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Tom Ross

Stories by Tom

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Flying Diamond Ranch completes its conservation goals

Flying Diamond Ranch is a year-round cattle operation occupying the northern ridges of Thorpe Mountain where conserved land is visible to motorists traveling a two-mile stretch of the highway.

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New book collects the best 'Shenanigans' from Steamboat police blotter

"Ski Town Shenanigans" illustrates why its difficult to take life seriously living in a town where bears can open the doors of Subarus, and people come home from vacation to find strangers sleeping in their beds.

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Commissioners Corrigan, Monger worry about transportation funding

“It’s going to be the economic downfall of our state and probably of our nation. Our transportation infrastructure is pitiful.” – Routt County Commission Chairman Doug Monger

Southwestern Energy plans second well on existing Dill Gulch pad and a new well to the north of U.S. 40

Southwestern energy, which acquired the mineral leases of Shell Oil here for $180 million in 2012, also has a pending permit application at the state level for a new well north of Hayden.

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Gulfstream G-200 leads the jet parade as Yampa Valley Regional Airport reopens

A chartered Gulfstream jet inbound from Rocky Mountain Metro Airport swooped over the runway at Yampa Valley Regional Airport to gauge a stiff cross wind, circled back and touched down.

My dewlap is none of your darn business

Politeness counts. When threatened by a cow moose with youngsters in tow, do not say “Excuse me for living Mrs. Bullwinkle.”

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Routt County OK with Steamboat Ski Area master plan doubling as its conceptual plan

Any new chairlifts, as well as a higher-capacity gondola, which is being considered, would still go through the rigorous National Environmental Protection Act process overseen by the Forest Service.

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Yampa Valley Regional Airport set to reopen Thursday after 70-day runway project

The contractors on the repaving of the runway at Yampa Valley Regional Airport lost 16 full days and more than 20 in aggregate to unusually wet weather in May.

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Routt County considers allowing OHVs on short stretches of county road near Black Mountain

Routt County isn’t talking, at this point, about going as far as Moffat has, allowing OHV use on all county roads unless otherwise posted.

Possibilities for raising more protein with less water consumption?

Gail Schwartz: Colorado ranks 11th in the country in fish production through aquaculture with $12 to $15 million in annual sales, but the state has the potential to expand to $750 million in sales by 2030.

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Chris Diamond honored by Colorado Ski Country USA

A pair of ski industry veterans from the Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp. along with a young ski jumper from the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club were among nine honored by Colorado Ski Country USA annual meeting in Boulder.

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South Routt ranch upstream from Stagecoach State Park conserved

Four generations of the Stetson family have worked on Iron Springs Ranch since Frank Stetson’s father acquired the parcel in the 1940s.

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South Routt ranch upstream from Stagecoach State Park protected from development

Four generations of the Stetson family have worked on Iron Springs Ranch since Frank Stetson’s father acquired the parcel in the 1940s.

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Unmitigated asbestos found in ruins of Yampa Royal Hotel

The 30 days given by the state health department to contain asbestos in the burned ruins of Yampa's Royal Hotel have come and gone.

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Routt County may ask voters to opt out of state telecommunications bill

People in the rural areas of Colorado tend to pay more for slower Internet capacity than their counterparts in larger cities. But even on the Front Range, local governments are persuading voters to opt out of the bill.

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Strong fares, low fuel costs add up to $15.44 per passenger for Steamboat's winter air program

Steamboat ski season airline program managers look for new cities to serve in Florida, California, East Coast — nothing certain.

Popovich chosen to replace Barnett at MainStreet Steamboat helm

New MainStreet Steamboat manager Lisa Popovich has worked in regional management for national retailers, Nautica, rue21 and Petco, but she says she learned essential business skills in Steamboat Springs in the early 1990s.

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South Routt Town of Yampa on the rebound after Royal Hotel fire

Flowers planted by volunteers to spruce up the Town of Yampa came from the greenhouse cared for by the students in the Future Farmers of America chapter at Soroco High School under the supervision of Jay Whaley.

Routt County says 'yes' to ultra private links at Windwalker Ranch

The Routt County commissioners felt a little squeamish over requiring Windwalker Ranch to spend no less than $100,000 to carry out stream bank improvements along the Yampa River south of Steamboat.

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June 1 snowpack far exceeds normal across the Colorado Rockies

The areas that carry the highest snowpack deep into summer are also susceptible to flood danger. Hoosier Pass, on Colorado Highway 9 between Breckenridge and South Park, with 14.2 inches of water content, is a case in point.

Runway workers moving 'heaven and earth' 24 hours a day at Yampa Valley Airport

Earth work is taking place around the clock at Yampa Valley Regional Airport and paving is underway 14 to 15 hours a day. An engineer employed by construction manager Jviation is also working at night.

Unusually strong storms in Pacific influence Steamboat's return to rainy pattern

After a break early Saturday moref energy is ejected over our area ahead of the eastward progressing west coast storm, bringing another round of moderate to heavy rain for Steamboat Saturday afternoon and extending into the night.

Cattle branding a muddy affair in 2015, but lush pasture is a blessing

Corrals were too muddy in May to allow some Routt County ranchers to brand calves, but now pastures are lush and rapidly growing.

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Steamboat ski great Paul Wegeman dies at 88 in Colorado Springs

1952 Winter Olympian Paul Wegeman, who died May 30 at 88, spoke to a packed house in Steamboat in August 2013 and described his formative years here with some of the best-known skiers in the history of Ski Town USA.

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Survey shows Routt County paying some workers less than market rate, others more

The Routt County Commissioners have promised to hold employees earning above market rate “harmless” — their salaries won’t be cut to bring them in line with what their peers in similar roles at other mountain counties.

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Reopening of Yampa Valley Regional Airport delayed to June 25 from June 15

Reopening the airport on June 25 would come in time to allow operation of the first direct daily flight on United from Houston for the summer season.

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Routt County set to evaluate Steamboat Ski Area master plan

The Steamboat Ski Area's master plan includes a ski-way in the form of a snow-covered bridge, 325 feet long and 85 feet above Burgess Creek, that would make it easier for skiers to leave the ski trails on Pioneer Ridge.

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Frank Alfone to replace Jay Gallagher after 10 years at helm of Mount Werner Water District

Frank Alfone has Colorado experience in water utility management on resume as he prepares to take charge at Mount Werner Water in Steamboat Springs.

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Northwest Colorado water officials update status of Colorado's new water plan

The big water buffalo in the room was the possibility that Front Range interests will succeed in influencing the water plan to include a new trans-mountain diversion (TMD) of water from the Western Slope to the rapidly growing Eastern Slope.

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Daily roundtrips to Denver from Yampa Valley Regional Airport drop to two for summer

Reports suggest that Republic Airlines will retire its Q400 fleet by September 2016 and United Airlines has plans to reconfigure its United Express service based at the Denver hub in a similar timeframe.

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North Routt snowmobile, ATV operator wins favorable response from Routt County Planning Commission

The operators of Hahn's Peak Roadhouse seek to free their growing numbers of overnight guests from having to enjoy their ATVs and snowmobiles in a guided tour rather than riding on their own.

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Soggy holiday weekend forecast sets up nicely for Steamboat's 35th Yampa River Fest May 30-31

Drought is not in Steamboat’s forecast this summer. The National Climate Center says odds favor a wetter summer than usual, with the probability that June, July and August will also see above average precipitation.

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Exclusive 9-hole golf course gets nod of approval from Routt County Planning Commission

Peter Patten, a land use planner consulting for the ownership group that paid $17.65 million for Windwalker Ranch in 2012, said he prefers to refer to the project as a “golf amenity” instead of a nine-hole golf course.

Routt County Planning Commission considers approving very private golf course

Windwalker Ranch is expected to seek to persuade county officials to permit a private golf course by offering to spend at least $100,000 to improve the Yampa River banks.

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Rural Routt neighbors banding together to thwart hungry hoppers

“I was shocked to see the numbers of those little grasshoppers in micro climates – up against warm buildings,” he said. “They’re not supposed to be hatching in April at 7,000 feet," – CSU Extension entomologist Bob Hammon

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Ski Corp. execs share views of post-merger airline industry with Routt County commissioners

The most effective strategy for Yampa Valley Regional Airport during ski season has been to secure flights form regional hub airports that draw passengers from 40 or 50 cities beyond the hub.

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Soggy weather delays runway paving at Yampa Valley Regional Airport

When the weather improves airport director Kevin Booth said, crews from Grand Junction-based United Co. are prepared to lay down asphalt on the runway at Yampa Valley Regional Airport around the clock.

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Soggy May weather delays runway paving at Yampa Valley Regional Airport

When the weather improves airport director Kevin Booth said, crews from Grand Junction-based United Co. are prepared to lay down asphalt on the runway at Yampa Valley Regional Airport around the clock.

Routt County commissioners set to sign off on beer garden at the fair

Routt County Fairgrounds manager Jill Delay reminded the board that alcohol sales at the fair had been banned by the county commissioners in the early 1990s and then approved in 2010, but the only time a beer garden was actually offered was in 2012.

Red Cross gives out free smoke alarms in Steamboat mobile home parks

Red Cross volunteers went door to door in the Fish Creek and Sleepy Bear mobile home parks Saturday, visiting 25 homes, installing 38 new smoke alarms and changing nine batteries in existing alarms at no charge.

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May showers bring normal streamflow in Steamboat despite sub-par spring snowpack

It was a tale of two rivers in the upper Yampa Basin, with the Yampa River in Steamboat flowing close to the range of typical streamflows for mid May, but with the Elk River already flowing well below the median flow for the date.

3 temporary easements pave the way for new trail connection from West Steamboat to Silver Spur

People living in Heritage Park, Steamboat II and Silver Spur could gain access by July 4 to a new 1.5-mile walk/bike trail from County Road 42 to the Gloria Gossard Parkway in Steamboat.

Property owners have until June 1 to appeal property tax valuations

A new link at the county assessor’s Web page allows property owners quick access to the comparable sales used by appraisers to value property from single family homes, to resort condominiums and commercial buildings.

Oak Creek to increase power rates

Oak Creek residents do not get their electricity from a rural cooperative like Yampa Valley Electric Association, which serves Steamboat and much of Northwest Colorado. Instead, it operates its own electrical distribution facility.

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State energy grants open up new avenues for electric vehicle owners in Steamboat Springs

The city of Steamboat Springs, Colorado Energy Office and Yampa Valley Electric Association are collaborating on a new charge point for electric cars in the city's parking lot at the corner of 10th Street and Lincoln Avenue.

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Plans to convert classic electrical co-op building to residential, commercial space go to city of Steamboat

"The YVEA deal is largely a renovation that under-develops the site. To see real development projects emerge, there will need to be an investment into infrastructure.” – Steve Shelesky, Blue Sage Ventures

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Routt County Planning Commission splits 5-3 over rural wedding chapel permit

In the end, Lambert and Robin got their wish for their first year of operation – 10 weddings events, but if they are to host 20 events in a season, they’ll have to return to the county planning process seeking to amend their permit.

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Rain pushes Yampa River in Steamboat to record flows levels for May 6

While there remains significant snowpack, albeit below average, on Rabbit Ears Pass, it was apparent that it was rain, not heat that brought the Yampa River up to record flows for May 6.

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Steamboat grad looks forward to earning engineering degree with new appreciation for sports helmets

Lorin Paley's engineering projects at Dartmouth College include improving cervical collars for neck injuries (first hand experience helps), and of course a skiing device – AT binding plates.

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Alternative fuels and technology auto expo in Steamboat attracts everything from buses to bikes

The Alternative Fuels and Gas Saving Technology Expo attracted a propane powered school bus, a vintage hybrid diesel/recycled-cooking-oil vintage Mercedes, a hulking hydrogen fuel Hummer and a delicate little open-sided GEM electric car made by Polaris.