News for Monday, August 20, 2012

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Candidates launch attacks after Alamosa debate

Earlier this month two candidates squared off in the first public debate for the Third Congressional District of Colorado at Adams State University in Alamosa. Congressman Scott Tipton, R-Cortez, and challenger Sal Pace, D-Pueblo, are not scheduled for a rematch until next month, but that didn’t prevent their camps from trading barbs last week. The volley started Wednesday when Vestas Wind Systems, a wind turbine manufacturer, announced it would lay off 20 percent of its 450 employees at its tower plant in Pueblo. In a company statement, Vestas officials blamed Congress’ failure to extend the production tax credit for the layoffs.

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Moffat County news round-up: BLM opens public comment on 20 parcels slated for mineral lease sale

The Bureau of Land Management’s Little Snake Field Office has opened public comment on 20 parcels in Moffat, Routt and Rio Blanco counties slated for a competitive mineral lease sale in February. The parcels total 12,038 acres of federal mineral estate, with 47 percent being under the management of the BLM and 53 percent under non-federal management. The Little Snake Field Office considered offering an additional 39 parcels totaling 51,100 acres for the February sale, but deferred because the units have been designated as preliminary priority Sage Grouse habitat. The majority of those additional parcels are located in Moffat County.

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Biggest summer racing event coming to Thunder Ridge

Gregg Kolbaba said he is hosting a race this weekend full of cars that haven’t been run in the Yampa Valley for 17 years. The Thunder Ridge Motorsports Park owner is saving the biggest event of the summer for Saturday, when the track will host the AMSOIL Great American Circle Track Tour Late Model Show. Circle Track Magazine Editor Bob Bolles will be visiting the track Saturday night for the races as part of a summer-long tour of racing tracks across the country. Bolles drives around in a large motorhome and writes about some of the tracks he visits. Kolbaba is excited about the opportunity hosting Circle Track will offer to Thunder Ridge.

On the Record for Aug. 20, 2012

On the Record for Aug. 20, 2012

BLM issues environmental review of Wyoming uranium mine

(AP) — The Bureau of Land Management on Friday released its final environmental analysis to allow uranium mining in a remote area of southwest Wyoming, leaving the project one more regulatory step before mining can begin. If all goes well before the BLM issues its final approval, Littleton, Colo.-based UR-Energy could start building the Lost Creek mine by early October, according to company and BLM officials. The BLM will take more public comment on the project until Sept. 17. Its final approval could come about two weeks after that. "For us, that is the last permit that we need to begin construction, and we really have all of our operational permits in place as well," Wayne W. Heili, president and CEO of UR-Energy, said.

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Bulldog Sports for August 20, 2012

Today All Day Moffat County High School boys golf team vs. Aspen High School at Aspen Golf Club. Tuesday None

Ex-inmate builds new life with new job

There are moments when Michael Wentz is gripped by overwhelming dread. He'll be walking on a sidewalk in a grassy neighborhood and suddenly panic, sensing he must have broken some rule that would cast him in a punitive-segregation cell at Sterling Correctional Facility, where he has spent most of his life. Then he remembers: He has been legally released from prison and is on his own. It isn't easy adjusting to freedom after spending nearly 27 years in prison. Still, with all the pressures of beginning a new life, Wentz, 45, has been able to accomplish goals that until months ago seemed abstract and unattainable. He has done it with assistance from a Colorado Department of Corrections program that helps prisoners adjust to life outside of prison.

Pacheco homers as Rockies beat Marlins 3-2

The Colorado Rockies didn't let two more injuries interfere with their best homestand in nearly three months. Jordan Pacheco homered among his three hits as the banged-up Rockies slowed down Giancarlo Stanton and beat the Miami Marlins 3-2 Sunday. Colorado, employing mostly young players, finished the homestand 5-2, their best since going 6-1 in May 28-June 3. "They want to win," outfielder Dexter Fowler said. "Even though they're young they're learning and going out and playing hard."

'Top Gun' director dies after jumping off bridge

Tony Scott, director of such Hollywood blockbusters as "Top Gun," ''Days of Thunder" and "Beverly Hills Cop II," died Sunday after jumping from a Los Angeles County Bridge, authorities said. Scott's death was being investigated as a suicide, Los Angeles County Coroner's Lt. Joe Bale said.

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Brown repeats as men’s club champion at YVGC, Nicholson takes ladies

Dan Brown was feeling his nerves Sunday at Yampa Valley Golf Course. The defending club champion was the leader in the clubhouse after an even par 72 of the first round, but had some close competitors. Brown was able to weather his own anxiety Sunday to repeat as Craig’s best. “Today was a little bit more nerves, but I still kept it together,” Brown said. “I birdied nine today, that kind of relaxed me. I felt like I was in pretty good shape at that point.”

Senior Spotlight for August 20, 2012

I’m not sure if I was really glad to see some new visitors in the yard. There must have been at least nine or so. I enjoyed them awhile, the thought then popped into my head: I’ve never seen any of these birds anywhere. I wonder what kind they are, where they flew in from. They stayed around for several days. They’ve left this yard, but may still be in Craig somewhere.

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“I can’t wait to get out here on the streets”: Five minutes with Dave Ross, pastor at Assembly of God Church in Craig

Where is your hometown: “I was born in Grand Junction” When did you first move to Craig? “I came here 20 years ago the 23rd of this month. I’m pastor at the Assembly of God church here in town. We had a big celebration the 1st of the month for my 20th anniversary.”

Briefs for August 20: County Democrats to meet

The Moffat County Democratic Party will meet at 6:30 p.m. tonight at the Boys & Girls Club of Craig, 1324 E. U.S. Highway 40. The meeting will take place outside, so those attending are encouraged to bring a lawn chair.

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Edward Jones tops list again

It’s becoming somewhat of an annual tradition, but those at Edward Jones said that doesn’t make it any less sweet. The company, which offers financial advising from offices throughout the country, was listed as the No. 1 company to work for in Colorado by ColoradoBiz magazine and the Colorado State Council of the Society of Human Resources. It’s the fifth time the company has earned the honor since the rankings debuted in 2006. It’s never finished outside the top two. The news doesn’t come as a surprise to the company’s two Craig branches.

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Smokeless study: Local nurse exploring e-cigarettes possibilities for smoking cessation

There’s no doubt smoking is a dangerous habit and one that is linked to hundreds of thousands of premature deaths in the United States every year. And despite the well-known consequences approximately 46.6 million Americans smoke cigarettes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Each year about half of the nation’s smokers attempt to quit, many unsuccessfully. High rates of relapse coupled with a recent Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment report ranking Moffat County as among the most unhealthy counties in the state has inspired one local nurse to study the benefits electronic cigarettes could have on smoking cessation.