NORTHWEST COLORADO NEWS AND SPORTS FOR SATURDAY, DECEMBER 1ST

HOMEMADE EXPLOSIVES DETONATED IN OAK CREEK

On Tuesday November 27th, 2012 Oak Creek Police Department and Oak Creek Fire Protection District officials responded to several suspicious incidents involving the recovery of multiple plastic bottles containing an unknown substance. These bottles were found to have exploded and some contained remnants of aluminum foil and a light blue liquid. These devices appear to be homemade acid bombs similar to “The Works Bomb” or a derivative thereof. These devices utilize a common household cleaning agent with aluminum foil pieces added which in turn creates a quick, unpredictable and violent chemical reaction and subsequent explosion. The byproduct of the chemical reaction creates a poisonous hydrochloric gas. The initial call was received at approximately 11:30 a.m. from employees of Rachel’s Smokin’ BBQ, located at 201 South Bell Avenue in Oak Creek. Employees discovered the remnants of the device in the parking lot upon arriving for work. As the employees investigated the item, a female employee came into contact with the liquid substance causing her shoe, sock and foot to become saturated with the liquid. Upon removing her sock while washing the liquid from her foot, the sock disintegrated prompting them to contact authorities. The business and area immediately adjacent were evacuated while officials determined the best method to contain and neutralize the device. The employee was assessed by medical personnel of the Oak Creek Fire Protection District and was treated and released on-scene.

While investigating the original incident at Rachel’s, law enforcement and fire personnel learned of a second device that had been located by a resident in the front yard of a home in the 100 block of West First Street in Oak Creek earlier in the morning and at approximately 4:30 p.m. the Oak Creek Police Department was notified of a third device that had also been located earlier in the morning in the front yard of a duplex in the 700 block of Lillian Lane. Although both devices were handled by the residents no injuries or damage was reported. On Wednesday November 28th, 2012, at approximately 10:30 a.m. Oak Creek Fire Protection District personnel and deputies from the Routt County Sheriff’s Office were called to a residence in the 200 block of East Highland Street when the remnants of a fourth device were found by a homeowner. No injuries or damage was reported. All of the devices and remnants were contained, neutralized and removed from the respective scenes by Oak Creek Fire Protection District personnel.

Oak Creek Police officials have determined these devices were deployed during the late evening hours of Monday November 26th, 2012 as several witnesses reported hearing sounds similar to gunshots or fire crackers in the areas where the devices were deployed.

This case remains under investigation by police, numerous leads are being investigated and no suspects have been identified. Anyone with information concerning these incidents is urged to contact the Oak Creek Police Department at (970) 736-8355.

Oak Creek law enforcement and fire officials urge anyone who locates one of these devices or anything of similar nature to not approach it, keep pets and children clear of the area and to contact Routt County Communications or call 911 immediately. Contact with an undetonated device can cause serious injuries and contact with the liquid or inhalation of the fumes can cause serious injuries and health complications.  More information will be provided as soon as it becomes available.

TIPTON VOTES TO PASS “STEM” LEGISLATION

Congressman Scott Tipton (R-CO) has voted to pass the STEM Jobs Act (H.R. 6429) in the House, advancing a commonsense immigration reform effort that would increase green card opportunities for foreign graduates of American graduate schools in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).  The bill, which passed with bipartisan support, includes a pro-family provision that would allow spouses and minor children of legal permanent residents to live in the U.S. while waiting for green cards to become available.  “This practical legislation would expand access to citizenship opportunities for immigrants who have earned advanced degrees at American universities in the fields most responsible for the innovation that drives economic growth, creates jobs, and improves the quality of life in this country,” Tipton said. “In addition to strengthening our economy by retaining some of the most talented individuals that were trained at American universities, we will be keeping families together, and encouraging legal immigration. That makes sense, and is the right thing to do.”

CONGRESSMAN URGES BLM TO REFRAIN FROM REGULATION DUPLICATION

Congressman Cory Gardner (R-CO) is pushing back on the Bureau of Land Management’s proposed rules for hydraulic fracturing, saying that they represent a clear violation of state water laws. In a letter to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, Gardner urges him not to let the BLM duplicate existing state regulations or encroach on state water authority.  “BLM’s proposed rules could overstep their statutory authority over water, threatening all water right owners and undercutting the current system of state allocation and administration of water rights,” Gardner wrote. “BLM’s proposal creates federal approvals and mitigations for water source, water use, and water disposal. The rules give BLM veto authority over water use related to oil and natural gas development on federal lands, which is entirely inappropriate and an affront to Colorado system of prior appropriation.” Also of concern is that BLM’s draft rules could actually discourage water recycling and reuse during the fracking process, which would be especially damaging to resources in the arid West. Gardner has always believed that the states, not the federal government, are best suited to manage their own natural resources. BLM plans to finalize its rules by the end of the year. Gardner’s bipartisan letter was signed by 43 members of the House.

COLORADO SENATE NAMES CHAIRS AND VICE CHAIRS FOR VARIOUS COMMITTEES

Senate Majority Leader Morgan Carroll (D-Aurora) has named the chairs, vice chairs, and Democratic members of the Senate committees of reference for the 69th General Assembly.

This coming session, most committees will be smaller than in previous sessions to allow the Senators to dedicate more time to their bills and constituents.

A committee is the first major step for most legislation.  The chair schedules legislation to be heard and oversees public testimony and debate.  The chair must deliver a timely report of the committee’s actions to the entire Senate.  The vice chair of the committee assists the chair, and runs the committee in the absence of the chair.  The committee members participate in debate and vote to take action on the legislation.

The appointments are as follows:

Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Energy:  Senator Gail Schwartz (D-Snowmass), Chair; Senator Angela Giron (D-Pueblo), Vice Chair; Senator-elect Matt Jones (D-Louisville), member

Appropriations:  Senator Mary Hodge (D-Brighton), Chair; Senator Pat Steadman (D-Denver), Vice Chair; Senator Rollie Heath (D-Boulder), member; Senator-elect Jessie Ulibarri (D-Commerce City), member

Business, Labor, and Technology:  Senator Lois Tochtrop (D-Thornton), Chair; Senator Cheri Jahn (D-Wheat Ridge), Vice Chair; Senator Rollie Heath (D-Boulder), member

Education:  Senator Evie Hudak (D-Westminster), Chair; Senator Mike Johnston (D-Denver), Vice Chair; Senator Rollie Heath (D-Boulder), member; Senator-elect Andy Kerr (D-Lakewood), member; Senator-elect Nancy Todd (D-Aurora), member

Finance:  Senator Mike Johnston (D-Denver), Chair; Senator-elect Andy Kerr (D-Lakewood), Vice Chair; Senator Cheri Jahn (D-Wheat Ridge), member

Health and Human Services:  Senator Irene Aguilar (D-Denver), Chair; Senator Linda Newell (D-Littleton), Vice Chair; Senator Jeanne Nicholson (D-Gilpin County), member; Senator-elect John Kefalas (D-Fort Collins), member

Judiciary: Senator Lucia Guzman (D-Denver), Chair; Senator-elect Jessie Ulibarri (D-Commerce City), Vice Chair; Senator Irene Aguilar (D-Denver), member

Local Government:  Senator Jeanne Nicholson (D-Gilpin County), Chair; Senator-elect John Kefalas (D-Fort Collins), Vice Chair; Senator Gail Schwartz (D-Snowmass), member

State, Veterans, and Military Affairs:  Senator Angela Giron (D-Pueblo), Chair; Senator-elect Matt Jones (D-Louisville), Vice Chair; Senator Evie Hudak (D-Westminster), member

Transportation:  Senator Rollie Heath (D-Boulder), Chair; Senator-elect Nancy Todd (D-Aurora), Vice Chair; Senator-elect Matt Jones (D-Louisville), member

WALDEN FOREST OFFICE TO HOLD OPEN HOUSE

The Parks Ranger District will host their Christmas Open House on Friday, Dec. 7 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the District Office in Walden, Colo.  The public is invited to kick off the holiday season with Smokey Bear and local U.S. Forest Service staff.  There will be food, hot/cold drinks and fun activities for all ages to enjoy, including opportunities for kids to have their picture taken with Smokey.  Forest Service staff will be encouraging creativity as they demonstrate how to make beautiful holiday decorations and ornaments at low cost with recycled materials. Visitors will also have a chance to create pine cone bird feeders and there will be activities for younger kids who want or need something a little less involved.  It will be a convenient time for visitors to buy Christmas tree permits, learn the characteristics of various tree species and get advice on how to search for and pick their 2012 Christmas tree.  The annual event is an opportunity for the District to say thank you to the community that they work with year-round and celebrate the holidays at the same time.  For more information on this event please contact the Parks Ranger District office at (970) 723-2700 or stop by at 100 Main St. in Walden.

CEC PLANS TREE PLANTING TRIP IN BROWN’S PARK

The Colorado Environmental Coalition is inviting residents to carpool to Browns Park National Wildlife Refuge later in the week to help plant trees. Cottonwoods provide critical habitat for Western River Ecosystems. Most cottonwood forests throughout the West are endangered by insufficient spring flooding and/or invasive species. About a decade ago Browns Park National Wildlife Refuge began an ambitious, world first project to artificially reseed native cottonwood. Seedlings have thrived and are now ready to be transplanted from the nursery into the existing forest.  Colorado Environmental Coalition has been providing logistical support and volunteers to transplant trees into the forest.  Participants will meet Refuge staff who will provide information about the history and purpose of the project. The trip to the Refuge leaves Steamboat at 7 in the morning December 7th, and leaves Craig at 8.  Participants will return to Craig at about 4:30. Please contact Sasha at 970-824-5241 sasha@ourcolorado.org to register & learn more.

In high school sports:
Yesterday:
In basketball:
Steamboat’s boys and girls beat Roaring Fork.  (boys 46-33, girls 41-36)

Today:
In basketball:
The Moffat County girls go to Uintah.
Steamboat’s boys and girls play at Basalt.
The Meeker girls continue hosting their shootout.

In wrestling:
Moffat County goes to Colorado Mesa University for a tournament.
Steamboat travels to Middle Park.
Meeker is on the road to Grand Junction.

DENVER BRONCOS
The Denver broncos host Tampa Bay tomorrow.  You can catch all the action live on 55 Country with the pre-game at noon and the kick-off at 2.

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