Monthly Archives: August 2012

NORTHWEST COLORADO NEWS AND SPORTS FOR FRIDAY, AUGUST 31ST

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Fire Restriction Changes In Dinosaur

Dinosaur National Monument Reduces Fire Restrictions.  Superintendent Mary Risser announced today that fire restrictions within Dinosaur National Monument will be reduced from Stage II to Stage I as of Friday, August 31. The cooler weather and increased moisture have lessened the fire danger somewhat, but not to the point that all restrictions can be lifted.  To protect visitors and park staff in Dinosaur National Monument and the natural and cultural resources, open fire restrictions remain in place.  Building or using any open fire, campfire, or charcoal fire except within National Park Service-provided fire grates at developed campgrounds located at Green River, Split Mountain, Rainbow Park, Echo Park, Gates of Lodore and Deerlodge Park is prohibited. Charcoal fires or the use of charcoal in grills along the Harpers Corner Road and at Plug Hat Butte Picnic Area are still prohibited at this time due to the dry and windy conditions in this area. Stoves that use pressurized gas or liquid fuel are permitted. All backcountry camp fires are prohibited, including along the Green and Yampa Rivers. This includes building any type of fire in a fire pan.  Smoking is permitted only in enclosed vehicles, developed recreation site, or in areas cleared of all flammable material. Fireworks are strictly prohibited in Dinosaur National Monument.  These restrictions will remain in effect until such time as the fire danger in the park becomes less severe .  You can read more about area fire restriction and other tips for staying safe in the outdoor this weekend here.

 

Resource Advisory Councils Appointments

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced the 2012 appointments to the Colorado citizen-based Resource Advisory Councils, or RAC, which advise the Bureau of Land Management on public land issues. Each RAC is comprised of 15 members representing a balance of public land resources and users. In Colorado the BLM has three RACs, one assigned to each district. The RAC members from Northwest Colorado district are…returning member Kai Turner of Meeker who will represent the public-at-large  and returning member Dona Shue of Meeker representing wild horse and burro interests.

 

Warning to Colorado Drivers

As Coloradans prepare to head out on the roads this Labor Day Weekend, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and statewide law enforcement agencies have a warning: Don’t even think about drinking and driving because DUI patrols will be out in force.  Sobriety checkpoints and increased DUI patrols are under way across the state through early Tuesday morning.  The enforcement is part of the summer-long “100 Days of Heat” campaign and coincides with the National DUI Crackdown.  Since Colorado joined the national effort on Aug. 17th, law enforcement officers have averaged over 50 DUI arrests per day.  That number is expected to go way up because only half of the 110 participating agencies have reported their arrests so far, according to CDOT. During last year’s national DUI crackdown, police made 1,442 DUI arrests.  “There’s no day off this Labor Day weekend for hundreds of troopers, police officers and deputies who will be working tirelessly to keep impaired drivers off our roadways,” said Colonel James Wolfinbarger, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol.  “Now is the time to make a plan for a designated driver or public transportation.  There are many big events across Colorado this weekend, from the Rocky Mountain Showdown in Denver, to the Four Corners Motorcycle Rally in Ignacio, and the Colorado State Fair in Pueblo.  No matter where you are in the state, please take the time to designate a sober driver and don’t forget to buckle up.”  Here are “DUI Arrests By the Numbers”: Since the “100 Days of Heat” campaign began Memorial Weekend, Colorado law enforcement agencies have made 2,097 DUI arrests in Colorado during enforcement periods and at checkpoints.  According to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation’s annual crime report, 26,146 adults and juveniles were arrested for DUI in 2011, making it an average of 72 DUI arrests per day in the state.    In addition to increased patrols and saturation patrols, the following agencies are conducting sobriety checkpoints:

 

HELICOPTER LOGGING ON HOWELSEN HILL

The City of Steamboat has contracted with a local logging company to remove more than 90 mature Douglas-fir trees from the Howelsen Hill Ski Jump Complex on Sept. 15 and 16. A forest health assessment conducted by the Colorado State Forest Service indicated that many of the Douglas-fir on the hill are infested by Douglas-fir beetles — close relatives of the mountain pine beetles that have affected millions of acres of lodgepole pine forest in Colorado. Removing the trees at Howelsen Hill will help prevent further spread of the beetles.  The harvesting operation is one of several recommended treatments which will improve the stand’s health while creating a safer environment for recreational users. Logs will be removed by helicopter to minimize the impact on remaining vegetation and existing trails.  The Colorado State Forest Service completed the forest health assessment of the Howelsen Hill Ski Jump Complex in June and recommended an integrated management approach. This integrated approach includes harvesting treatments, pheromone deployment, and further monitoring and evaluation. Preventive spraying can be effective at preventing bark beetle infestation in some cases, but will not be used at Howelsen Hill because of concerns with the difficulty of spray operations on steep slopes and potential concerns regarding the use of chemicals close to water.  The project area’s extreme slope requires a technically complex operation, which consists of the removal of all trees affected by the Douglas-fir beetle.  “The removal of all infested trees will provide the best opportunity for controlling the present infestation,” said Carolina Manriquez, forester with the CSFS Steamboat Springs District. “However, the Douglas-fir beetle is an endemic species in this area, and could still pose a problem in the future.”  Manriquez says another significant reason for removing the trees is that, when dead, they represent a hazard to recreational users and the ski jumps themselves. Trail closures may be necessary during the removal phase of this work and the City of Steamboat Springs requests that all trail users respect these closures for safety reasons.  Sawyer crews will be working on site felling dead and infected trees during the next few weeks and future updates will be provided as we prepare for removal of these trees off site.

Woman Gets 30 Years

An Oregon woman has been sentenced to 30 years in federal prison for her role in a carjacking and attempted murder south of Rock Springs in 2011.   Sweetwater County Sheriff Rich Haskell said Jessica Fritts, 36, and her husband, 34-year-old Roy Fritts, were arrested near Echo, Utah, in 2011, following a multi-state crime spree that included carjackings in two states, a shooting in Sweetwater County, and a law enforcement pursuit that culminated in the pair’s capture.   Roy Fritts was already wanted for parole violation at the time of the capture, having just served 10 years in prison for the attempted murder of an Oregon sheriff.  He and Jessica Fritts – herself an ex-convict as the result of a botched bank robbery – were hitchhiking in Nebraska when they were picked up by the California-bound Edmund Thornell three days before the shooting.  The three camped in the Firehole Canyon and The next morning, Roy Fritts shot the 54-year-old Thornell several times.   Thornell was found laying alongside the road by a Rock Springs family, who alerted authorities.  The van was spotted on Interstate 80 and the pursuit that led to the Fritts’s capture ensued.  Though critically injured, Thornell survived the shooting.   In June, Jessica Fritts pleaded guilty to federal charges of conspiracy to commit carjacking, aiding and abetting carjacking, and being a felon in possession of a firearm.   Federal District Judge Nancy Freudenthal handed down her sentence in Cheyenne Wednesday.   In July, Roy Fritts pleaded guilty before District Judge Nena James in Green River to state charges of attempted first degree murder and larceny.  He is scheduled to be sentenced on October 1st.  Attempted first degree murder carries a maximum possible penalty of life imprisonment without parole, and larceny a maximum term of imprisonment of not more than 10 years, a $10,000 fine, or both.

In High School Sports this weekend

In Football

Tonight
Steamboat travels to play Eagle Valley at 7pm
SoRoCo will host Gilpen County at 7pm
Meeker will plays Grand Valley at home at 7pm
Hayden hosts Belleview Academy at 7pm
Rangely in on the road to play Dove Creek at 7pm
The defending state champions, Little Snake River Valley travel to play 10 Sleep

Tomorrow
Moffat County will host Ridgeview Academy at noon in a game which will be broadcast live on 93.7 102.3 KRAI and on-line at KRAI.COM.  The broadcast pregame will begin at 11:45.   Preceding the game the Moffat County boosters club will hold a tailgate party fundraiser beginning at 10.  They will be serving hamburgers, beans, chips, dessert and pop for $5.

Girls Volleyball
Today
SoRoCo is at home against Eden Baptist

Today and Tomorrow
Moffat County, Meeker, Rangely and Steamboat travel for tournament play in Glenwood

Today in Cross Country
Moffat County, Rangely and Steamboat will run at Cheyenne Mountain

In Boys Soccer tomorrow
Steamboat will host Centarus at 10am

Tomorrow in Rodeo action
Moffat County will compete at Motezuma-Cortez

NORTHWEST COLORADO NEWS AND SPORTS FOR THURSDAY, AUGUST 30TH

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LABOR DAY WEEKEND FIRE AND SAFETY TIPS

Outdoor activities are at their peak over the Labor Day Weekend – which can coincide with wildfire season in the Rocky Mountain Area. To keep the good times going this weekend, keep the following tips in mind:

Stage 1 Fire Restrictions are in effect in Rio Blanco County and Bureau of Land Management public lands within the Rio Blanco and Moffat Counties. Campfires are allowed in established camp sites in established fire rings.  When traveling, find out if there are fire restrictions in effect where you plan to visit and prepare accordingly.

- Smoke in cleared areas and dispose of cigarettes properly
- Consider bringing a camp stove for your camping trip or picnic.
- Leave the fireworks at home. Possession or use of fireworks on public lands is prohibited.
- Don’t park your vehicle in dry weeds or tall grass. The hot catalytic converter on your car can start a fire in a very short time.
- Make sure your ATV (dirt bike, 4-wheeler, 3-wheeler) has an approved spark arrester and current state registration.
- Bring a water container and shovel so you can make sure your campfire is completely extinguished before you leave. Smother campfire with water and dirt and stir embers until they are cool to the touch.
- Leaving a campfire unattended is a finable offense.

  • Scrape dead grass and other flammable materials away from campfire sites.
  • Keep campfires small and under control.
  • Keep a shovel and a water container nearby to douse escaped embers.
  • Put campfires dead out before leaving your campsite or going to sleep; this requires adding water and stirring hot coals until they are cool to the touch.
  • Do not park vehicles in tall dry grass, since hot tailpipes can cause fine fuels to catch on fire.
  • Do not use fireworks as they are strictly prohibited on federal lands.
  • Remember that any ignition – cigarettes, campfires, gunfire, vehicles – could cause a wildland fire, under the right conditions.

 Dead and Dying Trees Have Increased Risks – While many campgrounds and picnic areas have reopened following removal of beetle-killed trees, most undeveloped/general forest areas still contain extensive dead and dying trees that can fall without warning, endangering people and blocking roads.  Recreationists should consider the following guidelines to reduce their risk when traveling through or recreating in beetle-killed areas.

- Be aware of your surroundings and avoid dense patches of dead trees.
- Stay out of the forest when weather forecasts call for strong winds. If you get caught in the forest when winds kick up, head to a clearing out of reach of any potential falling trees.
- Place tents and park vehicles in areas where they will not be hit if trees fall.
- When driving in remote areas of the forest, park close to a main road, rather than on a spur or one-way section.  If trees fall across the road you may be trapped.
- Bring an ax or chainsaw to remove fallen trees from roads to avoid being trapped.

  • Do not rely on cell phones for safety as there is no coverage in many areas of the forest.
  • Work to remove beetle-killed trees is ongoing.  Please be aware of and stay away from heavy equipment and log trucks.  Also, please respect associated road closures and do not try to drive around barriers.

Leading up to the Labor Day Weekend, minor changes to fire restrictions in unincorporated Moffat County are now in effect. The changes now allow small charcoal fires….and wood burning fires in contained stoves….and campfires in established fire rings. Now acceptable with a permit from the Moffat County Sheriff’s Office will be charcoal pits used for large cookouts. Permits for using welding torches are no longer required. Be aware that all other restrictions in unincorporated Moffat County including prohibitions on bonfires and open trash burning remain in effect. Note that in Dinosaur National Monument the current stage 2 restrictions will remain in effect through Sunday.  Beginning Monday campfires in the Monument will be allowed, but only in established campgrounds….and the use of charcoal will remain prohibited at the overlooks along Harper’s Corner.  It is important to note that the restrictions in Craig and other towns are not effected by any of the above changes.

 

Ely Creek Backcountry Campsites Closed Due to Black Bear Activity

Two backcountry campsites at Ely Creek, located along the Jones Hole Trail in the Dinosaur National Monument, are closed until further notice due to black bear activity in the area. “In an effort to reduce interactions between people and the bear and to reduce the possibility that the bear will get and become habituated to human food, we have decided to close the campground for the remainder of the season.”  Stated Superintendent Risser.  “Black bears start to prepare for hibernation in the summer, when they begin gorging on carbohydrate-rich nuts, berries, and other foods to gain weight for the upcoming winter,” explained Natural Resource Management Program Manager Joel Brumm. “It is important that bears be allowed to feed on wild food sources during late summer and fall to gain the weight they need for the upcoming winter. During this time, bears can gain as much as 30 pounds per week, and they require a total reserve of approximately 100 pounds of fat for their winter hibernation.”  “We have had numerous sightings reported to park staff over the past few weeks,” acknowledged Dinosaur National Monument Chief Ranger, Lee Buschkowsky. “The bear seems to be residing in the area – at least temporarily.” Park staff will not take reservations for the campsites. The Jones Hole Trail remains open at this time. The trail is very popular with fisherman and day hikers. The Jones Hole river campsites also remain open, but these sites are reserved for river rafting groups through September 14.  Visitors to the popular Jones Hole Trail are advised to be on the lookout for black bears. Although visitors to Dinosaur National Monument may not think of the monument as “bear country,” frequent sightings confirm black bears do live here. Hikers are encouraged to be alert for their presence and report bear sightings as soon as possible at a visitor center or ranger station.  Park visitors are reminded to store food, garbage, camp coolers, and other items that can attract bears in bear-proof storage boxes or hang any items in a bag from a tree. This helps keep bears from becoming conditioned to human foods and helps keep park visitors and their property safe. Should you encounter a bear, never approach it. You should leave the area immediately.

 

Back To School Bus Safety Tips For Parents And Kids

A new school year means new routines. And if your child is one of the millions of kids who ride the school bus, you should be encouraged by U.S. Department of Transportation statistics that cite it as the safest mode of transportation for children to get to and from school.  Nevertheless, riding the school bus safely does require children to be aware and follow specific safety procedures. That’s why the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Chuggington, the educational animated children’s television program, have partnered to offer parents and children important school bus safety tips as part of the ‘Think Safe, Ride Safe, Be Safe!’ traffic safety campaign. The national traffic safety campaign helps parents teach their children about NHTSA’s recommended pedestrian, school bus, bike and car seat safety guidelines.

Below are a few school bus safety tips from the ‘Think Safe, Ride Safe, Be Safe!’ campaign for you to share with your children to make riding the school bus a safer experience:

• Be especially careful around the “danger zone,” which is 10 feet in front, behind and on each side of the school bus. To avoid this area, wait for the bus at least five giant steps away from the road.

• Wait to board the school bus until the school bus driver says it’s safe to do so. Kids should board one at a time and use the handrails to go up and down the stairs.

• Once on the school bus, go straight to your seat and remain sitting, facing the front of the school bus.

• Look out for cars before getting off the school bus. Once off, take five giant steps away from the school bus.

• Wait for the driver or crossing guard to signal it is safe to cross the street. Always look left-right-left to make sure no cars are coming before crossing the road.

Traffic safety education should be a positive, shared family experience. Parents can go online with children and take the pledge to ‘Be Safe!’ together at www.chuggington.com/safety. In addition to the pledge (to date, more than 500,000 children have taken the pledge to ‘Be Safe!’), families can access a safety game, activities, downloadable tip sheets and even a free traffic safety app.

By following the rules, both parents and children can help make getting to and from school each day safer for everyone.

 

MEETING TODAY IN CRAIG ABOUT PROPOSED CASINO

The Sleeping Giant Group, that organization that is proposing a Native-American-owned casino near Hayden will hold a community meeting this afternoon at the Moffat County Fairgrounds Pavilion.  The meeting will begin at 5:30.  The Group is expected to make a brief presentation and take questions and provide answers to attendees.  A link to the Sleeping Giant Group’s Casino website can be found here.

 

Bovine Trichomoniasis Update

The Colorado Department of Agriculture reminds cattle owners to test their herd for Bovine Trichomoniasis.

·         As of 8/29/2012, there are currently two positive trich locations in two Colorado counties: Las Animas and Pueblo.

·         So far this year, there have been 12 trich cases in eight counties: Conejos, Kit Carson, La Plata, Las Animas, Montezuma, Pueblo, Weld and Yuma.

·         A map detailing trichomoniasis sample submissions by county and the prevalence for trichomoniasis-positive counties can be found here.

“Testing and monitoring herds for trichomoniasis is the best method of controlling this infection,” said State Veterinarian, Dr. Keith Roehr.  “Cattle owners should talk to their veterinarian to determine the best management practices for their herd.”  “Trich” is a costly, yet preventable, infection that can affect dairy and beef cattle.  If bulls become infected, the percentage of open cows can increase from 5 to 30 percent.  Trich is a venereal disease of cattle caused by Trichomonas foetus (T. Foetus).  The T. foetus infection causes fertility problems, such as early embryonic death or abortion of the calf, and is asymptomatic in bulls.  Colorado trich regulations require all non-virgin bulls changing ownership or being transported into Colorado be tested for T. foetus unless the animal is going to slaughter.  Bulls on public land grazing permits or with grazing associations must also be tested prior to turn-out.  Several diagnostic laboratories across the state offer trich testing; samples must be taken by an accredited veterinarian.  For testing questions call CDA Animal Industry Division at (303) 239-4161.

 

The Denver Broncos have one more preseason game to go before they name their 53 players.  The Broncos take the field versus the Arizona Cardinals tonight to conclude the preseason. John Fox has already stated that Peyton Manning and many starters won’t see the field. Apparently, the Cardinals won’t play many of their starters either.  As is the case every preseason, there are many players on the bubble. Whether it is veterans, rookies or free agents, every type of player is fighting for a job in the last preseason game. Those players on the bubble will get their final chance to shine in tonight’s game.  You can hear tonight’s game on 55 Country.  The pre-game starts at 7:05pm, the kickoff is at 9pm.

 

NORTHWEST COLORADO NEWS AND SPORTS FOR WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 29TH

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FIRE RESTRICTIONS IN MOFFAT COUNTY LOOSENED

Leading up to the Labor Day Weekend, minor changes to fire restrictions in unincorporated Moffat County are now in effect. The changes now allow small charcoal fires….and wood burning fires in contained stoves….and campfires in established fire rings. Now acceptable with a permit from the Moffat County Sheriff’s Office will be charcoal pits used for large cookouts. Permits for using welding torches are no longer required. Be aware that all other restrictions in unincorporated Moffat County including prohibitions on bonfires and open trash burning remain in effect. Note that in Dinosaur National Monument the current stage 2 restrictions will remain in effect through Sunday.  Beginning Monday campfires in the Monument will be allowed, but only in established campgrounds….and the use of charcoal will remain prohibited at the overlooks along Harper’s Corner.  It is important to note that the restrictions in Craig and other towns are not effected by any of the above changes.

 

PUBLIC ADVISED ABOUT FALL BEAR ACTIVITY

Cooler mornings and shorter days are reminders for people that fall will soon arrive. This is the time of year that black bears begin their annual food binge as they prepare for hibernation.  Colorado Parks and Wildlife encourages everyone to practice good habits that can help prevent serious interactions with hungry bears by obeying local ordinances, secure your trash, remove any accessible food source and never intentionally feed a bear.  By following these few simple recommendations you can reduce the possibility of conflicts with bears.  Research shows that bears look for, and often return to, sources of an easy meal, sometimes leading to serious consequences for both humans and bears.  If a bear appears to be aggressively looking for food from human sources, wildlife officers recommend making it feel unwelcome by yelling forcefully or throwing rocks or sticks toward the bear. If a bear cannot be scared away or continues to remain near your house, it is a sign of aggressive behavior and calling a wildlife officer is recommended. Nuisance bears – those that raid dumpsters or bird feeders, for example – can be tagged and relocated by wildlife officers before the bear becomes dependent on human food sources. If a tagged bear gets into trouble a second time, shows aggression just once, or kills livestock, it will not be relocated and must be put down immediately. You can find more information about living with bears and preventing a confrontation by visiting this link.

 

COLORADO AND THE RACE FOR PRESIDENT

While the republicans convened in Florida, President Obama spent the day at college campuses in Iowa and here in Colorado.  The Obama campaign sees the youth vote as key to his chances for re-election in November. Last election the President won over 65% of the 18- to 29-year-old vote, and polls still show he has a large lead over Romney in that age group. The question now is whether those college age voters will show up as they did in 2008.  In Colorado and Iowa, Obama and Romney are locked in close races, according to polls. And the Colorado State and Iowa State are important areas in the swing states the president is counting on to turn out voters in November.  The President is scheduled to return to Colorado, for a rally in Boulder this weekend.  At the Republican convention, where Mitt Romney was officially nominated as the party’s Presidential candidate, Colorado cast 28 of it’s 36 delegate votes for Romney…eight Ron Paul or Rick Santorum delegates abstained from voting.

 

Getting Parents Involved With Kids Education

With kids heading back to class, parents are being reminded that their children perform better in school when parents get involved.  Children spend five times as much time outside the classroom as they do in school. With all this time away from teachers, it’s important for parents to support their children’s learning.  Research shows that children, whose parents are involved with them in family literacy activities, score 10 points higher on standardized reading tests.  Below you’ll find tips for  how you can take a more active role in your child’s education.

• It all starts with you. With some preparation on your part, you can be a better resource for your child. Make sure that you, and those who spend time with your child, are well-equipped to support learning.

• Turn a household shopping trip into a fun chance to do math. Take a walk outside to discuss nature or the community. Make a lesson plan out of the world around you.

• Develop a partnership with your child’s teachers. Talk with them about homework and be sure you understand what is expected.

•Some children need and want time to play when they get home, while others may want to get homework out of the way first thing. Set a schedule for your child that works for him or her, and make it a routine. Just be sure that your expectations are clear.

• Reinforce the idea that homework is not punishment, but a chance to practice new skills. You can help make it fun by rewarding progress.

• Ask your children thought-provoking questions, like what they wonder about. For inspiration you can turn to free online resources that emphasize fun in learning, such as such as   www.Wonderopolis.org.

• Help set a timeline so that school assignments are not left until the last minute. Older children with assignments that will take several days or weeks to complete may need your help learning to manage their time.

• Checking to be sure assignments are complete is great, but don’t forget it is your child’s assignment, not yours. Do not do homework for your child.

• Read to your children or with them every night. Not only is this an enjoyable way to spend time together, it will benefit the child and help instill a love of learning.

By getting more involved, you can help your children make this school year their most successful one yet.

 

FSA and RMA Emergency Loan Eligibility Changes

USDA Colorado Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Director, Trudy Kareus announced that special provisions are made to the FSA emergency loan program and to the Risk Management Agency (RMA) federal crop insurance program in order to provide greater flexibility for livestock producers facing forage and feed shortages as a result of drought.  On August 22, 2012, Secretary Vilsack announced that modifications will be made to the emergency loan program allowing them to be made earlier in the season. In the past, emergency loan eligibility was determined after the production cycle. Producers will no longer have to wait until the end of the production cycle to obtain a loan. This change will support producers who currently need assistance to help offset high production costs.  Vilsack also announced that a special provision will be made to the federal crop insurance program through RMA that will allow producers to hay or graze cover crops without forfeiting crop insurance eligibility on planted 2013 spring crops. This change is beneficial to livestock producers making forage and feed available this fall and winter. However, before making any plans to plant crop cover, producers should consult with their insurance agent, according to RMA.   “Adding more flexibility to current program requirements will make much needed assistance more readily available to producers affected by disaster,” said SED Kareus. “These changes in particular should benefit livestock producers who are facing higher feed costs or are at risk of liquidating their herd due to the drought,” she said.

For more information regarding special provisions to the emergency loan program, contact your local County FSA Office or visit their website.

 

WYOMING OVERSIZE LOAD WAIVER FOR HAY

The drought has seriously hurt Wyoming’s hay crop.   As a result, state leaders are trying to cut ranchers a break by waiving fees for over sized loads of hay coming into the state. The fee waiver will stay in effect until drought disaster designations expire or until the end of the year. Wyoming ranchers are facing one of the worst hay harvests ever, and with hay being the states largest cash crop, many are suffering. If estimates hold, this year’s crop would be the worst since the 1930’s.  Despite the change, drivers hauling oversize hay shipments still need to call ahead to Wyoming ports of entry for permission to enter the state and then stop at the nearest port to ensure they comply with safety regulations before proceeding.  Additionally, drivers need route clearance to travel through the state, since some state roads won’t accommodate an oversize load. Warning flags and signs must still be attached to an oversize load and can only be moved during daylight hours.  The fee waiver does not apply to overweight loads, because in those cases some of the hay can be offloaded to make the weight legal.

 

 

NFL Teams are only two days away from Friday’s roster cutdown date, and the Denver Broncos have one more preseason game to go before they name their 53 players.  The Broncos take the field versus the Arizona Cardinals tomorrow night to conclude the preseason. John Fox has already stated that Peyton Manning and many starters won’t see the field. Apparently, the Cardinals won’t play many of their starters either.  As is the case every preseason, there are many players on the bubble. Whether it be veterans, rookies or free agents, every type of player is fighting for a job in the last preseason game. It comes as no shock that these “bubble” players will get all of their chances to shine versus Arizona on Thursday night.  You can hear tomorrow night’s game on 55 Country.  The pre-game starts at 7:05pm, the kickoff is at 9pm.

NORTHWEST COLORADO NEWS AND SPORTS FOR TUESDAY, AUGUST 28TH

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PILOT KILLED IN CRASH IDENTIFIED

The pilot, killed in the crash of a single engine airplane found by a sheep herder near Milner Saturday morning, has been identified as 36 year old Peter Landherr. Landherr, a Minnesota resident who had recently lived in Steamboat, was the only person found in the wreckage. An autopsy on the body was performed yesterday. Investigators are still working to determine when the plane went down, and the cause of the crash. (Routt County Sheriff’s Office photo)

 

FIRE RESTRICTION CHANGES

In coordination with other federal, state and local agencies, fire restrictions are rescinded effective today on the Brush Creek-Hayden and Laramie Ranger Districts of the Medicine Bow National Forest.  While several factors are considered in fire restriction decisions, increased fuel moisture, the reduced occurrence of human-caused fires, and favorable long-term fire weather forecasts helped influence this decision.  Despite increased precipitation in July and part of August, overall drought conditions are expected to persist over the next several weeks.  Forest visitors are advised to use caution when building and maintaining campfires.  Always make sure that campfires are dead out, meaning that coals and other burned materials are cool before leaving a fire unattended.  Due to ongoing warm and dry conditions, Stage 2 restrictions remain in effect on the Douglas Ranger District, which includes the Laramie Peak Unit of the Medicine Bow National Forest and the Thunder Basin National Grassland.  Under Stage 2 Fire Restrictions, no fires are allowed, even in developed campgrounds and picnic areas.

WILD WEST AIR FEST THIS WEEKEND

The 8th Annual “Wild West Air Fest” will headline Steamboats Labor Day Celebration this weekend.  The Air Fest which will be held on Saturday and Sunday at the Steamboat Springs Airport, will feature vintage and war-era static aircraft displays, classic cars, radio controlled airplanes, the “Wings Over the Rockies KidSpace” and the opportunity to take a plane ride!  The Air Fest is scheduled from 9 to 3 both days.  A full schedule of this weekends activities is below.

Wild West Air Fest and
Labor Day Weekend Schedule 2012

Friday, August 31:
•9am – 6pm  Sidewalk Sales – downtown Steamboat Springs

Saturday, September 1:
•9am – 2pm  Farmers Market – downtown Steamboat Springs on 6th Street next to the Court House
•10am Steamboat Springs Stage Race – Stage 1, Aspire Time Trial
•9am – 3pm Wild West Air Fest* – vintage aircraft & warbird static display and rides – Steamboat Airport
* No dogs and no smoking allowed at event site
•9am – 6pm  Sidewalk Sales – downtown Steamboat Springs
•10:30am Special Guest Speaker
•12pm Tribute to the Troops – Steamboat Springs Airport
•12:15pm  Radio Controlled Airplane Show - Steamboat Springs Airport
•1:30pm  Special Guest Speaker

Sunday, September 2:
•8am  Steamboat Springs Stage Race – Stage 2, Moots Road Race
•9am – 3pm  Wild West Air Fest* – vintage aircraft & warbird static display and rides – Steamboat Airport
*No dogs and no smoking allowed at event site
•9am – 6pm  Sidewalk Sales – downtown Steamboat Springs
•10am 10K at 10,000ft., Running Series
•10:30am Special Guest Speaker
•11am – 3pm Downtown Hoedown and Chuckwagon Chili Challenge - downtown Steamboat Springs on 8th & Oak Streets
•12:15pm  Radio Controlled Airplane show - Steamboat Springs Airport
•1:30pm  Special Guest Speaker
•5:00pm  Rocky Mountain Bull Bash P.B.R. - Romick Arena in downtown Steamboat Springs (Gates open at 3:00 p.m. – Purchase your tickets at the Steamboat Visitor Center)

Monday, September 3:
•8am Steamboat Springs Stage Race – Stage 3, Ski & Bike Kare Criterium
•9am – 6pm  Sidewalk Sales – downtown Steamboat Springs

 

PRESIDENT TO VISIT COLORADO THIS WEEK

President Obama will be in Colorado this week, visiting Fort Collins today, then return for a Boulder visit on Sunday. As Colorado is a key swing state, Obama and Mitt Romney have both visited the state a dozen times this year.  This trip, the President is visiting the two college towns with hopes of recreating the enthusiasm from young adults, that swept him into office four years ago.

 

VICTIM FUND OVER $3 MILLION

Contributions to the Aurora Victim Relief Fund is now over $3 million.  The fund was established  to assist the victims of the mass shooting at the Century 16 movie complex in Aurora.  To date, the fund has received 4,100 donations from across the country and around the world.  A Foundation established the Aurora Victim Relief Fund in partnership with Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper in response to the shootings. It will first meet the immediate and long-term needs of victims and their families

Today

In boys golf:
Moffat County goes to Grand Junction Central.

Tomorrow

In boys golf:
Moffat County goes to Delta.

NORTHWEST COLORADO NEWS AND SPORTS FOR MONDAY, AUGUST 27TH

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SMALL PLANE CRASH FOUND IN ROUTT COUNTY

Authorities say a man was killed in a small plane crash in Routt County.  Reports say a sheep herder discovered the crash near Milner at about noon on Saturday, and the pilot, whose name has not been released, was the only person on board.  Undersheriff Ray Birch says the man is not from the area, and it is unclear when the single-engine Piper crashed.

 

TIPTON AND GARDNER ASK FOR CRP EXTENSION

Congressmen Cory Gardner and Scott Tipton have asked U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to extend the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres for haying and livestock grazing through November. The pair of Congressmen wrote that an extension would carry Colorado cattlemen through the corn harvest. They say until corn, corn stalks and wheat grass are available for feed, cattle need to be able to graze on CRP land. If this does not occur, they fear many ranchers who have been able to withstand the drought thus far will be forced to sell their livestock in the final days before fall and winter feeds are available.

 

DUI ENFORCEMENT WILL BE STRONG OVER HOLIDAY WEEKEND

Law enforcement will be out in full force over the Labor Day Weekend, cracking down on drunk and drugged drivers.  The Colorado State patrol is teaming up with local law enforcement agencies, planning DUI checkpoints and saturation patrols.  Last year, there were 67 people killed in alcohol related crashes between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day.  That’s a 19% increase from the year before.  Motorists are encouraged to report suspected drunk drivers.

 

FORESTERS SAY DROUGHT COULD AFFECT FALL COLOR SEASON

Foresters are keeping an eye on how dry conditions in the mountains this summer will affect fall foliage.  Chris Forman, Aspen’s city forester, says the yellow leaves popping up in the area could indicate stressed trees and could mean an early and shorter color season.  But Jim Kravitz with the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies says the rain in July and August has helped nourish a lot of the forest. And he predicts the trees’ color will peak the third week of September, which is the time it typically occurs.  He adds that no two seasons are alike and points to a new ACES program that encourages people to take pictures of certain plants, and then write down their locations to create an ongoing record.

 

SWEETWATER COUNTY AUTHORITIES IDENTIFY MURDER VICTIM

Sweetwater County Sheriff’s deputies have identified the body of a teenager found murdered near Rock Springs.  The body of 17 year old Rigoberto Alvarado, Jr. was reported missing by his father on July 30th, after the boy had left his family’s apartment the night before and not returned home.  While deputies aren’t releasing details of the injuries found on Alvarado’s body, they say the teeneager was the victim of a homicide.  A $5,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone involved in the boy’s death.  Any information should be reported to the Sweetwater COunty Sheriff’s Office or the Rock Springs Police Department.

 

ROMNEY TO MAKE CAMPAIGN STOPS IN COLORADO TODAY

Mitt Romney will campaign in Colorado today.  He’ll make stops in Grand Junction, Gunnison, Canon City, and Colorado Springs.  Tomorrow President Obama will make a stop at CSU in Fort Collins. It’s part of a two-day college tour across the country to talk in part, about improving higher education.

In high school sports:
Today:

In boys tennis:
Steamboat hosts Boulder.

Tomorrow:
In boys golf:
Moffat County goes to Grand Junction Central.

 

NORTHWEST COLORADO NEWS AND SPORTS FOR SUNDAY, AUGUST 26TH

Things Get Spicy at the Colorado State Fair

Since the Colorado State Fair’s hometown of Pueblo is so well-known for its delicious home-grown chilies, it only seems natural to continue the Green Chili Championship and Salsa Challenge at the 2012 Colorado State Fair.  Celebrate the delicious Colorado flavors by stirring up your favorite batch of salsa and chili.  The winner of the Green Chili Championship will claim $100 and bragging rights.  The contest will be held on September 1, 2012; registration is now open with an entry deadline of August 30, 2012.   The winner of the Salsa Challenge will receive $50 for their flavorful condiment.  The contest will be held on September 2, 2012; registration is now open with an entry deadline of August 31, 2012.  Participants can then stay to enjoy all the festivities of Fiesta Day!   For contest details, official rules, and a list of other special contests, contact the Colorado State Fair general entry office at 719-404-2080 or visit www.coloradostatefair.com.  The Colorado State Fair runs until September 3.

Colorado Fire Relief Fund Tops $1 Million In Pledges

Gov. John Hickenlooper announced the Colorado Fire Relief Fund 2012 has received more than $1 million in pledges to support intermediate needs of wildfire victims this year.  “Coloradans are demonstrating a tremendous willingness to help those impacted by the wildfires,” Hickenlooper said. “We will be forever grateful to the individual donors, businesses and others who are giving their time and money to help others recover and rebuild.”  The Colorado Fire Relief Fund 2012 is administered by the Denver Foundation and chaired by David Miller. A board composed of CEOs at community foundations in the areas most affected by the fires this year will determine how funds will be awarded.  “We are committed to making sure this fund is advised by local communities and that the money gets to those who need it most and where other resources are not available,” said Miller, president and CEO of the Denver Foundation.  The fund was created on June 28 and is actively connecting with local communities to identify needs, to determine a process to receive proposals and to distribute funds. “We are learning a lot from the people who handled donated funds for victims of the San Diego fires in 2003 and 2007,” said Jamie Van Leeuwen, senior advisor to Hickenlooper. “We are committed to defining a process that is both transparent and accountable.”  The grant process is expected to be announced in the coming weeks.  The Colorado Fire Relief Fund 2012, which is designed to handle gifts of $1,000 or more, is partnering with El Pomar Foundation and other funding partners to ensure that award distribution between different wildfire support funds is coordinated. More information about how to donate directly to an organization or how to help can be found at www.helpcoloradonow.org.

DENVER BRONCOS

The Denver Broncos fell to the San Francisco ’49ers Today 29-24.  The Broncos lead through for the first three quarters.  The Broncos final preseason game is Thursday night in Arizona.  The 55 Country pregame will begin at 7:05, the kickoff will be at 9.

NORTHWEST COLORADO NEWS AND SPORTS FOR SATURDAY, AUGUST 25TH

COLORADO LAWMAKERS ASK FOR AN EXTENSION OF CRP

Congressmen Cory Gardner and Scott Tipton have asked U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to extend the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres for haying and livestock grazing through November.  The pair of Congressmen wrote that an extension would carry Colorado cattlemen through the corn harvest. They say until corn, corn stalks and wheat grass are available for feed, cattle need to be able to graze on CRP land. If this does not occur, they fear many ranchers who have been able to withstand the drought thus far will be forced to sell their livestock in the final days before fall and winter feeds are available.

SWEETWATER COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE IDENTIFIES MURDER VICTIM

The body of a young man found near Rock Springs on Sunday afternoon has been officially confirmed to be that of a missing Rock Springs youth, the victim of murder.

In a joint release, Sweetwater County Sheriff Rich Haskell, Rock Springs Police Chief Mike Lowell, and County Coroner Dale Majhanovich said the remains have been positively identified as those of Rigoberto Alvarado, Jr., 17, who was reported missing to the Rock Springs Police Department by his father on July 30.

Haskell said a group of people exploring the remains of long-abandoned coal camps and coal mining operations outside of Rock Springs came upon the body and notified authorities.

An autopsy was performed on August 21 in Loveland, Colorado, where Alvarado’s identity was confirmed and the manner of death determined to be homicide.  Investigators said Alvarado sustained a range of injuries, but declined to describe them as the precise cause of death remains to be determined by ongoing forensic examination.  The Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office and the Rock Springs Police Department are conducting a joint investigation.

Alvarado’s disappearance has been the subject of intense investigation since the day of his disappearance.  Lowell said Police Department detectives and uniformed patrol officers have been systematically following up leads and conducting ground searches that included deployment of a Sheriff’s Office bloodhound and County Search & Rescue tracking dogs.

Officials said the focus of the investigation at this stage is on tracking Alvarado’s movements, particularly on July 29, when he left the family’s apartment in west Rock Springs at about 8:30 PM.  He did not return home that night, and his father contacted the Police Department the next day.

A reward of $5,000 is being offered for information resulting in the arrest and conviction of persons involved in Alvarado’s death.  Anyone who has such information is asked to contact either the Rock Springs Police Department at (307) 389-0264 or the Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office at (307) 350-4010.

Calls will be handled with discretion.

 

UPLAND BIRD HUNT OFFERED TO YOUTH, NOVICES IN BASALT

 

BASALT, Colo. – Colorado Parks and Wildlife will be offering youth and novice hunters an opportunity to participate in an organized, upland bird hunt at the Basalt State Wildlife Area on Sunday, Sept. 9.

Participants must possess a hunter education card, and must purchase a 2012 small game license prior to the event. Anyone 16 and under must be accompanied by a parent during the hunt.

Small game licenses can be purchased at any Colorado Parks and Wildlife office, online at wildlife.state.co.us, or by phone at 1-800-244-5613.

“This clinic is specifically designed for any novice hunter,” said Matt Yamashita, District Wildlife Manager of Basalt. “Whether you are a grown person just learning the sport or a youth needing mentorship, we encourage you to participate and learn how to be an ethical, responsible hunter.”

Activities will include a firearm safety refresher, practice shooting at clay targets and an introductory pheasant/chukar hunt.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife, working with co-sponsor National Rifle Association, will supply shotguns and ammunition. Participants may bring their own shotguns, however only 12 and 20 gauge ammunition will be supplied. Personal guns must be inspected by a wildlife officer before the hunt.

Wildlife managers say that in the past decade, the number of hunters in Colorado has not kept up with the increase in the state’s population, and license sales indicate a slight but steady decrease in number of hunters in the state. A primary reason is a lack of mentorship for novice hunters, wildlife managers said.

To reverse the trend, Colorado Parks and Wildlife has implemented programs that encourage youth, novices and women to participate in organized hunts taught by agency personnel.

“Colorado has strong hunting tradition,” continued Yamashita. “Providing novice hunters with guidance and one-on-one instruction is an effective way to keep that tradition alive.”

Participants are encouraged to: wear appropriate footwear, expect sudden weather changes, bring a sack lunch, insect repellent and any necessary supplies.

Space is limited. To reserve your spot and get further details, including times and directions to the location, contact Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s office in Glenwood Springs at 970-947-2920 before Sept. 9.

DENVER BRONCOS

The Denver Broncos host the San Francisco ’49ers Sunday.  You can catch all the action live on 55 Country with the pre-game at 11 and the kick-off at 1.

NORTHWEST COLORADO NEWS AND SPORTS FOR FRIDAY, AUGUST 24TH

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WESTERN ENERGY ALLIANCE ENDORSES ROMNEY’S ENERGY PLAN

Western Energy Alliance has endorsed the Romney Energy Plan.  According to the group’s Vice President of Government and Public Affairs, Kathleen Sgamma, they are pleased that Romney’s plan recognizes that empowering states, rather than imposing a one-size-fits-all federal government approach is the right way to increase American energy, create jobs, and grown the economy.  Sgamma says their blueprint for western energy prosperity shows how oil and natural gas producers can displace significant imports from unfriendly foreign nations in just six producing states in the West. She says by empowering states and modernizing bureaucratic processes, our nation can unlock energy resources on non-park, non-wilderness federal lands while achieving a better balance between economic growth and environmental protection.  A video showing the group’s position can be seen by clicking here.

 

DR. MILLER HAS HIS LICENSE REVOKED FOR NOT ATTENDING SUBSTANCE ABUSE EVALUATION

It seems what’s next for Craig Doctor Joel Miller, will be determined by Miller himself.  That’s according to a suspension order issued by the Colorado Medical Board that prevents the doctor from practicing.  According to the order Miller’s license was suspended Tuesday for failure to comply with a lawful order of the board.  Specifically the board ordered him to submit to a substance abuse evaluation.  Because Miller refused the evaluation, the board suspended his license, over concern of whether or not his alcohol use is preventing him from providing adequate medical care.  The order says the suspension is in effect until Miller complies with the order.

 

CRAIG POLICE WARN OF IRS SCAM

The Craig Police Department is warning residents of another telephone scam making its way through the area.  Police say citizens have been getting calls from people identifying themselves as IRS workers claiming to have good news.  The caller tells the victim that because they are a “faithful taxpayer” they will receive a refund of thousands of dollars.  Of course all the victim has to do is pay a 10% fee.  Some victims even negotiate their fee to a lower rate.  In the end, they’re directed to pay into pre-paid “Green Dot” cards to transfer the money.  One victim in Craig even received what appeared to be personal checks from people in other states.  Police remind residents that the IRS does NOT contact citizens by phone, nor do they refund monies simply because you are a faithful taxpayer.  If you have received one of these call, you’re encouraged to call your local law enforcement agency.

 

BODY FOUND NEAR ROCK SPRINGS

The Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office have discovered the body of a young man near Rock Springs that they say was murdered.  The man’s identification has not yet been released.  In fact, Deputies are being tight lipped on any of the details, until an identification has been made.  The body was found Sunday, and an autopsy was performed Tuesday in Loveland, Colorado.  The identification process should be finished sometime today.

 

NAACP ENDORSES MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION MEASURE

Colorado’s marijuana legalization measure has a new supporter – the NAACP.  Group members say that marijuana laws disproportionately impact communities of color and low-income individuals.  Colorado is one of three states where voters this fall will consider legalizing marijuana for recreational use.  Colorado’s version would allow marijuana possession in small amounts by adults over 21 without the need for a doctor’s recommendation.  The measure would also allow commercial marijuana sales, with the product subject to a steep excise tax.

 

COLORADO STATE PARKS OFFERS BOATING TIPS

With the long Labor Day weekend coming up, Colorado State Parks is offering boating safety tips.  The agency has created a video, in which Boating Safety Program Manager Kris Wahlers explains how to boat safe, boat smart and boat sober. He says boating safe means checking all your safety equipment, especially life jackets, to make sure it is in good condition. Wahlers said life jackets provide the floatation that saves lives, especially in the chilly waters of Colorado’s lakes, reservoirs and rivers.  Boating safety classes are also available, and required for 14 and 15 year olds.  To see the video, click here.

 

SWEETWATER COUNTY NURSES OFFER TIPS ON AVOIDING WEST NILE VIRUS

Due to a large nationwide outbreak of West Nile Virus the Sweetwater County Community Nursing Service has issued a warning to residents, as well as a few tips on how to avoid contracting the disease.  While the mountain states have not seen nearly the amount of cases as the midwestern and southern states, Wyoming recently recorded its first case of the year.  The nursing service says it’s key to remember the five “D’s”.  Dawn and Dusk are the peak feeding times for mosquitoes, and people should avoid spending a lot of time outdoors during these periods.  Your Dress should include socks, long pants, and long sleeved shirts made of tightly woven material.  You should Drain any shallow or stagnant standing water around areas where people gather.  And using an insect repellent with DEET will decrease your chances of getting bit.

BRONCOS VS. ’49ERS

The Denver Broncos host the San Francisco ’49ers in preseason action Sunday.  You can catch all the action live on 55 country with the pregame at 11 and the kick-off at 1.

NORTHWEST COLORADO NEWS FOR THURSDAY, AUGUST 23RD

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BLM SEEKS COMMENT ON PICEANCE BASIN OIL AND GAS PLAN

The Bureau of Land Management yesterday released the draft White River Resource Management Plan Oil and Gas Amendment, which will help guide oil and gas development in the Piceance Basin over the next 20 years.  The BLM is seeking public comment on the amendment, which analyzes four alternatives on potential oil and gas development and proposes appropriate mitigation measures on the 1.7 million acres of federal leasable minerals administered by the White River Field Office, which includes Rio Blanco County, southern Moffat County, and a small part of northern Garfield County.  In 2012, oil and gas development in Colorado supported thousands of jobs and boosted the American economy by approximately $9.5 billion. Over the next 20 years, oil and gas activities in this area of the Piceance Basin could produce 878 billion cubic feet of natural gas annually and create as many as 8,000 new jobs in northwestern Colorado.  The BLM will host four public open houses to answer questions and provide an opportunity to submit written comments on this Draft RMP Amendment.  A list of the public meetings and their locations can be found below.  A final decision is expected in April 2014.

* Sept. 24, Meeker, Colorado: Rio Blanco County Fairgrounds, 779 Sulphur Creek Road

* Sept 25, Rangely, Colorado: Colorado Northwestern Community College, Rangely Campus, Weiss Building, 500 Kennedy Drive

* Sept. 26, Silt, Colorado: BLM Colorado River Valley Field Office, 2300 River Frontage Road

* Sept. 27, Grand Junction, Colorado: Clarion Inn, 755 Horizon Drive

 

BLM LEASES 400 ACRE COAL TRACT TO SAGE CREEK HOLDINGS

Yesterday the Bureau of Land Management leased a 400-acre tract for $800,000 to Sage Creek Holdings to develop about 3.2 million tons of recoverable coal adjacent to the Twentymile Coal Mine.  Sage Creek Holdings filed an application in 2009 to lease an additional 400 acres of coal adjacent to the Twentymile Coal Mine. In April 2012, the BLM finalized an environmental assessment to determine the scope of their application and potential impacts to wildlife, cultural resources and air quality. The lease would most likely be developed using underground mining methods. The mine currently employs 461 people.  Roughly, 90 percent of coal deposits in Colorado occur on public lands. Currently, there are nine producing coal mines (seven underground and two surface operations) encompassing 75,000 acres in the state. In Fiscal Year 2011, coal energy production on BLM Colorado’s public lands directly contributed $884 million to the economy.

 

YVMC TO TAKE PART IN HEALTH CARE INITIATIVE

Yampa Valley Medical Associates is one of 73 primary care practices in the state that have been selected by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to participate in a comprehensive initiative to help keep health care costs down.  The Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative is a partnership between CMS and other payers including state Medicaid agencies, commercial health plans, self-insured businesses, and primary care practices.  Under the Initiative, CMS will pay primary care practices a care management fee, initially set at an average of $20 per beneficiary per month, to support enhanced, coordinated services on behalf of Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries.  For patients, this means these physicians may offer longer and more flexible hours, use electronic health records; coordinate care with patients’ other health care providers; better engage patients and caregivers in managing their own care, and provide individualized, enhanced care for patients living with multiple chronic diseases and higher needs.  The CPC initiative is a four-year initiative administered by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation.

 

CLARK MAN RECOVERING FROM EXPLODING SHOTGUN SHELL

A 21-year-old Clark man is recovering from injuries after a shotgun shell he was drilling exploded.  Keith West told deputies he was trying to take the shell apart with a power tool on Tuesday and he didn’t realize the shell was still loaded.  Reports say West lost parts of his thumb, index and middle fingers in the accident.

 

CONNECTIONS 4 KIDS ANNOUNCES NEW CALENDAR

Connections 4 Kids, the early childhood council serving Moffat and Rio Blanco counties, has announced the release of their second annual calendar.  The calendar showcases artwork by 20 finalists featured during the organization’s Cherish the Little Things children’s art show in February. The top vote-getting artwork, a watercolor by Caitlin Running, is featured on the cover. The other 12 winners are featured on their own month. The seven runners-up are tiled on the final month.  The calendar, which runs from August 2012 through August 2013, is free and is targeted to young families in Moffat County. Included are Moffat County School District dates, community events and fun family activities.  A total of 1,000 calendars will be distributed throughout Moffat County and can be found at various locations throughout Moffat County.  For more information, call 824-8282, ext. 47.

 

MEETING IN CRAIG WILL FOCUS ON STATE ECONOMY

Those wanting to get a look at the state’s economic status are encouraged to attend a meeting next month in Craig.  The Yampa Valley Economic Development Council has invited the Center for Colorado’s Economic Future to their September meeting to discuss their annual report.  The report is expected to provide a view of the State Budget.  Discussion on the local budget development for citizen services, government, education and health care will take place.  The meeting is September 19th at 5:30 at the Moffat County Fairgrounds Pavillion.  Dinner will be served.  If you’d like to RSVP, call 871-8215.

NORTHWEST COLORADO NEWS FOR WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 22ND

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CNCC HAS SUCCESSFUL ORIENTATION DAY

On Saturday, Colorado Northwestern Community College experienced one of their most successful student orientation days to date. The Rangely and Craig Campuses welcomed new students who mingled on college campuses with CNCC faculty and staff as they prepared to get their college careers underway.  New students went through a series of welcome sessions that included activities on Time Management, Healthy Choices, Diversity, Resources, Campus Tours, and an introduction to the CNCC Challenge Course. The admissions office is still working on the new student numbers, but the numbers currently sit at approximately 170 new students on the Rangely Campus and 74 new students on the Craig Campus, which puts enrollment up nearly 40% from last year, according to CNCC President Russell George.

 

SECRETARY OF STATE WON’T RELEASE NAMES OF POTENTIALLY INELIGIBLE VOTERS

Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler says a list of nearly 4,000 registered voters he suspects are not citizens is not subject to public inspection because it is part of an investigation.  Gessler yesterday denied an open records request from The Associated Press to review the list. The secretary mailed letters to the voters last week asking them to verify their citizenship or voluntarily withdraw from the rolls.  Gessler’s office said the list is a record of an ongoing administrative investigation.  Voter rights group Common Cause has criticized Gessler’s initiative, saying it cannot ensure that eligible voters will not be removed from the rolls.  Gessler spokesman Rich Coolidge says the goal is improve the integrity of the voting rolls and not draw attention to individuals.

 

GROUP SAYS COLORADO IS NOT READY FOR NOVEMBER ELECTIONS

An elections watchdog group says it’s worried that Colorado faces issues that show the state isn’t ready for November.  According to reports, the non-profit Citizens Center says in a court filing that Boulder, Chaffee and Eagle Counties have marked ballots in a way that allows them to be traced to voters. The group says that could invalidate results.  Secretary of State Scott Gessler issued a rule Monday telling those counties to stop the markings.  Another issue of concern to Citizens Center is a state investigation in Chaffee County of a large number of primary ballots that had two colors of ink – a potential sign that votes were added in to races left blank.  Gessler spokesman Rich Coolidge says Colorado will be ready for the election.

 

COLORADO GETTING OVER $1.2 MILLION FOR VET PROGRAMS

The U.S. Department of Labor has awarded grants totaling $11.53 million through the Veterans’ Workforce Investment Program to provide an estimated 5,500 veterans with job training and skills development services. Colorado’s Department of Labor, Employment and Training will receive $1,250,000.  Eleven grants were awarded on a competitive basis to state and local workforce investment boards, local public agencies and nonprofit organizations, including faith-based and community organizations, in 10 states. These agencies are familiar with the areas and populations to be served, and have demonstrated that they can administer effective programs.  The funds will be used to provide training in fields including software and computer services, construction, auto mechanics, security, logistics, nursing, physical and occupational therapy, hospitality and the culinary arts, among others.

 

STUDY RELEASED ON FUEL EFFICIENCY

With the imminent Obama Administration announcement of historic fuel-efficiency standards for vehicles, the BlueGreen Alliance, an environmental organization, has assembled a detailed accounting of the benefits they project to accrue by the year 2030.  The data includes a state-by-state breakdown of the 570,000 jobs they say could be created in the United States by 2030 – as well as other benefits from the standard.  The report predicts the country will save nearly 23 billion gallons of gasoline in 2030 alone, resulting in $54 billion in net savings to consumers and the reduction of 270 million metric tons of carbon dioxide pollution, which helps cause global warming.  In Colorado, they say 8,500 jobs will be created and over $1.6 billion will be saved in fuel costs.

 

SWEETWATER COUNTY SHERIFF OFFERS HANDGUN TRAINING COURSE

The Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office is offering a civilian handgun training course for residents.  Slots are still open for the September 6th class, the last class of 2012.  The class actually takes place over two days, with a classroom course on the evening of the 6th, and a trip to the shooting range on the morning of the 8th.  Topics of the class will include grip, sight picture, trigger control and safety.  The cost for the class is $30.  Participants must supply their own handgun, 100 rounds of ammunition, ear protection, and weather appropriate clothing.  If you’re interested in taking the course, call the Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office at (307) 352-4901.

 

NORTHWEST COLORADO NEWS FOR TUESDAY, AUGUST 21ST

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HAY DIRECTORY LIST IS AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC

The Colorado Department of Agriculture publishes the Colorado Hay Directory annually to help connect hay producers with buyers. The 2012 edition of the directory is available to the public at no cost.  The 26th edition of the Colorado Hay Directory features producers and brokers of hay as well as companies that provide hay-related products and services. Categorized by region, each listing includes the type and amount of hay available, bale type and size, whether or not laboratory analysis is available, certified weed free status and identifies organic hay.  The directory and other hay resources are available online, by clicking here.

 

AAA PREDICTS TYPICAL TRAVEL PLANS FOR AMERICANS OVER LABOR DAY

AAA Colorado projects 553,000 Colorado residents will travel during the Labor Day holiday weekend, a 3.2 percent increase over last year. This is the third consecutive increase in Colorado holiday travel this year with a forecasted 1.4 percent year over year increase for Memorial Day and 4.8 percent year over year increase for Independence Day holiday travel. Nationwide, the 33 million Americans traveling over the Labor Day holiday is a 2.9 percent increase over 2011 and a new post-recession high.  The Labor Day holiday travel period is defined as Thursday, August 30 to Monday, September 3.  As the Labor Day holiday weekend approaches, increases in gas prices could cause some travelers to alter their plans.

 

FEMA WARNS OF DRYER FIRES

The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) U.S. Fire Administration has issued a special report this month, examining the characteristics of clothes dryer fires in residential buildings.  The report is based on data gathered over the last two years.  According to the report 2,900 clothes dryer fires are reported to fire departments throughout the nation each year.  Those fires cause 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million dollars in property loss.  The trend is higher in winter months, and failure to clean out the lint trap was the leading contributing factor.  More information about clothes dryer fires, including prevention tips, can be found by clicking here.

 

COLORADO SEEING AN EPIDEMIC OF WHOOPING COUGH

State Health Officials say Colorado is seeing an epidemic of whooping cough this year.  They’re urging people to make sure their immunizations are up to date, especially those who come in contact with babies.  The disease is extremely dangerous for babies.  From January 1st to August 11th, the state had 715 cases compared to an average of 158 cases for the same time period for 2007 to 2011.  The highest rate of cases has been among infants younger than 6 months old.  Cases have been discovered all across the state but most are on the Front Range.  Larimer County has had 38 cases since January 1st.

 

HICKENLOOPER TO SPEAK AT DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper will get another chance to speak to delegates at the Democratic National Convention.  Hickenlooper is scheduled to address the convention in Charlotte next month.  The convention is scheduled for September 3rd through the 6th, but details of Hickenlooper’s speech have not been released.  Hickenlooper spoke to delegates at the convention in Denver four years ago when he was mayor of Denver.

 

COLORADO JOINS COLLEGE READINESS PARTNERSHIP

Colorado officially joined as a governing member the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) which is a 23-state consortium working together to create next generation tests in English language arts and mathematics. While Colorado has been working with PARCC over the past year, the decision to become a full governing member will ensure Colorado has a strong voice in creating the new tests which are slated to launch in Colorado in 2015.  To prepare for the national launch of the new, innovative assessments, PARCC just released its first set of item and task prototypes. These are designed to give educators and the public a preview of what some of the assessments items may look like. To view the item and task prototypes, click here.  Additional sample test items will be released over the next two years.

 

TEACHERS WORRIED ABOUT LIMITED INTERNET ACCESS

Colorado educators are worried that limited access to the Internet will hurt some school children as the state takes testing online.  Many rural communities lack high-speed access and in some cases, classes are forced to log off so other classes can get the information they need.  Classes ranging from Advanced Placement to world languages may not even be available.  The Colorado Department of Education says cost is a big factor in determining which schools get high-speed Internet.

 

NORTHWEST COLORADO NEWS AND SPORTS FOR MONDAY, AUGUST 20TH

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BLM RELEASES ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT OF LANDS UP FOR LEASE

The Bureau of Land Management Little Snake Field Office has released a preliminary environmental assessment for public review that evaluates offering 20 parcels in Moffat, Routt and Rio Blanco counties in the Feb. 2013 competitive oil and gas lease sale.  The parcels total 12,038 acres of federal mineral estate, with 47 percent being under BLM-managed lands and 53 percent under non-federal lands.  BLM considered but deferred offering an additional 39 parcels totaling 51,100 acres because they were in preliminary priority Greater Sage-grouse habitat. These parcels were primarily in Moffat County.  The EA, a list of the parcels and the attached stipulations are available online, by clicking here.

 

CRAIG CHAMBER WARNS OF POSSIBLE SCAM

Several area businesses have received a call from School Sports R Us soliciting advertising for a Moffat County High School basketball schedule poster.  According to MCHS athletic director Jeff Simon, the school district DOES NOT endorse this project, receive a portion of the revenues or partner with the distributor in any way.  The Better Business Bureau has issued warnings about similar companies, although have not targeted School Sports R Us specifically. The sales tactics are very similar to those the BBB has identified as fraudulent.  The Craig Chamber warns all businesses to carefully investigate all companies seeking advertising dollars. Businesses that purchase advertising space should research each company diligently and send requests for specific details on products and distribution plans prior to agreeing to any service.  The Craig Chamber will research the validity of any company reported to them, and issue warnings as appropriate to prevent local businesses from being the targets of unethical, questionable or fraudulent businesses.

 

OUTDOOR MOVIE NIGHT SCHEDULED FOR HAYDEN

The Hayden Congregational United Church of Christ and Hayden Police Department will hold a free family night August 24th at the church.  There will be a potato bar & root beer floats.  The night starts at 7:30. Those who show up will also be treated to an outdoor movie & popcorn beginning at dusk.  You’re encouraged to dress representing your favorite football team.

 

AUGUST/LABOR DAY CRACKDOWN

If you drink and drive in Eagle County beware, the Gore Range DUI Task Force is joining with law enforcement throughout the nation for the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign August 17 to September 3, 2012.  The strong nationwide impaired driving crackdown will include high-visibility enforcement, high-profile events, and will be supported by national paid advertising, creating a comprehensive campaign to curb alcohol impaired driving in August and through the Labor Day holiday weekend.  The Gore Range DUI Task Force said its Officers, Troopers and Deputies will be aggressively looking for impaired drivers during the crackdown and will arrest anyone caught driving impaired.

 

JUDGE RULES IN POT CASE

A state judge invalidated a $40,000 contract between a grower and a supplier in a ruling seen as having potential impact on the marijuana industry.  The ruling by Arapahoe County District Court Judge Charles Pratt involved a dispute between grower Quincy Haeberle and Blue Sky Care Connection. Pratt this month relied on past rulings that contracts concerning illegal activities are invalid. Pratt in his ruling also said that federal law pre-empts state law.  Sean McAllister, an attorney specializing in marijuana, says the ruling does not take into account other legal decisions.  McAllister says Pratt’s ruling could detrimental to the marijuana industry if other judges rule the same way, but adds that’s not widely expected.

 

MAN ARRESTED FOR TRYING TO STRANGLE WOMAN IN ROCK SPRINGS

The Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office says a dog may have prevented a murder.  49-year old Martin Moss was arrested last week on charges of trying to strangle a household member and interference with emergency calls.  Kimmy Evans reported to deputies that Moss had lost his temper and began strangling her at their home in Clearview Acres.  She says just before she lost consciousness, her dog Tar came to her rescue by biting Moss.  After Moss destroyed the house phone, Evans used her cell phone to call 9-1-1.  Moss is being held on $20,000 bond and faces over $10,000 in fines and up to 5 years in prison.