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Tribune Staff

Weatherford closure illustrates economic needs

The end of Weatherford's operation in Powell, announced in May, came closer to reality this week.

More than a dozen semis arrived on Alan Road Monday and Tuesday to haul away equipment once operated by more than 40 people in Powell. Those jobs, as well as many, if not most, of the people who held them, will be lost to the Powell community.

The departure of Weatherford, which the company blamed on the economic conditions in the energy industry brought on by the worldwide financial and economic turmoil, is a reminder that Park County, like the state of Wyoming in general, are heavily dependent on one industry: energy production. That industry tends to be volatile, and, as we all know, produces a “boom and bust” economy.

The decision by Weatherford, a Swiss-based company, to close the Powell operation probably was made in Houston, the company's U.S. headquarters. That should remind us that, despite our vaunted Wyoming independence, many elements of our economy are in the hands of stockholders and business executives far away from Powell, and we have little or no control over them.

Still, Powell's economic development efforts must continue trying to attract such businesses to the community.

Fostering the creation or expansion of home-grown businesses is important and should be a big part of the effort to grow the community's economy, but businesses such as Weatherford are a vital element of a healthy economy.

Powell's economic development efforts have slowed in recent months, and they need to be revitalized. Doing so will require an ongoing effort by both individuals and the community. It will require funding, and it will require commitment.

It won't be easy, but Powell has recovered from events such as this before.

We think Powell can do it again.

(Nov. 17, 1922 - Aug. 6, 2009)

Jacob Reichert, Jr., 86, died Thursday morning, Aug. 6, at Rim Shadows in Billings.

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Brekyn Herd tackles his team's pig and Paul Cummings (back) gets ready to join in the action as other teams and spectators watch the sloppy action at the pig mud wrestling event at the Park County Fair Tuesday night. Fair events continue through Saturday night. Tribune photo by Kara Bacon

Peeling surface in aquatic center to be addressed

In the three months since swimmers first dove in, the Powell Aquatic Center (PAC) has registered 478 members and sold more than 6,000 daily youth passes.

“It's been great,” said Carrie Parmer, city aquatics director. “There's just a plethora of activity here, and I think people are really starting to explore it and see what's offered.”

One dead, two injured in attack at campground

COOKE CITY, Mont. (AP) — A mother grizzly and two of her three cubs have been captured after killing a Michigan man and injuring two other people during an overnight rampage through a campground near Yellowstone National Park.

The sow, estimated to weigh 300 to 400 pounds, was lured into a trap fashioned from culvert pipe covered by the dead victim's tent Wednesday evening. The bear tore down the tent again and was caught in the trap, said Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks spokesman Ron Aasheim.

A squirrel or some other electrical interrupter picked a particularly inconvenient time to stray onto the city's electrical grid on Tuesday.

A second outage occurred Wednesday afternoon.

{gallery}07_29_10/pioneers{/gallery}

Powell's Jake Beurster delivers a pitch to home plate during district tournament action last week. On Wednesday, it was Pioneer pitcher Scotty Jameson who delivered both on the mound and at the plate in an 8-7 Pioneer victory. Tribune photo by Randal Horobik

Powell survives opening-round scare with 8-7 victory

The defending Class A champion Powell Pioneers were forced to work overtime in Sheridan at the opening round of the 2010 Wyoming State American Legion baseball tournament, but survived to a spot in today's (Thursday) championship semifinals with an 8-7, 10-inning victory over Torrington.

Scotty Jameson came through with a two-out RBI single in the bottom of the 10th inning to drive across Josh Cragoe, who was hit by a pitch to reach base.

Goal is to still be playing on Sunday

The Powell Babe Ruth All-Stars baseball team will get a distinctive taste of Klamath Falls, Ore., next week, both on and off the diamond. In addition to having to travel to the southwestern Oregon community for regional competition, the All-Stars will also find themselves facing off against two of the local teams on the diamond.

The Pacific Northwest Regional tournament begins Monday evening with the tournament opening ceremony. Competition starts the following day with Powell opening against the northern Oregon representative, Hermiston, a community of approximately 15,000 residents. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m., mountain time.

Team finishes second in consolation bracket

Had it been the World Cup, it would have been called the Group of Death. As it was, Powell's 11-12 Little League All-Stars found themselves in the toughest of pools at the state tournament last week in Riverton.

Dealt into a pool that included three-time defending state champion Laramie, Rock Springs and Torrington, Powell had its work cut out for it at the start of the event. By the time the tournament ended, those same four teams were the only ones from the field of 16 still playing baseball.

During pool play Powell was unable to get much going offensively. Powell opened play against the favored Laramie team, with Laramie winning the game 12-0. The game included five Laramie home runs.

Next, Powell played Rock Springs in what was a must-win contest for both teams if they had any hope to advance to the championship bracket. Despite some outstanding defensive play and pitching, Powell was again unable to muster any offense and lost the contest, 5-0.

The final game of pool play matched Powell against Torrington, which had handed Laramie its first state tournament loss in three years the previous day. Although Powell was finally able to muster some offense, Torrington won the game 11-4.

When single-elimination bracket play began on Thursday, Powell began as the fourth seed from its pool in the consolation bracket. Powell was matched against Lander, who quickly discovered that Powell had found their bats.

Powell scored three runs in each of the first three innings and five in the fifth. Kaden Moore hit a single, a double and a triple, scoring two runs in the effort. Carson Asher had a single and two doubles, and also scored two runs. Jeron Smith, Blaze Flores, Ty Linebaugh, Alex Aguirre and Cole Brown all contributed to the pitching effort and silenced Lander's comeback bid. Powell won the game 14-10.

On Friday, Powell faced a tenacious 3-1 Platte County team from Wheatland. Powell kept its offense going as Ezra Andreasen went 4-for-5 from his lead-off spot, Carson Asher went 4-for-5 with a two-run home run and three singles, and Zac Schuler went 3-for-3 with a double and two singles. Grady Sanders and Blaze Flores combined for the win against the small-ball minded Platte County team. Powell prevailed 12-9.

The win left Powell as one of only four teams remaining in bracket play on Saturday. Laramie and Torrington met in the state championship game while Powell and Rock Springs were meeting for the consolation championship.

Unfortunately for Powell, the Rock Springs team had been able to conserve its pitching ace for the game, and Powell lost the shortened contest 14-0.

“Despite the difficult pool placement, the young Powell ball players demonstrated their character and perseverence by making it to the consolation championship game,” said Chris Brown, coach of the team. “We'd hoped for a better record during the tournament, but the players' no-quit attitude certainly left a lasting impression on their opponents.”

A recent spate of intense trial preparation — followed by the actual trial — took Brad out of our daily lives for nearly two weeks.
Each day, he left for work before Bliss woke up, came home long enough to grab a bite, then was off to the office again until long after Bliss' (and my) bedtime.

I decided the final weekend before last week's trial would be a good time to leave town, so my sister, Hallie, and I took our girls to visit our ailing grandfather in Cheyenne.

By the time we got home on Monday evening, Bliss was missing her daddy something fierce. During our 45-minute dinner with him, she was full of hugs and kisses — but then he went back to the office. When she later asked if she could sleep in our bed, I couldn't say no. And it about broke my heart when she gazed up from the pile of pillows on our king-sized bed, lip poked out and quivering, and asked, “Mommy, is Daddy going to come home to sleep tonight?”

At this point, I think it needs to be said that this type of work schedule is new to Bliss. We're lucky that Brad's job doesn't often demand it, and, as such, we enjoy cooking dinner and hanging out as a family most every night. As such, the adjustment was really hard for her.

So Bliss and I snuggled up close and were quickly sound asleep. When Brad returned after a long night at the office, he joined his snoozing family. And that's when things took a turn — the cozy family snuggle just wasn't meant to be.

Light sleeper that I am, I was the first to vacate the bed for quieter pastures. Brad's snoring had me wide awake in short order, and I crawled into Bliss' pink-sheeted twin bed across the hall. Then, to my surprise, the next morning, when I woke for my early-morning run, I found Brad on the living room couch.

“What are you doing out here?” I asked, half perplexed, but also annoyed at missing a night in my big, comfy bed.

He responded that Bliss' sharp kicks to the ribs were not conducive to his sleep, so he, too, exited our bed.

Upon hearing that, I peeked into our bedroom, to see a somewhat smug-looked child contentedly asleep on my pillow. Sprawled on her back, hands behind her head and her tiny self nearly invisible in the large expanse, Bliss was the picture of — well, Bliss — in our bed.

Shaking my head — and feeling the stiffness in my neck from a long night in a tiny bed — it was not hard to wonder where the justice was in the world. But at least the small child was happy.

Page 475 of 508

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