CRAIG — A man with a history of attempted murder and domestic violence charges denied allegations that he assaulted a woman during an appearance in a Moffat County courtroom Tuesday, Jan. 22.
Dustin Jackson, 32, of Craig, was arrested in March 2018 on several charges, including two counts of felony criminal attempt and two counts of attempted second-degree murder related to a domestic violence incident. According to a warrantless arrest affidavit, Jackson and a woman were staying at a hotel in Craig. When he awoke, he reportedly became agitated with the woman and slammed her head into the passenger window of a car.
This was the second such incident Jackson was alleged to have been involved in. According to the affidavit, the two reportedly got into an argument a week earlier, and Jackson has reportedly hit the woman more than 50 times and attempted to strangle her about 12 times.
On Jan 14, Jackson found himself in trouble with the law again after police responded to his home in Craig for a domestic violence call. Almost as soon as they arrived, Craig police said, they observed Jackson pacing, yelling, and kicking snow onto the victim, according to a warrantless arrest affidavit filed Jan. 15.
Upon further investigation, police noticed several injuries on the victim, including bruises, a swollen jaw, and petechiae in the victim's right eye. Police also noticed injuries to the victim's throat.
"I observed dark marks around (the victim's) throat," a Craig police officer said in the affidavit. "I asked her to tell me what happened."
That's when the victim told police about additional alleged abuse in the days before Jan. 14.
Police said it was then they placed Jackson under arrest, but not before finding a green leafy substance and a small pipe, along with several unused hypodermic needles.
Police said the also found a firearm in the residence.
According to the affidavit, Jackson was combative and uncooperative once in custody, threatening violence against police and himself.
"Jail staff decided to put Dustin in restraints," the affidavit said.
Apparently, Jackson was in and out of restraints in the days following his Jan. 14 arrest.
On Jan. 15, Jackson yelled obscenities at the judge and lawyers before storming out of the jail courtroom. Then, on Wednesday, Moffat County Jail staff said Jackson was so uncooperative and combative before his bond hearing via video conference, he stripped off his clothing and was sleeping.
Jail staff said the only way he would be able to safely appear before a judge was restrained, sedated, and unclothed. This prompted Moffat County Judge Sandra Gardner to postpone Jackson's bond hearing.
Not much had changed by Jan 17.
According to jail staff, Jackson was still being uncooperative and combative, prompting 14th Judicial District Chief Judge Michael A. O'Hara III, who was filling in for Gardner, to decide to have a bond hearing without Jackson present, as Jackson's defense counsel was reached via telephone conference.
O'Hara set Jackson's bond at $5,000 for the Jan. 14 incident for a total $5,750 in active bonds.
On Tuesday, Jackson again appeared in Gardner's courtroom and was less combative, but rocked quickly back and forth in his seat while Gardner read his rights. It wasn't until Gardner read the stipulations of a protective order mandating Jackson avoid any form of contact with the alleged victim that he became more agitated.
"I wouldn't hurt somebody that I care for," Jackson said aloud. "I wouldn't hurt her."
Gardner explained that the charges Jackson was facing were allegations until proven otherwise.
"If it's an allegation, how come I'm still sitting in jail for something I didn't do?" Jackson asked before hurriedly removing himself from the jail video room.
Jackson's next court appearance is set for 3 p.m. Feb. 19.
Skier identified after Monday avalanche death near Ashcroft
ASPEN — Arin Trook, who worked at the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies as its education director for more than five years, was identified Tuesday morning as the skier who died Monday in an avalanche near Ashcroft.
He was 48.
The Pitkin County Coroner’s Office said Tuesday that Trook died in the slide Monday morning when he was buried about a half-mile from the Markley Hut. Pitkin County Deputy Coroner Eric Hansen said Tuesday the cause is accidental and the manner is pending further autopsy results.
Trook was married and had two children.
In a statement Tuesday morning, officials at ACES said Trook dedicated his life and career to educating children and adults in the community and valley.
“Arin’s talent as an educator is unmatched — from his engaging storytelling skills and deep understanding of environmental science to his ability to address diverse audiences with his message of progressive environmental and social awareness,” Chris Lane, CEO of ACES, said in the statement.
“Arin was also a veteran outdoor educator as well as yoga instructor; there is only one Arin Trook in this world. This organization will forever be inspired by his work and his commitment to community, diversity, and family.”
Two funds have been set up to help the family, ACES announced Tuesday. A GoFundMe page has started on the website, and the Arin Trook Memorial Fund has been created through Alpine Bank. Donations can be done in person at any Alpine Bank or checks sent to the bank office in Aspen on Hopkins Avenue.
"The loss of Arin truly is one of these community ripple-effect things," Lane said Tuesday in a phone interview. "When you have a guy who was in the yoga world, in the education world, in the ACES community, in the adventure sports community, the climbing world. When you have a guy who touches so many people, I think this is so much bigger than just an average person. This is sad for everybody, not just ACES."
According to the Pitkin County Sheriff's Office, Trook and another skier left the hut and only Trook was buried.
The friend who went out with Trook was able to ski down to where he thought Trook disappeared, poked around in the snow and located him, Pitkin County Sheriff's Office officials said Monday afternoon. The man uncovered Trook and performed CPR on him, but could not revive him, said Capt. Jesse Steindler, patrol supervisor for the Pitkin County Sheriff's Office.
The man then went back up to the Markley Hut to get help and returned with others — including a Mountain Rescue Aspen volunteer who was in the backcountry with another person on a separate trip — and CPR was started again, but they could not revive Trook.
According to ACES, Trook started as education director in September 2013, but he was a naturalist and educator at the nonprofit from 1996 to 2000. Trook was a graduate of Stanford and had a masters in education from Cal-Berkeley.
During his career, Trook worked with Outward Bound, the National Park Service and at Lesley University in Massachusetts.
In his role as ACES’s education director, Trook was in charge of the organization’s environmental science education programs and worked at elementary and middle schools in the Roaring Fork Valley and out to Rifle.
In March 2014, Trook wrote on the ACES blog that “the children of the Roaring Fork Valley give me hope for the future. As a recent transplant to the Roaring Fork Valley, and as a new member of the ACES community, I want to send out my appreciation to the youth of this amazing valley.
“My previous work and wanderings have allowed my family to travel and live around the world, from the temples of south India, to homesteading in Yosemite, to teaching English in the Sahara Desert.”
Trook also was a well-respected yoga teacher who used the practice in nature. According to ACES, Trook created and taught the country’s first nature-based yoga teacher-training program. He worked at a number of environmental organizations in his career, including the Balanced Rock Foundation in Yosemite National Park.
Audacious faith, gift from Kum & Go, to bring Craig family together in Malawi, Africa
CRAIG — Over the years, many a mission has originated from Moffat County, as residents of a relatively small community with a big heart seek to make the world a better place.
For about two years, local resident Teneil Jayne has served the people in a county known as the Warm Heart of Africa — one of the poorest nations on earth, Malawi, Africa — as a non-denominational missionary.
She has returned to the United States once in the past two years. In April, for the first time, her parents — Tarryn and Tim Jayne, also of Craig — will visit their daughter in Africa.
"I won! I won the essay contest! I'm coming to Africa and bringing your dad!" Tarryn wrote to Teneil on Facebook just before Christmas.
Tarryn, who works at Kum & Go, is the 2019 winner of the company's Denis N. Folden award.
Folden, a former Kum & Go chief operating officer, donated his retirement bonus to fund an annual award of $5,000 and 10 days paid time off to allow one employee to fulfill a long desired self-development dream, such as traveling to a foreign country, serving or volunteering with a charity, or pursuing a physical challenge.
Employees are selected based on a short, 400-word, essay describing their self-development dream.
"Tarryn's heartfelt essay led to her being chosen as this year's winner. That's due, in part, to the fact that the experience she wants to pursue is to assist a nonprofit organization, Living Out Loud, founded by her daughter, Teneil Jayne, in Malawi, Africa," wrote Amy Day, senior communications specialist.
Kum & Go owner Kyle J. Krause, son and grandson of the original founders, called Tarryn the Friday before Christmas to tell her she had won.
News of the gift prompted Tarryn to make a rare, costly international phone call to Teneil.
"I don’t know what to say other than THANK YOU Mr. Krause! Thank you for caring about family values! Thank you for caring about your employees!" Teneil wrote on her Facebook page.
Planning is now underway for "an adventure of a lifetime," Tarryn said, an adventure the Jaynes wouldn't have contemplated without Kum & Go's backing.
"Maybe if I'd sold a vehicle. It's not a place in my wildest dreams to go. When it became possible, I thought, look, I can dream that big," Tarryn said.
Travel to Malawi is time-consuming and costly, as is postage, so when the Jaynes leave Craig in April, they plan to make the most of the 200-pound total baggage limit by stuffing four suitcases full of items to leave behind.
April is the beginning of Malawi's cold season.
"We are talking about a fleece blanket drive to take some children's blankets. Many don't have blankets at all, and many sleep on the ground," Tarryn said.
A group of parishioners at the Journey Church in Craig are helping gather items and welcome help. Or, Tarryn says, people who wish tmay donate cash through the Living Out Loud, Inc. website.
"Even if you can't give, give prayer," Terryn said.
Faith and service run in the family.
Teneil's grandfather was a pastor, her uncles are pastors, and she has cousins who are missionaries. Her brother, Talon, serves in the military.
Teneil also has a heart for Craig and the struggles of her hometown.
"I consider my missions field to be America, specifically Craig, Colorado. It might seem like a strange way to go about it, but my heart is to inspire my own culture into faith and relationship with God," she wrote in an interview conducted via Facebook Messenger. "I want to show what audacious faith can do. I want to show people that love doesn’t have to be a side effect; love is the point."
She asked her mother, "Who would listen to me here if I didn't go do what I do there?"
By April "funding permitted," Teneil hopes to be "neck deep" in designing and building a school for children in first through eighth grade.
"… But that’s just a dream today,” she wrote. “Then again, I live out my dreams every day.”
Planning for the new school is underway, and Teneil has begun to outline her expectations, which include the following:
• 100 percent of the funds she puts into the building are to be matched by the school to provide scholarships for students.
• The building must include a public bookstore.
• The design is to include a community center open to the public and to be used for after-school programs, such as dance, theater, music, and book clubs.
"This will take thousands of dollars. I haven’t nailed it down yet, but I’m thinking close to $12,000 to open the doors, and with all that money going back into scholarships, this is going to exceedingly bless this entire community," Teneil wrote. "I want to make this school a haven, a place that encourages students to read, question, play, and thrive. I believe that we can do this."
Tarryn is looking forward to "helping the people whereever I can help. To be a part of her journey is going to be great."
"I’ve been here alone for a long time. When I visit America, it’s like living in two completely different worlds. Having my parents here will join those two worlds a bit," Teneil said. "It’s not an easy life here. There are so many challenges to face on my own, but there are so many times I wish I could hug my parents. Now, I’m going to be able to!
In 1961, Boston and Philadelphia banned the hit single, "Beans in My Ears," because the refrain, "My mommy said not to put beans in my ears," inspired children to load their ears with legumes. Some even poked beans up their noses. Being collegiate, I resisted the lure of the lyrics but felt its tug.
When I was old enough to know better, Mom made a special candy log for Christmas that had to season two weeks in a vanilla-infused cheesecloth.
"All of you listen to me," she said as she put it in the pantry. "This candy isn't ready to eat; it doesn't taste good yet. Leave it alone. We'll have it for Christmas."
That afternoon, I dragged a stool to the pantry and used my finger to gouge out a generous portion of candy, thought it tasted pretty good, and helped myself to more.
Barbara snitched, and I had a candy-less Christmas.
Having three older siblings, I grew up with "I'm telling you, you sneaky little snoop, if you get into my things, you'll regret it!" "Mom, if she messes with my stuff one more time, I can't be held accountable!" and, "Are those my socks you're wearing?" But I found the rewards of rummaging through the goods of others worth the risk.
Shortly before I turned 11, I carried out the most dangerous mission to date: Mom's chest of drawers. To my disappointment, drawer after drawer held nothing but clothing I'd seen hanging on the clothesline. Then, I opened a small drawer full of handkerchiefs and scarves and found a leather purse with JB tooled on one side. The initials belonged to me and no one else. It was almost my birthday. Bob was doing leather crafting in his junior high vocational class, and I knew he would never hide something for me in his room, which I tossed regularly.
For three blissful weeks, I sneaked into my parent's bedroom, retrieved the purse, fondled it, smelled its rich leather, and traced my initials. I couldn't believe the brother I both battled and worshipped had something so perfect for me. I've never regretted my early discovery of the best purse I ever owned.
So I continued poking my nose where it didn't belong. Several months later, in a new house in Spanish Fork, I sat at the kitchen table, studying the many cabinets marching around its walls and wondering about a section that stretched to the ceiling.
"What could Mom have stored on those shelves?" I wondered. "Nothing we use much; it's too high. Maybe I should have a look."
Soon, with the help of a kitchen chair, I stood on the countertop, stretched as high as I could, and discovered the top shelves held Christmas decorations and Dad's root beer making equipment, which Mom probably hoped he would forget. Then, in a far corner, I discovered a small, unmarked cardboard box, which I retrieved and carried to the table to examine.
Inside, wrapped in tissue, I found an 8-by-11 tinted studio photograph of a smiling baby I recognized from Kodak snapshots in our family album. It was Alan, my older brother, who died as a toddler from a respiratory infection four years before my birth. Underneath the photograph, I found his funeral program, dried flowers, and sympathy cards and letters my parents received at their small home, long miles from their Utah families, in Nevada City, California, where my dad worked the gold mines, and my mom made a home for him, my oldest brother, and the beautiful, beloved baby whose portrait I held.
Suddenly, I felt like an intruder in my parents' grief. This was not a fun game. It was emotional trespassing. In that moment, I realized there are things too private, too personal, too laden with feeling to be exposed to idle curiosity.
I whispered, "I'm so sorry," and quit getting into things.
Janet Sheridan's book, "A Seasoned Life Lived in Small Towns," is available in Craig at Downtown Books and Steamboat Springs at Off the Beaten Path Bookstore. She also blogs at auntbeulah.com the first and 15th of every month.
Lance Scranton: Preference or conviction?
Evidently, Craig is one of the few towns in Northwestern Colorado that hasn't worked up enough of an appetite for legalized marijuana. The failure to collect enough signatures for a ballot initiative left supporters re-strategizing by trying to influence Craig City Council by running for a vacant seat.
Getting involved in our community and trying to bring about change can be a virtuous endeavour and is one generally worth pursuing. Separating convictions from preferences is an entirely different matter which can have a huge impact on how decisions are made. Convictions are deeply held beliefs that are the foundation upon which most of our potentially life-altering decisions are made. A preference is usually arrived at when given the choice between two alternatives.
Much of the discussion surrounding retail marijuana sales and subsidiary business opportunities seems to be based on a preference for money coming into Craig or dollars leaving our city. Whether from sales or taxes, the possibilities seem to be attractive as you look around the state and realize the potential for adding more revenue to our city coffers.
Budgets are being stretched, and tough choices have been made regarding funding allocations and where best our tax dollars should be spent. It is a commendable undertaking for city and county officials to tackle these issues head-on and not kick it down the road like their federal counterparts in Washington D.C.
My convictions tell me that allowing marijuana to become something we rely on for revenue generation is a dangerous precedent. The real question is how much are we willing to spend on the issues related to the effects of legal use of marijuana. Some estimates conclude that, for every dollar of tax revenue generated, upwards of four dollars is spent to mitigate the effects of legalization.
Preferences for relaxed laws are always attractive, because there is an issue of enforcement that makes the viability of using our legal system to police other laws is a solid argument. But, my preferences take a back seat to convictions when we are dealing with something as potentially destructive as marijuana could be to our city. Legalize it — or don't, but I sure do hope we don't make preferential decisions that go against our convictions and end up with something we never intended.
Lance Scranton is a teacher and coach at Moffat County High School.
Moffat County School Board to choose two new at-large board members
CRAIG — The Moffat County School District Board of Education is set to grow from five to seven members when it meets to appoint two new at-large representatives at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 24, in the board room of the Yampa Building, 755 Yampa Ave.
By the Jan. 18 deadline, the district had received applications from Jnl Linsacum, Cynthia Looper, and Kirstie McPherson. Applicants will be interviewed during the monthly school board workshop, which begins at 4 p.m. in the same location as the board meeting. The board will then vote to appoint two members to serve until the next regular school board elections in November.
Board members also plan to review the proposed 2019-20 calendar, discuss 2018-19 budget amendments they will consider approving at their meeting, hold a public hearing at the workshop and second and final reading, during the meeting, on policies that address safe schools, agenda, financial administration, bidding procedures, communicable diseases, staff health, support staff recruiting/hiring, equivalence of services, student organizations, student organizations, open forum, and administering medications to students.
In addition to considering a consent agenda to approve previous meeting minutes, financial reports, and personnel recommendations, the board plans to hold an executive session pursuant to section 24-6-402(4)(b) of the Colorado Revised Statue to confer to receive legal advice about specific legal questions on a pending litigation matter.
The board will also discuss, at the workshop, and introduce, during the meeting, for first reading policies regarding the rules of order, security and access to buildings, drug and alcohol testing for bus drivers, secret societies and gang activity, and the use of physical intervention and restraint.
Dawne Angela Ellifritz (Foisy)(Cloer) passed away Sunday, Jan. 13, 2019, in Grand Junction, Colorado, at the age of 71.
She was born Jan. 6, 1948, in Spokane, Washington, to Marvin and Alice Foisy. She was the oldest of a set of fraternal twins; her sister, Sunset Diane was 21 minutes younger.
Growing up, the family lived in several different places, finally settling down in Craig, Colorado, where their dad worked as a steam fitter and mom was a nurse. The twins graduated from Moffat County High School in 1966.
Dawne married Bob Cloer in 1969, and to that union was born a son, Michael Robert Cloer.
They divorced, and she married the love of her life, Paul Ellifritz, on July 1, 1977. They were married 41 years.
Dawne worked many jobs in her life, including, switchboard operator at Mountain Bell, waitress at Galveston in Craig, Colorado, and her last job was doing the books and billing at Sunshine Taxi.
Dawne was the type of person who would help anyone down on their luck and had such an infectious laugh that you knew she was in the room before you saw her. Her sense of humor and rebellious attitude will be missed by all.
She was preceded in death by her parents, nephew Scott Burke, lots of friends and furbabies.
Dawne is survived by her loving husband Paul, son Mike (Christina) Cloer, sister Sunset (Mickey) Burke, little sister Esther Mease, half brother Don (Marla) Foisy, half brother Maurice (Karen) Foisy, five grandchildren, four great grandchildren, four nieces, and one nephew.
A celebration of life will be held this summer.
No services are planned at this time.
Obituary: Cynthia Kay Hobbs
Sept. 3, 1949 — Jan. 15, 2019
On the morning of Jan. 15, 2019, Cynthia “Cyndi” Kay Hobbs, 69, passed away peacefully in her home in Montrose, Colorado, with her daughters at her side.
Cynthia was born in Craig, Colorado, on Sept. 3, 1949, to Robert and Ruth Herod. After graduating high school, Cynthia met Tom Hobbs, with whom she had three daughters. She devoted her life to raising her girls.
Cyndi made a living as a bartender and worked many years at the OP Bar & Grill. Cyndi was always up for a game of cards or down for a trip to the casino.
She is survived by her daughters Shana Fortney of Montrose, Colorado, and Gina (William) Makinen of Rawlins, Wyoming; grandchildren Taylor Hammock, Morgan Hammock, and Chance Rankin; and four great grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Robert Irvin and Ruth Olivia (Lippard) Herod; one sister, Marjorie Dean Brunsvold; one brother, James Lee Herod; and her daughter, Candice Lea Hobbs.
Funeral services were held at 11 a.m., Monday, Jan. 21, 2019, at the Grant Mortuary Chapel. Burial followed at Craig Cemetery.
Obituary: Loretta Hazel Counts
Dec. 10, 1933 — Jan. 17, 2019
On Jan. 17, 2019, Loretta Hazel Counts, at the age of 85, passed away at her home to join her recently departed husband, Earl Eugene Counts. Loretta was born Dec. 10, 1933, to parents Hazel and Everett Killillay. She was first born among siblings Lorraine, Fred, and Bob.
Loretta grew up in the towns of Burlington, Tabernash, Pueblo, and Craig, Colorado. It was here in Craig that she was introduced to Earl Eugene on a blind date. It wasn’t long before the loving pair were married on Oct. 1, 1950, and she became a farmer’s wife. This union was blessed with three children; Audrey Nadine, Donna Jean, and Robert Eugene.
The couple resided and raised their family north of Cedar Mountain on their farm for nearly 68 years. Loretta was a member and deaconess of the First Christian Church, where she attended regularly until her health dictated otherwise. She was also a valued and active member of the Big Gulch Better Community Club. She was a devoted mother, grandmother, wife, daughter, and friend to many.
Her passions included sewing, reading, cooking, dancing, fishing, and most of all, being with her family. At the Moffat County Fair, she won ribbons for her prized baked goods and canning.
Loretta was a talented businesswoman, using her skills to help manage the family farm, selling Tupperware and Avon, as well as negotiating prices at the fruit truck. She held countless “hootenannies,” feeding family and friends alike and celebrating the love she so freely gave from her heart. One of Loretta’s greatest gifts in life was the ability to make each person she met feel special and loved. Loretta always welcomed everyone into her home with open arms. She was sure to have extra helpings for anyone dropping by. She was a very kind and giving woman, passing on her generous spirit and lessons of hospitality and faith to her family and friends, and she will be missed by all.
Loretta leaves behind to mourn her passing her three children and their families. Audrey Rutz (Vern), Donna Curtis (Les), and Robert Counts (Lorraine); grandchildren, Kurtis Rutz (Whitney), Kyle Rutz (Cameron), Tiffani Roberts (Graham), Tarissa Jones (Cole), Trisha Montalbano (Ben), Emily Counts, Andrew Counts, and Tristen Counts; great grandchildren, Elijah, Micah, Daniel, and Caleb Rutz; Malia, Raylee, and Cole Rutz; Marie and William Roberts; Emalee, Hunter, Mason, Aiden, Isabelle (Gulley), and Alexis (Gulley) Jones.
She is also survived by her siblings Lorraine Ross and brother Bob Killillay (Sandy); her sisters-in-law Evelyn Shinn, Charlotte White and Fern Pierce (Jerry); as well as her bother-in-law Wesley Counts (Beverly). Not listed but dearly loved are the numerous loved ones, friends, and neighbors who will forever miss and remember her in their hearts. Prov 31:30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, But a woman who fears the Lord, she is to be praised.