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Collin Smith

Stories by Collin

Regional suicide prevention officials ready to help

Ronna Autrey’s son committed suicide eight years ago, at the age of 31, leaving behind a grieving mother and father in Steamboat Springs and a wife and two children in Maryland, where he lived. Autrey came home to Steam­boat after the funeral and started to look for someone to talk to, a counselor or psychiatrist who might help her cope with the uncertainty that enveloped her life.

Investigations ongoing in burglary, arson cases

Craig police still are following leads on a recent burglary at the Moffat County Courthouse, Sergeant John Forgay said. The courthouse was broken into Nov. 11, 2009, on Veterans Day, when staff was off work for the holiday.

Police Department review partially complete

City: Findings will be released when final report is submitted

City officials have received a partial report from an outside investigator tasked with reviewing the Craig Police Department’s internal affairs policies and procedures. However, its contents won’t become public until a final draft is complete, City Manager Jim Ferree said.

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Council approves liquor tastings

Officials table decision on purchasing land south of Craig

The Craig City Council approved, 7-0, a resolution at its meeting Tuesday allowing retail liquor stores and liquor licensed drug stores to host wine, beer and liquor tastings.

Moffat County Commission discusses bypass signage

County approves no-bid computer contract for treasurer

The Moffat County commissioners would like to see clearer signs that explain to truck drivers there is a road bypass around Craig, and they should use it.

Council reassured about ACET

CBI agent: Task force has issues, needs work

After lengthy presentations by Colorado Bureau of Investigation agent Curt Williams and Craig Police Chief Walt Vanatta, Craig City Council members said they feel more comfortable with the operations of the All Crimes Enforcement Team drug task force and its commander, Garrett Wiggins.

Twentymile cuts about 15 full-time employees

Officials: Reduction due to changing operations

Peabody Energy officials confirmed Monday that Twentymile Coal Co., which Peabody owns, recently terminated about 15 full-time positions at the mine. Twentymile is located in Routt County but employs many Moffat County residents.

Council to discuss ACET review today

Officials to host public workshop before regular meeting

After a five-week hiatus during the holidays, the Craig City Council plans to start the new year where it left off — addressing concerns regarding the All Crimes Enforcement Team drug task force. City officials plan to host a public workshop on the Colorado Bureau of Investigation’s independent review of the agency at 5:30 p.m. today at Craig City Hall, 300 W. Fourth St.

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Craig native elected Loveland’s mayor after years of teaching, military service

Although he is now 62 and hasn’t lived in Moffat County since he graduated from high school in 1965, Craig native Cecil Gutierrez never forgets.

Young attorney joins Moffat County DA’s office

Marty Galloway, a 25-year-old who graduated from the University of Colorado in May, soon will get his chance at a childhood dream.

Home, new car sales slump; business owners upbeat about future

Jerry Thompson was glad to see some new Ford vehicles dropped off at his dealership recently. The owner of Craig Ford said he could have been selling new cars for the past several months but that he hadn’t received any from the manufacturer.

Craig bank fraud suspect awaits trial

Attorneys to meet for motions hearing next week

A U.S. District Court case against a former Craig woman charged with 31 counts of felony bank fraud continues in Denver with no set trial date.

Independent review of Craig Police Department ongoing

Investigator bills city $3,900 for services through December

As officials prepare to discuss the results of a Colorado Bureau of Investigation review of the All Crimes Enforcement Team drug task force, a second independent inquiry into the Craig Police Department continues.

Independent review of PD ongoing

Investigator bills city $3,900 for services through December

As officials prepare to discuss the results of a Colorado Bureau of Investigation review of the All Crimes Enforcement Team drug task force, a second independent inquiry into the Craig Police Department continues.

Small business programs launch this week

This week marks the beginning of three bi-monthly business development seminars provided by a consortium of local and regional community organizations.

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Economic development plans focus on small businesses

The energy industry — because of the number of people it employs, the amount it pays to workers and the tax revenue it generates — has been a large part of what kept Moffat County’s economy relatively healthy and stable during the recession, Darcy Trask said.

Law enforcement fires back at Routt County sheriff

All Crimes Enforcement Team commander defends himself against barrage of criticism

Craig Police Chief Walt Va­natta said he saw no use in getting in a war of words with Routt County Sheriff Gary Wall. Wall recently spoke out about various ethical issues he sees in the Craig Police Department and All Crimes Enforcement Team drug task force after the 14th Judicial District Attorney’s Office recently filed criminal charges against two former officers assigned to the unit.

Questions and accusations still surround drug task force

It seems lately that the frontline of Moffat County’s war on drugs has moved from the streets to the offices of local law enforcement and elected officials. After two Craig police officers assigned to the All Crimes Enforcement Team drug task force were brought up on criminal charges in the past three months, numerous questions regarding the agency’s character have surfaced.

County tries to keep community aid funding despite budget crunch

Although Moffat County faces what officials have called “tremendous challenges” with its budget in the future, the commissioners still consider local nonprofits and community aid organizations an important part of their duty to residents.

Moffat County unemployment hovers around 5.6 percent

Regional unemployment in has mostly hung steady since August, according to statistics from the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. The agency’s Labor Market Information Web site reported Moffat County’s unadjusted unemployment rate was 5.7 percent in November, the latest month available.

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Elwood Eisenhauer: The machinist

❱ I’m not a cowboy; I am not a roper; I am not a bull rider. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that, that’s their thing. I am in to motor sports.

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Charlene Abdella: Lady law

❱ New Year’s baby. My parents got to claim me as a tax deduction all year long (the) first year.

ATV appeal reaches county commissioner

Tom Mathers voices strong support for vehicles’ sanctioned travel on county roads

Although the request to allow all-terrain and off-highway vehicles on county roads is new, Moffat County Commissioner Tom Mathers said he’s ready to give his approval the first chance he gets.

Sales tax still slumps in City of Craig

City budget plans for revenue decline in ’10

City sales tax revenue again was below budget in October, according to the latest figures from local officials. The state distributes sales taxes to local governments two months after they’re collected. Most economists consider sales tax a good barometer of economic activity because it directly represents consumer activity in the community.

Updates to police Web site allows better look at local crime

Craig residents now have instant access to crime data in their neighborhoods, thanks to a new update to the Craig Police Department Web site.

Mathers family hosts holiday dinner

It’s been about five or six years since Mathers Lounge & Café hosted a free Christmas dinner. Tom Mathers, who co-owns the business with his brother, Mike, said the two decided to stop what had become a family tradition because of waning community interest and a desire to be at home with their families for the holiday.

Colowyo Coal to cut production

Company’s decision has ramifications in several tax funds

Although opinions differ about how Colowyo Coal Co.’s announcement it will cut 10 percent of its staff might affect Moffat County, the mine south of Craig is intertwined with several aspects of the local, state and federal economies. Along with its personnel cuts, Colowyo plans to roughly halve its coal production for the foreseeable future.

Moffat County cuts capital projects in 2010, expects more cuts later

It seems certain that one year of budget cuts will not be enough for Moffat County, officials said. The Moffat County Com­mission approved, 3-0, its 2010 budget Tuesday.

County OKs halt on medical marijuana dispensaries

The Moffat County Com­mission did not need extra time to consider a six-month moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries in the unincorporated parts of the county.

Moffat County begins swinging bridge repairs

Swinging bridge in Browns Park has been closed for about a month

Moffat County officials have begun the process of repairing the Browns Park swinging bridge, which is closed to public traffic. The county commission closed the bridge about a month ago after road and bridge staff and a state engineer deemed its support cables too brittle for regular use.

Officials discuss impacts of Colowyo personnel cuts

Colowyo Coal Co.’s recent announcement it that would cut 10 percent of its mine staff by mid-2010 is a reminder of how delicate the local and national economies are, Moffat County Commissioner Tom Gray said. The energy industry, which Gray said has historically benefited local residents and the community, also is susceptible to hard times.

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High school student travels across New Zealand in an RV

Wesley Chapman never lived Nov. 23, 2009, but he lived Dec. 8 twice. Such is one of the strange things that happens to a person when he travels to the other side of the world. Chapman, a 15-year-old sophomore at Moffat County High School, left Los Angeles the night of Nov. 22, went backward in time as he passed over Hawaii and arrived Nov. 24 in New Zealand on the far side of the International Dateline.

Report: Craig police officer died of natural causes

Former Craig Police officer Kathie Johnson died of natural causes from a seizure disorder, according to an autopsy and toxicology report.

Free Medicare consultations available at Wal-Mart

Health insurance for senior citizens is perhaps the most complicated network of policies on the market, said Kate Neuschafer, a senior specialist for Silverthorne-based DML Associates.

Money stolen from JW Snacks this week

The Craig Police Department responded to a burglary report at about 7:45 a.m. Monday at JW Snacks Gulf Coast Bar & BBQ. Sergeant John Forgay said it appears the perpetrator or perpetrators took some money after using a cinderblock to break in through the back late Sunday night or early Monday morning. He would not comment about how much was taken.

Former Craig detective pleads not guilty

Johnson’s trial set for May 24 in district court

Former Craig Police Depa­rtment detective Ken Johnson pleaded not guilty to three felony charges Tuesday in Moffat Cou­nty District Court. Johns­on, wh­o resi­gned from the police department in September and was arrested in October, is charged with attempting to influence a public servant, a Class 4 felony; as well as accessory to a crime and embezzlement of public property, Class 5 felonies.

Council approves ATVs, OHVs for city travel

Residents interested in saving on gas money now have a cheaper way to get around town. The Craig City Council gave final passage to an ordinance allowing all-terrain and off-highway vehicles on city streets at its regular meeting Tuesday.

Budget cuts top Sen. Al White’s concerns

State senator speaks durning Moffat County Commission meeting

Colorado Sen. Al White, R-Hayden, is hopeful the bleeding has stopped. Or at least coagulated. White told the Moffat Cou­nty Commission during its regular meeting Tuesday that the state budget’s freefall might begin to bottom out by the end of the year.

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Boys & Girls Club of Craig honors people of the year at fundraiser

Several people stood out to the Boys & Girls Club of Craig as outstanding contributors to the program’s vitality. At tonight’s Cowboy Christmas fundraiser, the club will honor its Person of the Year, Business of the Year, Youth of the Year and Volunteers of the Year.

Baumgardner addresses education funding concerns in Craig visit

The state has a long road ahead of it if it wants the economy to return to a pre-recession abundance of jobs and tax revenue, said state Rep. Randy Baumgardner, R-Hot Sulphur Springs.

Police: There are several people of interest in burglary

Moffat County Courthouse broken into Nov. 11

The Craig Police Department is continuing to investigate a recent burglary at the Moffat County Courthouse. The courthouse was broken into Nov. 11, when it was closed for Veterans Day.

Ex-police officer sentenced in theft

Brabo receives 1-year deferred sentence

Former Craig Police Officer Bob Brabo was sentenced Tuesday after he pleaded guilty to stealing about $500 in drug buy money from the All Crimes Enforcement Team drug task force.

Tickets available for annual Cowboy Christmas

Cowboy Christmas is planned to start at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, and will include live music by the 1340 Band, dancing, a silent auction, poker tournament and catered dinner by Brothers Custom Processing.

Archeological Society gets grant to study Sand Wash

Jeff Simon’s family has a history of digging through the dirt.

Boys & Girls Club seeks funds

Moffat County Commission unsure about $20K request

On Tuesday, the Boys & Girls Club of Craig discussed a formal funding request to Moffat County for $20,000 to go toward the overall project’s $188,000 cost.

School district, city partner for sidewalk grant

Money would build sidewalks around CMS, Sandrock campus

To help alleviate the problem of youths wandering in front of cars, the city and Moffat County School District are working together to apply for $188,905 in state grant money to build sidewalks on six streets surrounding the CMS and Sandrock campus.

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DOW officers discuss poaching cases, investigations

Although investigations into poaching and unlicensed outfitters are not as publicized as other crimes, wildlife officers put their safety on the line to make sure local wildlife is not hunted to extinction.

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Beautification Committee raises $11,000 in raffle

What started as a gimmick to keep people’s interest in tough economic times ended up attracting more attention to the Craig Beautification Committee’s annual fundraiser than ever before. The Beautification Com­mittee raised about $11,000 in raffle ticket sales for a 1976 Cadillac Eldorado.

Commission considers green energy rebates

Washer, refrigerator purchases included in deal

The Moffat County Comm­ission has until Tuesday to decide whether it wants to partner with the Governor’s Energy Office to provide rebate incentives for new purchases that improve energy efficiency or use renewable resources.

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Craig residents flood stores during Black Friday

Downtown businesses not as busy as large retailers

Chris Pierce, 30, and Jess McQuay, 22, arrived at Wal-Mart at about 2:30 a.m. Friday. Three hours and $800 later, the couple filled their truck bed with two shopping carts full of kitchenware, toys and electronics.