NORTHWEST COLORADO NEWS AND SPORTS FOR THURSDAY, APRIL 11TH

TIPTON’S HYDROPOWER BILL PASSES HOUSE WITH OVERWHELMING SUPPORT

Yesterday, the House passed with bipartisan support Representative Scott Tipton’s legislation to create rural jobs by expanding the production of clean renewable hydropower. The bill passed the House 416-7 this year, a significant increase in bipartisan support from the 2012 vote of 265-154.  By eliminating duplicative environmental analysis on existing man-made Bureau of Reclamation conduits that have received a full review under the National Environmental Policy Act, Tipton’s bill streamlines the regulatory process and reduces administrative costs for the installation of small hydropower development projects within those conduits. In doing so, the bill encourages increased small hydropower development, which will create new rural jobs in Colorado, add clean, affordable electricity to the grid to power homes and communities, modernize infrastructure, and supply the federal government with additional revenues.  The Hydropower and Rural Jobs Act has been endorsed by the Family Farm Alliance, the National Water Resources Association, and the American Public Power Association, among others.

 

USDA APPROVES DROUGHT AID FOR MOFFAT AND ROUTT COUNTIES

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved new designations allowing farmers and ranchers around the West, including nine Colorado counties, to seek federal aid to get through the drought.  All but a handful of Colorado’s 64 counties have been designated this crop year as either primary natural disaster areas due to drought or as contiguous to those counties.  The USDA yesterday approved contiguous county designations for Jackson, Larimer, Logan, Moffat, Phillips, Routt, Sedgwick, Weld and Yuma counties, making producers there eligible to be considered for emergency loans from the Farm Service Agency.  Every Wyoming county has received a designation as a primary or contiguous county eligible for aid. The six Montana counties on Wyoming’s northern border also were approved yesterday as contiguous counties eligible for help.

 

ROUTT COUNTY FOOD BANK GETS $25K GRANT

Routt Counties Lift-up Food Bank is getting $25,000 from the Daniels Fund to support some of its programs.  Lift up will use the money for its Children’s Food Program and Housing Needs Fund, both of which serve clients in Steamboat, Oak Creek, and Hayden.  The Children’s Food Program stuffs backpacks full of food and hands them out to families in need with children.  The grant is expected to help provide over 200 of those backpacks over the next year.  The Housing Needs Fund helps families pay for rent, and the estimate is that around 50 families use the fund every year.

 

CNCC STUDENTS RECEIVE RECOGNITION

Colorado’s Community College System held their Rising Star Recognition Ceremony and Honorary Luncheon Tuesday, and two Colorado Northwestern Community College students were among those honored.  The ceremony recognizes students’ outstanding contributions when it comes to college activities and community service.  Clay Crozier, from the Rangely Campus serves on the campuses Student Government, is Vice President of the Equine Club, and is a Resident Assistant with Student Life.  He is also actively involved with his church, and is described as a natural leader.  Crozier is going for his Associates degree in Equine Studies, and plans to continue his studies at BYU after graduation.  Zoe Sowers is the Student Government President and the Phi Theta Kappa President at the CNCC Craig Campus.  She serves on the school Safety Committee and the Quality Assurance Committee, while also a member of the community Choir of Craig.  Sowers plans to study Psychology at the University of Colorado in Boulder after graduation.

 

SWEETWATER COUNTY SHERIFF INVESTIGATING DEATH

The Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office and County Coroner’s Office are conducting a joint investigation into the death of a Superior man.  Monday evening, neighbors checked the residence of 60-year old Tommy Jensen, whom they had not seen for several days. They entered the residence, smelled smoke, and found Jensen dead on the couch in the living room.  Responding deputies and county detectives noted heavy fire damage to the residence’s living room. It is believed the fire occurred on or after April 5th, which was the last day anyone had contact with Jensen, but burned itself out before it consumed the rest of the home.  Firefighters from Sweetwater County were called to the scene as a precaution, and the State Fire Marshal’s Office is working on the investigation with county detectives.  Sweetwater County Sheriff spokesman Dick Blust said there were no indications of foul play. An autopsy is scheduled for today.

 

ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS A STEP CLOSER TO GETTING DRIVERS LICENSES

A proposal to grant driver’s licenses for Colorado drivers in the country illegally got initial approval in the state Senate.  The bill passed the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday on a 3-2 party-line vote, with Democrats in favor of the proposal.  Supporters say everyone would benefit from having drivers who know the rules of the road and are insured.  Illinois, New Mexico and Washington currently allow driver’s licenses for those illegally in the country.  Opponents argue the bill goes too far and that lawmakers should wait for action by the federal government.  The bill still needs to be approved by the full Senate.

 

GARDNER BLASTS EPA FOR RELEASING PERSONAL INFORMATION

Congressman Cory Gardner is furious that the Environmental Protection Agency has improperly released private personal and business information to environmental groups.  The EPA answered a Freedom of Information Act request last year and failed to redact business information relating to concentrated animal feeding operations that should have remained private. The FOIA request was submitted by an environmental group, and now Gardner fears that group will use the information it obtained from the EPA against the businesses.  Gardner said the negligent release of this confidential information is, unfortunately, in line with the EPA’s long history of disrespect for the rights of private companies and citizens.  He also said there is no way to undo this damage, and the EPA needs to exercise better discretion in the future.

In high school sports:
Today:

In girls soccer:
Steamboat is on the road to Glenwood at 6.
Moffat County goes to Basalt at 4.
Rangely heads to Coal Ridge at 4.

Tomorrow:
In baseball:
Meeker goes to Fruita Monument for a double header.

In girls soccer:
Moffat County is on the road to Rifle at 4.

In boys lacrosse:
Steamboat hosts Glenwood at 4.

In girls lacrosse:
Steamboat goes to Grand Junction at 4.

In track:
Hayden, Soroco, Rangely and Meeker go to Coal Ridge at 1.
Moffat County runs at Grand Junction Central at noon.

In girls tennis:
Steamboat travels to Evergreen at 3:30.

In boys swimming:
Moffat County goes to Montrose at 5.