News for Wednesday, February 29, 2012



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Bank of Colorado names new Craig branch president

When Alisa Corey was 21, many of her friends were in college studying and preparing for the professional, working world. Corey, on the other hand, embraced her Gunnison ranch upbringing and decided to ride the rodeo circuit as a barrel racer. Although still passionate about horses, Corey knew she wanted more out of life than working minimum wage jobs to supplement her passion for riding. So, at age 22, Corey followed the path of many of her friends and went to college.

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MCHS speech and debate team to send six competitors to state

Qualifying for state speech and debate competitions is a tradition at Moffat County High School that spans longer than co-coach Eric Hansen can remember. “It’s been a long time since Moffat County hasn’t taken somebody to state,” said Hansen, also an MCHS social studies teacher. The team will continue the tradition later this month. Juniors Morgan Carrico, Ben East, Matt Balderston and Rose Howe, along with seniors Skyler Leonard and Cullen Dilldine, earned a berth at state during a district competition Feb. 24 and 25 in Durango.

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MCHS spring sports compete with weather in early season

The spring sports season got into full swing Monday with the first day of official practice for Moffat County High School teams. For four of the five teams — baseball, track and field, girls golf, and girls soccer — practice means staying indoors for at least a couple more weeks. For coaches and players who compete outside, practicing indoors because of the weather can make the early part of the season tough.

Thursday choir performance designed to reinforce need for music education

To say Tanya Young’s fourth- and fifth-grade vocalists are looking forward to a concert Thursday is an understatement. “They are so excited,” said Young, East Elementary School music teacher. “It’s amazing how much kids want to perform.” The annual performance, titled “Music Lasts a Lifetime,” starts at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Craig Middle School auditorium, 915 Yampa Ave. The event is free and open to the public.

Passenger: Plane seemed to stall before YVRA crash

The National Transportation Safety Board has released a preliminary report about the Feb. 19 crash that killed two people and injured four others. No cause has been determined.

On the Record for Feb. 29, 2012

On the Record for Feb. 29, 2012

Winter storm hits Colorado's mountains

A significant winter storm has dropped more than a foot of snow in western Colorado. Kari Bowen of the National Weather Service in Boulder said Coal Bank Pass already recorded a foot of snow by Tuesday morning. Other parts of central Colorado have gotten a half foot. Wolf Creek Ski Area in southwest Colorado reported 20 inches of new snow. Accidents shut down a snowy stretch of eastbound Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon for about an hour. Westbound I-70 was temporarily closed around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday due to snow and an accident. Heavy snow also closed U.S. 6 over Loveland Pass. Whiteout conditions were reported at times Tuesday night in Frisco.

Testimony to continue in former Broncos trial

CASTLE ROCK, Colo. (AP) — A woman who claims she was sexually assaulted by former Denver Broncos cornerback Perrish Cox is the first witness in a trial that could send him to prison for life. The woman testified Tuesday about the night of the alleged assault in September 2010. Jurors also heard audio from a phone call the woman made to Cox while police listened, the Denver Post reported. The woman, whose name is not being published by The Associated Press because she's an alleged victim of a sexual assault, is expected to continue her testimony Wednesday. Cox has pleaded not guilty to one count of sexual assault while the victim was physically helpless, and one count of sexual assault while the victim was incapable of determining the nature of the conduct. He faces two years to life in prison if convicted.

Tsunami debris spreads halfway across Pacific

Lumber, boats and other debris ripped from Japanese coastal towns by tsunamis last year have spread across some 3,000 miles of the North Pacific, where they could wash ashore on remote islands north of Hawaii this winter. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimated the first bits of tsunami debris will make landfall soon on small atolls northwest of the main Hawaiian Islands. Other pieces were expected to reach the coasts of Oregon, Washington state, Alaska and Canada between March 2013 and March 2014. NOAA's tsunami marine debris coordinator, Ruth Yender, told an online news conference Tuesday that agency workers were boarding Coast Guard flights that patrol the archipelago. NOAA also asked scientists stationed at Midway and other atolls to look for the debris. Debris initially collected in a thick mass in the ocean after tsunamis dragged homes, boats, cars and other parts of daily life from coastal towns out to sea. Most likely sank not far from Japan's eastern coast.

Craig City Council discusses Veterans Memorial Park lease

A proposed lease agreement between the City of Craig and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4265 for Veterans Memorial Park was once again a topic of conversation during Tuesday’s Craig City Council meeting. The two parties reopened negotiations Jan. 24 during a city council workshop and a draft of what the lease could look like has appeared on the agenda for both council meetings this month. The council was expected to take action on whether to adopt or amend the lease Tuesday, but issues have arisen. Craig City Manager Jim Ferree said he had a recent phone conversation with VFW Commander David Walters, who said the VFW membership would like to see some items on the lease changed.

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Exceeding expectations

Garrett Stewart was in fifth grade when he started wrestling. The sport was a kind of family tradition, Stewart said, with his dad, uncles, cousins and brothers having wrestled at one time or another. But it was the feeling Stewart got when he was on the mat, the feeling of fighting for his own success, that kept him around. “Wrestling is a unique sport, not like anything else,” Stewart said. “It is you and only you on the mat and there is no team to blame if you don’t do good. It is all up to you what you end up doing.”

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Building a solid foundation

In May 2006, Derek Duran’s name was mentioned multiple times during Moffat County High School’s graduation ceremony. Besides being read off the list of many receiving diplomas that day, the college-bound student also received acknowledgment as Outstanding Senior Boy. The award was the result of four years of hard work in the classroom, in the gym and elsewhere in the Craig community. And, though only two students, one male and one female, can achieve the top honor each year, Duran hopes to help future graduates of MCHS attain such standards. As part of the local group Maximum Commitment to Excellence, Duran, 24, strives to promote greater involvement in schools across Moffat County. “There’s some real successful businessmen in that group like Dave DeRose, Scott Cook, John Ponikvar, and I’m proud to be a part of it,” he said. “It’s all about raising the bar for educational standards for the youth of the community.”

Congressional candidate appearing Thursday in Craig

In 2009, Tisha Casida said she began worrying about the economy and federal regulations handcuffing small business owners. Rather than sit idly by, she decided to act. The 30-year-old owner of That’s Natural! Marketing & Consulting company in Pueblo is an independent running for Colorado’s Third Congressional District, a seat held by Republican Rep. Scott Tipton. This is her first bid for public office.

Briefs for February 29: Senior breakfast set for today

Senior breakfast set for today A senior breakfast is scheduled for 8 a.m. today at McDonald’s, 1080 W. Victory Way, in Craig. The event is open to all local senior citizens. For more information, call Mary Jo Brown at 824-2139.

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Little cowboy, big dreams

Kasen Brennise’s dream is to rodeo in one of the biggest arenas of them all: the National Finals Rodeo. The 12-year-old Craig resident is well on his way to realizing that goal. Kasen secured the title of world champion barrel racer during the 2008 National Finals Little Britches Rodeo. He was only 8 years old at the time. The Craig Middle School sixth-grader also won several saddles during his rodeo career and “I don’t know how many buckles,” said his father, Scott Brennise, 46.

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MCHS grad divides energies between work and education

A smartphone, complete with a digital calendar, isn’t an indulgence to Dorina Fredrickson. It’s a necessity, considering Fredrickson is trying to fit two major time commitments into her schedule. The 20-year-old Craig resident is a full-time student at Colorado Northwestern Community College’s Craig campus. She also works full-time as a receptionist at Country Living Realty. Any time she gets in between is partly devoted to preparing for her real estate license.

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Basketball building blocks

Joe Camilletti, Taft Cleverly and Tyler Davis each started playing basketball when they were in grade school. All three worked their way through the ranks, starting in the youth leagues before suiting up for the Craig Middle School seventh- and eighth-grade teams. But Cleverly, a Moffat County High School sophomore, and freshmen Camilletti and Davis, found themselves in a rare position in the 2011-12 season — contributing as young players for a varsity basketball team. “All three of those guys are dedicated to basketball,” head coach Eric Hamilton said. “They have put in a lot of hours in the sport and they are only getting better. They each have a great work ethic and we coaches expect them to help make this program successful.”

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Edible art

While other young artists work in oils or pastels, 13-year-old Allie Dilldine prefers to work with a more mouth-watering medium. She’s a champion cake decorator whose creations have two appeals, she said. “People love it because it tastes really good,” the Craig Middle School eighth-grader said. “ … They like it before and they love it after.” Judges at the 2011 Colorado State Fair apparently were of the same mind. They awarded Allie a grand champion ribbon in her division for a cake she fashioned to look like a dollhouse.

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Balancing work and passion

It seems no matter what Kat Thompson adds to her schedule, she is never overwhelmed. Thompson, a Moffat County High School senior, is part of the high school’s National Honor Society as well as the yearbook committee. After school, she’s usually working on the next MCHS theater production, working as a sales associate at Maurices, or finding time to sing the national anthem at Bulldog sporting events. This year, she's also competing in the Distributive Education Clubs of America, or DECA, earning a trip to the state competition after only competing twice.

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Entrepreneur learns by doing

Clint Gabbert doesn’t put too much stock in learning through books. “I’ve always learned better by just doing something,” the 20-year-old said. It’s no surprise, then, that he chose business as a career. In March 2010, a little more than two years after he graduated from Moffat County High School, he and his mother, Leona, opened The Jungle Pet Shop at 565 Yampa Ave.

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‘This is what I want to do’

A.J. Stoffle found his calling at 4 years old. He watched his cousin in a snowmobile race in Steamboat Springs and decided he wanted to try it, his mother Teresa Stoffle said. His family happened to have his tyke-sized snowmobile with them that day in 2002, Teresa Stoffle. That afternoon, they bought him the safety equipment he needed to race that night. A decade later, A.J. is still certain of his calling.

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Despite falling short of goal, 2011-12 season a success for MCHS girls cagers

The Moffat County High School girls varsity basketball team’s goal this season was to advance to the Elite 8 in the 4A state playoffs. While the Bulldogs were eliminated in the Sweet 16, head coach Matt Ray said the season was far from a disappointment. “It was a great season, we had a great record, and we had a good finish,” he said Tuesday. “We were a little disappointed we lost when we did, but overall, it was a great year.” The Bulldogs wrapped up the season with an 18-7 overall record and a 10-2 mark in the Western Slope League.

Leap into fun this weekend

Ah, Leap Day, the holiday that comes around only once every four years and means nothing other than an additional square on the calendar. But the lack of real significance for this particular day doesn’t mean you can’t create your own special traditions to take advantage of Feb. 29 as best you can until its next appearance in 2016. No, I’m not talking about watching the pitiful Amy Adams movie “Leap Year,” I mean trying something new or something you could never do again, and letting that spirit of spontaneity carry over into the next few days.

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Enjoying the challenge

Christalin Thompson is a busy woman. She raises three children, 5-year-old Riley, 2-year-old Carson and 5-month-old Addison, works three 12-hour shifts a week as a concierge at The Memorial Hospital in Craig, and teaches Zumba classes three days a week from Holistic Health & Fitness. “I’ve always been busy,” the 25-year-old Craig resident said. “Even when I was in high school, I was in cheerleading and student council and I had a job.” As an adult, Thompson’s active lifestyle has helped her discover new passions. This was the case in 2007, when she was living in Oceanside, Calif., raising Riley, who was 10 months old.

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The makings of a leader

Until this school year, Nicole Ferree hated politics, pure and simple, she said. She couldn’t get away from the subject. She heard about it often at home, which isn't surprising. Her father, Jim Ferree, is Craig’s city manager. In recent months, though, her attitude has changed. Politics is no longer a wearisome subject to her. Instead, it intrigues her, and she’s ready to get involved in the political process.

Editorial: Beautification committees of one

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