News for Saturday, June 30, 2012

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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.