Powell, WY


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CJ Baker

Fire managers believe they could be approaching the end of the Hole in the Wall Fire northwest of Clark, with personnel being scaled back from a peak of more than 450 crew members this weekend.

“We have ... turned the corner on the fire,” said fire information officer Greg Heule on Monday. “By no means, however, are we turning our back on the fire.”

Fire managers say they hope to have the Hole in the Wall Fire holed up by the end of the weekend.

The fire, burning along the Beartooth Mountain Front northwest of Clark, was estimated at 5,764 acres on Thursday night after burning 200 acres to the northeast and 500 acres to the west that day.

Updated, 6 p.m. Friday: A Powell man died Wednesday morning after a boat accident in the North Fork of the Shoshone River.

Park County Coroner Tim Power identified the victim on Friday as Earl Le Blanc, 77. Funeral services for Le Blanc have been scheduled for Monday, Aug. 29, at 2 p.m. at St. Barbara's Catholic Church in Powell.

UPDATED, 11:05 a.m., Tuesday: A wildfire started by lightning west of Clark on Sunday night was estimated to have swollen to more than 1,000 acres by Monday night.

The Hole in the Wall Fire is near the eastern boundary of the Shoshone National Forest, in rugged Beartooth Mountain terrain, north of Bennett Creek, said forest district ranger Terry Root. It’s roughly eight miles northwest of Clark.

A grasshopper infestation and too-slick Lander greens made for one of the strangest tournaments ever for Powell High School golf, said Head Coach Troy Hildebrand.

The Panther boys persevered through the challenging conditions to take third at the season-opening Lander invitational, and had three players place in the top 10 individually — Bowen Prestwich, Pax Mitchell and Jackson Roling.

The owners of a Cody-based fuel distribution business and chain of gas stations/convenience stores have filed for bankruptcy, citing millions of dollars of debt.

Red Eagle Oil, Inc., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Aug. 1 in Wyoming’s federal bankruptcy court, blaming the economic downturn and an inability over the past two years to collect some of the money it is owed. Court documents say Red Eagle has been unable to pay many of its bills since April.

The fall Powell High School sports season will kick off — or rather, tee off — with the Panther golf teams competing in Lander today (Thursday) and Friday.

PHS Head Coach Troy Hildebrand is hoping the 12 boys can match last season’s results, which saw the Panthers finish fifth at state. Meanwhile, having four girls out for golf will, at long last, give Powell enough players to officially compete as a team.

Law enforcement officers, first responders, family members, friends and Powell residents paid their respects to the late Powell Police Sgt. Mike Chretien at a Friday service.

“He was a soldier, he was an officer and he was a man of integrity, and I was proud to call him my friend,” said New Life Christian Fellowship Pastor Tim Morrow, who led the service at Northwest College’s Cabre Gym. Morrow said Chretien was leaving behind “a legacy of integrity, a legacy of service.”

Trek will last until October

In the loosely connected community of cross-country bikers, Nathaniel Benjamin has heard that he’s known as the guy who doesn’t stay in campgrounds.

“I just don’t like spending money to camp,” he said during a stay in Powell last month. “It just gets too expensive if you’re on a trip for six months.”

An off-duty Powell police sergeant heading home with his family from vacation died Wednesday when his truck and camper trailer rolled over in southwest Montana.

Sgt. Mike Chretien, 38, died at the scene of the crash on Interstate 90, near Cardwell, Mont., about 38 miles east of Butte, said Montana Highway Patrol Trooper Cal Janes. Chretien’s family suffered bumps and bruises in the crash but were spared serious injury, said Powell Police Chief Tim Feathers.

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