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With Bell’s on: Carelli’s hosting launch party in Craig for seasonal microbrew

If you’re a lover of craft beer, there’s a place you’ll want to be next week. And before you say, “I’ll be there with bells on,” that part’s already covered.

On tap, that is.

Michigan-based Bell’s Brewery hosts its annual re-release of its seasonal favorite, Oberon Ale, and part of the pouring effort will be Craig eatery Carelli’s, hosting a special evening with a tap takeover of drinks from the provider.

The night starts at 5 p.m. March 28 and includes the guest of honor, Oberon, as well as several other Bell’s brews coming from the Great Lakes — Hopslam Ale, Flamingo Fruit Fight, Two-Hearted Ale, and Third Coast Old Ale.

Bell’s, which operates out of Kalamazoo and Comstock, Michigan, will also provide a variation on the Oberon recipe with a tangy blend of mango-habañero.

There is no admission charge for the evening, which lasts as long as the kegs keep flowing.

Carelli’s owner Brett Etzler said he has been a fan of Bell’s since his college days when attending Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan.

“It was the early ’90s, Bell’s was just a few years old and a kind of tiny place,” he said. “That was one of the first microbrews I ever had, which is why it’s near and dear to my heart.”

He added that in its inception, Oberon Ale was known as Solsun, before a lawsuit from the makers of El Sol beer forced a name change.

“The quality hasn’t changed much. If anything, they’ve gotten better,” he said.

Etzler first brought in Bell’s inventory last fall as part of his ongoing effort to promote a variety of microbrews on the menu among Carelli’s Italian fare.

“Ever since we’ve started selling, we’ve been one of the biggest sellers in Colorado,” he said, adding that he was thrilled when he was approached about helping to kick off Oberon’s return.

Etzler’s hook-up in the area is Steamboat Springs-based B&K Distributing, with representative Matt Meisegener aiding him in bringing in different kinds of flavor to Northwest Colorado.

“It’s good to see he’s opened the eyes of people to the craft beer world,” he said. “There’s a whole plethora of beers out there.”

Kremmling man pleads guilty to 2018 car burglary spree

GRAND COUNTY — A Kremmling man charged with multiple felonies following a string of car burglaries across Grand County last year pleaded guilty on Thursday and now faces potential prison time.

James Water Russell, 23, pleaded guilty in Grand County District Court to three Class-5 felony counts of first-degree criminal trespassing under the terms of a plea agreement.

Russell now faces up to nine years in prison, according to the court. He is scheduled to be sentenced at 10:30 a.m. May 9 by Grand County District Court Judge Mary Hoak.

Russell, along with Brook Lynn Ewing, 21, of Kremmling, were first identified by authorities in late October to be connected to dozens of car burglaries that had occurred in Granby, Hot Sulphur Springs and Kremmling.

“We had followed up on some leads from some evidence and after following up on those leads it directed us to those two people (Russell and Ewing),” Kremmling Police Chief Jamie Lucas said in November.

Ewing was taken into custody on charges of possession of a Schedule II narcotic and drug paraphernalia on Oct. 29, 2018 and was subsequently released on bond. At that time, Russell already had warrants out for his arrest related to charges of criminal trespassing, criminal possession of a financial transaction device, unauthorized use of a financial transaction device and theft. He was placed into the National Crime Information Computer.

Kremmling Police received around 15 to 20 reports of car burglaries on the west side of Kremmling on Oct. 28 and 29.

Craig Press provides digital training to enhance local businesses’ online presence

Craig Press recently hosted a digital advertising seminar, a session the newspaper hopes to host again to aid in the promotion of local businesses.

The event, which took place March 12 at Colorado Northwestern Community College, provided area businesses a crash course in how to optimize online opportunities in the digital world to further enhance awareness of services.

“I think advertisers were surprised to learn of all the solutions we offer and how they can implement them into their business,” said Sheli Steele, advertising manager for the Craig Press. “So many local businesses don't even have a website, so learning the importance of some sort of digital footprint was eye-opening to them.”

The newspaper is considering hosting similar sessions based on community interest.

“We were excited for the opportunity to educate our community on the expansive digital product portfolio the Craig Press and Swift Communications offer,” Steele said. “We offer our local business clients the same digital products and services that major markets offer, at prices that work for a variety of budgets. Craig Press is your one-house solution offering integrated traditional print with digital solutions, events and more.”

For more information about digital opportunities through Craig Press, contact 970-875-1788 or ssteele@craigdailypress.com.

Obituary: Pamela Ann Parker

1956 — March 12, 2019

Pamela Ann Parker, 62 of Greeley, passed away March 12, 2019. Pamela was born in 1956 in Boulder, Colorado. She had also lived in New Mexico and Wyoming. The majority of her life was spent in Oak Creek, Colorado, where she lived and worked for nearly 40 years.

As an educator, she taught school in Routt, Colorado. Pam graduated from Greeley West High School in 1975, and the University of Northern Colorado in 1979. She had lifelong friends from her DZ College sorority membership. She was also a member of Concordia Lutheran Church in Steamboat and Greeley Chapter FZ, PEO.

Pam is survived by her mother, Susan Conn of Greeley; and Alice Conn and nephew Adam from New Mexico; special friend, Rich Higgins; and their dog, Dodger. She had two half-brothers, Colin (Sue) and Jim, in Wisconsin. She had a special friendship with all her neighbors in Henderson Park in Oak Creek.

Pam enjoyed gardening and had beautiful flower gardens. She loved traveling and adventure. She was musical, played the piano, and loved to sing. Pam always had a positive attitude and was especially known for her beautiful smile and her ability to help others.

Services are to be held at 11 a.m.. March 25 at the First Congregational Church in Greeley and at 11 a.m. March 29 at Concordia Lutheran Church in Steamboat Springs. Interment will be held at 11 a.m. March 27 at Green Mountain Cemetery in Boulder.

Special memorials can be made to the Concordia Lutheran Church in Steamboat Springs, or First Congregational Church in Greeley, the UCCC in Greeley or Pathways Hospice in Greeley, in care of Allnutt Funeral Service, 702 13th Street, Greeley, CO  80631. Please visit allnuttgreeley.com to send condolences to the family.

5 Craig Middle School wrestlers take titles at district tourney

With three consecutive district wins, the Craig Middle School wrestling program was looking for No. 4 Saturday at the Western Slope Championships, and though the streak came to an end, the individual honors were many.

CMS grapplers took second as a group during the district tournament in Meeker, a mere four points behind the hosting Cowboys at 252 to Meeker’s 256.

Still, the Bulldogs ended the day with five district champs and 13 on the roster placing in the top four of their weights.

Go for the gold

First place went to Colt Call (85 pounds), Kaden Hixson (90), Brody Wiser (95), Billy Lawton (155) and Blake Hill (165), all of whom went undefeated Saturday.

At 3-0, Call earned pins against Gypsum Creek and Hayden opponents before a 6-4 decision over Soroco’s Larhae Whaley, while Hixson took a quick first-period pin to begin the day before racking up the points in back-to-back technical falls of 15-0 and 16-0 against Gypsum Creek’s Logan Aoki and Steamboat Springs’ Cole Muhme to take the final win.

After receiving runner-up at the past two tourneys, Wiser fought his way to the top of the podium this week, starting with a 4-0 win against Zander Saunders of Meeker. A 49-second pin of Steamboat’s John Bene followed, as did an 8-0 major decision over Gypsum’s Cole Good.

He wrapped with a fall over Soroco’s Hac Louthan in 36 seconds.

Lawton won each bout by pin, starting with Hayden’s Nathan York with 21 seconds ticks of the clock. Lawton felled teammate Adam Delay to get to the last round, where he pinned Soroco’s Bradley Hoskinson late in the first period.

Hill was paired exclusively with Meeker opponents for the day. He earned an 8-3 victory against Judd Harvey, after that pinning Cowboys Bryan Burris and Hayden Shults.

Until the final match

With the heavyweight championship bout the final one of the day, CMS’s big man, Alex Reno, had some added pressure, going against the Cowboys’ Tanner Musser.

After three straight pins against Gypsum and Steamboat foes to get him to the finals, Reno was ready to go as the two went at it for three periods.

Then four rounds of overtime.

The high-stakes match had to end eventually, and an official’s call against Reno for locked hands was what gave it to Musser as the Bulldog took the silver.

Also placing second in their weights were Zach Hedman (105), Ian Hafey (145), and Hunter Faulk (180).

For Hedman, it was a pin and a 15-2 MD that got him up against Gypsum’s Logan Stephens, who claimed his own MD at 13-2.

In a sparse bracket, Hafey had a narrow 9-8 defeat to Meeker’s Dagon Dade to start, but he needed little time to recover with pins of West Grand’s Joseph Torres at 21 seconds and Rangely’s Kasen LeBleu at 32.

Faulk mowed through his first three opponents with falls over Gypsum, Meeker and Rangely, though he met his match in the finals, pinned by Hayden’s Jake Lindley.

Bulldog bronze

Three third-place medals went to Craig — Noah Duran (80), Tyren Schaefer (100), and Cesar Quezada (120), all of whom lost in the championship semifinals only to triumph in the back brackets.

Duran took three pins for the day, winning 8-5 in the consolation finals against Hayden’s Ethan Silva.

Schaefer had a 3-1 stretch that included two pins before he went 5-0 against CMS teammate Zane Durham. Quezada likewise got two kids on their backs and was paired with teammate Brendon Wait to end the day, taking the 5-4 win.

At 3-2 in the event, Durham had two falls and an 11-1 MD. Wait was 2-2 with both wins by fall to gain fourth.

Also placing fourth were Delay; Ryan Booker (105) 2-2, two pins; Keegan Herod (110), 3-2, two pins; and Memphis Herndon, 2-3, two pins.

Finishing the regular season for the Bulldogs were Emmalee Carey (95), Treyson Carlson (95), Kaleb Duzik (95), Stone Balleck (110), Osbaldo Quintana (110), Aron Alcantar (115), and Kannon Gustin (115).

Though the season is done for CMS, wrestlers also have the option to keep competing in coming weeks through Rocky Mountain Nationals, with regional events taking place March 23.

Moffat County athletes move into last events before spring break: Bulldog Sports — Week of March 13, 2019

Wednesday

6 p.m. Craig Parks and Recreation adult volleyball at Sandrock Elementary School, 201 E. Ninth St.

Thursday

TBD Moffat County High School girls soccer vs. Colorado Rocky Mountain School in Grand Junction
3:45 p.m. Craig Middle School wrestling at East Grand Middle School Invitational Round Robin in Granby

Friday

9 a.m. Moffat County High School track and field at Rifle Invitational
4 p.m. Moffat County High School boys swimming at Glenwood Springs

Saturday

TBD Moffat County High School boys swimming at Western Slope League Relay Meet in Grand Junction
9 a.m. Craig Middle School wrestling at District Tournament in Meeker

Sunday

3:30 p.m. Youth Bowling League at Thunder Rolls Bowling Center, 990 Industrial Ave.

Monday

None

Tuesday

None

‘A hell of a ride’: Skiers recount riding out Friday’s in-bounds avalanche at Breckenridge Ski Resort

BRECKENRIDGE — Ryan Zabik climbed in his ski boots 50 feet up through the avalanche path to where his friend George Micah Woods rested. Then Zabik snapped the selfie that will stick with the skiing duo for a lifetime.

It's a snapshot in time that provides a glimpse into Friday's in-bounds avalanche at Breckenridge Ski Resort.

"A whole lot of adrenaline, a life-threatening situation," Zabik said at the Starbucks in Breckenridge 24 hours after the avalanche. "I tend to respond to stress with laughter and euphoria, so that was kind of my thing: 'Wow, that was a hell of a ride.'"

The foggy, out-of-focus cell phone picture showcases the 30-year-old Zabik smiling into the camera from underneath his ski goggles while his pal Woods, 31, smiles from a seated position a few feet up slope. Next to Woods, a Breckenridge ski patroller is at his side to help him. And, in the distance above those three, the afternoon sunlight over the Ten Mile Range illuminates the probe-line portion of the search-and-rescue effort conducted by the resort's ski patrol in the wake of the slide.

"I started tumbling immediately," Woods recalled of the avalanche, "as soon as I started sliding, the snow fell over me. I let go of everything and rolled down the hill with my arms flailing about. I knew I was in no control of where I was going."

The duo from Michigan was here on their annual ski trip with family and friends. For the past five years, their group has generally come up for four days — flying in on a Wednesday, skiing Wednesday through Saturday, and flying back Sunday.

Friday's avalanche, though, threw a different experience into the annual vacation. The duo estimated the avalanche was 50 to 100 yards wide and 300 to 400 yards long.

"Not a large avalanche by any means," Zabik said, "but enough to definitely be deadly."

Reflecting on the avalanche on Saturday afternoon, the duo still wasn't sure if they themselves triggered the avalanche or if it was another skier or rider above them. Maybe they had, maybe they hadn't. Either way, they said it occurred at 12:15 p.m., while they were traversing from the top of the Imperial Express SuperChair, North America's highest lift, to their desired above-tree line ski terrain destination: Whale's Tail.

Whale's Tail is a location both had skied before. The lifelong, more experienced skier Zabik had made the traverse dozens of times, while the more intermediate skier Woods had done it a few times himself.

In fact, on Wednesday and Thursday of this week, Zabik and Woods both described the skiing at Breckenridge as perhaps the best of their life. This week's epic powder provided lifetime memories for years to come of skiing off of the T-Bar and off of Peak 6's above-treeline Kensho chair. It all came without a hint of a reason to be worried about an avalanche. The thought truly didn't cross either of their minds until Zabik felt the ground move from beneath his skis during that traverse to Whale's Tail on Friday at 12:15 p.m.

After they rode up the Imperial Chair together, Zabik described the conditions above 12,000 feet as typical to what he'd experienced there before: Strong gusts, moderate to limited visibility — the usual.

Zabik estimated he and Woods were among the first 100 skiers and riders who attempted the traverse from Imperial Chair to Whale's Tail. About an hour before, Zabik diligently checked his phone to see when Breckenridge would open the lift. Once they did, they raced over before waiting on a 25-to-30 minute lift line at the bottom of Imperial.

Zabik said he and Woods were about 200 to 300 yards into their traverse — about three minutes from hopping off the chair — when he noticed the avalanche.

"Instantly, as soon as I felt it shifting, I knew exactly what was going on," Zabik said. "…The fact I got sucked into it the way I did, I think it broke 10 yards above me."

Fifty feet behind Zabik, and about 5 to 10 feet down slope, Woods said he was looking down at his skis, trying to follow in Zabik's path, when he noticed his skiing had become "a bit clumsy, a bit stumbly."

A split-second later, he too was sucked into the avalanche. He thought to himself that he didn't know how to react for this. Should he swim? In the moment, he hoped for the best, thinking to make his body limp with the idea it could prevent him from breaking any limbs — his gravest concern.

"My eyes were closed and I was just along for the ride," he said. "I knew that I felt snow in places I shouldn't have felt along the way. It was after the snow actually was coming over me that it dawned (this was an avalanche)."

Further down slope, Zabik said the slide engulfed his skis, sucking him down pretty quickly up to about his waist. At that point, he said he did his best to arch his back and throw his arms out to try and stay on top of it. But, because he was positioned semi-vertically within the slide, Zabik felt the snow continuing to grab a hold of his skis, pulling him down further. He compared the feeling to quicksand. At that point, he thought it'd be best to lose his skis. Trying his best to position himself to have his bindings release his skis, the avalanche soon ripped them right off.

"I was no longer able to float on top of it," Zabik said. "I was tumbling head over heels. At that point, feeling the snow coming up over the top of my head, I realized I was buried. I tried to make a ball, tried to make an air pocket (with my arms). That's what was running through my head —make an air pocket."

Time distorted the experience for both skiers, though they guessed it lasted 10 seconds from start to finish. Once it stopped, both Zabik and Woods had somehow managed to float back up to the top of the slide, both of them in a seated position with snow up to their waists.

They said where they came to a stop was about 150 yards down slope in a portion of the resort a ski patroller told them is known as the "Shadow Bowl." The avalanche's debris field didn't carry them all the way down to where the debris itself came to a stop.

Once he came to a rest, Zabik immediately called up to Woods, paranoid of a secondary slide of some sort. Zabik didn't move until ski patrol reached Zabik, which they said was five minutes after the avalanche occurred.

Both Zabik and Woods described their interaction with the resort's ski patrol as great. They were asked all sort of discovery questions immediately, including whether anyone else was involved. The duo told the ski patroller they were not sure.

In a press release issued Saturday afternoon, Breckenridge spokeswoman Sara Lococo said a total of five guests were involved in the slide and that no guests were injured or required rescue.

"Although it is not entirely clear what caused the slide," Lococo said in the statement, "It may have been triggered by a guest traversing the area."
Ski patrol eventually cleared the area at 1:54 p.m.

"While events like this are extremely rare," Lococo said, "we take this very seriously and Breckenridge Ski Resort and Ski Patrol will continue to do everything possible to help mitigate risk for our guests and employees."

Zabik and Woods also realize it was rare. They said the ski patroller who attended to them told them that in his 30 years in ski patrol this was only the third instance of something like what they experienced.

After they stayed put at the scene for what they estimated was two hours, the resort's ski patrol took them out on a snowmobile. A debriefing and statement process followed at a ski patrol station before they downloaded a lift to the base of Peak 8. They said the resort's guest services then took them down to the resort's ski rentals to have them outfitted with new equipment — only three of their four skis survived the avalanche — for free. To cap the day off, they said the resort bought them a round of drinks at the TBar restaurant.

"Everyone involved was very good," Zabik said. "Most people have just been completely dumbstruck it happened."

As for Woods, when he and Zabik returned to ski the resort for a few hours on Saturday, he wasn't ready to head back up Imperial. But, at some point, he'll return to the spot that gave him the wildest ride of his life.

"I figure I have a score to settle with the mountain," Woods said with a laugh.

Moffat County soccer splits to start season with doubleheader vs. Montrose

Though their home field remains covered in white, Moffat County High School girls soccer’s start to the year showed the Bulldog winter blues will soon come to a close.

MCHS girls opened the schedule with a set of games Saturday against Montrose’s junior varsity squad, going 1-1 against the Indians in a neutral site in Grand Junction.

Lady Dogs got their first win of the spring against the 4A program, with a 2-0 victory as Tressa Otis knocked in a goal from the assist by Trinitie Beckner. A pass from Otis gave the second score to Kenzie Rehor.

A tight second game in the doubleheader ended with a W for the Indians thanks to a goal off a corner kick, said MoCo coach Nathalie Boelen.

MCHS girls will next travel Tuesday to Rifle.

Moffat County Tourism Association cancels March 13 meeting

Moffat County Tourism Association announced this week that the organization has canceled its March 13 meeting.

MCTA will convene again in April.

See the agenda below for more information.

Craig residents can watch the mail for April municipal election ballot

Ballots will be mailed out for the 2019 municipal election. (File photo)

Craig residents will soon have the opportunity to vote for their mayor and city council representatives as the city gears up for the upcoming April 2 election.

The Craig Press reported in January that the Moffat County Clerk and Recorder's office would likely not be able to conduct the election due to a lack of training, a development that left city officials scrambling to contract election services.

City and county officials weren't sure if the county's new clerk and recorder would complete specialized elections training in time to conduct the April 2 election, but in February, the Colorado secretary of state helped provide Moffat County with the election services it needed.

During a special meeting Feb. 7, the Craig City Council finalized an emergency ordinance to hold the April 2 municipal election.

According to Moffat County's Chief Deputy Clerk and Recorder Debbie Winder, ballots will be mailed to almost 5,000 Craig residents on or about March 11. Those ballots can be mailed back or dropped off at a ballot box at the Moffat County Courthouse beginning the first day of early voting March 25. Ballots may be returned directly to the clerk and recorder’s office during normal business hours until Saturday, March 30. All mail-in ballots are due to be mailed in or delivered to by 7 p.m. Election Day, according to Winder.

"Most people fill in their mail-in ballot and send it. It's really easy," said Craig City Attorney Sherman Romney of the mail-in ballots. "I think there's more voter participation that way."

The election will fill three council seats opened by Joe Bird, who hit his term limit; Derek Duran, who decided not to run again; and Jarrod Ogden — who is challenging incumbent Craig Mayor John Ponikvar.

According to City Clerk Liz White, six candidates will be on the April 2 ballot for city council — Paul James, Eric Simo, Joshua Veenstra, Steven Mazzuca, Brian MacKenzie, and Stephen Tucker.

But only three seats are open, meaning voters will have some choices to make.

“Everyone (voters) will fill in three spots out of those six, and the top vote-getters will win the seats,” Romney said in a January interview.

The new council will have to tackle several issues facing Craig in the coming years, including an impending 2020 deadline to meet changing water quality requirements, several economic development initiatives, and improving internet infrastructure.

To register to vote in the municipal election or any election in Colorado, visit govotecolorado.com.