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January 30, 2014 8:33 am

Commissioner French deserves high praise for fairgrounds advocacy

Written by Tom Lawrence

Thumbs up to Park County Commissioner Tim French for his efforts to obtain funding for a new building at the Park County Fairgrounds here in Powell.

French drove to Cheyenne for the Jan. 16 meeting of the State Loan and Investment Board and persuaded the board members, who include Gov. Matt Mead, that Park County needed and deserved $500,000 to complete the project and build a $2.6 million multi-purpose building on the fairgrounds. Staff members had recommended against it.

After a discussion, Mead asked if the county would take $250,000 this year with the promise of the second quarter-million in 2015, but French said the process would move ahead faster with the knowledge that all $500,000 was in hand.

The SLIB members agreed, and voted to issue the full amount French sought. Here’s a tip of the hat to him for his hard work and persuasive approach.

A final thumbs down to Paul Cardwell, the former Powell Valley Healthcare CEO.

Cardwell, who stole at least $1.7 million from PVHC and an Indiana hospital he led before coming to Powell, learned his fate in federal court in Cheyenne Monday morning. He received a 121-month sentence for his crimes, and will be behind bars for years before he sees the light of day as a free man again.

As he said in court, he has no one to blame but himself. Cardwell’s ego, his scheme to enrich himself and a friend, and his attempt to escape the consequences by fleeing to Thailand are the reasons he is an inmate with a felony record.

We can only hope he learns from this bitter, self-inflicted wound.

Thumbs up to a report from the Park County Sheriff’s Office that more tips are coming in on the man whose dismembered body was discovered three weeks ago in Badger Basin.

This is one of the most horrific crimes in memory in the region. We hope the dastardly person or persons are soon caught and appropriately punished.

If you have any information that may be useful, call the Park County Communications Center at 307-527-8700. Any information provided will remain confidential, Sheriff Scott Steward assures people.

Thumbs up to fewer fatal crashes in Wyoming and in Park County in 2013.

There were 87 people killed on Wyoming’s roads in 2013. While that is a terrible toll, it is down from 121 in 2012, and marks the lowest number of deaths on the roads since 1945. Here in Park County, the death count dropped from five in 2012 to one in 2013. Sadly, there has already been a local resident killed on a Wyoming highway this year, as a 75-year-old Cody man was killed in a two-vehicle crash on Jan. 17 near Farson.

There are many possible reasons for the decline — increased patrol efforts by law enforcement, a continued legal and societal crackdown on drunken driving, drivers aging and slowing down. We’re glad the death count is down, and are also happy to hear the Wyoming Highway Patrol and other agencies say they aim for a death-free year on the roads. It’s an unlikely goal to reach, but a good target to set.

Thumbs up to the Denver Broncos playing in Super Bowl XLVIII Sunday night.

It is the seventh Super Bowl for the Broncos, who have so far won two and lost four. But they’re on a two-title-game winning streak, and a lot of fans in Powell and the surrounding area will be orange and blue with delight if Peyton Manning and his team can make that three championships.

Kickoff is set for 4:25 p.m. Sunday on Fox. Enjoy the game.

1 Comment

  • Comment Link January 30, 2014 4:42 pm posted by c

    congrads for Mr. French--maybe Powell could learn from him. Thank you Mr. French

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