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A suspected illegal immigrant has been sentenced to 15 to 18 years in the Wyoming prison system for raping a woman in Powell nearly two years ago.

Fabian Ruiz-Estrada, 27, had been tied to the rape through DNA evidence more than a year after it occurred.

On Wednesday, District Court Judge Steven Cranfill accepted a plea agreement and found Ruiz-Estrada guilty of two counts of first-degree sexual assault — one count for making the victim submit by the use of force and another for threatening her with a deadly weapon.

YNP fire kicks-up, but quenched by rain

Although the Arthur 2 Fire in eastern Yellowstone National Park kicked-up recently, precipitation Sunday hampered the fire's growth, leaving fire managers guardedly optimistic it will not spread.

The fire is one and one-half miles southwest of the East Entrance and on the south side of the Middle Fork of the Shoshone River. The fire has caused no closures.

County budget in the black

As local governments scramble for funding and begin pulling money from reserves to balance their budgets, Park County plans to sock away nearly $1 million.

The Park County Commission tentatively approved a $22.9 million budget at its Tuesday meeting, with an additional $921,600 slated to go into reserves.

Powell native on General Hospital'

"I didn't, like, graduate high school and in my yearbook write, ‘Be in a soap opera,' as future plans,” said Daniel Cummings, a 2005 Powell High School alum.

Nevertheless, today (Tuesday), Cummings will make his television debut in a recurring role on the long-running ABC soap opera, “General Hospital.”

Free clinic to change?

Heart Mountain Volunteer Medical Clinic board mulls offer

Which is better for the Big Horn Basin community — a free clinic with community support and limited resources, or a government-funded clinic with far more resources, but accompanied by federal red tape?

That's a question Heart Mountain Volunteer Medical Clinic board members, and eventually the community, will have to wrestle with in the near future.

Lake trout elimination


Aboard Freedom, Yellowstone National Park summer employees, Jake Boone, left, and Hannah Gundernan, right, prepare to unleash a gill net to capture unwanted lake trout in Yellowstone Lake. Mount Sheridan rises in the distance. Tribune photo by Gib Mathers

Extreme measures needed to save Yellowstone Lake native cutthroat trout

Since the mid 1990s, the National Park Service has endeavored to eliminate lake trout from Yellowstone Lake. But the race to save native cutthroat trout there could be lost unless the service adopts extreme measures, said a Trout Unlimited member.

Park Service personnel say they are working on it and will adopt tougher measures in the future.

Different paths lead pair to yoga

Studio co-owners never envisioned being there

They may not be Oscar and Felix, but in their own way Laura Vanderberg and Beth Wipplinger are themselves an odd couple.

Vanderberg is a former triathlete and competitive swimmer who once jumped in her car with her dog and drove around the country for two months until, as she puts it, “Cody found me.” Wipplinger is aspecial education teacher at Powell's Westside Elementary School who, by her own description, is “not competitive and not athletic.”

Reel withdraws from council race

Don't vote for Shea Reel in the Powell City Council race this year; even though his name is on the ballot, Reel is no longer seeking the Ward 1 City Council seat in the primary election.

Reel had filed for the position in May, but said last week that a new job position would make it difficult for him to meet council duties if he were elected this fall.

Roundup resistance

As tolerance evolves, UW researcher tests other herbicides

Farmers have hailed the development of crops such as sugar beets and alfalfa that tolerate applications of Roundup without damage.

Roundup Ready crops aren't harmed by Roundup, which kills weeds along with most broad-leafed plants. That usually allows growers to apply it to replace several applications of other herbicides. Its use can reduce fuel costs and carries other benefits since, unlike other herbicides, Roundup leaves no soil residue.

County approves $23 million budget

The Park County Commission finalized a $23 million budget on Tuesday that will cover the county's day-to-day operations and other projects in the coming fiscal year.

If all goes as planned between the year's start on July 1 and its end on June 30, 2011, the county also will be able to place $836,000 in reserves.

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