News for Saturday, June 23, 2012

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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.

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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.

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 www.museumnwco.org.

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.

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.

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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.