VICTIM’S OF CHRISTMAS MORNING FIRE IDENTIFIED
Authorities have released the names of the two people killed in a trailer fire in Craig Christmas morning. The victims were identified at 54 year old Charles Hurtt and 60 year old Francis Burkelo. Firefighters say the blaze started in an enclosed porch area, and engulfed the entire home. The fire may have been started by combustibles being stored too close to a wood burning stove overnight. The flames threatened to ignite an adjacent vacant trailer, but firefighters were able to stop it from spreading.
KMART TO CLOSE STORES; CRAIG STORE LIKELY SAFE
Sears Holdings Corporation is planning to close between 100 and 120 Sears and KMart stores, after poor holiday sales. However, Craig KMart manager Cody Ransberger says he believes his store is safe. A news report says holiday sales were down significantly enough to warrant the closures. When asked about whether he had heard if his store was on the chopping block, Ransberger said it was “highly doubtful”. He said he had just heard the announcement this morning himself, and says their long-term lease will likely keep the store safe for now. Sears Holdings has not released the list of stores closing, but company reps say that listing will be posted soon on their website.
RIVER DISTRICT FILES MOTION AGAINST FLAMING GORGE PIPELINE
The Colorado River District is going on the record as opposing the Flaming Gorge Reservoir pipeline project that is expected to take water from the reservoir to the Front Range. The district has filed a motion to intervene with a federal regulatory agency that is reviewing the plan, which is being promoted by Front Range Businessman Aaron Million. The 560-mile pipeline would carry up to 250,000 acre feet of water as far south as Pueblo. However many Western Slope government and natural resource experts oppose the plan. The motion says “the volume of water at issue would adversely impact existing users of the state’s entitlement to the waters of the Colorado River, and could usurp the remainder of the state’s compact allocation.” It also calls the plan speculative, and says there is no plan for paying for the project. To learn more, visit the Colorado River District’s web site.
XCEL ENERGY IS LOOKING FOR ANOTHER RATE HIKE
Xcel Energy is asking the Public Utilities Commission for permission to recover $16.5 million from the company’s completed SmartGridCity project by charging Colorado rate payers. A report says the utility filed its request with the PUC after saying the project was finished. The 2008 project in Boulder is helping the utility see what a modern energy grid that distributes traditional and renewable energy looks like. PUC officials ruled earlier this year that Xcel could recoup $27.9 million of its costs but that an additional $16.5 million could not be recouped until the utility showed it had completed the project.
NON-PROFITS ENCOURAGED TO APPLY FOR ROTARY FUNDS
Non-profits in Steamboat looking for a little extra funding, can submit an application to the Steamboat Rotary Club. The Club is already planning for its Barn Dance fundraiser next year, and part of that planning is deciding who will benefit from the money raised. The dance is always very well attended, and raises thousands of dollars for the beneficiary. Last year, the event raised nearly $20,000. Non-profits have until January 5th to submit their applications, and can do so by visiting the Rotary’s website.
DOG SLED RACES SCHEDULED FOR NEXT MONTH; VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
The dog sled races at Stagecoach State Park are just days away, and the organizers need your help. The races are held by the Colorado Mountain Mushers and the Stagecoach Property Owner’s Association. There are plenty of areas in which organizers need help, including gate and parking attendants, dog handling, and the clean-up afterward. What may be the biggest draw, is that volunteers get to watch the races for free. If you are interested in helping out January 7th and 8th at Stagecoach State Park, call 970-736-2436.
MOFFAT COUNTY F.F.A. ALUMNI TO HELP DISCARD CHRISTMAS TREES
The Moffat County F. F. A. alumni would like to help residents dispose of their Christmas trees. Starting tomorrow, the alumni will pick-up discarded trees from those who have made arrangements with them. The project is a fundraiser, and each tree costs $5 to dispose of. They’ll be busy picking up trees until January 4th. Those who would like to employ the service can call 819-2915.
SKI AREA OPENS EARLY THIS WEEKEND
Skiers and snowboarders can get an early start on their runs this weekend. The Steamboat Ski Area has announced they’ll be opening slightly earlier than normal starting Thursday. The Gondola will start up at 8 Thursday, Friday, and Saturday mornings, which is a half an hour earlier than usual. Once on the mountain, skiers and riders will have their choice of the Sundown Express, Sunshine Express and South Peak chairlifts. Other lift announcements include the Christie Peak Express and Preview lifts opening at 8:15, Thunderhead Express opening at 8:30 and the Storm Peak Express opening at 8:45. If you need more information, call the ski area.
TRANSPORTATION OFFICIALS WANT SPRINKLERS IN EISENHOWER TUNNEL
Transportation officials in Colorado want to install a $20 million sprinkler system in the Eisenhower Tunnel to mitigate risk of a fire. The four-lane Eisenhower-Johnson Memorial Tunnel on Interstate 70 is among the busiest corridors across the Continental Divide and is one of the highest highway tunnels in the world. The Colorado Department of Transportation is looking for funding for a water-mist system to control heat from a possible fire so that fire fighters could get inside. C-DOT is looking to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to help pay for the suppression system. Colorado Sen. Mark Udall told the newspaper that he believes there is “significant national interest” in making the tunnels safer.