News for Wednesday, January 4, 2012

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Mineral lease auction yields funds for Moffat County, museum

On Dec. 13, the Moffat County Commission unanimously approved conducting its third mineral lease auction. Up for grabs were 32 tracts encompassing 444 mineral acres owned by the Museum of Northwest Colorado, plus an additional 200 acres divided into two parcels owned by Moffat County. On Wednesday, county officials released results of the sealed bid auction, in which all 34 tracts were leased — netting more than $152,000 and $158,000 for the museum and county, respectively.

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Community raises $10K to stop seizure of Hayden's HiWay Bar

The liquor, fixtures and furniture inside Hayden’s HiWay Bar will not be auctioned off to the public Thursday after the community rallied to pay off $10,000 worth of unpaid sales taxes and employee wage withholdings.

Craig Red Dogs hope to overcome big-city teams in home tournament

Greg Neal remembers when the Yampa Valley Invitational men’s hockey tournament only included three teams. Neal, along with Craig Red Dogs teammates Blake Abdella and Eric Schille, are the only three men hockey players to have competed in every home tournament. Now, in the tournament’s 18th year, Neal, still a Red Dogs player and now manager, is excited to compete with some of the best teams in the state. “We started the tournament with three teams and now I have to turn away teams because the rink can only handle 10 teams,” he said. “We use to have to play the game at midnight because there was no refrigeration, but now we go basically from Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon non-stop.”

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MCHS basketball teams return from break against Central Grand Junction

Matt Ray said the Moffat County High School girls varsity basketball team had a good week of practice coming out of the holiday break. Whether the hard work translates to success, Ray said, will be determined Thursday at Central Grand Junction High School. The Bulldogs (6-3) come out of the break on a three-game winning streak and will battle the 2-8 Warriors. “We haven’t had a game in about three weeks but if our practice has been any indicator, we will play good,” Ray said Wednesday. “If we play like we can we will be OK, but we don’t want to look back down the road and have had a let down in this game.”

On the Record for Jan. 4, 2012

On the Record for Jan. 4, 2012

Livin' It Up: A New Year with new goals ahead

With all the hoopla of the holidays quieted down, it’s time to start making 2012 count. And, what better time to start on those resolutions than the first week of January? ■ Get more involved in your community by letting people know what’s on your mind for making Craig a better place. Stop by the Community Envisioning Session hosted by the Moffat County Tourism Association at 5 p.m. Thursday at the Holiday Inn of Craig, 300 S. Colorado Highway 13. Voice your opinion on the best attributes of the area to advertise to prospective tourists, be it summer’s Whittle the Wood or all the natural beauty that is Moffat County.

Moffat County road and bridge close to mining limestone pit

In 2007, Moffat County officials began searching for a limestone reserve in the region. After two years of exploration, a site was chosen on the north side of Cedar Mountain off Moffat County Road 10. The reserve was named County Road 10 Limestone Pit, but for more than two years no activity had taken place there. Now, more than four years since the process began, the Moffat County road and bridge department has pulled the necessary permits and appears poised to begin mining operations.

Assessor: mineral activity ensures flat valuation for Moffat County

Moffat County residents can expect their property taxes to drop a bit in 2012, county assessor Robert Razzano said. That’s because the county’s assessed values in residential and commercial property decreased by 4 and 8 percent, respectively, in 2011. The county’s vacant property, industrial property, and natural resource values also experienced significant reductions in 2011, but a spike in oil and gas activity has ensured Moffat County’s total value will remain flat going into next year, according to a 2010 v. 2011 valuation report certified by the assessor’s office Dec. 1. Overall, the county’s total assessed value increased by 2 percent, or $10.9 million, to $487.1 million in 2011, according to the report.

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Craig Middle School retrofit on track

Students returning Thursday from winter break to Craig Middle School may notice something different inside the school’s small gym. It’s a narrow beam bolted about halfway down the wall. It’s painted white like the rest of the wall, and can be easily overlooked upon casual glance. As unobtrusive as it looks, this and other changes will allow students to use portions of the school that were restricted to them in early December after an independent review found parts of the building’s north wing didn’t meet code. Work done to bring CMS up to code underwent inspection Tuesday, and the school should be ready for students when they return from winter break Thursday, said Joe Petrone, Moffat County School District superintendent. If so, the project will have met its projected deadline.

EDP director search ongoing

The Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership is taking next steps in its search for a new director. Darcy Owens-Trask, who had been at EDP’s helm for four years, announced her resignation Nov. 30. She accepted a position with the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade. EDP has been searching for her replacement for more than a month. The process began with the creation of a special hiring committee consisting of chairman Dave Fleming, and EDP board members Scott Cook, Mike Anson and Gene Bilodeau.

Car theft suspect’s case continued to February

An eight-year Department of Corrections sentence could have been handed down Tuesday in Moffat County District Court against a Craig man charged in an Aug. 9 vehicle theft. Jarod Bays, 25, pleaded guilty Oct. 24, 2011, before Judge Shelley Hill to aggravated motor vehicle theft in the first degree, a Class 4 felony, and driving under the influence of alcohol and reckless endangerment, both misdemeanors. Hill presided over a sentencing hearing Tuesday, but rather than delivering the agreed upon sentence, the hearing was continued at the request of Bays’ attorney, Douglas Timmerman. Timmerman told the court his client was recently accepted to an inpatient treatment program sponsored by Denver Rescue Mission, and he asked for additional time to learn whether the program would be a viable alternative to jail time.

Broncos attempting to regroup for playoffs

(AP) — Brian Dawkins soothed smarting egos with a spontaneous pep talk. Usually not one for rah-rah speeches, the Denver Broncos captain got in front of the team Monday and basically broke it down like this: They're in the playoffs and that's all that matters. Granted, the Broncos (8-8) enter the postseason with hardly any momentum after closing out the regular season with three straight losses and needing help just to sneak into the party. Even more, Tim Tebow's late-game magic has disappeared. Still, their season has been extended and anything can happen.

Gingrich has new aggressive stance against Romney

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Newt Gingrich blamed a poor showing in the Iowa caucuses on his rivals' attack ads and seemed to conclude that turnabout is fair play as he pressed on with a new aggressive stance against front-runner Mitt Romney. After criticizing Romney for running a negative campaign and promising to stay positive, Gingrich appeared before supporters to criticize the former Massachusetts governor as someone who couldn't bring change to Washington. He also planned to run television ads against Romney in the next three states to vote — New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida. The former House speaker called Romney a "Massachusetts moderate who, in fact, is pretty good at managing the decay." He said the ex-governor has "given no evidence in his years in Massachusetts of any ability to change the culture or change the political structure." Gingrich's turnabout in strategy came as he was running fourth in returns from the nation's first Republican presidential nominating contest, after he led polls in the state just a few weeks ago. But Gingrich said he does not foresee the GOP race ending anytime soon.

Hickenlooper on presidency: 'I wouldn't be good'

(AP) — Colorado Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper shot down rumblings of a potential 2016 presidential run, saying Tuesday that he "couldn't possibly win." Hickenlooper is among the nation's most popular governors, prompting supporters to speculate about his chances if he were to run for president. A luncheon attendee at Denver's Brown Palace Hotel asked him about "rumors" that he would consider running for president, but Hickenlooper responded: "A, I wouldn't be good. B, I couldn't possibly win. C, I love what I'm doing." Hickenlooper began his first term as governor in January. He was previously Denver mayor.

Sports briefs for Jan. 4, 2012: Trailbusters registration deadline Friday

Trailbusters is now accepting registration for the 2012 season. The program is put on by Craig Parks and Recreation and provides ski or snowboard lessons for youths 6 to 15 years old. The program will take place Jan. 21 and 28 and Feb. 4, 11 and 25. Registration is $295 with transportation provided. Lift tickets are $29 each day.

Briefs for Jan. 4, 2012: MCTA seeking community input

A Community Envisioning Session is scheduled for 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the Holiday Inn of Craig, 300 S. Colorado Highway 13. Refreshments will be served. The meeting is designed to gather feedback as the Moffat County Tourism Association moves into the second phase of its branding and marketing project.

Editorial: Time for a resolution

The situation surrounding Craig City Park is, simply put, a mess. Residents concerned about the fate of the much-used park have reason to be worried. The City of Craig and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4265 have opened up lines of communication again, but there’s no guarantee the conversation between the two entities won’t collapse or end in a deadlock. With discussions starting fresh, it’s a good time for the city and VFW to take a step back and consider what they stand to gain if they put their differences aside and hammer out an agreement.

Datebook for Jan. 4, 2012

8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Craig Parks and Recreation’s Red Cross lifeguard training class takes place at Moffat County High School, 900 Finley Lane. 11 a.m. The Moffat County Tourism Association Board meets in the conference room at Hampton Inn, 377 Cedar Court. The meeting is open to the public. See the agenda on page 5. Call 824-2335. 5:30 p.m. A meeting for women only of the Craig Group One Alcoholics Anonymous takes place at First Congregational Church, 630 Green St. Call Penny at 824-1793.

MCTA Board meeting agenda for Jan. 4, 2012

Moffat County Tourism Association Board meeting When: 11 a.m. today Where: Conference room at Hampton Inn, 377 Cedar Court Agenda:

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Comics for Jan. 4, 2012

Comics for Jan. 4, 2012

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Crossword puzzle for Jan. 4, 2012

Crossword puzzle for Jan. 4, 2012

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Sudoku for Jan. 4, 2012

Sudoku for Jan. 4, 2012

Horoscope for Jan. 4, 2012

Although your material prospects look to be positive in the coming months, they could be a bit unusual in nature. You might strike it rich where you least expect to make any money, while doing what would normally bring in the big bucks won't do so.