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Tribune Staff

One thing this election is not lacking is information. For months, as candidates have campaigned, news organizations have provided an abundance of coverage — probably more than voters ever wanted.

A Google search for Barack Obama generates around 80 million results, while the search engine provides more than 90 million results for John McCain.

Coverage is so excessive that it has included everything from the price of GOP vice presidential candidate Gov. Sarah Palin's wardrobe to where Obama's wife, Michelle, purchases her clothing (J. Crew, if you're curious).

At times, the unceasing national media coverage has become ridiculous.

Yet, through this meticulous reporting, voters have a wealth of information on important issues to refer to before entering polling booths on Tuesday, Nov. 4.

If you haven't made your mind up yet on a candidate or an issue, there still are a few days to get informed before Election Day.

The election has been covered at the national, state and local levels, and voters should make educated decisions about candidates and other ballot items.

With all the information and months dedicated to this election, what matters now is voting. Local, state and national government is in voters' hands — as Americans, we have the invaluable privilege of voting.

As an American citizen, make your voice heard in this pivotal 2008 election. Vote.

October 30, 2008 3:00 am

3A state champ

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The Powell High School Lady Panthers raced to a cross country state championship during the Class 3A state meet in Sheridan Saturday. Shown leaving the starting line are Desiree Murray (second from left), Alyssa Rodriguez, Emily Schwahn (hidden behind Rodriguez), Lauren Dunleavy, Jordan Bigelow, Skye Albert and McKenzie Danforth. For more on the Lady Panthers' championship effort see below. Tribune photo by David Dickey

Super search

While it will be months before swimmers dive into the new pool, the City of Powell is getting a jump start on hiring a superintendent to oversee the aquatic center.

The city will advertise the position until mid-November. City Administrator Zane Logan said the hope is to hire someone around Thanksgiving and have him or her start in December.

Though the pool isn't slated to be completed until January 2010, the superintendent has plenty of work to do before the opening day, Logan said.

Environmental assessment expected

Gas drilling inside the Shoshone National Forest most likely will begin in about six months.

Windsor Energy Group is seeking to drill an exploratory well, Federal 26-2, just inside the forest's boundary and roughly 7 miles northeast of Clark.

It would be the first well drilled in the Shoshone in decades.

The Forest's Wapiti District Ranger, Terry Root, told people gathered at a public meeting in Clark last week that the U.S. Forest Service has found no reason to reject Windsor's application.

October 28, 2008 3:43 am

Super 8 fire memories

Safety always is on Matt McCaslin's mind when he or his family stay at any motel.

“I pay closer attention to where the exits are and try to get rooms on the first floor,” he said on Monday, one year after the Super 8 Motel fire in Powell.

“That's been kind of a major change just for my whole family,” he said.

McCaslin, of the Powell Police Department, helped pull Jason Ascheman of Billings from the Super 8 Motel just in time to save his life as the motel burned during the early-morning hours of Oct. 27, 2007.

“I can still see Mr. Ascheman's face as we got him out of the motel,” he said.

October 28, 2008 3:39 am

Ladies First

PHS girls claim state title

In August, the new version of Powell High School opened its doors for its first-ever school year. Less than two months later, the Lady Panther cross country team became the first sports squad at the new venue to claim a state title.

The Lady Panthers placed five runners in the top 20 during the Class 3A state meet at the Sheridan V.A. Hospital grounds last Saturday. In the process, they dethroned 2007's state championship team — the Jackson Lady Broncs.

They also held off a host of other title contenders en route to their memorable performance.

Oddly enough, the Lady Panthers, a team loaded with competitors who were part of the 2006 state championship squad, were paced by a pair of newcomers — freshmen Desiree Murray and Alyssa Rodriguez. Murray finished Saturday as the fourth-fastest runner in a field consisting of more than 70 competitors with a time of 20:23.09, and Rodriguez placed seventh with a 21:05.66. By virtue of their top-10 finishes, Murray and Rodriguez both earned all-state honors.



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Powell High School's Brandon Sullivan (right) follows behind lineman Tyler Showalter for a 15-yard gain during the second quarter of last Friday's Class 4A, West Conference showdown between No. 1 Cody and the fourth-ranked Panthers. Tribune photo by David Dickey

PHS to face Lander in week one of playoffs

The top-ranked Cody High School Broncs claimed Class 4A's West Conference crown Friday by edging No. 4 Powell 14-6 at C.R. “Spike” Vannoy Memorial Stadium in Cody.

Much like PHS head coach Jim Stringer predicted, the game was a low-scoring affair, and the team that made the fewest mistakes came out on top.

“We had so many miscues,” said Stringer, whose team lost three fumbles and suffered an interception. “From an offensive perspective, we had things set up well, but we weren't able to execute like we should have. We also had mistakes on the defensive side that hurt us.”

October 28, 2008 3:35 am

Panthers take ninth at state meet

Sullivan notches team's top finish

Powell High School's boys cross country team put the finishing touches on a solid season by recording a ninth-place finish at the Class 3A state meet at the Sheridan V.A. Hospital grounds last Saturday afternoon.

Senior Patrick Sullivan, one of the Panthers' top runners all season long, paced the effort by recording the team's top finish. He placed 33rd out of a field of more than 80 runners with a time of 19:18.40. Close behind and in 38th place was sophomore Patrick Voss, who notched a time of 19:25.52. Danny McKearney, another of PHS's sophomore runners, added a 39th-place effort with a time of 19:29.19.

The Panthers' remaining runners — junior Devin Lynn, sophomore Tyler McCauley, junior Colton Smith and senior Jake Firnekas — placed 59th, 60th, 62nd and 70th, respectively.

Firnekas, who was initially in the role of the alternate runner for the state meet, got a chance to compete Saturday when senior Alex Speiser opted out of the event due to a recent hip injury, according to PHS head coach Cliff Boos.

Speiser, who enjoyed a strong showing at the Class 3A, West Conference meet on Oct. 17, would have entered the state event as PHS's No. 4 runner.

“As the week went along, he kept having trouble with his injury,” Boos said. “With him out of the lineup, it gave Jake a chance to run.”

The Panthers entered the event after claiming the third-place trophy at the West Conference meet just more than a week prior to the season-ending state event. The team had its sights set on earning a trophy Saturday, but a strong contingent of squads from the East Conference prevented that from happening. East Conference teams — Douglas, Lander and Newcastle — took the top three spots Saturday. Worland was the highest placing team from the West with its fourth-place effort. However, despite the East's strong showing, it was a runner from the West Conference who took the No. 1 spot in the individual standings. Jackson's Andy Phillips, the top finisher at the West Conference meet, claimed the top spot with a time of 17:19.51. He finished just ahead of Lander's Luke Bromley, who posted a time of 17:22.32.

“There were a lot of strong teams from the east side of the state,” Boos said. “You just never know how those things are going to work out when you get to state. We've got some strong teams in our conference, but quite a few of the teams from the east side had a great day.”

For the Panthers, they will lose four runners to graduation at the end of this school year — Sullivan, Speiser, Dallas Robirds and Firnekas. However, like the PHS girls squad, they will have a solid team back next season, including a strong group of sophomores, which includes state qualifiers Voss, McKearney and McCauley.

“We had a lot of young kids this year, and I thought they did well throughout the season,” Boos said. “They all wanted to do well, and they worked hard and got better each week.”

Team Results
Class 3A State Meet
1. Douglas (51 points)
2. Lander (67)
3. Newcastle (75)
4. Worland (126)
5. Jackson (127)
6. Buffalo (192)
7. Lovell (215)
8. Cody (221)
9. Powell (224)
10. Torrington (244)
11. Rawlins (247)
12. Lyman (254)

October 28, 2008 3:28 am

Erwin D. ((Babe) Funke

(April 7, 1920 - Oct. 25, 2008)

On Saturday, Oct. 25, Erwin D. (Babe) Funke opened his eyes, and he had one arm around his wife, Jean, and the other around his grandson, Reece. He whispered, “I've been wondering where you two went.” He was surrounded by family and friends who had passed before him. His eyes filled with tears of joy; his heart was full of love, and he felt like whistling again.

Erwin Delos Funke, long-time owner of a Powell dry cleaning establishment, died at his Powell home. He was 88.

In Hollenberg, Kans., on April 7, 1920, his eldest sister, Viola, came out of the birthing room and announced to her younger sisters that “Mom had another damn boy.” He was the “Babe” of Ernest and Augusta Funke's nine children.

While growing up, he enjoyed reading and playing basketball and baseball. He quit smoking at the age of 7, worked on the family farm and bootlegged whiskey with his brothers. The Funke Boys were well known in Kansas.

He graduated from high school and moved to Wyoming. He did some ranch work and then worked for Allen Klindt at his clothing and dry cleaning store. He joined the Army in 1942 and served in the 255th Anti-Aircraft Artillery

Automatic Weapons Battalion in the Aleutian Islands. After his discharge in 1945, he hitchhiked back to Kansas, moved to Wyoming and married Mary Jane (Jean) Anania on Oct. 10, 1949. They bought the cleaners and started their family.

Babe enjoyed watching his kids and grandkids in sports and enjoyed being around them. His grandsons were special to him, and he was so proud and thankful to have them. He was a firm believer that a hard day's work would never hurt anyone. He loved to dance with his wife, play bridge and poker with friends and watch boxing on TV. He enjoyed being with his boat club friends and participating in the summer activities (his CB handle was Mr. Clean), fishing off the boat and his profession.

He was a member of the Big Horn Basin Boat Club, Elks, American Legion, Kiwanis, Knights of Columbus and the Powell Chamber of Commerce. He was a loving husband, dad and gramps; an honest, hard-working businessman and nice guy. He will be greatly missed by his family; he was always there for them and helped teach them what was important in life. His passion for his work has been passed on to the next generation.

Survivors include his son, Dan Funke (Maureen Howard) of Las Cruces, N.M.; his daughter, Terry K. (Larry) Schleich of Powell; brother, Fritz Funke of Emblem; sister-in-law, Terry Hilliard of Powell; grandsons, Mike (Tanya) Funke and great-grandson, Mikey of Gig Harbor, Wash., and A.J. Schleich of Billings, Mont.; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife Jean; grandson, Reece Schleich; three sisters, Viola Boston, Elma Sand and Helen McIntosh; and four brothers, Bill, Lou, Dan and Bud Funke.

Funeral Mass will be Friday, Oct. 31 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Barbara's Catholic Church. Burial will be in Crown Hill Cemetery under the direction of Thompson Funeral Home.

For those who wish, memorials may be sent to the Reece Schleich Wrestling Fund at Northwest College or to a charity of choice.

October 28, 2008 3:18 am

Clyde Ronald Tryon

(Oct. 4, 1939 - Oct. 22, 2008)

A memorial service is set today (Tuesday, Oct. 28) at 2 p.m. at Ballard Funeral Home in Cody for Clyde Ronald Tryon, 69, who died Wednesday, Oct. 22 in Cody.

He was born Oct. 4, 1939, to Clyde and Viola Tryon in Sheridan. Clyde lived most of his life in Wyoming. He married Joyce Gibbs of Buffalo in 1962.

They moved to Cody in 1966, where he worked for Cody Tire and then Kinkade Construction. He spent many years building locations in the oil fields of Oregon Basin. In later years, he managed West Strip Discount Liquor until he retired in 1997.

He loved life and was happiest outdoors — hunting fishing, camping and four wheeling with his family and friends.

Survivors include his wife, Joyce; daughters, Viola Tryon and Mary Lou Bunting; sons, Ron (Pam) Tryon and Will Tryon; granddaughters, Ashli Tryon and Raegan Bunting; grandson, Raef Bunting; and great-granddaughter, Alexis LaBlue; sisters, Frieda (Don) Turley, Barbara Jean (Merle) Daly and Elaine (Roy) Rentz; brother, Rex (Ann) Tryon; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; younger brother, Tony; and grandson, Michael Jefferson.
Cremation has taken place.