Stories for June 2012


Saturday, June 30

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Firefighters contain blaze Saturday night near Colowyo

Officials: Downed power line sparked grass fire

Multiple agencies responded Saturday night to a fire near Colowyo Coal Co. As of about 8:30 p.m., the blaze had consumed an estimated 80 acres, Craig Fire/Rescue Chief Bill Johnston said. At that time, the fire was not fully contained. Craig Fire/Rescue sent three apparatuses to the blaze, reported at about 7:45 p.m. and which firefighters named the Colowyo Fire. One engine each from Colowyo and the Moffat County Sheriff’s Office also helped battle the flames that burned on land belonging to the mine.

Dog shot south of Steamboat expected to survive

A Craig man’s 10-year-old black Labrador retriever was shot Saturday afternoon along Colorado Highway 131 just south of Steamboat Springs.

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‘Prometheus’ stirs up something provocative

Who are we? Where do we come from? Why do we exist? That endless line of questions doesn’t get a good answer from your parents when you’re 5 years old, and few people still have a decent response no matter the age of the asker. Even if it doesn’t give a concrete explanation of the meaning of life, “Prometheus” goes further than we could’ve hoped in trying. The year is 2093, and the time is an exciting point in the history of mankind.

Routt County state parks enact stage II fire restrictions

Stage II fire restrictions issued by Routt County have been implemented at Pearl Lake, Stagecoach, Steamboat Lake and Yampa River state parks, Colorado Parks and Wildlife reported Thursday in a news release. The Routt County restrictions, according to the release, prohibit: • Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire or campfire, charcoal grill, coal stove or wood burning stove, including in developed camping and picnic grounds. Devices using pressurized liquid or gas are exempted. • Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle, trailer, building or tent.

‘Madagascar 3’: Fur power

We’ve all been subjected to something touted as the greatest show on earth that turns out to be hardly anything beyond a dog and pony act. But, if you believe in the magic of performance, you keep filling those seats and hoping for a little something special. And, yes, that finally happens for the characters of “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted.”

Sports Briefs for June 30: MCHS grad fares well in sophomore season

Lindsey Yoast, a 2010 graduate of Moffat County High School, finished up her sophomore season of track and field at Western State College of Colorado in style. The throwing specialist had a strong year, breaking her personal best throw in the hammer throw on multiple occasions. Yoast finished the season with the farthest hammer throw of any sophomore in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, and was named the Most Improved Athlete on the team at the end of the year. Western State had its best year in almost a decade in track and field. The Mountaineers placed second at the RMAC championships and sixth at the NCAA Division II National Championships in Pueblo May 26.

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Local trapshooter joins state hall of fame

Craig resident Dick King became the second man from Moffat County to be inducted to the Colorado State Trapshooting Association Hall of Fame. With over 40 years since he first began registering targets, the honor has been a long time coming. King, who began trap shooting in Cheyenne Wells in 1971, came to shoot at the Craig Trap Club for the first time in 1984. He said he had not been shooting for many years at the time, but some friends got him to come and get involved with trapshooting in Craig. Since then, King has dedicated countless hours to keeping the Craig Trap Club up and running smoothly.

YVEA buys site for new home

The goal of redeveloping the Yampa Street commercial district in downtown Steamboat Springs suddenly became more tangible Friday with the news that Yampa Valley Electric Association paid $2.025 million in cash for 70 acres of undeveloped land on the city’s west side. The intent is to someday move the rural electric cooperative’s headquarters at 10th and Yampa streets and its equipment yard south of the Howelsen Ice Arena. The new site adjoins the Gloria Gossard Parkway just west of West Acres Mobile Home Park off Downhill Drive. The parcel of land was planned for more than 100 homes. “We’ve been hunting ground for several years, but the board made it one of my priorities for this year,” YVEA General Manager Larry Covillo said Friday afternoon.

Diane prather: The strange summer of 2012

The cattle and some sheep are out on pasture now—where there is pasture. Some ranchers may still be irrigating –where there’s water to irrigate, and some may even be putting up dry land hay—where there’s hay. “Dry” is the word for this early summer—and “strange”. It’s a strange season for a number of reasons all of which are probably associated with the dry winter.

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YVEA seeks applicants for 2 director openings

The Yampa Valley Electric Association is seeking applicants for two vacancies on its board of directors. Seats are available in Director District 1— which includes northern Moffat County, a small portion of north Routt County and the Baggs, Wyo., area — and Director District 5, which includes west Routt County and the town of Hayden. Candidates’ primary residences must be in the district they are applying for. “Our board of directors establishes policies and procedures for the day-to-day operations of the utility,” said Jim Chappell, YVEA manager of consumer accounts.

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Library summer reading program coincides with statewide initiative

The Craig branch of the Moffat County Libraries kicked off Independence Day festivities a little early this year. With small American flags in hand, children marched through the bookshelves Thursday morning, singing “You’re a Grand Old Flag.” The miniature parade capped off a weekly summer story-time with a Fourth of July flair, complete with a read-aloud of children’s books commemorating the holiday. Story-time, along with other activities during the library’s summer reading program, are part of a larger effort to keep students turning pages when school is out.

Letter: Obamacare beginning of socialized medicine

As of mid-morning on Thursday June 28, I now no longer recognize the United States of America. In a 5-4 decision the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that socialized medicine is now a tax and therefore is legal. Every citizen must buy this product or pay a fine. This will kill any hope that we might have had for an economic recovery. Small businesses are the engines that drive our economy. The only certainty that they now have is that hiring another employee will cost them even more money at a time when things are already tight.

Over a Cup: Breakfast pizza: for the family on the go

This spring when we moved cows to summer pasture, I made a new breakfast casserole. As I’ve written before about such early morning workdays, there just isn’t much time for a sit down breakfast. In fact, it would be hard to even gather everyone up for breakfast. So as family members come into the house they grab some food, often which is microwaved, and they’re off again. And I have to prepare accordingly. So I’m always on the look-out for new breakfast recipes. This week’s recipe came from a clipping in my “to try” file and was adapted to what my family likes. It’s great for early morning work days because a family member can cut a slice and sit down to eat it or devour the slice on the run.

Editorial: A 2-way street

This week the winners of the Craig Daily Press’ Best of Moffat County contest were released. One notable winner was MJK Sales & Feed ACE Hardware, who took home four awards including Best Customer Service. That MJK took home an award for customer service should come as no surprise to anyone who has set foot in the establishment. Often there is not just one employee, but several who go out of their way to offer assistance. While MJK received the recognition, the editorial board contends the level of customer service one can expect to receive at any establishment in Moffat County is usually exemplary. There certainly are some exceptions, but the board thinks in a small community like ours those who don’t respect their customers or clients usually reap what they sew.

Court: No drilling on Roan Plateau

The U.S. District Court in Denver passed down a ruling Monday prohibiting oil and natural gas exploration on the Roan Plateau near Grand Junction. The ruling, made by U.S. District Court Judge Marcia S. Krieger, denies a 2007 Bureau of Land Management resource management plan approved during President George W. Bush’s administration that would have permitted the drilling of “thousands” of oil and natural gas wells on 55,000-acres of the Roan Plateau, according to an Earthjustice news release. Earthjustice is a public interest law firm based in San Francisco, Calif.

Resolution passed on heels of Walter Way Fire

It took little convincing and no more than five minutes of discussion before the Moffat County Commission approved Friday a new resolution banning all open fires. Todd Wheeler, fire management officer for the Moffat County Sheriff’s Office, and Charlene Abdella, Moffat County undersheriff, initiated a special Friday meeting of the Moffat County Commission to present Resolution 2012-81 upping the county’s current restrictions against burning to an all out ban on open fires. Wheeler cited dry weather conditions and a lack of resources across the nation in requesting the ban. The commission approved the resolution, 2-0. The ban takes effect immediately and remains in place until further order.

Briefs for June 30: July Fourth picnic slated at Veterans Memorial Park

A Fourth of July picnic is scheduled to take place Wednesday at Veterans Memorial Park. The event is free and open to the public and begins around 1 p.m. Hamburgers, hot dogs, potato chips, baked beans, watermelon and beverages will be provided. Attendees are asked to bring a dessert. The event also includes children’s games and live entertainment.

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Ranchers face hay loss, livestock sellout in ‘extreme’ drought

Ervin and Arloa Gerber’s yard looked like an oasis. A rock fountain burbled near their front door, and peacocks strutted nearby, flaunting iridescent plumes of sapphire and emerald. If this was all you saw of the Gerbers’ cattle ranch west of Craig, you could believe Mother Nature had been good to them this year. But their well-tended yard belied the wasteland that waited not far from their doorstep.

USADA files formal charges against Armstrong

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency has filed formal charges against Lance Armstrong, accusing the seven-time Tour de France winner of using performance-enhancing drugs throughout the best years of his career. The agency notified Armstrong, former team manager Johan Bruyneel and several other Armstrong team associates of the charges in a letter on Thursday. The charges came after a USADA review panel examined evidence in the case, which now goes to an arbitration panel to decide. If found guilty, Armstrong could be stripped of the Tour de France titles he won from 1999-2005. This year's Tour de France begins Saturday. Armstrong maintains his innocence. Armstrong attorney Robert Luskin called the charges "wrong and baseless."

Rockies beat Padres 10-2

Jeff Francis pitched six scoreless innings, and Rex Brothers bailed out newly recalled Tyler Chatwood before the Colorado Rockies broke out for a 10-2 victory over the San Diego Padres on Friday night. Michael Cuddyer and Wilin Rosario each hit two-run homers in the eighth inning to help secure the win for Francis.

2 more destroyed homes found in N. Colorado fire

The number of homes destroyed by the High Park Fire in northern Colorado has risen to 259. Officials said Friday they found two destroyed homes that hadn't previously been counted. The 136-square-mile fire, which was started by lightning on June 9, is 93 percent contained. Firefighters say they expect full containment this weekend.

Friday, June 29

Conservation group decries cuts in house budget bill

The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership and other sportsman-conservationists strongly criticized a U.S. House of Representatives appropriations bill that would dramatically reduce natural resource programs funding and curtail federal agencies’ abilities to manage public and outdoor resources, TRCP reported in a news release. Funding levels and policy riders proposed by the House in its fiscal year 2013 appropriations bill for interior, environment and related agencies would reduce operating budgets for agencies such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management and Environmental Protection Agency, according to the release. “This misguided action by the House not only would roll back investments in conservation spending, it also undermines the foundation of our nation’s conservation policy,” TRCP President and CEO Whit Fosburgh said in the release. “The bill wages a full-frontal assault on basic natural resources management measures that will cost us money and jobs, both in the near and long term.”

On the Record for June 29, 2012

On the Record for June 29, 2012

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Tank battery, pipeline slated for construction in Moffat County

Representatives from Quicksilver Resources, Inc., asked the Moffat County Commission Thursday to approve certain permits to expand their operations in Moffat County. Citing production from its Stoddard Well off Fawn Creek Lane about five miles south of Craig and plans to bring five more wells online in that area before the end of the summer, Quicksilver officials applied for a conditional use permit to construct a proposed tank battery called the Stoddard Central Tank Battery. The new facility would be tied into all six wells slated for the Stoddard and Simoes properties, and would be used to hold and transport oil. When asked by Commissioner Tom Mathers whether Quicksilver was going to create an official field, Scott Latka, production superintendent for Quicksilver, said “it’s possible.”

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Largest golf tournament in Craig set for this weekend

The Yampa Valley Golf Course began its biggest tournament of the year this morning, with the first golfers in the field teeing off at 7:30 a.m. The Cottonwood Classic, an annual tournament at the end of June which attracts more than 100 golfers each year, kicked off a banner weekend for the golf course. Head golf pro Jason Back said there are 127 players in this year’s tournament field. They are broken up into seven flights, arranged by handicap level. The tournament is 54 holes of play, concluding Sunday. The final tee-times Sunday will be 1:10 p.m.

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Moffat County youth baseball team overcoming odds this season

Playing at a disadvantage is usually a reason for players to make excuses and complain. That is not the case for members of the Moffat Count Cutthroats, Craig’s only Triple Crown Sports baseball team. Craig resident Mark Nielsen wanted to start a team, but to get enough interest he had to draw from several age groups. Triple Crown tournaments are broken into age divisions, so players of the same age are going against each other. Nielsen didn’t have enough players of one age to field a team, so his combination of boys have to play in the age group of the oldest members of the team.

Letter: Thanks from the Luscomb family

The family of Loid Luscomb wants to say “thank you” to all who helped save his life June 2 during his heart attack.

Letter: My top three concerns

The article in Wednesday's newspaper, "A Principal Issue," about the Moffat County Commission exploring options for a potential lawsuit against the U.S. Department of the Interior concerns me. Who wants them to spend an unknown amount of money on gaining control of Vermillion Basin? Not me. Leave Vermillion alone. It seems to me this is an ongoing battle between the local commissioners and the Federal government. Here we have pumped up egos of local government saying the feds can't tell us what we can or can't do with our county lands. They are willing to spend the county's money to prove a point. I don't know how much the commissioners are willing to spend on this fight, but I think that money could be put to better use, like maybe promoting tourism.

Letter: Thanks for prayers, support

I would like very much to thank everyone who lifted me up in prayer during my illness.

Briefs for June 29: Sprint races Saturday at Thunder Ridge

Winged sprint car races take place at 7 p.m. Saturday at Thunder Ridge Motorsports Park, two miles south of Craig on Ranney St. Admission costs $10 for adults, $5 for children 6 to 12 years old, and children ages 5 and younger enter free. Pit gates open at 4 p.m. For more information, visit

School board passes 2012-13 budget calling for $200K in deficit spending

The budget the Moffat County School Board passed Thursday didn’t change much from the proposed document the board reviewed earlier this month. The sinking student enrollment numbers were still there, as were dwindling state funding and “the negative factor” — the gap between what the state was initially required to pay school districts and what it can afford to pay them in a still-sluggish economy. Faced with the prospect of another year in lean times, the board gave its approval to a 2012-13 budget that calls for about $200,000 in deficit spending. “You know I think it’s a little bit of a risk,” Finance Director Mark Rydberg told the board before the vote.

Family: Webcam spying led to gay student's death

The family of Rutgers University student Tyler Clementi said they have come to believe he killed himself in part because of his roommate used a webcam to see him kissing another man. "It was the humiliation that his roommates and his dorm-mates were watching him in a very intimate act. And that they were laughing behind his back," his mother, Jane Clementi said. "The last thing that Tyler looked at before he left the dorm room for the bridge (he jumped from) was the Twitter page, where (his roommate) was announcing Tyler's activities." Jane Clementi, her husband and one of their surviving sons talked about Tyler's death and how their views on homosexuality have changed when they appeared Thursday night on NBC's "Rock Center" in the first interview the family has given since the bias intimidation trial of the 18-year-old's roommate.

Nuggets select Fournier with 20th pick in draft

DENVER (AP) — The Denver Nuggets selected French guard Evan Fournier with the 20th pick in the NBA draft on Thursday night. In the second round, the Nuggets selected Baylor forward Quincy Miller with the 38th pick and Turkish big man Izzet Turkyilmaz with the 50th pick. The 19-year-old Fournier averaged 14.1 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.3 assists playing for Poiters in France Pro A last season. He was also a member of the French national team at the junior and youth levels. He averaged 16.9 points for the French U20 team at the 2001 U20 European Championship.

1 dead, estimated 346 homes burned in Colo. fire

A raging Colorado wildfire that forced tens of thousands to flee has left at least one person dead and has destroyed an estimated 346 homes this week, making it the most destructive fire in the state's history, officials said Thursday. Police Chief Pete Carey said the remains of one person were found in a home where two people had been reported missing. He didn't elaborate or take questions after making the announcement late Thursday. From above, the fire's destruction is painfully clear: Rows and rows of houses were reduced to smoldering ashes even as some homes just feet away survived largely intact. At a meeting Thursday night, Rebekah and Byron Largent learned from lists distributed by authorities that their home was among those that burned Tuesday, their daughter Emma's first birthday.

Janet Sheridan: Disney through the window

“Hey, Janet, you watching animal movies again this summer?” my brother Blaine asked with a stifled laugh. “Yes, I am, and I suppose you’re still be watching animals you plan to shoot,” I replied in a hoity-toity tone that set his laugh free. I explained to my incredulous brother several summers ago that my favorite part of the season was spending early mornings in my living room with Joel and a cup of coffee, watching animals frolic in our yard. I described squirrels bouncing across the grass, tussling with one another like rambunctious boys looking for trouble while sparrows, siskin, and finches swooped in for an early breakfast.

Moffat County Commission meeting agenda

When: 8:30 a.m. Friday Where: Moffat County Courthouse, 221 W. Victory Way

Thursday, June 28

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Humane Society to celebrate anniversary, recognize volunteers Saturday

A reduced-cost spay and neuter program. Monthly adopt-a-thons. Fundraisers benefiting the county’s unwanted or abandoned pets. A lot has changed in the six or seven years Ann Anderson has been with the Humane Society of Moffat County, she said.

1,900 going home after northern Colo. wildfire

(AP) — Some evacuees of Colorado fires are returning home, but Mesa County sheriff's officials are evacuating residents on the southern part of De Beque as a 1,500-acre wildfire threatens to cross Interstate 70. The fire was sparked by lightning Wednesday and is threatening seven structures. In northern Colorado, about 1,900 people who were displaced by a deadly wildfire were returning home Thursday evening. The High Park fire erupted June 9 and killed one person and destroyed 257 homes.

On the Record for June 28, 2012

On the Record for June 28, 2012

Colorado wildfire destroys hundreds of homes

(AP) — Colorado Springs officials said Thursday that hundreds of homes have been destroyed by a raging wildfire that has encroached on the state's second-largest city and threatened the U.S. Air Force Academy. Mayor Steve Bach said a more accurate account will be available later in the day of the damage from a blaze that has burned out of control for much of the week and forced more than 30,000 evacuees to frantically pack up belongings and flee. The cause of the blaze remains unknown and local authorities said Thursday that conditions are too dangerous for any such investigation to begin. El Paso County sheriff's Lt. Jeff Kramer said that U.S. Forest Service agents are waiting for firefighting commanders to tell them when it's safe to enter the burned area. The wildfire was one of many burning across the parched West, blazes that have destroyed structures and prompted evacuations in Montana and Utah and forced the closure of a portion of Zion National Park.

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Best of Moffat County: Family business excels in construction

Jenison Custom Builders named county's best builder, construction company

When Justin Jenison, 35, learned his business was voted best construction company and best builder in Moffat County, it was the second piece of good news he'd received in as many days. At 9:30 p.m. June 25, Jenison’s wife, Courtney, gave birth to their third child, a healthy baby boy they named Judah. It was fortunate timing, Jenison said. In the 10 years since he and Courtney started Jenison Custom Builders, 455 Yampa Ave., the business has been able to maintain consistent growth despite the most recent economic downturn. Currently, Jenison employs six people who are as much extended family as employees.

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Best of Moffat County: Family grounded in electric biz

Corey Electric earns best of Moffat County distinction

It’s not uncommon for children of successful business owners to leave home and try to chart their own path. But, as powerful as the impulse is to leave, so too is the desire to someday return to roots. Luckily for Dave Corey, 63, he and his sons have followed that storyline to the letter. Corey started Corey Electric with his wife, Janet, in September 1976. Their three sons — Dave Jr., 35, Roger, 33, and Grant, 32 — all work in the family business. “People tell me how envious they are, whether it’s because they don’t have sons or they do have sons but they never came back home,” Dave said. “My wife and I are very lucky to have our sons, their wives and our grandbaby here.”

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Best of Moffat County: Perfect fits at local gym

Husband and wife enjoy running Trapper Fitness Center together

Trapper Fitness Center co-owners Barb and Jim Gregoire are proof business partners don’t have to think the same to be successful. Jim, 65, approaches fitness with a precise and scientific eye, his wife Barb said. The softer touches, including flowers and a mellow dog that lounges at their feet, is her influence, she said. But, the couple can agree that providing an outlet for better health is crucial. “That’s the whole thing,” Jim said. “It’s our passion.”

Wednesday, June 27

Broncos pledge $50,000 to wildfire relief efforts

(AP) — The Denver Broncos have pledged to make a $50,000 donation to assist with relief efforts as wildfires continue to burn across Colorado. Broncos owner Pat Bowlen also encouraged the team's fans to help provide relief in any way they can. Bowlen expressed sympathy for residents affected by the fires, particularly those who have lost their homes or have been evacuated.

Colorado blaze too dangerous to assess damage

AP) — A raging wildfire destroyed dozens of houses overnight and charred land on the edges of the Air Force Academy on Wednesday, while thick smoke and intense, towering flames kept officials from learning the full scope of damage to Colorado's second-largest city. The wildfire doubled in size overnight to about 24 square miles, and has so far forced mandatory evacuations for more than 32,000 residents, Colorado Springs emergency management director Brett Waters said. Among those urgently evacuated Tuesday evening were residents at the U.S. Air Force Academy. The fire burned about 10 acres of land along the southwest boundary of the academy's 28-square-mile boundary, but no injuries or damage to academy structures have been reported. Steve Cox, an aide to Mayor Steve Bach, said Wednesday morning that the blaze has consumed dozens of houses elsewhere. A more precise figure wasn't available because of the intensity of the fire.

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Going Out

Going Out… ….with kids Family Cast & Blast Sunday, July 1 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Wyman Museum Free

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Chuck Grobe defeats incumbent to advance in commission bid

Chuck Grobe, a Republican candidate running for Moffat County Commission’s District 2 seat, said Tuesday night his sights are now set on November's general election. More than 1,950 Moffat County voters cast a ballot in the Republican primary election contest between incumbent Moffat County Commissioner Audrey Danner and Grobe. According to the final, but unofficial, results, Grobe earned a slot in the general election ballot by securing 1,238 votes, or 63 percent. Danner received 719 votes, or 36 percent.

Baumgardner wins Republican Senate District 8 primary with 58 percent of the vote

State Rep. Randy Baumgardner has earned his chance to return to the Capitol as a state senator. Baumgardner easily defeated incumbent state Sen. Jean White, of Hayden, on Tuesday night in what proved to be one of Colorado’s more heated Republican primary elections this cycle. The Denver Post reported Baumgardner won all seven counties that comprise Senate District 8. The final vote tallies showed Baumgardner won with 58 percent of the vote. “Honestly, I’m just glad it’s over,” Baumgardner said after he learned about his victory. “I came to the realization that up or down, I was ready for it to end. I was tickled people thought enough for me to support me, even with all the bad press out there and all the inaccuracies. I thank all of them who stood with me and supported me.”

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Low water, high temps put river access in doubt

Wildfires aren't the only concern caused by this summer's drought and high temperatures. In Steamboat Springs and Routt County, commercial users of the Yampa River have been asked to stay out due to low water levels and rising temperatures. The same measure could soon be implemented along the river further west in Hayden and possibly Craig. Ron Dellacroce, park manager for Yampa River State Park and Elkhead Reservoir, said water levels are nearing record lows at Yampa River State Park access points.

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Youth basketball camp gives kids a chance to play with Bulldog stars

“I’m worn out,” was the first thing Eric Hamilton said after concluding basketball camp Tuesday. The Moffat County High School boys basketball coach hosted a camp for fourth through eighth grade boys in the MCHS gym Monday through today, and said even though it wasn’t a long day, the energy from campers kept him working hard. The three day camp was an opportunity for aspiring players to learn the fundamentals of basketball and to “play the right way,” Hamilton said. “We just want to give them a good foundation and hopefully teach them how to practice the right way on their own,” he said. “These kids aren’t going to remember everything but we’re hoping to inspire them to work hard.”

Moffat County Commission to seek legal counsel over Department of Interior rules

The Moffat County Commission will begin exploring legal options for a potential lawsuit against the U.S. Department of the Interior. The decision was unanimously approved by commissioners following a recommendation by the Moffat County Land Use Board to challenge certain federal regulations on wild and scenic river designations, recognition of revised statute 2477 roads on federal lands, and a ban on energy exploration in Vermillion Basin. Although the regulations are in the Bureau of Land Management’s Little Snake Field Office’s recently approved record of decision, a potential lawsuit would be filed against the U.S. Department of the Interior and not directly at the BLM’s local office.

Moffat County Commission meeting agenda

When: 8 a.m. Thursday Where: Moffat County Courthouse, 221 W. Victory Way Agenda: • 8 to 8:05 a.m. Call to order, Pledge of Allegiance, moment of silence

Moffat County School Board workshop and board meeting agendas

Moffat County School Board workshop When: 4 p.m. Thursday Where: Vocational and agricultural shop, Moffat County High School, 900 Finley Lane Agenda: • Public hearings on policies 2113, employment of superintendent, and 4331.3, professional growth incentive plan

The Memorial Hospital Board meeting agenda

When: 6 p.m. Thursday Where: TMH conference rooms A, B and C, 750 Hospital Loop Agenda: • Call to order by Chairman Don Myers

Letter: Think before you smoke

To the editor: This is to the cigarette smoker assumed to have caused the Sand Creek fire: What were you thinking? Can't you read? Didn't you see how dry it is? How inconsiderate you were when you tossed that cigarette out of your car

Letter: Unions and teachers shouldn't mix

To the editor: Two articles in the Craig Daily Press by local teachers are interesting. One claims teaching is her passion. I appreciate that and we need more of the same. Several things come to mind about what she wrote. First, I would hope our children will be taught more than just how to retrieve information on the Internet. Eighty to 90 percent of young people I encounter in a business situation today could not make change if they had to without a computer.

Editorial: Do not burn after reading

It was a fire likely ignited due to an ignorant act, and one that could have meant potential disaster for residents and homes in our community. But, almost as quickly as the Sand Fire grew from the embers to cover 2,000 acres, public service agencies responded and contained the blaze, limiting damage. For those agencies, as well as the private companies who contributed voluntarily, the editorial board is grateful. The teamwork, skill and dedication to fight the fire should be appreciated and never forgotten. Last week's fire also underscores a few key points, the editorial board believes.

Senior Spotlight for June 27: The sun was having a field day over the weekend

The sun was having a field day over the weekend. More sun tan lotion, please. I forget to use my sunglasses sometimes, so I go around looking for a shady place to rest my eyes, if nothing else. And, I always take water with me. July is peeking around the corner, and we'll probably get some cloudy days then.

Briefs for June 27: Presentation on public health goals today

A presentation introducing proposed five-year public health goals for Moffat and Routt counties will take place at 6 p.m. today at The Haven Community Center, 300 S. Shelton Lane, in Hayden. The presentation, part of the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association Board's meeting, is open to the public. “The 2008 Public Health Act requires local public health agencies to submit an improvement plan to the state board of health every five years,” the VNA reported in a news release. “The proposed goals and action plans announced at the meeting would be the focus of the five-year local public health improvement plan for communities in Routt and Moffat counties.” For more information, call Evette Joyce at 871-7613.

Nora Ephron, writer-filmmaker, dies at 71

Among the injustices about the death of Nora Ephron is that she isn't around to tell us about it. "She was so, so alive," says her friend Carrie Fisher. "It makes no sense to me that she isn't alive anymore." Ephron, the essayist, author and filmmaker who challenged and thrived in the male-dominated worlds of movies and journalism and was loved, respected and feared for her devastating and diverting wit, died Tuesday in Manhattan. She was 71. Ephron died at 7:40 p.m. at New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, her family said in a statement Tuesday night. She died of leukemia.

LaRoche, Zimmerman help Nationals rout Rockies

Adam LaRoche homered twice, Ryan Zimmerman collected his 1,000th career hit and also homered, and the Washington Nationals routed the Colorado Rockies 12-5 on Tuesday night. Ian Desmond went 4 for 4, Michael Morse had four hits and Tyler Moore also connected for the Nationals, who had a season-high 21 hits, which tied the club mark since the team moved to Washington in 2005. They had 11 extra-base hits, the most since becoming the Nationals. Dexter Fowler and Jonathan Herrera homered and Jordan Pacheco had three hits for the Rockies, who have dropped 15 of 19.

Police blotter for June 27

Moffat County Jail Thursday, June 14 Ernest James Thomas, 63, of Aneth, Utah, was booked into Moffat County Jail on suspicion of failing to drive in a single lane and driving under restraint. Paul Romero Mendoza, 45, of Colorado Springs, was booked into Moffat County Jail on a warrant. Friday, June 15 Shaun Paul Cisneros, 32, of Clifton, was booked into Moffat County Jail on suspicion of reckless driving and driving under the influence of alcohol.

Craig City Council passes fire ban

The Craig City Council took swift and unanimous action Tuesday to enact a fire ban in the wake of searing temperatures and raging wildfires throughout the state. “To me, this makes so much sense,” council member Byron Willems said before the vote. “It’s so obvious. In my lifetime, I’ve never seen it this dry.” The ban takes effect immediately and prohibits all fireworks and open burning inside city limits. Lighting campfires in permanent pits at recreation sites also is off-limits.

Tuesday, June 26

Colorado wildfire: 32,000 people evacuated in Waldo Canyon fire

The Waldo Canyon fire exploded Tuesday afternoon, forcing thousands of people to evacuate as smoke covered the northwest part of the city. Houses were engulfed in flames as evening arrived. The historic Flying W Ranch, west of town, confirmed on its website that the popular site for chuck wagon outings had "burned to the ground." The latest evacuations were for most of northwest Colorado Springs, including Pinon Valley, Rockrimmon and Woodmen valley, home to thousands of residents. The Pine Valley housing area south of the Air Force Academy was evacuated and, about 7:30 p.m., the academy itself was ordered evacuated. Showers of ash fell as traffic gridlocked on Interstate 25 and all major eastbound roadways, clogged full of refugees and fire equipment. Witnesses flooded the internet on Twitter, describing the scene as "an apocalypse" and "terrifying" and posting photos of the city wrapped in a sinister orange and black cloud.

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Unofficial results: Grobe outpaces Danner

Baumgardner defeats White in Moffat, Routt, Jackson in SD 8 race

Unofficial results from today's Republican primary election have been released by Moffat County election officials. According to those results, Chuck Grobe, a former Hayden mayor, has defeated incumbent Audrey Danner in the race for Moffat County Commission District 2.

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Baumgardner wins Republican primary for Senate District 8 seat

State Rep. Randy Baumgardner, of Cowdrey, on Tuesday night won the primary election for the state Senate District 8 seat after leading in all seven district counties.

On the Record for June 26, 2012

On the Record for June 26, 2012

Crews fight to keep fire away from AF Academy

(AP) — Firefighters battled to keep a wildfire from burning toward the Air Force Academy and residential areas north of Colorado Springs on Tuesday. The Waldo Canyon fire was 10 to 15 miles from the academy campus Monday, but officials weren't sure if it had moved closer. The fire west of Colorado Springs grew about 1 square mile overnight to 8 square miles. Authorities said a shed was destroyed but no homes have been damaged. About 5,000 people remained evacuated.

Family Cast and Blast slated for Sunday in Craig

Colorado Parks and Wildlife, in cooperation with the Northwest Colorado Outfitters Chapter, Northwest Ready Mix, Safari Club International and Wyman Museum will host the free, family Cast and Blast event from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday at Wyman Museum in Craig.
Activities will be taught by Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers and volunteers, and anyone interested learning the basics of shooting, archery and fishing in a fun, family environment is encouraged to participate.

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Firefighters honor fallen ‘leader, scholar and a friend’

Tree-planting ceremony in Craig recognizes 3-year anniversary

The Northwest Colorado Fire Management Unit will recognize today the three-year anniversary of a firefighter who died while in the line of duty, according to a news release. "On June 26, 2009, the firefighting community lost one of our own (while) felling hazard trees in Northwestern Colorado," the release stated. Brett Stearns, an engine captain, died during a hazard tree abatement project at Freeman Reservoir, 15 miles northeast of Craig. He was struck by a falling tree. Stearns was 29.

Monday, June 25

Quicksilver oil well hearing to focus on air, water quality

The Routt County Board of Commissioners will take public comments on air and water quality monitoring at Tuesday's public hearing for Quicksilver Resources' oil well permit application.

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Volunteers remove barbed wire from wild horse area

About a dozen volunteers donated a weekend of their time to helping make the Sand Wash Wild Horse Herd Management Area safer for the horses, the Bureau of Land Management reported in a news release. The volunteers rolled and removed 780 pounds of old barbed wire June 15-16 from three separate areas in the Sand Wash HMA. The effort was supported by funding from the BLM Director’s Challenge, which is a national program aimed at improving Western rangeland conditions where wild horses roam and engaging volunteers in the stewardship of public lands, the release stated. “We really appreciate the hard work of these volunteers who made this area safer for not only wild horses, but also native wildlife and human visitors,” BLM Little Snake Field Manager Wendy Reynolds said in the release.

Moffat County School Board workshop, meeting agendas for June 28

Moffat County School Board workshop, meeting agendas for June 28

The Memorial Hospital Board meeting agenda for June 28

The Memorial Hospital Board meeting agenda for June 28

On the Record for June 25, 2012

On the Record for June 25, 2012

Dangerous wildfires spread to Colo tourist centers

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — Flames forced thousands of Colorado residents from their homes over the weekend and disrupted vacation plans for countless visitors as smoke shrouded some of the state's top tourist destinations, including majestic Pike's Peak and tranquil Estes Park. Colorado is having its worst wildfire season in a decade, with more than a half dozen forest fires burning across the state's parched terrain. Some hotels and campgrounds are emptying ahead of the busy Fourth of July holiday. One of the newest fires, a blaze near Colorado Springs, grew to more than 5 square miles Sunday after erupting just a day earlier and prompting evacuation orders for 11,000 residents and an unknown number of tourists. Officials had put the fire at 6 square miles but reduced the estimated Monday after more precise mapping. Firefighters braced for hot temperatures and high winds on the fire lines.

Sports Briefs for June 25: Players wanted for fast-pitch softball

Competitive, fast-pitch softball teams are being formed in Craig. Coaches are looking to get a feel for the number of players interested, and how many teams could be formed. The season would begin in late July or early August, and a coach’s clinic is set for the end of August. Any girls ages 8 through 16 are invited to be involved.

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Bulldog Sports for June 25

Today 10 a.m. Basketball minicamp for boys in grades 4 through 8 begins at Moffat County High School. Tuesday 4:45 p.m. Craig Parks and Recreation softball plays at Loudy Simpson Park, 500 S. Ranney St. 6:00 p.m. Craig Parks and Recreation coach pitch baseball plays at Loudy Simpson Park Field 1, 500 S. Ranney St.

Moffat County real estate transactions for April and May

The following are real estate transactions that took place in Moffat County in April: Buyer: Schuster, Cynthia A Seller: Federal National Mortgage Association Address: 97 Becker Ln. Sale Price: $62,500.00

New shop brings exposure to photographer

Getting the whole family together for a picture can be a hassle, but when you don’t have easy access to the person with the right equipment, that difficulty is even greater. But, with close proximity to a specialist, such struggles are now a snap. Since opening at Centennial Mall, 1111 W. Victory Way, Hébert Photography has seen a flourish of new customers. Though he only set up his official studio in May, owner David Hébert has been working professionally in the field for much longer.

Government Update for June 25: Moffat County COmmission meeting

When: 8:30 a.m. Tuesday Where: Moffat County Courthouse, 221 W. Victory Way Agenda: • Call to order, Pledge of Allegiance, moment of silence

Letter: Safety a priority over fireworks

As I watch new fires spring up across our state, I am increasingly concerned about the hesitation to cancel a Fourth of July fireworks display in Craig. Each year, my husband and I make a point of staying home evenings around and including the 4th, hoping that the illegal aerial fireworks going off around us won't land in our virgin woods and set them on fire. We have given up calling in to report these illegal fireworks as we have always been told that there is nothing to be done about them.

Letter: Caregivers deserve valuable time off

After you published my letter of March 31 about the care my husband receives at The Haven for Adult Day Care in Hayden, I have had some mixed reactions from some well-meaning folks. Some wanted to know if I felt “guilty” leaving his care to someone else, even for the eight hours that he is there. Did I feel like I was abandoning him? Wasn’t I being selfish to want time for myself? The answer to these questions is, no, absolutely not. Why would I feel guilty leaving him the care of such caring, experienced people? He has a good social time at The Haven. Sometimes they go on field trips. For example, the museum in Hayden, or a picnic in Hayden Park.

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Youth wrestling program aims to help revive sport in Moffat County

Wrestling is making a comeback in Moffat County. MCHS had dominant wrestling individuals and programs in the past, but has fallen from its championship form in recent years. Mark Zimmerman, 44, of Craig, partnered with Chad Lawton to form the Moffat County Youth Wrestling team during the spring with the vision of creating a new generation of strong wrestlers in the area. Zimmerman, a member of Moffat County High School’s state champion wrestling team in 1985, felt it was important to get more youths involved and interested in wrestling, and he and Lawton believed they had a good idea for doing so.

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‘Nice and helpful’: Five minutes with Becky Hertzog, 56, secretary at High Desert Services

Where is your hometown? “I’m from Encampment. I was born in Wyoming.” When did you first move to Craig? “My husband was from Maybell and we got married in 1977, moved to Maybell in ’78 and to Craig in June 1980. He was having to drive here from Maybell every day anyway because he drove a dump truck here.” Motto or outlook on life? “Just treat people the way you’d want them to treat you. Just be nice and helpful to everybody.” When did you first get started in your job? “I’ve been involved with them five-and-a-half years. They do a lot of oil field service. Previous to that, for 25 years I was with LaFarge in Steamboat.”

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Democratic candidate for SD 8 lobbies Moffat County voters

Emily Tracy, a Breckenridge Democrat running for Colorado State Senate District 8, has spent years working in public policy. But, it wasn’t until after moving to Canon City from Boulder to write for a weekly newspaper she realized she wanted to serve the public. “I covered governmental meetings like city council, county commissioners and the school board on a part-time basis for about two years,” Tracy said. “It made me realize how interested I was in public policy and how much I wanted to sit in one of those chairs.” Tracy decided to run for public office and was elected to two terms on the Canon City city council, a non-partisan office.

GOP candidates anxious for Tuesday's primary results

The anxiousness and uncertainty of a primary election isn't an uncommon experience for several of Moffat County’s local Republican Party candidates. Chuck Grobe served as Hayden mayor for six years, followed by four more as mayor pro tem. Audrey Danner won a primary and a general election after being appointed to the Moffat County Commission in 2008. Current House District 57 Rep. Randy Baumgardner, R-Cowdrey, won in his first attempt at public office and is looking to keep the streak going in his bid for Colorado State Senate District 8.

3 people missing after trains collide in Oklahoma

Three Union Pacific Railroad crewmembers were missing after two freight trains collided Sunday in the Oklahoma Panhandle, authorities said. An eastbound train carrying vehicles and a westbound train crashed about 10:08 a.m. Sunday near Goodwell, Union Pacific spokeswoman Raquel Espinoza said. A two-person crew was aboard each train, and officials were unable to account for two engineers and a conductor, Espinoza said. The other conductor appeared to be uninjured, and officials were interviewing him about what happened, she said. "He's shaken up about the situation, and we are working to make sure that he receives any care that he needs. We're doing everything we can to find the rest of the crew," Espinoza said.

Rockies miss plenty chances in 4-2 loss at Texas

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — The Colorado Rockies had plenty of chances against the powerful Texas Rangers. However, the Rockies didn't score until a ninth inning that included a baserunning blunder in a 4-2 loss Sunday night. Colorado had runners on in every inning and loaded the bases with no outs in the ninth against Joe Nathan. The Texas closer was working in a non-save situation after not giving up any runs in 16 appearances since May 13. Marco Scutaro had an RBI single, and Carlos Gonzalez hit a long fly that left fielder Josh Hamilton caught in the gap on the warning track. The sacrifice fly cut the deficit in half.

Toll from Colorado wildfire raised to 248 homes

The total number of homes destroyed by a two-week old wildfire in northern Colorado was raised to 248 on Sunday as residents of a subdivision near Fort Collins learned that 57 more homes in their neighborhood had been lost, authorities said. Fire officials had previously said that 191 homes had burned, the most in state history. The High Park Fire is the second-largest wildfire and among the most expensive in Colorado's history. It has scorched more than 130 square miles and was just 45 percent contained on Sunday, The Denver Post reported. With a total of eight fires burning, Colorado is having its worst wildfire season in a decade.

Briefs for June 25: AARP meeting set for today

An AARP meeting is scheduled for 2 p.m. today in the recreation room at Sunset Meadows I, 633 Ledford St. AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization for people 50 and older. For more information, call Beverly Chapman at 824-5123.

Sunday, June 24

Authorities believe alcohol played a factor in crash involving 25-year-old

Alcohol may have played a factor in a rollover crash Friday morning north of Craig. Tyler Pike, 25, of Craig, was taken to The Memorial Hospital in Craig's emergency room with minor injuries after rolling his car into a ditch at 7:30 a.m. Friday morning on Colorado Highway 13 north near mile marker 93. Colorado State Patrol troopers processed the scene and are investigating the incident. The cause is under investigation, but authorities suspect alcohol was a factor.

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Craig Fire Board makes decision over weekend to cancel Fourth of July display

The Fourth of July fireworks show, the future of which had been up in the air for several days because of dry conditions ripe for fires, has been canceled in Craig and Moffat County. The Craig Rural Fire Protection District Board corresponded Saturday by phone and email to discuss the annual celebration. Board members reached the conclusion that the show isn't worth the risk. “It’s so dry out there we just decided a fireworks show wasn’t worth potentially starting a large-scale fire,” fire board president Byron Willems said.

Saturday, June 23

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Football coach pleased with team’s progress

The Moffat County High School football team has come a long way learning its offensive and defensive sets in a week. Now the Bulldogs will get to test those sets against some real opponents. The team’s summer camp held at the MCHS practice fields came to a close Friday and head coach Kip Hafey was happy with what he had seen in the team’s first week together. “I like the positive attitude, the aggressiveness of the kids, the excitement,” Hafey said. “It’s great seeing these young men out here giving all they’ve got with big smiles on their faces and that sweat on their brow. You’ve got to love it.”

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MCHS grad looking forward to upcoming season of football at Adams State

Brady Conner felt there was a small difference between himself and many of his teammates at Moffat County High School. The MCHS graduate said on most high school teams, only a handful of guys are there to put their absolute most into the sport. “In high school a lot of guys get involved to just come out and play football,” Conner said. “It isn’t a bad thing, but most guys are there to be doing a sport, have something to do or be with friends.” For Conner, that wasn’t the case. He spent the time and put in the work to rehab from a serious knee injury, and has exhibited a strong work ethic on the field.

Letter: Vote for Audrey Danner

I am submitting this letter of support for Audrey Danner for Moffat County Commissioner in District 2. I first met Audrey when she was the executive director of Yampa Valley Partners. I remember the meetings that she facilitated and the high-profile issues she handled during her time there. My remembrances of Audrey were of a highly organized, committed, disciplined, articulate leader. Audrey did not just facilitate (although she was very good at that), she led these meetings so that both sides of the issues were discussed, the meetings were beneficial, everyone had his/her say and good sound decisions were made and acted upon.

Letter: Fish and Wildlife Service wasting funds

For years the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has been killing the game fish in the Yampa River in a futile effort to recover the Squawfish. I think their action of killing the game fish, notably Smallmouth Bass and Northern Pike, is wrong and a terrible waste of millions of tax dollars. I have composed a letter that I intend to mail to seven of our elected officials explaining how wrong this action is and how it effects our local economy. I will be mailing my letter to the president, both our U.S. senators, our U.S. representative, our state senator and state representative, and the governor.

Letter: Vote for Chuck Grobe

With voting to close within a week, I have some statistics for you and your readers concerning the Moffat County Commission race. Each candidate has the following goals to accomplish: • Keep the cost of government down. • Retain our same quality of services. • Increase tourism.

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Summer series encourages children to read while school is out

In one respect, reading isn’t unlike sports. Excelling at either activity takes practice, said Sarah Hepworth, East Elementary School principal. “That’s really the key to being a successful reader is just practicing your reading every day, like practicing swimming or practicing running or practicing golfing,” she said. “You’ve got to just read.” She and other elementary school principals, as well as Moffat County School District literacy coordinators, are introducing a new summer reading program this year to sharpen elementary school students’ reading skills.

Fourth of July fireworks show in jeopardy due to dry conditions

In the wake of a wildfire that torched an estimated 2,000 acres in Moffat County earlier this week and Stage 2 fire restrictions going into effect on public lands throughout Northwest Colorado, city officials are expected to follow suit Tuesday when presented with an emergency fire ban ordinance. The recommendation to beef up the city’s fire restrictions was made last week by Craig Police Chief Walt Vanatta, a day after Gov. John Hickenlooper’s June 14 executive order banning open burning in Colorado. Craig City Manager Jim Ferree said a draft ordinance has been in the works since then.

Briefs for June 23: Museum hosts book signing today

The Museum of Northwest Colorado, 590 Yampa Ave., will host a book signing with author Marcia Hensley from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. today. Hensley will sign her new work, “Staking Her Claim: Women Homesteading the West.” For more information, call the museum at 824-6360 or visit

Colorado issues new requirement for NM livestock

Colorado has issued a new requirement for horses entering the state from New Mexico, where 11 premises have been quarantined due to a virus. State veterinary officials said Friday that health certificates for horses, mules, cattle, bison, sheep, goats, swine and camelids from New Mexico now must include a statement from a veterinarian stating that no signs of vesicular stomatitis have been found in the animals and that the animals didn't come from a premise that was quarantined for the disease. Vesicular stomatitis can cause painful sores in infected animals. It is believed to be spread through insects that migrate along river valleys.

Judge sets aside BLM's Roan Plateau drilling plan

The Bureau of Land Management didn't follow protocol when it approved a plan for allowing oil and natural gas development on the biologically rich Roan Plateau in western Colorado, a judge ruled Friday. U.S District Judge Marcia Krieger set aside the plan and ordered the agency to take another look. In the meantime, federal leases that were issued for oil and gas drilling on the soaring plateau will remain in place. Environmental groups had asked Krieger to cancel the leases, but Krieger said it's possible the BLM might stick with the same drilling plan, even after it reconsiders. "The Roan is one of Colorado's gems. It's going to get a second look, and we hope it will be protected," said Earthjustice attorney Mike Freeman, who represented environmental groups that filed a lawsuit challenging the BLM's plan.

Ex-Penn St. assistant Sandusky convicted of abuse

Jerry Sandusky was convicted Friday of sexually assaulting 10 boys over 15 years, accusations that shattered the Happy Valley image of Penn State football and led to the firing of Hall of Fame coach Joe Paterno. Sandusky, a 68-year-old retired defensive coach who was once Paterno's heir apparent, was found guilty of 45 of 48 counts. Sandusky showed little emotion as the verdict was read. The judge ordered him to be taken to the county jail to await sentencing in about three months. He faces the possibility of life in prison. The judge revoked Sandusky's bail and ordered him jailed. In court, Sandusky half-waved toward family as the sheriff led him away. Outside, he calmly walked to a sheriff's car with his hands cuffed in front of him.

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CMS seventh-grader to attend inauguration in Washington, D.C.

The words “Presidential Inaugural Conference” glistened in gold against the invitation’s dark blue background. At first, Tristan Farquharson didn’t know what to think. “When I figured out that I got to go, I was really excited,” the 12-year-old said. “But yet, then again, I was like, ‘Somebody from Craig is actually going to this?’” Tristan said with awe in his voice.

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Senate incumbent talks issues as primary nears

When asked how she spends her free time, Jean White laughed. “Well, first of all, I don’t have free time,” the Colorado state senator from Hayden said. “But if I did, I have a little bit of an artistic bent to me and … I enjoy just practicing watercolor painting and other types of art,” she said. White also enjoys reading — “I love Steinbeck,” she said — but finding time to get into a good book is no easy task, either. It’s no wonder. The first-term Republican senator has her hands full, and her schedule isn’t likely to relax now that she’s running for re-election.

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House District 57 representative elaborates on platform before Tuesday vote

Asked Wednesday to talk about his “day job,” Colorado House District 57 Rep. Randy Baumgardner, R-Cowdrey, couldn’t help but laugh. “This is my day job,” he said. “But, my background is in farming and ranching if that’s what you’re asking.” Baumgardner, whose image isn't that of a stereotypical politician, is usually quick with a smile or joke and has been described as down-to-earth. But during a candid conversation Wednesday in Craig, Baumgardner said it felt like a long time since he laughed out loud or cracked a smile.

Editorial: Stuck in the mud

The race for Colorado State Senate District 8 between incumbent Jean White and House District 57 challenger Randy Baumgardner has made for good entertainment, but little substance. Call it bad reality TV for a voting public that needed an informative documentary. Thankfully, the poor programing ends Tuesday when one of the Republican candidacies concludes in the primary election. The editorial board is grateful for this fact, and we're guessing voters are, too, after watching members of the same party smear each other with ugliness.

Friday, June 22

Craig Fire Board assessing costs associated with CNCC tower location

The Craig Rural Fire Protection District Board has asked consultants working on a new training tower project to assess how much money was invested into the project at its previously planned location, Colorado Northwestern Community College's campus in Craig. Todd Ficken, training tower project manager with Niwot-based F&D International, LLC, is expected to present a cost analysis during the fire board’s July meeting. Byron Willems, fire board president, said described the numbers as “ugly” during the fire board's meeting Thursday. Expected to be included in the report are costs the fire district incurred for Phase I environmental impact studies, soil testing, site and foundation plans and land surveys, among others.

On the Record for June 22, 2012

On the Record for June 22, 2012

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Moffat County Booster Club brings college strength coach to teach class

In high school sports, being stronger and faster than your opponents becomes more important. Whereas in elementary and middle school sports the victors are often the athletes that are the biggest, most mature or most skilled due to practice, at the high school level strength and conditioning training become vital aspects of preparation as well. Having a stellar set of post moves won’t help a forward in high school basketball if he can’t contend with his opponents down low. Even if an athlete can spike a ball harder than anyone else, it won’t matter if she’s worn down by the fourth set and losing power. That’s why the Moffat County Booster Club had Colorado Mesa University strength and conditioning coach Daniel Linsacum, an MCHS graduate, come to Moffat County High School Thursday and Friday give middle and high school students a run through his BEAST training session.

Letter: Family grateful for those who fought fire

Words cannot convey the gratitude we feel for the agencies that participated in fighting the Sand Fire west of Craig on Tuesday night. From our viewpoint, everyone involved went above and beyond in saving our homes, and in some cases, our livelihoods. Kudos to the helicopter pilots for the non-stop air support. It was absolutely amazing.

Letter: Thanks to the Kinder Family Clinic

This comment is to set the story straight. On May 16, I walked into the old The Memorial Hospital in Craig, handed the receptionist my insurance card and requested to see a doctor as I was having severe chest pains. Her response was she did not have any doctors who could see me at the time. I told her that if I collapsed in the street she should call an ambulance. I then left and walked to Kinder Family Clinic, where the receptionist asked if I was alright. I told her I was having chest pains.

Letter: Kenny Savage still needs help from the community

We still need to help Kenny Savage, the victim of a fire in his home that destroyed everything, who is now homeless. Kenny would like to thank all the people who have helped with donations of clothes and your generous gifts of money that you have put at the Bank of Colorado on his behalf. We have had house trailers that have been offered to Kenny, but they do not meet city code. They have to be at least a 1987 model or newer to be placed in a park in Craig city limits.

Letter: Community should rethink fireworks display

I was reading the article written on about Tuesday's fire west of Craig. At the end of the article was this sentence about a Fourth of July fireworks show: "If wildfires are burning in the area, using up (Bureau of Land Management) and (Moffat County Sheriff's Office) firefighting resources in Moffat County, Craig (Fire/Rescue) Chief Bill Johnston (said) their show will also be cancelled." As a concerned citizen, I question the wisdom of spending a firefighting budget on fireworks in the beginning of July, when we potentially have one to three more months of fire danger. I am as big a fan as anyone of the fireworks show in Craig in July.

Briefs for June 22: Fuller Center yard sale today and Saturday

The Moffat County Fuller Center For Housing will host a yard sale from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. today and Saturday at the barn building east of Brass Key Realty, which is located at 840 W. Victory Way. A variety of items will be available for sale. Proceeds benefit the organization’s building fund campaign.

Active, retired firefighters partner to contain Sand Fire

Fire officials at multiple levels have been bracing for busy times since wildfire season got off to an early start in April on the Front Range. Although there have been 56 reported wildfires in the Northwest Colorado Fire Management Unit this year, according to the Craig Interagency Dispatch Center website, few incidents have touched Craig and Moffat County residents. That changed at approximately 5:30 p.m. Tuesday when a fire, likely ignited by a discarded cigarette, torched off U.S. Highway 40 near milepost 79, about 10 miles west of Craig. The Sand Fire burned an estimated 2,000 acres, threatening residents, homes, and livestock in the process.

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Residents reacted to the oncoming Sand Fire on Tuesday

Tyler Gerber, 15, was taking out the trash Tuesday night at the family ranch west of Craig when he saw the beginnings of a blaze that would soon threaten their home. He was “praying that it wouldn’t get on our place, but that didn’t work,” he said. His father, Wade Gerber, also saw the fire, which was burning west of their house. He drove closer to investigate, and discovered the wildfire “was a lot closer than we even thought it was,” he said. Rick Barnes, who lives south of where the fire burned, also saw the fire.

Woman accused in vampire-like assaults sentenced

A woman accused of biting two people in the neck at a Denver convenience store has been sentenced to serve 30 days in jail, plus 60 days of in-home detention. The sentence Emi Coleman received Thursday includes a year of supervised probation. She was ordered to undergo drug and alcohol treatment, mental health treatment and anger management treatment.

Duluth cleans up as Minn. floods persist to south

Nicole Lamphier and her family planned to ride out the flooding inundating their Duluth neighborhood at a friend's home nearby, but when they ran out of diapers for their 9-month-old, they called in the Coast Guard to get them out. Lamphier, her husband and three young children were evacuated by boat Thursday from their low-lying neighborhood of Fon du Lac, where about 200 residents who left for higher ground during and after two days of historically heavy rain don't know when it'll be safe to return home. "The damage is indescribable," said Lamphier, 30. "It's kind of heartbreaking. You see people down there that have lost everything. I'm just glad to be out." City, county and state officials spent Thursday assessing damage, while areas farther south continued to fight rising waters. The town of Moose Lake was being described as "an island."

Janet Sheridan: Questionable time savers

In the late 1980s, I took a cruise to Alaska to visit my sister Barbara in Homer to remind her she could run, but not hide. In preparation, I dropped into the brochure-laden office of my travel agent, Shirley. In the past, this efficient lady had helped me by arranging a last-minute flight and a rental car for a family funeral, coordinating a train trip to San Francisco for six friends wanting to see "Cats," and recommending affordable places to stay in California’s wine country. When I mumbled vaguely about a cruise, she asked questions to discover my preferences, presented me with options, booked the deal, and handed me a folder of organized documents, two leather luggage tags, and a neon-green shoulder bag with the cruise logo. Though travel agents still exist, technology has made travel planning a do-it-yourself activity for most people.

Hot, dry West means firing guns can start blazes

Nineteen wildfires in Utah have been sparked this year by target shooting as dry and windy conditions make such ignitions more likely, authorities said. Authorities counted 24 wildfires sparked by guns last year, and 20 the year before. Three months remain in the dry season. The state cannot do much to prevent more of these fires this year. Cities can restrict certain types of ammunition and targets for fire safety, but gun laws limit such regulations at the state level, The Salt Lake Tribune reported. In other parts of the West, authorities in Colorado were investigating whether recreational shooting is to blame for starting a 1,145-acre wildfire near Lake George over the weekend.

Thursday, June 21

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Longtime Hayden public servant seeking Moffat County office

What's kept Chuck Grobe in the Yampa Valley for three decades? The Moffat County Commission candidate didn’t have to think long before answering. “The best thing is the people here are great,” said Grobe, 62. “You can’t find better people anywhere.” Grobe is vying with incumbent Audrey Danner for the District 2 seat and is a relative newcomer to Craig. He moved to the city a year and a half ago from Hayden, where he lived for more than 30 years and served as town mayor for six years and mayor pro-tem for four years.

Fraternity cyclists coming through Craig to help disabled residents

With all the bicyclists coming through Craig it can be easy to get lost in the shuffle. 30 fraternity brothers will ride into Craig today and look to make their mark with developmentally disabled residents in the area. The cross-country bike ride, celebrating its 25th year, began on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco June 3 and will span nine weeks before the riders finish in Washington, D.C., August 5. Push America is a philanthropy started by the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity, which raises funds for people with disabilities.

CPW: Leave wildlife alone

With the arrival of summer, Colorado Parks and Wildlife wants to remind the public that leaving wildlife alone gives the animals the best chance of long-term survival, the agency said in a news release. When encountered in the wild, baby animals can sometimes appear to have been abandoned. Unlike human babies, however, calves, fawns, young raccoons, rabbits and many other species are often deliberately left alone by their mothers to give them the best chance of survival, and human intervention often adversely affects their long-term chances of survival, according to the release. “We know most people mean well,” said Erin Serfoss, Colorado Parks and Wildlife Customer Service Representative in Grand Junction, in the release. “But picking up a healthy, young animal and bringing it to us or a vet for help is often the worst thing they can do. In the majority of cases, the young animal is much better off left alone.” Wild animals have developed survival instincts that make human intervention unnecessary, the release stated. For example, young deer and elk stumbling about weakly while learning to walk can attract predators, so nature has provide simple but effective survival tactics — the ability to lie still for hours, little to no scent and natural camouflage. Despite initial appearances, the young animal is much safer left alone while its mother looks for food, according to the release.

On the record for June 21, 2012

On the record for June 21, 2012

BLM conducts emergency water operations for wild horses

The Bureau of Land Management recently began delivering water to wild horses in several areas in western Colorado in response to extreme drought conditions, according to a news release. Today, the BLM also issued an emergency closure for areas in the vicinity of Texas Mountain south of Rangely to further protect wild horses where the situation is particularly severe. The BLM reported that it is closely monitoring wild horse herds it manages in Colorado and has begun supplementing natural water sources in three of the four wild horse herd management areas in the state, including the Piceance-East Douglas southwest of Meeker, Sand Wash near Maybell, and the Spring Creek outside of Dolores. These are areas the BLM manages specifically to maintain healthy wild horse herds in balance with other uses of the land. The BLM is also closely monitoring the water situation in the Little Books Cliffs Wild Horse Range outside of DeBeque, which currently is not requiring supplemental water.

Craig fire district officials host meeting tonight

The Craig Rural Fire Protection District Board will be discussing tonight its new plans to construct a live fire burn tower in Craig. The discussion will take place during the fire district’s regularly scheduled monthly meeting, which takes place at 7 p.m. at the fire department, 419 Yampa Ave. The meeting is open to the public.

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Moffat County Commission incumbent champions rural broadband, seeks another term

When Moffat County Commissioner Audrey Danner moved to Craig from Fort Collins in 1974, it was done “by choice.” Danner and her husband, optometrist Dr. Ron Danner, arrived in a Chevy Vega with no mortgage, no money, but plenty of student loan debt. The two decided Craig was not only ripe for Dr. Danner to start an optometry practice, but a perfect place to raise a family. Looking back on more than 38 years living and working in Craig and Moffat County, Danner, now 59, can remember numerous events in her life she believes prepared her for public office. But. not all of the experiences were easy.

Wednesday, June 20

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Youth wrestling revival in Moffat County

Wrestling is making a comeback in Moffat County. MCHS had dominant wrestling individuals and programs in the past, but has fallen from its championship form in recent years. Mark Zimmerman, 44, of Craig, partnered with Chad Lawton to form the Moffat County Youth Wrestling team during the spring with the vision of creating a new generation of strong wrestlers in the area. Zimmerman, a member of Moffat County High School’s state champion wrestling team in 1985, felt it was important to get more youths involved and interested in wrestling, and he and Lawton believed they had a good idea for doing so.

On the Record for June 20, 2012

On the Record for June 20, 2012

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Moffat County Sheriff: Fire potential 'no joke anymore'

BLM issues Stage 2 fire restrictions

Local elected officials participated in an update meeting Wednesday morning following a wildfire that ignited Tuesday about 10 miles west of Craig. Moffat County Sheriff Tim Jantz led the meeting on what fire officials are calling the Sand Fire. Fire investigators believe the wildfire, which started at approximately 5:30 p.m. Tuesday off U.S. Highway 40 near mile marker 79, was ignited by a cigarette. Because the Willow Fire currently active in the Baggs, Wyo. and Slater area, Bureau of Land Management firefighters have not yet been able to GPS the scene, Jantz said.

Colo. AG: Illegal immigrant tuition rate unlawful

The Metropolitan State College of Denver does not have legal authority to create a discounted tuition category for illegal immigrants, Colorado Attorney General John Suthers said in an opinion released Tuesday. Suthers said that according federal law, the Legislature must decide whether to create a new tuition rate for illegal immigrants because it is a "public benefit," which cannot be given to illegal immigrants under state and federal laws. He said Metro State's decision "is simply not supported by governing law." "The General Assembly may continue to consider this issue," said Suthers, a Republican. "In the meantime, however, state-supported institutions of higher education in Colorado cannot act unilaterally."

Request denied for Weld County farms to pump wells

Gov. John Hickenlooper has denied a request to let Weld County farmers temporarily pump water from irrigation wells in the South Platte River basin, as farms try to save their crops from drought. The state's courts have ruled that farmers who take water from underground wells must replace what they take, so that there's enough water left for holders of senior water rights. That's been difficult in dry conditions.

Testimony nears end in Sandusky's abuse trial

Jerry Sandusky had an inspiring reputation for helping youth, and boasted such a soft spot for children that he invited them to Penn State football games and spend the night at his home, witnesses for the retired coach have testified at his child molestation trial. On Wednesday, Sandusky might finally tell his side of the story in court. The judge in the case has said Sandusky's defense team is close to wrapping up. He's aiming to have closing statements Thursday, with deliberations beginning that afternoon.

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Blaze burns estimated 2,000 acres

A fire first reported as 2 acres Tuesday about 10 miles west of Craig is believed to have burned roughly 2,000 acres and prompted evacuations in the Westview Subdivision. No injuries or fatalities were reported in the blaze and no structures were burned. One home was threatened by the fire but was saved, Moffat County Sheriff Tim Jantz said. He stressed that figures on the blaze’s acreage are still rough estimates.

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Bicycle Tour of Colorado brings riders to Craig, MCHS

More than 1,200 riders made the trek Tuesday to Craig as part of the 18th annual Bicycle Tour of Colorado. The tour takes a different route through Colorado each year. This year, it's a weeklong, 462-mile ride through Northern Colorado and Southern Wyoming that traverses the Rocky Mountains. The route into Craig was 111 miles from Saratoga, Wyo., the longest leg of the week. Riders were able to rest and camp out at Moffat County High School, either on the practice fields or inside the school's gymnasium.

MCHS Football meet for first summer camp and work on new offense

The Moffat County High School football team is holding its first ever camp at the high school this week, and head coach Kip Hafey is excited about the opportunities it offers his team. Thanks to new rules passed by the Colorado High School Activities Association, high schools are allowed to have full-contact camps both at home and at a college camp. In the past, schools had to choose one and MCHS elected to go to Colorado State University-Pueblo. Hafey and the coaching staff plan on taking full advantage of the extra time by installing a new offense this year. The Bulldogs will run a spread offense instead of the power formations seen in the past. “This extra time is huge because it gives us a chance to install a new offense,” assistant Lance Scranton said. “We’re going to have to work on our timing and understanding it mentally, but that’s what we can do with this time.”

Moffat County Commission dissolves Federal Mineral Lease District

The Moffat County Commission approved a resolution Tuesday dissolving its federal mineral lease district created in June 2011. The Moffat County Federal Mineral Lease District was created after Gov. John Hickenlooper signed into law Colorado House Bill 11-1218, also known as the Federal Mineral Lease Districts Act. The legislation was designed to protect many western Colorado counties featuring large tracts of un-taxable federal lands from dwindling Payment In Lieu of Taxes funds. The county’s FML district received in August 2011 a $1.1 million payment from the federal government, but decided not to allocate those funds to projects in unincorporated Moffat County following a challenge to the legislation by U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.

Letter: Vote for Chuck Grobe

I am submitting this letter of support for Chuck Grobe for Moffat County Commission District 2. I have known and worked with Chuck for many years and have found him to be forthright in all business transactions. His two decades of serving the public sector as a mayor, council member, on the planning commission, the school board, the cemetery board, and even as a reserve police officer give him the experience needed to be a responsible commissioner. He has also worked for us in the agriculture industry. We need this experience to represent all of the citizens of Moffat County.

Editorial: Extra effort appreciated

In the past year there has an emphasis around the community as well as in the pages of this newspaper about the goals and expectations — or a lack thereof — placed on the athletic teams at Moffat County High School. More specifically, the point has been made that mediocre teams would always remain that way if mediocre expectations are all they have to meet. This summer, a handful of MCHS coaches have taken it upon themselves to raise the bar on what will be expected of their teams this coming year. And they’re not simply redefining expectations, they’re also giving their athletes the chance to get a head start on the upcoming seasons in the form of summer camps and scrimmages. Last week both the boys and girls basketball teams hosted scrimmages at MCHS against other area high school teams. Boys coach Eric Hamilton has scheduled scrimmages through the end of June for his team while the girls coach Matt Ray will have his team attend two camps this summer, one at the University of Wyoming and at the University of Northern Colorado.

Briefs for June 20: Fuller Center yard sale Friday and Saturday

The Moffat County Fuller Center For Housing will host a yard sale from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the barn building east of Brass Key Realty, which is located at 840 W. Victory Way. A variety of items will be available for sale. Proceeds benefit the building fund campaign.

Tuesday, June 19

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Sheriff: Fire estimated to be 2,000 acres

Second wildfire reported on Colorado Highway 13, near Wyoming/Colorado border

Byron Willems, of the Craig Rural Fire Protection District, reported that fire officials have laid down a fire break built by first responders near Moffat County Road 212, about two miles east of the fire's origin, saving homes in that immediate area. But, due to high winds, the fire continues to move northeast. Flames and smoke are visible north of junction U.S. 40 and County Road 212.

Sex offender lives at home of state Rep. Randy Baumgardner

Republican state Rep. Randy Baumgardner, who voted against a comprehensive rewrite of the state’s sex-offender registration laws, has a convicted sex offender living at his house.

On the Record for June 19, 2012

On the Record for June 19, 2012

Lance Scranton: An insider's views on education

The education of our children was in the news again this week and I had to duck to avoid some of the shots across the bow. The Craig Daily Press editorial board made some excellent points about administrators and teachers, but left out some of the actual problems we face each day. If we are going to be honest and not “skirt the issues,” read on. If a student isn’t getting the grade they think they deserve, the teacher is the problem. But when the student gets out into the workforce and isn’t doing the job they were hired to do, it’s very seldom the employer’s fault.

Sunday trailer fire in Craig deemed total loss

Craig Fire/Rescue firefighter treated and released for heat exhaustion

A Craig Fire/Rescue firefighter was briefly hospitalized Sunday for heat exhaustion after responding to a trailer fire on East Fourth Street near the Moffat County Fairgrounds. Battalion Chief Dennis Jones said the firefighter was taken to The Memorial Hospital in Craig due to exposure to heat sustained while fighting the fire. “We took one to the ER with heat exhaustion,” Jones said. “He was treated and released.” Jones said no one was home during the fire, which was ignited by a fallen lamp. “We determined it was a lamp that had tipped over and landed on some combustible material and started that on fire,” Jones said. “It just kind of spread from there.” The trailer was a total loss.

Wildfires force evacuations from Calif. to Colo.

(AP) — Wildfires across the West drove hundreds of people from their homes from California to Colorado, where nuns living in a monastery and Boy Scouts at camp are among those who've fled. Firefighters are making progress on a 92 square-mile blaze in northern Colorado despite hot, dry weather although more residents were notified to be ready to leave Tuesday. The fire west of Fort Collins is 50 percent contained after firefighters labored in temperatures in the 90s to extend lines around the blaze Monday. Expected strong winds didn't materialize but gusts of around 30 mph were forecast Tuesday along with more hot weather. Eight more homes were found burned Monday, bringing the damage so far to at least 189 — the most in the state's history. Houses in the area already burned by the fire are still at risk because of pockets of unburned fuel. Other wildfires were burning in warm, arid weather from Wyoming to Arizona to Southern California, where a blaze that prompted the evacuation of 150 homes was 75 percent contained Tuesday.

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VNA to offer free HIV testing June 27

Report: Virus numbers in Colorado remain stable

The Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association will offer free drop-in HIV tests June 27 in conjunction with National HIV Testing Day. The tests, which take about 15 minutes, will be offered from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the VNA’s Craig office, 745 Russell St., and the agency’s Steamboat Springs office, 940 Central Park Dr., Suite 101. A small blood sample will be drawn and mixed with a testing solution to determine the results. Participants will learn their results immediately, said Gisela Garrison, director of the VNA’s Community Health Center. “Even if the test is positive, it does not mean the person has AIDS,” she said. “It only means that the person has been exposed to the virus.”

Monday, June 18

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Craig Fire Board approves $470K training kit contract

Byron Willems: Public will support facility in time

The Craig Rural Fire Protection District Board met Monday night for a special meeting to discuss a purchase contract for a live fire training tower kit. The board approved a similar $470,529 contract with WHP Trainingtowers during its May meeting. That contract was contingent upon approval of a land transfer agreement between Colorado Northwestern Community College and the fire district. But, when CNCC Board members balked at the agreement fire officials initiated alternate plans to build a training tower on land owned by the fire district on Industrial Avenue behind Kmart. “I spoke to Gene Bilodeau over at the college to express my disappointment that this didn’t happen and he echoed similar sentiments,” said Byron Willems, fire board president, during the special meeting. “But, we’re moving forward. That’s why rearview mirrors are smaller than windshields.”

On the Record for June 18, 2012

On the Record for June 18, 2012

Highway 40 resurfacing project set to begin

The Colorado Department of Transportation will begin a highway resurfacing project Thursday on U.S. Highway 40 near Hayden between mile markers 108 and 114, the department announced in a news release. The project will slightly overlap the existing U.S. Highway 40 rockfall mitigation project that runs from MM 113 through MM 120 in Mount Harris Canyon, according to the release. In order to create a much-needed smoother surface on the interstate, the agency announced crews will strip the existing roadway, recycle the asphalt and use the existing materials to resurface the highway. Guardrails will also be repaired throughout the length of the project, the release stated. Work is expected to last until August 2012, according to the release.

Craig Fire Board hosting special meeting tonight

Willems: Board members to move forward with purchase of training tower kit

The Craig Rural Fire Protection District Board is scheduled to host a special meeting at 6 p.m. tonight at the fire station, 419 Yampa Ave., to approve a contract for the purchase of a fire training tower kit. The meeting is open to the public. Last month, the fire board approved purchasing the kit for $470,000 from WHP Trainingtowers contingent upon a land transfer agreement between Colorado Northwestern Community College and the fire district.

Colo. firefighters face more powerful winds

(AP) — More residents were out of their homes Monday as fire crews face another day of powerful winds fueling a wildfire that has charred about 90 square miles of forested mountains in northern Colorado. The fire danger was high across much of the Rocky Mountain region because of hot, dry weather and expected gusty winds. Firefighters at the High Park fire west of Fort Collins dealt with 30 mph winds and gusts of up to 50 mph Sunday. Some rain moved through Saturday evening, but it wasn't enough to quell the fire. "The problem is that when you have a fire like this, even if it rains it evaporates before it hits the ground," said Larimer County sheriff's spokeswoman Julie Berney. Despite the winds, fire officials said crews Sunday were able to maintain most existing fire lines, with the fire chewing through about 1,000 more acres.

Sex offender lives at Colorado lawmaker's home

Court records show a state lawmaker who voted against a comprehensive rewrite of Colorado's sex-offender registration laws has a convicted sex offender living at his house. The Denver Post ( ) reports 32-year-old Michael Frierson lives at Republican Rep. Randy Baumgardner's address in Hot Sulphur Springs. Frierson pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of sexual assault and received five years' probation for incidents in 2004 involving a victim younger than 14. He was arrested in April at Baumgardner's house for failing to register as a sex offender.

Stiff winds fuel Colo. wildfire; looting a concern

Crews in northern Colorado are facing powerful winds as they battle a blaze that has scorched about 86 square miles of mountainous forest land and destroyed at least 181 homes, the most in state history. Meanwhile, local authorities are focusing on another concern — looting. The destructiveness of the High Park Fire burning 15 miles west of Fort Collins surpassed the Fourmile Canyon wildfire, which destroyed 169 homes west of Boulder in September 2010. More than 1,630 personnel are working on the Fort Collins-area fire, which was sparked by lightning and is 45 percent contained. Julie Berney with the Larimer County Sheriff's Office said firefighters can expect winds of 30 mph with gusts of up to 50 mph Sunday. Some rain moved through Saturday evening, but it wasn't enough to quell the fire.

Easing of pot laws poses challenge for parents

Michael Jolton was a young father with a 5-year-old son when Colorado legalized medical marijuana in 2000. Now he's got three boys, the oldest near adulthood, and finds himself repeatedly explaining green-leafed marijuana ads and "free joint" promotions endemic in his suburban hometown. "I did not talk to my oldest son about marijuana when he was 8 years old. We got to talk about fun stuff. Now with my youngest who's 8, we have to talk about this," said Jolton, a consultant from Lakewood. A marijuana opponent with a just-say-no philosophy, Jolton, 48, is among legions of American parents finding the "drug talk" increasingly problematic as more states allow medical marijuana or decriminalize its use. Colorado and Washington state have measures on their Nov. 6 ballot that would go a further step and legalize recreational use of marijuana for adults.

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More than 100 participate in inaugural 5K race

Watching carvers and listening to music weren’t the only activities offered over the weekend at Loudy-Simpson Park. The Friends of Moffat County Education, a community group designed to assist local educational efforts, organized and hosted the inaugural Wake the Whittler 5K run, walk and one-mile fun run. The race took place Saturday morning and had about 100 participants, said Chris Jones, an FMCE Board member and one of the adults involved with organizing the 5K. “We hit the number we were looking for people-wise,” Jones said. “It’s a great weekend in the City of Craig with Whittle the Wood going on, and we’re excited to try and make this an annual event.”

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MCHS basketball team tuning up through summer league play

Summer may not be prime high school basketball season, but for local boys basketball players, it resonates with tournament intensity. Moffat County High School played two games in its summer league Saturday — one each against Little Snake River Valley High School and Hayden High School. Despite the games being informal, the teams did not take them lightly. “I love the teams we’ve got in this league,” MCHS boys basketball head coach Eric Hamilton said. “Everybody is so talented and goes at it hard. Everybody wants to win. It’s great competition.”

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Bulldog Sports for June 18

Today 5:15 p.m. Craig Parks and Recreation baseball plays at Loudy-Simpson Park, 500 S. Ranney St. 6 p.m. Craig Parks and Recreation baseball plays at Woodbury Sports Complex, 350 Mack Lane. Tuesday 4:45 p.m. Craig Parks and Recreation softball plays at Loudy Simpson Park, 500 S. Ranney St. 6:00 p.m. Craig Parks and Recreation coach pitch baseball plays at Loudy Simpson Park Field 1, 500 S. Ranney St.

Moffat County Libraries Board meeting agenda

When: 5:30 p.m. today Where: Craig branch, 570 Green St. Agenda: • Call meeting to order

Moffat County Land Use Board meeting agenda

When: 7 to 9 p.m. today Where: Moffat County extension office, 539 Barclay St. Agenda: • Pledge of Allegiance, moment of silence

Government Update for June 18: Moffat County Commission meeting

When: 8:30 a.m. Tuesday Where: Moffat County Courthouse, 221 W. Victory Way Agenda: • 8:30 to 8:35 a.m. Call to order, Pledge of Allegiance, moment of silence • 8:35 to 8:45 a.m. Consent agenda:

AGNC names new executive director

Associated Governments of Northwest Colorado has selected Scott McInnis as its new executive director, the agency recently announced in a news release. McInnis is a Grand Junction attorney who has served as both a state representative for the 57th House District and a U.S. Congressman for the Third Congressional District, according to the release. Most recently he has served as a special partner with the Hogan and Hartson law firm, the release stated.

Letter: In support of Audrey Danner

It is with great pleasure that I submit this letter of support for Audrey Danner for Moffat County Commission District 2. She is a tireless advocate for Moffat County and very much deserves another four years in office. Our public lands offer many uses and are an important factor in how we develop our resources to provide clean energy for the state and nation. Audrey remains committed to working with energy representatives to protect all our natural resources. Audrey has also worked to monitor our Sage-Grouse Work Plan and will continue to do so to protect the grouse without harming our local economy.

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‘Never stop growing’: Five minutes with Carolyn Gochee, 35, owner of Whole Body Alignment

Where is your hometown? “I’m originally from Illinois. I grew up on a small farm near Illinois City. It’s very small and if you blink you’ll miss it.” When did you first move to Craig? “The summer of 2004. I love the community and the area. I’d vacationed in Colorado quite a bit when I was growing up. I absolutely love the mountains, and I was used to the rural community, so Craig seemed to be a good fit.” Motto or outlook on life? “Never stop changing, never stop growing. My logo has a butterfly in it, and that stands for metamorphosis. Constant change, constant growing, constant improvement. That’s what I try to do in my business and in my life.”

Pet store moving to bigger space

As any pet owner knows, the more space an animal has to move, the better their quality of life. The same is true for the business that sells them and their accessories. The Jungle Pet Shop will be moving to a new store space at 29 W. Victory Way. The former location of Sharyn’s Upscale Consignment Boutique offers more room for operations than The Jungle’s store at 565 Yampa Ave. “We’ll be able to have a lot more shelves since we’re moving to less than 1,000 square feet to 1,800, plus it has a basement,” owner Clint Gabbert said. Gabbert said he planned to offer a greater number of aquariums with his increased space, as well as including a part of his inventory he had briefly stopped selling.

Briefs for June 18: State senate candidate appearing today in Craig

Emily Tracy, a Democratic candidate for Colorado State Senate District 8, will appear at 3:30 p.m. today at Downtown Books, 543 Yampa Ave., in Craig, for a meet-and-greet with local voters. The event, which is scheduled to conclude at 4:45 p.m., is open to the public. For more information, call 970-389-4574 or email

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Presentations reveal details about Rockwell’s life and inspiration

A man puts his arm protectively around a woman’s waist as she fills out a form in an office. In this illustration Norman Rockwell painted for The Saturday Evening Post, the woman stands on her tiptoes to reach the desk where she writes. A sign behind them reads “marriage licenses,” explaining the reason for their visit. What the casual viewer may not know is the young man and woman who posed for the painting were actually engaged to be married, Tom Daly, Norman Rockwell Museum curator of education, told a group of about 25 people Saturday morning.

Senior Spotlight for June 18: Another busy weekend

Another busy weekend and June is about around the corner of being gone. Several people have mentioned this, how fast time is going by. My sentiments exactly. Summer begins June 20, according to my calendar, the longest day of the year. Then we start losing sunlight time. Take a little time out of your busy day and think of all you've done so far since school is out and it was summer.

Sunday, June 17

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Whittle the Wood draws thousands to Loudy-Simpson Park

As the music started late Saturday afternoon at Loudy-Simpson Park, a few bold dancers stepped out onto the grass. Before long, a crowd had gathered in front of the stage, swaying singly or in pairs as Alter Eagles: The Definitive Eagles Tribute performed for a crowd that covered the lawn. The performance was the capstone of the 13th annual Whittle the Wood Rendezvous. Dave Pike, Craig Parks and Recreation Department director, said the event was an unquestionable success.

Saturday, June 16

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Free concerts in Craig round out Whittle the Wood

When asked about selecting the band for one of two free performances today at the Whittle the Wood Rendezvous, Dave Pike’s answer was short and to the point. “Who doesn’t like Eagles music?” the City of Craig Parks and Recreation Department director said Friday afternoon. Alter Eagles: The Definitive Eagles Tribute will take the stage at 5:30 p.m. today at Loudy-Simpson Park, capping off a four-day marathon of wood carving. The concert follows a 3 p.m. performance by Fire and Rain: The James Taylor Experience.

112 homes damaged or destroyed by Colo. wildfire

At least 112 homes have been damaged or destroyed by an 84-square-mile wildfire in northern Colorado, and the number will go higher, authorities said Friday. The Larimer County sheriff's department announced the new total as firefighters tried to contain a 200-acre spot fire north of the Cache La Poudre River, a critical line of defense against northward growth. The main fire, which started June 9, has killed one person. Containment was listed at 20 percent, and incident commander Bill Hahnenberg said full containment could be two to four weeks away. Nearly 200 personnel were battling the spot fire with the help of helicopters. Authorities sent evacuation notices to about 300 phone lines in the area and told other people to be prepared to leave.

Rockies top Tigers 12-4 with 8 runs in 10th inning

Just when the Detroit Tigers looked like they might be ready for a turnaround, a slumping team humbled one that started the season with high expectations. Wilin Rosario hit a go-ahead, two-run single in the 10th and the Colorado Rockies went on to score a franchise-record eight runs in an extra inning, beating the Tigers 12-4 on Friday night to snap a season-high, eight-game losing streak. Jose Valverde (3-2) gave up a leadoff single to Michael Cuddyer in the 10th and allowed him to get to third on a throwing error to first base after Eric Young laid down a sacrifice bunt. His miscue triggered a barrage of runs for the Rockies. "Everyone talks about home runs and doubles, but it was a little bunt that caused us all kind of chaos," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said.

Police: Breakup led NY doctor to kill lover, self

A former Army weapons expert wanted for fatally shooting his ex-girlfriend killed himself with a gunshot to the head, quelling the risk of more bloodshed and silencing perhaps the only voice that might have answered the central question: Was a break-up enough to cause a gifted trauma surgeon widely beloved as a lifesaver to end two lives in a spasm of violence? After a two-day nationwide manhunt, police found Dr. Timothy Jorden's body in thick brush a half-mile from his Lake Erie shoreline home. A neighbor had reported hearing a gunshot from the area on Wednesday morning, and police with dogs found the body, dressed in surgical scrubs, on Friday morning. Authorities had been searching for Jorden since Wednesday morning, when 33-year-old Jacqueline Wisniewski was found shot to death in a stairwell at the Erie County Medical Center. Friends said Wisniewski was afraid of the 49-year-old Jorden and had broken off their relationship some time ago.

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Record numbers come to Northwest Colorado for baseball tournament

Loudy-Simpson park is not just busy due to carvers and vendors at the Whittle the Wood Rendezvous this weekend. The Steamboat Mountain Magic Triple Crown baseball tournament takes place this weekend as well. Baseball teams with players ages 8-14 played in Steamboat Springs, Hayden, Craig and Oak Creek. Teams came from all over the state, and in record numbers. Connor Logan, field supervisor at the games played Loudy-Simpson, said there were 87 teams, the most ever at Mountain Magic, hailing from Louisville, Fort Collins, Longmont, Greeley, Castle Rock and more. “It’s great to see how many young kids are into playing baseball. That’s what we want at these events,” Logan said.

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Former MCHS standout heading across the country to compete in track

2011 Moffat County High School graduate Lauren Roberts is getting used to change. The track and field standout showed off her athleticism by competing in a variety of events while at MCHS—long jump, high jump, triple jump and the 200-meter dash. But those events require mostly similar skills; speed, explosiveness and power. When Roberts was recruited by the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs, it was to compete in the pentathlon and heptathlon—competitions that consist of several events, most of which differ from what she had been doing before.

Government Update for June 16: Moffat County Commission meeting

When: 8:30 a.m. Tuesday Where: Moffat County Courthouse, 221 W. Victory Way Agenda: • 8:30 to 8:35 a.m. Call to order, Pledge of Allegiance, moment of silence • 8:35 to 8:45 a.m. Consent agenda:

Moffat County Libraries Board meeting agenda

When: 5:30 p.m. Monday Where: Craig branch, 570 Green St. Agenda: • Call meeting to order

Moffat County Land Use Board meeting agenda

When: 7 to 9 p.m. Monday Where: Moffat County extension office, 539 Barclay St. Agenda: • Pledge of Allegiance, moment of silence

Editorial: The trite and truth about education

There's a tired laundry list of reactions in our community and country when assessment test results are made public. The chorus of people chiming in, and their opinions, are as predictable as guessing the next day on the calendar. We heard it all last week in Craig and Moffat County, as we have many other times before, when third-grade reading results were announced for our school district. The long and short: our students aren't performing at the state average. Now from the gallery: School district administrators who talk up successes like they're a sign of things to come, downplay the misses as anomalies, and attempt to explain why our students and scores can't be compared to others around the state.

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Fuels, wildfires lead to open fire ban

Whenever fire officials scout Moffat County, they see and hear the same things, particularly west of the Continental Divide. Thin winter snowpack levels coupled with minimal springtime moisture have resulted in an abundance of wildfire fuels throughout the county. And an early start to the fire season on the Front Range has local firefighters bracing for what could be the busiest year in recent memory. “We’ve had a flurry of activity already, although it has primarily been on private land,” said Lynn Barclay, public information officer for the Northwest Colorado Fire Management Unit. “And our fuels are burning down to white ash, which is a good indicator of an active fire,” added Dave Toelle, assistant fire management officer for the Bureau of Land Management.

Letter: Socialism cannot work

Children do not have to be taught to be naughty. Naughtiness is their nature. Selfishness is the basic trait of every human being on the planet. That is why socialism cannot possibly work. President Barack Obama's goal to "spread the wealth around" cannot be successful. The have-nots are only too willing to take the unearned handouts. The haves are discouraged from their efforts to achieve their goals if the result of their work is to be taken from them by force (taxes) and "spread around." If they are not jumping for joy at the prospect, they are considered hard-hearted, having no compassion. The elite at the top doing the "spreading" are only too willing to take their fair share off the top for the privilege, making sure that, because they are the elite, they have a bigger portion than the commoners.

Briefs for June 16: MCHS Class of 1992 reunion

A reunion for the Moffat County High School Class of 1992 continues today in Craig. A reunion dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. at OP Bar & Grill, 534 E. Victory Way. For more information, call Chris Jones at 620-4155 or email

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Craig campus VP: Meager state funding a factor behind postponement

College students who hoped to move into new student housing in Craig this year shouldn’t start packing just yet. Plans to build a residence hall at Colorado Northwestern Community College’s Craig campus are on hold for another year or two, Campus Vice President Gene Bilodeau said. “We’ve had to hold off now just given the budget climate and some of the other needs of the institution,” he said. Bilodeau and CNCC President Russell George discussed the postponement with CNCC Board members Thursday.

Friday, June 15

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Descending on dinosaurs

National Monument enticing visitors since 2011 reopening

There's a phrase common among those who visit Colorado — they “came for the winter, but stayed for the summer.” Similar things can be said about visitors to Dinosaur National Monument, who sometimes travel long distances to view the prehistoric remains, for which the park is named, and are drawn back by the scenic landscapes in and around the area. For a while, no one was allowed inside the Quarry Exhibit Hall to view the “wall of bones” — the monument’s famous bone jam featuring the remains of hundreds of animals representing 10 different sauropod species. In 2006, monument officials closed the Quarry Exhibit Hall because it lacked a foundation and unsteady soil conditions were causing structural damage.

Sports Briefs for June 15, 2012: 1st ever football camp offered at MCHS next week

Due to new rules created by the Colorado High School Activities Association, Moffat County High School this year is hosting an extra full-contact football camp for the first time. In the past, teams could only do one full-contact camp over the summer before practice started, and most teams, including MCHS, elected to go to camps at colleges. MCHS will have camp at Colorado State University-Pueblo June 24-27, but that will be after its weeklong camp at the high school next Monday through Friday.

On the Record for June 15, 2012

On the Record for June 15, 2012

Obama turns to NYC celebrities for campaign cash

President Barack Obama soaked in the support — and the campaign cash — of Manhattan's elite entertainers Thursday as his re-election team sought to fill its fundraising coffers. The president and first lady Michelle Obama made a rare joint fundraising appearance when they visited the home of actors Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick. The intimate dinner banked about $2 million, with 50 people paying $40,000 each. The dinner was the Obama campaign's latest attempt to bank on celebrities for fundraising help in countering the growing donor enthusiasm from Republicans supporting Mitt Romney's presidential bid. Speaking in a dimly lighted, art-filled room, Obama told supporters they would play a critical role in an election that would determine a vision for the nation's future.

Colo. judge rules radioactive license invalid

A judge has invalidated a license allowing the construction of the first new uranium mill in the U.S. in decades. Denver District Judge John Mullen issued the ruling Wednesday regarding the mill Energy Fuels wants to build in western Colorado near the Utah border. He ordered the Colorado health department to conduct an administrative hearing to substitute for a 2010 public meeting on the matter in the next two months. However Mullen rejected arguments from environmentalists who said health and safety protocols were not met, including de-commissioning and long-term care plans.

As wildfires rage, modern tanker planes sought

President Barack Obama signed a bill this week hastening the addition of seven large tanker planes to the nation's rundown aerial firefighting fleet, at a cost of $24 million. The same day, two C-130 military transport planes designed for that very purpose sat on a tarmac in Cheyenne, shrouded in an eye-watering haze from a raging Colorado wildfire just a 15-minute flight away. In all, eight workhorse C-130s stand ready to fight destructive wildfires around the country — but all are grounded due to rules governing the use of the nation's aerial firefighting resources. The new purchases, meanwhile, won't help firefighters battling destructive blazes in Colorado, New Mexico and elsewhere in the West for weeks, if not months. "Getting into large, multiple wildfire scenarios, there's just not enough (aircraft) to go around in the current state," said Chuck Bushey, past president of the International Association of Wildland Fire, a professional association of people who fight wildfires. Obama signed the bill Wednesday at the urging of Colorado's congressional delegation, which was quick to praise the move.

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MCHS grad running at Adams State has World Championship, Olympic aspirations

Since Alicia Nelson graduated from Moffat County High School, she’s had her fair share of success. She won a Division II National championship in 2010 in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, a trip to the U.S. Seniors and a second place finish at the 2011 cross country national championship. For Nelson, an incoming senior at Adams State University and member of the MCHS class of 2009, the years to come could be even bigger. During the 2010 season Nelson ran a time good enough to qualify for the U.S. Seniors, a track meet that qualifies runners from the United States for the annual World Championships. Nelson was the youngest runner in the field, nine days older than the cut-off age between seniors and juniors, but still made the finals and placed 11th. Her sudden success came as a bit of a surprise, since Nelson had never run the event before going to college.

Police blotter for June 15

Friday, June 8 Jose Gomez-Martinez, 34, of Craig, was booked into Moffat County Jail on suspicion of speed limits, driving under the influence of drugs, unlawful possession of a controlled substance, possession of an open alcoholic beverage in a motor vehicle and possession of drug paraphernalia. Saturday, June 9 Nathaniel Lee Jowell, 23, of Craig, was booked into Moffat County Jail on suspicion of speeding and driving under restraint. Hec Merton McEntee, 36, of Hayden, was booked into Moffat County Jail on a warrant. Monday, June 11 Adelaida Lucio Clark-Castillo, 32, of Craig was booked into Moffat County Jail on a warrant.

Briefs for June 15: Commitment to Excellence meets today

Maximum Commitment to Excellence, a group designed to augment local education, meets at 11:30 a.m. today at Mountain West Insurance and Financial Services, 100 E. Victory Way. At least three Moffat County School Board members are scheduled to attend the meeting, although they do not have a formal agenda nor do they plan to take action at the meeting, Superintendent Joe Petrone said. First Street road closure A temporary closure is scheduled for First Street between Stock Drive and Preece Avenue beginning Monday and continuing through June 29. Traffic will be detoured around the closure. For more information, call the Moffat County Road and Bridge Department at 824-3211.

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Norman Rockwell Museum curator to offer insights into artist’s work

The images captured on the covers Norman Rockwell painted for The Saturday Evening Post are more than mere paint on canvas. They are a record of a growing nation as it endured two wars, watched Charles Lindbergh take flight and entered the Civil Rights era, said Tom Daly, curator of education at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Mass. The images “really give us a pretty good view of the majority of the 1900s,” he said. Daly will offer presentations at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday at The Center of Craig, 601 Yampa Ave., to give audience members a peek into the historical background of the artist’s work and his creative process. The presentations are free and are offered in conjunction with a temporary display at the Museum of Northwest Colorado showcasing all 323 covers Rockwell illustrated for The Saturday Evening Post.

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Carvers converge in Craig for Whittle the Wood Rendezvous

Wood carvers in the 13th Whittle the Wood Rendezvous began transforming logs into pieces of art Wednesday morning at Loudy-Simpson Park. The 11 competitors planned to sculpt the raw material into a variety of forms, including a pirate ship, the scales of justice and whimsical bears. Residents can watch the carvers in action from 9 a.m. to dusk today, Thursday and Friday and throughout the day Saturday. For more information about Whittle the Wood, call 826-2029 or visit

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Parks and Wildlife tables Sandhill Crane hunting proposal

A proposal from Yampa Valley sportsmen for a limited Sandhill Crane hunt in Northwest Colorado was tabled last week by state officials. On June 7-8 the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission hosted its monthly meeting at the Holiday Inn of Craig, 300 S. Colorado Highway 13. Commissioners were expected to take action on a proposal submitted by local sportsmen earlier in the year for a limited Sandhill Crane hunt in game management units throughout the Yampa Valley. The submitted proposal outlined a quota of 40 birds.

Thursday, June 14

Moffat County Commission districts listed incorrectly on ballots

Republican Party primary election ballots mailed earlier this month contain a mistake. The ballot many registered Moffat County voters received incorrectly lists Audrey Danner and Chuck Grobe as running for the Moffat County Commission’s District 1 seat, and Dave DeRose as running unopposed in District 2. Danner and Grobe should be listed in district 2, and DeRose should be featured in the district 1 slot.

Janet Sheridan: Storing away small things

In late-blooming Craig, we can’t count on Easter; snow too often falls on the hidden eggs. With luck, our spring holidays are Mother's Day, Father’s Day and Memorial Day — three memory-rich celebrations, when hearts envelop loved ones. I’m one of seven children raised by hard-working parents who supported us, molded us and enjoyed us. During a recent family reunion, we visited our parents’ grave. We stood on gentle grass under a fresh sky and told stories of their living and their dying. Our words returned them to us, if only briefly. It’s a gift to remember and share defining details about those you love. I first realized the importance of storing up memories when I visited my dad near the end of his life.

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Report: Colorado coal production, employment on the rise

Production and employment among the state’s 10 active coal mines rose in 2011, according to an annual report released earlier this month by the Colorado Mining Association. Coal production increased by 6 percent, or 26.8 million tons, and bumped Colorado’s ranking up to ninth among the nation’s coal-producing states. Employment also increased by 13 percent to 2,504 statewide miners due mainly to the opening of a new metallurgical mine in southern Colorado, the report states. Despite the positive news, state industry officials cite adverse market conditions and a hostile regulatory environment in their guarded outlook for the future.

On the Record for June 14, 2012

On the Record for June 14, 2012

Colo. wildfire grows but not as much as before

BELLVUE, Colo. (AP) — A wildfire burning in northern Colorado has grown by about 5 square miles to 78 square miles. The growth between Wednesday and Thursday is the lowest seen since the fire started over the weekend. That counted for good news at a fire that hasn't had much.

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Notre Dame dean passes through Craig on cross-country trek

The University of Notre Dame’s dean of the College of Science rode into Craig Tuesday as part of his Road to Discovery bicycle ride. Greg Crawford began his ride on May 21 in Boston, Mass., and has made his way across the country, riding around 80 to 160 miles per day. The ride from Granby to Craig was one of his more difficult, with 120 miles to cover and hills to climb. “It was a long ride today and we had a couple tough hills, plus some serious wind. And it seems like it’s always a head wind. The wind is always in our face,” Crawford said.

Wednesday, June 13

Beetle-stricken trees add to fire crews' concerns

BELLVUE, Colo. (AP) — The northern Colorado wildfire blamed for one death grew Wednesday as firefighters dealt with hot dry weather, shifting winds and hundreds of acres of standing trees killed by pine beetles. The fire, which has spread to 73 square miles, was 10 percent contained. More than 1,000 firefighters worked to protect homes and struggled to keep the blaze from spreading past a highway that runs along a canyon cut by the Cache La Poudre River. Five of the nation's available 17 heavy air tankers were deployed to fight the fire. The fire, which swept through the foothills and canyons 15 miles west of Fort Collins, crossed the highway Tuesday and burned 25 acres before crews extinguished the blaze. "With these kinds of difficult fires, I've learned to have low expectations," said Incident Cmdr. Bill Hahnenberg.

On the Record for June 13, 2012

On the Record for June 13, 2012

Moffat County Commission passes fire ban resolution

The Moffat County Commissioners approved, 2-0, Resolution 2012-72 on Tuesday establishing a fire ban in unincorporated portions of Moffat County. The ban takes effect immediately. Among the activities prohibited include the burning of trash, fence rows, debris and vegetation; lighting a camp fire or charcoal grill outside of developed recreation areas featuring permanent fire pits with grates; smoking outside in non-designated areas; operating a chainsaw without a U.S. Department of Agriculture-approved spark arresting device; welding or using an open-flamed torch that is not clear of flammable materials for at least 10 feet on all sides; using explosives requiring fuses or blasting caps; and the discharge of any fireworks.

Craig Chamber of Commerce Board meeting agenda

When: 11:30 a.m. Thursday Where: Craig Chamber of Commerce conference room, 360 E. Victory Way. Agenda: • Call meeting to order

Moss homers twice in A's win at Colorado

Brandon Moss has put on quite a power display since being recalled by the Oakland Athletics. Moss hit two home runs, Bartolo Colon settled down after a rough start to pitch effectively for five innings, and the Athletics beat the Colorado Rockies 8-5 on Tuesday night. Since coming up from Triple-A Sacramento last Wednesday, Moss has five hits and three home runs. "Any time you're new to the team and it's the middle of the year, you want to come in and produce right away," said Moss, a non-roster invitee to spring training after he spent most of last season in the Philadelphia Phillies' organization.

More residents evacuated from near Colo. Wildfire

Firefighters made progress Tuesday in slowing down a northern Colorado wildfire blamed for one death and damage to more than 100 structures, even as more residents were evacuated. The fire burning 15 miles west of Fort Collins was 10 percent contained Tuesday. "We haven't turned the corner yet, but we have made progress," fire incident command spokesman Steve Segin said. Even after the fire is fully contained, it could be the fall before flames are completely out, Segin said.

Democrats hold on to Arizona congressional seat

Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' hand-picked Democratic candidate won a special election Tuesday in southern Arizona to finish her term, defeating a Republican who narrowly lost to Giffords in 2010. The race was a hard-fought preview of the broader fall campaign as the two political parties used the contest to hone and test their political arguments for the November elections, when everything from the White House on down will be on the ballot. Giffords had stepped down earlier this year to focus on her recovery from the gunshot wound she suffered in 2011 during a shooting rampage at a Tucson, Ariz., parking lot that killed six people and wounded 13. One of the wounded was Ron Barber, an aide to the congresswoman who will now serve the remainder of her term. Republicans, sensing a chance to capture the seat, sought to make the special election a referendum on President Barack Obama and his handling of the economy. They argued that Barber, who was asked by the lawmaker to pursue the seat, would fall in line behind the White House.

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MCHS girls hoops team takes on local talent in summer scrimmages

Even over the summer, the Moffat County High School girls basketball team is keeping its intensity. The Bulldogs hosted games with other local high schools at MCHS Tuesday in order to stay sharp. Despite taking place during the offseason, the coaches were still yelling and the players still going at full speed. MCHS played against Steamboat Springs High School, Little Snake River Valley High School, Meeker High School and Hayden High School. The teams scrimmaged or ran through full-speed drills against each other for 20 minutes at a time. Head coach Matt Ray said he was pleased with his players’ performance overall.

Letter: Fact checking SB12-002

In the referenced article "Three who agree," you state “SB12-002, Concerning the Authorization of Civil Unions, would have granted same sex couples the right to marry.” Please print a correction to this statement in that SB12-002 would have allowed same sex couples to file a civil union with the State of Colorado, thus allowing them similar, (while not yet equal) rights and privileges as held by the majority. It is misunderstandings like this that keeps our local population confused and unclear about the rights denied to gay Coloradans on a daily basis. I would like to add a post-script to Representative Randy Baumgardner.

Letter: College student searching for employment

I am writing to you because I am looking for a job but it seems employers want only long-term people who can work more than the summer months. I am a college student at Colorado State University and I came back to get a job here in my hometown, but it seems I am lucking out on every job that I applied at. I know I made mistakes in the past here in Craig, and I want people to realize that I am not the same person I was about five to six years ago.

Letter: Audrey Danner for County Commissioner

To the editor: We endorse Audrey Danner for Moffat County Commissioner in District 2. Audrey has lived in Moffat County for more than three decades and raised her family here. During that time, she has been involved in our schools, our community, and our politics, always working to improve the quality of life in our area.

Letter: In support of Audrey Danner

We would like to write our letter in support of Audrey Danner for Moffat County Commissioner. To our knowledge, all the candidates possess qualities that make them great public servants, however Audrey edges them out in experience and balance. Without Audrey, our county commissioners will consist of two rookie commissioners. At least half of the role of commissioner is being a county administrator, and we need that administrative experience. To explain my reason of balance, Audrey is best versed in representing all facets of Moffat County. She has contacts and relationships with town, country, energy, business, agriculture, recreation and environment entities and carefully represents them all.

Editorial: Pause, reflect and respect

It's sad but entirely true that sometimes it takes unfortunate things happening to others to make us truly appreciative and grateful for the people and things we have in life. The editorial board came to such a conclusion at its Monday meeting after reading about the circumstances that befell 44-year-old Craig resident Kenny Savage last week. Savage was sleeping in his 20-foot camper on east Fourth Street early Thursday morning, near the Moffat County Fairgrounds, when it caught fire. The blaze consumed Savage's home and all his belongings. Far too often, as people and as a society, we get caught up, focusing on things wrong or missing from our lives. The self-help industry, with all its gooey feel-gooderies and shallow promises, preys on these American cravings for more, more, more. We pursue what we believe will fill the void, only to learn later we had what we needed all along.

Craig Daily Press adds to advertising staff

The Craig Daily Press added a new member to its advertising team this week with the addition of Josh Cook. A native of Jacksonville, Fla., Cook, 38, will serve as events coordinator/advertising consultant for the newspaper, specializing in social networking development. “I’m excited about building social media business and advertising as well as bringing the Daily Press’ online and social media advertising up to date,” Cook said. Daily Press Advertising Manager Bonnie Stewart said the addition of Cook provides an important skillset for the newspaper’s advertising department.

Craig police chief presents council with expenses from Romney visit

On Tuesday night, Craig Police Chief Walt Vanatta presented the Craig City Council a cost analysis for the three city departments that assisted with May’s campaign stop by Republican Party presidential candidate Mitt Romney. In addition to police officers running crowd control, the city’s road and bridge and parks and recreation departments issued road closures, detours and provided equipment to Romney campaign staffers. Among the three departments, Vanatta estimated a total cost of approximately $19,700 when factoring regular and overtime pay, and equipment usage. But that figure is somewhat skewed, Vanatta said, because $5,625 of the $19,700 total consists of regular time pay for a variety of city employees already scheduled to work that day. “The loss occurs because they couldn’t perform their normal duties and were dedicated to this event,” Vanatta said. “The dollars would have been spent anyway, but it’s a ‘soft loss’ because of the loss of productivity.”

Briefs for June 13: Community Bible study on Thursdays

A community Bible study takes place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. every Thursday. Locations are subject to change. Call 629-1098 for the location or more information. Last pre-farmers market meeting Thursday The last pre-market meeting for Craig Farmers Market venders will take place from 6 to 7 p.m. Thursday at Downtown Books, 543 Yampa Ave. Weather permitting, the meeting will adjourn and reconvene in Alice Pleasant Park to review the market layout.

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‘Cowboy Saturday night’: 1st Wild West Weekend draws a crowd with traditional lineup

Sure, bull riding and barrel racing are entertaining to watch, Stephanie Ahlstrom said. But for rodeo-goers who want a taste of what happens on a working ranch, the bronc riding and sheep hooking events at the first Wild West Weekend hosted Saturday were the real deal, said Ahlstrom, one of the event’s volunteers. Wild West Weekend also featured a barbecue and dance with live music provided by the Baggs, Wyo., band “Train Wreck,” and drew an estimated 300 to 400 people to the Moffat County Fairgrounds. “For a first-year event … we were thrilled with the turnout,” said Glenda Bellio, one of the event’s committee members.

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Local teacher weighs in for Obama campaign

A local teacher offered her view Tuesday about the Republican presidential frontrunner’s recent comments about public sector jobs. “I guess I should have been surprised when Mitt Romney said that the path to economic prosperity is to cut teacher jobs, but honestly, I wasn’t shocked,” said Cheryl Arnett, a Sunset Elementary School first- and second-grade teacher. She and Mark Ferrandino, Colorado House of Representatives minority leader, were invited to weigh in on education during a conference call Tuesday with President Barack Obama's campaign staff. The call was in response to comments Romney made Friday during a campaign rally in Iowa. Romney, who visited Craig last month on the campaign trail, criticized the president’s job creation plan, saying, “(Obama) says we need more firemen, more policemen, more teachers,” reported. “Did he not get the message in Wisconsin?” the website quoted Romney as saying in reference to a failed recall election last week to oust Republican Gov. Scott Walker. “The American people did. It’s time for us to cut back on government and help the American people.” Romney’s remarks drew fire from Ferrandino, D-Denver.

Tuesday, June 12

Smoke from wildfire 60 miles away blankets Denver

(AP) — A northern Colorado wildfire 60 miles away wrapped Denver in a pungent cloud of smoke for several hours Tuesday and complicated the aerial offensive against the spreading mountain blaze, which has killed one person and destroyed more than 100 structures. Downtown Denver was shrouded in an orange glow before a blanket of cold air trapping the fire pollution evaporated. The foothills stretching north to Fort Collins were virtually obscured by smoke, while closer to the 68-square-mile blaze, visibility on some highways was just a mile. State health officials urged the elderly, children and those prone to asthma to stay indoors. Smoke temporarily grounded the air attack on the High Park Fire, centered some 15 miles northwest of Fort Collins. Helicopters and tanker planes took to the skies by midday.

Lance Scranton: The important roles of different dads

Fathers play a critical and important role in the success of our culture for a variety of reasons that are well documented. However, it seems that as with most positions in life based on ourselves becoming less of the focus, the role of a father is becoming less prestigious than it once might have been in a culture that can be very self-centered. So, to all the fathers out there who regard the responsibility of being a beacon for legitimate and valuable parenting, I salute you and offer the following models of dads that make a difference. As I was growing up, I never once considered the thought that my father might someday decide to chuck all the responsibility of being a family dad so he could selfishly explore the things he might have “missed” while being married and blame it on a mid-life crisis.

Firefighters make progress on Colo., N.M. wildfires

Grayish-brown smoke from a large wildfire blamed for killing a woman in her home blanketed the foothills of northern Colorado on Tuesday. The 68-square-mile Colorado wildfire has damaged more than 100 structures and forced hundreds of people from their homes. However, firefighters there and at a 56-square-mile fire burning in southern New Mexico have begun to make some progress digging line around the blazes. In Colorado, a smoky haze stretched early in the day from near the Wyoming border to the Denver area, signaling good news for firefighters. The smoke was trapped by cool air and calm skies, National Weather Service meteorologist Frank Cooper said. Strong winds that helped spread blaze in Colorado and New Mexico over the weekend carried smoke as far away as Kansas and Nebraska at the time.

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Home Improvement

Refresh your home with these do-it-yourself improvements ideas

Whether you want to improve your home for reselling or for your own-self use these ideas to make it exciting and up to date and maintain an affordable budget. Often while thinking of home improvement or remodeling, the smallest of details make a huge discrepancy.

On the Record for June 12, 2012

On the Record for June 12, 2012

Officials comment on Hayden, Dinosaur casino projects

A group of Yampa Valley business partners announced in March their interest in developing a venture new to Northwest Colorado. After more than 50 meetings with a variety of entities the past six months, Steamboat Springs resident Steve Hofman said Monday the time to present to the public information for an Indian gaming facility in Hayden is approaching. “We have understood from the very beginning that not only would the opportunity for public comment and input be appropriate, but essential,” Hofman said. “We fully anticipate having those discussions and having the public ask questions we believe we have answers to, and if they ask questions we don’t have answers to, then we’re going to be obligated to get them answers. “That’s been our approach through this entire process.”

Monday, June 11

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3 MCHS cowboys heading to national rodeo event

The Moffat County High School rodeo team is sending three members to the national competition in Wyoming after solid performances at the state rodeo. Rising seniors Wyatt Uptain and Garrett Buckley have qualified in saddle bronc (riding a saddled bronco for eight seconds), while Uptain and Denton Taylor, who just finished his freshman year at MCHS, qualified together in dally team roping. The state competition was last Thursday through Sunday at Lamar Community College in Lamar. Buckley was unable to compete due to a broken collarbone, but his performance at rodeos earlier in the year was already good enough to qualify him for nationals. Uptain, meanwhile, starred at the state competition, winning the all-around individual state championship and placing first in saddle bronc while he and Taylor finished third in team roping.

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CNCC student housing on hold

College students who hoped to move into new student housing in Craig this year shouldn’t start packing just yet. Plans to build a residence hall at Colorado Northwestern Community College’s Craig campus are on hold for another year or two, Campus Vice President Gene Bilodeau said. “We’ve had to hold off now just given the budget climate and some of the other needs of the institution,” he said. Bilodeau and CNCC President Russell George discussed the postponement with CNCC Board members Thursday.

At the Movies: Darker ‘Snow White’ is still pretty mild

If you feel like you’ve already seen the fantasy “Snow White & the Huntsman,” that’s no shock, considering every fairy tale has hit the big screen in one form or another throughout the history of cinema. With this particular princess story, your last viewing may have been a little more recent, so which of the pair is the fairest of them all?

On the Record for Monday, June 11, 2012

On the Record for Monday, June 11, 2012

Colo. wildfire burns 14,000 acres, 18 structures

Authorities in northern Colorado say Mother Nature is running a wildfire that has grown to 14,000 acres in a day. Hundreds of people have been evacuated because of the fire, which has been spreading erratically in dry fuels and windy conditions. It's spread downhill in some areas, which is unusual, and jumped and skipped in some places, leaving unburned areas within the fire zone. It sent up heavy smoke and created an eerie, orange dusk in the middle of the day on Sunday.

Sheriff: Colo. man kills 2 family members, himself

A southwestern Colorado man who was angered over an inheritance killed two family members and then himself, authorities said Sunday. The bodies of 69-year-old William Decker, his 67-year-old sister Billie Decker, and her 40-year-old son Robert Decker were found Friday. La Plata County Sheriff's office said Sunday night that investigation and autopsy results showed William Decker killed the other two and then took own life. William Decker was unhappy over an inheritance distribution following the death of his mother in April, the sheriff's department said in a release. It did not provide details.

'Once' crowned best musical at the Tony Awards

The bittersweet musical "Once" captured the hearts of Tony Award voters on Sunday night, winning eight trophies and earning bragging rights as the top musical on Broadway, even as most shows came away with at least something to crow about. "It's just amazing," said Cristin Milioti, the female lead in "Once," of her show's Tony haul, as she made a quick trip through the elaborate food stations at the gala post-Tony party at the Plaza Hotel. Bruce Norris' "Clybourne Park," the remarkably perceptive Pulitzer Prize-winning play about race and real estate, won the best play Tony. Audra McDonald was named best lead actress in a musical and her "The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess" was named best musical revival. This is her fifth Tony Award, tying the competitive record held by Angela Lansbury and Julie Harris. "I was a little girl with a potbelly and afro puffs, hyperactive and overdramatic. And I found the theater, and I found my home," McDonald said. Looking down at her daughter from the stage, she said her big night wasn't as wonderful as the night her daughter was born. Her one-time co-star in "110 in the Shade," Steve Kazee, a 36-year-old rising star and guitar player with matinee idol looks, emerged as best actor in a musical, and broke down thinking of his mother, who died Easter Sunday.

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Craig artists featured in ‘Our Town’ photo exhibit in Denver

For Craig residents Janele Husband and Kathy Simpson, there's always been a certain love affair with photography. Husband received her first camera at 10, and Simpson was fortunate enough to take an old film camera on a photo shoot in Africa. After a lifetime of experimentation with the hobby, Husband and Simpson recently decided to do something neither photographer had done before — submit their work to a statewide competition. In March, Husband and Simpson answered a call for entries from Creative Capitol for an exhibit called “Our Town, Colorado.”

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Efforts underway to help Craig resident who lost home to blaze

A fundraising effort is underway for a longtime Craig resident who lost his home Thursday morning to a fire. Kenny Savage, 44, was asleep in his 20-foot camper at approximately 4 a.m. Thursday on east Fourth Street near the Moffat County Fairgrounds when his space heater tipped over and burnt a hole in the floor. Craig Fire/Rescue firefighters responded to the scene, but were unable to save the camper Savage was using as his permanent home or any of his possessions inside. Savage was wrapping up nearly three years of improvements to his camper.

Sports Briefs for June 11: Youth Hockey looking for coaches to travel with team

The Craig Youth Hockey Association is looking for volunteer coaches to travel with the team. Each age group needs volunteers: 9 to 10 “squirt” division, 11 to 12 “peewees,” 13 to 14 “bantams” and 15 to 18 “midgets.” The hockey association is available to help children and teenagers who want to learn to play the sport, whether it’s learning how to skate or basics of how the game is played. The program, gearing up for its second year of operation, serves children from 5 to 18 years old. Anyone interested in being involved with coaching should contact Rick Villa, CYHA Director of Coaches, at 824-6627 or 629-9367 to volunteer.

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Former UW wrestling standout instructs youth grapplers in Hayden

Youth wrestlers from Craig and Hayden were given first-class teaching by a former NCAA All-American over the weekend at Hayden High School. Moffat County High School wrestling coaches Roman Gutierrez and Chad Jones put on a wrestling camp for students from elementary through high school. Leading the Friday and Saturday camp was Joe Leblanc, a four-time NCAA All-American for the University of Wyoming. Leblanc taught wrestlers basic wrestling techniques like double legs and half-nelsons, which he considers to be the key to a successful wrestling career.

Metal concert set for Thursday in Craig

When Sam Johnson came to his hometown of Craig last summer, his intent was to rock the place. With that mission accomplished, the only thing left to do is repeat the feat, only bigger. Denver metal band Dissonance in Design will perform Thursday night at The Center of Craig along with multiple other musical acts from around the Denver area. The show is a return for some of the bands, who performed in June 2011 at Thunder Rolls Bowling Center as part of “The Ugly Circus.” At the time, Johnson fronted a metal band dubbed Sunday Massacre, along with fellow Craig native Evan Hertzog. Johnson and Hertzog joined Dissonance, who also performed with “The Ugly Circus” as a two-piece band, after breaking up with Sunday Massacre. “Sunday will always be a great band and a lot of people still love it, but Dissonance is a whole new monster and we’ve created our own little universe,” Johnson said. The lineup for Dissonance in Design consists of vocalist Johnson, Hertzog on bass, drummer Zac Patuto and Harrison Patuto on guitar.

Letter: In support of Audrey Danner

I am writing to strongly urge Moffat County voters to re-elect Audrey Danner for Moffat County Commissioner. I have known Audrey for more than 30 years and have worked with her professionally on many successful projects. First and foremost, I know Audrey as a person of exemplary integrity and open-mindedness. She is an intelligent, conscientious and committed commissioner who does her homework.

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Bulldog Sports for June 11

Today 5:15 p.m. Craig Parks and Recreation baseball plays at Loudy-Simpson Park, 500 S. Ranney St. 6 p.m. Craig Parks and Recreation baseball plays at Woodbury Sports Complex, 350 Mack Lane. Tuesday 5:45 p.m. Craig Parks and Recreation T-ball plays at Woodbury Sports Complex, 350 Mack Lane. 6:45 p.m. Craig Parks and Recreation coach pitch baseball plays at Woodbury Sports Complex, 350 Mack Lane. Wednesday 5:15 p.m. Craig Parks and Recreation baseball plays at Loudy-Simpson Park, 500 S. Ranney St.

Briefs for June 11: Fourth of July Parade practice today

The first practice for the Fourth of July parade marching band is scheduled for 7 to 9 p.m. today in the band room at Moffat County High School, 900 Finley Lane. For more information, call band director John Bolton at 824-1196. Planning and Zoning meeting canceled The Craig Planning and Zoning Commission meeting scheduled for June 18 has been canceled. For more information about other Planning and Zoning meetings, call 824-8151.

Senior Spotlight for June 11: A beautiful day in the neighborhood

It was a beautiful day in the neighborhood. The wind was somewhere else for a while, and it was quite nice. Over the weekend, my family and I were doing birthdays because this month is one in which we have several. We have some on the same day even, and it sometimes seems like we have one every day. For fun, we get together on the weekends and bunch some of them up. Anyway, happy birthday to Amber Guice Southard, Roy James, Kaley Gill, Ena Pearl, Sarah Faye Paulson, Donald Davison and Linda Sandoval.

Sunday, June 10

Cast and Blast event set for July 1 in Craig

Colorado Parks and Wildlife, in cooperation with the Northwest Colorado Outfitters Chapter, Northwest Ready Mix, Safari Club International and Wyman Museum, will host a free family Cast and Blast event from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 1 at Wyman Museum, the agency reported in a news release. The event will include lessons on the basics of shooting, archery and fishing taught by CPW officers and volunteers, according to the release. “It’s a great opportunity for an entire family, from young kids to moms and dads, to learn about these popular outdoor activities together,” District Wildlife Officer Mike Swaro said in the release. Fishing equipment will be available for free, however using personal equipment is fine. Equipment for the shooting and archery lessons will be provided and participants are asked to leave personal equipment for those activities at home, the release stated. In addition to shooting and fishing lessons, the event will include a fur exhibit and a black powder firearms demonstration.

Centennial Mall shifting toward new direction

Many businesses have come and gone from Centennial Mall in recent years, but now under new operating guidelines, some of them may be finding a more permanent home. Since stepping into the position of leasing and property manager for the mall, 1111 W. Victory Way, Eric Tegl has tried to bring out the best the mall has to offer. Tegl took over in December 2011. “It’s definitely a whole new attitude,” Tegl said. “Aesthetically, it’s been painted, all the landscaping’s cleaned up, and a lot of other things are still going to be done, like improving signage and that big sign out by the highway will replaced.” Tegl added he hopes to see a greater flow of tenants taking available spaces within the complex, joining recent additions like the Moffat County Tourism Association office space and Fastenal, among others. “We really want the community to know that there’s a lot of flexibility with the leasing space and rates and it’s a really great spot,” he said. “All indications are we’ll be having a couple great new tenants coming in soon, so I’m not sure how many vacancies there will be soon.”

Hazardous material spilled as result of crash near Dinosaur

A Friday night crash on Colorado Highway 64, about four miles east of Dinosaur in Rio Blanco County, resulted in the spill of hazardous material, the Colorado State Patrol reported Sunday in a news release. The crash occurred about 7:45 p.m., near mile post 6, a rural area of Rio Blanco County. A 2012 Volvo tractor driven by Roy Dunker, 55, of Clifton, was traveling west on the highway when he failed to negotiate a curve to the right and his truck and trailer rolled over on the driver's side. The truck and trailer came to a rest off the south side of the roadway in a shallow ditch, the state patrol reported. Dunker, troopers stated, was hauling a dry box trailer with sodium hydroxide, and during the crash an unknown amount spilled into a shallow area off the south side of the highway. Dunker was operating the truck for Knight Transportation. The driver had minor injuries in the rollover and was treated and released from Rangely District Hospital. Clean-up crews worked through Friday night and into Saturday morning to remove the tractor, trailer and load from the scene.

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‘Strive to be the best’: Five minutes with Jordan Porter, 18, instructor at Gymstar Fun N Fit Gymnastics

Where is your hometown? “I was born in Denver.” When did you first move to Craig? “We moved here when I was 5 because my dad got transferred to Hayden for his job and they found a place in Craig.” Motto or outlook on life? “Always strive to be the best that you can be.” When did you first get started in your job? “I’ve been coaching for five years, and I work with kids up to 14. I did gymnastics from when I was 2 to 16. My mom and I were watching the Olympics when I was little and I started doing cartwheels on the edge of her table and she said, ‘We’re taking you and putting you in gymnastics.’ It takes a lot of hard work, and I really enjoy competing and learning a lot about responsibility and just really growing up. You give your life to this sport.”

Saturday, June 9

Powerful storms damage homes in Colo., Wyo.

A rare, quarter-mile-wide tornado cut a swath across mainly open country in southeastern Wyoming, ripping off roofs and shingles, destroying outbuildings and derailing empty train cars. The twister, which carried winds of up to 135 mph, was part of a powerful storm system that rolled through parts of Colorado and Wyoming on Thursday, packing heavy rains, high winds and hail. The storms followed a round of nasty late spring weather that pummeled the region. The tornado passed through a sparsely populated area near Wheatland, a small city about 70 miles north of Cheyenne. It left eight structures heavily damaged and caused lesser damage three structures, said Kelly Ruiz of the state's Office of Homeland Security. Some power lines also were downed. Only one person suffered minor injuries. Kim Eike said the tornado went right over her house, which was still standing, though battered. "We lost a camper, it blew out the windows in our house, blew off the shingles clear down to the plywood, but we didn't lose the roof," Eike, whose property is about 8 miles south of Wheatland, said Friday. Eike was watching the twister with co-workers at First State Bank in Wheatland when one pointed out it was near Eike's house. She said the pig barn and door from the main barn also were lost. No one was home at the time, she said, noting that a couple in another house in the area rode out the storm in their basement. Don Farrier, a Wheatland restaurateur, said his house about 6.5 miles from Wheatland was damaged and will need a new roof. He said he lost some trees, and a shed on his property was knocked down. Farrier was at his restaurant when he saw the tornado and decided to drive toward his home. "I stopped and watched it for a while," he said. "It sure wasn't moving very fast, but you could tell it was a big tornado for this part of the country."

3 bodies found in single day in La Plata County

La Plata County sheriff's officials are investigating the deaths of three people whose bodies were found on the same day. Sheriff's deputies investigating a report of suspicious circumstances Friday at a home near the New Mexico border on Colorado Highway 140 found a man's body hanging in a barn in what initially appeared to be a possible suicide. While checking the rest of the property, they found a foot protruding from freshly dug dirt near a riverbank and recovered another man's body. Using information found at the home, sheriff's officials asked police to check on a woman at a home in Durango. Officers found a woman's body there. Investigators wouldn't release other details but say they do not believe there is a suspect at large.

Lindsay Lohan OK after wreck on coastal highway

Lindsay Lohan emerged uninjured from a collision with a dump truck on a coastal highway near Los Angeles on Friday, returning to the set of her new movie hours after the accident left the sports car she was driving crumpled. Santa Monica Police Sgt. Richard Lewis said there was no sign Lohan was driving while impaired and that his agency would continue to investigate who was at fault in the wreck. The truck's driver was uninjured and that driver also showed no signs of driving under the influence, Lewis said. "We're treating this as a regular accident," Lewis said. The accident at around 11:40 a.m. Friday on the Pacific Coast Highway occurred while Lohan was on her way to film scenes for the Lifetime movie "Liz and Dick," which chronicles the love affair between Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. Lohan's publicist Steve Honig said the actress was released about two hours after the accident and was returned to the set to continue filming. "Fortunately, no one was seriously injured in the accident," he wrote in an email. Lohan was driving with her assistant, who police said was not seriously injured. "First and foremost, we're concerned about the well-being of Lindsay and anyone else who may have been involved in the accident," Lifetime spokesman Les Eisner said, adding, "Lindsay has been doing fantastic work on the set of 'Liz and Dick.'"

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Moffat County School District reading scores edge upward

The Moffat County School District is seeing gains in third-grade reading scores on the state’s standardized test. According to preliminary data the Colorado Department of Education released last month, 68 percent of the school district’s third-graders, on average, scored proficient and advanced on the Transitional Colorado Assessment Program test. That’s a 4-percent gain from last year’s Colorado Student Assessment Program results. Assistant Superintendent Brent Curtice lauded the students’ performance. “I’m pleased with our third-grade class,” he said. “I’m very pleased. I think they’ve done very well as compared to the third-grade classes before them, as the data represents. “They have a lot of work to go, but we all do.” Launched this year, TCAP is a temporary test “designed to support school districts as they transition to the new Colorado Academic Standards,” the Department of Education reported in a news release. School districts are scheduled to receive official third-grade TCAP reading scores, along with results from all other test areas, in mid-July, said Jo O’Brien, Colorado Department of Education assistant commissioner. Curtice cited Sandrock Elementary School’s scores as a high point. Preliminary results show 71 percent of the school’s third-graders scored proficient and advanced on the reading test, compared to 45 percent in 2010. Sandrock Elementary Principal Kamisha Siminoe was not available for comment Friday. Scores at Sunset and Ridgeview elementary schools were similar, with 74 and 70 percent of students scoring proficient and advanced, respectively. Data was unavailable for Maybell Elementary School. East Elementary School was the sole outlier, with 58 percent of its students scoring proficient or better on the test. That figure falls in line with the school’s third-grade reading score during the past several years. “We’re not happy with our scores,” East Elementary Principal Sarah Hepworth said. “We’re glad they didn’t go down … but we anticipate that they’ll get better because we’re getting better at analyzing the data."

Listen to a veteran — it shows respect

Despite 10 years of continual conflict, the American people apparently are divorced from reality when it comes to those in uniform. The diminishing number of bumper stickers supporting troops does not tell the full story. These and the familiar refrain, “Thank you for your service,” reflect nice gestures, but mask a larger disconnect between defenders and the defended. A survey released by the Pew Research Center in October 2011 shows this beyond a doubt. An astounding 75 percent of Americans believe it's not unfair for the all-volunteer Armed Forces to assume virtually the complete burden of combating Islamic terrorism. After all, said those polled, it's “just part of being in the military.” In other words, the public is perfectly content to let a fraction of a percent of the population shoulder full responsibility for its safety. Members of the military have been all too aware of such sentiments for a long time. Despite the conventional wisdom about what younger veterans supposedly want, there is every indication that they, too, want to share their stories. Invite them to a Veterans of Foreign Wars Post or American Legion event and listen. It shows respect. Provide whatever help you can in our community to those in need. Make sure the disconnect between the public and the veteran does not include the VFW or American Legion. My next article will include facts about American veterans, research programs and information about the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program. New programs available to veterans New programs have recently been implemented for: • Veterans who may qualify for additional education benefits. • Unemployed veterans with a serviced-connected disability who may qualify for additional vocational rehabilitation and employment benefits. • Businesses that hire veterans and may earn tax credits. • Special employers that qualify for incentives. I have information on these programs in my office. Come in and I can give you all the information on any of these programs.

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Parks and Rec director turned passion for outdoors into a career

Dave Pike doesn’t fit the profile of a button-down public official. His skin is tanned to dark bronze, and a baseball cap and sunglasses look as natural on him as a collared shirt and tie would on his colleagues in other Craig City Hall offices. What Pike does for a living doesn’t jive with the popular notion of municipal government, either. City council meetings and budget season factor into his work, but they aren’t what his department is all about. “Everyone says we’re the Fun Department,” the Parks and Recreation director said Friday morning. He’s coached every sports program the department offers — basketball, football, soccer and T-ball are just a sampling — and he’s not shy about officiating if he’s shorthanded, he said. “Whether it’s kids learning to swim or the first time that they get up and get a base hit in baseball … it’s kind of rewarding to know that you were part of that process,” said Pike, 55. He landed in the Parks and Recreation director’s chair after taking a detour that required a uniform and a firm hand. As a newly minted Colorado State University graduate with a degree in outdoor recreation and park administration, he tried being a park ranger at Steamboat Lake State Park. But, as Pike would realize, he wasn’t cut out to be an enforcer. He wasn’t keen on the idea of “writing tickets when people were having fun,” he said. He found his niche in municipal government, taking a job at the Fort Collins Parks and Recreation Department and later landing the director’s role in the Monte Vista Parks and Recreation Department. His career in the field now 28 years and counting, he said, Not long after his arrival in Craig in 1996, he stumbled upon what would likely be a crown jewel in his career. It began with a problem. Trees that had graced what was then known as Craig City Park were dying and posing a hazard to park-goers, he said.

School district budgets for $200K in deficit spending for FY 2013

With enrollment expected to inch downward and state funding still bleak, the Moffat County School District is budgeting to be $200,000 in the red for fiscal year 2013. The school district slashed spending by more than $2.5 million since fiscal year 2011 and hasn’t purchased textbooks or curriculum supplies in two years, Finance Director Mark Rydberg told Moffat County School Board members during a special meeting Thursday. A possible increase in specific ownership tax revenue and future mineral lease royalties could add to school district coffers. But Rydberg didn’t encourage being overly optimistic Thursday as board members conducted a public hearing on the proposed budget. “We’re not out of the woods,” he said. A dwindling student count, coupled with reduced state funding, were the major players in the budgeted $200,000 deficit. Districts receive state money based on a formula that multiples student enrollment by the amount the state pays per pupil. Moffat County’s enrollment continues to decline, and it’s expected to drop by 3 percent in the 2013 fiscal year alone, according to school district budget documents. The negative factor — or the difference between what the state should be paying districts per school finance laws and what it can afford to pay them — also continues to pummel the district’s bottom line. Colorado legislators passed an amendment in 2011 allowing for the negative factor when the state can’t afford to pay its mandated share for K-12 education. The school board will appropriate the school district’s reserves when it adopts the budget June 28, so it won’t be required to pass a budget amendment if it dips into rainy-day funds. Budgeting a deficit was a choice to “support our teachers” and other staff members, Superintendent Joe Petrone said.

Fire training facility to be built on site near Kmart

Craig Rural Fire Protection District officials are in the process of developing plans to build a live fire training simulator on an alternate site near Kmart. Dave Costa, Craig building inspector, said Friday he received a visit from Todd Ficken, of Niwot-based F&D International, LLC, to withdraw the fire department’s application for a building permit on land near Colorado Northwestern Community College and The Memorial Hospital in Craig. F&D International is an architectural and engineering firm and Ficken is serving as project manager for the training tower, which is estimated to cost $1.5 million. “(The fire department’s) engineer was in my office this morning expressing his disappointment that they didn’t get the land transfer at the CNCC subdivision,” Costa said Friday. “(Ficken) indicated to me that he will be submitting a new site plan specific to the land the (fire department) owns on Industrial Avenue on the backside of Kmart.” The decision to move locations was made following Thursday’s CNCC Board meeting, when college officials were expected to vote on a land transfer resolution between CNCC and the fire district. But, the issue never got to a vote. “I’ve never had a situation where we didn’t have a vote because of a lack of a second (to a motion),” CNCC Board Chairman Jim Loughran said. “I think it’s dead, but I’m not sure. “There’s always the potential to bring it up again, but it’s dead. Right now, I would say it’s not going to happen. It’s in (the fire board’s) hands. We’re not going to contact them.” Byron Willems, fire board president, said Friday fire officials do not plan to approach CNCC about a land transfer for the live fire simulator again in the future. “We appreciate their offer of the land, but it’s a little bit of a disappointment that we spent two years working on the project on land that was offered,” Willems said. “I’m sure (the board’s decision) had a lot to do with public pressure. “We’re committed as a fire board to provide the best training for our firemen. We’re moving forward, we’re not looking back.” Fire officials had touted the construction of a live fire simulator on CNCC land as phase one of what would become a second fire station. Willems said the fire board’s long-term vision of building a second station is on hold for now. “It’s not ideal, but it will work,” Willems said. “It’s definitely not ideal for Station 2, not that I am advocating it is in our immediate future, but for our board the focus is the training center.” Willems said some CNCC Board members voiced an interest in discussing a future land transfer agreement for a second fire station in Craig because of the close proximity to the campus and hospital, but other college officials believe future talks are unlikely.

Briefs for June 9: Wild West Weekend today

Wild West Weekend takes place today at the Moffat County Fairgrounds. An old-fashioned barbecue is scheduled for 5 p.m. The meal costs $12 per person, and children younger than 5 eat free. Bronc riding and sheep hooking events take place at 6 p.m. Admission costs $5 per person, and children younger than 5 enter for free. A dance takes place from 9 p.m. Saturday to 1 a.m. Sunday and features music provided by Train Wreck, a group from Baggs, Wyo. The event costs $5 per person and $8 for couples. Event passes can be purchased in advance for $15 and are available at Wyman Museum, 94350 E. U.S. Highway 40; Murdoch’s Ranch & Home parking lot, 2355 W. Victory Way; and the Craig Chamber of Commerce, 360 E. Victory Way. Event passes cost $18 at the gate. A portion of event proceeds go to FFA Alumni and Wyman Museum. For more information, call Glenda at 824-8621 or visit Adopt-a-thon set for today “Second-chance Saturday,” a discount adopt-a-thon, takes place from 9 a.m. to noon today at Bear Creek Animal Hospital/Craig Animal Shelter, 2430 E. Victory Way. All shelter animals are $60 to adopt. The regular price is $115. The cost includes spay and neuter operations, vaccinations and feline leukemia tests. For more information, call Ann at 620-2014. Pioneer Picnic slated for Sunday in Steamboat Springs The Routt County Pioneer Picnic is scheduled for Sunday at the Steamboat Springs Community Center. Registration begins at 12:30 p.m. Beef and drinks are provided.

Letter: CNCC board made the right decision

To the editor: There is conscience and reality in Craig after all. Big congratulations to the Colorado Northwestern Community College Board for not granting the land to the fire district's out-of-bounds plan. Thank you for actually listening to the citizens that you represent. Kathy Shea

Sports Briefs for June 9: MCHS girls basketball to host games Tuesday in Craig

The Moffat County High School girls basketball team is playing a total of 34 games this summer, and will host a mini-tournament of sorts at MCHS next week. Head coach Matt Ray said the tournament is a means of getting players on the court in game situations. The Bulldogs will be facing all local competition from Hayden High School, Little Snake River Valley High School in Baggs, Wyo., and Steamboat Springs High School. The Bulldogs basketball team is moving down from Class 4A to 3A this season and Ray wants to get as much work as possible in during June and July before volleyball season begins and some players are unavailable. The team is playing all over Northwest Colorado this summer. Legacy High School player named Gatorade Softball Player of the Year Rainey Gaffin was named the 2011-12 Gatorade Colorado Softball Player of the Year by Gatorade and ESPNHS on June 6. It was her second straight year winning the award. Gaffin, a senior pitcher from Legacy High School in Broomfield, led her team to its fifth consecutive Class 5A state championship this season. On the mound, she posted a 22-2 record with a 1.74 earned run average. She also batted .591 with 15 home runs and 48 RBI. Gaffin has won several awards this season. She garnered MVP honors at the Class 5A state tournament, was a First Team All-State selection and was named All-Colorado Player of the Year by The Denver Post. Gaffin earned a 3.37 GPA and helped create a reading program for local elementary school children in her area.

Government Update for June 9: Moffat County Commission meeting

When: 8:30 a.m. Tuesday Where: Moffat County Courthouse, 221 W. Victory Way Agenda: • 8:30 to 8:35 a.m. Call to order, Pledge of Allegiance, moment of silence • 8:35 to 8:45 a.m. Consent agenda: — Review and sign the following documents: resolution appointing members to the northwest regional workforce board; contract with Soilogic for 2012 asphalt projects; contract with D’NT Electric for the electrical work for the replacement rooftop unit at the Moffat County Public Safety Center; library participation form for Across Colorado Digital Consortium; Board of Assessment Appeals stipulation for Highway 13 Lodging, LLC; county-wide fire ban resolution; state public health contract • 8:45 to 9 a.m. General discussion: — Note commissioners may discuss any topic relevant to county business whether or not the topic has been specifically noted on the agenda • 9 to 9:15 a.m. Discussion with Roy Tipton, of developmental services — Request waiving the bid process for engineering services for improvements to Colorado Highway 317 — Present contract with Civil Design Consultants for approval

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Local horse racing aficionado reacts to Belmont news, recalls past local races

The Belmont Stakes run today, but I’ll Have Another will not be racing for a Triple Crown, and will not ever race again. The Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner was the 4-5 favorite to win the Belmont and complete the first Triple Crown in thoroughbred racing since 1978, but the horse’s trainer, Doug O’Neill, confirmed the horse would not be racing due to a “little problem with his left front leg,” on the Dan Patrick radio show. The late scratch came as a disappointment to members of the horse racing community in Craig. “That’s a kick in the side of the head to horse racing,” Craig resident Pete Pleasant said. “Having a horse going for the Triple Crown creates a lot of interest, especially among the media, which creates more interest among the general public. “The TV audience is going to go down and the Las Vegas bookies are going to be disappointed. I would think a lot less money will be bet on that race now.” He added, however, “Those things happen. Those horses are fragile.” Pleasant has been in the area all his life, and was heavily involved in horse racing when it came to Craig in the 1960s. During that era, the state of Colorado organized the Colorado Fair Circuit Racing Association, which sent horses, jockeys and trainers around the state each year starting in May, according to Pleasant. The traveling racers would start in Southeastern Colorado and make their way to cities all over the state, eventually coming through Craig for a few weeks each summer. Races took place at the Moffat County Fairgrounds. Pleasant recalls the first year for racing taking place in the late 60s, and said he was the track announcer that summer. In the following years, he was a member of the local committee which organized the event, found race sponsors and put together programs for each weekend. According to Pleasant, the first day of racing in Craig only took in about $8,000 in bets, but it continued to grow and was regularly boasting numbers from $75,000-$90,000 in bets on a given day. The horse racing weekends in Craig became big enough for restaurants in Steamboat Springs to charter buses to Craig after breakfast on race days, he said.

Editorial: Justice for the peace

Heinous. Vulgar. Predatory. Pick any adjective with the worst connotation, and it still wouldn’t aptly describe the atrocities outlined in court documents concerning the child pornography case against a 39-year-old Craig man. The man, whose name is being withheld until after his Aug. 7 sentencing, was arrested in December 2011. He recently agreed to a plea deal with the 14th Judicial District Attorney’s Office to possession of sexually exploitative material, a Class 3 felony; possession of child pornography, a Class 4 felony; and solicitation to commit sexual assault on a child by someone in a position of trust, also a Class 4 felony. Some of the court documents from early on in the case were enough to make a person’s skin crawl. Luckily this wolf in sheep’s clothing won’t be in a position to reoffend for some time: he will most likely be sent to prison for 12 years and then face a probationary period of anywhere from 5 years to life. Inevitably, this man has family and for them the editorial board offers its condolences. However, the board’s sympathies end there. Our community is a safer place today because the offender is off the streets and behind bars. Our state is, too, and given the man’s crimes extended to cyberspace, it’s easy to believe the world is better with him stripped of his freedom. There is a child out there today, or children, who won’t be exploited, or at least not by him.

Friday, June 8

On the Record for Friday, June 8, 2012

On the Record for Friday, June 8, 2012

Craig resident's death at Sandrocks ruled accidental

Last month's death of Craig resident David Burns has been ruled accidental. Moffat County Coroner Kirk McKey said this morning that Burns, whose body was found May 12 at the base of the Sandrocks in north Craig, died from blunt force trauma impact and that nothing in the autopsy results suggested foul play or suicide.

Kansas family killed in plane crash in Fla. swamp

A Kansas businessman, his wife and their four children were killed Thursday when their small plane crashed into a swampy area of central Florida, and word quickly spread to their hometown where the family was known for their charitable work and always having a house full of neighborhood kids. The single-turboprop, fixed-wing plane was heading home to Junction City from the Bahamas when it broke apart and went down about 12:30 p.m. in the Tiger Creek Preserve, according to the Polk County Sheriff's Office in Florida. Deputies reached the area by helicopters, but it was clear there were no survivors, the sheriff's office said. The cause of the crash wasn't immediately known, and parts of the plane were found nearly 3 ½ miles away, investigators said. Ron Bramlage, a prominent businessman in Junction City who owned Roadside Ventures LLC, was piloting the 2006 Pilatus Pc-12/47. The 45-year-old, his wife, Rebecca, 43, and the couple's children — Brandon, 15; Boston, 13; Beau, 11; and 8-year-old Roxanne — were killed. "It's just a horrific loss," Junction City Mayor Pat Landes said, adding that the couple supported many local projects and provided college scholarships. The family was well known in town and at Kansas State University, where the basketball arena is named for Ron Bramlage's grandfather. At least two dozen bouquets of flowers lined the black wrought-iron fence surrounding the family's ranch-style home by Thursday evening. A trampoline sat in the front lawn, and a hammock hung between two large trees in the wooded yard. Standing in his front yard across the street, Rick Bazan said he'd been friends with Ron Bramlage since childhood. He said his friend would often help local families financially, such as paying for kids to go to wrestling camps if their parents couldn't afford to send them. He said Rebecca, who was president of the local school board, "never stopped working. She was tireless." She would be embarrassed by the outpouring of support now at her home, where at least a half-dozen friends of the couple's children were always running around, Bazan said. "It's going to be a long time getting over this one," he said as he watched the family's neighbors and friends gather outside.

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Senate District 8 candidates find common ground on various issues

Ray Beck, a Craig resident and city council member, may have said it best when asked Thursday night if there was an obvious standout among candidates vying for Colorado Senate District 8. “I don’t know if there is a clear winner yet,” Beck said. “Seriously, there was a lot of agreement on the big issues (facing the state).” Ray’s assessment of Thursday night’s debate between SD8 incumbent Jean White, R-Hayden, current House District 57 Rep. Randy Baumgardner, R-Hot Sulphur Springs, and Libertarian candidate Sacha Weis was a logical reaction among the more than 50 local voters who attended the event hosted by the Bears Ears Tea Party Patriots at The Center of Craig, 601 Yampa Ave. Although the candidates seemed to agree on state issues such as taxes, energy, education and protecting Colorado’s water rights, their level of preparedness left an impression on some local voters. “Sacha, I thought, was unprepared. I think she presented herself all right, but I didn’t think she was aware of the issues,” said Robert Whitehead, of Craig. “I thought Randy did a great job and so did Jean, to be honest. I don’t have to say who my preference is, but I think Randy and Jean knew the issues and prepared themselves well.” Though linked in their arguments favoring a flat tax and in defending Northwest Colorado’s coal industry, there was a divide on a particular social issue that has long been a topic of debate in Colorado and around the country. In May, following Gov. John Hickenlooper’s calling of a special session of the General Assembly, the House Committee on Veterans and Military Affairs voted down Senate Bill 12-002 by a 5-4 vote. SB12-002, Concerning the Authorization of Civil Unions, would have granted same sex couples the right to marry.

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CNCC opts out of fire district land transfer

A resolution granting land for a $1.5 million fire training facility in Craig met an obstacle Thursday night during the Colorado Northwestern Community College Board meeting. A motion was made to accept the resolution with the Craig Rural Fire Protection District. However, all four college board members present — Richard Haslem, Mike Anson, Rick Johnson and chairman Jim Loughran — declined to second the motion. CNCC Board member Earlene Sauer was out of the area and did not vote. Haslem said a "significant number of people” contacted him in the weeks leading up to Thursday’s meeting. “And 100 percent of the people that contacted me did not want us to do this,” he said. For that reason, “I cannot nor will I support the resolution to transfer the land, on a personal basis,” he said. About 15 local residents attended the college board meeting to voice opposition to the proposed transfer. “I’m not against the facility,” longtime local resident Pete Pleasant said. “I’m against the location proposed for the facility.” Pam Foster echoed his words. She said she's not opposed to a fire training center in Craig, but “I do think there are much better locations for it,” she said. She argued that the nearly 15-acre parcel south of The Memorial Hospital could be used for purposes more suited to the surroundings. “I would very much like to see you vote no on this tonight,” Foster said. “I do think there are a lot of other locations within Moffat County where the burn tower and the fire house could go and still be very appropriate.” Craig resident Jim Simos joined in speaking against the training center, which is the fire district's proposed first phase of a second station. “We’re just a handful of people here, but you go out on the street and the people that really are against it are more than just a handful," Simos said.

Colorado governor signs bill on bath salts

DENVER (AP) — Gov. John Hickenlooper has signed a bill establishing criminal penalties for the illegal use of synthetic drugs known as bath salts. Hickenlooper signed the bill Thursday. Earlier this year, authorities said a 19-year-old Grand Junction man who was acting violently under the influence of a substance marketed as bath salts was strangled when his friends tried to subdue him. Friends took him to a hospital, where he died. Congress is considering legislation to ban chemicals marketed as bath salts.

Letter: CNCC should block land transfer

In the Wednesday edition of the Craig Daily Press, the editorial board took on the topic of Colorado Northwestern Community College transferring land the college owns to the Craig Rural Fire Protection District. I agree with what the paper printed. CNCC should not allow this to happen. CNCC already gave land to the hospital, should it now give more land to the fire department? No. If CNCC is so willing to give away land, maybe they should use the balance of the property they own and give it away to families of need so they could build homes for themselves. Both CNCC and the CRFPD asked voters in 2006 for mill levy funding for projects and improvements. In respect to both entities, the promises made to the taxpayers of Moffat County have not been kept. Yes, the new college is built, but there still are not residence halls and CNCC still “buys” student enrollment with the tuition buy down. The fire board with this dream of wanting to build the training facility and new firehouse is only a step towards the bigger plan of Bill Johnston. Craig does not need a training facility when there are three such facilities located within a 100-mile radius of Craig. The training facilities in Hayden, Rangely or Rifle are more than sufficient. The argument that it is too difficult scheduling time to utilize these facilities is ridiculous. I drive by them frequently and seem to find they are not being used at that time.

Group seeks hydraulic fracturing ban in Longmont

LONGMONT, Colo. (AP) — The city clerk in Longmont says supporters of a proposal to ban hydraulic fracturing within the city can start petitioning to get the measure on the ballot. The Times-Call reports ( ) a group backing the measure must gather 5,704 signatures of registered voters by Aug. 28 to put the issue before voters in November. Hydraulic fracturing involves blasting underground rock formations with water, sand and chemicals to free oil and natural gas. City Councilman Brian Bagley has said he fears a hydraulic fracturing ban, if adopted in the city, might draw a legal challenge. The state and some local communities have disagreed over what aspects of drilling communities each can regulate. The Colorado Supreme Court has said cities can't completely ban drilling but can regulate land use.

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Lincoln Street tennis courts getting more use as summer begins

In Moffat County, typical outdoor activities talked about usually include hunting, golfing, tubing and swimming. Ask a Craig resident, and tennis is probably not high on the list of things to do outside during the summer. But among the younger generations, it is gaining some ground. The Lincoln Street tennis courts have become a hot spot for some in the area. The courts, which have been updated twice in the past 15 years, are in good condition and provide an alternate form of exercise and fun for people in the area. Craig Parks and Recreation offers tennis lessons for 8-12 year olds to help them prepare for the Parks and Rec city league. Lani Cleverly, who teaches the classes, says the kids enjoy playing a great deal. “The group of 8,9,10 year olds, none of them have played before, but honestly they’ve picked it up quickly,” Cleverly said. “They are already doing so much better than before, and I think that’s also a result of the kids really enjoying playing, which is great.” Cleverly grew up in Seattle and California, and brought her love for tennis from those places. She knows tennis is not what people think of when they think of Craig, but believes it is a great thing to have available to a community. “I guess its really about the kids wondering, ‘what is tennis?’ and then us making sure we provide a good lesson program that gets them excited about coming,” she said. “Craig is not about these type of sports. It’s more hiking and fishing and hunting, but all these kids who have done it keep signing up, so that’s something to feel good about.”

Karen Gibson: Home is where the heart is

Wow, what an awesome morning I had. The temperature was perfect, and sitting out on the back deck in the sunshine was like a gift from God. Other than the birds chirping it was completely quiet. You and I both know these moments of tranquility are short-lived. When we are able to capture one of these special moments, we appreciate them. I also appreciate the gift of a home and a deck where I can sit outside whenever I choose. There is no law that says everyone must be given a place to live. “You have to earn it,” the pundits say. Occasionally someone buys a raffle ticket and wins a house (however, I don’t recommend raffles), sometimes it comes with the occupation one has, but most of the time it takes money to get a place to live. Is it necessary the community of faith accepts the burden, responsibility or privilege of helping people find places to live? I support the Love In the Name of Christ model of providing help in the community. I know there are other good agencies in Moffat County that provide rental money. However, Love INC recognizes the need for emergency housing and accountability at the same time.

Letter: Hospital should be allocated empty land

Why doesn't The Memorial Hospital get up in arms regarding the give away of the land next door to the fire district? It would make much more sense if the college gave the land to the hospital for future expansion and also does away with any and all air problems from the proposed training center. Hopefully enough Craig attended the meeting and attempted to persuade the college to change its mind and give it to the hospital. As to all the reasons the fire district gives for needing a $1.5 million cement training tower when they have free access to one within 17 miles doesn't make any sense at all.

Janet Sheridan: What was I thinking?

Sometimes, remembering offenses I committed in the past, I think, “Why did I do that? Why did I say that?” Other times, I wonder, “Why didn’t I do something?’ Why didn’t I say something?” And I have no answers. As a student teacher, I let my anxieties overwhelm me and offended another. My error was unintentional, and others laugh when I describe it; but they didn’t see the look on Mrs. Phillipi’s face. “She’s worried about the progress of her daughter, Rose,” said Mrs. Miller, my student-teaching mentor. “I’d like you to handle the conference. I’ll be here. You’re well prepared, it’ll be a worthwhile experience.” Standing by a window overlooking the school grounds, I watched a robin attack a worm, and related to the prey. “Greet her, identify yourself, encourage her to talk. And, Janet, try not to look at her nose. It’s huge. I’ve known her for years, and she’s sensitive about it.” I studied the construction-paper daffodils dancing above the chalkboard and thought, “I’ll soon be home, eating left-over Easter candy, with only 10 days of student teaching to go. I can do this.” Rose’s mother entered. I stood and stared: “Good afternoon, Mrs. Philippi. I’m Janet Bohart, Mrs. Miller’s student teacher. I understand you want to discuss the progress of your daughter, Nose.” She pretended not to hear, but hurt widened her eyes. Why did I say such a thoughtless thing?

Letter: Baumgardner defends voting record

It has come to my attention that information that is untrue has been circulating throughout Northwest Colorado. A flyer has been distributed that seems to be anonymous as it is not signed. In it, the author claims that I voted in favor of the so called “Faster Bill,” which raises vehicle registrations and late fees. The bill number is SB9-108. SB stands for Senate Bill. The nine is the year it was introduced and 108 is the bill number. If the author of this false information would go to, click on prior sessions and then click on 2009a House & Senate Bills, they could use the pull down menu and find the bill number. Then they could go to the column for third reading votes and click on H 2/25/2009. If they would scroll down through the journal to page 552 to the section that contains the final vote after the amendments, they would see the actual final vote on this bill. There were 34 yes votes and 31 no votes. I was one of the no votes. I have only voted for one tax or “fee” increase since I was elected to the House of Representatives. SB11-002, co-sponsored by Sen. Al White, was a $1 fee added to the vehicle registration to help fund emergency medical response in rural areas, including Northwest Colorado.

Letter: 'Coal vs. kids' a flawed argument

Cheryl Arnett’s article, “Romney in small-town America: Coal vs. Kids,” was an interesting read for me. Personally, I was offended because Arnett insinuates in her article that we must choose between coal (one of the reasons this community exists at all) and our children’s education. I am a Moffat County High School graduate and I have better critical thinking skills than to believe that. I disagree with Arnett’s belief that standardized testing is crippling our educational system. I believe it is a necessary component of our system. How else do we know what our children are learning? There are certain educational benchmarks that allow the student to progress in a future career. These benchmarks must be standardized so that an American high school diploma means each graduate has acquired the same skills as other graduates. Besides, aren’t college entrance exams, graduate school entrance exams and other professional certification exams standardized?

Briefs for June 8: DAR to meet Saturday

The Augusta Wallihan Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution will conduct its regular monthly meeting at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4265, 419 E. Victory Way. Visitors are welcome. For more information, call Shannan Koucherik at 824-9518. Pioneer Picnic slated for Sunday in Steamboat Springs The Routt County Pioneer Picnic is scheduled for Sunday at the Steamboat Springs Community Center. Registration begins at 12:30 p.m. Beef and drinks are provided. Each family is encouraged to bring a covered dish to share, dinnerware and cups or glasses. Humane Society meets Monday The Humane Society of Moffat County will meet at 6 p.m. Monday at the Golden Cavvy, 538 Yampa Ave. Anyone interested in learning more about the organization is welcome to attend. For more information, call Ann at 620-2014.

Thursday, June 7

On the Record for Thursday, June 7, 2012

On the Record for Thursday, June 7, 2012

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CNCC Board opts out of fire department land transfer

The Colorado Northwestern Community College Board allowed a proposal to transfer land to the Craig Rural Fire Protection District for a new training facility to fail during a special meeting tonight. A motion was made to accept a resolution, which would have granted the fire district a nearly 15-acre parcel upon which it would have built a training tower and live fire simulator, or the first phase of a second station. However, college board members declined to second the motion after about 15 people turned out to the meeting to oppose the land transfer. “I’m not against the facility,” said Pete Pleasant, a longtime Moffat County resident. “I’m against the location proposed for the facility.” For more on this story, see Friday’s Craig Daily Press or visit

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Making memories in Greeley

State Special Olympics event provides fun for athletes, coaches, families

A group of 18 athletes and unified partners from Craig competed at the Special Olympics Summer Games Saturday on the campus of the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley. Over one thousand athletes came and participated in track and field, soccer, gymnastics, swimming and powerlifting events. The Craig athletes, who ranged in age from eight to 50, came home with loads of medals and ribbons, according to Cheryl Chase, who has been involved with Special Olympics in Craig for 18 years. “The games were wonderful,” Chase said. “Everybody brought home lots of medals, and we had a bunch of golds and silvers as well.” The team from Craig left Friday and enjoyed a weekend with a wide variety of activities at the largest competition hosted by Special Olympics Colorado each year. Aside from the athletic events, SOCO hosted a dinner and a dance while also offering athletes a chance to meet their favorite superhero (Batman, Superman and the Green Lantern were there, among others), pot a plant or get shoes recommended by Panorama Orthopedic. The day finished with fireworks. Jenny Chase, Director of Sports and Training for SOCO, said the number of participants and unified partners at the summer games was up slightly from last year, as was the 300 volunteers that showed up to help make the event a success.

Wednesday, June 6

Ugly campaign fliers hit Northwest Colorado

A GOP Senate primary that was expected to get down and dirty has lived up to its billing, with attack campaign mailers hitting mailboxes in Northwest Colorado at about the same time mail ballots went out.

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Whittle on the way: Craig preparing for annual summer event

Dave Pike, Craig Parks and Recreation director, scanned Loudy-Simpson Park on Wednesday afternoon. He was trying to imagine what the grassy lawns would look like with a stage, arts and craft booths, wood carvers and anywhere from 3,000 to 5,000 people who turn out for the final day of the Whittle the Wood Rendezvous. Hosting one of the city’s biggest events at a new location posed challenges to Pike and his staff. “When we were at City Park (now known as Veterans Memorial Park), we’d done it so many years in a row that it kind of ran like clockwork for us,” he said. A wood-carving competition headlines the four-day event as competitors from around the region and nation transform wood stumps into sculptures that sell to the highest bidder at an auction June 16.

How DOW overspent by $32 million

(AP) — Sloppy accounting at Colorado's Division of Wildlife caused the agency to overspend $32.4 million between 2007 and 2011, according to a state audit released Monday. Here's a breakdown of what happened, and how the agency plans to fix the problem:

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No injuries after home catches fire in Oak Creek

Oak Creek Fire Protection District Chief Chuck Wisecup said firefighters were dispatched to the fire at about 1 a.m. after the resident saw flames outside the house.

On the Record for June 6, 2012

On the Record for June 6, 2012

Firefighters work to contain northern Colo. fire

LIVERMORE (AP) — Firefighters are working to build more containment lines around a northern Colorado wildfire that has scorched more than 200 acres. Crews also hope to start mopping up some areas of the blaze on Wednesday. The Stuart Hole fire is 45 percent contained and hasn't grown lately despite strong winds. The residents of 13 homes that were evacuated have been allowed back home.

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Museum attendance numbers swell in wake of exhibit’s opening

The Museum of Northwest Colorado unveiled an exhibit in mid-May showcasing one of America’s most well-known artists. Nearly a month later, the crowds are still coming. “We have been busy, there’s no two ways about it,” museum registrar Mary Pat Dunn said about the foot traffic generated by a display of Norman Rockwell’s art for The Saturday Evening Post. The exhibit opened May 14 and features all 323 covers Rockwell illustrated for the Post, as well as “Spirit of Education,” an original painting on loan from the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Mass. Although it’s difficult to pin down exactly how many visitors came to the museum specifically for the exhibit, museum staff members believe Rockwell’s art has had an impact on attendance numbers. In May, nearly 2,200 visitors streamed into the museum. Compare that to May 2011, when about 1,400 people walked through the museum’s doors. “There’s been a lot of people that mentioned that they come specifically for Rockwell,” Assistant Director Janet Gerber said. The surge follows a four-month period from January through April when the museum’s attendance numbers lagged by 8 percent from the same time in 2011, she said. “(Attendance) was down significantly, and now it’s up even more significantly, so it’s exciting,” Gerber said.

Former high school coach, teacher sentenced

A former Fountain-Fort Carson High School coach and teacher has been sentenced to five years of community corrections for having sex with a 17-year-old girl. Anthony Ribaudo also was sentenced Tuesday to serve 10 years of sex offender intensive, supervised probation. He pleaded guilty earlier this year to child sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust. Ribaudo apologized for his actions at his sentencing hearing, while the victim said in a letter to the court that Ribaudo didn't take advantage of her and didn't harm her.

Northern Colorado wildfire blamed on lightning

Residents of 13 homes that were evacuated because of a 227-acre wildfire in northern Colorado are back home, but Larimer County sheriff's officials say they should be ready to leave again if fire conditions change. Authorities said Tuesday that lightning started the wildfire, which has damaged at least two outbuildings since it started Monday. The blaze was 45 percent contained Tuesday night, when residents who were told to leave were allowed to return. The fire is about 40 miles northwest of Fort Collins in rocky terrain north of where a camp stove ignited a wildfire last month. In eastern Colorado, authorities think a cigarette thrown from a passing car may have ignited a 4-acre fire near Akron. Meanwhile, a nearly 8-square-mile fire near Pagosa Springs is still smoldering.

Walker survives recall election in Wisconsin

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker beat back a recall challenge Tuesday, winning both the right to finish his term and a voter endorsement of his strategy to curb state spending, which included the explosive measure that eliminated union rights for most public workers. The rising Republican star becomes the first governor in U.S. history to survive a recall attempt with his defeat of Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and the union leaders who rallied for months against his agenda. In an interview, Walker said it was time "to put our differences aside and find ways to work together to move Wisconsin forward." The governor said he planned to invite lawmakers to meet as soon as next week over burgers and brats to discuss ways to bridge the political divide. With nearly 80 percent of precincts reporting, Walker had 55 percent of the vote, compared with 44 percent for Barrett, according to early returns tabulated by The Associated Press. In his concession remarks, Barrett said the state had been left "deeply divided" by the recall battle. "It is up to all of us, their side and our side, to listen. To listen to each other," Barrett said. Democrats and organized labor spent millions to oust Walker, but found themselves hopelessly outspent by Republicans from across the country who donated record-setting sums to Walker. Republicans hope the victory carries over into November and that their get-out-the-vote effort can help Mitt Romney become the first GOP nominee to carry the state since Ronald Reagan in 1984. Romney issued a statement saying Walker's victory "will echo beyond the borders of Wisconsin." Walker "has shown that citizens and taxpayers can fight back — and prevail — against the runaway government costs imposed by labor bosses," Romney said. "Tonight voters said no to the tired, liberal ideas of yesterday, and yes to fiscal responsibility and a new direction." The recall was a rematch of the 2010 governor's race. Throughout the campaign, Walker maintained his policies set the state on the right economic track. Defeat, he said, would keep other politicians from undertaking such bold moves in the future. "We're headed in the right direction," Walker said many times. "We're turning things around. We're moving Wisconsin forward."

Sports Briefs for June 6: Rodeo Jr. High team headed to national competition

All five members of the Moffat Country Junior High Rodeo Team qualified for the national finals in Gallup, N.M., June 24. The Colorado state championships were held the weekend of May 25-27 in Monte Vista and participants had to place in the top four in each category in order to qualify for nationals. Eighth grader Trent Vernon qualified in the breakaway roping and team roping, while his team roping partner and fellow eighth grader Cutter Barnes also qualified in goat tying. Eighth grader Dusty Taylor won the state rodeo in calf roping while qualifying for nationals in shoot dogging, ribbon roping and team roping. Garret Uptain, the fourth eighth grader on the team, qualified in bull riding. The final member of the team, sixth-grader Kasen Brennise, qualified in the breakaway roping as well. The national rodeo event in Gallup starts June 24 and lasts through the 30th. According to Moffat County High School and Junior High Rodeo coach Janice Edwards, the national event brings in competitors from across the U.S. and some other countries as well, such as Australia. The Moffat County competitors will now be scored as part of a statewide Colorado team for the Gallup, N.M. rodeo.

Senate District 8 candidates lay out positions in local forum

The two Republican candidates vying for the Colorado Senate District 8 seat agreed on some points during a forum Monday night, and got in a few digs at one another. The debate featured State Sen. Jean White, of Hayden, the incumbent in SD 8, and State Rep. Randy Baumgardner, who represents House District 57 and is from Hot Sulphur Springs. The two are facing off in a primary election this month, thanks to the 2011 redrawing of House and Senate district boundaries in the state. The new Senate District 8 takes in Moffat, Garfield, Rio Blanco, Routt, Jackson, Grand and Summit counties. The winner will face Democrat Emily Tracy, of Breckenridge, who is a former Cañon City Council member, in the general election. Questions for the candidates came initially from moderator Ron Milhorn, news director at KMTS-FM radio, and from a panel of three citizens — Chris Treese and Bob Spuhler, both of Glenwood Springs, and Dallas Diaz, of Silt. About 40 people attended the event at the Garfield County Administration Building. Both candidates said they opposed the idea of cutting tuition rates for the children of illegal immigrants, which came up in the 2011 and 2012 legislative sessions but was killed by the Republican-led House. But they disagreed on civil unions. "I do support civil unions. It is not about gay marriage," White said, but is about civil rights for a minority group. She said her position is in line with her belief in what she described as the "Republican principles of individual freedoms, personal responsibility and limited government. I just think it¹s the right thing to do." Baumgardner, who said he twice voted against civil unions, indicated that it is a legislator's duty to oppose such legislation.

Letter: In support of Jean White

To the editor: I've known Jean White for more than 30 years. She's as strong as a supporter of Second Amendment rights as any ranch kid ever was. If Randy Baumgardner has to resort to telling tall-tales to embellish his Stetson, he ought to ride on out of here. Jon De Vos

Editorial: The great land grift

Be prepared, Craig and Moffat County residents. Not once, but twice, your money and property will most likely be taken for a project most of you neither want nor approved. At 6 p.m. Thursday night, in room 255 at Colorado Northwestern Community College's Craig campus, 2801 W. Ninth St., the college board is likely to approve giving away land — your land — to the Craig Rural Fire Protection District for its $1.5 million training facility, also known as the first phase of a second station. The money the fire board plans to use for the training facility? Also yours, gained through broken campaign promises. At this point, it's not worth arguing the merits of the training facility or the second station. There aren't any. Numbers don't call for it, the need doesn't exist, and neither does public support. The most glaring absence to the whole idea? Common sense. Anonther referendum on the project is that both the Craig Police Department and Moffat County Sheriff's Office — agencies on duty 24 hours a day — somehow manage to train personnel within the framework of current facilities.

Briefs for June 6: Bears Ears Tea Party to host debate

The Bears Ears Tea Party Patriots will host a public debate with Colorado Senate District 8 candidates at 7 p.m. Thursday at The Center of Craig, 601 Yampa Ave. The forum will include Libertarian candidate Sacha Weis, Colorado House District 57 Rep. Randy Baumgardner and incumbent Jean White. Attendees are encouraged to bring questions for the candidates. For more information, email Matt Winey at Chamber mixer Thursday The next Craig Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors Business After-Hours Mixer is scheduled for 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday at Gino’s Neighborhood Pizzeria & Grill, 572 Breeze St. The event is free to the public. For more information or to RSVP, call 824-5689 or email

Burn restrictions likely coming to Moffat County

Moffat County Sheriff Tim Jantz recommended Tuesday the Moffat County Commission consider enacting an ordinance restricting open fires in the county. Jantz cited his agency’s participation in a 300-acre fire currently burning near Powder Wash during his visit with commissioners. He said funding for state and federal aid has already been stretched thin because of the early start to the fire season on the Front Range.

Tuesday, June 5

On the Record for June 5, 2012

On the Record for June 5, 2012

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Running strong — again

Knee surgeries, pregnancy no obstacle for Craig resident in half marathon

Craig resident David Pressgrove was a bit disappointed in his effort at the Steamboat Half-Marathon on Sunday, but he had nothing but praise for his wife’s performance in the race. “She’s tough. She’s a lot more mentally tough than I am,” said Pressgrove, 32. “I watched her race in college and was always impressed with her mental toughness.” Jennifer Pressgrove, a Moffat County High School assistant girls cross-country coach, displayed that toughness in finishing 11th among women and 50th overall with a time of 1:39:02. She accomplished the feat while running 12 weeks pregnant. Jennifer, 29, is the mother of two sons, Ryun, 2, and Jonas, 15 months. With a third on the way, she was not running in peak physical condition Sunday, but she was pleased with the effort nonetheless.

Scranton: A summer reading list

I got caught up in "The Hunger Games" pandemonium that served to promote the movie (which I haven’t seen) and spent the past two weeks finishing up "Catching Fire" and "Mockingjay." The series was a great read and I would recommend it to everyone who isn’t too squeamish about death, torture, and mayhem. Without question the hero is an intriguing character called into action by virtue of a desperate attempt to survive her time as a contestant in the games that are designed to remind all of the “Districts” who is in control. I suppose because I am an English teacher, my fault is that whatever I read, I take meaning from and find it difficult to see any book as merely entertainment.

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Craig runners place highly at Steamboat Half-marathon

With over 800 runners hailing from Denver, Colorado Springs, Fort Collins, Boulder and Steamboat Springs, among others, the competition in the Steamboat Half-Marathon was steep. But Craig bested all its larger Colorado counterparts, placing seven runners in the top 50, more than any other city represented in the race. Craig was led by Todd Trapp, who finished second with a time of 1:19:37. Trapp met his goal time in the race, but was hoping to win the race as well. “My goal was to run between 1:20 and 1:25, so to be under 1:20 was something I was happy with,” Trapp said. “It’s tough because I wanted to win the race, but the other guy ran tougher.”

Monday, June 4

Aggressive black bear killed in Dinosaur’s Gates of Lodore campground

An aggressive black bear that officials report had become accustomed human food as well as people was shot and killed by Dinosaur National Monument staff in the park’s Gates of Lodore campground on May 27, the U.S. National Park Service reported in a news release. According to the release, the male bear first surfaced in the campground late last summer and immediately demonstrated no fear of people, posing a threat to the safety of park visitors. The bear reportedly took food from campsites and the Green River boat launch while park visitors tried to scare it away. It even approached and touched campers sleeping on the sandbar near the river.

Crews bring fire near Utah border under control

PARADOX (AP) — A fire that burned nearly 9 square miles of rugged terrain north of Paradox near the Utah border is under control. Firefighters are preparing to begin mopping up hot spots Monday on the fire, which was reported May 25 and is believed to be human-caused.

On the Record for June 4, 2012

On the Record for June 4, 2012

Moffat County School Board special meeting agenda for June 7

Moffat County School Board special meeting agenda for June 7

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Moffat County business owners share concerns Monday with Romney campaign

Anson Excavating & Pipe Inc. could once land jobs totaling $500,000 to $1 million or more, co-owner Mike Anson said. But that was before a recession undermined the economy and, by extension, consumers’ faith in it. Now, his biggest jobs usually top out at around $200,000, he said, or only 20 percent of what he once made in better days. “There’s a lot of uncertainty out there in the world,” he said during a media conference call with the campaign for Republican presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney. “We just can’t get anybody to spend any money.” He and Scott Cook, owner of Cook Chevrolet, were invited to give the campaign a boots-on-the-ground view of the challenges facing small business owners. Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Colo., joined them in the call, directing criticisms at President Barack Obama.

Bulldog Sports for June 4

Today 5:15 p.m. Craig Parks and Recreation baseball plays at Loudy-Simpson Park, 500 S. Ranney St. 6 p.m. Craig Parks and Recreation baseball plays at Woodbury Sports Complex, 350 Mack Lane. Tuesday 4:45 p.m. Craig Parks and Recreation girls softball tournament plays at Loudy-Simpson Park, 500 S. Ranney St.

Man-made dens used to rehabilitate bear cubs

Wildlife officials say four orphaned black bear cubs that were placed in man-made dens have awoken from their slumber and are roaming the Colorado mountains. Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokesman Mike Porras says the bears were placed in two dens — one north of Silverthorne and one on the Grand Mesa — in February. They awoke in March. The Summit Daily News ( ) reports the bears were captured last summer after coming into close contact with humans. One incident in Summit County involved a vehicle hitting one of a bruin family and others scaling a power pole only to have one electrocuted, frightening the others.

Government Update for June 4: Moffat County Commission meeting

When: 8:30 a.m. Tuesday Where: Moffat County Courthouse, 221 W. Victory Way Agenda: • 8:30 to 8:35 a.m. Call to order, Pledge of Allegiance, moment of silence • 8:35 to 8:45 a.m. Consent agenda:

Moffat County Tourism Association Board meeting

When: 11 a.m. Wednesday Where: Yampa Valley Bank, 435 Mack Lane Agenda: • Introduction

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‘Classy and fabulous’: Five minutes with Heather Curtis, 26, co-owner of Sheer Bliss Hair & Nails

Where is your hometown? “Vernal, Utah.” What brought you to Craig? “I moved here in June 2007. My husband worked in the coal mines, but the housing market in Vernal was crazy because of the oil field, so we couldn’t afford to buy a house there, so we moved here so he could work at Twentymile.” Motto or outlook on life? “A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.” When did you first get started in your job? “We opened a year ago, but before that I had opened Sheer Bliss Nails. I was a stay-at-home mom and I decided I wanted to do something for myself. I was previously a nurse, but I didn’t like delivering bad news and I wanted to help people feel good about themselves.” Favorite meal from a local restaurant? “The chicken Alfredo from Gino’s. It has a lot of flavor and I like the atmosphere there.”

Letter: Sheriff Arpaio doing his job

I read in the news where the U.S Department of Justice is suing Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Arizona for civil rights violations against Latinos. His only crime — he wants to make sure they are legal. This would be the same DOJ run by Attorney General Eric Holder and under the control of President Barack Obama. This being the DOJ, with the blessings of Obama, that was responsible for the Fast and Furious gun running scheme. More than 2,000 guns were intentionally sent to Mexico, and orders were given despite the protests of some lower-ranking agents of the ATF, to make this happen. This would make AG Holder and President Obama accessories to the murder of at least one American border patrol agent and hundreds of Mexican citizens and more than likely many more that cannot be confirmed.

Letter: Romney staff, Secret Service acted with professionalism

Thank you to Governor Mitt Romney's staff for their patronage, a very special thank you to the U.S. Secret Service for their patronage, kindness and professionalism, and to the many branches of local law enforcement for their patronage and hard work.

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Local residents exploring therapeutic horse riding center in Craig

Nine Yampa Valley residents met early Sunday night at the residence of Dr. Scott and Connie Sue Ellis to discuss the feasibility of developing a therapeutic riding center in Craig. The meeting was organized by Joan Heinz, who has a bachelor’s degree in therapeutic riding and more than 10 years of experience as a Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship instructor. Heinz also works as a children’s service coordinator with Horizons Specialized Services and serves on the Connections 4 Kids Board. Therapeutic horse riding serves a number of different functions, Heinz said, and can benefit people of all ages suffering from a variety of physical, psychological and cognitive challenges.

Ohio crash kills 3 teens, one on graduation day

A car carrying five teenagers went airborne as it sped over railroad tracks in northeast Ohio early Sunday and crashed, killing the 18-year-old driver hours before his high school graduation and two of his passengers, the Ohio State Highway Patrol said. The other two passengers, one of them also an impending graduate, were hospitalized. Less than 13 hours after the crash, Brunswick High School students left empty seats covered with flowers at their graduation ceremony to remember driver Jeffrey Chaya and Kevin Fox, who was critically injured. "It was very sad," Superintendent Michael Mayell said after the commencement ceremony at the University of Akron. "There were a lot of tears."

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Two tournaments begin full month for Yampa Valley Golf Course

Yampa Valley Golf Course in Craig began its busiest month of the summer over the weekend with two tournaments, and Rifle made its mark on both. Friday featured a Pro-Am that consisted of nine teams of four players — one professional and three amateurs per team. The team from Rifle posted the top pro score, a 72 from Kyle Daniell, while his teammates Earl Cherry, John Savage and Jeb Savage helped the team garner a tie for first place overall. They tied the foursome of pro Mike Mendelson (75) and amateurs Mike Paronto, Jim Billings and Marty Seacrest.

Letter: Romney staff denied freedom of speech

Of the many online commenters to the articles published by the Craig Daily Press regarding the presumed Republican Party’s presidential candidate’s visit to Craig last week, this one caught our eye: “You need to wake up. How many laws are you going to let them pass? I do not want someone controlling my freedoms. It's time to take back control.” We imagine the First Amendment is one of the freedoms the commenter values. Would the commenter be upset if President Barack Obama came to Craig to deliver a speech on public property and she was not allowed to bring signs that didn't fit with the message?

Letter: Rotary Club flag sponsorships beginning

The Rotary Club of Craig has begun our American flag display season for 2012. As a service to our great community, we place flags on the light posts downtown on two blocks of Yampa Avenue and on stretches of U.S. Highway 40 eight times each year — Armed Forces Day (May 19), Memorial Day (May 28), Flag day (June 14), the Fourth of July, Labor Day, Sept. 11, Columbus Day (Oct. 8), Veterans Day (Nov. 11) and on a few other special occasions/circumstances. The length of display is determined by the number of flags sponsored each year. Last year, we were able to begin at the bridge on Fortification Creek and end at Craig Ford on both sides of Highway 40.

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Reunion brings Class of 1947 back for 65th anniversary

It was a weekend of reconnecting with friends and reliving old memories for 10 members of the Craig High School Class of 1947, who returned to Craig to celebrate their 65th reunion. One of the recurring stories among classmates was “sneak day,” an annual steal the flag challenge between the junior and senior classes each spring. As juniors, the Class of 1947 was able to protect the school’s American flag by greasing the entire length of the flag pole. They backed up their performance the following year by outfoxing the junior class en route to successfully capturing the flag.

White, Rockies beat Dodgers 3-2

Alex White delivered a win, and a much-needed day off for some of Colorado's relievers. White gave the overworked Rockies bullpen a bit of rest, pitching shutout ball into the seventh inning Sunday in a 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Rockies took two of three from the NL West leaders. White (2-3) gave up two runs and two hits in 6 2-3 innings. "That's the best game he's pitched since he's worn a Rockies uniform. He was terrific," Colorado manager Jim Tracy said. "He broke bats, got ground balls. A lot of what you saw today is what is capable of coming out on a regular basis once we get to that point."

Police blotter for June 4

Thursday, May 24 Clint John Davis, 31, of Steamboat Springs, was booked into Moffat County Jail on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs, speeding, marijuana possession and possession of drug paraphernalia. Luke Macoin More, 25, of Craig, was booked into Moffat County Jail on suspicion of marijuana possession, marijuana production, possession of drug paraphernalia and child abuse. Friday, May 25 Andrew Isaac Miller, 23, of Henderson, Nev., was booked into Moffat County Jail on suspicion of marijuana production and the sale of marijuana.

Tanning business off to bright start

There’s no lack of solar energy in Northwest Colorado during the summer, but sometimes the brightest thing in the sky needs a little help to keep folks looking good. Tanning salon Under the Sun opened its doors at 504 W. Victory Way for the first time Thursday. Owner Sharla Satterwhite and manager Julie Camp, who have been refurbishing the former location of Craig Sports since mid-March, plan to host a grand opening Saturday. Camp said the event will include one-day-only sales on tanning packages.

Briefs for June 4: Library summer reading program accepting registrations today

The Craig branch of the Moffat County Libraries will begin accepting registration for its 2012 Summer Reading Program today. The program is free and open to all ages. Registration is available online or at the library, 570 Green St. The program includes weekly activities and a weekly story time for children at 11 a.m. every Thursday.

Saturday, June 2

Flags at half staff for slain Englewood officer

An Englewood police officer killed in a hit-and-run collision has been posthumously awarded the rank of detective. Hundreds of people applauded as 39-year-old Jeremy Bitner was awarded the rank at a memorial service Friday. Bitner died after he and a motorist he had pulled over were struck by an SUV shortly after midnight Monday. The motorist survived. Twenty-year-old Conner Donohue was arrested after the accident. KUSA-TV reports prosecutors have filed vehicular homicide charges against him. He was originally arrested on suspicion of vehicular homicide, vehicular assault, leaving the scene of an accident and driving under the influence. It wasn't immediately clear if those charges still stand.

Government Update for June 2: Moffat County Commission meeting

When: 8:30 a.m. Tuesday Where: Moffat County Courthouse, 221 W. Victory Way Agenda: • 8:30 to 8:35 a.m. Call to order, Pledge of Allegiance, moment of silence

Letter: St. Michael's Community Kitchen thanks Craig

St. Michael's Community Kitchen would like to thank Craig for the past support, present support and support in the future. We've had a banner year, friends helping friends. The April fundraiser was a huge success on all levels. We would like to invite any organizations, employers, groups or individuals to join us in the Community Kitchen on a Tuesday for lunch or Thursday for dinner, to cook and/or serve a meal. It's as easy as signing up on a calendar. Individuals will be needed for our many tasks, including cooks, prep-cooks, servers, clean-up, drivers, and someone to pick-up food donations from various venders.

Letter: MCHS graduation a successful event

I would like to express my gratitude to the teachers, staff, parents and community for making the Moffat County High School Commencement Ceremony such a successful event. Additionally, my thanks go out to the high school band and choir. You did a great job and provided such a pleasant ambiance for this event. I know many people were moved. Finally, congratulations to the Class of 2012. You are an amazing group of young adults and it has been my pleasure to work with you. All the best with your future plans, and I will treasure your "unique gifts" always.

Obama says economy will come back stronger

President Barack Obama said Friday the latest employment report shows that the economy is not creating jobs "as fast as we want," but he pledged that the economy will improve. "We will come back stronger. We do have better days ahead," Obama said at a Golden Valley, Minn., Honeywell plant where the company has taken steps to hire veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. The president was responding to the government's jobs report for May, which showed that only 69,000 jobs were added during the month. That was the fewest in a year, as the unemployment rate increased to 8.2 percent from 8.1 percent in April. Obama, in a tight re-election campaign against Republican Mitt Romney, said the economy still faces a number of challenges, including Europe's debt crisis and higher gas prices, which have hurt families.

New sports reporter on board for the Craig Daily Press

There’s a new face in the newsroom at the Craig Daily Press. Nathan Waggenspack, 22, began Thursday as the newspaper’s sports reporter, responsible for covering Moffat County School District athletics and local sports, clubs and community events. Waggenspack graduated in 2011 from the University of Dayton in Ohio with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has worked as a news reporter for the Dayton Daily News. The Kettering, Ohio, native said he’s excited to work in Moffat County.

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Little Snake River Valley looks to maintain dominance

Little Snake River Valley School has enjoyed unprecedented success over the past three years. Now the trick will be to keep it going. With six boys state titles in the past two years and two more for the girls, the Baggs, Wyo., School has enjoyed something of a golden age in athletics recently. The school’s athletic fortunes started to improve during the 2009-10 school year, when the state of Wyoming introduced a new 1A 6-man division in football.

Diane Prather: A busy year for Farm Bureau

You might have seen them as you were driving along highways in the county, such as north Highway 13 or west Highway 40. They’re little billboards printed with the following message: “If you ate today, thank a rancher or farmer.” These little signs are an example of one of the projects taken on by the Moffat County Farm Bureau Federation. The organization meets year-round.

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Model United Nations conference elicits global awareness in CMS students

Tyler Simon dug deep into the problems plaguing a country halfway around the world and came back with alarming statistics. Ten percent of Afghani children will die before their fifth birthday, giving the country one of the highest child death rates in the world, he and other Craig Middle School students wrote in a resolution they presented to a Colorado Model United Nations conference last month. These and other ominous statistics left an indelible impression on the 12-year-old’s mind as he probed into the Middle Eastern country’s social and economic dilemmas. “I think it kind of made me feel a little bad because most of it is because of the war,” said Tyler, who recently finished seventh grade.

Letter: World No Tobacco Day

World No Tobacco Day was Thursday, and this year’s theme was “Stop Tobacco Industry Interference.” The World Health Organization selected this theme because the tobacco industry continues to undermine tobacco prevention and control by developing and marketing products that appeal to youth to make sure that they have two youth or young adult “replacement” smokers for the 1,200 smokers who die each day in our country. In the last 15 months, the N-CTRL Coalition has been actively raising awareness about tobacco, including how the tobacco industry markets their deadly products to youth. Educating about the health consequences from tobacco is just not enough to prevent youth from starting to use tobacco. But, adding information about the tobacco industry’s manipulation of youth really gets their attention.

TMH officials enthused by increased market share

George Rohrich beamed Thursday night as a graph flashed on the projector screen. The sharp peaks and valleys, followed by a steadily rising line, charted The Memorial Hospital’s market share, a metric that, in simple terms, gauges how many people locally are getting their medical care at TMH. To Rohrich, the hospital's chief executive officer, the graph told the story he and other hospital officials have waited to hear. “We’re winning them back, and that has been our top goal,” he told hospital board members at their regular meeting Thursday.

Craig man reaches plea agreement in child porn case

A 39-year-old Craig man arrested in December 2011 in Moffat County on child pornography charges and again in March on suspicion of sexual assault on a child has reached a plea agreement with the 14th Judicial District Attorney’s Office resolving both cases. The suspect’s name is being withheld in accordance with newspaper policy not to release the identities of suspected sexual offenders unless convicted. Prosecutor Han Ng said stemming from the December 2011 arrest the suspect pleaded guilty to possession of sexually exploitative material, a Class 3 felony, and possession of child pornography, a Class 4 felony, with a stipulated sentence of 12 years in prison.

Briefs for June 2: Library hosting summer reading program

The Craig branch of the Moffat County Libraries will begin accepting applications for its 2012 Summer Reading Program on Monday. The program is free and open to all ages. Registration is available online or at the library, 570 Green St. The program includes weekly activities and a weekly story time for children at 11 a.m. every Thursday.

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Twentymile's presence at Romney event part of shifting focus

Pat Sollars, vice president and general manager of Peabody Energy’s Colorado operations, said the company has historically kept information about operations under wraps. But, with stricter U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations on the horizon targeting methane gas emissions at coal mines, and new rules on greenhouse gas and mercury emissions at coal-fired power plants, Sollars said Peabody recently decided to take a more aggressive position focused on public education. That new strategy is what motivated Sollars to pull 148 Twentymile Mine workers to the surface to attend Tuesday’s Mitt Romney presidential campaign rally at Alice Pleasant Park in Craig. More than 300 weekend shifters, friends, family members and vendors joined the miners in an effort to show industry support.

Cheryl Arnett: Romney in small-town America: Coal vs. Kids

Tuesday was a historic day in the rural Northwestern community of Craig, Colo. With a population of fewer than 10,000 people, it was an unlikely campaign stop for Mitt Romney. But thanks to the hard work and passion of some local residents, to Craig he came, ready to discuss coal and energy concerns. The event was everything a small town could ask for. I could not begin to sum it up better than local newspaper columnist Janet Sheridan in her beautiful post, "Americana in Craig." I was honored to be asked to participate in a small roundtable discussion with Governor Romney before the community event.

Dad pleads guilty to child abuse in baby's death

A man accused in the death of his infant daughter in Colorado Springs has pleaded guilty to child abuse resulting in death. The Gazette reports ( ) that at a plea hearing Friday, 22-year-old Nicholas Patrick Smith admitted shaking Elise Martinez-Mosley in December. Authorities arrested him after the girl was hospitalized with head injuries. She later died. Smith faces 16 to 48 years in prison at a sentencing hearing set for Aug. 10. First-degree murder charges were dropped as a result of the plea agreement.

Sports Briefs for June 2: LSRV girls basketball team raises $3,800 for charity walk

As part of the sixth annual Little Snake River Valley Walk for Life, the LSRV High School girls basketball team started the “Charity Stripe” program to help raise money. Each member of the team went outside the Baggs community to seek sponsors who would donate money for each foul shot made by the girls this season. For every foul shot missed, the girls themselves would be the donors. The team raised $3,800 over the course of the season, and will be presenting the money at the end of the Walk Saturday to the family of Ryan SixKiller-Allen, a former Craig resident who died earlier this year after battling various forms of cancer her entire life and whose daughter, Hannah, is being treated for cancerous brain tumors. The Walk for Life was started by cancer survivor Kathi Terkla-Herold, and benefits people with cancer in the Little Snake River Valley. It costs $25 to join the walk, which goes from Dixon to the Savery Museum. Terkla-Herold praised the efforts of the girls basketball team. “It’s a great example of teenage girls stepping up to the plate and doing something good for the community,” she said. “Ryan was such an inspiration to so many people in this community while she was here, and by doing this, the team has inspired others as well.”

Friday, June 1

On the Record for June 1, 2012

On the Record for June 1, 2012

Retired priest appears in court on sex charges

A retired Roman Catholic priest has been formally charged with sexually assaulting a child. The Gazette reports ( ) Charles Robert Manning appeared in court in Colorado Springs on Thursday. He is charged with three counts of sex assault on a child by one in a position of trust, two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and two counts of sexual exploitation of children. Details of the allegations haven't been disclosed. Lawyers for both sides declined to comment outside the courtroom. Manning, formerly of St. Gabriel the Archangel Catholic Church in Colorado Springs, was placed on leave in January. He retired a month later. His attorney Richard Bednarski says Manning now lives in a home for retired priests in suburban St. Louis.

Famed tax evader Doug Bruce finishes jail term

One of Colorado's best known anti-tax crusaders has been released from a Denver jail after serving time for tax evasion. Douglas Bruce was released early because of good behavior as a trusty in the jail's laundry. Bruce served 103 days of a 180-day sentence. The Denver Post reports Bruce served his time in a low-security dorm of 40 to 50 inmates ( He was sentenced in February after being convicted for evading state income taxes, filing a false return and failing to file tax returns between 2005 and 2010. He still disputes his conviction, telling KCNC-TV in Denver ( ) he did nothing wrong.

Katie Grobe: In life, the only constant is change

Change is a part of life. We change jobs, homes, interests, and some of us even change towns, fairly often. Change is something we can seek out or something that can be thrust upon us. Changes can be as large as relocating across the globe or as small as substituting oatmeal for cold cereal each morning. Accepting change can be a real challenge for some of us, and even a slight hiccup in our daily schedules can make things quite difficult.

Briefs for June 1: Variety show set for today

A monthly variety show is scheduled for 7 p.m. today at the Holiday Inn of Craig, 300 S. Colorado Highway 13. The event features performers from around Northwest Colorado. For more information, call 824-4791.

Letter: Thanks to the Moe's for Romney's visit

Wow. Mitt Romney, here in Moffat County, Craig, Colo. Wow. His meeting with the local business people, mining industry folks, Moffat County and Craig elected officials and listening to what they had to say. His making a public appearance and speaking to the gathered masses of folks from all over Moffat County and surrounding towns. People who wanted (and waited) to see him and possibly meet him.

Snigdha Nandipati wins National Spelling Bee

Snigdha Nandipati heard a few words she didn't know during the National Spelling Bee, but never when she stepped to the microphone. Calm and collected throughout, the 14-year-old from San Diego spelled "guetapens," a French-derived word that means ambush, snare or trap, to win the 85th Scripps National Spelling Bee on Thursday night. She beat out eight other finalists in the nerve-wracking, brain-busting competition. After she spelled the word, she looked from side to side, as if unsure her accomplishment was real, and, oddly, she was not immediately announced as the winner. Applause built slowly, and a few pieces of confetti trickled out before showering her. Then her 10-year-old brother ran on stage and embraced her, and she beamed. "I knew it. I'd seen it before," Nandipati said of the winning word. "I just wanted to ask everything I could before I started spelling."

Sports Briefs for June 1: Sea Sharks kick off 2012 season today in Rangely

The Craig Sea Sharks will compete in the first meet of the 2012 summer season today and Saturday at the Rangely Recreation Center, 611 S. Stanolind Ave. About 35 young athletes from ages 5 to 18 will be competing, including some swimmers from beyond the Craig area such as Baggs, Wyo. The team recently underwent its first full of week of practices at the Craig Pool Complex, with sessions from 7 to 9 a.m. Sea Sharks teaches skills in the water and lets participants get a feel for the sport of competitive swimming, according to coach Meghan Francone. Meets are scheduled for later in the summer in Craig, Grand Junction and Aspen, among other locations.

Letter: Denver Post's coverage unprofessional

I have never written a letter to the editor before, but after reading Sara Burnett's article in Wednesday's Denver Post, I'm compelled to write. How lucky we are in Craig to get unbiased reporting on local political events. Burnett's article was filled with omissions and nonfactual statements about Mitt Romney's trip to Craig. She stated that attendance was only 500 people, that we have not been affected much by the present administration's policies on coal and energy, and neglected to mention the oil and gas industry and the effect that present policies have had.

Editorial: Patriotism at the park

The following quote seems a fitting one to recite today, given recent events in Craig and Moffat County: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has," said Margaret Mead, a late American cultural anthropologist. It's much too early to say whether Craig and Moffat County, a small community no more than a blip on the electoral map, will have influenced any sort of meaningful change on the national political landscape stemming from GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney's visit Tuesday to downtown Craig.

TMH tobacco-free policy revised

A policy that prohibits smoking on The Memorial Hospital grounds is still set to go into effect next month, but with a few changes. Jennifer Riley, TMH chief of organizational excellence, presented an amended policy to the hospital board Thursday night that eliminates elements staff members found “troublesome,” she said. Changes included removing a provision that directed staff members to call law enforcement if visitors or patients refused to comply with the policy. The amended document, which will require board re-approval, also provides employees with nicotine patches, gum and other smoking cessation tools for a limited time after the policy goes into effect July 1.

CNCC Board to vote on land transfer Thursday

A vote is one of the few items left before the Craig Rural Fire Protection District Board can break ground on a proposed new training facility. The Colorado Northwestern Community College Board is scheduled to consider a land transfer with the fire district during a special meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday in room 255 at CNCC’s Craig campus, 2801 W. Ninth St. If the board approves the transfer, the facility could be finished before the snow flies. “Ideally, if everything works out right, we should see that thing built by the fall,” said Byron Willems, Craig Rural Fire Protection District Board president. “But if anything goes wrong, then it may be next spring.”

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Romney visit cost city $25K

A week ago, Craig city officials began receiving phone calls seeking assistance with Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's scheduled campaign visit to the city. Romney appeared Tuesday before an estimated 2,000 people at Alice Pleasant Park in downtown Craig, the first time a presidential candidate has campaigned in Moffat County. On Thursday, city officials said the multi-agency effort to host and staff the campaign rally went off without a hitch. There were no arrests made during the event. “I saw Secret Service kick one kid out of a tree he climbed across the street,” Craig Mayor Terry Carwile said. “That was about the extent of it, and I think the community can take a lot of pride in how it responded to the event.”