BARBECUE CONTEST IN CRAIG MAY BE NIXED DUE TO FIRE DANGER
Organizers of the Moffat County Balloon Festival and Colorado State Barbecue Championships say the barbecue portion of this year’s event may be eliminated, due to fire concerns. Fire bans are in effect throughout the county, covering all open flames…including barbecue grills. City regulations allow for back yard barbecue grills, but the events location is the county owned Loudy Simpson Park. Moffat County Sheriff Tim Jantz wasn’t available yesterday for comment, but event organizers say they will meet next week with fire, sheriff, and other officials to see if there’s anything they can do to get the barbecue contest reinstated. Routt County officials shut down this weekend’s Hot Air Balloon Rodeo, due to fire restrictions. The Moffat County Balloon Festival takes place August 2nd through the 4th.
CONGRESSMAN ASKS FEDS TO HELP REMOVE BEETLE KILLED TREES
Colorado Congressman Cory Gardner is asking U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack for greater assistance with the removal of beetle-kill trees from Colorado’s forests. In his letter, Gardner points to the devastating wildfire season the state is seeing, and says it’s urgent that the forests are cleared of beetle killed trees. Gardner also highlighted a letter sent by Colorado House Speaker Frank McNulty to Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper. McNulty’s letter stresses the importance of a coordinated state and federal effort through active and preventative management of federal forest lands. McNulty writes that “beetle kill poses the immediate threat of catastrophic wildfires that destroy ecosystems, pollute watersheds reserved for our drinking water, and lead to the loss of homes and lives.” State lawmakers are currently drafting legislation that would give states more control over the management of federal lands.
FOREST ROADS TO CLOSE FOR CULVERT REPLACEMENTS
Portions of a few forest service roads in the Yampa area will be shut down for culvert replacement starting next week. According to the U.S. Forest Service, Forest Roads 243 and 250 will be shut down Monday to replace the culverts on Farnham Creek and Gore Creek. There are several detours around the areas that will be under construction. That work is expected to finish up by August 3rd. Starting July 23rd, crews will start replacing culverts on Forest Road 225 at Shoe Creek and Stocking Creek. 7 miles of 225 will be closed during that project, which is expected to last until August 10th.
VETERAN ORGANIZATIONS THROW SUCCESSFUL 4TH OF JULY BASH
The 4th of July events held by local veterans groups in Craig was a huge success. That’s according to the VFW’s Guy Bradshaw, who said there were about 1500 people that showed up to the event. Bradshaw says that number is based on the amount of food they served. After the parade, which was dedicated to World War 2 vets, and in which three World War 2 vets shared Grand Marshall duties, visitors enjoyed a free barbecue at Veteran’s Park. Bradshaw thanked the various veteran groups, and parade sponsors that made the event successful.
QUARRY VISITORS CENTER GETS GOLD LEED CERTIFICATION
The new Quarry Visitors Center at Dinosaur National Monument has been given LEED gold certification. LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is an internationally recognized green building certification system, that declares how energy efficient the facility is. The new Quarry Visitors Center has increased water efficiency, reduced CO2 emissions, improved indoor environmental quality and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts. Utility systems were also designed to be as efficient as possible to reduce operational and maintenance costs.
OVER 100 DUI ARRESTS STATEWIDE DURING HOLIDAY ENFORCEMENT PERIOD
The Colorado State Patrol made more than 100 DUI arrests during the holiday stretch from June 29 to July 5. The crackdown was part of a 100 Days of Heat Campaign aimed at eliminating drunk driving and lowering crash numbers. There were 17 DUI/DUID arrests on Independence Day alone. Alcohol is suspected as a factor in two fatal crashes on July 4. The Colorado State Patrol reminds residents to continue driving safely and courteously, to designate a sober driver before drinking, and to always wear a seatbelt.
LAWMAKERS WARN OF EXCESSIVE COSTS OF EXPANDING MEDICAID PROGRAM
Colorado Republicans warn that the hundreds of millions of dollars that it would cost to expand Medicaid will test the limits of the state budget. Expanding Medicaid coverage is one of the key provisions of the federal health care law that the Supreme Court upheld. But the ruling also gives states wiggle room to reject the expansion. Colorado Republicans have expressed concern about whether the state can afford the expansion. A Kaiser Family Foundation study shows Colorado would spend $470 million for its share of the Medicaid expansion between 2014 and 2019. The study says the federal government’s share of the expansion for Colorado would be $6.9 billion during that time, or 94 percent. Some Colorado health officials say the estimates for state spending may be too high.