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Study aims to determine if seeding clouds works

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Stumpf, a world-class athlete in skeleton, a sport similar to luge, already made a difference at Park City Mountain Resort. When she worked there, she challenged the company’s free pass for spouses. In response, the resort now offers a "designated pass" for employees’ partners.

Suicide focuses look at methamphetamine use

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. — A 2002 survey administered to Steamboat Springs High School students found that 50 per cent had used marijuana at least once, nearly 10 per cent had used methamphetamines, and about 4 per cent had used cocaine.

The meth use was at the centre of community attention recently, with news that a 19-year-old resident of nearby Oak Creek had shot himself. He had been on a roller-coaster ride of methamphetamine addiction, a loving, happy, go-lucky child who had become such an angry young man that family members had taken to locking their doors at night.

Explaining the drug’s draw, one former meth addict told The Steamboat Pilot that while cocaine kept him focused for a couple of hours, meth will keep a person alert for two days. The newspaper noted that drug agents have uncovered about 40 meth labs in the area from Winter Park to Steamboat to Craig, a predominantly rural area.

Meanwhile, The Telluride Watch reports a suspected connection between meth use and HIV infection on the Western Slope of Colorado, which includes most of the state’s ski resorts as well as other rural areas. The HIV infection rate for women is double that of Colorado’s statewide rate. Health officials suspect, based on interviews with victims, that the women being infected to a great degree are drug users, or have sex with users of methamphetamines.

Conservationists square off on elk winter feeding

JACKSON HOLE, Wyo. — Old-line and newer conservation groups are squaring off over whether the 13,000 elk in northwestern Wyoming should continue to be fed through winter.

Nearly half of those elk are found in Jackson Hole at the National Elk Refuge, one of North America’s largest, free-ranging elk herds. The elk are also a key tourist attraction, notes the Jackson Hole News & Guide.

A traditional conservation group, Sportmen for Fish and Wildlife, Wyoming, favours the continued feeding. The local chapter’s chairman, Steve Meadows, described the feeding program as "wildly successful" in maintaining healthy ungulate herds. He says ending the program would be a mistake, given the decreasing winter range now available for elk and deer, and the increased pressure from predators, particularly wolves.