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Tribune Staff

Oppose wilderness designations

Protecting a Western way of life is one of the main priorities of the Big Horn Basin's County Commissions over the coming years.

“There is concern our Western culture is being destroyed or detrimentally changed,” they said, as part of 22 pages of remarks on government land use.

The Park, Big Horn, Washakie and Hot Springs County Commissions submitted comments to the Bureau of Land Management on Monday, outlining their visions of how federal land should be managed in the future.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is in a bit of a financial jam caring for wild horses that number in the tens of thousands on range land and in long-term holding facilities, but a McCullough Peaks roundup still may happen.

With the proposal to euthanize excess horses put on hold, at least for now, the bureau is tasked with finding a solution.

Some criticize the bureau's wild horse management, but one official said the BLM is doing a satisfactory job given its financial situation.

Locally, two small herds of wild horses reside in the Pryor Mountains and the McCullough Peaks. There were proposed roundups (gathers) this fall for both herds. The Pryor gather was canceled this year due to personnel issues.

November 28, 2008 3:49 am

Three Trappers place at tournament

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Northwest College's Landon Harris gets in position to pin Western Wyoming Community College heavyweight Rusty Farnsworth during wrestling action in Powell Nov. 20. Harris followed that performance by claiming second place in his respective division at the Northern Colorado Open last Sunday. Tribune photo by David Dickey

Harris, Guerrero, Carranza enjoy solid efforts

A trio of Trapper wrestlers registered solid finishes in Old Chicago's Northern Colorado Open last Sunday in Greeley, Colo.

Freshman heavyweight entry and No. 2 seeded Landon Harris wrestled his way to the best finish for the Trappers. In four bouts, Harris endured just one loss — a 3-1 setback in overtime to top-seeded Charlie Alexander from Colorado's Western State College. In his other bouts, Harris opened the tournament by pinning Colorado State University-Pueblo's Jon Russel, who was wrestling unattached, at the 5:15 mark.

Harris followed that opening-round victory by registering a victory by fall at the 36-second mark of his bout with Bryan Stansbury of the Colorado School of Mines. Bout three saw Harris advance after a default by New Mexico Highlands University's Jesse Boggs.

November 28, 2008 3:47 am

PHS volleyball team celebrates season

Pollart named MVP for 2008

A championship season was remembered Monday night as the Powell High School Lady Panthers gathered to receive season's honors for their efforts.

Varsity team awards voted on by team members went to Erica Woodward for most inspirational player and Kayla Ando for most improved player. Olivia Rogers was honored as the ultimate team player and co-captain Hannah Pollart as most valuable player.

Rogers, Pollart, co-captain Kelsey Allen and Savannah Donarski were recognized for being named to the all-conference team and Donarski and Pollart for earning all-state recognition. Kelsey Allen was recognized for being invited to play in the North-South All-Star team this summer.

Varsity letters were awarded to seniors Woodward and Allen, juniors Pollart, Donarski, Kami Cooley, Kayla Ando and Lauren Fagnant, and sophomores Rogers, Randi Asay, Liz Tilley and Stephanie Paul.

Before presenting the awards, PHS head coach Cindi Smith praised her players for their hard work, dependability, heart, teamwork and unselfish play during the season. She also credited the championship to the Lady Panthers' “focus on a common cause.”

“The kids put a lot of heart and soul into it,” Smith said.

Junior varsity coach Dori Trustem presented her team's most improved player award to Leslie Thronburg, and both the most inspirational and ultimate team player awards to Hannah Groves.

Trustem noted that the team had voted Groves as the ultimate team player, “it could have gone to any one of them.”

“They've supported each other more than any team I've ever had,” Trustem said.

Freshman team awards, presented by coach Randi Bonander, went to Jessica Harris as the most improved, Abby Hotovec as the most inspirational and Kaitlyn Norman as the ultimate team player.

November 28, 2008 3:42 am

Inger Shanor

(Oct. 15, 1930 - Nov. 22, 2008)

A supporter of the resistance as a child in her native Denmark, Inger Shanor, long-time resident of Powell, died quietly Saturday, Nov. 22 at her Cody home, surrounded by family. She was 78.

Inger was born Oct. 15, 1930, in Barrit, Denmark, to Ragnald and Yrsa Piepgrass. She was 12 years old when Nazi Germany occupied Denmark during World War II. She and her older brother helped the underground smuggle Jewish children out of Denmark by escorting them through a heavily-wooded area approximately two miles to the sea shore. Waiting ships would carry them to safety.

Inger came to the United States in 1950. Shortly after obtaining her citizenship, she joined the Army as a WAC and was stationed in Frankfurt, Germany. There she met her future husband, Robert Shanor, who was also serving in the Army.

The couple married in Germany in 1955, where their first child, Bobbie, was born the following year. In 1959, their son, Ron, was born in Powell.

After military service overseas, the family returned to Seattle, Wash., then moved to Powell. As a naturalized citizen, Inger felt it was a privilege to live in this country. She was a familiar face in Powell because of her many years of working in the offices of the City of Powell and then Nelson Insurance.

Inger loved the outdoors and spent most weekends on a snowmobile or 4-wheeling, motorcycling and camping.

She and her husband enjoyed traveling. In 1999, she and Bob, with another couple, rode motorcycles 6,900 miles over 33 days in Alaska.

She had been in every state in the U.S., as well as three Canadian provinces.

Inger was an accomplished seamstress. She sewed all of the children's clothing until Bobbie was in the third grade. She would knit Canadian sweaters for the family and for sale. If the patterns weren't to her liking, she would draw her own.

Survivors include her husband of 53 years, Robert (Bob) Shanor of Cody; daughter, Bobbie Holder of Cody; son, Ron (Jean) Shanor of Cody; four grandsons, two great-grandchildren and a great-great grandson.

She was preceded in death by her parents and all five brothers.

Cremation has taken place. A memorial service will be conducted at Thompson Funeral Home in Powell at 10 a.m. Monday, Dec 1. A gathering to celebrate Inger's life will be held at The Commons in Powell immediately following the service.

November 28, 2008 3:37 am

Mary J. Rodriguez

(Jan. 2, 1926 - Nov. 24, 2008)

Funeral Mass will be celebrated Saturday, Nov. 29 at 9 a.m. at St. Barbara's Catholic Church for Mary J. Rodriguez, 82, who died Monday, Nov. 24 at the Powell Nursing Home.

Father Glen Szezechowski will officiate at Saturday services. Rosary will be said Friday, Nov. 28 at 7 p.m. at St. Barbara's.

Mary was born Jan. 2, 1926, in San Bernardino, Calif., daughter of Leonides Juarez and Maria (Mata) Juarez. She attended school through the sixth grade in Juarez, Mexico. There, she married Ben Rodriguez on July 20, 1941.

The family moved to Wyoming, settling in the Lovell area in 1954 and on to Powell in 1956.

Mary was known for her cooking and loved to cook for her family. She also applied her skills as a cook at Northwest Community College for 20 years.

Her grandkids were her pride and joy, and she was a big part of their lives.

Survivors include her daughter, Janie Rodriguez Chavira (Adan) of Powell; four grandchildren, Mike Chavira of Washington, D.C., Laura Vizarraga of Denver, Theresa Chavira, stationed in the U.S. Navy in Japan, and Jennifer Chavira of Laramie; a sister, Maria Sarinana of El Paso, Texas; and many nieces and nephews in Lovell and El Paso.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Ben; and her brother, Franciso Juarez.

Honorary pallbearers include Mike Chavira, Adan Chavira, Jose Sarinana and Alex Rodriguez, Sr.

For those who wish, the family would appreciate memorial donations to the Alzheimer's Foundation.

Cremation has taken place. Thompson Funeral Home is assisting the family.

November 28, 2008 3:35 am

Elmer Sonny Ratcliff

(March 13, 1932 - Nov. 24, 2008)

Elmer (Sonny) Ratcliff, 76, died Monday, Nov. 24 at his Powell home, surrounded by family.

The Texas native had been a resident of Powell since 1973, affiliated for many years in oilfield manufacturing and cattle industries.

He was born March 13, 1932, in Liberty, Texas, to Elmer Ratcliff and Alice (Tanner) Ratcliff. He graduated from Liberty High School in 1950.

He married Delilah May Stearns July 15, 1952, in Liberty, Texas. Sonny served in the Army in a radar unit and anti-aircraft battalion.

Upon his discharge from the military in 1955, he returned to his Texas roots to begin a lifelong affiliation with the oilfield service. In 1962, the family moved to Billings where he was vice president of Continental Laboratories, Inc., developing several mudlogging instruments. The family lived in Billings and Shepherd, Mont.

In 1973, they moved to Powell where he became manager for construction and operation of Cattle, Inc. He also bought a farm two and a half miles west of Powell and started his own machine shop, Ratcliff Machine, designing and manufacturing equipment for mudlogging companies worldwide. His son, Russ, and grandson, Dusty, joined in the family business. In addition, they repaired equipment for several area farmers.

He was a member of the New Hope Southern Baptist Church, the National Rifle Association and the NWC Welding Department. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, horseback riding and singing.

Survivors include his wife, Dee; son, Russ Ratcliff (Tammy) of Powell; daughter, Sandy Ratcliff Griffin of Powell; grandchildren, Mandy (Mike) Schneider of 29 Palms Calif., Josh (Amber) Ratcliff of Akron, Ohio, Dusty (Shelly) Ratcliff of Powell, Jeanee (Kevin) O'Mara of Powell and Amanda (Daniel) Gonzales of Powell; and eight great-grandchildren, Cambria Schneider, Ashton Ratcliff, Zachery Ratcliff, Mckenzie Ratcliff, Riley Beckett, Sydney O'Mara, Olivia Griffin and Kai Gonzales.

He was preceded in death by his parents, two sisters, one brother, and one great-grandchild, Dustin Caden Ratcliff.

Funeral services will be Monday, Dec. 1 at 1 p.m. at First Baptist Church, with the Rev. Darwin Payton, area missionary for Montana Southern Baptist Convention, officiating. Burial will be in Crown Hill Cemetery.

Pallbearers include Robert Beasley, Josh Ratcliff, Dusty Ratcliff, Michael Schneider, Daniel Gonzales and Kevin O'Mara. Honorary pallbearers are Karl Bear, Lloyd Sullivan, Lee Stearns, Dick Stearns, Roland Munoz, Jim Bellin and Bill Powell.

For those who wish, memorials to the American Cancer Society or the Gideon Bibles would be appreciated by the family.

Visitation will be Sunday, Nov. 30 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Thompson Funeral Home.

November 28, 2008 3:34 am

AIDS still is a health crisis

Monday is the 20th anniversary of World AIDS Day.

The purpose of this day is to bring renewed attention to the global epidemic — a worldwide health crisis that seems to have faded in the American public's eye.

In the 1980s, when the virus was first discovered, a diagnosis of HIV/AIDS was a death sentence. Now, with new medications that slow the progress of infection, and even suppress the virus, infected people can live relatively normal, disease-free lives.

Better treatment options, however, have led to a more permissive attitude toward behaviors that put people at risk of contracting the disease. Frankly, many people just aren't as scared of the specter of AIDS as they were 20 years ago.

An article early this week in the Casper Star-Tribune quotes Laurie Johnson, who works with the federally-funded Early Intervention Services, as saying, “It's not a hot topic anymore. People don't hear about it. They don't think about it so they don't use protection.”

Even here in Wyoming, where the total number of cases is relatively low — 166 people in the state were living with AIDS at the end of 2007 — the rate of new infections is increasing.

Education still is a critical component — and early testing is crucial. Anyone potentially infected with HIV/AIDS should be tested, both to avoid spreading the disease and to increase longevity. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends routine HIV testing for nearly all people in the U.S. Free tests are available, year-round, at the family planning offices in Park County.

Even after this year's World AIDS Day is in the past, we can't afford to forget about this disease.

For the average Park County resident, following Yellowstone National Park's winter-use plans easily could induce a headache.

As usual, Yellowstone's plans for the upcoming winter season were stuck in convoluted litigation.

Until an early-autumn ruling, Yellowstone leaders planned to allow up to 540 snowmobiles in the park each day. A district court judge in the District of Columbia voided those plans in September, prompting the U.S. park Service to create a temporary plan for only 318 machines per day. In early November, a Wyoming district court judge ordered the park to revert to a 2004 temporary ruling of a 720-per-day limit of snowmobiles.

For local winter enthusiasts, it's good news. For environmental groups, such as the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, it's a disappointing setback.

Grappling over winter use is nothing new — various winter-use plans have been fashioned and scrapped for a decade. Yet the back-and-forth litigation and shifting limits are time-consuming and costly, not to mention frustrating.

It's certain that environmental groups will continue to pursue options to reduce the limit of snowmobiles in Yellowstone, and it's inevitable that others will counteract such attempts.

What is also certain: A long-term plan for winter use is necessary. Yellowstone is a beloved park for many, environmentalists and winter enthusiasts alike. A long-term plan that strikes a balance between protecting the park and enjoying it in winter months needs to be established — one that will stand for years to come.

November 25, 2008 5:54 am

Snowmobile battle poised to continue

New temporary plan draws ire of conservationists

Plans for the upcoming winter season in Yellowstone National Park are set, but the long-term picture remains as foggy as ever.

The more than decade-old conflict over snowmobiling in Yellowstone reached a temporary stalemate Nov. 7, when Wyoming District Court Judge Clarence Brimmer ordered park officials to allow 720 snowmobiles per day until a new, permanent rule is drafted.