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July 06, 2010 3:37 am

Powell school projects

Westside school gets under way this month

Construction of a new Westside Elementary begins this month with the demolition of the old facility, and a bid has been awarded for demolition of the natatorium/auditorium. In addition, School District No. 1 continues developing plans for the future of Powell Middle School.

July 06, 2010 3:34 am

Let er buck at the Stampede

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Bull rider Jesse Bail hangs on for a wild ride while bullfighter Dusty Tuckness watches in the background during Sunday's final session of the 2010 Cody Stampede. Bail, from Camp Crook, S.D., was one of a few riders to best the bulls during Sunday's action. Tribune photo by Randal Horobik

July 06, 2010 3:31 am

Pioneers grab two-game lead

Powell's 16-3 win over Cody widens conference gap

The Powell Pioneers American Legion baseball team tightened its grip on the Northwest Conference's No. 1 seed last Wednesday with a 16-3 home victory over Cody. The win keeps Powell unbeaten in conference play.

More importantly, it gave the Pioneers a two-game cushion atop the Northwest Conference standings with just four conference games remaining to be played.

July 06, 2010 3:29 am

Trapper wrestling gains five

NWC beefs up roster for another season

Northwest College head wrestling coach Jim Zeigler announced five new commitments for the Trappers' wrestling program last week. Included in the list is a grappler ranked 19th nationally this past season by Intermat magazine's prep rankings.

Final regular-season tourney has Colorado flavor

Originally scheduled as a standard eight-team, two-pool tournament, the format of the 2010 Mike Devereaux baseball tournament in Casper this weekend was forced to make a late change following the decision by Denver Playball to withdraw from the event. The Powell Pioneers are scheduled to make their first-ever appearance in the tournament this week.

“They had a team pull out of the tournament, so now it'll be more of a round-robin tournament,” said Powell Pioneers head coach Mike Jameson, whose team will appear in the tournament's first game at 3 p.m. on Thursday.

Powell is scheduled to play Smoky Hill, Colo., at 3 p.m., then turns around to play SOCO at 5:30 p.m. The Pioneers are also scheduled to face two other Colorado teams at the tournament —Grandview at 1 p.m. on Friday and Fort Carson at 1 p.m. on Saturday.

The Pioneers will wrap up their tournament appearance at 1 p.m. on Sunday against in-state foe Torrington.

“It gives us a chance to see a higher caliber of competition which will hopefully help us out down the road,” said Jameson.

The Pioneers, currently 27-11-2 on the year, will open postseason play in three weeks in Cody.

July 06, 2010 3:20 am

Carolyn Louise Gillett

(Aug. 30, 1927 - July 2, 2010)

Carolyn Louise Gillett died Friday, July 2, 2010, at North Big Horn Hospital in Lovell from complications following a paralytic stroke. She was 82.

Carolyn was born Aug. 30, 1927, in South Bend, Ind., to Frances Davidson and John (Jack) Boyd Smith. Her father was an Irish immigrant and a plumber by trade. Because of the Great Depression, he loaded his family into their Model T Ford and headed West. Carolyn was 4 and remembered him singing “You know that Wyoming will be your new home” as they traveled along.

They ended up in Greybull River country where her father hired out to the Y.U. Sheep Co. Carolyn remembered her father, Jack, coming home one night with a puppy in his jacket pocket. She named the puppy Princie.

Jack died in 1932 from a blood clot. His wife, Frances, was left behind with three small children and expecting a fourth. The fourth baby died at birth, and Frances moved the family into Cody where she supported them with a variety of jobs. She helped cater social events for prominent people, including Paul Stock. She worked evenings cleaning business buildings on main street and took in ironing from some of her working neighbors. Carolyn and her sister Joan learned to use an ironing board at an early age.

Things went fairly well until Carolyn's younger brother Everett fell victim to a bruise over his eye. The cause of his death was called a wild cell. He was 12 years old and loved the game of football.

Carolyn always expected to find employment outside of her home. Her first job was as a ticket-taker at the old Buffalo Bill Museum. She also worked in The Red Arrow, which was Cody youth's “watering hole” (ice cream).
In 1944, Carolyn, Joan and their mother moved to Indiana so that the aging grandparents could get acquainted with the girls. Carolyn graduated from Peru, Ind., high school with the class of 1945. She then went to work for a trucking company as cashier. On June 13, 1946, she married a Willwood boy named Herbert Lee Gillett. The couple lived on the Willwood and their union lasted 64 years. Carolyn led a busy life but always found time for her husband and three children. She held a variety of jobs, but remained living on East Willwood the rest of her life.

She was employed by First National Bank for 21 years and held a highway contract with the post office for 15 years. It's been said a woman never gets to retire.

She was a member of Union Presbyterian Church where she helped with the church's Christian Education Program, was an elder and served three years as the clerk of session. She joined W.I.F.E. (Women Involved in Farm Economics) and traveled to Washington, D.C., to lobby Congress on farm bills. She was a 60-year member of the Hughes Pittinger Post No. 26 American Legion Auxiliary where she held several offices. Selling poppies was her favorite Legion project.

She is survived by her husband Lee; son George (Joan), of Cody: daughter Gail White (Jeff), of North Bend, Wash.; granddaughters Stephannie Eisenhower (Jim), Teresa Howard (Tim); grandsons Jesse White (Christina); Zach White (Carrie); 10 great-grandchildren, and a special great-granddaughter, Taylor Hamilton.

She was preceded in death by her parents; brother Everett; sister Joan; daughter LeeAnn; daughter-in-law Norma Gillett; nephew Kim Richardson; and four Canadian half-brothers.

Services will be held at Union Presbyterian Church on Wednesday, July 7, at 11 a.m. Burial of cremains will follow at Crown Hill Cemetery.

Thompson Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

July 06, 2010 3:15 am

Michael Troy Whitey' Timmons

(Oct. 25, 1977 - July 3, 2010)

Michael Troy “Whitey” Timmons died July 3, 2010.

He was born in Powell on Oct. 25, 1977, the youngest son of Martin and Elane Timmons.

He attended Parkside Elementary and Powell Middle School. He earned his GED through Northwest College in 2000.

In his early years, he competed in bull riding, taking first place in 1999 at the Bull Fest in Powell. Whitey loved his kids and spending time in the outdoors, especially hunting and fishing with his dad. He held various jobs, but particularly loved working in the oilfield with his dad and his brother, Jason.

Whitey is survived by his wife, Jessica, of Powell; sons Michael, 6, and Vincent, 5; daughter Alethia, 3; his parents, Martin and Elane, of Powell; brothers Randy Timmons (Tina) of Brownwood, Texas, and their six children and four grandchildren and Jason Timmons (Nicole), of Powell, and their two children; sister Jennifer Halvas (Rich) of Denver, Colo., and their three children; grandmother LaDawne Frazier of Powell; and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his grandparents Ted and Betty Timmons and Lane Frazier, all of Powell.

A viewing will be from 10 a.m. - noon on Friday, July 9, at Thompson Funeral Home, followed by funeral services at the LDS Chapel on Avenue E at 2 p.m.

Thompson Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements, and online condolences may be sent to the family at www.thompsonfuneral.net.

A trust fund for Whitey's children has been established at First National Bank and Trust in Powell.

I consider myself pretty much a face-to-face communicator. I don't really love talking on the phone — though I hate that my little sister refuses to answer hers (Hallie, I hope you're reading this.) Texting will do in a pinch, but it doesn't take the place of real communication ... You know the spiel.

But, I'll come right out and say it: I love Facebook. And I do mean love — with a capital L.

It may just be that my birthday was last month. Unless you hate birthdays, it's pretty hard not to like Facebook on your “special day.”

Before Facebook, my best and oldest friend in the entire world didn't remember my birthday unless I was lucky.

Suffice it to say, I'm not the luckiest person as a rule. But this year: The birthday wishes kept flooding in! Even from Princess Stephanie, the aforementioned friend most likely to forget. It was better than a flaming chocolate cake — and calorie-free to boot.

Birthdays aside, thanks to Facebook, I'm now in touch with people I never thought I'd hear from again (and, frankly, with some I didn't care to). Formerly close friends — and friends not so close — who had disappeared from my life now share pictures, funny thoughts and, of course, many, many crude remarks.

On any given day, I know my cyber-friends' political leanings, religious or non-religious views, musical passions, curse word preferences — even, weirdly, if some of them are wearing underwear. It's a strange world out there ...
But perhaps my favorite thing about America's favorite “social networking site” is a Facebook love story.

For the sake of privacy (that's a big thing on FB), I'll call the two people Jack and Jill. Jack and Jill are both longtime friends of mine. Jill graduated from Cody High School with me — Jack, the year before.

While I remain friends with each of them to this day, our separate friendships blossomed at different times in life.

Jill and I met in fifth grade. She was at my 10th birthday party when we put balloons in our tops and paraded around the neighborhood in hysterics. We were two of the “smart girls” in junior high and high school and thus had our share of classes together. We spent some time together in college, but Jill was much more serious about school than I was at the time.

Jack, on the other hand, came into my life when I started venturing into ... let's just call it the more wild side of things. He was smart, funny, an amazing writer and musician, and we became good friends and party buddies.

So now, years later, I'm friends with both of them on Facebook. Pretty soon, I notice they've also friended (yes, that is a word) each other. Over the course of several months, their comments to each other become more and more frequent.

Jack, the consummate bad boy, started making an occasional soft, kind remark (not too often, mind you, and they were usually directed right at Jill). Jill, on the other hand, started dropping the “F-bomb” regularly. You see where this is going ...

At one point, I thought to my matchmaker self, “Maybe I should suggest that they get together...” But I convinced myself to mind my own business — not an easy task. But their back-and-forth continued — complete with little winking, smiley faces. ; )

And I couldn't resist: I sent the message to Jill. “Hey, it seems like you and Jack have a lot in common. You talk a lot about the same stuff. Maybe I'm crazy, but I think you should get together.”

Suffice it to say, they were miles ahead of me. Six months, numerous cross-country flights, and some “let's introduce our kids to each other” visits later, they're madly in love.

Two people whose paths likely would never have crossed again, who have suffered through personal crises and failed marriages, have found each other. All because of Facebook — what's not to like about that?

(And, yes, my little sis is my Facebook friend, too. Sometimes, she even responds to my posts.)

Call it lucky number 13. Thirteen years ago, the Powell Valley Healthcare Board hired the 13th candidate interviewed for the position of chief executive officer.

In Rod Barton, Powell Valley Healthcare found an esteemed director with financial savvy and strong leadership skills to grow the institution as a profitable, reputable health-care facility in the region.

The numbers speak for themselves.

When Barton began in 1997, Powell Valley Healthcare was operating in the red with a nearly $1 million deficit. Thirteen years later, the budget is very much in the black — to the tune of $6.5 million in cash available, or 57.5 days of operating expenses.

Under his leadership, the hospital expanded to include an assisted living center, a walk-in clinic, an MRI and a brand-new medical clinic to accommodate a growing number of physicians who have signed on during Barton's tenure.

Last year, Barton was one of 50 hospital CEOs in the nation honored by the American Hospital Association.

His skillful leadership over the past 13 years makes Barton's recent resignation hard to swallow. Barton's departure, effective in late August, is indeed a loss to Powell Valley Healthcare and the community as a whole.

His resignation also comes at a difficult time as health care issues are hotly contested nationally and at a crossroads locally. Next month, Park County voters will decide on a primary ballot whether to fund a $14.2 million capital-facilities tax for proposed renovation and expansion of Cody's West Park Hospital.

Barton is leaving Powell Valley Healthcare in better shape than he found it in — and the challenge for his successor is to continue in that vein.

July 06, 2010 2:00 am

Texting + driving = illegal

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As of today (Thursday), texting behind the wheel is illegal. A new law makes it a misdemeanor for motorists to write, send or read text messages. Violators face a $75 fine. The state transportation department says Wyoming is one of 28 states to have a texting while driving law. Tribune photo illustration by Carla Wensky

Wyoming now prohibits texting while driving

Effective today (Thursday), text messaging while driving is illegal in Wyoming, because legislators and law enforcement officials want drivers to focus on the road.

Under the new law, police can stop drivers and give them $75 tickets if they believe motorists are texting and driving. Proving a driver caused a car crash while texting, although tricky, could happen.