News for Friday, March 23, 2012



On the Record for March 23, 2012

On the Record for March 23, 2012

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MCHS girls soccer team looks to break records in 2012

The Moffat County High School girls varsity soccer team has one number in mind this season, and that is five. With Harry Tripp at the helm the past two seasons, the Bulldogs have won a school-record five games each year. Not only do Harry and his players want to break the school record, but getting over five wins means the team can make a push for the playoffs. “We definitely want to make a push for the playoffs this year, and I think we have the group of girls to do it,” Harry said. “Once we can get the whole team on track, we have a shot at winning games. The girls are friends, so they can work better together on connecting with passes and knowing what each other should be doing.

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MCHS track and field seniors set sights on state

Alfredo Lebron said he has grown accustomed to the expectations placed upon him. Lebron, a Moffat County High School senior, was expected to be the top 4A cross-country runner in the fall and in October, fulfilled his goal of a state title. Now with track and field season here, Lebron again is expected to be the runner to beat in the 1,600- and 3,200-meter races as the top returning placer from last year’s state meet. “I’m not really nervous and I try not to sound cocky, but you get out there with a different mindset that you can do good if you put in the work,” he said. “I know a bunch of people will be going for me, but I will go out there and do what I can do and hopefully that is enough to get an undefeated season.”

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MCHS baseball team looks for upperclassmen to assume leadership roles

The Moffat County High School varsity baseball team’s trip to the 4A state playoffs last season was no fluke. Four seniors, including 4A Western Slope League co-player of the year Ben Williams, anchored the team. The Bulldogs scored double-digit runs in six games and routinely saw the ball fly out of the park at the hands of multiple batters. But this season, head coach Justin Folley said how his players fill the roles of the four departed seniors will determine if the Bulldogs make it back to the playoffs.

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Harjes, Fox return to anchor MCHS girls golf team

In May 2011, Moffat County High School golfer Caitlin Harjes was in a sudden death playoff at regionals in Battlement Mesa. A freshman at the time, Harjes was competing against a girl from Gunnison High School. A trip to the state tournament at Elmwood Golf Course in Pueblo was on the line. “I went to regionals and I did not do well during the playoff,” Harjes said. “I was freaking out that everyone was staring at me.”

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Boys swimmers anticipate return to state

There must be something in the water at the Moffat County High School swimming pool. While there are only eight boys on her squad this year, coach Meghan Francone said what the roster lacks in quantity is more than made up for in quality. “We’re known for always bringing our A game, and we may not have big numbers, but we definitely have the heart,” she said.

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Craig family entering new chapter, reflects on nearly 15 years in the community

David Dempster takes a look around the comfortable living area in the Craig house he and wife Julie have called home for 11 years. “We will definitely miss this place,” he says. He’s not the first to say those words. He’s not the first to realize a chapter in life closes even as another begins. Yet, the words are apt.

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An inside look at the Bears Ears Tea Party Patriots

There’s an old adage — don’t believe everything you read or hear. Yet news reporters and anchors have continually reported the demise of the national tea party movement, portraying organization members and chapters around the country as being little more than gun-toting, conservative extremists from the far radical right. This isn’t the impression one gets when sitting down and discussing politics and political views with members from the Craig tea party chapter — the Bears Ears Tea Party Patriots. Most members go against the grain of negative stereotypes. “There’s a huge misunderstanding of what the tea party is all about,” said Carol Haskins, a Bears Ears chapter member. “People think we are all a bunch of radicals, but we have worked really hard to build a reputation in this community.

Briefs for March 23: AARP meeting set for Monday

Briefs for March 23, 2012.

Janet Sheridan: Queen of the trampoline

In the 1950s, before the advent of Title 9 and competitive athletic programs for women, most girls in physical education classes at Spanish Fork Junior High School said no thank you to playing hard and sweating. Somehow, the rowdy girls of grade school who played all out at recess and howled with joy when they bested boys at running, catching, or scoring, transformed into a giggling gaggle more interested in watching the boys at the other end of the gym than in the exhortations of Miss Erickson, the PE teacher. I’d like to say I remained true to myself and participated fully and with enjoyment as I had in elementary school, but I didn’t. I joined the pack.

Moffat County School Board takes action at Thursday meeting

Actions from the Moffat County School Board meeting March 22.

MCHS senior to spend week playing hockey in Switzerland

In March 2011, Ethan O’Mailia got the opportunity to skate with the Colorado Avalanche, a moment he described as “a once in a lifetime chance.” O’Mailia’s play and leadership for the Moffat County Bulldogs club hockey team prompted his coaches to nominate him for the opportunity. This year, O’Mailia, a Moffat County High School senior, had the chance to impress a different coach with his play and earn another opportunity for his hockey career. During a hockey camp at Moffat County Ice Arena, O’Mailia worked out for Bryan Smith, a coach for the Colorado Ski Country Selects youth hockey team that travels and plays in Europe.

Colo. fair lifts ban on boy with doped goat

This goat-doping scandal has a happy ending — and an enduring mystery. Two siblings, whose prize-winning goats were disqualified at the 2011 Colorado State Fair after testing positive for a banned growth stimulant, can participate in the competition this year, state fair general manager Chris Wiseman ruled Thursday. Ben Weinroth, a minor, can compete "pursuant to his status as a member in good standing with the Colorado 4-H," Wiseman said in a statement. Ben's 19-year-old sister, Maggie, also was reinstated — though she's now too old to participate in the fair's junior competition, Wiseman added. What led to the doping of goats 501 and 507, however, remains a whodunit.

Letter: Health insurance mandates infringe freedom of religion

How do you like living under a dictator? Barack Obama has just decided that any business or institution that provides insurance must pay for abortion drugs, contraceptive services, and sterilization, whether these services go against the religious principles of these entities or not. His "accommodation" because of the instant outrage of Americans against this nullification of our right to freedom of religion was nothing more than a cover-up. The corrupt policy is still in place.

Letter: Correcting flawed manners

This is for the socially deficient: 1. Think before you speak. 2. Don’t be loud and speak over a crowd. We know you’re there. 3. Don’t gossip. People like their secrets kept.

Houston died from drowning, coroner says

Whitney Houston was a chronic cocaine user who had the drug in her system when she drowned in a hotel bathtub, coroner's officials said Thursday after releasing autopsy findings that also noted heart disease contributed to her death. The disclosure ended weeks of speculation about what killed the Grammy-winning singer on Feb. 11 on the eve of the Grammy Awards. Houston was found submerged in the bathtub of her room at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, and her death was ruled accidental. Several bottles of prescription medications were found in her hotel room, but coroner's officials said there weren't excessive quantities. "We are saddened to learn of the toxicology results, although we are glad to now have closure," Patricia Houston, the singer's sister-in-law and manager, wrote in a statement to The Associated Press.

Man, accomplice plead guilty in murder-for-hire

A man accused of offering cash to have his estranged wife and brother-in-law killed pleaded guilty Thursday to two counts of first-degree murder in a deal that spares him the death penalty. The accused killer also pleaded guilty to the same counts. Christopher Wells and accomplice Josiah Sher were each given two consecutive life sentences in the deaths of Amara Wells and Robert Rafferty in Rafferty's home in Douglas County in 2011. Both were shot and stabbed. Chief Deputy District Attorney Brett Cochran said the plea agreements will save Wells' daughter, who was 6 at the time, from having to testify about seeing her mother's body and watching the attack on her uncle.

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Moffat County deputy D.A. resigning

The feeling was bittersweet Thursday for Jon Pfeifer, Moffat County deputy district attorney for the 14th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, when discussing his departure for a position in Grand Junction. “We’ve enjoyed Craig a lot and we’re sad to leave the people that have extended a tremendous amount of kindness to me and my family,” Pfeifer said. “This is just a better opportunity.” Pfeifer submitted his resignation in early March after three and a half years with the Moffat County D.A.’s office. His final day as deputy district attorney is March 30. Pfeifer will relocate to Grand Junction, where he has accepted a position as an associate with Rider & Quesenberry, LLP.

Letter: Thank you, coach

I wish to extend my thanks to coach Eric Hamilton for all he did for the varsity boys basketball team this year. The boys basketball team has gone through some transitions having three different coaches in three years. Coach Hamilton brought in the stability and direction that the team needed. Right from the start, Hamilton made it clear he wanted to instill a sense of pride in the team and to have the community share in that pride. His positive, caring attitude toward the boys helped give them pride in themselves and the winning attitude necessary to build a successful program.

Casino being explored near YVRA

Steamboat Springs Olympian Johnny Spillane and four local business partners are exploring the viability of building a casino, hotel and entertainment venue on land near Yampa Valley Regional Airport. The partnership faces many hurdles along the way, including winning the support of surrounding communities, finding an American Indian tribe to work with, jumping through the federal regulatory hoops and getting approval from the governor. “We’re still definitely in the process of gathering information,” said Steve Hofman, one of the group’s partners. “If we reach the point that we say that the project’s not viable, we’ll say that.” Spillane discussed the idea Thursday with Hofman, a Steamboat resident who spent much of his career in Washington, D.C., and was a U.S. assistant secretary of labor under former President George H. W. Bush.