NORTHWEST COLORADO NEWS AND SPORTS FOR MONDAY, JANUARY 28TH

NO POT CLUBS IN CRAIG FOR NOW

The Craig City Council has passed a temporary moratorium on private marijuana clubs in town while the state decides what new regulations are needed under Amendment 64.  The amendment approved by Colorado voters in November allows for legal possession of small amounts of marijuana under state law, but legislative and regulatory issues need to be resolved before retailers can start selling the drug for non-medical uses. The law also restricts public use of marijuana. In the meantime, some Colorado entrepreneurs have moved to open private clubs where people can pay a fee, bring their own marijuana and smoke with others.

FIRE MANAGERS POSTPONE SLASH PILE BURNING NEAR GREYSTONE

Controlled burns planned by Fire managers from the Northwest Colorado Fire Management Unit are being postponed, due to the weather.  The Unit was set to start burning 500 piles of ponderosa pine slash tomorrow, but the falling snow has made burn conditions less than ideal. The project area is two miles southwest of Greystone on Bureau of Land Management public land in western Moffat County.  The piles are the result of thinning understory vegetation and removing lower limbs of ponderosa pine. The purpose of the project is to reduce the potential for intense fires that may threaten local residents and improve forest health.  Fire managers now expect to start burning late this week, or early next week.  Smoke may be visible from Greystone and surrounding areas.

 

COLORADO LEGISLATURE TO DEBATE FIRST OF GUN LAWS TODAY

Gun control and violence is up for its first debate of the year in the Colorado Legislature.  A Senate committee is scheduled to consider the first gun-related bill of the legislative term today. The bill would allow schools to let employees carry concealed weapons. Under current law, an individual with a valid permit may not carry a concealed handgun at any public K-12 school.  The bill is a Republican proposal aimed at making schools safer. But it faces long odds in a Democratic committee, as ruling Democrats mull expanded background checks and new gun limits.  Another Republican bill up for a hearing this week would require private businesses to have armed security if they don’t permit customers to carry concealed weapons.

 

HICKENLOOPER WANTS TO USE EXTRA TAX MONEY TO STUDY OIL AND GAS

Colorado should use unexpected tax money to study the effects of oil and gas drilling on air quality. That’s a request by Gov. John Hickenlooper in a letter to lawmakers about tax collections that exceeded expectations last year.  The Democratic governor has said the drilling practice known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is safe. But skeptics remain. The governor told lawmakers Friday that they should spend about $11 million for the state Health Department to study the impacts of oil and gas extraction on environmental air quality.  Hickenlooper has also requested $12 million more for schools and $10 million for wildfire prevention.  Hickenlooper’s spending plan has been adjusted because the state knows more about taxes than it did in November, when Hickenlooper made his formal budget request.

AG PRODUCERS ANXIOUS ABOUT SPRING WATER PREDICTIONS

After a three-year dry spell, Colorado agriculture producers are anxious to see if springtime will bring critical precipitation.  Because of the drought, hay costs about $300 a ton, about twice the normal price. And though that might sound good for hay growers, some say the long-term impact to customers costs more than the windfall.  Hay grower Jason Stanger says if prices get too high, customers will sell parts of their herd or get out of the cattle business altogether. He says that costs producers more down the road.  State climatologist Nolan Doesken with the Colorado Climate Center at CSU says so far, long-term weather indicators for the West are inconclusive and the state is in a waiting game.  Without some relief, Colorado risks more wildfires, another crop disaster and a stalled economy.

QUAKE MAY HAVE BEEN CAUSED BY DRILLING

A federal agency says a minor earthquake in Colorado and Utah might have been caused by a high-pressure well that injects brine 16,000 feet into the Earth.  Justyn Hock of the Bureau of Reclamation said Friday the well has caused hundreds of tiny quakes in the past. Officials are looking at whether it caused Wednesday’s 3.9-magnitude quake as well.  The well is part of a project that removes excess salt from the Colorado and Dolores rivers. Officials say the project disposes of the brine by injecting into the Earth in the form of brine.  Agency officials say the brine is forced into fissures that sometimes crack open wider under the pressure and cause earthquakes.

ROUTT COUNTY OFFERS TIPS ON FROZEN PIPES

The recent extreme cold snap that hit Northwest Colorado has resulted in numerous frozen pipes and leaks of plumbing and sprinkler systems.

Routt County Office of Emergency Management wants to remind residents and visitors that frozen pipes often don’t show damage until temperatures rise above freezing. Conduct visual inspections of all pipes that are exposed to cold air – particularly those outside buildings, in common areas and along external walls and unheated interior areas – to ensure that they haven’t been fractured by ice.

If you get only a trickle of water from a faucet, suspect a frozen pipe and take action before the pipe thaws and major leaks can occur.

The Routt County Office of Emergency Management offers these tips:

• Keep the faucet open. As you treat the frozen pipe and the frozen area begins to melt, water will begin to flow through the frozen area. Running water through the pipe will help melt ice in the pipe.

• Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hair dryer, a portable space heater (kept away from flammable materials), or by wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, or other open flame device.

• Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. If you are unable to locate the frozen area, if the frozen area is not accessible, or if you cannot thaw the pipe, call a licensed plumber.

•Check all other faucets in your home to find out if you have additional frozen pipes.If one pipe freezes,others may freeze, too.If a leak does occur,isolate the pipe by shutting off the water to that area or the entire building ifnecessary and have a qualified person perform repairs and inspections of therest of the system.

Preventing Frozen Pipes

•Insulate pipes, especially those close to outside walls, attics or crawl spaces where the chance of freezing is greatest.
•Seal air leaks surrounding or near pipes.
•Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
•Disconnect all outdoor hoses and turn off water to exterior faucets and sprinkler systems.
•Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing.
•Keep heat at 55 degrees F. or higher even when you are out of town.
•During a cold spell turn on both hot and cold faucets near outside walls to allow a small trickle of water to run during the night.
•If you need to be away from home, leave the heat on and drain your water system before you go.
•Identify the locations of shutoff valves so that you are prepared to stop the flow of water as soon as possible when a pipe bursts.

What to Do When Pipes Freeze or Burst

If pipes freeze:

•Open all faucets.
•Remove insulation and wrap pipes in rags.
•If all else fails, call your plumber.

If pipes burst:

•Shut off the water immediately to prevent additional damage.
•Take proper precautions to avoid an electrical shock from being in or near standing water.
•Take an inventory of any damaged property or possessions.
•Contact your local claims office to help you locate a vendor specializing in emergency water mitigation services that can properly dry out the damaged area.

In high school sports:
Yesterday:

In basketball:
The Soroco boys beat Vail Mountain (68-35) and lost to Vail Christian (51-45) while the girls beat Vail Christian (46-37).

Hayden’s boys and girls topped Vail Christian (boys= 62-51; girls= 39-28).  The Hayden boys also defeated Vail Mountain (75-40).

The Little Snake River Valley boys beat Cokeville (53-37).  The girls lost (60-30).  Both the boys and girls beat Farson-Eden (boys=60-33; girls=46-29).

The Rangely boys and girls defeated Plateau Valley (boys= 43-34; girls= 41-30)  The boys also topped Debeque (61-31).

The Moffat County boys and girls beat Coal Ridge (boys= 77-64; girls= 54-46), and Grand Valley (boys=51-46; girls=57-37).

The Meeker girls beat Plateau Valley (67-22).

Steamboat boys and girls fell to Glenwood (boys=30-42; girls=41-51).

In hockey:
Steamboat fell to Mullen (6-2), and Standley Lake (3-2).

In wrestling:
At the Rifle Duals, Moffat County beat Basalt and Montezuma-Cortez, and fell to Rifle and Hotchkiss.
Steamboat tied for 1st at their home tournament.

In Nordic skiing:
Steamboat”s girls finished 3rd at Summit.

Tomorrow:
In basketball:
Meeker hosts Grand Junction at 5:30.