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Brittany Christensen nears the turn in the butterfly in Tuesday's meet with Cody. Christensen, who qualified for state in the event last week, finished third to help the Lady Panthers to a big win over the Fillies. Tribune photo by Don Amend

The Powell Lady Panthers celebrated senior night at the PHS pool Tuesday by taking a big win over Cody.
Powell swimmers won all but one event as they sailed to a 133-52 team win over the Fillies in their last home meet of the season.

The meet marked the last home appearance for seniors Samantha Baker, Jessica Curtis, Jenna Hotovec, Kourtnie Rodgers and Stepfanie Thompson, and Baker Hotovec. Rodgers and Curtis set the tone for the meet by winning the first event, the medley relay.

October 01, 2009 3:46 am

PHS golfers take fifth at state

For the second consecutive season, the Powell High School golf team made a better showing at the Class 3A state tournament than the year before.

The PHS boys took fifth place at the state tourney in Lander last weekend — up from 10th last year, and their best showing since 2006.

After single week absence, NWC is back

In a bit of rankings hokey pokey, the Northwest College Trappers have been in the top 20. They've been out.

Now, they're back and holding their highest spot of the 2009 season.

After a 5-1 performance at last week's Wyo-braska tournament in Nebraska, the Northwest College Trappers, 14-4 on the season, are ranked 16th overall in this week's NJCAA volleyball poll. The team is now the second-highest Region IX team in the top 20.

Western Nebraska, the lone blemish to the Trappers' record last weekend, remains entrenched at No. 4. Also appearing from Region IX are Casper College, ranked 19th this week with a 19-7 mark, and Northeastern, 15-5, which is tied with Laredo for 20th.

The Trappers captured a tense five-game match from Northeastern this past weekend. Northeastern had been ranked 12th in the nation at the time.

Overall, this week's poll features a new leader. North Idaho, ranked No. 2 last week, swapped places with the College of Southern Idaho to wear the bulls-eye as the nation's top-ranked team. Blinn College remains in third position.

Here is the complete NJCAA top 20 volleyball poll for the week of Sept. 30:

1. North Idaho (19-3), 2. College of Southern Idaho (16-3), 3. Blinn (18-3), 4. Western Nebraska (21-2), 5. Salt Lake (18-5), 6. Miami Dade (13-2), 7. Iowa Western (22-3), 8. San Jacinto (17-4), 9. Missouri State University-West Plains (11-6), 10. Hillsborough (15-3), 11. Eastern Arizona (13-1), 12. Seward County (17-4), 13. New Mexico Military (19-4), 14. Florida State College at Jacksonville (16-1), 15. Frank Phillips (16-9), 16. Northwest College (14-4), 17. Hutchinson (12-6), 18. Pasco-Hernando (15-4), 19. Casper (19-7), 20. (tie) Laredo (9-5) and Northeastern (15-10).

Others receiving votes (listed alphabetically): Arizona Western (14-7), Indian Hills-Ottumwa (7-5), Lake Land (14-7), Midland (18-7), Redlands (9-10), St. Petersburg (7-5), Yavapai (17-8).

October 01, 2009 3:30 am

Snowmobile issue needs resolution

After 10 long years of legal wrangling, the debate about snowmobiles in Yellowstone National Park lumbers on with no end in sight.

It's unlikely that either side engaged in the legal tussle will emerge as a clear-cut victor.

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last week heard arguments about a temporary rule put in place by Wyoming's U.S. District Judge Clarence Brimmer in late 2008. Brimmer limited the daily number of snowmobiles in the park to 720 until the National Park Service could put a new, permanent rule in place.

The Park Service tried to do just that in 2007 when its “final” plan set the daily limit at 540 snow machines.

Environmental groups — who want the machines banned in the park altogether — appealed the decision to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, making the argument that 540 machines would have a sizable environmental impact.

The state of Wyoming and Park County followed suit by appealing in the U.S. District Court in Wyoming. Their contention: 540 was too low.

A judge in each court has since issued a decision, but questions of jurisdiction and intent have left the door open for continued legal battles.

The yet-unresolved question of who has the ultimate authority to make a decision regarding snowmobile numbers — the Park Service, the D.C. judge or the court in the state of Wyoming — leaves too many issues hanging in limbo. A reasonable compromise that everyone can live with — somewhere between 0 and 720 — would put an end to the legal bickering. Snowmobile enthusiasts and business owners in gateway communities deserve to know what the future holds in terms of winter recreation in Yellowstone.

U.S. Circuit Judge Wade Brorby asked at least week's hearing, “Does justice require an end to litigation?”

We think the answer is a resounding “Yes.”

October 01, 2009 3:23 am

Paul William Sahli

(Sept. 29, 1924 - Sept. 15, 2009)

Paul William Sahli, 84, died Sept. 15 at Powell Valley Care Center.

Paul was born Sept. 29, 1924 to Wilfred and Vesta Sahli. He grew up in Lawndale, Calif., with four brothers and a sister. He graduated from 12th grade. In his early 20s, he loved to roller skate and almost went pro. He served in the Navy from 1941-43. He was a welder and owned his business, Ornamental Iron Craft, for most of his adult life.

He met the love of his life, Dorothy Muller, at a ballroom dance at the Biltmore Hotel. Paul said he saw a beautiful redhead across the dance floor, and he was going to marry her. On Dec. 28, 1954, Paul and Dorothy were married in St. Albans, New York.

The couple lived in Garden Grove, Calif., where they raised four children, three sons and a daughter. Paul served on the board of trustees at St. Paul's Lutheran Church for 40 years. He and Dorothy both enjoyed bowling and were members of the church league.

Paul and Dorothy moved to Powell in 2004 to be near their daughter when Dorothy's health began to fail. Until the end, Paul stayed by Dorothy's side and helped her in any way he could.

He is survived by his wife, Dorothy, of Powell; sons Andy Sahli (Joy) and Craig Sahli, both of California; daughter Barbara Meredith (Brad) of Powell; seven grandchildren, Alison, Erica, Lauren, Bryce and Shea of California, and Jessica and Zachary of Powell; brothers Charlie and Jack Sahli of California; and a sister, Elaine Sahli, also of California.

He was preceded in death by his parents; a son, Roger Sahli; and his brothers Bruce and Fred Sahli.

Thompson Funeral Home is handling arrangments, and a funeral service has taken place.

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Tourists pause to snap photographs of the Arnica Fire's colorful smoke during Thursday evening's sunset. The lightning-caused fire, five miles west of Bay Bridge in Yellowstone National Park, grew considerably over the weekend. Tribune photo by Tessa Schweigert

North Fork and Teton blazes grow

The Arnica Fire, southwest of Yellowstone Lake Village, has closed the road from Bridge Bay to West Thumb in Yellowstone National Park. That includes most of the highway from Fishing Bridge Junction south to West Thumb, although travelers can still reach the Lake area.

No facilities are closed at this time, with the exception of Bridge Bay Marina to private boat launching. Private boats can embark at Grant Village.

A three-judge panel on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments Friday about Yellowstone's controversial snowmobile limits, but it's unclear what — if any — impact their decision will have on this winter season.

Robert Rosenbaum, an attorney for the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA), opened oral arguments by stating that the decision, “will significantly affect the upcoming winter season of Yellowstone National Park,” but the court was skeptical.

September 29, 2009 3:58 am

Panthers roll to victory

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Powell's defense swarms over Jackson quarterback Kyle Vinson during a first-half pass attempt on Friday night. The second-ranked Panthers confined the Broncs to their half of the field almost exclusively, allowing just three first downs as the team recorded its first shutout of the year. Tribune photo by John Wetzel

Defense dominates in 36-0 blanking of Jackson

The Powell Panthers, elevated last week to the No. 2 ranking in 3A according to the Wyopreps coaches and media poll, turned in a complete team effort on Friday night, opening conference play with a 36-0 shutout of visiting Jackson. In reality, the game probably wasn't even that close.

Powell's defense kept the Broncs' option attack under wraps throughout the evening, holding the visiting team to negative yardage in the second half. Jackson quarterback Kyle Vinson spent much of the night either bottled up or scrambling for his life.

September 29, 2009 3:48 am

PHS keeps perfect 3-0 record

The Powell Lady Panthers notched two more conference wins on the road last week to run their record to 3-0 in volleyball action.

The Lady Panthers stopped Lander on Friday in four sets and followed up with a 3-set win over Worland on Saturday.

September 29, 2009 3:27 am

Panthers head to state tourney

Boys' No. 3 doubles team takes third at regionals

The Panther tennis teams showed their continued improvement at the regional tournament last weekend.

The Powell High School boys and girls pushed their opponents to split sets in 12 of their 24 matches, which head coach Ray Bieber said, “had to be a record.”

“The (opposing) teams had drilled us earlier,” Bieber said. “It shows a lot of improvement, actually, on our part.”

The Panthers played as host to the state's eight northern conference teams in the tournament, which was double-elimination. The Powell boys' and girls' teams each took seventh place.

Individually, the boys' No. 3 doubles team of Tyler Morgan and Todd Lewis seized third place to claim a coveted seed at this weekend's state tournament.

“That was exciting,” Bieber said.

No. 1 singles player Pablo Garces pushed fourth-place finisher Nathan Trautenberg of Jackson to three sets, but fell 6-2, 2-6, 6-1.

He later lost to Kelly Walsh's Mitchell Bradley 6-3, 6-0.

In his opening match, No. 2 singles player Justin Lynn lost 6-1, 6-3 to Gillette's Taylor Holst — the eventual champion. That was a better showing than the runner-up, who won only three games.

Lynn was later eliminated by Natrona's Michael Masterson, 6-1, 4-6, 6-2.

“He (Lynn) showed that he can compete with anybody on a given day,” said Bieber.

At No. 1 doubles, Sam Wise and Levi Anderson fell 6-1, 6-1 to Kelly Walsh, rebounded to thump Natrona County (6-2, 6-0), and then narrowly lost to third-place finisher Jackson in three sets, 4-6, 7-5, 6-4.

Robert Speiser and Eric Curtis lost to top finisher Gillette 6-0, 6-2, beat Sheridan 6-0, 5-7, 6-4, and were finally edged out by third-place Jackson, 6-0, 4-6, 6-3.

“They showed flashes of brilliance,” BIeber said. “They showed they can play with anybody, too.”

Tyler Morgan and Todd Lewis opened with a convincing 6-1, 6-1 win over Natrona, then suffered a narrow 5-7, 7-5, 6-2 defeat to runner-up Jackson.

In the consolation bracket, Morgan and Lewis turned around and beat Sheridan (6-7, 6-4, 6-4) and finished up with a win against Cody (6-1, 4-6, 7-5) to claim third place.

On the girls' side, No. 1 singles player Lisa Schiermeister ran into a tough draw, losing to third-place finisher Jill Ross of (6-1, 6-2) and fourth-place finisher Beth Ferrier of Gillette (6-4, 6-4).

No. 2 singles player Brittany Feller narrowly lost to Natrona's Emma Gallup, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, and Kelly Walsh's Lauren Bradley 6-4, 4-6, 6-2.

Emily Kath and Lacey Eckherdt began against the eventual No. 1 doubles regional champion of Jackson (6-0, 6-1) and later fell to Cody after a tight first set (6-6, 6-1).

At No. 2 doubles, Shelby Walton and Haylee Humphries fell 6-3, 6-2 to Gillette, but rebounded to beat Riverton, 6-2, 6-2. They then fell 6-3, 6-4 to third-place finisher Cody.

Rounding out the girls' squad, No. 3 doubles duo BreaAnn Hollenbeck and Marquette McArthur lost 6-0, 6-0 to Jackson, and then weren't quite able to beat Natrona, falling 2-6, 7-6, 6-4.

With the new tennis courts at the high school, Bieber said that it was great to be able to host the regional tournament.

“Powell did a good job hosting,” Bieber said, praising the work and contributions of PHS athletic director Tim Wormald, the tennis players' parents, the Chamber of Commerce and the Powell Athletic Roundtable in putting on the event.

PHS tennis teams will next head to Cheyenne for the state tournament, which runs Thursday through Saturday.

Bieber said the Panthers generally appear to have favorable match-ups.

“Every team has a good chance of winning a match the first day,” he said.