NORTHWEST COLORADO NEWS AND SPORTS FOR FRIDAY, MARCH 22ND

KRAI/55 COUNTRY SPRING EXPO IS TODAY AND TOMORROW

The KRAI and 55 Country Spring Expo is going on now at the Centennial Mall in Craig.  This year is the Expo’s 30th anniversary.  Vendors from both commercial businesses and non-profit groups have set up booths inside and outside the Centennial Mall to showcase their products and services to the thousands who will visit the Expo over the next two days.  The annual Weenie Dog Races take place tomorrow morning at 9:30, and the Diaper Derby is at 11:30.  Registration for each is free and starts a half hour before race time.  The KRAI and 55 Country Spring Expo takes place today until 7 and tomorrow from 9 to 4.  To find out more, click the spring expo button at the top of this page.

 

HAYDEN SCHOOLS LOCKED DOWN WHILE TRUCK FIRE IS EXTINGUISHED

Emergency personnel were called to Hayden High School yesterday, when a pickup truck caught fire in the parking lot.  According to Hayden Police Chief Gordon Booco, a student had recently put a new engine in his truck.  While trying to start it in the parking lot, a mechanical failure caused it to catch fire.  A teacher and some fellow students helped put the initial fire out, but noticed fuel leaking from the truck, and backed away.  Within moments, the truck caught fire again, and a 120 gallon gas tank in the back helped fuel flames that shot 20 to 30 feet in the air.  Fire personnel arrived and put the rest of the fire out.  Due to the dangerous scenario, Hayden schools were locked down while the fire was being fought, and students were moved to the opposite side of the building.  3rd Street was also temporarily blocked off.  There was no explosion, and nobody was hurt in the incident.  The only damage was to the truck that caught fire.

 

TIPTON TO VISIT CRAIG NEXT WEEK

Congressman Scott Tipton is planning a trip to Craig next week.  Tipton plans to update community members on immigration, health care, and natural resource issues facing Northwest Colorado.  The Congressman will be at the Cool Water Grill in Craig Wednesday from 8 to 9 in the morning.

 

EARTH HOUR CELEBRATION SLATED FOR STEAMBOAT

The Yampa Valley Sustainability Council, Yampa Valley Electric Association, City of Steamboat, and Steamboat Teen Council are hosting the Fourth Annual Earth Hour Celebration tomorrow night in downtown Steamboat.  There will be a candle-lit celebration, fire spinners, African drummers, and an inspirational speech from Pete Maysmith of Conservation Colorado.  The lights at the 6th and Lincoln will be turned out for the hour.  From 8:30 to 9:30 local time, across the world, individuals, businesses, governments, organizations and more turn off their lights for one hour to make a global statement of concern about climate change and to demonstrate their commitment to finding solutions. Downtown businesses are encouraged to participate and volunteers are asked to help spread the word.  YVSC urges participants to join the festivities that evening by turning off their lights at home and coming out to the event.  Earth Hour was started in 2007 in Sydney, Australia and is a worldwide effort led by the World Wildlife Fund to raise awareness about climate change.  Other groups, resistant to the “green” effort are holding “Human Achievement Day” celebrations to mark the progress of the human race.

 

HICKENLOOPER SIGNS CIVIL UNIONS BILL

Governor Hickenlooper has signed into law a bill legalizing civil unions in Colorado.  Voters in the state banned same-sex marriage in 2006, but democratic lawmakers insist residents’ views have changed since then.  While the measure doesn’t directly allow gay marriage, some lawmakers are afraid it will lead to that.  For now, it gives gay couples the same inheritance, medical and parental rights as straight couples.  Republicans wanted to see exemptions for religious reasons, but weren’t able to get that into the bill.  The law becomes effective May 1st.

 

LAWMAKERS DISCUSS OIL AND GAS DRILLING REGULATIONS

Oil and gas drilling started to come under review yesterday by Colorado lawmakers, who are poised to abandon their traditional hands-off role and take up a raft of measures to tell state regulators how drilling should be controlled.  First, a House panel signed off on a dramatic increase to the maximum daily fines for drilling infractions, from $1,000 to $15,000. Another committee approved a bill to require each oil and gas location to be inspected at least once a year, a significant increase.  More than a dozen additional proposals could come before state lawmakers in the next few weeks. Criticism of the industry shows no sign of abating after the state’s drilling regulator, the Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission, enacted tougher rules earlier this year.

 

MULE DEER FOUNDATION BANQUET COMING NEXT WEEK

The Northwest Colorado Chapter of the Mule Deer Foundation will hold its first fundraising banquet next weekend.  The event will feature dinner, live and silent auctions, and games. Auction items include a 2013 Mule Deer Banquet Rifle and a fishing trip to Alaska.  Tickets for Mule Deer Foundation members are $30 each. Non-member tickets include a year of membership and start at $60 for a single ticket or $90 for a couple.  The event will be held March 30th at 6 at the Holiday Inn of Craig.

 

NO RELIEF FROM DROUGHT THIS SUMMER

Government forecasters say much of the United States can expect a warm spring and persistent drought.  The National Weather Service said yesterday above-normal temperatures are predicted across most of the Lower 48 states and northern Alaska. The forecast also calls for little relief for the drought-stricken Midwest and Southwest. Currently, half the country is experiencing moderate to exceptional drought.  Late snowmelt will bring a threat of river flooding along the upper Mississippi. North Dakota is at the most risk of flooding from the Red River.  A cooler spring is predicted for the Pacific Northwest and northern Great Plains. Drier-than-normal conditions are on tap for the West and Gulf Coast. Hawaii is expected to be cooler and drier than usual.  The spring outlook covers April, May and June.

In high school sports:
Yesterday:

In girls lacrosse:
Steamboat beat Eagle Valley (11-3).

Today:
In track:
Little Snake River Valley runs at the Natrona Invite in Casper at 9.

In boys lacrosse:
Steamboat goes to Grand Junction to play Durango at 3.

Tomorrow:
In baseball:
Meeker plays a double header at Rangely.
Steamboat goes to Rifle for a double header, with the first game starting at 11.
Moffat County plays a double header at Grand Valley.  The first game starts at 11.

In girls soccer:
Steamboat travels to Summit for a game at 11.
Moffat County goes to Vail Mountain at 1.

In boys lacrosse:
Steamboat plays Telluride in Grand Junction at 11.

In girls lacrosse:
Steamboat hosts Rampart at 11.

In Track:
Hayden and Meeker go to Hotchkiss.
Soroco heads to the Parker Invitational at 9.
Steamboat and Moffat County run in Grand Junction at 9.

In boys swimming:
Moffat County hosts a meet at 11.