The Bears Ears Tea Party Patriots hosted a forum Thursday night to hear from Moffat County Commissioner John Kinkaid about his recent visit to Washington, D.C., to attend a National Association of Counties steering committee on energy, environment and land-use issues. The event in Craig also provided a forum for candidates running for the District 3 county commissioner seat opening up in 2015.
Moffat County residents partook in one of their most celebrated constitutional rights Tuesday night at several different precinct caucuses. The precinct caucuses determine the delegates who will vote in the county and state assemblies for local and state candidates for the 2014 elections. The caucuses are broken into precinct and party designations. The Republican caucuses took place in 12 different precincts, and the Democrats met at one location at the American Legion Post. At the caucuses, delegates are nominated and voted on.
Family Literacy Night at East Elementary School welcomed parents and students to the school Monday night to participate in a number of activities to learn creative ways to approach reading. We’re “just trying to expose kids and families to fun books to try,” said Principal Sarah Hepworth.
Since Moffat County Assessor Robert Razzano is forgoing a second term, Chuck Cobb, broker assistant for Cornerstone Realty, is vying for the open seat. Cobb was the director of golf operations on the Yampa Valley Golf Course for about 30 years, and he said that gave him experience with business, county relations and community service. Also, his 10 year service on the school board gives him background in being an elected official, he said.
Tom Soos, emergency management coordinator for Moffat County, has entered the race for Moffat County Commissioner. He’s vying for the District 3 seat that Moffat County Commissioner Tom Mathers will leave in 2015.
The Republicans and Democrats of Moffat County are getting into gear for election season. The precinct caucuses for both parties will take place Tuesday and be an opportunity for voters to select delegates for the state assembly and their choose local candidates.
People with developmental disabilities who need a little extra help when it comes to transportation, healthcare and learning life-skills can turn to Horizons for support in all those avenues and more. The non-profit reaches out to adults with developmental disabilities via vocational and residential programs and provides day-to-day guidance to help their clients find success.
Every Moffat County resident likely benefited directly or indirectly from one non-profit or another. If they’ve ever shopped at the Community Budget Center, if their children have ever gone to the Boys and Girls Club, if they’ve ever turned to Craig Mental Health: they’ve used a resource funded by United Way.
For people on the brink of homelessness or just in need of a little extra financial assistant, Love In the Name of Christ (Love INC) is here to help. The organization, in Craig since 2000, pulls resources from the church community to help people in tight financial situations get back on their feet.
Advocates Crisis Support Services is here to help victims in need. The agency that reaches out to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault started in a Craig basement in 1978. Since then, the nonprofit has expanded their space to offer a shelter for families who need a place to stay during a tough transition. The agency also added to their resources to reach as many people in the community as possible.
Half of Craig’s children, ages six to 14, will at some point during the year head to the same spot after school: the Boys and Girls Club. That means: nearly 900 children during 2013 used the after-school program.
Monisha Merchant, senior advisor for business affairs for the office of U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., visited Craig Thursday to discuss economic development with residents. The Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership (CMEDP) hosted Merchant to speak about issues like increasing broadband access in rural areas and what bringing satellite patent offices to Colorado would mean for the state.
Teens just coming into their own may not be able to identify abusive behavior when it’s happening. That’s why Advocates Crisis Support Services, an organization that provides support and counseling to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, is in Moffat County to help.
Craig Police Department sent out a letter to Moffat County School District families to clarify that an adult male sending friend requests to students was not one of their officers. “It has been brought to our attention through a concerned parent that an adult male with a Facebook page name of ‘Anthony Gianinetti’ has ‘friended’ persons in the community via Facebook,” according to the letter. “In one case, the person believed that they were ‘friending’ Officer Tony Gianinetti with the Craig Police Department, when in fact they were not. We would like to make it clear that Officer Tony Gianinetti and Anthony Gianinetti is not the same person.”
An incident in Grand Junction earlier this month involving the arrest of Craig police officer Eric Montes has resulted in the termination of Montes’ employment from the Craig Police Department, according to a press release issued by the law enforcement agency Monday afternoon.
The State of the County brought in a health care guest speaker, city and county addresses and the Craig Chamber of Commerce’s Business of the Year awards Friday evening at the Clarion Inn and Suites. The keynote speaker, Steven Summers, president of the Colorado Hospital Association, explained the background of the Affordable Care Act and said that while certainly imperfect in its entirety and in the way it was made into law, it still was important to work on.
About 10 miles north of Craig, tucked away just off Colorado Highway 13, is an indistinguishable warehouse, hugged in by fenced animals including sheep, alpacas and goats. The 4,000-square-foot building easily blends in with the agricultural area, surrounded by other properties marked with barns and livestock. But inside is a unique find.
U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet visited Hayden on Thursday evening to talk about the 2014 farm bill that was signed into law by President Barack Obama at the beginning of February. The new farm bill carried many changes: $23 billion in deficit reductions, consolidations of programs, and it secured payment in lieu of taxes funding among other things.
It’s the time of year for the county to take a look back to see how best to move forward. The annual State of the County, at 6 p.m. Friday at Clarion Inn and Suites, will host addresses by Moffat County Commissioner Tom Mathers and Mayor Terry Carwile, as well as keynote speaker, Steven Summers, president of the Colorado Hospital Association. The Craig Chamber of Commerce will also announce the recipients of the Business of the Year awards.
Leaders from Moffat, Routt and Rio Blanco counties gathered Wednesday to discuss economic development as part of a Stronger Economies Together meeting. The meeting at Colorado Northwestern Community College in Craig followed a nearly year-long training program that brought together the three counties to help them understand how to formulate an economic strategy and pool resources.
Lieutenant KC Hume, operations chief at Moffat County Sheriff’s office, announced his candidacy for the office of Moffat County Sheriff. Hume, who is also fire chief for Craig Fire/Rescue and a school board member for Moffat County School District, said he came to the decision after Moffat County Undersheriff Charlene Abdella announced she would be dropping out of the race.
Two structure fires threatened homes in Craig with one igniting on Tuesday night and the other early Wednesday morning, but no one was injured and no homes were destroyed. Craig Mayor Terry Carwile’s attic caught fire at around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday night. “Last night was a fire in an attic space,” said Fire Chief KC Hume. It was extinguished “relatively quickly.”
Moffat County Undersheriff Charlene Abdella on Tuesday announced her withdrawal from the Moffat County sheriff’s race. “I have taken time over the past week to reflect on my personal and professional goals and have determined that serving as an elected official is not going to be the next course for me,” Abdella said in a press release.
Craig police officer arrested in Grand Junction for disorderly conduct and obstructing government operations
Craig Police Officer Eric Montes was arrested Sunday in Grand Junction for disorderly conduct and disrupting government operations. Craig Police Department released a statement Monday disclosing the arrest and the steps they intend to take regarding the issue.
Keeping up good health depends not just on checking into the doctor when feeling ill, but also maintaining a proactive attitude. Preventative healthcare is a vital part of staying healthy. “We definitely encourage everybody to establish care: meaning to come when they are not acutely ill,” said Gisela Garrison, director of the Visiting Nurses Association health center, “This is one of the principles in preventative health care.”
The Lincoln Day Dinner, a fundraiser for the Moffat County Republicans, provided several residents the opportunity to announce their bid for elected office. “We’re really excited to have so many people interested in serving the community,” said Brandi Meek, Moffat County chairwoman for the Colorado Republican executive committee.
A bill that would take Safe2Tell — a program that provides a hotline for K-12 students to call or text authorities if they feel threatened or bullied — out of the nonprofit sector and places it within the Colorado Attorney General’s office is moving smoothly through the legislative process.
When Colorado voters approved the sale of recreational marijuana, Maybell resident Kris Brannan was looking forward to growing the product and opening a retail pot shop and dispensary. It would be a far more profitable way to use her 300 acres than just growing alfalfa, she said. “There’s a huge economic benefit for us now in the marijuana industry. I get ten cents a pound on my hay out here in May, or I can make $4,000 a pound selling marijuana,” she said. “To me, as a farmer, I feel this is a huge economic advantage for all of us.”
Moffat County Republicans will celebrate their annual Lincoln Day Dinner on Saturday with keynote speaker, Ryan Call, the Colorado State Party chairman. Call also serves as a chair on the Republican National Committee’s budget committee. The fundraiser will bring in money to the GOP and some of the funds will pay for part of the delegate fees at the state assembly, said Brandi Meek, Moffat County chairwoman for the Colorado Republican executive committee.
An economic development committee met Tuesday to plan an event to attract entrepreneurs and business owners to Craig in June. The planning group is the economic development subcommittee of the Craig Community Assessment Committee, which kicked off its meetings at the beginning of the year after receiving an assessment performed by the state program Downtown Colorado Inc. The state program helps guide small communities through the processes it takes to boost local economies.
An elderly woman crashed her station wagon into Craig City Hall Monday afternoon. She didn’t suffer any injuries from the crash but her vehicle was wedged into the entry-way of the building. The crash took out the front door completely. Sgt. John Forgay of the Craig Police Department said she was suffering from medical issues that may have led to the crash.
A documentary following the story of the Villard sheep ranch is moving into post-production. Yuri Chicovsky sought funds for his film, Sage Country, via the crowd-funding site, Kickstarter, and as of Friday surpassed his goal by more than $6,000. His next step is to pull the film together — and most of the work, from the soundtrack to the editing, Chicovsky will do himself.
Since New York-based Jacobs Real Estate Advisors purchased the former Holiday Inn, and turned it into a Clarion Inn & Suits, the new owners have been working to revamp the establishment. One way they’re doing that is by changing up the restaurant. Tim Richardson, their brand-new chef, is the face of that change.
A bill that would have made concealed carry legal without a permit was rescheduled for a Tuesday vote in the Judiciary Committee on Thursday afternoon. Co-Sponsor Rep. Chris Holbert, R-Douglas, has been pushing for this legislation for years, but said he is confident it will be killed in committee. “It’s a great bill because it points out a lot of wrong assumptions about carrying a handgun either open or concealed,” he said. “Currently in Colorado law, it is a Class 2 misdemeanor to carry a concealed weapon without a permit.”
Craig City Council appointed City Council member Don Jones as the new mayor pro-tem at its Tuesday night meeting.
Compromises on the Farm Bill could mean good news for Moffat County’s budget. PILT (payment in lieu of taxes) funding was attached to the Farm Bill as part of compromises to move the legislation forward, much to the relief of Moffat County Commissioner Chuck Grobe. “We knew it was being connected to the Farm Bill but we weren’t 100 percent sure it would,” he said. “It was a compromised agreement, so there’s a 99 percent chance (it will pass.)”
Moffat County Sheriff Tim Jantz will not be running for Moffat County Commissioner in the November election. He posted an inquiry on his Facebook page earlier this month, asking people why they think he should run for commissioner. While he said he was “overwhelmed” by the show of support from his friends and the community, Jantz said he is opting out.
Cervical cancer used to be one of the primary killers of women in the U.S. But, due to regular pap smears and the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, those numbers have dropped dramatically. On average, about 12,000 women each year are diagnosed with cervical cancer in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Cold and dark winter days call for some girl time, and KRAI and 55 Country wants to help. The radio station is sponsoring its third annual Girls Day Out, an event that brings several women-centric activities together under one roof. The event runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Centennial Mall.
Linda Peters, chief deputy of the Moffat County Treasurer and Public Trustee office, announced her bid to run for county treasurer Monday. The current treasurer and public trustee, Elaine Sullivan, is nearing the end of her first term, and instead of running again, she plans to retire.
U.S. Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell and Gov. John Hickenlooper landed in Moffat County as part of such collaboration. Jewell came with the head of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the head of the Bureau of Land Management to tour the Bord Gulch Ranch owned by Ray Owens. His ranch is an example of how a private landowner can further a conservationist goal, Jewell said. “Ray Owens is a model of the 21st century western rancher with his outstanding stewardship of this working landscape,” said Jewell in a press release. “He represents the spirit of partnership that can be replicated across the West as we develop landscape-level strategies to lessen the threats to the sage grouse and conserve its habitat.”
U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell will be stopping in Moffat County Tuesday to talk sage grouse.
More kayakers may want to check out Craig if resident Robert Schenck and the Moffat County Tourism Association get their way. Schenck came to the MCTA with a plan to revamp the section of the Yampa River that extends from Loudy-Simpson Park to Pebble Beach so that it will appeal to kayakers and floaters.
With a new legislative session underway, lawmakers already are challenging energy regulations that were signed into law in 2013. State Sen. Ted Harvey, R-Highlands Ranch, proposed Senate Bill 35, a bill that effectively would gut the renewable energy mandate. Now law, Senate Bill 13-252 requires cooperative electric associations to get at least 20 percent of their energy from renewable resources by 2020. SB 35 was swiftly introduced into the State, Veterans and Military Affairs committee on Wednesday and just as swiftly killed in committee.
More than $500,000 of Moffat County’s budget still is up in the air at the federal level. The money is tied to Payment in Lieu of Taxes funding that is playing a central role in debates in the U.S. Congress. PILT funds are given to counties that have public land they cannot tax. While the funds can be used in many ways, they usually help communities such as Moffat County cover costs of infrastructure.
Craig Ford/Mercury opened its doors for business Thursday after facing seizure the day before by the Colorado Department of Revenue.
Craig City Council appointed Kent Nielson as the new council member. Nielson, manager of United Supply of the Rockies and a bishop for Craig’s first ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has some experience working on council. He was a council member for two consecutive terms, starting in 1999. Now, he will act as an interim council member until the next election in 2015.
Betsy Overton has long volunteered in the Craig community, but now she gets to apply her philanthropic side to her career. Overton was made the new early child coordinator at Connections 4 Kids. She’s taking over Michelle Balleck’s position who worked at Connections 4 Kids for two years before leaving to be the director of marketing and public relations for Middle Park Medical Center in Grand County.
The Craig Rural Fire Protection District Board of Directors appointed KC Hume as Fire Chief in December. Hume has been acting as interim fire chief since former Fire Chief Bill Johnston announced his effective-immediately retirement in October. Hume said he is excited to take on the position.
Getting everyone vaccinated is in the best interest of the community, said Dr. Rachel Herlihy, adviser to the immunization section of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. So the department is considering removing “personal beliefs” as a reason parents can exempt their children from getting standard vaccinations for diseases such as measles and chickenpox.