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February 24, 2009 3:37 am

Thomas George (Tom) Wren

(Nov. 7, 1944 - Feb. 14, 2009)

Former Powell resident Thomas George “Tom” Wren died in his sleep at his home in Riverton on Feb. 14.

Tom was born in Stockton, Calif. on Nov. 7, 1944 to Lester and Lucille (Miller) Wren. His parents divorced when he was an infant and his mother later married George Van Dorn of Craig, Colo.

Tom was a free spirit who had his own beliefs and ideas about life. He had many adventures over the course of his life, from riding bulls in the rodeo to building a log cabin in Alaska. Along the way, he was fortunate enough to find love, not once or twice, but three times. His three wives, Toni, April and Diane, preceded him in death.

Tom enjoyed old western movies, watching football in his recliner, midnight snacks, entertaining and cooking for loved ones and telling stories about the “good ol' days.” He had a kind heart, a quick wit and an infectious laugh.

Tom is survived by his children Tracy, Tasha, Tammy, Todd, Darcy, Debbie, Kevin, Shawna and Eric; sister, Myrna Martin; brother, Carl Van Dorn; and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his wives and a brother, Melvin Wren.

A celebration of his life will take place at a later date.

February 24, 2009 3:34 am

George W. Loyning

(May 19, 1933 – Feb. 19, 2009)

George W. Loyning, 75, died Feb. 19 of pancreatic cancer at his home in Powell.

He was born on the family ranch in Warren, Mont. on May 19, 1933, the son of Ruth (Bent) and Ben (B.P.) Loyning.

George farmed and ranched in Carbon County, Mont. with his dad and brother for many years, running cattle and sheep and later switching to a cow/calf operation. He looked forward to spring calving, lambing, and farming followed by branding and irrigating, and there were always fences to repair or build.

He spent endless hours in the saddle, riding the range and trailing sheep and cattle up and down the Pryors. The family ranching tradition has been carried on by his son, Paul, and grandson, Ben. George was an FFA member, an honorary FFA member, and he continued to be an avid supporter of FFA, as well as 4-H, throughout his life. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, boating, four-wheeling, sporting events and traveling. George was always ready for the next adventure.

He is survived by his wife Bonnie (Mars); sons, Doug (Judith) of Powell, Geary (Angie) of Zoortman, Mont., Paul (Jean) of Warren, Mont.; daughters, Joni (John) Ballek of Buffalo and LuAnne (Rick) Campbell of Frannie; and his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his brother, Sam Loyning of Laurel, Mont.; sisters, Clara Mae Allen of Garneil, Mont. and Janice Lehman of Laurel; and numerous nieces, nephews and in-laws.

He was preceded in death by his brother, Paul, his parents, and a grandson, Levi.

A memorial and celebration of his life will be held on Father's Day.

Memorials may be made in George Loyning's name to Powell Valley Hospice at 777 Ave. H in Powell or to the Special K Ranch at 34 Special K Lane, Columbus, MT, 59019. A memorial fund has also been established at First National Bank in Powell for future support of 4-H and FFA events held during the Park County Fair.

A recent story in the Casper Star-Tribune outlined the many ways Wyoming's national parks are becoming more environmentally friendly.

Yellowstone currently is implementing a number of new programs. From eco-friendly soap and compostable shampoo and conditioner bottles in hotel rooms to biodiesel-fueled and hybrid vehicles on the parks' roads and a park-wide recycling program, Yellowstone is setting an example for other parks, nationwide, to follow.

Grand Teton National Park and Devils Tower National Monument also are contributing to the environmental movement. Grand Teton now uses 100 percent green power — from solar, wind and water sources — and Devils Tower is switching to hybrid and electric vehicles.

While Wyoming's parks deserve kudos for being at the forefront of this transition, it only makes sense that the parks are making positive changes. The national park system was developed to preserve and protect America's natural treasures.

The ecosystems of the parks often are tremendously fragile. Emissions from vehicles, coupled with human waste and the overall impact of tourist traffic, inflict an enormous toll. Anything that can be done to lessen the impact is the right choice.

By making sure that the cleanest, most eco-friendly and sustainable practices and materials are standard, the park service can ensure the country's most wondrous places will be enjoyed by future generations.

February 24, 2009 3:29 am

Tough times

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Holstein cows at George's Dairy Farm west of Powell pause to pose while eating hay cubes Wednesday morning. Some of George's top production cows can produce up to 15 gallons of milk per cow per day, with a farm average of 8 gallons per cow per day. Tribune photo by Carla Wensky

Dairy producers up against high costs, spiraling prices

Dairy farmers are finding that dropping wholesale milk prices are no match for steep production costs, including high prices for feed, fertilizer and fuel.

Dairy farmer Scott George said the sputtering U.S. Economy is squeezing out dairy farmers. But consumers probably won't see lower prices for dairy products at retail stores, he said.

The 2009 Wyoming Legislature is attempting to balance both ends of an economic teeter-totter as lawmakers work to reduce residents' property-tax burdens while also searching for ways to cope with the state's declining mineral revenues.

Helping lead that effort is House Speaker Colin Simpson, R-Cody.

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Nurse practitioner student Whitney Hernandez listens to a patient's heart and lungs at the Heart Mountain Volunteer Medical Clinic. Hernandez, a Powell native who lives in Denver, volunteers at the clinic when she comes home to visit her family. Tribune photo by Carla Wensky

As the sun sets in the winter sky, the Tuesday workday comes to an end for most people. Thoughts turn toward going home, fixing dinner, getting the kids to bed. But the night is just beginning at the Heart Mountain Volunteer Medical Clinic.

At 5:15 p.m., an elderly couple arrives at the clinic carrying armloads of food: Carrot cake, a Crock-Pot of aromatic beef barley soup, a salad. Clinic director JoAnn Cozzens explains that, each month, a different local church provides food for the clinic volunteers.

February 19, 2009 4:54 am

Time to peak


Powell High School's Cole Kary (left) is one of 14 Panthers listed in the Class 3A rankings released by WyoPreps.com on Feb. 11. Kary is ranked second in the 145-pound weight class. Tribune photo by David Dickey

PHS wrestlers ready for stretch run

A number of wrestling coaches in Wyoming can often be heard using the phrase, “Everything is practice until regionals and state.” Count Powell High School coach Nate Urbach among that group.

With that in mind, it's safe to say Urbach's Panthers have accomplished a great deal during “practice” this season.

Game will be June 13 at NCHS

Three seniors from Powell High School have been selected to play in the 36th annual Shrine Bowl of Wyoming.

According to a press release issued by T.J. Claunch, executive director of the Shrine Bowl of Wyoming, Panthers Trevor Donarski, Galen Mills and Gavin Mills will help fill out the roster of the North All-Star team. The game will be played June 13 in Casper at Natrona County High School. Kickoff for the game is set for 7 p.m., and pre-game ceremonies are slated to begin at 6:15 p.m.

Donarski finished the season ranked seventh in Class 4A for average defensive points per game (16.1). On offense, he led the Panthers in receptions (27) and receiving yards (357). He also rushed for 217 yards on 49 attempts and was ranked third on the team for all-purpose yardage per contest (70.7).

Galen Mills, who recently inked a letter of intent to play football for Carroll College, ended the 2008 season ranked third in passing with 119.5 yards per game. The quarterback also was third in Class 3A for all-purpose yardage (160.3). On defense, he was second on the team with four interceptions.

Gavin Mills, who recently signed a certificate of intent to continue his education and football careers at the United States Air Force Academy, also enjoyed another solid year on the gridiron in 2008.

From his receiver position, Gavin Mills caught 18 passes for 257 yards and four touchdowns and posted the team's fourth-best all-purpose yardage total with 37 yards per game.

From his spot in the defensive backfield, Gavin Mills was third on the team with 10.7 defensive points per game and led the squad in interceptions with five.

Cody High School's Cris Williams will serve as head coach of the North All-Stars. His assistant coaches will be Shawn Allred (Cody), Vic Wilkerson (Campbell County), Larry Yeradi (Wright), Mike McGuire (Riverside) and Zeb Hagen (Meeteetse).

The following is a list of the players chosen for the North All-Star squad's roster:

• Campbell County High School: Logan Pokallus, Spencer Bruce, Garrett Heusenkveld, Derrek Jerred, and Zack Looney.
• Kelly Walsh: Sterling Dockweiler.
• Natrona County: Nick Elliott and Chris Honken.
• Sheridan: Justin Will, Logan Martinez and Mitch Hoy.
• Buffalo: Dan Long, Steven Iberlin, Tyler Gibbs and Robby Trabing.
• Cody: Dayton McMillan, Sam Werner and Glen Clinton.
• Lander: Matt Baker and Bret Klopp.
• Powell: Trevor Donarski, Gavin Mills and Galen Mills.
• Lovell: Steven Durtsche and Grant Geiser.
• Moorcroft: Bryan Renneisen.
• Newcastle: Matt Gregory and Nick Pisciotti.
• Wright: Duncan Jones.
• Big Horn: Tim Mendoza, Matt Metzger and Michael Alzheimer.
• Greybull: Kyle Ellison.
• Riverside: Matt Craft.
• Wind River: Pete Babione.
• Burlington: Spencer Flores

Alternates for the North All-Star team include alternates Sean Thompson (Rocky Mountain), Spencer Steele (Jackson Hole), Kevin Bell (Kelly Walsh), Austin Coyle (Riverton), Jesse Wolf (Wright), Ryan Dunn (Tongue River), Jeff Joyce (Riverside), Todd Davidson (Burlilngton), Ryan Kinzer (Buffalo), Taylor Reuer (Worland), Michael Peterson (Moorcroft) and Cody Tweeten (Campbell County).

February 19, 2009 3:42 am

PHS to unveil Hall of Fame Corner

Bloom's jersey to be retired

When the Powell High School basketball teams face Lovell Friday (tomorrow), a number of special ceremonies will be conducted throughout the evening.

One of the events will be the unveiling of the PHS Hall of Fame Corner, which will include banners recognizing three PHS student-athletes who already have had their jerseys retired — Jesseca Cross, Dennis Havig and Eddie Kawano. As part of that ceremony, which will be conducted at approximately 7 p.m., the basketball jersey worn by Keith Bloom, will be retired.

According to Jeff Jones, PHS activities director and assistant principal, the new Hall of Fame Corner will include a large banner proclaiming the name of the new addition along with the Panther logo. He said individual banners, one each for Bloom, Cross, Havig and Kawano, will be unveiled as well. Those banners will include each standout's name, retired number, senior year and sport of their retired number.

“I think it's going to be pretty neat for everyone involved,” Jones said. “This will be a great way for us to recognize those former PHS student-athletes for their many accomplishments, and we encourage everyone to come out and be part of what will be a special night.”

Jones, who came up with the idea for the Hall of Fame Corner, said it will be particularly monumental to see Bloom's basketball jersey retired. Bloom, who is nicknamed Mr. Panther, enjoyed a stellar multi-sport career at PHS between 1941 and 1945.

During a recent interview, Bloom said he learned of the plan to retire his No. 57 last summer at a PHS alumni banquet.

“It was a real surprise to me,” Bloom said. “It's a real honor and one I don't even know how to describe. It just means so much to me.”

Added Jones, “In my opinion, this is an honor long overdue for one of the finest representatives of PHS athletics to ever put on a uniform.”

Bloom, following his time as a student-athlete at PHS, went on to enjoy a standout athletic career at the University of Wyoming, where he competed in a number of sports, including basketball.

As a member of the Cowboys' basketball squad, coached by Ev Shelton, he earned the distinction of team captain. He is one of only two athletes to letter in three sports at UW and was inducted into the UW Athletics Hall of Fame. He also is a member of the Wyoming Sports Hall of Fame and the National High School Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

After college, Bloom coached basketball, football, track and tennis at PHS and served as athletic director in a career that spanned 40 years.

Jones said Bloom is expected to attend the ceremony. Cross and Kawano also are expected to be in attendance. Cross, in addition to her accomplishments at PHS, attended the University of Wyoming on a basketball scholarship. She also competed in the hammer throw and shot put at the 2000 Summer Olympics. Kawano was a standout tailback at PHS during the 1960s.

Havig, who enjoyed a six-year NFL career that included time with Green Bay, Houston and Atlanta, will not be able to attend, Jones said. Havig, however, like the others included in the Hall of Fame Corner, is expected to have numerous family members and friends at the event.

In conjunction with the ceremony celebrating the former PHS athletic standouts, Jones said a pair of state championship banners earned by PHS's speech and drama teams will be unveiled. Those banner ceremonies will be conducted at halftime of the varsity girls game between the Lady Panthers and Lady Bulldogs. That game is slated to start at 5:45 p.m.

Following the PHS Hall of Fame Corner ceremony at approximately 7 p.m., the varsity boys teams from Powell and Lovell will square off. The start time for that contest is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

The dangers of secondhand cigarette smoke have been in the limelight recently as the Legislature considers a smoking ban.

A less-publicized form of tobacco now is garnering attention during “Through With Chew Week,” which runs until Saturday.

The purpose of the week is to remind people that chewing tobacco is not a safe alternative to smoking. One in three patients diagnosed with oral cancer will die from it.

However, as public smoking is discouraged, an adverse effect could be an increase in chewing tobacco use, according to Connie Zierke, Tobacco Prevention Coordinator for Park County.

A recent ad campaign featured an unsightly image of a rattlesnake weaving out of a man's mouth. The metaphor, in addition to being attention-grabbing, is fitting. Oral cancer strikes quickly and usually kills quickly.

At Northwest College today (Thursday), Tobacco Prevention in Park County personnel will educate students on tobacco use and its potential dangers.

From 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Dr. Leonard Moore will conduct free oral screenings for students.

The group also is providing “Quit Kits,” which are available at several local dentists' offices in Park County and at the Prevention and Wellness Office in the Coe Medical Center.

While the dangers of secondhand smoke are worth recognizing, it's also necessary to note that smokeless tobacco isn't harmless either.