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Late last week, an Illinois man was killed by a grizzly bear in the Kitty Creek drainage on the North Fork, about 10 miles east of Yellowstone National Park. The grizzly was shot and killed two days later.

An Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team had captured and placed radio collars on two grizzly bears in the Kitty Creek area, said Chris Servheen, grizzly bear coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Missoula, Mont.
Despite posted signs warning that grizzly bear trapping operations were ongoing and telling the public not to enter, Erwin Frank Evert, 70, of Park Ridge, Ill., hiked into the area late Thursday morning.

June 22, 2010 3:54 am

Old gold mine getting cleanup

Montana mine cleanup means truck traffic in Wyoming

Cleanup of an old gold mine near Cooke City, Mont., will mean increased truck traffic over the Chief Joseph Highway next summer and has raised concerns about safety and damage to the scenic highway.

However, Shelby Carlson, district engineer for the Wyoming Department of Transportation in Basin, said the contractor carrying out the project, Knife River Corporation-Mountain Region of Billings, has been cooperative and willing to work with WYDOT to limit the impact on the highway.

June 22, 2010 3:52 am

Health care debate comes home

The national debate over health care came to Cody on Thursday, when local health care experts and politicians expressed their concerns with the health care system and the new health care law passed by Congress.

About 30 people attended the meeting, hosted by Dave Kellett (who is running for Wyoming House District 25) and other local TEA Party advocates at the Park County Library.

June 22, 2010 3:49 am

Asay shares national title

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Powell's Kaleb Asay gets ready to leave the chute for his short-go ride during Saturday's College National Finals Rodeo final session. Asay scored a 74.5-point ride to finish as a co-national champion for the 2010 season. Courtesy photo/Matt Young, Casper College

Vernon College sophomore finishes with a 74.5 on Saturday

Powell's Kaleb Asay entered Saturday's short-go as the man everyone was trying to catch in the 2010 College National Finals Rodeo. By the end of the final session, the Vernon College sophomore remained in front of the pack.

Team drops three games in North Dakota

When he unveiled the 2010 schedule, Powell Pioneer head coach Mike Jameson noted that he'd added some new events in an effort to challenge his team. That wish was fulfilled over the weekend as the Pioneers met their match at a tournament in Williston, N.D.

Has anyone else noticed the strange twitch Powell residents have developed of late?

When the wind is blowing a certain direction, people all over town can be seen stopping dead in their tracks, covertly bending their heads down to determine if a smell is emanating from their armpits. Satisfied that the odor is not, after all, coming from their armpits, they resume their progress. But, wait — there's that smell again, followed by an encore of the whole stop, bend, sniff and continue routine.

On second sniff, it's not body odor, but rather the pervasive, powerful stench of rotting piles of beans beside Coulter Avenue.

Ah-ha!

But the twitch persists ... the smell is that bad.

Rumor has it that when the bean mill burned in 1966, the same overwhelming, fetid odor took over the community.

Apparently, it got so bad that an addendum to the “Welcome to Powell” sign on the edge of town said something like, “It smells like something died here, but it's just the beans.”

Unlike the familiar, almost nostalgic, odor of sugar beets in the fall, the smell of rotten beans is becoming unbearable — especially for the poor souls who have to live or work adjacent to the mess. But, come to think of it, maybe they're actually the lucky ones. If they stay where they are, they'll eventually get used to the smell, right? Kind of like when you're smelling candles in a store, and after about the fifth one, your sense of smell quits, well, sensing.

But for those of us who live or work several blocks away from the putrid pile, the stench sneaks up on us like a stalker in the night. One minute, the back door at the Tribune is wide open and we're enjoying the sweet promise of summer.

Then — WHAM! — there it is, stealthily invading ...

The other day, in a moment prior to recognition, I actually wondered, “Wow, what shoes am I wearing to make my feet smell so bad?” I glanced down, saw the usual warm-weather flip-flops, and then (with some relief) it hit me.

The foul, gag-inducing reek of the languishing legumes had once again crept into the building.

The wonderment got me again when I got in my car later that afternoon — what is that awful smell? The answer that time was all too clear.

Our managing editor, whose phobia of vomit is well-known in our office, related that, on a recent trip across town, the smell of the decomposing beans gave her mother a gagging fit.

“Do not throw up in my car,” she threatened her poor mother, who managed to keep her cookies intact. But the incident highlights how bad it really is.

Please — someone, anyone — spare the good folks of Powell and move those beans.

Otherwise, another addendum to the Welcome sign may appear soon. How does, “Welcome to Powell. Now take some rotten, smelly beans and go home!” sound?

A 20-year effort to protect land near Yellowstone National Park from mining was resolved recently, but Park County residents will experience the mine's lingering effects as cleanup begins.

Wyoming's scenic Chief Joseph Highway will be the route for trucks hauling at least 48,700 tons of mine tailings during summer 2011.

The contaminated waste must be removed from a defunct gold mine near Cooke City, Mont. — a site that ignited a firestorm of controversy in the 1990s after the mining company Noranda sought to mine gold just three miles outside of Yellowstone National Park.

Thankfully, its mining plans were foiled, and today the beloved national park is protected from large-scale mining development.

Unfortunately, thousands of tons of pollutants remain at the mine site near Cooke City and are at risk of seeping into Soda Butte Creek and eventually running into Yellowstone's waterways.

A cleanup effort spearheaded by the Montana Department of Environmental Quality calls for trucks to haul tons of the harmful mine tailings over Wyoming's Chief Joseph Highway.

As a public highway, the scenic route is open to commercial traffic — an unfortunate reality for motorists who will find themselves sharing the road with heavy trucks.

Though Montana's cleanup plan has been in the works for years, officials in Park County apparently were unaware of the project and didn't realize that the highway would be the route for trucks hauling toxic mine tailings.

With Wyoming responsible for maintaining the highway, it's unsettling that Wyoming Department of Transportation officials weren't informed of cleanup plans until after the project was sent out to bid.

Given the history of dispute over the mining project and use of the highway, it's also disappointing that there wasn't an open line of communication between Montana officials and those in Park County.

June 22, 2010 3:24 am

Delbert A. Brown

(April 22, 1938 – Jan. 30, 2010)

Delbert A. Brown, 71, of Lyndhurst, Ohio, died Jan. 30, 2010.

A memorial service will be held Monday, June 28, at 10:30 a.m. at the Willow Grove Cemetery in Buffalo.

Brown was born April 22, 1938, in Minot, N.D. Over the years, he lived in Powell, Casper and Sun City West, Ariz. He was a field foreman for the Texaco and Amoco oil companies and worked for 39 years before his retirement in 1999.

He is survived by his daughter, Laura Zappas of Lyndhurst, Ohio; grandchildren Zoe, Olivia and Daniel; and a sister, Beverly James, of Colorado Springs, Colo.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Ann; and his twin brother, Delwyn.

Donations in Brown's name may be made to the American Diabetes Association.

June 22, 2010 3:23 am

William E. Whittlesey

William E. Whittlesey, 62, June 17, 2010, at his home.

Funeral services will be held today (Tuesday) at 1 p.m. at Haskell Funeral Home in Lovell. Burial will be in the Crown Hill Cemetery in Powell.

Haskell Funeral Home in Lovell is in charge of arrangements.

June 22, 2010 3:22 am

'Mr. Wyoming,' hometown bound

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Finisher Clay Ward (at left) heats a portion of the monument “Good Ride Cowboy,” as sculptor D. Michael Thomas (in cowboy hat) applies patina to the statue outside Ward's Frannie shop. The life-and-a-half size statue of the late rodeo and country music star Chris LeDoux is being installed in LeDoux Memorial Park in Kaycee. Tribune photo by Carla Wensky

LeDoux memorial to be unveiled Saturday in Kaycee

All hands were on deck Monday evening at finisher Clay Ward's shop outside Frannie as a busy crew worked to put finishing touches on a massive bronze statue of the late country music star Chris LeDoux.

“Is the end in sight?” asked one.