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Midway through a jury trial, a Powell man chose to admit guilt in a city shooting last fall.

On Thursday, Frank Miller, 57, pleaded guilty to aggravated assault, for threatening to use a drawn deadly weapon on Christopher Downey. The guilty plea was part of a deal offered by the Park County attorney's office and will allow Miller to avoid serving jail or prison time.

June 02, 2009 3:49 am

Pioneers struggle over weekend

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Teammates Auston Carter, Colter Bostick, Dallas Robirds and Matt McArthur mob Scotty Jameson after the Pioneers' slugger crosses home plate following his second home run of the season on Saturday afternoon. Jameson's bomb over the left field fence produced the first run of the game for Post 26. Tribune photo by Randal Horobik

Billings teams take three from Post 26

The Powell American Legion Post 26 Pioneers endured a rough weekend of action on the diamond, dropping three of four contests against the Blue Jays and Halos. Both opponents are based out of Billings.

“We gave up too many walks and we committed way too many errors on both days,” said Pioneer head coach Jeff Young. “When you give the other team free base runners and then don't make routine plays in the field on defense, that generally leads to trouble.”

Bratt runner-up for underclass P.O.Y. award

Powell High School senior midfielder Jordan Brown and junior defender Monte Nickles earned all-state honors in Class 3A soccer this season. For Nickles, it was the second year the Panthers' defender achieved post-season recognition.

“Monte is just a tenacious defender and this year he displayed an increased confidence in his ball skills,” said Panther head coach Pat D'Alessandro. “He displayed an ability to beat people one-on-one this season and that greatly aided our ability to transition from defense to offense this season. He made us a more potent club.”

The Panthers also got a boost this season from the play of Brown at midfield. The senior displayed versatility by also playing a couple games in goal for Powell during the regular season.

“Jordan really elevated his game,” said D'Alessandro. “He sees the field and understands the tactics of the game well, but he added a scoring punch to an already existing all-around game. He was great this year with headers in the air and getting in front of the goal.”

The Panthers narrowly missed a third post-season honor as junior midfielder Drayson Bratt finished as the 3A runner-up in balloting for underclassman player of the year honors. Despite rating high in polling for the award, Bratt's name did not appear on the all-state lists.

“That happens sometimes,” said D'Alessandro. “Nobody was out to get him or anything. Kids sometimes fall through the cracks as coaches vote and try to spread out the distribution of players named all-state. It was nice to see him finish so high in the underclassman player of the year honors and get that acknowledgment for what he did this season.”

Bratt finished his junior season with 18 goals, the second-highest tally at his position in 3A ball this spring.

The Panthers wrapped up the 2009 season with a 9-8-1 overall mark. The team advanced to the 3A consolation game before falling to Jackson.

Saturday races see biggest fields of season

With each passing week, the track becomes a more crowded place for drivers in the Park County Kart Club. The number of drivers climbed once again as the club held its third night of races Saturday night.

“Almost all of the racers were here,” said Jane Faulkner, secretary-treasurer for the club. “We also added several new members and had a pretty good crowd.”

Ken Strausheim and Scott Heny grabbed the adult feature race titles on Saturday evening. A field of 17 adult drivers showed up to take part in time trials and earn their way into the night's feature races.

Nicole Timmons grabbed the women's feature race title. Scoring the checkered flag in the junior division were Cory Heny and Savannah Triplett. The night's NASKART Experience feature race went to the entry from H&R Block.

The Park County Kart Club returns to the track on Saturday for its fourth session of summer racing. The club will take a three-week recess following Saturday's races, not returning to the dirt until June 27.

Results from Saturday night:

Fastest laps (adult) — 1. Mike Apanashk 21.106, 2. Ken Strausheim 21.256, 3. Mark Rentschler 21.464, 4. Justin Sims 21.473, 5. Shawn Chouinard 21.547.

Adult Heat 1 — 1. Mike Apanashk, 2. Wayne McClaflin.

Adult Heat 2 — 1. Larry Chouinard, 2. Dan DeLeon, 3. Wendy Nielsen.

Adult Heat 3 — 1. Scott Heny, 2. Keith Wiertzba, 3. Clint Trautman, 4. Shawn Chouinard, 5. Sam Gernhart.

Ladies Heat — 1. Nicole Timmons, 2. Jennifer Triplett, 3. Pokey Heny, 4. Charlene Blackburn, 5. Nancy Knight.

Junior Heat 1 —1. Cory Heny, 2. Brianne Siebert, 3. Jared Nielsen, 4. Grady Sanders, 5. Taylor Daniels, 6. Gage Williams, 7. Taylor Rentschler.

Junior Heat 2 — 1. Taylor Rentschler, 2. Mallory Triplett, 3. Marisa Sanders, 4. Wyatt England, 5. Kyler Sims, 6. Taylor Sims.

Adult Feature 1 — 1. Ken Strausheim, 2. Shawn Chouinard, 3. Wayne McClaflin, 4. Justin Sims.

Adult Feature 2 — 1. Scott Heny, 2. Tait Murdock, 3. Dan DeLeon, 4. Shawn Chouinard, 5. Sam Gernhart, 6. Clint Trautman.

Ladies Feature — 1. Nicole Timmons, 2. Jennifer Triplett, 3. Wendy Nielsen, 4. Pokey Heny.

Junior Feature 1 — 1. Cory Heny, 2. Brianne Siebert, 3. Taylor Daniels, 4. Carson Murdock.

Junior Feature 2 — 1. Savannah Triplett, 2. Grady Sanders, 3. Wyatt England, 4. Taylor Rentschler, 5. Taylor Sims, 6. Jared Nielsen, 7. Kyler Sims.

NASKART Feature —1. H&R Block, 2. CTS, 3. Wildfire Construction, 4. Thiel Construction 5. TCT, 6. Hooters, 7. Timber Ridge Taxidermy, 8. Division Dental.

Powell prides itself on being a clean, attractive, All-America city. But driving into town via Avenue E leaves a lot to be desired these days.

The first thing drivers see as they approach the city limits is a dilapidated fence, partially blown down by strong winds and many months of disregard. The fence doesn't fit with the image people of Powell have worked hard to cultivate over the years. Yet, so many months after it first collapsed, there it sits.

The developer of the Whispering Pines subdivision, Aspen Development, is in bankruptcy — the likelihood they'll repair the subdivision's falling-down perimeter fence any time soon isn't good.

The cost to repair or replace the fence wouldn't be cheap. But while common sense indicates it's the developer's responsibility to make repairs, Aspen's financial situation being what it is, it is time for the people of Powell to start a conversation about solving this problem. The city of Powell should take the lead in facilitating a remedy. With permission from the bankruptcy court, a group could certainly find a less-expensive fix — or simply tear it down.

City workers alongside volunteers — contractors, Whispering Pines homeowners and others — could tear down the fence or make temporary repairs to make it more presentable, at minimal expense.

If someone doesn't take the initiative, that part of Avenue E could remain an eyesore for years to come. No one in Powell wants that.

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Governor Dave and first lady Nancy Freudenthal wave from the back seat of a 1909 Model T Ford owned and driven by Dan Logan of Powell, while Mayor Scott Mangold sits in the front passenger seat during a procession marking Powell's 100th birthday on Monday. About 900 people attended the downtown festivities to commemorate the occasion. Tribune photo by Ilene Olson

Mail riders rode into town, big shots talked, live music played, beards were flaunted and folks celebrated while wolfing down Centennial Hot Dogs Monday on Founder's Day.

Powell Centennial Committee Chairwoman Sharon Earhart reckoned around 900 people showed up, and 600 top-drawer dogs were consumed. The hot dogs were donated by Roger Beslanowitch, owner of Roger's Meat Processing.

First grand jury in Park County history

13 arraigned on drug charges

Indictments handed down by a rare Park County grand jury packed the District Courtroom in Cody last week.

“This will be a mass of arraignments,” said District Court Judge Steven Cranfill at the beginning of Friday's proceedings.

PVHC officials remain hopeful they will win contract again

A five-year contract for Powell Valley Healthcare to provide health-care services for area veterans has been put on hold while the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs reviews a protest by another company that bid for the contract.

Powell Valley Healthcare was notified by Veterans Affairs on April 23 that it had been awarded the bid for the Basin Community Based Outpatient Clinic, which provides health care for veterans in the Big Horn Basin.

May 28, 2009 4:06 am

Panthers take state

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Members of the Powell High School boys' track team react to hearing their name announced as the 2009 state track champions on Saturday in Casper. The title was the team's third in the past four years and their fourth of the decade. Tribune photo by Randal Horobik

4x400 relay victory cinches 3A title for Powell boys

The Powell Panthers brought home the 2009 3A boys' state track title in climactic fashion Saturday afternoon. Senior Patrick Sullivan's move over the final 100 meters of the 4x400 relay anchor leg pushed the Panthers ahead of arch-rival Cody and clinched victory in the winner-take-all showdown.

The result was Powell's third boys state track title in the past four years.

Soccer falls short in consolation game

Jackson Hole won the rubber game of the season 3-0 over Powell, denying the Panthers the consolation trophy at the 2009 3A boys' state soccer tournament in Sheridan. The loss ends Powell's season at 9-8-1.

After playing the Broncs down to the wire twice in the regular season — Jackson Hole scored an overtime win in Powell early in the year before the Panthers returned the favor with a 1-0 regulation victory on the road — Powell was upstaged in Sheridan. The Broncs scored once in the first half before tacking on a pair of early second-half goals to claim consolation honors.

The Panthers' offense was held in check for large chunks of the contest as Jackson Hole was able to maintain a constant pressure on the pitch.

The Panthers were relegated to the consolation half of the bracket on Thursday by a 2-1 loss to Lander.

Lander got on the scoreboard first with a goal just past the midpoint of the first half. The Tigers extended their lead to 2-0 with a goal minutes into the second half.

Senior Jordan Brown scored Powell's first state tournament goal midway through the second half, heading home a corner kick. The score breathed a measure of life back into the Panthers' chances, but Lander's defense held a pressing Panther offense out of net for the final 20 minutes to register the win.

Goals weren't nearly as hard to come by on Friday as the Panthers recorded their second lopsided win of the year over Newcastle.

Monte Nickles and Drayson Bratt each scored in the first 20 minutes to lift Powell to a 2-0 lead. Newcastle put itself back in contention with a goal before the half to trail by just a point at intermission.

Powell slammed the door quickly thereafter. Senior Jordan Brown tagged home a goal just minutes into the second half. Jason Rand received credit for a goal less than five minutes later as Newcastle scored into its own net while attempting to clear the ball. The goal moved Powell on top 4-1.

Rand struck again midway through the second half, this time blasting home a shot through the Newcastle defense. Cooper Wise wrapped up the Panther assault with a tally seconds before the referee's whistle brought a stop to the contest.

Eight seniors graduate off the Panther roster for head coach Pat D'Alessandro.

“I have been honored to work with this group and pray that our school's future seniors exhibit the same type of honor and integrity,” said D'Alessandro. “The way they conduct themselves on and off the field, being able to combine the pure competitiveness necessary to compete in a fierce sport like soccer with the balance that there are so many other more important spiritual, family and life issues that exist, makes it a unique group.”

Season ends for PHS girls, shut out at state

The Powell Panthers dropped a pair of games at the 3A girls' state soccer tournament in Sheridan over the weekend. The losses bring the curtain down on a 2-13 season for the squad.

“Going into the state tournament, I wasn't sure how we'd respond,” said Panther head coach Brad Hammond. “We hadn't played well against Pinedale and got blown out by Cody, so it was good to see the way we responded as a team.”

The Panthers opened state tournament play against Buffalo. The regular-season 3A East champs scored a pair of goals in the first 20 minutes to open a 2-0 lead before the Panthers settled in to hold Buffalo scoreless for the remainder of the contest.

Powell goalie McKenzie Danforth turned away 20 Buffalo shots on goal in the contest.

“We played some of the best defense we have all year, especially in the second half,” said Hammond. “Buffalo went on to play in the championship game. They were a very good team.”

The opening-round loss threw the Panthers into the consolation half of the bracket where they faced Newcastle on Friday. The teams battled to a scoreless draw for more than 70 minutes before Newcastle caught a break with approximately seven minutes to play to score the game's only goal.

“McKenzie made a stop on one of their shot attempts, but the ball bounced right to the foot of another of their players and she stuck it in the net for a goal,” Hammond said of the game's only tally. “Both teams had chances throughout the contest. It came down to they caught a break when they needed it and we didn't.”

The Panthers graduate 10 seniors, but only two starters from their 2009 roster. With nine returning starters slated to be back in uniform next year, Hammond is optimistic for the future.

“We have a good number of kids scheduled to go to camps over the summer,” said Hammond. “That's a big thing for us. We can't be a March-to-May team that doesn't touch the ball again. I'm pleased with how far we came from the start of the year, but we need that summer play or else we're going to be re-learning the same things next spring.”