Eisenhower Tunnels Fire Suppression System

At a signing ceremony at the Eisenhower Tunnel yesterday, Gov. John Hickenlooper signed into law House Bill 13-1252, establishing the Petroleum Cleanup and Redevelopment Fund within the Division of Oil and Public Safety, a part of the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.  The legislation includes $5 million of critical seed money for a fire suppression system at the Eisenhower/Johnson Memorial Tunnels (EJMT), allowing the Colorado Department of Transportation to pursue the additional funding necessary to build it.  “This is an important first step for developing this system in both tunnels,” said CDOT Executive Director Don Hunt.  “A closing or long-term damage to one of these tunnels could cost Colorado billions of dollars, not only to one of Colorado’s greatest transportation assets, but also to the I-70 Mountain Corridor communities, tourism, and recreation.  Even more importantly, a tunnel fire is a significant risk for the traveling public and public safety is always our top priority.”

The fire suppression system would not completely extinguish a vehicle fire but rather buy critical time needed for first responders to safely approach the scene and take action.

“Although this bill provides only a portion of the $25 million required for the new system, it provides the impetus to get this critical system built,” added Hunt, “and we’re working diligently to use this funding to leverage other funding sources to get this installed as soon as possible.”  The EJMT is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year and a fatality has never occurred inside it. Close calls have transpired and fires – primarily vehicle – do take place.  Because of this, CDOT has first responders and firefighting equipment as part of the EJMT complex.

Master Planning Effort Begins for Emerald Mountain Park

The City of Steamboat Springs Parks, Open Space and Recreation has launched a master planning effort for Emerald Mountain Park, a 586-acre property acquired by the City in March 2011. The Park connects Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) lands with City Open Space lands. It is covered by a conservation easement with the Yampa Valley Land Trust (YVLT) which guarantees public access and requires preservation and protection of the property’s ecological values while allowing for appropriate passive recreational use.

The goal of this planning effort is to develop a site specific development and management plan for Emerald Mountain Park. The final Park Plan will ensure that new trails and recreational facilities preserve and protect wildlife and natural habitat areas, fill existing recreation gaps in the community, serve youth and families, and are complementary to recreational use on adjacent public lands.

The City is aided in this effort by the Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program, a community-based design and planning arm of the National Park Service. In addition, the project won a $30,000 Great Outdoors Colorado grant which enabled the City to hire design and planning consultant SE Group.

Emerald Mountain Park serves many user groups and provides residents and visitors with a natural scenic landscape visible from all parts of the community. The planning process will encourage community collaboration while guiding a shared and multiple use vision for the park.

Public outreach and communication about the project will occur through a number of outlets, including public meetings and an interactive web-based public engagement tool which can be accessed here.  The site will be live and able to accept comments on May 22, 2013, the date of the first public planning meeting for the project.

What:  1st Public Open House & Planning Workshop
When: May 22, 2013 at 6pm
Where:  Centennial Hall, 124 10th St. and live on Channel 6.

Moffat County High Graduation Week Schedule

May 21ST – Academic Awards Night/NHS Induction, 6:30pm MCHS Auditorium
May 22nd – Baccalaureate – 7pm -Hosted by Ministerial Association and Young Life
May 23rd – Athletic Awards Night 6:30pm – MCHS Auditorium
(Dude Dent, Top Female Athlete and Sports MVP’s will be awarded)
May 24th – Senior Checkout and Graduation Practice 8am – Graduates don’t be late

May 25th – GRADUATION – 10am Sharp – High School Gym. Graduates report at 9:25am

  • Shuttles run beginning at 9am from K-Mart to the front door of the High School
  • Handicapped access and unique accommodations can be arranged by calling the school office at 824-7036
  • Get there early. Seating is limited. Arriving 30 minutes early is a very sound strategy to find preferred seating
  • Finally, public enthusiasm and applause is expected and anticipated However, please leave the air horns, silly string and beach balls at home

Ways to Keep the Family Entertained During Summer Road Trips

With summer travel season upon us, families across the country are taking to the open road for family road trips. But while the destination always leads to excitement, oftentimes the long car ride can be a drag.

Instead of listening to hours of “Are we there yet?” from the kids, there are ways to keep them — and parents — entertained while on the highway.

Try using these four tips to add some fun to long summer vacation car rides:


One way to combat boredom in travel-weary children is to pack surprises for the kids. Just as you notice children’s restlessness reaching peak levels, break out a surprise to assuage their monotony.

The surprises don’t have to be big — maybe a new book, a favorite snack or a small toy — but it will do the trick of keeping them occupied.

Classic Travel Games

No long car ride with the family is complete without playing a few classic travel games. Games like I Spy, Name That Tune and the License Plate Game will help pass the time and keep children and you engaged during the trip.  Car games are also a great way for the family to bond during the journey!

Easy Listening

Sometimes the perfect playlist can make a long drive fly by with a sing-along. Prepare a playlist the whole family will enjoy by letting each person in the car select a few favorite songs. Audio books are another great way to pass the time; everyone can get immersed in the story together and then discuss it when it’s done.

Long car trips don’t have to be a bore. With some easy tips and tricks, the journey can be just as fun as the destination.


Colorado Teen Birth Rate and Repeat Birth Rates Decline

More than half of teen moms in Colorado use the most effective methods of birth control to keep from getting pregnant again – far more than women in any of the other 16 states recently surveyed by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to state health officials, the growing use of intra-uterine devices (IUDs) and contraceptive implants has contributed to lowering the teen birth rate by a third and cutting the number of repeat births to Colorado teens by nearly half.

Since 2008, teen births in Colorado have declined 34 percent, from 6,079 to 4,122 in 2012. Repeat teen births have dropped 45 percent, from 1,183 in 2008 to 653 in 2012. The overall teen birth rate has plummeted 13 points, from 37.3 per 1,000 teens in 2008 to 23.9 births per 1,000 teens in 2012

“Teenage moms and their babies face significant health, social and economic problems, especially with repeat births,” said Dr. Chris Urbina, executive director and chief medical officer of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. “Using these ‘forgettable’ forms of birth control reduces the number of unwanted pregnancies and unhealthy babies in Colorado.”

IUDs and implants are considered “forgettable” because, unlike other methods, women don’t have to remember to use them monthly, daily or before sex. However, many teenage mothers risk unintended repeat pregnancies because they either are unaware of these methods or can’t afford them. IUDs and implants can cost thousands of dollars and often are not covered by health insurance.

The CDC studied pregnancies during the postpartum period and found 87 percent of teenage mothers used some sort of birth control, but only 20 percent used the long-acting reversible contraceptives considered most effective. Other common methods of birth control, in declining order of effectiveness, include birth control pills, condoms and diaphragms.

“It’s a vicious circle,” said Greta Klinger, family planning supervisor at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. “Teen moms who can least afford another child often cannot afford the best birth control.”

Nearly half of all Colorado pregnancies are unintended. Reducing these unintended pregnancies is one of Colorado’s 10 Winnable Battles. Unintended pregnancies cost Medicaid in Colorado $160 million annually and are linked to birth defects, maternal depression and elective abortions. Research shows teen mothers are less likely to earn a high school diploma, and children born to teen moms are more likely to experience child abuse, poor health and lower educational attainment.

Area Meeting Agendas


In high school sports over the weekend:
In track:
Moffat County, Steamboat, Hayden, Soroco, Rangely and Meeker competed at the state meet in Denver.
Little Snake River Valley competed at the state meet in Casper.

In boys swimming:
Moffat County competed at the State meet in Thornton.

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