NORTHWEST COLORADO NEWS AND SPORTS FOR MONDAY, APRIL 22ND

DUST MAY IMPACT HOW SNOWPACK MELTS

Dust blown in from the Southwest settled on snow through much of Colorado during this week’s storm and will eventually affect how fast the snowpack melts.  Researchers say it fell in Steamboat, Fort Collins, Summit County, and the San Juan mountains. It was also seen in the Denver area but it’s possible that dust could also be from other areas too.  Chris Landry of the Center for Snow and Avalanche Studies said Friday that if more clean snow keeps falling, the impact of the dust will be delayed. However, he said once this week’s snow layer and another deeper layer of dust from an April 8 storm are exposed, the snowmelt will accelerate because the dust absorbs sunlight.  NOAA researcher Jeffrey Deems compares the effect to wearing a dark t-shirt on a sunny day.

CAR DEALERSHIP SUFFERS VANDALISM

Victory Motors of Craig is offering a $1,000 reward for information regarding three vandalized cars in their lot.  Dealership reps say one car, a 2013 Dodge Charger was severely damaged.  Two other cars in the same area received minor damage.  The incident has been reported to police, who say this appears to be an isolated incident.  If you have any information regarding the vandalism, you’re asked to call the Craig Police Department.

STATE DEMS PASS TWO MORE GUN CONTROL BILLS

Stronger prohibitions on gun ownership by domestic abusers and required in-person training for concealed-carry permits advanced in the Colorado House.  The Democrat-sponsored measures that received initial approval Friday are opposed by Republicans, but did not garner as much heated debate as other gun legislation Democrats have already passed, including expanded background checks.  One bill would allow some online gun education for permit-seekers but would require them to prove in person handgun competency, such as showing how to safely carry a gun or know where the safety is.  Another bill strengthens a ban on gun ownership by domestic-violence offenders by establishing a process through the courts for them to relinquish their firearms.  The House still needs to take final votes on the bills, and they’re expected to pass by majority Democrats.

MARIJUANA DRIVING LIMIT PROPOSAL FACES TEST TODAY

A measure to set a marijuana blood limit for drivers faces a big test today in the chamber where’s it’s failed three times before. The Senate Judiciary Committee starts work on this year’s stoned-driving bill, which has already cleared the House. Marijuana activists aren’t giving up hope they’ll defeat this year’s version, so a big crowd is expected.  Another marijuana measure up for debate this week could generate some opposition. A pending measure in the House Finance Committee asks voters to approve new pot taxes up to 30 percent. Some fear the tax is too high, and that voters will reject the idea and leave Colorado with a minimal tax boost from approving pot.

 

LEGISLATURE TO DEBATE OIL AND GAS, SCHOOL FUNDING ISSUES

The Legislature continues to mull Democratic bills to clamp down on oil and gas producers. Today, a Senate committee hears a bill to hike daily limits on drilling fines for the first time since 1955. And on Wednesday, a House committee considers a bill to study the possibility of more thorough well inspections.  Also this week, the full House starts work on a school-financing overhaul aimed at rectifying years of underfunded K-12 schools. The measure relies on voters approving some $1 billion worth of new property taxes, and Republicans have argued the measure needs to make bigger changes to how schools are run.

LABOR DISPUTE BILL ADVANCED BY HOUSE DEMOCRATS

Workers locked-out by employers as a defensive maneuver during labor disputes would get unemployment benefits with a bill advanced by House Democrats.  The proposal given initial approval Friday is reviled by Republicans who argue the state shouldn’t finance union labor disputes. Democratic Rep. Dominick Moreno, the sponsor of the bill, says it’s about “shared economic consequences” in failed labor negotiations.  Workers who are locked-out by a company at the end of a labor contract are already eligible for unemployment benefits.  But Democrats want to extend that benefit in defensive lockouts. The last example of that was 1996, when Safeway locked-out its employees when King Soopers workers went on strike. The grocers were in joint negotiations with the workers.  The bill needs a final House vote before heading to the Senate.

LAW ENFORCEMENT WARNS OF BOSTON BOMBING SCAMS

The Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office yesterday passed along a Division of Criminal Investigation warning about numerous Internet scams – some new, some recycled – seeking to take advantage of the April 15 Boston Marathon bombing.  Sheriff Rich Haskell said law enforcement information networks have identified multiple fake domains and/or websites and charity efforts engaged in fund-raising activity.  Within hours of the incident, people with unknown intentions registered over 125 domain names associated with the bombings and victims. The majority of these new domains use a combination of the words “Boston,” “Marathon,” “2013,” “bomb,” “explosions,” “attack,” “victims,” and “donate,” and should be viewed with caution.  Scammers are using social networking websites to circulate hoaxes, including information about  the purported deaths of child runners when the fact is that children are not permitted to run in the Boston Marathon.  Phishing emails may provide links to what are claimed to be photos, videos, and information updates on the bombings, but in fact can be linked to malicious websites and the risk of picking up viruses and malware.  Officials offer the following guidelines concerning major events such as the Boston Marathon bombing and solicitations for donations:

·       Be cautious of emails and unfamiliar websites that provide links to information about the bombings, as they may contain viruses.  Mainstream news websites with which you are familiar and use regularly are one thing, but unknown websites and, especially, emails, are another.

·       Never click on links or attachments contained in unsolicited emails.

·       Never reveal personal or financial information in an email.

·       Never send sensitive information over the Internet before checking a website’s security and confirming its legitimacy.

 

EDUCATION BOARD RECOGNIZES TODAY AS DIGITAL CITIZENSHIP DAY

The Colorado State Board of Education voted unanimously to adopt a resolution to support today as Colorado Digital Citizenship Day. The resolution states, “We support families and schools working together with children to learn how to be safe online and how to safeguard against practices that would jeopardize each person’s individual, private information.”  The resolution goes on to say that Colorado Digital Citizenship Day will focus on the important issues facing children and their families in our 24/7 digital world.

In high school sports:
Over the weekend:

In soccer:
Steamboat beat Rifle (8-0).
Moffat County beat Colorado Rocky Mountain (7-0).

In baseball:
Steamboat losts both games of their double header with Glenwood (1-10; 8-18)
Rangely split their double header with Paonia (4-7; 17-3)
Moffat County’s double header with Basalt was postponed.

Tomorrow:
In girls soccer:
Moffat County hosts Roaring Fork at 4.
Rangely is home against Colorado Rocky Mountain at 4.

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