Angler opinions sought on Crawford Reservoir

The Colorado Division of Wildlife is hosting two public meetings to discuss a proposed management plan for Crawford Reservoir.

Meetings are set for 6 p.m. May 6 at the Hotchkiss Public Library and 6 p.m. May 14 at the Bill Heddles Recreation Center in Delta.

“This reservoir is a popular destination for anglers, but the fishery has changed drastically in the last 10 years, and we are no longer meeting our management goals,” said Dan Kowalski, a fisheries biologist for the DOW. “We want to hear from anglers about what they want for the reservoir.”

The reservoir fishery, once known for producing quality perch and bass, changed in recent years with the expansion of carp and northern pike populations. Since then, the quality of the panfish and numbers of bass declined.

The DOW wants to hear angler opinions and ideas on what fish species should be emphasized in the reservoir and what management strategies should be put in place.

“These meetings are important because they’ll guide the DOW’s management strategies for many years,” Kowalski said.

Information about the Crawford Reservoir fishery: Fishing/Reports/FisherySurveySummaries/.

For more information, call Dan Kowalski at 970-252-6017.


YAZOO CITY, Miss. — Tornadoes tore through four states in the South, leaving broken crosses in front of a flattened church, splintering houses and overturning vehicles as they killed 10 people, including two children.

One of the hardest hit areas was Mississippi’s Yazoo County, where Gov. Haley Barbour grew up. He described “utter obliteration” among the picturesque hills rising abruptly from the flat Mississippi Delta.

More than 15 other counties in Mississippi also had damage. The swath of debris forced rescuers to pick up some of the injured on all-terrain vehicles the west-central part of the state. Tornadoes were also reported in Louisiana, Arkansas and Alabama, and the severe weather continued to track eastward.

In Yazoo City, Malcolm Gordon, 63, stood with members of his family peering out at the neighborhood through a broken window.

Above them, the roof was gone, a tree lay across part of the house and power lines stretched across the yard. The smell of shredded pine trees hung in the warm breeze in the neighborhood of modest houses and mobile homes surrounded by hills and ravines.

Gordon and his wife, Diane, hid in a closet while much of the neighborhood was blown away.

“I’ll just bulldoze what’s left and start over,” he said.

It was one of several unlikely survival stories to emerge from the destruction.

Essie Hendrix, manager of Peebles department store in Yazoo City, said she and other employees were inside with about 15 customers when the tornado struck. An assistant manager took the customers to the back of the store, and Hendrix saw the tornado barreling through the parking lot. She huddled between a safe and a sturdy desk to avoid flying glass and debris.

“It was like a rumbling and a roaring and stuff was falling,” Hendrix said. “It sounded like it was going to suck us out of there. It lasted about two minutes, but it felt like it lasted an hour.”

No one in the store was injured.

About 100 yards away, the owner of Ribeye’s Steak House said everyone ran into a walk-in freezer to safety when they saw the tornado.

“The roof was caving in, TVs flying off the shelves and it was horrible,” Mitchell Saxton said. “... We got in the walk-in freezer, sat in there for about ten minutes. When I came out it was really bad. Just thanking the good Lord I’m here and able to talk with you all.” Saxton’s restaurant was destroyed.

The severe weather started in Louisiana, just across the state line from Mississippi when a tornado destroyed 12 homes and warehouses at Complex Chemical Co., which makes antifreeze and other automotive fluids, owner Jerry Melton said. A small nitrogen leak was reported but didn’t cause any problems.

The storm system moved east, with the twister hitting nearby Yazoo County, Miss., killing four people.

Meteorologists said it was too soon to tell whether a single long-lasting tornado — or multiple shorter ones — caused the deaths and damage in the different cities.

In Yazoo City, stunned residents stood on a hill overlooking the destruction. A National Guard helicopter sat nearby, and later took the governor on an aerial tour of the town.

“Sad, man,” said 22-year-old Rafael Scott, shaking his head. “It’s really hard to believe it. I heard they found a couple of bodies.”

Three broken crosses stood near a flattened church, and religious materials were scattered among twisted steel, broken wood and furniture. A nearby funeral home was reduced to rubble. In a patch of woods, pieces of tin were twisted high up in the broken trees.

Josh Nicholson, 26, was driving home through the storm with his wife, 1-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter when a power line fell across the road in front their sport utility vehicle.

“There was nowhere we could go,” he said.

Nicholson and his wife took the children out of their car seats and they all huddled in the back of the vehicle. All of the sudden, Nicholson said, the vehicle spun around and a tree clipped part of the truck where the 4-year-old had been sitting. Luckily, nobody was hurt.

“It was scary,” Nicholson said.

Thousands across the state were without electricity, and downed power lines and trees blocked roads. At least four people had been brought by four-wheeler to a triage center at an old discount store parking lot, Yazoo City Mayor McArthur Straughter said as sirens whined in the background.

Jim Pollard, a spokesman for American Medical Response ambulance service, said four patients from Yazoo County were airlifted and some 20 others were taken to hospitals. At least four people were in critical condition.

Houston Astros pitcher Roy Oswalt, who pitched on Friday, was returning to Mississippi after a tornado damaged his parents’ home in Weir, Miss.

Willie M. Horton, 78, said he hunkered down in the hallway of his house in Holmes County, which borders Yazoo. “Everything is down. A lot of trees. Big trees,” Horton said.

He said his sister-in-law’s house nearby was damaged, and a nephew’s mobile home was carried away by the storm.

“My cousin — half his barn is gone,” Horton said.

The weather hampered crews trying to clean up an oil spill after an offshore rig exploded earlier this week off the coast of Louisiana. Several sporting events and festivals also were reschedule


NEW YORK — As the U.S. housing turned downward in January 2007, a Goldman Sachs trader wrote in e-mails to a woman he apparently was courting that investments he had sold were “like Frankenstein turning against his own inventor.”

“I’m trading a product which a month ago was worth $100 and today is only worth $93,” wrote Fabrice Tourre, who was charged along with the bank in a civil complaint filed this month by the Securities and Exchange Commission. “That doesn’t seem like a lot but when you take into account ... (the investments) are worth billions, well it adds up to a lot of money.”

Tourre was talking about investment products like the one at the heart of a federal complaint against his firm. For Tourre, the investments were like an invention gone awry: He had started arranging them when the market was on the upswing. But he continued selling them after the market turned — now with Goldman betting against them, in one case allegedly misleading investors about a deal’s origin.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. released that e-mail and 25 other internal documents Saturday in response to a Senate panel’s release of messages in which Goldman executives boast about money they were making as the market imploded later in 2007.

When credit rating agencies downgraded many billions of dollars of mortgage-backed investments in October 2007, Goldman executive Donald Mullen was unabashedly pleased.

“Sounds like we will make serious money,” Mullen wrote to Michael Swenson, another executive, in one of the e-mails released by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.

Goldman has argued vehemently that it did not profit from the mortgage meltdown.

Swenson and Tourre, along with Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein, will face a public grilling on Capitol Hill Tuesday from the subcommittee.

Also this week, the full Senate will take up a proposed overhaul of financial regulation intended to toughen oversight of Wall Street and make the financial system more transparent. Republican leaders oppose the measures.

And Goldman has been in the glare of a particularly unforgiving spotlight since the SEC filed civil fraud charges this month over the investments Tourre was selling and discussing in his e-mail.

The SEC alleges Goldman misled two investors — IKB Deutsche Industriebank AG, a German bank, and ACA Management LLC, a U.S. bond insurance company — who bought complex mortgage-related products crafted in part by Paulson & Co., a New York hedge fund led by billionaire John Paulson. Paulson was betting the market would collapse. The SEC says Goldman didn’t tell the investors that Paulson was involved in choosing the investments or that he was betting they would fail.

Goldman has denied wrongdoing and says it will fight the charges.

The SEC complaint contains excerpts from the same Tourre e-mail chains that Goldman released in full Saturday. The firm’s move puts on full display the personal life of the trader, who had boasted that the market would implode, leaving only him standing. And it does so days before he makes his public debut.

“Obviously, the content of the e-mails is highly embarrassing, but we’ve found no evidence of wrongdoing,” Goldman spokesman Samuel Robinson said.

Goldman’s relative strength during the financial crisis and the prominence of many former Goldman executives have made the firm a lightning-rod for public anger over Wall Street’s greed and recklessness. Even before the SEC charges were filed, the long-secretive bank was fighting accusations that its bets helped trigger and fuel the financial crisis.

Goldman also has become a useful symbol for Democrats in the escalating debate over the financial overhaul. In fact, Republicans charge that Democrats in the Senate and on the SEC are using the public’s anger toward Goldman to build support for their plan.

The subcommittee will brief reporters about the Goldman hearing on Monday, the same day the Senate will have its first test vote on the Obama administration’s financial package. The panel is expected to release documents that will be covered Monday evening online and in Tuesday’s papers next to reports on the overhaul vote.

The SEC’s inspector general confirmed Friday that he will look into the timing of the charges and possible leaks by the commission.

The internal e-mails among Goldman executives were released by subcommittee chair Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich. In a statement, Levin called banks like Goldman “self-interested promoters of risky and complicated financial schemes that helped trigger the crisis.”

In a statement Saturday, Goldman spokesman Lucas Van Praag said the bank lost $1.2 billion in the residential mortgage market during 2007 and 2008.

“As a firm, we obviously could not have been significantly net short since we lost money in a declining housing market,” Van Praag said in a statement.

Van Praag is among the executives who wrote the e-mails the Senate committee released. He said the panel “cherry-picked” four threads out of 20 million pages Goldman provided.

“Of course we didn’t dodge the mortgage mess,” CEO Lloyd Blankfein wrote in a message dated Nov. 18, 2007. “We lost money, then made more than we lost because of shorts.”

Short positions are bets that the market will go down. When the market went bust, people with short positions cleaned up.

Earlier in 2007, Goldman Chief Financial Officer David Viniar showed in one of the e-mail threads that the firm made more than $50 million in one day on bets the housing market would founder.

Viniar, also scheduled to testify Tuesday, summed up the contrast between Goldman’s gains and the situation of investors who had not bet against the market:

“Tells you what might be happening to people who don’t have the big short.”


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