JEAN WHITE WILL RUN AGAINST RANDY BAUMGARDNER FOR SENATE
Republican Jean White will run for the Senate District 8 seat she was appointed to less than a year ago. White was appointed to the seat when her husband Al left it to lead the State Tourism Office. Jean is a former small business owner and says she will continue working to decrease, and in some cases eliminate government regulations placed on small businesses. She also says she will continue to support tourism, and will focus on the economic benefits of oil, gas, and coal production in Northwest Colorado. She’ll have legitimate competition for the seat. Fellow republican Randy Baumgardner, who has been the House District 57 representative for the last two terms, will run against White. Baumgardner’s district was significantly altered by the redistricting process. Senate District 8, which has also been redrawn, covers Moffat, Routt, Rio Blanco, Garfield, Jackson, Grand and Summit Counties.
GREEN RIVER MAN DROWNS AT FLAMING GORGE RESERVOIR
Special rescue teams have recovered the body of a Green River man who drowned Tuesday in Flaming Gorge Reservoir. 50-year old Kevin Holloway was ice fishing near the “confluence” when nearby fisherman, Tim Isaacson heard him calling for help. Isaacson tried throwing Holloway a rope, but Holloway couldn’t hold on and went under. Emergency personnel showed up, but put off a search for the body until morning, due to the late hour. Yesterday morning, a boat team and a dive team recovered the body. Sheriff’s deputies say the ice around the confluence is not yet stable, and they urged other ice fishers in the area to leave. They did so without incident.
STEAMBOAT DESIGNATES DROP-OFF POINT FOR CHRISTMAS TREE RECYCLING
The City of Steamboat is providing residents with a place to drop off their Christmas trees after the Holidays. Real trees need to be disposed of shortly after the holidays to prevent house fires. Once the trees are dried out, they pose a significant risk. The city is providing a single drop-off point in the Howelson Ice Arena parking lot. They ask that all tinsel, decorations, and lighting be removed before dropping them off. The trees will be recycled into mulch that will be given to area residents, and used in city parks. Wreaths will not be accepted. The drop-off point is open from now until the end of January. If you need more information, call 879-4300 Ext 325.
STATE WILL APPEAL COURT RULING ON SCHOOL FUNDING
Colorado will appeal a judge’s ruling that the state’s school funding system violates the constitution. Gov. John Hickenlooper announced yesterday that the state will ask the Colorado Supreme Court to review the case. Earlier this month, a Denver judge sided with parents and 21 school districts challenging the funding system, calling it “irrational and inadequate.” Hickenlooper says the decision provided little practical guidance on how the state should fund a “thorough and uniform” education system, as required by the state constitution. He also faulted the judge for not addressing other parts of the constitution which affect state spending – the Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights, the Gallagher Amendment and Amendment 23. Hickenlooper said he consulted with Attorney General John Suthers on the decision.
COURT FINDS DOUGLAS BRUCE GUILTY OF TAX EVASION
Anti-tax advocate Douglas Bruce has been found guilty of tax evasion. Jurors deliberated for less than four hours before coming to a verdict yesterday. They found him guilty on all counts after hearing eight days of testimony. Bruce is the author and proponent of the constitutional amendment called the Taxpayer Bill of Rights. He was charged with evading state taxes, filing a false return, attempting to influence a public servant and failing to file a return between 2005 and 2010. According to the indictment, Bruce tried to evade taxes by funneling his income through Active Citizens Together, a nonprofit he created in 2001. Investigators say Bruce deposited $2 million into an account for the nonprofit, which earned several thousands of dollars in interest. Bruce didn’t report that as income, but used the funds as his own. He’ll be sentenced Feb. 13 and faces up to 12 years in prison.
GROUP SAYS STATE’S INVESTMENT IN YOUTH IS DWINDLING
The Colorado Children’s Campaign says money for state programs for children has been decreasing over the last couple of years. The Campaign says since Fiscal Year 2009-10 has dropped from 45.3 percent of the overall budget, to 41.7 percent. The Colorado Children’s Budget 2011 analyzes the state’s public investments in programs and services supporting children for the past 5 years. While the numbers were going up early in the study, campaign reps say that was due to an increase in Federal funds through the American Recovery Act. Since that money has run out, the investment into Colorado’s youth has declined rapidly. Campaign President Chris Watley says children are the state’s greatest asset, and “adequately investing in them should be a high priority.” The results will be used by state lawmakers as a guide, but economic forecasts show it’s likely spending on youth programs will only decrease more over the next couple of years.