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Tom Ross

Stories by Tom

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Steamboat's Nancy Kramer becomes 27th woman chosen for Hazie Werner Award of Excellence

The Northwest Colorado Cultural Heritage Program will be awarded the 2015 Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp.'s $20,000 Snowball Community Grant Feb. 23 to continue the organization's work of providing a coordinated marketing arm for cultural and historic venues in 17 communities in the region.

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Steamboat Ski Area's 4.5 inches of fresh snow puts springlike conditions on hold for a day

Steamboat Springs meteorologist Mike Weissbluth sees reason to hope the persistent ridge of high pressure could break down during the work week of Feb. 16-20

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Rabbit Ears Pass snowpack moisture, near average, is an outlier

Reservoirs in the Yampa/White River drainages are among the strongest in the state, averaging 112 percent after heavy rainfall in July, August and September.

Former Steamboat Springs City Council President Joe Brennan dies at 68 in Florida

Former Steamboat Springs City Council President Joe Brennan loved to entertain friends and strangers, and although he could be gruff at times, Brennan also told jokes for hours on end.

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Winter Carnival 2015: Howelsen Hill turns 100

In February 1914, Howelsen organized townsfolk to build a modest ski jump on Woodchuck Hill, where Colorado Mountain College stands today, and the first Winter Carnival was held with jumping competitions and cross country ski races.

County approves $2,000 to boost cultural, heritage tourism

The Northwest Colorado Cultural and Heritage Tourism Project serves as a marketing/promotional entity for historical museums, natural history events and organizations, historic buildings and in archaeological sites in 17 towns and five counties.

Yampa Valley Regional Airport needs new automated parking system to replace 'old unreliable'

Yampa Valley Regional Airport has staffed a payment booth during periods of high traffic to collect parking fees and also maintains a backup payment machine in the baggage claim area for times when the unreliable automated system is feeling cranky.

State Rep. Mitsch Bush talks to constituents in Steamboat Springs about health insurance costs

State Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush, D-Steamboat Springs, voted among the majority on the House Health, Insurance and Environment Committee on Thursday in a 7-6 vote to kill a bill that would have repealed Connect for Health.

Yampa Valley Housing Authority board in line for new members

Housing Authority candidate John St. Pierred experienced Summit County’s efforts to create affordable housing as a member of both the Frisco Planning and Zoning Commission and Town Council, and the Summit County Planning and Zoning Commission.

County calls ‘cease fire’ at fair exhibit hall in Hayden

CSU 4-H Extension Agent Tami Thurston said Tuesday that 85 of the 300 current Routt County 4-H members are in shooting clubs, but the decision by the Fair Board won’t inconvenience them as 4-H shooting clubs are currently practicing in Steamboat anyway.

Routt County agrees in principle with Humane Society on new cost share for animal shelter

On average Routt County excluding the towns of Hayden and Oak Creek, is the source of 38 percent or 190 of the animals that come into the Steamboat S;rings Animal Shelter annually.

Bed and breakfast planned for historic ranch on the Yampa River just north of Hayden town limits

Ryan and Rachel Wattles would host as many as eight people at a time in the guest house and as many as 10 special events — like wedding and family reunions — per year. No amplified music will be allowed.

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Former Oak Creek Mayor Vi Shaffer persists in recovering medal awarded to her brother who went down with his ship

As much as the story of Oak Creek's Vi Shaffer is one of a young sailor who gave his life for his country, it’s a story of a plucky elderly woman who was unrelenting in her efforts to recover tangible evidence that her brother was honored as a hero.

Routt County Building Department studying possible cut in permit fees

With construction picking up, Routt County Manager Tom Sullivan may ask the Commissioners’ approval to offer full-time status to a building inspector who has previously been on seasonal employment status.

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41st Cowboy Downhill attracts a big crowd to base of Steamboat Ski Area

Miss Rodeo Virginia Kaitlyn Gill was in the field as 97 cowboys and cowgirls took on the dual slalom at Steamboat, which requires them to rope a tall cowgirl in a duster and sling a saddle on a nervous horse before they sprint across the finish line to glory.

Airline board recommends boosting Houston summer flight to daily schedule

Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. official said that 20 of 48 scheduled flight segments on United Express to and from Denver during the six-day period between Christmas and New Year's were canceled, and 10 more were more than two hours late.

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Google Street View rows viewers down virtual Yampa Canyon whitewater adventure

The new virtual whitewater float comes at a time when the future of the Yampa and the canyon it flows through in Dinosaur National Monument are growing topics of discussion.

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Flat Tops Ranch Supply is catering to the agricultural community in a Steamboat alley

Flat Tops Ranch Supply in Steamboat is behind Circle 7 Gallery at 1009 LIncoln Avenue, and just a few steps away from Steamboat Meat and Seafood.

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Routt County Clerk Kay Weinland has retired to St. George, Utah, after 20 years in the courthouse

Kay Weinland, who was first sworn in as Routt County clerk in January 1995, and outgoing County Commissioner Steve Ivancie were honored at a reception that filled the Commissioners’ Hearing Room in the courthouse Monday evening.

Routt County is in the midst of revisiting the 1999 Stagecoach Community Plan

Denver resident John Troka, who is president of the Stagecoach Property Owners Association, told the Routt County commissioners his members are eager for better water and sewer service.

Avalanche info center is a state agency but relies on donations for 25% of annual budget

Northwest Colorado residents will have an opportunity to learn what makes the Avalanche Information Center run while kicking up their heels to the music of Missed the Boat Jan. 10 at the Ghost Ranch Saloon.

Routt County Road and Bridge cleared to spend $440,000 on grader, remodel

Routt County Commissioner Doug Monger said the new motor grader will consume significantly less fuel, which can add up over the 10,000 hours the county puts on its graders before trading them in.

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The Royal Hotel in Yampa was both a piece of history and important community gathering place

The Royal Hotel in Yampa was like something out of an old Zane Grey Western novel. And in fact, Grey stayed at the Royal while writing his book, “The Mysterious Rider.”

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2014 Year in Review: Top news stories

From problem bears poaching food from trash cans and sneaking into condominium hot tubs to Steamboat’s first foray into recreational pot sales, 2014 was a year to remember.

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Nordic skiing helps Steamboat doctor with Parkinson's disease

Steamboat Springs has an increasingly active Parkinson’s support group including people who are among the 1.5 million Americans living with the disease and their families and professionals including exercise therapists, yoga instructors and yes, ski instructors.

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Routt County's $540.2 million in real estate volume through November easily surpasses all of 2013

There is a three-month supply of single-family homes in downtown Steamboat Springs where 12 listings are active and the median price last year for homes was $538,750 at an average price per square foot of $339 for typically smaller homes

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Last morning of 2014 officially the coldest of the year in Steamboat at 26 below

New Year’s Eve morning in Routt County was the coldest of the entire year. Senior forecaster Chris Cuoco confirmed that the 26 degrees below zero reported at the Steamboat Springs Airport on Wednesday was the coldest of 2014. It was even colder in Craig — 29 degrees below zero.

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Experiences of ski vacationers flying to Steamboat on Monday were all over the trail map

Passengers from Houston to Steamboat diverted to Grand Junction, then Denver, but other travelers called their flights "perfect."

Tap water cleared for drinking in South Routt town of Phippsburg

The news that it was safe to drink tap water in Phippsburg again was relayed by a reverse 911 call.

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Miscommunication over Steamboat Community Center's kitchen policies didn't thwart holiday dinner

Local nonprofits improvised the preparation of free community Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners after walk-in coolers at the Steamboat Springs Community Center were declared off limits.

Tom Ross: Christmas Eve menus are lasting family traditions

My father lit a roaring fire in the fireplace and burned our Christmas wish lists, telling us that Santa’s elves could read the smoke signals from the North Pole. Of course, we believed every word.

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Fresh snow in forecast for Christmas Day in Steamboat Springs

The snow depth on the west summit of Rabbit Ears Pass is 39 inches after 9 inches of new snow fell there on Dec. 19. The 9.7 inches of water contained in the snowpack is 123 percent of the median for Dec. 23.

Phippsburg's drinking water woes just in time for the holidays

Residents of Phippsburg, 23 miles south of Steamboat, were advised Tuesday to boil their drinking water after turbidity (cloudiness) in the incorporated community on Colorado Highway 131 exceeded state standards.

Snowstorm leads to 1 flight cancellation at Yampa Valley Regional Airport on Sunday

The American Airlines flight from Chicago diverted to Denver due to weather at the Hayden Airport, deplaned, de-iced, then re-boarded passengers, left Denver and arrived into Hayden.

Heavy snow on top of leftover Thanksgiving ice storm results in avalanche warning

There has been one confirmed report of a human-triggered avalanche close to Steamboat in the past seven days. The slide broke 14 inches deep and ran an estimated 200 feet.

Retired Air Force colonel chosen to lead Yampa Valley Regional Airport

Booth has managed air fields in Germany, Alaska

New Yampa Valley Regional Airport Manager Kevin Booth said it was his tenure as chief operating officer at Spangdahlem Air Force Base, Germany, from 2002 through 2004 that most closely compares to his new role at YVRA.

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Early holiday skiers flying into Steamboat ahead of snowstorm

Vacationing skiers who stay through the weekend should enjoy a good dose of powder beginning Sunday, with the storm intensifying Monday.

Multi-agency conservation effort brings stretch of Yampa River south of Steamboat into public domain

“This property is extremely important, both from a conservation perspective and as a place where people can fish, hunt and hike.” – BLM's Tim Wilson

Routt County's improving economy confronts a shortage of workers

Yampa Valley Data Partners declared a labor shortage in Routt County in its Fast Facts release on Wednesday based on a statistical analysis that shows employment opportunities are out of balance with the work force.

Yampa Valley Housing Authority explores means to address rental housing shortage in Routt County

With the recognition that there is an acute shortage of rental apartments in Steamboat, there is renewed hope that the Yampa Valley Housing Authority's land on Elk River Road could be used for community housing.

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Steamboat-based air ambulance logs 100th mission in 9 months

Classic Air Medical employs eight medical crew members, four pilots and a full-time mechanic to be ready to respond to a call at all times.

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Methodist church in Steamboat welcomes Jewish symbol of the 'Festival of Lights'

United Methodist in Steamboat was the first of three churches to make the offer to host the menorah after the Routt County Commissioners declined to make a place for the symbol of the Jewish Festival of Lights on the courthouse lawn.

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Snow returns to Steamboat's forecast, but split storm track constantly evolving

Meteorologist Mike Weissbluth predicts Steamboat could get three bouts of snow, with the best chance for meaningful accumulations coming during the day Sunday and resuming during the day Monday.

Water quality in the Yampa River Watershed is good for now

The Upper Yampa River Watershed comprises 1,880 square miles from the river's headwaters in the Flat Tops to the confluence with Elkhead Creek.

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Routt County says 'no' to menorah on the lawn in front of historic downtown Steamboat courthouse

An example of county cooperation with the religious community here is a large green “Where to Worship” sign on the courthouse lawn at the corner of Lincoln Avenue and Sixth Street that informs visitors of all faiths where they can attend services.

Mickey's Fund sends toys from Steamboat to cheer patients in Denver's Children's Hospital

Steamboat Sotheby's International Realty and Wells Fargo Bank again are collecting toys this year to take to Denver's Children’s Hospital on behalf of Moose Barrow’s Mickey’s Fund.

County focuses on standout candidate for airport manager

The candidate for airport manager will have an opportunity to witness the airport staff ramping up for the busy season as flights from Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston and Los Angeles land at the airport in Hayden Dec. 18.

Era of the Super Pass: Can ski areas succeed with symbiotic relationships?

Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing Rob Perlman said his ski area has modest expectations regarding Steamboat’s ability to attract skiers from Toronto and Quebec via the Intrawest Passport, but it’s definitely a goal.

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Era of the Super Pass: Ski resorts forced to adapt and change with demographic cycles

The world is turning 30 and 60 at the same time, and neither one bodes well for the destination ski resort industry, says veteran ski industry executive and educator Tim Cohee.

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Era of the Super Pass: Vail's 'transformative' purchase of Park City issues a challenge for destination ski resorts like Steamboat

Competition among destination ski resorts in North America may never be the same, now that Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz has successfully executed a plan to acquire Park City Mountain Resort.