News for Saturday, July 14, 2012

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Colorado cantaloupes return; growers push safety

Nearly a year after the nation's deadliest foodborne illness outbreak in more than two decades, Colorado cantaloupes are back in supermarkets. Farmers near the town of Rocky Ford are going on the offensive to restore the fruit's reputation a year after melons from one of the area's farms caused a nationwide listeria outbreak. They have banded together to trademark Rocky Ford melons and fund $800,000 worth of safety upgrades to prevent future outbreaks, but they must convince buyers that the melons are safe. Last fall's listeria outbreak traced to Jensen Farms in eastern Colorado was blamed for the deaths of 30 people. It infected 146 people in 28 states with one of four strains of the disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "When everything happened, after 125 years of growing a safe product, people were so upset," said Nathan Knapp, a Rocky Ford melon grower who drove to a Denver-area supermarket Friday to see the cantaloupes go on sale.

Phillies fall 6-2 to Rockies

Cliff Lee's hard-luck season just got a little tougher. Lee pitched six solid innings only to lose again as the Philadelphia Phillies fell 6-2 to the Colorado Rockies on Friday night to drop their fifth straight and 11th in the past 12 games. "I shake my head because I look out there and see Lee pitching. I can't believe we can't win some games with him pitching. We got outplayed," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. Rockies starter Christian Friedrich (5-6) got the best of Lee (1-6) in his first career appearance against the Phillies. Friedrich allowed one run and five hits, struck out seven and walked one in snapping a five-game losing streak. Lee, who got his only win of the season in his previous start, July 4 against the New York Mets, allowed three runs — two earned — and nine hits.

Romney: No role in Bain management after 1999

His credibility under attack, Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney insisted on Friday that he had "no role whatsoever in the management" of a private equity firm after early 1999, and demanded that President Barack Obama apologize for campaign aides who persist in alleging otherwise. "This is simply beneath the dignity of the presidency of the United States," Romney said in an interview on ABC, one of several he granted to network and cable stations in hopes of extinguishing the controversy. Under pressure from Democrats and even some Republicans to release tax returns going back several years, Romney indicated he wouldn't do so. "You can never satisfy the opposition research team of the Obama organization," he told CBS. Romney said after he left Bain Capital he retained ownership "until we were able to negotiate a departure" from the company he had founded. "I had no role whatsoever in the management of Bain Capital after February of 1999," he said, adding that officials at the company and independent fact-checkers had said the same thing.

Sports Briefs for July 14: Craig Parks and Rec offering upcoming opportunities for youth

Registrations for tackle football and Pom Pom Pups Cheerleading are now being accepted by Craig Parks and Recreation. The tackle football league is available for children in third through sixth grade, and will involve practices and games three days per week. The season begins in August. Registration costs $50. For more information on the league or how to become a certified coach or official, call 826-2029.

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Local taxidermists bringing home awards from across the region

In taxidermy, making the animal look real and putting it in a pose is usually enough to satisfy a customer. But local taxidermists go above and beyond the basic design, and they are winning the awards to show for it. Bullseye Taxidermy owner Mark Zimmerman has won a Best in Category (selected as the best work of its type) award at both the New Mexico and Colorado Taxidermist Association competitions with an antelope, in March and May, respectively. He also had his work on mule deer win first prize at both shows. Zimmerman has been among the best in Colorado in the master's division with his antelope and mule deer for the past few years, having won the best mule deer award more than anyone else at the Colorado show.

Craig City Council takes action at Tuesday meeting

At its regular meeting Tuesday, the Craig City Council: • Approved, 7-0, June 28 meeting minutes.

Over a Cup: A casserole for summer

I don’t know about you, but when the weather is hot, as it has been, I have a hard time thinking about what to cook. Nothing sounds appetizing. So, one morning this week, after I’d worked in the garden, I poured a cup of coffee and started going through my recipe files and cookbooks. That’s when I came upon “Cattlemen’s Favorite Beef Recipes,” a little recipe booklet printed by the Colorado Cowbelles in 1957.

Diane Prather: Fun events planned for this year's Moffat County Fair

Bubbles big enough to stand inside, shows, a climbing wall, kayaking, and plenty of other special features and contests are all part of the entertainment planned for the 2012 Moffat County Fair, slated for Aug. 5 through 12. The fair will kick off Sunday, Aug. 5 at the Moffat County Fairgrounds covered picnic area with Cowboy Church, featuring Christian Cowboy Poet Fred Ellis. Loretta Earle, of Craig, will sing during the service. Ellis has brought his Cowboy Church to the fair before.

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Serviceman returns home to warm reception

The most difficult day in Jordan Bailey’s life didn’t take place during his time serving overseas in the military. The day he had to say goodbye to his wife, Kacie, and their infant son, Kaeden, was much more trying than anything he could have experienced while on active duty with the U.S. Navy. And, after more than seven months at sea, getting back in touch with his loved ones has been all he’s thought about. Jordan was welcomed home Friday night with a surprise party at American Legion Post 62.

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Meal program at Boys & Girls Club provides summer nutrition for local youths

Kim Maneotis said summer is a stressful time for parents in Craig. “During the summer months when kids are home for three meals a day, that puts quite a strain on families,” said Maneotis, unit director for the Boys & Girls Club of Craig, 1324 E. U.S. Highway 40. To help relieve that strain, the Boys & Girls Club has partnered with the Moffat County School District to offer a midday meal and afternoon snack Monday through Friday to any interested child in Moffat County younger than 18 years old. Lunch prepared by MCSD food service employees is served at 11:20 a.m. and the afternoon snack is distributed at 3:30 p.m.

Letter: Arms Trade Treaty a serious wake-up call

To the editor: Your freedom and way of life are in danger. On July 27, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is scheduled to sign the Arms Trade Treaty being drafted by the United Nations, and at this time it includes language that will give the UN, with its assortment of dictators, despots and a large part of the world that hates America, a say in what we as free Americans will be able to do pertaining to owning firearms. This includes registration, use, ammunition, transportation and any other control they can think of, including confiscation.

Police blotter for July 14

Moffat County Jail Tuesday, July 10 Ismael Eliazer Garcia-Franco, 49, of Craig, was booked into Moffat County Jail on a warrant. Wednesday, July 11 Michael Schiavone, 31, a transient, was booked into Moffat County Jail on suspicion of marijuana possession, possession of drug paraphernalia and theft.

Briefs for July 14: Church youth group hosting fundraiser car wash

A youth group from Craig Christian Church is hosting a fundraiser car wash from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. today at the church, 960 W. Victory Way. Free will donations are accepted. For more information, call 824-6024.

Editorial: Development delayed

A few months ago, the editorial board commented on a decision made by Moffat County officials to auction a county-owned property rather than sell it outright to Kum & Go. Kum & Go already had submitted plans to the city outlining how it would use the property, located adjacent to Kum & Go’s store at 700 E. Victory Way, to construct a new, bigger location on par with the company’s biggest gas stations in the state. Since the property is only occupied by a seldom-used county storage building, the editorial board didn’t understand why county commissioners would want to make a company, especially one that is ready to start developing now, wait for weeks — maybe even a month or two — to acquire property that has been of no interest to any other conceivable buyer. Well, here we are three months later, and county officials have just now decided to hold the auction … in mid-August. That makes four.