Powell, WY


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CJ Baker

Visits to Yellowstone National Park this winter were a lot like last winter.

A total of 89,279 visitors went to the park between the Dec. 15 opening of the winter season and its closure on March 15, according to National Park Service statistics. That was up about half-a-percentage point from the 2010-11 winter season.

Asks for case to be dismissed

The former CEO of Powell Valley Healthcare is denying allegations by the hospital’s management company that he embezzled nearly $848,000 from the organization.

In a Tuesday response to a civil suit filed against him by HealthTech Management Services Inc., Paul D. Cardwell denied all the allegations and asked for the suit to be dismissed.

A new multi-use facility for the Park County Fairgrounds may come later rather than sooner.

At a Wednesday night meeting, local residents gave county fair overseers encouragement and advice to take their time on plans to construct an estimated $4 million building.

The advice seemed well-received by Park County Commission Chairman Tim French — who recalled extensive meetings planning the current jail — and Fair Board President Rob Newkirk.

Some Clark residents are calling on Park County commissioners to give them a place to keep dumping their trash when the Clark landfill closes to household waste this fall.

Commissioners have not committed to providing any service for household trash after the Clark landfill closes to such waste on Sept. 18. Some have expressed reluctance to go beyond running the landfills and get into the trash “transportation” business.

When Cleveland Indians’ pitcher Justin Masterson tosses the first pitch of the team’s season today, there will be a proud Powell uncle watching from the stands.

“To have a nephew — or, for my brother, a son — pitching opening day for a Major League Baseball team, that is a thrill for the whole family and beyond,” Powell resident Mike Masterson said Tuesday.

A June 4 trial has been set for the federal criminal cases against a former Powell Valley Healthcare official and an Indiana man who are alleged to have conspired to embezzle nearly $850,000 from the organization.

Former PVHC Chief Executive Officer Paul D. Cardwell and Michael J. Plake of West Lafayette, Ind., pleaded not guilty to 15 felony counts at their arraignment in U.S. District Court in Cheyenne last week.

The two men are free on $50,000 unsecured bonds pending their next court appearance, but are prohibited from traveling outside of Wyoming and Indiana without permission from federal authorities. Court records say Cardwell will be living with his mother in Tipton, Ind., while Plake will remain at his West Lafayette, Ind., home.

Former hospital CEO and alleged accomplice face federal charges

Powell Valley Healthcare’s former chief executive officer and an Indiana resident each are facing more than a dozen criminal charges in federal court in connection with an alleged scheme to defraud the Powell healthcare organization.

Meeting Wednesday at fairgrounds

Park County commissioners want to hear your thoughts before deciding how to move forward with a proposal to build a roughly $4 million multi-purpose building at the county fairgrounds.

“This is a substantial upgrade, there’s no doubt about it, so we’ve got to look at it that way,” said Commission Chairman Tim French at last week’s commission meeting. “It’s a major change.”

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.

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