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Whether a group of monks can build a 145,000-square-foot monastery on a ranch outside of Meeteetse remains uncertain following a public hearing Tuesday night.

Dozens of Park County residents gathered at the courthouse hearing, overflowing into the hallway and voicing both opposition and support for the Carmelite monks' monastery plans.

One-cent tax for West Park fails

Park County voters soundly defeated a proposed $14.2 million special purpose tax for renovations at West Park Hospital in Cody, with some 67.7 percent of voters opposing the measure. Just 32.3 percent voted in favor of the project.

“Evidently, we didn't do an adequate job of convincing voters to support the project,” said Carol Lea Roberts, West Park board chairman, on Wednesday. Roberts said there were a lot of misunderstandings in the community about how the nonprofit hospital operates.

Coast to coast crusader

Connecticut man pedals cross-country for MS

With the start of classes at Northwest College steadily swelling the ranks of Powell's young adult population, Brookfield, Conn., native Ryan Prizio could easily have passed through town without drawing attention. Another face, another cyclist out for a summer ride.

In reality, there's hardly anything ordinary about the 23-year-old Prizio. On July 1, he departed Brookfield, leaving behind his information technology job at a local hospital, to pedal cross-country to Portland, Ore., then south to San Diego to raise awareness of and money for multiple sclerosis, an autoimmune disease that affects the brain and spinal cord.

With a tall, floor-to-ceiling wall of windows showcasing Yellowstone National Park's most famous geyser, the park's newest visitor center will open at Old Faithful on Wednesday, Aug. 25. A public grand opening dedication ceremony marks the event at 11 a.m.

The opening celebrates the completion of a 10-year-plus effort to fund and build the Old Faithful Visitor Education Center, which replaces a smaller, obsolete visitor center built in 1972.

A suspected illegal immigrant has been sentenced to 15 to 18 years in the Wyoming prison system for raping a woman in Powell nearly two years ago.

Fabian Ruiz-Estrada, 27, had been tied to the rape through DNA evidence more than a year after it occurred.

On Wednesday, District Court Judge Steven Cranfill accepted a plea agreement and found Ruiz-Estrada guilty of two counts of first-degree sexual assault — one count for making the victim submit by the use of force and another for threatening her with a deadly weapon.

YNP fire kicks-up, but quenched by rain

Although the Arthur 2 Fire in eastern Yellowstone National Park kicked-up recently, precipitation Sunday hampered the fire's growth, leaving fire managers guardedly optimistic it will not spread.

The fire is one and one-half miles southwest of the East Entrance and on the south side of the Middle Fork of the Shoshone River. The fire has caused no closures.

County budget in the black

As local governments scramble for funding and begin pulling money from reserves to balance their budgets, Park County plans to sock away nearly $1 million.

The Park County Commission tentatively approved a $22.9 million budget at its Tuesday meeting, with an additional $921,600 slated to go into reserves.

Powell native on General Hospital'

"I didn't, like, graduate high school and in my yearbook write, ‘Be in a soap opera,' as future plans,” said Daniel Cummings, a 2005 Powell High School alum.

Nevertheless, today (Tuesday), Cummings will make his television debut in a recurring role on the long-running ABC soap opera, “General Hospital.”

Free clinic to change?

Heart Mountain Volunteer Medical Clinic board mulls offer

Which is better for the Big Horn Basin community — a free clinic with community support and limited resources, or a government-funded clinic with far more resources, but accompanied by federal red tape?

That's a question Heart Mountain Volunteer Medical Clinic board members, and eventually the community, will have to wrestle with in the near future.

Lake trout elimination


Aboard Freedom, Yellowstone National Park summer employees, Jake Boone, left, and Hannah Gundernan, right, prepare to unleash a gill net to capture unwanted lake trout in Yellowstone Lake. Mount Sheridan rises in the distance. Tribune photo by Gib Mathers

Extreme measures needed to save Yellowstone Lake native cutthroat trout

Since the mid 1990s, the National Park Service has endeavored to eliminate lake trout from Yellowstone Lake. But the race to save native cutthroat trout there could be lost unless the service adopts extreme measures, said a Trout Unlimited member.

Park Service personnel say they are working on it and will adopt tougher measures in the future.

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