News for Friday, July 6, 2012

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Worries about drowning come with heat in US

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — As heat across a big chunk of the U.S. drives people into pools and lakes to cool off, public health officials are worried about a heightened risk of drowning. Minnesota has had more drowning deaths so far this year than any time in the past decade, and officials in Illinois and Michigan are seeing an uptick in some areas, too. Drowning deaths historically go up in the summer months, but the intensely hot weather may also be putting even more people at risk as they flock to water for relief, some without swimming skills. "When you've got more people out there, the chances of someone getting hurt or killed are increased just by the fact you've got numbers on the water," said Kim Elverum, spokesman for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. "You've got ability and so on from one end of the scale to another out there." Much of the central and eastern U.S. has experienced particularly hot weather in recent days, with temperatures climbing into the 100s in several cities. In the Midwest, even low temperatures have been setting record highs, meaning people aren't able to get relief even overnight.

On the Record for July 6, 2012

On the Record for July 6, 2012

Moderating weather helps Western fire crews

(AP) — Firefighters around the West took advantage of improved weather to make inroads against wildfires that have destroyed homes, forces residents to evacuate and burned hundreds of thousands of acres of timber and brush. But a new blaze near Redding, Calif., was causing problems early Friday, just hours after it was spotted and quickly grew to 1,200 acres, or about 2 square miles. Authorities say the fire is threatening dozens of homes and has forced evacuations. In Colorado, crews expect to fully contain the state's most destructive wildfire Friday. Colorado Springs officials have lifted evacuation orders for 126 more homes at the 28-square-mile Waldo Canyon fire, which damaged or destroyed nearly 350 homes and killed two people. Coroner's officials identified the victims as 74-year-old William Everett and his wife, Barbara, 73. Authorities also announced that they know where the fire started but did not disclose the location. The cause was under investigation.

Rockies lose 6-2 to Cardinals

Tyler Colvin had a great series against the St Louis Cardinals. The rest of the Colorado Rockies? Not so much. Colvin hit a two-run homer Thursday night, but the Rockies lost 6-2 at Busch Stadium. "I like hitting in this ballpark," he said. "It's one of those things where I got some good pitches to hit while I was here." Colorado lost three of four in St. Louis, but Colvin had three homers and seven RBIs. He has seven homers and 16 RBIs in 26 career games against the Cardinals.

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CD3 candidate visits Trapper Mine in Craig

On Thursday Sal Pace, a Pueblo Democrat running for the Third Congressional District of Colorado, visited with officials at Trapper Mine in Craig to learn how impending federal regulations could affect the coal mining industry. Although Trapper Mine has been operating under the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977, company officials raised concerns about impending regulations on its partners in the coal-fired power generation industry, most notably neighboring Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association’s Craig Station. Currently all the coal produced at Trapper Mine goes to help fuel Craig Station. Proposed Environmental Protection Agency regulations, such as the Mercury Air Toxics Rule and New Source Performance Standards, would not only drive up the costs of coal-fired electricity on consumers, but could prohibit new coal-fired power plants from being constructed in the future, Trapper Mine officials contended.

Zimmerman bail set at $1M in Trayvon Martin case

Using words like "false testimony" and "misled," a Florida judge granted $1 million bail Thursday for former neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, but questioned his honesty and suggested he had plotted to leave the country when he was out of jail the first time. Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester referred to Zimmerman with words like "conceal" and "flee" more than a dozen times in an eight-page order that would let him out of jail while he awaits his second-degree murder trial in the shooting of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin. The judge's doubts could hurt an attempt by Zimmerman to dismiss the case by claiming he shot Martin in self-defense, a possible motion based on Florida's "stand your ground" law, experts said. "Mr. Zimmerman is not held in any high esteem by this court," said Karin Moore, a law professor at the Florida A&M University College of Law. "I think that could matter if there is a 'stand your ground' hearing ... It's a matter of credibility. There is no one else to testify to support the self-defense claim."

Sports Briefs for July 6: Sea Sharks hosting swim meet this weekend

The Craig Sea Sharks swimming team will host its only home meet of the season starting today at the Craig Swimming Complex, 605 Washington St. The Sea Sharks, a swim team for youths from Moffat County, swam June 22-24 in Aspen and are competing for the first time since. Their season began in late May and will conclude the first weekend in August. According to Sea Sharks coach Meghan Francone, five teams will be swimming in Craig, including teams from Steamboat Springs and Rangely. The meet will kick off with swimmers doing the mile at 10 this morning, followed by all the events in the eight and under age group being swam during today’s afternoon session.

Developers say town, schools could see $5 million annually from casino revenue in Hayden

There were a handful of vocal opponents and a few others who think it’s a great idea, but the majority just wanted to learn more about a casino project being proposed near Yampa Valley Regional Airport. “I think at this point if you’re not taking an objective look at this project, you’re already doing a disservice to the town of Hayden, because these types of projects don’t come along all the time,” said Karl Koehler, a 17-year Hayden resident. He was one of about 75 people who attended the meeting Thursday night at the Haven Community Center. The meeting was hosted by the six local men in the Sleeping Giant Group who are proposing the project. The group says the casino is a way to diversify the local economy, and they plan to host similar meetings this summer in Craig and Steamboat Springs to gather community input and answer questions. Another meeting is planned for Hayden, and the group wants to form an advisory group composed of Hayden residents.

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Moffat County wrestlers deliver strong season tune-up at camp

No big schools could intimidate Moffat County High School wrestlers at a camp last month. The camp, which lasted from June 15-19 at Western State College in Gunnison, featured 30 schools from Colorado, Arizona, Kansas and Texas. Unlike camps for other sports where fundamentals and technique are stressed more than playing games, wrestling in matches was the focus at Western State. Incoming senior Garrett Stewart said that is the best way to improve.

Janet Sheridan: A miner’s daughter

The miners from Twentymile caught my attention during the Romney campaign stop in Craig. As they walked toward the security line or stood in the crowd—hands in pockets, shoulders squared, not saying much—I pondered the many reflective strips sewn to their heavy-duty work clothes. “What would it be like,” I wondered, “to go to work dressed in clothing covered with bright strips that would make me visible in the darkness in which I worked and less likely to be injured in an accident?” As I read the names printed on their hardhats, I hoped their families were proud of the miners they sent off to work underground.

No fires, major arrests reported on Independence Day

Historically speaking Independence Day is not a holiday riddled with increased criminal behavior in Craig and Moffat County. But with bans on open burning and private use of fireworks, coupled with the cancellation of the annual fireworks display, public safety officials were bracing for the worst. However local public safety officers said Wednesday’s Fourth of July celebration was even more quiet than most. And quiet is good, officials said. It proved that despite having a ban on fireworks and open burning, local residents were able to celebrate the holiday “in style.”

Local insurer honored, expands offices

After receiving accolades for a job well done, it’s easy for business owners to just rest on their laurels for a while. Even after bringing home multiple prestigious awards, one Craig firm still keeps looking to get better. Mountain West Insurance & Financial Services, LLC, 100 E. Victory Way, was recently selected as a Colorado Company to Watch. The Colorado Companies to Watch program, hosted by the Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade, acknowledges companies within the state “that develop valuable products and services, create quality jobs, enrich communities and create new industries throughout Colorado,” according to its mission statement.

Briefs for July 6: TMH Foundation receives $5k grant

The Memorial Hospital Foundation has received a $5,000 grant from the Union Pacific Foundation, the hospital reported in a news release. The grant is part of $150,000 the Union Pacific Foundation granted to 28 Colorado nonprofit organizations in June. “We are proud to make a positive contribution to building strong, sustainable communities across our railroad network,” Robert Turner, Union Pacific Foundation president, said in the release. Sue Lyster, TMH Foundation board chairperson, said she was pleased the foundation received the grant, which shows the Union Pacific Foundation’s “support for improving health care in our community,” according to the release.

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Book signing with granddaughter of area pioneer school teacher slated for Sunday

Two young women step from a train in Hayden, the second-to-last stop on the Denver, Northwestern & Pacific Railway. The date is July 27, 1916, and these women of refinement are far from home. Dorothy Woodruff and Rosamond Underwood were educated at one of the first women’s colleges, and they have tasted the finer hints of Europe, Woodruff’s granddaughter, Dorothy Wickenden, would write nearly a century later. Yet, this trip isn’t merely sightseeing excursion or a detour on the way to a gilded future in the East. The women are leaving that life behind for a new one in the West.