News for Wednesday, June 13, 2012

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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.

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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,” ABCnews.com 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.

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.