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Baja-style race and rock climb lures 4x4 drivers from around area

The Powell Valley four-wheelers club has always held races at times throughout the year, but the club is hoping this season to increase its visibility with the High Desert 100 over memorial Day weekend. The event, also being billed as the Big Horn Basin Baja will include a rock climb competition.

"We own about 100 acres north of town,” notes club member Matt Norby, who is helping to organize the 2010 race and climb. “We try to hold two or three races during hte year, but Memorial Day has always been our big one. That's always been our weekend.”


Racers are divided into two or three classes depending on the amount of modification to the trucks and the number of entries.

“We get a little bit of everything most years,” said Norby. “You'll see everything from the folks that do this as just a hobby to the fully tricked out professional sorts of four-wheelers. We try and group everyone by class to give everyone a chance.”

Race lengths differ by class, but range up to 70 miles for the pro stock division. Racers are required to make one pit stop over the course of the race, during which it is mandatory that at least one tire be removed and replaced on the vehicle.

“It adds a bit of strategy to the race,” Norby notes of the required stop during what can be a 2-3 hour event. “If you need to stop to change a flat or something, it's nice to know that everyone else is going to have to stop as well, so you're not out of the race. At the same time, you don't want to stop so early that, if something goes wrong, you might need to stop a second time.”

Interest in the Memorial Day race has increased over the last five years. Club members are using the event not only to attract drivers to Powell, but to increase the visibility of the club in general.

“I think one year we had to cancel the race just because it was raining so hard,” Norby said. “Other than that, we've run it in just about every type of weather imaginable. I know at least one year there was snow out there.”

Much newer is the rock climb, which was started last summer and received rave reviews from both spectators and drivers. Participants are required to navigate a pre-set track set among difficult, rocky terrain. Drivers must pass between cones at various locations with penalties for hitting cones. The object is to complete the route in the least amount of time or to progress further along the course than the other competitors.

“As far as I know, this is the only event of its kind in the state of Wyoming,” Norby said. “We get drivers from around the state as well as Montana, South Dakota and Colorado some years.”

Spectators are welcome during the event. Norby notes the course is laid out in such a fashion that approximately three-quarters of it can be viewed from a vantage point near the finish line.

Racers will report for a tech inspection on Saturday, May 29. Racing action begins at 11 a.m., Sunday, May 30. The rock crawl will take place the afternoon of May 30, tentatively scheduled for a 4 p.m. start.

“It's a good way to bring folks to Powell and let them see what we're doing out here as a club,” said Norby. “The club itself is more family-oriented and we'll get together during the month to go out on some of the roads in the area.”

Those wanting more infomation on either the High Desert 100 or the Powell Valley Four-Wheelers can contact Norby by e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
April 06, 2010 3:22 am

Trapper rodeo team resumes season

Written by Tribune Staff

Northwest faces tall task in Big Sky Region

After a winter layoff, the Northwest College rodeo team springs into competition this weekend. The Trappers will travel to the first of five spring-semester rodeos as the season builds toward the College National Finals Rodeo.

Right now, the Trappers have some work to do if they plan on being a significant part of that CNFR field.

Last week a diverse cross-section of the community gathered at The Commons.

The Powell City Council and the Powell Coalition Against Substance Abuse (PCASA), hosted their second community consensus-building workshop with the goal of developing guidelines to help the city council, and others, make decisions regarding public policy as it relates to alcohol use.

Organizers gathered representatives from the public schools, Northwest College, faith-based groups, media outlets, bar owners, parents, policemen, health care workers and others. The diversity of the group ensured that many perspectives were brought to the table.

While the coalition has a clear mission of reducing underage alcohol use, cutting down on over-use of alcohol by people over the age of 21 and preventing drunk driving, the goal for participants was to come to consensus regarding key areas of public policy.

It was a fascinating example of what happens when people with very different frames of reference come together to engage in civil dialogue. At the end of the session, there was better than 75 percent consensus for the three guidelines that were developed.

Facilitator Rhonda Shipp and others from West Park Hospital's Prevention and Wellness Office did an admirable job of crafting a process that set a clear course of action.

But more than that, participants across the board showed respect for others and an absolute willingness to listen to other points of view.
Shipp put it best when she said, “I am awestruck by what groups of people can do together. It gives me hope for the future when (people can come together), have a civil conversation, reach consensus and move forward.”

April 06, 2010 3:10 am

Up for adoption

Written by Tribune Staff

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Mustangs like this one captured on film in the McCullough Peaks last October will be available for adoption April 10 in Powell. Tribune photo by Gib Mathers

McCullough mustang sale in Powell April 9-10

About 30 mustangs will be up for adoption Saturday, April 10 at Northwest College's Agriculture Pavillion north of Powell. A wild horse viewing, a clinic and adoption registration will take place on Friday, April 9, at the Agriculture Pavilion, beginning at 1 p.m.

Most of the horses are from the McCullough Peaks roundup and a few were gathered from the Fifteenmile Horse Management Area near Worland.

Return beats county, state, and national averages

Some 64 percent of residents in the Powell area had mailed back their 2010 Census forms as of Wednesday, a higher participation rate than the rest of the county and most of the state and nation so far.

The Census Bureau is pushing for as high a mail participation rate as possible, because the mailed-back forms are a far less expensive way to tally population than face-to-face interviews with census takers later. Having 100 percent of households return their mailed forms across the U.S. would save an estimated $1.5 billion of taxpayer money, the bureau says.

April 01, 2010 3:57 am

Rest area demolition underway

Written by Tribune Staff

Demolition of the old Homesteader rest area began this week as crews prepare the site for a new rest facility, revamped landscaping and other renovations.

“It's significantly more than just a new building — it's the entire 11-acre site,” said Sean Christensen, city engineer.
Stimulus funding will pay for $1.3 million of the $1.9 million project.

April 01, 2010 3:51 am

Powell JV tracksters open year

Written by Tribune Staff

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Kadi Cooley takes a run toward the pit during varsity pole vault competition in Cody last Saturday. Weather permitting, Powell High School will host a field event and relay rendezvous starting at 4 p.m. today (Thursday). Tribune photo by John Wetzel

Hetzel, Sleep win events

Lori Hetzel captured first place in the girls' junior varsity discus and shot put while the Panthers' Vince Sleep finished atop the boys' JV discus field as the teams began their year at the Yellowstone Sports Medicine meet in Cody on Saturday.

While Hetzel grabbed the only two event victories for the Powell girls, teammate Breann Hollenbeck finished in the top six in four different events. Hollenbeck's top finish came in the long jump, where she placed second. Alyssa Hildebrand, Tess Mitchell and Cassidy Lynn also scored points for the Panther girls

Longtime ref will be inducted in July ceremony

Thirty-five years after first picking up a whistle, Powell's Myron Heny will see his picture hung in the Wyoming Sports Officials' Association Hall of Fame in Casper. Heny was one of two individuals inducted into the 2010 hall of fame class.

The decision was unveiled last week in a joint announcement by the WSOA and the Wyoming High School Activities Association.

April 01, 2010 3:39 am

Lone Wolf hosts 17th annual tourney

Written by Tribune Staff

More than 150 competitors representing 19 martial arts schools from Wyoming, South Dakota and Montana attended the 17th-annual taekwondo championships hosted by Lone Wolf Taekwondo. Participants took part competing against each other in forms, Olympic-style sparring and board breaking.

The championships were held March 20 in Cabre Gymnasium on the campus of Northwest College.

Divisions were broken up based on age, gender, size and experience. Competitors ranged from 6 to 55 years of age.

The sparring competition was regulated by the World Taekwondo Federation and followed the Olympic-style sparring rules for engagement. All competitors were required to wear safety equipment to eliminate injures while competing.

During the halftime celebration, tournament director Chris Ivanoff awarded special plaques to Doug and Lisa Siggins of Powell for outstanding contribution, Brice Cady from the Billings Martial Arts Academy for his work as outstanding official, Bonnie Martinell from Bridger, Mont., for outstanding instructor and Albert Vigil, of Worland, for outstanding martial arts school.

Ivanoff also expressed his deep appreciation for the parents, competitors and instructors for their commitment and asstance in making the tournament a success.

“This community has bent over backwards to support taekwondo over the past five years and this year was no exception,” Ivanoff said.

Ivanoff and Lone Wolf students provided an enthusiastic demonstration of skills consisting of board breaking, flying kicks, controlled kicking, punching and blocking techniques choreographed to music.

“This is the finest martial art demonstrations I have seen in many years,” Ivanoff said. “The students worked extremely hard prior to the tournament and showed their talent.”

An estimated 500 spectators packed Cabre Gymnasium during the day to witness the events. Competition among the black and red belts provided some of the day's biggest excitement as they showcased their sparring and board-breaking skills.

“This was a day of perfect harmony in one building,” Ivanoff said. “Each competitor learned a further understanding of self-repect and humility. This tournament is about gaining new friends from other martial art schools as much as it is a competition.”

Center will help educate thousands about WWII injustice

The group working to build an interpretive learning center at the site of the Heart Mountain Relocation Camp, where thousands of Japanese-Americans were held during World War II, has made huge strides since the Heart Mountain, Wyoming Foundation was formed in 1996.

The foundation has allied itself with leading institutions, such as the Japanese American National Museum, as well as former internees and others from across the country, to plot a course that will ensure the story of the Heart Mountain Relocation Camp is not forgotten.

Along the way, the foundation has raised $3.5 million toward the $5.3 million needed to complete work on the center, and the site in the shadow of Heart Mountain will hold the distinction of being only the second of the 10 WWII camps with an educational memorial.

The foundation already has established the Setsuko Saito Higuchi Walking Tour, a paved loop designed to orient visitors and educate them about the history of the site. It's a Wyoming State Heritage site and a National Historic Landmark.

The recent announcement by foundation president and executive director Dave Reetz that an Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker had been hired to develop a short film to introduce visitors to the center, along with word that a highly-respected company has been hired to design the interior exhibits, brings the center one step closer to reality.

According to Reetz, “We're aiming just for world-class status, and we've got the right people doing that.”

Through the foundation's work, a place that embodied racial prejudice and a gross violation of American citizens' rights will instead be a place for healing and education.

Foundation board members, donors and others who have toiled for years to make the Heart Mountain Interpretive Learning Center a reality should be proud of their vision and their unwavering commitment to making it a top-notch facility.