Stories for April 2012

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Monday, April 30

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Former school board president hones in on HD 57 seat

After serving eight years on the Moffat County School Board, Jo Ann Baxter intended to step out of the spotlight. The former school board president, who was term-limited, started writing her memoirs and contemplated drafting a collection of poetry for her grandchildren after she stepped off the board last year, she said. But life had other plans. Instead of devoting her time to writing, Baxter is exploring new realms of the Internet as she gears up her campaign for a new career in public life. “I tweeted for the first time this week,” she said, laughing. Instead of reflecting on past milestones, she’s looking toward a new chapter that could entail a position in the state legislature. Baxter announced her candidacy for the House District 57 seat April 19, following urgings from friends and colleagues who encouraged her to run for the office.

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Parks and Wildlife puts down bear sighted in Craig

Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers euthanized an adult male black bear Sunday in Craig after attempts to tranquilize the animal failed, an agency spokesman said. “Our officers did not put this bear down for any other reason other than the fact that it was a tagged nuisance bear and it did not look like it was in any hurry to leave the city,” said Mike Porras, public information officer for Parks and Wildlife’s northwest region. The bear was reported Sunday morning to the Moffat County Public Safety Center, where the call was forwarded to Parks and Wildlife. The caller reported the animal was in the yard of a home near the intersection of Third Street and Mack Lane, Porras said.

On the Record for Monday, April 30, 2012

On the Record for Monday, April 30, 2012

Senior Spotlight for April 30: Do away with bad television

I don't watch television in the mornings. In the evenings, I turn it on to game shows. Jeopardy is one of my favorites. I can actually answer some of the subjects. I listen to the news, weather reports, etc. But, we need to, in my way of thinking, do away with horror movies, the Simpsons, etc. We need to concentrate more on soil conservation and less on soiled conversations. To me, television is becoming a thing of things that should be put somewhere where it is less splashed all over. No wonder children use bad words, are disrespectful, etc.

Letter: City and VFW need to come to an agreement

The inability of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4265 and the City of Craig to come to an agreement seems to defy common sense on both sides. The land in question is worth more than the appraised value of $25,000. The city doesn't want to pay a huge sum, but the VFW doesn't want to be paid less than it is worth. The solution could be that the city, Moffat County and the VFW work together to build a memorial for Medal of Honor recipient Major William Adams with a place for the names of every veteran from Moffat County who has served our country.

Letter: Sandhill Cranes should be protected, not hunted

Sandhill Cranes are among the most spectacular birds on earth, and one of the oldest living species of birds. In the Yampa Valley, how many of us have enjoyed listening to their remarkable call or watching their soaring flight on a beautiful spring day? Because the cranes are so special to our area, I am deeply disturbed to learn there is a proposal before the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission to allow a Sandhill Crane hunting season in Moffat and Routt counties. While I am in no way anti-hunting, I adamantly oppose the hunting of Sandhill Cranes.

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Local landscapers prep for spring clients

With the weather of the warmer months finally turning out, it’s time to improve the visual appeal of the outdoors. The landscaping businesses of Northwest Colorado are getting ready for the rush of people looking to spruce up their homes and businesses. The staff of Bears Ears Landscapes, 1815 Moffat County Road 183, recently brought in its big shipment of flowers, trees and other plants for customers craving something new and colorful. “It’s definitely our busy time of year now that winter’s over,” owner Suzanne Meyer said.

5th tornado confirmed in destructive Colo. storm

Meteorologists have confirmed that a fifth tornado was involved in a weather pattern that destroyed at least seven homes and a hog farm in the southeastern Colorado plains. The National Weather Service in Pueblo says the latest confirmed tornado struck sometime after 2 a.m. Friday in Bent County, destroying a house and crushing a metal barn. Meteorologist Tom Magnuson tells The Denver Post (http://bit.ly/IAGwd0 ) the 300-yard-wide tornado with wind speeds of up to 135 mph struck the far northeast corner of the county. Four other tornadoes spawned by the same storm destroyed homes in Prowers and Kiowa counties. At least four people were injured, but none seriously.

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‘Go out of the box’: Five minutes with Renata Beason, 39, owner of The Embroidery Shoppe

Where is your hometown? “I came from Poland in 1991. I’m from Gdansk, which is a shipyard place. That’s where I grew up, and then I visited my cousin in Canada and I wanted to explore.” When did you move to town? “I lived in Steamboat first and then I moved to Craig in 1999, and I’ve been here since then.” Motto or outlook on life? “My outlook is I think I’m at the point in life where I’d like to be. I don’t mind challenging myself, and I want to be able to help people when I can.”

Shell officials talk roads in Hamilton

Officials with Shell Oil Company visited the Yampa Valley on Thursday to discuss road projects with Hamilton residents. More than 70 locals attended the meeting at the Hamilton Community Center. “I’ve been to every community meeting we’ve had and this one was by far the best,” said Tommie Criddle, of Shell’s logistics group. “They asked a lot of good questions and seem to be on board with what we are trying to do here.”

Bulldog Sports for April 30

Moffat County High School sports schedule for the week of April 30, 2012.

Craig bowler notches perfect game

For some, perfection comes easier than others. That was the case Wednesday for Craig resident Richard Arquette, who bowled his first 300 game after bowling for four years. Arquette lit up Thunder Rolls Bowling Center for 12 straight strikes. Even he was surprised by the feat.

SUV plunges into NYC's Bronx Zoo grounds; 7 killed

An out-of-control SUV barreled across several lanes of traffic on a highway overpass Sunday, then plunged more than 50 feet off the side of the road and landed in a ravine on the grounds of the Bronx Zoo, killing all seven people aboard, including three children, authorities said. The 2004 Honda Pilot apparently flipped over a 4-foot-high iron fence before landing upside-down on the property of the nation's largest city zoo. The cause of the crash was unclear, and police haven't yet said how fast the SUV was traveling. A city official said the guardrail's height would be one of the safety issues investigated. Police identified the dead adults as Jacob Nunez, 85, and Ana Julia Martinez, 81, both from the Dominican Republic, and their daughters, Maria Gonzalez, 45, and Maria Nunez, 39, and three grandchildren. Police say Gonzalez was driving. The children were identified as Jocelyn

Sports Briefs for April 30: Meeker to host Bob Tucker Memorial Golf Tournament

Registration is open for the fifth annual Bob Tucker Golf Tournament at Meeker Golf Course, 903 Moffat County Road 13. Proceeds from the event, which takes place May 19, will go toward the Coach Bob Tucker Scholarship fund, given to a student athlete who demonstrates sportsmanship, integrity and character. The cost is $80 per participant for the four-person scramble and includes greens fees, a cart, lunch and the chance to win prizes given out to men and women for the longest drive and closest to the pin. A “lunch only” option is $15 and requires a separate RSVP.

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TMH recognized as prime health care employer

The Memorial Hospital in Craig was recently recognized as one of the best places to work in health care, according to a leading hospital publication. Becker’s Hospital Review, published nine times a year with a circulation of about 18,500, provides business and legal news and analysis geared toward high-level officials in the health care industry. The publication's “100 Great Places to Work in Healthcare” is published annually and recognizes healthcare institutions around the country that demonstrate excellence in providing robust benefits, wellness initiatives, professional development opportunities and workplace atmosphere. For the first time ever, TMH made the annual list.

Briefs for April 30: CCA hosts concert Tuesday

The Craig Concert Association will present “Richie Lee & The Fabulous ’50s” at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Moffat County High School auditorium, 900 Finley Lane. The event is free with an association membership. Non-members pay $20 at the door. “Dubbed a teenage sensation, Richie has made a name for himself performing at ’50s style dances and clubs,” the concert association reported in a news release. “Although Richie is the leading Buddy Holly tribute act in the country, he also pays tribute to Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, Chuck Berry, Ricky Nelson, and Eddie Cochran.” Memberships also will be on sale at the concert.

Peyton Manning grateful for Rockies' hospitality

Peyton Manning felt right at home with Todd Helton and the Colorado Rockies. Manning dropped by Coors Field on Sunday morning to visit his pal before the Rockies played the New York Mets. Manning and Helton were quarterbacks at the University of Tennessee in the mid-1990s. Manning recently signed with the Denver Broncos to become their new QB. When Manning was going through his rehabilitation from neck surgery during the NFL lockout, Helton helped arrange for him to use the Rockies' facilities to work out.

Saturday, April 28

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A mammoth discovery: Scientist: Prehistoric remains discovered in Craig

Dr. Jan J. Roth, of the Sundance Research Institute, said he's about to embark on a project that has renewed his passion for archaeology and paleontology — the discovery of what he believes are the remains of a Columbian Mammoth inside city limits. He announced the discovery during a Craig City Council meeting earlier this month. “I haven’t been this excited for a long, long time,” Roth told council members. “It’s a very unique opportunity for the City of Craig to have a mammoth site.” The Columbian Mammoth, a slightly larger cousin of the Woolly Mammoth, roamed from Alaska to South America beginning one million years ago, Roth said.

Briefs for April 28: Medicare counseling in Craig

Medicare consultations take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday in room 106 of Colorado Northwestern Community College’s Bell Tower Building, 50 College Drive. Betsy Packer, with the State Health Insurance Assistance Program, is available the first and third Tuesdays of every month to offer one-on-one help to residents with Medicare and their families. The consultations are free and confidential, and they are open to residents who receive Medicare, which is for people 65 and older, or who will be receiving Medicare services in the near future. For more information, call Packer at 819-6937 or call 1-888-696-7213.

Diane Prather: Weigh-In and Tag Day upcoming for market swine, lambs and goats

Animals in 4-H and FFA market beef were weighed-in and tagged earlier this year. So now it’s time for Weigh-in and Tag Day for the other market animals. On Wednesday, market sheep and market goats will be weighed and tagged from 4 to 6:30 p.m., and market swine will have their Weigh-In and Tag Day from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday. To show or sell a market animal at the Moffat County Fair, all 4-H/FFA members enrolled in market sheep, goat, and/or swine projects are required to have their animals weighed and tagged on the designated days.

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National aspirations: MCHS students earn spots in national speech and debate championships

Four Moffat County High School Speech and Debate team members are preparing to test their skills against other top high school debaters in the nation. Seniors Cullen Dilldine and Ryan Zehner, along with juniors Matt Balderston and Ben East, secured their spots in April for a national championship scheduled for June in Indianapolis. In doing so, they beat out debate teams from larger schools in the state, including those in Boulder, Fort Collins and Greeley. The victory was especially sweet for Zehner, who is the first student in MCHS history to qualify for nationals in three events, he said.

Moffat County Youth Track meet set for May 14

At most track and field events, you won’t find a high jump bar that bounces up and down, nor will you find hurdles that could be used for a croquet game. And if you drop the sphere usually used in the shot put, you could hobble home with a broken toe. But, the smaller, lighter versions of these items help the future track athletes of tomorrow get a jump start on the sport. More than 140 boys and girls have turned out the last couple weeks for the Moffat County Youth Track program at the Moffat County High School track. Starting April 16, children from kindergarten through sixth-grade have had the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of track and field events such as the hurdles, high jump, long jump, shot put and running relays in a clinic run by adults and MCHS athletes with experience in the sport. Organizer Michele Chalmers said the plan was to expand the program from the Little Feet Fun Meet hosted in 2010 and 2011. Instead of spending only one day running, jumping and throwing, kids spend eight practices mastering each event before the actual meet, which is May 14.

Sports Briefs for April 28: Sea Sharks to host registration Thursday

Registration for the Craig Sea Sharks swimming team’s summer program will take place from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the cafeteria at Craig Middle School, 915 Yampa Ave. Open to ages 5 to 18, team swimmers must be able to swim the length of the pool without stopping, touching the sides or receiving assistance from anyone. Participants must also have a sense of commitment.

Authorities: Bunker of Wash. fugitive surrounded

Authorities on Friday surrounded an elaborate, underground bunker believed to be that of a gun-toting survivalist suspected of killing his wife and daughter nearly a week ago and then holing up in the woods of Washington state. They pumped tear gas into the structure in the Cascade foothills east of Seattle and heard movement inside, but the dozens of officers were not entering the bunker because they believed its occupant was heavily armed, and that it might be booby-trapped. Sheriff's officials said later Friday they weren't sure the gas penetrated deep enough to reach the person inside, who they believed was 41-year-old Peter Keller. They also believed the person inside likely has a gas mask. As darkness fell Friday night, Seattle SWAT team officers arrived to relieve a King County SWAT contingent that had surrounded the bunker.

Ski goggle pioneer Bob Smith dies at 78

Robert Earl "Bob" Smith, an orthodontist whose passion for skiing deep powder snow helped turn him into a goggle and sunglasses pioneer, has died of complications related to heart surgery. Smith's family confirmed his April 18 death in California. He was 78. Born in San Carlos, Calif., Smith went on to graduate from Stanford University and the San Francisco College of Dentistry. Smith served as a dentist in the U.S. Army in Germany in the late 1950s. While there, he traveled to Kitzbuehel ski area every weekend, stoking his passion for the sport.

Meeker robbery suspect arraigned Friday

The case involving a 21-year-old Louisiana man suspected of robbing a bank in Meeker is scheduled to continue next month in Rio Blanco District Court. Jock Waylon Thacker faces one count each of robbery and theft of $1,000 to $20,000. Both are Class 4 felonies. Thacker was arraigned Friday morning in Rio Blanco District Court, where a status conference was set for 10 a.m. May 11. He has yet to enter a plea to the charges.

Replacement equipment for TMH Medical Clinic about $10,000 under budget

The Memorial Hospital Medical Clinic is on track to receive a new X-ray machine. “The process has already started,” said Jennifer Riley, chief of organizational excellence. TMH officials updated the hospital board on new equipment at its regular meeting Thursday. The hospital approved the purchase, along with other items on a capital budget, in November 2011.

Osweiler taken by Broncos in 2nd round

The Denver Broncos may have just found the eventual heir apparent to Peyton Manning. And his insurance policy, too. The Broncos selected Arizona State quarterback Brock Osweiler with their second pick in the second round of the NFL draft on Friday night. Given that Manning's coming off neck surgery, the raw but talented Osweiler is just one snap away from possibly leading this team as a rookie. "I'll be ready to roll," he nonchalantly said in a conference call after being taken with the 57th overall pick. "Regardless of whatever the situation is this year, I'll be ready when my name gets called."

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MCHS delivers a strong showing against top area track teams at Bulldog Stadium

Moffat County High School runners, throwers and jumpers enjoyed strong performances despite tough conditions at the Clint Wells Invitational Friday. Hosting a field of 12 teams at the meet, the MCHS boys track team placed fourth with 83 points while the girls finished ninth, scoring 32. The Glenwood Springs High School boys and girls won both team competitions. The meet was highlighted by strong individual and team performances from MCHS. Junior Eryn Leonard led from the gun to the finish line in winning the 1600 meter run with a time of 5:54.6. Leonard also placed fifth in the girls 800 meter run, just ahead of Bulldogs senior Ane Naerby. “It feels nice [to win at home],” Leonard said of the 1600. “I hit my 400 and 800 times, and from that point on it’s just a race; you just race to the finish.”

Editorial: Traffic, treatment, stalemate

It should be noted from the outset this opinion piece is a rarity for the editorial board — it’s one of the few topics on which the board, under numerous and varied lineups over the years, failed to reach a consensus. The editorial board is designed to include a diverse cross-section of people, or as diverse as we can make it, and any Craig or Moffat County resident is eligible to participate. Given this random sampling of different occupations and backgrounds, the board can be viewed as a metric of popular opinion — not a scientific one, certainly, but one whose stance on a subject is generally in the ballpark of the majority’s belief. This is perhaps why we failed, and it’s not surprising.

CMS students weigh in on city government

Craig Middle School seventh- and eighth-graders recently entered an essay competition that emphasized local government. Their prompt was to respond to a complaint the city does nothing for residents. The top three essays in each grade were entered in a state competition. The two first-place essays are included below.

Over a Cup: Try this festive 'Fiesta Tamale Pie'

This past week I went through the cards in my metal recipe file. I was looking for a Mexican casserole that calls for green chilies, since I had some leftover chilies in the refrigerator. Anyway, it had been awhile since I looked through the file, and I found a good recipe that I haven’t used in awhile. (It doesn’t have green chilies in it, though.) To make “Fiesta Tamale Pie," you'll need:

Friday, April 27

On the Record for Friday, April 27, 2012

On the Record for Friday, April 27, 2012

U.S. Attorney spokesman: No apology forthcoming for Craig doctor

Drug Enforcement Administration agents were part of a search warrant executed Tuesday at Dr. Joel Miller's High Country Medical Office at 535 Yampa Ave. Jeff Dorschner, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the District of Colorado, confirmed Friday the DEA's participation in the search at Miller's office during which authorities seized an undisclosed number of patient records. Dorschner could not comment on whether local law enforcement agencies participated in the search. However, he had a rebuttal for one of Miller's comments.

Benefit concert for Hayden pastor

A benefit concert featuring musician Barry “The Bear” Ward will take place at 7 p.m. today at the Hayden High School auditorium, 495 W. Jefferson Ave., in Hayden. The event is free but donations will be accepted at the door. roceeds help fund a kidney transplant for Doug Zirkle, pastor of Mission of Grace Church in Hayden. For more information, call Don Hayes at 846-9233 or Kevin Kleckler at 276-3079.

Ex-Edwards aide: Donors' cash went into NC house

John Edwards' former aide acknowledged Thursday that much of nearly $1 million in campaign supporters' cash went to build his North Carolina dream house, not to buy the silence of the presidential candidate's pregnant mistress. Andrew Young testified for a fourth straight day at Edwards' campaign finance fraud trial, peppered with questions from Edwards attorney Abbe Lowell about the money from two donors that flowed into personal accounts controlled by Young and his wife. Young has said he took secret payments from wealthy donors at Edwards' direction to help conceal the presidential contender's affair with Rielle Hunter and keep his 2008 presidential campaign viable. Young said the checks secretly provided by a then-96-year-old heiress were mixed with the couple's other house funds, much of which went into renovations and construction of their $1.5 million hilltop house on 10 acres near Chapel Hill, N.C. Young suggested his wife, Cheri, would know more about where all the money went, saying she "is the one who handles the finances in our family."

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‘For the community’: Stephanie Jeffcoat returns for second stint on Hamilton Community Center Board

Volunteering has always been an important part of life for Hamilton resident Stephanie Jeffcoat. “I don’t really know why I do it,” Jeffcoat said. “I just like to be involved, I like to interact with people, and I like to serve my community.” In January, Jeffcoat, 38, was appointed by the Moffat County Commission to the four-member Hamilton Community Center Board.

Janet Sheridan: Dancing the maypole

Francis Perrin, a teacher who suffered from dishevelment, stormed into my classroom spewing information and upset: ”Janet, you’ll never believe what they expect us to do now — a maypole dance!” Red-faced with alarm, she continued: “It’s because we’re first-year teachers, but I won’t do it. I’m no dancer.” “Goodness,” I thought, looking at my wild-eyed colleague.

Insurance changes coming to Moffat County School District

Rising insurance costs will soon hit home in the Moffat County School District. The Moffat County School Board entertained a recommendation at its workshop Thursday that would spread the impact of increased insurance rates to employees throughout the district. Dipping into the general fund to offset insurance costs was off the table, Finance Director Mark Rydberg told the board and about 40 teachers and school district staff in attendance. “We did not want to have general fund added expense due to the budget constraints,” he said.

Broncos trade out of first round of NFL draft

As the draft droned on and the Denver Broncos slid down the board, John Elway's cellphone buzzed yet again. No, it wasn't another general manager calling to pitch another trade. It was a buddy offering advice via text. "Need to pick, can't have another drink." The Broncos, though, traded out of the first round entirely Thursday night, sending the draft partyers home disappointed.

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'Service Above Self': Colleagues: Renee Campbell a credit to organizations she serves

Renee Campbell, a Hillsdale, Mich., native, said she hadn't spent a minute of her life volunteering to nonprofit agencies before 2006. Then she moved to Craig. Geography made all the difference, she said. "Before I moved to Craig, I had never been involved with the community (I lived in)," said Campbell, director of sales and marketing at the Holiday Inn of Craig. "Now I really enjoy it. I like getting to know people, getting involved in the community. It's just been something I've grown to love."

Moffat County Commission approves Colowyo severance tax deduction

During a special meeting Wednesday, the Moffat County Commission approved a request that could have short and long-term financial ramifications. Chris McCourt, Kurtis Blunt and Tonia Folks, of Colowyo Coal Company in Craig, initiated the meeting hoping to get the commission to sign off on a 4.5-percent reduction on the company’s severance taxes. As a general rule, mining companies pay a 12.5-percent royalty rate on revenue earned from coal sales. The money first goes to the federal government, which collects its 51-percent share, commissioner Tom Mathers said.

Letter: Thanks to the citizens of Moffat County, 13-3 project a successful first step

Friends of Moffat County Education’s inaugural 13-3 book drive was a resounding success. The purpose of the 13-3 book drive was simple, provide children books to read over the summer. In three short weeks, the Craig community banded together to donate books and funds necessary to amass 13,000 books for students ages 4 through 12. These books will be distributed to students during the next month. Friends of Moffat County Education would like to thank the individuals and businesses that donated books and money to support the 13-3 project. FMCE is overwhelmed by the generosity demonstrated by this community and individuals outside of this community. While space does not permit FMCE to list all individuals and businesses that donated to the drive, there are specific individuals, businesses, and organizations that need recognition for helping make the dream of the 13-3 project a reality. Thank you to the Sagebrush Reading Council for promoting the book drive. Your promotion of the importance of literacy generated generous contributions from the Kiwanis Club and Rotary Club. Thank you to the Craig Daily Press and KRAI for allowing FMCE to promote the 13-3 project in print and over the airwaves. FMCE also thanks Safeway for allowing us to use its parking lot for the 13-3 project finale. Finally, thanks to Identity Graphics for working late hours to create the book tub stickers and signs for the book drive finale.

Wyoming concerned over Colo. oil well pollution

Wyoming water quality officials said Thursday that they were unaware that a troublesome oil facility in northern Colorado has been dumping up to 400,000 gallons a day of treated wastewater from well drilling that flows into the North Platte River. Wyoming water quality director John Wagner said he did not know that Lone Pine Gas had a Colorado water permit to do so and that some of the water had been contaminated with excess levels of iron and copper. Colorado water quality control manager Scott Klarich said the company has violated water quality standards a number of times since it was issued an administrative order by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission in 2007. Klarich said the company exceeded copper levels by nearly 100 percent last September and iron levels by nearly 150 percent last November. Wagner said some of that wastewater would reach the river in Wyoming, but the water quality violations came as a surprise.

Thursday, April 26

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A barrel of fun: Craig couple wins contest, chance to participate in 2012 NFL Draft

Craig resident Jamie Felten owes her son, Jerik, big-time. If not for their son, Jamie and her husband, Tim, would not have the opportunity of a lifetime. The Feltens will be in New York City this weekend, getting a firsthand look at the 2012 NFL Draft. The Craig couple won the “Paint the Town Orange” contest sponsored by Colorado-based business, Kwal Paint. The prize package includes a three-night trip to the Big Apple for two, a pre-event breakfast with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, reserved VIP seating for the draft and the chance to announce one of the Denver Broncos’ fourth-round draft picks.

Department of Justice seizes files from local physician

Law enforcement action was taken earlier this week against a local doctor, according to a U.S. Department of Justice news release issued Thursday. Dr. Joel Miller, D.O., operates High Country Medical at 535 Yampa Ave., in Craig. During a search, authorities seized patient files, according to the release. Miller was seeing patients as of Thursday and confirmed the action at his office took place Tuesday.

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VFW, Craig City Council discuss reopening negotiations

The future of Veterans Memorial Park, once known as Craig City Park, was again a discussion item during Tuesday’s Craig City Council meeting. Guy Bradshaw, commander-elect of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4265, was joined by more than a dozen local veterans in his pitch to resuscitate lease negotiations between the VFW and the city. “Due to volatile public attitude both directed to the VFW and the city council, we believe it would be a severe injustice to the people of Craig, the city council and the Veterans of Foreign Wars to discontinue lease negotiations,” Bradshaw said. “That doesn’t mean we are going to come to an agreement anytime soon, but the day the city council and the Veterans of Foreign Wars stop talking about a park the public has had access to since 1947 is the day we embark down the wrong path.” Bradshaw cited the outcome of the April 10 council meeting in which council members voted to discontinue lease negotiations with the VFW by a 5-0 vote.

On the Record for Thursday, April 26, 2012

On the Record for Thursday, April 26, 2012

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MCHS seniors make school history in business-themed clubs

Adam Foster, a Moffat County High School senior, is the front man. “The way that I perceive it is he goes in for the introduction,” said Thomas McCoy, a fellow MCHS senior and Foster’s partner in Distributive Education Clubs of America and Future Business Leaders of America. McCoy is more comfortable behind the scenes. He comes in with a softer tact and fills in the gaps, he said. Together, they make a winning combination at DECA and FBLA competitions.

Wednesday, April 25

On the Record for Wednesday, April 25, 2012

On the Record for Wednesday, April 25, 2012

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TMH Auxiliary Volunteers president dedicated to making organization ‘shine’

Although patients at The Memorial Hospital in Craig may not know Anna Rippy personally, they’re likely to recognize the organization she’s volunteered with for about a decade. Members of The Memorial Hospital Auxiliary Volunteers, informally known as “Pink Ladies,” are familiar faces at the hospital. They greet patients and their families at the concierge desk, staff the gift shop and offer refreshments from a traveling cart that makes rounds twice a day at the hospital. Behind it all stands Rippy, a Craig native and Auxiliary Volunteers president.

Routt County commissioners table Camilletti oil well permit

Commissioners seek better air and water quality monitoring

Quicksilver Resources will have to wait until at least June 26 to get approval for a special use permit for an oil well near Milner.

Obama talks student loan rates in Colorado

Thousands of college students waited hours through intermittent rain and record-setting heat Tuesday to see President Barack Obama deliver his student-loan pitch at the University of Colorado at Boulder. But Democrats don't have to worry about the throngs who turned out to hear Obama pitch lower-cost student loans in Colorado and two other states he won in 2008 — Iowa and North Carolina. Instead, Democrats need to worry about voters like Alex Cutter, a 21-year-old junior from Colorado Springs. She voted for Obama last time, joining young voters nationwide who helped Obama carry former Republican bastions. Cutter's still a big fan of the president, but she couldn't attend his speech despite free tickets because she's working two part-time jobs to make ends meet and couldn't miss her shift at an off-campus coffee shop. Cutter says she could owe up to $15,000 in student loans after graduating.

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Possession hurts MCHS soccer in 4-2 loss to Delta

If you polled Moffat County High School athletes about which opposing team is their most detested rival, most of them would say Steamboat Springs. For MCHS senior Kelly Ciesco, the answer is Delta, who she hoped to defeat in the final opportunity of her high school career. The MCHS girls varsity soccer team fell just short of that goal, losing, 4-2, to Delta Tuesday at Woodbury Sports Complex. The defeat dropped the Bulldogs to 2-10 overall, 1-8 in the Western Slope League.

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Fire board president presents to Craig City Council

Public reaction has been mixed to the Craig Rural Fire Protection District Board's plan to build a live fire training tower near The Memorial Hospital in Craig. To address public concerns about staging fires near the hospital, fire officials have embarked on a public campaign to discuss details of the structure and how the department plans to use the facility. On Tuesday night, those efforts continued as Craig City Council members were presented with details of the proposed live fire training tower, which is slated for construction this summer. Byron Willems, a city council member and president of the fire board, led Tuesday night’s discussion, which was well-attended by Craig residents.

Supreme Court sides with Associated Governments of Northwest Colorado

A lawsuit challenging the Colorado Public Utilities Commission’s approval of an implementation plan for House Bill 10-1365, also known as the Clean Air, Clean Jobs Act, will be heard in Denver District Court. The state supreme court ruled Monday to uphold the rights of the Associated Governments of Northwest Colorado to question the validity of an agreement between the PUC and the Public Service Company of Colorado following passage of the bill. PSC is a subsidiary of Xcel Energy, Inc., established in December 2010. “We are very pleased that the Colorado Supreme Court has today made clear the AGNC’s right to have its day in court,” said Mike Sampson, Garfield County Commissioner and AGNC chairman in a news release.

CNCC hosting art commission workshop

A workshop to help guide residents through obtaining a public art commission will take place at 8:30 a.m. Friday at Colorado Northwestern Community College’s Craig campus, 2801 W. Ninth St. The event covers where and how to find public art opportunities and how to write proposals, among other topics. Attendees also can bring their portfolios for review. The event includes information on how to get images on CAFÉ.

CNCC, Commitment to Excellence to host Chamber mixer Thursday

A monthly Craig Chamber of Commerce event will feature an artistic twist this week. Colorado Northwestern Community College, 2801 W. Ninth St., will host a Chamber Ambassadors Business After-Hours Mixer from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday. The event, which is free and open to the public, will showcase the college’s new art collection, which represents work from artists in and around the region. Mixers are designed to offer a “networking opportunity for the business owners,” or in this case, “the college and the artists, as well as the people that come,” said Shannon Russell, Chamber ambassador liaison and membership director.

Editorial: Actions speak louder

When Friends of Moffat County Education emerged last month, the nonprofit education support group had some fairly ambitious plans. Not only would the group focus on “targeted funding initiatives for projects that we think are worthwhile,” as board member Jeremy Browning said, but it also had its first project lined out: collect enough used books and monetary donations by April 13 to donate 13,000 books to local students in preschool through fifth grade — an endeavor dubbed the 13-3 Book Project. It appears members of the group aren’t just ambitious in planning — they're also ambitious in execution. This week, the group announced it had reached its goal, and that beginning next month local preschool through fifth-graders would each receive 10 free books to be distributed at respective schools throughout the Moffat County School District.

Students aren't variables in an equation

I spoke with a recent graduate a couple of weeks ago who is in college and working toward a degree. I asked him how things were going and the response was not surprising: “Coach, I had a rough first semester, but I got it together and am doing just fine now. But I sure miss high school.” I asked why, and he said, “You guys cared about us even though we didn’t always treat you right. You guys really helped us get stuff done so we could pass.” I described how little concern his college professors had for him getting to class on time or turning in assignments and he exclaimed, “Right, Coach, they just lecture and we get our stuff done or we fail. They don’t even care if you show up to class.”

Letter: Earth Day cleanup a success

A number of organizations in Craig worked hard to make Earth Day a reality in Moffat County. Litter clean up was countywide, and large numbers of people pitched in to help. I want to quickly thank members of the Friends of Northwest Colorado for the work they did cleaning up several miles of 318 out near the entrance to Irish Canyon. I also want to thank the Colorado Department of Transportation for providing the support necessary to make this activity a success.

Letter: Fire facility needs better location

I believe our firefighters need the best training possible and the best training station possible. It is a very dangerous avocation. I also believe there are better locations for such a station than by our new hospital.

Letter: Dress code enforcement is important

As a parent and grandparent in Moffat County, I have been to numerous schools in our district. I have worked at them, volunteered at them, and pick up my children and/or grandchildren daily. I receive the dress code requirements for our schools, and really have no problem with them. But, it has come to my attention as the weather has gotten warmer that some people are wearing summer dresses with spaghetti straps, mini-skirts, and tank tops that show an awful lot of cleavage. The people wearing these things were not school children.

Suspect in Colo church shooting had been in prison

A man who shot and killed a woman at a Colorado church before he was killed by an off-duty police officer had been released early from an Oklahoma prison after serving time for assaulting two officers, authorities said Tuesday. Aurora police identified the suspect as Kiarron Parker, 29, of Denver. His lawyer said Parker was convicted in 2009 in Oklahoma for assaulting two police officers and for burglary, but he also had a crime record in Colorado. Before the Colorado shooting Sunday, Parker had been parked somewhere with a friend when he became agitated, hopped in his vehicle and drove off, leaving the friend behind, Aurora police spokesman Frank Fania said Tuesday. Parker sped into the parking lot of New Destiny Center church in Aurora, crashed into a car, then fired at people who came to his aid. The shooting killed Josephine Echols, the mother of a pastor at the church, police said. Echols' nephew Antonio Milow, an off-duty Denver police officer who was attending a church service, then shot and killed Parker, authorities said.

Hudson leaves court before grisly photos shown

Jennifer Hudson shut her eyes tight Tuesday, holding still on a spectators' bench, as a police officer at the trial of the man accused of killing three members of the Oscar winner's family described coming across bloodied bodies at the Chicago home where Hudson grew up. Before prosecutors projected dozens of photographs of her mother sprawled on a living room floor in a blood-soaked, white nightgown and her brother shot through the head on his bed, the 30-year-old singer and actress left the room to avoid having to watch the disturbing images. On the second day of testimony — a day after Hudson herself offered tearful testimony from the witness stand — prosecutors shifted the spotlight to the crime-scene evidence in the case against her former brother-in-law, William Balfour. Balfour was estranged from his wife, Hudson's sister, at the time of the killings. He has pleaded not guilty to murdering Hudson's mother, brother and 7-year-old nephew. He sat with his eyes fixed on the murder-scene photographs on a screen, but he didn't wince or show other signs of emotion.

Letter: Moffat County residents not influenced by liberalism

In response to Mr. Williams' letter about how liberal views are being shoved down our throats, all I have to say is, really? Do you think the people of Moffat County are influenced by liberal views? Do you think the general population of the U.S. is influenced more by liberal views than conservative views? Are you afraid liberal views will influence the people of America to the extent that conservative views will become irrelevant? How do you know liberal ideology is wrong and conservative ideology is correct? How do you know liberal news and talk shows always spread lies? Do you think conservative news and talk shows always tell the truth?

Tuesday, April 24

On the Record for April 24, 2012

On the Record for April 24, 2012

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Big Blue Football Camp set for May at MCHS

The eighth annual Big Blue Football Camp will take place from 5 to 6 p.m. May 8 and 9 at the Moffat County High School practice field, 900 Finley Lane. The camp is available to players in kindergarten through fifth grade who want to learn more about the basics of the game. Registration for the camp is scheduled for 4 to 6 p.m. May 7 at the MCHS football field. The cost is $20 to participate and receive a Bulldogs backpack. Funds go toward supporting the MCHS football program.

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Drug Take Back Day slated for Saturday in Craig

For the third consecutive year, the Craig Police Department will participate in the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, the department announced Monday in a news release. Department personnel will host a collection station from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday in the Centennial Mall parking lot, 1111 W. Victory Way, between Village Inn and O’Reilly Auto Parts. Police encourage residents to bring unused or expired prescription and over-the-counter medications for disposal, according to the release.

Monday, April 23

Moffat County School Board workshop, meeting agendas for April 26

Moffat County School Board workshop, meeting agendas for April 26

The Memorial Hospital Board meeting agenda for April 26

The Memorial Hospital Board meeting agenda for April 26

Moffat County Commission special meeting agenda for April 25

Moffat County Commission special meeting agenda

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‘Stooges’ remake a slap in the face, both good and bad

In crafting a remake of “The Three Stooges,” one must wonder if there are still people who go in for cheap entertainment centered on total numskulls. In a time where “Jersey Shore” is adored by millions, clearly that’s not an issue, and when those two worlds collide, there’s only one appropriate response: Nyuck-nyuck-nyuck!

On the Record for April 23, 2012

On the Record for April 23, 2012

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MCHS baseball team drops weekend doubleheader

The Moffat County High School varsity baseball team lost both games of a doubleheader Saturday against visiting Palisade at the Craig Middle School field. The first game looked promising by the end of the fourth inning, as the Bulldogs briefly got on a roll to tie the score, 2-2. Once the team got back on the field, Palisade took control with a vengeance, scoring 10 runs in the next three innings. “We fell apart,” junior Jacob Teeter said between games.

Senior Spotlight for April 23: Earth Day

Earth Day, to me, means taking care of the planet, mostly around our own area, not littering, picking up the trash when and where we can, doing yardwork, removing and disposing of trash, etc. Gardening, or getting the plot ready, and beautifying things makes things better in so many ways, no matter where you are. I used to like to come home and do yardwork, water the lawn, rake, or clean my cactus plant patch. That sure made for prickly situations. I sure miss my yard.

Cuddyer leads Rockies to 4-1 win over Brewers

Whether with Minnesota or Colorado, Michael Cuddyer has always wanted to be up in the big situation. He came through for his new Rockies teammates Sunday. Cuddyer had a two run double in the eighth inning that helped lift the Rockies over the Milwaukee Brewers, 4-1. "A man in scoring position in a 1-1 game — the worst that could happen is you fail. It happens a lot," Cuddyer said. "You have got to relish those opportunities."

Government Update for April 23: Moffat County Commission meeting

When: 8:30 a.m. Tuesday Where: Moffat County Courthouse, 221 W. Victory Way Agenda: • 8:30 to 8:35 a.m. Call to order, Pledge of Allegiance, moment of silence

CNCC massage program's offer runs through end of the month

Time is running out to take advantage of a great deal that will help you relax and assist in the education of someone learning a trade. The massage therapy program of Colorado Northwestern Community College’s Craig campus, 2801 W. Ninth St., will continue its offer of massage sessions through May 1, after which point the students enrolled for the spring semester will be moving on. At a rate of $25 per hour, customers can get an affordable session while helping students perfect their craft. Working with paying clients in a classroom environment out of the campus’s career technical building allows the beginning massage practitioners to get a feel for how a career in the field will be.

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Performances by high school students highlight CCA's annual talent show

In an age of YouTube, video editing, voiceovers and remixes, Mary Lynne James believes there is still something to be said for people willing to put on a live performance. “With video you can edit it and make whatever you are producing perfect,” James said. “But, there is something special about a live performance.” James served as master of ceremonies Saturday night for the Craig Concert Association’s annual talent show at the Moffat County High School auditorium, 900 Finley Lane.

‘Mirror Mirror’ on the screen, who’s the goofiest fairy tale queen?

Classic stories never grow old. Perhaps not every adaptation of every single fairy tale deserved to see the light of day, but “Mirror Mirror” is certainly among those that reflect pretty well on the film industry.

Pastor's mother shot, killed outside Colo. church

A Colorado pastor's mother and a suspect are dead after both were shot outside a suburban Denver church. Authorities say the pastor's mother was shot when she went outside the New Destiny Christian Center in Aurora just as services were ending Sunday. They say an off-duty officer was in the congregation and shot a suspect. Police told CBS-4 in Denver (http://cbsloc.al/J378zi) that the shooting happened after there was an argument between people in two vehicles in the parking lot outside the church. Pastor De Lono Straham told 9NEWS in Denver (http://on9news.tv/HUxJR4 ) that his mother passed away after the shooting Sunday evening.

George Zimmerman released from Fla. jail

George Zimmerman was released around midnight Sunday from a Florida county jail on $150,000 bail as he awaits his second-degree murder trial for fatally shooting Trayvon Martin. The neighborhood watch volunteer was wearing a brown jacket and blue jeans and carrying a paper bag. He walked out following another man and didn't look over at photographers gathered outside. He then followed the man into a white BMW vehicle and drove away. Moments before, two Seminole County sheriff's vehicles blocked access to the intake building parking lot where Zimmerman was being released. Zimmerman emerged after two public information officers confirmed the credentials of the photographers outside. No questions were shouted at Zimmerman, and he gave no statement.

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Veteran returns to Craig and a grateful community

It was everything a Marine’s welcome home should be. There was cake, cocktails, and a lot of happy friends, family, and people from the community the man of the hour didn’t even know. “It’s actually a very big crowd,” Lance Cpl. Kaleb McCarthy said. “I wasn’t expecting this. I don’t know half of these guys, but they’re all prior service members and I am happy to be with them.”

Sports Briefs for April 23: MCHS girls golf team takes tourney

The Moffat County High School girls varsity golf team placed first in the Glenwood Springs Invitational on April 18 at Glenwood’s The Hill Golf Course. The tournament was a four-person scramble with a best ball format. Sophomore Caitlin Harjes, freshman Katelyn Peroulis, freshman Katie Rice and senior Sam Fox made up the winning quartet, finishing the day with an 83. Sophomore Shianna Dockins and junior Alex Bulla teamed with a Grand Valley player for a second squad, ultimately placing fourth out of seven in the tournament.

Letter: Tax Day Freedom Rally

In reading the article about the tax day Freedom rally, comments are required. First, thank you Bears Ears Tea Party Patriots for caring. I was out of town and unable to attend, so again thank you. I will try and put this into perspective for people: those who attended are paying attention to the crisis in this country, and those who did not need help with the numbers. Approximately 55 people, less than half of 1 percent of the population of Moffat County are addressing issues that affect 100 percent of you.

Briefs for April 23: Free car care clinic

A car care clinic for single mothers, seniors and residents with disabilities takes place from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at The Journey at First Baptist, 1150 W. Ninth St. The event is free and offered by appointment only. The clinic offers fluid checks and refills, antifreeze tests and battery and light tests. Discounted repairs and oil changes can be arranged, if possible. To schedule an appointment or for more information, call Love INC at 826-4400.

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‘Bring out color in everything’: Five minutes with Amanda Boyd, 25, secretary at AccuComp Accounting

Where is your hometown? “I’m from Craig.” What has kept you in town? “Work and family. My family owns a business, Ike & Son Transmission, that’s been here since the 50s. My husband’s going to be managing it, too.” Motto or outlook on life? “Just stay positive, no matter what comes at you.” When did you first get started in your job? “It was in February. I’m good at filing and working with taxes, and the job opportunity was open so I took it.”

Saturday, April 21

The pitfalls, scars and tradition of branding day

Calving season is winding down and ranchers are turning their attention to branding. During elementary school presentations, retired Moffat County Brand Inspector Floyd Martin tells students that brands are like return addresses — that’s how ranchers get their cattle back if they stray. So, branding is an important ranch job, indeed, especially since it won’t be long until cattle will be turned out onto summer pasture. Branding varies somewhat from ranch to ranch.

Sports Briefs for April 21: MCHS girls soccer triumphs over Rifle

The Moffat County High School girls varsity soccer team had one of its best games of the season Thursday in a 5-3 win over Rifle. Coach Harry Tripp attributed the victory to a new defensive system his team has been practicing over the week. “We went with a 4-5-1 (formation), and it’s really been paying off,” he said. Offensively, it was the highest scoring game thus far for MCHS, with senior Kelly Ciesco scoring four goals, the first hat trick of the year for the team, whose record is 2-8 overall and 1-6 in the Western Slope League.

Stinky fish helps limit potfest at Colo university

Stinky fish fertilizer and two dozen law-enforcement officers kept pot smokers away from a grassy quad at the University of Colorado on Friday, but a few hundred protesters defied the crackdown and rallied on another field, where some lit up at 4:20 p.m. It was a far cry from last year's April 20 pot celebration, when more than 10,000 people gathered on the university's Norlin Quadrangle for the annual ritual of enjoying a smoke and demonstrating for legalizing marijuana. That made the university the scene of one of the largest campus celebrations of cannabis in the nation — a reputation that prompted university administrators to take extraordinary steps to stamp out this year's rally. They banned unauthorized visitors from campus, and spread smelly fertilizer on the Norlin Quad and declared it off-limits. They even booked Haitian-born hip-hop star Wyclef Jean for a free concert timed to coincide with the traditional 4:20 p.m. pot gathering.Stinky fish helps limit potfest at Colo university

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Report reveals Moffat County residents among unhealthiest in the state

According to a report by County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, Moffat County residents are among the unhealthiest in the state. The report data was compiled by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, said Lisa Brown, chief executive officer of the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association. The report ranks counties in categories such as mortality, morbidity, health behaviors, clinical care, social and economic factors, and physical environment. Overall, Moffat County ranks 50th out of Colorado’s 59 counties. By contrast, neighboring Routt County ranked ninth overall.

Editorial: Live strong, live better

Pick a word to describe Moffat County's rankings in a recent health report: failing, embarrassing, regrettable, unfortunate. Those are just a few, and the more politically correct ones, that come to mind. But there's another word that certainly can't be applied — surprising — and another that certainly can — crisis. The health rankings, put before the community front and center on today's front page, indicate Moffat County's physical and mental health in many areas is among the worst in the state.

Letter: Fire board does enough

You can only crawl under so many fire trucks to simulate SCBA, search and rescue, hose advancement and fire streams. I know a little about quality training as I had the privilege of being in charge of training for around five years. I know how difficult it is to find an abandoned structure to train in and eventually burn. I know how the NFPA regulations have changed regarding live fire training and burning abandoned buildings. Asbestos abatement. The dangers to firefighters in abandoned buildings set on fire. The danger of burning a structure next to other residents. Live fire certifications became a part of firefighter 1 requirements when I was in charge of training. We had to travel to Frisco or Rifle for the rookies to be tested.

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Five agencies respond to oil well fire in Powder Wash

Five agencies responded Thursday to a report of an oil well fire that consumed a semi-truck and trailer. No injuries were reported. Dennis Jones, a battalion chief with Craig Fire/Rescue, said a page came in at approximately 11:15 a.m. Thursday that an oil well was on fire near Powder Wash, a camp approximately 75 miles northwest of Craig. Deputies from the Moffat County Sheriff’s Office, firefighters from Maybell Fire Department, and emergency medical technicians from Maybell and The Memorial Hospital in Craig all responded to the fire.

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East Elementary 3rd-graders looking back in time at Craig’s past

Children born in the Information Age may be shocked to learn the gadgets that surround them — TVs, cell phones, game consoles — didn’t exist until recently. Case in point: “They thought it was hilarious that I had never seen a cell phone until college,” Adrienne Burch, an East Elementary School third-grade teacher, said about her students. “And many of them have had cell phones since they were 5.” Burch, who is tasked with teaching Social Studies for East’s third-graders, is launching a project this week designed to get children more in touch with the past.

Zimmerman apologizes for shooting; gets $150K bail

A routine bail hearing for George Zimmerman took a surprising turn into remorse and explanation Friday when the neighborhood watch volunteer got on the witness stand and told Trayvon Martin's parents: "I am sorry for the loss of your son." "I did not know how old he was. I thought he was a little bit younger than I am. I did not know if he was armed or not," Zimmerman said, marking the first time he has spoken publicly about the Feb. 26 shooting of the unarmed black 17-year-old. The hearing wrapped up with a judge ruling Zimmerman can be released from jail on $150,000 bail while he awaits trial on second-degree murder charges. Zimmerman, who has been in jail for more than a week, could be out within days and may be allowed to live outside Florida for his own safety once arrangements are made to monitor him electronically. Defendants often testify about their financial assets at bail hearings, but it is highly unusual for them to address the charges, and rarer still to apologize.

2,116 seat belt tickets issued in rural campaign

The Colorado Department of Transportation says a campaign to enforce seat belt laws in rural areas resulted in 2,116 seat belt citations from April 1-8. The citations included 98 violations for drivers with children under age 16 who weren't restrained. Colorado State Patrol Chief James Wolfinbarger says the goal was to encourage people to buckle up. He says 187 people were killed in crashes on rural roadways last year representing 60 percent of the state's total fatalities. He says 58 percent of those killed in rural areas were not wearing a seat belt, compared with 34 percent in urban areas.

Residents share feedback with Craig fire board on proposed training center

A proposed training facility was a primary topic Thursday at the monthly meeting of the Craig Rural Fire Protection District Board. Since discussing construction of a new training tower and fire simulator on property near The Memorial Hospital and Colorado Northwestern Community College at its March meeting, the board offered residents an opportunity to voice their opinions on the plan. After a video and PowerPoint presentation by board president Byron Willems about the benefits of having such a structure in the area and the breakdown of safety measures involved, the floor opened to public comment. The first to speak was Craig resident Bruce Timberg, who accused board members of “lies and deceit” regarding the training facility. Timberg said he was not arguing for or against the idea of a training location, but he questioned the history of the funding for the estimated $1.5 million project. Specifically, he believes funds received from a 2006 mill levy approved by local voters are being misappropriated to build a structure similar to the one rejected by voters in 2002.

Briefs for April 21: Talent show tonight at MCHS

The Craig Concert Association will host its annual talent show at 7 p.m. today in the auditorium at Moffat County High School, 900 Finley Lane. Local musicians and performers will take the stage in this year’s incarnation of the show first hosted in 1978. For more information, call 824-8326.

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MCHS joins with national initiative to get books into students’ hands

Heather Fross, a Moffat County High School science teacher, refers often to a source some consider an unusual one for biology class. It’s called “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” a piece of investigative journalism authored by Rebecca Skloot. It retraces the history of the book’s title character, an African-American tobacco farmer whose cells were taken without her knowledge and became a powerful tool in modern science. The book touches on cell biology, genetics and science ethics — all topics Fross covers in her classes — but it also addresses more universal issues. “Besides the science involved, this book is about race, class, ethics, humanity and family,” Fross wrote in an email. “These are subjects that we can all relate to.” On Monday, Fross will have 20 copies of the book to give away to students, compliments of World Book Night. The national initiative’s goal is to put books in the hands of young adults who may not otherwise read on their own.

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Rattlers girls coach Jodi Stanley has won and won often at LSRV

When she was 5, Jodi Stanley went to Casper (Wyo.) College with her father. It was her first time in a city bigger than Baggs, Wyo., and her first time on a college campus. One thing above all others stuck out to Stanley on the trip — an outdoor basketball court. With lights surrounding the court, Stanley said she was fascinated by the idea of being able to play ball at any time of the day.

Friday, April 20

On the Record for April 20, 2012

On the Record for April 20, 2012

Janet Sheridan: In praise of poets

I’ve had a rocky relationship with poetry since my Mother Goose days. I admired the little girl who had a little curl and who, when bad, was horrid. But, I questioned the intelligence of Little Jack Horner: with an entire Christmas pie to himself, he ate only the plum? I enjoyed sitting with my siblings in a circle of lamplight as Mom introduced us to the highwayman “riding, riding, up to the old inn door,“ Paul Revere sending a “cry of alarm to every Middlesex village and farm,” and the raven croaking, “Nevermore.” Then in third grade during a lesson on rhyme, Mrs. Beal had us write a couplet with the word “day” at the end of the first line. I sighed, chewed my pencil, and worried.

Letter: National Infant Immunization Week

During National Infant Immunization Week, we want you to know that we, as nurses, fully support and encourage vaccination to people of all ages, especially infants. We firmly stand behind the safety and effectiveness of vaccines and we believe vaccinating may be the most important health-promoting intervention we perform. As parents, this is an opportunity to give your children the best chance at a healthy life. Immunizations have had an enormous impact on improving the health of many in the U.S., including children, families and communities.

Letter: A place is what you make it

I have been on vacation in Craig. Last week, I was able to experience our community from a different perspective. We attended a three-day class at Colorado Northwestern Community College that brought HVAC techs from Denver, Pueblo, Grand Junction, Glenwood Springs, and Carbondale to Craig. The instructor was from Cleveland. We attended eight hours of class and then in the evening we all went out to dinner together, much as you do when you go to a meeting in Las Vegas or anywhere. On Monday night, it was the Tin Cup. Plank salmon was a favorite. Tuesday we went to JW Snacks and the only complaint there was the lack of sweet potato French fries. All other food there was deemed excellent.

Letter: Supermax no party

The article on Super Max was interesting. My youngest son, Marc, is a correction’s officer there. The prison was built for the worst of the worst, and they are guarded by the best of the best. They are well trained in what they do. It is no party for those who are sent there. They are a threat to all of us and to our country. They deserve to only see the light of day one hour per day.

Sports Briefs for April 20: MCHS baseball slammed 11-3 by Rangely

The Moffat County High School varsity baseball team fell, 11-3, in its Thursday afternoon home game against Rangely. The loss puts the Bulldogs season record at 3-9. Coach Justin Folley said the Bulldogs suffered from a frequent rotation of players on the mound. “We gave up some runs we shouldn’t have, but Rangely’s a good-hitting ball club,” he said. Senior Carlos Maldonado helped chip away at Rangely’s early lead, hoping to rally his team in the bottom of the fifth inning by stealing home on a passed ball to bring the score to 7-3, but the home team’s scoring dried up from there and Rangely added four more runs.

Briefs for April 20: Local church hosting movie night

Calvary Baptist Church, 1050 Yampa Ave., will present a screening of “Courageous,” a movie from the creators of “Fireproof,” at 7 p.m. today. Dinner will be served at 6 p.m., and the movie will follow. The event is free and open to anyone. For more information, call 824-5222.

Thursday, April 19

Moffat County Commission candidate’s petition denied

Rick Barnes, 45, a Republican candidate for Moffat County Commission’s District 2 seat, said Thursday he would continue to campaign for county office despite a recent setback. Barnes, who announced his candidacy in January, decided to forego the assembly process and petition his way on to the June primary election ballot. But, his petition has been denied, Moffat County Elections Supervisor Stephanie Beckett said. “The computer beat me,” Barnes said. “But I’m not a quitter. I’ve already been told by my boss (wife Tami) that I can’t quit.”

Wednesday, April 18

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Gail Severson named United Way's 2011 Volunteer of the Year

When Gail Severson’s son, Dan, invited her to lunch in the middle of the week, she was somewhat surprised. When they arrived at the Moffat County Fairgrounds Pavilion instead of a restaurant, she was curious. When the two of them met up with her daughters, Julie Baker and Terri Jourgensen, she was downright suspicious. As she later found out, she had good reason to be.

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Veteran returning to Craig from Afghanistan

VFW hosting welcome home party Sunday for Lance Cpl. Kaleb McCarthy

This weekend, a Craig serviceman returns home from the front lines in Afghanistan. Lance Cpl. Kaleb McCarthy, 21, recently completed his second tour of duty with Fox Company, Second Battalion, in the Fourth Marine Division. He was stationed in Musa Qala, located in the southeastern Afghan province of Helmand.

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MCHS senior Johnny Landa a man of many talents on the track

Johnny Landa never would have guessed what started out as a challenge would develop into a passion Two years ago as a sophomore, Landa said friend and running partner Alfredo Lebron made fun of him saying he wouldn’t be able to make it on the Moffat County High School track and field team. Not one to back down, Landa signed up to run.

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19 child sex charges filed against ex-Steamboat teacher, pastor

John Holland Brothers Jr., a former Steamboat private school teacher and pastor, has been arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting one or more children in Routt County.

Charges filed against Meeker bank robbery suspect

Court documents: Suspect demanded money from teller through a note

Charges have been filed against a 21-year-old Louisiana man suspected of an April 12 robbery at Mountain Valley Bank in Meeker. Jock Waylon Thacker, of Louisiana, is charged in Rio Blanco County Court with robbery and theft of $1,000 to $20,000, both Class 4 felonies. According to court documents, Thacker allegedly entered the bank, 400 Main St., just after 9 a.m. April 12 and approached the teller counter.

On the Record for April 18, 2012

On the Record for April 18, 2012

Former MCHS hoops coach enjoyed different perspective at Adams State

For 34 years, Craig Mortensen got to run the Moffat County High School basketball program the way he wanted. Whether coaching the boys or girls team, Mortensen always had the final say for the Bulldogs. However as an assistant coach for the Adams State College women’s basketball team, Mortensen was in a position to learn as well as teach. “Every coaching style is different and every coach has a different way of doing things,” Mortensen said. “As an assistant coach, I got to see how a team was ran from someone else’s viewpoint and I learned more about the game of basketball.

Forest Service in quandary about Colo. frozen cows

It may take explosives to dislodge a group of cows that wandered into an old ranger cabin high in the Rocky Mountains, then died and froze solid when they couldn't get out. The carcasses were discovered by two Air Force Academy cadets when they snow-shoed up to the cabin in late March. Rangers believe the animals sought shelter during a snowstorm and got stuck and weren't smart enough to find their way out. The cabin is located near the Conundrum Hot Springs, a nine-mile hike from the Aspen area in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness area. Michael Carroll, a spokesman for the Wilderness Society in Colorado, said cattle are often allowed to wander on federal wilderness lands as long as ranchers get a permit from the Forest Service, and sometimes the animals get separated from the herd.

Man shot after denying cigarette request

Colorado Springs police are investigating after a man says he was shot after denying another man's request for a cigarette. Investigators say the man was dropped off Monday at Memorial Hospital with a gunshot wound to the leg. The injury was not life-threatening. The man tells police he was out walking when he was approached by an unknown man who asked for a cigarette. When the victim told the man he did not have a cigarette, the other man pulled out a gun and started shooting.

Letter: Editorial board got it wrong

As a 20-year retired firefighter for the Craig Rural Fire Protection District, I am somewhat insulted by the editorial board’s uneducated stance on the proposed training center. You make a statement that this is not about the firefighters themselves. But by your comments you are saying they do not deserve a place to effectively train as a team and to put their lives on the line to protect all of us without the best training available. This training center is just as important as any other piece of equipment provided to our firefighters. When I became a rookie in 1986 there was no real structured training classes. We learned from our mistakes and from what senior firefighters tried to teach us. A couple years later we as a younger group of firefighters realized how important training was for the district we protected and more importantly our own safety. We set out to become firefighter 1 certified. Firefighter certifications are a nationally known and accepted firefighter training curriculum where you learn all aspects of safe, effective firefighting.

Newborn abducted after mother fatally shot found

A newborn who was abducted form his dying mother after she was repeatedly shot outside a doctor's office in suburban Houston was found safe Tuesday night, investigators said. The healthy 3-day-old infant was found around 8 p.m., about six hours after his mother was fatally shot following a verbal altercation in a parking lot, Montgomery County District Attorney Brett Ligon said. Ligon wouldn't say where the infant was found, but he said the baby was being reunited with his father. A person of interest has been detained though no charges have been filed, he said. The boy's mother, 28-year-old Kayla Marie Golden, was leaving an afternoon checkup with her son when she had a verbal altercation with a woman in a Lexus parked next to her pickup truck, Montgomery County sheriff's Lt. Dan Norris said.

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No gold, but all heart: MCHS sophomore swimmer never quits in the pool

As the 100-yard freestyle race came to a close Saturday in Montrose, swimmers and coaches alike where cheering on the athlete in the outside lane. It wasn’t a record-breaking performance or a swimmer pushing for a state-qualifying time. Curtis Bowser was 20 seconds behind every other swimmer in his heat, but his last-place finish wasn’t the real story. Bowser, a Moffat County High School sophomore, had hardly been in a pool in his 16 years let alone been a competitive swimmer before joining the MCHS boys swimming team this season.

Craig Hotshots unveil new facilities Tuesday

After battling fires for more than 20 years, Shawn Telford knows the virtue of patience and persistence on the job. However, the seasoned firefighter was just as pleased as the rest of his crew to finally see the end result of a project more than decade in the making. The Craig Interagency Hotshots welcomed the community into their new home Tuesday morning during a ceremonial ribbon cutting and open house to celebrate the group’s new facilities at 459 Center St. Telford, superintendent of the Craig crew, was among those to speak at the event, noting the significance of the moment that had been building since the Hotshots began in Craig in 2001.

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Speakers promote activism, awareness, involvement during Freedom Rally

More than 50 local residents and one visitor from Alabama braved the cool air Tuesday for an afternoon filled with protest, music and Constitutional education. The Bears Ears Tea Party Patriots tax day Freedom Rally, an annual event intended to educate local voters about the dealings in Washington, D.C., and inspire change, was headlined by singer/songwriter Joyce Shaffer, of Loma. Shaffer, a Nashville recording artist and recent inductee into America's Old Time Country Music Hall of Fame, bases the bulk of her catalogue on recent events in America. Her songs include titles such as “September 11,” “America is Color-Blind,” “Tucson,” and “Takin’ Back Our Country,” which has received more than 340,000 hits on YouTube.

Briefs for April 18: Farmers market meeting planned

Venders who plan on participating in the 2012 Craig Farmers Market will meet from 6 to 7 p.m. Thursday at Downtown Books, 543 Yampa Ave. The market will take place this year from June 21 through Sept. 20. Set-up fees, site sizes, tax issues and product limitations will be discussed at the meeting, among other topics. Call Bob or Diane Grubb at 620-4243.

Editorial: A good start for sidewalks

A story on the education page in the Saturday Morning Press, “Where sidewalks begin,” caught the attention Monday of editorial board members, and for good reason. The story outlined a proposed City of Craig project to install sidewalks in and around existing neighborhoods near Craig Middle School and Sandrock Elementary School. Sidewalks, as it’s been noted in this opinion space numerous times over the years, are a recurring issue of concern for not only editorial board members, but also many people in the community. A $188,905 Safe Routes to School grant from the Colorado Department of Transportation will pay for the design, engineering and construction of the sidewalk project.

GOP candidates turn attention to June primary

Colorado’s top Republicans were in Denver on Friday and Saturday vying for district and state delegate support and a chance to appear on the June 26 primary ballot. With five Northwest Colorado Republicans running for offices tied to Moffat County, the belief going into Friday’s multi-county district assemblies at the Colorado Convention Center was that each candidate would get their names on the June ballot. However, there were some surprises. Perhaps the biggest occurred in the race for Colorado House District 57 between Ron Roesener, of Parachute, and Bob Rankin, of Glenwood Springs.

Moffat County Commission hosts intergovernmental agency meeting

Eleven county, state and federal officials cited concerns during an intergovernmental meeting Tuesday about Northwest Colorado’s unseasonably dry spring. “With winter being an almost non-event, we’re chasing our tails a little bit trying to get things open,” said Ron Dellacroce, Yampa River State Park and Elkhead Reservoir manager. “Usually things are still wet right now and we need to hold people off, but everything in the river is open. Cross Mountain is getting a lot of use and we’re going to get Elkhead open about a month early as well.” The Moffat County Commission hosted Tuesday’s meeting. During the last intergovernmental meeting the commission hosted, Dellacroce was worried about his department’s budget.

Tuesday, April 17

Livin It Up: Spring cleaning — inside and out

Now that the 1040s and W-2s are out of sight and hopefully out of mind, it’s time to awake from your post-winter lethargy and enjoy the world around you. And there’s no better time than this weekend to reinvigorate yourself.

On the Record for April 17, 2012

On the Record for April 17, 2012

Lance Scranton: The wisdom of Atticus Finch

It’s a commonly celebrated ideal in our country that differences make us stronger as a nation. It’s hard to disagree with that. Without differences I’m certain we would be living in the kind of sterile world only George Orwell’s “Big Brother” would appreciate.

Monday, April 16

Organizer: Grand Olde West Days right on track

Annual Craig festival to revolve around concert, children’s events

When rumors about one of Northwest Colorado’s biggest events of the year found Kandee Dilldine, the speculation came as somewhat of a shock. After all, if the gossip was true, what were she and her fellow community members working on in recent weeks? The status of the 22nd annual Grand Olde West Days is alive and well, and is scheduled for its usual Craig calendar slot of Memorial Day weekend, May 26 to 28. Dilldine, an event organizer, said Monday she wished to set straight any misconception about whether GOWD will be happening this year.

GOP candidates turn attention to June primary

Colorado’s top Republicans were in Denver on Friday and Saturday vying for district and state delegate support and a chance to appear on the June 26 primary ballot. With five Northwest Colorado Republicans running for offices tied to Moffat County, the belief going into Friday’s multi-county district assemblies at the Colorado Convention Center was that each candidate would get their names on the June ballot. However, there were some surprises.

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School bus crashes into baseball field behind CMS

71-year-old driver was also at the wheel in May 2011 crash

A Moffat County School District bus crashed Monday morning, knocking down a light fixture in the baseball field at Craig Middle School, 915 Yampa Ave., before the bus came to a halt. The accident occurred around 8 a.m. Monday after bus driver Patricia Hering, 71, dropped CMS students off at the main building before starting her normal route back to the bus garage north of the school. Bryan Gonzalez, a Craig Police Department corporal, said as Hering drove the bus back to the garage, she rear-ended the bus in front of her before heading in a northwest direction into the field behind the baseball diamond.

Shell planning for new wells in Moffat, Routt counties

Representatives from Shell Oil Company quashed rumors the energy production giant has plans to buy a hotel in Craig for its employees exploring the Niobrara Formation. Matt Holman, exploration project manager for Shell’s Northwest Colorado operations, conveyed that message last week. “I can honestly deny that rumor. Shell has no interest in buying a hotel,” Holman said. “There are a lot of other uses for a hotel than catering to Shell and we wouldn’t want to get in the way of other revenue opportunities like hunting, for example.” Holman said Shell has acquired the necessary land leases to construct temporary residences near its base of operations in the Hamilton and Waddle Creek areas.

Elementary principal Julie Baker to serve as interim principal for 2012-13

Moffat County School District officials have suspended their search for a permanent Craig Middle School principal and promoted another administrator to temporarily fill the position. Julie Baker, principal of Ridgeview and Maybell elementary schools, will serve as interim CMS principal for the 2012-13 school year, Superintendent Joe Petrone said Friday. Her experience and track record with the school district made her an ideal choice to fill the gap left by outgoing principal Bill Toovey, Petrone said. Baker has “proven ability as a leader,” the superintendent said.

Midwest towns say early storm warnings saved lives

The television was tuned to forecasters' dire warnings of an impending storm when Greg Tomlyanobich heard a short burst from a tornado siren blare after midnight Sunday. Then silence. Then rumbling. The 52-year-old quickly grabbed his wife and grandson, hurrying them into the emergency cellar as debris whirled around their heads at their mobile home park in northwest Oklahoma. They huddled inside with about 20 other people before the tornado — among dozens that swept across the nation's midsection during the weekend — roared across the ground above, ripping homes from their foundations. "It scared the hell out of me," Tomlyanobich said. The storm killed five people, including three children, and injured more than two dozen in Woodward, a town about 140 miles northwest of Oklahoma City. But it was the only tornado that caused fatalities. Many of the touchdowns raked harmlessly across isolated stretches of rural Kansas, and though communities there and in Iowa were hit, residents and officials credited days of urgent warnings from forecasters for saving lives.

Storm brings foot of snow to Colo. Mountains

A fast-moving spring snowstorm that dumped up to 2 inches in the Denver metro area also brought about a foot of snow to some areas of the mountains. Wintry weather lingered across parts of Colorado Sunday prompting officials to temporarily close U.S. 6 at Loveland Pass near the Continental Divide west of Denver. Snow prompted officials to postpone a minor league baseball game in Colorado Springs.

Delta pounds MCHS in Saturday doubleheader

From line drives to base hits, the Moffat County High School varsity baseball team struggled to slow the Delta offense Saturday on the road. In the Bulldogs first doubleheader since March 30, MCHS gave up four runs in the first inning in both games, falling 13-6 in the first and 20-1 in the second. “Delta came out swinging in the first game and hit the ball really well all day,” head coach Justin Folley said. “They had some hits in each game, but we made some mistakes in the field that cost us. But, when they come out swinging like they did, it is without a doubt hard to stop them.” Senior Ivan Nielsen started at pitcher in the first game for the Bulldogs, who dropped to 3-8 overall and 1-5 in the Western Slope League.

Sports Briefs for April 16: Youth track team accepting registration today

Moffat County Youth Track is registering youth runners today for a fundraising track meet to help support the Moffat County High School track and field program. Registration is at 4:30 p.m. at MCHS and practice will follow from 5:15 to 6:15 p.m. on the track. Interested runners in kindergarten to sixth grade may participate. The team will practice every Monday and Thursday from 5:15 to 6:15 p.m., with the season culminating at the track meet at 5 p.m. May 14 at MCHS.

letter: Thank you to the CNCC

We would like to acknowledge and thank the Colorado Northwestern Community College Craig Campus for allowing us to use CNCC facilities for our recent school board governance retreat. Our pride in the new CNCC campus and programs goes unquestioned. We would like to acknowledge Dr. JoAnn Baxter for facilitating the retreat. We are thankful for her leadership and continuous support of the board. Interactions within our community remain one of our biggest commitments.

Senior Spotlight for April 16: April showers bring May flowers

I was listening to the news on the television and they were talking about tornadoes. I thought, my gosh, those poor people. Imagine more than 100 tornadoes in a short period of time. Colorado never sounded so good.

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‘Choose what kind of day you’ll have’: Five minutes with Kirk McKey, 58, owner of McKey Chiropractic Clinic

Where is your hometown? “A little town in central Mississippi named Utica. It’s probably about the size of Meeker.” When did you first move to Craig? “October of 1979. I came out here for skiing in the spring, and then decided to move out here. I love Colorado. Craig’s been a great place to raise kids.” Motto or outlook on life? “Be thankful for what you’ve got every day. Another idea I think is good is that you choose what kind of day you’ll have.” When did you first get started in your job? “1976. My cousin suffered from headaches and he went to a chiropractor who took care of it. That’s when I started to look into it and decided that’s what I wanted to do.” Favorite part of life in Northwest Colorado? “The open spaces. There’s so much land that you have access to go out and enjoy like Freeman Reservoir and Browns Park.”

Cahill pitches Diamondbacks past Rockies 5-2

Trevor Cahill earned his first win for Arizona with an outing Sunday that Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson called "very dominant." The Diamondbacks beat the Colorado Rockies 5-2 as Cahill, acquired from Oakland in the offseason, held the Rockies to four singles and one run in 7 1-3 innings. Chris Young homered and drove in three runs, and Aaron Hill singled home Arizona's final two runs in the fifth. Last Tuesday in his Diamondbacks' debut, Cahill (1-0) gave up only two hits and one run in six innings at San Diego. But he walked six and wasn't involved in the decision as Arizona won 4-2.

Bulldog Sports for April 16

Moffat County High School sports schedule for the week of April 16, 2012.

Local insurance agency widens regional business presence

While many Craig businesses work purely within the confines of city limits, one continues to push beyond the boundaries of Northwest Colorado. As of the beginning of April, Mountain West Insurance & Financial Services LLC, 100 E. Victory Way, has a new component to its business with the acquisition of the Grand Junction company Valley Financial Services, Inc. Merging with the business, Mountain West adds nine Valley Financial employees to its ranks. Sue Voloshin, operations manager for Mountain West, said the addition, the process of which began in October 2011, will give the business an extra wealth of experience in the insurance industry. “They’re very strong in life and health benefits, so by combining with them it increased our footprint on the Western Slope and lets them use expertise with our clients,” she said. “It also gives them a chance to do more with property and casualty, which is what we’re strong in. It works for both organizations.”

Tea party hosting tax day Freedom Rally on Tuesday

An annual tax day Freedom Rally hosted by the Bears Ears Tea Party Patriots is slated for 5 p.m. Tuesday on the Moffat County Courthouse lawn, 221 W. Victory Way. Tea party chapter member Matt Winey said there are two purposes to the rally. “Part of it is a protest against high taxes and part of it is a rally to get everyone fired up,” he said. “It’s an election year … so it’s about getting people fired up about their freedom.” Several people are scheduled to present during the rally, headlined by Grand Junction singer Joyce Schaffer, known for writing music with a patriotic theme.

Briefs for April 16: Medicare counseling in Craig

Medicare consultations will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday in room 106 of Colorado Northwestern Community College’s Bell Tower Building, 50 College Drive. Betsy Packer, with the State Health Insurance Assistance Program, is available the first and third Tuesdays of every month to offer one-on-one help to residents with Medicare and their families. The consultations are free and confidential, and they are open to residents who receive Medicare, which is for people 65 and older, or who will be receiving Medicare services in the near future. For more information, call Packer at 819-6937 or call 1-888-696-7213.

Yampa Valley Data Partners report: Drilling crews leave small economic footprint in Northwest Colorado

Chris Oxley has watched oil activity in Moffat County ebb and flow for years. The Craig Chamber of Commerce executive director said Thursday that pipeline projects and oil drilling has filled area hotels, trailer parks and rooms in private residences. It’s also brought a buzz of activity to town. But she said the buzz doesn’t tend to last long and the economic impact of oil rig workers who sleep and stay in Craig when exploration activity ramps up is smaller than people may realize. “The biggest effect it is going to have here is on government in terms of the taxes collected, mineral royalties, and the severance tax down the road,” Oxley said about oil and gas activity overall.

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After final game, duties don’t end for MCHS coaches

The Moffat County High School football season ended in November, but it only marked the beginning of the next season for head coach Kip Hafey. With four months until practice officially begins for the football team, Hafey said he has met with his assistant coaches every week since the season ended “We want to give as many opportunities to our players to develop as we can, but I also want to do that for my coaches,” Hafey said. “This is the offseason, but we are still developing ideas and schemes for offense, defense and special teams so we can implement them and improve.” Hafey, like most high school coaches, doesn’t stop his coaching duties when the last game is played.

Saturday, April 14

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John Raftopoulos’s Angus bull program recognized as best in the state

The Raftopoulos name has been synonymous with Moffat County ranching for almost a century. The family is best known for its connection to the sheep industry. But on March 31, John Raftopoulos, 60, of Raftopoulos Ranches, was recognized as the 2011 Promoter of the Year by the Colorado Angus Association for his ability to raise some of the best performing, high-altitude Angus cattle in Colorado. Raftopoulos Ranches expanded into the commercial and registered Angus seed stock business 10 years ago.

Playing on the ranch

Some of my fondest memories of growing up on the ranch involve playing with my sisters. (Our brother came along when I was 14, so I didn’t get to play with him.) Most of our play involved imagination. Sometimes I wonder what we girls would have thought of all the electronic toys on the market today. We didn’t even have electricity on the ranch until (I’m guessing) I was at least 10, so there was no television, though we did have a battery-powered radio. We lived 23 miles from Craig but didn’t go to town as often as people would now.

NJ mayor carries woman out of her burning home

In a smoky stairwell, with embers falling from the ceiling and his neighbor slung over his shoulder, Cory Booker called it his "proverbial come-to-Jesus moment." The mayor of New Jersey's largest city was carrying out a constituent he had rushed into a burning home to save, first pushing aside his security detail who tried to hold him back by his belt. He didn't feel like a hero: "I felt terror," he told reporters on Friday, holding a children's fire safety video with his burned, bandaged right hand. The 42-year-old mayor, who has dug out snowbound residents in a blizzard, lived in a rundown housing project to make a point and tagged along on police patrols to lecture drug dealers, took on a new status Friday: the politician who can do almost anything. Thousands took to Twitter, calling Booker Superman and inviting him to solve the North Korean missile crisis or run for president. The governor called it a "brave move" and the fire director said the mayor was one of the most heroic men he'd ever met.

Amtrak says Kansas rail service could move by 2016

If money to upgrade and maintain Amtrak's Southwest Chief route through Kansas isn't promised by 2014, the passenger rail service will start the process of moving the route out of the state by 2016, Amtrak officials told a group of legislative and transportation officials. The poor condition of the track between Hutchinson and Garden City forces Amtrak to slow down its passenger trains, which go through western Kansas on a daily route between Chicago and Los Angeles. The track is owned by BNSF Railway, which maintains the lines just enough to allow its freight trains to go 30 to 40 mph. BNSF's investment in maintenance has dropped in recent years as freight traffic has declined.

Colo. GOP choosing more delegates for convention

The Republican race for president appears settled, but Colorado Republicans are anything but united behind apparent nominee Mitt Romney. On a second day of choosing delegates to the Republican National Convention on Friday, Colorado Republicans split their choices. Some candidates pledged to Romney advanced, while others who vowed to keep looking for a more-conservative alternative won, too. The mood was rocky, with some activists cheering for delegate hopefuls who urged unity behind Romney, and others cheering just as loud for delegates who said they're not sold on Romney. Nobody summed it up better than 78-year-old Dan Cleveland of Littleton, who voted in precinct caucuses for Santorum, who scored a surprise win in Colorado two months ago. Cleveland said he wants to see a candidate who is a combination of Santorum and Romney — "which we know we can't have."

Investigation into Thursday bank robbery in Meeker ongoing

Twenty-four hours after the first bank robbery in Meeker in 116 years, Mountain Valley Bank President and Chief Executive Officer Terry Jost praised his employees for following company protocol. “We have established procedures for dealing with these kinds of threats and basically tellers are trained to treat it (a robbery) as a transaction,” Jost said. “The goal is to get the person off the premises as soon as possible, secure the building and make sure they don’t come back.” Jock Thacker, a Louisiana man, alleged robbed Mountain Valley Bank on Thursday. He was arrested on suspicion of bank robbery a short time later. Authorities reported he did not use a weapon.

Sports Briefs for April 14: MCHS girls golf results from Tuesday, Wednesday tournaments

The Moffat County High School girls varsity golf team competed Tuesday and Wednesday in Montrose, first at Black Canyon Golf Course and then at The Bridges Golf Course. On Tuesday at Black Canyon, senior Sam Fox led the way for the Bulldogs, taking seventh place with a score of 94. Sophomore Caitlin Harjes took second on the team with a 105. On Wednesday at The Bridges Golf Course, the Bulldogs formed two, three-player scramble teams.

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LSRV coach/teacher thriving, winning at small school in Baggs, Wyo.

If the doors of the Little Snake River Valley School are open, chances are Mike Bates is somewhere to be found on the small campus in Baggs, Wyo. Monday through Thursday, Bates is a social studies teacher, tutoring students on his favorite subject — history — at LSRV. After school days in the fall, Bates is on the football field preparing his six-man football team for the next opponent and in the spring, he is on the track helping sprinters develop speed. Even in the winter, when Bates isn’t a coach for the Rattlers, he is often seen sitting in the corner near the door watching the school’s successful basketball teams defend their home court.

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Sidewalk project near local schools progressing, construction date unknown

Students at Craig Middle School and Sandrock Elementary School will, at some point, have a safer way to walk to and from school. But exactly when the City of Craig can start a grant funded-sidewalk project is still “up in the air,” City Manager Jim Ferree said. The city plans to install sidewalks along portions of Yampa Avenue and Russell, Tucker and Rose streets between Eighth and Ninth streets, just south of CMS and Sandrock Elementary. Proposed walkways also are planned on portions of Ninth Street, Breeze Street and 10th Street, the last of which lies northeast of Sandrock Elementary.

Editorial: Fire district violated public trust

Moffat County voters sent a clear message to the Craig Rural Fire Protection District in 2002. When local residents went to vote that year on a proposed mill levy increase for the district, which would have paid for a fire training facility, they shot it down, 849 to 270. The answer to whether Craig needed a new training facility was a resounding “no.” Now, fire district officials have resurrected the proposal, only this time they’re sidestepping voters altogether.

‘Chili MacCheese Dog,’ a cheap but fun meal for those on the go

I’ve been inundated by paperwork this week. That, and calving season have gotten me way behind. When I mentioned this to our grandchildren in Bailey, they said they would send me a recipe for this week’s column. Kenny is 18 and enrolled in a pre-engineering program at Red Rocks. Megan, nearly 15, is a freshman at Platte Canyon High School. Both of them enjoy cooking, especially their own recipe creations. Their dad, Jamie, encourages them. The three enjoy nothing more than taking leftovers out of the refrigerator and adding other ingredients to make delicious meals.

New program makes info sharing easier for veterans

Virtual Lifetime Electronic Records is a program designed to help veterans by sharing health information electronically, safely and privately between Veterans Affairs, the Department of Defense and selected private health care facilities that are members of the secure Nationwide Health Information Network. So, if you have been treated for something in a private hospital and go to a VA hospital, the VA hospital can contact the private hospital and get an instant update on your condition without putting you through many tests. This also pertains to going to a private hospital and health care personnel being able to access your health information from the VA hospital. If there is a life-threatening situation that arises, this program will speed up the time it takes to treat you. I have the form in my office.

Briefs for April 14: Medicare counseling in Craig

Medicare consultations take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday in room 106 of Colorado Northwestern Community College’s Bell Tower Building, 50 College Dr. Betsy Packer, with the State Health Insurance Assistance Program, is available the first and third Tuesdays of every month to offer one-on-one help to residents with Medicare and their families. The consultations are free and confidential, and they are open to residents who receive Medicare, which is for people 65 and older, or who will be receiving Medicare services in the near future. For more information, call Packer at 819-6937 or call 1-888-696-7213.

Friday, April 13

Report points to sustained economic recovery in Moffat County

Several key indicators point to a continued, but slow, economic recovery for Moffat County, with both gross retail sales and unemployment numbers expected to improve during the second quarter. Scott Ford, a local economic analyst and an advisor for Yampa Valley Data Partners, said the group’s second quarter economic forecast gives reason for optimism in Northwest Colorado. “We’re just barely moving on some stuff, but it’s there,” Ford said, referring to economic indicators like consumer confidence, consumer spending and unemployment. Ford said one of the region’s most reliable data tools is the economic stress indicator, which analyzes the total local workforce and the number of jobs from year to year.

Briefs for April 13: Book drive ends today

Today is the final day to donate used books to the Friends of Moffat County Education’s 13-3 Book Project. The project is designed to gather 13,000 books to give away to local preschool through fifth-grade students. Books can be dropped off at East Elementary School, 600 Texas Ave; Ridgeview Elementary School, 600 Westridge Road; Sandrock Elementary School, 201 E. Ninth St.; Sunset Elementary School, 800 W. Seventh St.; Craig Middle School, 915 Yampa Ave.; or Moffat County High School, 900 Finley Lane.

Letter: Keep Craig beautiful

This is for the person or people who deemed (means thought) it was appropriate (means OK) to leave several large bags of trash and broken beer bottles on top of the Sandrocks above Moffat County High School: I’m a person who loves the outdoors, no matter what the season. Just being outside brings me much joy and happiness. The pristine (means untouched) beauty of Craig and Moffat County often astounds me (means blows me away), and I know many others who live here who feel the same way. Walking on top of the Sandrocks in the spring is one of the many privileges (means benefits) of living here.

Letter: Month of the Young Child

Young children here in Craig deserve the best we can give them. April has been proclaimed Month of the Young Child officially by both the Moffat County Commission and the Craig City Council. It is a time to recognize the needs of young children and thank the adults involved in their education and care. Parents, teachers, caregivers and other adults play important roles in the lives of young children, and Month of the Young Child celebrates their efforts.

Letter: U.S. moving toward Socialism

Please stand up. Aristotle once wrote that, in a democracy, people get the government they deserve. In essence, we are responsible for the direction our country is heading, for the leaders we choose, and we’ll be responsible for the condition our country is in as we pass it to our children. This is not intended to be another political complaint, but instead an impassioned plea for all to stand for our beliefs. For decades, we’ve been told killing unborn babies was legal in our society, celebrating the real reason for Christmas was not permitted, and the Commandments are no longer applicable in our halls of justice.

Janet Sheridan: Winning the day

Sometimes when the green-bursting wonder of spring overwhelms all other considerations, I remember a childhood race and an adult conversation: two occasions when I accomplished the impossible, said the right thing, proved my mettle. On clean-up day, an annual spring event at Lake Shore Elementary, students spent the afternoon outdoors: raking, weeding, collecting trash, and complaining. We tried to behave, but running wild in the heady air of spring appealed to us much more than sweeping sidewalks. As the afternoon wore on, our high spirits took over, and we began throwing gravel, swinging sacks of garbage at each other, and hiding from our teachers behind the scraggly shrubs edging the school.

Moffat County Booster Club prepares for fundraising opportunities

Tony Peroulis said getting ideas out in the open is the only way to get them in motion. At the Moffat County Booster Club meeting Thursday in the auditorium at Moffat County High School, Peroulis, the club president, listened to the members in attendance as they threw out ideas on raising money and brining in new members. “We have started with small steps,” Peroulis said to the members. “But, the main thing is that we are getting started. “We have crossed the t’s and dotted the i’s and come together, but we can’t let ideas sit ideal.”

Thursday, April 12

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Sexual assault survivors share stories of pain, redemption at Wednesday presentation

Tara Shaffer was on her guard the night long ago that unalterably changed her life. The college freshman heard warnings that a sexual predator was prowling campus. She and a friend vowed to stick together that night as they went to a party. Shaffer believed she would be safe. But her attacker — the man who pushed her into her apartment and sexually assaulted her —wasn’t hiding in the shadows, she said during a presentation Wednesday night at the Moffat County High School auditorium.

On the Record for April 12, 2012

On the Record for April 12, 2012

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Authorities: Meeker bank robbery suspect in custody

A suspect has been arrested in connection with today’s bank robbery in Meeker, Meeker Police Chief Bob Hervey said. Jock Thacker, of Louisiana, is in custody at Rio Blanco County Jail on suspicion of bank robbery. He is being held on $10,000 bond. At 9:30 a.m. today, an employee of Mountain Valley Bank, 400 Main St., called 911 and reported the robbery. A suspect was arrested Thursday in connection with a bank robbery in Meeker, Meeker Police Chief Bob Hervey said. Jock Thacker, of Louisiana, is in custody at Rio Blanco County Jail on suspicion of bank robbery. He is being held on $10,000 bond. An employee of Mountain Valley Bank, 400 Main St., called 911 at 9:30 a.m. and reported the robbery. Four Meeker Police officers, three Rio Blanco County Sheriff’s Office deputies and one state patrol trooper responded to the scene within a minute and put out a description of the suspect, who had fled.

Wednesday, April 11

Moffat County School District finance director resigning

This summer, Moffat County School District will lose a longtime administrator who Superintendent Joe Petrone described as “pivotal” to the organization. Finance Director Mark Rydberg is leaving the school district to take the director of business services position at Summit School District, which enrolls about 2,800 students. The job offered “a different look at a different school district,” he said. “It’s a good professional opportunity for me and a good personal opportunity for me.” Rydberg, who is not under contract, gave notice of his resignation in late March, he said.

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Father-daughter duo making the best of new relationship

Harry Tripp was no stranger to success on a soccer field in high school. As a sophomore, junior and senior, Harry, who primarily played defense, helped lead his team to the Colorado boys state soccer tournament, advancing as far as the Elite 8. However right out of high school, Harry and his wife, Erica, had their first daughter, Skylar, which Harry said made him put his soccer playing days on the back burner. “When we had Skylar, Erica and I moved here to Craig from the Denver area because I had a job at the coal mine,” he said. “I still played in some adult soccer leagues, but nothing really hashed out and I couldn’t play that often.” Skylar has proven to be the catalyst Harry needed to get back into the game.

Livin' it up: Grab your putter, learn and party hearty

It only comes but once or twice a year, but Friday the 13th is upon us once again. If you’re the superstitious type, that might cast a pallor over the weekend for you, but you don’t need to rely on luck to enjoy some of the stuff going on the next few days.

On the Record for April 11, 2012

On the Record for April 11, 2012

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Craig resident’s new play takes a farcical look at Craig’s founding

Romulus and Remus are twins who are dead-set on bringing civilization to a barely-settled hinterland. Only, in David Morris’ farcical retelling of local history, the twins aren’t vying over the future site of Rome. Instead, their story takes place in what will later be known as Craig. “I’m having this … pretentious, lofty idea and I’m bringing it a little bit more down to earth, you might say,” Morris said about his newest play, “Taming the Wilderness, or the Founding of a Town.” The Craig Middle School English and theater teacher went to Dan Davidson, Museum of Northwest Colorado director, to get familiar with the historical figures involved in Craig’s founding, he said.

Weather prompts red flag warning for western Colorado

Area firefighters hoped to get a large Routt County wildfire under control late Tuesday before fire weather conditions worsened today, prompting the National Weather Service in Grand Junction to issue a red flag warning from noon to 9 p.m. Tuesday’s wildfire was reported shortly after noon at the same time local officials were meeting to discuss wildland fire season conditions and concerns. The fire was not under control as of early Tuesday evening, and no structures had been damaged or were threatened, Routt County Sheriff Garrett Wiggins said. He estimated the fire at Middle Creek Ranch along County Road 31 south of Steamboat Springs had burned 200 acres of grass and brush. Strong winds were helping the fire spread to the northeast along the side of steep, rocky terrain. Wiggins said the wildfire started when ranch workers lost control of an agricultural burn intended to clean out ditches. Such wildfires have become common in recent weeks as dry conditions persist. There have now been at least 10 fires since March 15 that were caused by agricultural burns that got out of control. The Middle Creek Ranch fire could end up being the largest to date.

Bobby Petrino fired at Arkansas after 4 seasons

Arkansas fired coach Bobby Petrino on Tuesday, publicly dressing him down for unfairly hiring his mistress and intentionally misleading his boss about everything from their relationship to her presence at the motorcycle accident that ultimately cost him his job. Athletic director Jeff Long announced his decision at an evening news conference and laid out a stunning laundry list of misdeeds against the man he hired away from the Atlanta Falcons four years ago. The 51-year-old Petrino, a married father of four, had maintained an inappropriate relationship with 25-year-old Jessica Dorrell for a "significant" amount of time and at one point had given her $20,000, Long said. He would not disclose details of the payment, but said both parties confirmed the "gift." Dorrell, a former Razorbacks volleyball player, worked for the Razorbacks Foundation before she was hired by Petrino on March 28. Long said she was one of three finalists out of 159 applicants and got the job after a time frame Long said was "shorter than our normal affirmative action hiring process."

Authorities defend Colo. fire warning attempts

Firefighters are defending their attempts to warn residents about a fast-moving Colorado wildfire in response to questions raised by the family of one of three people killed by the blaze. About an hour before the first wave of automated evacuated warning calls on March 26, a volunteer firefighter rushed from house to house telling residents to leave. He was unable to reach Ann Appel because of a chain across her driveway, and her family is questioning why he didn't leave his vehicle and walk past the chain to warn her. Inter-Canyon Fire/Rescue chief Dave MacBean told KMGH-TV that it wasn't safe because there were trees on both sides of the narrow driveway, which can help a fire spread. Fire spokesman Dan Hatlestad wouldn't directly address the family's question on Tuesday, but the department has said the house wasn't visible from the end of the driveway. An aerial map shows the home was about 400 feet from the end of the road, down a curved driveway. Steep, gravel roads and driveways are common in the rugged area, which is dotted with pine trees.

Fire officials: Too Long Fire contained

Fire crews contained a 319-acre wildfire Monday night about 30 miles northeast of Craig near the Colorado/Wyoming border, the Northwest Colorado Fire Management Unit reported. The Too Long Fire was reported about 2 p.m. Monday. It burned at the base of Long Mountain, six miles south of the state line, according to the release. Firefighters said the fire was “ripping” when they first arrived, with fire behavior moderating later in the day, when they were able to corral the fire and work the perimeter. They contained the fire at 8 p.m., according to the release.

Letter: Elementary schools say thanks

All of us at Ridgeview and Maybell elementary schools would like to give all the businesses in Craig and Maybell a huge thank you for their support and encouragement during our state assessment testing.

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MCHS girls soccer shows fatigue in 6-1 loss to Palisade

Time and again Tuesday, the Moffat County High School girls varsity soccer team’s defense could not gain control of the middle of the field. The Bulldogs hosted Palisade High School at Woodbury Sports Complex in the team’s first game since March 30. Moffat County played even for the first 15 minutes, but Palisade finally got their passes to connect and scored the game’s first goal in the 17th minute. Palisade continued to use what worked, scoring three goals each half to rout the Bulldogs, 6-1.

Sports briefs for April 11: Traveling baseball team registration ends Saturday

Craig Youth Traveling Baseball is accepting registration for the 2012 season. Players ages 8 to 14 can register and the organization is hoping to get a team for each age group. Registration is $50 per player, which includes a hat and jersey. The deadline to register is Saturday and practice begins Monday.

Briefs for April 11: April EDP meeting canceled

A Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership Board meeting set for April 18 has been canceled. The regular meeting schedule will resume May 16. For more information, call the EDP office at 620-4370.

Editorial: ‘A bird in the hand …’

Economic development, particularly today in this struggling economic time, is vital to the short- and long-term outlooks of communities everywhere. Craig and Moffat County’s commitment to economic development is notable. Officials have done a decent job of fostering an environment suitable for local residents and businesses. The Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership is an example of how, coupled with smart spending, city and county officials have partnered to tackle critical issues since the 2008 financial collapse.

Letter: Location for new fire facility is inappropriate

Craig has a new hospital complex and a new college campus just west of Moffat County Road 7. Millions of dollars were spent on improvements for these two additions to the local community.

Moffat County engineering at Shadow Mountain begins today

City of Craig employees assessing water and sewer lines in Shadow Mountain may have some company in the area beginning today. Roy Tipton, Moffat County developmental services director, hosted representatives from NorthWest Colorado Consultants, Inc., last week for a tour of the mobile home subdivision slated for major capital improvement projects at a date still to be determined. NWCC, based in Steamboat Springs, is an environmental engineering and materials testing firm. The purpose of the visit was to estimate the cost and develop a timeline for completion of soil sampling on the 2.2 miles of roads within Shadow Mountain.

A summary report of Craig Police Department activity for March 2012

The police department responded to 1,179 requests for service in March, and Community Service Officers responded to 103 requests for service.

Colorado Democrats advance hiring preference bill

Senate Democrats moved forward with a proposal to give bidding preferences to companies that hire Colorado workers, a bill despised by Republicans who will likely kill it immediately in the GOP-controlled House. The bill is a centerpiece of the Democrats' job-creation plan this session, which the party has geared toward proposals they say help the local workforce and state businesses. But their "buy local, hire local" ideas lack Republican support and many business groups have been critical. Democrats passed the state bidding preference bill Tuesday on a preliminary vote that gave them a chance to highlight their arguments for the legislation, which would give a bidding preference to companies for state service and construction contracts worth more than $1 million if they prove at least 90 percent of their employees are Colorado residents. The companies would get an additional edge in bidding if they provide health care and retirement benefits — a provision Republicans decried as too union-leaning.

City Council ends negotiations with VFW

Following more than a year of failed discussions, the Craig City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to end lease negotiations with Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4265. The two groups had been participating in workshops and exchanging letters in an effort to come to an agreement on lease terms for Craig City Park. The latest volley of letters included an option for the city to acquire the park through eminent domain. The VFW responded Friday with a letter outlining terms for a lease that its membership would be agreeable to, including a monthly rental payment of $1,000 and a lease term of five years.

Tuesday, April 10

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Wildfire burns an estimated 300 acres in Routt County

Weather prompts red flag warning for western Colorado

Area fire officials said Wednesday morning that they were nearing full containment of the Middle Creek Ranch wildfire. A red flag warning is in effect today, meaning high temperatures and sustained winds could lead to increased fire activity.

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Rockfall mitigation continues at Mount Harris Canyon

Crews have removed boulders as large as 6 feet by 6 feet since the Colorado Department of Transportation started a major rockfall prevention project last week along U.S. Highway 40 in the canyon between Steamboat Springs and Hayden.

Lance Scranton: The remedy of ‘I’m sorry’

I was looking out my front window last week and mentioned to my wife, Nadine, that our neighbor’s mailbox looked like it was broken. We soon learned some of our local teens had been connected to some destructive choices over spring break. I began thinking about what would possess teenagers to commit random acts of mailbox mischief and then I remembered something: Many years ago as I was making my way through the choppy waters of high school, I did something really stupid. But the lesson I learned was unforgettable and helped me understand the effect my actions have on others.

Monday, April 9

Fire officials: Too Long Fire contained

Fire crews contained a 319-acre wildfire Monday night about 30 miles northeast of Craig near the Colorado/Wyoming border, the Northwest Colorado Fire Management Unit reported. The Too Long Fire was reported about 2 p.m. Monday. It burned at the base of Long Mountain, six miles south of the state line, according to the release.

Police beat: A summary report of Craig Police Department activity for March 2012

Crime summary: The police department responded to 1,179 requests for service in March, and community service officers responded to 103 requests for service.

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Out-of-town play boost Yampa Valley Golf Course revenues in first 3 weeks

Last year, the Yampa Valley Golf Course had just less than 900 rounds played in the first three weeks the course was open. This season, almost 1,800 rounds have been played in the first three weeks, about double last year’s total. And, the course opened two weeks earlier than last year thanks to a mild winter and a warm spring. The golf course opened March 16 and has been open every day since, racking up 1,057 rounds played by non-members and 720 member-rounds through Sunday. Jason Back, the golf course professional, said the early-season play has been huge in trying to make up for last year’s loss in revenue.

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County revamp of east Loudy-Simpson pond to create better access for fishermen

Fishing enthusiasts will soon have an easier way to cast their lines into Loudy-Simpson Park’s east pond. This winter, county crews added a shallow pool to the pond on the east side of South Ranney Street. Improvements also include a parking lot and, if Moffat County Commissioner Tom Mathers’ plans come to fruition, a few picnic tables, he said. The pond, which is part of Loudy-Simpson Park, is a known but under-used fishing destination, said Lennie Gillam, Moffat County maintenance and facilities director. “I don’t think it gets fished as much over there because there isn’t as much access to it,” he said.

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‘Titans’ sequel incurs less wrath from fantasy lovers

Battling creatures so large they block out the sky feels like an appropriate analogy for the people involved in “Wrath of the Titans.” After all, considering how little hope there was for them following their last movie, reaching for that mere glimmer of light seems all the more heroic.

On the Record for April 9, 2012

On the Record for April 9, 2012

Sports Briefs for April 9: Traveling baseball teams accepting registration

Craig Youth Traveling Baseball is now accepting registration for the 2012 season. Players 8 to 14 can register and the organization is hoping to get a team for each age group. Registration is $50 per player, which includes a hat and jersey. The deadline to register is April 14 and practice will begin April 16.

Briefs for April 9: Humane Society meeting today

The Humane Society of Moffat County will meet at 6 p.m. today at the Golden Cavvy, 538 Yampa Ave. Residents who want to learn more about the organization are welcome to attend. For more information, call Ann Anderson at 620-2014.

Tebow draws big crowd to Texas Easter service

Tim Tebow drew a crowd of about 15,000 to an outdoor Easter church service Sunday, telling the gathering it's important to be outspoken about faith while admonishing athletes about not being better role models. "In Christianity, it's the Pope and Tebow right now," Celebration Church pastor Joe Champion he said. "We didn't have enough room to handle the Pope." Tebow — devout Christian, backup NFL quarterback and cultural phenomenon — has a flock of admirers drawn as much to his religious leanings as his Heisman Trophy skills. Tebow told them he welcomed the attention on his convictions as well as the "Tebowing" prayer pose he often strikes on the field because it puts his faith and prayer in the public conversation.

Natural gas glut means drilling boom must slow

The U.S. natural gas market is bursting at the seams. So much natural gas is being produced that soon there may be nowhere left to put the country's swelling surplus. After years of explosive growth, natural gas producers are retrenching. The underground salt caverns, depleted oil fields and aquifers that store natural gas are rapidly filling up after a balmy winter depressed demand for home heating. The glut has benefited businesses and homeowners that use natural gas. But with natural gas prices at a 10-year low — and falling — companies that produce the fuel are becoming victims of their drilling successes. Their stock prices are falling in anticipation of declining profits and scaled-back growth plans.

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Upcoming presentation to dispel myths, raise awareness about sexual assault

Sexual predators are strangers who lurk in dark alleys. Young children are the primary victims of sexual crimes. Sexual assault doesn’t happen in Moffat County. The above notions are false, said Karen Zimmerman, who coordinates Moffat County’s Sex Assault Response Team.

Senior Spotlight for April 9: Easter colors are plentiful

The Easter colors were plentiful as Easter eggs were put out in various places around town. Like turkey on Thanksgiving, eggs will be around in sandwiches, salads, brunch, etc. Memories of Easter will be made and of Easters past retold. Hopefully also recalled, and I hope, too, that people spent time with friends, family, etc., at a church service, or a place of giving. We should all be thankful for what we have, regardless of how little or how much.

Watson wins Masters playoff over Oosthuizen

The rarest shot in golf can happen any time Bubba Watson has a golf club in hands. Watson was so deep in the woods late Sunday afternoon that he couldn't even see where he was going. With his golf ball nestled on a bed of pine needles, he hit a gap wedge that shot out toward the fairway and hooked some 40 yards and onto the elevated green. Nothing less than the Masters was riding on the outcome. Nothing else would do except for a page right out of "Bubba golf." And on a thrill-a-minute Sunday at Augusta National, where Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa made only the fourth double eagle in the 76-year history of this major, it made Watson a Masters champion.

IRS offers online assistance leading up to income tax deadline

The annual task of finishing an income tax return is one many people put off until the very last minute. Even for those well-practiced in procrastination, the homestretch before the final deadline doesn’t have to be terrifying. With an extra two days this year to complete and submit federal and state tax returns for 2011, there’s less need to panic about being late. Besides the traditional April 15 date falling on a Sunday, the Washington, D.C. holiday, Emancipation Day, is April 16, making this year’s deadline April 17. Compiling all your forms, receipts and various accoutrements to take to your accountant could be difficult at this point, with tax experts experiencing their undoubtedly busiest time of year, and even using TurboTax software might be complex without someone to take you through it step by step.

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‘Live how you would want to be remembered’: Five minutes with Kenny Cooper, 26, technician at Lube Plus

Where is your hometown? “I’m from good ol’ Craig.” What has kept you in Craig? “Family, mostly. I’ve got two kids, one’s about a year old now and the other one is 7.” Motto or outlook on life? “Live how you would want to be remembered.” When did you start in your job? “About 2010. I was living in Fruita for a while, too, working at the Valvoline there, but then I came up here to work.”

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Candidates bid for support of Craig voters

For the first time since the Feb. 7 Moffat County Commission candidate debates, two candidates vying for the same office arrived in Craig to discuss issues. Bob Rankin and Ron Roesener, Republican candidates in the race for Colorado House District 57, were hosted by the Bears Ears Tea Party Patriots on Thursday at The Center of Craig, 601 Yampa Ave. It was the first time Craig and Moffat County voters were able to address the candidates at the same time. The event drew more than 30 residents.

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MCHS senior Ivan Nielsen making most of final baseball season

Ivan Nielsen likes pressure on his shoulders. Whether at first base, on the mound or at the plate, Nielsen, a Moffat County High School senior, wants his varsity baseball teammates to rely on him. And, the reliance has never been more important than this season for Nielsen, as he is one of two seniors for the Bulldogs and made the step up from relief pitcher to starting ace. “As a pitcher, no matter what, you are involved in every play and you run the pace of the game,” Nielsen said. “Fast or slow, it is your decision. And, your teammates back you and rely on you, so you have to have that can-win attitude.”

Bulldog Sports for April 9, 2012

Moffat County High School sports schedule for the week of April 9, 2012.

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Portrait of devotion: A memorial tribute to late Craig resident Dan McIntyre

Dan McIntyre wasn’t the kind of man to seek prestige and notoriety. The Craig resident didn’t hold elected office, and he wasn’t a fixture in places of power. Although he served a term on the Craig Daily Press editorial board, he didn’t gauge his life against the fickle standards of public opinion. Instead, the retired U.S. Forest Service engineer and Vietnam veteran made a mark in a more personal arena.

Saturday, April 7

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MCHS athletes O’Mailia, Walt experience new world of hockey in Switzerland

Jarret Walt sat in a Switzerland hostel last week with his hockey teammates, flipping through mostly German-speaking TV stations. After finding a sports channel and muting the voices, Walt said he saw something that inspired him. “Hockey players in Europe take their celebrations after goals a lot more seriously than we do in America,” Walt said. “My teammates and I picked up a bunch of new celebrations and decided to try one. After a sweet play and my teammates goal, we slide to our knees and high-fived each other.” New celebrations was one of the many things Walt, a Moffat County High School junior, and senior Ethan O’Mailia got to experience last week as part of the Colorado Ski Country Selects youth hockey team.

City, VFW exchange letters in park negotiations

Tensions between the Craig City Council and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4265 seemed to ease when the groups met in late January to discuss Craig City Park. But a recent exchange of letters again has put the fate of the park in question. On March 7, following speculation the VFW was exploring legal avenues to have certain deed restrictions lifted from City Park, Craig City Manager Jim Ferree issued a letter to VFW Post Commander Dave Walters. The letter was initiated by city council members concerned that, if successful in removing the deed restrictions, the VFW would be in possession of valuable commercial real estate it could put up for sale, eliminating park space.

Guest column: Rationale behind proposed Craig fire training facility

Why do firefighters need a live burn building and training tower in Craig when Hayden already has one? There are two primary reasons for better training facilities in Craig — protection of the fire district and safety of our firefighters. Craig Fire/Rescue maintains an excellent working relationship with the West Routt Fire Protection District. We have used the Hayden burn facility many times since it was built.

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Teacher couples balance families with shared enthusiasm for education

Norm Yoast is a science teacher to the core. Abbreviations from the periodic table of elements take the place of numbers on the clock in his eighth-grade classroom at Craig Middle School, and a picture of a wild-haired Doc Brown from “Back to the Future” hangs near the door. It’s only a few steps away from his door to the eighth-grade math teacher’s classroom. That teacher happens to be his wife, Deb Yoast.

Government Update for April 7: Moffat County Commission meeting

When: 8 a.m. Tuesday Where: Moffat County Courthouse, 221 W. Victory Way Agenda: • 8 to 8:05 a.m. Call to order, Pledge of Allegiance, moment of silence

LSRV track and field teams looking to repeat as champions

Both the Little Snake River Valley School boys and girls varsity basketball teams brought home state titles in March to Baggs, Wyo. Neither team lost a game all season as the boys repeated as champions and the girls team got retribution for a third-place finish in 2011. But, the celebration couldn’t last too long, as both sets of athletes had another state title to aim for. The LSRV track and field team got under way March 23 at the Natrona Invite in Casper.

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CNCC nursing program receives accreditation from national commission

Kelly Martin-Puleo was teaching a class at Colorado Northwestern Community College’s Craig campus Monday when the envelope came. The piece of paper inside would reveal whether two years of work had paid off for the college’s nursing program, which was seeking a nod of approval from a national accrediting commission. Martin-Puleo, the program’s director, opened the envelope and found the answer she was looking for: the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission had granted the program initial accreditation. Receiving the distinction was a welcome conclusion to a two-year candidacy process that included a site visit in fall 2011.

Letter: Obama's re-election could be doomsday

Nov. 6 could be doomsday for our nation. We absolutely have to replace the dictator in the White House with someone who believes in our constitution. We have to vote in senators and representatives who will stand up against any such person in the Oval Office and say, "Enough." Just look at the damage President Barack Obama has done:

Police blotter for April 7

Kyra L. McLean, 23, of Craig, was booked into Moffat County Jail on suspicion of obstructing a peace officer. Matthew Tee Weidner, 29, of Craig, was booked into Moffat County Jail on suspicion of obstructing a peace officer and disorderly conduct.

Editorial: Moving forward

Every year when spring arrives, the community’s attention turns to the condition of our surroundings here in Craig and Moffat County. This attention comes both in praise for the natural beauty of the Yampa Valley as well as frustration over the various nicks and blemishes that mask that aesthetic appeal. One eyesore has fallen into the latter category the last couple of years yet remains unaddressed. We’re talking, of course, about the dilapidated site of the Craig Motel on north Yampa Avenue. The sorry condition of the hotel is not a new problem. It burned in a fire in late October 2009.

Briefs for April 7: Mobile food pantry returning to Craig

Food Bank of the Rockies’ mobile food pantry will distribute food from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Boys & Girls Club of Craig, 1324 E. U.S. Highway 40. There are no eligibility requirements. Food will be distributed to anyone who needs it.

“Pie”: A young adult novel

“Pie” is the title of a 2011 young adult novel written by Sarah Weeks. It has a delightfully creative and engaging storyline, and I’ll bet it will leave the reader craving a piece of pie, too. In fact, the reader may even go so far as to bake the pie. The book’s cover art features a big white cat that’s sitting on the word “Pie.” He’s looking up at a hot cherry pie (at least it looks like a cherry pie).

Friday, April 6

Local Fuel Gauge for April 7, 2012

Local Fuel Gauge for April 7, 2012

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Robert Cash sentenced to 38 years in prison

Steamboat Springs resident Robert Cash was sentenced to 38 years in prison Friday for crimes against his former wife that Judge Shelley Hill described as unthinkable and tantamount to torture.

On the Record for April 6, 2012

On the Record for April 6, 2012

Options available for clinic reopening in Baggs, Wyo.

Questions remain over the closure and future of the Noyes Health Care Center in Baggs, Wyo., but the reemergence of a health care facility in the town is possible. On Tuesday, clinic attorney Tom Thompson and representatives from the Little Snake River Rural Health Care District met with the Carbon County Commission and discussed the future of the clinic, which closed two weeks ago. Thompson said the clinic's board is "exploring options in regards to the building in order to look at the possibility of running a medical clinic out of that building in one form or another." "I cannot give you a definitive timeline, but I can tell you that I would think within the next 30 days they're going to have an idea as to which direction they need to take,” Thompson said.

Holiday services, events scheduled

The following is a list of Easter services and events slated for Moffat County:

Rockies, Astros open their seasons Friday

The Houston Astros begin the Jim Crane era on Friday night against the Colorado Rockies, fielding a team filled with young players looking to bounce back from a season that was the franchise's worst. The sale of the team from Drayton McLane to Crane was completed in November. Crane immediately began looking for ways to improve the Astros in their last year as a member of the National League — also the 50th anniversary of the franchise. A condition of the sale requires a move to the AL West in 2013. Crane insists that the team, which went 56-106 last season, will be better in 2012.

Quicksilver 'motivated' by Moffat County prospects

The Niobrara Formation has long been a resource of interest for some of the country’s largest oil and natural gas producers. After years of research and land plays, companies like Shell, Axia Energy and Gulfport began exploratory operations in Moffat County last spring to determine whether the Niobrara could be the site of the next major domestic oil and natural gas boom. Quicksilver Resources, a company based in Fort Worth, Texas, also staked its claim in the region, and on Tuesday Danny Mondragon, Colorado project manager for Quicksilver, laid out for the Moffat County Commission one of the most ambitious exploration plans to date.

Students allowed to get belongings from school

Police said Thursday they were investigating the possibility that a gunman who killed seven people at a tiny private Christian college had multiple targets that he intended to kill in his rampage. A day earlier, police said the apparent target had been the director of the nursing program at Oikos University. However, Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan said late Wednesday that the gunman had been seeking another female administrator, not the nursing director. Officer Johnna Watson, a police spokeswoman, would not identify the other administrator but said she no longer works at the school. She did not clarify whether the nursing director could be among the group.

Briefs for April 6: Black Mountain Theatre rehearsals

Rehearsals for “Taming the Wilderness, or A Tale of Two Towns,” a play written by Craig resident David Morris, begin at 7 p.m. Monday in the Craig Middle School auditorium, 915 Yampa Ave. Members of the public are welcome to audition. Attendees should use the school’s north entrance. For more information, call Randy Looper at 826-4444.

Mapping glitch blamed for no Colo. fire warnings

Software that failed to recognize a community name and a discrepancy between coordinates on Google maps and a mapping system are being blamed for the failure to alert some residents to a deadly Colorado wildfire. A document released Thursday by the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office indicates mapping software used by FirstCall Network Inc. didn't recognize where to map homes listed as being in Morrison. Those homes were placed in an "unknown" category and received no warnings about the fire. They included the home of Ann Appel, who is believed to have died in the blaze. Appel was one of the first residents to call 911 to report smoke over her house and was told it was a small, 5 acre fire.

Janet Sheridan: In honor of National Library Week, April 8 - 14

I zipped my coat, wound tight a ticklish scarf, exited a low-slung building filled with pondered words, and entered a day whipped white by frosted wind. I carried riches with me and moved with care, shuffling at times like the elderly ladies who used to amuse me, as I watched them inch their rubber overshoes along sidewalks patched with ice.

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Moffat County Fuller Center aims at finishing first Craig project

On Tuesday, Neil Folks, president of the Moffat County Fuller Center for Housing, set out to continue demolition work on the nonprofit organization’s first local home project. He was at the site again Wednesday, but little was accomplished as a corps of volunteers failed to show up. “We’ve got a lot of interest from people, like contractors and painters, excited to begin the new construction, but no one wants to work on the old,” Folks said. “It’s a little more difficult to rally volunteers for the demolition.”

Craig minors arrested Wednesday night for destruction of mailboxes

It was like a scene out of the movie “Stand by Me” Craig Police Department officers said Thursday when describing random acts of vandalism that occurred late Wednesday night. According to preliminary investigative reports, three local juveniles — two females and one male — were arrested Wednesday for their alleged involvement in the destruction of at least 29 residential mailboxes. Sgt. John Forgay said the three suspects, equipped with a “couple of baseball bats” and an undisclosed automobile, drove through the Woodbury Park, Pine Ridge and Ridgeview neighborhoods swinging at mailboxes.

Neil Folks: What about the other 80 percent?

Years ago, and I won’t tell on my age, we were taught 80 percent of communication between people on a personal and professional basis was non-verbal. That means most of our relationships are built on something non-verbal. Imagine that. Something occurs in the space between two people that’s not always transmitted, frequently referred to as vibes, at the unconscious level. I’m starting to note a huge gap occurring between us where sensations or vibes are not flowing.

Thursday, April 5

Fire warning in effect through tonight

The Grand Junction National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning that remains in effect from noon to 8 p.m. today, the Bureau of Land Management reported in a news release. “A red flag warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now or will shortly,” according to the release. “A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity and warm temperatures will create explosive fire growth potential.”

On the Record for April 5, 2012

On the Record for April 5, 2012

Wednesday, April 4

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Craig K&G looking to expand east location

Proposed 5,000-square-feet store would equal state’s largest

It’s been on the backburner for two years, but it appears plans to expand the Kum & Go convenience store at 700 E. Victory Way could be progressing. Company executives, headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa, sent a site plan Wednesday to city building inspector Dave Costa. The drawing outlines a proposed store more than 5,000 square feet and featuring anywhere from 10 to 18 gasoline pumps. If the site plan is approved and Kum & sticks with the specifications delivered Wednesday, the updated store would be on par with some of the company’s largest convenience locations in the state.

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CNCC basketball teams show improvement under 3rd-year coaches

The Colorado Northwestern Community College women’s basketball team came close all season to posting a winning record for the first time in over 10 years. But the Spartans couldn’t finish in four close games — losing by two to Eastern Utah, by three to Colby Community College, by four to Western Wyoming and by five to Lake Region. Head coach Antowin Edwards said the four losses by five or less points is what defined the season for his team, as they finished with a record of 11-20 overall, 1-14 in the Scenic West Athletic Conference.

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United Way recognizes employees, companies at Wednesday luncheon

In Corrie Ponikvar’s eyes, the nearly $480,000 raised during the 2012 Moffat County United Way campaign is more than a figure on a tally sheet. “This generosity shows the value our community places on making sure everyone has the opportunity for a better life,” the organization’s director told a group of about 45 people at an awards luncheon Wednesday at the Holiday Inn of Craig. The event recognized local companies and their employees who contributed to the campaign. The funds they raised support a range of local agencies, including Advocates-Crisis Support Services and the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association.

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‘21 Jump Street’: Cops or clowns?

The illustrious position of big man on campus is one found at every high school in America. Though some of these kings of the educational system aren’t the brightest bulbs in the box, most of them can at least write off their behavior to the teenage years. Suffice it to say, the boys of “21 Jump Street” can’t make such a claim.

On the Record for April 4, 2012

On the Record for April 4, 2012

Colorado climatologists say state facing drought

Colorado State University climatologists are warning of water restrictions later this year unless the state gets more moisture, with up to 98 percent of the state already facing drought conditions. Aurora Water spokesman Greg Baker says destructive wildfires and an arid March have reduced expectations for this year's water supply. The most severe drought in the state is in the Arkansas Basin where drought areas are reporting extreme conditions as a result of last summer's Texas drought which also affected Colorado.

Moffat County Commission to meet with Routt County

Last week, Moffat County Commissioner Tom Mathers and county natural resources director Jeff Comstock participated in a tri-state oil shale conference in Vernal, Utah. The meeting was called by the Uintah County Commissioners to explore available political processes to open up oil shale reserves in the Green River Basin to exploration and production. Unlike shale oil found in the Niobrara Formation, which is in a liquid state and can be extracted through fracking and horizontal drilling, oil shale is a solid and must be converted to a liquid through the chemical heating process known as pyrolysis.

Briefs for April 4: Medicare counseling consultations available in Craig

Betsy Packer, a trained Medicare State Health Insurance Assistance Program counselor, will be available from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. the first and third Tuesdays of every month for consultations in room 106 of Colorado Northwestern Community College’s Bell Tower Building, 50 College Drive. Packer, who is trained in all aspects of Medicare and Medicare fraud, is available for individual appointments, to speak with Moffat County businesses, to counsel new Medicare recipients and to review Part D during open enrollment, which lasts through Dec. 7.

Moffat County Tourism Association Board meeting agenda

When: 11 a.m. today Where: Hampton Inn conference room, 377 Cedar Court Agenda: • Introduction:

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Craig resident organizing cleanup day in advance of Norman Rockwell exhibit

Amelia Seiler was inspired by what she saw on a recent trip to Madison, Wisc. “It was so clean there,” the 32-year-old Seiler said. “I was completely impressed with people’s care and consciousness for the environment.” The Craig native decided to try to bring what she saw in northern climes to her hometown.

Colorado judge rules against online sales tax

Colorado's tax on online retailers such as Amazon.com has been thrown out by a federal judge. U.S. District Judge Robert Blackburn ruled that the 2010 law did not treat in-state and out-of-state retailers even-handedly. The Denver Post reported that the Colorado Department of Revenue did not immediately say whether it planned to appeal the ruling, which was issued Friday (http://goo.gl/2AotU ). Blackburn's ruling leaves the status quo in place; the court blocked the law on a temporary basis last year.

Commission approves February mineral leases, joinder agreements with Shell

Shell continues to conduct its due diligence as the oil and natural gas company prepares to resume exploratory operations in Moffat County. On Tuesday, Jeff Comstock, Moffat County’s natural resources director, and Dan Davidson, director of the Museum of Northwest Colorado, appeared before the Moffat County Commission seeking approval for a variety of lease agreements, lease amendments and unit joinder agreements with Shell Western Exploration and Production, LP. Comstock presented the commission with the first collection of contracts, which entailed a lease agreement between SWEPI and the county for a three-acre parcel not previously offered in past mineral lease auctions.

CMS wrestler Shandon Hadley takes 3rd at state

Streaks of brightness cut through the dark of the Denver Coliseum on Saturday, as a laser light show acknowledged the best middle school wrestlers in the state during an awards ceremony known as the Parade of Champions. Among the honored was Craig Middle School eighth-grader Shandon Hadley, who placed third overall in the 125-pound weight class of the state wrestling tournament held Friday and in Denver, making him the highest finishing wrestler of the season for CMS. Undefeated for the regular season and a first-place finisher at regionals, Shandon took on contenders from all around Colorado, including 5A schools, fighting through to the end until he was finally pinned.

Sports Briefs for April 4: MCHS boys track and field finishes 4th in Grand Junction, girls 6th

The Moffat County High School varsity track and field team competed Friday in the Warrior Wild West Invitational at Stocker Stadium in Grand Junction. The boys team finished fourth and the girls team sixth out of nine teams. Senior Alfredo Lebron took first place in the 800-meter run, breaking his own school record with a time of 1 minute, 56.76 seconds. Lebron was also part of the boys 4-by-400- and 4-by-800-meter relays, which both finished in first place.

A most eggs-cellent weekend

This Sunday, it’s a time for candy, church, candy, fancy clothes, candy and family. Did we mention candy? Whatever your plans are for Easter, join the rest of the Craig community for events celebrating the holiday or otherwise.

A Romney sweep: He takes Wisconsin, Maryland, DC

Mitt Romney tightened his grip on the Republican presidential nomination Tuesday night, sweeping primaries in Wisconsin, Maryland and Washington, D.C., with time left over to swap charges with President Barack Obama. "Four more years?" Romney asked sarcastically of the president as supporters cheered in Milwaukee. He said Obama was "a little out of touch" after spending four years surrounded by the trappings of power and had presided over near-record job losses as well as increases in poverty, home foreclosures, government debt and gasoline prices. In Washington, Obama said things could be worse — and he predicted they would be if Romney and the Republicans got their way.

Lance Scranton: Tests are like ‘pesky critters’

About this time every year I take my boys out to a friend’s house so we can assist with some bothersome critters that dig holes all over his fields. We train our sights on the vexatious vermin that can make farming a nightmare. When we are leaving and thanking our host, he always says, “Come back anytime, there’s plenty more where they came from.” We must be making a dent in the population of pesky perpetrators but the more we send out our rapid-fire solutions, the more problems show up to take their place. Once a year, about this same time, the State of Colorado comes out to Craig to hunt down our students overall capacity in academics.

Editorial: In pursuit of truth

“The rule is perfect: in all matters of opinion, our adversaries are insane.” — Mark Twain The following scenario can be found everywhere from cable newscasts to coffee shop chats. A hot-button issue arises, and what began as a reasonable conversation spirals into heated disagreement.

Tuesday, April 3

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Jeff Simon named athletic director for the Moffat County School District

Since Jeff Simon took over as athletic director at Moffat County High School in June, he has wanted a more united athletics program in Craig. In early March, Jill Hafey, the athletic director/assistant principal at Craig Middle School, took on a larger role with curricular development for the Moffat County School District. District officials then went to Simon about overseeing both MCHS and CMS as a district athletic director. Simon said he didn’t have to think twice.

On the Record for April 3, 2012

On the Record for April 3, 2012

Monday, April 2

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Moffat County Job Fair sees respectable turnout

More than 150 potential employees lined the hallways Friday of Colorado Northwestern Community College’s Craig campus in hopes of finding a job prospect at the 2012 Moffat County Job Fair. The fair, sponsored by CNCC, the Colorado Workforce Center and the Craig Daily Press, hosted booths for 19 employers, many of them local. Bonnie Stewart, fair organizer and Craig Daily Press advertising manager, said she thought the event was a success.

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New equipment to reduce time TMH patients spend on screening table

Getting diagnostic scans at The Memorial Hospital in Craig will carve less time out of patients’ schedules, thanks to a new machine the hospital board recently approved. The board gave a unanimous green light at its regular meeting for a dual-head nuclear medicine camera. The new machine will replace existing nuclear medicine equipment, which has only one camera. The new machine will reduce scanning times by about half, said Eric Zalusky, TMH diagnostic imaging manager.

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Performers showcase skills during Craig Concert Association talent audition

For rural communities like Craig, it’s difficult to attract high-profile bands and musicians, if not impossible. That’s fine with Denise Hainault, a Moffat County High School music teacher and Craig Concert Association Board member. “We have a good pool of talent right here in this little community,” Hainault said. “I’m always impressed when people take the stage and show you something you didn’t know was there before.” On Saturday, 26 Craig residents auditioned at the Moffat County High School auditorium for the concert association’s annual talent show, which is scheduled for 7 p.m. April 21, also at MCHS.

On the Record for April 2, 2012

On the Record for April 2, 2012

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Senate District 8 candidates address voters, issues

Ever since candidates began emerging late last year, the Bears Ears Tea Party Patriots have been busy scheduling debates and town hall meetings for the public. In the last several months, the local tea party has booked Tisha Casida, an Independent candidate for the Third Congressional District of Colorado; Ron Roesener, a Republican candidate for Colorado House District 57; and all five candidates vying for Moffat County Commission District 1 and 2 seats.

Briefs for April 2: Taxi to honor residents with cancer

All Around Taxi and Identity Graphics will offer the chance for residents to put the name of loved ones suffering from cancer or other terminal diseases on a specially designed taxi. Residents can have the first name and last initial of their loved one placed on the taxi for free. For more information, call All Around Taxi at 824-1177.

Crews near full containment of Colorado wildfire

Colorado authorities are allowing all remaining evacuees from the Lower North Fork wildfire to return home on Monday.

Senior Spotlight for April 2: This week started off with a double — Palm Sunday and April Fools’ Day.

This week started off with a double — Palm Sunday and April Fools’ Day. Depending on how you feel about either one will determine how you would spend the day. Maybe it’s neither one or maybe it’s both. For me, Palm Sunday comes first. It’s a very special day. Later on comes April Fools’ Day because it’s a fun time making pancakes, and playing funny tricks on people, but nothing hurtful or mean.

City employees begin Shadow Mountain water, sewer line assessment

A funding shortfall may keep Shadow Mountain capital improvement projects from beginning this year, but City of Craig officials are pushing forward nonetheless. City employees recently began assessing Shadow Mountain’s water and sewer mains to gauge how much of the subdivision’s infrastructure needs to be replaced. The Craig wastewater department employs a sophisticated piece of equipment in its evaluation of the lines — a robotic, track-driven crawler outfitted with a digital camera.

Local grapplers show well in Bad Dogs Wrestling Classic

The sixth annual Craig Bad Dogs Wrestling Classic was Saturday at Moffat County High School. More than 400 wrestlers from 20 teams and four states competed in the all-day tournament. More than 80 local youth wrestlers from the Bad Dogs, Pee Wee and Moffat County youth wrestling programs competed in the tournament.

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‘Down-to-Earth’: Five minutes with Chris Miller, 53, owner of Miller Family Appliance

Where is your hometown? “I’m originally from Kansas, a town called Morrowville.” What brought you to Craig? “I moved out here in 1998. I worked for John Deere as a parts manager.” When did you open your own business? “Feb. 8, 2005. It’s been about seven years. It started out real well and of course the economy was good. Then it kind of died off, but it’s picking back up again.”

Salon merger offers new business highlights

Recent changes in two Craig businesses may have patrons concerned about whether their favorite hair and beauty outlet will still be what they remember. But, anyone worried can rest easy as the combination of the two will offer the best of both worlds. Starting Tuesday, Stylz Fifth Avenue will officially be operating out of a new location at 19 W. Victory Way, the former premises of Mally J’s Salon. Stylz owner Sherrie Knez recently purchased the business from niece Mallory Johnston, who is taking time off from work to focus on family.

Letter: Thank you to the Haven in Hayden

I want to publicly thank The Haven in Hayden for a great service they have been providing as of late. My husband is a victim of Alzheimer’s disease. This requires me to be a full-time caretaker for him. Because I love him, it’s not done as a chore or an unwanted task, but as an act of love.

Bulldog Sports for April 2, 2012

Moffat County High School Bulldog's sports schedule for the week of April 2, 2012.

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MCHS baseball team can’t slow Eagle Valley offense in double-header sweep

Justin Folley didn’t hide his frustration after Saturday’s doubleheader against Eagle Valley. The Moffat County High School varsity baseball team dropped the first game, 21-7, at Craig Middle School, but jumped to an 8-3 lead after four innings in the second game. Folley continued to try and motivate his players and tell them to stay on their toes. Yet, the rest of the game played out the way he feared it might.

Renowned runner Micah True's body found in NM

Searchers on Saturday found the body of renowned long-distance runner Micah True, who vanished four days earlier after heading out from a lodge for a morning run in the rugged wilderness near New Mexico's Gila National Forest. The body was discovered at about 6 p.m. in a remote, rugged area of the Gila Wilderness, the New Mexico state police said. The cause of death was still unknown, but there were no obvious signs of trauma, incident commander Tom Bemis told the Boulder Daily Camera. A medical examiner was en route to examine True's body around 7:30 p.m., he said.

In South Korea, US education means split families

As American teenagers go, Sally Kim is pretty typical. She's crazy about singer Bruno Mars and the Plain White T's rock band, spends way too much time on Facebook and can't wait to start college in the fall. Yet when it comes to that familiar bane of her fellow high school seniors — uncool parents — Kim has few worries. Hers are nearly 7,000 miles away in Seoul, South Korea. They sent their only child to live with relatives in Missouri a decade ago, when she was just 8.

Team of destiny? Jayhawks starting to believe

Some folks believe in fate and destiny, others find the notion absurd. Things happening for a reason, as if they're meant to be? A little too "Twilight Zone" for them. Seems just about everyone from Kansas falls into the first camp. Tyshawn Taylor points to a comeback win over Missouri, when the Jayhawks were down by 19 in the second half. Thomas Robinson remembers gut-check wins over Purdue and N.C. State, and the fact that North Carolina guard Kendall Marshall was hurt when Kansas ran into the Tar Heels.