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September 03, 2008 12:49 pm

Sleeping Giant hits snooze

Opening may not come till next year
Delays in construction and funding may force the Sleeping Giant Ski Area to wait until next year to re-open.
Last month, the project's fundraising director, Garrett Growney, told Park County Commissioners that renovations looked to be headed to a Thanksgiving opening.
On Tuesday, Growney told commissioners that snags — particularly with fundraising — may push an opening back to next season.
“We're looking at some hard decisions,” he said.
Sometime in the next 30 days, the group fixing up the ski area will decide if they will open the slopes fully this winter, open partially or shoot for next year.
The Sleeping Giant Ski Area has been closed since 2004.
Last year, the Yellowstone Recreations Foundation (YRF) formed as a non-profit entity to rebuild and operate the ski area.
It is seeking a total of roughly $3 million to revive and improve the Giant.
The County Commission voted Tuesday to support to the YRF in its efforts to get a Wyoming Business Council grant. The funds, awarded to economic development projects, would provide up to $500,000.
If approved by the state early next year, that would put the project's funding raised so far at around $1.8 million.
Other grants have proven to be a little slow in coming, as well as private donations.
Boos optimistic as 2008 slate approaches
Another cross country season is set to begin for the Powell High School girls and boys squads, who will open the season Friday with the Billings Invitational at Riverfront Park.
PHS head coach Cliff Boos said each team will sport a 13-athlete roster as they embark into this season's slate, which contains six regular-season meets before regional and state action begins just past the midway point in October.
“Our girls team looks very solid as we have almost everyone back from last season with some good new additions,” Boos said. “Our boys team is generally young and inexperienced as we had several runners graduate last spring. However, there appears to be some good talent throughout the ranks.”
The 13 girls who will make up this year's Lady Panther squad includes three seniors, five juniors, three sophomores and two freshmen.
This season's senior group includes Jordan Bigelow, McKenzie Danforth and Lauren Dunleavy. Bigelow emerged as the Lady Panthers' top performer last year and earned PHS's top finish at the state meet, where she placed eighth overall. Dunleavy and Danforth also were among the Lady Panthers' top runners and earned spots in lineup for the state meet.
The junior class includes Skye Albert, Megan Darrow, Kristi Mingus, Emily Schwahn and newcomer Tranyelle Coplen. Albert was Powell's second-best placer at state (13th) in 2007. Schwahn and Mingus also earned berths at the state meet and recorded the Lady Panthers' fourth- and sixth-best times in that event. Darrow, a steady runner as well, also is expected to make major contributions this year.
September 03, 2008 12:44 pm

Rodney Crosby

July 20, 1917 - Aug. 31, 2008
Rodney Welch Crosby, long-time Cowley rancher, died at the New Horizon's Care Center in Lovell on Sunday, Aug . 31 from Parkinson's Disease. He was 91.
Rodney was born to Jesse and Ivy Welch Crosby on July 20, 1917 at the family home in Cowley. He attended schools in Cowley, Salt Lake City and Morgan, Utah, graduating from Cowley High School in 1935. He was a talented basketball player for Cowley as well as the Big Horn Canners and played football for BYU. Rodney was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Rodney married his childhood sweetheart, Ethel Lewis, in 1940, and they later became eternal companions with their marriage solemnized in the Idaho Falls Temple. They settled on his acreage south of Cowley to farm and ranch where he diligently worked the land. He and Ethel served as dance instructors for the youth at the Cowley LDS Church and were proficient at ballroom dancing. He was a faithful home teacher and helped others in need. He was proud of his pioneer heritage and taught his children the value of hard work.
Rodney served as executor, and he and Ethel served as co-trustees for the C. A. Lewis Trust for many years. They ran both their operation and the C. A. Lewis operation in Wyoming and Montana for many years. He served on the Lovell Hospital Board of Trustees, as well as the Cowley Drainage District and Sidon Canal District, and was active in organizations including the Wyoming Farm Bureau, Wyoming Livestock Association and the Wyoming Sheep Growers Association.
He will be remembered as a congenial gentleman who loved his family and friends, who was a warm and loving husband, father, grandfather and friend and who was kind and gracious to all and a wonderful example to his children and grandchildren. Although he will be sorely missed, his family rejoices at his relief from suffering.
He is survived by his six children: Sherrill Louise Brow (Stan) of Alpine, Calif., Rodney L. Crosby (Josephine) of Cowley, Carolyn Titmus (Bob) of Las Vegas, Nev., Bobbie Arnson (Dave) of Provo, Utah, Carrie Crosby of Englewood, Colo., and Claudia Sloan (Joe) of Coto De Caza, Calif.; and his brother, Robert Dale Crosby (Maruca) of Florida and Chili. He is also survived by 17 grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and several nephews and nieces of whom he was very fond.
He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Ethel; grandsons Randy Wagner, David Brow and Brice Legerski; brother, Jesse; and sisters, Jean and Betty. He was also predeceased by his two wives late in his life, Marjorie and Elese.
Funeral services will be Friday, Sept. 5, at 2 p.m. at the Cowley LDS Church, with burial in the Cowley Cemetery. Visitation will be at the church one hour prior to the service. Haskell Funeral Home in Lovell is in charge of arrangements.
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An attentive crowd listens as Sen. John Barrasso speaks during the dedication of the new Powell High School last month. Barrasso spoke of the importance of education and praised the Wyoming Legislature for providing funding for improving school facilities in the state.
Tribune photo by Toby Bonner
Now that two new schools have been completed in Powell, what is next for school construction in the community?
While two more new schools are projected for Powell, the timetable for building them is uncertain, because the school construction program in Wyoming is evolving.
Currently, a new Westside Elementary is being designed, but construction hasn't been funded yet. Todd Wilder, the Big Horn Basin project manager for the Wyoming School Facilities Commission, said he can't be sure when it will be funded by the Legislature.
“It depends on priorities,” Wilder said.
Those priorities may change this winter as the commission re-evaluates all the schools in the state.
After the Wyoming Supreme Court ruled that the state was responsible for providing equitable facilities to all Wyoming school children, the Wyoming Legislature intiated an assessment of all the school facilities in the state. In that study, conducted in 2001, schools were to be evaluated on their condition, capacity and educational suitability.
September 01, 2008 6:51 am

Sugar Beet Classic results announced

Stensing, Merritt among top performers
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Competitors race away from the starting line of the 19th annual Sugar Beet Classic at Homesteader Park in Powell Saturday, Aug. 23. Tribune photo by Kara Bacon
Runners and cycling enthusiasts enjoyed a near picture-perfect day at the 19th annual Sugar Beet Classic in Powell Saturday, Aug. 23, and their efforts were rewarded with solid times in their respective events.
Overall, about five dozen competitors participated in this year's event, and according to Jeanna Merritt, one of the event's organizers, the duathlon was an extremely popular event at this year's Classic.
“We had a really good turnout, and the weather was great,” she said. “This year we had a lot more people enter the duathlon. I'm not sure why that was the case, but it was popular with the competitors.”
The duathlon, which featured a pair of 5K runs and a 25K bicycle race, drew more than 40 competitors. That portion of the Classic was divided into solo and team competitions.
As for placers, this year's event was highlighted by the performances of overall winners Martin Stensing (solo 5K run/25K bike/5K run), Jeanna Merritt (solo 5K run/25K bike/5K run), Stacy Slight and Nick Coy (team 5K run/25K bike/5K run), John Bernhisel (men's 5K run) and Brandy Bullinger (women's 5K run).
The following are the results of each competition conducted during the 2008 Sugar Beet Classic, which was sponsored by the Powell Recreation District:
September 01, 2008 6:50 am

Enough already!

After waging a primary campaign full of personal attacks on fellow Republican Mark Gordon, Cynthia Lummis started her general election campaign with another dose of those same tactics.
The Republican candidate for U.S. House last week blasted her opponent, Democrat Gary Trauner — not for his stance on the issues, but because he was raised in New York (Trauner has lived in Wyoming the past 18 years).
She later apologized, but only after raising eyebrows around the state and drawing unfavorable comparisons to current Rep. Barbara Cubin.
The attack was a poor choice on Lummis' part. Statements like that, or the impressions created by them, don't wipe away with a simple apology.
As voters, we thirst for a new day — a new brand of politics — absent the personal attacks.
Lummis risks diminishing her credibility with voters if this approach continues.
There are too many important issues that deserve our candidates' attention — whether or not someone was raised in Wyoming is not one of them.
It's time for Lummis to put the partisan games aside and focus more on telling citizens what she's going to do to represent this state.
Only then can we make a good decision about whether she or Trauner will best serve our interests.
September 01, 2008 6:38 am

Save-the-gym effort asks more time

Suggestions include grants and cap tax, move of school site
“What we're talking about is grants. If we use grant money, it isn't going to cost anything.”
Ric Rodriguez for save the gym committee
Efforts to convert the old Powell High School Gymnasium into a community center continued last week with a plan proposed to city and school officials.
Ric Rodriguez, speaking for the Powell Gym Improvement Project, told a joint meeting Tuesday, Aug. 26, of the school board and City Council that the facility can be an asset to the community and asked that School District No. 1 and the city cooperate in finding a way to use the gym.
“I see a facility that has a lot of potential,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez said the 58,000-square foot building, which includes two large gyms, could house a variety of activities. The building also includes a weightroom and space that could accommodate racquetball courts and a walking track, classrooms and offices.
In his report, Rodriguez addressed the structural condition of the building, funding for the project and the needs of the school district. He asked that the school board and city council each appoint a staff person to work with his committee and schedule regular meetings about the gym.
The school district has vacated the building and currently plans to demolish it in order to build a new middle school on the site. Rodriguez instead suggests the school district turn the building over to the city, which would then put management in the hands of a separate entity.
Addressing the question of funding, Rodriguez admitted “it's not cheap,” but is possible. He cited Worland, where the old middle school was converted to a community center through the use of grant money and a capital facilities tax.
“We can use the capital facilities tax to leverage the grant proposals,” Rodriguez said.
Riverton will be Panthers' homecoming opponent
Powell High School's homecoming festivities, originally scheduled for the week of Sept. 29 through Oct. 4, have been changed, announced Jeff Jones, PHS activities director.
Late last week, Jones said homecoming festivities have been rescheduled for Sept. 15-20. The move was made to allow more PHS students to take part in the events during the week of homecoming.
“There had been plans to have homecoming the week of Sept. 29 through Oct. 4, which meant all of our student-athletes would be home except for our tennis players. This also meant the tennis student-athletes would miss out on the bulk of the homecoming activities for the second consecutive year. By moving homecoming to the week of Sept. 15-20 and making a few minor adjustments in our calendar, we are able to have all of our student-athletes at home for the homecoming activities planned that week.”
For the PHS football team, the change means Riverton will be the Panthers' homecoming opponent instead of the Star Valley Braves. That game against the Wolverines also will serve as the home opener for the Panthers, who play road contests against Worland (Sept. 5) and Buffalo (Sept. 12) during weeks one and two of the season. PHS's matchup with Riverton is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 19 at 7 p.m.
Because of the schedule adjustment, Jones noted that a time change has been made to the Lady Panthers' swim team schedule for Friday, Sept. 19. The Lady Panthers, who host Cody that day, now have a scheduled 4 p.m. start time. That meet was originally planned for 5 p.m.
“By moving the start time up one hour, it should give the swim team time to compete then go to the football game,” Jones said.
To keep track of the Panthers and Lady Panthers, Jones said fans can access PHS's sports schedules atwww.highschoolsports.net. The schedules on that website are updated as needed, so they reflect changes to schedules as soon as new information is submitted by officials at PHS. He also noted that non-athletic events pertaining to PHS are included in the master schedule at www.highschoolsports.net.
“If you are someone who likes to have up-to-date schedules for all activities (athletic and non-athletic) at PHS, I strongly encourage you to check out the website www.highschoolsports.net,” Jones said. “Once you get to the opening page, type in our zip code (82435), then you will have access to a current, real-time PHS activities calendar. You also can click on ‘My Account' at the top of the screen to set up a very simple account. This would allow you to be immediately notified anytime there are schedule changes made at PHS.”
Schedule change notifications from www.highschoolsports.net can be set up so that they are sent to one or more e-mail accounts. Also, the option is available to have notifications sent to a cell phone via text message.
September 01, 2008 6:34 am

Martha Obermueller

Sept. 8, 1919 - Aug. 26, 2008
Martha Frieda Sophia Kellner Obermueller, 88, of Sheridan, died Tuesday, Aug. 26, at Memorial Hospital of Sheridan County.
She was born in Wilcox, Nebr., on Sept. 8, 1919 to Henry and Julia Kellner. She married Reinold Obermueller in Lincoln, Kans., on April 25, 1943. Martha worked with her husband for many years in their country grocery store in Kansas. They moved to Greeley, Colo., in 1970, then in 1974 moved to Sheridan, and in 1975 opened Yellowstone Modular Homes.
She worked at JC Penney, Wal-Mart, and with her son, Brian, at Sheridan Homes. She loved watching NASCAR, Jeff Gordon #24 was her favorite driver. She enjoyed crocheting, dancing, fishing, playing cards, especially pinochle, and she bowled until she was 82 years old.
Martha was preceded in death by her parents; her youngest daughter, Jackie, in 2005; her grandson, Corey, in 1991; her husband, Reinold, in 1982; and five brothers and six sisters.
She is survived by her children, Darla Lotz of Sheridan, Peggy Landis of Lancaster, Pa., Candy Morris of Centralia, Wash., and Brian (Renee) Obermueller of Sheridan; her son-in-law, Ron Harmon, of Sheridan; 15 grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Sheridan on Wednesday, Sept. 3, at 10 a.m.
Memorials may be made in Martha's name to Immanuel Lutheran Church, 1300 West 5th, Sheridan, WY 82801.
Kane Funeral Home is handling arrangements.
The Gunbarrel fire burning west of Cody has forced the closure of two Buffalo Bill State Park areas.
Until further notice, the North Fork Campground and Sheep Mountain day-use area are closed to the public.
The fire drew within 10-12 miles of Cody on Wednesday
"The campground is currently serving as a staging area for the helicopters used in the firefighting efforts," said a press release issued Wednesday evening by the Wyoming State Parks and Cultural Resources department. "Persons with reservations at the North Fork Campground may find that their campgrounds have been moved to the North Shore Campground."
The Sheep Mountain day use area is being used as the firefighter base camp, the release said. Nearly 350 personnel are working the fire.
For further information on campground availability at Buffalo Bill State Park, call (307)587-9227.