News for Wednesday, July 4, 2012

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Mosquito abatement program successful in Moffat County

Pest department exceeding goal of 95 percent control

Gary Brannan, Moffat County weed and pest management manager, said Tuesday it’s time to set the record straight about a noticeable decline in mosquito numbers in Craig. Although a common misconception exists among residents that there are fewer flying pests in Moffat County because of the weather, Brannan said mosquito numbers are down this year in large part due to the work of his pest management team. “I’ve had so many people tell me that we don’t have any mosquitoes because it’s been such a hot and dry year,” Brannan said. “I just want them to be aware of why we don’t have any.” On Tuesday Brannan, and pest control technician Pam Boyd, were comparing the results of two test traps the department set this week.

Wildfire fully contained in Colorado Springs

The most destructive fire in Colorado history has been fully contained within Colorado Springs. Overall, the 28-square-mile fire was 80 percent contained Tuesday evening, but fire chief Rick Brown says the portion burning in the city is fully surrounded. In western Colorado, pre-evacuation orders for residents in and around DeBeque have been lifted, and firefighters don't expect the nearly 14,000-acre Pine Ridge fire to grow any farther.

Air Force planes again ready for fire missions

Air Force tanker planes returned to the flight line for firefighting missions on Tuesday after a deadly weekend crash, bringing much-needed reinforcements to a strained fleet battling some of the worst wildfires in decades. The return of five C-130s means wildfire managers now have 19 heavy tankers to battle the huge fires that have burned hundreds of square miles and displaced thousands of people across the West. One wildfire in Montana has charred 320 square miles and burned 16 homes. The fire was 55 percent contained. The most active part of the fire was burning thick, largely inaccessible timber on the Custer National Forest. That has led firefighters to steer clear of the dangerous forward edge of the blaze, fire information officer Kathy Bushnell said.

Search to find Earhart wreckage begins in Hawaii

A $2.2 million expedition is hoping to finally solve one of America's most enduring mysteries: What exactly happened to famed aviator Amelia Earhart when she went missing over the South Pacific 75 years ago? A group of scientists, historians and salvagers think they have a good idea, and they began a trek Tuesday from Honolulu to a remote island in the Pacific nation of Kiribati in hopes of finding wreckage of Earhart's Lockheed Electra plane in nearby waters. Their working theory is that Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan landed on a reef near the Kiribati atoll of Nikumaroro, then survived a short time. "Everything has pointed to the airplane having gone over the edge of that reef in a particular spot, and the wreckage ought to be right down there," said Ric Gillespie, the founder and executive director of The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery, the group leading the search.

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Illinois golfer records ace during 1st time playing Yampa Valley Golf Course

After two months without a hole-in-one to start the playing season, Yampa Valley Golf Course has recorded two in a few weeks. The first of the year was hit by Craig resident Ed McIntyre in mid-June on the 11th hole. The second ace of the year was recorded Tuesday by Michael Wood of Geneva, Ill. Wood got his perfect stroke on the fourth hole. It was his first time playing the course.

Udall, USDA open lands for emergency haying, grazing

Colorado senators Mark Udall (D) and Michael Bennet (D) announced Tuesday agricultural producers throughout Colorado are eligible for emergency haying and grazing on U.S. Department of Agriculture lands. Sixty-two of Colorado’s 64 counties have been designated by the USDA as primary natural disaster areas due to losses caused by drought, excessive heat and high winds, according to a joint Udall/Bennet news release issued Tuesday. The two other Colorado counties have been named contiguous disaster areas. “The entire state of Colorado has been severely affected by hot and dry conditions that have hampered the production of our agricultural producers,” Bennet said in the release. “The designations from USDA will provide much-needed assistance to farmers to help offset their losses due to drought. Agriculture is a critical part of Colorado’s economy, and these resources will help producers weather a difficult growing season.”

Hayden casino group to host 1st community forum

Members of the Sleeping Giant Group, LLC, are hosting a community meeting to discuss the details of a proposed casino slated for construction near Yampa Valley Regional Airport. The meeting is open to the public and takes place at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at The Haven, 300 S. Shelton Lane in Hayden. Last month the Sleeping Giant Group — which consists of Steamboat Springs resident Steve Hofman, winter Olympian Johnny Spillane, Hayden resident Dave Marin, Hayden developer Stefanus Nijsten, Nijsten’s business partner Bob Zibell, and Steamboat Springs attorney Scott McGill — put into the public arena various casino project documents commissioned by the partnership during the last six months. A feasibility study, market analysis, artist rendering and site plan are available for public viewing on the partnership’s web site, www.sleepinggiantgroup.com.

Lance Scranton: Looking forward to fall

It’s sometimes difficult to explain to parents the level of dedication required to play high school football. Back when I was in high school, you showed up in the fall, looked around and hoped you were going to have a decent team. The coach ran us into the ground to get us in shape and then we began the season. Times have changed. If you show up for our Fall Training Camp and we haven’t seen you all summer, you will definitely be lost. June, July and August are spent preparing players for fall training camp by offering weightlifting and speed training. When mandatory practice begins in August, there is an expectation that players have been paying attention to the opportunities afforded them by the coaching staff.

Letter: Thank you to Yampa Valley Medical Center

When you are in pain and have a medical emergency, it is assuring to know there is a hospital that will help in the Yampa Valley. Our son had an abscessed tooth and when he went to the emergency room at The Memorial Hospital over the weekend, he was told they couldn’t help him and he would have to go to a larger city to find an emergency room with a dentist on call. We took him to the Yampa Valley Medical Center, where they helped him with pain management and got him stabilized. They contacted an oral surgeon and set up an appointment to have the tooth removed on Monday.

Editorial: Deficit decisions

When the Moffat County School District ended fiscal year 2011-2012, it had more than $7 million in leftover funds available for the proverbial rainy day. And while it may not be a downpour, there definitely is a steady drizzle in Northwest Colorado’s economic forecast, at least for fiscal year 2012-13. So when MCSD last week approved a 2012-13 budget that called for $200,000 in deficit spending, it wasn’t a big surprise, especially when taking into account the current state of the economy and dwindling availability of state funds. Even though the term “deficit spending” — which essentially is when an entity spends more than the revenue it is forecasted to bring in — is enough to make any financial planner’s stomach turn, the editorial board applauds the district’s decision to dip into the reserve money. What’s the point of sitting on millions of taxpayer dollars when there is a tangible need for those funds?

Craig resident has not made good on fines from horse smuggling case

Victor Tarango, 39, is in custody at Moffat County Jail on a bench warrant for failing to comply with the stipulations of a court order. Moffat County Court Judge Sandra Gardner executed the warrant Monday, according to court records. Tarango, a Craig resident, was subsequently arrested around 7:30 p.m. Monday at the Moffat County Fairgrounds by Moffat County Sheriff’s Office deputy Alec Brown, records state. He is being held on a $5,000 bond.

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Wyman Living History Museum adds Korea-era tank to its permanent collection

A few people lingered June 27 at Wyman Living History Museum, their eyes trained on the road. Finally, the tractor-trailer came into view. It turned from U.S. Highway 40 into the museum’s driveway towing its long-awaited cargo: an M47 tank, an Army green behemoth with a fighting weight of about 100,000 pounds. “I was just pleased to see it,” museum founder Lou Wyman said Tuesday.

Briefs for July 4: July Fourth parade, picnic today

A Fourth of July parade starts at noon today at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4265, 419 E. Victory Way. The event is free to all floats, groups and participants. Lineup is at 10 a.m. The parade travels down Victory Way and ends at Craig Post Office, 556 Pershing St. A Fourth of July picnic follows at 1 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Park.