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September 29, 2009 3:23 am

Elvira Vera' Villareal

(Aug. 18, 1927 - Sept. 25, 2009)

Elvira ‘Vera' Villareal, 82, died Sept. 25 in Sacramento, Calif.

She was born Aug. 18, 1927 in Cody. She spent many years as a Powell resident until she married and moved to Sacramento in March 1956.

In her spare time, she enjoyed making home-made tortillas, tamales and chicken mole. She was heavily involved at Our Lady of Fatima School and as a member of St. Joseph's Church from 1963 to 1973. She served as a lunch lady, field trip driver and was co-chairman of several school festivals. As part of the festivals, she made hundreds of tacos, chicken dinners and other savory foods. She was a den mother to the Cub and Boy Scout Troop 103 in North Sacramento and was an active leader in the Girl Scouts.

She later was a member of St. Philomene Church where she gladly served in the “Sharing His Bounty” ministry to feed the homeless. She worked at A&W Family Restaurant as a cook for seven years, and when her grandchildren arrived, she traveled to the Monterey Bay area on a regular basis. Vera greatly impacted the lives of many people, and her smile was contagious. She believed that God measures the value of our lives by the depth of our love for one another, and so she loved with a deep, profound love. Vera's family was very important to her.

She is survived by her daughters, Gloria Y. Alvarez of Powell and Dolores Levine (Bob) of La Cañada, Calif.; son David Villareal (Anne) of Carmel Valley, Calif. and their children Nicholas, Grace and Emily Villareal; a great-grandson, Riley Edward Villareal; brothers Raymond Alvarez (Julie) of Denver andTony Alvarez (Lola) of Cody; and step-children Dolores and Terry Hudson, Eddie and May Villareal and Marty Villareal. She is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews.

Vera was preceded in death by her husband, Edward Villareal; and her sisters, Connie Gutierrez, Rosa Alvarez and Sally Cruz.

A rosary will be held on Thursday, Oct. 1 at 7 p.m. at St. Philomene Church in Sacramento. A Mass will be celebrated on Friday, Oct. 2 at 10 a.m. at St. Philomene, with burial following at Calvary Cemetery. Donations in her memory may be made to the American Diabetes Association. Arrangements are being handled by North Sacramento Funeral Home.

September 29, 2009 3:20 am

Donald E. Ferebee

Donald E. Ferebee, 92, died Saturday, Sept. 26, 2009 at Powell Valley Care Center.

He is survived by daughter Sharon Utter of Powell.

Memorial services are pending, and a complete obituary will follow at a later date.

September 29, 2009 3:19 am

Robert 'Bobby' Model

Robert "Bobby" Model, Jr., 36, of Cody died Sept. 16, 2009, at his home after complications from a brief illness.

He had been recovering from a traumatic brain injury sustained in an accident in South Africa more than two years ago. Bobby had defied all odds and was making incredible progress in his recovery.

He was born in Cody on May 11, 1973, the son of Robert Model and Anne Young and grew up on a cattle ranch outside Cody.

As a child Bobby channeled his tremendous creative energy and focus into building projects - constructing elaborately designed forts on the family ranch, engineering complicated dog sleds and go-karts, and creating a neighborhood ice skating rink by flooding his backyard.

Then he turned his attention to ski racing, becoming an accomplished downhill racer in high school and college. He attended Eastside School and graduated from Cody High School in 1991.

A love of rock climbing was cultivated at age 12 when an early mentor began taking him bouldering in Shoshone Canyon.

His childhood experiences in the Absaroka high country instilled in him an early appreciation for remote places. In college he began to develop his visual sense with adventure photography, which was enhanced by his ability to negotiate mountainous terrain. After graduating with honors in 1997 from the University of Wyoming with a degree in Environmental Economics, he covered significant mountaineering expeditions on five continents for clients in the publishing industry, most notably National Geographic.

His relationship with National Geographic began in 1995 when he was asked by climber Todd Skinner to join a Wyoming team of "cowboy climbers" that free-climbed Trango Tower in Pakistan, a feat that was featured in the April 1996 issue of National Geographic. Bobby appeared on the cover of that issue and images he shot during the expedition were also published.

"Expeditions are one thing, but I couldn't do that for the rest of my life," Bobby said some years ago. "It feels strange to enter a cultural environment - carrying tons of equipment, bags of money and bright synthetic clothing - and then disappear without really getting to appreciate the people you meet along the way.

"I have this idealistic streak in me. I always hope I will get the shot that makes people understand what it's like for people who live lives completely different than their own."

Gradually, his interests evolved to include photographic reportage that addressed news as well as geo-political and social issues. In 2004 he moved to Nairobi, Kenya, where he lived with his sister Faith and was able to cover Africa more effectively.

But Bobby's love for Wyoming also anchored him to Cody, where he purchased the 1907 bottling plant at Bleistein and 12th and restored it to its original condition. The top floor served as his office and Cody base.

Bobby's photographs have appeared in numerous international publications including National Geographic, The New York Times, Outside and Mother Jones. His photography has received international recognition and has also been exhibited at the Banff Centre for Mountain Culture.

He was a contributing photographer to National Geographic Adventure Magazine and in 2006 was selected as an Emerging Explorer by the National Geographic Society Missions Program.

Bobby possessed an inexplicable magnetism that drew people to him from all walks of life. He was a devoted and loyal friend to so many whose lives were enriched by his presence. Whether sharing a strong coffee somewhere in the remote reaches of the world or drinking a beer on his deck in Cody, time spent with Bobby was always an adventure.

Part of what made him such an exceptional photographer was his extraordinary character. His quiet strength, humble manner, absolute dedication and unusually thoughtful approach to everything in life will forever inspire and inform all who knew him and all who will learn of him.

And his special (and sometimes irreverent) sense of humor will continue to bring laughter and joy to all.

Bobby is survived by his mother Anne Young and stepfather Jim Nielson, father Bob Model and stepmother Mona Model, sisters Faith and Austine Model, and an extraordinary collection of friends and extended family from around the world whose outpouring of love, humor, grace and prayers during the past couple of years was an enormous support for Bobby and his family.

A family service was held Saturday at Mooncrest Ranch. A celebration of Bobby's life will be at the Cody Auditorium, downtown Cody, at 4:30 pm on October 10.

In lieu of flowers a charitable fund in his memory has been established at Wells Fargo bank, 1401 Sheridan Ave., Cody, WY 82414.

September 24, 2009 2:30 am

A colorful spectacle

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Heedless of the fiery drama above their heads, horses graze peacefully while Shoshone NAtional Forest personnel conduct a controlled burn near Bennett Creek above Clark on Friday. Tribune photo by Gib Mathers

Forest Service concludes controlled burn near Clark

Approximately 400 acres above Clark were put under the torch intentionally Friday and Saturday.

Over the course of two years, three prescribed burns have been initiated in this area. This is the last planned fire in the area, said Clint Dawson, zone fire manager for Shoshone National Forest, as he stood at his observation post below the blaze near Bennett Creek on Friday.

September 24, 2009 3:57 am

Roundup Ready beets in jeopardy

2009 crop unaffected by judge's decision

A federal judge in California has overturned USDA approval of Roundup Ready sugar beets in a move that could halt planting of the genetically-altered crop next year.

Luther Markwart, executive vice president of the American Sugar Beet Growers Association in Washington, D.C., said Wednesday that the ruling will not affect the sugar beet harvest that began in Powell last week.

Federal and state agencies managing grizzly bears in the Yellowstone region believe removing the bruins from the endangered species list was warranted, despite a federal judge's order to list them again.

But a local man disagrees.

After becoming nearly extinct, the population was declared recovered in 2007 and removed from threatened status under the Endangered Species Act.

September 24, 2009 3:50 am

Easy as 1-2-3

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With a parade of orange jerseys trailing her down the course, Powell's Desiree Murray leads a cluster of runners at the Rocky Mountain High School cross country invitational on Monday. Tribune photo by Randal Horobik

PHS runners sweep titles as girls sweep top three

The Powell Panthers cross country teams made it look easy on Monday afternoon, sweeping to both the boys' and the girls' titles at the Rocky Mountain Invitational in Lovell. Nine Powell runners finished in the top 10.

Powell's dominance was particularly evident in the girls' varsity race. Panther runners turned in a 1-2-3 finish, led by freshman Brooke Nisley in a time of 21:07. Alyssa Rodriguez crossed the finish line 19 seconds behind while Emily Schwahn capped the Powell parade with a third-place time of 21:51.

When former Powell Pioneers standout Anthony Masterson left town in 2004 to go play ball for Kenyon College, some folks may have hoped he would one day make it to the pros.

Masterson did just that this summer — not as a player, but as a radio broadcaster for the Washington Nationals' minor league affiliate, the Class A Potomac Nationals.

September 24, 2009 3:42 am

Ropin' and ridin'

NWC rodeo crowns Owens, Proctor

The Northwest College Rodeo program brought home a pair of individual champions from the Montana State University-Northern rodeo last weekend. Bull rider Tyler Owens and breakaway roper Cody Proctor claimed the crown in their respective events.

For Proctor, the roping title was just part of an active weekend. In addition to winning her event by 0.7 seconds, Proctor placed third overall in the women's all-around standings after also turning in a sixth-place showing in the barrel racing portion of the competition.

Owens' title also came by a scant margin. The Trappers' top bull rider for the weekend claimed top honors by a two-point margin ahead of Montana State University's Bobby Peters. The Trappers also had a sixth-place finish in the event from Troy Vernon.

Other Northwest College rodeo team members registering high finishes in Havre include the tandem of Tucker Zingg and Jordan Gill. The pair finished second and third, respectively, in the bareback riding competition.

Casey Good earned a third-place finish for the Trappers in tie-down roping. Steffani Hofrichter added a third-place finish in the goat-tying event for the Trapper women.

Despite the strong individual finishes in a pair of events, the Trappers finished down in the team standings. Northwest College was third among five women's teams at the end of the rodeo. The men's team placed sixth out of seven teams in attendance.

Season standings show the Trapper women's team fourth out of seven teams in the Big Sky Region. The Trapper men are sixth out of eight teams after three regional events this season.

Individual event standings within the region show Tucker Zingg sitting in second place among bareback riders. Samuel Shelton is third in the steer wrestling standings. Tyler Owen is fourth in the bull riding standings.

For the Trapper women, Cody Proctor holds a 16.5-point lead in the regional breakaway roping standings. Teammate Haily Hamlin is third overall, 17.5 points behind Proctor. Steffani Hofrichter sits second in the goat tying standings.

The Northwest College rodeo teams return to competition this weekend at Miles Community College. The event begins Friday and runs through Sunday.

Most people would be hard pressed to dispute the benefits the Internet brings to our lives. Many people — especially those who lived life before the Web — still marvel at the wealth of information available to them. The wide world literally opens with a click of a mouse.

But it's a tool that needs to be used with caution. Threats abound, especially for children.

Child predators frequently utilize the Internet to stalk their victims. According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, one in five children is sexually solicited online.

Social networking sites, such as MySpace and Facebook, pose other dangers as well. Cyber-bullying via social sites and e-mail is an increasing concern for “tweens” and teens trying to navigate the often treacherous social waters of middle school and high school.

For parents, the job is twofold: Communicate with children about the dangers lurking on the Internet, and encourage them to talk to a trusted adult if they feel threatened in any way. Moreover, parents need to take time to monitor kids' activities online.

The Internet delivers a bright new world. But with its amazing opportunities come new responsibilities too.