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December 18, 2008 3:29 am

Guy Robert (Bob) Gormley

(Oct. 18, 1930 - Dec. 15, 2008)

Guy Robert (Bob) Gormley, 78, died Monday, Dec. 15 at the Powell Valley Care Center.

He was born Oct. 18, 1930, in Emblem, son of Glenn R. Gormley and Inez Lorene (Dustin) Gormley. He was educated at Greybull High School and Billings Business College.

Bob married Mary Emma Hankins at Billings, Mont., on July 12, 1952.

He was living in Powell in retirement.

Survivors include a son, Keith Gormley in Texas; a sister, Donna (Larry) Smith in Utah; and two grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Mary Emma; two brothers, Stanley and Jim Gormley; and a sister, Helen Shores.

Funeral services will be Saturday, Dec. 20 at 11 a.m. at Thompson Funeral Home. Burial will be in Crown Hill Cemetery.

December 18, 2008 3:28 am

You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch'

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Clad in a Santa hat and green face-paint, retired U.S. Sen. Alan Simpson reads the Dr. Seuss classic “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” to children and adults by the fireplace on Monday afternoon at the Park County Library in Cody. Tribune photo by Carla Wensky

December 16, 2008 4:23 am

Fiber network expected by Dec. 20

Powellink manager: 'We want it done well'

If everything proceeds as planned, Powell may have a welcome Christmas present this year —a completed citywide fiber optic network.

Mid-State Consultants, the engineering firm managing the overall project, plans to finish by Dec. 20, according to Powellink Project Manager Ernie Bray.

December 16, 2008 4:16 am

Cold, wind and snow move in on Powell

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After a weekend of chilling temperatures and gnarly weather, a sundog appeared around the late afternoon sun, visible from the top of the Big Horn Mountains on U.S. 14 as well as from the Big Horn Basin. Tribune photo by Kara Bacon

And there's more to come

A powerful cold front moved through Wyoming on Saturday, bringing strong winds and snow flurries to Powell and Cody and dropping the temperature by more than 20 degrees in three hours.

Meteorologist Paul Skrbac of the National Weather Service in Riverton said the front began blowing arctic air into the Powell area at about 9 a.m. At that time, the temperature stood at 28 degrees. By noon, the mercury had dropped to 5 degrees, and it continued dropping until it hit the sub-zero range that evening.

A Powell man was ordered to pay more than $13,000 in fines and restitution after illegally killing a grizzly bear this spring.

Last Wednesday, Marlin “Bret” Hatch, 50, pleaded no contest to a charge of taking a grizzly bear without a license May 27 in Sunlight. Hatch said that when he took the shot, he believed it was a black bear — which he was licensed to hunt.

December 16, 2008 4:00 am

Asay sixth at WNFR

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Powell's Kanin Asay, shown during the seventh round of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, finished the event sixth in bull riding average. As for the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association world standings, Asay finished ninth. PRCA photo by Dan Hubbell

Local bull rider ninth in world standings

Bull riding action at the 50th annual Wrangler National Finals Rodeo came to a close Saturday night at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas with Powell's Kanin Asay in sixth place in the average and J.W. Harris of May, Texas, as the event and world champion.

Asay wrapped up his series of performances Wednesday through Saturday with just one scoring ride in four attempts. His scoring effort came during round eight Thursday when he notched a score of 79 points on Corey and Horst Rodeo's Rez Boy.

December 16, 2008 3:58 am

Trappers overtake LCCC 73-63

NWC climbs above .500 mark

In their final game before the Christmas break, the Northwest College Trappers defeated Laramie County Community College 73-63 at Hank Cabre Gymnasium in Powell last Friday.

The victory, though not a thing of beauty, according to NWC head coach Andy Ward, put the Trappers at one game above .500 (7-6). It was NWC's sixth win in its last seven games.

“We started out a little flat, but I thought we settled in and played better toward the end of the first half,” Ward said.

After the first 20 minutes, the Trappers, who trailed early in the contest, led by a slim 37-34 margin. In the second half, they slowly pulled away, thanks in part to a solid rebounding effort, which was paced by Ricardo Bodra. The freshman from Brazil pulled down 19 rebounds, 17 of which came on the defensive end for NWC.

“We put a lot of emphasis on rebounding coming into this game,” Ward said. “One of our goals was to get 60 percent of the rebounds, and for the first time this season, we did that.”

As a team, NWC outrebounded LCCC 40-24. But whereas the Trappers won the rebounding battle, they struggled when it came to taking care of the basketball. NWC committed 26 turnovers while LCCC had only 16. Of the Trappers turnovers, 17 came in the second half.

“We had too many turnovers in both halves,” Ward said. “Coming into the game, we had been doing a better job of taking care of the ball. But our turnover number was up a bit (against LCCC). That's something we will continue to work on and try to improve.”

As for individual efforts, Casper Hesseldal led the Trappers in scoring with 21 points to go along with eight rebounds. He was one of three Trappers to score in double figures. Also with double-digit scoring totals were Julian Olubuyi with 19 points and Bodra with 14, which gave him a double-double on the night.

Other Trappers contributing to the scoring attack were Mitchell Ackelson (9 points), Jordan Harris (8) and Anthony Harris (2). In the shooting department, NWC finished with a 29-of-53 effort from the field for a 54.7 percent shooting clip.

The Golden Eagles, who hit 26 of 61 from the field, were led by Dionte Clayborn's 23 points. Isaac Jenkins and Travis Bostick added 15 and 10 points, respectively, to round out LCCC's double-digit scoring performances.

“We had some guys step up for us,” Ward said. “Julian Olubuyi played well for us. He put a lot of pressure on their defense with the way he pushed the ball up the floor. That, plus having guys that do a good job of getting up and down the court, sparked us.”

• Up next: The Trappers (7-6) will play their next contest Jan. 7 against Miles Community College in Powell. That 7:30 p.m. game will open the second half of the season and sub-region play for NWC. On Jan. 10, NWC will host Central Wyoming College in a 5 p.m. matchup.

Panthers fall to Pinedale, Jackson

Struggles on the offensive end of the court for the Powell High School Panthers translated into a pair of Class 3A, West Conference setbacks last week.

On Friday, the Panthers (2-3 overall, 0-2 West Conference) dropped a 66-48 decision to Pinedale. The following day, Jackson topped PHS 44-41 in a game that went into overtime.

“Our experience is allowing us to run our offense and get good shots,” said PHS head coach Troy Hildebrand.

“Unfortunately, we weren't able to take advantage of those scoring opportunities. We missed a lot of open shots in both games, and that's something we'll continue to work on in practice.”

The Panthers opened the two-game road swing against Pinedale by scoring 16 points in the first four minutes of the first period for an eight-point advantage. However, the Wranglers fought back and trailed 18-15 by the end of the quarter. The game remained close during the second period, and the Panthers carried a 29-27 lead into halftime.

The Wranglers overtook PHS in the third period and by the end of that eight-minute span, the host team was ahead 46-37. With the game still close in the fourth period and PHS down by only seven points, Pinedale tacked on a basket to go up by 10. An ensuing technical foul on a Panther player led to a successful free throw by Pinedale. The Wranglers, who got possession of the ball after the free throws following the infraction, added another basket to go ahead by 13.

“That was a big turning point in the game,” Hildebrand said. “We never got closer than 12 points after that.”

Ryan Brandt led the Panthers' scoring effort with a career-high 22 points on a 10-of-13 shooting effort. He also had five steals and four rebounds. Others contributing to Powell's offensive output were Matt McArthur (9 points), Jordan Brown (5), Gavin Mills (4), Matt Kifer (4), Brandon Sullivan (2) and Galen Mills (2). Gavin Mills also had seven assists.

As a team, PHS hit just three of 13 shots from 3-point land and 17 of 34 attempts from 2-point range.

“Pinedale shot the ball extremely well,” Hildebrand added. “Their main guys and their role players all hit shots at key moments. It was a tough game. We did a good job of taking care of the ball and had 12 turnovers to their 19.

We just couldn't get the shots to fall when we needed them.”

Pinedale was led by 6-8 standout Wilson Rogers, who finished with 24 points.

Against Jackson, the Panthers' shooting woes continued in a 44-41, overtime loss. The Panthers hit only 15 of 67 shots from the field, including just two of 24 from behind the 3-point arc and 13 of 43 from 2-point range.

“Once again, we really struggled shooting the ball,” Hildebrand said. “Jackson started out in a man-to-man defense, but after two trips down the floor, they got out of that and really packed it in down low. That left our perimeter guys open for 3-point shots, but we couldn't connect. We didn't hit our first 3-pointer until the fourth period.”

Even with its shooting woes, PHS trailed by a mere 20-18 margin at halftime. Jackson extended that lead to 34-25 during the third period as the Panthers hit just one of 15 shots during that eight-minute stretch.

However, a solid defensive effort by PHS held the Broncs to only one basket in the fourth period, and the Panthers were able to tie the game at 36 on a 2-pointer by Galen Mills with 40 seconds to play in regulation.

“After the basket by Galen, we had a chance to win it after a steal by Brandon Sullivan,” Hildebrand said. “We held the ball for the last shot, but we weren't able to convert and get a basket in heavy traffic at the end of the period.”

The Broncs then outscored the Panthers 8-5 in overtime to claim the victory.

Brandt led PHS with 15 points, and Galen Mills and McArthur added 11 and 10 points, respectively. The scoring for PHS was rounded out by Sullivan with three points and Brown with two. Brandt also had a season-high 14 rebounds, and McArthur contributed with 13 boards. Brown led the team in assists with seven. He also had four rebounds and four steals. As a team, the Panthers committed only seven turnovers.

“We did a good job of taking care of the ball, and did a good job on the boards. We had 42 rebounds, including 15 on offense. Both of those were season highs for us. But we just couldn't connect on our shots. But even with us not making shots, we were in the game and had a chance to win it there at the end.”

• Up next: PHS will face third-ranked Buffalo Friday in a 5:30 p.m road game. On Saturday, the Panthers will be at home and will host second-ranked, Class 2A Thermopolis. Tipoff for Saturday's game is set for 7:30 p.m.

December 16, 2008 3:39 am

Wolf decision shouldn't be rushed

Word of a Bush administration plan to remove wolves from the endangered species list, again, wasn't a big surprise.

But that it could happen by the end of this week has many people questioning whether the decision is too hasty.

Of the three states directly affected — Montana, Idaho and Wyoming — our state has the most at stake. While the three states' management plans each created trophy game zones for wolves, Wyoming's also contains a predator area — about 90 percent of the state — where wolves could be shot at any time, by anyone.

The cowboy state's dual-status plan is under fire from conservation and animal rights groups, and it is one of the reasons U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy issued an injunction against the delisting in July. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has final approval of Wyoming's management plan — and even though the service accepted the plan in early 2008, Gov. Dave Freudenthal's office says the governor has been told the plan won't be accepted unless the dual-status classification is changed.

Without the Fish and Wildlife Service's endorsement of Wyoming's plan, an immediate decision on the issue could result in wolves being delisted in Idaho and Montana, while remaining under federal protection in Wyoming.

That scenario moves Wyoming back to square one and would only open the door for many more years of costly lawsuits brought by groups on both sides of the issue.

The right management plan — one that would maintain a viable wolf population in the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem, but also protect the state's livestock industry — should be developed through methodical scientific planning and, of course, with compromise on both sides.

It's not a decision that should be made in haste to further a political agenda.

December 16, 2008 3:34 am

Jerald Jerry Close

(April 1, 1945 - Nov. 29, 2008)

Jerry Close, 63, died Nov. 29, from complications developed following surgery. A memorial service honoring Jerry's life was held Dec. 4 at the family home in Walla Walla, Wash.

Jerry was born on Easter morning, April 1, 1945 in Lovell to Harold and Georgia (Frame) Close. Jerry's early days began on the Paint Creek and Clarks Fork of the Yellowstone River near Clark. Jerry attended grade school at Clark and graduated from Cody High School. He attended college at Northwest College in Powell and the University of Washington in Seattle, earning a degree in Urban Planning.

Jerry served in the Army National Guard in Wyoming and Washington. It was in Seattle that Jerry met Bonnie Lorton, and she became his wife and partner for 41 years. They moved to Walla Walla in 1976 with their little girl, Jennie, and bought a small farm. Soon after they moved to Walla Walla their son Jerry Jr. was born, along with his custom home building business that spanned 30 years.

As Jerry planned and built homes for his clients, many became lifelong friends that were welcome at his home anytime. In the past few years, Jerry and Bonnie turned their Close Farm into an asparagus farm known for freshness and high quality throughout the valley.

Jerry enjoyed fly fishing, relaxing with friends over a cold one, reading lots of good books, traveling, the beauty of nature and caring for his family. Survivors include his wife Bonnie; daughter Dr. Jennie Close of New York City, New York; son Jerry Close and wife Lianon of Portland, Maine; mother Georgia Close of Clark; sister Tamie Close of Clark; five brothers, Chuck (Virginia) of Fresno, Calif., Glen (Dana) of Eatonville, Wash., Bart of Frenchtown, Mont., Roy (Ronda) of Billings and Tom (Norma) of Powell. Jerry was preceded in death by his father Harold Close.