The recap for the April 15 Moffat County commissioners meeting.
Craig City Council decided to invest money in a project that could help downtown business owners brighten up their storefronts. The project is be a partnership between the city of Craig and the University of Colorado, Denver to develop design concepts for downtown Craig, particularly on Yampa Avenue. City Council voted, 6-0 (Craig City Council member Joe Bird was not in attendance), to use $1,900 of the contingency funds to pay for the concepts.
During the weekend, nearly 20 Moffat County voters took part in the election process by heading to Denver for the Republican State Assembly. The Moffat County delegates attended the district and state assemblies to help determine which Republican candidates would make it onto the June primary.
The controversial gun laws passed in 2013 are now under consideration by a federal judge. After a two-week-long trial, people on either side of the gun debate anxiously await the result. The restrictions — which, among other things, would limit magazine capacity — are an infringement on Second Amendment rights, Moffat County Sheriff Tim Jantz said.
Four pieces of legislation that would amend the Endangered Species Act faced a House Natural Resources committee hearing Tuesday. These bills would boost the transparency of agencies that list species as threatened or endangered and would change the litigation process regarding the ESA. Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Colo., attended the hearing and defended the legislation, saying that the ESA, which is more than 40 years old, is due for an update.
The Rotary Club of Craig took a break from its regular community service projects and fundraising to host a mixer Thursday night. “Rotary is a community organization, focused on how to make our community even better than it already is,” said Rotarian Sue Goodenow, who will become the club’s president come summer.
About 20 Moffat County voters are spending their weekend in Denver to take part in the democratic process. Delegates for the assembly were selected early in the election process at the Moffat County Republican caucuses in early March. Then, at the county assembly in March, those numbers were narrowed to 19 delegates and two alternatives who would head to the mid-April district and state assemblies.
United Way makes a point to annually honor residents who give back to the community with its Volunteer of the Year award. This year, the organization recognized Robin Schiffbauer, who among other things, volunteers for the community kitchen at St. Michael’s Catholic Church.
About 170 pinwheels are spinning gently in front of McDonald’s. The pinwheel garden, planted by local volunteers organized by Connection 4 Kids, is an effort to raise awareness about child abuse. Each pinwheel represents a child born in Craig in 2013, and the spinning mass is meant to make people consider the children they ought to look out for.
An overview of the April 8 Craig City Council meeting.
Decked out in lab coats and hard hats, carrying questionnaires and pens, high school students carefully eyed various cuts of meat Monday afternoon. They were scribbling against the clock, evaluating retail-packaged meat for type and quality. When their time was up with the retail section, the group of students spun around to confront hunks of cattle and hog carcasses.
Norm Yoast, eighth-grade science teacher at Craig Middle School, was not expecting to get pulled into a midday assembly Monday. He certainly wasn’t expecting an award. Peabody Energy awards educators and school staff across the country to celebrate the valuable work schools do.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) wrapped up a series of meetings that helped them gather insight into their Environmental Impact Study (EIS) on the Energy Gateway South Transmission Project. They finished their last meeting in Rawlins, Wyoming, Thursday, but had made their way through Craig Tuesday.
KC Hume, operations chief for Moffat County Sheriff’s Office, and candidate for Sheriff addressed the Bears Ears Tea Party Patriots Thursday night. Hume recently became the uncontested candidate for the open sheriff seat. At the Republican County Assembly on March 29, Hume received overwhelming support from the delegates, and his only opponent, Deputy Larry Dalton, did not get the necessary minimum delegate vote to move forward in the election.
The Cruz family, lifelong residents of Craig, is one that sticks together. Yolanda Cruz and her four children, Anastasia, 21; Heather, 19; Alexandria, 16; and John, 14, are a tight-knit, loving family.
Chief Deputy Attorney General for Colorado, Cynthia Coffman, who is campaigning to be the state’s next attorney general, visited Craig Monday as part of her Western Slope meet and greet tour. Community members were welcome to come to the event at The Memorial Hospital, get to know the candidate and talk about the political issues currently facing Northwest Colorado.
About 120 children took action Friday at the Boys & Girls Club of Northwest Colorado and exercised with the goal to add to the Guinness Book of World Records.
Moffat County Republican delegates gathered Saturday for the County Assembly to decide, among other things, what local candidates would make it onto the June primary ballot. The only contested races have been the county sheriff seat and the District 3 county commissioner seat. Tom Soos, coordinator for the Office of Emergency Management, is running against Frank Moe, owner of the Best Western Inn and Suites for commissioner. Both candidates got the necessary 30 percent delegate votes to move forward in the election.
Only a handful of old buildings still stand in Craig, including the armory, the Museum of Northwest Colorado and the School Administration building, said Dan Davidson, director of the museum. One building under threat of decrepitude is the Craig train depot: a structure that has been standing since 1917 but might not have any funds to keep it alive.
U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Colo., came out strongly Tuesday against a letter released by the WildEarth Guardians, an environmentalist group, that challenged Western Area Power Administration’s relationship to coal energy.
Candidates for Moffat County elected offices, this Saturday, will be one step closer to the election. The Republican County Assembly will bring together the local delegates, voted on in the county caucuses, to choose which candidates they want to be put onto the June primary ballot.
HVAC contractors from across the state headed to Craig on Tuesday to take a three-day course to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Colorado HVAC contractors, who work with air conditioning, heating and other appliances, got a chance to learn about the ways to monitor and prevent the harmful emissions that can come from appliances.
The annual Fourth of July fireworks show, recently in threat of being canceled, might end up being the biggest and brightest fireworks presentation ever to grace Craig’s skyline. In less than two weeks, Craig residents and businesses have committed to $9,200 in donations for the annual display.
Regional firefighting agencies worked together to update their annual fire operations plan (AOP) for Moffat County. The plan primarily serves to clarify the resources that different agencies will share, but some of the changes also will boost efficiency for fighting wildland fires and some even could result in cost-saving benefits, said Moffat County Sheriff’s Department fire management officer, Sgt. Todd Wheeler. He presented the new plan to Moffat County commissioners at their Tuesday meeting.
Mathers' Bar, located at 420 Yampa Ave., caught fire Thursday night. “The fire department’s the one that found it,” said Moffat County Commissioner Tom Mathers, who owns the bar.
Fireworks are one of the key elements to celebrating the Fourth of July for most Americans. Unfortunately, Craig, America, will likely not see any friendly explosions for this year’s Independence Day. City budget constraints meant many financial adjustments; from cutting employee benefits to freezing hiring, but it also meant that Craig will not be paying for the annual city fireworks show, said City Manager Jim Ferree.
The Moffat County Thunder Cheer teams will be tumbling and showing off stunts in the state competition in Denver on Sunday. Twenty-one Moffat County girls will be up against several teams when they perform for a panel of judges. Coach Valerie Davis, is proud of her teams and excited for them to show off what their practice has accomplished.
Poetry and language go together like academics and speaking tours. Hence Colorado’s poet laureate, David Mason, will be visiting Craig to meet locals and discuss the value of poetry. As poet laureate, Mason travels across Colorado to share poetry and lead workshops for up-and-coming writers. “I’ve given up to 30 to 60 public presentations a year,” he said. “I decided I would try to get around to every county I could and do everything I could do to support public libraries and schools.”
Neil Folks announced his resignation from the Moffat County Council on Aging at the Board of County Commissioner’s meeting Tuesday. Folks has been a member of the council for about 10 years, so the decision was difficult, he said, “It is now time for me to move to another level of community work and cross generational lines,” Folks said.
Loudy-Simpson Park pond has undergone a dramatic transformation during the past several months. “Last year that pond was only about a foot and a half deep,” said Roy Tipton, director of Moffat County Development services. Now, though it’s not full of water yet, it’s between 10 and 12 feet deep. A perfect depth for healthy fish and clean water.
A total of 15 Coloradoans are vying for the executive office in the state. Gov. John Hickenlooper is up against several Republicans, one Democrat and a handful of Independents. That will change after the state assemblies, when the parties decide who they want to be their candidates. The assemblies on April 12 will gather delegates from across the state to vote for who they want to run for elected office.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.