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Greybull Standard
Greybull, Wyoming
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January 19, 2012     Greybull Standard
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January 19, 2012
 

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R EYBULL T ,: ;l (II I ' ";: II,2,/ / , I r, ' ' :l , ';, ' ]p,., uU "",8,',, ',r//':l ' ,117,; ,J'.l/ l . '.t,' ,,. Is '  II)i J',// "'/ i,.:' :,., :)/.:/ ,-,L/t, , . /" / ' - "!,,r) "  . ', r ..... .":,/t "',1,,I ,l.I , ".  Lr,i,, I L., ..,....Z( " ' ,I Ill/I I/I I l / ,' ' "" :::'i'i '// .,' "' !' 1'.! () '::i "'/"l'l'll,,,'ll,,,,lll,,,I,l,i, I R 75 109thyear Greybull, Wyoming No. 39 Removal of aircraft key issue in dispute by karla pomeroy Big Horn County has met resistance in asking for three aircraft to be moved from the ramp at South Big Horn County Airport. Acting Airport Manager Willie Bridges reported that Harold Sheppard Jr. re- sponded to his letter through his attorney Virginia Curtis Lee. Bridges, on behalf of the county, sent a letter Jan. 3 stating that Sheppard has three aircraft on the ramp and "it is the desire of the county to keep a clean and hazard-free environment in according with the minimum standards at the airport for the public to use." The coun- ty, in the letter, requested the aircraft be moved to the land Sheppard leases by Jan. 31. In Lee's answer to the county, she states that Sheppard moved one of the aircraft, a wingless C-130, to the "sagebrush- and bird- infested No. 4B ground he leases ..." She further states that Sheppard "has been working to refurbish the two non-ob- solete aircraft that remain on the No. 3A areas." She states in the letter that the aircraft are not going to be cut up for scrap. She adds that she has re- viewed the FAA section on hazard removal and "please advise specifically how (the two aircraft) remaining on the far end and edge of the No. 3A area, constitute a haz- ard or in any way interfere with 'instrument and visual operations to the airport.'" Bridges said, "They are using ramp space that could be used by the general pub- lic. Yes he's part of the pub- lic, but..." Grant said, "He's no lon- ger part of the public. He's a business leasing property at the airport." Bridges agreed and add- ed, "I don't know how far you want me to push this. Every piece of correspon- dence we get from him AIRPORT see page 8 BUNDLED UP PHOTO BY NATHAN OSTER Temperatures in the single digits didn't deter Luz Hernandez (left) and her mother, Maria Schwartz, from enjoying their morning walk on Tuesday. The two got bundled up and hit the walk path, determined to make good on their New Year's resolutions to improve their health. Governor to revamp budget by karla pomeroy With natural gas prices falling, Governor Matt Mead told reporters at the Wyoming Press Association's winter convention in Laramie that he is taking a look at the bud- et he submitted, which now as an estimated $22 million shortfall. Mead said the budget he submitted to the Wyoming Legislature reflects $17 million in cuts. The Joint Appropriations Committee then asked each agency to look at cutting 5 percent to 8 percent. "I didn't think that 5 or 8 percent was necessary based on revenue projections so I asked for 2 percent," Mead said. He added that now there are four budgets: his original budget and three alternates with 2 percent, 5 percent and 8 percent cuts. Then came new revenue forecasts. He said he based his budget on $3.45 Mcf (thousand cubic feet) for natural gas, and prices are now at $2.75 Mcf. "This could mean a reduc- tion of $100 million," he said. "Because natural gas prices continue to fall we are all taking a look at the budgets, even the budget I proposed." He said Wyoming has al- ways and must always make sure it never goes into the hole. He said he left $87 mil- lion for the Legislature to spend and $400 million in savings. With the latest rev- enue projects that $87 million is gone and "we're now in the hole $22 million. Mead said there are four critical areas that he hopes remain untouched in his budget. Highways. Mead's bud- get adds $50 million to the $50 million he provided for highways last year. He said while that is a lot of money, the state has not tradition- ally put general fund mon- ey toward highways. The Wyoming Department of Transportation said the total $100 million is not enough to maintain and repair all of Wyoming's highways. Mead said other alternate revenue sources are needed. PHOTO BY DAVID PECK Gov. Matt Mead speaks to members of the Wyoming Press Association Friday in Laramie. In addressing a question from one of the media in the room at Friday's luncheon, Mead said he did not think there was enough support for an increase in fuel tax even though 52 percent of the tax is paid by out-of-state travelers. He said there is also not great support for toll roads. Local funding. Mead has budgeted $168 million for town, cities and counties. "There is infrastructure need in nearly every town and county," Mead said, adding that infrastructure is key to economic development in the state, including fiber op- tic, roads, sewer, water and landfills. He said the funding is currently a 70-30 split with the 70 percent being doled out by the State Loan and Investment Board and 30 percent direct funding. He said he wasn't set on the per- centages but "I don't want the majority of the money going to day-to-day opera- tions. It needs to be spent on building and maintaining in- frastructure." He said he still supports using 1.5 percent of the sev- erance tax as earmarks in- cluding .5 percent for towns and counties but added the Legislature is concerned about earmarks. Jackson Hole News & Guide co-editor Angus Thuermer Jr. asked about the hedonic index that is pro- posed to fund schools rather MEAD see page 8 Report card IDs school strengths, weaknesses by nathan oster Do you wonder how Big Horn County School District No. 3 is doing? Or how it ranks academically when compared to neighboring districts in Big Horn County or elsewhere in Wyoming? If you answered yes to either of those questions, you might want to consult the district's report card. Sara Schlattmann, the district's curriculum and grants facilitator, compiled data on a wide variety of topics - from test scores and teacher salaries to classroom demographics and building mission statements and presented them in the form of a 16-page report to the school board last week. The full report card will be printed and available soon at any of the district's school buildings. It is currently available online at gps.bgh3. k12.wy.us. Among the highlights: The district's graduation rate for 2009-10 was the highest in Big Horn County, coming in at 91.67. The state average was 80.42. In Big Horn County, District 1 came in at 88.52 percent, District 2 at 86.96 percent and District 4 at 86.36 percent. The 91 percent graduation rate represents a big jump from the 2008-09 rate of 72 percent, which was below the state average and those of the three other districts in the county. The district averaged 11.4 pupils per teacher (second most in the county but still below the state average). According to state data, the district's average instructor salary of $54,474 was the highest in the county, but below the state average of $56,083. Lastly, the district spent $14,796 per student, which is right in the ballpark of the state average of $14,015, but below the per-pupil funding levels of both District 1 BOARD see page 8 Town's general fund benefits from big increase in citations by nathan oster Greybull police officers wrote more than twice as many citations in 2011 than they did the previous year, which resulted in a significant increase in revenue flowing into the town's general fund. Last year, the GPD wrote a total of 712 citations, most of which were issued for speeding violations. Not only was that twice as many as the previous year, but it was actually more than the previous two years combined. In 2010, 331 citations were written. The year before, Greybull police officers handed out 321 citations. Greybull Police Chief Bill Brenner attributed the increase, at least in part, on the arrival of the town's fifth police officer, Donna Johnson. "She likes to write tickets," Brenner said. "But another big factor was our case loads in other areas." In 2011, the GPD experienced a 26-percent decrease in case files, made 25 percent fewer drug arrests, 58 percent fewer DUI arrests and 8 percent fewer arrests. "With those reductions, it gave us more time to focus on running traffic and writing citations," Brenner said. Most of them were issued during the summer months, when tourist traffic is at its peak. The only other category in which an increase was observed was in calls for service. The department fielded 4,274 calls, up from 3,305 the previous year. On a daily basis, the GPD averaged nearly 12 calls for service in 2011. Greybull Police Activity e 2008 2009 2010 2011 What do all these numbers mean? "To me, I don't place much of an emphasis on statistics," Brenner said. "A lot of our job is reactive. We react to what people do. If there's a rash of burglaries, say, 10, that doesn't mean anything because we may have none then next year. It just means we had 10 in a given year." The police department does not directly benefit from the number of citations that are written. The money violators pay in fines goes into the town's general fund. Town Clerk Kathy Smith and one of her assistants, Kay Mattis, ran the numbers. The town collected court fine and cost revenues of $95,125 in Fiscal Year 2011, up from the $43,215 collected in Fiscal Year 2010. However, Smith cautioned that some of those revenues may have been from the prior-year citations or from citations issued more than a year earlier on which the people are making monthly payments. At a recent meeting of the town council, Bob Graham suggested putting some of the additional revenue generated by the citations into a fund for safety and education to encourage people to slow down. Iinl 00lllllllll00l !Jllll IIIU!.,. 24,. 'he Gre, 00bull Standard 614 Greybull Ave., Gre' Ibull, WY 82426. Contact us at: 765-4485