NORTHWEST COLORADO NEWS AND SPORTS FOR THURSDAY, JANUARY 10TH

Fire Out At Oil Well Site

A fire which began around 12:30 this afternoon, at the Voloshin 1 and 2 oil site just south of Craig is out.  The fire, near the intersection of Colorado Highway 394 and Moffat County Road 33, about a quarter of a mile south east of the Craig-Moffat Airport was extinguished by 2:15.  Upon arriving at the scene, firefighters found a blaze which had begun at an oil, natural gas and water separator and had spread to outbuildings.  Fearful of an explosion, firefighters called in the oil well manager for assistance and were able to close the valves that that were feeding the separator before attacking the flames and extinguishing the fire without further incident.  The cause of the fire was determined to be the separator heater, which had apparently failed and ignited the combustibles in the separator.   Highway 394 was closed during the incident, and no injuries were reported. .

 

TEEN’S MOM FILES WRONGFUL DEATH LAWSUIT AGAINST STEAMBOAT

The mother of an Ohio college student who died at Howelson ski area in Steamboat has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city.  Authorities have said 19-year-old Cooper Larsh suffocated after falling head first into deep snow at the city-operated Ski Area in 2011.  The city maintains Larsh had entered an area that was closed, but his mother, Maureen Ryan, is challenging whether the area was properly marked.  Larsh was a freshman at College of Wooster but had gone to Colorado for spring break. His mother lives in Boulder County. An evidentiary hearing is set to start today to decide whether the city is immune from the lawsuit under Colorado law.

 

COMMISSION SETS NEW SETBACK RULES FOR OIL AND GAS RIGS

The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission yesterday gave preliminary approval to comprehensive new rules to limit the impact of drilling near residences and other occupied buildings. The set of rules are more rigorous than any in the country.  The new rules combine stringent mitigation measures, expanded notice and outreach to local communities and heightened distances, called “setbacks”, between drilling and dwellings to further distinguish Colorado as a national leader with respect to oil and gas regulations.  Colorado’s new rules for setbacks and associated measures will protect the public health, safety and environment. The rules also set a new standard for the Rocky Mountain West as they exceed those of neighboring states like Kansas, Wyoming, Utah, New Mexico, Nebraska, Arizona and Texas.  The Colorado Oil and Gas Association says the new rules lack foresight, and there will be unintended negative consequences.  For more details on the rules, and to read the Colorado Oil and Gas Associations response to the decision, click the links below.

COMMISSION’S NEW RULES

ASSOCIATION’S RESPONSE

 

HICKENLOOPER TO GIVE STATE OF THE STATE ADDRESS TODAY

Colorado Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper is expected to address gun laws, the Aurora theater shootings, and the summer wildfires during his third State of the State speech.  The governor’s office says he’s also expected to talk about health care initiatives and the progress the state has made on economic development when he outlines his legislative priorities to lawmakers today.  Hickenlooper unveiled a plan with lawmakers this week aimed at growing Colorado’s high-tech industries through government grants.  Lawmakers will be listening to what he has to say on gun control. He said last month that it’s time to have a debate on the issue, and he’s outlined plans to expand mental health services in Colorado.  Hickenlooper’s office says he’ll also touch on lighter topics, like the Denver Broncos, who have an upcoming playoff game.

 

GUN RIGHTS ADVOCATES HOLD RALLY OUTSIDE STATE CAPITOL

Gun-rights enthusiasts held a rally yesterday outside the Colorado Capitol to send a message to lawmakers convening inside.  The Legislature is expected to debate an assault-weapons ban and other gun-control measures in the first session since last year’s Aurora theater shootings, but Second Amendment activists want lawmakers to reject those measures.  The rally came a day before the governor’s annual State of the State address.  Governor Hickenlooper has said he wants lawmakers to debate gun control, but he hasn’t elaborated on details.  Some Democrats want to see an assault-weapons ban and more frequent mental health alerts on gun background checks.  Some Republicans have said they’ll seek legislation to increase armed security at schools.

 

COLORADO’S FIRST GAY SPEAKER TAKES CONTROL OF HOUSE

Colorado’s first gay House speaker has taken control, less than a year after Republicans used their former majority to block civil unions for same-sex couples.  The ascension of Denver Democratic House Speaker Mark Ferrandino yesterday highlights a dramatic change since May when Republicans used their one-vote majority to defeat civil unions.  Former Republican House Speaker Frank McNulty handed the gavel to Ferrandino to start the 2013 lawmaking session.  Democrats now control the House after November’s elections and Democrats retained Senate.  That means that after two years of divided government and limited agendas, the Colorado Legislature likely will see a flurry of legislation favored by Democrats, including civil unions, gun control, tuition benefits for illegal immigrants, and expanded Medicaid for low-income adults.

 

ROUTT COUNTY 4-H TO HOLD OPEN HOUSE

The Routt County 4-H program is hosting its 3rd Annual Open House on January 15th.  It’s all about “Fun in 4-H”!  Families are invited to check out what the youth program has to offer.  4-H assists youth in developing life skills in the areas of: leadership, communication, responsibility and community service. Routt County currently has approximately 285 youth enrolled in over 50 different project areas and is supported by the efforts of 85 volunteer adult leaders.  The open house will be from 5 to 7 at the Bud Werner Memorial Library.  Refreshments will be provided.  If you have questions, call the Routt County Extension Office at 879-0825.

 

YAMPA RIVER STATE PARK PREPARES FOR ANNUAL SKI AND SKATE

Yampa River State Park will hold its Annual Ski and Skate January 19th. The cross country ski trail will be groomed, and the pond will be cleared and ready for skating.  The day includes activities for the whole family, including skiing, skating and wildlife watching. There will even be a small sled hill just for kids. In the evening there’ll be moonlight skiing, skating and sledding. Hot dogs and hot chocolate will be served.  For more information click here.

In high school sports:
Yesterday:

In hockey:
Steamboat lost to Aspen (4-1).

Today:
In wrestling:
Moffat County hosts Grand Valley at 5.

Tomorrow:
In basketball:
Steamboat hosts Palisade.  The girls play at 6 and the boys at 7:30.
The Soroco boys play at Vail Mountain at 5.
Meeker heads to Hotchkiss.  The girls play at 6 and the boys at 7.
Hayden travels to West Grand.  The girls tip-off at 5:30 and the boys at 7.
Rangely goes to Paonia.  The girls play at 5:30 and the boys at 7.
Little Snake River Valley goes to Big Piney.

In wrestling:
Rangely heads to the Tournament of Champions in Vernal.

In alpine skiing:
Steamboat hosts an event at Howelson Hill.

 

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