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For the average Park County resident, following Yellowstone National Park's winter-use plans easily could induce a headache.

As usual, Yellowstone's plans for the upcoming winter season were stuck in convoluted litigation.

Until an early-autumn ruling, Yellowstone leaders planned to allow up to 540 snowmobiles in the park each day. A district court judge in the District of Columbia voided those plans in September, prompting the U.S. park Service to create a temporary plan for only 318 machines per day. In early November, a Wyoming district court judge ordered the park to revert to a 2004 temporary ruling of a 720-per-day limit of snowmobiles.

For local winter enthusiasts, it's good news. For environmental groups, such as the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, it's a disappointing setback.

Grappling over winter use is nothing new — various winter-use plans have been fashioned and scrapped for a decade. Yet the back-and-forth litigation and shifting limits are time-consuming and costly, not to mention frustrating.

It's certain that environmental groups will continue to pursue options to reduce the limit of snowmobiles in Yellowstone, and it's inevitable that others will counteract such attempts.

What is also certain: A long-term plan for winter use is necessary. Yellowstone is a beloved park for many, environmentalists and winter enthusiasts alike. A long-term plan that strikes a balance between protecting the park and enjoying it in winter months needs to be established — one that will stand for years to come.

November 25, 2008 5:54 am

Snowmobile battle poised to continue

New temporary plan draws ire of conservationists

Plans for the upcoming winter season in Yellowstone National Park are set, but the long-term picture remains as foggy as ever.

The more than decade-old conflict over snowmobiling in Yellowstone reached a temporary stalemate Nov. 7, when Wyoming District Court Judge Clarence Brimmer ordered park officials to allow 720 snowmobiles per day until a new, permanent rule is drafted.

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During Sample the Season in downtown Powell on Friday evening, Augusta Larsen pauses to peer at a tree adorned with all things Barbie. Dozens of locals voted on decorated trees and sampled holiday treats from main street businesses. Tribune photo by Kara Bacon

Reserve money to keep scholarship commitment

While falling stock prices seem a long way off for some Wyomingites, their effects hit closer to home than many realize.

One of those effects is the erosion of the endowment fund invested by the Northwest College Foundation to help pay for scholarships at the college.

But college and foundation officials say they have no plans to reduce the number or dollar amounts of scholarships next year.

What currently serves as a barley field eventually will become Centennial Park, possibly housing a miniature golf course, a sledding hill, a rock climbing wall or a skate park — or a combination of those attractions and more.

Powell residents are helping determine what will be offered in the park's 10 acres.

Last week, locals and city officials shared their ideas with the park's design firm, Peaks to Plains Design of Billings, and engineering firm, Inberg-Miller Engineers of Powell.

“Be sure to dream big,” Peaks to Plains landscape architect Jolene Rieck told Powell folks.

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Trapper Jordan Harris (4) launches a shot during Northwest College's Friday matchup with Williston State College during the first night of the First National Bank and Trust Shootout in Powell. Harris finished the two-day tournament with a total of 42 points. Tribune photo by David Dickey

Youth and inexperience led the Northwest College Trappers to a 1-5 record during its first six games this season.

However, it was the coming together as a team and new-found confidence that helped the Trappers plow through a pair of top-notch opponents in the 19th annual First National Bank and Trust Shootout at Hank Cabre Gymnasium in Powell last week.

NWC, a team that boasts a lineup consisting of 11 freshmen and only three sophomores, put its recent, youthful woes behind and looked more like a veteran squad during convincing victories against Williston State College Friday and Northeastern Junior College Saturday. Both teams entered Powell with winning records, but neither was able to topple the Trappers.

November 25, 2008 4:02 am

Lady Tetons push NWC in overtime

Northwest 2-5 after weekend tournament

During the span of a week, the Northwest College Lady Trappers endured more than their fair share of adversity.

On Saturday, Nov. 15, the team's bus suffered a breakdown on the interstate as the squad was returning from the Air Force Prep Tournament in Colorado. That caused the team to arrive home a day later than expected, and the after effects spilled into the early portion of last week.

With that in mind, NWC head coach Chad Oletzke said the Lady Trappers (2-5) were ready to simply return to the court and play, which they were scheduled to do Friday in the opening round of the Lady Trapper Tournament in Powell. The problem, however, was the Lady Trappers had no one to play.

Friday's opponent, Salish-Kootenai College, backed out of the tournament the morning of the event. The result was a forfeit victory for the Lady Trappers, but the downside was that NWC missed a valuable opportunity to play.

NWC finally got to compete Saturday against the Williston State College Lady Tetons, but the result was far from what Oletzke had hoped for his team, which lost a 74-63, overtime decision.

“It was a weird week,” Oletzke said. “We had the deal with the bus, which put us behind during the early part of the week. We struggled through Monday as everybody got caught up on school work, and we were practicing for Friday. When Friday got here, the girls didn't find out that we weren't going to play around 1 or 2 p.m.”

When NWC did get to play, Oletzke said his team had trouble maintaining any type of consistency.

“We struggled to get anything going,” Oletzke said. “At times we had players trying to make things happen, but we just couldn't get any consistency. Even when we took a six-point lead (26-20) into halftime, I felt like we should have been up by more.”

The game remained close throughout, thanks in part to turnovers. Both teams struggled to take care of the ball from start to finish. WSC committed 24 turnovers, while NWC finished with 30.

“It's hard to win when you have 30 turnovers,” Oletzke said. “That makes it that much harder.”

WSC tied the game at 30 with 14:15 left in the second half, but it took the Lady Tetons until just under the 12-minute mark to claim its first advantage of the half at 40-37. The lead changed hands five times after that, and WSC held a 54-53 advantage with 3:53 left in regulation.

The Lady Tetons added a 2-point basket for a 56-53 lead before NWC's Erin Cooke trimmed the deficit to 56-55 with 1:24 left on the clock.

Following Cooke's basket, both teams endured turnovers before WSC's Whitney Sundheim hit one of two free throws for a 57-55 advantage.

With 29.7 seconds left, Cooke answered with a clutch, 2-point basket. Both teams each had one final possession before regulation ended, but neither team could break the 57-57 deadlock.

In overtime, NWC opened strong with a quick basket by Sheena Ryan, but the Lady Tetons answered by outscoring NWC 17-4 the rest of the way.

For NWC, Cooke finished as the leading scorer with 18 points. She was followed by Ryan (13), Gita Grava (9), Madara Upeniece (8), Larissa Crump (5), Lacey Gilmer (5), Rachel Tilley (2), Kassi Tucker (2) and Kati Oliverson (1). Grava led the rebounding effort with 12 boards, and Ryan and Cooke each added seven.

WSC had three players finish with double-digit scoring efforts, including Amber Adams (21 points), Sundheim (20) and Kristen Bearstail (11).

• Up next: The Lady Trappers will be in action again Friday and Saturday in the Snow College Thanksgiving Classic. During that tournament, NWC will face Yavapai College Friday and Treasure Valley Community College Saturday.

Forfeits prove costly for NWC

Tenth-ranked Northwest College suffered a 24-23 loss to No. 16 Western Wyoming Community College last Thursday during a dual meet at Hank Cabre Gymnasium in Powell.

NWC head coach Jim Zeigler did some major juggling of his lineup Thursday night and put his team in a position to register a victory. However, the forfeits at 165 and 174 proved too much to overcome.

Zeigler said his squad wrestled well, but he was still feeling the sting of losing to one of the Trappers' biggest rivals.

“It's a hard pill to swallow,” Zeigler said. “We had a tall mountain to climb because of the two forfeits. We're still working with a makeshift lineup because we have guys trying to change weight classes. We've also got one that is battling an illness, and we're waiting for him to return. We'll get through all of that and get our lineup where we want it. And I know this group will be competitive down the stretch.”

NWC fell behind 6-0 early when the Trappers' 125-pound entry, freshman Eddie Whiting, was pinned by sophomore Ryker Vandertoolen at the 3:52 mark. The pin came after Whiting battled to a 4-4 tie by the end of the first period.

“Eddie was right in there,” Zeigler said. “He had tied it up, but then he got himself in a compromising position and got pinned.”

Trapper freshman Jeff Wood followed Whiting's loss by defeating fifth-ranked Mason Stott. Wood, who trailed 4-3 after the first period, came back to tie the match in the second period and tallied six points in the third to claim an 11-5 decision.

“He was tough again,” said Zeigler, noting that Wood won the 133-pound amateur division at the University of Wyoming's Cowboy Open Saturday, Nov. 15. “He just ran the guy out of gas at the end and finished strong.”

With NWC trailing 6-3 in the team score, freshman McCade Ford came through with a major decision by defeating WWCC's Daniel Coffey by a 13-4 score. Ford took a commanding 7-2 lead early and built on that in the second and third periods.

The four points for the major decision by Ford vaulted NWC into the lead at 7-6, but that advantage was short lived due to WWCC's victory at 149. Dollar built a 4-1 lead after two periods against the eighth-ranked freshman from Casper and was able to hold on for a 5-3 decision. The victory pushed WWCC ahead 9-7, but NWC 157-pound entry Corey Woodruff put the Trappers ahead again, and set the stage for a possible team victory with his major decision over the Mustangs' Justin Curtice.

The bout between Woodruff and Curtice was deadlocked in a scoreless tie after one period, and Woodruff trailed 2-1 after the second. In the third period, however, the freshman from Michigan mounted an impressive come-from-behind effort and walked away a 14-2 winner.

“He made a great comeback to get the major decision,” Zeigler said.

NWC, ahead 11-9 following Woodruff's victory, then forfeited at 165 and 174. That put NWC behind 21-11 and left Trapper freshman Tyrell Wright with the tall task of facing WWCC's Tyson Anderson at 184. Wright, who was originally scheduled to wrestle at 174, said he gave up about 12 pounds to Anderson. However, he led 2-1 after the first period and 4-3 after the second before dropping a 5-4 decision. The Mustangs moved ahead 24-11 with the three points for the decision and guaranteed themselves the victory.

NWC closed the gap when Trapper freshman Mak Jones won via forfeit at 197 and when Landon Harris pinned WWCC's Rusty Farnsworth at 1:46 in the first period of the heavyweight bout.

For the Trappers, Thursday's meet was their last at home until Jan. 15. On that day, NWC will host the University of Great Falls.

The Trappers were scheduled to compete in the University of Northern Colorado Open in Greeley Sunday, Nov. 23. Results of that tournament will be included in the Friday. Nov. 28, edition of the Powell Tribune.

November 25, 2008 3:29 am

Mary Emma Gormley

(Feb. 18, 1932 - Nov. 18, 2008)

Funeral services were conducted Saturday morning, Nov. 22 at Thompson Funeral Home for Mary Emma Gormley, 76, who died Tuesday, Nov. 18 at Powell Valley Hospital.

She was born Feb. 18, 1932, to Ewell Jackson Hankins and Bertha Fleet (Glover) Hankins. Her formal education extended through one year of Business School before marrying Guy Robert Gormley in Billings, Mont., on July 12, 1952. They lived in Greybull, Grand Forks, N.D., and Greeley, Colo., before moving to Powell.

She was a bookkeeper and housewife.

Survivors include her husband of Powell; a son, Keith Ewell Gormley in Texas; two grandsons, Craig Thomas Gormley in Texas and Christopher Todd Gormley in Oregon; and a sister, Bertie Hotvedt.

Burial was in Crown Hill Cemetery.

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Terra Fernau fills Kristen Edwards' and Ric Heasler's bowls with steaming potato bacon soup at the Empty Bowls charity event Tuesday at Plaza Diane. Attendees cheerfully waited in a line that wound all the way to the corner of Bent and Second streets. Tribune photo by Kara Bacon

Inside Plaza Diane, hundreds of handmade ceramic bowls of various sizes and colors lined a long table. Outside, hundreds of people of various ages and social backgrounds waited to purchase a bowl for a good cause.

During the Empty Bowl fundraiser Tuesday night, 220 bowls were purchased, raising more than $2,500 for Powell Valley Loaves and Fishes.

The $10 bowls were filled with warm soup, and people kept their purchased bowls as a reminder of hunger.
Northwest College ceramics instructor Elaine DeBuhr organized the event and was amazed at the community's turnout.

“I'm just astounded by it,” she said. “The bowls sold out in less than an hour ... only an hour, but it was such an incredible hour.”