Powell, WY


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Tribune Staff

Three candidates jostle at forum

There was plenty of trash talk at last week's Park County Commission candidate forum.

While the discussion was civil, the subject matter at the Powell event largely focused on the future of the county's garbage.

Watching news coverage of the rescue of 33 miners in a copper mine in Chile earlier this month took on a personal meaning for a few Northwest College students.

The miners were trapped after a cave-in at the San Jose Mine in northern Chile three months earlier.


Powell senior Kyle Sullivan runs with the football during the Panthers' first game against Riverton this season. The two teams meet again this Friday in a 3A quarterfinal playoff contest. Tribune photo by John Wetzel

Just like regular season, Panthers' playoff schedule starts with RIverton

In many ways, it will feel like the start of football season all over again when No. 4 Riverton (5-3) returns to Powell this Friday night for a 3A quarterfinal contest against the fifth-ranked and also 5-3 Panthers. After beginning the regular season against each other, the two schools will now battle for the right to play at least one more week.

Team hosts Williston to start year

Five players with returning starting experience will be back in uniform for the Northwest College Trappers, who open women's basketball season this Monday against Williston State College out of North Dakota. The Trappers are looking to build upon the 11-19 mark in head coach Janis Beal's first season at the helm.

“I learned more (last year) than you can imagine,” said Beal, who returned to lead the team that she starred for as a collegiate player. “These first weeks, we've really focused on the defensive end of things, because I didn't think we did that enough a year ago. You know I like to run and put up the points, but for us that has to be generated off our defense.”

Team record receives two unexpected W's

Consider it a form of new math. The Northwest College women's volleyball team played four matches since Friday, but picked up five victories over that time period. The latest win in the series was a four-game victory over the Rocky Mountain College JV squad as the team paid tribute to its sophomores on Monday night.

The Trappers began the week with a 25-10, 25-18, 26-24 loss to No. 2 Western Wyoming, but recovered Saturday to defeat New Mexico Military 25-13, 16-25, 25-23, 16-25, 15-8 and Air Force Prep 25-14, 25-7, 25-13. The team wrapped up its busy run on Monday at Cabre Gym by defeating the Battlin' Bears by a 25-16, 25-20, 21-25, 25-21 margin.

The team's other two wins came after the NJCAA ruled on Oct. 24 that fellow Region IX North institution Laramie County Community College had used an ineligible player in 20 games this season.

According to the LCCC Wingspan, the player, who was not named, was determined to have “participated in a league deemed by the NJCAA to be a professional league, despite the fact that the player had never earned any money for playing.” The player apparently participated in one match during the 2008-2009 season and another in the 2009-2010 year.

LCCC, which had been ranked No. 7 in the nation, was required to forfeit all 20 games in which the player had appeared this season, including both games against Northwest this season. Both of those games originally saw the Trappers fall to LCCC.

Northwest's season record now sits at 21-15 overall. The Trappers moved to second in the Region IX North standings as a result of the record reshuffle within the sub-region.

Freshman Sandrina Hunsel made sure the Trapper sophomores went out as winners in their final home court appearance on Monday night, slamming 20 kills over the net. Hunsel started the day ranked fifth nationally in kills this season, but her performance leapfrogged her into third by night's end with 452 to show for the season thus far.

Danielle York added six kills, five ace serves and a pair of blocks while Phoibe Fetu finished with five kills and four aces in support.

The game had its nervous moments for the Trappers, however. Freshman Gabriella Fabri, who has been playing with a torn meniscus all season, had her knee buckle late in the second game. She was pulled from the floor and did not return. Sophomore Randi McInerney turned in three kills in game one against Rocky Mountain, but did not return to the floor after that in her final home appearance. Like Fabri, McInerney is nursing a knee injury and is slated for surgery at season's end.

“Gabby's knee gave out as she went to plant for an approach,” said Trapper head coach Flavia Siqueira. “Randi we just want to keep as healthy as possible. We'll need both of them at the regional tournament.”

Neither player was expected to see the court last night (Wednesday) when the Trappers traveled to Central Wyoming to close out the regular season.

Over the weekend, Hunsel led the Trappers in kills in each of their three weekend contests, posting a total of 46. She also led the way with eight blocks against New Mexico Military in a contest that also saw teammates Jessica Denney, Gianesi Tarafa and Fetu each add five blocks of their own. York turned in 10 valuable kills to get the Trappers past New Mexico Military in five games while Denney and Fetu each produced seven kills against Air Force Prep.

Northwest College travels to Glendive, Mont., on Wednesday, Nov. 3, to begin Region IX North tournament play. The Trappers are assured of the No. 2 seed at that event and will face either Sheridan or LCCC in the opening round.

Despite the recent forfeit ruling handed down by the NJCAA, LCCC remains eligible for both regional and national tournament play.

You've dusted off those fabric ghosts and plastic skeletons. I've dusted off my keyboard and my tap-dancing skills.

With one complete redheaded character costume waiting in my closet, there is only one thing left to do — no, say, no — scream!


Oh yeah, and remind the ghouled folks of Powell to keep an eye on their tricksters and for kiddies to keep an eye on traffic — among other Halloween precautions.

Time and time again, parents are reminded to have visible children — bright costumes, reflective tape on treat bags and flashlights. I have visions of a ghostly-looking fiend with a reflective traffic triangle on his back like a roadside buggy found in Amish country.

The American Association of Poison Control Centers warn against the use of glow sticks because of the irritant dibutyl phthalate, “but rest assured that a taste amount is non-toxic,” said a press release.

Other irritants to be wary of are face paint alternatives that kids will find and think they can use on their faces, such as shoe polish, random paints and other household products.

I ask that parents assist their children if hair styling is on the agenda for the perfect costume. Curling- and flat-iron burns are not fun for anyone, nor is a hairspray shot to the face.

And who could forget sweets and treats?

For fears about bad candy and strange treats, don't trust any apple-toting evil queens. Stay away from fruits, homemade treats and rewrapped candy. OK, you can trust Aunt Betty's famous popcorn ball; it is best if you are well acquainted and trust the maker of special treats.

If you miss the days of simple candies and special treats, think about alternatives, such as zany pencils, wacky erasers or even those hip new awkwardly-shaped bracelets commonly referred to as “Silly Bandz.”

If you chose to keep your kids in a structured candy and fun-seeking environment, there are a few community events. The Powelloween Treat Street takes place Friday afternoon A haunted house is planned at the Park County Fairgrounds Friday and Saturday. On Sunday, Hope Lutheran Church at Avenue H and Cary Street will host “trunk-or-treat.” Local churches will host a Harvest Carnival Sunday at The Commons.

Remember to brush and floss those teeth.

More importantly — have fun.

I'm a registered Republican, and have been all my voting life. While I find myself agreeing with a conservative philosophy (I lean somewhat right of center), I refuse to vote along party lines, especially if I believe a Democratic candidate will do a better job than his or her Republican counterpart.

I'm no fan of partisan politics, and the more polarized our political system gets, the less I like it.

As a state government reporter in Cheyenne for four years (and a general assignment reporter who frequently covered state government issues for three years before that), I grew to admire the majority of lawmakers in the Legislature, most of whom sacrificed a great deal and worked very hard, often for very long hours, to represent their constituents. They truly wanted the best for their constituents, and for the state.

But the experience also served to increase my dislike for partisan politics. Too often, I saw a good idea passed over without consideration because it was proposed by the wrong person, representing the wrong party. On the other hand, there were times when a proposal with fewer merits advanced with little question or challenge because it was proposed by someone noteworthy in the “right” party.

But there were some really exciting moments, too, when I saw lawmakers from both sides of the aisle come together for a good cause.

The best example of that was the passage of the bill that created the Hathaway Scholarship program. It was nothing short of thrilling to see the support for the proposal gather like the proverbial rolling snowball, with Republicans and Democrats alike putting aside politics and mundane matters for a while to envision something that could benefit every qualifying high school student in the state, as well as their families.

While there were disagreements over what the nature of scholarships and their qualifications should be, lawmakers recognized the value of the program as a whole and compromised over their differences to make it come to fruition.

While that kind of cooperation is much more common in our state and local governments than in Washington, D.C., it's still far too rare — and that needs to change.

That change needs to start at the local level, in the mindset of the voters. Instead of voting mindlessly for candidates belonging to one party or another, we need to vote for the person we believe will do the best job — regardless of political affiliation. To do that effectively, we have to do some research and become informed so we know the issues and the candidates, then vote for the person we believe is most qualified and who will perform best in the position.

I am so tired of hearing Republican and Democratic leaders sounding the rallying cry to vote only for members of their parties. That sends a message that all Republicans, or Democrats — regardless of experience, knowledge, skills and personality — are best for the job because they have the right letter behind their name.

That is just wrong. Being a member of a particular party doesn't automatically make a person competent or qualified for a position, and party affiliation isn't always a good indicator of a person's political philosophies. Especially in Wyoming, some Democrats are more conservative than some Republicans.

We need to send a message that we want government to be run efficiently and without regard for party affiliation. We can't do that unless we, as voters, are willing to cross party lines when needed.

Then we need to make it clear that we expect our elected officials to be willing to do the same.

The end of October is approaching, and with it, two events that call for increased attention to driving cautiously and safely.

The first event, of course, is Halloween and the tradition of trick or treating. Over the years, Powell has taken steps to help kids carry out their annual quest for candy safely, giving them the opportunity to complete their mission in daylight hours or through organized activities.

Still, there are some who will take the traditional route of going door to door, often dressed in costumes that reduce their ability to see or move quickly, in the twilight and dark hours.

Parents have the responsibility to make sure their children take proper precautions, of course, but kids are kids, and in the excitement of the evening they may forget, so drivers should be particularly cautious.

The end of October also means that daylight saving time is close to ending as well. On Nov. 7, we will revert to standard time. The change itself means it will be darker when we will all be heading home from work at the end of the day, but it's also a signal that we are approaching the dark part of the year. Again, that calls for more caution when negotiating Powell streets.

Caution is especially important around schools and other areas where children might gather, but other areas, such as the the offset intersections on Division Street, buildings that block visibility at some intersections on Absaroka and the narrow stretches of both of those heavily traveled streets also require extra attention on the part of drivers.

Everyone should also exercise caution when driving, of course, but at this time of the year, it's extra important, and we urge all drivers to be especially vigilant.

George Evan Wirth of Bloomington, Minn., died Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2010, one month after his 90th birthday.

(Aug. 2, 1981 - Oct. 25, 2010)

Jeremiah Elden Thormahlen of Powell went to be with the Lord on Oct. 25, 2010 after a fierce battle with Hodgkin's Lymphoma that lasted the better part of four years. He was 29.

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