NORTHWEST COLORADO NEWS AND SPORTS FOR FRIDAY, APRIL 5TH

REPUBLICANS CRITICIZE DEMOCRATIC RENEWABLE ENERGY BILL

Yesterday, Senate Democrats introduced Senate Bill 252 which expands Colorado’s renewable energy mandates by increasing the share of electricity that must be produced from renewable sources. Additionally, the bill will classify coal mine methane gas and the Waste-to-Energy process as a renewable source. The bill’s introduction comes shortly after Senate Democrats killed two Republican sponsored measures by Senators Randy Baumgardner and Kevin Grantham earlier this year that sought to utilize coal mine methane gas and Waste-to-Energy process for new job opportunities.  Baumgardner says his bill would have invested in Colorado’s future by encouraging the capture of coal mine methane gas and the construction of methane capture facilities in Colorado without the costly mandates, which he says would have incentivized utilities to use coal mine methane gas as part of their renewable energy portfolio.  He says Senate Bill 252 will only increase costs on the backs of rural consumers.  The Democrat sponsored bill includes new mandates that will raise families and businesses’ utility bills. Customers of electric co-ops will be particularly hard hit and will see their rates increase because the mandates will more than double.

 

STEAMBOAT TEEN COUNCIL LOOKING FOR APPLICANTS

The Steamboat Springs Teen Council is now accepting applications for the 2013-2014 school year. The all-teen organization works to give teens a voice in the community.  Youth will learn leadership and team-building skills while helping to guide community decisions that affect teens. Students currently in 8th through 11th grades are encouraged to apply. The application deadline is April 17th.  You can download an application by clicking here, or call 970-879-4300 ext. 354.

 

DEGETTE COMES UNDER FIRE FOR UNEDUCATED COMMENTS

Gun rights advocates are criticizing Colorado congresswoman Diana DeGette for an erroneous statement about ammunition magazines.  DeGette is the prime sponsor of a federal ban on high-capacity magazines. At a Denver Post forum Tuesday, DeGette said that banning high-capacity magazines would eventually reduce gun violence because “the bullets will have been shot and there won’t be any more available.”  Magazines, however, can be reloaded with more bullets and used over and over again.  A spokeswoman said DeGette misspoke but made another mistake in offering an explanation. She said that DeGette should have instead referred to “clips.” But they usually can be reused too.  Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith said people who don’t shoot need to “get the facts” so educated decisions can be made.

 

LAWMAKERS CONTINUE DEBATING MARIJUANA REGULATION

The marijuana regulation debate in Colorado continued yesterday with lawmakers asking who should regulate the newly legal drug.  A special House-Senate pot committee planned to grill officials with the Department of Revenue.  That’s the state agency that currently oversees medical marijuana.  The Department is slated to regulate recreational pot, too – but its weed regulation was called into serious question last week in a scathing state audit.  The Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division was described as a directionless agency that wasted money on cars and office furniture while running out of money to track marijuana as promised.  Lawmakers want assurances that problems have been corrected and that the Department is prepared to oversee a likely crush of marijuana businesses. Commercial sales to adults over 21 are set to begin in January.

 

STATE HOUSE APPROVES $20.5 MILLION BUDGET

The Colorado House has approved a $20.5 billion budget that includes more money for schools, colleges and parole officers.  The House voted to add nearly $500,000 for more parole officers in the wake of a parolee recently slipping through the cracks in the criminal justice system to become a suspect in the killing of the state’s prisons chief.  Next year’s proposed budget already cleared the Democrat-led Senate. The parole amendment wasn’t in the Senate version, so lawmakers will have to keep working.  The budget reflects small growth in the general fund, which consists of tax revenue and is the portion of spending that lawmakers control. General fund spending is expected to be at about $8.2 billion next fiscal year, compared to $7.6 billion in the current budget year.

 

GOVERNOR ORDERS INMATE AUDIT

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper says the state’s corrections department will audit the records of all inmates to make sure they’re serving appropriate sentences.  Hickenlooper’s announcement yesterday comes after it was revealed that the only suspect in the killing of Colorado’s corrections chief was accidentally released from prison four years early.  Evan Ebel also is suspected in the killing of a Denver-area pizza delivery man two days before Tom Clements was killed.  The National Institute of Corrections also will conduct a review of all of the department’s parole operations.

In high school sports:
Yesterday:

In girls lacrosse:
Steamboat beat Fruita Monument (12-8).

Today:
In baseball:
Rangely goes to Rifle at 5.

In girls soccer:
Steamboat heads to Fruita Monument at 4.
Rangely is at Vail Christian at 4.

In boys lacrosse:
Steamboat goes to Golden at 7:30.

In girls lacrosse:
Steamboat is on the road to Battle Mountain at 4.

In track:
Little Snake River Valley goes to the Okie Blanchard invite at 11.

In girls tennis:
Steamboat hosts Aspen at 3.

Tomorrow:
In baseball:
Meeker plays a double header at Paonia.
Steamboat is in Battle Mountain for a Double Header, with the first game starting at 11.
Rangely goes to Hotchkiss for a double header.  The first game starts at 11.

In boys lacrosse:
Steamboat goes to Cheyenne Mountain at 2.

In girls soccer:
Steamboat is on the road to Delta at 11.
Rangely goes to Vail Mountain at 1.

In track:
Hayden, Steamboat and Soroco go to Eagle Valley at 9.
Meeker and Rangely run in Palisade at 9.

In girls tennis:
Steamboat hosts Fruita Monument at noon and Air Academy at 2:30.