MCBL becoming a hit in Fort Collins

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Jul 192005
Authors: Brett Okamoto

It's likely that most Fort Collins residents have never heard of professional baseball in their town.

Chances are, however, you'll be hearing of the MCBL here within the next few years. That's Mountain Collegiate Baseball League-a new, exciting baseball league in its first year, featuring talented college players from around the country.

Kurt Colicchio founded MCBL this year but concedes he spawned the idea back in 2003 when he was a partial owner of the Yakama Bears minor league baseball team in Washington.

"I wanted to start something where I had full ownership, where I could do things like get more involved within a community," said Collichio.

The Fort Collins Foxes, owned by Collichio, are one of the four teams that make up the current league that hopes to expand to 12 teams eventually. Collichio has fulfilled his goal of being in touch with the community through events such as reorganizing young student/athletes on the field at home games, and team dinners at local restaurants where everyone is invited to go and mingle with the team after a game.

An example of how the community has responded are the many 'host families' that take in a college student for the full summer, giving them a free place to stay as they pursue their athletic interests.

There are perhaps no hosts more dedicated than the Wil-Cip family who hosted four players this year, all from Azusa Pacific Christian University in Los Angeles.

Julie Wil-Cip, 44, says that they got involved through her husband, Tom, who coaches the Thunder, a Fort Collins youth baseball team that their thirteen year-old-son, Riley, plays on. Julie says that she's grateful for having the ball players around who serve as a role model to her young player.

"Riley and his teammates have seen how hard these guys work on their own, without a coach to get on them. They've helped out at our baseball practices numerous times. They're an incredible example and I'm glad these kids are seeing that."

Julie attends as many games as possible, all of which are played in one of the four areas with a team including Fort Collins, Greeley, Laramie, and Cheyenne.

"We're so impressed with the league," she said recently while attending a game Monday evening. "They look like pros out there. This is a great atmosphere around these games. Sometimes I hate going to Rockies games because they can be so expensive and crowded. Here you're getting all the quality without the fluff."

Foxes coach Paul Svagdis, 35, brought his wife and two children out to Fort Collins from Los Angeles where he had just served in his third year as head coach. He says that he loves the area and is hoping to return next year if the management offers it.

"Kurt made this a family environment," said Svagdis. "My family can be involved, which is great. The idea behind the league is to develop collegiate players and bring collegiate baseball to the Colorado area where it is lacking."

Centerfielder Jacob "Coba" Canales believes that he made the right decision coming to Colorado from California to be involved in the league this year.

"On my part it's been awesome," Canales says of his host family and the MCBL experience. "It's nothing but love all over the place. I'm havin the time of my life and it's a continuation from the regular college season. It's an opportunity to keep playing baseball and see where it goes for me."

Current CSU players on the roster include pitcher Andrew Abell and first basemen Ryan Skradski. Recent graduate Travis Huntington serves as the "voice of the Foxes" as the play-by-play announcer on KSXT 1570 AM.

The Foxes play all their games at the Colorado State club baseball field and currently are at the top of the league. Tickets to see the team play are $5.

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Lightning starts Front Range fires

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Jul 192005
Authors: Erin Skarda

July's summer heat has brought many small fires across the Front Range, some a little too close for comfort.

For updated fire information please call the Forest Service's recorded line at 498-1030

Visit for tips on fire prevention and how to build and put out fires.

The Drake Fire, which was found Sunday, is located south of the town of Drake and east of Waltonia, about 14 miles west of Loveland and south of Highway 34.

"That one is interesting because it is half mile away from some houses," said Mary Ann Chambers, a representative for Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests. "The thing is the terrain is really steep."

Although the fire, which has so far burned 14 acres, is close to homes in Waltonia, there have been no evacuations or structures threatened.

As of Tuesday at 10 a.m. the fire was 75 percent contained, with 22 people working on it.

"What's happening with the Drake Fire is that some hot spots within the fire are burning heavily," Chambers said.

Another fire in a remote area 12 miles southwest of Loveland, Hell's Canyon Fire, was 100 percent contained Tuesday morning, but not completely out.

Chambers said both fires are believed to have started by a lightening storm Saturday night.

Tuesday a five-person crew was working on Hell's Canyon fire, which was also found Sunday. The fire, which has burned five acres, was in such a remote area that eight smoke jumpers were flown in by helicopter Monday.

"Fire is not a bad thing, depending on where it is," Chambers said. "Most of the area burned was grass and shrubs. We worry when it is so close to so many people."

Chambers warns people to still be cautious, especially when the fire danger is high, like it has been.

"We always want people to do the same things no matter what the fire danger is," she said.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

High Speed Chase Runs Through Colorado

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Jul 192005
Authors: KATE DZINTARS Associate Managing Editor

A high-speed chase near campus ended in two arrests and the destruction of a brick sign on Friday night.

At about 7:56 p.m., a Larimer County Sheriff's deputy tried to stop a vehicle for careless driving near West Willox Lane and South Shields Street. The driver did not pull over and evaded authorities at speeds of up to 75 mph going southbound on Shields.

Just as the pursuit was called off, the driver lost control near the intersection of West Elizabeth and South Shields streets.

The vehicle burst into flame after running into the curb and hitting the brick base of the gas price sign at the Shell gas station, 1015 S. Shields St.

A CSU student who lives on South Shields saw the crash site shortly after the accident.

"When we got there, the side of the gas station was burnt and firefighters were putting out the car. I guess the car hit the gas prices sign," said Andrew Koprowski, a junior computer engineering major. "The sign was on a brick wall. Some of the bricks flew like, 40 feet from the gas station, and some of the bricks went through the windshields that were pumping gas."

Both the driver and passenger ran from deputies and Fort Collins police officers, but were apprehended within a block from the crash site.

The driver, a 17-year-old male from Greeley, had a no bond felony warrant for theft out of Weld County and has been taken to Platte Valley Juvenile Facility. The vehicle he was driving had been reported as stolen out of Greeley with a fictitious temporary plate. He will face new charges of vehicular eluding, aggravated motor vehicle theft, reckless driving, hit and run injury accident, obstructing a peace officer, and driving under revocation.

The passenger, Martin Eduardo Barron, from Evans, had two $5000 felony warrants for aggravated motor vehicle theft out of Weld County and will face new charges of obstructing a peace officer and hit and run injury accident as a passenger.

Both the driver and the passenger were transported to Poudre Valley Hospital, treated and released to the custody of the Larimer County Sheriff's Office.

Fort Collins Police Services Crash Team is investigating the accident.

Larimer County Sheriff's Office will be handling the criminal investigation.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Accident Victims Were Intoxicated

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Jul 192005
Authors: Erin Skarda

The two CSU students who died in a car crash in Windsor July 9 were intoxicated, according to Windsor Police.

Micah Villarreal and Kelly Young, both 24, were killed when a tractor trailer struck the driver's side of the 1991 Nissan sedan, pushing it 400 feet down the road.

Windsor Police Chief John Michaels said Villarreal, the driver of the car, had a blood-alcohol content of .197, more than two times the DUI status of .08 and four times above the impairment status of .05. Young, the passenger, had a BAC of .120.

"This was certainly an alcohol-related fatality," Michaels said.

Results of the toxicology report, which were released last week, showed Villarreal, a construction management major, and Young, a food and nutrition major, were not under the influence of any drugs.

The driver of the trailer, Arthur Kent of Longmont, had no alcohol in his system, according to Michaels.

The students were driving east on Garden Drive in Windsor and pulled into the intersection of Highway 257, where they were hit by the trailer around 11:45 p.m.

Villarreal was pronounced dead at the scene and Young was dead on arrival at Poudre Valley Hospital.

Police are unsure whether Villarreal stopped at the stop sign or if they were wearing seat belts. No charges have been filled against Kent.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Campus Blotter

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Jul 192005

Friday, July 15

Lost key report

Motor vehicle accident, hit and run in the Pitkin Street "Z" parking lot.

Medical transport from Aylesworth Hall to Poudre Valley Hospital by ambulance.

911 hang up in Engineering building, no problems found.

Skateboarder complaint on the plaza, alumnus was "shocked" at the rudeness of the skateboarders. Skateboarders were gone on arrival.

Checked foothills and Veterinary Hospital campuses.

DUI on Bay Farm Road, the juvenile chose to take a blood test.

Minor in possession of alcohol by Ingersoll Hall(non student).

Minor in possession of alcohol and drug paraphernalia in the Moby lot.

Unlocked doors at Shepardson Building, University Child Center and Education Building.

Intrusion alarm at Campus Bookstore, caused by an open window.

Checked on possible trespassing at Ellis Hall, nothing found but slamming door cause by the wind.

Noise complaint at University Village and Ingersoll Hall. Basketball players warned and left area.

911 hang up at the first aid station on the Intramural field, no problems found.

911 hang up on outside Moby Arena emergency phone. Three males warned about the phone use.

Checked VTH.


Saturday, July 16

Trouble fire alarm at University Center for the Arts caused by power outage.

INA at the Durrell Center, was caused by an employee error.

Checked all of the outlying campuses.

Harassment at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital. Employee is being harassed over e-mail.

DUI at Daisy and Plum streets.

Suspicious person photographing officers while they were doing traffic stops.

Sunday, July 17th.

911 hang-up at the Lory Student Center. No problem was identified.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

To the Editor

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Jul 122005

Donald "Duck" Rumsfeld's recent announcement of the illegal, unjustified Iraq war's continuation into an indefinite time period confirms the truth of the Downing Street "Smoking Gun" memo, don't you think? How huge are the ego's of our leaders that, regardless of the evidence of their nefarious plans they just stay their crooked course in the smug confidence that no one will dare oppose them? But one thing will always oppose human fools who place themselves above the laws of God and man, and that is the Truth. Within every sentient being's mind there is a "tuning fork", for want of a better term, which resonates to Truth alone. That sound and that sensation is pleasing beyond the most glorious music ever played.

As I try to find that sound coming from Washington and most media sources I find only an occasional dim and unsatisfying "ping". How many others, I wonder, are sharing that experience?

I want to hear a symphony of Truth! I want to hear it sung out with passion so we can all release all the pain and tangled emotions this base and baseless war has foisted on us. And I don't think I'm alone in this desire.

Pray for Truth to reign,

Reverend Russ Jones

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Where Supreme Court Goes, Our Country Will Follow

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Jul 122005
Authors: Collegian Editorial Staff

President Bush is on the verge of making perhaps the most important decision of his presidency. The aftermath of the retirement of Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor has left America guessing whom the President will choose to fill the shoes of what was the court's ultimate "swing" vote.

The nomination of a Supreme Court justice is often the enduring legacy of a presidency and this one should be no different. Even more than 9/11, the war in Iraq or any other domestic policy, the man or woman whom Bush empowers will have a greater impact on American's way of life than any previous decision he has made. There is no less at stake than the issues of abortion, medicinal marijuana and the role of the government in citizens lives to name a few.

The people of the United States depend on the Supreme Court to act as the final check against the will of the government. It is important that we have a court that is willing to support the rights of the minority opinions in this country and not one that will vote along political lines or submit to popular demand.

The President is obviously weighing all of his options heavily along with the opinions of advisors, government colleagues and interest groups. Hopefully he is also remembering to consider the opinions of the average American citizen as well.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Colorado: Home of the Fair-Weather Fan

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Jul 122005
Authors: JP Eichmiller

The dog days of summer are upon us. The time is right for high country camping, laying poolside, backyard barbeques and of course, baseball.

Unfortunately for the baseball team in Denver known as the Rockies, fan support or the lack thereof has become a glaring problem for this once popular attraction. This season marks the ten-year anniversary of the Rockies' first and only playoff appearance. The decade following the team's zenith of success has been one of bad deals, bad baseball and now, bad fan support.

Having spent a significant portion of my youth in Chicago, bleeding Cubs blue it is fair to say I have become a resident expert on the subject of following losing teams. For most of my life the Cubs have been awful. Not bad, not below average, not even on the cusp of respectability, just plain awful. Before last season the cubbies had not had consecutive winning seasons since before Nixon had resigned and Vietnam was still raging. If you were alive when we won our last World Series then you probably also have some good stories to tell about World War I and the depression.

But there in lies the basis behind the mindset of the Chicago fan and helps explain why they are so far superior to those found in Colorado. When the windy city was getting its first taste of Cubs baseball, Blackhawks hockey and Bears football, Denver was still hauling cattle through its streets and fighting off attacks from Indians. The sports fans and traditions in chi-town have been passed on for generations and are impervious to matters such as a win-loss record.

Alas, the same cannot be said for Denver. With the exception of the Donkeys, or Broncos if you must, the professional teams of Colorado are completely dependent on their success to determine their fan following.

The Nuggets became a town joke for about a decade before their most recent resurgence brought the fans back. The Rockies enjoyed some of the best attendance in baseball until the honeymoon recently ended. Now the team toils in the bottom of the league not only in wins but fans showing up. The Avalanche have always provided competitive teams when they are actually playing, they also demonstrate exactly what is wrong with the NHL.

A small market team formerly known as the Nordiques toiled for years in mediocrity while still enjoying strong followings. Eventually they build up a solid nucleus of young stars and are on the verge of a resurgence. Suddenly a bunch of Yankees from Colorado come and snatch them away before the poor French-Canadians are able to enjoy the success they have been awaiting.

Now Colorado, a state, which knew about as much about hockey as I do about women's fashion, had a Stanley Cup. Die-hard fans to the east and north are left with more unending heartache. I say better to collapse the old franchise and sell off the players than to give cities like Denver a successful team built on the devotion of others. The Avalanche winning a Stanley Cup for Colorado was akin to your neighbor buying a beautiful mail order bride while you are stuck with the ugly girl from high school you got pregnant. I have some bitterness to resolve on the point of the Avalanche.

What the fans of Denver and Colorado need to remember though is that now is when your true colors show. Go and support your teams when they are bad because you know what? You should feel lucky to have a team, bad or not. Going to a baseball game is an experience, and while it is always more fun to root for a winner somebody has to lose. If it is the Rockies turn for the next two decades or so then so be it. Or maybe everyone should stop going to see there young team with a solid nucleus develop into major leaguers, and then when they are on the verge of respectability some out-of-towner with big pockets will come and take them away and you all can watch the Las Vegas Rockies win the series with your team. Wouldn't that be nice?

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Terrorists, religious fanatics should attract attention through peace

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Jul 122005
Authors: Jennae Mendoza

The terrorist attacks in London have left an air of anticipation for the unexpected, a reappearing fear of the unknown-exactly the reaction that the terrorists want. I admire the Brits who returned to their usual busing, the ones who remained distant from the dispersing paranoia and continued on with their daily life. The sneaky people who plant public explosions in pure hatred of another to gain attention for their cause get exactly that-attention.

I'm not saying we should completely ignore terrorists and crack corny jokes about their violent need for attention because their actions obviously kill and pose a constant threat. There have always been the few overlooked, who return in a desperate attempt of acknowledgement or change-the grade school kid that got hit too many times on the head in dodge ball or the bearded guy perched on the rock in the middle of campus shouting about God. Sometimes they're the one after a performance where there's dead silence and a nervous cough because they just weren't that funny or you can't understand what they're saying anyway. They're all seeking attention. Like these overlooked common people, the lack of notice for terrorists propels an inner rage of revenge-for they have been overpowered and ignored by a greater force-the wave of American culture.

There have always been extremists fighting in the name of religion. The Klu Klux Klan, Nazi groups and abortion clinic bombers have all used the Bible to support their homicidal actions. Keep in mind that Bin Laden's principles are the opposite of the customary doctrine of Islam-killing civilians is not allowed.

The terrorists who attacked last week in London like so many of the West's enemies hate us for many reasons. Some of it comes from the control of Israel and the U.S.'s support behind them, the military bases in the origin of Islam and Muhamad, and watching from their poor country, the U.S.'s scattering power and culture which they see as diminishing Muslim values.

In a country where girls paint their windows black and are prohibited to attend schools, our country's free sexuality, individualism and materialism is a great sinful influence that's taking over the world. The terrorists' random spurts of violence, just like Hitler or the abortion clinic bombers, should make us aware, but we need to just get on with our lives.

What I don't understand is that if you want someone to join your little religion or your great movement you should make it peacefully appealing instead of taking the route of the angry outcast. Killing people in their own country isn't a very good advertisement.

One of the most important things I've learned in life is that all over the world a person's religion and ideology is just as strong as another's. A Buddhist in China may believe just as strongly in their faith as a Christian in America. The same goes for terrorists. For them though, we'll leave their cause with the insane for they've failed to coexist calmly in such a mixed world and have failed to take a minute to understand us.

Not everyone is ignorant of the Middle East problems and the more violence that erupts in the U.S. the less exciting it is to help them. Their long-calculated attacks bring more unity and patriotism than panic and diminishes any respect for them rather than upholding their attempt of authority. Their not so slick attention-seeking skills shouldn't disrupt us. Like the Londoners who returned to their buses and the New Yorkers who kept walking through the gray smog to work, we should all move on. They're obviously trying to make us feel the loss and lack of power that they have felt for so many years. Too bad they're not doing it in a very intelligent way.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Small fires spark across the Front Range

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Jul 122005
Authors: Erin Skarda

Call the Forest Service's recorded line to hear updated information on forest fires


Lightening was the cause of a series of small fires that occurred across the Front Range so far this season.

The last in this series was the Turkey Roost fire, which officials think started late in the afternoon Tuesday, July 5.

Mary Ann Chambers, a representative with Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests, where the fire occurred, said it took about two days to extinguish the flame. It was out Thursday afternoon.

"The guys work really hard. It took some work to (put it out)," Chambers said.

The fire burned around 4.5 acres of forest located in a remote area 10 miles Northwest of Livermore and 14 miles Northwest of Fort Collins in the Cherokee Park area, Chambers said.

A 10-person crew from Pueblo and local Forest Service and fire personnel responded to the fire, which threatened no structures.

Although many other small fires have occurred, minimal damage has been done. The Rabbit Creek fire burned only less than one-tenth of an acre. The Black Mountain fire, also in the Cherokee Park area, and the Switzerland Trail fire, eight miles West of Boulder, each burned 1.5 acres.

"They've been able to get on them and get them out," Chambers said.

Despite the wet Colorado spring, Chambers said it is important for people to remain careful and alert to prevent fires.

"One message we are trying to get across to people is to be very careful with fire out there," Chambers said. "People shouldn't get complacent because of the wet spring we had."



Jennifer Chase

303 489 6002

303 489 6534

 Posted by at 5:00 pm