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Tribune Staff

Park County's landfills will need significantly more money in coming years, county officials said last week.

At a Nov. 17 meeting with Powell, Cody, and Meeteetse officials, Park County commissioners said the landfill budget is projected to have a $4.5 million deficit by 2015 if nothing is changed between now and then.

Give me the benefit of your convictions if you have any, but keep your doubts to yourself, for I have enough of my own.”

That's what Christian author Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe admitted in Neil T. Anderson's book, “Overcoming Doubt.”

If a Christian giant with a name that long can admit a fragile faith, I won't keep my doubts to myself.

So over this Thanksgiving holiday, while giving thanks for what I have, I'll ask forgiveness for what I don't have: unshakeable faith. I realize faith means believing in advance what only makes sense in reverse, but sometimes that child-like faith God seeks is nearly impossible within the weary, savaged adult mind.

C.S. Lewis wrote, “Meanwhile, where is God? This is one of the most disquieting symptoms. When you are happy — so happy that you have no sense of needing him — if you turn to him then with praise, you will be welcomed with open arms. But go to him when your need is desperate, when all other help is vain, and what do you find? A door slammed in your face and a sound of bolting and double bolting on the inside. After that, silence. You may as well turn away.”

I suspect any Christian that has never felt that way, hasn't yet experienced true depression or family tragedy. About a month ago when a new friend I'd met in “Celebrate Recovery” a couple years ago — a beautiful, always-smiling, 31-year-old Christian girl who fought depression/insomnia for years — died suddenly, I talked to a relative about it.

There was a distant time when he had all the God answers and didn't welcome disagreement, but since he's had devastating, personal misfortune befall him, I find him much easier to talk to … much more “real.”

I mentioned those born into atheist or Muslim families and he suggested that everyone will at some time in their life recognize the “voice of God” beckoning.

I told him a schizophrenic constantly hears dozens of voices. “How would they even know which voice is God's?”

His answer meant more to me than any self-righteous, scripture quote that many will leave you with (those so heavenly-minded they're of no earthly good) before smugly walking away. He said humbly, “I don't understand it either. I think anyone who says they truly know God's ways and have all the answers are in for a huge surprise one day.”

Exactly! I not only don't have all the answers, I barely have any. I prayed unceasingly for my Godly sister Wanda's healing from ovarian cancer. I gave up alcohol for 18 months, I prayed, I fasted, I believed ... and she finally died a painfully prolonged death. How could I, or C.S. Lewis, have misinterpreted John 15:7: “If you remain in me and my words in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be given to you?”

When her death appeared imminent, someone reminded me that it might be God's will for her to suffer and die. That made me angry!

I thought, “I'm supposed to pray how my Mom always taught me to pray — with the faith of a child my prayer will be answered, while bearing in mind the “not his will clause?”

If it's already been determined by an omnipotent God, why am I bothering to plead?

Even among Protestants who read the exact same Bible, one might suggest maybe she wasn't holy enough, or didn't believe strongly enough. When she visited Cody for the last time in 2005, a Pentecostal preacher who laid hands on her added to her mental anguish by asking if there might be some unforgiveness she might be holding onto without realizing it.

Some assured me her suffering was for some ultimate purpose that couldn't otherwise be fulfilled. C.S. Lewis for a time became a “Deist” — someone who believes in God but believes He doesn't intervene.

From what I've observed in my adult life, a fervent, prayerful Christian is in no way insulated from the same sudden, inexplicable pain a non-believer is subject to. Physical pain, clinical depression leading to suicidal thoughts ... even questioning one's faith, which leads to guilt, which leads to more questioning.

Rather than asking why a Christian would entertain doubts, a thoughtful, truthful person should ask, “Why wouldn't they?” C.S. Lewis did. Mother Theresa did in her last years. And inconsequential, weak Christians like myself do.

I felt some relief though with last Tuesday's Daily Bread study quoting Timothy, 2:13: “If we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself.”

So I guess even if you don't understand my doubts, He does.

For many people, the past year hasn't been exactly a great one.

Economists tell us that the recession may have bottomed out and the economy is improving, but that recovery is slow.

Unemployment remains too high, and too many people are losing their homes to foreclosure.

Here in Powell, we lost a big employer last summer, and our state's economy has slowed, although not as much as the national economy.

We are fighting a frustrating war in the Middle East and continue to deal with terrorist threats. Our government is facing a huge deficit and will probably be taking steps to address it that will be painful for most, if not all of us.

Consequently, it is no wonder that polls show most Americans feel the nation is moving in the wrong direction, and some people may be wondering what there is to be thankful about.

The difficulties, though, are all the more reason we should celebrate Thanksgiving. Observing Thanksgiving forces us to look at the positives, and there are plenty of those. We still live in a free country, and, despite our political differences, we aim to keep it that way. Our economy is not doing well, but we still have the ability to pull together as families and communities, not only to survive the recession, but to build a new era of prosperity.

Those blessings alone are reason enough to be thankful this week and every week.

As you enjoy food, family and football this weekend, we encourage you to think positive, and be thankful for the many good things that have happened in our lives this year.

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After a 90-38 run at Northwest College, head volleyball coach Flavia Siqueira announced her resignation to the Trappers earlier this week. Tribune photo by Randal Horobik

Heading to Florida for challenge of building new program

Northwest College women's volleyball coach Flavia Siqueira has resigned her position at the helm of the Trappers' program after three seasons. Siqueira has accepted a position as the head coach at the College of Central Florida, a two-year school that will be fielding its first-ever volleyball team in 2011.

“Every year that I have been here, I've been very fortunate to receive offers,” Siqueira said. “None of them really looked attractive to me. This time, the challenge of building a new program from scratch, in a tough region, was a little different, and I decided to go.”

NWC's Ben Price leads way in fourth

The eighth-ranked Northwest College wrestling team enjoyed a banner day at the University of Northern Colorado Old Chicago Open tournament last weekend. The Trappers placed four competitors among the top six.

Highlighting the team's performance was Boise freshman Ben Price at 197 pounds. After three consecutive wins to begin his day, Price dropped an 11-5 decision in the semifinals. After a win on the consolation side of the bracket, Price came out on the short side of an 11-7 decision in the third-place match.

Honors wrap up exciting grid season

Five members of the 2010 Powell High School football squad earned all-state recognition while a sixth received 3A West accolades following a ballot of the state's 3A coaches.

The Panthers compiled a 5-4 campaign that saw the squad finish second behind Cody in the final 3A West standings.

Throughout the season, the team displayed a dominant secondary unit that picked off opposing quarterbacks 16 times. Not surprisingly, several from that unit were among the Panthers honored.

• Josh Cragoe, a 6'2”, 160-pound junior, played an important role on both sides of the football for the Panthers this season. Cragoe was the No. 8 rusher in Class 3A this season and also ranked in the top 10 for receiving and punt returns. As important as Cragoe was to the Panthers' fifth-ranked offense this season, he was an equally important performer on the defensive side of the football. Cragoe finished No. 5 on the statewide defensive points chart, averaging nearly 16 per game while finishing with three interceptions, three fumble recoveries and five tackles for loss.

• Skyler Middleton, a 5'9”, 159-pound junior, isn't your prototypical offensive or defensive lineman, but made up for his lack of size with hustle and sound fundamentals and technique. After nine games, it was that ability that turned the heads of 3A coaches throughout Wyoming and earned him a spot on the all-state roster. Defensively, Middleton finished the season with four tackles for loss and a fumble recovery while averaging better than six defensive points per game.
• Olie Olson, a 6'0”, 166-pound junior, was a constant thorn in the sides of opposing quarterbacks. Put simply, it was difficult to throw the football in Olson's direction without the junior getting his hands on it. Olson finished the year with eight interceptions and also broke up an additional five passes while finishing third on the team for defensive points per game.

• Vince Sleep, a 6'1”, 190-pound sophomore, led all Wyoming Class 3A defenders during the 2010 season by averaging more than 20 defensive points per game. He was also the only player in 3A to top 20 points per contest defensively. Sleep completed his breakout season with 100 tackles, 33 of them solo. Of that number, 11 occurred behind the line of scrimmage as the youngster displayed a knack for finding the football from his linebacking position.

• Cooper Wise, a 5'7”, 140-pound junior, played the early portion of the season with an injured Achilles' tendon, but hardly showed its effects. Wise finished the year tied with Olson for the team lead in pass breakups with five. He also intercepted a pass while averaging just shy of eight defensive points per game. Wise was in on 36 tackles for the Panthers, 18 of which were solo stops.

All five of the Panthers' all-state selections were also recognized as all-conference players within the 3A West. Joining that group in earning all-conference accolades was Panther senior Tyler England. England finished the year as the No. 2 kick returner in Class 3A, averaging better than 27 yards per return. He scored five touchdowns on the year for Powell, placing him second on the team behind Cragoe. England suffered a late-season ankle injury and missed the team's playoff contest.

England is also the only graduating senior among the Panthers' post-season award winners.

(Oct. 4, 1918 - Nov. 20, 2010)

Donald H. Kupfer died Nov. 20, 2010 in Powell from complications due to his age of 92.

(Jan. 28, 1920-Nov. 23, 2010)

Carroll Devier Henrichs, 90, of Powell died Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2010.

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On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Alan Johnson ordered that the decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service refusing to delist wolves in Wyoming because the entire state is not a trophy game area should be set aside.

“Judge Johnson told them (Fish and Wildlife) like it is,” said Rep. Pat Childers, R-Cody.

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Search committee starts from square one

And then there were none.

Paul Cardwell, who signed an agreement to become the next chief executive officer for Powell Valley Healthcare, notified officials last week he no longer plans to come to Powell.

Page 453 of 521

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