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Tribune Staff

In the months since Congress approved hotly-contested health care reform legislation, Wyomingites have grappled with how to respond to the federal law.

Gov. Dave Freudenthal has said Wyoming would not join other states in a lawsuit opposing the law. But gubernatorial candidates have said they believe the Cowboy State should challenge President Obama's health care reform.

Three GOP candidates represented at a rally at the state Capitol Friday said they think Wyoming should oppose the federal law by joining 20 other states in litigation.

The rally's organizer, M. Lee Hasenauer of Cheyenne, is petitioning to urge state lawmakers to hold a special legislative session this summer to address federal health-care reform.

But a special session is unnecessary, considering Wyoming lawmakers have plenty of time to respond to the new health care reform. It will be years before most provisions in the new law take effect.

Gathering legislators for a special session is expensive — a 20-day session would cost an estimated $500,000. If lawmakers then proceeded with litigation, state taxpayers would foot the bill.

Whether Wyoming spends its money on legal battles isn't going to change how the Supreme Court's decision impacts the state. Any Supreme Court ruling on the health-care lawsuit will affect all states — regardless of their role in the suit.

“I think Congress is wrong, but what I think doesn't matter. The people who matter are the nine people on the United States Supreme Court. I think it'll get litigated vigorously. I do not think we add to it,” Freudenthal said in March.

Wyoming's next governor likely will disagree. And when state legislators convene for their regular session in January, they may decide to seek legal action against the federal health-care reform.

Though Cowboy State lawmakers could still join the multi-state lawsuit, it seems like an unnecessary move and a waste of money when the litigation's outcome will affect Wyoming anyway.

Regional partnership discussed

A national consulting firm has recommended restructuring Powell's economic development organization.

Craig Glogowski of National Community Development Services, an Atlanta, Ga.-based consulting firm, presented the recommendations to members of the Powell Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Powell Valley Economic Development Alliance Monday. The recommendations were based on a study by NCDS conducted over the past year that included interviews, a small group development session, discussions with other stakeholders in the Powell area economy and government officials.

If you're planning to seeking a federal, state, county or municipal office this election season, now's the time to make yourself known.

The filing period for candidates seeking to be on the Aug. 17 primary election ballot opens today (Thursday) and continues through May 28.

Levi Anderson will address Powell High School Commencement this year as valedictorian of the Class of 2010. Classmate Drayson Bratt has been named the salutatorian.

The two seniors, both of whom have earned 4.0 grade-point averages, were selected on the basis of their ACT scores.
Anderson is the son of Ken and Bonnie Anderson of Powell. In addition to his academic success, Anderson has competed for PHS tennis, soccer and cross country.


Auston Carter was named the male athlete of the year for the 2009-2010 academic year at Powell High School. Tribune file photo

‘Never let your fears be the boundaries of your dreams'

Powell High School athletes were honored Monday at the school's annual athletic awards night.

Guest speaker Ron Laird, Wyoming High School Activities Association director and former PHS coach, addressed the gathering, and expressed his appreciation for Powell's quality athletic programs and the community's support of them through the Powell Athletic Roundtable. He complimented PHS athletes for their efforts and challenged them to be role models for their fellow students and younger kids. He closed by encouraging students to dream of success and not be afraid to fail in pursuit of those dreams.

PHS track teams head to 3A West regionals

The Powell High School track teams head to Jackson this Friday and Saturday for 3A West regional track competition. For the Panthers' automatic qualifiers, the meet represents a tune-up for the state meet in Casper.

For the rest of the squad, the regional meet is one last chance to earn a spot on the Kelly Walsh track when 3A state competition begins on May 20.

Cody golfer the first since 2002 to advance

University of Wyoming junior Gabe Maier, a native of Cody, received an individual bid to the NCAA West Regional golf tournament in Bremerton, Wash., on Monday. Maier is the first UW golfer to advance to regional competition since 2002 and only the fifth golfer in school history to receive such an opportunity.

The tournament takes place May 20-22 with the top performers advancing to the NCAA championships.

Maier joins Dave McCleave (1990), Pat Fry (1995), David Hearn (1999-2001) and Mike Urbatchka (2002) as the only Cowboy golfers to qualify for a regional event. The 1992 UW team remains the only golf team in school history to advance to regional competition.

Maier currently holds a 71.7 stroke average for the season, fourth-best among Mountain West Conference golfers. He owns four top-10 finishes and three top-five appearances this year. His season highlight was winning the 92-man UW Desert Intercollegiate last fall.

Maier is currently ranked No. 81 in the national GolfStat Cup rankings. His short game has received the No. 14 national rank by GolfStat's statistical breakdown.

“We are all very excited for Gabe, as he is very deserving of this opportunity,” said UW director of golf Joe Jensen. “Gabe has played really well this season and it is great to have him recognized on a national level. He earned this opportunity with his tremendous work ethic. We will prepare hard for this event and go out there to compete for a chance of going to the national tournament.”

The West Region tournament will be held on the Gold Mountain Golf Club's Olympic course, future host of the 2011 U.S. Junior Amateur championships. The 18-hole layout plays to a maximum yardage of 7,104 yards and a par of 72.

(Jan. 10, 1914 – May 25, 2010)

Anthony S. “Doc” Rogers died May 25, 2010, at Bonnie Bluejacket Nursing Home in Basin.

On Monday, Powell was dealt one of its harshest economic blows of the recession. Weatherford International, a company with established roots in the community, announced it was closing its Powell manufacturing facility by October — ultimately affecting about 40 employees.

For dozens of families in Powell, the recession suddenly became very personal.

This loss isn't limited to Weatherford employees. The closure of the manufacturing facility — and reduction of higher-paying jobs in the area — will impact local trucking companies, lumberyards, supply stores and other businesses.

Adding to dreary economic conditions, some sugar beet growers still reeling from last year's devastating loss recently began replanting a portion of this year's crop after inclement weather struck local fields. Though not as crippling as last October's frost at harvest time, the unwelcome cold snap was a discouraging way to start the new season.

Amidst recent downturns, local leaders are hoping to rejuvenate Powell's economy with a restructured development plan.

A study conducted by National Community Development Services recommending restructuring of the Powell Valley Economic Development Alliance was presented to leaders this week.

One of the recommendations was that the local group pursue a regional alliance by approaching Forward Cody, our neighboring city's economic development organization. But first, a reorganized board for the Powell Valley Economic Development Alliance must be formed. Paul Prestwich has accepted the role of sparking that reorganization.

We hope business and community leaders, as well as others in Powell, respond to this initiative and join together to develop a strong economic development plan.

Though it's difficult to see Powell's economy take hits, it is encouraging that an economic development effort is in the works. A strong plan could position Powell for a brighter economic future.

This was not what Northwest College needed.

An academic year that had already featured a faculty-adminstration standoff and controversy over recruitment letters added another chapter to the drama last week when a flare-up at an off-campus party spilled back onto campus. That incident resulted in six student-athletes being placed on disciplinary suspension and three members of the Trapper men's basketball program being dismissed from the team.

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