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Tribune Staff

November 10, 2008 3:49 am

Mayor Mangold re-elected

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Mayor Scott Mangold, right, was at the aquatic facility construction site at Homesteader Park with Capstone Construction's Russ Whitlock on Wednesday. Mangold was re-elected as Powell's mayor on Tuesday. During his first term, Mangold worked on funding and designing the new aquatic center with city council and community members. Tribune photo by Toby Bonner

Hillberry, Young, Hillman get council seats

The “Voice of the Panthers” will be Powell's leading voice for another four years. On Tuesday, Mayor Scott Mangold led the race with 1,805 votes, or 67 percent of votes cast, compared to opponent Councilman Tim Sapp's nearly 32 percent, or 854 votes. There were 21 write-in votes.

All numbers are considered unofficial until certified by the Park County canvassing board later this week.

Mangold said the strong support encouraged him that “the direction that we're going in is the direction that the majority of citizens want.”

November 06, 2008 4:35 am

Local reaction to election mixed

Obama wins Presidency

In an election of historical proportions, Democrat Barack Obama was elected president of the United States, capturing 349 of the country's electoral votes, to Republican candidate John McCain's 173.

Obama will be the nation's first black president.

November 06, 2008 4:33 am

Voter turnout phenomenal'

Election officials were ready for a massive voter turnout in Park County. Even so, that wasn't quite enough in Powell's Precinct 1.

Late Tuesday afternoon, election judges in Powell phoned the County Clerk's office in Cody to request more ballots. Headquarters quickly sent a load along.

Turnout in Precinct 1, which includes Northwest College and central, northern Powell, was exceptional. Some 519 voters showed up to vote, and only 416 had been registered at the start of the day. Those new registrations boosted the unofficial turnout to some 124 percent.

November 06, 2008 4:29 am

The ultimate team

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Powell Lady Panthers (backs to the camera, from left) Randi Asay, Hannah Pollart and Lauren Fagnant congratulate Savannah Donarski for scoring a kill. Olivia Rogers and Kami Cooley are partially hidden in the back. The team's chemistry was a big factor in propelling them to a state championship season. Tribune photo by Don Amend

Smith reflects on team chemistry

The Powell High School Lady Panthers' march to the state championship can be attributed to one thing, according to Coach Cindi Smith.

“It was our team chemistry that really stood out,” Smith said.

Smith called her team a group of girls who were willing to “strive for excellence,” and who were “so positive and supportive of each other.”

Those attitudes motivated her team and built a high level of confidence and team unity.

Tournament slated to start at 9 a.m.

Northwest College's wrestling team will embark on its 2008-09 slate Saturday with its annual NWC Open at Hank Cabre Gymnasium in Powell.

According to NWC head coach and athletic director Jim Zeigler, this year's field of competitors should once again provide a full day of top-notch wrestling action. At least five teams will have full squads at the event, including the University of Wyoming, which is under the direction of first-year Cowboy head coach Mark Branch. Wrestling is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m.

“This will be the first time they've brought a full squad here,” said Zeigler. “It's a big deal for us, and we're excited to have them here.”

Zeigler noted that Eric Coxbill, a former Trapper, is among the wrestlers on the Cowboys' roster. Now a senior, Coxbill wrestled two years at NWC before joining the team at UW. Last year, he led the Cowboys in victories with 26 while wrestling in the 165-pound weight class. Coxbill, from Wright, finished the year with a 26-14 mark and finished second in the West Regional. He also was named Third Team All-MWC.

In addition to NWC and UW, other full squads expected at the event are Montana State University-Northern, the University of Great Falls and Western Wyoming. Zeigler also said wrestlers from the University of Northern Colorado, Utah Valley University, Idaho State University and the University of Regina are slated to compete.

As for the Trappers, they will enter the season opener with a large group of freshmen and only a handful of returners from last season's team. Among the key returners are All-American Anthony Varnell (141) and national qualifier Mason Peebles (165). Varnell had knee surgery during the offseason, but Zeigler said the young standout has been strong in practice sessions. Also back are sophomores Josh Clark (174/184) of Ashton, Idaho, and Luis Carranza (133) of Idaho Falls, Idaho.

The freshman class for the Trappers, which boasts 17 wrestlers, should be strong, Zeigler said. Among the top recruits expected to make an impact this season is Powell High School graduate Mak Jones (197). Jones capped his career by winning back-to-back state titles at 189, and helped the Panthers to the team title during the 2008-09 season.

“We have high expectations for Mak,” Zeigler said. “He's a hard-nosed guy, and if he can stay healthy, he'll have a chance to be in competition for All-American honors.”

Jones, however, isn't the only freshman on the squad with multiple state titles to his credit. Jeff Wood (125/133), of Gillette, is a four-time state champion. Saul Guerrero (133) of Ft. Lupton, Colo., and Tyler Jones (149) of Ashton, Idaho, joined the program after having won three state titles each. Landon Harris (285) of Rexburg, Idaho, and Briston Brenton (149) of Casper, and Jesse Amos (174) of Anchorage, Alaska, each won two state titles in high school. Tyler Jones and Harris, also earned All-American honors in high school.

One-time state champions for NWC include Dustin Baldwin (184) of Spokane, Wash., McCade Ford (141) of Payson, Utah, William Larson (125) of Thermopolis, and Corey Woodruff (157) of Saginaw, Mich.

“We've got quite a crew of freshmen,” Zeigler said. “It's a good group, and we're looking forward to seeing what they can do.”

Other freshmen on this year's roster include Tyrell Wright (174) of Coalville, Utah, Matt Chandler (141) of St. Louis, Mo., Judd Brown (285) of Newberg, Ore., Michael Ausdol (133) of Cheyenne, Eddie Whiting (125) of Cowley, and Jonathan Tiernan (285) of Delray Beach, Fla.

“I think we'll have a nationally competitive team that will be in the mix,” Zeigler said. “I'm not sure this is a group that can be in a national title hunt, but a top-6 finish is possible. That's a lofty goal with so many freshmen. It they work hard, and if we can stay healthy, we've got a chance to have a good year.”

Showdown set for Saturday at noon

A berth in the Class 4A championship game will be on the line Saturday at noon when the Powell High School football team travels to face the Douglas Bearcats.

The Panthers (6-3) enter the contest having opened the playoffs last week with a 12-7 road victory against the Lander Tigers, a squad that edged PHS during the regular season by five points.

Douglas (7-2), a team that lost two of its first three games this season, enters the semifinals having won six straight games. The most recent victory was a 55-0 decision over Rawlins during last week's playoff round.

PHS head coach Jim Stringer said the Bearcats have been on a roll lately, but he believes his Panthers are capable of venturing into Douglas and securing a win. The key, Stringer said, will be the Panthers' ability to eliminate many of the mistakes that have hampered them in recent weeks.

“We need to go in there and have a solid effort,” Stringer said. “We don't have to play flawlessly, but we do need to have a fairly mistake-free game. If we can cut down on a lot of the mistakes we've had lately, I believe we can beat anybody. “

For the Panthers, turnovers and penalties have played critical roles the past two weeks. A mistake-filled game cost the Panthers a shot at upsetting top-ranked Cody in the final game of the regular season, and made last week's game with Lander closer than Stringer believes it should have been.

“We let two good scoring opportunities get away,” Stringer said about the Lander game. “We could have had another 14 points on the board, but a pair of turnovers ended scoring drives deep in Lander territory.”

When the game kicks off Saturday, fans will get to see two squads that have enjoyed their share of balanced, offensive success this season. Douglas currently ranks second in team offense (316.8 ypg) in Class 4A. Powell is close behind in fourth (257.1). Douglas (179.8 ypg) and Powell (147.7) are ranked third and fourth, respectively in rushing offense, and both are among 4A's best passing teams. Douglas is ranked second in passing offense (137 ypg), while the Panthers are fourth (109.4).

The Panthers have a host of weapons on offense, including quarterback Galen Mills, who ranks third in 4A in all-purpose yards (157.4 ypg). He has completed 70 of 130 passes for 985 yards, eight touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He's also averaging 43.9 yards rushing per game.

Other offensive leaders for PHS include Billy Harshman and Ryan Brandt. Harshman leads the team in rushing with 441 yards and six touchdowns on 120 carries, and Brandt leads the receiving corps with 326 yards and four touchdowns on 21 receptions.

Douglas, like PHS, has had several players turn in big-time efforts this season, but the workhorse of the team is running back Cody Bohlander. He has rushed 117 times for 809 yards and 14 touchdowns this season, and has caught 14 passes for 330 yards and two scores. He ranks second in 4A with 158.2 all-purpose yards per game.

“He's the real deal,” Stringer said. “He's got great speed, and he's got ankle-breaking moves. He's usually over a 100 yards rushing each week, and they like to use him in a lot of different ways.”

The Bearcats also have a solid quarterback — Shane Richendifer. He has completed 71 of 152 passes for 1,187 yards this season. He also has thrown 12 touchdowns and just six interceptions.

Both teams will bring stubborn defenses into the matchup Saturday. Powell has 4A's top-ranked unit in team defense. Powell is giving up 172.6 yards per contest. Against the run, Powell ranks third (96.7 ypg). They also rank third in pass defense (75.9 ypg).

Among the individual leaders for the PHS defense are Trevor Donarski and Matt McArthur. Donarski is ranked eighth in 4A as far as defensive points per game with 16.1. McArthur is 14th with 13.8 defensive point per game.

Douglas brings the fifth-ranked defense into Saturday's game. The Bearcats are the top team in 4A against the pass (66.2 ypg). As for rushing defense, Douglas ranks fifth (122.7 ypg).

The defensive leader for Douglas is Pierre Etchemendy, who ranks third in 4A in defensive points per game (18.7).

The winner of Saturday's semifinal game in Douglas will earn the right to play the winner of Friday night's Buffalo-Cody matchup. That game will be played at Cody and has a scheduled 6 p.m. kickoff.

After an epic campaign season, voters in Park County turned out in remarkable numbers. Voters broke the record for absentee ballots with an impressive 4,217 early ballots, up from the previous record of 3,278.

At the national level, this campaign certainly was historic. At local and state levels, there were no big surprises, but a strong turnout —102 percent of registered voters — showed that voters were invested in this election and wanted their voices to be heard. Cynicism and apathy among Americans hopefully are quieting as freshly-elected candidates take office in the near future.

Locally and nationally, new leaders were chosen.

Nationally, Democrat Barack Obama's election as the 44th president, and first black president in U.S. history, shows Americans were hungry for change and hopeful that Obama will deliver.

Rather than focus on colors — white and black, blue and red — Obama said Tuesday Americans “sent a message to the world that we aren't a collection of red states and blue states. We are, and always will be, the United States of America.”

In a time of economic turmoil, warfare and uncertainty, America needs to stand united.

For Obama to succeed in his presidency, he must govern from the center, not strictly from the left.

In his concession speech, Republican John McCain echoed the sentiment of a united America. He urged his supporters to “find ways to come together to find the necessary comprises to bridge our differences.”

Americans are hopeful that these eloquent words, spoken by Obama and McCain, resonate in our society and are more than mere words, but provide actual results.

Locally, Powell re-elected Scott Mangold as its mayor. Mangold is devoted to the Powell community, has learned much in his first term and hopefully will carry those lessons into four more successful years as mayor.

Mangold is one of Powell's most-recognized voices, and his commitment to promote the town and listen to its citizens will continue to benefit the community. Mangold's strong support among local voters — nearly 64 percent — indicates Powell residents trust his leadership and believe that he's taking the town in the right direction.

Campaign season is finally behind us, but elected leaders know that the work is just beginning.

November 06, 2008 4:15 am

There's Joy in Pantherville

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The Powell Lady Panthers celebrate a state championship following their win over Kemmerer Saturday night. The convincing 3-0 win over the Lady Rangers brought the championship trophy home to Powell for the first time since 1987. Read the whole story below. Tribune photo by Don Amend

November 04, 2008 3:01 am

It's Election Day

Twelve open-poll hours between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. today (Tuesday) will determine much of Wyoming's governance over coming years.

State voters will help pick the United States' next president and choose which three candidates will represent Wyoming in Congress.

The high stakes and a couple tight races are expected to contribute to a big showing at the polls.

“We definitely are expecting an incredible turnout,” said Park County Clerk Kelly Jensen.

November 04, 2008 3:01 am

Powell landfill options are slim

Trucking trash to Cody seen as only choice

The message from recent landfill planning is that unless Park County wants to truck its waste to Casper, there are few viable options on the table — and it's going to be expensive.

“It's essentially one alternative,” said consultant Myra Peak at a Thursday landfill meeting.

That choice is to bring all of the county's garbage to a lined landfill in Cody. However, building a lined cell in Cody would mean a significant increase in costs.

Currently, the landfills of Park County charge $60 for every ton of waste dumped. Based on numbers run by Richard Thiel, a solid waste engineer, that cost could double, and will almost certainly rise.