NORTHWEST COLORADO NEWS AND SPORTS FOR FRIDAY, MAY 10TH

VNA ENCOURAGED TO APPLY FOR OBAMACARE FUNDS

Colorado’s U.S. Senators are urging the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association, and 16 other community health centers across the state, to apply for funds from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services made available yesterday to help uninsured patients enroll for affordable health insurance coverage. HHS is allocating just over $3 million for Colorado – for community health centers around the country to help more Americans receive affordable health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.  The HHS funds are expected to go toward hiring new staff, training existing staff and conducting community outreach and educational activities.

 

PRESCRIBED BURN PLANNED FOR BROWN’S PARK

Brown’s Park Refuge staff plan to take advantage of the spring weather to burn the wetland at Hog Lake 60 miles northwest of Maybell on Refuge managed land. The objectives of the burns are to reduce excessive fuel loads and to improve the wildlife habitat conditions in those areas. The burn at Hog Lake is being done to reduce the amount of cattails on the lake and for waterfowl habitat improvement. Smoke from the burns may be visible from Colorado Highway 318 and Moffat County Road 10 and 10N from now until late May on the days of the burns and a few days after the burn.

 

LETTER CARRIERS TO COLLECT FOOD AT MAILBOXES IN CRAIG TOMORROW

Letter Carriers in Craig are asking postal customers “to help the hungry” and donate to the annual National Association of Letter Carriers Food Drive across America tomorrow. This is the nation’s largest one-day food drive. All food collected will go to local food bank charities, which will make distribution to area families in need. A plastic bag with food can be set by residents’ mailboxes tomorrow for collection. Food items should be non-perishable, such as dried, canned and packaged products. Items most needed by food banks are canned meats, soup, fruits and vegetables, and packaged non-perishables such as pasta, cereal, powdered milk and vegetables. Nearly a billion pounds of food have been collected by letter carriers and Post Offices over the last 20 years to feed America’s hungry.

 

SPECIAL OLYMPICS TO BE HELD IN CRAIG TOMORROW

The Special Olympics Western Area Summer Games will be held in Craig tomorrow.  Athletes throughout the Western Slope will show up to compete in various events, including swimming, weight lifting, and track and field events. The community is encouraged to show up and support the athletes. The games are free to attend. They start at 9 tomorrow morning at Moffat County High School.

 

HICKENLOOPER PLEASED WITH LATEST SESSION

As Governor John Hickenlooper says goodbye to lawmakers for the year, he might want to send some of them thank-you cards – both for giving him what he wanted and for backing off from what he didn’t.  The governor told reporters yesterday that nearly all of his priorities were agreed to by lawmakers. But he added that he didn’t get everything he wanted in the session that just ended.  Lawmakers followed the governor’s instructions on gun control, when he asked them to expand background checks. They also granted his requests on economic development measures and a plan to change forest management in the wake of last year’s wildfires.  Lawmakers also rejected several ideas he didn’t want to see on his desk. Those included a bill to repeal the death penalty.

 

HICKENLOOPER EXPECTED TO SIGN VOTER CHANGES BILL

Governor Hickenlooper is expected to sign a Colorado elections bill overhaul that allows same-day voter registration, a provision opposed by Republican lawmakers.  The governor is expected to sign the bill today, according to two people with knowledge of the measure. They asked to remain anonymous because an official announcement had not been made.  The bill also requires every registered voter to get a ballot by mail, although they could still vote in person.  People would be able to vote at any of the voting centers that the bill would put in place, instead of the current system of going to a designated precinct polling place. Those would be eliminated.  The bill would also eliminate the category of “inactive” voters, which restricts their ability to get ballots by mail.

 

HICKENLOOPER BRIEFED ON STATE’S WILDFIRE STATUS

Governor Hickenlooper got an annual briefing yesterday about the risk of wildfires this summer in Colorado.  State and federal officials updated him on the wildfire danger as well as preparedness efforts.  While a wet spring has helped ease the threat in the northern and central mountains and the populated Front Range foothills, drought conditions persist across the state.  Things are the worst in parts of the Eastern Plains, especially the state’s southeastern corner, including parts of Pueblo and El Paso counties.  The National Weather Service says drought conditions over the past two years there have not only raised the fire danger but have led to failed or reduced crops and cattle loss and abandonment.

 

EAGLE-NET TO BE REVIEWED BY FEDS

After a Congressional oversight hearing and pressure from U.S. Representatives Cory Gardner and Scott Tipton, the Department of Commerce Inspector General has decided to dig into the finances and operations of the stimulus funded broadband provider EAGLE-Net Alliance.  Gardner says EAGLE-Net has spent all but $7.8 million of the $100 million it was originally given, and it has only reached half of the schools it promised to serve.   He went on to say “now they’re trying to raise additional funds from the private sector with no clear plan for how they’re ever going to be sustainable. This is a government program run amok, and we owe it to the taxpayers to find out exactly what happened before EAGLE-Net wastes anymore money.”  In a letter to Inspector General Todd Zinser, the Congressmen are asking for timely updates on the investigation and a full accounting of how EAGLE-Net has spent its stimulus grant and what its plans are moving forward.  EAGLE-Net has come under fire in recent months for using stimulus money to lay fiber optic lines next to existing networks – putting the government entity in direct competition with the private sector. It has also failed to build a fiber optic network into communities on the western slope that are truly underserved, while connecting museums in downtown Denver.

 

WYOMING SHERIFF WARNS OF EMAIL AND PHONE SCAMS

An Internet scam that last surfaced in Sweetwater County in 2011 is once again making the rounds.  That’s according to the Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office.  The email, purportedly from “The Federal Reserve Bank of America” in New York City, advises the recipient that he has been awarded a substantial amount of money from the International Monetary Fund and asks for a good deal of banking information, including account and routing numbers, in order to make the transfer of funds.  At the same time, a clumsy telephone fraud is also circulating around Green River. The caller informs the intended victim that they have been selected to receive some sort of prize or money award and wants to know if “a morning or afternoon delivery” is preferred. There is no actual prize or money involved, of course, said Haskell, and warned that the calls may be a crude attempt to determine when no one will be at home.  Officials are reminding residents of the fundamentals of protecting yourself against any Internet fraud.  Never reveal any personal details, including address, and phone number, unless you’re completely certain that the person you’re dealing with really is who they say they are.  Never give out any information concerning bank account credit card details unless you know for certain that the request is genuine.  And never provide anyone your security information, passwords, log-on information, or PIN numbers, bearing in mind that no genuine banking firm ever asks you to provide this information in an e-mail.

In high school sports:
Today:

In boys lacrosse:
Steamboat goes to Cheyenne Mountain for the second round of the playoffs.

In girls soccer:
Moffat County plays Manitou Springs at UNC in the 1st round of the playoffs.

In track:
Hayden, Meeker, Rangely, Steamboat, Moffat County and Soroco go to the Western Slope League championship in Grand Junction at 9.
Little Snake River Valley goes to Regionals in Lander.

In boys swimming:
Moffat County goes to the Western Slope League Championship at Colorado Mesa University at 4.

In tennis:
Steamboat competes at the state Tournament in Pueblo.

Tomorrow:
In track:
Hayden, Meeker, Rangely, Steamboat, Moffat County and Soroco continue at the Western Slope League championship in Grand Junction.
Little Snake River Valley continues at Regionals in Lander.

In boys swimming:
Moffat County continues at the Western Slope League Championship at Colorado Mesa University.

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