STEAMBOAT JUDGE SAYS WRONGFUL DEATH LAWSUIT CAN PROCEED
A judge says a woman can proceed with her lawsuit against the city of Steamboat over her son’s death in a skiing accident. A judge yesterday denied the city’s request to dismiss Maureen Ryan’s lawsuit. She sued over the death of her teenage son Cooper Larsh, who suffocated after falling head first into deep snow at Howelsen Hill in 2011. The city says the area where Larsh died was closed to skiers, but Ryan disputes whether it was properly marked. The judge said the conditions leading to Larsh’s death constituted a “dangerous condition” that waived the city’s immunity to the suit.
HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION RATES FOR 2012
Most Northwest Colorado high schools achieved the Colorado Department of Education’s on-time graduation rates last year. The class of 2012, statewide, graduated 75.4 percent of students on-time. That’s a 1.5% increase from the 2011 rates. The state’s expectations for each school is an 80% on-time graduation rate. Soroco, Hayden, Meeker, and Rangely all graduated over 90% of their 2012 class on time. Steamboat’s rate was 86.1 percent. The only Northwest Colorado high school not to hit that 80% mark was Moffat County, but it wasn’t far off at 79.6%. Each school’s numbers can be viewed by clicking here.
APPEALS COURT RULES AGAINST OIL AND GAS LEASES
An appeals court says it won’t reconsider a ruling dismissing lawsuits that were filed against the federal government for rescinding oil and gas leases near national parks in Utah. A three-judge panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in September that energy companies missed a 90-day deadline to sue. Two companies sought a review by the full appeals court. The court said yesterday the requests were denied. The lawsuits stemmed from Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s decision after President Barack Obama took office to rescind 77 oil and gas leases sold during the previous administration near Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park and Dinosaur National Monument. Salazar said they were sold without proper environmental analysis. The companies had sued to try to regain the leases.
STEAMBOAT OFFICIALS SEEK PUBLIC COMMENT ON STORMWATER PLAN
Steamboat’s Public Works Department invites the public to an open house presentation to review the DRAFT Citywide Stormwater Master Plan. The open house will be on Thursday, February 7th from 5-7pm at Centennial Hall. Representatives from the City and from the City’s consultant, Short Elliot Hendrickson (SEH), will provide a presentation on the plan findings, and will be available to answer questions. The public is encouraged to review the plan, which is available by clicking here. The link also leads to a public comment form. Comments received by the public pertaining to the draft plan will be reviewed and integrated into the final draft of the Citywide Stormwater Master Plan. Public comment is due by February 12th.
MENTAL HEALTH BILL INTRODUCED IN WAKE OF SHOOTINGS
A bipartisan coalition of senators has introduced legislation to expand mental health first aid training and increase the effectiveness of mental health care across the country. The bill provides funding for training programs to help the public identify, understand, and address crisis situations safely. It also calls for protocols for initiating timely referrals to mental health services available in communities. The bill was drafted in the wake of several mass shootings throughout the country. Discussion in front of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee yesterday focused on new approaches to the early identification of mental illnesses and other mental health disorders. Specifically, the bill would highlight available mental health resources in local communities, including Community Mental Health Centers, emergency psychiatric facilities, hospital emergency rooms and other programs offering psychiatric crisis beds, teach the warning signs and risk factors for schizophrenia, major clinical depression, panic attacks, anxiety disorders, trauma, and other common mental disorders, teach crisis de-escalation techniques, and provide trainees with a five-step action plan to help individuals in psychiatric crisis connect to professional mental health care.
SENATE COMMITTEE FORWARDS BILL TO GIVE TUITION BREAKS TO ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS
A Democratic Senate committee has pushed along a bill that would give illegal immigrants in-state tuition rates to the state’s Colleges, as long as the immigrant is seeking citizenship. Opponents say the bill will attract more illegal immigrants who simply want to get their kids into college cheap. They say the excess number of illegal immigrants will drain local economies. The bill will likely become law, due to the fact that Democrats control both chambers of the state legislature this year.
HOGAN NAMED DEPUTY REGIONAL DIRECTOR OF MOUNTAIN-PRAIRIE REGION
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced the selection of Matt Hogan as the new Deputy Regional Director for the Mountain-Prairie Region, which is headquartered in Denver. The Mountain-Prairie Region includes Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas. Hogan rejoined the Service in 2010 as the Assistant Regional Director for Migratory Birds and State Programs for the Mountain-Prairie Region. In 2012, he served as the Assistant Regional Director for Refuges in the Mountain-Prairie Region before transitioning to Deputy Regional Director this month. His previous experience with the Service included executive leadership roles both in the Service as well as the Department of the Interior. Prior to joining the Service, Hogan served as Executive Director of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, where for three years, he worked with state fish and wildlife conservation agencies to promote a unified vision for sound management and conservation of fish and wildlife.
In high school sports:
The Soroco girls beat Hayden (50-29).
The Soroco boys host Vail Mountain at 5.
The Meeker boys travel to Debeque.
Hayden is home against Vail Christian. The girls tip-off at 7 and the boys at 8:30.
Little Snake River Valley heads to Cokeville.
Rangely goes to Plateau Valley. The girls start at 5:30 and the boys at 7.
Moffat County goes to Coal Ridge. You can catch all the action live on KRAI with the pre-game at 5:45. The girls tip off at 6 and the boys at 7:30. You can also listen online.
Steamboat is on the road to Mullen at 3:30.
In girls swimming:
Moffat County goes to a meet in Delta at 4.
In alpine skiing:
Steamboat goes to Aspen.
Moffat County is on the road to Grand Valley. The girls tip off at 12:30 and the boys at 2.
Steamboat heads to Glenwood. The girls play at 12:30 and the boys at 2.
Soroco travels to Vail Christian. The girls play at 4 and the boys at 5:30.
Meeker goes to Plateau Valley.
The Hayden boys host Vail Mountain at 1.
Little Snake River Valley travels to Farson-Eden.
The Rangely boys host Debeque at 2:30.
Moffat County goes to Rifle.
Steamboat hosts a tournament, with Hayden, Soroco, and Rangely attending.
Meeker heads to the Paonia Tournament.
Steamboat goes to Standley Lake at 5:15.
In Nordic skiing:
Steamboat goes to Summit.