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Administrators and faculty at Northwest College are working to find ways to cut $875,000 out of the college's budget for the coming academic year.

Gov. Dave Freudenthal has instructed all state departments and agencies, including the Wyoming Community College Commission, to cut their budgets by 5 percent for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1.

Powell Town Marshal Charles Lewis was killed March 16, 1939. Seventy years later, Powell Police Chief Tim Feathers organized a memorial service because, he said, it is time the man was honored for his ultimate sacrifice.

Remembering a town father and lawman killed in the line of duty in 1939, the city of Powell's police facility will be dedicated and named the Charles E. Lewis Law Enforcement Center. Monday, March 16, will be declared Charles Lewis Memorial Day.

March 05, 2009 4:04 am

PHS girls ready to battle

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Lady Panther Savannah Donarski (second from right) and her teammates will carry a No. 2 ranking into the Class 3A West Regional Tournament, which begins today (Thursday) in Worland. Tribune photo by David Dickey

Squad seeks return to state tourney

Eight girls basketball teams will do battle this weekend in Worland at the Class 3A West Regional Tournament, and Powell High School head coach Luke Danforth expects plenty of stiff competition.

“I really think the top seven teams will have a shot,” he said.

When the Class 3A West Regional Tournament begins today (Thursday) in Worland, the Powell High School Panthers will have a clear goal in mind — finish in the top four.

If the Panthers can successfully complete that mission, they will earn a berth in the state tournament in Casper March 12-14. During the 2007-08 slate, the Panthers (11-9 overall, 7-7 West Conference) enjoyed one of their best seasons in recent years. But when the regional tournament concluded, so did their season.

The Panthers, who came up one win shy of the top four at last year's regional, were forced to watch as eight other teams from the East and West conferences battled it out for supremacy in Class 3A. That's a scenario the Panthers hope to avoid this time around.

“It was disappointing last year when we didn't make it to state,” said PHS head coach Troy Hildebrand. “Going into regionals, we felt like we were one of the top four teams in our conference, but we came up one win short of making it to state. As disappointing as that was, we've used that experience and turned it into a positive. Five of our guys played a lot of minutes in last year's regional, and they all want to get to state this time. They've worked hard, and I think we're as prepared as we can be. We just have to take care of the things we can control.”

The first team standing in the way of PHS and its goal will be Jackson, a squad that has been a thorn in the Panthers' side this season. Jackson, which is the fourth-seeded team in the regional tournament bracket, is 2-0 against the Panthers this year. Both games with fifth-seeded PHS were decided in overtime, and the Panthers are looking to gain a measure of revenge when the two teams face off at 10:30 today (Thursday).

“Our guys are excited about that matchup,” Hildebrand said. “We've had two close games with them, and in both of those they found a way to win. This time around, we'll hopefully find a way to make the plays we need to get over the hump against them.”

During the most recent matchup with Jackson on Feb. 6, the Broncs edged PHS 46-43 and snapped a six-game winning streak by the Panthers. As a testament to how even the teams are, that matchup was the fourth straight overtime contest between the two squads dating back to last season. In those four games, PHS is 1-3.

For the Panthers to reverse their fortunes against the Broncs, Hildebrand said his team will need to continue its strong defensive play and continue to make baskets, particularly free throws, when they count the most in close games. In many of PHS's wins, strong efforts at the free-throw line have propelled the Panthers past their opponents. Just last week during PHS's victory in their regular-season finale, the Panthers hit five of their last six free throws in a 36-32 decision over rival Cody.

Among the players Hildebrand will be counting on to help the Panthers navigate their way through the tournament this week will be Jordan Brown, Ryan Brandt, Matt McArthur and Galen Mills. Those four, after 20 games, are the team's leading scorers. Brown is averaging 11.4 points per game, and Brandt is close behind (11.1 ppg). McArthur and Galen Mills are averaging 10.3 and eight points, respectively.

Brown, in addition to his points totals, also leads the Panthers in a number of other areas, including free throws made and attempted (56 of 79), assists (4.1 apg), steals (2.9 spg), blocks (.8 blks pg). Brandt is the leader on the boards for PHS with 8.9 rebounds per game, and McArthur has contributed 6.1 boards per game.

Other teams competing in the regional tournament include Kemmerer, Worland, Lovell, Pinedale, Lyman and Cody. Kemmerer, the No. 1 seed and the second-ranked team in Class 3A, is among the favorites to claim the regional title. However, second-seeded Worland and third-seeded Lovell expect to make a charge for the top honor as well.

“Anything can happen,” Hildebrand said of each team's shot at claiming one of the qualifying spots for the tournament. “When it gets to be this time of year, there can definitely be some surprises.”

Should the Panthers win their opening-round game against Jackson, they will advance to play the winner of the Kemmerer-Cody contest on Friday at 5:30 p.m. A first-round loss by the Panthers will put them in the Friday game at 6 p.m. against the loser of the Kemmerer-Cody matchup. The tournament is scheduled to conclude Saturday with the 8:30 p.m. championship game.

For a complete tournament bracket, visit the Wyoming High School Activities Association Web site at www.whsaa.org.

Of all the teams that represent Powell High School, one has the longest practice season.

Ironically, that team also has the shortest competitive season — one shot at comparing themselves with teams from other schools.

On Wednesday, March 11, PHS's 15 cheerleaders, who have been practicing their sport since September, travel to Casper for the annual state spirit competition and their one chance to see if they can beat the competition.

“It's what we've been working the whole season for,” said Kelli Lewis, one of five seniors on the squad who is in her third year as a cheerleader.

With no other competition during the season, the girls don't know what kind of challengers they will face, but they aren't concerned about that.

“We're not worried so much about winning, just doing our best,” said Tia Smith, a senior competing for her second year.

Whatever the outcome, the girls said they will enjoy the experience and have good memories.

“It will be fun just remembering it,” said senior Hanna Gifford, another three-year veteran of the squad.

According to Vicki Walsh, coach of the PHS cheerleaders, the squad will compete in two events, girls stunt and non-stunt, also known as cheer-dance.

Not many schools compete in the stunt division, Walsh said. She said nine 2A and 3A teams are expected to compete, but should that number decrease to fewer than six, all the teams will be thrown into one division and compete with the 4A teams.

More schools enter the non-stunt division, and Walsh said she thinks Powell will be one of 15 2A and 3A schools competing.

Of the two events, all five seniors said the stunt competition is the most rewarding, probably because it's also the hardest, challenging their endurance, and be presenting the very real danger of injury as well. Depending on your teammates to catch you is a little scary, and it's just as scary to know you have the responsibility of supporting and catching one of your teammates, they said.

“Getting over the fear is hard,” said three-year veteran Chelsea Akin, as the other seniors nodded their heads.

State competition aside, cheerleading has other rewards for the girls. They like the challenge and the teamwork, and they enjoy the occasional trips they take. Last week, the five seniors were part of the squad that cheered at the state wrestling tournament, which they all agreed is the most fun of any event they attend, especially this year when they were cheering for the champions.

Next week, they will be representing PHS on their own, and in the end, that's a big reason why they like cheerleading.

“It's just a good way to represent your school,” said Masbruch, who was a cheerleader at her former school in Colorado before moving to Powell this year.

“You do it for the love of it.”

Joining the five seniors on the team this year are Emily Schwahn, Ali Trustem, Tia Ibarra, Kelsey Ohman, April Patterson, Brianna Schwan, Shyanne Smith, Blake Harshman, Olivia Slater and Chelsea Padilla.

Recent discussions of combining recycling efforts in Park County have targeted Powell Valley Recycling as the logical choice for regional operations.

As the county faces partial closure of the Powell landfill in 2010, it is likely that the city's garbage will be transported to Cody, where a lined landfill will accept regional waste. It may be possible to have the trucks that haul Powell's waste to Cody bring recyclables from Cody back on the return trip.

If plans proceed as expected, Powell will expand its center to accommodate several communities' recyclable materials.

Powell Valley Recycling is up to the challenge. The local center already receives material from surrounding towns in the Big Horn Basin, including Greybull, Lovell, Byron and Meeteetse.

The center's operations have grown every year. It processed more than 800 tons of material in 2007-08 —nearly three times the amount it handled 10 years ago. Since its inception, the facility has been committed to local sustainability.

In 2007, the Wyoming Solid Waste and Recycling Association recognized Powell Valley Recycling and its manager Mary Jo Decker for the center's early and continued success, naming it the Recycling Organization of the Year.

Even as prices paid for recyclables have plummeted as a result of the global recession, Decker said the center is prepared to weather the storm wrought by the grim market.

Though not fiscally profitable, recycling efforts remain vital to our environment. As Decker said earlier this year, “Why should we throw away anything that can be used again?”

It appears that local residents agree. Both Powell and Cody's recycling centers are seeing an influx in use, growing at a 10-percent annual rate.

Consolidating county recycling makes sense, and with the support of local government entities, we are confident Powell Valley Recycling is capable of handling the proposed expansion with success.

March 05, 2009 3:45 am

Paul Schiltz

Paul Schiltz, 92, died Wednesday, March 4, at the Powell Valley Care Center.

Funeral Mass services will be at 10:30 a.m. Friday, March 13, at St. Barbara's Catholic Church.

Vigil services will be at 7 p.m. Thursday, March, 12 at St. Barbara's Catholic Church.

Burial will be in Crown Hill Cemetery.

Arrangements are being handled by Thompson Funeral Home.

March 05, 2009 3:42 am

John Ross Phillips

John Ross Phillips, 78, died Monday, March 2, at the Billings Clinic.

No services are planned at this time.

Arrangements are being handled by Thompson Funeral Home.

March 05, 2009 3:39 am

Sarah Evadean (Anderson) Muslin

(Dec. 20, 1977 - March 3, 2009)

Sarah Evadean (Anderson) Muslin, 31, died Tuesday, March 3 at her home in Wasilla, Alaska.

She was born Dec. 20, 1977, the daughter of Elton A. Anderson and Sarah L. (Judd) Anderson. Sarah grew up and attended school in Powell. She was active in Girl Scouts, 4-H and FFA.

Sarah married Jason Muslin on May 29, 1999 in Wasilla, where she resided for the last 12 years. She was a strong, loving and outgoing person. She loved spending time with her daughter, Chelsea, and watching her grow.

Sarah is survived by her husband, Jason; daughter, Chelsea; parents, Elton and Sarah Anderson; siblings, Angela Anderson, Lisa and Bryan Hendricks and Niki and KyleMuslin; two nieces and a nephew. Funeral services will be Monday, March 10 at 10 a.m. at the Wasilla LDS Church. Interment will be at a later date.

March 05, 2009 3:38 am

Betty Frame McConihay

(Aug. 15, 1925 - March 1, 2009)

Betty Frame McConihay died March 1 at the Powell Valley Care Center after suffering a stroke in February.

Betty was born on Aug. 15, 1925, in South Charleston, W.Va. She graduated from high school in South Charleston, and she later earned her bachelor's and master's degrees from Marshall University.

Betty married William McConihay in 1947 and moved to East Bank, W.Va.. She lived in East Bank until her husband died in 2008, at which point she moved to the Powell Valley Care Center to be closer to her sister.

She taught math and English in Kanawha County Schools for 33 years, and upon retirement she continued teaching math at West Virginia Institute of Technology for several terms. She was instrumental in supporting her niece and nephews in their pursuit of higher education.

A member of South Charleston First Baptist Church, she attended the United Methodist Church in East Bank.

She was a charter member and first president of Chi Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma, an International Honorary Teacher's Society, and was also a charter member of East Bank Garden Club where she was very active in the organization.

Preceding her in death were her parents, Harry and Rexie Given Frame and her husband of 60 years, William C. McConihay.

She is survived by her sister, Patricia Dixon (Thomas) of Powell; aunt, Dixie Donahue (Earl) of Dille, W.Va., and a niece, two nephews and several cousins.

Haskell Funeral Home in Lovell is in charge of arrangements.

A private memorial will be held at a later date in West Virginia. Cremation has taken place, and friends may wish to donate to: Betty Frame McConihay Math Scholarship, Marshall University Foundation, 1 John Marshall Drive, Huntington WV 25755; East Bank United Methodist Church or East Bank Garden Club.