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Don Amend

June 30, 2011 8:13 am

School district adopts the iPad

Teachers and students in Powell schools will have the latest technology in hand this fall when each student in the middle school and the high school will be issued an iPad.

The program, which also would provide three carts, each containing 30 iPads, for each of the elementary schools, was approved by the Park County School District No. 1 board on the recommendation of  Superintendent Kevin Mitchell at its June meeting.

June 28, 2011 7:53 am

Willwood home explodes

Family not home at time of Sunday night explosion, officials investigating blaze

An explosion felt more than a mile away and the ensuing fire totally destroyed a home on Llama Drive south of Powell late Sunday night.

The owners of the house, Mark and Jean Imsand, were not in the home at the time of the explosion, nor was their adult son, Bill, who lives with them. A second son, Brad Imsand of Cody, said they left Sunday morning for Florida.

A wet spring in the Midwest, combined with a heavy mountain snowpack and warming temperatures in Wyoming, is raising concerns about high water in the Big Horn Basin.

Flooding downstream prevented the U.S. Bureau of Recreation from releasing enough water through Yellowtail Dam to receive the expected inflow from the snowpack, and last weekend, the lake level rose into the flood-control allotment.

June 27, 2011 8:48 am

House explodes south of Powell

An explosion felt more than a mile away and subsequent fire totally destroyed a home on Llama Drive late Sunday evening.

Officials said Monday morning that no one was in the house when the explosion occurred. Park County records say the property is owned by William and Jean Imsand.

The cause of the explosion was apparently a natural gas leak, but that has not been confirmed. One neighbor reported minor damage from the explosion, and was planning to have his home inspected.

Llama Drive is a short street off Riverside Drive about half a mile east of the Willwood highway approximately three miles south of Powell.

For more information, see Tuesday’s Tribune.

As they do every year, Powell High School Alumni will be coming back to the old home town this weekend to reunite and rekindle old friendships.

Northwest College will ask the Wyoming Community College Commission to consider a proposal for a new classroom and laboratory facility.

The NWC board voted to submit the proposal at their regular meeting last week, and included a provision that the college would provide 10 percent of the estimated $14.3 million cost from reserve funds.

The 11 percent increase in Park County’s assessed property valuation announced this week is generally a positive development.

The increased valuation means that, without raising tax rates even one mill, property tax revenue in the county will rise by $5.8 million, which will help the county, towns, fire departments and other taxing entities in the county maintain their services.

Since becoming manager of The Merc two months ago, Lesli Spencer has made a number of changes, and she’s still working to improve the store’s offerings.

“We’ve been doing a lot of reorganizing of the departments, and they are pretty much set now,” Spencer said. “I’m trying to organize more like the bigger stores, like Penney’s or Kohl’s.”

New proposals by the Bureau of Land Management for managing land in the Big Horn Basin have, predictably, ignited the perennial discussion of balance in the development of land and resources.

Everyone in Wyoming knows, or should know, how important mining and drilling are to the state and to our pocketbooks. Income from the development of our mineral wealth, particularly our energy wealth, is what enables us to enjoy excellent highways, a good educational system and other benefits while enjoying lower taxes on fuel, sales and property than almost every other state. That realization argues for fewer obstacles to further mineral activity in the Big Horn Basin.

June 07, 2011 7:36 am

AMEND CORNER: Ready to read

A few months ago, I was recruited, or maybe I should say drafted, to help with a project.

The recruiting officer in this case was Clark school teacher Cathy Ringler. She and her students were launching a campaign to have members of the Clark community read 5,000 books by the end of the school year. My coverage of the school program apparently made me a candidate for the draft — uh, recruitment — and I was happy to jump in and help, especially since I learned to read in a setting somewhat like Clark school down in Hyattville, where I spent my first two years in school.