NORTHWEST COLORADO NEWS AND SPORTS FOR FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 15TH

WYMAN WINTER FESTIVAL TAKES PLACE TOMORROW

The Wyman Winter Festival takes place tomorrow.  Organizers say last year’s “Not So Winter Festival”, aptly named for the lack of snow, was so successful, they are incorporating those events into this year’s festival.  There will be plenty of activities for all ages to enjoy, including snowmobile racing and freestyle events, a youth ice fishing derby, ice sculptures, a chili contest, a draft horse presentation, fireworks and much more.  $10 gets you in the gate, and into all events.  The Winter Festival will run from 9 to 9 at the Wyman Living History Museum on the east side of Craig.  For more information, click the Wyman Museum button on the right of this page.

 

BAUMGARDNER/RANKIN HOST MEET AND GREET IN MEEKER TOMORROW

Senator Randy Baumgardner and Representative Bob Rankin will host a meet and greet tomorrow in Meeker.  The two plan to give an update on legislation currently being discussed by the General Assembly.  They will also answer questions from the public.  Everyone is invited.  The meet and greet will take place from noon to 1:30 tomorrow afternoon at the Meeker Cafe.

 

BAUMGARDNERS METHANE GAS BILL KILLED ON PARTY LINE

Wednesday, the Senate State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee blocked Senator Randy Baumgardner’s clean energy bill that would incentivize utilities to use Coal Mine Methane gas as part of their renewable energy portfolio.  Baumgardner said the bill would encourage companies to invest in Colorado’s future, and would improve the environment by building Methane Capture facilities.  He says the capture of Coal Mine Methane (CMM) gas benefits Coloradans by making use of a source of energy that would otherwise be wasted, reduces greenhouse gas emissions and provides jobs and revenues to local communities.  The EPA estimates that coal mines account for around 10 percent of annual methane emissions in the United States and that inactive coal mines can emit gas for up to 90 years after their closure. The bill died on a party line vote.  Baumgardner says the bill had everything that Democrats profess to love; jobs, clean energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. He said it’s sad that their partisan agenda stood in the way of a bill that would reduce emissions and create jobs all over Colorado.

 

GUN BILLS MAKING THEIR WAY THROUGH LEGISLATURE

Over the last two days, despite massive grassroots opposition from RMGO members and supporters, a number of extremely anti-gun bills passed out of committee and are headed to the House floor.  The bills will now be heard in the House.  The advancement comes despite passionate testimony from gun rights supporters, including the group Rocky Mountain Gun Owners.  Those that have moved to the full House include a measure to ban all magazines that hold more than 15 rounds, one to ban armed self-defense on college campuses, a bill that would impose higher fees for background checks and taxes on gun related purchases, and a measure to ban the private sale of firearms, and create a register for gun owners.

 

LAWMAKERS CONSIDER TAX BREAK FOR DISASTER PREPAREDNESS ITEMS

Colorado residents buying disaster preparedness items like first aid kits, flashlights and bottled water wouldn’t have to pay sales taxes on those supplies under a bill that lawmakers are considering.  The proposal would create a state sales tax holiday on the first weekend in September this year and the following two years for disaster preparedness items.  Other items that would be excluded from taxes would include shovels, coolers and weather radios.  Bill drafters say Alabama and Virginia have similar tax holidays on emergency supplies.  Florida and Louisiana created temporary tax holidays in recent years for such items. Colorado Springs Republican Representative Dan Nordberg is sponsoring the bill.

 

MORE STUDENTS BENEFIT FROM FARM-TO-SCHOOL PROGRAM

Colorado students are getting more of a taste of locally grown foods at the lunch table. That’s because the Colorado Farm-to-School program is increasing the number of school districts participating in its programs. Farm-to-school in Colorado has grown from 22 public school districts in 2010 to 64 public school districts in 2012. The aim of the Farm-to-school program is to increase the use of local farm and ranch products in school foodservice programs to improve child nutrition and strengthen local and regional agricultural economies.  The task force’s annual report, which provides an overview of the work accomplished over the past two years as well as recommendations for improving farm-to-school efforts in the state, is available by clicking here.

 

CENTURYLINK WORKERS CLOSER TO STRIKING

Unionized CenturyLink workers in 13 western states are moving closer to striking.  The Communication Workers of America announced yesterday that its executive board has authorized the union’s president to set a strike date. Setting a date would be the final step in going on strike but that hasn’t happened yet.  Nearly 90 percent of workers voted to authorize a strike in October.  The union and CenturyLink have been unable to reach a new contract to cover 13,000 employees who formerly worked for Qwest Communications.  The employees include customer service agents, network technicians and Internet support workers.  The union says one of the disagreements is over whether to bring more jobs back to the United States.  The union approved a strike in 2008 but a work stoppage was never ordered.

In high school sports:
Today:

In basketball:
Moffat County goes to Cedaredge.  The girls play at 6 and the boys at 7:30.
Steamboat hosts Battle Mountain.  The girls tip off at 6 and the boys at 7:30.
Rangely is home against Paonia.  The girls start at 5:30 and the boys at 7.
Hayden heads to Plateau Valley.  The girls play at 5:30 and the boys at 7.
The Soroco boys are on the road to Debeque at 4.
Meeker hosts Hotchkiss.  The girls tip off at 5 and the boys at 6:30.
Little Snake River Valley goes to Encampment.

In Wrestling:
Moffat County goes to Grand Valley for the Regional Tournament.
Steamboat is at regionals in Montrose.
Hayden, Soroco, Meeker and Rangely go to regionals in Grand Junction.

In hockey:
Steamboat hosts Summit at 7:30.

In nordic and alpine skiing:
Steamboat continues at Middle Park.

Tomorrow:
In basketball:
Steamboat heads to Eagle Valley.  The girls play at 2 and the boys at 3:30.
Rangely goes to Hotchkiss.  The girls play at 2:30 and the boys at 4.
Soroco is home against Plateau Valley.  The girls start at 1 and the boys at 2:30.
Meeker travels to Paonia.  Both teams play at 3.
Little Snake River Valley hosts H.E.M.
The Hayden boys host Debeque at 2:30.
Moffat County hosts Roaring Fork.  You can catch the action live on KRAI with the pre-game at 3:45.  The girls tip off at 4 and the boys at 5:30.  You can also listen online.

In wrestling:
Moffat County continues at the Regional Tournament at Grand Valley.
Steamboat continues at regionals in Montrose.
Hayden, Soroco, Meeker and Rangely continue at regionals in Grand Junction.

In hockey:
Steamboat hosts Ralston Valley at 3.