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Michael Bennet: Colorado driving innovative infrastructure ideas

Colorado’s economy relies on its workers’ ability to safely get to their jobs and send their kids to school. It needs businesses to have the ability to efficiently ship their products to market. It requires safe and sanitary water and sewer systems, as well as energy grids that can handle increasing demands.

Diane Prather: A hilarious tall tale

Can you imagine growing a watermelon so big that the hollow rind can be used as a hay shed or growing tomatoes so big that you have to climb a ladder to saw them off the vines? That’s how big the garden produce grows on the ranch at By-Golly Gully, Texas.

Stephanie Pearce: Camp Stephanie

You’ve heard me talk about my kids and how much I love them, but I also have a nephew that was in and out of our household throughout several years. I watched him when he was a baby while his mother worked, and when he was in fifth grade, he came to live with me for the school year. He traveled to school in Hayden with me and my son because that’s where I worked.

Mary Brown: What the rain leaves behind

One thing about rainy is that it brings out a lethargic feeling in some people, that feeling where it would be a good time to sleep or curl up with a good book. To some, the body is a barometer and decides that the aches and pains that are usually warnings of the weather to come are not going to let any resting be done in comfort.

From Pipi’s Pasture: General projects results from State Fair

Each year, “From Pipi’s Pasture” honors the Moffat County 4-H members who exhibited at the Colorado State Fair. Exhibitors qualify during judging at the Moffat County Fair. To be able to participate in the judging at the State Fair is a big deal. This week’s column is a listing of the judging results in General Projects.

Baxter Black: Fair board drama

I went to America last week … the middle of America, Kansas, to a county fair. I flew into Denver and drove across miles and miles of green prairie. If America has a heart, it’s out on the plains. It’s not an easy place to live. You have to earn its respect. It will test you with blizzards, tornadoes, floods, droughts, dust, plagues and loneliness. It is often all or none. One learns to be self-sufficient.

Visiting Angels: What happened to my nurse?

Recently while researching for a location to hold staff training in Routt and Moffat County, I came across some amazing information. The United States is in a nursing profession shortage.

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The Bock’s Office: ‘If I Stay’ offers mellifluous music-based melodrama

Hopefully you’re consulting something other than contemporary cinema when you look at the big questions, such as, “What’s the point of life?” Indeed, “If I Stay” can’t answer queries like this — and doesn’t try — but it maintains its own charms nonetheless.

Mike Littwin: Death penalty politics, gutsy and easy

The death penalty story is back. Gov. John Hickenlooper and Complete Colorado joined forces — sort of — to once again put the issue front and center in the governor's race. Hickenlooper's part was in giving a clumsy answer to a hypothetical question about Nathan Dunlap in a not-yet-aired CNN interview on capital punishment. And Complete Colorado — a conservative website — was the one that got hold of the unreleased audio featuring the clumsy answer.

Prather’s Pick: A thriller with some romance, too

Last week, I read three novels for adults, and all three kept me engrossed to the very last page. This week’s “Prather’s Pick” features one of the books. (I’ll do the others eventually.) “Last to Know” was written by Elizabeth Adler, the author of 29 novels. The publisher is Minotaur Books (2014).

Senior Spotlight: Autumn approaches

The signs of autumn become more apparent every day. There are more rainy days and cooler evenings, and children are starting school. Soon, there will be a community coat drive, and hunting seasons are about to begin.

Stephanie Pearce: We wish you were here

I feel your presence as I drive down the road. I thought about how you would have enjoyed this trip to State Fair. You would have enjoyed it because of the reason for the trip, to watch your granddaughter. I thought about you more on this particular trip than I have since you’ve been gone.

Over a Cup of Coffee: Remembering spiced fruit

I was looking through my old cookbook that no longer has front pages, and I turned to a page that featured recipes for pickled and spiced vegetables and fruits that can be used as “accompaniments for meats.”

Thinking About Health: When Congress says it’s OK to waste health care dollars

Evidence continues to pile up that Medicare Advantage plans are no advantage for taxpayers. MA plans, as they are called, are one alternative for seniors to receive their Medicare benefits. But in this case, the benefits come from government payments to private insurance carriers, not directly from the federal government.

Baxter Black: Sometimes you ask yourself ‘why?’

Jeff needed a workin’ pen for his little herd of cows. He decided all he needed was some panels and a head gate. He rounded up some 16-foot panels of continuous fence, a metal head gate and two 8-foot posts.