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Michelle Balleck

Stories by Michelle

Letter: Thanks for supporting art show

n February 8 to 11, 2012, Connections 4 Kids early childhood council hosted its inaugural Cherish the Little Things art show featuring 210 pieces of art by 175 artists in preschool through high school. The event was a wonderful way to showcase the work of these talented youths, and the community was so supportive of the children, their art and our efforts. Thank you to the 14 art patron businesses and organizations that supported the show and Connections 4 Kids. And thanks to our “friend” organizations that made in-kind donations to help make our show a great experience for the artists and the community. I would like to thank our council chairwoman, Corrie Ponikvar, especially for the time and energy she put into this show.

Michelle Balleck: Kick-starting the holiday season

There’s plenty on the calendar for this weekend, with a range of feel-good activities to heel-stomping fun, many geared toward throwing you full-force into the holiday season. But, before I tell you what’s planned, a couple of personal notes first. This will be my final Livin’ It Up column, and next week you’ll see a new face here. I am moving onto a new challenge and am very excited. Also, I’d like to shamelessly use this space to wish our little man happy birthday today. He’s now 9, and a “tween” — yikes. Happy birthday, Shane!

Michelle Balleck: Avoid the snow with shopping, ‘Footloose’ & ‘Happy Feet Two’

There’s plenty of indoor fun on the docket for this weekend, when it’s forecasted to snow some more. Get into the holiday spirit with craft shows, a turkey giveaway, a donation collection and the adorable “Happy Feet Two.” ■ Everybody cut “Footloose” at Moffat County High School’s performance of the famed musical this weekend. The show is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday at the high school auditorium, 900 Finley Lane. The cost is $5 per person at the door. Call the high school at 824-7036 for more information.

Michelle Balleck: Food, flicks & fun

There’s music and food and movies and shopping. What else could you ask for in a weekend? ■ Rock out with Chancey Williams this weekend at the Sports Page Bar at the Holiday Inn of Craig, 300 S. Colorado Highway 13. The band takes the stage at 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, but drink specials start at 5 p.m. each night if you’re looking for pre-game action.

Michelle Balleck: Settling in for winter

Halloween is over, and now’s when we all get settled in for a long winter. Oh the joy. Stores already have their Christmas decorations and merchandise out. Only 52 shopping days left.

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Hundreds enjoy Trick-or-Treat Street in Craig

Kayden Hinson, 5, kept a smile on her pink lips as she waited for her family to catch up on Yampa Avenue. The best parts about Halloween, Hinson said, were getting to wear her grandmother’s lipstick and her mother’s eye shadow.

MCTA to move offices, looks to settle Chamber MOU debate

The Moffat County Tourism Association Board expressed its desire to move forward in its mission at a special meeting Wednesday. The board approved signing a contract for new office space and discussed finalizing revisions to its memorandum of understanding with the Craig Chamber of Commerce, City of Craig and Moffat County. “Sales and marketing is our mission. I want to do that. That’s the fun part,” board member Kerry Moe said.

Michelle Balleck: Ghosts, ghouls, goblins & crab

It is officially Halloween week. Get pumped for free candy, costume mania and big scares. Plus, there’s Crabfest, one of those events to look forward to all year. ■ It’s party time. Excellent.

Michelle Balleck: ‘Tis the season for spooky

It’s that time of year again, where pumpkins, ghosts and cobwebs reign supreme. There are several autumn-themed, and sometimes spooky, activities planned that will keep you in the spirit of the season. ■ Prepare to be scared as American Legion Post 62 offers its haunted house beginning this weekend at Centennial Mall, 1111 W. Victory Way.

Chamber to pursue ‘shop local’ speaker for Craig event

The Craig Chamber of Commerce Board approved Thursday pursue bringing Cinda Baxter, founder and president of The 3/50 Project, to Moffat County to present the program to small business owners. The project, launched in 2009, encourages consumers to choose three independently owned businesses they would miss if they were gone and to spend $50 each month in those types of businesses.

Michelle Balleck: Classic autumn activities on the agenda

Things that say fall: eating plenty of food, looking ahead to the holidays, football, pumpkins and hunting. And there’s a bit of each on the agenda for this weekend.

Michelle Balleck: Music, parade, music & sports jam-pack the weekend

There’s plenty of music, a parade, lots of sports and a sprinkling of other activities on tap this weekend. Cheer on the Bulldogs and don’t miss a huge concert for our neck of the woods. ■ It’s a big deal when a second-place finisher on a national TV show hits Craig. Street Corner Symphony, which was the runner up on NBC’s “The Sing-Off,” performs here at 7 p.m. Sunday at Moffat County High School, 900 Finley Lane, thanks to the Craig Concert Association.

MCTA eyes next steps on projects

The Moffat County Tourism Association put one project on hold as it looks to move forward with another. The MCTA board met with Josh Lowe, owner of Yampa Geo, and Linda Hill, president of Hill Aevium, during a special meeting Monday. The board tabled a decision on Lowe’s collaborative interactive mapping project and had forward-looking discussion based on Hill’s presentation about her firm’s research into Moffat County’s assets and possible future branding work.

Michelle Balleck: A little of this and that

There’s a little bit of this and that to enjoy this warm weather before it’s too late. From Elkhead’s last weekend with the primary boat ramp to some live music, you’re sure to find a few things going this weekend. ■ The Cabin Fever Band is playing Mathers Club, 420 Yampa Ave., beginning at 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights.

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The road previously taken

‘Journey 65 Million Years in 65 Miles’ tour brings past to present

Gina Robison gazed out over the valley from a scenic trail on Duffy Mountain. “Look at this,” Robison said Tuesday morning. “Can you see why I love this area? It’s just so primitive and peaceful. “I want people to get outdoors and experience this.” Count that as a top reason Robison, outdoor recreation planner for the Bureau of Land Management’s Little Snake Field Office, has created a new project.

Michelle Balleck: Weekend events signs of the season

There’s a chill in the air and the leaves are starting to change. That can only mean one thing. I love autumn, but am dreading what comes next. • Shine up your boots for the country stylings of the Teka Brock Band, beginning at 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights at the Sports Page Bar at the Holiday Inn of Craig, 300 S. Colorado Highway 13.

Livin' it up for Wednesday, September 14, 2011: Choices a’plenty for a full weekend

There is more than enough to keep you occupied and enjoying the newly cooled weather. We’re off to Denver for a wedding shindig, fruit picking and, oh yes, some Oktoberfest refreshment. ■ Pet a lamb then learn how to shear it. The annual Craig Sheep Wagon Days are this week at Wyman Museum, 94350 E. U.S. Hwy. 40. Check out the demonstrations, petting zoo, hay maze and more from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. Saturday also includes live music and helicopter rides.

‘A great victory’: EDP receives business incubation grant

The Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership announced Thursday it has received a three-year business incubation grant through the Office of Economic Development and International Trade. The grant totals $115,000 — $50,000 in the first year, $35,000 in the second year and $30,000 in the third year. Following the grant’s end, the program it will fund is designed to be sustainable.

Craig Chamber passes on interactive mapping project

The Craig Chamber of Commerce board decided at its Thursday meeting to pass on an interactive mapping opportunity with local company YampaGeo. Josh Lowe, owner of YampaGeo, during a presentation at the Moffat County Tourism Association board Wednesday, said his goal is to launch a tourism website for Northwest Colorado that includes an interactive mapping feature for attractions, businesses, campgrounds, events and more.

MCTA, Chamber discuss relationship, shared office space

A discussion about the Moffat County Tourism Association seeking new office space Thursday at the Craig Chamber of Commerce board meeting turned from square footage to relationships. MCTA, currently located in the northwest corner of the Museum of Northwest Colorado, 590 Yampa Ave., is considering several commercial rental spaces in Craig.

Michelle Balleck: Intro to fall fun

As reluctant as I am to admit it, fall and the dirty “w” word are just around the corner. But, I am excited to begin enjoying some of my favorite autumn activities and fashions. ■ Party it up in a parking lot.

Michelle Balleck: Ideal weekend for no kind of labor

As it is Labor Day weekend, there’s not much planned around town. So it’s a good excuse to spend time with your families, ideally outdoors, and soak up what’s left of summer.

Michelle Balleck: BBQ & golf make for a toasty, tasty weekend

Even if you’re not into barbecue — how could you not be? — there’s plenty of fun at this weekend’s BBQ Championship. There’s music, a fire show and more. Plus there are a couple of golf tournaments to help you enjoy the last weekend of summer before school starts up again.

Craig woman organizes support group

Sharlene Battaglia can relate to those invited to the Depression and Bipolar Support Group she recently formed. “I’ve experienced depression, myself,” Battaglia said. “I know how it feels to be in ‘the black hole.’” Battaglia moved a year and a half ago to Craig from Sacramento, Calif., and recognized a need in the Craig community for such a group, due to a high suicide rate and limited resources.

Michelle Balleck: Balloons, bands & a ball, plus a movie on the lawn

There’s plenty to watch this weekend, from balloons in the sky to a movie on the lawn. Plus there’s some luau fun at the annual firefighter’s ball and a couple bands to check out.

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Three arrested in car theft, crash Tuesday

Three Craig residents have been arrested in connection with a stolen vehicle and a subsequent crash Tuesday night, the Craig Police Department reported. Officers arrested Jarod Bays, 25, Alicia Colvin, 31, and Joseph A. Galvan, 20, on suspicion of aggravated motor vehicle theft, criminal mischief and first-degree criminal trespass. Bays is also suspected of driving a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs, reckless driving and reckless endangerment.e criminal trespass and reckless endangerment.

Michelle Balleck: No excuse to sit home bored

There’s more than enough to keep busy with this weekend. You literally couldn’t attend all of Thursday’s events if you tried. Plus, there’s plenty to fill the rest of the days, too.

MCTA discusses purchases by former director

The Moffat County Tourism Association Board is considering its next steps after learning of possible misuse of the organization’s credit card by its former director. At a regular meeting Wednesday, the board, along with Moffat County Attorney Jeremy Snow and Human Resources Director Lynnette Running, discussed former director Marilynn Hill’s possible misappropriation of funds and electronic equipment, as well as personal files on a work computer.

Michelle Balleck: Fair, food, golf, music & motocross fill out weekend

It’s finally the start of fair week, so get geared up for fair food, all kinds of shows and displays, and some entertainment at the arena. Also on tap this weekend: good eats, golf, motocross and music. ■ The Moffat County Fair has rolled around again and has events this weekend.

Mud it up, dance it up, rev it up

photo Michelle Balleck Weekend movie showtimes West Theatre 29 E. Victory Way 824-2000 • “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2,” PG-13; 7 and 9:05 p.m. Fri. and Sat., 4 and 7 p.m. Sunday • “Captain America: The First Avenger,” PG-13; 7 and 9:05 p.m. Fri. and Sat., 4 and 7 p.m. Sunday, 7 p.m. Monday and Tuesday • Tickets: $7 for ages 10 and older, $5 for ages 9 and younger • Sunday matinee: $5 for ages 10 and older, $4 for ages 9 and younger Submit your event Submit your event’s details for consideration by e-mailing me at or calling 875-1790. Whether you’re looking for a mud bath or a night on the town, there are a few things to get you down and dirty this weekend. ■ The Moffat County Mud Runs will be Saturday at Wyman Museum, 94350 E. U.S. Highway 40.

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'Week of packed fun'

12-year-old Emma Balstad looks forward to county fair, culmination of months of work

The setting sun shines against Emma Balstad’s strawberry blonde hair as she and her dog, G.G., work on heel, stay, lay down and high five commands. After each successful task, Emma bends over and gives G.G. much-appreciated reinforcement. The Emma and G.G. team will compete together in obedience and showmanship categories at the Moffat County Fair, which runs from Aug. 7 to 13 at the Moffat County Fairgrounds. While their training could easily keep Emma occupied over the summer, that’s just the start of her lineup in the Moffat County 4-H program.

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Community invited to enjoy variety of entertainment at 2011 Moffat County Fair

There’s plenty of entertainment to look forward to at the 93rd annual Moffat County Fair, according to fair board member Katie Wheeler. She said Aug. 12 offers a full night of fun at the Moffat County Fairgrounds not to be missed. For the third year running, HOWL Rodeo Bulls presents Ultimate Miniature Bull Riding Competition at 7 p.m. Aug. 12. Admission is $5 for children 11 and younger and $10 for those 12 and older.

Michelle Balleck: Weekend to catch up on summer fun

It’s a relatively quiet weekend in Craig, so it’s an opportunity to make sure you’re getting in all the fun you can while the weather holds up. School begins in less than six weeks, so don’t let summer slip away. ■ Practice your swing and pull out your poodle skirt.

Employment leaders to visit Craig this month

Darcy Owens-Trask said bringing state leaders to Moffat County can have a significant effect on the local economy. “I believe it’s critically important that state labor leaders understand the impacts some of the decision-making, in terms of the reg ulatory environment, might have on the workforce and community of Craig,” Owens-Trask said.

Michelle Balleck: Parade, fireworks, music & sports mark the Fourth

We all know this weekend as the one that gives us a day off, one where we watch fireworks and twirl sparklers, gather with friends and family, and eat a buffet of summer favorites. This year, our family will be celebrating in Myrtle Beach and soaking up some much-needed rays. But, there’s also plenty to keep local residents busy here on this holiday weekend.

Night on the Town

When you need to relax after a long workweek, Moffat County has a variety of options to help you unwind.

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‘Care about your clients’: Kim Cox voted Moffat County’s best Realtor

When Scott and Robyn Kitchen have a home to sell, they know just who to call — longtime friend and Craig Realtor Kim Cox, who has helped them sell two homes in less-than-ideal markets. “There wasn’t anything she couldn’t do, no question she couldn’t answer,” Robyn said of her experiences with Cox.

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‘A good challenge’: Best accountant Don Jones a numbers man through and through

Don Jones has known since high school what he wanted to do. At his recent 20-year high school reunion, he was reminded from his yearbook that he knew he wanted to be a “successful accountant in the business world.” Now the owner of Jones & Associates, Inc., public accounting firm is celebrating the success of being voted best accountant in the Craig Daily Press’ Best of Moffat County contest.

Economic Development Partnership to apply for business incubation grant

Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership plans to move forward with applying for a business incubation grant through the Office of Economic Development and International Trade this summer. EDP director Darcy Owens-Trask presented the opportunity to the board during its monthly meeting Wednesday at the Moffat County Courthouse.

Michelle Balleck: Whittle the Wood headlines anticipated weekend

It’s likely the most anticipated weekend of the year in Moffat County, and it’s finally here. ■ Whittle the Wood Rendezvous kicks off today as the carvers pick their stumps and get to work at Craig City Park. Check out the carvers from about 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. today through Friday, and watch them finish up Saturday during the big day in the park.

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Craig Chamber of Commerce Board selects J.W. Snack’s for 1st Select award

Danny Griffith doesn’t claim to be the easiest boss to work for. “I’ve been guilty of making my girls cry because I’m so hard on them,” he said Thursday. “They work hard because they don’t want to disappoint me.” Griffith has owned J.W. Snack’s Bar & Grill, 210 E. Victory Way, with his wife, Teri, for five-and-a-half years.

Michelle Balleck: Golf, songs and a fond farewell highlight upcoming events

It’s a fairly quiet weekend around Craig, which means this might be a good weekend to head out of town or get started on all of those summer projects you’ve been looking forward to. ■ Dust off your clubs and sign up for the Moffat County Sheriff’s Office’s 24th annual Scholarship Fund Golf Tournament.

Michelle Balleck: Bright sunshiny days for outdoor weekend fun

It’s a weekend for getting outside and enjoying some sunshine. And I, undoubtedly like you, am hoping the forecasts for mid-70s and sunny are correct. My mom will be visiting from Ohio, and we have big plans to finally get my first garden planted along with other outdoor fun.

Michelle Balleck: Kickoff summer with carnival rides, dances & a parade

This weekend — notorious for its rain but which forecasts predict will be beautiful — allows you to let your hair down, relive your youth, and celebrate the close of another school year and start of another summer. It’s a weekend for barbecues, gardening and remembering our fallen servicemen and women.

Michelle Balleck: Sunny weather & spring garage sales calling your name

With temps around the 70s and sunshine predicted, preparing my garden is where you’ll find me this weekend. And, I can’t wait for some more welcome sunburn. ■ Enjoy a laidback night out with the Friday Night Variety Show at 5:30 p.m. Friday at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4265. There promises to be some great local talent plus food and drinks to keep you happy.

Michelle Balleck: A little bit of something for everyone

Whether you’re into shopping or golfing, horse herds or wrestling, you’re sure to find a lot of fun in the variety of offerings this weekend in Moffat County. ■ If you’ve never been to Maybell to watch as the Sombrero Ranches horses are driven through town, you’re missing out. The 800 horses will be led along U.S. Highway 40 on their 60-mile trek from Browns Park to a ranch near Craig.

Michelle Balleck: Wildlife fundraisers, Chihuahua races & blood tests on weekend itinerary

From rifle raffles to mariachi and blood tests to wildlife assistance, you’re bound to find a little bit of something to fit your fancy this weekend.

Michelle Balleck: Funny bunnies & rock and roll

There’s plenty to keep the kiddos entertained this potentially rainy weekend, from bunnies to candy and games. There’s also some musical fun to keep parents happy. And when all else fails, there are some good movies in town if you’d prefer to stay snuggled up.

Michelle Balleck: Music, putt-putt, sports & more — a full spring weekend

There’s plenty to tickle your fancy this weekend, with everything from concerts to mini golf and church fundraisers to bingo. ■ The annual putt-putt golf tourney hosted by three local bars returns this weekend for your drunken, costumed pleasure. The party starts at 1 p.m. Saturday at Mathers Bar, 420 Yampa Ave., and continues at J.W. Snack’s and The Popular Bar. Putt three holes at each place.

Michelle Balleck: Slow weekend in spring snowiness

It’s a slow weekend in Craig, but maybe that’s for the best, considering the weather is slated to be chilly and snowy and/or rainy. It’s a good time for spring cleaning, catching up or kicking back — maybe with a few of the new releases out on DVD.