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Tom Ross

Stories by Tom

Routt County green lights new recycling facility at Milner Landfill

The County Commissioners voted unanimously to approve a permit to allow Twin Enviro to build a new recycling facility at the landfill.

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Patrick Mayle saved the day for office workers up and down the Yampa Valley

Patrick Mayle dies at 60; benefit is Sunday to help with medical costs

Mayle was known for his teasing sense of humor and his love of camping, hiking and fishing as well as his expertise in repairing photocopiers

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Spring runoff in Steamboat unlikely to match 2011 for sheer volume

Is spring runoff in 2014 destined to be like the epic year of 2011? It’s unlikely, according to a hydrologist who keeps close tabs on the Yampa River Basin.

Milner Landfill planning its own recyling baler west of Steamboat

The new recycling center at the landfill is planned to have its own baler, but glass is likely to be removed from single-stream recycling.

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April thrills and chills in Moffat County's Cross Mountain Canyon

The rapids in Cross Mountain Canyon have earned intimidating names like Osterizer, Body Pizza, Snake Pit and Death Ferry.

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Steamboat's 2013-2014 ski season saw measurable snow on 88 mornings

The best powder day of the season at mid-mountain arrived Dec. 23 with 13.5 inches, which landed in the midst of a six-day run ending Christmas Day that saw 27 inches accumulate at Thunderhead.

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Tom Ross: Logging a season's worth of powder tracks at Steamboat Ski Area

Steamboat skier Soren Jespersen records all but a handful of the season's runs with the help of GPS app and Google Earth.

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Steamboat's flirtation with springlike weather comes to a frigid halt

The recorded high temperatures in Steamboat last week included: April 8, 59 degrees; April 9, 63 degrees; April 10, 57 degrees; April 11, 65 degrees and April 12, 63.

Direct flights from Houston this summer priced just over $500

A search on Friday for the direct flight to the Yampa Valley, leaving Houston (IAH) at 5:45 p.m. on Thursday, July 17, and returning Tuesday July 22, produced a roundtrip fare of $505.

Routt County officials confront the complexity of finding a good match for salary survey

Eagle has more populous bedroom communities, Pitkin’s housing prices are skewed more heavily by mountain mansions and Summit has more ski areas.

Upper Colorado Basin ranked 2nd among 10 most endangered rivers in the nation

The nearby White River, flowing out of the Flat Tops, is No. 7 on the list because of the amount of energy exploration taking place along it length, an American Rivers spokesman said Wednesday.

Routt County's elected public officials must seek legislative approval for 1st raise in 7 years

County Attorney John Merrill told the commissioners in 2011, during a similar initiative, that the law requires the Legislature to appoint a commission (including two county commissioners from across the state) to review the salaries of officials biannually to ensure they are equitable.

New conservation easement reunites pieces of Routt County's historic McDermott Ranch

In terms of public benefit, the new easement expands the portion of the Elk River Valley that is protected from development beyond the possibility of a new ranch compound of a portion of the Six Plus Ranch.

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Snow near Summit Lake northwest of Steamboat Springs is more than 15 feet deep

A photo of a U.S. Forest Service employee standing in a 194-inch-deep snow pit on Buffalo Pass is giving rise to comparisons to the snowpack records established in the spring of 2011 on the Continental Divide northwest of Steamboat.

Another Elk River Valley ranch up for conservation

The rolling hills of Six Plus Ranch are punctuated with pockets of aspen, pine and mountain shrubs and include two active breeding leks used by Columbian sharp-tailed grouse.

Downtown Steamboat's Chief Theater attracts 10,000 patrons since Nov. 1

Under the guidance of a new executive director, Scott Parker, the theater has caught on this winter with performances by touring musicians, community drama, screenings of documentary films and shows by musicians in residence.

Elk River Road north of Columbine closed to all but local, emergency traffic

The temporary closure of a nine-mile stretch of Routt County Road 129 near the Wyoming border affects a lightly traveled stretch of road from mile marker 34 north of Columbine to Three Forks Ranch at mile marker 43.

Routt County rejects city of Steamboat’s interest in privatizing building department

Board of County Commissioners Chairman Tim Corrigan said it is his determination that the county and city both would be best served by continuing to operate the Regional Building Department, and that is the county’s intention.

Steve Warnke takes the reins of Routt County Planning Commission

Jay Gallagher, of Steamboat Springs, has stepped down from the Routt County Planning Commission after 12 years, and North Routt representative Steve Warnke has replaced him as chairman of the commission.

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Warming spell next week could cause Yampa River flows in Steamboat to spike

If the warming spell materializes and the river rises to more than 750 cfs, it will represent snowmelt at low and middle elevation snowmelt here. What it won’t signal is the onset of full-blown spring runoff.

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Moisture in snowpack well above average in mountains surrounding Steamboat

The median peak water stored at the end of the winter on Rabbit Ears is 26.1 inches compared to 35.3 inches there now. How that water finds its way to the valley and the main stem of the Yampa during spring runoff depends on weather patterns between now and mid-May.

Tom Ross: Early homesteaders were Yampa Valley's 1st locavores

Albert and Minnie Hitchens' flock of hens stopped laying eggs every winter and the family resorted to some unusual means of keeping eggs almost fresh enough to eat through the winter.

Williams oil well near Hayden back in the game, Dill Gulch on deck

The State Air Quality Control Commission voted in February to require oil and gas wells across the state, including existing wells, to capture the air pollutants known as VOCs, including methane. As it turns out, Shell Oil had already agreed to live up to similar standards in Routt County.

Ecologist says top predators restore balance to mountain states' ecosystems

In their avoidance of areas where wolves den, elk in Montana where wolf packs are active are spending more time on higher, steeper slopes, which in addition leads to the perception among hunters that elk have reduced the number of elk available to them.

New communications director comes to the Yampa Valley from Florida, stationed in Alaska while in Army

Doug Brown was the director of 911 Communications for Gadsden County Florida for 15 years and most recently the director of Central Communications for Columbia County, Fla., for 5 years.

Routt County commissioners have an appetite for providing simple 1st step to permitting food production

Karen Massey, director of the Colorado State University extension office here, told the commissioners the interest in producing food locally is not about to die down, and her office would like to be the first point of contact for people seeking to start a food business here.

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Winter-long exhibit of local quilts admired by travelers at Yampa Valley Regional Airport

The quilt, "Awesome Blossom," was decorated with appliqued floral pieces Jackie Grimaldi made herself as well as three-dimensional flora blossoms she created on an embroidery machine.

New plan could simplify the Routt County permit process for those seeking to grow and sell food locally

Lettuce growers, an experimental cheese maker and a poultry producer all engaged with the county in the past two years and found out that when it comes to producing food on a commercial basis, there are rules that must be followed.

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A New Horizon: Steamboat’s ‘love affair’ with Horizons Specialized Services

Horizons Board President Bob Grover, who does not have a family member served by Horizons, said the way the community has embraced Horizons is a big reason why he settled here.

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A New Horizon: Soda Creek Apartments emblematic of new era at Horizons Specialized Services

Horizons' Soda Creek Apartments are designed from the ground up to meet the needs of adults who are ready to move out of traditional group homes and test new skills.

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A New Horizon: The staff of Horizons Specialized Services is embracing change in 2014

As 2014 unfolds, the staff and leadership of Horizons Specialized Services are coming to terms with the likelihood that both the numbers of people they serve and the range of disabilities they deal with on a daily basis are poised to grow dramatically.

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Tom Ross: Flamingos fly the coop on Logan Street in Old Town Steamboat

Logan Street is the the kind of Steamboat neighborhood where folks are on a first-name basis with their neighbors and don’t expect this kind of sordid crime to take place.

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Snow forecaster sees active storm pattern for Steamboat in early April

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecasts a band of above-average moisture clipping the northwest corner of Colorado from March 27 to April 2.

New ranger oversees forest district

Chad Stewart replaces former Hahn's Peak/Bears Ears District Ranger Jamie Kingsbury who now is the deputy supervisor of the Coronado National Forest based in Tucson, Ariz.

County appoints new multi-modal members to a road committee

The first assignment for the new members of the multi-modal road committee is likely to be helping to promote safety on the roads.

Routt County Sheriff's Office has 4 new pickups on the way

Routt County commits to purchase seven sheriff's vehicles and equipment for $266,607

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Navy Cmdr. Nicole Shue brings guided missile destroyer USS Higgins back to port

The weapons systems aboard the USS Higgins include MK46 torpedoes, both Tomahawk and Harpoon missiles and a pair of Phalanx CIWS (close in weapons systems) 20m rapid fire guns, among others, according to the Navy.

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Cooking corned beef the Joe Rossi way on St. Patrick's Day

Joe Rossi started the corned beef, potato and cabbage tradition at Holy Name 55 years ago and handed off the cooking duties to Bob Litzau and Bob Brown about 25 years ago, a duty they continue to share.

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Steamboat tops 300 inches of season snowfall with 31 days remaining in ski season

The Steamboat Ski Area just emerged from a storm cycle that as of 5 a.m. Wednesday yielded 4 inches at mid-mountain and 8 inches at the summit in the preceding 24-hours.

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Arriving airline passengers at Yampa Valley airport down 4 percent in February

Yampa Valley Regional Airport reported this week that the number of arriving passengers in February dipped by almost 800 from traffic reported in February 2013.

County officials encouraged by progress on noncompliant outfitters ranch

Technically, the vote by the commissioners this week was to delay pursuit of legal action until Aug. 12, but Commissioner Steve Ivancie said he isn’t inclined to sue Terrill.

Steamboat retailers sold $390,000 in lottery tickets in 2013

For those who purchased lottery tickets that didn’t pan out, there’s solace in the fact that a variety of governments and entities in Routt County received $863,575 back from the lottery in fiscal 2013 in the form of grants from Great Outdoors Colorado.

Permit research in works for remote Routt County ranch with two-story outhouse

Routt County attorney John Merrill had recommended that the commissioners file a civil suit against Bill Terrill’s business as a means of motivating him to bring his operations into compliance.

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Tom Ross: Meep, meep! Roadrunners really hopeless romantics

If you learned everything you know about roadrunners from the Warner Brothers cartoon, it may come as a surprise to you that the roadrunner, unlike the oddly ditzy character that exasperated Wile E. Coyote, is loyal to its mate.

Fresh snow in Steamboat's forecast

The National Weather Service was forecasting highs in the upper 30s during most of this work week before the high 40s return under sunny skies Friday through Sunday.

Real estate market gets off to a slower start than usual in 2014

January's 40 percent drop in real estate dollar volume appears to be attributable to the number of single-family and townhome sales. Yet, there are also reasons for optimism in the market.

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More than 16,000 elk wintering north of U.S. Highway 40 between Steamboat and Craig

Colorado Parks ad Wildlife terrestrial biologist Jeff Yost said that some winters his office receives a number of calls reporting elk calves that are struggling in late winter, but those have been rare this season.

Home Ranch entertains with Yakima Valley winery, Owen Roe

Owen Roe winery is gaining recognition for a number of varietals and blends bottled at its winery in the Yakima Valley where the extinct volcanoes of the Cascade Mountains loom in the background.

Odd weather ushers February out Steamboat's back door with forecast for warm snowfall

Meteorologist Joel Gratz, of OpenSnow, expects Steamboat Ski Area to receive snowfall measuring from 1 to 4 inches in each of the 12-hour periods Thursday through Sunday nights.

All-out battle for air supremacy at DIA drives 80 percent of local passengers to jump in the car

As long as United, Southwest and Frontier airlines are waging “hub wars” in Denver, it will be a challenge for Routt County’s Yampa Valley Regional Airport to win back the 80 percent of airline passengers generated locally who drive to Denver to take advantage of lower fares.

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