News for Wednesday, July 25, 2012



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MCHS football team prepping for new season

Moffat County High School football players and coaches are preparing for the new season, which begins next month. The Colorado High School Activities Association allows practices to begin Aug. 13 and first scrimmages Aug. 23. The Bulldogs hosted two team camps in late June, allowing pads and helmets. But, after those camps, practices were voluntary and coaches weren't allowed to participate.

14th Judicial District Attorney Elizabeth Oldham resigns

Elizabeth Oldham, district attorney for the 14th Judicial District, has resigned to take a job that will allow her to spend more time in court.

Letter: Moffat County a beautiful place to visit

We’ve been traveling constantly in our RV for over 11 years, so we’ve been in literally hundreds of visitor centers. But we’ve never seen one like the Moffat County Tourist Visitor Information Center. Melody Villard, the director, gave us a tour of the center, which is laid out like the county itself. The tour is like a preview of all the amazing things Moffat county has to offer. In our short visit, we took the audio tour of the drive from the town of Dinosaur into Dinosaur National Monument. The audio tour, which we got from Melody, added interest and even humor to the drive. The National Monument is not to be missed.

Craig City Council takes action at Tuesday meeting

At its regular meeting Tuesday, the Craig City Council:

Women only Cast 'N Blast slated in Steamboat Springs

Any woman interested in learning the basics of fly-fishing, proper firearms handling and safe shooting skills are invited to attend, which runs until mid-afternoon. No experience is necessary and all equipment will be provided.

On the Record for July 25, 2012

On the Record for July 25, 2012

Poaching called threat to C. Ore. mule deer herds

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The arrest of three teenagers in a Central Oregon poaching case underscores the difficulty biologists and wildlife officers are facing in attempts to rebuild the mule deer population. "Poaching is a much bigger problem than we thought," said Steven George, an Oregon Fish and Wildlife biologist based in Bend. "More animals are killed by illegal harvest than legal harvest." Poaching has undermined efforts to rebuild the population of mule deer at the Metolius Wildlife Management Unit, The Oregonian ( ) reported. A viral disease a decade ago cut the population in half, and wildlife managers reduced the numbers that hunters were allowed to take legally.

'Goat man' in Utah mountains identified as hunter

(AP) — A man spotted dressed in a goat suit among a herd of wild goats in the mountains of northern Utah has been identified as a hunter preparing for a Canadian archery season. After a hiker spotted the so-called goat man on July 15 in the mountains above Ogden, about 40 miles north of Salt Lake City, wildlife officials said they wanted to talk to the person to be certain he was aware of the dangers as hunting season approaches. They speculated he might have been an extreme wildlife enthusiast who just wanted to get as close as possible to the goats. A few days after the spotting, state wildlife authorities received an anonymous call from an "agitated man" who simply said, "Leave goat man alone. He's done nothing wrong." This week, however, the mystery was solved.

County approves Shell oil well near Hayden

Shell Oil says it has no plans to use hydraulic fracturing in drilling the Dawson Creek well. It will, however, abide by the county's extensive list of conditions, including groundwater-quality monitoring.

Rockies lost 3rd straight, 6-2 to Diamondbacks

Colorado Rockies manager Jim Tracy was succinct in his appraisal of his team's performance Tuesday night. "We didn't pitch very well tonight and we didn't hit," Tracy said after the Rockies' 6-2 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks. "You get three hits, the first baseman hits two solo home runs and you get a base hit from (a reliever), you are not going to win too many games that way. "And you're not going to win too many games leaving balls up in the strike zone the way we did. We didn't command the ball very well." Arizona starter Joe Saunders (5-6) held the Rockies to only a single by reliever Josh Roenicke in the fifth inning and solo home runs to Michael Cuddyer in the fourth and sixth. He struck out nine.

Alleged shooter was surrounded by brain experts

James Holmes spent a year in a small neuroscience doctoral program, surrounded by scientists and roughly three dozen classmates delving into the inner workings of the brain. The University of Colorado, Denver, isn't saying if they had any warning signs. Experts say, however, the intimacy of the program and its focus on the brain may not have been enough for staff and students to detect that Holmes was on a course that police say ended with a deadly rampage at a midnight showing of the new Batman movie. Supported by a prestigious federal grant, Holmes, 24, was in the first year of a program at the Anschutz Medical Campus dedicated to neuroscience, studying such topics as how the brain works or malfunctions or helping develop drugs to treat epilepsy and other disorders.

Sherman Hemsley of TV's "The Jeffersons" dies

George Jefferson was a bigot. A loudmouth. Rude. Obsessed with money. Arrogant. And yet he was one of the most enjoyable, beloved characters in television history. Much of that credit belongs to Sherman Hemsley, the gifted character actor who gave life to the blustering black Harlem businessman on "The Jeffersons," one of TV's longest running and most successful sitcoms — particularly noteworthy with its mostly black cast. The Philadelphia-born Hemsley, who police said late Tuesday died at his home in El Paso, Texas, at age 74, first played George Jefferson on CBS's "All in the Family" before he was spun off onto "The Jeffersons." The sitcom ran for 11 seasons from 1975 to 1985.

TMH earns top honor from Quorum Health Resources

The Memorial Hospital in Craig received high honors from its hospital management company, Quorum Health Resources, earning the distinction of 2012 Best Performing Critical Access Hospital. According to a TMH news release, the award honored the Craig hospital over 65 other facilities managed by QHR. According to the news release, QHR CEO James L. Horrar attributed the honor to the hospital’s 23-percent growth in net patient revenue as well as the opening of three new services, including a 24/7 hospitalist program, a cardiac rehabilitation program and a chemotherapy infusion clinic.

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MCHS coach setting middle school players with volleyball skills

Girls starting and continuing middle school this year got a look at how volleyball is played at the high school level. Moffat County High School volleyball coach Sandy Camilletti is hosting a camp for seventh and eighth-graders, which began Tuesday and will finish Thursday. The camp is focusing on individual skills and teaching girls to play volleyball the proper way, Camilletti said. “They get this three day camp where they learn how to do it well. (Today has) been slow because we’re trying to progressively teach the skills,” she said. “I really feel like its important to get reps, and make them good reps. Bad reps do nothing for you. That’s why I try to go pretty slow and go through each small detail.”

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Youth swimming team finishes 10th at league meet

Going against tough competition at the Western Slope League Meet, the Craig Sea Sharks had 14 swimmers deliver strong performances. The Sea Sharks placed 10th out of 16 at the meet, but since they were competing against several large teams, winning the overall score was never a concern for the local team. Individual Sea Sharks who swam held their own, head coach Meghan Francone said. “They absolutely swam phenomenally. I really can’t say much else about it,” she said. “We had some really exciting races that will stick out in my mind for a while.”

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Agee wildfire ignites Monday, now under control

The Agee wildfire ignited Monday night north of Craig from a lightning strike, burning about 70 acres before fire personnel brought it under control. Craig Fire/Rescue responded to the fire near Moffat County Roads 89 and 103, after the fire was reported by a West Routt firefighter who was in the area at 4:45 p.m. Monday, Craig Fire/Rescue Chief Bill Johnston said. A large column of dark smoke could be seen among the hills west of Colorado Highway 13, near mile marker 107. Johnston said four engines from Craig Fire/Rescue were deployed to the scene along with two tenders.

Lance Scranton: Proud part of the 'football family'

Having spent my college years in North Dakota at Dickinson State and the University of North Dakota, there are some obvious lessons to be extracted from the current oil boom, but what I learned most about on our annual vacation to Dickinson this past week had nothing to do with oil. As I do each year, I visit my college coach and we reminisce about the “glory days” and then turn our attention to our present reality. Coach Biesiot will become one of the few college coaches in football history to amass more than 250 victories in a 34-year coaching career. He has already been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

Letter: Family thankful for support

We want to thank all of Jason's co-workers, the entire staff of St. Anthony's Hospital in Denver, the wonderful nurses at the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association here, the Flight for Life crew, and all of our friends and family (special thanks to our Denver family) for everyone's thoughts and prayers over the past few weeks.

Letter: Grateful for Miller Family Appliance

I would like to praise one of our hometown proprietors, Miller Family Appliance. We have had a rash of breakdowns lately.

Letter: Soccer teams need better attention

These comments are to explain my belief according to my 60 years around the soccer ball. I am a fan of all ability and experience levels. My comments and beliefs are that we need soccer coaches and an athletic director who can be honest and can do the job in an acceptable way, not just because they will have the job and receive pay.

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Vacation Bible School students assist Love INC with food donation

Surrounded by painted murals, Courtney Orvalla and her brother, Robert, tied colored ribbons around brown paper bags Monday afternoon in the basement of The Journey at First Baptist. The bags, containing dry soup, were designed by Vacation Bible School students, and there was a goal in mind for them. They were being donated to Love In the Name of Christ of the Yampa Valley, a local nonprofit organization. “A lot of (VBS students) were really understanding about it, they were really excited they got to help people out,” said Courtney, of the 70 to 80 children who participated in The Journey's VBS, which took place last week and was themed, "Sonrise National Park."

Editorial: An important Internet issue

An issue critical to Northwest Colorado in general and Craig and Moffat County specifically has been largely overlooked by most public officials, except one. Audrey Danner, a Moffat County Commissioner representing District 2, has been the leading voice in our community advocating for enhanced broadband service, a necessity in today's technological age in improving the educational and economic development climates, and the quality of life for residents. As facilitator of the Northwestern Colorado Local Technology Planning Team, an affiliation of state and local elected officials, business owners, service providers, education representatives and residents in Moffat and Rio Blanco counties, Danner has been coordinating broadband action meetings for months.

Craig Mental Health allocated cut of statewide health care grant

After five years of providing millions of dollars to health care providers in 26 Colorado counties, the Colorado Rural Health Care Grant Program has wrapped up its final year and awarded its final grants, including one to Moffat County. Craig Mental Health and Steamboat Mental Health were awarded grants of more than $45,000 to put toward infrastructure improvements. Tom Gangel, regional director of Colorado West Regional Mental Health, Inc., said the money will provide new carpet, paint and refurbished group and waiting rooms for the two facilities. “It’s a big deal, actually,” Gangel said. “It’s going to be wonderful for our side to get this stuff done. We’ll get to replace desks and chairs that are over 20 years old.”

Briefs for July 25, 2012: Donations needed for school supply drive

Love In the Name of Christ of the Yampa Valley, 656 School St., is accepting donations for a school supply drive. Items most commonly needed include new backpacks, 24-packs of crayons, 12-packs of colored pencils, No. 2 pencils, loose-leaf notebook paper, spiral notebooks, facial tissue, safety scissors, pencil sharpeners, rulers, liquid glue, glue sticks, erasers, watercolor paints, pens (blue, red or black ink), typing paper, sticky notes, colored two-pocket folders and Clorox wipes. Donations will go toward Project School Supply, which provides materials for children ages 4 and older, and Project Teacher Supply, a partnership between Love INC and the Craig Rotary Club to provide commonly needed materials to local educators.

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State officials meet with local ranchers to gauge drought effects

Despite an ironically timed thunderstorm, various state officials toured the Yampa Valley on Tuesday, hoping to see firsthand the effect of this summer’s drought. The group included John Salazar, state agriculture commissioner; John Stulp, policy advisor on water; Al White, former Colorado Senator in District 8 and current director of the state tourism office; and representatives from other state and federal agencies. The officials made three stops along the tour to meet with local ranchers and agriculture officials. For White, a Hayden resident, the tour was mostly about showing his colleagues at the state capital what life has been like for ranchers and farmers in the Yampa Valley.