Stories for February 2004


Sunday, February 29

Prestigious award

CNCC's Hehr nominated for Nightingale Award

The instructor of Colorado Northwestern Community College's nursing program has been nominated for a prestigious nursing award.

Surgeon search

Potential general surgeon visits Craig on trial basis

The physician who may become the new general surgeon at The Memorial Hospital is scheduled to arrive in Craig today to try out the position for one month.

West targets invasive weed

Conservationists may encourage Coloradans to save water, but one unwanted Colorado resident isn't heeding the advice.

Craig Police

Tommy James Cozzens


Girls advance to regionals; face No. 2 seed

FRUITA -- Depending on one's point of view, either the Glenwood Springs girls full-court press started to work too late or the Moffat County girls did just enough to get a win.

Rural veterans act gets push

The Colorado Senate unanimously offered support last week for a resolution that would help rural veterans gain convenient access to health care.

Zachary Clark Herring

Perley C. Green


Boys' season ends with 45-42 loss to Montrose in district

FRUITA -- If the Moffat County boys basketball team ever scrimmaged against itself, it may have looked like a game against Montrose.


Aspiring singer draws inspiration from grandfather, envisions Broadway

Jori Hollenbeck had only sung one verse of the national anthem for sound check at the state wrestling championships when a little boy came up to her and handed her a business card.

Friday, February 27

Loughran boasts double-digit game

PALISADE -- The top two scorers in the Western Slope Conference are Glenwood Spring's Sean Flohr and Moffat County's Anthony Loughran. Loughran may have lost the scoring title, but he would rather take his team's 3-0 record against the Demons.

Lady 'Dogs crush Palisade in district play

PALISADE -- The relief could be seen on the faces of the Moffat County High School girls basketball starters as they sat on the bench during the fourth quarter of the Palisade game.

Thursday, February 26

School violence requires disclosure

our view Parents have a right to know what happens in an environment where their children spend six to eight hours. In a recent incident, a school principal did the right thing by not evading questions and tackling the issue head on.

Boys and girls basketball teams fall in first round of district tournament

Boys find rhythm too late in game

PALISADE -- For two and a half quarters the Moffat County High School Bulldogs couldn't figure out a way to score against Rifle. When they broke the code it was too late.

Caring about caring

The Moffat County Care Clinic is going to continue serving indigent patients for the remainder of this year thanks to a $50,000 grant from the Caring for Colorado Foundation.

Prosecutors looking to protect public

Motion filed to raise bond

Prosecutors are looking to add another layer of protection to keep a frequently arrested Craig man behind bars.

Former mayor, councilman to run for commission seat

Saed Tayyara took the United States citizenship test seven years after he came to America.

Hotel owners challenge higher tax bills, seek abatements

A taxing proposition

The value of Jody Holland's motel, Affordable Inns, has increased two and one-half times in the past year, according to an assessment from the Moffat County assessor.

Learning curve: High school students pushing the limits

High school senior Katie Barnes is performing ahead of the academic curve.

GOP fÃte

Lincoln Day Dinner draws top officials

The Republican candidates for offices ranging from the U.S. House of Representatives to the Moffat County Commissioner Board stood in a circle receiving instructions from the chair of the Moffat County Republican Central Committee.

Low-income residents resigned to fewer subsidized housing options

In a community in need of more low-income housing options, Geraldine Collins is a success story.

Cell phone use grows despite signal challenges in area

Gadgets abound, but in Northwest Colorado cell phones need good range

Melody Gingrich's 8-year-old daughter is already asking for a cell phone.

School district has reasons to be proud

The Moffat County School District focuses on achievements of area schools each month.

Olathe man dedicates time to making sure felon sentenced

Even in Olathe, there are people who plan to attend a sentencing hearing in Moffat County on Monday.

Choking incident still under investigation

Craig Police continue to investigate a choking incident at Craig Middle School.

Craig police


School district does not renew assistant principal's contract

A new assistant principal will help lead Moffat County High School next year after the school board unanimously agreed not renew a contract with Jessie Farr.

Should the county continue to fund a natural resources department?

Each Saturday, local residents will be a sounding board of opinion on topics both local and national. Check in each week to hear from your neighbors. This week's topic: Should the county fund a natural resources department?

Childcare cutback could cost taxpayers

Moffat County Commissioner Marianna Raftopoulos was worried about "the cliff effect" after commissioners changed eligibility guidelines for subsidized daycare last month.

Sheriff's office changes tune

The Moffat County Sheriff's Office will submit its tuning forks for state evaluation despite taking a stand earlier this week that certification is not mandatory.

Margaret Cox Seely


Input/output isn't just an economic theory

As a parent, it's your responsibility to directly monitor the input into your children's lives so you don't have to pay a therapist to analyze the output.

Wednesday, February 25

Grant funds Care Clinic another year

Doors remain open

An indigent medical clinic that was threatened by county budget cuts received grant money that will guarantee to keep the doors open for another year.

Speaker offers business advice

Making customers happy should be the focal point of any business, motivational speaker Michael Fortino told a gathering of Craig residents Wednesday.

Zachary Clark Herring

Adam Swanson

High school students who excel not singled out, share distinction

Students who receive perfect scores at Moffat County High School aren't recognized as valedictorians or salutatorians during the school's commencement ceremonies.

Garrett Cyle Wynkoop

Dental van only hope for many Medicaid families

Inside a traveling dental office that arrived in Craig this week, Tina Fry cradled her 2-year-old son on her lap and watched her daughter undergo a dental examination that was long overdue.

Budget outlook improves

County finishes 2003 better than anticipated

Preliminary figures indicate Moffat County finished 2003 with an ending fund balance for the general fund of about $460,000 more than was anticipated.

'Twix-defense' to make its debut for Bulldogs

Craig Mortensen wanted to find a way to demonstrate intense defensive technique this week before the District 6 basketball tournament. His two recources were a miniature Twix candy bar and an assistant coach.

Dogs prepare for district tournament

Boys ready for faster-paced game against Rifle

The last time around it was a sleeper.

Tuesday, February 24

Lavern Garold Maybury


Officials garner support

'Friends of Moffat County' join recall battle

Friends of Moffat County is the latest committee to join the Board of Commissioners recall election fray.

City waives bid process for Bobcat purchase

The Craig City Council approved a request Tuesday night to waive the formal bid process on the purchase of a Bobcat for the Parks and Recreation Department because an offer on the table was impossible to refuse.

Craig Police

Glenda Sue Gross


Corrections board takes strong stand

Police Chief Walt Vanatta says he doesn't want Craig to become a community overrun with convicted felons.

CMS basketball teams take districts

The other teams must have thought they were crazy. But members of the eighth-grade girls basketball team were just being themselves when they yelled out "Mongoose" during games this season.

BLM readies for construction of new building

For almost two decades, local Bureau of Land Management employees have been pining for a new look to replace the maze of offices in modular trailers at the Little Snake Field Office in Craig.

Unity needed for future planning

Infrastructure expansion stymied without cooperation from county, city officials say

Anyone who wants to build a house, develop a subdivision or start a business outside of Craig won't have access to city water or sewer service unless city and county officials are able to cooperate.

Hathhorn announces candidacy

After saying he would not run in a recall election, Stan Hathhorn has announced his candidacy for the District 2 Moffat County Board of Commissioners seat.

School board to evaluate new charter

Dinosaur school discussion on Thursday's agenda

Local school board members will soon weigh in on the progress some Dinosaur residents are making to start up a charter school in the fall.

Monday, February 23

Maybell Plays a tradition of fun, community unity

Opening up a book to a lewd picture of a Playboy centerfold is enough to make any actor forget his lines, but during the Maybell Plays -- where such an occurrence is common -- ad-libbing is expected.

'Gala' event continues after more than 60 years

Fred Trouth, a 76-year-old ex-firefighter, was attending the fire department's annual fund-raising event back in the days when firefighters were still called "firemen" or "smoke eaters."

Local police close loophole on radar guns

Craig Police Capt. Jerry DeLong walked into a conference room holding the answer to a supposed loophole that may allow speeders to get off easy.

Maybell residents lobby to reinstate EMS position

MAYBELL -- Six volunteer emergency medical technicians told Moffat County commissioners Monday night that their department will be less effective without a paid coordinator.

John T. Distelhorst

Alexis Kay Marie Antonopoulos

Officials evaluate economic impacts of federal decisions

Knowing the monetary consequences of decisions, aids in future planning, county says

What's the economic impact of opening up areas in Moffat County for oil and gas development or the value of tourists visiting the area to spot endangered species?

Sunday, February 22

Craig Daily Press honored by press association

The Craig Daily Press earned the Colorado Press Association's prestigious Readers First Award Saturday during the CPA's annual convention in Denver.

Hayden wrestler finishes second

His record didn't show it.

Churchgoers prepare for time of sacrifice

Whether you call it Shrove Tuesday or Fat Tuesday, Feb. 24 will be the last day to indulge yourself before heading into the somber 40 days of Lent.

Construction jobs on the rise in Northwest Colorado

R.J. Collins is encouraged by the amount of local jobs that are becoming available.

Out of reach

Final consolation round ends Moffat County's chances

DENVER -- The final round of wrestle-backs the Class 4A team state championship was won in typical Moffat County fashion with last second upsets, crucial head-to-head wins and team depth.

MoCo junior's title picture perfect Garoutte

Before the finals of the Colorado State Wrestling Championships, Scott Garoutte's stepfather handed him a photo. Instead of being worth 1,000 words to Garoutte, it was worth one -- pin.

Craig Police

Girl Scouts emphatic about sales

Becky Meek is one determined cookie salesman.

Speeding to a different tune

Law enforcement officers could be required

Motorists in Craig won't be able to use a newly discovered loophole to get out of speeding tickets written by Craig Police, but tickets written by the Moffat County Sheriff's Office may be a different story.

Local teacher earns Veterans of Foreign Wars honor

A local teacher's work to celebrate the efforts of veterans has caught the attention of state veterans' officials.


Local teen sets his sights on the FBI

The new kid at Moffat County High School has his sights set on the FBI.

Friday, February 20

Emergency services are labor of love

Craig Fire/Rescue won't pay firefighters to go on "medical assist" calls for heart attack vicitms anymore because the Craig Rural Fire Protection District says it can't afford it.


Prehistoric period captures imaginations of youth

Tanya Middleton is the proud mother of a paleontologist. Her son didn't go to college. He's not quite old enough to start school. But last year, after watching his growing interest in the prehistoric beasts, Tanya took Oliver to visit Dinosaur National Monument.

Thursday, February 19

Craig Police

'Dogs take lead after first round of state

DENVER -- Korey Kostur left the mat frustrated after dominating his match. Not something one regularly sees from a wrestler who earned a 17-0 win.

Maika Inge Pollak

Timing still bad for a recall

Earlier this week, a determined group of Moffat County citizens filed a recall petition seeking the removal of County Commissioners Les Hampton and Marianna Raftopoulos.

Sales tax revenue up in 2003

Sales tax revenue was up for both Moffat County and Craig in 2003. Moffat County's 2 percent sales tax collected $1,756,777 in revenue. Craig's slightly higher sales tax of 2.25 percent garnered the city $2,475,364.

Chamber hosts motivational speaker

A motivational speaker and marketing expert whose clients include Fortune 500 companies will share some of ideas about improving the local business climate with Moffat County residents.

Nutritional choices send mixed messages to kids

Dietitian Betsy Menge sees the effects of obesity on Craig residents all the time.

Board affirms parolee policy

Parole officer Shane Fuchs tells the felons he supervises that if they're not from here, they won't be allowed to parole here.

Resident steps forward to foster pets

Norma McKay doesn't consider herself a cat person, yet she's found herself caring for a litter that has moved into her garage and a tomcat that lives under her house.

Alexis Kay Marie Antonopoulos

Jillian Jane Bennett

William Slade Everett

Emily Elizabeth Holloway

Hayle Aspen Letsinger

Landowners square off against drilling companies

Wes McStay says drilling companies have come onto his land and drained an agriculture pond and knocked over fence posts while accessing minerals someone else owned.

Mine turns to new technology to preserve operation

Scott Terry steered the Joy continuous miner 400 feet underground and 600 feet into the highwall at Colowyo Coal Company.

Fire board ends some paid EMS response

Firefighters say they'll volunteer to respond to heart attack calls

Firefighters in Craig say they'll still respond to heart attack calls even though they won't get paid.

The glue that binds us is just plain messy

In order to diversify mommy/daughter time (and to be honest, it was another tactic meant to bring on joint nap time), I instituted craft time.

Lavern Maybury

Vouchers available for housing

In a community in need of more low-income housing options, Geraldine Collins is a success story.

Wednesday, February 18

Local man named groomer of the year

When Joe Tonso began grooming snowmobile trails in 1988, he never guessed that 16 years later he would be named International Groomer Operator of the Year.

Indoor soccer team goes 3-1 for tournament

The soccer season is year-round for the Moffat County High School boys soccer team.

CSAP improvements may hinge on attendance

Educators in the Moffat County School District want students to do well on the upcoming Colorado State Assessment Program (CSAP) tests so they're brainstorming some new techniques to make that happen.

Family praises care received at TMH

Dale Paul Spetter


Recall petition filed

Raftopoulos, Hampton targeted for financial mismanagement

Three Craig residents officially filed petitions to recall two Moffat County commissioners early Wed-nesday morning.

No officer goes un-'tased'

Moffat County Sheriff's deputies lined up to get jolted with 50,000 volts when they trained on a new law enforcement tool Wednesday.

Official opposes fire plan

Steele says cost is too high for project that is not county's responsiblity

Winning a national fire award doesn't mean much to Moffat County Commissioner Darryl Steele.

Atmos Energy proposes rate increase to PUC

Atmos Energy, the company that supplies natural gas to Moffat County homes and businesses, wants to raise its rates by 6 pecent, which comes as unwelcome news for local residents who feel their gas bills are already too high.

Education is an art

Hello from the arts department. e are made up of art and music, and because we are so vastly different, here is a little about each of our respective departments.

MCHS wrestlers seek fourth title

Last week Eric Fredrickson told wrestling coach Roman Gutierrez that he realistically didn't think the team had much of a chance to win the state championship.

Tuesday, February 17

School could help Dinosaur get high-speed Internet access

The proposed Dinosaur charter school is looking to bring high-speed Internet access to Dinosaur.

Next in line

Moffat's highest-ranked wrestlers look to earn spots on the wall of champions

Korey Kostur had some extra baggage going into the state wrestling tournament last year. The Moffat County High School freshman had to don a knee brace to support damaged cartilage in his right knee in his first state meet. This year the only accessory the sophomore is thinking about is a medal.

Boys & Girls club begins fund-raising efforts

Group sets $100,000 goal for initial campaign

It's three o'clock. Where are your kids?

Study shows impact of land use, hunting changes

The local economy stands to lose $1.3 million if the grazing rights in Vermilion Basin are lost. The economic impact from losing grazing in Browns Park would be $642,000 and decreasing the amount of hunting licenses issued by 10 percent could cause a direct loss of $2.9 million.

Swimming a sweet medley

MCHS relay team breaks school record at state competition

When the first heat of the 200-meter medley relay finished at the Class 4A state swim meet, bystanders were in disbelief at what the team with the Bulldog swim caps had just done.

Financial assistance deadline nearing

The clock is ticking for students who want to apply for federal financial assistance to help defray costs of attending college next year.

Glenda Sue Gross

CNCC board evaluates free-tuition program

Moffat County students at Colorado Northwestern Community College Craig campus may be asked to shell out a portion of tuition costs in the future.

Monday, February 16

Local group purchases nursing home, remodeling scheduled

The purchase of the Valley View Manor building by local investors will be finalized this week, said Pam Young, the operating manager of the project which aims to reopen the nursing home.

Riley James Brookshire

Craig Police

Dewey Grant Cook


Energy bill would have little impact on area

Power plant, electric company officials say bill wouldn't change their businesses

Environmental groups are champing at the bit for an opportunity to put more green power into Colorado's energy mix, and this year they've got two chances to do so.

History comes to life at Wyman Ranch

Family works to build 'living' museum in Craig

Presidents' Day closed government offices, banks, schools and insurance agencies while flags waved in downtown Craig on Monday. But the work went on in some sectors. One bank was open for business, as well as many local shops.

Residents ready petition for DOW

Those signing call for changes to Ranching for Wildlife program

A petition circulating in Moffat and Routt counties seeks changes in the state Division of Wildlife's Ranching for Wildlife program to stop what one critic calls the harboring of elk herds on private land.

Sunday, February 15

Fast file, fast return

Tax filing software a growing business

It's that time of year when Uncle Sam wants his piece of your pie. For a growing number of people that means filing taxes online, a practice which is becoming more commonplace among Americans every year.

Eleven MCHS grapplers off to state

As he watched Delta High School's Tyler Morfitt work Broomfield's Adam Gutierrez in the 160-pound championship match, Moffat County junior Scott Garoutte turned to his teammates and started to congratulate them.

Association hosts medieval festival

Nobles and peasants intermingled over a dinner of roast chicken and medieval bread in the court of King Edward III, as the royal jester juggled and flipped across the floor for the amusement of all.

On the air

MCHS student gets early practice for what he hopes if future broadcasting career

In the industry it's called "dead air" but Matt Maneotis doesn't have any of that.

Craig Police

Coin, currency collectors love money for what it is, not what it buys

Jim Everett and his customers at Tiah's expect 2004 to be a big year for coin and currency collectors.

Art lovers take Valentine's Day walk

Craig was different last Saturday night.

Cancer screening funding threatened

The Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association offers free cancer screenings for women and it needs to keep participation numbers high to ensure future funding.

Unwritten winners

You're not going to read a lot about them in the regional story, but some of the guys who came through in the biggest way for Moffat County High School in its regional win were the ones who eventually lost.

Friday, February 13

'Dogs lead after first day of regional competition

Broomfield -- Moffat County High School sophomore Steven Englert knew going into the regional wrestling meet he could surprise some people. After Friday night, he and his teammates are posed to surprise a lot of people.

Thursday, February 12

Driver runs stop sign, injures five

Five people were injured in a two-vehicle accident near the Kmart parking lot Thurday night. Craig Police, Craig Fire/Rescue, and ambulances from The Memorial Hospital responded to the scene.

Eliminating tax double-edged sword

Eliminating a tax that could give existing businesses money to grow and give new businesses better incentives for relocating to Colorado makes good business sense.

County could cash in on second homes

The need for economic diversification is prevalent in energy-dependent Moffat County, and facilitating that diversification is a priority for the Craig/Moffat County Economic Development Partnership and other economic development groups.

Survey 'a transparent attempt to support the position of TMH board'

To the Editor: I read, with great interest, the article in the Craig Daily Press entitled "Residents oppose tax increase for hospital."

Add a helping of serial to your daily routine

Craig Daily Press presents 'Breakfast Serials' -- hair-raising adventures for youth

Looking for a little excitement outside the regular newspaper fare? Readers of all ages can soon flip to weekly installments of children's stories slated to run in the Craig Daily Press.

FFA week just around the corner

Just recently, the Moffat County FFA chapter sent 12 of its members plus two advisers to the National Western Stock Show in Denver for a weekend. While there, they went to various livestock shows and a rodeo. Overall, they had an awesome time and hope to qualify to go again.

All you need is love

Valentine's Day holiday offers a wealth of opportunities for romantic gestures

Erma Ozbun loves to watch men shop for Valentine's Day cards. They always wait until the last minute, she says. But they get by with that because it only takes them 60 seconds to select a card.

Keep Valentine's Day heart-healthy

One legend has it that Valentine's Day originated to commemorate the anniversary of the death of St. Valentine, a Roman clergyman who was executed on Feb.14, about 270 A.D. for secretly marrying couples in defiance of the emperor. According to another, the holiday began as a Roman fertility festival. Americans probably began exchanging handmade valentines in the early 1700s. In the 1840s, Esther Howland (1828-1904), a native of Massachusetts, began to sell the nation's first mass-produced valentines.

Do you favor the construction of a new hospital or remodeling the hospital at its current site?

Each Saturday, local residents will be a sounding board of opinion on topics both local and national. Check in each week to hear from your neighbors. This week's topic: "Do you favor the construction of a new hospital or remodeling the hospital at its current site?"

Margaret Seely

Alison White

Camren Beren Aberle

Smith Robert Dean

Juliana Leigh Lewis

Record seeking

Two relay teams go for school records at state

The day before the Class 4A swim meet in Loveland, the Moffat County High School team received its traditional big-meet delivery. New, faster swim suits.

Women's hockey team hosts

Julie Strahan has seen the women's hockey program in Craig grow since she started playing when she was 7. Now as a senior at Moffat County High School she will get to play in the program's first tournament in Craig.

Federal grant money will not likely cover radio purchase

Millions of dollars in Homeland Security grants were up for grabs this week when officials across Colorado met in Denver to decide how to allocate the federal money.

Drivers 'tow' the line

Choice of parking hinders snow removal

Although spring is in sight, snowy days may still be ahead, and the Craig Police Department's code enforcement officer is urging residents to help road crews by moving their vehicles.

Split personality a hint of things to come?

Katie's 3 going on 15.

Public land should be managed using public input

At its core, the Northwest Colorado Stewardship is a great idea. The group was formed on the premise that public lands belong to the people and they should have a say in how they're used. The stewardship is a broad-based coalition of various interest groups who have very different ideas of how public lands should be managed.

Officials work to protect petroglyph from vandals

Michael Selle, an archaeologist with the Bureau of Land Management, doesn't understand why ancient people carved some of the petroglyphs in the canyons of Rio Blanco County.

County, district shorted

County considers ways to recover lost property taxes

Declining property values have contributed to Moffat County's financial woes, but the Moffat County Board of Commissioners is considering a couple of options to help regain property tax losses.

Local lobbying effort hits capitol

Moffat County on political radar in Denver

Despite being located in the farthest reaches of the Western Slope -- the state's political equivalent of a red-headed stepchild -- Moffat County has managed to stay on the political radar screen in Denver thanks in small part to an annual grassroots lobbying effort by the Craig Chamber of Commerce.

Luncheon poorly attended

Palisade peach grower on campaign trail

Although he advertises himself as the peach grower from Palisades, congressional candidate Greg Walcher is hoping to harvest more votes than fruit come fall.

Bill could cost district $300,000 for 5 years

A few proposals winding through the Colorado Legislature plan to keep retirements benefits for public employees competitive, but the results may cause havoc on the state's already cash-strapped school districts.

Wednesday, February 11

Craig man faces federal charges

Federal charges will be brought against a Craig man who was arrested for weapons violations, Craig Police Chief Walt Vanatta said Wednesday.

Monument drilling rights up for auction

The Bureau of Land Management will auction 44,460 acres of public land for oil and gas leases near Dinosaur National Monument today.

Support for DOW proposals linked to economic impact

Meeker room packed for discussion of five-year hunting season structure

The Colorado Division of Wildlife hosted a public forum Wednesday to discuss possible changes to the big game hunting season structure.

National Guard under orders to sell new home of Boys & Girls Club

The state Department of Military and Veteran's Affairs has received orders to sell the former National Guard Armory in Craig, which complicates the county's plan to let an upstart Boys & Girls Club use the building rent-free.

Ethel I. Manley


Richard A. Bacon


Craig Police

Then there were three

Remaining seniors take responsibility for being leaders

Eight months ago, Moffat County High School senior wrestlers Jesse Brookshire, Kaleb Brown and Deric Dill were sent home early from summer camp, raising questions about their leadership among their teammates.

Vocal residents are doing good work

LaVina Summers

County cuts funds for child care assistance

Changes in Moffat County Social Service's Child Care Assistance program are going to make the lives of some county residents much more complicated.

Students get lessons in reducing stress

Stress isn't just an adult problem.

Tuesday, February 10

City of Craig ended 2003 with higher-than-expected revenues

The city of Craig finished out 2003 on a healthy financial note. Revenues were higher than expected and expenses lower, allowing the city to maintain a three-month operating reserve and carry forward money to take the city through lean times.

Constituents have a Constitutional right to criticize

It's hard to fault Moffat County Board of Commissioners Chairwoman Marianna Raft-opoulos for taking legal action against two of her biggest detractors.

Ertha K. Callaway


Monument staff working to combat noxious weeds

As invasive weeds spread throughout Dinosaur National Monument, the monument staff is working on a plan to counter the attack.

Bill could establish closer care for vets

McInnis sponsors legislation to provide veterans with more health care options

Moffat County veterans may be spared the burden of traveling long distances to receive medical care from the state's far-flung Veteran's Affairs hospitals, according to a bill introduced recently by U.S. Rep. Scott McInnis.

Republican candidate announces intent to run for Les Hampton's District 1 seat

Tom Gray threw his hat in the ring for the Moffat County Board of Commissioners District 1 seat on Feb. 9.

Elementary math night adds up to fun

Learning math after the school bell rings isn't so bad, parents and students of East Elementary School learned Tuesday night.

Monday, February 9

Officials simplify voting by entralizing polling places

Providing a centralized polling place should eliminate confusion about where residents cast ballots in upcoming elections, say Moffat County officials.

Survey tracks regional spending

Many Routt County residents heading to Craig to shop

Knowing a customers' habits, preferences and needs is the key to a business' success.

Commissioner files civil suit for slander

Marianna Raftopoulos accuses county critics of harassment, defamation

Marianna Raftopoulos, the chairwoman of the Moffat County Board of Commissioners, filed a lawsuit last week against two vocal critics, accusing them of harassment, slander and defamation.


Residents weigh in on land use

About 50 people representing varied interests in Moffat County convened at the Shadow Mountain Clubhouse Monday night to discuss one thing: how to manage the county's public lands into the future.

Craig teen takes trip Down Under

A Craig teen who dreamed of playing baseball in Australia made the trip Down Under with the help of family and friends.

TMH passes ER inspection with zero deficiencies

The Memorial Hospital's emergency room aced a state inspection and once again received accreditation as a Level IV trauma center.

Craig Police

Sunday, February 8

Use up at Shadow Mountain Clubhouse

Increase attributed to publicity, threat of closure

After nearly being closed due to lack of funding, use at Shadow Mountain Clubhouse has increased.

Demand increases energy assistance

Energy Outreach Colorado plans to distribute more money than ever this year to agencies that help people keep their heat on during Colorado's coldest months.

Giving back

Craig Elks Club supports the community that supports it

Their rituals may be cloaked in secrecy, their initiation rites concealed from outsiders, but there's nothing covert about what the Craig Elks Club does to benefit the community.

Ertha K. "E.K." Callaway

Musical show boasts something for everyone

The Yampa Valley Chapter of the Sweet Adelines performed an eclectic show at Moffat County High School on Saturday night in conjunction with a children's choir, flipping and somersaulting cheerleaders, a barber shop quartet and a sleeping lion.

DVDs muscle in over VHS

It may not be much longer until DVDs do to VHS videos what compact discs did to the audio cassette.

More MoCo swimmers headed to state

GRAND JUNCTION -- Danyel Harman looked at coach Ed Stehlin and asked if she could see her split one more time. She still couldn't believe the time she swam about 30 minutes earlier to help Moffat County High School's 200-meter relay team qualify for state.

Craig Police

Meeting draws those with differing land-use interests to the same table

If you have a strong opinion on how Moffat County's public lands should be managed, or if you want to learn more about what's at stake, you should plan to attend a potentially influential meeting tonight.

Nonprofit boards being held more accountable

In the wake of colossal corporate scandals involving companies like Enron, the federal Sarbanes-Oxley Act raised the bar for corporate compliance and corporate responsibility.

Local artists form co-op

Calling all artists: Here's a chance to show and sell your work.

Friday, February 6

"Should sex education curriculums be solely abstinence -based or should they include information about safe-sex?"

Each Saturday, local residents will be a sounding board of opinion on topics both local and national. Check in each week to hear from your neighbors. This week's topic: "Should sex education curriculums be solely abstinence -based or should they include information about safe-sex?"

Nancy E. Wirtz

Nancy E. Wirtz

Fighting for calmer schools

Getting into a fist fight with the school bully isn't perceived as the "macho" response it may have been in years past, say local educators.

Parents should be involved with their children's education

Asset No. 6: Parent involvement in schooling: Youth are more likely to grow up healthy when their parents are involved in their education and school.

White: Customer service key to success

Freight Damaged Furniture

Girls hold Palisade scorer to 14

Throughout the week of practice there were a lot of girls playing the role of Palisade High School basketball player Krysten Hayes, and it was Moffat County High School's Mari Katherine Raftopoulos' job to keep her from scoring. When it came time for the Moffat County sophomore to face the real Hayes, she was ready.

Meeting draws those with differing land-use interests to the same table

If you have a strong opinion on how Moffat County's public lands should be managed, or if you want to learn more about what's at stake, you should plan to attend a potentially influential meeting Monday night.

Medical foundation gives $25,000 to area organizations

Since May 2002, the Yampa Valley Medical Foundation has donated $57,395 through grants to medical services in the Yampa Valley Medical Center service area. But only four of those grants have been to Moffat County organizations, as opposed to 10 in Routt County.

Play tickets are worth the wait

Many people wouldn't dream of waiting more than a few minutes in the check-out line at the grocery store. They might not even make the effort to show up a few hours early to hear a popular band.

Haskins-St. Martin

Hunting seasons may change

DOW seeks public input on five-year plan

The Colorado Division of Wildlife is taking another look at the big game season structure and could make changes that will impact the economy in Northwest Colorado.

Weeding out the lies

Web site dedicated to debunking urban legends and Internet rumors

The number of legitimate informational resources available on the Internet is staggering.

Meeker residents revive activity-packed weekend of activities

Broomball, snow sculpting and a cardboard sled derby. None of these games were available at the X-Games in Aspen. But these events can all be found at the Winter Games in Meeker, with competition open to anyone who wants to participate.

Don't let carbon monoxide poison your home; be aware of the signs

Americans spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors, where hazardous air pollutants can exist at higher levels than outdoors. In Northwest Colorado, we may actually be at greater risk for carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Cold weather can last for six months, forcing us to keep our homes closed tight as we heat them with a variety of fuels and appliances.

Slew of candidates toss names into race for 3rd Congressional District

The candidates are off and running. This weekend marks the unofficial start of the race for Colorado's 3rd Congressional District seat, following the Federal Elections Commission release of campaign finance reports the candidates filed on Jan. 31.

Abstinence shouldn't mean ignorance

It is the job of schools to educate students, inform them. To guide them, but not to withhold facts.

Bulldogs lose by two in final second of game

Consider it a lesson learned for the Palisade High School boys basketball team.

Thursday, February 5

Hampton to run for re-election

Current commissioner first to file for District 1 BOCC seat

Moffat County Commissioner Les Hampton filed Thursday morning to run for re-election for the District 1 Board of Commissioners seat.

Morning fire destroys truck

Employees of Kawcak Oilfield Services arrived at work this morning to find smoke billowing out of their shop.

Marijuana seizure

Welfare check tips authorities off, warrants not yet issued

Police have not apprehended any suspects in connection with a drug seizure that took place Monday, but arrests are pending, according to Craig Police Sgt. Bill Leonard.

Water, education hot topics

Coloradoans should expect new law proposals by May 5.

The Colorado Legislature has been in session for well over a month now. Legislators have introduced bills protecting everything from the identity of rape victims to the liability of restaurants in obesity-related illness lawsuits.

Kiwanis play gift to community

The local Kiwanis Club has a real racket going.

Readers praises insightful

Thanks to sponsors for help

A fish tale

"Finding Nemo" had a big impact on our household. Katie speaks whale now (which sounds like a small pig being chased by a man with a needle, but then again, I don't speak whale). Katie also has an excessive fascination with taking baths. The glow-in-the-dark, shark-shaped bath toy, which held no interest before, became the motivation between a bath every night and two on Saturday and Sunday.

Helen Naydene Pankey


Bad Dawgs off to state tournament

Twelve members of the Bad Dawg wrestling club will be competing in the Colorado State Youth Championship.

Grace Ann Reynolds King

Everett John Reglin

Ellery Lynn Hodges

Adam C. Peer

Faith Ann Weathers



Kelly Howle

Amanda Nicole Lyster

Jacob J. Hettinger

Forum to help county plan future growth

Where people spend their money is as important as how much they spend.

Wednesday, February 4

Theoda Isabelle (Stout) Dodson

Thoeda Isabelle (Stout) Dodson died Jan. 31, 2004. She was 85. Dodson was born, July 22, 1918, in Slater, Wyo.

Harold Gray

Former Craig resident Harold Gray died Jan. 12, 2004, in Blanchard, Okla. He was 66. Gray is survived by his wife of 26 years, Barb; children Brenda, Charles, Ken, Mike, and Becky; 14 grandchildren; brother, Earl; sister, Alice; and numerous nieces and nephews. Services were Jan. 16, 2004, in Oklahoma City. Interment was in Blanchard.

Ethel Manley

Ethel Manley Funeral services for Ethel Manley of Hayden will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 7, 2004, at the Granby Baptist Church. Interment will follow in the Granby Cemetery. Memorial donations may be made to the First Baptist Church in Hayden in care of Grant Mortuary.

Resident has nothing but praise for TMH's service

To the Editor: This is in response to Kenneth L. Hall's letter to the editor, Friday, Jan. 30.

Food Day raises awareness

Farmers, ranchers recognized

Sandwiched between Groundhog Day and Valentine's Day is the little-known Food Check-Out Day sponsored by the American Farm Bureau. Similar to its better-known cousin, Tax Freedom Day -- the day when the average American earns enough to cover government taxes for the year -- Food Check-Out Day celebrates the average American's ability to earn enough disposable income to pay for a year's supply of food in about 40 days. This year, Food Check-Out Day falls on Feb. 5.

Stricter driving requirements debated

State legislators are calling on some stricter driving requirements because of teen drivers like Andy Bockelman. Six months after the Moffat County High School senior got his license at age 16, he totaled his car when he hit another vehicle in an intersection. "I wasn't paying attention," he said. The incident so scarred the teen that he walks to school these days. Colorado lawmakers have proposed increasing the driving age, among other measures, in hopes of staving off teen driving accidents. Rep. Gayle Berry, R-Grand Junction, drafted a bill that would raise the driving age to 16 unless a teen has driver training, then a teen could drive six months after they turned 15.

Senate bill controversial

Taylor fights to protect rural counties

County officials and a state lawmakers are condemning a bill that would phase out the business personal property tax over the next 15 years. The Senate State Affairs Committee passed Senate Bill 1, introduced by Sen. Bruce Cairns, R-Boulder, by a 4-2 vote on Feb. 2. Cairns said ending the business property tax would encourage businesses to come to Colorado. But Sen. Jack Taylor, R-Steamboat Springs, said the end of the tax would kill rural government budgets. While many Republicans support the bill, Taylor has found himself on the other side of the political fence as he fights to protect rural counties from a bill he says would devastate their budgets.

Felony conviction

Former deputy pleads guilty to sexual conduct in a penal institute

A former Moffat County Sheriff's deputy who was fired for having sex with a female inmate pleaded guilty to the crime Wednesday. Anthony Gutierrez, 25, pleaded guilty to sexual conduct in a penal institute, a Class 5 felony. Gutierrez was charged with an additional felony after he allegedly tampered with the jail's video surveillance system, which records images from numerous cameras throughout the Moffat County Public Safety Center.

Soccer camp still open for athletes

The echoes inside the former U.S. National Guard Armory building were too few and the court too empty for Mick Havrilla's liking during the first two nights of the TetraBrazil soccer camp. "I'm a little disappointed in our turnout," he said. "But there are a lot of things going on right now and this is a new thing, too." Six soccer players were at the camp Wednesday night, including Havrilla, who coaches the boys team at Moffat County High School, and Daniel Silva, the TetraBrazil coach.

Tuesday, February 3

Craig Police

Depending on who shows up, girls team still in title race

The target is off the back of the Moffat County High School girls basketball team.

Recent drought puts power plants under fire for water use during drought

Although agricultural producers continue to be the largest users of water in the West, environmental groups are putting new energy into attacking power plants for their high rate of consumption.

Committee prioritizes airport improvements

About three years ago, a TWA flight headed for Yampa Valley Regional Airport in Hayden, mistakenly landed at Craig-Moffat County Airport. The airport has no control tower, and the flight's pilot wasn't on the same radio frequency as Moffat County pilots.

Residents oppose tax increase for hospital

Voters against paying more for new hospital, but will support adding on to the current facility

Moffat County residents want a new hospital and they think it should be built at The Memorial Hospital's current Russell Street location.

Boys & Girls Club raising funds for June opening

The Boys & Girls Club will launch a $200,000 capital fund-raising campaign in a couple of weeks, organizers announced at press conference Tuesday.

Advantage at home gives hoop teams hope

One basket for boys difference between first or second

Tuesday the Moffat County High School boys basketball team watched the first half of its 33-32 loss to Steamboat Springs. Mike LeWarne said his guys were grimacing at the review of their mistakes.

Stress of ACT tests builds for students

Junior Alicia Thompson of Moffat County High School wants to get a good score on the upcoming ACT test.

Replacing hospital is a legitimate need

We've all heard the famous line about "lies, damn lies and statistics."

Monday, February 2

Judge wants 'whole picture' before gives sentence

Don Manley's sentencing hearing concluded without a sentence on Monday. Prosecutors will have to wait another month to shore up the case, which has been lingering for almost two years.

Let's talk about sex

Abstinence-based program up for review in 2006, teens say current class is more like scare tactic

Let's not talk about sex is the message the Moffat County School District is sending students.

Shooter pleads to assault

A Craig woman charged with the attempted murder of her boyfriend pleaded guilty to a lesser crime in district court Monday.

Residential construction surge continued in 2003

Two major projects, the construction of Family Dollar and Action Motor Sports, were the highlights of an otherwise steady building season.

Afterschool program takes off with variety of activities

Organizers of a unique afterschool program in Craig have been asked to help set up a network of similar progams statewide.

Ethel Manley

Craig police

Lending a helping hand: Teens volunteer at TMH

Students seeking additions to resume for better shot at college scholarships

The Memorial Hospital's youth volunteer program has drawn six high school students to learn a little bit about health care, a lot about the hospital's phone system and gain experience they can take with them to future jobs.

Sunday, February 1

Craig hotel evacuated

Five employees sent to hospital following chemical spill

A chemical spill at the Holiday Inn Saturday sent five employees to the emergency room and caused police to evacuate the hotel.

Braedyn Curtis Barton

Law accommodates tax returns for illegal aliens

While President Bush urges Congress to reform immigration laws, the Internal Revenue Service has already revised the tax code so illegal aliens can be claimed as dependents on tax returns.

'Dogs take easy wins against Steamboat, Palisade

After a tougher-than-expected Thursday night in Battle Mountain, where the Moffat County High School wrestling team won a dual with the Rifle Bears by one point, the triangular meet against Palisade and Steamboat Springs could have been considered a yawner.

Crossing the line

Cheaper booze, cigarettes draw out-of-state residents to Moffat County

Ken Penman thinks nothing of traveling down from Baggs, Wyo. to purchase cigarettes at Craig stores.

Congressional candidate takes time to stop in Craig

The snow plows were still clearing snow Saturday morning when state Rep. John Salazar, D-Manassa, arrived at the Golden Cavvy to begin clearing his own road to the 3rd Congressional District seat.

Local television station making some changes

Despite rumors to the contrary, Craig's Channel 27 isn't going anywhere. In fact, the news station is looking to grow beyond its current "feel-good reporting" philosophy to provide more coverage of events in the county.

The 'ice man' enjoyeth Craig

Steve Grandbouche proud of his service to Moffat County recreation department

When he talks about children learning to play hockey for the first time, Steve Grandbouche's grin grows.

Brandy Michelle Sherwood

Brooklyn Michelle Ray