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Powell, WY

Fair
Wind: SSW at 13 mph

CJ Baker

Driving drunk has always been a risky proposition, but it became even riskier last week.

A new state law that took effect Friday eliminated suspected drunk drivers’ right to refuse a sobriety test. The new law allows police to apply for a search warrant if they suspect a driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If granted, the warrant forces the suspect to provide a blood, breath or urine sample for chemical testing.

High water in the North Fork of the Shoshone River has forced the closure of several Shoshone National Forest campsites.

The forest's campgrounds remain open, but at four locations, some sites have been put off-limits.

The tall, brick boiler house chimney is the most enduring icon of the former Heart Mountain Relocation Camp — and work is planned to keep it that way.

The National Park Service recently awarded a $215,911 grant to help stabilize the chimney, which is “in eminent danger of collapse,” say state preservation officials.

A study funded by the Wyoming State Historic Preservation Office last year found the chimney is leaning 16 inches out of plumb and eventually will topple if nothing is done. It helped heat the camp’s hospital complex, which provided medical treatment for the more than 11,000 Japanese Americans who were interned at the camp during World War II.

Fair will go on

With about a month to go before the opening of the 2011 Park County Fair, its manager has resigned. However, fair board members say the fair, which begins July 26, will go on without a hitch.

City of Powell garbage customers are off the hook for more than half of the estimated $1.23 million cost of constructing a transfer station to handle the city’s trash when the Powell landfill closes next year to household waste.

As expected, the State Loan and Investment Board — made up of Gov. Matt Mead, Secretary of State Max Maxfield, Treasurer Joe Meyer, Auditor Cynthia Cloud and Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill — voted Thursday in Cheyenne to award $652,502 to the city of Powell to put toward a garbage transfer station.

Park County charges not among them

A young Washington state man who eluded law enforcement for two years while committing a spree of crimes across North America — including a yet-to-be-resolved alleged theft in Cody — pleaded guilty to seven felonies in Seattle’s federal District Court on Friday.

The 20-year-old Colton Harris-Moore, who’s known as the “Barefoot Bandit” for committing several of his crimes while wearing no shoes, now faces up to six and a half years in federal prison and a $1.4 million bill, pending an Oct. 26 sentencing.

City recommended for transfer station funding

A city of Powell plan to build a closer drop-off point for its garbage is drawing closer to reality.

Unless Wyoming leaders differ with State Loan and Investment Board staff, the city of Powell will today (Thursday) receive the $652,502 it requested to help build a garbage transfer station east of town.

Led almost entirely by increases in the price of oil and gas, Park County’s assessed valuation is projected to be the second-highest ever.

An estimate tabulated earlier this month by Park County Assessor Pat Meyer says the county’s value rose by about 11 percent, to more than $823 million. The value is based on mineral production and other property values from 2010.

A new site for Powell’s recyclables could be up and running by August, if all goes according to Powell Valley Recycling leaders’ plan.

Part of that plan fell into place last week when Park County commissioners unanimously approved a special use permit to allow Powell Valley Recycling to move to an expanded recycling center at a location just across the street from Powell’s western water tower. Commissioners are quite familiar with the Road 10 location, as it used to house the county’s Powell-area road and bridge shop.

Folks wondering how the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s draft Resource Management Plan for the Big Horn Basin might impact their lives are being encouraged to attend open houses hosted by the bureau next week.

The events will offer citizens a chance to visit one-on-one with BLM managers and specialists about the plan, which will guide the use of millions of acres of public lands over the next 15 to 20 years.

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