Weekly Poll

What's the cause of unemployment in Park County?




Results

 


Tribune Staff

January 15, 2009 3:36 am

NWC wrestling reaping benefits

Tough early schedule paying off for NWC

Prior to the start of the 2008-09 season, Northwest College head coach Andy Ward made it clear that his Trappers were facing a difficult early schedule.

Making the early portion of the slate even more challenging was the fact that NWC's roster boasted just three sophomores. Of those, only two were returning players from the 2007-08 squad — Julian Olubuyi and Jordan Harris. The third sophomore, Cody Ball, transfered to NWC from Montana State University-Northern.

As Ward expected, his squad took several lumps starting out, and after a half dozen games were in the record books, NWC had a 1-5 mark against teams with more experience.

“By playing a lot of tough teams early, it showed the guys the level they were going to have to reach in order to be successful,” Ward said. “Doing that can be difficult, especially when you're dealing with a young team. But I think it has paid off.”

During that six-game span starting out, the Trappers fell to the College of Eastern Utah twice, North Idaho College, Central Florida Community College and the College of Southern Idaho. The lone victory in that stretch was a 90-78 win over Central Arizona College.

Since the second loss of the season to Eastern Utah in mid-November, however, the Trappers have proven to be almost unbeatable, as evidenced by their eight wins in the last nine games. The Trappers also have a four-game winning streak that includes decisions over Western Nebraska Community College, Laramie County Community College, Miles Community College and Central Wyoming College.

NWC (9-6) is now 1-0 in Region IX's North Sub-Region and 2-0 in the Wyoming Community College Athletic Conference. Their WCCAC mark could get even better Friday and Saturday after road matchups with Casper College and Western Wyoming Community College.

“We have a chance to pull off a sweep, and if we can do that, we'll be in the driver's seat as far as the conference goes,” Ward said. “But we're going to have to play our best basketball of the year for that to happen.”

Casper currently has a 5-14 record in what has proven to be a season of transition. The team is coached by Joel Davidson, who is in his first year with the Thunderbirds after replacing departed, long-time coach Gary Becker.

Davidson previously enjoyed a successful coaching stint at Sheridan College, where he was twice named Region IX Coach of the Year.

Though the Thunderbirds' record isn't eye-catching, Ward said their series of recent performances is.

In a pair of road games last weekend, Casper defeated Eastern Wyoming College and LCCC. Eastern Wyoming, coincidentally, is the team that handed NWC its only loss in its last nine games.

“Casper has won three of its last four, so we know it's going to be a challenge for us,” Ward said. “Right now, our focus is on them.”

After Friday's game with the Thunderbirds, the Trappers will have to be ready for a matchup with WWCC in Rock Springs Saturday. Like Casper, the Mustangs (11-8) just completed a road sweep of EWC and LCCC.

“Western Wyoming is a lot like us,” Ward said. “They have a young team, and they played a tough schedule early.”

With this weekend's matchups against formidable opponents looming, Ward said he will be counting on his players to continue playing well-rounded basketball. In particular, Ward will be looking for Olubuyi, the Trappers' starting point guard, to continue providing the leadership he's displayed throughout the season.

Through the 2008 portion of the season, Olubuyi averaged 14.2 points per contest, and just last week the sophomore scored a combined 36 points during victories against Miles and Central Wyoming. Twenty-six of those points came against Central Wyoming in a game where Olubuyi grabbed seven rebounds and dished out four assists.

“Julian has definitely been a key factor for us,” Ward said. “He's been playing with a lot of consistency at point guard. He's one of our team captains, and he's done a good job of providing a lot of leadership.”

Casper Hesseldal, a 6-6 freshman from Aarhus, Denmark, also has shouldered much of the scoring load. Through NWC's first 14 games, he averaged almost 15 points per game, and like Olubuyi, he also finished last week's two-game stretch with 36 points. He even was among the squad's leading rebounders in last week's victories.

But NWC's fortunes aren't solely based on Olubuyi and Hesseldal. A number of players have made significant contributions on both ends of the court and rank among the team's statistical leaders. Freshman Ricardo Bodra, a 6-6 freshman from Sao Paulo, Brazil, is among Region IX's top rebounders and is a threat to notch a double-double every game. Freshman Mitchell Ackelson also has proven to be a player who can put up big numbers, as evidenced by his 27-point effort against Williston State College during the first half of the season.

Jordan Harris, also a team captain, has put up solid numbers as well, including a 27-point scoring effort in a memorable, 77-54 dismantling of Northeastern Junior College during the First National Bank and Trust Shootout in November.

“Probably our biggest strength is the number of weapons we have,” Ward said. “We've got quite a few guys who can go out and put a lot of points on the scoreboard. We've got four or five guys averaging double figures in scoring, and that makes it tough for opposing defenses when you are getting that kind of production on the offensive end.”

NWC's matchup against the Thunderbirds Friday in Casper is scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. Saturday's contest against WWCC is slated for 5 p.m.

January 15, 2009 3:29 am

Phillip Keith Schuster

(Aug. 20, 1920 — Jan. 11, 2009)

Phillip Keith Schuster, 88, died Jan. 11 at his home in Powell of pancreatic cancer.

Phil was born Aug. 20, 1920 to Ray and Velma Schuster in Mancato, Kan. He was the third of 10 children.

Phil was married to his first wife, Audrey, for 18 years. They later divorced. They had one son, Kenny, who died in a car accident as a high school senior.

Phil later married Doris Moody on March 18, 1978 in Reno. He loved Doris's children as his own, and he took great pride in being called Dad and Grandpa.

As a World War II veteran, Phil served from 1941-1945 with Merrill's Marauders in the Army. Upon returning home from the war, Phil became a mechanic, managing several service stations, and eventually owning his own garage.

Phil also delivered Darigold milk and, at one point, managed Cassie's Supper Club in Cody.

Phil and Doris enjoyed camping and fishing on both the Pacific Ocean and Antelope Lake in California.

He survived both larynx and colon cancer earlier in his life, and he remained cheerful and he enjoyed entertaining children with his electronic larynx.

Phil was preceded in death by his parents; his son, Kenny; sisters Eva Schuster, Margaret Thompson, Betty Shipper, Marcelle Bennion, Beverly Moore-Bennett; and his brother, Wayne Schuster.

He is survived by his wife; sisters Norma Roemmich, Neva Lindley and Belva Mulley; stepchildren Brent (Merlene) Moody, Debra (John) Jones, John (Liz) Moody, Scott (Vanessa) Moody, Cindy (Jeff) Justice and Sherri (Clint) Tomlinson; brother-in-law Don (Sidney) Banks; sisters-in-law Carol (Jim) Kemp and Colleen (Vic) Baca; and many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be held Friday, Jan. 16 at 1 p.m. at the LDS Stake Center, 1300 Heart Mountain St., in Cody.

January 15, 2009 3:19 am

Sharon Ann Cartwright-Jones

(Nov. 7, 1945 – Jan. 11, 2009)

Sharon Cartwright-Jones died at her home in Hall Summit, La., Sunday, Jan. 11 after a short battle with cancer.

She was born in Canon City, Colo., the fifth child of Dick and Clarice Cartwright. She grew up in Laramie, Fort Collins, Colo., and Thermopolis.

Her passion for independence and her love of travel made her profession as a truck driver a perfect fit. She owned her own truck for many years and co-owned a trucking company with her brother Gale. She traveled extensively in the United States, Europe, South America and the Bahamas. Sharon was also a talented musician who passed her love for music on to her children and grandchildren.

She was a loving mother, daughter, sister and wife. Her strong work ethic, self-determination and ability to laugh were examples to her family.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her brothers, Gary and Gene Cartwright, and her niece, Michelle Cartwright.

Sharon is survived by her husband, Larry Jones; daughters Lynn Smith (Walter) of Bozeman, Mont., and Kimberly McElhaney of Las Vegas; son Charlie Cardenas (Bonni Jo) of Billings; sisters, Eunice Burke and Shirley Foreman, of Thermopolis; and brother Gale Cartwright (Suzan), also of Thermopolis. She is also survived by five grandchildren.

At Sharon's request cremation has taken place, and no formal services are planned. A family gathering to celebrate her life will be held in Thermopolis at a later date. Memorials in her name can be made to a cancer charity or hospice of one's choosing.

January 15, 2009 3:18 am

Gilbert M. McKinney

(Dec. 28, 1927 - Jan. 12, 2009)

Gilbert M. McKinney, of Casper, died Monday, Jan. 12, of congestive heart failure. He was 81.

He was born Dec. 28, 1927, in Casper, the son of Charles and Marie (Peterson) McKinney. He attended school in Casper, graduating from NCHS. He married Cheri Aarestad in Casper on June 24, 1985.

Gilbert was a materials coordinator for Texaco for 35 years. He enjoyed hunting, fishing and boating and was a member of the Casper Boat Club.

Survivors include his wife Cheri of Casper; son Dale McKinney of Littleton, Colo.; daughters Rita (Dave) Row of Littleton, Colo.; Glenda (Curtis) Cote of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho; sister Helen (Al) Bunning of Roseville, Calif.; and numerous grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, brother Charles E. McKinney and nephew Richard McKinney.
Services will be held at a later date. Cremation has been held under the direction of Bustard's Funeral Home of Casper.

The number of DUI arrests in Wyoming continues to rise each year. It seems current Wyoming laws, coupled with other preventative measures, still aren't strong enough to dissuade people from driving drunk.

According to a recent Associated Press story, 1,400 people were arrested by the Wyoming Highway Patrol for driving under the influence of alcohol in 2008 — up from 1,000 in 2005. The number of local arrests increased in recent years as well.

A spokesman for the Wyoming Highway Patrol attributes the increase to Wyoming's growing population — and, in the same AP story, the chief of police in Cheyenne (where there was a 46 percent increase in DUI arrests last year) said he thinks the increase occurred because he has more officers on duty on weekend nights. Powell Police Chief Tim Feathers attributes the increase to a greater emphasis on DUI arrests — prompted by state reports, beginning in 2005, that show drunk driving continues to be a major problem in Wyoming.

Whatever the reason, the goal of decreasing the number of drunk drivers on the road simply isn't happening.

House Bill 115, which will be considered in this session of the Wyoming Legislature, would increase DUI penalties across the board — particularly for repeat offenders. Chief Feathers said that's an area of particular concern.

According to Feathers, 35-40 percent of DUI arrests in Park County are what he calls “hard-core drunk drivers” — those with a blood-alcohol content above .15 percent (twice the legal limit or more) and drivers being arrested on a second or subsequent offense.

Other approaches — public awareness, increased law enforcement, public transportation — can only go so far. It's time for our legislators to consider another tactic. If increased penalties for DUIs kept even a few drunks from driving, Wyoming's roads would be safer for everyone.

  • Image folder specified does not exist!
  •  

An icy avalanche buried snowmobiler Ryan Berchtold, very nearly taking his life, on New Year's Day. The next day, Berchtold stood in the hole his friends dug to rescue him. Courtesy photo by Tim Metzler

When an avalanche buried and suffocated Ryan Berchtold of Powell at Togwotee Pass on New Year's Day, three friends came to his rescue.

Josh Lovelady, Tim Metzler and Darren Thomas, all of Powell, dug Berchtold out of the snow and performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), delivering him from sure death.

In case you didn't hear, you were supposed to evacuate your home during the recent swarm of earthquakes in Yellowstone National Park.

That was according to a self-dubbed expert who now may face criminal charges for his suspect predictions of doom.

  • Image folder specified does not exist!
  •  

To assist in construction costs at the Buck Springs siphon inlet, Heart Mountain Irrigation District landowners will see a rate increase of $1.50 beginning this year. Tribune photo by Gib Mathers

Heart Mountain Irrigation District users will pay an average rate increase of $1.50 per acre beginning this spring to pay for replacing the Buck Springs Siphon inlet.

The average assessment was $21.50 per acre, and will increase to $23 per acre, said Dan Laursen, Heart Mountain District manager.

By now, the drive between Cody and Cheyenne is a familiar one for Colin Simpson.

But there was a difference when he made the familiar drive last week: He was on his way to perform his first duties as speaker of the Wyoming House of Representatives as he began his 11th year in the Legislature.

January 13, 2009 4:05 am

Lady Panthers keep rolling

  • Image folder specified does not exist!
  •  

Powell High School's Leslie Thronburg (20) is fouled by Kemmerer's Kim Cattelan (24) during Friday night's matchup at PHS. Thronburg made the shot and earned a trip to the free-throw line on the play. Tribune photo by David Dickey

Squad runs record to 7-1 overall

For most basketball teams, a pair of 21-point victories would be a season highlight.

It seems more like a typical weekend for the Powell High School Lady Panthers.