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News

Killer Cooke City griz euthanized

The sow grizzly bear found guilty of the death of a camper and the injury of two others in Soda Butte campground just east of Cooke City, Mont., on July 28 was euthanized Friday.

Her three cubs were delivered to ZooMontana in Billings on Saturday.

Cross it off the list

Former Powell resident Steinmetz wins national title

When Neven Steinmetz was a student at Powell High School, she participated in the traditional sports —volleyball, basketball, that sort of thing. The thought that 15 years later she might be standing atop the podium as the national champion of an extreme sport never crossed her mind.

But she's slowly getting used to the feeling.

Steinmetz, a 1995 Powell High School graduate, was crowned the 2010 national mountain-cross champion last month after winning the title in Colorado. Steinmetz is currently in the final stages of earning her Ph.D. in chemical engineering at the University of Colorado.

“You have a far-off goal of winning a national championship. I think everyone has some kind of thought along those lines,” Steinmetz said. “But for me, it was still hanging out somewhere over in the dream corner of my mind.”

Mountain-cross, also known as four-cross or simply 4X, is patterned after skier-X or boarder-X, popular X-Games and Winter Olympic events. The sport begins with four riders in the starting gate who must navigate a downhill dirt track filled with tight corners, speed-gathering straightaways and lots of bumps and jumps. The first two riders across the finish line in each heat advance to the next round and continue to race until only the final four riders remain.

Steinmetz successfully navigated all her preliminary races at the national championships without much drama.

Her championship run in the finals more than made up for it.

“I got off to a horrible start in the finals,” Steinmetz said. “Coming around the first turn, my foot came out of my pedal and I was in third place, which isn't good. The tracks we run on usually aren't constructed for passing, so the biggest advantage you have is being the person in front.”

For much of the race's first half, Steinmetz had a battle on her hands just to get into second place. That all changed abruptly as she came out of a corner and faced the second of three straight sections on the track.

“I didn't realize it until I saw myself on the video, but I just got the perfect line through that section,” said Steinmetz. “I went into the straight fighting for second, and then entering the corner at the end of it, suddenly there I am with a shot at first.”

Steinmetz's path through the straightaway enabled her to carry much of her speed into the next corner. It also allowed her to tuck her bike to the inside of the corner while the race leader — who also happened to be the defending world champion in the event — was forced to take a higher outside line. Steinmetz exited the corner with a slim lead and a short while later the pair collided, with only Steinmetz staying upright.

With the other two finalist riders well behind, Steinmetz's only challenge in the final straightaway was remaining atop her bike to cross the finish line.

“I see it and I'm still like, whoa, where did I come from?” said Steinmetz, who is unmistakable on the track on her pink cycle while wearing pink attire as an ambassador for Project Pink, a breast cancer awareness program. “I must have hit all the jumps in that section just perfect to carry that much speed.”

Steinmetz's national title was made even more amazing by her relative short period of time in the sport, as well as the unorthodox route she took in entering it.

Steinmetz's dirt-bike career started as a downhill rider, a more speed-based event in which riders navigate a downhill ski sort of slope with the goal of getting from top to bottom in the fastest amount of time. The thought of entering a mountain-cross race likely would have never crossed her mind had it not been for one thing.

“When I started out, they were desperate for riders to fill the race, so they offered free entries,” said Steinmetz. “I decided to try it out because it was free and I found myself getting addicted to it. Most folks in 4X get into it via BMX racing.”

Steinmetz says she has eight years of experience, five of which has been spent as a pro. Her competition has been at it “a lot longer,” she says.

That she's able to compete at all is somewhat of a miracle. Steinmetz's cycling career nearly ended before it had a chance to start. Eight years ago, while out riding, she was struck by a car.

“I was flat in the middle of the road,” Steinmetz recalls. “I had to have hip surgery. I went through tons and tons of rehab. No way did I ever imagine something like this. I started riding again just to have something to do during the summer and to help with my rehab.”

Gradually, Steinmetz got on a training regimen as she got more and more into the sport. Still, she found her focus split between her schooling and her budding professional riding career.

“School has always been the focus for me, but the last two years it has been more split,” acknowledges Steinmetz.

Considering that she's in the finishing stages of a doctoral thesis, that hasn't always been the easiest of balancing acts.

“The day after I won the national championship, I had to go back and do a huge defense presentation for my Ph.D. committee,” said Steinmetz. “Hopefully I'll be done in April, but that just means my anxiety level is high.”

Steinmetz has an additional reason to feel anxiety. She plans to attend the world championships in Mont Saint Anne in Quebec, Canada, later this month. The event, which is scheduled to take place from Aug. 31-Sept. 5, provides her an opportunity to continue her ascent up the ranks of her sport.

“It's the pinnacle event for our sport,” said Steinmetz. “Whoever wins that day in the finals, they're the world champion.”

Much of the cost of making that trip will come out of Steinmetz's pocket. While she has the luxury of sponsors that help provide much of her equipment, from the bike that she rides to the helmet and safety equipment she wears, the actual travel costs are something she must come up with on her own.

“The United States doesn't pay money to defray costs for gravity events,” Steinmetz said. “It's not something the United States Olympic Committee funds. Back in the 1990s and early 2000s, there was a little money in the sport, but since I started a lot of the sponsorships have been components —which still is nice.”

Steinmetz has set up a Paypal account online for those interested in assisting her with trip expenses. She can be e-mailed at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further information.

Babe Ruth suffers heartbreaker

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Cooper Wise slides into second base as the ball escapes the third baseman's grip during Tuesday's Pacific Northwest regional Babe Ruth tournament opener in Klamath Falls. Tribune photo by Greg Wise

Final-inning homer foils All-Star hopes

Victory eluded the Powell Babe Ruth All-Stars by the slimmest of margins on Tuesday as the team opened play at the Pacific Northwest regional tournament in Klamath Falls, Ore. After leading for much of the contest, Powell was tagged late for a two-run homer, falling 7-6 to northern Oregon representative Hermiston.

Junior livestock sale nets $276,151

We ran 213 kids through the sale,” said auction chairman Joe Bridges. That's up 16 from last year, with more lambs and hogs but fewer steers.

Buyers spent $276,151.50 Saturday at the annual Junior Livestock Sale at the Park County Fair, down slightly from $283,334.45 in 2009.

Montana officials are investigating claims that a photographer may have baited wildlife in the vicinity of the grizzly bear attack that killed a camper near Cooke City, Mont., last week.

“I can confirm there has been an allegation of bear baiting,” said Andrea Jones, information officer for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Wednesday. “We don't know how solid it is at this point.”

Weatherford moves out

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Workers secure a piece of machinery to a truck that will haul it to another location as Weatherford prepares to shut down its operation in Powell. More than a dozen trucks arrived Monday and early Tuesday, and all the equipment was expected to be moved by Tuesday evening. Tribune photo by Don Amend

Semi trucks haul equipment from facility

Alan Road was a busy place Tuesday as Weatherford International began moving equipment from its Powell facility in preparation for shutting down operations in Park County.

An estimated 15 trucks began arriving Monday afternoon. They lined Alan Road on Tuesday waiting to be loaded, and a spokesman said she expected the operation to be completed by the end of the day.

Powell Election Edition

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Click on the front page of the Election Edition to go to a full screen display. Then use the arrows at the outside edge of the page to flip through the Election Edition. If you are done, you can hit the escape or "esc" button on your keyboard. After it reduces back to the Powell Tribune website, it will stay on your most recently viewed page.

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If you would like to print out pages click the "open publication" link just below the screen. On the page you nanagate to there should be a top menu offering sharing, printing and other viewing options.

Where none have gone before

All-Stars reach semifinals before bowing out of regional

The Powell Babe Ruth All-Stars went where none before them have gone — into the semifinal round of the Pacific Northwest regional tournament. The team eventually fell 15-2 in its semifinal encounter against Kitsap, Wash., to miss out on a chance to play for a spot in the Babe Ruth World Series tournament.

No provost at Northwest

Searches planned to replace two vice presidents

After an initial conference with employees in affected areas, Northwest College President Paul Prestwich said he no longer is considering a change in the management structure at the college.

When Sher Hruska, former vice president of academic affairs, and Dana Young, former vice president of student affairs, both left the college last spring, Prestwich said the college could consider changing to a provost form of management. A provost would have supervised both areas, with deans of instruction and students serving under the provost.

Arizona convict nabbed in Meeteetse

U.S. Marshals apprehend Arizona prison break convict in Meeteetse Monday

One of two escaped convicts from an Arizona prison, also suspected in the murder of an elderly Oklahoma couple last week, was captured without incident in Meeteetse early Monday morning.

According to the U.S. Marshals, Tracy Province, 42, was arrested at 6:20 a.m. Monday. He was carrying a handgun and a hitch-hiking sign saying “Casper.”

Page 254 of 268

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