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News

66 years after D-Day ...

Heart Mountain homesteader reflects on WWII experience

From his quiet homestead in Heart Mountain's shadow, the beaches of Normandy seem a world away. But when he looks at a photograph or recalls a story, closing his eyes for a moment, Bill Jackson is there again.

Sixty years ago on D-Day, June 6, 1944, Jackson crossed the English Channel, bound for Omaha Beach with thousands of other soldiers.

Treasure Valley remains open

Will rebuild in Powell

Despite the destructive fire that destroyed part of Treasure Valley Seed's Powell facilities during the long weekend, the company opened for business Tuesday morning.

“Business isn't exactly as usual,” said manager Jamie Franko Tuesday morning, “but we're still loading trucks and still processing beans.

Fire consumes bean seed facility

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It was a long night for Powell and Cody firemen last weekend as they battled the fire at Treasure Valley Seed. Firemen attack the fire at the west end of the warehouse from a safe distance just before the wall collapsed toward them. Tribune photo by Don Amend

All-night battle controls major fire

Powell's volunteer firefighters faced a difficult situation when a major fire broke out at Treasure Valley Seed in the middle of a holiday weekend, but they were able to control the blaze in an all-night battle.

Firemen were called to the scene just before 11 p.m. Sunday, and remained on scene until 6:30 a.m. Monday. A building was fully engulfed by the time firefighters arrived.

Nine visitors to Yellowstone National Park were injured — and one hospitalized — when they were struck by lightning at about 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, said a news release from the National Park Service.

All were on the boardwalk or walkways around the Old Faithful Geyser when a small thunderstorm cell produced a single lightning bolt.

Young mountain lion caught in Cody

A young mountain lion was captured west of Yellowstone Regional Airport in Cody Friday, in a cooperative operation with the Cody Police Department and the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.

At 9:53 a.m., police received a report of a mountain lion on property in the vicinity of Ina Avenue, said Vince Vanata of the Cody Police Department.

Man rescued on North Fork

Search and Rescue fords raging river to bring hiker to safety

A Sunday-morning horn-hunting expedition on the North Fork turned into more than Donovan “Shane” Bishop of Cody bargained for after he became disoriented in thick fog and was stranded on the north side of the rain-swollen Shoshone River.

According to the 38-year-old Bishop, who was camping at Wapiti Campground with his girlfriend, Jacque Skinner, of Cody, he set out early Sunday morning with Skinner's dog, Grizzly.

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Demolition crews weakened the steel reinforcements of the old gym by bending them, using a trackhoe as a sort of battering ram Saturday morning, moments before the roof came cascading down. Brisco Demolition, a Cheyenne-based company, is razing the building. Tribune photo by Kara Bacon

Demolition of the old high school gym entered a new phase last week as the walls of the original building began to come down.

The project began in April with internal work. Actual demolition began with the addition to the gym built in the late 1960s, which included the Tartan Gym. That part of the project was completed by Memorial Day, and last week work on the original 1948 building began with the removal of the west wall. Saturday morning the roof came down, which will allow the demolition to proceed from the inside.

A weekend incident on the North Fork called into question the response — or more accurately, the lack thereof — of the Park County Sheriff's office.

It took seven calls to dispatch for Search and Rescue aid -- five from U.S. Forest Service employees or volunteers -- before the Sheriff's Office sent a deputy to assess the situation. The man requesting help was stranded on the far side of the dangerously-high Shoshone River, in heavy rain and mid-40-degree temperatures, with daylight going fast.

He later admitted to being poorly prepared — without food, water or proper clothing — for what he intended to be an hour-long jaunt from his North Fork campsite.

Deputy Aaron Rose said, when he arrived at the scene, “Ninety percent of Search and Rescue cases are due to bad judgment.”

Probably true.

But bad judgment on the hiker's part didn't warrant the sheriff's office lackadaisical — or worse — response.

In a follow-up conversation, Deputy Kirk Waggoner, the Search and Rescue liaison, said the Sheriff's office did not consider the situation an emergency — either before or after the rescue, but decided to err on the side of caution. He asked: “How do you get lost on a river? You either walk upstream or downstream.”

Ultimately, Search and Rescue did respond and brought the hiker to safety, but not before other friends and bystanders considered drastic, dangerous measures. The cold, wet, disoriented hiker said it wasn't as simple as walking upstream or downstream. That's why he asked for help.

Park County Search and Rescue's mission statement says its mission will be met “by responding to calls for assistance in searching for lost or missing persons and rescuing persons in distress.”

While not lost or injured, this hiker was clearly in distress, as indicated by the multiple calls to 911 and county dispatchers.

The Sheriff's office's reluctance to respond — without even an on-the-scene assessment — seems contrary to Search and Rescue's mission and, more broadly, to the role of a law enforcement agency serving the county's citizens.

Opting not to follow the advice of its consultant, the Park County Commission on Tuesday voted to increase funding to its health insurance plan by 10 percent.

The county's private insurance consultant, Eric Deeg of Western States Insurance Agency, had recommended boosting funding to the self-insured plan by at least 20 percent.

Roughing it

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Early on, a wagon overturned while reenacting George Custer's cataclysmic trip to Little Bighorn. Arleen Kessel, of Powell, riding on the wagon train from Mandan, N.D., to Hardin, Mont., was not a happy camper. Courtesy photo/Tom Stromme, Bismarck Tribune

Powell woman rides wagon from North Dakota to Custer's Last Stand

Wagons Ho!

A Powell woman is among five people, four wagons and 14 mules that are trekking from North Dakota to Montana, tracing the doomed route of U.S. Army Lt. Col. George Custer.

Page 267 of 273

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