Craig briefs for Sept. 12 | CraigDailyPress.com

Craig briefs for Sept. 12

Gar Williams said he believes in veterans helping veterans. Williams, American Legion Department of Colorado commander, is proud that his was the first state chapter in the country to support the Huey 091 Foundation’s program to provide disabled soldiers with Johnson & Johnson iBOT wheelchairs. The chairs are new to the market and allow the user a previously unseen amount of maneuverability, said Charles Bogle, director of Colorado Initiatives for the Huey Foundation. iBOT chairs can climb stairs, go over any kind of ground surface and can raise the user up so they don’t have to feel stuck to the ground, he said. “Rather than the person in a conventional wheelchair looking up at the whole world, they can look people eyeball to eyeball,” Bogle said. “This piece of equipment is life-changing.” The foundation’s first presentation to a veteran is scheduled for 5 p.m. Sept. 19 at the Pueblo Convention Center in Pueblo. Pvt. Cody Becker, who was paralyzed from the chest down in a training exercise at Ft. Carson, will receive the chair. Bogle said each chair costs about $24,000. The foundation depends on private donations to buy them. Residents interested in learning more about the program and the foundation can call Bogle at 719-371-0048. Residents can mail donations to: America’s Huey 091 Education Foundation Inc. c/o Gary Lawson Strasburger & Price, LLC 901 Main St., Suite 4400 Dallas, Texas 75270 Cub Scout meeting to be held next week Cub Scout Pack No. 166 in Craig will host an information/registration night next week for boys in the first through fifth grades. The event is scheduled for 7 p.m. Sept. 18 at the American Legion Post No. 62, 1055 County Road 7. Fliers with additional information also will be distributed at area elementary schools. For more information, call Randy or Cindy Looper at 826-4444 or e-mail elkruninn@yahoo.com. Broncos to visit Boys & Girls Club on Sept. 22 On Sept. 22, the Denver Broncos Football Club will visit the Boys & Girls Club of Craig to thank fans for their support of the team, according to a news release from the team. From 3 to 4:30 p.m., the public is invited to meet Broncos cheerleaders, Miles the Mascot, Ring of Fame member Billy Thompson and view the team’s Super Bowl trophies and enjoy other activities. “I’ve always been amazed and humbled by the tremendous support we receive from our fans,” Broncos owner Pat Bowlen said in the release. “We know that when we take the field, we represent not just the Denver Broncos organization, but the entire city of Denver, state of Colorado, Rocky Mountain region and other proud citizens of Broncos Country all around the world. “I wish we could bring the entire team, but the players and coaches are all busy getting ready for the season. Hopefully, the folks will still enjoy what we can do this time of year and know how much we appreciate them.” The event will feature a presentation of a Broncos Country flag to Craig Mayor Don Jones. Another flag will be on hand for fans to sign, which the team will take back to INVESCO Field, where the flag will be displayed for years to come, according to the news release. The event is free and will feature autographs, photo opportunities, games and a raffle for Broncos prizes. Local band releases new country album “High Country” is the latest offering from the John Wayne Band, which includes Wayne Davis, John Allen, his son, Wayde Allen, daughter-in-law Jodie Allen and grandson James Allen. Allen Audio produced, arranged and recorded the CD, which is now available at the Museum of Northwest Colorado and Downtown Books. “This is the toe-tapping sound of Moffat County – driving down dusty roads, coming upon a herd of elk or black cows scattered across the landscape,” according to a news release. “If you love the John Wayne Band in person, you’ll enjoy this music.” The band plays old favorites like “Four Walls,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” and “Loving Her Was Easier,” and also original songs like “High Country Woman,” and “Mountain Harmony.” Daily Press editorial board seeks members The Craig Daily Press is seeking three to four people to participate on its next editorial board, which begins Oct 1. Editorial board members meet from noon to 1 p.m. Mondays to discuss the paper’s opinion piece for the following Wednesday and Saturday papers. Editorial board terms last three months. To apply, call Editor Jennifer L. Grubbs at 875-1790, or e-mail jgrubbs@craigdailypress.com. Sportsman Information Center looking to compile list for hunters The Craig Chamber of Commerce’s Sportsman Information Center has received a number of requests from hunters seeking private land access. They typically ask for a list of property owners who have obtained private land vouchers from the Colorado Division of Wildlife. Due to privacy restrictions, the DOW is not able to disclose the names of property owners who hold vouchers. The Craig Chamber of Commerce is interested in compiling a list of property owners who hold private land vouchers and are willing to make those vouchers available for purchase by prospective hunters. Interested voucher holders should contact the Craig Chamber of Commerce at 824-5689 or 824-3046 to reach the Sportsman Information desk. Requests can also be mailed to the Craig Chamber of Commerce, 360 E. Victory Way, Craig, CO, 81625. Openings on Thursday Mixed Doubles League The Thursday Mixed Doubles League still has openings. For more information, call Phyllis or Thunder Rolls at 824-2695. Veterans Affairs Medical Center looking for low income veterans The Grand Junction Veterans Medical Center is looking for low income veterans who might qualify for medical care based on income. Currently, the income threshold for a single veteran with no dependants is $28,429 and $34,117 for a married veteran. The threshold is $1,909 higher for each additional dependant a veteran has. Qualified low income veterans do not have to have a service connected disability to receive care. To be eligible for care, a veteran must have been discharged under honorable conditions. For more information call (970) 242-0731, ext. 2407 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. After business hours callers should ask the operator to put them through to customer relations voice mail. VNA one-year participant in reading program The Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association recently celebrated its first anniversary of participating in Reach Out and Read, a national literacy program. VNA has distributed close to 1500 books to scores of children since this past year at their offices in Steamboat Springs, Craig and Walden. The VNA is one of 120 programs in Colorado that participate in Reach Out and Read, which benefits more than 81,000 infants, toddlers and preschoolers in Colorado annually. The VNA has participated in the program since 2007. “Reach Out and Read trains health providers to advise parents about the importance of reading aloud and to give books to children at check-ups from six months to five years,” according to a news release from the VNA. “Through Reach Out and Read, each child starts kindergarten with a home library of up to 10 new, carefully chosen books and a parent who has heard at every health supervision visit about the importance of books and reading.” The program provides bilingual books in12 languages. For more information about the VNA’s Reach Out and Read program, call 824-8233. Yampa Valley Chorus seeking new director (added 9/2) The multiple award-winning Yampa Valley Chorus is looking for a skilled musician, male or female, to be its new director. Although the chorus is part of Sweet Adelines International, barbershop experience is not required. The chorus meets at 7 p.m. each Thursday at Sunset Elementary School Music Room and rehearses for about three hours. The chorus is planning a Christmas concert for the first part of December, and its annual show usually is in February. The chorus also competes every year in a seven-state region. This year’s competition is April 30 through May 2 in Colorado Springs. The chorus also occasionally performs in the community when the occasion arises. The chorus would like its new director, in addition to helping bring its repertory songs up to performance caliber, to teach warm-ups with proper vocal exercises and correct vocal technique. The chorus would make available all educational programs available through the organization. Anyone interested in the position should call Brenda Hershiser at 824-5993 or Jeanne Stalcar at 824-7640. CrimeStoppers seeking information on armed robbery (Added 8/29) A suspect thought to be male robbed the Loaf-N-Jug convenience store, 2441 W. Victory Way, at gunpoint about midnight Thursday, Aug. 28, the Craig Police Department reported. The suspect, who was wearing a mask with a hooded sweatshirt, demanded money from the night clerk and left with an undisclosed amount. Anyone with information about the crime that leads to the apprehension and prosecution of those involved is to call CrimeStoppers at 824-3535. Callers may remain anonymous and be eligible for a cash reward. Mud Run canceled The annual Mud Run event, scheduled for Sept. 13, has been canceled, due largely to soccer field construction at Loudy-Simpson Park. Crash still under investigation A single-engine air tanker crash still is under investigation, the Bureau of Land Management reported in a news release. The crash occurred about 3 p.m. Wednesday (8-27) while responding to a fire 20 miles northwest of Meeker that was reported at 10:25 a.m. “The pilot was flown to Grand Junction with apparently minor injuries after walking away from the crash,” the BLM reported. Meeker Volunteer Fire and Ambulance responded to the crash. The pilot has been released from the hospital after having suffered minor injuries, said David Boyd, BLM public affairs specialist for Northwest Colorado. The pilot’s name is being withheld. BLM officials said more information on the investigation would be released as it becomes available. Head start on Head Start Craig Head Start is accepting applications for the 2008-09 program year. Children who turn age 3 or 4 before Aug. 31 are eligible. Call 824-9307 for more information. City-adopted Alcohol Retailer Toolkits available The Youth Wellness Initiative has created an Alcohol Retailer Toolkit to aid in reducing underage drinking among youths. The toolkit will automatically be sent to alcohol purveyors as part of their liquor license renewal packet in 2008. The toolkit includes a copy of Colorado liquor laws, policies and procedures that retailers are encouraged to adopt, a responsible alcohol server agreement for employers to have staff members sign, warning stickers and signs, an ID checking guide and a list of available training resources. Liquor license holders who do not want to wait until their liquor licenses are renewed to receive an Alcohol Retailer Toolkit are encouraged to call Grand Futures Prevention Coalition at 879-6188. First dog competition slated for September Craig’s first Disc Dog competition will take place Sept. 27. Honey Rock Dogs will host the event, and all proceeds will benefit the Humane Society of Moffat County. The competition is open to any owner or dog team in a variety of classes. “Whether you have a champion disc catcher or just a casual fetcher, plan to join the fun,” Honey Rock Dogs reported in a news release. “Two free throwing/catching clinics will be offered this spring and summer to help prepare contestants. For more information, call Shannan Koucherik at 824-9518. Chamber seeks volunteers Craig Chamber of Commerce/Moffat County Visitor Center is looking for volunteers to staff the Visitor Center. “The Visitor Center has been staffed for several years using a federally-funded job placement program, which is losing participants,” said Christina Currie, Craig Chamber of Commerce Executive Director. “The funding isn’t available to staff that position, so we’re looking for volunteers who are knowledgeable about Moffat County and like to interact with the public.” Staff at the visitor center answer phones, prepare mailings, stock brochures and assist customers in any way possible. “It’s not physically demanding, nor is it stressful,” Currie said. “Those who come in are happy to be here and thrilled with any assistance we can offer them. Our job is customer service, plain and simple.” Anyone who is interested should call Currie at 824-5689 for more information. Alumni Association accepting aid to refurbish school building The Browns Park School Alumni Association is planning to refurbish the Browns Park School building, located about 90 miles west of Craig on Highway 318. Upcoming projects include painting the outside of the building. For more information or to get involved, call 970-365-3655. Christian school open for enrollment, seeking facilities Eagle’s Wings Christian School is currently accepting enrollment for the 2008-09 school year. One-year tuition for half-day kindergarten costs $2,000 per child. Full-year tuition for all other students costs $2,500 for the first child enrolled. Price deductions will offered for each child enrolled up to four children. Registration costs $100. Book fees are $150 for kindergarten students, $200 for first- through eighth-grade students and $200 for high school students. To enroll or for more information, call 824-4268 or 824-6152. School officials are also looking for facility to house the school. Anyone interested in renting a building to the school should call 824-4268 or 824-6152. Mack receives research grant for Mount Harris stories The Colorado Endowment for the Humanities has awarded Chuck Mack, lifetime Yampa Valley resident and retired coalminer, a $1,000 research grant to collect and complete his stories of the Mt. Harris community. This will be the first book published about the Mount Harris area since Ruth Douglas Johnson published “Mr. Harris Echoes” in 1979. The award year is from June 2008 to April 2009, at which time Mack will have a completed manuscript ready for publication. He recently gave a brownbag lecture on the subject of Mt. Harris at the Tread of Pioneers Museum in Steamboat Springs. Earlier this year, he gave a presentation talk about Mt. Harris to Preserving the Last Frontier and at a Lions Club luncheon. Chuck Mack is available to talk about the book and his adventures of 45.5 years in area coalmines. For more information, call Chuck Mack at 824-5454. Humane Society sponsoring fundraiser show (added 6/1/08) The Humane Society of Moffat County announced it is sponsoring the “Magic, Magic, Magic Show,” an event to raise money for special needs at the animal shelter, care for abused and abandoned animals and medical expenses such as vaccination and the spay/neuter program. The show is scheduled for 7 p.m. Sept. 20 at Moffat County High School. Ticket information will be released at a later date. Health officials: Check measles immunizations Public health officials in Colorado and across the United States are warning travelers to check their measles immunization status before traveling internationally this summer. Measles, a highly infectious disease long kept in check by robust immunization efforts, is making a comeback in the United States. For more information about measles or about what vaccinations babies, children and adults should receive, please visit the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s Web site at http://www.cdphe.state.co.us or call 877-462-2911. Salazar accepting applications for military academy The Grand Junction Office of U.S. Congressman John T. Salazar is accepting applications for students who are interested in attending a military service academy. All application materials for the class of 2013 must be received by Oct. 17 to be considered in the nomination process. For information, or to request an application packet, call George Delahanty at 970-245-7107. Pictures sought for memorial golf tourney Organizers are seeking pictures of Jack Kelly for the Jack Kelly Memorial Golf Tournament on Sept. 28. For sponsorship or tournament information, call Stephanie at 326-6578. Nicotine patches available through Colorado Quitline Free nicotine patches or gum are available only by calling the Colorado Quitline at 1-800-QUIT NOW (784-8669). Pick up your free Quit Kits (no patches or gum included) at the Steamboat Visiting Nurses Association, 940 Central Park Drive, Suite 101, or Craig VNA, 745 Russell St. Web site accepting children’s book reviews The Big Apple Book Club is accepting video book reviews of Newberry Award-winning books from children ages 7 to 13. The book club is sponsored by http://www.MeetMeAtTheCorner.org, a Web site that sends children on virtual field trips. Instructions on writing and producing the book review are available at the Web site. Final cassette tapes can be mailed to Meet Me At the Corner “Big Apple Book Club,” 1710 First Ave., PO box 283, New York, NY, 10128. All submissions are the property of Meet Me at the Corner and will not be returned. Book reviews will be added to the Web site on an ongoing basis. Visit http://www.MeetMeAtTheCorner.org for more information. Daughters of the American Revolution Anyone interested in becoming a member of a new chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution in the Craig area should contact Shannan Koucherik at 824-9518. Free assistance is available to help women 18 years and older trace family lines to their revolutionary patriots. The DAR is a national organization dedicated to patriotism and education. Chamber seeking board candidates The Craig Chamber of Commerce is seeking candidates for a 2009-11 term on the Chamber’s board of directors. Four seats are available. The Chamber’s bylaws require that a minimum of two Chamber members serve on a nominating committee for these positions. Anyone who is interested in serving as a Chamber board member or on the nominating committee, or would like more information about these positions, should call Christina Currie at 824-5689. Donations to aid local resident with cancer Donations for longtime Hayden/Craig resident Kimble Frentress will be accepted at any First National Bank of the Rockies. Proceeds will be used to help with ongoing cancer treatment and travel expenses. For more information, call the bank at 824-6533 or Dollie Frentress at 629-1350. DBA seeking vendors (added July 15) The Downtown Business Association’s Farmer’s Market is looking for vendors of locally grown produce and hand made items, including honey, eggs, soap, cut flowers, cards, jewelry and goat’s milk. The farmers market runs from 3 to 6 p.m., every Thursday, in Alice Pleasant Park until Sept. 26. There is no fee for sellers for setting up. Nonprofit organizations, fundraisers, and information booths are invited to set up booths for informational and fundraising purposes. The farmers market also is scheduling musicians and information specialists. For more information, call 824-5343. Goods accepted for veterans (added July 14) As part of an ongoing effort to collect needed items for local veterans, Love INC will be accepting certain furniture and computer parts donations. The project initially was spearheaded by Janie Withers, 55, a Craig resident. Anyone with small furniture items, specifically shelving, other vertical stands or computer parts and accessories, is encouraged to call Love INC at 826-4400. Officials ask that residents call before making donations. Book sales extended Moffat County Library will host their sales of bags of used books on a daily basis. The sales – originally scheduled for Wednesdays – have been increased because of public interest. Every day of the week, the staff will set up the tables of books outside the library during regular business hours. The books are donated by “Friends of the Library,” and additional racks of them can be found inside the building. $1 buys a bag and an assortment of books, the proceeds of which go toward “Friends of the Library.” The sales will continue for the rest of the summer, weather permitting, or for as long as the books are in supply. For more information, call 824-5116. Friday blacksmith shows at Wyman (added July 8) In its efforts to show visitors a glimpse of “living history,” the Wyman Museum plans to have blacksmith demonstrations every Friday this summer. Dalton Reed, of Clark, has worked for the museum for about five years, Curator Nicky Boulger said, and has wanted to show off his craft for a while. After searching, the museum purchased a blacksmith shop out of Walden for Reed to use. “This is a living history museum,” Boulger said, “and we want people to be able to watch how things were made in the old days, exactly as they were made.” Reed plans to make several things, including tools, a dinner bell and a tomahawk out of a railroad spike. Boulger added he would take requests from visitors, who can purchase the items and materials from Reed at his shop at the museum.

Structural steel work begins on new hospital

Clemens story was big news

I really don’t know what to make of the Roger Clemens incident. On one hand, I can see the irony of one of the greatest professional baseball players of all time getting tossed from a Little League game. On the other hand, I’m amazed that a story about such a minor incident could consume so many professional journalists at once. On Monday, the phone rang non-stop here at the Daily Press. ESPN, CNN, Inside Edition, Good Morning America, radio stations, network affiliates in Denver, Houston and Bakersfield, Calif., and tabloids in New York all called, wanting more details than I could provide. Who was the ump who tossed Clemens? Did anyone shoot video of the altercation? Did we have a picture we could e-mail to them? At first, I admit it was kind of neat to be connected to the Big Story of the Day. But as the phone calls mounted and I couldn’t focus on my own newspaper because of an endless stream of interruptions, it really made me stop and wonder. What’s the big deal? Why should Clemens be scrutinized for getting on an ump’s case — something other fathers do all the time without making headlines. Doesn’t that make the Daily Press guilty of sensationalism? After all, we broke the story. I don’t think so. Clemens is a high-profile celebrity and in Craig, Colo., the mere fact that he was in town was news. So I could certainly justify writing a story for our paper about something that happened here. But I thought the reaction from the national media was a little over the top. I’m a huge baseball fan. I thought it was neat just to get a glimpse of a living legend. And I thought it was unfair that Clemens couldn’t watch his son play in peace. During the game, he was constantly approached for autographs. He signed a lot of baseballs over the weekend. He seems like a devoted father. He structured his contract so he could spend time away from the Houston Astros when he’s not pitching and watch his sons play the game he loves. By the time you read this, it’ll be yesterday’s news.

Southwestern Energy third quarter earnings show continued interest in Northwest Colorado

Southwestern Energy had its third quarter earnings teleconference Friday morning, where top executive briefly highlighted oil and gas play in Northwest Colorado. The company closed on a deal in May 2014 to purchase approximately 306,000 net acres in Northwest Colorado from Quicksilver Resources, Inc., a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell, for about $180 million. Additionally, in July, the company purchased approximately 74,000 net acres for roughly $31 million. These purchases allow the company to explore crude oil, natural gas liquids and natural gas in the Niobrara Formation in Moffat and Routt counties. Since purchasing the land in March, Southwestern has drilled three vertical wells in Northwest Colorado and are beginning to drill their first horizontal well. The company is planning to drill another vertical well in the first quarter of 2015. "It will take drilling of eight to ten wells to determine the economic viability of this play," Mueller said. "We are encouraged so far." Mueller also said the company's speed in growth on the Niobrara will depend completely on the discovery. "The economics won't be known on that until this time next year," Mueller said. The company, although experiencing a drop in net income between third quarter 2013 and third quarter 2014, has had growth and good results at other locations, as well. Bill Way, executive vice president and chief operating officer at Southwestern Energy, said both the company's play in the Marcellus Formation and the Fayetteville Shale has grown. Way said Fayetteville had record production rates and at both locations the company is experimenting with new drilling techniques. "We remain committed to growing our production and look for economic opportunities to add additional capacity to our portfolio," Way said. "It helps partially insulate the company during the slower times." The Niobrara Formation spans parts of the Sand Wash basin. Steve Mueller, President and Chief Executive Officer of Southwestern Energy, said in the March news release that several characteristics of the basin make it attractive to the company.

A look at some of the top news stories of 2011 in Craig and Moffat County

Firefighters hold off fire at Cedar Mountain John Stehle was fast asleep Aug. 9 at his home at the base of Cedar Mountain after a long shift at Colowyo Coal Co., where he works as a nighttime heavy equipment operator. Stehle's friend, Phil Pinnt, was haying in a neighboring field when he noticed smoke billowing into the sky a few hundred yards away from Stehle's home. It was the beginning of what would later be called the Cedar Fire. Pinnt woke up his friend and then reported the growing fire to authorities, a move Stehle later credited as one that saved not only his home, but also his life. Dinosaur town officials: Casino could help revitalize economy In an effort to save their town during a difficult economic time, officials in Dinosaur, a town 90 miles west of Craig, opened discussions with the Ute Indian Tribe of northeastern Utah to try to bring a casino, hotel and golf course resort to the area. Discussions are continuing. Famous local photo inspires new museum exhibit in Craig On Dec. 11, 1966, 13-year-old Ted Myers was rabbit hunting on his family's ranch off Colorado Highway 317 near Hamilton when he happened upon a unique discovery — two 4-point mule deer bucks in locked horns while fighting during rut. The animals later died while straddling a wire fence. Former Hayden Valley Press photographer Nick DeLuca would shoot a photo famously known as "Death Duel" of the animals struggling against one another. Today, the picture is in the process of a life-size makeover and will soon be on display at the Museum of Northwest Colorado, 590 Yampa Ave., in Craig. CNCC appoints new president Russell George took the helm at Colorado Northwestern Community College in January 2011, replacing former president John Boyd. George was a familiar face in Northwest Colorado before he was chosen to lead the college. He is a former state representative who served Moffat, Garfield, Pitkin and Rio Blanco counties from 1993 to 2000. George visited CNCC campuses in Craig and Rangely before he was tapped for the president's position. "He will be a great president for CNCC and we are fortunate that someone of his caliber is so passionate about leading the college," said Nancy McCallin, president of the Colorado Community College System. School district grapples with budget issues Moffat County School Board members approved a budget in June 2011 that finance director Mark Rydberg said was an attempt to make the best of an unfavorable situation. The budget called for deficit spending of $340,000 to cover salary increases negotiated between the Moffat County Education Association and school board negotiation teams. The budget also included a $1.3 million operations cut from the prior year. Rydberg cited a lack of state funding as a major contributor to the budget crunch. "We'll have $2 million less than what the state should be giving us," he said in a June 2011 interview. For closure?: USPS considers shutdowns at area branches In an effort to trim expenses and manage more than $8 billion in debt, the U.S. Postal Service announced it would be conducting closure studies of about 3,600 branches across the country, including post offices in Hamilton, Maybell and Slater, and Dixon and Savery, Wyo. The Maybell post office has since been taken off that list and USPS recently suspended closures for six months to give Congress time to draft legislation that would allow the organization to modernize the way it conducts business. City Park struggle After two years of failed lease negotiations with the Craig City Council, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4265 decided to sell City Park to the city. But, when an appraisal of the property's 2.88 acres came in at $25,500, controversy ensued. Fortunately, both parties have voiced interest in coming back to the negotiating table and hammering out a lease agreement that will benefit the public. Economy highlights governor's visit Gov. John Hickenlooper focused on the state budget and the future during his visit to Craig in March 2011. The bottom line is "there are no easy solutions anymore," he told more than 250 people who attended the annual State of the County address, where he was the featured speaker. Hickenlooper also made stops at the Boys & Girls Club of Craig, The Center of Craig and J.W. Snack's before the event. Hickenlooper also made an unexpected visit to The Memorial Hospital's emergency room after hitting his head while entering a Colorado State Patrol vehicle. Assistant superintendent resigns After a stint with the Moffat County School District that lasted more than a decade, assistant superintendent and longtime administrator Christine Villard left the district in June 2011 to pursue a job with the Poudre School District in the Fort Collins area. Villard filled multiple positions in the school district, including those of school psychologist, director of student services, and first-grade teacher at Ridgeview Elementary School. The Moffat County School Board selected Brent Curtice as her replacement. He came to Moffat County from Paonia, where he served as principal for Paonia Junior-Senior High School in the Delta County School District. Couple from Baggs, Wyo., gives birth to son on side of highway Mark-Lee Curtis has always heard the phrase, "You have to do what you have to do." On April 17, however, he found himself doing something he never thought would fit into that expression. At 9:23 a.m., the Baggs, Wyo., native held his son, Parker, in his arms as he took his first breath of life. But, Mark-Lee wasn't in the hospital or at home. He was near mile marker 104 on the side of Colorado Highway 13. Mother and son were later transported to The Memorial Hospital in Craig. Man finds piece of Russian rocket in Moffat County While hiking near Moffat County Road 9 one day, Robert Dunn heard a noise he said sounded like scraping. Several hours later, Dunn, a resident of Dixon, Wyo., who was searching for horns shed by deer and elk at the time, found what he believes caused the strange noise — a pressurant tank from a Russian rocket. Regional coal conference shifts to Steamboat Springs The Colorado Coal Power Generation Conference, which in the past has been hosted in Craig, took place at Sheraton Steamboat Resort in Steamboat Springs. Event planner Gena Hinkemeyer, a Craig resident, said this year's event was originally scheduled for May at the Moffat County Pavilion, but was postponed due to difficulties booking speakers. CMS building comes under scrutiny Moffat County School District administrators restricted access to parts of Craig Middle School in December 2011 after an independent review found parts of the building's north wing weren't up to code. The review conducted by the Golden-based firm KL&A found a portion of the roof in CMS north wing lacked sufficient lateral support, which kept the roof from moving sideways in strong winds or an earthquake. Superintendent Joe Petrone called for the review after structural problems were found at other Colorado schools built by The Neenan Co., which served as the district's general contractor for CMS construction. Petrone stressed that closing part of the building was solely a precautionary measure. "It's not a dangerous building," he said during a Moffat County School Board meeting in December. "I did not want anyone to think that the engineers were recommending evacuation." Click here to have the print version of the Craig Daily Press delivered to your home.

Weather slows training tower construction

Bleeding the Black Ink

Ever wonder what makes a story or why one paper puts a story on the front page while another buries the same item in the back? There are some basic elements that most papers use to determine where a story will be placed or if a story will even make the cut. News space is a limited commodity in a paper and certain criteria are used to determine what story will go where. Probably the most important aspect of a story is its timeliness. If a story is old, is it “news”? News is a consumable, much like food, and has a shelf life that will expire if kept too long. Journalists must keep in mind that if the event happened too long ago, readers will likely have little interest in the story. Another aspect in determining what is news is “impact” — what will the consequences be on the lives of people, especially those who live in the coverage area of the people. Are taxes going up? By how much? Is crime on the increase? Why or why not? Impact is critical to a story to help put a story in context for the reader. In going hand in hand with impact is proximity. Proximity often indicates geography — how close was the event and will readers be more interested in it because it happened in the next county or around the globe. News value increases when the event gets closer to the paper’s coverage area. A less tangent perspective on proximity, however, is a story’s “emotional” or “demographical” proximity. If a paper sees a wire story that comes from a city or town that has a similar unemployment rate or a similar amount of retirees, it will often use that item because the situations and possible circumstances could be applicable to their own coverage area. Another aspect of the news, which is almost unavoidable, is conflict. Like it or not, most good stories — news stories or otherwise — have two sides. If the a city raises its taxes, who is going to benefit from the raise and who is going to get the proverbial short end of the stick. If an area is suddenly hit by floods, who pays the economic, emotional, and physical price for that? A football player who suffers a debilitating injury faces physical and mental challenges. Conflicts involve struggles between people and people, people and nature and people against themselves. Good journalists try to represent both of these sides as accurately and fairly as possible. Names also are important elements to the news — people love to read about their neighbors and themselves. That’s why stories often include quotes from people who may not be directly connected with an issue but are so prominent in the area, their opinion often carries some weight. Names tie into the element of human interest — the shared experience that those in a community share. Human-interest stories often conjure feelings of goodwill, nostalgia, and a call to action. And while juggling all of these aspects, a paper must keep in mind that it should collect stories of variety that cater to the varied interests of its readers — sports, entertainment, travel, health and business — along with the hard news that is often the meat of the newspaper. “Bleeding the Black Ink” is a weekly column that aims at getting readers better acquainted with the Craig Daily Press. Do you have a question or an issue for an upcoming column? Call Terrance Vestal at 824-7031 or email him at tvestal@craigdailypress.com.

Our view: Getting the bigger picture

It has long been a tradition for many Craig residents to wake up, start a pot of coffee, step outside and pick up the newspaper, and then to read the morning’s news before heading to work or taking the kids to school. Even with the rise of the Internet and 24-hour television news coverage, that’s something that has not changed entirely. While the news has been bleak for much of the newspaper industry, the Craig Daily Press Editorial Board sees a value in the printed news product, and we think residents feel the same. Whereas a person reading a paper spread out in front of her or him can get a glance at all of the stories on the page, that does not always happen when browsing a Web site. Online versions of newspapers do not always offer readers the same opportunity to see a wide range of stories, due to the need to click on stories individually to read them. Consequently, a person may only choose to read a few of the stories, and miss something they otherwise would have noticed in a printed version. However, newspapers cannot blame the Internet and TV news solely for their decline. When a newspaper does not provide the news and content its audience wants, that audience will find it elsewhere. And when the audience shrinks, the advertisers will look for better ways to market their products, creating a vicious circle. It is up to the newspapers, such as the Craig Daily Press, to reverse this process through improvement and getting back in touch with their audience. One of the things newspapers can do to draw the audience – and, consequently, the advertisers – back is to take on the important issues that affect the community. This includes more in-depth coverage and more research into the background of these issues. Stories such as these are where newspapers have a significant advantage over TV news, in that they can devote more words and resources, and readers can peruse them at their own pace, or on their own schedule. This is also a place where the print and online news products can complement each other, providing more opportunities and ways to go in-depth on an issue than ever before. At the same time, newspapers need to remember to keep opinions or biases out of news stories and build up credibility, which is something that often is hard to find, no matter the platform. Another thing we as a society need to do is to put more of a value on writing and reading. There is a lot of money in broadcast news, and people who work in that industry usually make much higher salaries, and people too often rely on watching and listening to news, rather than reading it. Overall, there is always room for improvement, and that is what newspapers must remember as they compete to stay vital to the community they serve. We think newspapers are up to the challenge.

Steamboat Ski Area to open early

Steamboat SpringsSteamboat Springs — With 41 inches of natural snowfall at mid-mountain, sustained cold temperatures, aggressive snowmaking efforts and additional snow in the forecast, Steamboat Ski Area announced an early opening to the 2015-16 winter season. — With 41 inches of natural snowfall at mid-mountain, sustained cold temperatures, aggressive snowmaking efforts and additional snow in the forecast, Steamboat Ski Area announced an early opening to the 2015-16 winter season. Steamboat Springs — With 41 inches of natural snowfall at mid-mountain, sustained cold temperatures, aggressive snowmaking efforts and additional snow in the forecast, Steamboat Ski Area announced an early opening to the 2015-16 winter season. For the first time since the winter of 2002-03, Steamboat will kick off the season early with a special advance opening weekend Saturday and Sunday, with skiing and riding on approximately 1,100 vertical feet off the Christie Peak Express chairlift from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. The resort will reopen for daily operation on Scholarship Day Nov. 25, when it expects to provide skiing and riding from the Gondola and possibly the upper mountain. "The Champagne powder snow has been falling in abundance this month and shows no signs of letting up," Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. President Rob Perlman said in a news release. "We're excited to be opening ahead of schedule and couldn't think of a better way to usher in the new season for pass holders, guests and locals while celebrating all the early season powder." Season passes will be valid this weekend, and lift tickets will run $49 on Saturday and Sunday. The resort's annual opening day tradition, Scholarship Day, benefits the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club scholarship programs. Scholarship Day tickets will be priced at $30 with a $20 Christie Peak Express lower mountain option also available. Season passes cannot be used on Scholarship Day. Snow started falling during the most recent storm Monday morning. In a 24-hour period, the ski area received 10 inches of snow at mid-mountain and five inches at the summit. "We're off to what should be a great winter season with the news of an early opening at Steamboat," Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association CEO Jim Clark said in an email. "This is great news that should spur reservation activity and get visitors excited for a big year." Many businesses at the base area are still gearing up for the season. Ski Corp.'s food and beverage options this weekend will include the Bear River Bar and Grille and the Umbrella Bar. Free parking will be available at the Meadows and Knoll parking lots. The ticket office will be open this week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStenslandTo reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland

Photos from top news stories of 2010