News for Monday, December 31, 2012



Commissioners Gray, Danner discuss their terms in office

On Monday the Moffat County Commission is hosting a short meeting to address two business items that can’t wait until after the New Year. The commissioners are scheduled to reconvene Wednesday for a more typical meeting. For two current commissioners it will be their last meeting as an elected county official. Last week Commissioners Audrey Danner and Tom Gray spoke with the Craig Daily Press about their goals coming into office, the state of the county, and how they were influenced by past commissioners.

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Shell donates $10,000 to TMH Foundation

Shell Exploration and Production Company recently donated $10,000 to The Memorial Hospital Foundation to support a new Picture Archiving and Communication System for the hospital. In the process of upgrading their current archiving system, a news release from the Foundation stated the new system would allow quick access to radiological images such as CT scans and X-Rays, creating improved transfer of those images to major hospitals concurrently with flight-for-life transfers.

Al Cashion: Old Year’s resolutions

I stopped making New Year’s Resolutions some years ago. I came to realize that I had not realized any changes at all. All my Old Year’s Resolutions never resolved a thing. No matter how resolutely I approached Jan. 1 with shoulders squared, jaw set, furrowed brow and a heroic and magnificent meeting of both frontal lobes converging upon that singular goal, I rarely saw a Jan. 31 that gave any evidence whatsoever of my promise to myself. In my Old Year’s Resolutions, I have committed to stop doing something, start doing something, go somewhere, learn something, lose something, gain something, build something, or … whatever.

Leona Hemmerich: The rule of nepotism

The root definition of nepotism is favoritism. It sprung from the Feudal practice of granting privilege to a relative. Papal power in old Europe would grant titles, lands and other privileges by edict to family and close ties. Inequities spawned from nepotism have plagued mankind through millennia. Nepotism is a very clear conflict of interest. Is the spirit of nepotism ruling in Moffat county? At the Dec. 18 commissioners’ meeting, when the BOCC fired MCTA board members due to supposed insubordination (doing our job), a number of people pointed out that Tom Mathers should not have a vote on that matter because of his personal conflict. The county attorney is aware that Mathers’ daughter is the director of the chamber. When Mathers ignored that request, the attorney said nothing. Considering the fact that not only is one commissioner related to the chamber director, two of the chamber board members are also Craig City Council members. Considering the amount of non-tourism tax dollars that are spent on the chamber by the city and county (even though businesses that are not chamber members pay some of those taxes) it seems odd that no complaint arose from any officials (who, by the way, are elected by the general populace) about the tax money going to a private entity, until you remember that nepotism rules. Craig seems to be rife with the “conflict of interest” syndrome. Some actually practice it.

Psychiatric test for suspect in NYC subway death

(AP) — A 31-year-old woman accused of shoving a man to his death in front of a subway train because she believed he was Muslim laughed and smiled during a court hearing where she was ordered to undergo a psychiatric evaluation. Erika Menendez, 31, was charged Saturday night with murder as a hate crime after she told police she spontaneously pushed Sunando Sen, according to prosecutors. “There is no reason. I just pushed him in front of the train because I thought it would be cool,” she said, according to the Queens district attorney’s office. She laughed so hard during her arraignment in Queens criminal court that Judge Gia Morris told her lawyer: “You’re going to have to have your client stop laughing.”

Clinton hospitalized with blood clot

(AP) — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was admitted to a New York hospital Sunday after the discovery of a blood clot stemming from the concussion she sustained earlier this month. Clinton’s doctors discovered the clot Sunday while performing a follow-up exam, her spokesman, Philippe Reines, said. He would not elaborate on the location of the clot but said Clinton is being treated with anti-coagulants and would remain at New York-Presbyterian Hospital for at least the next 48 hours so doctors can monitor the medication. “Her doctors will continue to assess her condition, including other issues associated with her concussion,” Reines said in a statement. “They will determine if any further action is required.” Clinton, 65, fell and suffered a concussion while at home alone in mid-December as she recovered from a stomach virus that left her severely dehydrated. The concussion was diagnosed Dec. 13 and Clinton was forced to cancel a trip to North Africa and the Middle East that had been planned for the next week.

US pending home sales rise to highest in 2-1/2 years

A measure of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes increased last month to its highest level in two and a half years, the latest sign of improvement in the once-battered housing market. The National Association of Realtors said Friday that its seasonally adjusted pending home sales index rose 1.7 percent in November from October to 106.4. That’s the highest since April 2010, when a homebuyer tax credit caused a spike in sales. And after excluding those months when the tax credit was available, it’s the best reading since February 2007. The increase followed a 5 percent gain in October and suggests higher sales of previously occupied homes in the coming months. There’s generally a lag between a signed contract and a completed sale.