NORTHWEST COLORADO NEWS AND SPORTS FOR THURSDAY, JANUARY 17TH

BENNET APPLAUDS SALAZAR’S SERVICE

Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet yesterday saluted Interior Secretary Ken Salazar for his service to the state of Colorado and to the country. Salazar announced yesterday morning that he will step down as the head of the Department of Interior in March after over four years of service.  Salazar held the Senate seat currently occupied by Bennet before he was named Secretary of the Interior.  Although Bennet said Salazar has been an exemplary leader for Colorado, many Western Slope leaders were less than thrilled with his energy and land use policies.  In fact, some said he was one of the worst Interior Secretaries ever to have served.  Bennet has also been a disappointment to Northwest Colorado, having never visited the area since campaigning for Salazar’s seat.

 

FIRE FIGHTERS BATTLE HOUSE FIRE IN CRAIG

A house fire had Craig firefighters busy early yesterday morning.  The blaze on Moffat County Road 15 destroyed much of the house, but no injuries were reported.  Firefighters got the call a little before 1:30 in the morning.  It took about 3 and a half hours to put the fire out.

 

RECEPTION FOR GEORGE ROHRICH IS TONIGHT

A reception will be held for George Rohrich, outgoing CEO of The Memorial Hospital at Craig, this evening.  Everyone is invited to stop by and visit.  The reception is a thank-you for Rohrich’s services during his tenure at the hospital.  The reception will be from 5 to 7 tonight in the conference rooms of the hospital.

 

MARIJUANA CLUBS A TARGET OF CITY MORATORIUMS

The Fruita City Council has voted to impose an immediate moratorium on private marijuana clubs.  Colorado voters approved Amendment 64 in November to legalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana, but there are still legislative and regulatory issues to be resolved before retailers can start selling it.  In the meantime, entrepreneurs in Denver and elsewhere have made moves to open private clubs where people can pay a fee, bring their own marijuana and smoke with others.  The Daily Sentinel reports the Fruita City Council unanimously approved an emergency ordinance Tuesday to temporarily block anyone from starting one there.  While Craig and Steamboat have passed temporary moratoriums on retail shops, it’s not clear whether those moratoriums would apply to marijuana clubs.

 

REPUBLICANS PLAN BILL TO MAKE COMPANIES HIRE ARMED GUARDS

Colorado Republicans want to require businesses to provide armed security if patrons aren’t allowed to carry their own firearms.  That’s a proposal made on the same day President Barack Obama and other national Democrats proposed gun control measures in response to mass shootings.  The Colorado measure introduced yesterday would require businesses to provide an armed security guard for every 50 patrons if the patrons are banned from carrying guns.  The sponsor says movie theaters and shopping malls that ban concealed weapons should be obligated to provide their own armed security. The business gun bill faces dim prospects in the Democratic-controlled Legislature.  Democratic Senate President John Morse says that banks have armed guards but still get robbed.  Obama proposed a federal assault-weapons ban, ammunition limits and other gun controls yesterday.

 

LAND CONTRACT PROGRAM PUSHED BY FARM SERVICE AGENCY

Colorado USDA Farm Service Agency Farm Loan Chief Gary Wall, reminds landowners that the Land Contract Guarantee Program is available to landowners who wish to transfer farm real estate to the next generation of farmers and ranchers.  The Land Contract Guarantee Program provides a new approach for landowners willing to sell their land to beginning or socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers because it reduces the seller’s financial risk if the buyer defaults on the contract payments. The buyer must provide a minimum down payment of five percent of the purchase price, plan to operate the farm, and demonstrate the ability to make the land contract payments.  The national program offers two options, one that guarantees up to three annual installment payments on the contract and one that guarantees 90% of the unpaid principal of the contract.  Guarantees can be used for financing the purchase of a farm with a purchase price up to $500,000 on a new land contract.

 

TWO MORE CHILDREN DIE OF FLU IN COLORADO

Two more children have died from flu in Colorado, bringing the total this season to four pediatric deaths.  The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said yesterday that one of the latest child deaths was in Denver and the other was in El Paso County.  The earlier cases were in Denver and Jefferson County. The exact ages of the victims weren’t released.  As of January 12th, the state had reported 674 cases of people hospitalized with the flu in 36 counties.

In high school sports:
Today:

In wrestling:
Steamboat travels to Eagle Valley.

In alpine skiing:
Steamboat goes to Beaver Creek.

Tomorrow:
In basketball:
Steamboat hosts Eagle Valley.  The girls play at 6 and the boys at 7:30.
Hayden heads to Hotchkiss.  The girls tip off at 6 and the boys at 7:30.
Little Snake River Valley hosts Rangely.  The girls play at 6 and the boys at 7:30.
Soroco hosts Paonia.  The girls play at 4:30 and the boys at 6.
Meeker is home against West Grand.  Both games start at 6.
Moffat County hosts Basalt.  You can catch all the action live on KRAI, with the pre-game at 5:45.  The girls tip off at 6 and the boys at 7:30.  You can also listen online.

In wrestling:
Moffat County goes to the Green River Tournament.
Rangely hosts a tournament with Meeker attending.

In hockey:
Steamboat is on the road to Battle Mountain at 6.

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