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Tribune Staff

But not as much as feared

Park County's total assessed valuation has dropped significantly from last year — though not as steeply as some had feared.

Numbers finalized on Wednesday say that Park County is worth $741,246,235 this year. That would be a 28 percent decrease from 2009, which saw a record-high valuation of more than $1.033 billion.

Park County voters wanting to see where the Republican candidates for the Wyoming governorship and Park County Commission stand on issues should mark their calendars for Monday.

GOP candidates for the positions will mix it up in two separate events at Cody's Holiday Inn.


Marshall McArthur gets a face full of dirt as he dives into base during recent Powell Babe Ruth baseball action. Tribune photo by John Wetzel

The Powell Babe Ruth Giants and Royals faced off last Monday night with a doubleheader. The evening twinbill was forced by the rains of late.

Tyler Patterson of the Giants started out the first game against Ty Whiteman of the Royals. The Giants jumped out to an early lead and were able to hold it as the Giants came out on top of this one 8-5 in five innings.

Trappers' chances at short go appear slim

With three preliminary rides in the bank, Powell native and Vernon College sophomore Kaleb Asay has positioned himself nicely to reach the saddle bronc short-go at the 2010 College National Finals Rodeo in Casper.

After turning in one of only two rides in Sunday's preliminary round to score more than 80 points, Asay followed it up with performances worthy of 72.5 points on Monday night and 78.5 points on Tuesday night. The 78.5-point ride on Tuesday was the highest-scoring performance among the night's saddle bronc competitors.

Team takes 20-5 record to North Dakota event

The Powell Pioneers American Legion baseball team remained unbeaten in conference play this season with a doubleheader sweep at Jackson on Monday. The pair of wins lifts the Pioneers to a 20-5 season mark as the team prepares to travel to Williston, N.D., for tournament action.

Scotty Jameson led the Pioneers in their game one win against Jackson, throwing seven innings of four-hit ball while striking out 10. Jameson also went 3-for-3 at the plate with a pair of doubles in the contest.

Grant Geiser added a pair of RBIs as part of a 2-for-4 day that included a double. Olie Olson also drove in a pair in the contest.

In game two at Jackson, the Pioneers needed just five innings to wrap up a 10-0 victory. Geiser threw the one-hit shutout, walking three while fanning five.

Following Jameson's lead in game one, Geiser helped his own cause by going 2-for-4 with a home run. Tyler England added a pair of triples, while Jameson drove in three runs with a 2-for-4 showing that included a triple.

The victory was the Pioneers' second doubleheader sweep of the past week. The team also dispatched the Sheridan Troopers by scores of 8-2 and 8-5 in recent home action.

Jameson and Geiser teamed up in the opener, with Geiser earning the win after throwing four innings of relief for Jameson. Jameson left the mound with arm discomfort but remained in the contest.

Dallas Robirds was 3-for-3 at the plate while Geiser knocked in three runs.

In the late game, Colt Nix went the distance, allowing 10 hits and three walks while fanning four in the complete-game victory. Josh Cragoe sent the ball deep against the Troopers for a home run, part of a 3-RBI performance. Jordan Gonnoud added a pair of hits as the Pioneers jumped in front early for Nix and held on for seven full innings.

Sandwiched between the pair of doubleheaders, the Pioneers played three games at Aaron's Tournament in Billings. The Pioneers won one contest at the event, suffering a pair of one-run losses and a rain-out as well.

Jake Beuster picked up Powell's only win in Billings with a complete game against the Bozeman Spikes. Beuster fanned nine Bozeman batters while only walking one in seven innings of work.

Garrett Czapla drove in a pair of runs while Geiser, hitting a whopping .559 to date this summer, padded his average with a 3-for-3 performance at home plate.

A 13-game winning streak ended for the Pioneers with a last-inning loss to Miles City in tourament pool play. Powell's Olson took the loss on the hill after throwing 6.1 innings in which he allowed nine hits and six walks.

England, who arrived late at the field after taking the ACT college placement exam earlier in the day, make his presence felt when he entered the contest in the third inning and promptly delivered a triple. England finished 2-for-2, as did Geiser.

Miles City scored its winning run during its final at-bat.

The Pioneers suffered rare back-to-back losses when the Emmanuel Halos repeated Miles City's formula by rallying in the final at-bat for a 6-5 win in a contest where Powell rested many of its regular players.

Joe Wisniewski took the loss with Czapla coming on to throw the final five-plus innings. Cragoe missed by a double of hitting for the cycle after he finished 4-for-4 with a home run, a triple and three RBIs.

“It was great to see our non-starters go out and compete as well as they did,” said Pioneers manager Mike Jameson. “I was most pleased that our defense had just one error in the game, and that was a throwing error that we wound up turning into a double play when their guy tried to advance on the play.”

Powell heads to Williston, N.D., this week for a four-day tournament starting today (Thursday).

Powell opens the event against Canadian entry Weyburn, Sask., at 9 a.m. The team plays north-of-the-border competition again at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday against the Regina, Sask., Wolfpack. The Pioneers' pool play concludes at 5:30 p.m. on Friday when Powell faces Aberdeen, S.D.

Powell's next home action will be June 25-27 when the Pioneers host their own Heavy Metal Classic tournament.

Put your phone down

On July 1, a law goes into effect making it illegal to text while driving on our state's roads and highways.

While it remains to be seen how, exactly, the law will be enforced, few can argue that it's an important step in keeping our highways safe.

A 2009 study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (one of the world's largest vehicle safety research organizations) found that drivers distracted by texting increased their likelihood of having a crash or near-crash event 23-fold.

Yes, it bears repeating: A driver's risk of being in an accident or a close call increases by 23 times when the driver is texting.

For the sake of comparison, another study by the Virginia Tech institute indicates drivers increase their risk of a crash or near-crash by three times when dialing a cell phone and 1.3 times when talking on a phone.

The study indicates the highest risk comes when drivers eyes are distracted from the roadway — when dialing or reading and sending texts.

According to a New York Times story about the study, texting drivers “typically spent nearly five seconds looking at their devices — enough time at typical highway speeds to cover more than a length of a football field.”

Unfortunately, it's an all-too-common sight around here to see a weaving vehicle — in town or speeding down the highway — piloted by a driver who is texting feverishly and glancing toward the roadway only periodically.

It's scary stuff. Especially considering that some of the most frequent texters are the least experienced drivers.

Beginning July 1, law enforcement will be on the lookout for offenders. But given the enormous risks — to texting drivers and others who share the roadway with them — it's also up to drivers to police themselves.

And, since young drivers are unlikely to be reading Tribune editorials: Parents, please make sure your youngsters are aware of the huge risks of texting while driving before they get behind the wheel.

Most people say that scent is the sense tied to memory — I believe taste is a close second.

After a long night and a short morning of sleep on a recent weekend spent in Billings, I went to breakfast with some friends.

As soon as I opened the menu I knew exactly what I wanted — a Belgian waffle.

Thank you, Perkins, for printing delicious pictures in your menu.

This was no subtle food craving, it was deeply rooted in the cortexes of my brain.

Even the thought of eating this mass of carbohydrates flooded my mind with images of laughing with friends, hours spent writing and the great outdoors near Story, Wyo.

The spark of these memories started at Young Writer's Camp (YWC), which I attended as a high school-aged kid. On the first day of camp in 2004 we were teamed up to write something as partners. I was teamed up with Jason Cooper, the camp faculty member who taught screenplay writing.

Together, we wrote a story about an odd character, Brian Ariel. We decided our protagonist's name should be a combination of characters we liked at the time — The Little Mermaid (his) and Brian Griffin from Family Guy (mine).

Tangent: Nothing epitomizes the YWC like a big burly, bearded man in a red flannel shirt and overalls who knits and likes the Little Mermaid.

The story Jason and I wrote filled one short page in my journal with atrocious chicken scratch I call my penmanship.

Brian Ariel and his best friend “Blank” go on a dining excursion from the pancake house to Baskin Robbins where Brian is continually proclaiming that this and that, from goldfish crackers to waffles, are his favorite foods.

One short line of dialogue from our tale became a catch phrase for me and a tie to camp for years to come.

“Dude, I love waffles.”

After camp there were a handful of meetings of campers at the Perkins in Sheridan to share in the enjoyment and elation of waffles.

At a mere mention, a few YWC alumni proclaimed the need to have another waffle meeting this summer.

This all resulted from a simple memory and the desire to eat a waffle.

I find in times of confusion in life, we often regress or try to find the feelings of simpler times.

I had a stressful couple of weeks recently, and for no reason I had the undying desire to eat waffles with my favorite topping — strawberries. This craving came to fruition that morning at the Perkins just off King Avenue and 19th Street in Billings while I dined in bliss with two newer friends after a night of youthful frivolity.

This, of course, led to the need to connect to my camp friends current and old to reaffirm — dudes, I love waffles.

In short, thanks to camp, I can recall this amazing experience and the feelings of peace and self-realization.

Oh, the magic of camp, simple foods and memories.

The camp is sponsored by the Sheridan Arts Council and takes place from July 24 -31 in Story. Admissions still are open, and applying is easy to do at the camp website,

Francis Charles “FranC” Gillette, 74, died Sunday, June 13, 2010.


Clayton Tucker of Cody, a former Northwest College bull rider, is bucked off during his turn in the Dusty Tuckness/Kanin Asay Classic, which featured freestyle bullfighting and bull riding Saturday night in Cody. Tribune photo by Kevin Kinzley

U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy will hear oral arguments today (Tuesday) in Missoula, Mont., about whether gray wolves can be legally removed from the Endangered Species list in Idaho and Montana while being kept on the list in Wyoming.

Earthjustice, on behalf of 13 wildlife conservation groups, filed the suit, questioning whether wolves, hunted in Montana and Idaho last fall, can be removed from federal protections in those states while remaining under federal protections in Wyoming.

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