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Mike Lawrence

Stories by Mike

Northwest Colorado energy debates heat up

State Rep. Randy Baumgardner discusses proposed changes to oil, gas commission

State Rep. Randy Baumgardner said House Bill 1291 could indirectly create more legislative battles about policy adopted last year to convert some Front Range power plants from coal to natural gas. He said if HB 1291 passes it could spur challenges pushed by the Colorado Mining Association.

Steamboat transit ends late-night service

Just like that, it’s summer in Steamboat Springs. Steamboat Springs Transit promptly switched to its summer bus schedule Monday, one day after Sunday’s end to the 2010-11 ski season.

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Steamboat's deputy city manager plans to retire by year-end

DuBord to make formal statement later

Longtime Deputy City Manager Wendy DuBord said Monday that she plans to retire by the end of 2011. She said no definite date is set and no formal plans have been made, though word of her pending retirement is making the rounds. She said she’ll work with colleagues to reach a fixed retirement date and then make a formal announcement, possibly in the next two months.

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Lodging community indicates strong month in Steamboat

Initial reactions at ski season’s end indicate a comparatively strong local economy in March, capping a winter that some say brought slightly better business to Steamboat Springs than a year ago.

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Seeking peace and quiet on noise issue in Steamboat

Police captain says flexibility remains under new proposal

Steamboat Springs Police Capt. Joel Rae said last week that proposed changes to city noise regulations would not change levels of enforcement. “Basically, there needs to be a victim when we’re talking about enforcing the noise ordinance. We are not going to be driving down the streets with our decibel meters,” Rae said. Rae’s comments followed a Tuesday night meeting, where City Council discussed potential revisions to the city’s noise regulations.

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Few fears in Routt County about federal government shutdown

Budget fallout wouldn’t affect post offices, Social Security checks, electronic tax returns

Although a shutdown could furlough thousands of federal employees in Colorado, including some or all of the 30 employees at the U.S. Forest Service office in Steamboat Springs, business is expected to carry on as usual at local post offices and human service organizations.

Medical marijuana ban request spurs talk in Steamboat

Police captain’s statements spark new medical marijuana debate

Steamboat is not yet moving toward a ban on medical marijuana centers, and the idea of a vote is purely hypothetical at this point, but the topic arose Tuesday night when the City Council conducted a first reading of proposed revisions to the city’s medical marijuana regulations.

Little progress made on noise talks at City Council meeting

Cari Hermacinski had to bang her gavel Tuesday night to get a passionate crowd quiet enough to talk about potential changes to city noise regulations. And that was before the discussion even started.

Steamboat police captain calls for medical marijuana ban

Rae: Marijuana use, DUIDs have “skyrocketed” since dispensaries opened in 2009

Capt. Joel Rae, of the Steamboat Springs Police Department, asked city officials Tuesday night to consider an outright ban of medical marijuana sellers in Steamboat Springs. Rae said Steamboat police are encountering more marijuana in arrests and on city streets.

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Steamboat City Council to discuss medical marijuana operations

As city officials address proposed changes to Steamboat’s medical marijuana regulations, one point of discussion tonight could be whether and how to allow some industry operations — such as cultivation and product manufacturing — to occur in residential areas. City Council is slated to conduct a first reading of the revised medical marijuana ordinance tonight.

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Steamboat chefs shuffle spots

New management for City Cafe, Staxx at Haymaker Golf Course

Two eateries at city facilities have changed management in the past two weeks. Olivia Murray, who operated City Cafe in Centennial Hall on 10th Street since April 2009, has left that position to become the food and beverage operator and executive chef at Staxx New West Bar and Grill at the city-owned Haymaker Golf Course. Taking Murray’s place at City Cafe is Nicolette Powell.

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Man arrested on suspicion of stabbing teen at Bud Werner Memorial Library

Adam Huber, 40, was peacefully taken into custody late Monday afternoon. Steamboat Springs police suspect Huber of stabbing a teen in both hands during an altercation in the library's teen reading area.

Nighttime noise discussion returns to Steamboat

City Council to review potential changes to regulations Tuesday

Proposed changes to city regulations would increase the allowable level of nighttime noise in commercial areas, while affirming the potential for continued violations to impact a business’s liquor license, setting the stage for public discussion this week. City planning staff is scheduled to present proposed noise ordinance revisions to City Council on Tuesday.

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Promenade, creek daylighting scheduled for Steamboat base area

Ski Corp. also planning permanent stage

Big plans are brewing for this summer’s phase of the multiyear, $20 million redevelopment project at the base of Steamboat Ski Area. The taxpaying public is on the brink of seeing the most visible and talked-about payoffs of the base area redevelopment.

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Tourism Routt County's top strength in economic development survey

Results also show health care, schools as top economic development strengths

Initial results from a Routt County economic development survey show strong support for local schools and health care facilities, indicating that quality of life remains a primary driver of regional business growth. The survey remains open online.

Steamboat business group schedules speakers for event

The growing Ignite Steamboat group is presenting its most acclaimed guests yet at a free event next week. The local networking group for entrepreneurs, business strategists and tech professionals meets at 6 p.m. Thursday at Steamboat Smokehouse.

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Final chapter for Steamboat's Epilogue Book Co.

Independent downtown bookstore plans to close in April

For Epilogue Book Co., one of Steamboat Springs’ two downtown bookstores, the end will come in April. Epilogue owner Erica Fogue said Wednesday that after eight years in business, the store will close when the books are sold.

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Tropical Rockies closes store in Steamboat

Fish and aquarium materials moved to Elk River Farm & Feed

Tropical Rockies has closed its retail store after more than seven years, but owner Gavin Graham said local fish and aquarium owners still will be able to access supplies and services in Steamboat Springs through Elk River Farm & Feed on Routt County Road 129.

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City of Steamboat: No funds to bury utility lines

Officials say it costs too much to combine work with sewer replacement

Lack of funds could mean more underground utility lines in downtown Steamboat Springs are, at least for the moment, just a pipe dream. Public Works Director Philo Shelton said that a fund designated to pay for putting utility lines underground is about $400,000 in the hole.

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Ski area snowfall breaks 400-inch mark

Mount Werner tops milestone for eighth time since 1980; third in last four seasons

Mid-mountain snowfall at Steamboat Ski Area topped 400 inches for the season Sunday, surpassing the milestone for the third time in the past four winters. This seasons total likely went up overnight.

Routt County's jobless rate falls to 8.4 percent in February

Routt County’s unemployment rate showed a slight improvement in February, falling to 8.4 percent.

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Steamboat, Winter Sports Club make final push for Howelsen funds

Widespread support sought to boost grant applications for Howelsen

Funds raised will go toward new lighting, snowmaking equipment, a mini magic carpet and a new summer ski jump at Howelsen Hill, which ended its winter ski season Sunday.

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Twentymile jobs decrease by more than 50 in 2010 in Routt County

The number of miners at Twentymile Coal Co. decreased by more than 50 in 2010, reflecting a coal industry that some say is facing shrinking demand and increased regulatory challenges. A report by the Colorado Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety states that Twentymile Coal Co. saw a decrease from 484 miners in January 2010 to 432 miners by December.

Kyteler’s landlord begins discussions with Steamboat workers

Steamboat Partners, owners of pub property, calls meeting an effort to reach out to those affected

Owners of the space used by Kyteler’s Irish Pub met Thursday with workers who claim they’re owed thousands for the pub’s construction, starting discussions that spread confidence but yielded no action to ease the labor-related tensions.

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Planners take 1st look at Steamboat Springs Area Community Plan update process

As the community prepares to embark on an extensive, countywide public process this spring that could lead to an update of the Steamboat Springs Area Community Plan, many of the projections that shaped the plan’s last update have changed significantly. In other words, we’re not what we thought we would be.

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String of sustainable events upcoming in Steamboat Springs

There’s a slew of environmentally focused events scheduled across Routt County in coming weeks and months, according to discussions at a Wednesday lunch for the Chamber Resort Association's Sustainable Business Program.

Kyteler’s Irish Pub payment delay stalls workers

Steamboat contractors say lack of payment causes domino effect on lives

Workers who say they’re owed payment for months of work at Kyteler’s Irish Pub in Steamboat Springs also say the lack of income is creating impacts in their professional and personal lives, like a row of tipping dominoes.

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City manager Jon Roberts returns to a warm welcome after ski accident

Amidst a return to Steamboat Springs filled with hugs, pats on the back and a City Hall office that coworkers jokingly draped in protective bubble wrap, a big question lingered in the mind of City Manager Jon Roberts: How could an accident of such severity occur while he was enjoying “just a simple ski run?"

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Unpaid Steamboat Springs workers seek legal help

Contractors, subs say paychecks 2 months overdue from Kyteler’s

At least 15 workers involved with construction of Kyteler’s Irish Pub in Steamboat are seeking legal help to secure owed money that could total more than $150,000, according to a local attorney. The tense labor situation has intensified during the past couple of weeks.

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13th Street cafe moving to downtown Steamboat in spring

Spill the Beans expands space, changes name to MountainBrew

A 13th Street espresso cafe is moving downtown this spring, with plans to expand its menu and space under a new name and logo. Spill the Beans co-owners Al and Tasha Compos said Monday that April 1 likely is their last day of business on Steamboat Springs’ west side.

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Natural food market bustling in Steamboat

Groups have organic ideas on table as movement gains steam

The longevity of two local stores is spotlighting a blossoming appreciation for natural foods in Routt County and beyond. Bamboo Market is celebrating 20 years in business and offering free samples of Colorado-produced foods Thursday and Friday.

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Jon Roberts could be released from hospital Friday

Steamboat city manager to start outpatient therapy, could return to Steamboat as soon as next week

Steamboat Springs City Manager Jon Roberts could be released from the hospital Friday and resume some work for the city in April, indicating a positive outcome after a Jan. 2 skiing accident.

Steamboat closes Emerald land deal for $1.3 million

586 acre parcel to be preserved for public recreation

The city closed Wednesday on its $1.3 million purchase of 586 acres owned by Lyman Orton on Emerald Mountain’s north side, a parcel long valued by the public for recreational uses including mountain biking, hiking and Nordic skiing.

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Steamboat Home Consignments opens under family ownership

Evlyn Hukriede often thought if she ever owned a business, she’d be serving plates rather than selling tables. But a furniture store it is. Hukriede is the new owner of Steamboat Home Consignments, along with her husband, daughter and daughter’s boyfriend.

Land Board sells $4.2M worth of Routt oil and gas leases

A February auction of state mineral leases indicated a surge of oil and gas speculation in western Routt County. Colorado’s State Land Board auctioned surface or subsurface mineral rights on more than 5,200 acres in Routt County.

Steamboat Springs City Council supports Powder Room

Council denies appeal seeking to stop Clock Tower Square nightclub during Tuesday night meeting

City officials upheld decisions in favor of the Powder Room nightclub Tuesday, allowing the base area business to move toward opening and overriding arguments that included a homeowner displaying poster-sized photographs of his grandchildren.

Yampa River users’ input sought through surveys

American Whitewater working to assess flow rates

Regional water groups are partnering with American Whitewater to conduct an online survey of Yampa River users to gather input about flow rates needed for recreation on the river. River users’ input sought

Steamboat City Council to hear nightclub debate

Council members to address homeowners’ appeal of Powder Room

Clock Tower Square home­­owners will take another stab tonight at curtailing plans for the proposed Powder Room nightclub at the base of Steamboat Ski Area. The odds don’t appear to be stacked in the homeowners’ favor.

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Former legislators White, Taylor lament loss of state tourism funding at Capitol

Budget shrank from $24M to $12.5M

A bit of gallows humor from the governor last week shed light on just how quickly times can change at the Capitol — and how legislation that local politicians once crowned as a capstone achievement can get cut nearly in half in just a few years.

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Dog shot to death in Steamboat Springs neighborhood

A 10-year-old dog owned by a Steamboat Springs family died Sunday morning of a bullet wound suffered a day earlier in a residential neighborhood on the city’s west side. Police are continuing to investigate the incident.

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Steamboat takes swing at accommodations tax discussions

Haymaker Golf Course, Emerald land among possibilities for revenue

Revenues that will be available in 2014 already are whetting the appetites of several local entities — including a public golf course, an ice rink committee and a cycling advocacy group, for example — and all could get a slice of the pie. But each could go hungry, too.

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Hickenlooper touches on Steamboat school district consolidation

Governor addressed several topics in talk to Steamboat service clubs

Gov. John Hickenlooper struck a local chord Wednesday when he said school district consolidations could be a way to reduce costs for public education.

Iron Horse Inn may stay under city management

Committee could recommend City Council reject 3 proposals

An evaluation committee likely will recommend next month that city officials accept none of three proposals for operation of the embattled Iron Horse Inn. That means the city of Steamboat Springs could continue as operator of the Iron Horse.

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Tree Haus district in Steamboat planning upgrades

State tells district to improve its water filtration equipment

The Tree Haus Metropolitan District is working toward water system improvements after a 2009 analysis showed concerning levels of particulate matter that, officials say, do not present significant health concerns for residents of the subdivision.

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Steamboat's pothole season sinks in

Road crews make temporary fixes amid early thaw

This winter’s drastic freeze-and-thaw cycles have created plenty of potholes on local roads, and drivers might have to spend a few more months avoiding the perilous pits before warmer weather allows lasting fixes.

Gov. Hickenlooper to visit Steamboat

Hickenlooper to speak to service club members at invite-only event

Gov. John Hickenlooper is scheduled to speak at an invite-only event for local service club members Wednesday in Steamboat Springs, during a swing through Northwest Colorado to discuss topics including economic development. Invites went out late last week to more than 150 members of local service clubs.

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Plastic bag issues resurface in Steamboat

A film screening last week fueled discussion of renewed efforts to significantly reduce the use of disposable plastic bags in Steamboat Springs. Catherine Carson, of Yampa Valley Recycles, said Wednesday that an ordinance to ban the use of plastic bags in local retail stores or, more likely, charge a fee for their use, could appear before City Council this year.

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Fire crews, veterinarians rescue horse Wednesday near Steamboat

Palomino OK after falling in deep snow in Whitewood area

Firefighters, veterinarians and others conducted a complex rescue effort to save a horse stuck at the bottom of a ravine as snow fell heavily Wednesday night south of Steamboat Springs. The rescue of the horse, which owners found tangled in brush and immobilized by snow up to its chest, provided a successful test for crews responding to large-animal situations and could spur more training for such events in the future.

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Downtown Steamboat businesses shuffle near Seventh Street

Tuesday night’s approval of a real estate office on Lincoln Avenue near Seventh Street was part of a chain reaction of businesses preparing to shuffle locations at Howelsen Place and Old Town Square.

Steamboat sales tax collections dip in January

One-time payment of $90,000 a year ago skews figures

City sales tax collections dropped nearly 2 percent in January compared with January 2010, but a one-time payment of about $90,000 a year ago skews that comparison and could hide an actual uptick in January business, a city official said Wednesday.