Lauren Blair

Education & Health Care Reporter

Email: lblair@craigdailypress.com Call: 970-875-1794

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Lauren Blair covers the health care and education beats in Craig and Moffat County. A Colorado native, she graduated in 2005 from Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in critical social thought.

Blair relocated to Craig from Denver in July of 2014. She has worn many hats in her work life, including that of wedding and travel photographer, blogger, bakery manager, personal chef and instructor for Outward Bound outdoor education programs. Journalism is the perfect avenue for her to indulge her many curiosities and interests, and she relishes the opportunity to grow each day as a journalist, writer, photographer and human being. When not burning the midnight oil in the newsroom, Blair can be found in her kitchen inventing new recipes, pondering the meaning of life with her boyfriend, Yuri Chicovsky, and their two kitties, jamming out to soul tunes and Beatles records, and exploring the far reaches of this beautiful state with camera in hand.

Recent Stories

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No bones about it: CNCC dinosaur dig reveals rare find

Locked in the sandstone cliffs near Rangely, Colorado for approximately 74 million years, the bones of a dinosaur dubbed Walter are seeing the light of day for the first time in ages — literally.

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Shrinking funds means less access to local care for veterans

Veterans’ are facing added constraints on where and from whom they can receive their health care as Congress and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs continue to refine new protocols laid down by the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014.

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Superintendent Brent Curtice announces he will stay in Craig

Moffat County School District Superintendent Brent Curtice made the announcement Tuesday morning that he will stay in Moffat County after being considered as one of three finalists for the position of superintendent in Montrose County School District.

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Where the sage grouse roam, Part III: Will new regulations threaten Northwest Colorado's energy economy?

At a time when city and county officials are scrambling to find ways to diversify Moffat County’s economy to ensure its survival into the future, increased regulation designed to preserve sage grouse habitat could threaten to close the door on future oil and gas development.

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Where the sage grouse roam, Part II: Ranching for conservation

On a cold, April morning, nearly 170 sage grouse cocks convene in a dormant rye field in northern Moffat County with their tail feathers held high and white, feathery chests proudly puffed. Driven by testosterone and deeply rooted instincts, the male birds gather at annual mating grounds known as leks, alternatively described as both a dance floor and a singles bar for sage grouse. They come seeking to mate.

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Masterworks Mechanical are masters of HVAC in Moffat County

Masterworks Mechanical has been a mainstay in the Craig business community for nearly 27 years, providing for the Yampa Valley’s plumbing, heating, ventilation and air conditioning needs.

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iPad initiative makes the cut, Maybell School suspended another year

The board room at the Moffat County School District administration building was standing room only for its regular monthly meeting Thursday evening, at which it opted to suspend but not permanently close Maybell School and re-inserted the iPad initiative into the budget for the 2015-16 school year.

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Where the sage grouse roam, Part I: The future of conservation and development on the Western landscape

Though the imminent threat of an endangered species listing is off the table, this September, a decision from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will mark the culmination of years — even decades — of conservation work that is changing the face of the West.

Congress blocks sage grouse listing

In December, Congress passed a provision in a federal spending bill that prohibits the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from issuing any listing rules related to the greater sage grouse.

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Moffat County School District Superintendent Brent Curtice finalist for Montrose position

Moffat County School District Superintendent Brent Curtice has been selected as a finalist for the position of superintendent of Montrose County School District, according to the Montrose Daily Press.

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Recent photos

Colorado Northwestern Community College Rangely student Bailey Walker, from Cedaredge, chisels away, Wednesday, at a "trench" to allow for a large chunk of sandstone containing fossils to be transported back to the CNCC Craig campus. Excavations over the last month revealed a four-foot-long tibia, or shin bone, which CNCC instructor and paleontologist Liz Johnson believes may belong to a dinosaur in the duckbill family. Other leg bones lie beneath the tibia.

Craig veteran Gar Williams addresses Congressman Scott Tipton at a town hall meeting Monday at Moffat County High School as his wife Luann Williams, left, and Tipton Constituent Services Representative George Rossman, far right, listen. Williams raised concerns about changes to VA health care policies which he was worried would mean longer wait times and long travel distances for veterans to receive care.

Congressman Scott Tipton speaks with about 30 community and energy industry leaders from Northwest Colorado at an energy roundtable Monday at Colorado Northwestern Community College. Tipton spoke to attendees about what he calls "taxation via regulation" and responded to concerns and questions from Moffat, Routt and Rio Blanco commissioners, Craig Mayor Ray Beck and representatives from Tri-State Generation and Transmission, Xcel Energy, Peabody Energy's Twentymile Mine and Southwestern Energy. "We're paying as a nation $2 trillion per year in regulatory costs," Tipton said. He urged people to submit comments whenever possible on proposed plans and environmental assessments from government agencies, and to Congressional leaders. CNCC President Russell George and Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association Public Health Director Charity Neal also discussed the impacts of the energy industry's future on education and health care.

The Supreme Court ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency incorrectly interpreted the Clean Air Act by setting limits on emissions from power plants without considering costs to the industry. Officials of Craig Station, a coal-fired power plant operated by Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, have closely been watching what happens with the EPA and President Barack Obama's Clean Power Plan.

Looking northeast from Sevenmile Ridge in Moffat County is the Little Snake River valley, which is the proposed route for high-voltage power lines for the TransWest Express Transmission Project. The route cuts through lands that are largely undisturbed and borders and cuts through prime greater sage grouse habitat as well, raising concerns about its impact on the birds.

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