NORTHWEST COLORADO NEWS AND SPORTS FOR FRIDAY, DECEMBER 21ST

21-YEAR OLD CRAIG MAN ARRESTED AFTER ROLLOVER CRASH

A 21-year old Craig man was arrested for drinking and driving after rolling his truck just north of Craig yesterday.  State Troopers say Matthew Brown was driving into Craig, when he tried to pass another vehicle.  He lost control of the truck, went off the rolled, and rolled it onto its side.  Neither Brown, nor his passenger, 21-year old Aaron Nielson were injured in the crash.  Brown has been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, careless driving and driving without a valid license.

 

LATEST SNOW STORM ONLY MAKES A DENT IN SNOWPACK LEVELS

The latest round of snowstorms in Colorado’s mountains is encouraging but one expert says there’s still a lot of ground to make up.  Erik Knight, a Bureau of Reclamation hydrologist, says the mountains will probably need two solid months of snow this winter and perhaps an extra bump in the spring to get the snowpack to average levels.  A system of snowpack and climate sensors operated by the Natural Resources Conservation Services will analyze the moisture content of the fresh snow.  Before the latest storm, Colorado’s snowpack was 60 percent of average statewide.

 

PREDICTED DOOMSDAY PASSES IN OUR SLEEP

The projected time of the end of the world has come and gone.  Today is the date that some say the ancient Mayans predicted the end of the world; at 4:11 this morning.  The conclusion is based on the fact that the Mayan calendar ended on this date.  However, the fact that archaeologists have discovered an extension of the calendar, and that the Mayans had no concept of a leap year, the prediction didn’t hold a lot of weight with most people.  Some used the occasion to party anyway.  Some scholars say the calendar was not a dooms-day prediction, but rather a date in which Earth’s inhabitants would undergo a positive physical or spiritual transformation, marking the beginning of a new era.

 

SKI AREAS WIN WATER RIGHTS DECISION

A federal judge has overturned a regulation requiring ski area permit holders on public land to turn over water rights to the U.S. Forest Service.  Judge William Martinez ruled Wednesday that the government violated its own procedures, failed to evaluate the economic impact and violated ski area rights.  Martinez sided with the National Ski Areas Association, which sued over the new water rights permit rules.  Martinez sent the case back to the Forest Service to resolve those issues. The Forest Service had no immediate reaction to the ruling.

 

YAMPA WHITE RIVER REGION GETS RURAL DEVELOPMENT HELP

USDA Rural Development, in conjunction with the Southern Rural Development Center, CSU Extension, Colorado Dept of Local Affairs, Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, and El Pomar Foundation, has selected one rural multi-county region in Colorado to be included in a program called “Stronger Economies Together” (SET). The 2013 Colorado selectee is the Yampa White River Region in Northwest Colorado, which includes Moffat, Routt and Rio Blanco counties.  The USDA says Yampa White River Region’s successful application demonstrated a strong commitment to participate in the SET effort from a broad base of local citizens. Representatives of local government, small business, education, healthcare, economic development, and others were a vital component.  The SET program helps regional teams develop new approaches to strengthen and enhance regional economic development activities. Selected current or newly formed multi-county teams receive the latest tools, training, and technical assistance to help their region move forward and take advantage of positive growth and quality of life opportunities.

 

LAWMAKERS GET PICTURE OF PROJECTED STATE REVENUE

Colorado lawmakers are getting details of the state’s revenue outlook before starting the 2013 legislative session next month.  State economists will presented lawmakers with their quarterly projections yesterday and briefed them on how much money they can expect to have to spend.  Previous quarterly forecasts this year have shown a steady, slow improvement in the Colorado economy.  That has allowed more funding for schools, which have been cut by hundreds of millions of dollars in recent years.

 

MINIMUM WAGE RATES TO INCREASE IN THE NEW YEAR

January 1st will mark increases in Colorado’s full minimum wage and tipped minimum wage. An across the board increase of 14 cents will bring the wages to $7.78 for full minimum wage and $4.76 for tipped employees. The increases are estimated to benefit 66,000 low-wage workers and bring $11 million to the GDP while providing $300 per year in wages for the average directly affected worker.  Colorado joins nine other states-Arizona, Florida, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington- in raising state minimum wage rates on New Year’s Day, which will boost wages for nearly one million workers nationwide.  Colorado’s minimum wage increase is the result of a state constitutional amendment approved by voters in 2006 that provides for annual rate adjustments to keep pace with the rising cost of living. Around 57,000 of Colorado workers will be directly impacted as the new wage rate will exceed their current hourly pay.

 

HOWELSON HILL OPENS MORE TERRAIN

The City of Steamboat Springs Parks, Open Space and Recreational Services Department will open the Barrows Chairlift at Howelsen Hill this weekend. The chairlift will now run on Saturdays and Sundays until March 18th. Long John and Mile Run, the two beginner runs coming off of the chair, will also open this weekend.  Pass Prices will increase on January 1st.  The Hill will have special holiday hours over the next couple of weeks.  You’ll find the schedule below:

Holiday Hours for the Hill are as follows:
Saturday (12/22)          10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Sunday (12/23)            10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Monday (12/24)           CLOSED
Tuesday (12/25)           CLOSED
Wednesday (12/26)      10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Thursday (12/27)         10:00AM – 8:00PM
Friday (12/28)              10:00AM – 6:00PM
Saturday (12/29)          10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Sunday (12/30)            10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Monday (12/31)           CLOSED
Tuesday (1/1)              10:00AM – 6:00PM
Wednesday (1/2)          10:00AM – 8:00PM
Thursday (1/3)  10:00AM – 8:00PM

FIRE SAFETY TIPS FOR THE HOLIDAYS

The Routt County Office of Emergency Management is offering fire safety tips for the Holidays.  The office says Christmas Trees are involved in about 400 fire annually.  Those fires typically result in more than a dozen deaths, dozens of injuries, and more than $10 million in property loss and damage.  The leading cause of Christmas Tree fires is short-circuiting lights.  The Offices list of fire prevention and other tips, are listed below:

Candles
·         Never use lighted candles on a tree or near other evergreens.
·         Always use non-flammable holders.
·         Keep candles away from other decorations and wrapping paper.
·         Place candles where they cannot be knocked down or blown over.

Trimmings
·         Use only non-combustible or flame-resistant materials.
·         Wear gloves while decorating with spun glass “angel hair” to avoid irritation to eyes and skin.
·         Choose tinsel or artificial icicles or plastic or non-leaded metals. Leaded materials are hazardous if ingested by children.
·         In homes with small children, take special care to:
o   Avoid decorations that are sharp or breakable.
o   Keep trimmings with small removable parts out of the reach of children. Pieces could be swallowed or inhaled.
o   Avoid trimmings that resemble candy or food. A child could eat them!

Fires
·         Before lighting any fire, remove all greens, boughs, papers, and other decorations from fireplace area. Check to see that flue is open.
·         Keep a screen before the fireplace all the time a fire is burning.
·         Use care with “fire salts” which produce colored flames when thrown on wood fires. They contain heavy metals which can cause intense gastrointestinal irritation or vomiting if eaten. Keep away from children.
·         Do not burn wrapping papers in the fireplace. A flash fire may result as wrappings ignite suddenly and burn intensely.

Paper
·         When making paper decorations, look for materials labeled non-combustible or flame-resistant.
·         Never place trimming near open flames or electrical connections.
·         Remove all wrapping papers from tree and fireplace areas immediately after presents are opened.
*Do not burn papers in the fireplace. A flash fire may result as wrappings ignite suddenly and burn intensely.

Trees
·         Many artificial trees are fire resistant. If you buy one, look for a statement specifying this protection.
·         A fresh tree will stay green longer and be less of a fire hazard than a dry tree. To check for freshness, remember:
o   A fresh tree is green.
o   Fresh needles are hard to pull from branches.
o   When bent between your fingers, fresh needles do not break.
o   The trunk butt of a fresh tree is sticky with resin.
o   When the trunk of a tree is bounced on the ground, a shower of falling needles shows that tree is too dry.
·         Place tree away from fireplaces, radiators and other heat sources. Heated rooms dry trees out rapidly, creating fire hazards.
·         Cut off about two inches of the trunk to expose fresh wood for better water absorption. Trim away branches as necessary to set tree trunk in the base of a sturdy, water-holding stand with wide spread feet. Keep the stand filled with water while the tree is indoors.
·         Place the tree out of the way of traffic and do not block doorways. Use thin guy-wires to secure a large tree to walls or ceiling. These wires are almost invisible.

Artificial Snow
·         Artificial snow sprays can irritate lungs if inhaled. To avoid injury, read container labels; follow directions carefully.

Lights
·         Indoors or outside, use only lights that have been tested for safety. Identify these by the label from an independent testing laboratory.
·         Check each set of lights, new or old, for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections. Discard damaged sets or repair them before using.
·         Fasten outdoor lights securely to trees, house, walls or other firm support to protect from wind damage.
·         Use no more than three standard-size sets of lights per single extension cord.
·         Turn off all lights on trees and other decorations when you go to bed or leave the house. Lights could short and start a fire.
·         Never use electric lights on a metallic tree.
·         The tree can become charged with electricity from faulty lights, and any person touching a branch could be electrocuted! To avoid this danger, use colored spotlights above or beside a tree, never fastened onto it!
* Keep “bubbling” lights away from children. These lights with their bright colors and bubbling movement can tempt curious children to break candle-shaped glass, which can cut, and attempt to drink liquid, which contains a hazardous chemical.

Prevent Theft & Break-ins during the Holidays
·         Santa comes down the chimney, not through the door or windows.  Keep those locked and your blinds drawn when you aren’t home or are sleeping/otherwise occupied.  Most home burglaries happen this time of year, and it would be awful to have the presents stolen along with your other treasured possessions.

Christmas Safety Tips for Children and When You Have a Baby in the House
* Keep holiday plants away from children and pets. Mistletoe, holly berries, and Christmas cactus are poisonous if swallowed.
* If you place your child in a shopping cart, always use the safety belt and never let your child stand in or push a shopping cart.
* As pointed out “Toy Safety” described above, do not give children under the age of 3 toys that contain small or metal parts or toys that break easily. An easy gauge is using an empty toilet paper roll. If a toy can fit through the roll it is too small for the child.
* Include helmets and other protective gear when giving bicycles, skates, or skateboards.
* When Christmastime approaches, you are probably looking forward to celebrating the season with your baby. This may be your baby’s first Christmas or the first real Christmas they may realize what is going on. As you prepare for Christmastime around your house, you need to realize that there may be several hazards for your baby. This is especially true if you have an older baby who is crawling or walking. You need to be mindful of your baby and keep your house safe during Christmas.
* Here are some ways that you can baby proof your house during Christmas and keep your baby safe and secure.
* Keep the Christmas candles to a minimum or just don’t light them. Candles can be really pretty at Christmastime, but they can also be really dangerous. If you love Christmas candles, think about using electric candles or light bulbs instead for the glow. If you still want to decorate your home with Christmas candles, just don’t light them. A baby can grab a candle and get burned badly. If you do burn a candle for Christmas, make sure it is completely out of reach of your baby and there is no way that it can fall over by pulling on a table cloth or doiley.
* Don’t ever leave your baby unattended with a Christmas tree. Keep all your cords and breakable ornaments out of reach of baby. If your baby is crawling, make sure to place the breakable ornaments higher than they can reach, and the same goes for walking. If your baby is walking, you may just want to keep your breakable Christmas ornaments in the box this year.
* Make sure that the Christmas tree is anchored so that your baby can’t flip it over. Don’t place wrapped presents under the tree where your baby can reach them. The wrapping paper and bows will go straight into your baby’s mouth and they can choke on it.

Happy Visiting at Christmas and the Holidays
·         Clean up immediately after a holiday party. A toddler could rise early and choke on leftover food or come in contact with alcohol or tobacco.
·         Remember that the homes you visit may not be childproofed. Keep an eye out for danger spots.
·         Traveling, visiting family members, getting presents, shopping, etc., can all increase your child’s stress levels. Trying to stick to your child’s usual routines, including sleep schedules and timing of naps, can help you and your child enjoy the holidays and reduce stress.

General Rules for Holiday Safety
·         Keep matches, lighters, and candles out of the reach of children.
·         Avoid smoking near flammable decorations.
·         Make an emergency plan to use if a fire breaks out anywhere in the home. See that each family member knows what to do. PRACTICE THE PLAN!
·         Avoid wearing loose flowing clothes—particularly long, open sleeves—near open flames – such as those of a fireplace, stove, or candlelit table.
·         Never burn candles near evergreens. Burning evergreens in the fireplace can also be hazardous. When dry, greens burn like tinder. Flames can flare out of control, and send sparks flying into a room, or up the chimney to ignite creosote deposits.
* Plan for safety. Remember, there is no substitute for common sense. Look for and eliminate potential danger spots near candles, fireplaces, trees, and/or electrical connections.

In high school sports:
Today:

In basketball:
Steamboat heads to Summit.  The girls play at 6 and the boys at 7:30.
The Hayden girls host Meeker at 7.
Moffat County hosts Olathe.  You can catch the action live on KRAI.  The pregame is at 5:45.  The girls tip-off at 6 and the boys at 7:30.  You can also listen online.

In hockey:
Steamboat hosts Chatfield at 6:30.

Tomorrow:
In basketball:
Moffat County goes to Gunnison.  The girls play at 2:30 and the boys play at 4.

In hockey:
Steamboat is home against Resurrection Christian at 3.