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Noelle Leavitt Riley

Stories by Noelle

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Downtown Craig bustles with fun, entertainment on Memorial Day

Downtown festivities on Memorial Day in Craig were taken to new heights this year, with multiple bouncy houses for kids, more food vendors than usual and a chili cook-off fundraiser for Freedom Hooves.

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Craig remembers its fallen heroes on Memorial Day

Moffat County’s residents held their heads low and put hands on their hearts Monday morning at Craig Cemetery in recognition of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for freedom.

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4 Moffat County seniors pledge service to the U.S.

One of the most noble professions any high school senior can embark on is serving the United States of America. This year, four Moffat County High School seniors pledged their lives to serve our country by joining a branch of the military.

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Jessie Suits fears not change, excited for the future

Susan Jessica Suits, 17, is better known at Moffat County High School as Jesse. Her graduation will be illuminated in a different way than most others in her graduating class.

Forget Me Not: Creating a senior center is a fantastic initiative in Craig

For the past few months, a large group of elders and committed community members have held numerous meetings in an effort to open a senior center for Craig’s older population.

Forget Me Not: Dedicating appreciation to Sherry on Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is Sunday, and I have an enormous amount of love and respect for my mother, Sherry Rae Middlemiss. Life has not been physically easy on her, but she manages to trek through and remain a beautiful ball of positive energy and a shining light in my family and in my life. She was diagnosed with severe scoliosis when she was a young child and underwent her first surgery at the Mayo Clinic when she was 13 years old. She was one of several children to go through experimental surgeries for kids with spine disorders.

Moffat County deputy arrested for domestic violence

A Moffat County Sheriff's Office deputy was arrested Wednesday for alleged domestic violence that took place while the deputy was off duty Tuesday.

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Driving horses through Northwest Colorado

Great American

The Sombrero Ranch Great American Horse Drive passed through Northwest Colorado on Sunday, where cowboys and cowgirls transferred 400 domesticated horses from winter pasture to spring and summer pasture.

Forget Me Not: What will you sacrifice for your elderly parents?

Would you move away from your husband and children to assist your elderly parents?

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Wild, wild horses — right in Moffat County’s backyard

Wild horses exist right in Moffat County, giving spectators who visit their habitat at the Sand Wash Basin an opportunity to experience the heart of the American West.

Economic indicator report shows diversity in Routt and Moffat counties

Yampa Valley Data Partners recently released its Community Indicators Report, highlighting a variety of economic trends in Moffat and Routt counties. Each indicator gives government officials, businesses and community members an idea of Northwest Colorado’s economic health. The report comes out every two years.

Forget Me Not: Wellness Wednesdays is a phenomenal program for elders

Companionship is important at any age, and that’s why Wellness Wednesdays are so vital to the senior citizens of Craig. The program offers a host of activities for our elders each Wednesday, but perhaps the most critical element is the camaraderie.

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Community donations could fund this year's fireworks in Craig

Community members and organizations want to raise the money through a fireworks donation fund that’s being facilitated through the Craig Chamber of Commerce.

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Cook to rebrand Craig's local Ford dealership

Craig Ford is now Cook Ford. The business transaction was finalized Friday morning between both parties.

Forget Me Not: Nursing home neglect holds hefty price tag

The biggest reason I care so deeply about the elderly is because of what happened to my late grandmother during her almost six-month stay at two nursing homes — one in Santa Fe, N.M., and one in the Denver metro area.

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Sheridan's delightful book about small towns debuts in Steamboat Springs on Saturday

Writing a book that’s both serious and humorous is not an easy task to master, but that’s exactly what Janet Bohart Sheridan does with her first paperback, “A Seasoned Life Lived In Small Towns: Memories, Musings and Observations.”

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Southwestern Energy announces multimillion-dollar deal to purchase mineral leases in Moffat and Routt counties

Southwestern Energy announced Wednesday that it had signed an agreement to purchase 312,000 net acres in Moffat and Routt counties for $180 million, according to a press release.

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Freedom Hooves brings balance, recovery to Moffat County

They say that pets are pure love, and the same can be said of the therapeutic equines at Freedom Hooves in Craig. Their love and patience helps people with a slew of life’s obstacles, boosting them to the next level of recovery.

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Moffat County Cancer Society provides funds, support to cancer patients

It’s hard to imagine what it’s like living with cancer, but for those who have experienced the traumatic diagnosis the Moffat County Cancer Society is a wonderful resource.

Forget Me Not: Applauding lawmakers for protecting elders

State lawmakers are continuing their efforts to protect the elderly population from abuse and neglect. Bravo.

Beck flies high with new aviation appointment

Ray Beck will join six other members on the Colorado Aeronautic Board, an appointment that was made final at the state Capitol on Thursday.

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Craig Ford sells business to Cook Chevrolet

Cook Chevrolet owner Scott Cook is buying Craig Ford. The deal is nearly finished, and Cook is happy to buy a local dealership — ultimately expanding his business opportunities in Craig.

Forget Me Not: Losing my step-grandfather, Winton

Losing grandparents is never easy. Winton was my step grandfather. He was 92-years-old, and one of the most fascinating and intelligent men I ever knew. He was a blind mathematician and used to sit in his recliner, thinking, solving complex math problems in his head.

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Gov. John Hickenlooper questions BLM's sage grouse plan

The sage grouse issue in Colorado took a turn this week after Gov. John Hickenlooper sent a letter to the Bureau of Land Management stating that its proposed plan for the bird was not acceptable — a response that Moffat County officials applaud.

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Hometown Hero: Craig native Ben Winslow gets deployed to Middle East

Craig native Ben Winslow’s current goal is to spend as much time with his wife as possible before he is deployed to the Middle East next month.

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State Rep. Bob Rankin visits Craig

State Rep. Bob Rankin, R-Carbondale, spent the day in Craig on Friday. He visited the community to share his vision for the 2014 legislative session, which convenes Wednesday. His plea to residents of rural Colorado was to stay involved with state politics. “Because you’re remote, because you’re energy dependent, because you’re west, people know who you are. We need to use that,” he said. “Rural Colorado — western Colorado — is so outnumbered that we need to stand up. I want people to get more involved in state issues.”

Forget Me Not: Keeping elderly independent

The goal, it seems, for our elderly loved ones is to live and die at home. Independence is a huge deal for senior citizens, and who can blame them for wanting to hold on to self-sufficiency for as long as possible?

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Rep. Rankin meets with Craig constituents

State Rep. Bob Rankin met with a small group of Moffat County residents this morning at The Memorial Hospital to discuss the upcoming legislative session that starts Wednesday.

2013: A year in news for Craig, Moffat County

Looking back on the past year, the staff of the Craig Daily Press has compiled the following list of some of the top stories of 2013 for Craig and Moffat County. Some topics are ongoing, some have had effects on state and national levels, but all have been significant to Northwest Colorado.

Sunset Elementary teacher’s resignation causes parental outcry

The recent resignation of a Moffat County School District educator has a number of local parents up in arms.

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Moffat County United Way hosts Festival of Trees events

One of the best ways to bring joy to the holidays is with a brightly lit Christmas tree. Such joy is exuberated at the Festival of Trees now on display at the Moffat County Courthouse, where 32 beautifully decorated trees line the halls.

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Sage grouse debate on forefront of Colorado issues

Sage grouse numbers have declined slowly in recent years, prompting conservation groups to have the federal government consider the bird for the endangered species list. If that happens, it could have negative economic impacts on Colorado and Moffat County.

Forget Me Not: Sad truths of being an elder

On Wednesday, my husband Shawn and I took our first Northwest Colorado flower delivery to Sandrock Ridge Care & Rehab in Craig. Over the years, each delivery has been very different. Some are more difficult than others, and our visit to Sandrock was extremely emotional and tough for a number of reasons.

KRAI Holiday Drive helps those in need

The word “giving” has a strong meaning in Craig, especially when it comes to the annual KRAI and 55 Country Holiday Drive. Last year, the radio station collected more than $25,000 in cash donations and close to 8,000 pounds of food. “This thing is monstrous for the community,” said Frank Hanel, owner and general manager of KRAI.

Forget Me Not: Practicing patience with our elderly population

Have you ever sat down with your grandparents and it took forever for them to tell a story or get to the point? What about the stories that you’ve heard over and over again? I know that it might be more beneficial to us if we could speed things up or stop them in the middle of retelling a story we’ve already heard, but I wonder how that makes them feel.

Holiday Inn of Craig sold to New York company

The Holiday Inn of Craig was sold to new owners — a transaction that was finalized Tuesday. New York-based Jacobs Real Estate Advisors bought the 159-room hotel for roughly $3.1 million under a newly formed company called Jacobs 300 Colorado LLC.

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Gov. Hickenlooper speaks to Northwest Colorado residents in Craig

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper met with Northwest Colorado residents Monday morning at the Moffat County Fairgrounds Pavilion in a community forum to address issues facing the area.

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Hometown Hero: Shirley Stehle shows love for Moffat County in published poem

Shirley Stehle, 86, of Craig, knows what it means to be a Moffat County resident. She’s lived in the county for more than 60 years and recently had a poem published in a book that perfectly captures what life is like in the high plains of Northwest Colorado. Stehle is the Craig Daily Press’ hometown hero this week due to her giving spirit, her triumph in fighting breast cancer and her ever so dedicated love for Moffat County.

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Your Health: Maintaining good digestive health

If you suffer from obesity or irritable bowel syndrome, perhaps bacteria can help. Doctors and universities across the world currently are knee-deep in research, trying to figure out how “good” bacteria can help fight IBS and obesity and ward off colon cancer.

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Hayden man writes poem to help with war-related PTSD

John Kregar, of Hayden, deals with struggles pertaining to war on a daily basis. He suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder related to the incredibly difficult situations he encountered while fighting the war in Iraq. Yet he’s found solace in a poem that took him four years to write. The act of writing the poem gave him a form of therapy that encouraged him to move past his strife.

Forget Me Not: Generation gaps — snail mail vs. email

Do you remember what it was like receiving a letter in the mail before email became popular? It’s so nice to open a mailbox, clogged with bills and advertisements, and see a letter among the mess. Just seeing a card that someone composed, addressed, stamped and carried to the mailbox can put a smile on anyone’s face. So we must ask ourselves, “Should I take a moment and send a note to a friend or a loved one?”

Term limits extended for Moffat County surveyor and coroner

Voters said "yes" to extend term limits for two elected officials, coroner and surveyor,, and voted "no" on the others, including Moffat County commissioners. Specifically, voters were asked whether term limits should be extended from two consecutive terms to three.

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Northwestern Tack switches owners

Northwestern Tack in downtown Craig switched hands recently, giving the former owner an opportunity to tend to her family’s wellness. RaeAnne Hadley made the tough decision to sell the business less than six months after she opened shop so that she and her husband could focus on the health of their oldest daughter, Madison.

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Moffat County residents head to Denver to testify on behalf of coal industry

Dozens of Moffat County residents headed to Denver early Wednesday to testify on behalf of the coal industry at the Environmental Protection Agency’s listening tour where regulations on carbon emissions for existing power plants will be discussed.

Forget Me Not: Sandrock Ridge provides companionship, family to its residents

I visited Sandrock Ridge Care and Rehab for the first time Friday afternoon, and I was pleasantly surprised how clean and cheerful the staff keeps the facility. Over the years, I’ve visited dozens of nursing homes and a large majority don’t live up to those standards. Sandrock Ridge Administrator Dollie Rose was kind enough to set up an interview for me with two delightful ladies who live at the home — Debbie Harris and Betty Rice. The two are the closest of friends.

Forget Me Not: Giving back warms the heart

Because giving back is so important, I was incredibly touched when I heard about a local woman who stood at the checkout counters at City Market in Craig and paid for groceries for every senior who passed through. What a remarkable gift to give.

Forget Me Not: Elderly are not to be forgotten

Growing old is not easy. I never realized how difficult it is for the elderly until my grandma Mary Leavitt broke her hip in 2005, which ultimately confined her to a nursing home. Unfortunately, she took her last breath in a place she did not call home, a place where other senior citizens rarely were visited by their family, a place where a majority of the elderly population end up despite their desperate wishes to live and die in their own houses.

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Hometown Hero: Nancy Bauman gives a stylish touch

A lifelong resident of Craig, Nancy sympathizes with the human spirit and feels compelled to fix someone’s hair for free if they are in need of a spruce up.

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Hometown Hero: Sara Linsacum works hard to create stronger community, education system

Those who have strong leadership, drive and — most of all — passion, are the key components to shaping a thriving community. Sara Linsacum is no stranger to such skills and continues to make a dent in Craig through a strong internal drive that makes her this week’s Hometown Hero.

Moffat, Routt counties show signs of economic recovery

The economy continues to gradually recover from the recession in Moffat and Routt counties with a dip in unemployment. Yampa Valley Data Partners released its latest Fast Facts report Wednesday, which calculated market trends and data through July in both counties.