News for Monday, April 16, 2012



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.