NORTHWEST COLORADO NEWS AND SPORTS FOR THURSDAY, DECEMBER 20TH

MAYANS PREDICT END OF THE WORLD AT 4:11 A.M.

While some have pointed out the prediction was made before the concept of a leap year was introduced, and despite the fact that archaeologists have found extensions of the Mayan calendar, December 21st 2012 has been popularly viewed as the date the Mayans predicted for the end of the world.  That date is tomorrow.  We asked a few Northwest Colorado residents how they will observe the date.  Some said they would sleep, a few said they would party, one woman said she would do her best to be in the throes of passion.  Others took a more light-hearted approach, one saying the end of the world would have to wait for him to get over his cold, and another saying she was simply going to skip it.  Some scholars claim to have nailed down the time of the end of the world to 4:11 Mountain Time tomorrow morning.

BLM LEASE PLANS BEING PROTESTED BY ENVIRONMENTALISTS

Environmental groups are protesting the BLM’s decision to make available leases for oil and gas development near Dinosaur National Monument.  The BLM plans to make thousands more acres available for oil and gas development near the entrance to the Monument.  The Wilderness Society, the Colorado Environmental Coalition, and Friends of the Yampa, are a few of the protesting groups.  They say the area under consideration is popular for rafting and trails.  Although the BLM’s responsibility is to consider multiple uses of the land, the environmental groups don’t feel those activities can co-exist.  The groups say this is the third time they’ve protested such leases in the area since 2007.

 

PRO CHALLENGE RETURNING TO STEAMBOAT

The USA Pro Challenge announced its host cities yesterday, naming Steamboat as the finish for Stage 3 on August 21st and start for Stage 4 on August 22nd.  After drawing more than 1 million fans in the first two years and generating nearly $200 million in cumulative economic impact for the State of Colorado, the Pro Challenge will make its return to Bike Town USA in 2013, bringing many of the world’s best riders along with it.  Further details of the start and finish line locations, as well as the specific, detailed route will be announced in the spring.  A number of criteria were taken into consideration when evaluating potential host cities, including full city services support. The race also considered commitments in the areas of lodging, volunteer recruitment, marketing and local tourism, as well as an ability to host world-class athletes and promote the State of Colorado.  You’ll find a link to more information about the race by clicking here.

 

ROUTT COUNTY ROAD AND BRIDGE WARN MOTORISTS TO DRIVE PREPARED THIS WINTER

The Routt County Road and Bridge Department is urging motorists to drive prepared this winter.  Road and Bridge crews say budget constraints have affected their snow plow schedule.  Generally, roads aren’t plowed until snow depths reach 4 to 6 inches.  Conditions are checked twice a morning, and crews will usually start early, to avoid impacting the morning commute.  The department is now offering tips on driving safely in conditions which can be treacherous, but won’t be plowed.

Tips for winter driving:

- Get where you need to go before the weather gets bad.

- Check your tires! Fit your car with snow tires and/or carry approved traction
devices (chains/cables).

- Remember four-wheel drive can’t overcome ice and insufficient stopping
distance. Drive slowly and leave space to the car in front of you.

- Even with plowing and sanding, roads may be icy and slick; use caution and take your time.

- If you have an accident, move the vehicle to safety if you are able and call
911. If the vehicle must remain in the road, turn on your hazards, stay in your car, and use a cone to warn traffic.

- Carry an emergency kit in your car (example items may include blankets,
flashlight, first aid kit, non-perishable snacks, water, extra clothing, sand and
a shovel).

Should you have any questions, please call the Routt County Road & Bridge
Department at (970) 879-0831, the Routt County Office of Emergency Management at (970) 870-5551, or the Routt County Sheriff’s Office at (970) 879-1090.

 

PARKS AND WILDLIFE URGE OUTDOOR ENTHUSIASTS TO USE CAUTION ON ICE

At many higher elevations, ice has started to cover the reservoirs, rivers and ponds, attracting visitors to ice fish, ice skate, ice sail and enjoy other winter activities outdoors.  However, Colorado Parks and Wildlife reminds people that ice conditions vary, and you should always assume that ice conditions are unsafe and that ice thickness varies from place to place. Four inches of ice will provide a margin of safety and is generally considered safe for ice fishing and ice skating. Snowmobiles and ATVs need at least five inches of ice thickness. The best advice is stay off the ice when there is any question about thickness and conditions.  Parks and Wildlife has a list of ice safety tips, including what to do should you fall through the ice.

 

When venturing onto the ice, remember the following ice safety tips:

  • Never go onto the ice alone. A buddy may be able to call for help if you fall in. Also, never attempt to walk out onto the ice to rescue a friend because you will risk falling through the ice as well.
  • Avoid alcoholic beverages while on the ice. Alcohol increases your chances for hypothermia, which is the rapid loss of body temperature.
  • Always wear a life jacket or personal flotation device (PFD) over winter clothing. Life jackets can provide excellent flotation and protection from hypothermia.
  • Assemble a personal safety kit. Always wear a safety kit on your body when going out onto the ice.  Safety kits should include an ice pick, rope and a whistle to call for help.
  • Always keep your pets on a leash. Never allow your dog to run out onto the ice and never walk your dog near a frozen lake or pond without a leash. If your dog falls through the ice, do not attempt a rescue. Go for help.
  • Reach-Throw-Go. If you can’t reach the person from shore, throw them a flotation device or a rope. If you still can’t help the person quickly—go for help.

If you do fall through the ice, remember these tips:  

  • Do not panic. Try to remain calm to conserve as much energy as possible. Try to get your arms onto the ice and kick as hard as you can with your feet to help lift you onto the ice, and then roll to safety. If you can’t get out of the cold water by yourself, take appropriate actions to extend your survival time while waiting to be rescued.
  • Do not swim. Swimming will cause your body to lose heat much faster than if you stay as still as possible.
  • Act slowly and deliberately to conserve heat. Expect a progressive decrease in your strength and ability to move. Make the harder maneuvers at the beginning, while you can.
  • Keep your upper body above water. Keep your head and upper body as far out of the water as reasonably possible to conserve body heat.

 

CRAIG CHAMBER OFFERS SPREE BUCKS FOR HOLIDAY GIFTS

The Craig Chamber is reminding residents that Spree Bucks are available at the Visitors’ Center.  Spree Bucks are used just like cash, but can only be spent in Moffat County.  It’s a way to promote shopping locally for the holidays.  The Chamber says employers and residents buy nearly $150,000 worth of Spree Bucks every year.  Employers often use them as end-of-the-year employee bonuses.  The Chamber also stresses to merchants that the Spree Bucks are guaranteed, and should be treated as cash.  If you have questions, you can call the Craig, Chamber at 824-5689.

 

OLD WEST SANITATION ANNOUNCES HOLIDAY SCHEDULE

Old West Sanitation has released a holiday schedule for trash collection in Oak Creek.  The company had to suspend operations due to extreme weather conditions earlier this week.  They now say they will pickup trash from this week, Saturday.  Next week’s trash will again be picked up on Saturday, the 29th.  The following week will also see a Saturday pick-up.  If you have questions, call 879-7309.

 

COLORADO TO GET $43 MILLION FOR GETTING MORE CHILDREN UNDER HEALTH CARE PLANS

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced yesterday that Colorado will receive a $43 million bonus payment in recognition of its leadership role in getting more children covered by health insurance in 2012. Since 2010 Colorado has received $94 million in performance bonuses for implementing what the Center calls sound public policies that ensure public health care programs work better for families and taxpayers.  Colorado was recognized for implementing 7 out of 8 measures to qualify for the bonus, such as “administrative renewal,” which allows the state to verify continued eligibility electronically. Colorado was also praised for starting “express lane enrollment,” in which children are enrolled based on their applications for free and reduced lunch programs in public schools. The group says the changes make it easier for kids and families to get the coverage they need to stay healthy and grow up strong.

 

THE STEAMBOAT YULE LOG HUNT IS OVER

The 33rd Annual Yule Log Hunt, sponsored by the Tread of Pioneers Museum and the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association, ended just before 10 this morning when the log was found on the Tread of Pioneers Museum back porch.  The winner, Bill Petrillo, received a $150 Steamboat Chamber gift certificate and a framed piece of historical artwork adorned with a “Yule Log Winner 2012″ plaque.

 

In high school sports:
Yesterday:
In Basketball:
The Meeker girls beat Little Snake River Valley (59-32).

Today:
In wrestling:
Rangely goes to Duchesne, Utah.

Tomorrow:
In basketball:
Steamboat heads to Summit.  The girls play at 6 and the boys at 7:30.
The Hayden girls host Meeker at 7.
Moffat County hosts Olathe.  You can catch the action live on KRAI.  The pregame is at 5:45.  The girls tip-off at 6 and the boys at 7:30.  You can also listen online at krai.com.