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Powell, WY

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CJ Baker

A Powell teen has been charged with vehicular homicide in connection with a crash that claimed the life of a 16-year-old girl last summer.

Jack Farwell, 18, turned himself in on a warrant on Friday on the misdemeanor charge. At his arraignment in Park County’s Circuit Court in Cody on Monday, Farwell pleaded not guilty. He was released on a $10,000 personal recognizance/signature bond.

Snowmobile visits to Yellowstone through the park’s East Entrance this winter doubled from last year, though recreational visits as a whole dipped slightly, with fewer park skiers.

From Dec. 22 through March 1, a total of 170 snowmobilers went through the east gate, up from 85 the prior winter season, park service data says.

Powell added nearly 1,000 new residents over the past decade, boosting its population to 6,314 residents, the 2010 census found.

The census data, released Thursday, shows the city of Powell experienced a 17.5 percent growth rate between April 2000 and April 2010, one of the strongest rates among Wyoming’s municipalities.

The Lady Panthers face a familiar foe in their opening match-up at the Class 3A state basketball tournament in Casper.

At 10:30 a.m. today (Thursday), the Powell High School girls (12-13 overall) will meet up with their counterparts from Buffalo High (18-8). PHS will look to avenge a 43-32 loss to the Lady Bison earlier this year.

Wachsmuth awarded $30,001 in civil suit

A federal jury has awarded $30,001 to a Powell woman, finding the Powell Police Department used her a human shield in violation of her constitutional rights during a search of her home for drugs two years ago.

The jury also found that two officers who deployed a flashbang in the home’s master bedroom did so in a potentially unsafe manner.

PHS girls claim third at regionals

The Lady Panthers basketball team made the third time a charm at regionals, avenging two regular season losses to Worland to take third place at the Class 3A West regional tournament.

After losing to Worland by 20 points a week earlier, the Powell High School girls came back to beat Worland on Saturday in a 38-36 nail-biter.

A federal jury has awarded $30,001 to Tricia Wachsmuth in her civil rights lawsuit against the Powell Police Deparment, finding that officers unsafely deployed a flashbang and used her as a human shield while executing a search warrant at her home two years ago.

The jury rejected Wachsmuth's claims that the officers didn't knock and announce their presence and immediately entered the East North Street home. The jury determined police knocked, announced, and waited a reasonable amount of time before ramming open the door and that their plan to enter was constitutional.

Plaintiff requests $590,000, defense asks for dismissal

At press time Wednesday, a federal jury was mulling whether the Powell Police Department violated the constitutional rights of a city resident when they searched her and her husband’s home for drugs two years ago.

The case was handed to an eight-member jury just after 1 p.m., following 11 days of testimony and arguments in the U.S. District Court of Wyoming in Cheyenne in a lawsuit brought by the woman, Tricia Wachsmuth.

The Powell police officers who deployed a flashbang during a 2009 search of a Powell couple’s home for drugs did not know exactly where the device would land before deploying it, but they were comfortable no one was in the area, they testified last week in a federal civil rights trial over the police department’s actions in the search.

Two of the Powell police officers who participated in the 2009 drug search of Tricia and Bret Wachsmuth’s Powell home say they were concerned Tricia Wachsmuth was allowed to lead the officers into the home’s basement before it was cleared. However, they and the other officers who entered the basement that night agree that Tricia Wachsmuth went willingly and was not forced to do so.

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