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Despite skepticism from some, Big Horn Fire Protection District No. 5 will begin fire protection in the Frannie-Deaver area in December, a District 5 spokesman said.

“We're actually beginning on Dec. 15,” said Craig Sorenson, Deaver, chairman of a joint powers board aimed at making a smooth transition to a new district.

Trucks may be rolling by the holidays, but the actual district will not be official until the new year.

The Big Horn District 5 is not a new district, but rather a detraction from Park County Fire District No. 1.

Representatives of the Frannie-Deaver district were late getting paperwork, including a legal description and map, to the Wyoming Department of Revenue. Due in January of this year, the paperwork did not arrive until March.

The city awarded the Centennial Park planning and design contract to Peaks to Plain Design of Billings last week.

At $33,076, the Peaks to Plain proposal was the cheaper of the two submissions the city received, said Powell Mayor Scott Mangold.

With a Wyoming Business Council Community Development Block Grant, the city has $33,000 available for design services, Mangold said.

Peaks to Plain Design representatives plan to meet with community members in November for designing workshops. Mangold said the meetings will likely take place at The Commons and give people a chance to share their views.

September 23, 2008 3:01 am

PHS football trounces Riverton

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Panthers Trevor Donarski (left), Cody Kalberer (34) and Drewe Metzler (right) stop Riverton running back Derek Miller (13) for a short gain during Powell's 34-6 homecoming victory against the Wolverines.

Panthers wallop the Wolverines

This week's catch phrase for Powell High School's homecoming matchup with Riverton was “Wallop the Wolverines,” and the Panthers did just that by claiming a 34-6 decision Friday night.

During the contest, the Panther offense was a shining example of balance as it carved its way through the Class 5A Wolverines for 147 yards rushing and 147 yards passing. Of PHS's five touchdowns, three came through the air. The other scores came courtesy of the Panthers' rushing attack.

Whereas Powell's offense clicked, particularly in the second half, the defense was equally as effective. Riverton was held to to just 82 total yards and two first downs. Thirty-one of those yards came on 23 rushing attempts, and the remaining 51 yards for the Wolverines came on a six-of-18 passing performance. Powell's defense and special teams also forced five turnovers, including three interceptions..

September 23, 2008 3:00 am

Trappers continue to rack up victories

NWC goes 6-1 in Wyo-Nebraska Shootout

Coach Flavia Siqueira and her Northwest College volleyball squad picked up six more match wins last week during the Wyoming-Nebraska Shootout in Torrington and Scottsbluff, Neb. In the process, the Lady Trappers also made a strong case for themselves to earn a spot in the NJCAA's Division I poll.

The Lady Trappers, following their 6-1 effort in last week's tournament, held a 21-7 record. NWC was scheduled to face Dawson Community College Monday night in Powell, and results from that match will be included in Thursday's edition of the Powell Tribune.

Though places were not awarded following the tournament, Siqueira said her team had the second-best record during the event, and finished just behind Western Nebraska Community College.

“I was very pleased with how my players performed during this tournament,” Siqueira said. “There were moments we could have played better, but there were moments when I was impressed with their level of play. Maddie Peterson played two positions during the tournament and did a very good job. Rebekah DePesa and Irelis Avendano also came from being non-starters to earning starting positions on the team. Marisa Shigetomi came out and played well and how I expect her to play all the time.”

NWC opened the tournament Thursday against Colby (Kan.) Community College and won 25-23, 25-18, 25-23. Siqueira said Colby played a strong match, but NWC was able to overpower the Lady Trojans with strong play along the front row.

Peterson and Thabata Galvao paced NWC with 13 kills, and DePesa added seven. Carol Martin had a team-high 33 assists. Shigetomi, Peterson and Galvao also finished with 13, 13 and 12 digs, respectively.

Against McCook (Neb.) Community College, NWC claimed a match win by scores of 25-11, 25-15 and 25-10. As a team, the Lady Trappers had 10 aces, including five by Katie Gregg and three by DePesa. Galvao, who has been nursing a shoulder injury, sat out the match, and her spot in the middle was manned by Peterson. Avendano moved to the outside for Peterson during the lineup change, which proved to be a successful one for NWC.

Martin finished with six kills, 23 assists and 17 digs, and Kayla Propes had 12 digs and six kills.

In their final match Thursday, NWC defeated Trinidad (Colo.) State Junior College 25-20, 25-12, 25-18. Avendano enjoyed an eight-kill performance. Peterson added six kills, and Shigetomi and DePesa added 12 and 11 digs.

Friday's action for NWC opened with a match against second-ranked Western Nebraska Community College. Because Gregg was sick Friday morning, Peterson played in the middle and Avendano played on the outside. NWC started slow and WNCC went on to defeat the Lady Trappers 25-9, 25-14, 25-18.

“We did not play well in the first or second sets,” Siqueira said. “Some of our players looked very intimidated by WNCC, but during the third set we played at our level.”

Shigetomi ended the match with 25 passes and only one error. She also played solid defense, according to her coach.

The Lady Trappers rebounded from the loss and defeated Williston State College 25-16, 25-9, 25-17. Martin helped lead the turnaround with 29 assists and 13 digs. Peterson and Galvao added nine and eight kills.

NWC closed out Friday's matches with a 25-13, 25-16, 25-10 victory over North Platte (Neb.) Community College. The Lady Trappers, because of North Platte's strong defensive play, had to be patient when hitting the ball, Siqueira said. Their patience translated into a solid match.

Avendano and Galvao finished with 10 and six kills, while Martin added 25 assists and 12 digs. Shigetomi contributed with 15 digs, and DePesa finished with four aces and 10 digs.

On Saturday, NWC faced Kansas-based Seward County Community College, a team that has been a regular in the nation's top 20 for the past 20 years, Siqueira said. Undaunted by SCCC's tradition, the Lady Trappers won 25-20, 26-24, 28-26.

“The match was intense from beginning to end,” Siqueira said. “Both teams were focused and playing really hard. In the second set, we were losing 24-18 and were able to come back at the end of the set to win 26-24.”

According to the coach, that comeback in the second set spoke volumes about her team's ability to rebound against a formidable squad.
Martin finished the match with 30 assists, 19 digs and four blocks. Galvao added 11 kills and 13 digs, and was followed by Peterson, who registered nine kills. Peterson also finished with 27 passes and only two errors.

Lady Panthers first again; boys team second at Lander

High elevations and a nine-team field greeted Powell High School's boys and girls cross country squads last Thursday at the Lander Invitational, and both the Panthers and Lady Panthers enjoyed strong showings.

The Lady Panthers, who were led by senior Lauren Dunleavy, notched their second straight first-place team finish. Their other first-place effort came less than a week earlier at the Cody Invitational at Don Little Park.

The Lady Panthers, during last Thursday's event, finished ahead of runner-up Lander and third-place Thermopolis. As for the individual standings, Dunleavy was the top runner with a time of 24:28. PHS freshman Desiree Murray, with an effort of 24:59, claimed the runner-up spot in the race. Jordan Bigelow (6th, 26:13), Skye Albert (8th, 27:07) and Kristi Mingus (9th, 27:09) rounded out the scoring efforts for PHS and gave the team five runners in the top nine.

Emily Schwahn added a 12th-place finish with her time of 27:39. Alyssa Rodriguez, after a pair of strong efforts at the Billings and Cody invitationals, was unable to finish the race after suffering pain in her side early in the race.

According to PHS coach Cliff Boos, the course at Beaver Creek Ski Area south of Lander, presented its fair share of challenges, including a hill that runners had to tackle at the start of the event. Elevations higher than 8,200 feet made it that much harder, and he said that, plus too fast of a start, might have been what hampered Rodriguez's efforts.

“We were originally scheduled to run at the golf course in Lander, but they were having a tournament there,” Boos said. “On Monday, they let us know the meet had been moved to the Beaver Creek Ski Area, which is about 22 miles south of Lander. It was a beautiful course, especially at this time of year with the leaves changing colors.

“The girls did really well, and it was great to see five of our runners finish in the top nine. Lauren got an early lead, and she ran extremely well again. It was a tough day for Alyssa, but she's fine now. She tried to get through it, but it was just too painful for her.”

In the competition for the boys, the Panthers recorded a second-place finish behind Lander. Lyman's team settled for third place. In the individual standings, Rawlins' Joe Mead took the top spot with a time of 20:23.

The pace-setter for PHS was sophomore Patrick Voss, who finished fourth overall in 21:48. Patrick Sullivan was the Panthers' second-fastest runner with a 21:56, and sophomore Danny McKearney enjoyed another solid performance, finishing ninth in 22:22.

Powell's scoring efforts were rounded out by Alex Speiser (14th, 23:34) and Devin Lynn (18th, 23:58). Colton Smith (21st, 25:18) and Jake Firnekas (22nd, 26:01) were Powell's sixth- and seventh-fastest runners.

“I'm so pleased with how well both teams are performing,” Boos said. “Once again the atmosphere we have is one where the kids really get along well and are very supportive of each other.”

• Up next: The boys and girls cross country squads will be in action again Thursday at the Rocky Mountain Invitational. That event has a scheduled 4 p.m. start time and will be conducted at Foster Gulch Golf Course in Lovell.

The county-wide 1-percent capital facilities tax is predicted to be in effect for another year, give or take a month.

The proceeds from that tax, a total of $13.2 million, are funding much-needed projects in Cody, Meeteetse and Powell.

In just a few weeks, the new Cody branch of the Park County Library will open. Pool construction and remodeling in Meeteetse is nearing completion, and construction of the family aquatic center in Powell will begin sometime this fall.

While few of us like the idea of higher taxes, the capital facilities tax is a way to pay for facilities like these that make the communities of Park County better places to live.

And most would agree that the tax is relatively painless. For every $100 spent, just $1 in extra tax is paid. That's the price of a bottle of pop.

Also consider the fact that a 2007 economic impact study on tourism in Wyoming determined that, in Park County, tourist spending accounted for more than 26 percent of the total sales tax collected.

That's right — people who don't even live here are paying for more than one fourth of these projects. That's a pretty good deal for us.

People are already throwing out ideas as to what our communities' needs will be in the future, and grumblings about “no more taxes” already can be heard.

We live in a state with some of the lowest taxes in the nation — 1-percent sales taxes pay for large-scale projects in our towns, without overburdening county residents.

Capital facilities taxes give us a big bang for our buck. If a worthy project is presented, we'd be wise to consider another tax in 2010.

September 23, 2008 3:00 am

Shorb flies to fame

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Justin Shorb, in the red wingsuit on the left, flies over Puerto Rico with other skydivers. Shorb has traveled around the world organizing wingsuit jumps and training skydivers. In November, Shorb will participate in a world record 71-way wingsuit formation at Skydive Elsinore in Southern California. Courtesy photo by Scotty Burns, www.Sky2Productions.com

PHS grad to be featured on History Channel Friday

By nature, humans do not fly — but that doesn't stop Justin Shorb.

Shorb first went skydiving 10 years ago as a Powell High School senior, and today is often airborne in a wingsuit.

In fact, it's his day job.

“I don't do anything else but skydiving for a living,” Shorb said.

Shorb founded Flock University in Pepperell, Ma., in September 2006, and the skydiving training school has grown to become one of the biggest wingsuit schools in the world, he said.

Shorb, who lives in Salem, N.H., said the school has trained hundreds of people.

Shorb first tried out a wingsuit in 2006, and since then has done more than 1,500 wingsuit skydives.

September 18, 2008 3:02 am

Powell bankers say don't panic

The nationwide financial crisis, which, according to analysts may be comparable to the Great Depression, continues to worsen.

What began with a national slump in housing prices has evolved into a financial nightmare for many. Following on the heels of a federal bailout of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the weekend news of Merrill Lynch's sale to Bank of America and a bankrupt Lehman Bros. dealt consumers another blow. And on Monday, the Federal Reserve announced that it would come to the rescue of insurance behemoth AIG — to the tune of $85 billion — to prevent what could be a catastrophic, world-wide domino effect if the company failed.

The turmoil has people in Powell asking, “What does this mean for me?”

Local bankers said people should not panic.

Larry Larsen, president of the Powell branch of Shoshone First Bank, said local customers are aware of the problems and have approached him with “concerns about FDIC insurance and the amount available for their money.”

September 18, 2008 3:01 am

Radioactive Man' dies uncompensated

They called the Powell native the Radioactive Man.

After all, Michael (Duffy) Olveda was believed to have inhaled more radiation than anyone in the history of U.S. nuclear facilities. It happened in the early morning hours of Aug. 30, 1971, when a small explosion rocked a laboratory in the plutonium-recovery building of the Rocky Flats nuclear weapons facility near Denver.

Olveda, then 37, found himself soaking up radiation in the midst of a “hot fire,” ignited spontaneously in a container of plutonium shavings and light oil. He may have been exposed for 10-15 seconds before donning his respirator. Smoke quickly filled the room, and he estimated he was in the fire for some two minutes before finding his way out.

Olveda had worked as a technician for eight years for Dow Chemical, which leased the facility from the Atomic Energy Commission. After scrubbing surface plutonium dust in the decontamination unit, he was sent to the infirmary to check for inhaled plutonium. The results revealed he had inhaled more radiation — almost 28 times the maximum allowable level — than any person in the recorded history of operating nuclear facilities in the United States.

September 18, 2008 3:01 am

Asay rides again

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Powell bull rider Kanin Asay has overcome injuries sustained during a rodeo in Oregon in early July and is riding again after a two-month absence from the sport. Above, Asay competes in the Pendleton Round-Up Friday, Sept. 12. Courtesy photo/Hubbell Photography

Powell cowboy continues to chase second WNFR berth

Kanin Asay, Powell's well-known bull riding personality who was severely injured during a competition in Oregon in early July, is back and making headlines after an almost two-month absence from the sport he loves.

Asay, during the time of year known as Cowboy Christmas, was riding Corey-Horst Rodeo Company's 301 Cry Baby when he suffered multiple injuries, including a damaged spleen, facial fractures and concussion. The life-threatening incident sidelined the rider for the remainder of July and most of August. Those injuries also left him with plenty of downtime to simply think and get himself mentally and physically ready to ride again.

“You don't realize how much you miss something until you can't do something you love,” Asay said. “I had plenty of time to think about things, and I was determined to get back and ride again.”

The first ride for Asay took place Aug. 29 on a practice bull at the Cody Nite Rodeo. He said the bull started slow but quickly picked up momentum and gained an advantage as the ride continued.