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Tom Ross

Stories by Tom

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Heather Savalox among recipients of Colorado United We Serve Awards

Heather Savalox, of the anti-bullying program “It Takes Courage,” and a senior environmental health specialist for Routt County, was one of four Colorado recipients named for the 2016 United We Serve Award.

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Historic Ninth Street home in Old Town Steamboat considered for 'fresh' dining concept

The Cloverdale at the Carver House would rely primarily on food grown locally under the supervision of chef Patrick Ayres at Cloverdale Farm in the south valley.

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Broadband consultant seeks grants to fund 'middle mile' to entice telecoms to reach rural towns

Broadband consultant Diane Kruse told the Routt County Board of Commissioners that building momentum for extending high speed fiber across the state is beginning to attract more providers to the region.

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Aging school buildings looming issue for Hayden School District

“We have failing buildings. We’re near the bottom of districts in the state as far as deteriorating facilities. That’s going to create an interesting collision in coming years.” – Hayden School Board President Brian Hoza

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Steamboat Ski Area enters city planning process with mountain coaster, mini-golf project

Similar ride in Ontario reaches 26 mph

The mountain coaster, which runs on a fixed rail, would tentatively follow a course that mirrors a portion of the Christie Peak Express six-passenger chairlift line.

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Weather pattern delivers strong finish to 2015-16 ski season

NASTAR National Championships take resort through end of March

The strength of the ski season since the New Year has been welcome news for the local resort industry.

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Denver roundtrips only storm-caused casualty to flights at Yampa Valley Airport

Storm brings welcome moisture to high country

Spring storm clogged Front Range transportation hubs while flights from Dallas and Atlanta arrived early at Yampa Valley Regional Airport west of Steamboat Springs.

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Peter Flint chosen as new Routt County Planning Commissioner

Citing his previous experience on community boards, including a stint on Homeowners Association in a suburb of Minneapolis, Minnesota, the Routt County Board of Commissioners voted March 22 to add Peter Flint to represent the town of Yampa on the County Planning Commission.

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Sheep and lettuce were mainstays in Routt County agriculture from the early days

Can a Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep mate with a domestic ewe? Just ask Orval "Junior" Bedell during Ag Appreciation Week.

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Routt County Board of Commissioners interviews candidates for planning commission

The Routt County Board of Commissioners is expected to select at least one new member of the Planning Commission.

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Air service board seeks tax renewal flight plan from city of Steamboat Springs

Air service board seeks tax renewal from city of Steamboat Springs

No one at Friday’s meeting advocated changing the amount of the airline sales tax at the same time the voters are asked to re-up, but the possibility was alluded to.

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Air service group seeks tax renewal flight plan from city of Steamboat

No one at Friday’s meeting advocated changing the amount of the airline sales tax at the same time the voters are asked to re-up, but that possibility was alluded to.

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City, resort officials intent on boosting visitors' sense of arrival at Steamboat resort

Reinforcing Steamboat brand while improving road intersections

Creating a sense of arrival to Steamboat resort has a lot to do with branding, but people's ability to follow signs and navigate intersections is also a significant contributor to the overall impression.

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Routt County Commissioners uninterested in pulling nonprofit's 2015 development permit

Bob Weiss, attorney for Steamboat Adaptive Recreational Sports (STARS) told the Routt County Board of Commissioners he didn’t think Tuesday’s permit hearing was called for.

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Cari Hermacinski's tax abatement supported by fellow Routt County commissioners

The Routt County Board of Commissioners voted 2-0 Tuesday to retroactively grant residential tax status to fellow commissioner Cari Hermacinski and her husband, saving them thousands of dollars.

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Oak Creek to get new $508,000 county road shop

The Routt County Board of Commissioners agreed Tuesday to spend $508,000 to build a new 6,000-square-foot insulated metal road and bridge shop in Oak Creek. The work includes a partial remodel of the county’s District 1 shop.

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60 line up for new administrative job at Routt County

Dozens apply for role as county manager’s assistant

There was a touch of irony in Routt County Manager Tom Sullivan’s voice Monday when he told the county commissioners that the chore of screening 60 job applications has been difficult to keep up with.

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The legacy of the Carpenter Ranch

Two decades into the Nature Conservancy’s innovative approach to running the Carpenter Ranch, the eagles, herons and the sandhill cranes that are due to arrive any day now on their migration north, have become the rock stars of the 906-acre cattle spread.

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Sustainable grazing to stretch water supplies

The $11 million program to conserve water is funded by water providers in Las Vegas, Los Angeles and the Central Arizona Water Conservation District.

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American Express bids $2 million premium on tax credits for affordable apartments here

Still, Housing Authority loses out on management contract

Housing authority to lose out on management contract at affordable apartments in The Range at Steamboat, but $13 million bid on behalf of American Express for federal tax credits boosts community leverage in the project.

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Housing Authority chooses from among 45 for six spots on housing steering community

Housing Authority chooses from among 45 for six spots on steering community

The six new members of the Community Housing Steering Committee will join five “self appointed” members from local government and institutions.

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Summer jet flights from Houston, Dallas, loaded on airline reservation sites

Summer jet flights from Houston, Dallas, loaded on airline reservation sites

Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. Airline Director Janet Fischer said both the Dallas and Houston summer flights are timed to provide convenient connections for travelers originating from cities farther east.

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Steamboat fisheries biologist Brian Hodge gains national recognition

Trout Unlimited biologist Brian Hodge of Steamboat Springs will honored for his collaboration on stream habitat and fish restoration projects with the U.S. Forest Service during ceremonies May 17 in Washington, D.C.

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Alleged carjackers to be transferred to Arapahoe County

Fourteenth Judicial District Attorney Brett Barkey announced in a press release that the three juvenile carjacking suspects apprehended outside the town of Yampa March 4 are to be transferred to Arapahoe County after March 8 detention hearing here.

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Dry February in Colorado Rockies puts emphasis on spring snow storms

Normal February precipitation in the city of Steamboat Springs is 1.9 inches of moisture, according to the National Weather Service. In February 2016, Steamboat saw just 1.36 inches.

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Stairway to heaven

The growing trend of climbing on skis for one sweet downhill slide

When Susie and Paxton Jones agreed to a Valentine’s lunch date last month, counting calories wasn’t a consideration. By the time they had reached the dining room at Four Points Lodge high on the Steamboat Ski Area, the couple had climbed almost 2,700 feet of vertical.

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Steamboat could see a wet snow storm Sunday and Monday

The storm’s energy will become more wintry by Sunday night, but it will really begin to deliver the goods Monday, when the flow at mountain-top elevations begins to move from the northwest, favoring Mount Werner and Steamboat Ski Area.

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Carjacking suspects in custody following manhunt in Yampa

Combined Emergency Team staging in Town of Yampa

South Routt Elementary School in the town of Yampa was under lockout (different from a lockdown) at midmorning March 4 as The Routt County Combined Emergency Team was called out to respond to an incident south of the town of Yampa.

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Al White, former state tourism director jumps into Senate District 8 race

Al White wants to be your state senator (again)

Unaffiliated candidate for Colorado State Senate District 8, Al White, acknowledged Thursday that fundraising will be difficult without receiving funds directly from one of the two major parties, but said he thinks “the time is right” for his independent run for office.

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Al White makes it a three-way race for Colorado Senate District 8

Former State Senator Al White of Hayden intends to oppose incumbent State Senator Randy Baumgardner (R-Hot Sulphur Springs) and Democratic challenger Emily Tracy of Breckenridge for the Senate District 8 seat in the November election.

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Dan and Mo Smilkstein: Hiking the Dolomites’ war caves

Italy via headlamp

It was a far cry from the local uranium mine cave. Dan and Mo Smilkstein persevered through dark, dank conditions on a 3,000-foot descent of the near vertical Lagazuoi Tunnel, then stepped gingerly along an exposed ledge in the fog during a multi-day trek through the Italian Dolomites last September.

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Steamboat Springs City Council good for takeoff on Houston, Dallas summer flights

Steamboat Springs City Council agreed March 1 to allow the committee that oversees airline service here to fund daily flights this summer from both Houston on United Airlines and Dallas on American Airlines.

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Airline service board recommends summer flights from both Houston and Dallas

Airline service board recommends summer flights from Houston and Dallas

Through the course of the summer, the Dallas flight would provide 5,330 roundtrip seats flying a 65 passenger CRJ700 jet, and the Houston flight would yield 2,250 seats.

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More than 90 turn out in Steamboat to hear the basics of beekeeping

Honey creates sustainable buzz

More than 90 people turned out for an introduction to beekeeping hosted by the Yampa Valley Sustainability Council this week.

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Steamboat starts over on workforce housing issue

Local officials look for buy-in on community housing

Taking a community-based approach to tackling the workforce housing riddle in the upper Yampa Valley.

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Routt County backs off Hahn's Peak Inn legal action

Resort workers can stay in North Routt Inn

The Routt County Planning Department had received eight complaints from neighbors about employees of another business being housed in the Hahn's Peak Inn.

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Hiring and nurturing resort employees in an era of scarce housing

Employers can help their chances by making workers feel valued

Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. representatives hit the road to Yellowstone, Glacier and Denali national parks to recruit workers coming off summer jobs in the parks for winter seasonal work at the ski area.

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Reconstruction of Steamboat's Central Park Drive includes new roundabout

Central Park Drive work kicks off in April

Public Works Director Chuck Anderson said Monday, the city is asking contractors to present strategies for limiting the impact of re-constructing Central Park Driver will have on the community beginning in April.

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County explores creating workforce housing by broadening regs allowing smaller 'secondary units'

Routt County seeks to add housing tools

County regulations currently allow secondary units only on ag-forestry parcels of at least 35 acres. Exceptions to that rule include ag-forestry land within the “commuter zone,” an area that is within about 5 miles of the city.

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Rabbit Ears Pass snowpack well above average

The water stored in the standing snow on Rabbit Ears Pass on Feb. 19 was 139 percent of median, in spite of two weeks of dry weather in the middle of the month.

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Strawberry Park Hot Springs plans to replace older guest cabins with upgraded, but rustic looking duplex

Keeping it geothermal in Strawberry Park

Strawberry Park Hot Springs will use timbers, stone-clad chimneys and rusted metal in new duplex to preserve the rusticity of the 'park.'

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Astronauts rocked Boulder's Tulagi

Warning: This column is intended for mature audiences

1964 was the year the Beatles released 'A Hard Day’s Night' in the U.S. Jan and Dean put out a groovy California surf record, 'The LIttle Old Lady from Pasadena.'

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Weeks of I-70 repairs after rock fall in Glenwood Canyon could send more traffic to Steamboat into March

Rock-fall in I-70 sends traffic Steamboat's way

The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) says Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon to remain closed in both directions likely until mid to late Thursday afternoon as repairs to the highway are underway.

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Rock slides in Glenwood Canyon send I-70 traffic down Lincoln Avenue

I-70 detour causes traffic levels to jump in Northwest Colorado

As of 10 a.m. Tuesday, there was no estimate on when the Interstate 70 would re-open. Traffic is being rerouted through Steamboat, Hayden, Craig, Meeker and Rifle via Highway 131, U.S. Highway 40 and Colorado Highway 13.

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Edgemont goes to city of Steamboat Springs for approval of four-unit second phase

Living large on one level

The new Edgemont project represents a change from the original permit, which allowed for a pair of duplexes on the steep building site where the new project would be built.

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Veteran Steamboat Ski Area director Deb Werner claims Hazie Werner Award of Excellence

44-year Steamboat veteran claims Hazie award

Steamboat Ski Area Director of Lift Operations Deb Werner, who has been at the ski area for 44 years and supervises 175 people, is the 2016 Hazie Werner Award of Excellence winner.

New Wolf Creek seam producing coal at Twentymile mine southwest of Steamboat Springs

Local coal mine goes deeper

Even as mining operations continue in the Wadge seam at Twentymile Coal Mine, far below, in the Wolf Creek seam, two pieces of heavy equipment called continuous miners are creating parallel entries on either side of a future long-wall tunnel.

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Leadership Steamboat's 2016 class tackles costly sidewalk program for LiftUp

Showing leadership, Steamboat style

Leadership Steamboat spokesman Randy Rudasics confirmed the group has accepted the expensive challenge of helping the nonprofit LiftUp of Routt County to develop sidewalks at the new home of its food bank.

Routt County commissioners delay decision on Hahn's Peak Inn worker housing

You can check out any time you want, but....

Attorney Bob Weiss, representing the owners of the Hahn's Peak Inn, countered county staff's position that the inn is not allowed to host long-term rentals by pointing out that the actor Peter Sellers (of Pink Panther fame) lived in a single hotel for 22 years.

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Southwest Airlines makes rare appearance at Yampa Valley Regional Airport, serving Steamboat Springs

Charter flights boost tourism here

A pair of chartered Boeing 737s — one from Southwest Airlines and a second from the new version of Eastern Airlines — delivered ski vacationers from New Orleans to Yampa Valley Regional Airport this week.