NORTHWEST COLORADO NEWS AND SPORTS FOR FRIDAY, DECEMBER 28TH

STATE PATROL WARNS RESIDENTS ABOUT DRINKING AND DRIVING ON NEW YEAR’S EVE

The Colorado State Patrol reminds residents that the “Heat is On” in Colorado…all year long.  The program, which started as a summer campaign to crack down on drunk drivers, is now a year long program.  Extra troopers can typically be found on Colorado’s roadways during the holidays.  New Year’s Eve is arguably the biggest drinking night of the year, and troopers want people to have a good time, but to do so safely.  If you’re going to go out Monday night, troopers urge you to make your transportation plans ahead of time.  Make sure you have a designated driver, or that you carry enough money for a cab, and NEVER get into a car, when the person behind the wheel has been drinking.  With Colorado’s new marijuana law in effect, troopers also remind residents that smoking pot and driving is also against the law, and violators will be prosecuted.

 

YAMPA/WHITE RIVER BASINS APPROACHING IDEAL SNOWPACK

Climate researchers say the outlook for improvement in Colorado’s drought is uncertain even though holiday storms have improved the mountain snowpack.  State Climatologist Nolan Doesken said yesterday this week’s snow has been good for skiers and gave the state a nice holiday look, as well as providing some relief from dry conditions that prevailed in early December.  But Doesken says the forecast for January doesn’t include much moisture.  Snow levels were as low as 40 percent of average earlier this month in the state’s eight major river basins.  Yesterday, the levels ranged from a low of 63 percent of average in the Arkansas River Basin to 85 percent in the Yampa and White river basins.  The U.S. Drought Monitor shows Colorado conditions ranging from moderate to exceptional drought.

 

ROCK SPRINGS FUGITIVE CAUGHT

A former Rock Springs man on the Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office Most Wanted list was recently captured in Evanston.  Sweetwater County Sheriff Rich Haskell said 38 year old Daniel Smart, Jr. was taken into custody at an Evanston residence December 19th. The incident began with an Evanston Police Department school resource officer who was at the residence performing a welfare check on several young children. At the residence he encountered Smart and determined that he was wanted in Sweetwater County.  Smart is charged with unlawful manufacture or delivery of and possession of methamphetamine, and interference with a peace officer.  In that incident, Smart was allegedly caught rifling through parked cars, and dropped a bag full of money, methamphetamine, and his wallet, when he fled.  Smart’s preliminary hearing has been scheduled for January 2nd in Circuit Court in Green River. He remains in custody at the Sweetwater County Detention Center on $25,000 bond.

 

FACT SHEET RELEASED ON OIL AND GAS SETBACK PROPOSALS

Last week, an ever increasing diverse coalition of stakeholders, which now includes the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association, the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce, the Association of General Contractors of Colorado, and the Associated Builders and Contractors Rocky Mountain Chapter released another fact sheet regarding oil and gas setbacks by summarizing a few of the ways people rely upon oil and gas products in the hope of encouraging engaged, sensible consideration of the importance of oil and gas development.  The group maintains that a 1,000-foot setback will have numerous repercussions to all stakeholders, including the oil and gas industry, farmers, ranchers, developers, and other citizens. Increased setbacks will increase the amount of energy, costs, and resources required to access the oil and gas resource. Plus, increased setbacks will lessen the amount of local food and fiber producing land and ultimately the crop production losses result in lower income for the farmer, hurting their economic viability in the coming years.  The coalition has previously released four fact sheets articulating the real-world effects of increased oil and gas setbacks and the groundwater baseline water program.  You can view the fact sheets by clicking the links below.

The Reality of Increased Setbacks,”

The Unintended Environmental Consequences of Increased Setbacks,”

A Pragmatic Statewide Groundwater Testing Program

The Economics of Increased Setbacks

 

LAWMAKERS DEBATE WARRANTLESS SURVEILLANCE

Warrantless surveillance is a hot topic of discussion amongst federal lawmakers.  The law allowing the Federal Government to spy on citizens through emails, phone calls, and such is set to expire Monday.  Intelligence officials won’t say how they use the law, or how they spy on citizens, but say it’s all done in the name of national security.  However, some lawmakers, like Colorado’s Mark Udall, say if the government won’t disclose how many Americans it spies on, then the law should be allowed to expire, in the name of transparency.  A vote on whether to extend the law is expected to take place sometime today.  A debate among lawmakers will be held first, to attempt a balance between civil liberties and the responsibility of fighting terrorism.

DENVER BRONCOS
The Denver Broncos host Kansas City Sunday.  You can catch all the action live on 55 Country, with the pre-game at noon and the kick-off at 2:15.

 

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