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Standard & Poor’s downgrade of the U.S. Economy was bad for Wall Street, but might be good for your fuel budget. “We’re watching an incredible decline in the price of crude oil and gasoline futures that will most certainly have an impact in the upcoming week at the pump. While motorists won’t see large drops all at once, I most certainly expect declines in the days ahead,” says Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst. “Oil prices have shed nearly $15 per barrel in just a week – a dramatic decline brought on by various concerns, but mainly a weak manufacturing report and concern surrounding a possible downgrade of U.S. credit ratings,” DeHaan adds. Don’t forget to continue to pray for all our nation’s soldiers and for their families. Memorial Day and Veterans Day are not the only days in the year when our troops need those of us here at home to lift them up with our thoughts and prayers for their safety and strength.We grow good horseflesh in Rio Blanco County. Stylish Martini, a horse owned by Rio Blanco County’s Marvine Ranch, won the National Cutting Horse Association Summer Spectacular 4-year-old Derby open title last weekend in Fort Worth, Texas, earning his owners a little more than $39,000 in prize money. That kind of horse deserves at least two apples and maybe a carrot, too.Happy (belated) birthday greetings to Debbie Jordan, Sawyer Bivens, Kelly McCook and Shery Brandis, who all celebrated the “anniversary of their birth” (as Herald Times publisher Mitch Bettis likes to say) on Monday, Aug. 8. And more belated birthday wishes to Emily Cardile (who just moved back to Meeker from the sunny shores of North Carolina) and Mary Strang Cunningham, a.k.a. “Maym,” Aug. 10. Celebrating birthdays this week: Jessi Smith, Chris and Jessica Mullins, Aug. 11; Brandon Clatterbaugh, Aug. 12; Leanne Matrisciano, Aubrey Walsh, Patsy Nay and Donald Rowe, Aug. 13; Toby Garcia, Tyler Goss and Michelle Wix, Aug. 14; Jef Burnell, Bob Cook, MaryAnn Collins, Dennis Jensen, Aticus Doan, Norbert Boes and Becky Sargent, Aug. 15; Dan Chinn and Shayne Lagimoniere, Aug. 16; Taylor Dodds, Aug. 17.Happy anniversary to Gerald and Twila Morris, Aug. 11; Rex and Lillian Cook, Aug. 11; Jim and Bev Brennan, Aug. 13; Keith and Jana Whitaker, Aug. 13; Zack and Natosha Clatterbaugh, Aug. 14; Bernie and Annie Gantt, Aug. 15; Ron and Donna Palmer, Aug. 15; Matt and Pan Stranathan, Aug. 15; Joseph and Laura Cardile, Aug. 15; Tara and Nick Cojocaru, Aug. 17.Have you visited the Herald Times on Facebook at We’re also on Twitter at Like the Herald Times’s page, or become a follower on Twitter to comment online on articles and photos! Please send birthday greetings, anniversary wishes and other local social news to or mail information to P.O. Box 720, Meeker, CO 81641.