KRAI News for Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020

The Moffat County Sheriff’s Office says United States Marshals have arrested Rick Barnes of Craig. He was arrested in Oklahoma Tuesday morning after more than a month on the run. Sheriff’s Office investigators have been working with the U.S. Marshals since an arrest warrant was issued last month, and that’s what led to the arrest of Barnes. He is facing 20-25 years in prison after a plea deal on felony charges of sexual assault, and sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust. Barnes has a court date scheduled for Sept. 16 and then again in mid-October. Barnes will be sent back to Moffat County very soon.

Rio Blanco County Commissioners courtesy Makala Barton

It was a packed house Tuesday at the Rio Blanco County Commissioners meeting. Commissioners are expecting to deal with a $2.3 million dollar deficit this year so they have to make budget cuts. One cut discussed was to move the dispatch center for the county to Colorado State Patrol in Craig. Residents spoke overwhelmingly in favor of keeping the dispatch local for Meeker and Rangely. Here’s Makala Barton who is the PR Coordinator for Rio Blanco County.

The county attorney for Rio Blanco County is putting together the wording for the ballot question. It’s estimated that a 1% increase in taxes would cover the $450,000 thousand dollar cost per year. The ballot question has to be approved and submitted by 5 p.m. this Friday.

An elevated level of lead in the drinking water has been found by Mount Werner Water in some Steamboat homes and buildings. General Manager Frank Alfone says per the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, they are required to sample and test for lead in 60 homes every six months.

The full list of steps you can take to reduce your exposure to lead in your water is below.

Steps You Can take to Reduce Your Exposure to Lead in Your Water

  1. Run your water to flush out lead. If it hasn’t been used for several hours, run the cold water tap until the temperature is noticeably colder. This flushes lead-containing water from the pipes. To conserve water, remember to catch the flushed tap water for plants or some other household use (e.g. cleaning).
  2. Always use cold water for drinking, cooking, and preparing baby formula. Never cook with or drink water from the hot water tap. Never use water from the hot water tap to make formula.
  3. Do not boil water to remove lead. Boiling water will not reduce lead.
  4. Periodically remove and clean the faucet’s strainer/aerator. While removed, run the water to remove debris.
  5. You may consider investing in a home water treatment device or alternative water source. When purchasing a water treatment device, make sure it is certified under Standard 53 by NSF International to remove lead. Contact NSF at 1-800-NSF-8010 or visit You may also visit the Water Quality Association’s website at
  6. Test your water for lead. Call us at the number below to find out how to get your water tested for lead. A list of certified laboratories is listed at
  7. Get your child’s blood tested. Contact your local health department or healthcare provider to find out how you can get your child tested for lead if you are concerned about exposure.
  8. Identify and replace plumbing fixtures containing lead. Identify and replace plumbing fixtures containing lead. Brass faucets, fittings, and valves, including those advertised as “lead-free,” may leach lead into drinking water. The NSF website at has more information on lead-containing plumbing fixtures. You should use only lead-certified contractors.
  9. Have a licensed electrician check your wiring. If grounding wires from the electrical system are attached to your pipes, corrosion may be greater. Check with a licensed electrician or your local electric code to determine if your wiring can be grounded elsewhere. DO NOT attempt to change the wiring yourself because improper grounding can cause electrical shock and fire hazards.

Fire update… It’s expensive. The four large fires that have been burning in Colorado have cost around $77 million dollars to fight. The Pine Gulch Fire north of Grand Junction is now the largest wildfire in Colorado history, burning close to 140,000 acres. It’s 79% contained. The Grizzly Creek fire which started in Glenwood Canyon is 73% contained. The Cameron Peak Fire west of Fort Collins has no containment yet. The Williams Fork Fire in Grand County is 10% contained.

For the weather, don’t forget to call the KRAI Time, Temp, and Weather Hotline at 970-824-1918.

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