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Don Amend

April 12, 2011 7:27 am

New management hired at The Merc

The Merc board of directors moved quickly last week to employ a new manager and reorganize the management structure of the store.

Lesli Walsh Spencer will take over as store manager April 18, while Leslie Slater Wilson, who is currently acting as interim manager, will continue with the store as merchandise manager. According to board chairman Sharon Earhart, the new arrangement moves the responsibility for merchandising from the store manager to the buyer. Spencer will be responsible for the day-to-day operation and management of the store, while Wilson will be responsible for merchandise presentation and marketing as well as buying for the store.

I’ve heard a lot of complaining about the weather the past week.

It seems at least some of my fellow Wyoming residents are unhappy about the rainy, snowy, relatively cool — well, maybe a little bit cold — days we’ve had a lot of during the past few weeks.

The coincidental firings of both the director of the Powell Valley Chamber of Commerce and the manager of The Merc in the same week is troubling.

Both positions have been unstable in recent years after long periods of stable leadership. Kim Dillivan, who was hired only last spring, is the third director of the chamber since 2007, and JoAnne Anderson is the third manager of The Merc to be terminated in fewer than 18 months.

Back when I was about 10, I spent a lot of my summer time at the school playground across the street from my house, where the neighborhood kids often gathered.

On one of those occasions, a couple of girls took exception to a word one of the boys — it wasn’t me — interjected into the conversation. Specifically, the boy kept repeating the word “heck.”

Tuesday afternoon, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced that the Bureau of Land Management will hold competitive lease sales of nearly 7,500 acres of land in the Powder River Basin.

Under that land lies an estimated 758 million tons of coal. Estimates of the royalties and other income generated by the sale and eventual mining of that coal range from $13 billion to more than $21 billion over the life of the leases. Wyoming will receive 48 percent of that money.

After a few hours of confusion, the Powell High School cheerleaders were awarded third place for their stunt performance at the State Spirit Competition last week.

Douglas won the competition and Rawlins finished second.

Ten months ago, the new Powell Aquatic Center opened to the public, and so far, it has been a success.

Almost any time one visits the pool, he will find people learning to swim, swimming for fitness, practicing for competition or simply having fun in the water.

A single-car accident in Big Horn County has claimed the life of a Powell High School student.

Tylor Burke, a senior at PHS, died when his vehicle left the road at the junction of Wyo. 30 and U.S. 14-16-20 north of Burlington early Saturday morning. The scene of the accident was discovered at 7:13 a.m. on Saturday.

School superintendent reflects on education-related bills

Actions taken by the Wyoming Legislature left Powell school administrators with some concerns, but not as many as they feared.

“We started out the session with a lot of anxiety,” said Kevin Mitchell, Park County School District No. 1 superintendent.  “But as the dust settled, most of those concerns were left behind.”

For several weeks now, the Powell Police Department has been on trial.

Last week, that trial came to an end in the U.S. District Court of Wyoming in Cheyenne, with a verdict that held officers liable for one action that violated the plaintiff’s constitutional rights during a raid in search of drugs. The jury awarded the plaintiff $30,001, much less than the $590,000 she sought in the civil suit.