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Powell, WY

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Tessa Schweigert

A deal is a deal.
That’s why we’re glad to see the federal government has backed off an ill-advised plan to cut millions of dollars owed to states like Wyoming through the Mineral Leasing Act.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Interior announced plans to chop dozens of states’ share of mineral leasing payments as part of automatic spending cuts.
The Cowboy State had the most at stake, standing to lose an estimated $53 million this year, according to The Associated Press. While losses were minimal for some states, others — including Montana, North Dakota and Colorado — also stood to lose millions of dollars.
“The federal government took money that doesn’t belong to it and used the sequester as an excuse,” Daniel Head, a spokesman for Sen. Mike Enzi, said in a statement last spring. “States are guaranteed a share of the billions of dollars in revenue generated from energy production on federal lands, as they bear most of the costs associated with mineral development.”
Soon after the roughly 5 percent cuts were announced last spring, a legal review began. Thankfully, that review of the Minerals Leasing Act recently determined the money must be paid to Wyoming and 34 other states.
If all goes as planned, an estimated $110 million in mineral leasing payments will be restored to states sometime after the fiscal year ends on Sept. 30.
We’re glad to hear states will receive the money that rightfully belongs to them, and hope this decision stands for future years. As Gov. Matt Mead’s office indicated, Wyoming is waiting to hear what might happen down the road.
We applaud Wyoming lawmakers and others for their efforts to restore money owed to states.
Wyoming has a long history with the Mineral Leasing Act, enacted by Congress in 1920. The law came about because of a dispute in central Wyoming at the Salt Creek Oil Field, according to Samuel Western, who wrote about the act for the Wyoming State Historical Society. Western said the law changed Wyoming’s economic destiny.
For decades, Wyoming has received millions of dollars through royalties and payments from companies that extract oil and gas from federal land in the Cowboy State.
Yes, it is federal land, but Wyoming communities bear the brunt of the impacts of oil and gas extraction. If our state must deal with the negatives of energy development at times, we should receive the perks as well.

Kids who live on the south side of town will soon have safer routes to school.

Construction is slated this fall to improve the intersection at Day Street and Coulter Avenue for pedestrians. Sidewalks also will be built along the north side of Monroe Street where none exist.

This is a community that creates.

Fields surrounding Powell produce a bounty of crops, the fruits of local growers’ hard work and dedication. Along with agriculture, our area is home to many talented artists who create a variety of art — paintings, sculptures, photography, music and more.

This weekend, Powell will host the inaugural Powell Arts Festival celebrating local artwork that enriches our community.

“Art asks us to look up and look again at what we are about,” said Shelby Wetzel, Plaza Diane board vice president. “Art helps us see those things that may have become common or invisible in a new, perhaps more meaningful way.”

$108,990 bid approved

Water — the very thing they’re designed to pump — is plaguing wells at Southside Elementary School.

Brace yourself, Wyomingites. We’re heading into a rough ride during the Republican primary in the Cowboy State.

More than a year away, Wyoming’s primary election already is heating up and gaining national attention as Liz Cheney challenges U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi.

New garden, exhibit focus on internees and agriculture

Gardening is a struggle in Heart Mountain’s arid landscape and rocky soil.

But this ground is rich in history.

 

Wardell replaces Heny, will serve through December 2014

A former school resource officer is the new member of the Powell school board.

Jason Wardell was appointed to fill the vacant seat on the Park County School District No. 1 Board of Trustees on Thursday evening. He replaces Dee Heny, who resigned last month.

A driver’s failure to yield resulted in a two-vehicle crash that injured three people Tuesday afternoon.

Cheyenne Slaught, 21, of Powell, was driving westbound on Lane 11 at about noon when she failed to yield to crossing traffic at the intersection of Road 12, according to a report from the Park County Sheriff’s Office.

Our nation was recently reminded of the incredible risks firefighters take when 19 men lost their lives fighting a wildfire in Arizona.

The Hotshot crew faced a fierce blaze in extreme heat, brutal winds and tinderbox conditions. As sons, brothers, husbands and fathers, the firefighters leave behind family and friends mourning such a devastating loss.

When she graduated during the Great Depression, Mary (Floan) Bever couldn’t imagine owning a car as a high school student.

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