News for Friday, February 24, 2012

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At The Movies: Oscar’s locks and long shots

It’s been nearly 10 years since the last time we saw Billy Crystal do what he does best: host the Oscars. With the 84th Academy Awards, the seasoned comic is back again to make us laugh while the Hollywood crowd honors the best of the best of the previous year. As with any year, there’s sure to be certain surprises and letdowns as some celebs take home the gold and others go home empty-handed. Nobody knows exactly what will happen until the envelope is opened at the podium, but while some wins are foregone conclusions, that doesn’t mean we can’t hope for a shocker to complete the sentence “And the Oscar goes to…”

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MCHS girls basketball team wins, 65-41, to advance to Sweet 16

LAFAYETTE — Melissa Camilletti said the Moffat County High School girls varsity basketball team works on free throws all the time in practice. The shots from the charity strip may be uncontested, but are not always a given. The Bulldogs showed hard work pays off Friday in the second round of the 4A state playoffs against Thompson Valley, as they went 30 for 35 from the free throw line, including a 10 for 10 run to start the fourth quarter, en route to a 65-41 victory. “When both teams got in foul trouble, we finished and they didn’t,” said Melissa, an MCHS senior. “Our free throws were crucial and we stepped up and made them when we needed them.”

On the Record for Feb. 24, 2012

On the Record for Feb. 24, 2012

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MCHS girls basketball plays Thompson Valley today in 2nd round of state playoffs

Annie Sadvar said playoff basketball is faster, more physical and overall has a more competitive feel to it. Sadvar, a Moffat County High School senior, will help lead the MCHS girls varsity basketball team into a second-round match-up with Thompson Valley at 5 p.m. today at Centaurus High School. The sixth-seeded Eagles (16-8) beat No. 11 Frederick, 57-28, on Wednesday in the first round, advancing to take on the Bulldogs. Sadvar said Thursday was the only day Moffat County had to solely focus on Thompson Valley, but they feel prepared.

CO dad suspected of burning home with kids inside

NORTHGLENN, Colo. (AP) — A suburban Denver man is accused of setting his home on fire with his two children inside after assaulting his estranged wife Thursday, police said. Firefighters rescued the father, William Johnson, 26, and his 5-year-old and 18-month-old children from their home in Northglenn. All were unconscious and taken to hospitals, where they were in critical condition, police said. Johnson is considered to be in custody for investigation of attempted homicide, domestic violence and assault. Sgt. Ron Haralson, a police spokesman, said officers were called to the home by Johnson's estranged wife at 4:20 a.m. after she arrived to check on the children following an earlier incident at her home in Aurora. The woman, whose identity hasn't been released, said Johnson assaulted her then ran inside the house.

Federal authorities subpoena info from Penn State

Penn State has received a federal subpoena related to a former assistant football coach accused of molesting boys and is cooperating with the request, a university spokeswoman said Thursday. Harrisburg-based federal prosecutors this month sought "certain information" about Jerry Sandusky, a charity for children he founded, the university and three university administrators, Penn State spokeswoman Lisa Powers said. Sandusky is confined to his home as he awaits trial on charges he molested 10 boys over a 15-year span, allegations he denies. His attorney, Joe Amendola, said he learned of the subpoena from Harrisburg's The Patriot-News, which first reported it Thursday night. Powers declined to comment on the contents of the subpoena, dated Feb. 2, citing an ongoing investigation.

COGCC official talks baseline testing in NW Colorado

The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, the state’s oversight agency for the energy industry, does not require companies to perform groundwater testing as part of its rules. However, the COGCC has been known to make energy companies perform baseline testing of groundwater reserves under certain circumstances. Thom Kerr, interim director of the COGCC, was in northwest Colorado Tuesday night and fielded questions on the subject from Routt County officials. Although groundwater testing is currently done on a voluntary basis by the energy industry, Kerr said the COGCC will mandate baseline testing of water wells, groundwater aquifers and springs as a condition of drilling permit approval.

Douglas: Come home

Anyone who has been around church very much is probably familiar with the story Jesus told about “The Prodigal Son” in Luke 15. Let me offer a few questions and observations about the father in the story. Was this a wise father? When approached by his younger son with a very odd request for their culture the father considered the request for his inheritance and gave his younger son his portion, but also his elder son his inheritance as well. Why didn’t the father plead with his son to stay home when he found out he was leaving? I believe this father was not one to force his will upon his son, or on anyone else he loved. He just relied on the teaching and guidance he himself had instilled in him and trusted that his son would make wise decisions.

Letter: Family of missing teen thanks emergency services

We would like to thank Moffat County Search and Rescue and the Moffat County Sheriff's Office for the wonderful job they did Sunday night when our son, Justin McAlexander, and his friends, Jessie and Mason Burke, were stuck in a ravine on Freeman Reservoir. The Moffat County Search and Rescue team is incredible. They went over and above the call of duty with a great deal of dedication to finding these boys. Some of these rescuers were out there for more than 15 hours looking for these boys and they never once stopped. They are an awesome group who are very skilled at what they do and Moffat County is very lucky to have their skills and dedication. We would also like to thank the Moffat County Sheriff's Office for their dedication as well, especially deputy Todd Wheeler and sheriff Tim Jantz. They were at Freeman as well the entire night and did an excellent job.

Hickenlooper: Rural lawmakers' pay hike is right

DENVER (AP) — Gov. John Hickenlooper said Thursday he favors a scheduled $33 daily pay hike for rural lawmakers because it's "the right thing to do," even though it's unpopular. Hickenlooper said that the lawmakers who live far from the state Capitol are subsidizing their day-to-day expenses for "all the time they commit here." "And when they're here, they're working from first thing in the morning to just about when they go to sleep," he said. The per diem daily increase would go to 41 lawmakers who live more than 50 miles from Denver. Hickenlooper made the comments during an annual luncheon at the governor's mansion with newspaper publishers and editors who are in Denver for the Colorado Press Association convention this weekend.

Letter: Department of Education should be eliminated

The question has again been raised, “Will more money put into schools improve the results of education?” Consider several constants that have been imbedded in our education system for a long time and until these are eliminated there will never be enough money to fix the problem of poor results. The Department of Education: eliminate it. The one size fits all out of Washington, D.C., has never worked and will not work. The only thing it provides is a conduit for social engineering by whichever party is in power at the time. Teacher unions: eliminate them. They are simply counterproductive to the job of educating students. Regardless of what’s claimed, their concern is for the teacher, not the student. The current structure also places too many constraints on taxpayers and administrators. Teacher tenure: eliminate it. As with any vocation, longevity does not guarantee success. Any and all job retention or pay raises should be based on merit. It’s unfair for the taxpayer to foot the bill and a disservice to the student who goes to school. An honest look by parents, students and even teachers will show the majority can think of at least one or two teachers who are not cut out for the job. These will affect the overall outcome. Remove unqualified or unproductive teachers, and hire those who can produce results and pay them accordingly.

Briefs for February 24: Chili cook-off Saturday

The second annual Chili Challenge will take place from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Saturday at Colorado Northwestern Community College’s Craig campus, 2801 W. Ninth St. Attendees must enter the east door by the steps. The chili cook-off is put on by the college’s student government and includes divisions for red, green and white chili. Prizes will be awarded for first and second place in all divisions. Competitors pay $4 to enter the event.

School board accepts resignation of nearly 20-year educator

The Moffat County School Board unanimously accepted the resignation of a longtime administrator Thursday night. Bill Toovey will step down as Craig Middle School’s principal at the end of the 2011-12 school year and head into a future yet unknown. “We’re just framing up our options and we’ll decide down the road,” he said before Thursday’s meeting. His last day is June 30.

Janet Sheridan: Of Gardens and Quirks

My friend Mary, an expert gardener, presides over a generous yard filled with green treasures that invite exploration and discovery. When I wander through it, I’m reminded of a book I read when young, The Secret Garden. Though Mary’s yard lacks high rock walls and a locked door hidden behind roses, it compensates with a picket fence and a deck that seeps into the yard’s casual beauty. During a recent telephone conversation, Mary told me that she now prunes, thins and discards more than she used to grow. Her words validated the learning curve Joel and I’ve experienced: We used to agonize over plants that failed to flourish as we waited for flowerbeds to fill and saplings to gain girth. Any plant that prospered was precious and protected. I was reluctant to cut a blossom to enjoy indoors because I feared there’d never be another.

Bill to repeal criminal libel passed unanimously in Senate

In early 2004, the home of a former University of Northern Colorado student was raided by Greeley police officers that were investigating a case of criminal libel. The home belonged to Tom Mink, the publisher of a satirical web site called “The Howling Pig.” Mink used the site to post satirical criticisms of university officials. One professor did not take a particular post, of which he was the subject, in good humor and convinced Weld County prosecutor Susan Knox to sign off on the libel investigation.