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Tom Ross

Stories by Tom

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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.

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Hahn's Peak water system at issue in long-term housing of workers in country inn

Resort workers living in the Hahn's Peak Inn in North Routt County face an uncertain housing future in mid-ski season.

Snow on Rabbit Ears Pass near Steamboat Springs is six feet deep and counting

A tale of two winters

One of the standout snowpack measuring sites in the region is on Ripple Creek Pass on the way from Steamboat to Trappers Lake, where the snow is 82 inches deep.

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Bob Dapper files to oppose Tim Corrigan in commissioner race

Bob Dapper enters commissioner race

Bob Dapper of rural Steamboat Springs seeks Routt County Commissioner District 1 seat.

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Ney Hoa Cheng fled Pol Pot regime for a new life in Steamboat Springs

Refugees worked tirelessly to make it here

When they left Steamboat in 1998 to escape the long winters, the Siou and Ney Hoa Cheng had established themselves among the community’s leading restaurateurs. Ney Hoa was everyone’s favorite hostess.

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Routt County seeks applicants for Planning Commission

Master plan update is an issue

Routt County is seeking candidates for seats up for renewal on its Planning Commission at a time when the Board of Commissioners is sending strong signals that it would like the commission to tackle the task of updating its master plan.

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Routt County commissioners consider a strategic shift on energy jobs

Coal fuels local jobs

“Specifically, it’s defending the local coal industry, and we’re willing to throw Front Range coal plants under the bus.” – Routt County commissioner Tim Corrigan

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Chamber Economic Director Jane Blackstone has plans to land companies and new hires

Partners need jobs too

The Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association's Trailing Partner Program s intended to support the employment goals of partners of people who have already landed a new position in Routt County.

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Snow water stored on Rabbit Ears Pass is 135 percent of median for Feb. 1

Steamboat skiers and snowboarders prefer their champagne dry, but the relatively wet snow that buried the slopes over the weekend put a big boost into the snowpack on nearby Rabbit Ears Pass

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2016 Winter Carnival: Ladies Rec Club keeps Steamboat Winter Carnival tradition alive

Early diamond hitch Winter Carnival parade floats relied heavily on patriotic themes — Uncle Sam, the Statue of Liberty, Martha and George Washington.

2016 Winter Carnival: Time-honored events set Steamboat Springs Winter Carnival apart

The historical record suggests the creation of Steamboat Springs High School's famous skiing band may have been motivated by H.D. Alexander’s claims that local youngsters could do anything on skis.

Steamboat Adaptive Recreational Sports granted tabling on permit revision

STARS indicated it wanted more time to deal with issues related to its permit application.

Angelo Iacovetto had a knack for turning businesses around

A gregarious man, who loved interacting with customers, one of the sayings Angelo Iacovetto was known for was, “I made more money off a fast nickel, than a slow dime.”

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Nature Conservancy climate director advocates restoring landscape's ability to resist climate change

There may be ways for ranchers to change the timing and duration of livestock grazing to put carbon back into the soil and, at the same time, optimize production.

Building department officials advise homeowners to seek professional help with snow loads

Snow is piling up on rooftops in Steamboat

The snow loads used for Routt County were established by the Colorado Society of Engineers, after conducting case studies all over the state to develop scenarios of what to expect in a severe winter.

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Routt County Treasurer Brita Horn 'satisfied' with new PayPal policy

Dispute over online payments resolved

Routt County Treasurer Brita Horn: “Policies are better made prior to concerns being raised. However, I am satisfied with the result of the Board of Commissioners' online payment policy."

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STARS plans to expand base in urban growth boundary scrutinized by city officials

Citing water issues, density and a conservation easement, city of Steamboat Springs officials express concerns over expanding scope of STARS' county permit to build a new headquarters.

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Routt County commissioners consider hiring deputy county manager

Consultants for Routt County studied eight similar counties, and Routt was the only one not to have at least one assistant or deputy manager position.

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STARS adaptive recreation nonprofit seeks to expand on 2015 permit for new headquarters

STARS seeks to revise permit for new HQ

STARS adaptive recreation seeks revised permit from Routt County in order to house campers in semi-private rooms, doubling size of new headquarters building.

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After a sunny Saturday, snow could return to Steamboat Sunday night

Almost daily snow freshens slopes

It may be the frequency of snow events over the last 14 days in Steamboat Springs that has people shaking their heads, because the snow totals are not out of the ordinary for January.

Routt County crews plowed 600 miles of roads over long, snowy weekend

Crews plowed 600 miles of rural roads

The average tenure of Routt county's snowplow crew members is 17 years, leading to intimate familiarity with the 600 miles of roads to be plowed.

Partners pitching in to keep engineering for fiber optic design on schedule for 2016

Fiber optic partners pony up another $19,500

Staying on fiber optic project schedule is critical because 13 weeks of engineering and design work remain to be done before requests for proposals can go out to contractors.

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Airline board readying to take general sales tax back to voters in Steamboat Springs

Airline sales tax up for renewal by voters

The city of Steamboat Springs' 0.25 percent general sales tax was originally passed by a 61 to 39 percent margin in 2011 for a period of five years and will be up for renewal by the voters in November.

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Steamboat officials approve contract for summer air service from Dallas on American

Dallas could replace summer Houston flight

Air service board votes to authorize Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp. officials to finalize a contract proposed by American Airlines for direct daily summer flights from Dallas to Yampa Valley Regional Airport.

January snowfall at Steamboat Ski Area playing catch-up with December's 101 inches

Snow accumulation could reach double digits

December 2015 totaled a robust 101 inches of snowfall at mid-mountain at Steamboat Ski Area, including a run of 31.5 inches Dec. 15-17.

Above-average snowpack in Northwest Colorado, in spite of El Nino concerns

The snowpack in the mountains surrounding Steamboat Springs are at 103 percent of median, the lowest in the state. But at least it’s in plus territory during an El Niño year.

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Large avalanche slides down steep, rocky slope on Buffalo Pass northeast of Steamboat

No one caught in big Buffalo Pass slide

No one was caught in Monday's avalanche on Buffalo Pass, although the slope was skied that day by Steamboat Powdercats guides assessing its stability.

Yampa River State Park west of Hayden has plans to replace a decrepit boat ramp

Double Bridges river access to remain a picnic spot

A new boat ramp at Yampa River State Park headquarters west of Hayden would replace a rough put-in that has become dysfunctional throughout the years.