MOFFAT COUNTY TEENS SAFE AFTER SPENDING THE NIGHT IN A SNOW STORM
Three teenagers are doing well after spending a night stranded in the Routt National Forest. Two 17-year olds and a 13-year old, all from Moffat County, were riding snowmobiles above Freeman Reservoir Sunday, when they got stuck and called their parents for help. The parents called the Moffat County Sheriff’s Office, which eventually began a search effort. A snow storm made the search difficult, and the boys weren’t found until the next morning. Two of the boys were taken to The Memorial Hospital where they were treated. Sheriff Tim Jantz stressed that the boys did the right thing by staying with their snowmobiles, one of which they burned to stay warm. He says if they would have tried to hike out, their footprints would have been covered by the storm, and they might not have been found. Jantz praised the efforts of the searchers, including a couple of citizens who were instrumental, due to their knowledge of the area.
PLANE CRASH SURVIVORS RECOVERING IN STEAMBOAT AND DENVER
Most of the family injured in Sunday’s plane crash at Yampa Valley Regional Airport is recovering at Yampa Valley Medical Center in Steamboat. The youngest injury victim, 10-year old Sara Humpal has been transported to Children’s hospital in Denver. Scott Humpal, Sara’s father, described some of the injuries his family sustained, in an online post to friends and family. He says he is very sore, with a sprained ankle and a broken ankle. His son 13-year old Dillon has what he calls cervical instability and a lumbar compression fracture, while his 18-year old son Tad has some pain in his back, neck and ankles. Sara was injured the worst with collapsed lungs, which have since reinflated, a broken leg, a lacerated kidney and liver, and a broken collar bone, among other injuries. Scott’s wife Gaby and pilot 75-year-old Hans Vandervlugt died in the crash. The national Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash.
STEAMBOAT SKI AREA RECEIVES RECORD SNOWFALL
Steamboat received the most snow of any resort in Colorado Sunday night with a record breaking 27 inches accumulating at mid-mountain in a 24-hour period. An additional 7 inches of snow was reported Monday morning, bringing the resorts 30 hour total to 34 inches. So far 5 feet of snow has fallen at mid mountain this month, with 6 feet at the top. The resort is reminding skiers that the new snow means added avalanche danger. The Colorado Avalanche Information Center says there is considerably high danger in the Steamboat Zone, including in the side and back country areas of the resort, which are not patrolled or maintained. Another storm is expected to move into the area today.
EMPLOYER CREDIT CHECK LEGISLATION SURVIVES ANOTHER VOTE
Yesterday, the Senate passed the second reading of Senate Bill 3, the Employment Opportunity Act. The Employment Opportunity Act prohibits abusive credit check practices that unfairly limit a Coloradan’s ability to find employment. Many employers currently use credit reports in hiring decisions, which can prevent many hard-working Coloradans who have low credit scores from finding employment. Supporters of the bill say that type of hiring practice can detrimentally affect many citizens who have poor credit scores due to circumstances outside of their control. They say credit reports can contain inaccurate information, provide misleading indicators about a person’s financial responsibility, and fail to account for unavoidable circumstances such as illness, identity theft, or job loss. The Employment Opportunity Act will prevent workers from being denied employment based on incomplete and potentially faulty information. The bill will now be scheduled for a third and final reading. If passed, it will head to the House of Representatives for consideration.
JUDGE WANTS TO KNOW WHY HE SHOULD HEAR TABOR ARGUMENTS
A federal judge wants both sides of a dispute about Colorado’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights to tell him why he should hear the case. In an order issued Friday afternoon, U.S. District Judge William Martinez directed plaintiffs in the case as well as Attorney General John Suthers’ office, which is defending TABOR, to submit additional briefs focusing just on the issue of standing. The lawsuit, filed by 34 plaintiffs – most of them Democrats but a few who are Republicans – argues TABOR violates the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee that every state have a republican form of government. The plaintiffs argue that TABOR, by taking away the legislature’s ability to raise taxes, usurps the republican form of government. While attorneys on both sides have been trying to argue their case, Martinez has ordered both sides to submit additional briefs on whether or not the case even belongs in court. Those briefs are due next month.
NATIONALLY, GAS PRICES ARE AT THEIR HIGHEST FOR THIS TIME OF YEAR
Gas prices are at an all time high for this time of year. Nationwide, the average is $3.56. That is the highest that average has ever been this early in the year. So far, Colorado is still lagging behind this trend. The average here is $3.07 a gallon. It is the second lowest in the country. Experts say growing global demand, supply issues due to refinery problems on the East Coast and ongoing conflicts in oil rich countries are to blame. Iran doesn’t sell oil to the U.S., but their move to cut off supplies to France and Britain this summer could cause the European countries to turn to U.S. suppliers. That could drive prices to four dollars and beyond by Memorial Day. Gas prices in Southern California are already approaching $5 a gallon. Some consumers are already making adjustments, thinking twice and cutting back where they can.
In high school sports:
Hayden hosts Soroco in the opening round of the district tournament. The girls play at 5:30 and the boys at 7.
The Steamboat boys play at Evergreen at 6 in the first round of the state tournament.
The Steamboat girls travel to Mountain View for the first round of the state playoffs.