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This week, a historic one for all Americans, also marks a significant milestone for the community of Powell.

The world watched Tuesday as President Barack Obama took the oath of office, making him the 44th U.S. president and first African-American to lead the United States.

Also earlier this week, Powell's citywide fiber-optic network, Powellink, was officially completed.

The two events — Obama's inauguration and Powell's fiber-optic network — may not seem like they relate to one another.

Yet Powellink is the kind of project that Obama supports and has made a priority.

Last February on the campaign trail, Obama said, “Let us be the generation that reshapes our economy to compete in the digital age ... let's lay down broadband lines through the heart of inner cities and rural towns across America.”

After his November election, he said, “It is unacceptable that the United States ranks 15th in the world in broadband adoption. Here, in the country that invented the Internet, every child should have the chance to get online.”

Powell blazed the trail with its fiber-to-the-home network — a feat most rural communities only dream of.

As Obama looks to extend broadband lines in rural America, Powell won't be one of the towns looking for federal funding to create a network. It will be one of the cities that others look to as an example.

“It just shows that Powell is innovative and ahead of the learning curve,” said Mayor Scott Mangold.

Other communities in northern Wyoming also are leading the way. Ten Sleep already offers citywide fiber-optic service, and plans currently are underway to build a network in Cody.

Powell is fortunate to have city leaders who envisioned this project and saw it through. And all communities in rural America are fortunate to have a president who values the importance of broadband in small towns.

January 22, 2009 3:35 am

Divinity Hair and Nail Salon

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Divinity Hair and Nail Salon offers great service and gifts. They're located at 661 Wyoming Avenue, Suite 2 in Powell.

Call them at 754-2988.

January 20, 2009 7:28 am

Jackson Creek Cabinetry

Jackson Creek Cabinetry

Jackson Creek Cabinetry offers kitchen remoldeling, and construction at two locations:

1388 Rumsey Ave

Cody, WY 82414

307-587-4744 or 307-272-3035

and

Clancy, Montana

406-439-8300

January 20, 2009 7:18 am

The Sweet Spot: Hair and Nail Salon

The Sweet Spot: Hair and Nail Salon

For beautiful hair and nails, see Stacy and Kapi today! Find them at the Sweet Spot Hair and Nail Salon.

They're located at 28 Two Bit Lane, one mile south of Powell.

Give Stacy or Kapi a call today at 254-2852.

The recession that has resulted in economic turmoil and sleepless nights for laid-off workers is introducing its unwelcome face in Wyoming.

That's the word from Gov. Dave Freudenthal, who addressed the Wyoming Press Association in Cheyenne Friday.

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Dancers with “Calo Flamenco: Ballet de Martin Gaxiola” entertained an enthusiastic audience at the Wynona Thompson Auditorium in Cody on Saturday. Tribune phto by Ilene Olson

January 20, 2009 4:24 am

College bill heads to committee

House Education Committee to hold hearings on House Bill 114

Wyoming lawmakers began taking testimony Monday afternoon about House Bill 114, which would implement many of the changes recommended by the Community College Planning Task Force in November.

The hearing on the 34-page bill is slated to continue Wednesday afternoon in the House Education Committee, after which committee Chairman Del McOmie, R-Lander, expects the committee to take action on the measure.

January 20, 2009 4:18 am

No cellular merger here

Alltel's assets to be sold off at later date

Alltel users in Powell will not become Verizon Wireless customers. Ultimately, they will not remain Alltel customers, either.
On Jan. 9, Verizon completed its acquisition of Alltel for roughly $5.9 billion. It also agreed to take over $22.2 billion of Alltel debt.

However, the two operations will not combine in Powell — or anywhere else in the Big Horn Basin.

January 20, 2009 4:14 am

Trappers overpower UGF

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Northwest College's Corey Woodruff (left) battles University of Great Falls' wrestler Justin Gardner during last Thursday's dual meet in Powell. Later in the bout, Woodruff won by registering a pin from a defensive position against Gardner, who is a former NWC wrestler. Tribune photo by David Dickey

NWC posts 31-6 victory over Argos

As Jim Zeigler watched his Trappers warm up for last Thursday's dual meet with the University of Great Falls, the veteran head coach noted something different about his squad.

Instead of a timid group composed of wrestlers with little junior college experience, Zeigler noticed a team putting forth a solid pre-match effort. Their drills were done with more precision. Their sprints were run with a little more gusto. There also was a look of confidence on the faces of his wrestlers.

Said Zeigler, “When I was watching them before the match, I thought to myself, ‘Wow, it's the second semester and we've got college wrestlers now. They don't look like high school wrestlers anymore.'”

The uneasiness of competing at the junior college level is something that can overwhelm even the most promising recruit who is starting out in a new environment. For proof, Zeigler said, one needs only to watch his squad prior to the season-opening NWC Open, which annually serves as a passage from the high school to junior college ranks for a number of Trappers. With that said, Zeigler added progress is expected, and this is the time of year it typically is more noticeable.

“When the second semester starts, you expect to see the habits of collegiate athletes,” Zeigler said. “You start shaping those habits when practices start before the season. Then, all of a sudden, one day you see it. You can tell they are more focused, and you can see they are ready and wanting to win.”

Such was the case Thursday night when NWC disposed of four-year, NAIA school UGF by a score of 31-6. According to Zeigler, the third-ranked Argos brought a lineup mixed with veteran wrestlers and a number of younger ones looking to gain more collegiate experience.

“Because their program has so much depth, they felt comfortable sending a lot of their younger guys,” Zeigler said. “Great Falls has a strong team, and they are more powerful than we are. At the same time, their coach knows he doesn't have to beat us in order to win a national title. He's smart about things like that, and he saw this as a chance to get some of his younger guys some experience. I thought our wrestlers did really well, and it was the type of match we needed at this point in the season.”

Because of a number of forfeits, there were three exhibition matches to open the dual meet. The first was a heavyweight bout between UGF junior Garrett Johnson and NWC freshman Sears Tiernan. Johnson won the matchup with a pin during the first minute.

NWC then picked up 12 points after forfeit victories at 125 and 133, but the two squads still conducted exhibitions at those weight classes. At 125, Trapper freshman Eddie Whiting lost by major decision (15-0) to sophomore Richard Leal.

In the 133-pound bout, Trapper sophomore Luis Carranza posted a 7-2 decision over UGF freshman Scott Schlosser.

Trapper freshman McCade Ford then faced junior Jason Costello at 141 and suffered an 8-4 setback.

Sophomore Anthony Varnell, the Trappers' 149-pound entry, continued to make strides in his return from a knee injury sustained last year by recording a 10-3 decision over junior Blake Risk in the following bout. At 157, freshman Briston Brenton outscored redshirt freshman Noah Hatton 12-8 to put NWC ahead 18-3.

Trapper Corey Woodruff kept the momentum rolling in NWC's favor when he pinned junior and former Trapper Justin Gardner at the 2:42 mark. Woodruff registered the pin from a defensive position and while he held a 4-2 lead in the bout.

At 174, freshman Tyrell Wright defeated UGF's Cole Bausch 5-2.

“That was a big win for Tyrell,” Zeigler said. “We've been working with him, and I think his confidence is up. We were all excited for him, and that win might be the thing he needs to help him get on a roll right now.”

Both teams forfeited at 184, and the dual meet closed with the 197-pound and heavyweight bouts.

In the matchup at 197, 2008 Powell High School graduate Mak Jones faced sophomore Scott Lucas, who brought a No. 7 ranking into Thursday night's event. The two wrestlers staged a battle that brought many of the NWC faithful to their feet as they cheered for the hometown standout. Jones eventually lost 12-10 in a match that went into overtime.

“Mak's still learning,” Zeigler said. “He did quite a few good things, but he also made some freshman mistakes that hurt him. But he'll be fine, and he'll work to correct the things he did wrong. He's got a great work ethic, and he's tough. He's got a chance to be a very good college wrestler, and I know he'll do what he needs to do in order for that to happen.”

Trapper heavyweight and freshman Landon Harris closed the dual meet by registering a 14-2 victory over senior Robert Hazenberg. On his way to the major decision, Harris showed he also has more to his approach than power.

“Landon is so strong, but against Great Falls he showed there is more to him than just power,” Zeigler said. “He used some leg attacks, and showed good technique and quickness. I thought it was an impressive match for him.”

• Up next: The Trappers, who canceled last weekend's trip to Oregon City, Ore., for the Clackamas Open, have one dual meet scheduled this week. On Thursday, NWC will travel to Rock Springs to meet rival Western Wyoming Community College. That matchup has a 7 p.m. start time. The dual meet between the Trappers and Mustangs originally was scheduled for Jan. 8, but was postponed.

On Friday, Jan. 30, the Trappers will conduct day one of their annual Apodaca Dual Showdown in Powell. That tournament will carry over into the following Saturday. The start time for Friday's action is 3 p.m. The following day, Zeigler said wrestling will begin at noon.

This year's Apodaca Dual Showdown will feature NWC, Clackamas Community College, North Iowa Area Community College, Labette Community College, Southwest Oregon Community College, North Idaho College and Western Wyoming.

During the round-robin event, each team is scheduled to have four duals.

Also during the showdown, Zeigler said the Trappers will recognize this year's winner of the Brooks Apodaca Memorial Award for Leadership and Excellence. The award and event were created to honor the memory of Christopher Brooks Apodaca, a former NWC wrestler who died in a one-vehicle accident in 1998.

January 20, 2009 4:11 am

Panther boys edge Lovell, Riverton

PHS's winning streak reaches three games

The Powell High School Panthers, riding the momentum of a Jan. 10 victory over Lyman, picked up road wins against Riverton and Lovell late last week to even their overall record at 5-5.

PHS edged Riverton 54-51 Friday and followed with a 46-43 decision over Lovell the following day. Those wins left the Panthers holding a three-game winning streak.

“There were a ton of positives for us over the weekend,” said PHS head coach Troy Hildebrand. “That was a good test for us at Riverton against a quality 4A team. We knew they would use man-to-man pressure against us, and our guys responded well. Riverton came out with full-court pressure at the start, but we handled it and got them out of their press for about two and a half quarters.

“Our guys were pretty tired after that game, but they still came out the next night and played hard against a good Lovell team. You could tell we were a little tired, but our guys fought through that and got another big win.”

Against Riverton, Hildebrand said the Panthers were aggressive when it came to attacking the basket. Of PHS's 22 field goals in the game, 17 came from inside the paint. On the other end of the court, Hildebrand said his squad primarily used a zone defense, which proved to be effective against the Wolverines' offensive attack.

At halftime, PHS held a 28-21 advantage and pushed the lead to nine points in the third period. However, the Wolverines closed the gap and took a 40-38 lead by the start of the fourth and final quarter.

“Once they tied it, it was a back-and-forth game,” Hildebrand said. “From about the middle of the third to the late stages of the fourth, it was either a two-point game or tied. The bright spot for us in the game was that we were able to answer the challenge when we had to, and it wasn't just one or two players stepping up. Everybody made contributions, and that's what helped us get the win in a close game.”

Late in the contest, Hildebrand said PHS point guard Jordan Brown hit a key 3-point basket that put the Panthers ahead by five points with just more than three minutes to play. With nine seconds left and PHS up by two points, Matt McArthur hit a pair of clutch free throws to seal the victory.

PHS, despite facing a great deal of defensive pressure, finished with only 13 turnovers. The Panthers also got a boost from four players who recorded double-digit point totals. Galen Mills and Ryan Brandt paced the offense with 14 points each, and Brown and McArthur added 12 each. The scoring was rounded out by Gavin Mills, who had two points. Brandt also led the rebounding effort with eight boards. Brown chipped in with five assists and three steals.

On Saturday night, the Panthers traveled to Lovell for a Class 3A, West Conference matchup and came away with a 46-43 win. The victory snapped a five-game losing streak against the Bulldogs.

Hildebrand said fatigue played a role in the game, particularly in the early stages. The Panthers, who returned to Powell at 1 a.m. Saturday following their road game with Riverton, got behind 20-9 by the start of the second period. Lovell's lead grew to as many as 14 points, but the Panthers never gave up and began cutting into the deficit.

A 7-0 run by PHS in the second quarter kept the game close after it appeared it might get out of hand. By halftime, the Panthers trailed by only six.

“To our guys' credit, even when they were down 14, they never let up,” Hildebrand said. “That 7-0 run was big, and that's what helped get us back in the game.”

The Panthers, working against a zone defense by Lovell, took the lead during the third period. And once they got it, they never trailed again. Lovell threatened to tie the game after cutting its deficit to 38-36 with less than three minutes to play, but McArthur hit a 3-pointer from the corner to push PHS's lead to five points.

“That was a big shot, and after that we were able to hit free throws down the stretch,” Hildebrand added. “During the last minute, we missed on a one-and-one situation, but Ryan Brandt got the offensive rebound for us. He took a negative and turned it into a positive, and that was a big boost for us at a critical time in the game.”

The Panthers had three players notch double-digit point totals in the game. Brandt led the way with 17 points, and Brown and McArthur added 11 and 10 points, respectively. Galen Mills chipped in with six points, and Gavin Mills added two to round out the offensive effort. Brandt and McArthur paced the rebounding effort with 12 and six boards.

• Up next: The Panthers (5-5 overall, 2-3 West Conference) have one game this week, but it is a big one. On Friday, PHS will travel to face West Conference rival Cody in a 7:30 p.m. contest.

“Coach (Jay) McCarten has those guys playing well,” Hildebrand said. “It will be another tough challenge for us because I know we'll get their best effort Friday night.”