FEMA URGES PREPARING FOR WINTER STORM
Officials are cautioning travelers that a spring storm making its way across the Rocky Mountain and Great Plains region will bring periods of freezing rain, heavy snowfall, and extremely high winds from Monday evening and into Wednesday.
The National Weather Service has predicted winter storm conditions of varying intensity throughout the six-state region of Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming. Driving conditions are expected to be difficult, with heavy, wet snow and high winds. People who must travel in affected areas are advised to slow down and drive with extreme caution, and those who are staying home are also urged to make plans for the possible loss of power.
Residents should follow the instructions of state and local officials and listen to 93.7 102.3 KRAI or 55 Country radio or TV stations for updated emergency information. If you are told to stay off the roads, stay home, and when it is safe, check on neighbors or friends nearby who may need assistance or extra support. Older adults and individuals who are dependent on life-sustaining medical equipment or assistive devices such as a ventilator or mobility devices may need additional support in areas that have lost power.
Avoid traveling by car, but those who must are urged to have an emergency supply kit in the trunk of their car. FEMA urges families to maintain an emergency supply kit both at home and in the car to help prepare for winter power outages and icy or impassable roads.
Those who must travel should take the following steps.
• Wear a seat belt.
• Keep your vehicle gas tank as full as possible.
• Travel during the day.
• Drive with headlights on in order to be seen by other motorists from the front and rear.
• Use highly traveled roads and highways.
• Keep family and friends informed of travel schedules and routes.
• Call local phone numbers or visit state Web sites to get information on road conditions.
• Keep a winter weather survival kit in the vehicle. The kit should include blankets, warm clothing, water, energy bars, a flashlight, a distress flag, a shovel and matches.
• Travel with a charged cell phone.
• Change travel plans as weather conditions warrant.
If you do get stranded:
• Stay in your vehicle.
• Run the engine and heater about 10 minutes an hour to stay warm.
• When the engine is running, open a window slightly to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Periodically clear snow from the exhaust pipe to help prevent carbon monoxide buildup.
• If it is dark outside, turn on the interior light so rescuers can see you.
• Put up a distress flag, or spread a large colored cloth on the ground to attract attention from rescuers.
MOFFAT COUNTY COMMISSIONERS TO TESTIFY ON ENERGY BILL
All three of Moffat County’s Commissioners will travel to Denver today to testify against Senate Bill 252. The proposed bill would expand the state’s renewable-energy mandates on public utilities and their customers. It would increase from 10 to 25 percent the share of retail electric sales that the state’s rural electric cooperative associations, including Tri-State Generation and Transmission, must derive from renewable energy sources. The new mandate would apply to electric co-ops beginning in 2020. Opponents of the bill say farmers and ranchers in the state’s plains and mountain communities will take a direct hit, and it could land especially hard on rural homes and businesses.
ROUTT COUNTY SHERIFF TO HOLD TOWN MEETING ON GUN LAWS
Routt County Sheriff Garrett Wiggins will hold a Town Hall Meeting today, to talk about the state’s latest gun control measures. The sheriff will go over what the new laws mean to residents of Routt County. Wiggins has already stated that he would not be enforcing some of the new legislation, primarily because the majority of it is unenforceable. The meeting comes a day before the Steamboat Institute will present “A Woman’s Right to Choose Self Protection”, a seminar on led by attorney Gayle Trotter. Wiggins’ meeting will be held at 6 tonight in the Steamboat Community Center. The Steamboat Institute’s seminar will be at 5:30 tomorrow night at The Ranch at Steamboat.
STEAMBOAT SCHOOL DISTRICT TO HOLD BUDGET FORUMS
The Steamboat School District will hold a couple of forums this week to discuss next year’s proposed budget. Proposed budget packages for each department will be presented. Different topics will be covered each evening. The first forum is tonight, at which the areas being discussed will be the elementary schools, special education programs, the English Language Learner’s Program, the Gifted and Talented program, Teaching and learning, and the Student Nersing Services Program. Tomorrow night’s forum will cover middle school instruction, high school instruction, athletics, transportation, maintenance, technology, and the District Office. Both meetings start at 5:30 and are expected to last a couple of hours. Both will be held in the Steamboat High School commons. Those who show up will have the opportunity to provide input.
MARIJUANA TAX RATES COULD BE ABOVE 30%
Marijuana in Colorado could be taxed at rates above 30 percent. That’s according to a panel of state lawmakers that agreed Friday to ask voters to approve a 15 percent excise tax, plus a 15 percent sales tax on the newly legal drug. Those taxes would be in addition to the statewide 2.9 percent sales tax and any additional local sales taxes. The tax proposals came from a House-Senate committee that has been reviewing proposals on how marijuana should be regulated. The panel also agreed Friday to limit pot purchases by out-of-state visitors to an eighth of an ounce. Residents could buy a quarter of an ounce. The marijuana committee concludes work today. Lawmakers will consider whether pot sellers should have to grow most of their product.
PANEL TO LOOK AT MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES IN VETERANS
The first meeting of a panel organized to take a comprehensive look at mental health issues affecting veterans, with the specific goal of reducing the high rate of veteran suicide was held Friday. The panel is comprised of mental health and medical professionals, members of the military and experts who work with veterans from throughout the state. In February, the Department of Veterans Affairs released a report finding that 22 veterans commit suicide each day. The panel plans to provide a list of recommendations for how to improve mental health services for veterans later this spring.
GARDNER INTRODUCES ANIMAL DRUG BILL
Congressman Cory Gardner announced Friday that he will be introducing legislation to reauthorize the Animal Generic Drug User Fee Act, which supports the testing and review of generic animal drug applications by the Food and Drug Administration. Gardner says the legislation is essential to ensuring that producers in Colorado and throughout the country have access to safe and effective animal drugs to treat their herds. He also says it’s critical to the work of veterinarians and animal care givers across the state and nationwide. Congressman John Shimkus of Illinois is introducing companion legislation, which deals with the approval process for brand name drugs. Gardner’s bill covers generic drugs. A legislative hearing on these bills will be held in the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health tomorrow.
In high school sports:
Over the weekend:
Meeker lost both games of a double header with Paonia (0-11; 4-14)
Steamboat won both games of a double header with Battle Mountain (21-10; 13-3)
Rangely fell in both games of a doubleheader to Hotchkiss (2-10; 4-14)
In girls soccer:
Rangely lost to Vail Christian (4-0) and fell to Vail Mountain (5-0).
Steamboat beat Delta (4-3).
In boys lacrosse:
Steamboat beat Golden (14-0), then topped Cheyenne Mountain (9-7).
In girls lacrosse:
Steamboat fell to Battle Mountain (13-5).
In girls tennis:
Steamboat beat Aspen (7-0) Friday, and beat Fruita (6-1) and Air Academy (5-2) Saturday.
In boys lacrosse:
Steamboat hosts Fruita Monument at 5.
Steamboat goes to Delta for a double header, with the first game starting at 4.
In girls soccer:
Steamboat travels to Battle Mountain for a game at 6.
Rangely hosts Aspen at 4.
In girls lacrosse:
Steamboat goes to Summit at 4.