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Tom Ross

Stories by Tom

Northwest Colorado citizens groups track oil, gas ballot initiatives

Two ballot initiatives that would seek a pair of constitutional amendments in the November election have been cleared for signature gathering by the Colorado Supreme Court. One, Initiative 88, would would dramatically increase the distance wells must be set back from homes, from the current 500 feet to 2,000 feet.

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Historic log writing cabin of famous Steamboat author John Rolfe Burroughs advertised at $7,500

It was Bob Schneider and his wife, Jean, who rode in on a white horse in the summer of 2010 to save John Rolfe Burroughs' writing cabin, known as the Dog House.

Tree Haus residents no longer need to boil drinking water

The precautionary advisory to boil drinking water was issued May 30 by the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment as the Yampa River flowed over its banks and inundated the Tree Haus water system.

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New Routt County permit allows Elkstone Farms to contemplate agri-tourism

Commissioner Doug Monger credited Elkstone Farms owner Terri Huffington with providing substantial assistance to county officials in drafting the new regulations permitting ag tourism.

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Steamboat’s Art Judson honored by National Weather Service

Meteorologist in Charge Ben Moyer said Art Judson is known among his staff for his willingness to call in a report of a notable weather phenomenon at all hours of the night.

Abundant water in Northwest Colorado rivers belies conditions in lakes Powell and Mead

“Currently Lake Mead and Lake Powell are 42 percent full. Does that make us nervous? Yeah that makes us very nervous.” — Eric Kuhn, general manager, Colorado River Water Conservation District.

Yampa River should see above average total flows through July

Streamflow forecasters say the total volume of flows in the Yampa in Steamboat Springs in June and July will be 118 percent of average, and maybe more if precipitation is abundant.

Routt County approves Southwestern Energy's new well north of Hayden

Southwestern vice president for the Sand Wash Basin project Doug Van Slambrouck told the Routt County Planning Commission that his company is contemplating a projected 15 additional wells in 2015.

Routt County Commissioner Steve Ivancie: 'This ends up being a very expensive lesson'

Routt County Commissioner Tim Corrigan said he wanted to hear more about the newspaper’s motives in filing for the autopsy report to be unsealed under the Colorado Open Records Act.

Routt County commissioners consider paying newspaper's $10,000 legal bill

D.A. tells Routt County commissioners he doesn't think an appeal to judge over newspaper's $10,000-plus legal fees would be successful.

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World spins in unanticipated ways for Colombian girl, teen mentor

Sofia Rodriguez could not have imagined that in 2014, as a high school junior, it would become her life’s ambition to be a physicist. Nor could Sarah MacCarthy, a graduate of the University of Utah, have foretold that her career focus would center on her fluency in Spanish.

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26th Rocky Mountain Mustang Roundup arrives on the 50th birthday of the American pony car

What Bruce Karlberg failed to realize is, love isn’t always on time. Now, with the 26th annual Mustang Roundup about to begin in Steamboat Springs with a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the first Mustang, he knows what it means to “stand by your car.”

Foundation for Water Education leads tour in Routt and Moffat counties this month

The timing of the host for the 2014 Yampa River Basin Tour, the Colorado Foundation for Water Education, could not have been better.

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Weather Service issues flood warning for the lower Elk River west of Steamboat Springs

"Snowpack above the Elk River remains high, and with the warm temperatures expected to continue, flooding concerns will remain elevated.” — Flood warning from the National Weather Service

Rising Yampa River mixes with domestic water raising doubts about drinkability in Steamboat suburb of Tree Haus

Tree Haus resident Greg Forney said he was told to expect that it would be about a week before the boil warning is lifted, and expressed full confidence in metro board.

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Floaters warned of tight fit between bridges and Yampa River current

The Yampa River in Steamboat Springs has risen to the point that there is no room for an upright kayaker to float beneath the railroad bridge adjacent to the Iron Horse property

Task force introduces report on the health of the upper Yampa watershed

The Watershed Group is likely to ask, “What are our more vulnerable areas if wildland fire impacts our water resources?”

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Elk River is bank-full west of Steamboat Springs and may be headed for flood stage

The Colorado Basin River Forecast Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, updated its projected streamflows for the Elk River Tuesday morning and reported that the Elk shot beyond bank-full over the holiday weekend and could nudge flood stage overnight Wednesday.

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Steamboat man regains 'Concentration,' invests in industrial glue

A resident of Old Town Steamboat was surprised but grateful this week to receive a phone message from a food server in a downtown restaurant informing him that he could come pick up his classic Steamboat Ski Area trail sign.

Locovores asked to 'Grow a Row' of produce for LIFT-UP food bank in Steamboat Springs

There’s a new initiative to send more vegetables to LIFT-UP of Routt County. It’s taking root within the greater movement to encourage locally grown food in Northwest Colorado, and it’s called “Grow a Row.”

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Tom Ross: Tom Barr’s Chevy pickup causes ‘sticker shock’ in Steamboat parking lots

Steamboat painting contractor Tom Barr is running out of room for new stickers on his 1994 Silverado truck.

Routt County voters have until Friday to switch affiliation and get in on the action

Ballots for the June 24 primary election will be mailed out to all eligible voters in Routt County on June 2.

Southwestern Energy era begins in Routt County oil exploration

Shell announced in August 2013 it would be divesting itself of its leases in the Niobrara shale of Northwest Colorado to pursue opportunities elsewhere, and Southwestern Energy acquired those leases in March for $180 million.

Snow melts at Steamboat Lake State Park in time for Memorial Day weekend

Steamboat Lake State Park still had 30 of 182 camping spaces available Saturday through Monday of Memorial Day Weekend as of 4:15 p.m. Monday.

Steamboat ski season flight program seeks new destination cities, focuses seats on peak demand days

Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp. talking to airlines about service from new hub cities beginning in the 2014-15 ski season, as well as talking to new airline.

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Steamboat developer hopes to convert steak house space to apartments

The Old West proposal would create both a five-bedroom apartment on ground level at 111 Eleventh St. and a second, three-plus bedroom apartment on the second floor above it.

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Haslem's life in Colorado devoted to public service, with a touch of BS

Sam Haslem's business card reads simply: “My Card. I am somewhat of a (BS’er) myself, but occasionally I like to listen to a PROFESSIONAL. PLEASE CARRY ON!”

Snowpack hanging tough in the mountains

Could the Yampa River flood parking lots along U.S. Highway 40 this spring when runoff begins in earnest, like it did in 2011? That likelihood is rated at a 10% chance.

Clearing a path to utilizing renewable energy from water on a small scale

In the Yampa Valley, the board of the Lake Catamount Metropolitan District has investigated the potential of adding a hydro-power plant to the Lake Catamount Dam.

Report looks at health of Upper Yampa Watershed

The Upper Yampa Watershed, as described in the report, drains 1,800 square miles, beginning with its headwaters and continuing to its confluence with Elkhead Creek near the county line.

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Mother's Day storm blows away any picnic plans

The wind was strong enough at 10:30 a.m. Sunday to bring down a pair of mature aspens that fell, one on each side, of a duplex on Fish Creek Falls Road.

Tom Ross: Mobile phone leads to app-rehension of suspected laptop thief

Steamboat Springs resident Barb Shipley found out this winter that Find My iPhone can also be a big help in catching a laptop computer thief.

Tom Ross: Dumpster poaching is not a victimless crime in Steamboat Springs

If it’s springtime in the Rockies, an empty dumpster is a temptation to those who don’t want to bear the extra expense and inconvenience of taking unwanted items to the landfill.

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Kayak play holes on the Yampa River in Steamboat will have a 'little bite' this weekend

The smaller kayak waves upstream from downtown Steamboat Springs on the Yampa River are glassy and reaching their prime.

Local gravel pit operators dispute role of gravel in airport paving estimate

Area contractors disagree with consultants about the role gravel played in the $4 million gap between the estimate and the low bid for runway work at Yampa Valley Regional Airport

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Forward-looking infrared camera keeps North Routt ambulance patients safer on the way to the hospital

North Routt ambulance crews rely on infrared cameras to spot elk and cattle on the road before the beams of their headlights can pick them out.

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Green machines go away May 10; Twin Enviro assumes drop-off recycling on Saturdays only

The new service comes without a fee “for the time being,” but the service itself is only temporary — drop-off recycling will cease at the parking lot in October.

Burning ditches and slash piles a rite of spring in the Yampa Valley

Routt County Emergency Manager Bob Struble recalled Thursday that in spring 2012, after a winter of drought and unusually early snowmelt, a county-wide fire burn was imposed as several agricultural burns got out of control and spread.

Dialing up Northwest Colorado's transportation future

Former Steamboat Springs City Councilwoman Kathy Connell, who represents Northwest Colorado on the state highway commission said, the Telephone Town Halls on highway issues have proven wildly successful.

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Save Search and Rescue, police from unnecessary searches

Routt County Search and Rescue is asking that with more people thinking about floating the town stretch of the Yampa River, unnecessary searches can be avoided if people who lose their watercraft place a call to emergency officials.

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Tom Ross: Vintage ski trail sign disappears from an Old Town storage shed

Anybody who has hung around Mount Werner for a few seasons knows what the trail sign really means: “This way to steep lower mountain powder bumps. Best be focused on what you’re doing if you pass this way.”

Issue of salaries of local elected officials could go to Colorado voters

A Senate resolution now being considered would ask voters to amend the state constitution to allow counties to establish their own salaries for elected county officials.

Runway bid at Yampa Valley Regional Airport in Hayden $4 million over engineer's estimate

Airport Manager Dave Ruppel confirmed that the lowest bid for widening and resurfacing the runway at the airport came in 30.5 percent higher than the estimate, and the county’s consultant on the project, Jviation, pins the bulk of the overrun on the unusually high cost of gravel in the wake of last fall’s floods on Colorado’s Front Range.

Yampa Valley among the fortunate few with above average moisture

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released a drought summary Friday showing that the mountain ranges that wrap around Steamboat Springs and Craig are among a few pockets in the West enjoying above-average moisture.

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Tom Ross: State Legislature memorializes Dave Wattenberg, who represented Moffat, Routt counties

The late state Sen. Dave Wattenberg engaged in a long-running contest with state Rep. Don Ament to see who could top each other by pulling harmless practical jokes.

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.