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Tom Ross

Stories by Tom

Routt County construction industry hits biggest permit valuation in 7 years: $96.5 million

Fueled by 13 $1million home starts, numerous six-figure remodels and a handful of big institutional building projects, this construction season is putting up numbers like the Yampa Valley hasn’t seen since the boom years of almost a decade ago.

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Routt Commissioner candidates: renewables matter, but saving fossil fuels jobs are highest priority

Routt Commissioner candidates rally behind coal

The future of coal mining and coal-fired power plants was on the minds of the candidates for Routt County Commissioner District 1 during Thursday night's candidate forum.

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Doug Allen prepares for final season in his career at Steamboat Ski Area

One of the highlights of Vice President of Mountain Operations Doug Allen's career at Steamboat Ski Area was guiding the replacement of fixed triple chairlifts with high-speed quads.

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West Routt's Jerry Green takes home Leckenby Award after 37 years on Heritage Center board

Jerry Green's early school year were spent in one-room school houses in the Dunstan (organized in 1892) and Beardsley (organized 1913). Perhaps that’s why he’s been so devoted to preserving the history of the region for all of these years.

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Naval petty officer Jed May serving on versatile warship in Western Pacific

Chief Petty Officer Jed May's duties on the USS Coronado include recovering helicopters like the SH-60 Sierra Seahawk to the tri-hulled naval ship after missions.

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Election Guide 2016: Referendum 1A — County asks voters to pre-approve pot excise tax

The Routt County Board of Commissioners is asking the voters to approve a 5 percent excise tax on marijuana grown for retail sale, anticipating it may consider permits for grow operations in the unincorporated county.

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Election Guide 2016: Referendum 5A — Mill levy increase sought for South Routt Medical Center

Without, the additional 2 mills of property tax, bringing the total to 4.095, that would provide an additional $185,285 in revenue, District Manager Ken Rogers said, he and the board would have to consider service reductions.

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Best Fishing Outfitter: Bucking Rainbow Outfitters

The increasing involvement of three generations of the Duty family is a significant factor in the success of Bucking Rainbow based out of a red brick building at 730 Lincoln Avenue that’s as solid as the business.

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Best Mullet: Luke Kimmes and Jesse Kurk (tie)

"You’ve got to stand in a doorway when there’s a good breeze blowing," to show your mullet to best advantage. That’s a really good move.” – Jesse Kurk

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Best Print Shop: Crown Prints

Crown Prints

Businesses from hair salons to building contractors rely on Crown Prints to reinforce their identity. One of the biggest perennial customers is the Mustang Roundup.

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Cowboy Brad Fitch brings the music of John Denver to Steamboat

Audience members can feel free to sing along and call out requests when Cowboy Brad Fitch brings the music of John Denver to Steamboat.

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Classic apres ski restaurant, the T Bar, asks city for five more years

For an older generation of devoted Steamboat skiers, Slopeside and T Bar are the closest things to the gone, but not forgotten, Dos Amigos and Tugboat for apres ski.

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"Comrades on the Colca" — Q. and A. with Steamboat Springs author Eugene Buchanan

A Q. and A. with Steamboat Springs author Eugene Buchanan about his fourth book, "Comrades on the Colca."

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City seeks experienced ski area operators to come to the rescue of Howelsen Hill

Historic ski area's finances point downhill

The city of Steamboat Springs is testing the interest of third-party ski area operators for putting Howelsen Hill on better financial footing.

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Routt County honors employees who exemplify core values

Routt County employees who work behind the scenes were praised for exemplifying 'core values.'

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Routt National Forest plans prescribed burn on Elk River corridor

After a long summer of battling wildfire from the Wyoming border south to Lynx Pass, the U.S. Forest Servce is tentatively planning this month to fight fire with fire in a heavily visited area of the forest along the upper Elk River.

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Steamboat Springs City Manager: Community engagement top priority through 2017

“The most important process we need to face in the next 12 to 15 months is community engagement.” – Steamboat Springs City Manager Gary Suiter

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Steamboat couple hoping to establish cacao groves in Costa Rica

The Marxuachs' bigger goal is to acquire approximately 35 acres in La Tigra, Costa Rica, where they hope to engage in an “agri-forestry” project by planting cacao trees, which are very efficient at sequestering carbon dioxide.

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Candidates for House District 26 differ over public land policy

Candidates differ over public land issues

The candidates for Colorado House District 26, Republican Michael Cacioppo and Democrat Diane Mitsch Bush, differed significantly over management of federal lands in the region as they faced one another during an Oct. 4 candidates forum.

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Treasurer Brita Horn meets coal company officials in Denver

Routt County Treasurer Brita Horn and her attorney met with Peabody Energy officials in Denver to confer on overdue taxes.

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Seat belts in over-the-road buses survive city of Steamboat Springs' 2017 budget cuts

Seat belts on buses survive city of Steamboat's 2017 budget cuts

In the wake of a May bus accident, Steamboat Springs City Council has allocated $120,000 in its 2017 budget to install seat belts in buses that run between Craig and Steamboat.

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City plans to modify Nordic steeps at Howelsen

A corkscrew climb and a downhill pitch called the elevator shift on Howelsen Hill's east side can be too much for intermediate Nordic skiers to handle.

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Steamboat Springs Parks & Rec group would forgive tax on food for 12.5 mills of property tax, $3 million in new taxes

Parks plan to swap new property tax for food tax

The members of the alternative funding group don’t presume that City Council will embrace their proposed distribution of funds that could result from a new 12.5 property tax to support parks and recreation.

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One of three owners at Hayden power plant appeals state's valuation for local property taxes

Hayden power plant owner challenges state's property tax valuation

Routt County Assessor: $10.5 million in assessed valuation at risk in Salt River Project's challenge to state's property tax appraisal of of its assets at Hayden Generating Station

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One Book Steamboat devoted to Stegner novel, "Angle of Repose"

One Book Steamboat author Wallace Stegner is widely recognized as one of the mid Twentieth Century’s most influential writers about the American West.

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New area wildlife manager Kris Middledorf struck by community's devotion to conservation, wildlife

The wealth of habitat and diversity of species found close to Steamboat Springs have already made an impression on Kris MIddledorf, Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s new area manager.

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State Sen. Baumgardner: Steamboat would feel the economic effects of reduced power plants

'Loss of power plants would be felt in Steamboat'

State Sen. Randy Baumgardner cautions that if regulatory constraints on coal-fired power plants in Northwest Colorado lead to further curtailed production, or cause them to close, Steamboat Springs will feel the impact.

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Sheriff Garrett Wiggins' 2017 budget calls for new patrol deputy, investigator

As much as he values a second K9 unit, Sheriff Garrett Wiggins said his highest priorities are adding a new patrol deputy and a new criminal investigator to his staff.

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California couple seeks permit for wedding venue on Elk River Valley ranch

The owners of La Joya Dulce are seeking a county permit to establish a new wedding venue on what was once part of Three Diamond Ranch on Elk River Road.

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Colorado Water Trust praises local agencies for leadership, buys water to boost Yampa River

Water Trust acquires water to keep Yampa healthy into October

The Colorado Water Trust has joined the city of Steamboat Springs, Upper Yampa Water Conservancy District and the Catamount Metropolitan District in ongoing efforts to boost Yampa River flows deeper into autumn.

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Old fire lookouts a reflection of ranger's unique talents

Celebrating the restoration of the Hahn's Peak Lookout

The work wasn’t as romantic as it sounds, and the days when lonely lookouts guarded the timber are all but gone. But the historic buildings remain important cultural markers in the National Forest.

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Candidates discuss balancing growth and open space

Kiwanis member Bud Romberg asked candidates for Routt County commissioner their outlook on permitting a new mobile home park in the county.

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Routt County losing 2 emergency response department heads to retirement

Routt County Director of Emergency Management Bob Struble, who has been in that role since 2009, intends to retire Oct. 7.

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Snowmaking hydrants could be used to fight a larger wildfire on ski slopes in the future

Steamboat Ski area personnel and firefighting agencies have been meeting for years to ensure they have the necessary adapters to couple firefighting hoses to snowmaking hydrants so they can deliver water to suppress a larger wildfire.

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YVEA taps state grant to energy nonprofit to help usher in solar for households with modest incomes

Yampa Valley Electric Association hosts new solar array in Steamboat Springs intended for households with modest incomes.

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Crews on affordable units hope to put a roof on The Reserves before winter

Affordable apartment buildings rise on Steamboat's west side, but leasing is still months away.

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New Mountain Valley Bank building aims for classic Steamboat look

The style of the new Mountain Valley Bank building is intended to evoke classic Steamboat style like that seen in the historic Rehder building.

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Bar code readers replacing attendants with tablets at airport parking lot

Yampa Valley Regional Airport parking lot getting new automated barcode payment system

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Key parcel on the Yampa River above Stagecoach conserved

Conserving the landscape of Routt County

Routt County is poised to conserve almost 1,700 additional ranch acreage in South Routt including a key parcel on the Yampa River.

Conservation agencies close to acquiring key ranch parcels

When the conservation easement Glas Deffryn ranch closes, the latest transaction by YVLT it complete an unbroken 5-mile stretch of the Yampa River corridor upstream from Stagecoach Reservoir.

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Forecast for Sept. 12, 13 includes chance of snow above 10,000 feet in northern mountains

The forecast for Sept. 12 and 13 includes a chance of snow above 10,000 feet in the northern mountains.

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Memorial flags dot the lawn of local bank

This year the number of flags has grown to 5,000 to encompass the 2,100 deaths of workers and volunteers who have since died, in addition to the 2,996 who perished in the 9/11 attacks

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Local ospreys mature rapidly, prepare for long, lonely migration

Female osprey can be expected to return to the vicinity of their birth nest for the first time with a mate in tow after spending back-to-back winters in the south.

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Pleasant Valley ranching traditions undergoing evolution

County approves new bridges, new uses at historic ranch

Routt County wrestles with the question of whether a rancher needs a permit to replace bridges, build a hunting yurt, improve trout habitat and create RV parking pads.

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Rediscovered film portrays another era in Routt County agriculture

When horsepower implied horses

The audience at the Tread of Pioneers Museum watched 1960s rancher Frank Harrison branding calves in the sage brush and using draft horses to cut a new winter feeding lane through the deep snow of Strawberry Park.

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Long dormant Stagecoach Ski Area south of Steamboat under contract to sell in October

Stagecoach Ski Area under contract for sale to development group with ties Steamboat, Boulder, Vail and Telluride.

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Green Creek Ranch plans to be reviewed

Plans to create private recreational facilities including ATV trails and a manager’s home as well enhancements to trout habitat on Green Creek Ranch on the Yampa River just upstream from Lake Catamount will be reviewed by the Routt County Planning Commission Sept. 1.

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State issues Twin Enviro's Milner Landfill compliance advisory

State directs landfill to tighten procedures

Colorado Department of Health and Environment has issued a compliance order to Milner Landfill.

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Guardrail repairs cost Routt County $100K-plus annually

The slow-motion slide into a highway guardrail is an all-too-frequent mishap on the Routt County road system in winter

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Housing focus is on feasible projects

Routt County has ample buildable land for community land going north and south on transportation corridors.