CRASH WEST OF CRAIG CLAIMS THREE LIVES
The Colorado State Patrol responded to a two-vehicle crash on yesterday, which occurred at approximately 2:30 am on Highway 40 about 25 miles west of Craig. An Audi A4, driven by a 35 year-old male from Fort Collins collided head on with a a Freightliner truck tractor pulling a flatbed trailer, driven by 53 year-old Rickie Jenkins of Casper, Wyoming. The Audi reportedly traveled into the opposing lane and collided with the truck. After impact, the Freightliner spilled diesel fuel onto the roadway and caught on fire. Jenkins was wearing his seatbelt at the time of the crash and was able to exit the vehicle before it was engulfed in flames. He was transported to Memorial Hospital in Craig where he was treated and released with moderate injuries. The driver of the Audi was wearing his seatbelt at the time of the crash. The front seat passenger in the Audi, a 22 year-old from Rangely, was wearing his seatbelt at the time of the crash. The third occupant in the Audi, a 19 year-old from Greeley, was sitting in the backseat but was not wearing his seatbelt. All three occupants in the Audi died on scene as a result of their injuries. The roadway was closed from approximately 3 am to 1 pm as a result of the crash investigation and cleanup of debris and diesel fuel on the roadway. The Colorado State Patrol Hazardous Materials Unit responded to the scene. The Colorado Department of Transportation and LT Environmental assisted in the cleanup of the roadway. The cause of the crash is still under investigation, and the names of the occupants in the Audi are being withheld because the families have not been notified.
ELK RIVER ROAD DETOUR INFORMATION
Starting tomorrow, the Steamboat Utilities Division under contract with Duckels Construction will begin Phase II of the Elk River Road waterline replacement work, which began in June and will continue into September. The Phase II work will consist of a new traffic detour plan which will restore northbound traffic to its normal lane from US Highway 40 to Copper Ridge Drive (North) and Downhill Drive intersection. Northbound traffic will then be routed thru Copper Ridge Business Park to the northern Copper Ridge Circle access onto Elk River Road. Southbound traffic will remain in its normal lane. Pedestrian and bicycle traffic along Elk River Road will also be restored from US Highway 40 to the Copper Ridge Drive (North)/Downhill Drive intersection. Access to all area businesses will be maintained throughout the Phase II work. Businesses using the shoulder of Copper Ridge Circle for parking are asked to use off-street alternatives or to consolidate such parking to one side of road, preferably the western side when heading north, and to park off the asphalt. Motorists are reminded to obey the construction detour and associated signage and to slow down through the work zone and detour areas.
State Revenue Forecast Improves By $239.5 million
The Governor’s Office of State Planning and Budgeting (OSPB) has announced that the state general fund revenue is projected to be $239.5 million higher in the current fiscal year than was forecast in March. Under current law, the excess funds will spill into next year’s budget and will be transferred to the State Education Fund based on current expenditures. This fund supports per-pupil funding in Colorado school districts. “Colorado is seeing growth in a variety of industries and is on the right path forward,” said Gov. John Hickenlooper. “But we still have a long way to go to fully recover from the recession. That’s why we remain laser-focused on making Colorado the most pro-business state in the nation.” Despite the growth, state general fund revenue is nearly $1 billion less (when adjusted for inflation) than it was five years ago. The budget forecast increase is mostly due to higher-than-expected individual and corporate income tax revenue. OSPB reports:
The foundation of Colorado’s economy has grown stronger, with improvements in the long-struggling housing market, continued growth in jobs, increased energy production, export growth, and reduced household debt loads. The state also appears to be adapting better than many other regions to the increasingly dynamic, information-driven, and technology-intensive economy. At the national level, however, signs of weakening are becoming more apparent. Global growth has also slowed. Europe’s troubles present substantial risks and there is heightened uncertainty over federal fiscal issues. Thus, OSPB is maintaining a cautious forecast for FY 2012-13 as the economy muddles through the heightened uncertainty and weaker global economic conditions. Colorado should continue to outperform the nation. However, if the current headwinds and downside risks abate, or if Colorado proves to be resilient against the national and global slowdown, the economy and thus revenue will perform better than forecast. “Our current outlook is tempered by the various risks to the recovery,” said Henry Sobanet, executive director of OSPB. “However, we can see a scenario where Colorado remains relatively insulated and in that case revenues could be higher than projected.”