News for Wednesday, April 11, 2012



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.

Tease photo

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

Tease photo

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.

Tease photo

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.