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CJ Baker

Powell Valley Healthcare's former CEO has been indicted by a federal grand jury in connection with an alleged scheme to embezzle money from the hospital, hospital officials announced this (Wednesday) morning.

A news release from Powell Valley Healthcare said Paul Cardwell has been indicted on 15 charges that include mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering. Michael Plake, a West Lafayette, Ind., man that has been accused of working with Cardwell, has also been indicted on 15 counts, the release said.

"The allegations (against Plake and Cardwell) detail a fraudulent scheme, involving numerous acts of deception against PVHC employees and directors, whereby PVHC suffered significant financial losses," said the release.

Hospital officials said they and their management company, HealthTech Management Services Inc., have been working with federal investigators and appreciate their efforts to "see justice fully served."

The case against Cardwell had not been publicly unsealed as of this morning.

HealthTech had sued Cardwell in February, accusing him of embezzling nearly $850,000 from the Powell hospital. According to HealthTech's complaint, Cardwell had claimed he was paying an Indiana company to recruit doctors and staff to Powell Valley Healthcare. In reality, HealthTech alleged, the company was doing no recruiting and kicking a substantial amount of money back to Cardwell.

Powell Valley Healthcare officials have identified Plake as the owner of that company, called Plake and Associates.

The Tribune will have a more complete story in Thursday's newspaper.

A recently-awarded federal grant will help bring more of the Heart Mountain Relocation Center’s story and lessons to anyone with Internet access.

The U.S. Department of the Interior announced last week that it is giving the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation $30,976 to help enhance its website and online content.

Police have arrested a Powell woman in connection with a rash of thefts from parked vehicles here and in Lovell last week.

Lori A. Viarengo, 33, was arrested Thursday night and charged with two felony counts of auto burglary. On Monday, Viarengo was being held on $15,000 cash bail.

Defense asks if state will seek death penalty

A 28-year-old accused of murdering his wife in Cody last month pleaded not guilty at a Monday court appearance.

Myron J. Friday has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with the Feb. 26 killing of his wife, 44-year-old Julie Friday.

March 22, 2012 8:20 am

Romney wins Park County

Santorum win voided

Presidential candidate Mitt Romney came one delegate closer to clinching the Republican party’s nomination on Monday night, as Park County Republican Party officials reversed course and determined he should receive the county’s delegate to the Republican National Convention.

A Rick Santorum supporter had won a re-vote at this month’s Park County Convention, but those results were challenged by Romney’s campaign and supporters and the state party believed the results should be voided.

March 22, 2012 8:19 am

Cody murder case moves forward

A judge has ruled that Park County prosecutors have enough evidence to proceed with a first-degree murder charge against a Cody man alleged to have killed his wife.

The case against Myron Friday, 28, was bound over to Park County’s District Court after a Monday afternoon hearing in front of Circuit Court Judge Bruce Waters.

March 20, 2012 8:06 am

Tougher DUI law approved

The state of Wyoming is more than tripling the maximum sentence for repeated drunken or impaired driving.

A bill sponsored by state Rep. Sam Krone, R-Cody — overwhelmingly passed by the Legislature last month and recently signed into law by Gov. Matt Mead — says offenders who drive while under the influence for a fourth or subsequent time in a decade can receive as much as seven years in prison.

The felony charge previously carried a maximum sentence of two years behind bars. Wyoming’s DUI laws apply to people who drive while under the influence of alcohol and/or other drugs.

Krone, a deputy Park County prosecuting attorney, took issue with the fact that two years was the most someone could get for repeated impaired driving, even if it was, say, a 12th offense.

A clean-up of the remains of a of home that exploded last summer is finally under way after more than half a year of uncertainty and frustration for the homeowner.

Allstate Insurance paid some of Mark Imsand’s claim for his destroyed Willwood area home in January, according to Imsand, and after some delays due to frost, he finalized a contract with Spomer Construction last week to clean up the rubble.

Santorum win challenged

The Wyoming Republican Party’s Presidential delegate selection process is, when running smoothly, complex and potentially confusing. But at Park County’s Republican convention Saturday, it was much more so.

Park County Republican Party officials initially declared a Rick Santorum delegate to the Republican National Convention the winner after a poll of convention delegates, then realized he hadn’t received a majority and announced they’d made a mistake.

A second run-off vote was then held and narrowly went to a Mitt Romney delegate, but those results were then voided because of errors in the way ballots were distributed and confusing instructions that resulted in one man apparently voting twice.

The Santorum delegate then narrowly won a third vote and was declared the winner — only to have Romney’s campaign launch a legal challenge.

Two consecutive losses at the Class 3A State Tournament ended the Powell High School girls basketball team’s season a little earlier than they would have liked.

PHS head Coach Luke Danforth said he was sorry to see the season end on losses to Rawlins (51-29) and Douglas (44-39), but pleased the Lady Panthers made it to state and put themselves in a spot to potentially win there.