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Tribune Staff

PHS track teams head to 3A West regionals

The Powell High School track teams head to Jackson this Friday and Saturday for 3A West regional track competition. For the Panthers' automatic qualifiers, the meet represents a tune-up for the state meet in Casper.

For the rest of the squad, the regional meet is one last chance to earn a spot on the Kelly Walsh track when 3A state competition begins on May 20.

Cody golfer the first since 2002 to advance

University of Wyoming junior Gabe Maier, a native of Cody, received an individual bid to the NCAA West Regional golf tournament in Bremerton, Wash., on Monday. Maier is the first UW golfer to advance to regional competition since 2002 and only the fifth golfer in school history to receive such an opportunity.

The tournament takes place May 20-22 with the top performers advancing to the NCAA championships.

Maier joins Dave McCleave (1990), Pat Fry (1995), David Hearn (1999-2001) and Mike Urbatchka (2002) as the only Cowboy golfers to qualify for a regional event. The 1992 UW team remains the only golf team in school history to advance to regional competition.

Maier currently holds a 71.7 stroke average for the season, fourth-best among Mountain West Conference golfers. He owns four top-10 finishes and three top-five appearances this year. His season highlight was winning the 92-man UW Desert Intercollegiate last fall.

Maier is currently ranked No. 81 in the national GolfStat Cup rankings. His short game has received the No. 14 national rank by GolfStat's statistical breakdown.

“We are all very excited for Gabe, as he is very deserving of this opportunity,” said UW director of golf Joe Jensen. “Gabe has played really well this season and it is great to have him recognized on a national level. He earned this opportunity with his tremendous work ethic. We will prepare hard for this event and go out there to compete for a chance of going to the national tournament.”

The West Region tournament will be held on the Gold Mountain Golf Club's Olympic course, future host of the 2011 U.S. Junior Amateur championships. The 18-hole layout plays to a maximum yardage of 7,104 yards and a par of 72.

(Jan. 10, 1914 – May 25, 2010)

Anthony S. “Doc” Rogers died May 25, 2010, at Bonnie Bluejacket Nursing Home in Basin.

On Monday, Powell was dealt one of its harshest economic blows of the recession. Weatherford International, a company with established roots in the community, announced it was closing its Powell manufacturing facility by October — ultimately affecting about 40 employees.

For dozens of families in Powell, the recession suddenly became very personal.

This loss isn't limited to Weatherford employees. The closure of the manufacturing facility — and reduction of higher-paying jobs in the area — will impact local trucking companies, lumberyards, supply stores and other businesses.

Adding to dreary economic conditions, some sugar beet growers still reeling from last year's devastating loss recently began replanting a portion of this year's crop after inclement weather struck local fields. Though not as crippling as last October's frost at harvest time, the unwelcome cold snap was a discouraging way to start the new season.

Amidst recent downturns, local leaders are hoping to rejuvenate Powell's economy with a restructured development plan.

A study conducted by National Community Development Services recommending restructuring of the Powell Valley Economic Development Alliance was presented to leaders this week.

One of the recommendations was that the local group pursue a regional alliance by approaching Forward Cody, our neighboring city's economic development organization. But first, a reorganized board for the Powell Valley Economic Development Alliance must be formed. Paul Prestwich has accepted the role of sparking that reorganization.

We hope business and community leaders, as well as others in Powell, respond to this initiative and join together to develop a strong economic development plan.

Though it's difficult to see Powell's economy take hits, it is encouraging that an economic development effort is in the works. A strong plan could position Powell for a brighter economic future.

This was not what Northwest College needed.

An academic year that had already featured a faculty-adminstration standoff and controversy over recruitment letters added another chapter to the drama last week when a flare-up at an off-campus party spilled back onto campus. That incident resulted in six student-athletes being placed on disciplinary suspension and three members of the Trapper men's basketball program being dismissed from the team.

Occasionally, a cacophony of disjointed thoughts — “Brain-Droppings” if you will — gather ominously in my troubled mind. I typically file them away and ignore them until my head starts pounding. So today I'll get the relief I need by getting them out onto paper.

Whoever coined the absurd notion, “There's no such thing as a free lunch?” There are plenty of free lunches out there … soup kitchens, homeless shelters, the volunteer-staffed, free Thanksgiving dinners for the poor that most communities offer each November. Even a half-eaten Whopper discarded in a dumpster is technically a free lunch if one is enterprising enough to seek it out.

(Dec. 2, 1922 - May 11, 2010)

Marjorie Tavegia Zupan, 87, died May 11, 2010, in Powell.

{gallery}05_11_10/facepaint{/gallery}

Billie Smith paints Ciara Wheatfall's face during Spring Phling festivities in downtown Powell on Friday evening. Smith, owner of Sweet Tooth Candy, joined other local merchants in the first annual event. Powell business owners also participated in West End Days on Saturday. Both weekend events featured activities for kids, food and opportunities to get acquainted with local businesses. Tribune photo by Carla Wensky

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Weatherford International Ltd. announced Monday that it is closing its manufacturing facility in Powell.

Some employees in the company's manufacturing division were notified Monday morning that they had been laid off. In a press release, Weatherford said it will cease operations at the facility on Alan Road by the end of October.

Sugar beet growers are replanting Powell-area fields nipped by frost last week.

Heart Mountain grower Ric Rodriguez replanted some fields over the weekend after some of his beets froze earlier in the week.

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