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Lovell , Wyoming
October 21, 2010     Lovell Chronicle
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October 21, 2010

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6 I The Lovell Chronicle [ October 21, 2010 www. LovellChronicle.com Candlelight vigil reminds residents of the life-shattering effects of violence BY PHYLLIS BRONKEMA If you forgot about or didn't go to the CARES Candlelight Vigil on Tues- day night, Oct. 12, you re- ally missed out on an in- formative and moving evening. Many people in our area are under the im- pression that we don't have much violence here. That couldn't be further from the truth. As CARES Di- rector Leslie Hoffman told attendees, "There have been 170 cases of violence in Big Horn County in the past year." Our local community has been hugely affected by violence since the shoot- ing of Brenda Davila in 2007, and more recently by the death of former resi- dent Jennifer Thomas Mc- Dougall in Spring, Texas, in May of this year. Even though Jennifer's death occurred in Texas, she was raised in Lovell, and, as with Brenda, was very much a part of our lives. The occurrence of both incidents sent shockwaves throughout the community as it sunk in that violent crime had even reached our small town. Sheriff Ken Blackburn attended and spoke at the vigil. "I believe strongly that being with families and victims of a crime is the most important part of my job," Blackburn said, add- ing that small town law enforcement means that he and his officers know the victims and care about them. "It hurts us, too." He said his hope for the evening was that people would leave the vigil with a stronger resolve to serve and show compassion for their fellow man. Also speaking at the event was Martha Davila, mother of Brenda, as well as Jim Thomas, father of Jennifer. It obviously took tremendous courage for both of them to dredge up the painful memories of how their children had lost their lives through violent means and to then share them with the crowd. Small, dark-haired, Mrs. Davila, mother of eight children, spoke first. Fighting tears, Brenda's mother shared that she was only willing to speak because there are so many girls who have abusive boy- friends or husbands. She hoped that by teIling her story she could spare other young women from under- going similar tragedies. She haltingly and tear- fully recounted the events of Nov. 5, 2007. Especially moving was what she said happened after Brenda's husband had shot his wife, then himself in the head. "I ran after him and pulled on his shirt," Davi- la said. "I wanted to finish him off myself, but I didn't. His actions had ripped my heart out, but I real- ized that I had no right to judge him. I forgave him instead." Next to speak was Jim Thomas, emergency re- sponder in Lovell for many years. As with Mrs. Da- vila, it was painfully ob- BUD BRONKEMA Members of the community show their support with a prayer for friends and neighbors who have lost a loved one because of domestic violence. vious that it was hard for him to share his story. He said the hardest thing for him to deal with was that even though he is a pro- tective father, he didn't get to protect his own daughter. He recounted that because he didn't recognize the signs of abuse in his daughter's marriage, he and his wife are now raising Jennifer's three children. "We now have a 2-year- old boy who wakes us screaming at night, grab- bing his blanket, and run- ning down our hall looking for his mother," Thomas said. To save others from go- ing through a similar situ- ation, he said parents need to recognize the warning signs of abuse: 1. Does your husband call you names, insult you, put you down? 2. Is your husband over controlling? 3. Does he act jealous, possessive and accuse you of being unfaithful? 4. Does he force you to have sex against your will? If any of these signs of abuse are evident, it is pos- sible that abuse is happen- ing. Granted, it could be the other way around, with the wife being the abuser. The Thomases not only lost their daughter, but their unborn grand-daugh- ter, Gwen, due to be born a month from the incident. Thus the crime was actual- ly a double homicide. "CARES was there at a time when I was lost and didn't know what to do," Thomas said. "They paid for me to go to Texas. Once there the media was turn- ing everything into a cir- cus. I didn't want things to turn out that way in Lovell. When we brought Jennifer and baby Gwen home for their funeral, Sheriff Black- burn kept everything under control. I felt deeply grateful to live in a town like Lovell, where everyone cares and everyone helps." The end of the evening was poignant as well. Pas- tor Paula Morse of the Unit- ed Methodist Church asked all participants to come to the front and to place a hand on their neighbor. She then said a beautiful prayer for healing. It was powerful. Both Thomas and Davila are now raising the children of their daughters. Both are grateful they can do so in Lovell and for the help they received from CARES during their mutual night- mares. As with Breast Cancer Awareness, October is Do- mestic Violence Awareness Month. CARES would like the public to be aware that they are available to help during times of domestic violence. They offer coun- seling and support to vic- tims and their families. They will seek civil legal protection, if needed, and if a case is open, can help get people through the legal process. Call the CARES office at 548-2330 for help or for more information. CARES Director Les- lie Hoffman said the Oct 12 Candlelight Vigil will be available for viewing on TCT West and online at tctwest.net in the near fu- ture. CHEAP THRILLS from Pizza On The CONSIDERING A VASECTOMY? Why not have it done by the only board certified urologist located full time in the basin? De. GREGOIff STEWART UROLOGICAL SERVICES OF MORTHERN WYOMING PC Specializing in the "no needle/no scapel technique." 15 minute office procedure. Frequently done on Friday with the possibility of back to light-duty work on Monday. Vasectomy reverals also available at competitive pricing. Clinics: held in Powdl , Basin "Big Horn Clinic. Greybedl- lfidcay Cltn ' Thermopolis - Hot Springs Ca. Memorial Hospital. VA patients accepted with prior approval. 225 W. YELLOWSTONe Ave., SuiTe 9 Col)Y, To schedule an appointment please call 307-587-5131 ThePlan of A musical Sunday, 7:00 p.m. Lovell Wyoming LDS mormon.org Cancer Support Group Meeting 7 pm, Thursday, Oct. 21 Multi-purpose room Pamela Brunsell, R.N. will speak on Home Health / Hospice and the difference between the two programs under Medicare / Insurance. Cancer Patients, Caregivers, Family Members, Survivors, Everyone is welcome. NEW HORIZONS CARE CENTER 548-5200 * 1115 Lane 12 * Lovell, WY 82431 . , ' . / : lz::' U.r, ::  '. _ , ,  , ............. ....... 'i ",., : Thursday, October 21, 2010 7 pm Lovell Community Center Sponsored by the Lovell Area Chamber of Commerce i iiVOTE THE BALD LADY REPORT Last week's cause for baldness is a machine that is designed to mark the ballot for those with disabilities. The "Auto Mark" machine talks to you! The problem is that this machine must be programmed with instructions by the way the words sound; correct spelling is irrelevant. Phonetic spelling for a computer voice is pretty much trial and error so it is very time consuming. Annette Dillon and I held election judges training in Basirl and Lovell last Thursday and Friday for approximately 110 judges. I prepared the commissioners' correspondence and posted the agenda for the commissioners' meeting this week. We are working on insurance changes for over 100 employees. We prepared the county bills for the commissioners' approval for this week's meeting. Daily work continues, we made 172 vehicle titles, recorded $1,673.00 in the last few weeks. WHEW! Absentee ballot requests have come in continuously and up to date we have sent out 723 ballots (with two weeks yet to go). We are also creating the instruction and supply boxes for the polling places to comply with federal and state laws. I will be publicly testing and sealing the voting machines with judges present this week. I spent the weekend preparing sample ballots, an ad for the paper and one more speech for a candidate's forum. I am in my element, MULTI-TASKING! We are getting down to the wire; I have excitement...tension.., excitement! Big00nty Voting Districts are designated as follows: TOWN DISTRICT Basin 1-1 1 Burlington 2-1 2 Otto 3-1 3 Emblem 5-1 5 Hyattville 6-1 6 Manderson 8-1 8 Greybul111-1 11 Shell 16-1 16 Lovell 20-1 20 Cowley 22-1 22 Byron 23-1 23 Deaver 25-1 25 Frannie 26-1 26 Absentee 27 PRECINCT 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 WHERE YOU VOTE/POLLING PLACE Fair Grounds Fire Hall Burlington Fire Hall Irrigation District Office Community Center Town Hall Elks Lodge Community Hall National Guard Armory Log Gym Town Complex Community Hall School Building Election Room/Basin [