Tracey Lathrop, a clinician at Mindsprings Health, said one of the most important things to do when facing depression is to reach out. “Reach out and somebody will reach back. That’s probably one of the biggest things,” Lathrop said. “Even if you don’t feel like it, go out or join a group or get online.”
Mathers’ Bar invites the entire community of Moffat County to come down and share food and conversation. Tom Mathers, owner of Mathers’ Bar, is happy to continue the tradition. “I love doing it. It’s our gift to the community,” he said.
As a community, Craig has had its ups and downs. A new committee wants to find a positive solution to fight the downs.
Rural and urban communities need to band together to create a healthy economy. “The state and the future of our state is really linked to our rural and urban issues,” he said.
Craig said goodbye to a prominent community leader on Tuesday. Gene Bilodeau, vice president of Community College of Northwest College and city councilman, accepted a new position in Rapid City, South Dakota, as the executive director of their University Center. He and his wife will be making the drive north Saturday, he said.
Downtown Colorado Inc. made a stop in Craig on Tuesday to go over an assessment that that had been conducted in March. Katherine Correll, executive director of Downtown Colorado Inc., said this was an opportunity to get big players in town on board with planning to boost the economy in Craig’s downtown.
Colorado was the scene of yet another school shooting on Friday, and the librarian targeted used to teach in Craig. A student gunmen, Karl Pierson, came into Arapahoe High School in Littleton with a shotgun, demanding one teacher present himself: Tracy Murphy. Pierson shot a 17-year-old student, Claire Esther Davis before turning the gun on himself, taking his own life. Davis is in a coma, according to The Denver Post.
Recycling hasn’t changed much in Craig during the past 13 years. But last summer, Craig recycling expanded the plastics it accepts, said Rod Durham, solid waste department crew supervisor for the Road and Bridge Department.
Shadow Mountain subdivision will see some much-needed improvements to its water/sewer system and roads with the help of funding from a Department of Local Affairs Grant. Moffat County Commissioner Chuck Grobe received a letter notifying him of the DOLA grant approval Thursday. “We’ve been working on this so long and so hard, especially this year. It feels like baby steps, but now it really feels good to complete this project,” Grobe said.
Craig lost a devoted community member, William Kole Nielson, on Wednesday in a car crash on U.S. Highway 40 about 1 mile east of Hayden. His family is still reeling from the loss.
Leroy Fief, 49, of Craig, was sentenced to 30 years in prison, one year after he stabbed Shane Arredondo to death.
The Moffat County budget will be a bit tighter in 2014 than it was in 2013. “Basically, we’re just going down 4.11 percent. It is a 3.4 million dollar decrease from last year,” Moffat County Finance Director Mindy Curtis said.
The daily cops roundup and jail report.
The home of Tracey and Steve Lathrop was engulfed in flames Saturday morning. Nobody was injured, but the mobile home was destroyed.
Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck is campaigning for a U.S. Senate seat, and made a visit to Craig Friday afternoon. It was an opportunity for voters to get to know Buck and see his stance on national issues that could affect Northwest Colorado. Buck will be challenging Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) in the 2015 election. He was direct about his feelings on his opponent.
Even with sub-zero temperatures freezing Craig, philanthropy won out. Volunteers for the 15th annual KRAI and 55 Country Holiday Drive solicited donations outside the Centennial Mall from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday. Many stayed outside nearly the entire first day of the drive. It paid off.
Downtown Craig looks ready for the holiday season. Two local businesses moved to downtown in the fall for better visibility, and a new salon opened up in the area.
Ken Buck, Weld County district attorney, is running for U.S. Senate and will be making a stop in Craig on the campaign trail Friday. He started planning his trip the last week in November and but made his visit to Craig official Tuesday, said Brandi Meek, Moffat County chairwoman of the republican committee. “We’re really excited for the candidates for the (Senate) to visit,” she said.
The Craig branch of the Bank of Colorado welcomed its new president, Joshua Johnson, on Nov. 1. He has been settling into town nicely. Johnson has worked with the Bank of Colorado in its Estes Park location since 2010, but got a promotion and transfer when the former Craig Bank of Colorado president, Alisa Corey, left her position.
Nestled on the east side of Craig, the Luttrell Barn is practically empty. It hasn’t hosted an event in years — and it possibly won’t ever again. Built in 1904, the barn has been moved, renovated and now faces some difficult questions. Moffat County owns the structure, and it is up to county commissioners to decide whether they want to put a hefty sum of cash toward fixing it up, or if they should let it go: to be demolished or handed over to the Wyman Living History Museum.
Getting high-speed Internet to rural Colorado has been an ongoing issue since the Internet was invented. Audrey Danner, interim director of Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership, laughed when she recalled the efforts she and other county leaders took to expand telephone networks in the region in 1996. “We called it high-speed telecommunication back then,” she said.
Gov. John Hickenlooper is coming to Craig on Monday. As part of a tour of western Colorado, the governor will be stopping at Colorado Northwestern Community College for a town hall meeting. He will provide a short presentation on some pressing issues, and then turn it back to Moffat County, said Reeves Brown Executive Director of the Department of Local Affairs. Hickenlooper’s trip to was spurred by “more than one request for the governor to visit Moffat County,” Eric Brown, director of communications for the governor, said in an email.
Moffat County Undersheriff Charlene Abdella announced her bid to run for Moffat County sheriff in the 2014 election on Tuesday. “I would like the opportunity to continue to serve the citizens of Moffat County and do hereby announce my intent to run for the office of sheriff,” Abdella said in a statement. That makes her the first woman to run for Moffat County Sheriff. Her undersheriff would be Lieutenant KC Hume.
A mink farm that’s been under pressure in the past week was denied a conditional use permit by Moffat County commissioners at their Tuesday meeting. The farmers pursued the permit even after their farm was raided by an unidentified individual or group. The Moffat County Sheriff’s Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation are investigating the incident. All of the farmers’ mink were set free in the raid, and although many were recaptured, all are useless as breeding stock. They can only be sold for their pelts. That decreases the price of the mink from more than $250,000 to about $10,000, the farmers said. In an anonymous e-mail, the Earth Liberation Front alleged it perpetrated the act and praised the individual or individuals who carried it out.
A controversial mink farm in Moffat County may be out of business because an unidentified person or group released the animals from their cages Thursday. The Moffat County Sheriff's Department currently is investigating the issue, so it couldn’t release many details, but it was certain that this was an intentional act, Cpl. Alec Brown said. “We know that some mink were purposefully released,” Brown said.
The Museum of Northwest Colorado is debuting its remodel, artifacts and a brand-new train diorama for Railroad Day on Thursday, which happens to be the 100th anniversary of when the railroad came to Craig. Community members can explore the museum’s new digs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, and the Craig Chamber of Commerce will host a mixer that day from 5 to 7 p.m.
A mink farm is causing controversy in Moffat County. A group of farmers brought a proposal before Moffat County commissioners Tuesday to re-establish their mink farm in a new location. The mink farm currently is in the Western Knolls subdivision, an agricultural community about 8 miles west of Craig. But community members next to the existing mink farm and near the proposed site spoke against the proposal and requested that commissioners deny the farmers a conditional permit.
Healthcare in America is changing. Healthcare.gov, the Affordable Care Act website, launched Oct. 1 and has received criticism for not being user-friendly and packed with glitches. Regardless of the deficiencies of the website and the law, it has changed the insurance market and what existing government healthcare programs can provide to whom. Because of the Affordable Care Act, about 750 Moffat County adult residents will become newly eligible for Medicaid. Also, Medicare will offer more preventative coverage for free and cheaper prescription options for people who are spending about $3,000 on their medication per year.
Two people who had been charged with Felony 3 charges of distributing methamphetamine accepted plea bargains last week to avoid long-term incarcerations. Shelly Boyer, of Craig, accepted a 20-year sentence on Wednesday in lieu of facing a jury trial where she could be handed a 176-year sentence. Her husband Robert Boyer had plead guilty in September and accepted a plea deal where he took a 20-year sentence instead of 64 years.
Christina and Kevin Oxley’s home was devastated by a fire on Sunday evening after a blaze — started by their back-porch grill — quickly spread to their second story and destroyed their house within about 30 minutes. Now the family of five is trying to piece their lives back together, and their friends and community are trying to help. The couple has three young daughters.
Craig/Moffat County Economic Development Partnership and a new local business, Hill Petroleum, introduced a proposal to Moffat County Commissioners Tuesday to get a tax credit. Hill Petroleum, a full-service petroleum marketer, has three other Colorado locations, and in those locations received partial sales tax breaks. “We’ve been granted a moratorium of 50 percent of our sales tax for three years and for some cases, five years,” said Troy Hill, president of Hill Petroleum.
Moffat County will not act to secede from Colorado. The voters came out against the measure, 55 to 45 percent. Eleven counties put the question on their ballot. The counties were split, and the exact number in favor was not available at time of press. Moffat County Commissioner John Kinkaid introduced the idea of putting the secession question to voters in Moffat County. But, he said he wasn’t disappointed by the results.
Voters approved a measure that will allow Moffat County to increase the county debt to make improvements to the Shadow Mountain modular home development. This will be a great step for the community, said Director of Moffat County Development Services Roy Tipton. “I think it’s a good deal for the people living there,” he said “Something needed to be done there.”
Roughly 27 percent of Moffat County has cast their ballots as of 9 a.m. today, which is consistent with the trend of years past, according to figures released by the county election office. Voters throughout the Moffat County will decide on a variety of hot topics, including potentially extending term limits for county elected officials and possibly giving the county a green light to pursue secession.
The home of Chris and Kevin Oxley was destroyed Sunday night after a barbecue grill blaze lit the house on fire, according to the Moffat County Sheriff's Office. No one was injured, but the house was severely damaged. “We were paged at about 6:45 last night to the report of a fire in the back of the house,” said Moffat County Sheriff's Office Battalion Chief KC Hume. “The entire back or east side of the house was involved with fire aggressively moving through the second story.”
Barbara Jean Sonntag always wanted to help people. Sometimes in just a simple way; by offering a hug or telling a stranger that she loved them. “I’d say, you know what, I love you just the way you are,” she said. People may be surprised by her forward adoration, but grateful. They’d come back and thank her, she said.
More than 20 traditional energy advocates caravanned to Denver on Wednesday to attend the Environmental Protection Agency listening sessions and a rally on the state Capitol steps.
Craig City Council met with city officials Thursday to work on a tight budget for 2014. “This is probably the worst budget I’ve seen since I’ve been on City Council,” council member Ray Beck said.
More than 20 traditional energy advocates caravanned to Denver Wednesday to attend the Environmental Protection Agency listening sessions and a rally on the state Capitol steps. The EPA set up hearings nationwide in their regional EPA offices to listen to input on the upcoming proposed regulations for existing power plants. The proposed regulations for new power plants came out in September, and caused controversy because of their strict rules for coal fire power plants.
The flurry of snow that hit Craig at about 9 a.m. Tuesday made for dicey driving conditions. One person rolled his or her vehicle just east of the Wyman Living History Museum on U.S. Highway 40. The driver was heading westbound when the pickup slid off the road.
In the past week, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper expressed remorse for his frayed relationships with rural Colorado. In light of the secession movement, in which 11 counties want to secede from the state, he suggested he hasn’t been doing everything he can to bring all voices to the table.
Moffat County residents are heading to Denver on Wednesday to rally and testify against the Environmental Protection Agency’s plan to enact new regulations for existing coal-fire power plants. “Rural communities in Colorado are rallying for their livelihood and against, plainly and simply, a federal agency that is trying to put the coal industry out of business,” said Stuart Sanderson, president of the Colorado Mining Association. The EPA is hosting listening sessions nationwide to go over their plans to regulate the carbon emissions from coal-burning power plants. They will set up in Denver on Wednesday and listen to testimony throughout the day.
Connie Preston was driving her vehicle from Craig to Steamboat Springs five days a week for 15 years to get to work. The trip wasn't always easy. The cost of gas, oil, snow tires and basic maintenance was tough on her budget. And winter driving with traffic can be a headache.
The city of Craig’s 2014 budget is going to be a tight one. Craig City Council looked at the proposed budget at their Tuesday meeting but won’t vote on it until the second reading Nov. 19. In 2012 the City of Craig ran into a deficit of $2.9 million. This year the proposed projected budget predicts a deficit of $2.2 million.
Nearly 70 people participated in United Way’s Bridges Out of Poverty training to learn about the complicated cultural divide between poverty, middle class and the wealthy. Sharon Farquhar, executive director for Advocates Crisis Support Services, led the discussion and used different activities to help bring to light the socialized differences between classes. “It’s good to have a big group because then you get people from healthcare, education and the business community,” she said.
Community members are trying to rope the State Rodeo Championships into Craig, combining the event with the popular Grand Olde West Days at Moffat County Fairgrounds in May. Dave Fleming is coordinating the effort with the board of the Colorado State High School Rodeo Association to see if Craig will be the right location for the 2014 and 2015 High School and Jr. High Rodeo Championships. That means that Craig could potentially host the rodeo for the next two years.
Philanthropic potters have been working seven months to prepare for St. Michael Community Kitchen’s biggest fundraiser of the year. A group of about seven local artists crafted around 300 to 400 bowls for the Empty Bowl Fundraiser that will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday at St. Michael’s Church. People who attend will get a hand-thrown ceramic bowl, soup and enjoyable entertainment from the Cedar Mountain String Quartet. About 95 percent of the proceeds will go directly into St. Michael’s food fund. The rest will cover expenses.
Pets are a ubiquitous part of American life. They share space in family photos, help the agricultural community keep pests at bay and provide services with affection in hospitals. But many get left in animal shelters. Ann Anderson, the Moffat County Humane Society secretary, is anxious to help the left-behind animals find a home
Poverty is an undeniable part of all of our lives. Even people who are not personally impoverished still deal with ramifications of those who can’t find employment to put food on the table. About 13 percent of people in Moffat County live below the poverty line, according to numbers from Yampa Valley Data Partners.
Tracey Lahthrop’s second husband threatened her children. He hit Lathrop until she bruised. When she divorced him, he stalked her. It took Lathrop years, several calls to the cops and persistence to finally get him out of her life. Her story is unfortunately not unique.