NORTHWEST COLORADO NEWS AND SPORTS FOR MONDAY, APRIL 29TH

CRAIG FIREFIGHTERS PUT OUT GREASE FIRE AT RESIDENCE

Craig firefighters responded to a house fire late last night.  According to Craig Fire Rescue Chief Bill Johnston, a grease fire started a little before 10:30 in the kitchen of a residence on Moffat County Road 64, about 7 miles northwest of Craig.  The blaze was confined to the kitchen, and only minor smoke damage was reported throughout the rest of the house.  It took firefighters about two hours to extinguish the blaze and clean up afterward.

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PROMOTES AIR QUALITY AWARENESS WEEK

The National Weather Service and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency urge Americans to be aware of air quality during Air Quality Awareness Week, which runs through Friday.  The goal of Air Quality Awareness Week is to provide information on outdoor air pollution and its impact on the quality of the air. This year’s theme is Air Quality, Important at Every Age. The EPA will address a different air quality topic each day, from the causes of poor air quality and how air quality predictions are made, to how to protect yourself on poor air quality days, and steps you can take to improve the cleanliness of the air we breathe.  You can follow along throughout the week, by clicking here.

ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT REPORTING NO LONGER REQUIRED

A requirement that Colorado law enforcement report to federal authorities immigrants suspected of living illegally in the U.S. is coming off the books. Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper on Friday signed a bill that repeals the 2006 law. It passed with bipartisan support during a year lawmakers approved some of the strictest immigration enforcement policies the state had ever seen.  Some see the law as a precursor to more controversial policies later adopted in Arizona and Alabama.  The 2006 law required local law enforcement to notify federal immigration officials during arrests when they suspected someone was in the country illegally.  Those who wanted the law repealed argued it made immigrants afraid of police. They also say the law is now duplicative because a federal program checks fingerprints during arrests to check immigration status.

FOREST SERVICE SETS UP WEBSITE TO DETERMINE FIRE DANGER

The Colorado Forest Service has set up a web site that allows residents to determine the wildfire risk in their neighborhoods.  Forester Rich Homann says the goal is to inform officials and residents about risks, so they can make informed decisions on actions they need to mitigate the danger.  Colorado residents who use the fire risk tool can learn more about what to expect if there is a wildfire in their area. The tool can also be used to get assistance from local agencies.  You can access the site by clicking here.

MARIJUANA PROPOSALS BEING PREPPED FOR NOVEMBER ELECTION

Two very different but related marijuana questions could make their way to this November’s ballot.  The first would impose two separate 15 percent taxes on pot, a wholesale tax and a sales tax.  The second question asks voters whether to repeal Amendment 64, which legalized pot, only in the event that the first question on taxes fails.  House members are scheduled to vote on a 30 percent pot tax and a separate regulation bill on how pot should be grown and sold.  Those close to the issue say to expect a lot of intense behind-the-scenes negotiating in the legislature’s final few days over how to regulate and tax pot, and whether it’s possible to take legalization back to voters.

GARDNER REMINDS FEDERAL EMPLOYEES OF WHISTLE BLOWER PROTECTIONS

In light of recent reports that furloughs by the Federal Aviation Administration are intended to make sequestration “as hard as possible for the public,” Congressman Cory Gardner is encouraging more federal employees to come forward and blow the whistle on this practice. Gardner has introduced a resolution reminding all federal employees that they are protected by whistleblower laws and have nothing to fear exposing politically motivated cuts to their departments. He also highlighted a report from the Government Accountability Office detailing $95 billion of waste and duplication in the federal government. Gardner says there is plenty of waste and duplication that can be tackled before government starts cutting people’s pay and impeding air travel.

 

LAWMAKERS CONSIDER REQUIRING LICENSES FOR PRIVATE INVESTIGATORS

Colorado lawmakers are considering requiring private investigators to become licensed to operate in the state.  State leaders say the majority of private investigators in Colorado are not licensed.  Senate bill 13-259 would change that.  Opponents say businesses shouldn’t be forced to purchase a license, and that the consumer should be responsible for determining which investigator would be worth their business.  They also say requiring a license won’t guarantee a competent investigator.  However, supporters say requiring a license would also ensure the investigator was registered with a department of regulatory agency, and show that the investigator has the knowledge of law that applies to their practice.  The bill heads to the Senate floor today.

In high school sports:
Over the weekend:

In girls soccer:
Rangely fell to Grand Valley (0-11).
Moffat County defeated Rangely (7-0).

In baseball:
Meeker losts both games of their double header with Paonia (4-14; 4-15).
Moffat County split their double header with Coal Ridge (18-23; 13-2).
Rangely split their double header with Hotchkiss (7-6; 6-21)

In track:
Moffat County’s girls took first at the Clint Wells Invitational; the boys placed 2nd.

Today:
In baseball:
Rangely goes to Vernal at 3.

In girls soccer:
Moffat County hosts Aspen at 4.