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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

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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.

Chad Oletzke, head coach of the women's basketball team at Northwest College, announced his resignation Monday. His resignation, according to a press release issued by NWC, is effective in mid-May at the end of the current academic year. The fifth-year coach said he resigned for personal reasons.

January 13, 2009 3:59 am

Panthers thump Thermopolis

Top-rated PHS wins 58-13

Powell High School's wrestling team, ranked No. 1 in Class 3A, recorded a convincing, 58-13 victory over Thermopolis last Thursday night at THS. The Bobcats entered the dual meet ranked third in Class 2A.

“Thermopolis has a really good team, and I was pleased with the way we wrestled against them,” said PHS head coach Nate Urbach. “Going into it, I figured there would be four or five tight matches, and we won all of those. That was good to see.”

Top-ranked Ren Utter gave the Panthers a victory at 103 by pinning his opponent at the 1:54 mark.

At 112, Olie Olson lived up to his No. 2 ranking when he registered one of the biggest victories of the night. His win came during a triple-overtime matchup with top-ranked Josh Materi.

“That was a big win for Olie,” Urbach said. “Materi is an old nemesis for him, and it was exciting to see him get the win in that one.”

PHS's Luke Wozney picked up a victory via forfeit at 119, and Colt Nix added to the Panthers' strong effort by posting a 13-0 victory over Cody Shinost at 125. Shinost boasted a No. 5 ranking.

A forfeit victory was claimed by PHS's Randy Andrews in the 130-pound weight class. At 135, Cory Eden also earned a forfeit victory.

Panther Auston Carter won his bout at 140 by pinning his opponent at the 3:16 mark, but PHS's Cole Kary suffered a 17-3 setback in his match Thursday.

In the bout for supremacy in the 152-pound weight class, PHS's Trevor Donarski, who carries a No. 1 ranking, scored an 8-3 decision against Josh Pounds. Pounds entered the bout with a No. 3 ranking.

Panther Cody Kalberer, who was behind by more than a half dozen points in his bout, avoided defeat by notching a pin at the 4:42 mark against second-ranked K.C. Lahoe. At 171, PHS's Monte Nickles pinned third-ranked Daniel Noskog in 3:20.

In the bouts at 189 and 215, Panthers Tyler Showalter and C.J. Simon suffered defeats. Showalter lost when he was pinned, and Simon lost a 5-2 decision against second-ranked Tanner Cornwell.

• Up next: The Panthers will be in action again Friday and Saturday when they take part in the Miles City (Mont.) Invitational. Wrestling is slated to begin at 10 a.m. both days.

Urbach said the tournament will not be as large as the recent Bozeman Invitational, but he is expecting many of the same teams from that event to attend the Montana-based event.

“It will be pretty similar to the tournament in Bozeman,” Urbach said. “There will be plenty of tough teams there, and it should be a lot of fun.”

January 13, 2009 3:58 am

Tomi J. Welsh

(Nov. 23, 1953 - Jan. 10, 2009)

Tomi J. Welsh died Saturday, Jan. 10 at West Shore Medical Center in Manistee, Mich. after a courageous battle with cancer. She was born Nov. 23, 1953, in Powell, the daughter of the late Dr. Jack and Rose (Norton) Stahn.

She graduated from Powell High School in 1972. Tomi then attended Sheridan College and received her degree in dental hygiene. Tomi met the love of her life, Michael L. Welsh in Sheridan, while they both were attending college, and they were married on Aug. 16, 1974, in Powell. After their marriage, they moved to Mt. Pleasant, Mich. so Michael could complete his degree at Central Michigan University. During that time, Tomi was employed as a dental hygienist. After Michael's graduation from college they settled in Manistee. During Tomi's professional career as a dental hygienist in the Manistee area, she was employed by Dr. Donald Miller for more than 20 years.

She was a member of the Manistee Golf and Country Club and had a great passion and love for the game of golf.

She also had a great love for horses, which began as a child in Wyoming and continued throughout her life. Her passion for horses was shared by her daughter, Casey. Tomi also enjoyed the solitude of reading, whenever she had the chance. For many years, she was the Manistee Catholic Central Girls Basketball statistician. She was a communicant of Guardian Angels Catholic Church of Manistee.

She is survived by her husband, Michael L. Welsh of Manistee; daughter Casey Welsh of Manistee; Casey's fiance, Matthew Brucker of Wadsworth, Ohio; son Kelly Welsh of Palm Springs, Calif.; brother and sister in-law, Jeff and Elvira Stahn of Gallup, N.M.; sisters Joni (John) Hazlitt of Arvada, Colo., Geri (Dan) Prell of Powell, and Marta (Dan) Conlon of Corona, Calif. and numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents and sisters, Karen Anicito, Toni Wren and Teresa Stahn.

According to Tomi's wishes, cremation has taken place and a Mass from the Order of Christian Funerals will be celebrated Thursday, Jan. 15, 2009 at 10 a.m. at Guardian Angels Catholic Church in Manistee with Rev. James Bears officiating.

The family will receive friends at the church on Thursday morning, one hour before the funeral Mass. Those wishing to make an expression of sympathy are asked to consider memorials in Tomi's name for the Manistee Catholic Central Athletic Association or to the Manistee Humane Society — Homeward Bound Animal Shelter. The Herbert Funeral Home of Manistee is in charge of funeral arrangements.

January 13, 2009 3:38 am

Richard Lee Hawley

(April 13, 1928 - Dec. 26, 2008)

Richard Lee Hawley, 80, died Friday, Dec. 26 in Bermuda Dunes, Calif., where he was visiting family.

Richard was born in Underwood, N. D., on April 13, 1928, to Charles and Caroline (Bastian) Hawley. He was diagnosed with mesothelioma in July 2007.

Richard was raised on a stock farm with his five brothers: Charles, Edward Robert, Donald Patrick, James Thomas and John Paul (Jack).

He worked for his uncle, Fred Hawley, on the Rocking Chair Ranch in Dubois from 1946-48. He then joined the Marine Corps and served aboard the U.S.S Valley Forge until he was honorably discharged in 1952. He came back to Wyoming and again worked on the Rocking Chair Ranch until 1959. He bought a ranch in Goodrich, N. D. in 1960 and farmed 1,900 acres, raising buffalo and Galloway Angus cattle, along with doing veterinary work in the community.

He returned to Wyoming in 1974 and bought seven acres on the South Fork where he designed and built his own home. His best friend and wife “SweetP” moved in with him, and they enjoyed their many pack trips up the South Fork and in the Dubois area. He was also an accomplished pilot, and he owned several planes which he flew back and forth to visit friends and relatives in N.D.

To their union, SweetP brought two daughters: Tawna Ann (Rod) McQueen of Thermopolis and Sara Fenimore of Bermuda Dunes, Calif.: four granddaughters and one greatgranddaughter. They moved from the South Fork in 1999 to Powell and met many new friends and fishing buddies.

He is survived by his best friend and wife of 31 years; brothers Ed, Don, Jim (Sherry) and Jack (Lorraine); and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his brother, Charles.

Richard has been cremated and his ashes will be placed in Riverside Cemetery with a memorial to follow at a later date.

Fiscal conservatism likely will mark the Legislature's 60th general session convening today — and with good reason.

Though Wyoming is one of the few states enjoying a budget surplus this year, the situation is much grimmer than it was even three months ago. Last week, Gov. Dave Freudenthal announced that the surplus revenues will be less than one-third of October projections. In a memo to legislators Friday, Freudenthal said budget surplus estimates went from $900 million to about $260 million.

“It is critical to remember that we are not cutting the biennial budget that was approved last session,” Freudenthal said Friday. “We are reducing the amount that we might have added to it. We now need to accept the facts as they are, and tighten our belts. We must view this situation as an opportunity, take advantage of it and really think carefully about what we're doing.”

As Big Horn Basin legislators met with local educators and city leaders last week, they also emphasized that Wyoming needs to exercise caution this session.

House Speaker Colin Simpson warned that the next two years “might be a little scary.” Sen. Hank Coe said his message is one of fiscal responsibility, stressing “we've got to be conservative this year.”

Even though Wyoming's energy-based economy is more secure than most, the state is not immune to the global financial crisis.

Lawmakers are hopeful for the state's future, but fortunately for Wyoming residents, legislators and the governor understand the need to be cautious this year with an uncertain economic future.

Of course, there needs to be a balance in spending. Wyoming does have a surplus, and legislators still need to invest in infrastructure, education and other programs to keep Wyoming economically viable.

January 13, 2009 3:31 am

Sugar beets pile high

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In this picture taken atop the West Powell beet dump, Ron Williams with G.K. Construction of Lovell loads sugar beets into a trailer Wednesday morning. The beets were transported to the Western Sugar Company factory in Lovell. Tribune photo by Toby Bonner

No signs of coming eruption, geologist says

Between Dec. 27 and Jan. 2, more than 500 small earthquakes shook Yellowstone National Park. The swarm of quakes was centered below Yellowstone Lake, beginning southeast of Stevenson Island and migrating north toward Fishing Bridge before quieting.

“It looks as though the swarm has ended, although further activity is possible,” said Yellowstone geologist Hank Heasler on Monday.