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Tom Ross

Stories by Tom

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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.

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Routt County Planning Commission considers wedding venue plans

Ortons seek permit to operate wedding venue on BAR-O Ranch just south of Steamboat Springs and across U.S. Highway 40 from Haymaker Golf Course.

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Affordable apartments pass first test with city of Steamboat, more to come

Yampa Valley Housing Authority has turned in its application to the state housing agency for federal income tax credits that could be used to leverage construction of 48 affordable apartments here.

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Yampa River is on the rise in Steamboat, peak flows still in future

The Yampa River is expected to flow significantly higher in Steamboat by the middle of the coming work week, but it’s unlikely to peak for the season, according to a hydrologist tracking the Colorado River Basin from Salt Lake City.

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Windwalker owners seek to build most exclusive nine holes in the Steamboat area

There would be no commercial operation of the golf course at Windwalker Ranch. Instead, it would be reserved for the use of members of about 10 families in the ownership group and their personal guests.

Non-profit LIFT-UP's thrift store in Steamboat to double in size on strength of women's clothing sales

LIFT-UP's new building at 2095 Curve Ct., will accommodate a larger food bank for households in need, with modernized equipment to support the increasing emphasis on fresh produce and foods.

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Runway rehab in full swing at Yampa Valley Regional Airport in Hayden

Airport runway reconstruction workers are using a diamond-toothed machine that takes a seven-foot swatch to remove the old apshalt to a tolerance of within one-hundredth of an inch.

Colorado Appeals Court remands question of Storm Mountain tax valuations to board of appeals

Ultimately the appeals court judges concluded the state had shown no evidence to support valuing Storm Mountain Ranch lots as one-thirty-fifth of a 35-acre parcel, and also rejected the county’s rational for valuing the building sites as stand-alone lots.

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Erick Knaus selected as Routt County's new attorney, succeeding John Merrill July 31

Erick Knaus, chosen to succeed retiring John Merrill as Routt County attorney in late July, said what he enjoys most about his role is the broad range of work that comes through the door in a county attorney’s office.

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Low inventory of single-family homes a challenge in Steamboat

Three sales of luxury condominiums at One Steamboat Place on the edge of the ski slopes boosted March real estate volume. They ranged from $1.625 to $1.85 million and all three sold for more than $700 per square foot.

New Colorado water rights transfer allows farmers to irrigate, then profit by leaving water in the stream

The new model for sharing water rights allows rights holders to to use their water to raise a crop in early summer and then choose to be compensated for leaving it in the river in late summer and early fall.

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Season pass, multi-day tickets claim growing share of Intrawest lift ticket sales

Intrawest reports that lift ticket sales from season and multi-day passes, as a percentage of the the whole, have grown almost 9 percent since 2011

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In an instant: Getting back on the slalom course after a spinal cord injury

In a remarkable comeback, Sammy Del Sordo was back skiing less than nine months after breaking a vertebrae in his neck and damaging his spinal cord in a fall on the slopes.

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Yampa Valley airport faces a decade of austerity due to slow recovery in passenger numbers

If an airline consultant's projection of 2.6 percent annual growth in passenger numbers proves out, Yampa Valley Airport would face a decade of austerity.

County Commissioners put pedal down on plan to shave Yellowjacket's crown

Driver sight distances on the steep, winding climb to the top of Yellowjacket Pass south of Steamboat are inadequate particularly when the curve causes approaching motorists to stray into the oncoming lane.

April snow raises hopes for traditional Mother's Day ski outing

Normal families associate Mother’s Day with a large Sunday brunch, but our tradition is to throw several pairs of older Nordic skis in the car-top box and head up to the pass to bid the ski season farewell.

New master plan at regional airport serving Steamboat describes tight finances for next five years

The ski season flight operation is subsidized by the resort industry, lodging taxes and a quarter point of sales tax in Steamboat. But the airport’s revenues are linked to passenger numbers.

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Colorado weighs the best means of sharing the water

Colorado seeks to close water gap

From the Wasatch Front in Utah, to the ponderosa pine forests of Northern Arizona to the irrigated hay meadows of Northwest Colorado, peoples’ lives are linked by the scarcity of water.

Old farm to market road in South Valley due for a fresh coat of blacktop

Yellowjacket Pass could lose a little elevation during Routt County Road 14 paving project this summer.

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Growing new willows and cottonwoods for the riparian zone in the Yampa Valley

The shrubs and trees along rivers and streams play a vital role in the web of life in wetlands, which provide habitat during the year to 75 percent of plant and animal species in the state, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

Cooling trend dropping streamflows in Yampa River after mild month of March

Snowpack in the Yampa Basin above Craig and Steamboat Springs is low and temperatures have been atypically high since March, but the Colorado River Basin Forecast Center still gives the Yampa River a 90 percent chance of peaking at 2,000 cubic feet per second.

Routt County commissioners decry Colorado Senate's 'raid' on severance tax fund

The mayors of Grand Junction and Rifle have joined all three Routt County commissioners in protesting that a portion of the severance taxes were always meant to go back to local governments to offset the impacts created by energy and mining industries.

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Dr. Larry Bookman retires as chief medical officer at Yampa Valley Medical Center

Dr. Larry Bookman said that the roles of chief medical officers both nationally and at Yampa Valley Medical Center, are evolving and requiring that they take on more and more administrative responsibilities.

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Crossans' Market lands $400,000 grant

The building that became Crossans' Market was built in 1903 by two brothers with a checkered past. Sam and Ed Bell, who had a reputation for strong-arming union leaders on behalf of mine owners in Cripple Creek, built the general merchandise store.

March saw nine days with high temperatures in the 60s in Steamboat Springs

April is promising at least a brief return to some semblance of normalcy in Steamboat Springs’ weather, with a chance of fresh snow on the ski mountain Thursday morning.

Resized rehab center in rural Routt County deemed a 'use by right,' gets the go-ahead

Developer Scott Borden knew last week when his permit was denied that he could still gain approval for The Foundry rehab center by limiting the number of residents staying there for treatment to a dozen residents.