News for Wednesday, February 1, 2012

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Moffat County Tourism Association Board takes action at Wednesday meeting

The Moffat County Tourism Association Board took action on several agenda items during its regular meeting Wednesday.

Local law enforcement, FBI probe yields arrest in child pornography case

A Craig Police Department, Moffat County Sheriff’s Office and FBI joint investigation that began in December 2011 into distribution of child pornography led to the arrest of a 39-year-old Craig resident, police reported Wednesday in a news release. The suspect, who lives in the 2000 block of Crockett Drive, was arrested on suspicion of sexual exploitation of a child. The newspaper is withholding the suspect’s name in accordance with a policy not to release the identities of suspected sexual offenders unless convicted. According to court records, the suspect is charged in Moffat County Court with solicitation to commit aggravated incest, solicitation to commit sexual exploitation of children, and solicitation to commit sexual assault on a child by someone in a position of trust, all Class 4 felonies.

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Of land and livelihood

Longtime Moffat County woman devoted herself to giving landowners a voice

Jean Stetson was fully immersed in the lifestyle she’d grown to love when the rumblings of change began. She and her husband, Frank “Pud” Stetson, were hard at work together on their ranch near Maybell. They were raising their two children, Frankie and Libby, who were as engaged in the ranch as much as their parents. In the late 1990s, discussions about sage grouse habitat came on the scene, which could have affected the Stetsons’ grazing permits on Bureau of Land Management lands, she said. Jean wasn’t about to sit on the sidelines. She stepped up to positions on working groups, boards and organizations, serving as the voice of local landowners. At the same time, she maintained the titles of mother, rancher’s wife and businesswoman.

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Finding her ‘best self’

Dana Duran enjoying life’s balance of family, career

In 2002, Dana Duran was living in Denver, a new graduate of Regis University, facing the most important decision of her life. Duran, a Fruita native, had a degree in math and biology, but found herself working at the Cheesecake Factory. She served as student body president in her senior year at Regis, but once out of school, she didn’t know what she wanted to do with her life. “I was a big fish in a small pond at (Regis), and then I graduated and I was nobody,” she said. “I was a server at Cheesecake Factory and I hit rock bottom and didn’t know what to do.

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A judge’s mission

For Shelley Hill, it’s fairness, impartiality and integrity

Six years after earning a political science degree, Shelley Hill had a job working for the U.S. Department of Energy and an important decision looming. “I just knew that I didn’t want to be a Washington bureaucrat for the rest of my life,” said Hill, 60, now a Steamboat Springs resident and district court judge in the 14th Judicial District. “I decided to go to law school.” A legal career wasn’t something Hill was drawn to growing up, she said. Her father spent his career in the U.S. Marine Corps, and Hill, who was born in Beaufort, S.C., frequently moved with her family. “You name it, we lived there,” she said of her family, which included her parents, Twyman (Ty) and Grace, and sister Nancy.

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‘The kids are most important’

Parents, colleagues laud local nurse’s ability, compassion

Terri Jourgensen is heading out of the Moffat County High School nursing office — she’s got an appointment in about 10 minutes — when a student walks in the room. The girl immediately hugs Jourgensen, and in an instant, the laundry list of things to get done becomes the least of concerns for the nurse on this busy day. “How’s my girl?” Jourgensen says, wrapping her arms around the student, who is beaming under the glow of the nurse’s warm attention. Jourgensen is no longer the Moffat County School District nurse, but the legacy of her career with the district remains vibrant, the example above a fairly typical episode in her 10 years in education.

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A leap of faith landed in the law

A winding road — and a bungee jump — brought local judge to the bench

In the summer of 1991, young Nashville attorney Kirk Seufert found himself in a classroom at the University of Denver preparing for the Colorado Bar exam. As Seufert resisted the urge to take a nap, a young woman sitting two seats away caught his attention. As Seufert learned later, the woman was Sandy Gardner. “She was bright, not just intellectually, but she also had this bright hair,” Seufert recalled. “She was relatively quiet, but very, very articulate once I got her to open up.” He struck up a conversation with Gardner after class and the two agreed to be study partners. While getting to know each other, Gardner and Seufert found they had something in common: they both were overwhelmed by the prospect of dedicating three months to passing the bar.

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Janet Sheridan: Defining a Prominent Woman

I’ve recently startled friends and acquaintances by asking them to describe the qualities they think a woman would need to be considered prominent in her community. It would’ve been faster to go into a chat room, I suppose, but I wanted to judge the seriousness and sanity of the answers I received by the age, body language, and sobriety of the speakers. In general, once they realized I hadn’t asked about the Broncos or the weather, the men and women I questioned looked thoughtful, took their time, and provided insightful responses. No one talked about women of wealth, good looks, family connections, or impressive homes. Instead, they described personal traits such as competency, knowledge, trustworthiness, and respect for others.

On the Record for Feb. 1, 2012

On the Record for Feb. 1, 2012

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My Life, My WordS: The need for all to 'come together'

“I was born in Puyallup, Wash. I actually didn’t know whether I was born there or in Ellensburg until I had to go get my Social Security card again, and I found out it was Puyallup. “I came (to Craig) in 1979 when my folks got a job on a ranch. “I think God calls us here to serve, and we need to get out of ourselves. Our communities need to come together and quit being so individual and start being more collective.

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What’s most important

Audrey Anna Charchalis, 30, daughter, loan officer, volunteer

In the spring of 2008, Audrey Anna Charchalis was a contractor with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, assisting with animal disease surveillance programs in Fort Collins. As with many governmental organizations at the time, the USDA was looking to cut costs. “I found myself being the sole contractor in the building,” Charchalis said. “No one ever told me they were going to have to cut my spot, but when you’re the last one left, you get the feeling that it’s going to happen eventually.” At the time, the Craig native was four years removed from Colorado State University in Fort Collins where she earned a double major in animal science and agricultural business, and a minor in Spanish.

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My Life, My Words: Just 'try to get along with folks'

Frances Chisholm, 78, Pink Lady volunteer at the memorial hospital in craig

“Growing up in Paynesville, Mo., was nice and quiet. It was a pretty basic farm setting. I had a pony and did a lot of things with 4-H and show cattle and things. “My three sisters didn’t have any interest in doing stuff outside like that, and I didn’t have any interest in cooking and so forth, either. I grew up like a farm boy, I guess you could say. “My sisters, Betty and Sally, live in Colorado Springs. Dorothy Ann lives in Missouri. They all went to college, but I didn’t really have any interest, so I hung around the farm for a long time. “I decided to go over to Sedalia and take a couple of courses once to see if there was anything out there for me besides hanging around the farm.

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My Life, My Words: Love God and look forward

Cuauhtemoc Barragan, 33, waiter and manager at fiesta jalisco in craig

“I’m from a little town in Jalisco. It’s called Ayutla. All the time since I was really small, I was working. My dad was a butcher. And I always helped him in whatever way I could. “I also worked in a small restaurant. After that, I worked at a factory, where they make dresses and clothing. All the clothing and dresses they did, they sold in California. When the factory did not have any work for six months, some people invited me to work at an office where they sold cows and boars. “My family had everything it needed, but I wanted to have something of my own. I stopped working at the office in 2003. (I came to the U.S.) because I wanted to have a better future. “(I ended up in Craig) because almost all my family is here. I have three sisters and a brother. I wanted to be with my family. They all live here. My brother lives here, and my sisters live in Steamboat.

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My Life, My Words: A full schedule, a fuller life

Kirstie McPherson, 18, MCHS senior and Sage Country Jewelry owner

“I am the senior class president with the student council and I’ve been the class president for two years in a row now. And I really enjoy that. I like having people come to me. “In my senior year, I’ve done a lot more with trying to get our motto and song and stuff like that ready. I’m the DECA president and DECA stands for Distributive Education Clubs of America. And I really like that one. It’s like speech and debate kind of related stuff, except that it’s more business related. … And that’s something that I really got involved in. “Last year was my first year. And then I do — I’m Key Club president. Well, … there’s two presidents, so April Rogers and I are the two presidents. And then I’m in (National Honor Society). And then I do multiple things within those groups. I sit on several different boards. I’m in the SAFE program, which is … Stopping Abuse Forever, in coalition with Advocates-(Crisis Support Services). I do lots of volunteer work. I’m pretty much just one of those people that like to do stuff.

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A life worth living

Dwight Siverson, 65, photographer, retired teacher

Craig resident Dwight Siverson said he’s tried to center his life on helping others. Siverson, 69, likes to help those he can, and his background testifies to that personal mission. Siverson spent 42 years teaching middle school mathematics, has helped numerous local residents navigate, manage or become more familiar with their computers, and has provided many parents over the years with free photos of their children playing sports. The longtime local resident said there’s no place he’d rather do all this than Northwest Colorado.

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The return of merry memories

Craig resident revisits holiday tradition in honor of late father

It’s a simple decoration outside Teresa Smith’s home in the 700 block of Park Court — the whimsical creation of a workingman’s imagination. A motor hidden behind a bright red cutout of Santa creaks faintly as it hoists a perpetually round-eyed St. Nick up and down on a pulley. A benevolent elf, cut from wood, points forever upward as a nearby reindeer with a chagrined look on its face appears to be heaving forward, trying to hoist Santa to the roof. Simple, yes. Festive, too.

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'Rather be roping'

Casey Barnes, 16, high school student, emerging cowboy

Casey Barnes describes his childhood in Maybell as simple, and an experience he wouldn’t change. Barnes lives about a mile east of Maybell on a ranch with his family, across the pasture from his grandfather, and only a few miles from many of his cousins. Instead of wasting away in front of the TV playing video games, Barnes helped move cows. Instead of toiling on the Internet, he rode horses. Elementary school was in a one-room structure in Maybell, a small town 30 miles west of Craig, instead of one of the three schools in Craig.

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Cattlewomen’s Association names Craig native Christina Rhyne Rookie of the Year

Grass-fed beef, grain-fed beef, organic beef — what’s the difference? It’s a question Craig native Christina Rhyne tries to help shoppers answer as they navigate the meat section of City Market in Craig. “I think it’s important to know about agriculture in general because that’s where our food and fiber comes from,” said Rhyne, 31, a Moffat County Cattlewomen member. “And the more that we know about that, the better choices that we can make.” For her presentations at City Market, along with her other efforts to promote agriculture and the beef industry, the Colorado Cattlewomen’s Association named her its Rookie of the Year at an annual banquet Jan. 17 in Denver.

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Craig boxer determined to rebound from recent 1st-round loss

Tyler Pogline said when Cletus Seldin knocked him down in the first round Saturday in Huntington, N.Y., he had no problem getting up. But it was the lack of pain, said Pogline, a 1998 Moffat County High School graduate, that was a key indicator of how hard Seldin hit him. “I really didn’t feel anything when I went down and I got right back up because I was in the heat of the moment,” he said. “But you know it is a hard hit when you don’t feel anything. I had never been hit that hard in my career.” Despite getting back to his feet, Pogline took two more overhand right hooks to the same spot on his jaw.

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MCHS grad JT Haddan named all-region, All-American football player

Offensive linemen are often overlooked. The men in the trenches are critical to the success of every play, but skill players usually get the credit. However, with football season now over, JT Haddan, a 2008 Moffat County High School graduate, is receiving recognition for his play as an offensive guard for the Colorado State University-Pueblo football team. Haddan on Jan. 4 received first-team all-region honors from Don Hansen’s Football Gazette. The same publication named Haddan a NCAA Division II third-team All-American selection Jan. 19.

Livin' It Up: Big-ticket weekend

With Super Bowl Sunday looming, fans of Eli Manning and Tom Brady alike are waiting for the biggest game of the year. With the eyes of the nation on the action happening in Indianapolis more than 1,200 miles away, it’s easy to forget the assortment of things happening on the home front the next several days.

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Health care as a global language

German native, health center director pushing forward VNA’s mission of access to care

As a young girl growing up in Marl, a small northwest German town, Gisela Garrison always sensed she was destined to one day live among people in a foreign land. Exactly where, however, was a mystery that wouldn’t be resolved until many years later. Marl, an industrial town for so long, had become dependent on the local coal industry. Garrison’s parents, Anne and Franz, were blue collar people who ran a small grocery store in town. They valued education, especially when it came to their daughter and their decision when she reached fifth grade reflected as much. They had two choices, Garrison said. Continue with elementary school and let the path make its way to higher education, or transfer to a vocational school.

Romney wins big in Florida, routing Gingrich

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Mitt Romney routed Newt Gingrich in the Florida primary Tuesday night, rebounding smartly from an earlier defeat and taking a major step toward the Republican presidential nomination. Gingrich vowed to press on despite the one-sided setback Romney, talking unity like a nominee, said he was ready to take the Republican helm and "lead this party and our nation." In remarks to cheering supporters, the former Massachusetts governor unleashed a strong attack on Democratic President Barack Obama and said the competitive fight for the GOP nomination "does not divide us, it prepares us" for the fall campaign. "Mr. President, you were elected to lead, you chose to follow, and now it's time to get out of the way," he declared. Returns from 98 percent of Florida's precincts showed Romney with 46 percent of the vote to 32 percent for Gingrich, the former House speaker.

Denver police apologize to Colorado lawmaker

(AP) — Denver police apologized to a Colorado lawmaker Tuesday, saying they were "impugning her character" by mischaracterizing a traffic stop that made it appear she used her position to get out of a drunken driving arrest. Police Lt. Matt Murray said a police supervisor asked Republican Rep. Laura Bradford of Grand Junction whether she was a lawmaker, and that Bradford did not bring the topic up first, as city officials said earlier. Murray said the supervisor told Bradford she could face a DUI charge. "At that point she said, 'I want to be treated like everyone else,'" Murray said. Murray said the police supervisor told the officer who pulled Bradford over not to give the full account of the stop, but the officer came forward after the extensive media attention that followed. Murray said police will investigate the supervisor's actions.

CMS girls basketball hosts Meeker in final home game

With only away games left in their season, Craig Middle School basketball coaches Alicia Townsend and Candi Hellander are confident their girls can finish strong while on the road. The seventh- and eighth-grade teams played their last home game of the season Saturday against Meeker, with some varied results. Eighth-grade coach Townsend chose to play only her B-team, which lost in a close 18-14 match-up, putting them at 2-3 for the year. “We wanted to get the B girls a few more chances to play, and I think it worked out well,” she said. “They played Meeker’s A-team and got some good playing time in.”

Del Rio ignored advice to sit out 2012 season

(AP) — The links and lakes were appealing to Jack Del Rio, just not as enticing as the green grass and white lines of the football field where he's spent most of his life. So, after briefly contemplating sitting out the 2012 season, Del Rio decided to jump right back into the NFL fray, replacing Dennis Allen as Denver's defensive coordinator this week. He could have sat back and relaxed while earning the $5 million left on his contract when the Jacksonville Jaguars fired him in November. Now, the Jaguars will pay him the difference between that total and his salary in Denver.

Editorial: Bang for the buck?

There were some surprising figures released in Monday’s Craig Daily Press story outlining last year’s activity by the All Crimes Enforcement Team, a task force that operates in Moffat and Routt counties. According to the report, the task force conducted 29 investigations last year, resulting in four convictions and the seizure of drugs with an estimated total street value of $42,807.68. The breakdown on seizures: 372.12 grams of cocaine, 2.8 grams of methamphetamine, and 3 grams of marijuana. Perhaps there are aspects of the task force’s activity that aren’t as tangible as the conviction and seizure numbers, and if that’s the case, forgive the editorial board’s opinion today.

Mary Morris: ‘Thank you, Mariana’

To the editor: During lunch Monday, $400 fell out of my wallet at Vallartas Restaurant. By the time I returned to my office, I had a telephone message from the restaurant to let me know they had found my money. I had no idea it was gone until I checked my purse.

Briefs for Feb. 1, 2012: Deadline for CNCC trip today

Colorado Northwestern Community College’s Craig campus is hosting a trip to Louisiana from April 10 through 14 as part of its community education program. The deadline to make reservations is today. The tour takes participants to Crescent City, Cajun country and Shreveport. Trip highlights include plantation tours, a visit to the New Orleans School of Cooking and lunch in Crawfish Town, U.S.A., the college reported in a news release.