NORTHWEST COLORADO NEWS AND SPORTS FOR FRIDAY, APRIL 19TH

FOREST SERVICE TO DISCUSS WATER RIGHTS WITH SKI AREAS

The U.S. Forest Service is reviewing ski area water rights on public land.  The National Ski Areas Association met with the agency this week and offered several options that would limit the need for the Forest Service to take ownership of water rights used on public land.  The association’s options would require ski areas to prove sufficient water is available for every new project and any ski area sale would include options to sell water rights to the buyer, the local community or the Forest Service.

 

PINWHEELS BEING SOLD TO MARK CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION MONTH

Connections 4 Kids, the Moffat County Child Protection Team, Northwest Rocky Mountain Court-Appointed Special Advocates, McDonald’s of Craig and Prevent Child Abuse Colorado have teamed up to plant a “blue and silver Pinwheels for Prevention” garden in Craig this month.  The pinwheels will be on display today through April 30th at the Craig McDonald’s. In addition, Connections 4 Kids, the early childhood council serving Moffat and Rio Blanco counties, will offer free pinwheels and information to children attending the Celebrate Children Festival from 10 to 2 tomorrow at the Centennial Mall.  The pinwheels are reflective of the bright futures that all children deserve to have and are in observance of National Child Abuse Prevention Month and National Week of the Young Child, which is recognized April 14th to the 20th.  For more information about the pinwheel program, click here.

COMMUNITY HEALTH FAIR IN CRAIG TOMORROW

The Community Health Fair in Craig takes place tomorrow.  The fair will feature health screenings, presentations, booth activities and healthy snacks.  There will be costs associated with some of the services.  Preregistration is recommended.  You can do that by calling the hospital.  The Community Health Fair runs from 7:30 to 1 tomorrow at the Memorial Hospital at Craig.  For more information, click here.

SENATORS JOIN TO INTRODUCE IMMIGRATION REFORM

U.S. Senators and prominent advocates from across the spectrum yesterday kicked off the process in the Senate to pass a bipartisan bill to fix the country’s immigration system.  The senators formally outlined the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013, which will provide a path to citizenship for the 11 million people living in the country without documentation. It increases the number of visas available for workers specializing in high tech industries, eliminates the unworkable H2A system for agriculture workers, replacing it with a new streamlined system. It creates a guest worker program agreed to by labor and business for lesser-skilled workers to come into the country to meet labor demands in industries such as tourism and hospitality.  The bill would provide people living in the country without documentation the opportunity to apply for legal status call Registered Provisional Immigrant Status (RPI). To receive RPI, they must have been in the country before December 31st, 2011 and be in good standing with the law. Under RPI status immigrants must pay a fine, pay taxes, be regularly employed and maintain a regular presence in the United States. RPI status becomes available to immigrants six months after the Secretary of Homeland Security has submitted a comprehensive Southern Border Security Strategy and the Southern Border Fencing Strategy to the Congress. The bill provides $3 billion to implement the border strategy and $1.5 billion to implement the fencing strategy.

 

“COLORADO, YOU’VE GOT TALENT” IN CRAIG TOMORROW

“Colorado, You’ve Got Talent” is coming to Craig this weekend.  The program offers local citizens the chance to show off their talents, and possible advance to the regional level.   Auditions take place tomorrow from 9 to 6 at Victory Motors in Craig.  Those who are interested can fill out the online application by clicking here.  You can also fill out the application at the audition.  The entry fee is $20, but organizers say there are cases in which that fee can be waived.  This is the competition’s 4th year.

 

DEMOCRATS ADVANCE BILL MAKING MAJOR ELECTION CHANGES

House Democrats advanced major changes to how Colorado elections are run, including sending a ballot to every registered voter and allowing same-day voter registration.  Both parties argued for hours before taking an initial unrecorded voice vote yesterday evening after Republicans posed more than a dozen unsuccessful amendments.  Republican leaders contend they were excluded from the crafting of a bill that has major ramifications. Democrats insist they were transparent and point to support from a bipartisan clerks association.  The bill would also eliminate the category of “inactive” voters. That currently applies to voters who skip even one election and restricts their ability to get ballots by mail.  Although all registered voters would get ballots, they would still have the option to vote in person.  One more vote is needed before the bill heads to the Senate.

 

DEMOCRATS FIGHT AMONGST THEMSELVES OVER LABOR RIGHTS

Colorado Democrats are closer to an intraparty showdown over labor rights. The Democratic state House has approved a firefighter labor bill that the Democratic governor has threatened to veto. The bill approved Wednesday evening enhances the rights of professional firefighters to talk about working conditions, even if their communities have voted to ban their use of collective bargaining. The measure is a watered-down version of a proposal vetoed in 2009 by former Democratic Governor Bill Ritter. The current Democratic governor, John Hickenlooper, threatened to veto this year’s version, too. Local government groups argue labor decisions should be left to them. One more vote is required in the House. The bill has already passed the Senate.

 

STATE LAWMAKERS TO DECIDE WHAT TO DO WITH EXTRA TAX DOLLARS

It’s a natural result of Colorado’s improving finances: Instead of arguing over budget cuts, state lawmakers are arguing over how to spend additional tax dollars. The state Senate gave final approval Wednesday to a state version of the federal earned-income tax credit aimed at the working poor. The tax cut inspired a sharp partisan debate over whether the tax cut for about 15 percent of the population is appropriate. Democrats argued that the tax cuts help lift working people out of poverty. Republicans countered that earned-income tax credits are ripe for fraud and are a subsidy to some who don’t earn enough to owe income taxes. The bill passed on a 20-15 party-line vote and heads to the House.

In high school sports:
Yesterday:

In girls soccer:
Rangely lost to Roaring Fork (8-0).

Today:
In soccer:
Moffat County hosts Grand Junction Central at 4.
Steamboat is on the road to Rifle at 6.

In track:
Moffat County, Meeker and Soroco go to Fruita Monument at 3.
Little Snake River Valley runs at the Douglas Twilight at 2:30.

In boys swimming:
Moffat County goes to the Jeffco Invite.

Tomorrow:
In baseball:
Meeker hosts a double header with Hotchkiss.
Steamboat hosts a double header with Glenwood.  The first game starts at 11.
Moffat County goes to Basalt for a double header with the first game starting at 11.
Rangely is home for a double header with Paonia.  The first game starts at 11.

In girls soccer:
Moffat County hosts Colorado Rocky Mountain at 11.

In track:
Rangely hosts a meet at 9.

In boys swimming:
Moffat County continues at the Jeffco Invite.

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