Stories for December 2003


Tuesday, December 30

Help available for starting the new year on the right foot

Most of us are guilty. It's difficult to find many who aren't.

County tweaks 2003 budget for final time

Museum hours cut; Shadow Mountain rates to increase

The Moffat County Board of Commissioners ended 2003 Tuesday by shifting unspent money from several different departments to make up for shortfalls in the county's supplemental budget.

Herndon still hoping for shot at big leagues

Normally this time of year Junior Herndon would be preparing to move south to train for the upcoming baseball season. This year he's spending his time in Craig with his wife, Sadie, who is expecting their second child in January, and teaching local youth about the sport he loves.

Baseball players get back to basics

Last summer Josh Satterwhite came within a foot of hitting a home run out of the biggest baseball field in Craig. This winter he hopes his work with a wood bat will increase his bat speed to allow him that extra foot.

Craig Police

Last-minute shoppers boost holiday sales in Craig

Reports from local merchants about their holiday sales are as varied as the merchandise they carry, yet many agree that what might have been a dismal month was saved by a flurry of last-minute shoppers.

Monday, December 29

Back-breaking labor

Chiropractors warn against the dangers of shoveling snow

The snow that brings recreation and tourism to northwest Colorado also brings the mandatory shoveling work and related injuries that keep chiropractors busy.

Residents have few options for disposing of used Christmas trees

Soon the festive decorations that marked the holiday season will be coming down and returning to their hiding places.

Food bank stores low following holiday giveaways

It seems there's no end to the towering stacks of canned food reaching halfway to the ceiling at Craig's Inter-Faith food bank.

Daniel Vincent McDiffett


Craig Police


Two men arrested for drugs, weapons charges

The arrest Saturday of two men on drugs and weapons charges is the latest incident in an apparent trend in which police apprehend previous offenders in possession of guns and drugs.

Sunday, December 28

TMH officials to discuss budget

Board of trustees to meet one day early this month

TMH, which recently received last-minute news of the $50,000 loss in funding from Moffat County, will review revisions to the 2004 budget at its December meeting.

Moffat County Commissioners reconsider future of Shadow Mountain Clubhouse

The Moffat County commissioners are scheduled to make a formal decision Tuesday on the future of Shadow Mountain Clubhouse and deliberate changes at the museum.

Singing sisters

Music remains a strong tradition for Craig woman's family

Growing up, Amy, Jody and Kacy Hazen traveled with their family to perform music for church audiences. Today the Hazen sisters have families of their own, but music continues to keep their sisterhood strong and may even make them famous.

'Charge it' -- words mean long-term debt

Holiday debt soars, credit counselors offer tips

Zack Williams pulled out the plastic in order to buy Christmas presents for his family this year.

Wrestling coach earns national recognition

Ron Linsacum isn't sure what's better -- traveling to St. Louis to pick up a prestigious coaching award, or being there while the nation's best collegiate wrestlers vie for a national title.

Resident the victim of telephone scam

A Craig man who lost nearly $400 as a result of a telephone solicitation is making public the details of his experience, hoping to protect others from similar situations.

Thursday, December 25

Craig police

While some relax, others work

During the holiday season, newspaper articles, radio greetings and organizers from many local events ask residents to be thankful for what they have and to keep those in need in mind.

Bail bond agencies see increase

Local businesses see larger, more bonds in 2003

Bail bond agencies in Craig are reporting increased revenue in 2003 due to a busy district court docket, in which the number of criminal cases has reached record numbers.

Baseball clinic available next week

To play baseball during the winter many professional baseball players head south. Those in Craig dreaming of the dirt diamond will get their chance to play without plane tickets to Arizona at the 2003 Bulldogs Best Baseball Clinic next week.

Running vehicles targets for theft

Drivers who warm up vehicles should lock doors with spare keys

While driving to work on cold mornings, Officer Dale Secules often sees the taillights of parked cars glowing in the predawn darkness, as drivers wait in their homes while their cold cars warm up. It's a wintertime practice common in Craig as well as in larger metro areas. It's also a risky practice that could cost unwary motorists their vehicle. "Out of Denver, there's an increase in vehicles stolen because people are warming up their vehicles," Secules, a Craig police officer, said. Although he hasn't seen any such vehicle thefts in Craig lately, he said that doesn't mean it won't happen.

The sound of music

Local woman attempts to start parade band

One important element has been missing from Craig's last few parades. Floats, fire trucks, ambulances and veterans have all been part of Grand Olde West Days, the Moffat County Fair and the annual Festival of Lights, but marching bands have been noticeably absent. Craig resident Karen Brown is out to do something about it. Even if she can't get 76 trombones in the big parade, she'd like to see a few horns, some woodwinds and a couple of drums.

Meeker man brings cheer to small town

Meeker -- When you see "The Flower Man" walking in the community, give him what he calls the "Meeker wave." He's one heck of a guy to know. Charles Cady, 78 years old, has been a Meeker resident for eight years, arriving from the star-filled environment of Burbank, Calif. where he worked as an electrician for the movie and television industry for 25 years.

All-state honors go to four Bulldogs

First all-conference, now all state awards have been given to the Moffat County High School football team.

Behind the scenes

Fairfield Complex manager needed career change, offers community service

This season there are many individuals working behind the scenes to assist with numerous festivities. Tony LeMatrie is one who has a big job. LeMatrie is the manager of the Fairfield Complex in Meeker, a well known location for community events.

Celebration of the gift of giving.....

Seniors reap benefit of generous community

Dora Dalton felt a draft in her apartment at Sunset Meadows, but fixing the problem by her own means was out of the question this month. Living on a fixed income, Dalton knows how to make dollars stretch. Though she wanted a portable space heater, other costs, like the recent purchase of a new pair of eyeglasses, topped her priority list.


Local six-year-old snocross competitor sponsored locally, nationally in winter event

As he begins his second season of snocross racing today in Steamboat Springs, A.J. Stoffle's number of supporters has grown from one to six national sponsors and at least 15 local sponsors in the last six months. The only problem is that the competition gear he keeps receiving from his sponsors is too large for a six-year-old. "I keep calling the company to remind them that a large jersey will fit his dad, but not him," said A.J.'s mom, Terresa Stoffle. "The last couple they've sent are getting smaller, but his older sister can wear the last jersey they sent him."

Wolves sighted in Wyoming

Officials say sightings near Baggs no need for immediate alarm

Wolf sightings near Baggs, Wyo., have been confirmed by the National Wildlife Health Center, but it is still early for local ranchers and hunters to grow alarmed.

Edna paulson

Touch of Spice

Our family had the pleasure of an early visit from St. Nick early on Christmas Eve. Reactions ranged from unbridled enthusiasm (cousin Isiac) to clear skepticism (cousin J.T.). From my girls, Santa Claus met trepidation (Katie) and uncertainty (Nikki).

Late arrival could mean missed flights

Yampa Valley Regional Airport has cracked down on security in response to the nation's heightened terrorism alert, but travelers haven't been dissuaded from completing their holiday plans.

Brannan Kyle Allen

CNCC offers diverse courses

Moffat County residents have opportunity to learn for free

Northwest Colorado residents have until Jan. 14 to take advantage of Colorado Northwestern Community College's diverse offerings.

Future of beef market uncertain

Officials say it's too early to know effects of Mad Cow disease discovery

The discovery this week of Mad Cow disease in the U.S. has raised questions about the future of the beef market, especially in Colorado, which ranks in the top 10 beef producing states.

Pro wrestlers seek elk, find venue

Pair pursuing plans to book match, offer residents unique entertainment

A pair of professional wrestlers who visited northwest Colorado to hunt elk is now pursuing plans to book a match in Craig. Gerald Krueger, who answers to the name, "Heavy Duty," said he and his colleagues at IWF Promotions enjoy working in small towns, where they've played to crowds with as few as 30 people.

National issue hits home

GRAMNET, attorneys disagree over application of law

The defense attorney for a Hayden medicinal marijuana user is questioning the ethics of a local drug task force, which appears to be ignoring a court order to return some of his client's property. The Grand, Routt and Moffat Narcotics Enforcement Team (GRAMNET) has until Monday, Dec. 29 to return marijuana plants, marijuana pipes and two ounces of marijuana seized in an October raid of the home of Don Nord, 57, of Hayden. Nord is registered as a legal user of marijuana under Amendment 18 of the Colorado constitution, which allows individuals suffering from certain debilitating conditions to use the drug.

Tuesday, December 23

Robert M. Main


Carol Lee Dunn


Homeland Security grant to improve communications

Right now it's easier to talk to someone on the inside of the Public Safety Center from its parking l0t outside. But that should change with the help of grant money Moffat County received recently from the Department of Homeland Security.

Daniel Vincet Mcdiffett


Salvation Army collections top last year

Vigorous bell ringing from Salvation Army volunteers at stores around Craig seems to have worked again.

Flu deaths

Local man dead after complications from flu

Public health officials Tuesday confirmed the deaths of two local men from flu-related causes.

Historic downtown sees last-minute shoppers out in droves

The night before Christmas Eve, many last minute shoppers were discovering that shops in Downtown Historic Craig provide many deadline gifts.

MCHS Academic All-State fall athletes named

The Colorado High School Activities Association recognized the tradition of Moffat County High School academics and athletics for the fall naming 19 first-team All-State academic athletes.

Fees increase

County losing money on current open records request load

Starting Jan. 1, Moffat County will increase charges for copies of open records by 25 cents per page, bringing the cost of one document page to $1.25.

A plea for stronger justice

A person suspected of a DUI spends $750 to bond out of jail. It's either that or stay in jail until court is in session and leave your fate to a judge.

Monday, December 22

Residents thankful for kindness

Joe Orris

Hazel Killillay VanDeusen


Cub John Chivington


Recall effort still a go

County fire plan recognized by state

Award could open door to new grant dollars

Moffat County officials accepted an award at Monday's commission meeting from state fire management representatives for being the forerunners on the completion of a staged three-year long fire management plan.

Commissioners increase user fees at Shadow Mountain; may keep facility open

Moffat County Commissioners approved a motion to increase user fees at the Shadow Mountain Clubhouse by more than 50 percent effective Jan. 1. Commissioners will make a formal decision on the matter at a Dec. 30 commission meeting.

It's a trip

People take advantage of phones, agents, Internet to book vacations

With the advent of the Internet and online shopping, residents wishing to escape Northwest Colorado to lower latitudes or famous destinations have more choices than just a local travel agent.

Fire department tanker unusable, expensive replacement needed

Mechanical problems rendered one of Craig Fire/Rescue's tankers unusable, and fire officials are weighing several options for restocking the fleet.

Counterfeit bill isolated incident

Police investigate 1998 redesign passed at Kmart

Craig Police continue to investigate a case involving a counterfeit $20 bill passed at a local business, but the incident appears to be isolated, according to Craig Police Lt. John Forgay.

Sunday, December 21

Gasoline prices steady throughout holidays

Fluctuations in gasoline prices around the state last week have had little effect boosting already high gas prices in Northwestern Colorado.

Some stores make last-minute Christmas shopping convenient

Convenience stores that once offered snacks, soda, cigarettes and a selection of essentials have increased their wares to offer a new variety of merchandise that occasionally caters to beyond-last-minute shoppers.

Craig Police

Officials work to balance recreation, wildlife in refuge

Officials with the Browns Park National Wildlife Refuge want to take a closer look at the recreational uses in the area to determine if they are compatible with the Refuge's goal.

Swimmers earn top finishes, no state berths

There are no state qualifications yet for the Moffat County High School girls swim team, but coach Ed Stehlin isn't worried.

Craig man establishes reputation as beacon of light

Although it flickered briefly in recent weeks, "the star" on top of the sandrocks has been restored to its former brightness after several residents called local dispatchers in concern for the holiday landmark.

And the band ...played on

Moffat County High School graduate works to make his love of music a career

It's an iconic American image.

Warrior gives wrestlers a wake-up call

Grand Junction -- Senior Jesse Brookshire was bloody and exhausted but he could still manage to smile after wrestling back from a third round loss to win third place in the 130 pound weight class at the Warrior Classic wrestling tournament.

Proposal stiffens penalty for driving without insurance

Every day, Deputy Dan Burke of the Moffat County Sheriff Department writes up at least one motorist for driving without proof of insurance.

Thursday, December 18

4-H news

Get updated on events, activities and accomplishments of the Moffat County 4-H program.

Touch of Spice

I remember winter being a fun time when I was a little kid. I want my daughters to have the same memories.

Benjamin Loren Dunning


Mildred "Mickie" M. Monroe


Nikolais Alexander Wright

Wrestlers ninth after first day of Warrior

The first day of the Warrior Classic went about as expected for Moffat County High School wrestlers. What they didn't expect was that eight other teams would be in front of them when the day ended.

Top-10 ranked Cougars take Bulldogs down

Boys basketball team suffers 64-46 loss to Evergreen

The Moffat County High School boys basketball team knew going into the game that Evergreen was a high-scoring team.

Dinosaur Charter School gets green light from school district

The Moffat County Board of Education unanimously approved the application for a Dinosaur Charter School at its board meeting Thursday night.

Woodshop Wonders

Santa, elves distribute toys to Craig children

Signs leading up Finley Lane showed the way to the North Pole Thursday night, and they were right on. As parents with small children in tow walked into the Moffat County High School wood shop, they were met with a deafening whir of activity as elves hammered nails and pushed saws in earnest, kicking out a medley of toys.

Talk of the Town

Each Saturday, four local residents, whose comments will be featured for a three-month period, will be a sounding board of opinion on topics both local and national. Check in each week to hear from your neighbors. Call 824-7031 you're interested in participating in 'Talk of the Town. This week's topic: How big a problem do you perceive illegal drug use in Craig to be?

Bad Dawgs good at Vegas tournament

It turns out if a team was from Colorado and had "bad" in its name at the Las Vegas National wrestling tournament, it was going to do well.

Budget cuts could close care clinic

The Memorial Hospital is reworking its 2004 budget, which was already adopted by the hospital board, after county budget cuts stripped $50,000 from TMH coffers.

Commissioners consider filing lawsuit for defamation

Defamation, harassment may be listed in allegations against former resident

Moffat County Commissioners have decided it's time to look into taking legal action against the parties they hold responsible for the collapse of the Public Safety Center refinancing loan.

Food, books, electronics at top of lists

Even though Christmas is six days away, it's not too late shop locally for last-minute gifts.

Reishus jailed, released

Former Craig nurse charged with 'committing a mischievous act'

Former Craig nurse Donna Reishus was released from police custody in Punta Gorda, Belize, Thursday night following 48 hours of incarceration.

SAPP students shine

More than $3,600 raised for drug programs

The elementary school students ate their breakfasts as police officers milled about the room. Some officers sat with them and talked. Then Undersheriff Jerry Hoberg announced they had five minutes to finish their breakfasts and get into the police cars waiting outside.

Warrior might be out of reach

It's not something heard often from a Moffat County High School wrestling coach, but Roman Gutierrez isn't predicting a win for his team this weekend at the Warrior Classic in Grand Junction.

Charges against commissioners under review

Two affidavits filed against the Moffat County Commissioners are still "under review," according to investigating attorneys.

Move to improve efficiency

Volunteer crew to split into battalions

Craig Fire/Rescue will split into "battalions" when responding to minor calls, after the Craig Rural Fire Protection District board of directors voted Thursday to allow the practice on a "trial basis" for six months.

Ladies take charge on the home court

Thursday at practice, Moffat County High School girls basketball coach Craig Mortensen prepared his team to face one of the top players in 4A, Evergreen's Jennifer Whetten. When Friday night's game time came, the Bulldogs found out that preparation wasn't necessary.

It's a trip

People take advantage of phones, agents, Internet to book vacations

With the advent of the Internet and online shopping, residents wishing to escape Northwest Colorado to lower latitudes or famous destinations have more choices than just a local travel agent.

Recall effort is too little, too late

There's no changing the facts.

Wednesday, December 17

USPS to handle millions of parcels

Local carriers twice as busy as normal

United States Post Office officials predicted Wednesday would be the biggest delivery day of the year, although Craig's postmaster expects the rush to come a few days later.

Cougars enter break undefeated

Mike Armstrong's slap shot may have been hampered by a cast on his wrist, but the injury didn't stop him from scoring twice for the Craig Cougar midget hockey team this weekend against Vernal, Utah.

A special buckle

Local saddle bronc rider earns eighth World Championship

Saddle bronc rider Wes Hertzog proved he still has it at the age of 51.

Residents voice concerns about elimination of EMS position

Irate Maybell residents turned out to voice their opinions about the newly cut Maybell emergency medical services coordinator position.

Hunter's privileges revoked

Illegal hunts net Arizona man jail time, fines

Judge Mary Lynne James showed little sympathy when she sentenced a former Craig man for wildlife crimes Tuesday, despite the defense attorney's claim that the crimes were motivated by "financial hardships."

County Assessor to fight 2001 tax abatements

Salt River Project could cost local taxpayers thousands

The old adage that you can't escape death and taxes may again ring true for Moffat County taxpayers.

Craig Police

Tuesday, December 16

Middle school teams take district tournament

The Craig Middle School basketball teams went to Rangley last weekend with a mission to become district champions. Mission accomplished. The eighth-grade team completed an undefeated season with a 60-14 win against Meeker in the first round and a 46-32 victory in the championship game over Steamboat Springs.

Aspiring hoopsters finish up season

The only thing completely official about the Craig Parks and Recreation third- and fourth- grade basketball league is that the boys enjoy their hoops. "I just like playing the game and having fun," said Rodney Hatfield of the Blizzards. "One day I think we can all go to college and play together." Tuesday night the Blizzards and their opponents, the Blue team, played in the last game of the night at Sunset Elementary School. For the Blue team it is was the last game of the season. "I'll miss playing with my team," said Paul Laliberte. "They were good teammates."

County personnel face reality of cuts

Departments reorganizing workload

The directors of several Moffat County departments are searching for ways to deal with personnel cuts included in the 2004 county budget. The Museum of Northwest Colorado lost its five part-time employees. One of the two Natural Resources Department employees was eliminated. An assistant's position in the Human Resources Department that was just made full-time in October has been returned to part-time. And the emergency service coordinator position with the Maybell Ambulance Service has been eliminated.

Local vets push for medical care

Hopes for local VA

It's well before the sun rises when two Routt County veterans, Michael Condie and Michael Ilku pile into a vehicle and head to the doctor's office. The duo leave Steamboat Springs traveling the dark roads to Craig at a quick clip, before picking up fellow Moffat County veteran, Robert Cooper. But the group wastes little time and is off again, pressing to meet appointments scheduled throughout the morning at the Grand Junction VA Medical Center.

Felon considers plea agreement

After skipping a sentencing hearing and fleeing to Texas, convicted felon Donald Manley has been forcibly returned to Craig to face charges of bond violation and criminal mischief. On Tuesday, Manley, 43, waived his right to a preliminary hearing. He is due in district court on Jan. 9 to enter a plea for the charges.

North Park to receive spring facelift

New equipment caters to all ages, interests

The lot euphemistically referred to as a "park" has changed over the years. Old and dangerous playground equipment has been removed, leaving only a baseball field and a short sledding hill. The city's insurance carrier at one point recommend it be closed. Nonetheless, youth are drawn there. It's their only option within walking distance. Kids who drag their dogs or their sleds from home to North Park will be in for a treat by next summer when the city installs more than $30,000 worth of playground equipment.

Preventative measures key to lower bills

Local utility companies provide free home assessment services

As the mercury in thermometers drops this winter, there are a few things homeowners can do to make their heating bills follow suit. Yampa Valley Electric Association can help owners of residential properties find cold air leaks with the help of a thermal imaging camera. YVEA provides the service free of charge, Jan. 5 through Feb. 27. Using technology similar to that employed by the military during Desert Storm, Brian Thornton, Member Service Advisor at YVEA, makes an hour long VHS tape of a home using a camera that records all cold areas and objects in dark shades and all warm areas and objects in bright shades.

Monday, December 15

Craig Police

Daniel McDiffett

Residents value literacy, library

Over-the-counter drug subject to teen use, abuse

Craig Police are trying to raise awareness among parents and school personnel about an over-the-counter drug commonly being abused by youth nationwide.

Library will remain open

Commissioners reduce the number of mills they'd planned to divert from library revenue

Changing a few numbers means a big difference in the fate of funding for the Craig/Moffat County Library, officials witnessed at the Monday night's board meeting.

Transportation service in need of volunteers

The Moffat County Human Services Volunteers are looking for more help in the face of growing demand from local residents, according to coordinator Annie Reuer.

Commissioners chop services, personnel

Commissioners make final 2004 budget cuts

Moffat County Commissioners issued final decisions Monday morning to balance the 2004 budget including cuts to a wide variety of county services and a handful of personnel.

Sunday, December 14

Author to sign book at museum of Northwest Colorado

Facility director touts experience as 'rarity'

A Vernal, Utah author whose first book on local history sold out almost immediately will be signing revised and expanded editions of her book Blue Mountain Folks, Their Lives and Legends, Tuesday at the Museum of Northwest Colorado.

Carol Lee Dunn

Robert Main

James William Griffin


Craig Police

Local auto parts store services help at-home mechanics do it themselves

John Ponikvar calls it the most well traveled vehicle in Craig.

Offense eludes Bulldogs in final game

Somewhere between the hotel and Virgin Valley High School in Mequite, Nev., the Moffat County boys basketball team's ability to make a basket was lost. At least that's is the way it looked Saturday in the Bulldogs' final game of the Virgin Valley Holiday Cactus Classic tournament.

'Rookies' to join the ranks

Firefighters induct new members

Three new firefighters were honored Saturday at Craig Fire/Rescue's annual Christmas party, where the department also presented awards to retiring firefighters and the Firefighter of the Year.

Benjamin L. Dunning

Grapplers take Rock Springs duals despite being undersized

Sickness and an injury made it necessary for the Moffat County High School wrestling team to change things up a bit in Rock Springs, Wyo., but the results were no different.

Dollie Louise Shelton

Women find fellowship in books

Local readers gather to discuss books, life

A national bestseller and its characters came to Craig Thursday when eight women of the Craig Book Club gathered to discuss their latest read.

Santa spotted in several Craig locations

Warning: Christmas secrets will be revealed in the following article.

Thursday, December 11

TMH to gauge site preference

Public sentiment polled

A firm paid by The Memorial Hospital soon will poll Moffat County residents to determine public sentiment regarding the proposed replacement hospital.

County to operate like others in state

Workman's compensation policy change could save county thousands

Moffat County commissioners agreed to change a worker's compensation policy that could have saved the county almost $70,000 this year.

MCHS dance team looks to state competition

For one team it was a forgotten uniform and first-performance jitters, for the other team it was a couple of missed steps at the regional competition, which left the desire for a better performance. The Moffat County High School dance and cheer teams hope that those miscues are behind them when they compete in the state championships in Denver Saturday.

New local taxi to hit street Friday

Craig's one and only taxi will hit the city streets for the first time Friday night, if things go according to plan.

Trinity Hope Virginia Gonzales

Holden Paul Beckett

Another Quick returns

Members of the Quick family are breathing a sigh of relief.

Craig police

Benjamin Dunning

Touch of Spice

Scare tactics

"Tooooommmmy!" sounded one small, but demanding voice.

On pins and needles

Moffat County Commissioners face a tough task this week -- which valued county employees will be unemployed by Christmas?

Convicted felon

Theft, burglary, forgery among charges

A Moffat County jury convicted a Craig man Tuesday of 15 felony counts after a two-day trial and more than three hours of deliberation.

TMH seeking student volunteers

Opportunity great for community service, resume building

High school students wishing to bolster their college resumes with community service should look to The Memorial Hospital, which is looking for volunteers to man the phones and greet customers in the evenings, said Pam Thompson, TMH's community relations director.

Beef prices at record high

Some local ranchers unable to take advantage of boom

Beef prices are at a record high, but some local ranchers are unable to take advantage of the opportunity one agricultural economist calls the 'chance of a lifetime.'

Bulldogs beat Virginia Valley 44-35

Mesquite, Nev.-- Looks can be deceiving.

Wednesday, December 10

County cuts snowplowing services

Moffat County Road and Bridge workers won't have to plow as many rural roads this winter, according to a decision by county commissioners earlier this week.

Drivers fooled by no-fault promises

Motorists 'misled,' insurance rates not on decline

Six months after Colorado's legislators repealed no-fault auto insurance laws, insurance agents and motorists alike are realizing they've been fooled.

Grant to pay for water plant upgrades

Roughly one-fifth of the giant Homeland Security grant that was awarded to Craig and Moffat County agencies Friday will pay for security upgrades at local water treatment facilities.

Declining revenue blamed for crisis

Falling property values, increasing expenses cited as reasons for budget cuts

Moffat County Commissioner Les Hampton blamed declining property assessment values and increasing expenses for the county's current financial woes at a meeting with county employees on Wednesday.

Hoopsters in Utah for Virgin Valley Holiday Classic

Moab, Utah -- Last year, the Moffat County High School boys basketball team traveled all day before its first game in the Virgin Valley Holiday Classic and it showed.

County still seeking cuts from sheriff's office

Although the Moffat County Sheriff's Department has cut operating expenses by 18 percent, their budget will still increase by 3.8 percent in 2004.

Flu vaccine in short supply in Northwest Colorado

VNA encourages common sense, prevention

Public health officials in Craig waited anxiously Friday for 300 doses of influenza vaccine, but several faxes they received made them wonder if the vaccine would ever arrive.

MCHS scheduling English classes

Tuesday, December 9

Seventh grade endures first loss

The streak is broken.

Council considers hospital board's conundrum

If The Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees wants to build a new hospital in the existing Russell Street site, they'll have to go to a vote of the people whether they need a tax increase or not.

Ann Ducey


Audrey May Jepkema


Bad Dawgs off to Vegas

Fourteen pee wee wrestlers leave Thursday for nationals

The Bad Dawgs Wrestling Club of Craig has been dominating the Intermountain League in Colorado. That domination is not expected this weekend in Las Vegas.

Joyce Mary Ferguson


Donovan Lee Disch


CSAP scores bracket local schools in 'average' category

Schools in the Moffat County District are considered average compared to Colorado schools according to the recently released 2002-03 state accountability reports.

'Penny per pound' strategy benefits Advocates

Collecting a penny per pound of weight lost may not raise a lot of money, but the challenge has had a huge impact on the 110 members of Weight Watchers in Northwest Colorado. In turn, they're turning their success into a blessing for women struggling to get out of the oppressiveness of abusive situations.

Officials question city contributions

County official says city contributes very little to 'quality of life' compared to county

Craig's responsibility to fund "quality of life" projects and trouble among Moffat County officials were two hot topics during a contentious discussion between Moffat County Commissioners and county elected officials on Tuesday.

Craig Police

Monday, December 8

Fire results in store evacuation

Fire officials said a faulty light or a ballast caused a fire in the ceiling of a Craig grocery store Sunday.

County seeks another $300,000

Commissioners have one week to make tough budget decisions

A late date budget workshop with Moffat County Commissioners Monday afternoon revealed plans for a total of almost $300,000 in cuts to balance the embattled 2004 general fund budget at $1.67 million -- a figure under the county's current resolution to keep it at $1.9 million.

YVEA settles its lawsuit against Xcel

Move means $1M will be returned to customers

Yampa Valley Electric Association and Xcel Energy have reached a resolution in their months-long disputes over rates and fuel charges, said Larry Covillo, YVEA president and general manager Monday.

Policy change saves county nearly $80K

Revamping Moffat County's sick leave policy may save county coffers more than $74,000 -- a move that county commissioners unanimously agreed at Monday's Commission meeting to make effective the first of the year.

TMH nurses complete competency exams

For the first time in recent years, nurses at The Memorial Hospital completed their annual nursing competency tests before the busy holiday season.

James Griffin

Sunday, December 7

Number of CWD cases down

Current results suggest that fewer harvested elk and deer have tested positive for chronic wasting disease this year than last year.

County gets $273,860 for homeland security

The Moffat County Emergency Management Office Friday was awarded a Homeland Security Grant in the amount of $273,860 to purchase specifically approved emergency equipment.

What goes around...

Santa's woodshop student remembers joy of receiving his own Christmas toy

It has been nearly ten years, but Harvey Preston can still remember how one special Christmas toy made him feel.

James Griffin

McDonald's celebrates new look with grand opening

Outside the restaurant, hardly a parking space could be found. Inside, almost every seat was spoken for.

Wrestlers take Temecula

Las Vegas -- Going into the finals of the Green Valley Duals, the Moffat County High School wrestling team knew it was going to take a massive team effort to defeat Temecula Valley, Calif.

Men in the middle

Middleweights carry Bulldogs in final with four pins

Las Vegas --Throughout the Green Valley Duals, the Temecula Valley High School fans stomped their feet on the stands whenever one of their wrestlers was close to getting a win. The stands were silenced in the first four matches for the Golden Bears against Moffat County as the Bulldogs jumped out to a 24-0 lead in the championship dual.

TMH adjusts budget to reduce shortfall

The Memorial Hospital consistently was not able to meet its budget goals in 2003, but much of that shortfall was due to a built-in revenue overstatement, which has been corrected, according to Hospital Administrator Randy Phelps.

Friday, December 5

County refinance plan not ideal

Commissioners to decide Monday on future budget

After much anticipation, the results of a loan refinancing proposal for the Moffat County Public Safety Center are in, but they aren't ideal. At a teleconference Friday afternoon, financial group George K. Baum & Company offered the commissioners a refinancing loan for the Public Safety Center that would redistribute the payment of $700,000 in debt over the next 12 years.

Library faces myriad of options

Maybe nobody would care if the library closed its doors. Or perhaps no one would notice if it shortened its hours, cut back on open days or laid off staff members. Moffat County Library officials will soon have to make some tough choices -- but they're not sure what choice of options will be the most palatable for patrons.

Flu worst in century

The flu has already struck more than 6,300 Coloradoans, long before the flu season has reached its peak, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reported Wednesday. More than twice as many confirmed flu cases have been reported this year than during the entire season last year, and this year's total alone makes up almost half of the cases reported this century.

Sappy endeavor

Unique shape, size, detail key to perfect pinyon tree

Glenn Pritchard is serious about Christmas trees. He'd hate for a family to end up paying too much for a tree loosing its color and its needles because it was cut too long ago, too far away. In the thirty years he's been cutting Christmas trees, he's seen some strange tactics from the competition, including green spray paint. Pritchard takes pride selling trees cut from nearby forests.

Bulldogs sweep competition at Green Valley Duals

Las Vegas -- The main worry after the first day of the Green Valley Duals for Moffat County High School wrestler Scott Garoutte was that he didn't get enough time on the mat. "I didn't even work up a sweat," said the 215 pounder. "I'm right around my weight and I wanted to work a little hard to lose some weight today."

Stress, fatigue, finances can contribute to depression

Individuals who are alone during holiday season most affected by depression

This December, Americans will be bombarded with images of families snuggling around a warm fireplace, singing carols on Christmas Eve, and unwrapping presents around the Christmas tree. For many people, television specials, catalog ads and shopping mall displays demonstrate the ideal Christmas, and when the holiday season doesn't meet expectations, depression sets in.

Home school offers faith-based education, family values

The Longwell children are learning Greek. They also may be learning mathematics and reading at a faster pace then their public school counterparts. Regardless of any comparisons, David and Laurie Longwell said their children are receiving a Christian education -- one of the reasons why they chose to homeschool their11 children. "I like my kids and enjoy being around them," Laurie said in the living room of the Longwell's rural home. "I think it's sad when parents say they're happy to drop their kids off at school or happy to see the summer over."

Thursday, December 4

Saige Alice Lottes

Shelby Lynne Dorsett

Jentry Lane Bacon

Mathew Alexander Mitchell

MCHS wrestlers kick off season in Las Vegas

Las Vegas -- Shayne Zimmerman has heard the stories of the Las Vegas trip from the wrestlers in his family for several years. Now he, along with five other Moffat County High School wrestlers, get to create their own Vegas trip stories for the first time.

Assessor to challenge 2001 tax abatement

County budget woes affected by decrease in property value assessments

The Moffat County Commissioners may be able to recover some of the money the county lost in the past year due to drops in property value.

Rita B. Kemp



EDP back on the right track

The Craig/Moffat County Economic Development Partnership has hired a new director, established a set of governing by-laws and is committed to to the overall economic health of the entire county.

Dallene R. Hart


Felony cases reach milestone

Drug-related cases most prominent

The Kmart theft case is notable for the sheer magnitude of the alleged crime, but it also represents a milestone in Moffat County District Court.

Chamber just short of 2003 goals

Going into 2003, the Craig Chamber of Commerce wanted to accomplish four goals.

EDP hires new director

Number one priority setting measurable, attainable goals

Tom Flavin hasn't been on the job long enough to decorate his office or have business cards printed, but the flip chart pages inked with challenges, goals and expectations that line his office walls are an indication that his priority is getting down to business.

Craig Police

Ignoring the numbers

Despite fewer swimmers, Bulldogs believe state-qualification is in reach

One of the first things that Moffat County High School girls swim coach Ed Stehlin noticed about this year's practice was the noise level.

Wednesday, December 3

United Way reaches campaign goal

Donors to Moffat County United Way this year have done it again --donated enough dollars to top the organization's 2004 fundraising goal.

Linda M. Corey


Extenion office short agent

Next year, the Moffat County Colorado State University Cooperative Extension Office may be without an agriculture and horticulture extension agent.


Fire district in final stages of '04 budget approval

The Craig Rural Fire Protection District is on the verge of approving its 2004 budget, which will fund another year of fire fighting and rescue services provided by Craig Fire/Rescue.

Foundation to continue local efforts

Organization works to improve quality of life in Craig, county

Since its creation in April 2001, the Community Foundation of Northwest Colorado has worked to improve life in Craig and Moffat County.

County budget crisis long time coming

Moffat County's budget crisis wasn't created overnight.

MCHS deserves fall recognition

Audrey Jepkema

Football team earns post-season honors

At last year's Moffat County High School football banquet, the only regret coach Kip Hafey expressed was that the celebration wasn't a couple of weeks later. As it was, the team moved the banquet back one week this year.

Isabelle Anne Herod

Tuesday, December 2

Craig police

Wildlife thrives in reclamation

A surface mine might not seem like an ideal elk habitat.

Take opportunity to give

The 93.7 KRAI annual holiday drive kicks off Dec. 8 at the Centennial Mall in Craig.

Four on the floor

Even without any 'studs' back, the Bulldog wrestling team believes a fourthconsecutive state title is still

After the Moffat County High School wrestling team added a third consecutive Class 4A wrestling title, one would think that the grapplers would feel the weight of an added ring to the targets on their backs -- initially, that isn't the case.

Howard W. Ritchie, Sr.


Paltry wages problem

Early childhood education more than baby-sitting

Early childhood education is more important to the well-being of the future generation that many people may think, said Judy Whilden, Director of Sunrise Kids, LLC Preschool and Childcare in Craig.

Holiday mail should be shipped early, properly

Nothing is more frustrating than taking the time to mail a Christmas gift that doesn't reach the recipient in time for the big day. But following a few simple guidelines established by the United States Postal Service should ensure that your packages arrive on time.

Local recovery efforts 'mixed bag'

Endangered Species Act reaches 30-year mark

Whether repelling to a peregrine falcon's eyrie to gather eggs or incubating bonytail chub in a fish hatchery, several government agencies are striving to help endangered species recover in Moffat County.

Audrey Jepkema

Monday, December 1

Commissioners await Dec. 5 loan decision

Future of personnel, buildings hinges on refinance approval

The fate of some Moffat County personnel and the future of county buildings hinge on a decision that county commissioners anxiously await Friday, Dec. 5.

KRAI gears up for media drive

If seven tons of food, four tons of clothing, more than 600 toys and $23,000 in cash isn't enough to paint a picture of how generous Moffat County residents are, maybe the more than $340,000 they contributed to United Way last year make the picture more clear.

Suspect identified

Man suspected of stealing thousands to face new charges

The man suspected of stealing thousands of dollars in merchandise from Kmart will face additional charges, including criminal impersonation, after Craig Police discovered he gave them a phony name, Lt. John Forgay said Monday.

Claims denied

New software could help TMH avoid loss on Medicare claims

The Memorial Hospital is implementing software that could save $50,000 a year or more in unpaid Medicare claims.

BOCC fed up with Taylor emails

County employees blocked from viewing certain messages

Email correspondence from a longtime critic of Moffat County politics won't be read on county time, according to commissioners who are enforcing a two-year-old policy.

Craig police