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April 27, 2010 3:50 am

Mediator hired for Northwest College

Written by Tribune Staff

After a month-long search, the Northwest College Board of Trustees has hired a facilitator to help resolve conflicts between administrators, faculty, staff and students at the college.

During a short meeting on Friday, the board agreed to hire Pam Fisher of Bozeman, Mont., to serve as a facilitator and mediator.

Trash service is expected to continue as usual for the next two and a half a years, as the Powell landfill has received an extension on its life.

In a letter sent to Powell Mayor Scott Mangold last week, Park County commissioners said a recently-completed survey shows there is enough space at the Powell landfill to continue accepting waste until Sept. 18, 2012 — and the state Department of Environmental Quality has indicated that it is OK with the plan.

It's not every day that a famous explorer grades your paper, but that's exactly what happened to a class of fourth-graders at Westside Elementary last week.

Sonja Black's class recently completed a unit she has developed around the 1912 sinking of the ocean liner Titanic. Using the story of the ship, from its launching to the discovery of its remains in 1985, Black's students study not only history, but math, science, writing and art.

What a difference a year makes.

Last April, two reputable local organizations sought the Powell City Council's sponsorship for a community block grant. The Rocky Mountain Manor and Mountain Spirit Habitat for Humanity each needed grant money, but the council could only give sponsorship to one group for a state grant. Both the manor and Habitat serve low-income residents.

Even with the council's support, it was unclear whether either of the local groups would secure the funding they needed to continue providing affordable housing in the Powell area.

Though councilmen chose to support the Rocky Mountain Manor's renovation project at the time, months later, they supported Mountain Spirit Habitat for Humanity in a different grant quest — $500,000 to construct a ReStore.

Fortunately, both Habitat and the manor received the grant money they needed.

On Saturday, Habitat volunteers celebrated the ReStore's groundbreaking. Once opened, the ReStore will provide funding for Habitat to become more self-sustaining so it can create more affordable housing opportunities in Powell and Cody.

Currently, the Rocky Mountain Manor is undergoing major renovations in its 52 units. The updates, including new showers, toilets and sinks, will make daily life easier for elderly residents.

Last year at this time, both nonprofit groups were seeking grant dollars, a daunting task in an uncertain economy. With both projects now underway, we're thankful they can each continue their missions of providing quality, affordable housing in the Powell community.

April 27, 2010 3:21 am

Spring branding

Written by Tribune Staff

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Flying U Ranch owner Tim Upton brands the first calf Saturday during the annual spring branding at the ranch a few miles south of Meeteetse. Tribune photo by Kevin Kinzley

April 22, 2010 5:46 am

Time to get creative with trash

Written by Tribune Staff

Landfill issue won't go away

With the closure of the Powell landfill creeping ever closer, word that the Park County Board of Commissioners will not support a proposed capital-facilities tax to pay for — among other things — a waste transfer station in Powell means it's time for city leaders to think creatively about garbage.

Transporting waste to the county landfill outside Cody will be a costly endeavor. One of the key ways to minimize that cost is to reduce the amount of trash leaving Powell. The concept is simple — less so is how city officials and Powell residents will go about it.

Some out-of-the-box thinking may prove helpful.

A city-wide curbside recycling service is a viable option. It would surely necessitate additional funding for the local non-profit recycling center, but that's a hurdle that could be cleared.

Mandatory composting is another way to reduce the amount of garbage filling roll-outs and dumpsters around town. The composted material could be utilized by homeowners, the Parks Department, the school district and the college. Excess compost could be sold to area gardeners or other municipalities.

Fines for residents and business owners or managers who refuse to cooperate could be levied by the city on an increasingly-stringent basis over a number of years.

The city of San Francisco has implemented both mandatory recycling and composting programs in recent years. According to San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsome, “A waste-stream analysis ... discovered that about two thirds of the garbage people throw away ... could have been recycled or turned to compost.”

Mandatory recycling went into effect in San Francisco early in the decade — by mid-2009, 72 percent of recyclable material was being diverted from the landfill. Similar results are expected with the composting law that took effect in October 2009.

Diverting two-thirds of Powell's waste from the Park County Landfill is a lofty goal, but, with a strong commitment from residents and officials, it's attainable. If San Francisco — with a metropolitan population of nearly 8 million people — can do it, similar change can happen in our 6,000-resident hamlet.

Other cities — both large and small — across the country have utilized similar approaches to divert waste from landfills. Closer to home, the Buffalo Bill Historical Center has implemented new green programs to dramatically reduce trash.

For the city, the up-front investment in the process and the necessary infrastructure would be a small price to pay to reduce transportation costs significantly for decades to come. The environmental benefits are icing on the cake.

The Powell landfill will stop accepting household waste by 2012. Now is the time to hash out a creative — even if unconventional — solution.

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Powell's Rico Garcia takes an attempt in JV long jump competition during last Saturday's L.A. Kohnke Invitational in Powell. Garcia placed in the top eight of the event and later captured the 400-meter JV title. Tribune photo/Randal Horobik

Good weather, depth of field help teams' development

Cassidy Lynn, Breanna Hollenbeck and Alyssa Hildebrand each won titles in the girls' JV division last Saturday at the L.A. Kohnke Invitational in Powell. The meet featured a full junior varsity division in addition to the varsity action (detailed in last Tuesday's Tribune).

Hollenbeck won the JV long jump title with a leap of 13'11”. Hollenbeck also placed second in high jump (4'5”) and pole vault (6') competitions. Lynn edged Hollenbeck for top honors in the high jump, clearing the bar at 4'7”, while Hildebrand paced the JV discus throwers with a mark of 73'2”.

Teammate Kaitlyn Bonine was second in the discus with a mark of 63'11”.

April 22, 2010 5:12 am

Panther golfers second at Thermop

Written by Tribune Staff

Team hopes to host own invite Friday

The Powell High School golf team finished second out of six schools at Thermopolis last Friday. The team posted a score of 330, finishing 10 strokes in back of Cody, but 11 strokes clear of the remainder of the tournament field.

Zane Bushnell continued a strong spring, placing second with a score of 76. Bushnell's total shaved two strokes off his previous competitive low round for his prep career.

Colter Adolph and Bryan Borcher each carded rounds of 84 to finish in a tie for 10th place. According to Powell High School head golf coach Troy Hildebrand, the round was a career best for Adolph and the first top-10 finish of his career.

Rounding out the scores for Powell were Brian Morse with an 86 and Bowen Prestwich with an 89.

“It was very promising to have all five guys come in under 90,” said Hildebrand. “I am looking forward to getting to play at home this Friday. Playing at home is always a nice confidence boost for our players and gives me the chance to get everyone involved in a tournament atmosphere.

“It is nice to see our team score creeping down toward the 320 mark. If we can consistently get there by next fall, we will be giving ourselves a very good chance in every tournament.”

The Northwest College Trappers finished as the runner-up women's rodeo team at the 2010 Big Sky Regional rodeo in Helena last weekend. The Trapper ladies trailed only Montana State University in the final standings.

Cody Proctor placed second in the women's all-around standings at the regional event. Proctor finished in a fifth-place tie in breakaway roping and placed fourth in goat tying to earn her spot in the all-around standings.

Teammates Pamela Vanek and Leslie Robertson placed second and third, respectively, in the goat tying final standings.
In men's competition, the Trappers placed seventh among nine teams. Tylor Bird turned in Northwest's best finish on the men's side with a third-place showing in bull riding.

Jordan Gill added a fifth-place finish in bareback riding. Samuel Shelton was sixth in steer wrestling. The team-roping combination of Ike Shaw and Colton Hodson placed sixth overall.

Eric Fleming and Travis Winters finished eighth in team roping.

April 22, 2010 5:13 am

Shorb resigns from council

Written by Tribune Staff

Councilman Josh Shorb resigned from the Powell City Council Monday, contingent on the sale of his home in Ward 1. Shorb and his family are planning to move to a house in Ward 3, and the pending sale is expected to be finalized April 29.

“It's with a really heavy heart that I resign, contingent on the sale of my house,” Shorb told the council Monday.

The council will appoint a new council member to fill the vacated seat. Shorb was up for re-election this fall.

The city will begin advertising the position when Shorb's house sale is finalized, said City Clerk Ardyce Busboom. Residents interested in the position can submit a letter to Mayor Scott Mangold.