Year in Review
For Moffat County, 2005 was a year of high-profile court trials, major retail announcements, pipeline projects and heated elections.
Here’s the year in review.
Teen pleads guilty to manslaughter
Seventeen-year-old Hugo Silva-Larios pleaded guilty in September to killing Craig resident James Pogline.
Pogline, 32, was shot Oct. 22, 2004, while in an apartment at the Timberglen complex. He died the next day.
Silva-Larios, who was 16 at the time of the shooting, was charged with second-degree murder but pleaded guilty to manslaughter.
In October, Silva-Larios was sentenced to five years in prison. He was given credit for the 368 days he’d already spent in the Moffat County Jail.
Once he’s served his time, Silva-Larios will be deported to Mexico.
Silva-Larios and two others accompanied Pogline’s ex-girlfriend to the apartment the night of the shooting, according to court records.
The ex-girlfriend and Pogline argued and Silva-Larios’ cousin hit Pogline over the head with a bottle, according to court documents.
Pogline pulled out a gun, according to court documents. Everyone fled except for Silva-Larios, who also was armed. Silva-Larios fired a shot as Pogline rounded a corner, according to court documents.
Golf coach convicted of unlawful sexual contact
Former Moffat County High School golf coach Thomas Dockstader, 45, was sentenced to 148 days in jail for having sexual relations with a 17-year-old.
Dockstader pleaded guilty Sept. 8, to unlawful sexual contact by coercion, a Class 4 felony, and unlawful sexual contact, a misdemeanor.
His victim said he had sexual relations with her while he was her golf coach, while he was her supervisor at Yampa Valley Golf Course and while she was baby-sitting his children.
Dockstader is required to undergo psychological treatment and register as a sex offender.
“Mr. Dockstader violated my trust using me for his own sexual gratification,” the victim said during Dockstader’s sentencing. “Every time I tried to stop what I knew was wrong, he’d convince me not to. He used me with no regard for me, no regard for his children and no regard for his wife. Mr. Dockstader cares only about himself.”
Superstore announces plans to open in Craig
One of the 240 to 250 Wal-Mart Supercenters to open in 2006 will be in Craig.
Construction on a 100,000-square-foot discount store is expected to begin in the spring and take about 10 months to complete.
The store will be on the south side of U.S. Highway 40 on the 23 acres west of TLC CarpetOne. The site has been subdivided into six lots. The store will be on a 17-acre portion of the land. Gasoline pumps are expected to occupy one of the five remaining small lots.
Craig resident Cris Criswell circulated a petition to oppose the construction but got few signatures.
City officials said there’s no stopping the development as long as the store’s design and layout comply with city regulations.
Wal-Mart corporate representatives said the store’s design will reflect the community and mesh with existing architecture and community themes.
Natural gas pipeliners converge on region
More than 1,000 pipeliners traveled to the region this fall to build two, parallel natural gas pipelines through Moffat County.
The 136-mile pipelines, one belonging to Entrega Gas Pipeline and one to El Paso Gas, run from the Meeker Hub in Rio Blanco County to Wamsutter, Wyo.
The pipelines cross the Yampa River near Maybell.
Officials from the two energy companies said they had planned to start work on the pipelines in summer 2005.
But the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission didn’t give the companies the go-ahead until the fall.
Crews are expected to finish work on the Entrega pipeline in January and the El Paso line in the spring.
‘No’ sweeps county polls on Election Day
Moffat County voters said “no” to everything on Election Day 2004.
Voters rejected a tax increase that would benefit people with mental retardation by a 1,782 to 1,508 vote. They also rejected a referendum that would have allowed the county to keep excess revenues in a 1,659 to 1,592 vote.
Combined, the two referendums would have cost the average voter about $30 per year.
The failure of the county’s referendum precipitated the closure of Shadow Mountain Clubhouse, a county recreational center.
Without the revenue from the referendum, commissioners said the county couldn’t afford to operate the recreation center.
Moffat County voters also said no to referendums C and D, which would have allowed the state to keep excess revenues.
But statewide, after a heated campaign unlike any other off-year election, voters said yes to C and D.
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There is a chill in the air, and snow covers the ground outside a farmhouse west of Hayden as Noah Price and Sydney Ellbogen talk about the operations of Mountain Bluebird Farm.