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Efforts to save the old Powell High School gym face another bump in the road due to recent action by the Wyoming School Facilities Commission.
In a report to the school board last week, Superintendent Kevin Mitchell said the district was informed that the commission has allocated funding for the planning and design of a new middle school — but there's a catch. The district will not receive the money until a site is chosen for the school.
Mitchell said designing a building is “site-specific,” so planning can't begin until the designers know where the building is going to be.
If the district is not ready to use the money in a timely manner, the commission will reallocate the money to another district, and district would have to wait for the next funding cycle by the Wyoming Legislature to receive the funding again. This would delay the start of planning for up to two years.
The School Facilities Commission, which funds school buildings in Wyoming and has the final say on where a school is sited, has indicated that the preferred site for a new middle school is at the present school site. The new school would be constructed on the site of the old gym, while the present middle school continues to occupy the current building, which would be demolished once construction is completed.
At its June meeting, the board voted to mothball the gym for a year rather than demolish it this summer. The action was intended to allow time for a group trying to save the gym as a community recreation center to come up with a plan to take over the gym and find funding for the project.
July 23, 2008 1:39 pm

Pool moving forward, slowly

Progress contingent on Sletten's ‘value engineering'
The Powell City Council on Monday evening voted four to two in favor of drafting a letter of intent to contract with Sletten Construction of Wyoming to build the new family aquatic center.
Councilmen John Wetzel, Josh Shorb, Jim Hillberry and Rex Sanders voted in favor of the motion, with Councilmen Tim Sapp and Mark Senn casting the two dissenting votes. Mayor Scott Mangold also voted in favor of drafting the letter.
The letter will make the intent to contract contingent upon Sletten's ability to ‘value engineer' its aquatic center construction bid down to a number acceptable to a majority of the council.
In moving forward with Sletten's low bid, the city effectively decided to go against the recommendation by Burbach Aquatics, Inc., the project designer and engineer, to re-bid the project.
“We have a fear that this is going to cost us a lot more money. A fear that no one is going to want to bid this project. A fear that we're going to have to restart from square one, and I don't want to do that,” said Mayor Mangold.
Project manager Nancy Ronto, of Burbach Aquatics, added, “If the city moves to (work out an agreement with the low bidder), Burbach will do its best to work with whatever company is chosen to do the work.”
The letter will be drafted by Burbach Aquatics and it will be voted on by the city council, possibly as early as next week.
Members of the pool committee appointed by Mayor Mangold were pleased that the project is moving forward — even if that progress is slow.
“I'm glad that they voted the way they did last night,” said committee member Teri Oursler. “I'm glad they seemed to be going forward.”
Committee co-chairman David Blevins added, “The community aquatic center is for the good health of our families, schools, kids, seniors … everyone in our community. We are committed to making Powell a healthy community, and the aquatic center does that. Conducting the value engineering at this point in the process is a good plan. It is law that the aquatic center be built.”
Powell's 13-year-old Babe Ruth All-Stars ventured to Green River for the state tournament last week and came away with a runner-up finish after posting a 2-2 mark.
Powell opened the tournament Friday with a 7-4 decision over Sheridan. The victory was sparked by solid pitching, timely hitting and strong defensive play in the field, said coach Rob Cragoe, whose team scored five runs in the seventh inning.
Handling the majority of the pitching duties for Powell were Cooper Wise and Justin Lynn, who combined for just less than seven innings of work. Hayden Cragoe also saw time on the mound and recorded the final out of the game against the lone batter he faced.
“Sheridan has a good group of kids, and it was a great game,” Coach Cragoe said. “Our kids played well, and made the plays they needed to make.”
Later Friday, Powell suffered its first loss of the tournament, an 11-8 setback at the hands of Jackson Hole.
Powell fell behind 3-2 during the first inning, and later found themselves facing a 7-2 deficit after three innings. Powell struck for a combined six runs during the fourth, fifth and sixth innings, but a four-run fifth by Jackson proved to be the difference in the outcome.
Hayden Cragoe, who worked two innings, and BreAnn Hollenbeck, who got five innings of work, shouldered the pitching load for Powell.
“We fought our way back into it,” Coach Cragoe said. “This team is noted for that. They kept battling because they never thought they were out of it.”
July 23, 2008 1:38 pm

Lillian W. (Holt) Bond

May 8, 1927 - July 15, 2008
Lillian W. Bond, 81, died Tuesday July 15 at Lovell Hospital. She was born May 8, 1927, in Casper to Joseph and Lucy Holt. She married Clarence L. Bond May 1, 1948. They were married 51 years before Clarence's death in 2005. Most of her life wasspent as an Army wife and mother. According to her loved ones, she enjoyed traveling and her family.
She was preceeded in death by her husband, Clarence; a brother, Robert Holt; asister, Ruby Stetter; grandson, Jeffery Bond: and her parents. She is survivedby three daughters, Cheri Benedict of Fla., Dani Benedict of Calif., LindaBond of Frannie, and a son, Joseph Bond of Seward, Alaska. She had fivegrandchildren: Joseph Bond of Lovell, Desiree Morley of Wash.,Lucinda Bond of Frannie, Jennifer Bond of Seward, Alaska and James Bond, whoin currently serving in the Navy. She also had five great-grandchildren: Dakota,
Dalton, and Duncan Bond of Lovell, and Kostas and Kiera Morley ofWash.
July 23, 2008 1:37 pm

Mary Delores Dee' Montoya

May 9, 1936 - July 22, 2008
Mary Delores “Dee” Montoya, 72, of Powell died Tuesday, July 22 at St. Vincent's Hospital in Billings, with her husband and children by her side. She had two heart bypass surgeries, and dealt with complications from diabetes, in the last thirteen years.
She was born May 9, 1936, in Powell, the daughter of NIcholas Garcia, Sr., and Carmel Gallegos. She spent her early childhood in the Big Horn Basin. On May 28, 1954, she married Dale C. Montoya, who was enlisted in the United States Air Force, and they spent twenty years traveling the world together before retiring to Powell.
She was a sister, wife, mother and grandmother, and a member of the Catholic Church. According to her family, she ]enjoyed her yard and flower gardens, especially her rose bushes.
She is survived by her husband, Dale C. Montoya; daughters Kathy McCoole (Lee) of Cheyenne and Lori Lotten (Aaron) of Powell; a son, Jim Montoya (Sarah) of Powell; a brother, Nicholas Garcia, Jr., of Farmington, N.M.; sisters Frances Nevarez (Domingo) of Yakima, Wash., and Margaret Gonzales (Raymond) of Colorado; along with 9 grandchildren,10 great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her sisters Josie Malliot, Angelina Bayne and Emely Munoz, and brothers Pete Garcia, Max Garcia, Benny Garcia and Patrick Garcia.
Vigil services will be held Friday, July 25, at 7 p.m. at St. Barbara's Catholic Church in Powell. Funeral services will be at St. Barbara's at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, July 26, with internment immediately following at Crown Hill Cemetery.
July 23, 2008 1:36 pm

Walking for the cure

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The Powell Peppers lead the team lap during the Relay for Life at the Riley Arena in Cody Friday night. The Peppers won the honor of leading the lap by raising the most money for cancer research in the 2007 Relay for Life, and they repeated as the top contributer this year. Leading the Peppers are Pat Graham, Marianne Sutton and Joanne Cross. Visible behind Graham are (from left) Todd Boller, Lynn Jackson and Wes Learned.
Tribune photo by Don Amend
July 21, 2008 2:54 pm

Ending on a strong note

Pioneers claim game two of twinbill with Cubs
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Powell's Tyler Dahlgren makes a diving grab during game two of the Pioneers' doubleheader with the Cody Cubs last Thursday at Ed Lynn Field in Powell. Tribune photo by David Dickey
Simply put, the Powell Pioneers had their backs against the wall during game two of their doubleheader with the Cody Cubs.
Coach Jeff Young's team had already lost game one by a 10-7 score, and the second matchup looked as if it might produce the same result when Powell's 3-0 lead turned into a 6-3 deficit by the time the final out was recorded in the top of the fourth inning.
However, with two outs in the bottom of the fourth, Powell's fortunes began to change when Pioneer Gianluca Giarrizzo reached first base via a walk and later scored on an RBI-double by Scotty Jameson. Grant Geiser followed with a triple and an RBI to cut Cody's lead to 6-5, and Brandon Sullivan tied the contest with a run-scoring single before the inning came to a close.
To the credit of the Cubs, the 6-6 tie didn't last long, thanks to Jake Howard's two-run double in the ensuing inning following a Pioneer error and a walk with two outs. Once again, though, Powell let its bats do its talking to the tune of a six-run fifth inning.
“Like we did in game one, we made some mistakes and got in our own way,” Coach Young said. “But we did a good job hitting the ball, and we were able to regain the lead. Once we got ahead in the bottom of the fifth, we took care of business and put the game away.”
Park County School District No. 1 wrapped up its final session of Summer Academies Friday.
The academies offered enrichment activities for students from kindergarten through eighth grade. Classes ranged from cooking, art and woodworking to gardening, auto mechanics and interior design. The rock wall course was offered in multiple sessions due to high demand.
Organizers did a great job, with volunteer teachers, of thinking creatively to give students a wide variety of activities to choose from.
The children who participated, of course, gained from learning new skills — and sharpening their talents. Most students truly were enriched by their experiences.
Parents, especially those who work full-time, had the benefit of knowing their children had positive activities, with good supervision, to fill long summer afternoons.
The academies cost $15 a week, with discounts given to families enrolling multiple children. That's less than the cost of a babysitter.
The district charged just enough, with some additional state funding, to cover the cost of materials.
Talk about a bargain.
It's an example of our schools going above and beyond to provide great opportunities for our youth.
July 21, 2008 2:30 pm

Wolves back to endangered list

Wolves are back on endangered species status, at least temporarily, killing fall wolf hunting in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming.
Late Friday afternoon, U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy in Missoula, Mont., granted a preliminary injunction restoring federal protection for wolves in the Northern Rockies.
“I think he made a mistake,” said Rep. Pat Childers, R-Cody, of Molloy's injunction. “He made a decision without considering the facts.”
Nonetheless, it means the federal government is once again in the wolf-management driver's seat — temporarily, at least.
According to a Wyoming Game and Fish Department news release, the judge's decision means wolves cannot be killed in Wyoming unless the animals are attacking livestock.
“It is a step forward,” said Louisa Willcox, of the Natural Resources Defense Council, one of the conservation groups that challenged the delisting in March. “But we are a long way from getting the issue resolved.”
Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., is not pleased with the ruling and said so in a news release Saturday.
“Today's ruling by an activist judge was not based on sound science, but rather (on) pressure from environmental groups making exaggerating claims. After years of struggle and debate, we are right back where we started — with Washington, not Wyoming, in control over wolf management. That is unacceptable to me and to the people of Wyoming.”
Sletten Construction of Wyoming does not meet the qualifications to bid on Contract No. 1 (pool construction) of the aquatic center project, according to Dave Burbach, of Burbach Aquatics Inc.
Burbach made the announcement at a July 18 City Council work session.
According to Burbach, a number of the projects submitted by Sletten Construction of Wyoming as project references were actually projects in which other Sletten companies were the contractors of record — specifically Sletten Construction of Nevada and Sletten Construction of Great Falls, Mont.
“Neither of these companies bid on the Powell project,” said Burbach, in a letter dated July 17.
Shawn Warner, president of Sletten Construction of Wyoming, said, “What we were told at the pre-bid meeting is that, if we submit our qualifications prior to the bid opening, they would be reviewed. The feedback I got before the bid date (from a person named Andy in the Burbach office) was that it looked like it's adequate.”
Burbach said there's no way Burbach Inc. would have known that the Sletten companies are separate corporations at that point.
“What do you do when you are hiring someone?” he asked. “Do you check their references before or after you decide to hire them? You check after you make a decision. That's what we did, and that's when we learned about this... If these were branch offices, we could overlook it, but these are separate entities.”