Powell, WY


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Ilene Olson

First step: Find a way to pay the local match

Northwest College was approved for $9.38 million of state funding this year to help build a new classroom building to give the college more space and address other needs. The question now is how to pay the remaining $4.9 million for the planned $14.25 million structure.

Park County voters will be asked in November whether they are willing to pay a 1 cent tax for four years to help pay infrastructure costs for the county and its municipalities.
Because all of that 1-penny tax would go to local governments, it would provide nearly as much revenue locally as the 4 percent sales tax now assessed by the state of Wyoming. Seventy percent of the existing 4 percent sales tax goes to the state, with the remaining 30 percent going to county and municipal governments.

Gerald Giraud of Oglala Lakota College in South Dakota will be the next vice president for academic affairs at Northwest College.
Currently a vice president for instruction and chief academic officer, Giraud has also served as director of assessment and institutional research at Oglala. He begins his duties at Northwest Aug. 1.

A meeting Tuesday between state officials and the Park County Prevention and Wellness office in Cody did little to alleviate local concerns about the process used to select a statewide fiscal agent for future prevention operations in the Wyoming.

The meeting, called by Wyoming Health Officer Dr. Wendy Braund, gave local prevention workers, partners and supporters a chance to address their concerns to Braund and Marilyn Patton, manager of the Prevention Unit of the Wyoming Health Department.

A decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife to delay future attempts to delist the grizzly by two or three years is the right thing to do.
Many scientists believe the grizzly has recovered as a species and no longer needs to be included on the Endangered Species List. But the most recent legal maneuvers by environmental groups have focused on the decline in whitebark pine trees due to disease and pine beetles. The seeds of the whitebark pine traditionally are an important source of food for grizzlies, and some believe the decline of the trees could threaten the grizzly’s continued recovery.

When Bill Patten took up his new position as chief executive officer for Powell Valley Healthcare on Feb. 27, he missed the proverbial frying pan and landed straight in the fire.

But Patten said he’s OK with that.

“While the learning curve is a lot more steep than I would have guessed it to be, it reaffirms my belief that I can make a difference here,” he said recently.

Patten’s first day on the job came four days after his new employer, HealthTech Management Services, filed a lawsuit against his predecessor, Paul Cardwell, alleging Cardwell had embezzled nearly $850,000 from Powell Valley Healthcare.

During his first day on the job, the Powell Valley Healthcare board voted to join in that lawsuit.

Strategic planning retreat focuses on future at Powell Valley Healthcare

The last year or two have been difficult for Powell Valley Healthcare.

“It kind of started with a change in the system, and it shook our faith in the system,” said Dr. Mark Wurzel, president of the Powell Valley Healthcare board.

After years of legal wrangling and enmity, it is good to see the state of Wyoming and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service finally working together to delist wolves in the state and hand their management over to the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission.

However, even as the Wyoming Game and Fish Department holds meetings around the state to get public feedback regarding wolf hunting in the state, one has to wonder when — or if — that ever will happen.

When considering a new Park County Fair facility, the Park County Commission is right to move forward with care. After all, the estimated cost of $4 million is a substantial investment for a county like ours with a relatively small population.

Commissioners also were wise to hire a grant writer who is expert in seeking out available grants and other possible funding sources. Identifying and applying for possible funding could increase possibilities for the building and reduce the cost of replacing the former Large Exhibit Hall and adjoining buildings.

Photography instructor set to retire in May

Best pay cut I ever took,” Woody Wooden said Tuesday when recalling his 2001 move to Powell to take a position as a photography instructor at Northwest College.

Prior to coming to Northwest, Wooden was a program manager at the Community College of Southern Nevada, where he also taught photography.

“Northwest College had a very strong photography program, and we had just gotten a little baby girl,” he said. “All of the women who are in the program (at the Nevada college) who are born and raised in Las Vegas sort of had a superficial attitude. Everything was instantaneous gratification.

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