News for Saturday, May 5, 2012



Colo civil unions bill gets OK by another panel

Gay couples came one step closer Friday to having civil unions in Colorado after another Republican-led House committee approved legislation that appears to have enough support to get to the governor's desk. The finance committee approved the measure with a 7-6 vote after the bill passed the House judiciary committee late Thursday. Rep. Don Beezley was the only Republican to support the measure on the finance panel. "For me, it really came down to that basic issue of fairness and doing the right thing," Beezley said, echoing a similar comment made by Republican Rep. B.J. Nikkel, who joined Democrats on the judiciary committee in approving the measure.

Test confirms rabies in skunk near Fort Collins

Larimer County health officials say a skunk found close to the foothills west of Fort Collins has tested positive for rabies. They are warning hikers to keep their distance from wild skunks and predators. They also say dogs should be kept on leashes. Health officials say unvaccinated pets that come into contact with a rabid animal need to be euthanized or vaccinated and quarantined. Rabies is a virus that affects the nervous system in mammals and is often deadly.

Lawyer: Edwards knew money was for his benefit

The lawyer for a wealthy heiress who provided secret payments intended to help John Edwards testified Friday that the former presidential candidate acknowledged the money had been given for his benefit. Alex D. Forger said that Edwards' then-lawyer Wade Smith told him in the fall of 2008 that the former candidate agreed that the $725,000 given by 101-year-old Rachel "Bunny" Mellon had been provided to help him. It wasn't clear from Forger's testimony at Edwards' criminal trial precisely when Edwards learned about the checks given to his aide, Andrew Young. Some of Mellon's money was used to hide Edwards' pregnant mistress as he sought the White House in 2008. Whether Edwards had knowledge of the cover-up is a key question in his prosecution on charges related to campaign finance corruption. Edwards has denied knowing about the secret payments from Mellon. Young testified last week his former boss directed the scheme from the start.

Sports Briefs for May 5: MCHS baseball playing final game of season today

The Moffat County High School varsity baseball team will finish its season with a doubleheader against Glenwood Springs starting at 11 a.m. today at Craig Middle School, 915 Yampa Ave. The Bulldogs are 4-12 overall and 2-8 in the 4A Western Slope League, after splitting a doubleheader against Steamboat Springs earlier this week. Coach Justin Folley said he expects a good, competitive set of games against the Demons (8-9, 6-4). Though MCHS is out of playoff contention, Glenwood is fighting for the postseason.

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LSRV senior preps for busy summer of hoops

2012 has been a big year for Little Snake River Valley School’s Morgan Wille, and will continue to be in the coming months. After her basketball team capped an undefeated season by winning the Wyoming 1A state title, the Baggs, Wyo., senior thought there couldn’t be a better way to end her high school hoops career. She couldn’t have known then that there was more in store. Wille was recently selected by Sheridan College for the Wyoming vs. Montana All-Star event scheduled for this summer. Wille, who will be attending the school in the fall following her graduation from LSRV, will play in the basketball tournament for college-bound high school seniors on in June in Sheridan, Wyo., and Billings, Mont.

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MCHS swimmers place 3rd at home

Before Friday afternoon, Steamboat Springs High School freshman Brenden Carta had yet to see what a home meet was like in the Moffat County High School pool facilities. By the end of the day, the MCHS boys varsity swimmer, who attends Steamboat Springs High School but swims with the Bulldogs, was looking forward to several more chances to host surrounding schools in the coming years. The swim team placed third out of four teams in the Moffat County Invitational, its last regular meet of the season, competing against visiting Montrose, Glenwood Springs and Gunnison. With 16 swimmers to Moffat County’s six, Montrose won the day by sheer numbers, gaining 614.5 total points to MCHS’ 240.5, due largely to multiple swimmers in every event, including numerous relay squads.

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The gift of goodbye: Craig Police Department officers awarded for heroic actions during February fire

When Craig Police Department officer Mike Edwards knocked on the door of a burning house on the night of Feb. 7, he didn’t expect anyone to answer. “People were saying, ‘There’s nobody in there,’ but for some reason, with a car parked in the driveway, I didn’t know if there was anybody in the house,” said Edwards, a 10-year police veteran. “I went up and knocked on the door and a guy from the inside said, ‘Come on in.’” The man inside the house, 75-year-old Patrick Hunter, was trying to escape from a fire that was engulfing his home at 1912 Woodlawn, a fire that claimed the life of his ex-wife and live-in companion, Ursula Hunter.

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Newcomers in HD57, SD8 participate in Bears Ears Tea Party Patriots forum

As a 29-year educator and past Moffat County School Board president, one might expect Jo Ann Baxter to side with U.S. Department of Education policies. But when asked Thursday what the federal government’s role should be in the education of Moffat County students, Baxter delivered an unexpected answer. “I’ve supported the Department of Education, but I haven’t always agreed with the Department of Education,” Baxter said. “Although it did bring public school education to the forefront in our country, No Child Left Behind is false. I’m the first one to admit that.” Baxter, a Democrat in the race for Colorado House District 57, taught for 29 years in the social studies department at Moffat County High School.

Editorial: A picturesque impression

A little more than a week from now, on May 14, an interesting and artistic exhibit will open at the Museum of Northwest Colorado in Craig that not only captures and defines Americana, but is also wholly unique to anything that's appeared in town before. No, we're not talking about the remains of the bear killed Sunday in Craig, though that may be a topic for another opinion piece. We're referring to the 314 original tear sheets by Norman Rockwell, one tear sheet for each cover the legendary artist created for the Saturday Evening Post. The exhibit will be open until Sept. 28, and the editorial board is not only looking forward to the display, but also encourages people in the community to check it out as well. The Rockwell exhibit, combined with a slate of activities set for this summer, are sure to draw out-of-town visitors, which bodes well for local businesses specifically and the local economy generally.

Diane Prather: Education and fun intermingle at Ag Day

Approximately 175 fourth-graders and their teachers gathered April 26 at the Moffat County Fairgrounds to participate in Ag Day, an annual agriculture awareness event. Sponsored by the Moffat County Cattlewomen, Ag Day’s purpose is to give students a chance to experience agriculture through exhibits and demonstrations, some of which were interactive. This year, Sunset, Sandrock and Ridgeview elementary schools attended the event. Students and teachers reported to the fairgrounds at appointed times — Sandrock and Ridgeview attended in the morning and Sunset in the afternoon.

Letter: Tootsie Roll Drive a success

The Knights of Columbus of Craig would like to take the time to thank the Safeway and City Market stores for allowing us to set up our annual Tootsie Roll Drive at each store. Additionally, the Knights would like to thank all members of the community who donated to the Tootsie Roll Drive by which the Knights succeeded in raising approximately $2,000, which will be evenly divided between the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association and Horizons. The check was formally presented April 12. Thank you for your support.

Letter: Thanks to the angels in Craig

Our family would like to share with the community how our lives in the last two weeks have been touched by angels who live right here in our quiet little town. Our mother, Kathy Parsons-Gallagher, died April 23 from colon cancer. We brought her home on Hospice care April 13. The next day, Calvary Baptist Church started bringing food every day, and they fed our family for 10 days. Deacons and church members came by every day to read the Bible to our mother and pray with her. This meant so much to her and we believe helped her find peace with God and her death. We are very honored to be a part of such a wonderful gracious church as Calvary Baptist.

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Club opened doors, provided healing for Craig teen

Kadi Scott stepped out of the whirlwind of noise and laughter Wednesday afternoon, seeking a calm corner in the Boys & Girls Club of Craig. Calm being a relative term. As the junior staff member spoke about her past and future, both now intricately connected to the club, a boy peeked into the room to show her a small vehicle he created from a toy construction set, his face alight with pride. It’s not unusual for children to be drawn to Scott. “She’s kind of like a magnet here,” said Kim Maneotis, Boys & Girls Club of Craig unit director.

Grassroots education group planning for future initiatives

With their inaugural project nearly completed, members of a newly formed education group are looking down the road. Friends of Moffat County Education is wrapping up its 13-3 Book Project, which was designed to gather enough used books and cash donations to give 13,000 books to children in preschool through fifth grade. The nonprofit organization exceeded its target by about 200 books, said Chris Jones, Friends of Moffat County Education Board president. Moffat County residents can expect to see the Book Project next year. FMCE plans to offer it annually through a literacy initiative, one of the group’s six funding targets. The next step is to find the financial resources.

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Hayden resident recalls discovery of locked deer antlers

Growing up I lived on a cattle and sheep ranch in Northwest Colorado. In the mid-1960s, Moffat County was overrun by jackrabbits, and like most teenage boys, jackrabbit hunting was one of my obsessions. My parents would encourage my brother and I to hunt rabbits whenever we wanted. The rabbits would eat into the stacks of baled hay and undermine the bottom row of bales considerably.

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Remodel underway at TMH Medical Clinic to make way for pediatrics

A long room where patients were once wheeled in for day surgery was nearly empty Friday morning. A small stack of Bibles sat on the windowsill, remnants from when the building, now The Memorial Hospital Medical Clinic, served as the hospital before a new facility was built at 750 Hospital Loop. But the empty room is taking on new life. This summer, it will become the main waiting and check-in area for a new pediatric unit.

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Weather delays Tebo Center opening until July

In December 2011 Stephen Tebo, of Boulder-based Tebo Development, announced plans to build a 10,477-square-foot retail complex in Craig. Tebo Center, slated to be the new home of Maurices women’s clothing store and Alabama-based Hibbett Sports, was scheduled to be open for business this month. But as of Friday, only the building’s exterior walls appear to be in place. Progress has been slow, Tebo said Friday, and a grand opening has subsequently been pushed back until later this summer.

Over a Cup: 'Strawberry Milkshake,' a tasty summer treat

One recent morning, over a cup of coffee, I was admiring the pink blossoms on the crabapple tree that’s just outside the window. Some calves were playing in the little pasture next to the backyard, not seeming to mind the sprinkles of rain that were falling. (Indeed, we’re delighted for rain.) And while I enjoy this early morning, I’ve decided to browse through a notebook of recipes and menu ideas, hoping to find some ideas for summer meals. I’ve had this notebook for a long time.

Briefs for May 5: Traffic delays on Moffat County Road 35 begin Monday

Culvert replacement will cause traffic delays beginning Monday at the intersection of Moffat County Road 35 and Colorado Highway 394. Delays are expected to continue through Thursday. For more information, call the Moffat County Road Department at 824-3211.

Government Update for May 5: Moffat County Commission meeting

When: 8:30 a.m. Tuesday Where: Moffat County Courthouse, 221 W. Victory Way Agenda: • 8:30 to 8:35 a.m. Call to order, Pledge of Allegiance, moment of silence