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June 12, 2014 7:31 am

EDITORIAL: Boundary board made only decision it could for students

Written by Tom Lawrence

Thumbs up to the Park County District Boundary Board for voting unanimously, if not happily, to recommend expanding the Powell school district’s borders to include the northern section of Yellowstone Park.

This became an issue earlier this year when the Park Service announced it would no longer pay to educate the students, who attend classes in Gardiner, Mont. Suddenly, the problem was in the lap of the state of Wyoming.

The state agreed to pay the bill, but it needed to include the students in a Wyoming school district. Powell was selected due to its proximity.

The boundary board is made up of the Park County Commission and the county assessor and treasurer, and the seven officials were none too pleased to be placed in this situation.

They feel the federal government should pay, in full or at least in part, for the students’ education and were worried about the Powell school district being stuck with part of the bill. The state of Wyoming assured them that it will pay for the education of the 37 kids who live inside the park.

They are not headed to Powell for an education. Instead, they will continue to attend classes in Gardiner. State funding will pass through Powell schools to the Gardiner school district, but the boundary board and the school district were promised not a dime of local tax dollars will be used to educate these students.

This was not an ideal situation, but in the end, the boundary board did the only thing it could, even as its members grumbled and complained. We hope in the future, the federal government will do the right thing and provide some funding.

In the meantime, those students are promised an education this fall, and we’re glad to see that.

Thumbs down to Hillary Clinton for her tone-deaf response to a question from ABC anchor Diane Sawyer.

When asked about the massive speaking fees she and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, charge, the former senator and secretary of state had the audacity to paint them as a struggling couple who have just tried to get by in recent years.

The couple was “dead broke” and deep in debt when they left the White House in 2001, Clinton said in the interview aired Monday night. Indeed, they had assets between $781,000 and $1.8 million at the time while facing debts between $2.3 million and $10.6 million.

But to suggest they were in dire fiscal straits is to strain credulity. Hillary had just signed a book deal worth $8 million. She had been elected to the Senate the previous fall, which offered a salary of around $150,000 annually.

Bill would rake in millions from speeches. The Clintons had just obtained a loan to buy a home valued at $1.7 million in upstate New York, and their financial future was anything but perilous. In fact, by 2009, their joint worth was somewhere between $10 million and $50 million, according to official documents.

Hillary swiftly realized her stumble and by Tuesday morning was admitting to it, saying the couple has been doing well and “we’ve continued to be blessed in the last 14 years.”

This reveals that Clinton, who admits she has not driven a car in 18 years, is completely out of touch with the fiscal realities most Americans face every day.

It also shows the woman who lost the Democratic nomination in 2008 may once again be vulnerable on the campaign trail in 2016. If she fails again, however, she will have plenty of money to ease her pain.

Thumbs up to the Powell High School Class of 1949 — and a friend of the class — for finding a great way to commemorate the class’s 65th reunion.

It is raffling off a quilt, with the proceeds going to the Backpack Blessings Project, which provides food to kids whose families need a little assistance.

Classmates Donna Brasher and Mary Ann Northrup said the alumni didn’t need anything but did want to do something to help others and to honor their old school. We commend them for their thoughtfulness.

Mary Wenzel of Powell made the quilt and donated it for the auction. She has given away many quilts over the years, so here’s a bonus thumbs up for Mary.

The 36-section quilt is on display at the First Bank of Wyoming. Tickets are on sale at the American Legion, the Eagles Lodge, the Powell Valley Chamber of Commerce or from Class of 1949 members. They are $1 apiece or six for $5.

The winning ticket will be drawn at the PHS Alumni Banquet on Saturday, June 28. You need not be present to win, so grab a few tickets.

Thumbs down to tired drivers on the road, especially those who are behind the wheel of a truck or some other large vehicle.

Comedian James “Jimmy Mack” McNair was killed, and three others, including celebrated comedian/actor Tracy Morgan, were injured in a crash Friday night in New Jersey when a large truck slammed into their vehicle. The tractor-trailer driver, Kevin Roper, had not slept for more than 24 hours, according to authorities, and did not respond to slow-moving traffic in front of him.

Roper has been charged with death by auto and four counts of assault by auto. Federal regulations permit truck drivers to work up to 14 hours a day, with a maximum of 11 hours behind the wheel. They must have a minimum of 10 hours off between work shifts to sleep.

But Roper didn’t follow the rules, and he put others on the highway at grave risk because of that. Other drivers are doing the same thing every day.

“This isn’t an aberrant or unusual thing that just sort of happened for no reason,” said Henry Jasny, vice president of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety. “This is part of a systemic problem of having tired people driving at night and driving large trucks.”

It’s past time to put the brakes on this.

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