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Powell, WY

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CJ Baker

In recent years, much of the local talk about winter access to Yellowstone National Park has focused on the park’s East Entrance. But on Friday, the discussion will shift to the Northeast Entrance, as commissioners and transportation officials from Wyoming and Montana, Yellowstone, Shoshone and Gallatin National Forest officials, Cooke City, Mont., residents and snowmobiling advocates gather to talk about the logistics of potentially plowing U.S. Highway 212 from the Pilot Creek parking lot to Cooke City.

Powell leaders want more time to refine and drum up support for a possible fifth cent sales tax before sending it to voters.

At a meeting last month, Mayor Scott Mangold had said he wanted a special election this November where voters would mull authorizing a fifth-penny of sales tax in Park County to help fund local governments.

A preferred plan for managing winter visits to Yellowstone National Park would further cut the number of snowmobiles allowed to enter the park each season.

Released Thursday for public comment, the National Park Service’s preferred alternative for winter use would differ from past plans most significantly in that it provides different limits for snowmobiles and snowcoaches day to day.

Though a city-wide hiring freeze remains in effect, the Powell Police Department is seeking two new officers to keep staffing levels from dipping further.

The department has been two officers short of a full patrol staff since September, and the city expects two other officers to depart in the coming fiscal year — one for retirement and another planning to re-join his family out of state.

Law enforcement officials are seeking three more local teens in connection with an April 6 altercation that included a pistol being fired. Police say the incident behind a West Second Street apartment was a failed robbery attempt and had connections to a series of earlier thefts in and around Powell.

Warrants recently were entered into a national law enforcement database for the arrest of William Hamilton, 19, of Powell, Jonathan Bentley, 17, of Powell and Jesse Villarreal, 17, of Lovell in connection with the altercation.

A 21-year-old Lovell man is being held on $30,000 cash bail while he awaits further proceedings on a charge that he stabbed another young man in the hand last December.

After several months at large, Raymond Ortiz was arrested out of state earlier this month on a Park County warrant for aggravated assault and battery.

Citing a grim financial picture, city of Powell leaders want Park County voters to consider passing an additional, ongoing 1-cent sales tax in a special election this November.

“Why haven’t we ever tried at least to put it before the voters?” Powell Mayor Scott Mangold asked Park County, Cody and Meeteetse leaders during a meeting last week.

Some of the Big Horn Basin’s public lands would see increased restrictions under a draft management plan released this week for public review by the federal Bureau of Land Management.

The draft Resource Management Plan contains the BLM’s preferred plan for managing millions of acres of public lands in the Basin over the next decade or two.

More than a dozen Tea Party-backed candidates were elected to Congress in last year’s elections and a more conservative Republican majority took over the U.S. House. But the primary message at Friday’s Big Horn Basin Tea Party rally in Cody was not one of celebrating past victories, but of fear over what the future still may hold.

“The collapse is coming,” warned Rob DiLorenzo, an Emblem attorney and a co-founder of the Basin’s Tea Party group. He described the national deficit — currently at $14.3 trillion — as a fast-approaching brick wall.

Two young Powell men have been charged with counts of burglary in connection with the thefts of a number of firearms and other items from a rural Powell residence last month.

Police say the thefts are loosely connected to an altercation last week where a stolen pistol allegedly was used to threaten a Powell man and fired. However, the pistol recovered in that incident is alleged to have been stolen from a different residence earlier this month.

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