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MRH invests $500K over 2 years for new substance abuse treatment facility

CRAIG — People struggling to overcome substance abuse disorders are one step closer to having a local treatment option after the Memorial Regional Health Board of Trustees voted to approve an investment of a little more than $502,000 over the next two years to support the development of a comprehensive treatment program — both in-patient and out-patient — in Craig.

Ascension Recovery Services, headquartered in Morgantown, West Virginia, working with partners Sunflower Management Group and Affinity Healthcare, are working to develop a new, as yet unnamed, corporation to provide out-patient services later this year and comprehensive in-patient services within 15 months.

Initially, provider space will likely be provided at MRH’s existing medical clinic at 785 Russell St., MRH CEO Andy Daniels said. It’s his understanding that the company is considering making a request to the Moffat County School District Board of Education for the acquisition of the school district administration building at 775 Yampa Ave. once the school district completes relocation of it’s offices to the former East Elementary School building on Texas Avenue.

He said that the board should expect a return on the investment within about 15 months.

“We have a lot of investments right now, and we are waiting for them to turn out,” Daniels said. “There’s a risk in everything.”

He added that MRH will not manage or run the program.

“It's not our name on the building. The impact on our operations are not significant. It's an investment,” he said.

Moffat County currently has limited services available for treatment of substance use disorders.

“It's a resource this community needs,” said Board Chair Todd Jourgensen.

The board discussed a six-month delay before committing funds, but that would leave Ascension Recovery Services and its partners vulnerable.

“They are worried about someone else coming in. … There is additional interest,” said Kyle Miller, MRH vice president of clinical support services.

“What we are going to get out of it and what we will do for the community, it makes this a good idea,” board Secretary/Treasurer Alman Nicodemus said. “I'm in favor of moving forward.”

Nicodemus then moved to approve the investment over the next two years, and his motion was seconded by board member Terry Carwile.

“I think it's important enough that we need to take a risk,” agreed board member Forrest Luke.

The motion was approved unanimously by members present. Board member Kelly Hepworth, who was called away on a veterinary emergency, was not present to vote.

“We will try to be as conservative as we possibly can,” Daniels said.

After the meeting, former Moffat County Commissioner John Kincaid wrote to the Craig Press stating: “I was at the monthly Memorial Regional Health board meeting and witnessed the vote to move forward to establish a drug and alcohol residential treatment facility in Moffat County. Kudos to Andy Daniels and the hospital board of trustees!  This is a game changer and could change the face of our community for the better. Last night, the board voted to give desperate people hope. I pray that the treatment facility continues to move forward, that it becomes a huge success and that in turn changes the lives of our family members, neighbors, and the county. Hope is a powerful thing.”

During the meeting, board members also approved a consent agenda to adopt minutes from previous meetings, and after executive sessions, approved the 2018 fourth-quarter risk report and a review of physician contracts.

Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com.

Craig police respond to crash: On the Record — Jan. 21

Craig Police Department

Monday, Jan. 21

1:31 a.m. In Craig, officers with the Craig Police Department responded to a report of a possible attempted suicide.

8:21 a.m. On the 200 block of Bilsing Avenue, officers responded to an abandoned vehicle call.

11:10 a.m. On the 400 block of Mack Lane, officers responded to a criminal mischief call.

11:45 a.m. In Craig, officers executed a warrant.

12:51 p.m. On the 600 block of Wickies Avenue, officers responded to a civil problem call.

2:12 p.m. On the 400 block of Yampa Avenue, officers responded to a civil problem call.

2:16 p.m. On the 800 block of Tucker Street, officers responded to an abandoned vehicle call.

5:24 p.m. On the 2000 block of Victory Way, officers responded to a property damage crash call.

7:16 p.m. Near the intersection of West Sixth and Breeze streets, officers responded to an injured animal call.

7:30 p.m. Near the intersection of East First and Ranney streets, officers assisted a motorist.

11:25 p.m. On the 300 block of Cedar Court, officers conducted a traffic stop.

Domestic violence suspect denies harming alleged victim

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.

Contact Clay Thorp at 970-875-1795 or cthorp@CraigDailyPress.com.

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.

Tarryn, left, and Teneil Jayne shared a rare international phone call and tears of joy when they learned Kum & Go would be sending the Jayne to visit Teneil in Malawi, 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!

Learn more about Living Out Loud, Inc. by visiting teneiloutloud.com or following Teneil Jayne on Facebook at facebook.com/teneil.jayne.

Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com.

Living Well: Caring for dry winter skin

October through March, Dr. Laurie Good recites the following two rules to practically every patient who walks through her practice's door. As a dermatologist, now part of the MRH medical team, she sees every day what our cold, low-humidity climate does to winter skin. Following are her recommendations for keeping the flakes and itchiness at bay.

• Take a colder shower or bath — "When it's cold outside, we love our hot showers," Good said. "But in the winter, when we step out of a hot shower into the colder air of the bathroom, we lose all our moisture."

This is especially true if we're older. As we age, we become less adept at retaining moisture in our skin, she said. And some medications, such as statins, are further dehydrating to skin. So, Good advises, if your flaky skin is bothering you, try turning down your water temperature. "It's not a popular suggestion, but it works," she said.

• Moisturize every day — Whether or not you follow rule number one, Good's second rule for soothing the winter-skin blues is to gently blot your skin dry when you get out of the shower or tub — don't rub or wipe it —then immediately slather on a thick coat of a good moisturizer.

What's a good moisturizer?

"If it comes in a pump, it's not useful in our climate. Look for a thick, fragrance-free moisturizing cream that comes in a jar. Children and people with eczema may need to use an ointment, which is even thicker than a cream," Good said.

Of course, our hands in winter deserve special attention. They get extra-dry, because we plunge them into water to wash them many times a day.

"Those little splits and fissures on our fingertips are painful," Good said. "For hands, I recommend an emollient ointment, and I suggest applying a thick coat after every handwashing."

Good is a board-certified dermatologist who joined the MRH medical team in December. She practices full-spectrum dermatology for people of all ages, from children through seniors and sees patients in both Craig and Steamboat MRH locations.

Top 10 Craig Press stories for Jan. 13 to 19: Court kerfuffles, train troubles, weather woes

Story; website pageviews

1. Craig woman to serve six months in jail after pleading guilty to arson; 2,583

Craig woman to serve six months in jail after pleading guilty to arson

2. Geoffrey Duzik found incompetent to proceed on attempted murder charges; 1,802

Geoffrey Duzik found incompetent to proceed on attempted murder charges

3. Man with history of strangulation charges too combative to appear in court; 1,728

Man with history of strangulation charges too combative to appear in court

4. Highway rollover kills driver near Walden; 1,631

Highway rollover kills driver near Walden

5. Gilcrest pastor accused of illegal sexual contact struck, killed by train; 1,503

Gilcrest pastor accused of illegal sexual contact struck, killed by train

6. Train derailment near Oak Creek closes roads; 1,241

Train derailment near Oak Creek closes roads

7. Moffat, Routt County Schools will open despite power outage, storm; 1,126

UPDATED 1 p.m.: Moffat, Routt County Schools will open despite power outage, storm

8. Intermittent power outages continue to impact Yampa Valley Electric Association customers Friday; 1,122

UPDATED at 1:15 p.m.: Intermittent power outages continue to impact Yampa Valley Electric Association customers Friday

9. Professional bull rider dies at National Western Stock Show in Denver; 1,111

Professional bull rider dies at National Western Stock Show in Denver

10. Mountain lions acting aggressively in West Glenwood; 927

Mountain lions acting aggressively in West Glenwood

Snowy, slick conditions see myriad motorists in need of help: On the Record — Jan. 18 through 20

Craig Police Department

Friday, Jan. 18

3:26 a.m. At Rams Horn Trailer Park, officers with the Craig Police Department helped a resident contact the city when a major water line broke.

3:49 a.m. On Hospital Loop Road, a driver crashed into a green electrical box on the side of the road causing damage. Officers took a report.

5:42 a.m. Officers assisted seven motorists stuck in the snow Friday morning and helped each driver get back on their way.

7:20 a.m. On the 900 block of Sloan Circle, a vehicle reportedly backed into a garage. No injuries were reported, and a report was taken.  

9:33 a.m. Near the intersection of West Fourth and Ranney streets, drivers of a Dodge Durango and a Dodge Ram collided. No injuries were reported, and one of the drivers was cited.

9:34 a.m. In Craig, officers responded to a report of child abuse or neglect. The report is under investigation.

10:25 a.m. On the 700 block of Barclay Street, a person reported items were stolen from his vehicle sometime in the past four months. Officers are investigating.

10:54 a.m. Near the intersection of East Sixth Street and Yampa Avenue, officers received a call reporting a crash between two pickup trucks — one white and one green — both with snow plows. When officers arrived, both vehicles had left the area.

1:09 p.m. At the Public Safety Center, a person wanted to speak with an officer about harassment. A report was taken.

1:15 p.m. In Craig, officers responded to a Safe2Tell report, which is under investigation.

3:32 p.m. On the 2300 block of West Victory Way, a person was suspected of having shoplifted an item from the business. Officers are investigating.

3 40 p.m.  On the 500 block of First Avenue West, officers responded when a Jeep collided with a Subaru Outback, resulting in property damage. Both vehicles were drivable.

Saturday, Jan. 19

3:03 a.m. Near Subway, officers investigated a report of a suspicious vehicle. When they arrived, they found a person whose vehicle was stuck near the storage units. The person was able to get unstuck and on their way.

7:59 a.m. At Loaf ‘N Jug, officers responded to a report of suspicious vehicle. Officers learned the occupants had pulled over to sleep and would be getting back on the road to Wyoming.

12:18 p.m. At Bear Valley Inn, officers responded to a report of a hit-and-run crash. The person reporting the incident said a white Nissan, possibly with a snow plow, had caused damage.

12:29 p.m. On the 500 block of Ledford Street, a reported a possible fraud. The person believed someone had made a charge on her debit card and wanted assistance. A report was taken, and the incident is under investigation.

8:16 p.m. Near the intersection of Victory Way and U.S. Highway 40, officers responded when a Dodge Journey collided with a deer. The deer survived the initial crash but had to be euthanized to prevent suffering from its injuries.  

Sunday, Jan. 20

10:13 a.m In Craig, officers responded to a report of alleged child abuse or neglect. The report is under investigation.

12:44 p.m. In Craig, officers responded to a possible drug violation. The incident is under investigation.

3:40 p.m. At Thunder Rolls Bowling Center, a group of underaged children were reportedly smoking behind the building. Officers were unable to locate them.

3:40 p.m. On the 400 block of Rose Street, someone found drug paraphernalia and reported it to officers.

3:46 p.m. On the 700 block of Breeze Street, a person reported that a group of people had been asked to leave, but they had not left and were starting to get loud. When officers arrived, all parties were advised of the civil process.

6:48 p.m. On the 500 block of Legion Street, two girls with blond hair and ponytails were reportedly looking into the windows of houses. When the reporting party approached the girls, they fled, and officers were unable to locate them.

Municipal polling cast into doubt — Moffat County County Clerk’s office has no one certified to conduct elections

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include comments from the Colorado Secretary of State’s office, Moffat County commissioners, and Moffat County Clerk and Recorder Tammy Raschke.

CRAIG — The Moffat County Clerk and Recorder’s office will likely not be able to conduct Craig’s April 2 municipal election due to a lack of training, a development that has left city officials scrambling to contract election services.

In an email sent Jan. 16 to Craig City Clerk Liz White, Moffat County Clerk and Recorder Tammy Raschke wrote:

"As discussed in our phone conversation today, the County Clerk and Recorders Office will be unable to conduct the city election. We have not had the training to access the SCORE System as required by the Secretary of State's Office. We will not have the training completed in time to meet your deadlines. We apologize for the great inconvenience and look forward to assisting you in the future. If you have any questions regarding these issues, please feel free to contact me at my office."

According to Craig Mayor John Ponikvar, only three officials in the county clerk and recorder's office were trained to conduct municipal elections: former Clerk and Recorder Lila Herod, who left office earlier this month, and former Elections Coordinator Tori Pingley and former Deputy Election Clerk Amanda Tomlinson, both of whom resigned earlier this month.

Ponikvar said he was meeting Monday with Craig City Manager Peter Brixius, City Attorney Sherman Romney, and White to discuss options for contracting services to carry out the municipal election.

"This has never happened before," Ponikvar said. "We've always contracted with the county to do our elections."

Despite this historical precedent, however, the county is not statutorily required to conduct municipal elections.

“It's a partnership,” Commissioner Ray Beck said moments after the Moffat County Board of County Commissioners meeting ended Tuesday morning. “We have all the equipment and everything to do it, and they don't.”

“We're not statutorily required to do that,” Commissioner Don Cook added.

Moffat’s commissioners said they have no control over the city’s April 2 election.

“The county will have absolutely nothing to do with it,” Cook said.

Beck pointed out commissioners also have limited control over the county clerk, who historically worked with the city of Craig to administer city elections.

“County commissioners here don't have jurisdiction or oversight over other elected officials, other than we control their budget,” Beck said of the county clerk position. “We have say on their budget and the hiring or replacement of personnel.”

“We don't get into the weeds of how she manages her office,” Beck said of Raschke.

Reached by telephone on Monday, Romney said the city is currently exploring its options under the Municipal Election Code, set forth in Title 31 of Colorado state law.

He noted that some other municipalities around the state conduct their own elections, so there is precedent.

"We have a city clerk, who's our election official, and we will probably use contractual services," Romney said. "We have a couple of options on who we might contract with."

He said the issue is likely to be added to the city council's agenda for its Tuesday meeting, and while he added he doesn't think the complication will interfere with election deadlines, it may necessitate the need for in-person voting and hand-counting of ballots.

"We should know a lot more after Tuesday's meeting," Romney said.

Reached Tuesday by telephone, Serena Woods, communications director for the Colorado Secretary of State’s office, and Judd Choate, state election director, provided some clarity.

Choate said Raschke is a certified election official, but added that conducting municipal elections requires additional specialized training neither Raschke nor her staff have undergone. He added he is working with Raschke to expedite the training and to identify certified personnel who may be contracted for the upcoming Craig election.

Woods agreed, saying Craig and Moffat County can count on support from the state.

“We’re going to do everything we can to expedite training and make sure she (Raschke) has access to other people who have the knowledge to get this election back on track,” Woods said.

Raschke, in a brief telephone interview Tuesday, said both she and Debbie Winder — whose promotion serving as Raschke’s chief deputy was approved on Tuesday by the BOCC — are currently undergoing specialized election training that will enable them to conduct future municipal elections.

However, Raschke wasn’t sure if she and Winder would complete the training in time to conduct the April 2 election.

“At this point, we just don’t know,” she said.

Contact Jim Patterson at 970-875-1790 or jpatterson@CraigDailyPress.com. Contact Clay Thorp at 970-875-1795 or cthorp@CraigDailyPress.com.

Moffat County swimmers balance competition with service work

As the final stretch of the season comes up, Moffat County High School swimmers are keeping pace as they refocus their efforts in the pool and within the community.

MCHS girls finished fifth Saturday at the Glenwood Springs Demon Winter Invite, narrowing down their finishes in multiple races as they look toward the league finals and beyond.

Alexa Neton continues to chase state qualification in the 50- and 200-yard freestyle events, gaining the team’s best results of the season to date in each during the weekend, placing eighth in the 50 with a time of 28.92 seconds and sixth in the 200, 2:22.28.

She is just over one second from the 3A state time of 27.8. In the 50, Katelynn Turner placed 11th and Jeni Kincher 13th, with Alyssa Chavez and Ellina Jones each hitting their fastest times in 19th and 21st.

Mackenzie Anderson likewise hit her best time in the 200 in 19th, and Jones reached a best in the 100 free at 1:10.31 and 18th place, with state-qualifier Molly Neton ranking 11th.

Kelsey McDiffett got back in the swing of things in the 100 butterfly for the first time since the team was in Glenwood in December, trimming about 1.5 seconds for 1:17.15 and seventh place. She also gained her best time of the season in the 200 individual medley (2:38.94) for fifth, with Molly Neton right behind in sixth (2:40.14).

At 12th and 3:22.04 in the 200 IM, Allison Jacobson chopped a full 15 seconds off her last time in the race in November.

Turner led the team with 11th in the backstroke, in which Chavez and Anderson each hit their season bests, while Kincher brought her time in the 100 breaststroke to a personal best 1:29.56.

In relays, Kincher, Jacobson, Jones and Chavez were the lone Bulldog foursome in the 200 free, placing eighth (2:09.76).

Having already clinched state in the free event, Turner, McDiffett and the Netons placed seventh (2:15.99) in the medley, in which Anderson, Kincher, Chavez and Jones were 11th (2:34.58).

However, it was the 400 free relay where the team saw its best placement, as Turner, McDiffett and the Netons were fifth (4:21.2).

“We had some great cuts by girls, and we still have our sights set on qualifying two more relays for state and some more individual events,” coach Meghan Francone said.

Swimmers will have a week off from competition as they keep up with their training leading up to the Southwest Conference Championships Feb. 1 and 2 at Colorado Mesa University.

Apart from the water, MCHS girls spent last week volunteering as well as practicing. The team performed a clean-up of the Craig Fire/Rescue facilities, with firefighters later providing a tour of the headquarters.

“We are grateful to the fire department to allow us to come in and give back in a very small way,” Francone said.