Powell, WY

Wind: SE at 10 mph

Don Amend

Among the efforts to encourage Wyoming high school students to pursue higher education is an increased focus on making enrollment in college courses available to students while they still are in high school.

For many years, high school students have had access to dual enrollment, which gives them the ability to enroll and attend classes at Wyoming’s community colleges. They may have traveled to the college or attended through a distance learning set-up.

Since we just survived the political circuses in Iowa and New Hampshire, it seems like a good time to comment on political rhetoric—you know, the stuff political campaigns use to attack the other guys in the race for office.

Public lands and their management are a perennial point of discussion in northwestern Wyoming.

For some time now, we have been reporting on the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s development of a land use plan for federal lands in the Big Horn Basin, and recently the U.S. Forest Service began the task of drafting a similar plan for the Shoshone National Forest.

The final report on a three-year plan adopted by Northwest College in 2008 includes some impressive statistics.

Among the positive numbers in the report is a 28 percent increase in the number of students taking classes at NWC during the past three years. During the 2010-11 school year a record number of students, 2,450, were enrolled, and the full-time-equivalent enrollment also was a record: 2,131.

Officially, it was a practice session for the Powell Panther boys swim team, but it had a little different look on the morning of Dec. 29.

Among the athletes warming up were a number of female swimmers, and some of the athletes in the pool looked, shall we say, a little more mature than the average high school swimmer.

Aug. 19-20 was a big weekend in Powell and Park County. That was when the Heart Mountain Wyoming Interpretive Learning Center opened at the sight of the former Heart Mountain Relocation Camp west of Powell.

More than 1,000 people gathered for the dedication of center. They included many Japanese-Americans who were among the internees at the camp during World War II and their descendants, as well as many local residents who remembered the camp.

Featured speakers during the weekend included U.S. Senator and decorated World War II veteran Daniel Inouye, and former NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw.

Tragedy struck the Harder family of Lovell when high winds and heavy waves struck and scattered them as they kayaked on Big Horn Lake on an August evening.

Two brothers, 8-year-old Johnny and 4-year-old Joseph, died despite a massive rescue effort by Big Horn County Search and Rescue personnel and numerous volunteers.

Here at the Powell Tribune, we’ve been looking backward in recent days to produce this issue’s review of 2011 events.

The year, like most years, provided some ups and downs for those of us who live here.

In just a few days, it will be January, the beginning of a new 12-month period that we  will call 2012.

One of the odd things about our tracking of time is that, while we name our years based on calculations made by a Christian monk back about a millenium and a half ago, we name our months after the gods and emperors of the pagan Roman Empire. Consequently, we call next month January, after the Roman god Janus.

The recent postponement of plans to close nearly 3,800 small post offices around the nation is welcome, but it may give only temporary relief to small communities, including four in the Big Horn Basin.

The fiscal problems facing the U.S. Postal Service all have been well publicized. It is losing money — about $100 million every week — and some sort of action to stop the financial hemorrhage of cash is necessary.

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