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`BUTCH CASSIDY GANG’ GIVEN PARDON - WITH A 100-YEAR-LONG CONDITION

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Butch Cassidy and his gang swooped down on Montpelier on Thursday, much as they did 100 years ago during a well-known robbery.

This time, however, Gov. Cecil Andrus was there, not to apprehend them, but to grant them a pardon, on the condition they would provide continuing public service to the Oregon Trail Rendezvous without complaint for the next 100 years.The ceremony at Montpelier was one of the more colorful centennial events of the day for Andrus, who has been celebrating the 100th anniversary of statehood in southeast Idaho since Tuesday. That's when he participated in Idaho Day in Franklin.

The governor and Harry Magnuson, chairman of the Centennial Commission, toured Montpelier in a historic stagecoach, escorted by the Bear Lake Rangers, a cavalry group dressed in authentic clothing.

Andrus presented Idaho Farm Bureau Century Farms Awards to honor southeastern Idaho farms operated by the same families for the last century, then was treated to a Bear Lake Valley culinary delight - "grasshopper wings." The chicken wings were cooked in Dutch ovens for the public.

Andrus and Magnuson arrived at the Union Pacific Railroad Depot to greet some 320 Wyoming passengers on Union Pacific Railroad's Wyoming-Idaho Centennial train, which left Cheyenne on Wednesday. The Wyoming residents, also celebrating their state's centennial, disembarked, so Idahoans could ride the next legs of Centennial route.

It ends in Boise on Tuesday, Statehood Day. The train returns to Pocatello July 4 and hits Cheyenne again July 7 and remains on display there through July 9.

Some 800 Idahoans were expected to ride the train Thursday on a route through southeastern Idaho communities winding up at Pocatello, said Kathleen Carney, local centennial coordinator.

A Pocatello party Thursday night was to commemorate the USO office in Pocatello that stood by the railroad depot and entertained military personnel passing through during World War II. People dressed in uniforms of the era representing all branches of the armed forces were to serve punch and cookies and present a display of pictures from 1940 and 1941.

The train will stop Friday at American Falls, Shoshone, Gooding, Glens Ferry, Mountain Home, Nampa, Payette, Weiser, Caldwell, Boise and Bliss before returning to Boise on Statehood Day.