NORTHWEST COLORADO NEWS AND SPORTS FOR THURSDAY, JANUARY 24TH

TIPTON SPEAKS ON “NO PASS – NO PAY”

Representative Scott Tipton is a big fan of the “No Pass – No Pay” idea, when it comes to getting a federal budget passed.  A bill is being introduced to temporarily raise the debt ceiling for four months, with the stipulation that if a budget is not passed in that time, no member of Congress will get paid.  Tipton spoke on the House Floor yesterday, supporting the legislation.  Tipton said it’s not fair for American families, who have to balance their household budgets everyday, to see their federal government working without such a budget.  You can see Tipton’s speech by clicking the link below.

SEE TIPTON’S HOUSE FLOOR SPEECH HERE

CRAIG YOUTH A FINALIST IN “VOICE OF DEMOCRACY” CONTEST

A Craig youth has been chosen as one of the statewide finalists in the Voice of Democracy competition.  The competition is sponsored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and features essays written by students.  Rose Howe will represent this area of the state this weekend at a ceremony in Lakewood.  Howe and her aprents will be treated to a weekend of entertainment, and will learn Saturday night whether she will go on to the National level of the contest.  The Department of Colorado VFW will pay for the trip.

 

“CHERISH THE LITTLE THINGS” TAKES PLACE NEXT MONTH

Connections 4 Kids, the early childhood council of Moffat and Rio Blanco counties, is hosting its second annual Cherish the Little Things children’s art show next month.  The show will feature more than 300 pieces of art created by Moffat County youths in preschool through high school.  The show will also include free art workshops for children ages 4 to 18 and a community art project to which every art show guest can contribute.  The art workshops are led by community volunteers.  Children may sign up for one art workshop each. Registration is limited to the first 15 children per session. A parent or guardian must accompany all children age 11 and younger.  At the art show, community members may vote by their monetary donations on their favorite pieces among 20 finalists in preschool through fifth grade. The top vote-getter will be featured on the cover of the 2013-2014 Connections 4 Kids calendar.  A schedule of the workshops can be found below.

  • Ceramic bowl painting ¾Thursday, February 7

8- to 11-year-olds                    3:45 to 4:45 p.m.

12- to 18-year-olds                  5:00 to 6:00 p.m.

  • Mask-decorating ¾ Friday, February 8

4- to 7-year olds                      3:45 to 4:45 p.m.

8- to 11-year-olds                    5:00 to 6:00 p.m.

  • Clay models ¾Saturday, February 9

4- to 7-year olds                      10:30 to 11:15 a.m.

8- to 11-year-olds                    11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

12- to 18-year-olds                  1:00 to 2:00 p.m.

  • Print-making ¾Saturday, February 9

12- to 18-year-olds                  2:30 to 3:30 p.m.

 

SENATE COMMITTEE APPROVES CIVIL UNIONS BILL

A Senate committee yesterday approved a civil unions bill despite protests that it tramples on religious freedoms and goes against the will of Colorado voters.  Critics say the bill is not about benefits, but rather a move to get closer to gay marriage.  The bill is now headed to the Appropriations Committee, before making its way to the full Senate.  Voters rejected a measure similar to the bill in 2006, but democrats claim the attitude of the state has changed since then.

 

COLORADO LAWMAKERS ASK FOR EXTRA TIME IN DISCRIMINATION LAWSUIT

Senators Mark Udall and Michael Bennet and Congressman Scott Tipton urged the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in a letter this week to extend the filing deadline for Hispanic and women farmers and ranchers in Colorado to allow sufficient time for them to submit their claims related to a discrimination lawsuit to the department.  A group of more than 100 Hispanic farmers filed suit against the USDA in 2000. The suit, Garcia v. Vilsack, alleged that the USDA’s Farm Service Agency discriminated against Hispanic farmers in the awarding of operating and disaster loans between 1981 and 2000. Through a settlement process, the USDA agreed to create a process to review claims.  The current deadline for Hispanic and women farmers and ranchers to submit their claims is March 25, 2013.

 

UNION BILLS UNDER FIRE FROM REPUBLICANS

Colorado Republicans are criticizing Democrats for passing a union backed bill that will, among other things, require towns and cities to collect the dues for unions in their areas.  Senator Randy Baumgartner says unions shouldn’t be relying on local governments to be their “tax collectors.”  A similar bill was vetoed by Governor Bill Ritter in 2009.  Baumgartner also says he’s disappointed democrats struck down Senate Bill 24, which would have prohibited an employer requiring an employee be a union member.  Senator Owen Hill says the Right to Work law would not have cost the state anything, and would have opened more opportunities for non-union members to find jobs.

 

FIREFIGHTER UNION BILL PASSES SENATE COMMITTEE

Yesterday, Senate Bill 13-025 which would ensure collective bargaining rights for Colorado fire fighters passed the Senate Business, Labor, & Technology Committee on a 3-2 Vote. Senate Bill 25 would grant the emergency responders a voice with local governments across the state. The bill would also outlaw striking for fire departments and ensure firefighters a voice in community discussions of resources and compensation.  The bill continues to gain momentum from the success of firefighting collective bargaining in communities.  The committee also voted against Senate Bill 13-024 which would deny workers the fundamental right to unionize the work place.

 

BILL AIMS TO HELP LAW ENFORCEMENT PROCESS RAPE KITS

A bipartisan bill to help law enforcement agencies process rape kits more efficiently has been introduced in the U.S. Senate.  The Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence Reporting, or SAFER Act is designed to help reduce the backlog of rape kits by helping state and local governments conduct audits of rape kits in law enforcement storage facilities and increasing available funds for crime labs to process those kits. It would also establish advisory protocols and practices around handling crime scene DNA evidence, prioritize the analysis of untested rape kits and better target existing resources.   Another version has been introduced in the House.  Both sides also introduced similar bills last year, but never got the chance to work out the differences before the session ended.  Colorado Senator Michael Bennet is one of the sponsors of the Senate Bill.

In high school sports:
Today:

In basketball:
The Soroco girls host Hayden at 5.

In wrestling:
Meeker heads to the Grand Valley Duals.

Tomorrow:
In basketball:
The Soroco boys host Vail Mountain at 5.
The Meeker boys travel to Debeque.
Hayden is home against Vail Christian.  The girls tip-off at 7 and the boys at 8:30.
Little Snake River Valley heads to Cokeville.
Rangely goes to Plateau Valley.  The girls start at 5:30 and the boys at 7.
Moffat County goes to Coal Ridge.  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 hockey:
Steamboat is on the road to Mullen at 3:30.

In girls swimming:
Moffat County goes to a meet in Delta at 4.

In alpine skiing:
Steamboat goes to Aspen.