DRIVER IN ROLLOVER ON MOFFAT COUNTY ROAD 7 IDENTIFIED
The Colorado State Patrol has released the name of the young man who was at the wheel when his car crashed on Moffat County Road 7 over the weekend. Troopers suspect 20-year old Shawn Preston was drunk when he rolled the vehicle, injuring himself and two juvenile girls riding with him. One of the girls is still in Grand Junction, recovering from her injuries at Saint Mary’s Hospital. The extent of her injuries hasn’t been released. Charges against Preston haven’t been filed yet, and troopers say it could take two months for that to happen. It will take that long to get blood-alcohol test results back on the two girls. Preston and the other girl were treated at The Memorial Hospital at Craig, and released.
NEARLY $500,000 GRANTED TO TURTLE RANCH IN MOFFAT COUNTY
The Turtle Ranch Conservation Easement in Moffat County is getting a federal grant of nearly half a million dollars from the Interior Department. That’s according to a press release from Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. The easement is expected to protect over 15 thousand acres of the Turtle Ranch, including a large white-tailed prairie dog complex. The complex serves as an essential habitat component for the endangered black-footed ferret. While allowing for the reintroduction of the ferret, the money will also help protect habitat for the greater sage grouse. The plan is to show how conservation and profitable agriculture can co-exist.
MOFFAT COUNTY CITIZEN CONCERNED WITH SEISMIC OPERATIONS
The Moffat County Commissioners heard Tuesday from a citizen upset with what he calls the careless way big oil companies are conducting their seismic activity on private land. Oil and gas companies often own mineral rights under a land owner’s property. While that gives them the right to conduct seismic activity to search for oil reserves with approved conditional use permits, they must conduct that activity without disturbance to the land, and must rehabilitate the land when it has been disturbed. Resident Rick Barnes suggested more scrutiny when it comes to monitoring their activity. He says the big companies have been careless by damaging hay fields, and leaving gates open for livestock to escape, among other things. A representative of one of the seismic operators was in attendance and tried to assure the commissioners that they do everything possible to quickly rectify their mistakes. The commissioners told Barnes he needed to take his concerns to the Planning Commission, which makes the recommendations on whether or not to grant conditional use permits to those companies.
DRUG BUST IN SOUTHERN WYOMING RESULTS IN 10 ARRESTS
A huge meth bust in Southern Wyoming netted multiple arrests and the confiscation of drugs, paraphernalia, guns and drug money yesterday morning. Search warrants were executed in Rock Springs and Green River, with federal charges levied on 7 hispanic residents. The raid reached as far as Cedar City,Utah, where three more adults were arrested. The agencies involved were the Division of Criminal Investigation, the Southwest Enforcement Team, the Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office, the DEA, the U-S Marshall’s Service, and Immigration. The investigation is ongoing and court appearances are pending.
9TH STREET IN CRAIG CLOSED FOR ASPHALT OVERLAY PROJECT
9th Street in Craig is closed today as Moffat County Road crews start an asphalt overlay project. It will be closed from Cottonwood Avenue to the City/County line on top of the hill. About a quarter mile stretch of the pavement will be worked on between now and Sunday. A press release says motorists should expect delays on 9th from the intersection of Moffat County Road 7 to the intersection at Cottonwood.
OIL SHALE SUBJECT OF HEARING IN GRAND JUNCTION
Oil shale development was the topic at an oversight field hearing of the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources yesterday in Grand Junction. The committee heard testimony from representatives of the industry, local government reps, and residents about what the industry can do for the local, as well as national economy. It’s estimated that the Western U-S holds more than 1-point-5 trillion barrels of oil, enough to provide the country with energy for the next 200 years. Much of that is believed to be under the ground in Western Colorado. Much of the testimony blasted the Obama Administration for consistently creating roadblocks preventing the development of oil shale.
MICHAEL BENNET STRESSES CHANGES FOR RURAL SCHOOLS IN NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND
Senator Michael Bennett is calling for changes in the No Child Left Behind Act to include a flexibility package for rural schools. Bennet says rural schools have a harder time living up to the standards of the act, because of their isolation. He says rural schools have a harder time recruiting and retaining quality teachers, have smaller enrollments, inequities in funding from the state and federal level, and limited access to advanced courses. He also notes that attendance at rural schools has increased by over 11 percent over the last 5 years. That information comes from the National Center for Education Statistics. Bennet is part of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee’s negotiating team, which is currently crafting reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.