News for Thursday, December 27, 2012

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Despite snow, Colorado's drought outlook uncertain

The outlook for a major change in Colorado's drought is uncertain even though holiday storms have improved the mountain snowpack, a climate researcher said Thursday. "It's not quite good enough to pull us out of the 'drought,' but at least (it's) bringing temporary relief and optimism," State Climatologist Nolan Doesken said. Snow levels were as low as 40 percent of average earlier this month in the state's eight major river basins. On Thursday, the levels ranged from a low of 63 percent of average in the Arkansas River Basin to 85 percent in the Yampa and White river basins.

Broncos pass-rushing duo credits Del Rio, Manning

The Denver Broncos lead the NFL with 48 sacks, and all those crumpled quarterbacks in their wake can blame not only Elvis Dumervil and Von Miller but also Jack Del Rio and Peyton Manning. Dumervil and Miller have 28½ sacks, earning the league's most prolific pass-rushing tandem return trips to the Pro Bowl — although they're determined to spend all-star weekend preparing for the Super Bowl in New Orleans rather than enjoying the sand, surf and sun. Miller's outlandish athletic ability and Dumervil's freakishly long arms that give him built-in leverage on every tackle he faces are two of the biggest reasons for the Broncos' league-best 10-game winning streak. In their eyes, though, the credit for all these sacks goes to the team's two biggest offseason additions, Del Rio and Manning, who embarked on comebacks in Colorado after messy exits from their former teams.

Newtown trying to give kids a sense of normalcy

The children at the Sandy Hook Elementary school won't be returning to classes for another week, but officials from the town, school district and local agencies are doing their best in the meantime to keep them occupied following a massacre at their school two weeks ago. The students have not attended school since a gunman killed 20 of their schoolmates and six adults on Dec. 14. They are slated to return to a different school next Thursday. In the meantime, they've been treated to field trips, toy giveaways and some organized play time. "A couple of the teachers have done pizza parties," said Janet Robinson, Newtown's school superintendent. "Another met her kids at the library so they could have a little reading time together. The most important thing has been connecting the students back to their teacher and their classmates."

Local gun sales skyrocket causing background checks to slow

Residents searching for high-powered rifles on Walmart’s website or in-store at the Craig location will quickly find most are sold out. A Sig Sauer M400 with prismatic scope, Sig Sauer M400 Enhanced Carbine ODG, Colt LE6920 Carbine Semi-Auto Rifle, and a host of others including AR 15’s are all out of stock. As many fear for their safety and right to bear arms in wake of the Newtown, Conn. shootings, gun sales have soared through the roof.

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Craig fans of Broncos excited for NFL playoffs

Heading into the final week of the season the Denver Broncos are guaranteed a home playoff game. Now the question becomes how many can they host? The 12-3 Broncos have won 10 games in a row and currently sit in the second spot in the AFC playoff picture. With a win they will secure a first-round bye and, with a Houston Texans loss on top of that, they will own home-field advantage through the Super Bowl.

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Joel Browning joins Moffat County School District Board of Education

Though a well-known face around town, Joel Browning is a new face to the Moffat County School District Board of Education. Barely making the deadline to apply for the vacancy, Browning was chosen and joined the board representing District 5 at the December board of education meeting.

Craig Sports Briefs for Dec. 28, 2012: NOWECOS announces raffle winners

The latest sports news, including raffle winners from a Craig area club fundraiser, the newest Parks and Rec opportunities and additional events for high school sports.

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Operation rescue fawn

Two fawns saved from Elkhead Reservoir over holiday

It’s not uncommon to hear stories about multiple agencies collaborating together on a case to serve the public good. But too often those tales are told in reference to crimes, fires or some kind of natural disaster. Last week rangers from two local agencies came together to pull off a daring rescue to save a pair of mule deer fawns trapped in the ice at Elkhead Reservoir.

Janet Sheridan: The gift of a child

Every Christmas, I think about the gift of babies and remember the birth of my brother. At the age of nine on a worn-out day in February, I heard a car approaching and ran to the kitchen window. The barren branches of cottonwood trees streaked shadows across dirty snow; and a pale sun fled behind West Mountain as Mom stepped from Mrs. Gunderson’s car. She slammed the resistant car door behind her—launching our resident crows into an orbit of admonishment—and walked along our sidewalk of frozen mud, her face as worn-out as the day. Entering the house, Mom glanced at me—my scattered paper dolls, their newly cut-out costumes, and her forbidden sewing scissors. She took a poker to the coals in the stove and remained silent.

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Craig McDonalds donates $1,490 to Sandrock Elementary School

In a generous move Chris Nichols, owner of McDonald’s in Craig, donated 50 percent of the proceeds from the McTeacher’s Night fundraiser to Sandrock Elementary. Although McDonald’s suggested donation amount is between 15 and 20 percent of sales, according to a news release, Nichols donated half of all sales between 4 and 7 p.m. September 26, for a total of $1,490.96. Principals, teachers, parents and administrators all help conduct the event, the release states, taking on the role of McDonald’s employees for an evening.

Late season youth hunters reminded about changes

Late season youth hunts are underway, and Colorado Parks and Wildlife wants to remind young elk hunters, their parents or mentors about eligibility information. New youth hunt rules include limits according to color-coded Game Management Units as defined on page four of the 2012 Colorado Big Game brochure. However on rule remains unchanged, according to a Parks and Wildlife news release. Youth hunters with an unfilled bull tag do not qualify for a late season hunt. A list of late season hunting opportunities also can be found online.

Udall rejects GOP idea to raise revenues by selling public lands

Congressional Republicans float idea to avoid fiscal cliff

In an effort to avoid a fiscal cliff Congressional Republicans earlier this month floated an idea to raise revenues by selling public lands. Reps. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, and Stevan Pearce, R-N.M., first presented the idea in November through a letter to Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio. Because the western United States is home to the country’s largest expanses of public lands Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., rejected the idea, saying a sell off of public lands would be imprudent and detrimental to western economies.

Letter to the Editor: Grave robbers

Jayne Pflughoeft: Letter to EditorDear Editor, I placed two solar Christmas tree's for my daughter, grandson and son in law at the cemetery.

Karina Browning: Letter to Editor

Karina Browning: Letter to Editor

On the Record Thursday, Dec. 27, 2012

On the Record Thursday, Dec. 27, 2012