News for Saturday, March 17, 2012



Craig businesses offer plentiful St. Paddy’s specials

Faith and begorrah! It’s that time of year again, when shillelaghs and shamrocks are among the décor in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. You don’t have to live in the Emerald Isle or have the luck of a leprechaun to commemorate March 17. As good fortune would have it, the holiday falls on a Saturday this year. Whether you prefer to sip, chug, gulp or quaff in a bar, pub, tavern or watering hole, mix and match those however you want by frequenting any of the following locations this weekend, all while wearing green. We’ll leave the shade up to you, whether you prefer forest, olive, or a nice lime.

Health dept. answers federal commission concern

The Colorado health department is rebuking a federal agency and saying it hasn't determined if a public hearing is needed for a radioactive materials license it issued to a proposed uranium mill.

‘Kicking Up the Dust’ at 4-H District Retreat

This is what 16-year-old Derek Maiolo, of Craig, had to say about the 19th annual 4-H District Retreat. “It was an opportunity to meet new people and make new friends and to understand how they are successful, not only in 4-H but also in their communities,” he said. The retreat was March 2 through 4 at the Marriott Residence Inn in Glenwood Springs. Derek was one of eight Moffat County 4-H members who attended the retreat.

Co-founder of 'Kony' video group detained in Calif

A co-founder of the group behind a viral video about a brutal African warlord was detained by police and hospitalized after witnesses saw him running through streets in his underwear, screaming and banging his fists on the pavement. Jason Russell of Invisible Children was hospitalized for exhaustion less than two weeks after the release of the 30-minute video he narrated about warlord Joseph Kony, said Ben Keesey, the group's chief executive officer. "Jason Russell was unfortunately hospitalized yesterday suffering from exhaustion, dehydration and malnutrition," Keesey said. "He is now receiving medical care and is focused on getting better. The past two weeks have taken a severe emotional toll on all of us, Jason especially, and that toll manifested itself in an unfortunate incident yesterday." "Jason's passion and his work have done so much to help so many, and we are devastated to see him dealing with this personal health issue," the statement read.

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Candidates announced for Craig fire district board

March 2 marked the deadline for residents and landowners to self nominate for the May 8 Craig Rural Fire Protection District Board special election. This year, two of the board’s five seats, which are currently occupied by Byron Willems, board president, and Alan Webber, board member, are up for election. Willems, who has served as president since 2002, is seeking another four-year term. Webber is also seeking reelection. He has served the board since 2005.

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Journey of the heart: Tour through Israel leaves Craig pastor with ‘great hope’

In the heart of Jerusalem stands a ruin from a distant past. It may not look like much to the curious tourist. The stones in the ancient wall are worn, and a few weeds sprout in the cracks between them. But if you know the Bible like Len Browning does, you know the significance of this place. It’s a reminder of the Jewish temple destroyed nearly two millennia ago. The temple housed the Holy of Holies, which is believed to be the place where God himself dwelled.

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Proposed literacy act sparks debate about holding back struggling readers

If a third-grader falls behind in reading, should he or she be allowed to move on to the next grade? The question is at the center of a debate concerning a proposed literacy act moving through the Colorado House of Representatives. House Bill 12-1238, also known as the Colorado Early Literacy Act, shines a spotlight on students in kindergarten through third grade who fall behind in reading. The bill requires schools to provide programs to ensure students are reading at grade level by the time they finish third grade.

Edwin Bender: Really, really dark money in politics

Along with super PACs, we're now hearing about dark money, or the unlimited anonymous funds that can flow to super PACs via nonprofit "social welfare" organizations that don't have to publicly disclose who gave them the funds. Electioneering communications (issue ads) lurk in yet another dark region of the campaign finance world, where disclosure is largely nonexistent. These communications clearly promote candidates and political views but avoid the use of words like "vote for" or “vote against.” Regulated at the federal level to some degree, 31 states have no regulations for disclosing electioneering communications that target candidates running for state office.

MCHS baseball team struggles on both sides of the plate in 15-3 loss

Justin Folley said he knew having a young baseball team would present challenges early in the season. On Friday, the Moffat County High School varsity baseball team stepped on the field for the first time this season in the Montrose Tournament at Montrose High School. The Bulldogs got overwhelmed early against Emery (Utah) High School in the opening game, falling behind 4-0 after two innings, and struggled to slow the Spartans offense in a 15-3 loss. “I knew we would struggle being as young as we are, but I thought we did alright for it being our first game,” said Folley, the team’s head coach. “A lot of the young guys stepped up and did some good things, so all in all, I think it was a learning experience and we will have to go from here.”

Duke upset by Lehigh in NCAA tournament

Mike Krzyzewski knew this year's Duke team had its flaws. Several of them hurt the Blue Devils in a big way on Friday night. Austin Rivers and Mason Plumlee had 19 points apiece, but Duke struggled from 3-point range and lost 75-70 to Lehigh to become the second No. 2 seed to lose to a 15 during a wild day in the NCAA tournament. The Blue Devils, who relied on the 3-point shot this season, went 6 for 26 from behind the arc and another speedy guard sliced through their defense. This time it was C.J. McCollum, who finished with 30 points.

Double trouble from Colorado pine beetles

Mountain pine beetles that are devastating forests across the West have been breeding twice a year the last three years, not just once, University of Colorado researchers say.

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Yampa Valley Golf Course welcomes 1st play of the season Friday

In August, Daniel Brown walked onto the Yampa Valley Golf Course for the 2011 Men’s Club Championships and walked off the winner. Brown, a Craig resident, shot a 151 over the two-day tournament to be crowned club champion. On Friday, Brown got an early start on his title defense. A mixture of a mild winter and warm temperatures in March allowed the golf course to open to the public Friday, about two weeks earlier than last year.

Gabriele Schneider: Who’s buying our elections?

Welcome to a new era of exponentially more unlimited and undisclosed campaign spending. This is the first presidential election since game-changing rulings by the Supreme Court in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission and a federal district court in v. FEC paved the way for a small group of elites to spend unprecedented sums — with little or no transparency — to influence voters. Since then, outside groups often called “super PACs” have proliferated, stimulating new ways for big donors to influence elections — often in secret. Super PACs have already wielded enough power of the purse to change the typical course of the Republican presidential primary season. Their spending power is prolonging the campaigns of candidates whose own coffers are depleted.

Briefs for March 17: Aging Well at The Journey

Aging Well, a Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association program, hosts Wellness Wednesday for older adults every Wednesday at The Journey at First Baptist, 1150 W. Ninth St. A Colorado Northwestern Community College memoir writing class takes place at 8:30 a.m., Arthritis Foundation exercise is at 10:30 a.m., and lunch is served at 11:30 a.m. The meal costs $3.

Bridget Manley: A lingering question

I met Todd and Kathy Hildebrandt and their 16-year-old daughter, Katelynn, at a Moffat County High School basketball game about a month ago. During breaks from action on the court, I did what reporters are supposed to do — I asked questions, verified names and ages, and got the basics. Then, I went home and began to grapple with one of the most difficult stories I’ve ever written. Katelynn's voice would never be a part of my story because she couldn't talk. She is legally blind and deaf and she cannot feed herself.