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Obituary: Betty Romaine Robson

Betty Romaine

Robson

July 25, 1921 – November 22, 2020

Betty Robson, former longtime Routt County resident, died Sunday, November 22, 2020 at The Commons at Hilltop in Grand Junction. Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m., Saturday, November 28, 2020 at The Bethel Assembly of God Church in Grand Junction. Interment will take place at 10:00 a.m., Sunday, November 29, 2020 in Hayden Cemetery. Memorial donations may be made to Gideons International in care of Grant Mortuary.

Local businesses gearing up with deals for Small Business Saturday

As local businesses continue to adjust to Safer at Home Level Orange restrictions, many small businesses in Craig and Moffat County are gearing up for a key date on the holiday shopping calendar.

Small Business Saturday, held on the Saturday after Thanksgiving and now in its 10th year, rallies communities to support local business.

The Downtown Business Association will kick off its Small Business Saturday celebration with a Progressive Breakfast starting at 9 a.m., which will feature a handful of local businesses handing out prepackaged breakfast items, encouraging shoppers to stop into their stores on Small Business Saturday.

“Breakfast items will range from coffee, to orange juice, to muffins, and more,” said Kandee Dilldine. “Customers won’t be able to just walk up and grab food like in years past; they’ll be served the food in packages. Our businesses are taking precautions.”

In addition to the Progressive Breakfast, a handful of local businesses are offering deals to customers on Small Business Saturday. Those deals will be important to the bottom line for local small businesses, which have had a trying year.

Moffat Mercantile will have a 20% off deal Saturday for Christmas Ornaments and Holiday Hand Towels, and will do a small gift to say thanks with purchase of $50 or more. Additionally, Moffat Mercantile will be handing out bacon on a stick as the breakfast item.

“We have a few little things that we’re going to give away as gifts to those that spend $50 or more, just to say thank you,” Tammy Villard said. Villard added that the Moffat Mercantile is working on putting together holiday gift guides on the shop’s Instagram and Facebook pages, which will be linked to the shop’s Facebook store.

Ahead of what is typically one of the busiest shopping days of the year, Villard reflected on a tough year as a small business owner.

Moffat Mercantile recently celebrated its one-year anniversary in September.

“It’s been odd,” Villard said. “Small businesses, their first year is difficult, but it’s been hard this year. This community — right, wrong, or otherwise – is always supportive of anything local. They’ve come out in full support of is in our struggles, but it’s had its challenges though.

Villard mentioned that Moffat Mercantile has struggled with getting products this year, and doesn’t have the capability of storing large quantities.

“None of the small businesses want to be in the position to choose our families over anyone else, but that’s ultimately what this pandemic has done,” Villard said.

“I have to keep a roof over my head and take care of my family, while being conscientious of other people’s safety. It’s been a difficult year,” Villard added. “But, with the share of challenges, there’s a silver lining in there’s a huge movement towards shop small. Small business is the single largest employer in the country.”

Ahead of the holiday season, Villard is hoping for some consistency for her business, something that hasn’t quite been there in a challenging year.

“…I know there’s a lot of fear, as justified, with the pandemic, but I’m hoping that people still find a way safely to come see us this holiday season,” Villard said. “I’m hoping people can still show support for their local businesses, but maybe in a different way, whether that’s gift cards, private shopping hours, or one on one appointments. Not one of us down here as small business owners isn’t willing to think outside the box and accommodate our customers who support us.”

OTHER BUSINESSES OFFERING SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY DEALS

At Downtown Books & Coffee, owner Liane Davis-Kling is planning on holding two separate sales Friday and Saturday.

On Friday, Downtown Books & Coffee will hold a sale on all used books in the store, with discounts up to 50% off, Davis-Kling said. On Small Business Saturday, Downtown Books & Coffee will have a 25% off sale on all new items in-store and online.

Buckaroos, which recently opened its doors to the community, has a week-long sale going on, which includes 15% off all items in store. Saturday is the final day of the sale.

Outside of downtown businesses, Big O Tires and Miller Appliance have sales set up for Small Business Saturday.

Big O Tires, which is a large chain business but is locally owned, started its holiday sale on Nov. 16 and will run the sale through Dec. 6. Big O is offering up to $100 in instant savings on select in-stock sets of 4 tires with paid installation purchase. Big O is also offering a $39.99 deal for an oil change and tire rotation, save $20 on an alignment, and a $39.95 health care car deal.

Miller Family Appliance is offering a $599 sale on a GE 4.8 cu. ft. washer – a savings of nearly $250, and a $599 sale on a GE 7.4 cu. ft. dryer while quantities last. Miller Family Appliance is open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

Colorado announces temporary tax break for bars and restaurants

Colorado bars and eateries that have been ordered to limit their capacity are getting a temporary tax break from the state at a time of profound challenge and uncertainty for the industry.

Gov. Jared Polis announced Wednesday that via executive order he has suspended collection of the 2.9% sales tax that businesses must typically return to the government. That means businesses affected by the executive order — bars, restaurants and food trucks — can hang onto an extra $2.90 per $100 in revenue.

“Colorado’s restaurants, bars, and food trucks are among the small businesses that have been hit the hardest by the pandemic,” Polis said in a statement. “We all want to keep these businesses open as a vital part of our lives and culture, which is why I’m proud to be working with a group of bipartisan legislators to provide much needed tax relief.”

The governor has the authority to suspend collection of the taxes, but only temporarily. The legislature has the authority to actually forgive the obligation to return these revenues to the state — and it plans to do just that when it convenes next week for a special session on COVID-19 relief. Among a slew of stimulus policies the General Assembly is expected to adopt is a forgiveness of sales tax obligations up to $2,000 per month for affected businesses through at least February.

To read the rest of the Denver Post article, click here.

Hayden lands $150K grant to create co-working space to spur business creation

Hayden Mayor Tim Redmond said there is one thing Hayden is missing, and a new state grant will help fill that void.

“The one thing that is really lacking in Hayden are businesses,” Redmond said. “Your community is not going to grow until you start to attract the commercial businesses.”

The town has been awarded a $150,000 Rural Economic Development Initiative Grant from the state to build a co-working space to help grow business activity and provide resources for people looking to start a business.

For Hayden, a large part of its tax base is tied to the energy industry, and the Hayden Station power plant and Twentymile Coal Mine are both expected to close in the next 10 years. While some predict the town’s demise, the recent grant is aimed at fostering business ideas and diversifying the local economy and is administered by the Colorado Department of Local Affairs.

Fifteen different rural communities across the state, including Craig and Hayden, received $793,000 in grants. Craig is preparing for the closure of the Craig Station by 2030.

“REDI grant projects exemplify the wide variety of strategies from local governments across the state working hard to stimulate their economies,” said Rick Garcia, executive director of the Department of Local Affairs.

In Craig, the $124,000 grant will be used to hire an economic priorities coordinator to enhance the city’s economic development capacity and lead implementation of the city’s highest priorities. This person also will lead implementation of goals around regional workforces, housing, transit, business attraction, expansion and retention.

In Hayden, the grant will create a co-working space that will help provide education, training and stimulation of entrepreneurship to Hayden residents and businesses.

Redmond, who will become a Routt County commissioner in January, said the space will have equipment, resources and people offering advice. The Small Business Development Council will also have space there.

“We’re an up-and-coming small town, and there are a lot of people with great ideas, but they don’t necessarily have the resources,” Redmond said. “A lot of people can write a business plan, but there are not that many people that can review it.”

While some people are comfortable with Hayden being a bedroom community, one whose residents mostly commute to other places for work, Redmond said he isn’t.

“I don’t want my community to have all its eggs in one basket, and that is why we are looking to diversify our economy so that we can have multiple legs to stand on, not just energy or coal mines,” he said. “I believe that takes away a lot of risk for a community.”

Hayden’s economy is not diverse when compared to Craig or Steamboat Springs, Redmond said. Roughly 60% of the budget for the school comes from the coal mine and power plant.

Because of that, Redmond said it is easy to see why someone looking to open a business in the area would likely choose one of those larger towns, even if they live in Hayden. Redmond said the new co-working space, new school and the Hayden Community Center all contribute toward making Hayden a more attractive community.

Others are not as optimistic.

“There are people in this town that will tell me to my face ‘That is the end of this town, we are going to die,’” Redmond said about the closing of Hayden station and Twentymile Coal Mine. “I’m not going to look at it that way. I am looking at this as an opportunity for the people of this town to redefine who they want to be.”

St. Michael’s Community Kitchen to hand out Thanksgiving meals to community in an adjusted fashion

Much like almost everything during the pandemic, the Thanksgiving meal at St. Michael’s Community Kitchen will look different Thursday.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions and the community kitchen wanting to keep both volunteers and diners safe, the Thanksgiving Day meal will be a to-go style, rather than the usual community sit down.

This year, the community kitchen has prepared nearly 30 turkeys for the holiday and is planning on distributing roughly 260 meals. Of the 30 turkeys, Walmart donated 10 to the kitchen for the holiday.

Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes and green bean casserole will be served in the “hot box” portion of the meal, said Beth Newkirk, who is overseeing the Thanksgiving meal distribution this year. In the “cold box” portion of the holiday meal, the kitchen is including a slice of pie, frog eye salad, Waldorf salad, and a roll.

Meals will be served out of the kitchen from 3-5 p.m., Newkirk said. She added that meals will still be delivered to those who need it that day.

“We want to make sure everyone gets a meal that needs one, so if you need a meal delivered, please let us know Wednesday,” Newkirk said. “This year’s just been so hard on everybody, and I don’t want anyone going without a holiday meal.”

Newkirk said the kitchen is planning on roughly seven volunteers at the community kitchen on Thanksgiving Day, distributing meals to those coming in to pick up holiday meals. Masks are required to enter the church.

Debbie Gannon oversees the mixing and heating of gravy for St. Michael’s Community Kitchen’s Thanksgiving Day meal Wednesday morning.
Joshua Carney / Craig Press

“These folks are taking time out of their days and are going to be away from their families, so we moved up the distribution window an hour so that we can get these folks back home to their families,” Newkirk said. “If it hadn’t have been for the virus, everything — including the community gathering and the mealtime — would have stayed as usual, but it’s just been such a hard year, so we had to make some changes.”

With an increase in meals expected to be handed out or delivered on Thursday, Newkirk said the kitchen will keep backup food available in case they run out of food.

“No matter what, if people show up here on Thursday, they’ll get a meal, I promise you that,” Newkirk said.

Call the community kitchen at 970-824-5330 for more information regarding the Thanksgiving Day meal or to schedule a delivery.

Prather’s Pick: A coming-of-age novel

My sister, Darlene Blackford of Rocky Ford, sent me this week’s novel. “Ordinary Grace,” recipient of the Edger Award for Best Novel, was written by William Kent Krueger. He is also author of “This Tender Land.”

I liked this novel—a lot! In my opinion, it is destined to become a classic. It has been excellently-crafted so that the novel is memorable. Sometimes, after a period of time has passed, I have to thumb through a novel I have read once again to remember its plot—not this one. There’s depth to the interesting characters, and the plot is compelling.

The setting is New Bremen, Minnesota, during the summer of 1961. Readers who lived during this time can relate to the quiet town where customers gather at Bon Ton’s Barbershop or sit at the soda fountain of Halderson’s Drugstore, enjoying root beer floats in frosted mugs. It is the time that people enjoy reading comic books, and television is black and white and viewers enjoy “The Restless Gun.”

The novel is told from Frank Dunn’s perspective 40 years later, but it is narrated by thirteen-year-old Frank. Frank lives with his father, a preacher; his mother, the choir director with a beautiful voice; his brother Jake, who stutters when he is angry or scared; and his sister Ariel, who has graduated from New Bremen High School and plans on attending Juilliard in the fall. She plays the organ at church services.

Frank’s father is in charge of the spiritual needs of the congregations in three churches in the area so every Sunday the entire family attends all three services. Because he is a preacher, Frank’s father gets involved in the town’s happenings—like the death of Bobby Cole.

Bobby was a special needs boy who was Frank’s age but had been kept back in school so was not in the same grade. He died after being struck by a train. People said it appeared that he just sat there on the track and didn’t try to move. It was the first death that summer, and others were to follow: deaths assuming many forms—accidental, natural, suicide, and murder.

Characters in the novel include Gus, a man who served with Frank’s father in World War II. Gus showed up in New Bremen and now lives in the church basement. He works at the cemetery. Emil Brandt and his sister Lise live in the Brandt Mansion. Lise, born deaf, takes care of her brother Emil who is blind. Emil  is a piano virtuoso and composer. He has instructed Ariel in piano, and she is transcribing his memoirs for a book. These and other characters contribute greatly to the novel’s plot. 

“Ordinary Grace” is published by Atria Paperback, an imprint of Simon & Schuster (2013). The book costs about $17.99. Thanks for sending the book, Darlene.  It is a must-read.

Tipton: Thank you for allowing me to serve

Thanksgiving is here and the holiday season is now in full swing. In what has been a year full of hardships and unexpected outcomes, 2020 has certainly tested our nation’s resolve.

Regardless of the events of this year, if you are reading this today, there are certainly blessings worth reflecting on. Whether it be your and your family’s continued good health, promising signs of economic recovery — owed greatly to the recent successes of scientists and health researchers on finding a vaccine — or any number of reasons, this time of the year is an important opportunity to pause and show appreciation for the things that matter most.

For me, I am thankful for having spent the last 10 years serving the 29 counties of Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District. Since first being elected to Congress, I maintained the mission to highlight the challenges that my constituents face during conversations at the national level. I have been fortunate to serve on the House Committees on Small Business, Agriculture, Natural Resources and most recently, Financial Services, each with jurisdiction over some of our district’s most pressing issues.

Over the course of the last decade, I am proud to have worked to pass legislation protecting some of our most scenic natural areas and cultural treasures, preserving historic multiple use of our public lands, defending water rights, supporting our farmers and ranchers, providing relief to communities devastated by wildfires, leveling the playing field for small businesses to compete and thrive, and putting the 3rd District on the map as the new headquarters of the Bureau of Land Management.

I am especially proud of an extensive list of legislative accomplishments that earned me the ranking as the eighth-most effective Republican member in the 115th Congress. This was achieved through a collaborative manner and always listening to and trusting information from local officials and constituents across the district.

I am honored to have spearheaded efforts such as stopping arbitrary rules made by Washington bureaucrats that would have ended century-old family farming practices, securing long sought-after funding for the Arkansas Valley Conduit in Pueblo County, and tweaking the Paycheck Protection Program to better serve Main Street businesses during this pandemic, among others. I will always look back at my career knowing that I gave it my all to serve communities across our diverse district.

Since the onset of this pandemic I have fought to bring federal resources to our rural communities to keep hospitals open, small businesses afloat and families paid. As our nation moves forward to address remaining challenges, my colleagues and I have forged a solid path to eliminate our reliance on China for future pandemic readiness as well as our nation’s growing energy demands. This effort has largely been bipartisan, indicating a willingness for members of Congress to set aside partisanship and work for the common good of American families.

I sincerely hope that your voices will continue to be heard, especially as the nation prepares for the likely change in administration and a divided Congress. Fortunately, we often find there is more that unites us than divides us as Americans. We must never lose sight of the fact that as united citizens of this great nation, we will join together to overcome any difficulties that lie ahead.

With that in mind, I want to share my deep appreciation for the last 10 years of having been your representative. The opportunity to serve you and our country has been the honor of my life. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. May God bless you and keep you safe this holiday season.

U.S. Rep Scott R. Tipton represents Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District. His Washington, D.C., office can be reached at 202-225-4761.

COVID-19 cases exceed 300 in Moffat County, additional five new deaths reported

As COVID-19 cases continue to surge in Moffat County, the local case count has exceeded 300, according to Public Health, while five new deaths have been reported, pushing the county’s total to 11.

Of the five new deaths, three are from Sandrock Ridge Care and Rehab, marking a total of seven deaths in the assisted living center since last week, while the other two deaths were Moffat County residents.

Dating back to Wednesday, Nov. 18, Moffat County Public Health has reported 120 new cases, pushing the county’s total to 307. Of those 307 cases, 149 remain active at this time.

Hospitalizations and hospital capacity remain a concern in Moffat County with the increase in cases. Memorial Regional Health provides an update each day on the current number of patients admitted to the COVID unit as well as the non-COVID medical/surgical unit. At this time, seven Moffat County residents are hospitalized for COVID- related illness.

If the positivity rate does not decrease in Moffat County, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment could move the county to an even more restrictive level, namely Level Red, which is Stay at Home. This will further restrict occupancy and gathering size.

With the rapid increase of COVID-19 cases, Moffat County has reached community spread/transmission. The Centers for Disease Control explains community spread as people who are infected with the virus do not know how they became infected. It is recommended that when out in public, you assume that anyone you interact with is positive for COVID.

Obituary: Paul Thomas McGilton

Paul Thomas

McGilton

February 1, 1979 – October 31, 2020

Paul is survived by his wife, Hilary and sons Reid and Rhett. Paul is also survived by his parents Dennis and Charlene; sister Katrina (Jeff) Willey; nephews Dustin and Landon Willey and great nephews. Paul will also be missed by many other family members and friends. A celebration of life will be held next summer at the family ranch. His smile and humor will be greatly missed.

Obituary: Carolyn Adams

Carolyn Adams

October 21, 1950 – November 13, 2020

Carolyn Lynn Adams was born on October 21, 1950 in Craig, Colorado. She passed away on November 13, 2020 at the Sandrock Ridge Care Center in Craig, Colorado.

Carolyn grew up on a ranch in the Brown’s Park area and graduated from Moffat County High School. Carolyn and Steve (Stevie) F. Adams were married on September 4, 1971 and lived in Laramie for a short time. They then moved to Snake River and purchased their ranch near Dad later moving to a ranch east of Baggs.

Carolyn served on the Little Snake River Valley School Advisory Board and the Carbon County School District #1 Board of Education. She was a founding board member of the Little Snake River Rural Health Care District and served as president of the board. She was a member of Cowbelles. She supported and helped organize youth rodeo activities and Amazing River Kids (ARK). She was an active member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Dixon. She enjoyed following her sons as they participated in sports and activities.

Carolyn is survived by her sons, Nathone (Annie) Adams and Warren Adams; grandchildren, Royce and Ryal Adams, all of Baggs; her brother Larry Solace; sister-in-laws Debbie Boykin and Dolly Bollis; brother-in-laws Mike and Pat Adams; and her faithful caregiver Jenn Terry and her children, Joey, Mason, Kash, Kodi, Gentry and Kenni.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Steve and her parents, Cheston and Warrine Solace.

Memorial services will be held on November 23 at 1 p.m. at the Valley Community Center in Baggs, WY. Memorials may be made to Amazing River Kids in care of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, PO Box 68, Dixon, WY 82323.