News for Friday, May 4, 2012

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Sunset Elementary uses international games to bring home math, physical education

Aaron Colby set his face in a resolute grimace Monday as he trotted through the Sunset Elementary School gym, a torch clutched in his determined hands. The Sunset Elementary kindergartener wasn’t carrying the real icon of the Olympic games. A paper cone with red and orange construction paper flames took the place of the torch that will signal the beginning of the international sporting event this summer. Aaron didn’t waver as he carried the torch dutifully to Moffat County High School track athletes, who would run it around the gym before the finale.

U.S. Senate passes bill to extend closure moratorium another year on rural post offices

The U.S. Senate last week passed legislation that could save rural post offices from closure for at least another year. S.1789, also known as the 21st Century Postal Service Act of 2012, passed the Senate with bipartisan support by a vote of 62-37. The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., was drafted to help the U.S. Postal Service modify its business practices and explore ways to manage the agency’s debt, which is estimated to reach $8 billion by the end of the year. It now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Moffat County roads scheduled for June improvements

The Moffat County road and bridge department will soon embark on an aggressive campaign to improve county roads for the first time since 2008. Roy Tipton, Moffat County developmental services director, said Wednesday five projects encompassing more than 10 miles of county roads are scheduled for overlay beginning in June. The Moffat County Commission approved plans in late April when it unanimously approved a $2.9 million bid from Connell Resources, Inc., for more than 42,000 tons of asphalt. The bulk of the road material will go towards repairing seven miles of Moffat County Road 4 east of Powder Wash camp and three miles of Moffat County Road 29 on the Moffat County side of Elkhead Reservoir, Tipton said.

Wildfire payment agreement reached in Colorado

A compensation agreement for victims of a deadly wildfire that chewed through the Colorado foothills in March and killed three people appears to have averted a political standoff. Colorado legislators agreed Thursday with a compromise suggestion from Attorney General John Suthers, a Republican who chastised members of his own party in the state House for seeking a way to give victims of the Lower North Fork Fire compensation beyond the $600,000 allowed under the Colorado Governmental Immunity Act. Some Democrats agreed with Suthers, setting up a potentially ugly political confrontation in the closing days of the Colorado Legislature. Suthers' proposal was to keep the liability cap but add state-set fires to the exemptions. The proposal would allow fire victims to seek amounts greater than $600,000 while preserving the overall liability cap, which is in place to protect state taxpayers from unlimited payments in damage claims.

Letter: Dr. Joel Miller deserving of praise

I have been thinking of writing again and after seeing the letter from Renee Fuller, I echo her praise about Dr. Miller. He is the best doctor in this town since Dr. Told left, and I had him for 35 years. About a year and a half ago, I had to go to the hospital and I had to go to another doctor because Dr. Miller isn’t allowed to admit patients. My blood pressure was way too high and the doctor couldn’t get it down for six months, so I had Dr. Miller check me out.

Letter: 9Health Fair a success thanks to community support

The 9Health Fair was able to serve 420 people at the Craig Lions Club 32nd annual health screening at The Memorial Hospital in Craig. The success was due to the unstinted efforts of more than 40 volunteers, and Craig Lions want to thank everyone for their help. Beka Warren and Christine Cooper, along with Lion Kristi Shepherd, spearheaded the move of the fair to the hospital. Volunteers from the nursing staff and students from Colorado Northwestern Community College's nursing program manned more than 10 blood draw stations, and maintenance employees, food servers and Pink Ladies pitched in.

Colorado snowpack remains well below average

Colorado's snowpack is quickly melting, as warm, dry conditions persist. The Natural Resources Conservation Service says the statewide snowpack was 19 percent of average as of May 1, with more than half of all snow survey locations in the state reporting no snow. The statewide snowpack was listed at 22 percent of average Thursday. State conservationist Phyllis Ann Philipps of the Natural Resources Conservation Service says the statewide snowpack looks to have peaked around March 12, which is a month ahead of average. Current conditions match those recorded during the record-setting drought of 2002 in Colorado.

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MCHS swimmer to row for Merchant Marines in fall

Toning up his biceps and shoulders to propel himself through water has become a daily routine for Moffat County High School senior John Kirk. Practicing the backstroke, butterfly and other techniques in the MCHS pool has strengthened his body and mind continually, something that comes in useful during swim meets but will be even more constructive for his post-high school plans. Kirk this fall will be part of the rowing team for the United States Merchant Marine Academy this fall. He said the road to the academy has been a complicated one. Though he has always planned on a career in the military, it was only last summer when he chose the Merchant Marines.

Janet Sheridan: Anything worth doing

Each spring, I climb to the attic above the garage to fetch my clean and organized gardening gear: spades, pots, coiled hoses, pruning shears. As I carry the equipment downstairs, I congratulate myself on the care I took when I stored it away the previous fall. As she predicted, I’ve turned into my mother, but the conversion required time and effort on her part. “Anything worth doing is worth doing well,” my mother told me one summer day as she shook her head over the floor I’d vacuumed without moving footstools, abandoned shoes, or babies.

Seau suicide turns up focus on brain injuries

Dave Duerson made it easy to understand why he was ending his tortured life. Before the former Chicago Bears star fired a bullet into his chest last year, he left word with his family to have his brain examined for damage he believed was caused by repeated blows to the head from his hell-bent style on the football field. Junior Seau was an even bigger star in the NFL, and yet he ended his life Wednesday in much the same way as Duerson and former Atlanta Falcons safety Ray Easterling: self-inflicted gunshot wounds. Now friends wonder if the San Diego icon hoped his death might leave a greater legacy than any of his amazing feats on the gridiron.

Briefs for May 4: Tobacco use survey underway

The N-CTRL coalition, led by the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association and Grand Futures Prevention Coalition, is conducting a public opinion survey to gather information about children and teen tobacco use. The survey is open to Craig, Hayden and Oak Creek residents. To access the survey, visit www.surveymonkey.com/s/5S3H3N9 or visit the N-CTRL Facebook page. For more information, call Vicki Barron, VNA community health educator, at 875-1883 or email her at vbarron@nwcovna.org.