Briefs for March 1, 2013

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Police warn residents about online scam

The Craig Police Department is warning residents to exercise caution when purchasing or selling goods and services online.

Police say a Craig resident recently thought he was using Craigslist to purchase a vehicle, and he used Google Wallet for the transaction. After communicating online and by telephone, the resident wired $4,000 to the suspected scammer. The vehicle never arrived as expected.

Scammers prey on sites like Craigslist and often are able to duplicate business and government images and logos to fool unsuspecting customers, according to a news release from the Craig Police Department.

“Such transactions are a huge risk,” Sgt. John Forgay said. “Residents are reminded to exercise caution and are encouraged to contact local authorities — before following through on a transaction — if there are any concerns or suspicions.”

Residents cautioned about lottery hoax

“You can’t win if you don’t play” is a phrase often heard in a line to buy lottery tickets, but it’s also one of the telltale signs of a scam, according to a Craig Police Department news release.

A Craig resident recently received a $3,989.72 check allegedly drawn on an account for “Dynasty International,” along with a letter from “Advanced Financial Incorporated.” The letter advised the resident he or she was the winner of a national drawing.

The letter also stated the person had won $150,000 and that $2,900 of the enclosed check needed to be returned as a processing fee in order to claim the entire winnings.

The Craig resident suspected the letter was a scam and reported it to the police department. An investigation confirmed the check was counterfeit.

When officers called the informational number included with the letter, a suspect told CPD he was located in India before hanging up the phone.

Craig police officials remind residents that sweepstakes notifications are always a scam, especially if a resident hasn’t entered a drawing. Also, legitimate sweepstakes drawings never require a processing fee in order to receive winnings.

Sandhill Crane Festival set for next week

Before the greater sandhill cranes come to Northwest Colorado to nest and breed, they put on a show in the southern part of the state.

About 25,000 of the giant birds stop in the San Luis Valley every year from mid-February through March during their migration from New Mexico. In appreciation of the spectacle put on by the cranes each spring, Colorado Parks and Wildlife is teaming up with organizations and businesses to put on the 30th annual Monte Vista Crane Festival.

The festival, which goes from March 8 to 10, will feature free tours twice a day in the Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge. It will also offer maps, schedules and workshops from bird and wildlife experts.

The 4-foot-tall cranes will be engaged in their mating ritual during the festival, performing a hopping dance to gain the attention of other birds. By the end of March, most of the cranes will have migrated to their summer nesting grounds in Idaho, Wyoming and Northwest Colorado.

For more information, visit the festival’s website at www.cranefest.com.

Neurologist presents at statewide conference

Dr. Pamela Kinder presented Friday at the Colorado Society of Osteopathic Medicine’s midwinter conference. Dr. Kinder, who practices general neurology in Steamboat Springs and Craig, discussed factors that may contribute to the higher incidence of Multiple Sclerosis in Colorado. The talk focused on recent studies implicating low vitamin D levels as one reason for the higher rate of MS in the state.

Local ranches named as award finalists

Two Northwest Colorado ranches are among the three finalists for the 2013 Leopold Conservation Award in Colorado. The award recognizes private landowner achievement in voluntary conservation.

Moffat County’s Visintainer Sheep Co. is a sheep and cattle ranch operated by Dean Visintainer and his son Gary. Meeker’s LK Ranch is a cattle ranch in Rio Blanco County cooperative owned and managed by Lowell and LoAnn Klinglesmith and their son Lenny and his wife, Jackie.

The other finalist is Yuma’s Wagon Wheel Ranch and Meeker’s LK Ranch.

The annual award is given in honor of conservationist Aldo Leopold, according to a news release. In his 1949 book “A Sand County Almanac,” Leopold called for an ethical relationship between people and the land they own and manage. He termed it “an evolutionary possibility and an ecological necessity.”

Applicants for the Leopold Conservation Award are judged based on their demonstration of improved resource conditions, innovation, long-term commitment to stewardship, sustained economic viability, community and civic leadership, and multiple use benefits, according to the news release.

The 2013 award recipient will receive $10,000. The winner will be announced March 19, and the award will be presented during the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association annual convention June 17 in Breckenridge. The Colorado Leopold Conservation Award is sponsored by the Sand County Foundation, the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association, the Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust, Encana Oil and Gas Inc. and Peabody Energy.

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