2020 Year in Review | June-December


JULY

Honoring a legend, dedicating a building at Camp Guernsey

GUERNSEY – A ceremony to honor one of their own in the dedication of a new facility at Camp Guernsey brought senators and generals, civilians and soldiers, musicians and patriots.
The Lieutenant General R.L. Esmay Education Center, a combined facility that is 111, 755 sq. ft in size was dedicated July 15 in a special dedication ceremony that was open to both the military, the public and the Esmay family who witnessed the complex being officially named after their relative who was instrumental in bringing the Air Guard camp to Guernsey.
Lieutenant General R.L. Esmay was instrumental in establishing the Camp Guernsey training area and so it was apropos for this new facility to be named in his honor.
The facility is broken down into three separate buildings, the general instruction building which is 72,166 sq. ft., the enlisted 110-bed barracks which is 24,524 sq. ft., and the 400-person dining facility which is 12,065 sq. ft.
The building was completed in June 2020 by The Haskell Company and the design-build consultant was Design-Build Solutions. The total cost of the project was $36 million.
The dedication ceremony included comments from Wyoming Senator Mike Enzi, Secretary of State Edward Buchanan, Major General Gregory Porter and Retired Lieutenant Colonel (Dr.) John Esmay who is the son of LTG R.L. Esmay.
There was a ribbon cutting, a facility tour and a social gathering that followed the ceremony.
“What a great day to be in Wyoming and at Camp Guernsey,” Enzi said. “There aren’t a lot of building dedications going on around the nation anytime, but particularly not now. It’s so nice to have so many people come out and kick off this new phase of the camp.”

Guernsey Fourth of July spectacular had something for everyone

GUERNSEY – If you weren’t in Guernsey for the Fourth of July this year, you were most likely one of the only ones who wasn’t there.
The town was filled with cars, throngs of people and many activities that made the small-town seem to double in population.
There was a parade that kicked it all off which began at Guernsey-Sunrise High School and proceeded down S. Wyoming Street and then down Main Street. It had to be the longest parade in a small-town that most had ever seen.
Due to the election year, there were several entrants in the parade that were running for office. Some on horseback and some strolling down the avenue with signs and candy. In addition, there were classic cars, muscle cars, beater cars, pick-em-up trucks, emergency vehicles, two motorcycle clubs, flat-bed trailers, army vehicles including one which looked like a Humvee tank, bicycles and a tractor.
Many organizations were represented from all over Platte County, and when the comments were coming in dealing with the pictures, most said they either “missed Guernsey” or expressed regret that they didn’t make the trip up.

Local and state American Legion Riders participate to remember

GUERNSEY – Nick and Alise Schwab are a husband and wife that ride Harley-Davidsons together. They say that the marriage that rides together bides together.
They are also part of an elite group of riders called the American Legion Riders. This group is instrumental in leading the many parades and participating in all things patriot in Wyoming.
Nick Schwab is also the director for the ALR Chapter 95 in Guernsey. The riders from Guernsey are going to participate in a ride sponsored by the Casper College Veterans Club and the name of the ride is “Remembering Our Fallen.”
“This is a memorial similar to the traveling Vietnam wall,” Schwab said. “But it’s for the 9/11 veterans forward. Not to exclude Vietnam, but the memorial is for the veterans who died since 9/11.”
The date is the distinction date between the Vietnam War and the wars that occurred after 9/11 that started with Desert Storm. Schwab says that the cutoff is a pretty good mark in time and a good choice.
The riders, which Schwab estimates may be 40 to 50 bikers will begin the ride at 9 a.m. in Torrington at the Western Travel Terminal and will have law enforcement officers to escort the group through town toward Lingle.
From there the group will go west on Highway 26 and proceed to the Camp Guernsey gate where they will pick up riders and continue on toward Highway 25 north on their way to Glendo where they may stop to refuel. The ETA for the bikers to come through Guernsey is 9:45 a.m. This may change with traffic or delays.

Platte County groomer makes four-legged clients feel like family

WHEATLAND – George Burns once said that if he had his life to live over again, he wouldn’t have enough time. The same can be said for Leah Maguire, the native New Mexico girl who is currently the groomer who works at Dr. Daniel Harnish’s veterinary clinic. One would say her dish is full.
In addition to handling the chores of a ranch, mothering two children, and working at Drube Hardware Store, she considers her main job to be a groomer. Her story began in New Mexico where she was community home-schooled by a coalition of concerned mothers who took turns team-teaching. After her high school graduation in 2009, she migrated north and the adventure began.
“I just needed a change,” she said. “I’d always had this weird obsession with Montana growing up and all I knew about it was what I saw in the news. I’ve still never been to Montana.”
The obsession did, however point her in a northerly direction and a funny thing that happened on the way to Montana was that she stopped and settled in Wyoming.
“Wyoming was the closest I could get, and I had two people that I knew here,” she said. “I just wanted to see what was out there and it was the best decision in my life. I love Wyoming.”
Maguire found a job that was right up her alley just north of Wheatland.
“I found a really great job in Casper and so it pinpointed my direction,” Maguire said. “I was the department head of the grooming department at a big animal hospital for three and a half years before I came to Wheatland.”
Maguire was very active in 4-H as a child and has been working and grooming her own animals for years, which paved the way for her eventually training and showing dogs competitively as well as being a groomer in New Mexico. The hands-on way that she is with animals and her business savvy that is wise beyond her years made Altitude Veterinary Hospital a very popular and sought-after grooming establishment in Casper.

Wyoming Food Bank of the Rockies sets up mobile pantry in Guernsey

GUERNSEY – Almost 300 families were served Saturday, July 18, as the Wyoming Food Bank of the Rockies mobile food pantry was set up and fully staffed with volunteers at First State Bank in Guernsey.
“We’re excited to do this,” said local pantry coordinator Pat Russell. “It’s for anybody and there is no income guidelines, restrictions or anything like that.”
People receiving the food donations were asked to give their names and where they lived, according to Russell. After giving the information, the cars drove through where each family was given a bundle consisting of a box of meat, a box of produce, a box of canned goods, a box of lightbulbs and a bag with snack bags of cookies and juice boxes.
There were somewhere between 15 to 20 volunteers according to Russell and all the volunteers were asked to wear masks and gloves when handling and distributing and loading food to the people’s cars. Those who drove up were asked to stay in their cars, maintaining a safe social distancing.
The weather was sunny, but very warm as volunteers worked for the two-hour period in temperatures of over 90 degrees. Water, Gatorade and gloves were provided by the Wyoming Food Bank of the Rockies as well as one bundle per each volunteer.
“I can’t say enough about the volunteers and I would like to thank them all for their hard work,” Russell said. “Without them, we couldn’t do this. Also to the Wyoming Food Bank of the Rockies because the only cost to us is our time and our efforts.”

AUGUST

Over 1200 ducks migrated to the Platte River for Duck Daze

GUERNSEY – The annual Guernsey Duck Daze celebration for 2020 went forth even in the midst of COVID fears and the unmasked ducks were no worse for the wear as they made the 20 minute swim from the west bridge to the south bridge on the Platte River.
Duck Daze began at dawn as volunteers began to prepare Davis Park for the vendors and set forth cones and signs for the annual Duck Dash 5K that took off from Heimbuck Park and returned to the same spot.
Registration for the 5K and T-shirt sales began at 7 a.m. and at 8 a.m. a field of 23 runners were at the starting line. The youngest runner was Joshua Foggie of Guernsey who ended up winning the overall race with a time of 19:55, two seconds ahead of Colorado runner Joel Glassett. Guernsey Economic and Tourism Development president, Craig Frederick said that it was the closest race ever run in the Duck Dash 5K.
The winners in each category for the men were:  Joshua Foggie age group 10-14 19:55;
Brody Harriman, age group 15-18 28.57;  Brandon Werner, age group 19-29  33:52;
David Glassett, age group 30-39 38 21:58; Wes Reyher, age group 40-49 30.07;
Mark DeLap, age group 50+ 32.03
The winners in each category for the women were:  Gabby Foggie, age group 10-14 24:23;
Cara McCauley, age group 19-29 25:40; Lakiesha Foggie-Harriman, age group 40-49 30:16;
Lori Fine, age group 50-59, no recorded time given.
After the race, excitement was high at Guernsey Landing where over 200 people had gathered to watch the much-anticipated duck drop. Let by Frederick who was a first-timer in dropping the ducks kept the time and at exactly 10:30 a.m. 1200 ducks were dropped from the west bridge over the Platte River where they plopped down in a large raft of ducks.

Guernsey block party going strong even in a COVID year

GUERNSEY – The Guernsey Community Block Party provided people with tournaments, food, water games, entertainment and a few people even walked away with a few new tattoos.
The party has been a very anticipated event in the town for the past six years and each year there has been a different location, utilizing resident’s outdoor space to host the party. The idea is to keep a hometown family atmosphere with backyard parties and a chance to get to know your neighbors.
According to Wikipedia, A block party or street party is a party in which many members of a single community congregate, either to observe an event of some importance or simply for mutual enjoyment. The name comes from the form of the party, which often involves closing an entire city block to vehicle traffic. Many times, there will be a celebration in the form of playing music and dance and activities like pony rides, inflatable slides, popcorn machines and barbecues.
As a form of activism, street parties are festive and/or artistic efforts to reclaim roadways as public space by large groups of people. They were made known in Western Europe and North America by the actions of Reclaim the Streets, a widespread "dis-organization" dedicated to reclaiming public space from automobiles and consumerism.
The block party in Guernsey this year was a celebration in the midst of COVID. A coming together of community that had been in a type of quarantine for months. Actual planning for this year’s party was done under the black flag of quarantine two months ago.

Summer reading program takes to the water

GUERNSEY – The summer reading program at the Guernsey library took things outside and away from the books Saturday, as the kids all gathered at Guernsey Park.
“This is part of our summer reading program,” Becky Bolinger, head of the Guernsey Library summer reading program, said. “It’s the end of the year kind of stuff. Just something to get the kids out and moving. Get them involved in the library.”
Bolinger said that some of the activities they planned was the bigfoot race where large cardboard foot cutouts were worn with flip flops as the children participated in a race. The kids also participated in a combination water balloon toss and batting practice, water balloons on spoons race, the spongewater relay race to fill buckets with water, beachball races and ring toss.
Most of the theme was being out in the sun, getting wet and having fun.
“Most of what we do has to do with water,” Bolinger said. “There are just a few things that don’t. The idea is just to get them out and having fun.”
There were 13 children that participated in the activities.

SEPTEMBER

Hartville-Sunrise community picnic

HARTVILLE-SUNRISE – The former Sunrise school grounds were abuzz Sunday with community members past and present for a community-wide picnic. Jim Sisson and Butch Orr, both graduates of the Sunrise High School, sat together at the entrance to a large post frame building, northwest of the former Sunrise football field.
“(It’s) just a Hartville get-together. The Sunrise School used to be right here,” said Sisson of the remains of the Sunrise school grounds. “I graduated from here,” said Sisson.
Sisson graduated from Sunrise school in 1962, while Orr graduated in 1955.
Classmates from years gone by cheerfully walked around the grounds shaking one another’s hand and telling stories of the ‘good ol’ days.’
Hartville is “Wyoming’s oldest incorporated town still in existence,” a sign at the west edge of town informs drivers of this as they enter.
Hartville was established in 1884 as a miner’s town. Prospectors mined for “gold, silver, copper onyx and iron,” according to the Platte County Chamber of Commerce. Hartville was the hub of activity for the area, especially in the early days. Hartville had a general store, mercantile, bar and brothel. While Hartville was the hub of activity, the mine was just over a mile to the east, at the town of Sunrise.
Sunrise had its beginnings as a company town, run by the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company. “The company controlled all phases of the production of steel. It owned the iron ore mines, the coal companies, the foundry, the railroad that brought the coal and ore to the foundry. It owned the miners, the town they lived in, and the company store, the Colorado Supply Company, at which miners traded, according to wyomingtalesandtrails.com.

SkillsUSA receives grant to help refurbish and repurpose the town of Sunrise

GUERNSEY – The town of Sunrise, a once lucrative and sprawling town known for its mining camp ceased it’s mining operations in the early ‘80s. For a time, the town sat empty and forelorn.

Until a man with a very special vision came to the rescue. Now, some people will rescue dogs, others horses, and even people. John Voight rescued a town north of the metropolis of Hartville which has 62 people living in it. That is 61 people more than the town of Sunrise.
There have been renovations here and there as Voight took on the project not knowing exactly what to do with it. He did know that he just couldn’t pass up the opportunity. It was almost as if the echoes of the past were calling his name and crying not to be forgotten.
The land began to yield up its treasures in the form of thousands of Clovis artifacts. Today, it is not a ghost town, although it is said to be inhabited by one ghost.
The long-forgotten town is beginning to be recognized as a major community of current vision, ancient history and dedicated research.
The entire town was purchased and is currently owned by Voight.
“So, it all began by the fact that I knew the prior owner,” Voight said. “It was in the 1990s and I was working a historic property downtown Cheyenne. I had several buildings down there and having good luck working some old projects, and I loved it because it gave me the chance to work old buildings, update them a little bit and get them productive again.”

Hunger Action Day observed in Guernsey

GUERNSEY – Thursday, Sept. 10, was Hunger Action Day all over America and Guernsey was well represented.
“Any building, monument, statue, structure, or sign that is illuminated can lean In and Light Up Orange,” said food service director for Platte Co. #2 in Guernsey, Dawndrea Daly. “Wyomingites are encouraged to wear orange, tie an orange ribbon around their lampposts, or change their porch lights to orange to show support for local hunger relief efforts and to spark a conversation about hunger.”
It’s just one of many ways communities across the state can help participate in Hunger Action Month and help end hunger in the state of Wyoming one meal at a time.
Go Orange on Hunger Action Day photos were shared via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram using the hashtag #HungerAction and tagging Wyoming Food Bank of the Rockies(@WyomingFoodBankOfTheRockies).
There are several ways to help raise awareness this month to help shine a light on hunger:
•Visit http://wyomingfoodbank.org/give/hunger-action-month/
•Like Wyoming Food Bank of the Rockies, your local pantry and Feeding America on Facebook
•Donate your Facebook status to hunger
•Go Orange and update your Facebook and Twitter avatar to show your support of hunger-relief
•Share a hunger fact with your friends
•Send a postcard to your local elected official and speak up for national nutrition programs
•Volunteer at your hunger-relief organization
“In the midst of COVID-19, in Wyoming alone, 1 in 4 children are experiencing hunger so it is important to continue growing efforts to connect families with healthy food,” Daly said. “Wyoming Food Bank of the Rockies and its partners across the state are promoting hunger awareness throughout the month of September.”

Former Guernsey police officers returns for a second stint with local law enforcement

GUERNSEY – Coming back to the Guernsey police department is not only a familiar position, but one that feels like “coming home,” according to Guernsey police officer Michael Brown.
Brown, who was born in Cheyenne before being raised in Denver with his father for a short time before moving back to Cheyenne to live with his grandparents.
“I was there for quite a few years and then I came up to Guernsey where I attended the youth challenge program as a cadet and I went through the program here and that’s how I originally ended up coming to Guernsey first,” Brown said. “Immediately upon graduating from the youth challenge program I enlisted at the age of 17 in the Army.”
After Brown finished basic training at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, he began his active duty and was stationed in Colorado Springs although he also served in Korea and Hawaii as part of his job.
As a local graduate, Brown is one of the success stories of the Wyoming Cowboy Challenge Academy.
“Growing up as a young man, I didn’t make the best decisions,” he said. “I kind of struggled in life, but I was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to go to the youth challenge program and at that time, it was a big turning point in my life.”

New Guernsey Police Chief seeks to create new image of service to community

GUERNSEY – Consistency, longevity and service are just three foundational blocks that new Guernsey Police Chief David Smith is planning on using to rebuild the image and strength of the city’s police force.
Smith was sworn into his new position at the Aug. 17 Guernsey City Council Meeting at City hall. After a few weeks on the job, he is learning the new ropes. He is not a stranger either to Guernsey or to law enforcement as he has worked for both the Guernsey police department and also most recently for the Platte County sheriff’s office.
Smith grew up in Aurora, Colorado, which is a suburb of Denver and had four siblings. He graduated from Rangeview High School before making his choice to join the military where he spent the next 20 years of his life and earned the rank of Master Sargent.
During his time in Air Force National Guard he was stationed at Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora and also at Francis E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne.
“I also went to the Middle East seven times,” Smith said. “I started out as a cook, moved into fitness and then I became part of the mortuary team. I was stationed in Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and I had a small tour in Iraq.”

OCTOBER

Guernsey Bed & Breakfast offers quaint and cozy

GUERNSEY – Twisters is the newly organized Tex-Mex restaurant that new owner, Craig Frederick hopes will make Guernsey a sought-after tourist location on the Oregon Trail. The second part of the equation that makes the restaurant even more appealing is that it also features Twisters Bed & Breakfast.
Featured in the Gazette last week was the incredible restaurant that has started to boom because of its cuisine that is authentic Tex-Mex brought by third-generation restauranter and manager Andrea Bolinger.
Twisters Bed & Breakfast is the perfect partner for the restaurant with the cozy feel of the rooms which remain very reasonable in price for weary travelers. Allison Lockman is currently the new bed-and-breakfast manager who was hired by Frederick.
“When I was thinking about getting into this business, I just asked her if she’d be interested in helping me with it,” Frederick said. “She has really taken over many aspects, not only handling the cleaning, but she has done a lot of decorating and finding ways to make the rooms more functional for those looking to use the rooms for business.”
The bed-and-breakfast which is situated next door to the restaurant is perfect for travelers who are seeking out a clean and quiet country town.
“She has never done anything like this but is very creative and organized and this a role that definitely fits her personality,” Frederick said. “The bnb was a remodel project beginning in 2016 as a Wyoming business council business committed grant. It was open for business in the summer of 2018.”

Guernsey turns a scary place into a great cause on Halloween

GUERNSEY – The Guernsey Volunteer Fire Department will be hosting its annual haunted house. The group will be transforming the Guernsey Town Hall at 81 W. Whalen into a fright-fest Oct. 30-31, daily from 6 -10 p.m.
The cost of admission is $8 adults and $5 for children ages 6-11.
According to Fire Chief Jeff Thomas, “We are doing our Annual Haunted House and need a little bit of help with getting the word out there.”
The Guernsey Fire Department does a haunted house each year where the proceeds go to providing local residents who are less fortunate with an entire Thanksgiving dinner for their family. They also make meals for those who are home alone and are not able to be with their families, according to Davis.

The tubing season has come and gone, but rumors are afloat about a scavenger hunt

GUERNSEY – The Platte County River that usually flows deep and lazy on the outskirts of Guernsey is just about non-existent.  According to Guernsey Mayor Nick Paustain, the river is drained every year for the annual Guernsey silt run and brings water laced with salt for irrigation in Wyoming and Nebraska.
This practice has been done since 1959.
According to Elise Balin of the Star-Herald newspaper in Scottsbluff, Neb.,, “After completion of the Guernsey dam in 1927, the Guernsey Reservoir began to provide irrigation water to the three downstream irrigation districts: Goshen, Gering-Ft Laramie and Pathfinder, consequently involving the Fort Laramie and interstate canals. Within 30 years of the dam’s completion, 29,000 acre-feet (one-acre foot, equal to 326,000 gallons of water) of accumulated sediment occurred in the reservoir, reducing storage capacity from 73,180 acre-feet to 44,800 acre-feet, according to a report analysis prepared by Water Resources and Environmental Consultants, Lidstone & Anderson, for the Wyoming Water Development Commission in 1993.”

Third generation chef comes to Twisters

GUERNSEY – Authentic Tex-Mex has been advertised and identified as carbon copies in many areas of the United States.
At Twisters Eatery and Bed & Breakfast you can find the genuine. And the Tex-Mex chef that prepares the food and who has recreated the menu is third-generation restauranter and Hartville resident, Andrea Bolinger who graduated from Guernsey-Sunrise High School in 1991.
“I’m a third generation,” Bolinger said in response to how she came to become the manager of Twisters. “My grandparents owned a restaurant here in town called Otero’s Kitchen. And then when my grandmother retired, she trained a couple of her nephews and they started Burrito Brothers.”
Bolinger who was raised by her grandparents in Hartville had early ties to Miners and Stockmen’s Steakhouse, the now popular restaurant run by Scott and Christine Harmon.
She also was recruited and brought in because her reputation preceded her in Guernsey and she is know for both her Tex-Mex cuisine and her baking, although she admits that she’s not as much of a cake baker as she is a cake decorator. She does do the baking though at Twisters with a little help from someone who comes in to pick up the slack when things get busy.
She produces her iconic “crapcakes” entitled something completely different, but guaranteed to turn your bad day into a good day with just one taste.
Otero’s had a great reputation in Guernsey, but didn’t have the facility to go along with the reputation, and Bolinger ended up shutting it down.
“It was thriving,” she said. “And it wasn’t set up for a restaurant, and it was too much. It wasn’t a kitchen and all it had was three sinks in it. I met all of the qualifications (according to health department guidelines) but I was doing it all on my own and it was overwhelming.”

NOVEMBER

Seventh-Annual Gobble Gobble Give Canned Food and Fund Drive in Guernsey

GUERNSEY – The Guernsey community food pantry is participating in cooperation with the Wyoming Food Bank of the Rockies in their seventh-annual Gobble Gobble Give Canned Food and Fund Drive that has been ongoing since Oct. 26 and will run through Nov. 26th.
“Look for the boxes for nonperishable donations and the cute turkey jars for monetary donations around Guernsey and at Miners and Stockman in Hartville,” said Guernsey Community Pantry director Pat Russell.
The Mason jars that come in many shapes and sizes are painted brown and then have faces and feathers added to make them look like little turkeys. The goal of the Gobble Gobble Give is to hand out 90,000 meals in 30 days.
Their three options for a solution to reach their goal and to become a “hunger hero” is to, become an event sponsor, fill a box with nonperishable food and “The Quarter War” which is to put out and fill one of the homemade turkey jars with money. According to WFBR, one meal is equal to 1.2 pounds of food and they provide one meal with just a quarter.

Annual Christmas bazaar switches locations due to COVID

GUERNSEY – There was a change in venue for the annual Christmas bazaar, this year hosted by the Guernsey farmers market.
The group which originally planned to have the holiday bazaar at Guernsey High School moved the event to the VFW because of concerns from the school with the recent spikes of the virus and the added danger of bringing extra people in.
“Misty Thomas with the Guernsey farmers market organized and put this on for us today,” said bazaar worker Sarah Seyfang. “Unfortunately, Misty was sick so we are here for her. She hosted it this year because they canceled the other bazaar and she wanted to make sure we had something for the community.”

Guernsey Trunk or Treat not stopped by COVID

GUERNSEY – The annual Guernsey Treat Street was not spooked by the pandemic and in fact, encouraged masks. And costumes.
Friday, Oct. 30, the streets of Guernsey were filled with trunk or treaters who had come from all over Platte County to enjoy the hospitality of local Guernsey businesses. The path took the brightly decorated children and parental escorts from Guernsey Super Foods to Register Cliff Pharmacy, Howshar Hardware, Able Tactical, Bunkhouse Motel, First State Bank, Sagebrush Motel, Banner Capital, Lockman’s Lunchbox, Kelley’s Bar, Ben’s Bar, the VFW, the Town of Guernsey, Tri-City Parks and Rec and Twisters.

New meat manager at Guernsey Super Foods

GUERNSEY – There is an old-school butcher in the town of Guernsey who has been hired by Guernsey Super Foods and has already packed the meat case with fresh meat and is looking forward to getting to not only know his customers but to provide the service they deserve.
David Bortree grew up in Huntsville, Texas, and attended Sam Houston State University after graduating from Huntsville High School. After working in the penal system as a corrections officer, he joined the military.
“In Huntsville, basically, you either become a correctional officer, work at Walmart, join the military or graduate from Sam Houston State University,” Bortree said. “I only went a year to Sam Houston where I was studying sports medicine. At the time I was wanting to be a sports trainer.”
All of his circle of friends had joined the Marine Corps. and the Army, and it helped him make his decision to join the U.S. Army in 2001.
“I started out with the National Guard in Georgia where my mom lived and then went full active duty,” he said. “I did that for five years and got out in 2005. While I was there, I drove heavy equipment and was stationed at Kandahar Air Base in Afghanistan.”
Bortree who worked for a mom and pop butcher store in high school started his cutting, skinning and processing career with an old school butcher who was doing a lot of wild game processing in Texas. That gave him experience that stood out in a profession that was greatly in need. After his stint in the military, he returned to a skill he knew well, and he joined a large grocery conglomerate, working in their meat department.
“I cut meat for eight years as I started with Kroger Company in 2008,” Bortree said. “That was down in Katy, Texas. There was a brand-new Kroger opening up and I went down and filled out the application at a job fair. They were hiring 300 employees and I was hired on the spot.”

Guernsey Community Food Pantry relocates to town hall

GUERNSEY – The Guernsey Community Food Pantry has relocated to town hall at 81 W. Whalen, and is expanding the operation to reach more people and to have a more convenient location.
The Guernsey Community Food Pantry was started 12 years ago as a mission project by the United Presbyterian Church located at 310 S. Wyoming Avenue. The church realized that the community had people who were struggling to feed themselves and their families.
Much of the information was gathered as community members shopped at the local thrift store which has been in service for nearly a half-century. With financial support and the offer of space from the church, a group of church members began the pantry. A few years later, the church became an “agency” with the Wyoming Food Bank of the Rockies which is still a strong partnership to this day.
The Town of Guernsey, Pamida/Shopko, Missouri Basin Power, First State Bank, the other churches and Hub City Motorcycle Club have provided their faithful support through the years.
On Nov. 5, 2020, there was an 11-member board formed from community leaders, volunteers and clients.
“This group has dedicated themselves to ensure the success of the pantry to serve the community and surrounding area,” said Pat Russell. “At the same meeting it was approved to submit for our 501©3 and has been completed. All donations are now tax deductible.”

DECEMBER

Christmas Bazaar does Christmas right

WHEATLAND – A gubernatorial mask-mandate was handed down to “knuckleheads” throughout the state of Wyoming with restrictions as to large gatherings. It didn’t stop the large holiday gathering in Platte County.
MB Rafter quarter horse arena and event center and Arena BBQ didn’t thumb it’s nose at the mandate, nor did it skirt the issue. It simply met the requirements of a very large venue that was both hosting crowds indoors and outdoors.
The question whether it was right or wrong or whether people should have been taken to task because of the decision is a moot point at this juncture as the event went on without a hitch and without conflict, inviting people who wanted to be a part of the holiday celebration.
Myrle and Birgit Ingle started preparing the arena a week ahead of time, getting the arena prepped and ready, getting the vendors organized, shopping for the foodstuffs and making sure everything was running smoothly.
There were 42 vendors selling everything from biscotti to beauty products, blankets to trinkets, specialized masks for those who wanted to comply to the mask mandate and even an engraver that could personally add an inscription your gun or your jewelry.

Guernsey Christmas Parade braves the cold

GUERNSEY – The Guernsey Parade, an annual tradition in the town, braved the cold temperatures and on Dec. 2 at 6 p.m. municipal vehicles and businesses got into the Christmas spirit and provided festive floats and lights for the community.
COVID didn’t put a damper on the activities and people lined both sides of the parade route that began at Guernsey-Sunrise High School and proceeded the full length of S. Wyoming Avenue. Sirens blasted through the frosty air, firepits were lit along the route and plenty of Christmas candy was thrown to waiting kids all along the route.
The parade which wasn’t quite as extensive as the Fourth of July parade still had a good number of participants which came out in the cold weather.

Guernsey sophomore recovering from heart surgery

GUERNSEY – Brian McCoid, thrown into the fire as a freshman quarterback at Guernsey when the starting quarterback went down in 2019, is no stranger to adversity and beating the odds.
This year, leading his team to the state playoffs during a COVID-ravaged sports season with a skeleton crew on the bench due to the pandemic was one of the least of his worries. During the second series on offense, Meeteetse was flagged for a late hit on the quarterback and as the flags hit the ground, so did McCoid.
He didn’t get up.
His wrist was broken in two places and the pain was unbearable, but all he could think of was trying to get back up and play. He is a competitor. One who has learned to play through the pain. And through the fear.
It turns out, McCoid has had a heart condition called Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome. When he was in the hospital to cast his arm and put the bones back in place, they had to restart his heart with a defibrillation machine because the medication was not successful.
The problem was concerning enough for McCoid’s mother, Brandi McCoid to decide on heart surgery. That surgery was completed Dec. 18 in Denver.
“He is down for a week,” she said. “Then he will be on a heart monitor for four weeks and we will see the doctor Jan. 21. Although the surgery was a success, they still want to monitor the heart.”

Meals on Wheels delivers Christmas bags to seniors

WHEATLAND -  Kris Born, co-owner of Cheyenne Coffee Company here in Wheatland resembles Kris Kringle, not only in name but in spirit.
Kris and helpers from the Wheatland Moose Lodge have been the hands behind the blessings.
“This is my third year of making Christmas gift baskets for every single person who receives Meals on Wheels in Wheatland,” Born said. “I started organizing this project through the Wheatland Moose Lodge #1636, Chapter 990.  Seniors have always shared a big piece of my heart and I wanted to do something for them.”
Born has always thought that she never saw enough Christmas fundraising or gift trees for the seniors and so she began to come up with ideas.  
“Through the generosity of our local Moose lodge we were able to start the project that I have dreamed of for a long time,” she said.  “I went to Services For Seniors and told them about my idea. They loved it and we decided that they would distribute the gift bags when they made meal deliveries. We were off and running.”
 In about September Born puts a container with a want list at the Moose Lodge. Moose members start donating money and items from that wish list.
“Our members have been so generous with items and money,” Born said. “I could never do this without their help. In addition, some local people have heard about this and have donated cash for needed items. Some businesses were also very kind and donated items. I am sending a copy of the letter that I enclosed in each gift bag.”

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