DAILY NEWS photo by Jeanette Johnson
Brooke Wright had the perfect sheep and perfect answers to questions from judge Derek Hensley to earn Reserve Champion 4-H Junior Showman during the Washakie County Fair Sheep Show Wednesday afternoon.
Close calls illustrate
Fremont fire danger
RIVERTON (AP) — Someone flicked a cigarette butt into a tree line
last weekend at Grannier Meadows, nearly sparking a major fire in
Shoshone National Forest. Flames grew and started to lick at a
tree before alert Forest Service workers put it out.
The Riverton Ranger reports the workers found the cigarette butt at the fire’s origin, among pine needles and duff.
The incident at a camping ground south of Louis Lake was just one of many involving fire in the Shoshone Forest in Fremont County this summer.
Forest district manager Steve Schacht says crews have been dousing 10 to 15 improperly extinguished campfires every weekend. That’s a problem, given that there are about 400 campsites to monitor throughout the Loop Road complex in the Southern Wind Rivers.
“We’ve been fairly lucky we haven’t had large wildfires,” Schacht said. “We had small ones, a tenth to a quarter acre that didn’t escape.”
Three wildfires are burning in the Shoshone National Forest. All on the northern side of the preserve, closer to Cody than to Lander. One was declared contained on Tuesday.
Wet weather this week has dampened the threat, for now. Schacht said peak fire danger typically is from early to mid-August, with a combination of higher temperatures, lower humidity and abundant fuels.
One key element: Campers properly putting out their campfires.
“People don’t put their fires out properly, which requires it to be dead out with water,” Schacht said. “A lot of people just leave it with embers.” Winds take those embers into fuels outside fire rings. Hot coals can stay hot for hours, even after a fire seems out.
Schacht recommended pouring a couple gallons of water on the embers and stirring to ensure the fire is completely extinguished.
Successful Powell football coach remembered fondly
By Dante Geofrey
POWELL (AP) — On a hot July morning best suited for the first
two-a-day practices, Powell Panther football players, coaches and
hundreds of their friends and family filled Panther Stadium to
honor the late Jim Stringer.
The hour-long memorial service July 24 featured emotional speeches by Stringer’s children, fellow coaches and friends.
Stringer’s family sat at field level, as did dozens of current and former Panther players and coaches. The home side’s bleachers overflowed with people who came from near and far to pay their respects to the teacher, coach, father and husband.
An extra set of bleachers was brought in to accommodate the crowd, and even then latecomers were left with standing room only.
Though the overwhelming attendance left no doubt, the words of the day’s speakers drove the point home: Jim Stringer will be missed.
Riley Stringer spoke of his father as a man who was everything to his son.
“The man I knew as a father taught me valuable life lessons and the values of honesty, respect, and love,” Riley Stringer said. “The best friend I knew was always there for me, willing to talk, hang out, or even cause a little trouble if I was feeling up to it.”
Jim Stringer was a teacher even when he wasn’t in the classroom.
“The teacher I knew taught me hard work, drive and dedication even on my laziest days,” Riley said. “The brother I knew was always on my side, he was always there for me, and always promised not to tell Mom.”
Kodi Stringer remembered her father fondly as a man who was never afraid to show his playful side. Her voice shook as she recounted the times Jim would come into her room and make her laugh by loudly singing along to her music.
Kooper Stringer cherished her favorite memories of her dad, from fishing (her catch was 10 times bigger than Jim’s) to watching movies.
She laughed as she told the crowd her father didn’t want to see “The Fault in Our Stars” because “he didn’t want people to see him cry in public.”
Kooper battled her own tears as she admitted that 14 years was not long enough to be with her dad, but thanked him “for our little infinity.”
Carter Baxter, one of Riley’s best friends and a fellow Panther football player, also was touched by coach Stringer’s musical flair, which he used as a motivational tool.
Baxter, an incoming senior, told the story of a day he found himself in the PHS weight room with little desire to lift.
“Coach Stringer made it apparent that my attitude was poor, but not in the way that you may assume,” Baxter said. “Instead of scolding me or pulling me aside, he fist-pumped and danced to the beat of the music.
“In a matter of seconds I was hysterically laughing ... From that moment on that day I was motivated and energized. And that was something that Coach did with ease.”
Baxter knew the Stringers, his neighbors, from a very young age.
“I would spend countless hours at the Stringers’ household,” Baxter said. “At first, Coach intimidated me, but as I continued to observe his actions and listen to his teachings, he evolved into a second father. He treated me as his own, and for that I am endlessly grateful.”
Richard Despain, a close friend and ally along the sidelines, thanked Jim for being someone who always understood and accepted him truly. Hunting trips won’t be as fun, or as funny, without his best friend, Despain said.
Nevin Jacobs, Stringer’s friend and a member of his coaching staff, bookended the service with solo renditions of “Wind Beneath My Wings,” Jim and Jill Stringer’s wedding song, and “How Great Thou Art.”
Riley closed his speech with a final farewell to his father.
“Just like when I was little I would like to say one last time, ‘Good night daddy, and I love you.’”
Stringer was the Powell High School head football coach from 2003-14 and led the Panthers to four Class 3A state titles, including three in a row from 2011-13.
He was the head wrestling coach from 2001-02 to 2003-04 and was an assistant during the 2004-05 season. He taught earth science and biology at PHS.
Stringer was born in Denver on Aug. 23, 1969. He was 44 when he died.
Continued in today's issue of the DAILY NEWS. Subscribe here
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