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November 22, 2012     Lovell Chronicle
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November 22, 2012
 

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LOVELL i I t ' Ir'Jl!it",:!, rii,j,!l I What's Inside ... Domestic violence report __ 5 Byron school clarification __ 6 Fall awards at LHS 11 New LPD officer 16 LOVELL, WYOMING VOLUME 107, NUMBER 24 THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2012 75q Ethan Hendershot, 2, looks a tad skeptical as he visits with Santa Claus during the Lovell Holiday Mingle at the fire hall on Saturday. Mrs. Santa Claus, Judy Quarles, greets visitors at her usual post in the Hen House Saturday evening as one of the living windows for the Holiday Mingle in downtown Lovell. State lawmakers deal with health care law and other issues BY PATTI CARPENTER Now that the presidential election is de- cided and the Affordable Health Care Act appears to be here to stay, state lawmakers like Rep. Elaine Harvey of Lovell continue to analyze how the law will impact the state's health care system. Harvey is co-chairman of the Joint Wyoming Labor, Health and So- cial Services Committee, which held a meet- ing in Casper on Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 12-13, to look at major issues affecting the state regarding health care in the state and the numerous decisions that will need to be made in order to comply with the require- ments of the new law. The committee also reviewed a number of options that could help reduce the state's social services budget by 8 percent as re- quested by Gov. Matt Mead earlier this year. HEALTH CARE EXCHANGES The deadline for states to make the de- cision of whether or not to accept the feder- al government's health insurance exchange or develop their own exchange was extended from November to Dec. 14. According to Harvey, the last word from Mead was that he recommends that the state does not comply. Harvey's committee researched the im- plications of the state forming its own ex- change and found the cost to be prohibitive because of the relatively low population in Wyoming.. The committee found that the small number of individuals in the "risk pool" made the rates cost prohibitive. One option under consideration is to partner with like- minded states to create a larger risk pool that would theoretically lower costs for those purchasing insurance products through the exchange. "Some states are working really hard to look deeper into partnerships and we are continuing to look into partnerships with other states to form an exchange," said Har- vey. "We put some feelers out and we're hop- ing that we will find some partners who want to do it our way." In the meantime, the state may be forced to join the federally run exchange, at least temporarily. " Here's the problem we run into with the federally run exchange," explained Har- vey. 'The first thing is that we lose control of our benefits package because the federal ex- change has a higher expectation of what that package should include. We think that bene- fits need to balance out with affordability. So maybe you would want a Cadillac package but would be happy with a Ford if that is all you can afford." Harvey pointed out that the state would also lose the ability to have agents and bro- kers if the federal exchange is implemented. 'This is very big because it will put a lot of people out of business," said Harvey. The federal exchange will use "naviga- tors" instead of brokers. Harvey said this will put pressure on the present enrollment system for Medicaid because it will take peo- ple who may be eligible for Medicaid but are seeking to buy medical insurance, who feel they want to pay for their own insurance and puts them on Medicaid automatically. SEE 'WYOMING HEALTH CARE,' page 7 Cordner to step down as mayor of Frannie BY DAVID PECK A second town in north Big Horn Coun- ty will soon be seeking a new mayor. The very week that Byron Mayor Bret George announced his resignation, Frannie Mayor Jack Cordner announced that he will resign as of 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 27. "The outcome of the past election sug- gests a call for a change in the supervi- sion of the day-to-day affairs of the Town," Cordner wrote in a memo to Town Clerk Brook Loyning on Monday, Nov. 12. "In my view, that all can best be an- swered by the selection of a mayor from among the newly-elected council members. While I am resigning as mayor, I have not resigned my willingness to speak out for, and represent, the interests of the people of Jack Cordner Frannie and the rest of Big Horn County. "In the meantime, I am truly grateful for having had the opportunity to be of ser- vice to this proud town." In a follow-up interview Monday, Nov. 19, Cordner said he wants to avoid future contention "with one individual people elected to the council that, to my under- standing, has at least one strong support- er on the council," adding, "It has been my experience that, even in situations where you have a majority, if you have two peo- ple who want to oppose you, being produc- tive can become a very difficult task at that point. "I have mentioned to people in town that in 2006 I retired from a very stress- ful job and while I fully welcome any op- portunity to be of service, if it gets into a situation of significant stress, I really pre- fer that someone else handle the position. I would have two very strong opponents on the council." Cordner said he was referring specifi- cally to Terry Moore, who was nominted in the August Primary Election with write-in votes, and then was elected to a four-year seat on the council Nov. 6 with 40 votes. Also elected to a four-year seat was Vance Peregoy. Elected to two-year seats were Nadine Kreutzer and Delbert Johnson. Cordner displayed a letter to the editor printed on Aug. 18, 2011, in which Moore defended his actions as a former town em- ployee, blasting the town and saying that Cordner "has no backbone and no common sense." "I still stand ready to be of service to the town and to the county," Cordner said. "I don't believe this will be the last time you will see my name on a ballot, but I don't foresee running for an elective office in the Town of Frannie. SEE 'FRANNIE MAYOR RESIGNS,' page 7 Hyart board launches digital conversion project BY DAVID PECK The Grand Old Lady of Lovell is sorely in need of a makeover, not the super- ficial kind, but rather the technological kind. The Hyart Redevel- opment Corp. this week launched a fundraising ef- fort that must be successful if the venerable Hyart The- atre is to survive as a work- ing movie theater showing current films. Speaking at Mon- day's Lovell Area Cham- ber of Commerce General Membership Meeting, Hy- art board president Mike Steenbakkers explained that the world of motion pictures is rapidly pro- ceeding to the point where the industry will no longer distribute movies on film. Rather, films will be dis- tributed in a digital format, and in order to show mov- ies in the future, the Hyart must receive a new digital projection system. The Hyart digital con- version, which will also in- clude a new sound system, is expected to cost in the neighborhood of $130,000 to $135,000 - and the mon- ey must be raised by this coming spring. Steenbakkers said the Hyart board is looking at a funding model where one third of the cost will come from current Hyart funds, one third from the com- munity and one third via a bank loan - about $45,000 each. The Hyart has been a great success since it re- opened in November of 2004, Steenbakkers said, thanks to the volunteer efforts of many people. Through careful manage- ment, the board has in re- cent years been able to pay a manager and a projec- tionist and recently is pay- ing weekend managers to oversee operations on the ground for each showing. Over the years due to careful spending and with the decision a year ago to raise ticket prices by one dollar (from $4 to $5), the Hyart Redevelop- ment Corp. is able to come up with the initial $45,000, with a promise of a $45,000 loan in the future if the community can come up with the balance. EmRee Pugmire, Steenbak- kers noted. "We're hoping large 'employers realize the ben- efit the Hyart is to them for recruiting," he said. "It's a big part of entertainment, especially during the win- ter months. Every five dol- lars helps, but the plan is to go to some of the larger em- ployers. Either we turn the lights out or we continue to "We've been able to keep the doors open and put some money aside, but due to the age and size of the building, it takes a lot of money to get things fixed," Steenbakkers said, noting that committee is looking at $65,000 for a new marquee and facade, $150,000 to re-cover seats and $35,000 to replace the carpet. The Hyart board has known for some time that "at some point in the fu- ture" the digital conversion must take place, and that point in time has arrived, Steenbakkers said. Mov- ies are getting harder and harder to get on reel to reel, he said, and sometimes the quality of the film is poor. The board is being told that there will be limited avail- ability of movies on film by next summer and no avail- ability by the end of 2013. "It's already getting dif- ficult to get reel to reel," he said. "We're forced to make the change right now." The Hyart board is reaching out to the commu- nity for help, just like the original committee did in 2004 under the guidance of operate. It has to happen over the next 90 days." Steenbakkers noted that the Hyart Redevelop- ment Corp. is a 501c3 cor- poration so that donations are tax deductible. "It's almost overwhelm- ing," he said. "We either come up with that or we close the doors. It takes a while to get the equipment ordered and installed." UPGRADES OVER TIME The Hyart board has put a lot of money into the old theater already. Shortly after the theater re-opened, the board installed a new projector and upgraded the sound, among other im- provements, then made more improvements in re- cent years. A new $10,000 opcorn machine and a 12,000 digital projector for screen images were in- stalled just over a year ago. New boilers purchased more than a year ago cost the board $7,000 in match- ing funds as part of a $25,000 project mostly paid for with a grant. SEE 'HYART MOVES TO DIGITAL,' page 7