NORTHWEST COLORADO NEWS FOR FRIDAY, JANUARY 4TH

The Memorial Hospital at Craig CEO George Rohrich Resigns

The Board of Trustees of The Memorial Hospital, this afternoon, released the following statement to KRAI and 55 Country:  The Board of Trustees of The Memorial Hospital at Craig has announced the resignation of hospital CEO George Rohrich. He has served as CEO at The Memorial Hospital for nearly 7 years, and has been an involved member of the community. During his tenure, Rohrich was instrumental in building a new hospital and strong medical community to better meet the needs of the Craig community. Hospital board chair, Don Myers, expressed appreciation for Rohrich’s contributions to the organization: “In addition to overseeing the development of our new hospital facility, George opened a medical clinic with family medicine, OB/GYN, general surgery, internal medicine and pediatrics to our community, recruited 13 medical providers for those specialties, and expanded our facility to include chemotherapy and infusion services, cardiac rehab and consumer driven lab services. We appreciate his contributions to our hospital and community and both are much better off from his tenure here.”  An interim CEO will be on-site in the near future. QHR will conduct a national search for a permanent CEO for The Memorial Hospital at Craig. The hospital board will be closely involved to find the best candidate for this hospital and community. There is no current time frame for the search to be completed. Myers explained, “QHR’s management services provides immediate interim resources to minimize disruption within the hospital while allowing the board time to choose a CEO that can meet our needs, and fill the significant role Rohrich has played in the hospital and in the community.”   Pictured: George Rohrich

 

CRAIG MAN KILLED IN OIL TANK EXPLOSION

A 49-year old Craig man was killed in a fiery explosion at an oil facility on Moffat County Road 103 yesterday.  Jon Herod died at the scene of the explosion.  Moffat County Sheriff’s Office says employees from Herod Industries were attempting to offload some produced water into a tank from a fracking site.  An onsite supervisor with Axia Energy says the employees weren’t able to do that because the valves were frozen.  They tried to thaw the valves with a propane heater, which is what is believed to have caused the 300 barrel tank to explode.  Herod’s death is considered accidental, although the investigation into the incident is ongoing.

 

CHAIR SLIPS AT STEAMBOAT SKI AREA

State officials say a Steamboat Ski Area lift chair with two people on it slid backward this week because of a worn-out grip.  The chair reportedly slid a short distance on the Priest Creek lift’s steel cable Monday but didn’t strike the chair behind it. The lift was immediately stopped and unloaded. No one was hurt.  Colorado Passenger Tramway Safety Board spokeswoman Cory Everett-Lozano says an inspector determined the chair slid because a grip on the steel cable of the 40-year-old lift was worn out.  Everett-Lozano says the resort will inspect all the grips before operating the lift again.

 

GROUPS DETERMINING STATE MARIJUANA RULES

Marijuana should be regulated like alcohol, according to Colorado voters.  But state officials are just starting work on how to do that. Two smaller groups of a state marijuana task force pot started meeting yesterday.  One is looking at consumer safety and how to label pot.  The other is considering whether pot should be treated like alcohol or like medical marijuana.  Governor John Hickenlooper appointed the task force last month to examine how Colorado moves ahead regulating a drug that’s illegal under federal law.  Law enforcement, government officials and marijuana growers and users are among the task force members.  Colorado’s various pot work groups have a quick timeline.  Their suggestions about regulation are due back to the governor by the end of next month.

 

DEGETTE INTRODUCES LEGISLATION TO BAN LARGE MAGAZINES

Colorado Congresswoman Diana DeGette is plunging into the gun control debate with new legislation to ban high-capacity magazines.  DeGette introduced the proposal yesterday. The Democratic Congresswoman’s district includes the site of the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School. It is also adjacent to last year’s Aurora movie theater shooting site. In both of those attacks, the shooters’ rifles were modified with high-capacity magazines. Those devices allow attackers to fire dozens of bullets without pausing to reload.  DeGette co-authored the bill with New York Democratic Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy, whose husband was killed in a 1993 mass shooting on the Long Island Railroad.  Gun control backers hope last month’s Newtown massacre may lead to more action on firearms. But odds are against the magazine legislation passing the Republican-dominated House of Representatives.

 

CRAIG CHAMBER LOOKS FOR AWARD RECIPIENTS

The Craig Chamber of Commerce is seeking nominations for its annual business awards. They’re asking residents to consider the local businesses that have made an impression through customer service, business practices or community support and nominate them.  there are three categories: Large Business of the Year, Small Business of the Year or Businessperson of the Year.  You can send your nominations to the Craig Visitors Center.  Award recipients must be members of the Craig Chamber of Commerce.  Winners will be announced at the annual State of the County banquet held in February. The deadline for nominations is Jan. 23.

 

HICKENLOOPER ANNOUNCES STATE MEDICAID PLAN

Some 160,000 Colorado adults with low incomes could become eligible for public health care assistance under a plan announced yesterday by Governor John Hickenlooper.  Hickenlooper’s plan expands Medicaid coverage for adults as called for by President Barack Obama’s federal health care law. Hickenlooper says the expansion will cost Colorado some $128 million.  But he says he has identified cuts and savings to Medicaid to more than pay for the change.  The expansion proposed yesterday would allow single adults earning less than about $15,000 a year to receive Medicaid.  Colorado has the ability to opt out of the Obama plan, however it appears Governor Hickenlooper has no plans to do so.

 

STEAMBOAT TAKING REGISTRATION FOR PENTATHLON

Registration is now available for the Steamboat Pentathlon.  The annual event is in its 22nd year.  Those who would like to participate can register as individuals or teams, and are encouraged to do so early to receive the discounted rate.  The Pentathlon is a five stage winter multi-sport race that includes alpine skiing and riding, snow shoeing, cross country skiing, moutain biking and running.  You can register for the standard course, or the short course.  Until february 14th the registration fee is $50 for kids 17 and under, and $100 for adults.  There are various team prices.  After February 14th, the rates increase by $20.  To register online, or for more information, click here.