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December 31, 2013 8:22 am

2013: A year of chills and challenges

Written by Tom Lawrence

We have been looking back lately as we prepared this special issue devoted to 2013.

The issue lists the Top 10 stories of the year in news and sports, and we blended that with some of our best images of the year as well. We were struck as we glanced through our pages on how much bad news occurred during the year.

The Clark murders ended up with three people dead, two young men sent to prison for life and numerous people whose lives were shattered by the killings.

It simply made no sense, and was a dark stain on the year. The sheer shock value, and the pain it inflicted upon the area made it an obvious, if discomforting, choice for the No. 1 story of the year.

We also followed the capture, arrest and guilty plea in the long-running Paul Cardwell case. The former Powell Valley Healthcare CEO was tracked down in Thailand and brought back to Wyoming, where he pleaded guilty to stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The Cardwell case was a major news story in 2012, and with his sentencing scheduled for 2014, he will remain in the news.

There was a lot of crime reported in the Tribune this year, as there always is. We don’t make the news, we simply learn about it and try to reveal as much about each case as we can. The run of deaths, shootings, and other violent events made this seem like a dark year at times.

We also looked at city controversies involving garbage and smoking, as well as the problems at national parks. Cody business owners and residents went out of their way to open the Yellowstone National Park’s East Entrance in the spring, and a deeply divided Congress shut them down in the fall. The Tribune did several stories on local agriculture, as we reported on the hailstorms that slammed into fields during the summer and the low sugar prices that beet farmers faced in the fall. But they will keep planting and hoping, and we will keep an ever-more-watchful eye on our key local industry.

The Tribune also examined the horrific grizzly attack on a rural Cody man this summer. We returned to that story a few times, and in our final story on it, we discovered that Nic Patrick was as brave and strong as we thought all along.

He shared his story and revealed his intention to live as full a life as he had before the unexpected assault by a startled mother griz.

Patrick’s tale was both sad and inspiring. There was other news, however, that was completely positive, and we brought those to the attention of our readers as well.

We reported on a Powell man who spent a night on a pile of rocks after a fall onto an ice sheet while climbing. Kenneth Richmond has fully recovered following surgery, and it was good to see someone emerge from such a challenge.

There were other stories with happy endings, as people who became trapped on closed roads all found their way out, thanks to rescuers who searched them out and brought them to safety. Those were dramatic stories to tell and we’re sure readers enjoyed learning more about these true-life adventures.

The Tribune reported on positive developments in the local economy, as Powell Economic Partnership Inc. brought in a consultant to help prepare an action plan for the future. The meetings lasted for three days, and a large contingent of local folks attended and offered their input.

PEP struggled to land an executive director, but its board members vowed to keep working on that. We kept an eye on those stories during the year and will do so again in 2014.

We reported in the fall on a most welcome trend, as several new businesses opened in downtown Powell. It’s something we were glad to see, and another sign that an uptick in population and business growth is continuing.

There also were tales of triumph, as Powell High School students brought home a third straight state football title, as well as state crowns in wrestling, volleyball and drama. We were well aware of the talent and dedication of PHS students; it was good to see them continue to be recognized in a statewide manner.

While 2013 was marked by some stories that were difficult both to report and read, there was, as always, a balance of positive and encouraging reports. We are confident that 2014 will bring more of the same, although we do hope there is more progress and less carnage in the new year.

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