abductions by strangers, the first contact between the child and the abductor occurs within a quarter mile of the child's home. Most abductors grab their victims on the street or try to lure them into their ve- hicle. Acting quickly is critical for a suc- cessful outcome. Lewis pointed out that a stranger is anyone that a family doesn't know well, and while it is common for kids to think that '%ad strangers" look scary, they usu- ally don't, and in fact, it is dangerous for children to think that way. "Good looking strangers can be just as dangerous as the not-so-pretty ones," the chief said. "When you talk with chil- dren about strangers, explain that no one can tell if a stranger is nice or not nice just by looking at them and (explain) that they should be careful around ALL strangers." Lewis said it is important to empower DAVID PECK Lovell Chief of Police Nick Lewis discusses child safety tips with parents and children during a meeting Monday evening at the Lovell Community Center. Lewis said his PowerPoint presentation is available to anyone who would like it. children to say "no" to an adult stranger. "If you want your children to stand up for themselves, don't get in the habit of speaking for them," he said. "Doing so can rob a child from developing the very skills he or she needs to look and sound deter- mined. Instead, find opportunities for your children to practice using strong body lan- guage and a firm voice so they can learn to defend themselves." Give children permission to say "no," Lewis continued, noting that kids under the age of 9 rarely say "no" to a sexual of- fender because they are told to obey adults. "So give your child permission to say or yell 'No!' If someone tried to touch them in places a bathing suit covers, makes them feel at all afraid or uncomfortable, (tell them to) say 'No!'," Lewis said. "(Tell them) you will not be in trouble. If someone tells you to do something you know is not right like get in a car, say 'No!" Teach kids to trust their "fear factor" and pay attention to their gut instincts, he added. CODE WORD Lewis suggested that families devel- op a secret family code word, a word like "Geronimo" that is easy to remember, and give that code word only to family mem- bers or trusted individuals who are respon- sible for children when parents are absent. Parents should stress that children never leave with anyone who can't say the code word. Also, parents should create a texted code like 1-1-1 or 1-2-3 to be used by a child to contact a parent if he or she is in danger. Lewis said in many cases when a child is found wandering and apparently lost, an officer will ask the child's name and he won't know his last name, phone number, address and other basic information. Teach 9-1-1 to children and make sure theyknow their last name, telephone number and address. On the other hand, he said, a child should never give that kind of personal in- formation to a stranger. See 'KEEPING KIDS SAFE,' page 7