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Powell, WY

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Tessa Schweigert

In the past decade, more than a billion dollars was spent on school facilities in Wyoming. With a new high school, new Southside Elementary, a new Westside Elementary under construction and plans underway for middle school renovations, Powell has seen millions spent on demolition and construction in recent years.

Similar school projects are going on across the state, and Gov. Matt Mead wants to ensure Wyoming contractors receive a fair chance at those jobs.

As legislators gather in Cheyenne this week, they will be inundated with dozens of bills — eventually hundreds of them — up for consideration during the 2011 General Session 61st Wyoming Legislature.

Once again, Wyoming finds itself in a much better position than other states with its enviable budget surplus — more than $1 billion to allocate or invest.

Residents dreading the prospect of a large-scale hauling project over the scenic Chief Joseph Highway breathed a sigh of relief last week.

After a turn of events, the Montana Department of Environmental Quality abandoned its controversial plan to haul some 68,700 tons of gold mine tailings over the winding highway.

Homes aglow with Christmas decorations have captured the attention of passersby. Some of those homes also caught the eye of the city’s judging committee, which recognized various residences and businesses in the annual City of Powell Christmas Decorating Contest.

 

Mead takes office Jan. 3 as Freudenthal finishes second term

Soon after 2011 begins, Matt Mead will take the helm as Wyoming’s next governor as Dave Freudenthal exits after two terms.

Fortunate to serve during boom years for the state’s energy industry, Freudenthal will leave on a high note in a couple of weeks after leading the state through eight prosperous years.

Besides looking left and right at a busy intersection, drivers in Powell can look up.

At four busy intersections, the city installed mirrors on existing street poles to reflect oncoming traffic and pedestrians to improve drivers’ ability to see them.

 

For much of 2010, criticism and questions surrounded PAWS — the Proficiency Assessments for Wyoming Students.

Going into a new year, state leaders must decide what the future is for the beleaguered standardized test. Following an audit report that showed the PAWS test is expensive and not fully utilized, we’re glad Wyoming officials are taking a serious look at the exam, its flaws and whether it guides student instruction as it should.

 

Whether they announce soup specials, point toward candy, advertise cell phones, offer flowers, sell sandwiches or call attention to coffee, signs located on downtown city sidewalks are now legal in Powell.

On Monday night, Powell city councilmen approved an ordinance allowing business signs on city-owned sidewalks, as long as signs have permits and meet certain conditions.

There’s an old fable about a gossiper who didn’t understand the consequences of her slanderous words. A wise man tells her to take feathers from a pillow and scatter them throughout town. After doing so, she is then challenged to pick up every single feather.

The task proves impossible. Wind sweeps the feathers far beyond her reach, and she gathers only a few.

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