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CJ Baker

January 17, 2012 8:35 am

State budget picture tightens

Governor emphasizes highways, local governments

Speaking in Cody this month, Gov. Matt Mead pitched his proposed $2.74 billion state budget for the coming two years as one that would allow the state to improve its roads and infrastructure, aid local governments and still sock some money away.

“I think what it does is, it’s a realistic budget,” Mead told a gathering of county commissioners on Jan. 5. “It recognizes that the state of Wyoming is in pretty good shape right now. It recognizes the state of Wyoming has the ability to do some good things right now.”

Police seized roughly $10,000 worth of cocaine from a home Wednesday night and arrested a Powell couple in connection with the seizure.

Officers found some 108 grams of cocaine in a residence in the Cactus Garden trailer court off Seventh Street, said Powell Police Chief Roy Eckerdt. Police say a small amount of the cocaine appeared to be packaged for sale in half-gram quantities.

January 17, 2012 8:23 am

Edged

Girls basketball comes up just short against Cody

A back-and-forth battle with Cody ended with Powell’s Lady Panther basketball team on the wrong side of the score.

Powell police say they seized more than 100 grams of cocaine on Wednesday night at an East Seventh Street home and have arrested two individuals in connection with the investigation.

In a news release sent Thursday morning, Powell Police Chief Roy Eckerdt said roughly 108 grams of the illegal drug were seized at a residence in the Cactus Garden Trailer Court. The cocaine had a street value of more than $10,000 and some of it appeared to be packaged for sale in one-half to one gram weights, Eckerdt said.

Some $6,500 in cash was also seized, which officers believe was related to the sale of cocaine.

Packaging materials and paraphernalia for ingesting the drug were also taken from the residence in the Cactus Gardens trailer court, police said.

Between 9:30 and 10 p.m. Wednesday, Rosa M. Gonzalez, 49, and Ernesto Gonzalez, 58, were arrested on suspicion of drug-related felony charges, police said. On Thursday, the Gonzalezes were being held in the Park County Detention Center. Their initial appearances in Circuit Court may take place on Friday, a court official said.

Daniel Gonzalez, 32, of Powell, was cited for possessing a misdemeanor amount of cocaine and released, police said.

The Tribune will have a more complete story in Tuesday's edition.

By CJ BAKER

Tribune Staff Writer

When it comes time to pick their next state represenative or senator, Meeteetse area residents likely will no longer be able to vote with the rest of western Park County.

But unlike a previous proposal that would have split the community, a new plan will keep the Meeteetse area in the same legislative voting districts.

Big Horn Basin legislators will present their new redistricting plan to area residents at a meeting tonight (Thursday) in the Meeteetse Senior Citizens Center.

State Sen. Hank Coe, R-Cody, Rep. Sam Krone, R-Cody, Rep. Pat Childers, R-Cody, and Rep. Elaine Harvey, R-Lovell, will present and answer questions on their revised proposal to redraw the Big Horn Basin’s legislative districts. The meeting, which begins at 6 p.m., is being hosted by the Park County Republican Women.

When Big Horn Basin legislators presented their original plan to Meeteetse residents in early November, the 20 citizens at the meeting overwhelmingly expressed opposition. Residents objected because the plan would split the community between two legislative districts and that most of the community would be moving to a district that is typically represented by a Thermopolis resident.

The nine legislators from the Basin re-examined their plan but came to a similar conclusion: there’s just no way to keep the Meeteetse area’s voters in Park County districts while meeting the legislators’ top priority of keeping six House and three Senate seats in the Big Horn Basin.

The boundaries of the legislative districts must be redrawn every 10 years based on U.S. Census data, and the 2010 data showed the Big Horn Basin overall did not grow as fast as the rest of the state. Park County was the only Basin county to see robust population growth over the past decade and must “share” some of its residents with districts in other counties to make a plan work. 

Even with sharing and lassoing Shoshoni and Lysite into a Big Horn Basin district, the region still has barely enough voters to have nine seats.

Call it a draft of a draft.

That’s effectively what the Shoshone National Forest released to the public Wednesday — a preliminary draft of a new land use plan for the forest.

Using what they hear in the coming month from the public, local governments and other agencies, Shoshone managers will come up with alternatives to their proposed plan.

Lady Panthers beat Lyman

There was no time left on the game clock, but even that couldn’t stop a comeback from Powell High School’s Lady Panthers.

After being fouled on a final 3-point try at the end of regulation, senior Kendra Ostrom made three consecutive must-make free throws to tie up the game 30-30 and push the PHS basketball team into overtime against Mountain View.

Dwindling federal budgets and a stagnant outlook for state revenue have Park County commissioners wary as they head into 2012.

Commissioner Bucky Hall said extra severance tax distributions from the state, which the county has counted on for infrastructure in prior years, “might start disappearing,” and Commissioner Loren Grosskopf said the county may have to assume it will lose hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal funding.

January 05, 2012 9:14 am

Break-in at Powell Drug

An apparent burglar, or burglars, broke into a downtown drug store early Wednesday morning, but it appeared nothing was stolen, say police.

Powell Police Chief Roy Eckerdt said officers were following up on leads and evidence left at Powell Drug.

The federal government is asking a judge to dismiss a suit that alleges its negligence led to a fatal 2010 grizzly mauling in the Shoshone National Forest.

In documents filed in Wyoming’s federal District Court on Friday, lawyers with the U.S. Attorney’s Office say Wyoming law gives the government immunity from the wrongful death suit brought by the widow of Erwin F. Evert.

Evert was killed by a grizzly bear on June 17, 2010, in the Kitty Creek area just east of Yellowstone National Park.  Evert apparently came upon the bear as it was recovering from tranquilizers administered by a federal research team that had collared and studied the bear earlier in the day.