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Tom Ross

Stories by Tom

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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.

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Rural mail carrier has been making her rounds for 47 years

Driving mostly dirt roads through one of the least-visited corners of Routt County, JoAnn Lombardi of Oak Creek has faithfully delivered the mail to a handful of longtime rural households for 47 years.

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Lower fuel costs mitigating expense of ski season flight program at Yampa Valley Regional Airport

Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. Airline Program Director Janet Fischer is confident that reduced fuel prices paid by the airlines along with an increase in the average ski season fares into Yampa Valley Regional Airport will result in a lower airline bill later this spring.

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Please, no cows in the cemetery

Sam Haslem told a story about the days when cowboys in far western Moffat County drove their cattle at a leisurely pace all of the way to the railroad yards in Phippsburg, south of Steamboat Springs.

The Foundry, voted down by Routt County commissioners, would have treated addiction

The Foundry rehab center developer Scott Borden told the Routt County Commissioners that his plans to operate on a rural property are central to his holistic approach to treating addiction.

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21st Century homesteaders 'love the land' as much as old-timers

Rita Herold described the early 1920s when lettuce and spinach were big cash crops in South Routt, and local lettuce was served in Manhattan's Waldorf Astoria Hotel.

Snowmelt is underway above 9,000 feet on Rabbit Ears Pass east of Steamboat

Snow has been disappearing from the valley floor at a rapid rate this month, but travelers headed over Rabbit Ears can also see plain signs of an early runoff above 9,000 feet.

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Steamboat ponders 4 Points Lodge expansion

No decision yet to build, but Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. gains county approval for major addition to two-year-old Four Points Lodge dining room.

County considers commercial snowmobiling on conserved West Routt Ranch

Routt County Planning Commission agreed with Area Wildlife Manager Jim Haskins' recommendation to curtail the dates of commercial snowmobile operations on Elkhead Ranch to protect an “extremely important” elk migration corridor.

Yampa being considered for supplementary flows for third time in four years

Zach Smith, attorney for the Colorado Water Trust, told the board members of the Conservancy District Wednesday that while no decision has been made to supplement the Yampa’s flows again this summer, they want to have agreements in place by late May.

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Snowpack on Rabbit Ears Pass near Steamboat loses 12 points since March 4

The Yampa’s flows of 337 cubic feet per second Wednesday, where it passes beneath the Fifth Street Bridge in Steamboat, were more than double the median for the date, according to records kept by the U.S. Geological Survey.

State grants to fund RV hookups to computer networks in Steamboat, Routt County

Routt County will recognize the popularity of people staying overnight in motor homes at the county fair and at livestock shows by using its $6,589 “mini grant” from the Associated Governments of Northwest Colorado to execute the planning for new RV hookups.

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Boulder developer proposes 64 market rate apartments on U.S. Highway 40 west

The entrance to Elk River Apartments would be on the north side of U.S. Highway 40 directly opposite from the highway’s intersection with Curve Court. The latter runs between Cook Chevrolet & Subaru and the Steamboat Pilot & Today building.

Routt County stepping up to category II would result in 2019 pay raises for elected officials

House Bill 1256 would result in a $14,000 annual pay increase for most elected officials in Routt County over the next two election cycles and be completed in 2019.

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Loss of historic Royal Hotel brings people of Yampa together

Residents of Yampa sign up to tackle modest chores and begin to affect positive change following the loss of historic landmark Royal Hotel.

Forecast for better than even chance of above average temperatures, moisture in Steamboat through March 26

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is rating the chance for above average precipitation through March 26 at between 50 and 60 percent, and the same is true for the probability of above average temperatures.

Intrawest, Powdr, Boyne ski resort operators unveil M.A.X. Pass

For Steamboat season pass and Steamboat-15 pass holders, the M.A.X. Pass means they could add five days at 22 resorts for a $249 up-charge (adult rate), according to Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp. spokesman Mike Lane.

New Routt County camping regulations allow up to 180 days consecutive camping on private land

"I don’t think that we’re having such a problem with the definition of the word ‘temporary’ that I would have entered into this process and been willing to impinge on peoples’ rights to use their property.” –Routt County Commissioner Cari Hermacinski

Commissioners find little to like about Deer Mountain plan

County Commissioner Doug Monger said he felt that the Ridge at Deer Mountain developers were asking too much and not giving back enough public benefit with their proposal for a 12-lot rural subdivision with caretaker units.

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First dog on Routt County Sheriff's roster being trained to track people, sniff out narcotics

In addition to working with Routt County Sheriff Office's K-9, Boomer, on a daily basis, Deputy Ed Hendricks will be taking his partner home with him every night to strengthen their bond.

New Routt County private camping regs would restrict length of stay for first time

The Routt County commissioners are considering a two-tiered plan to allow camping 60 days in sum total, and a second plan, with a higher approval threshold, to permit up to 180 days of camping.

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Straightline owners plan to make the most of inconvenient situation this spring

Some retailers would be peevish over having to temporarily abandon their store for eight or nine weeks and move their merchandise and fixtures not once, but twice. But the owners of Straightline are seizing upon the disruption as an opportunity to rejuvenate their store.

Routt County commissioners suing local couple over 'illegal' A-frame

The Routt County commissioners are asking the court to either compel Mark and Lori Elliott to take down their 'illegal' A-frame or authorize the county to remove it and bill the owners.