NORTHWEST COLORADO NEWS AND SPORTS FOR THURSDAY, MARCH 7TH

TEA PARTY PATRIOTS TO HOLD CANDIDATES FORUM TONIGHT

The Bears Ears Tea Party Patriots will hold a forum tonight in Craig.  The forum will focus on candidates for Craig City Council.  The group says it will allow Craig residents to become familiar with those who are running.  Those running for City Council this year include incumbents Gene Bilodeax, Jennifer Riley, and Byron Willems, and challengers Jerrod Ogden, Kent Nielson, Tony Boher, and L.R. John Smith.  Mayor Terry Carwile is being challenged by Ray Beck.  The Election is April 2nd by mail-in ballot.  Tonight’s forum will be held at the Center of Craig at 7.

 

STATEWIDE GROUP TO ASSESS CRAIG DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENT

The City of Craig will be participating in a downtown assessment visit conducted by Downtown Colorado (DCI) on March 18th and 19th.  The technical assistance program is designed to provide downtown revitalization and economic development technical assistance to Colorado communities hoping to support small business, create partnerships, and develop and sustain a viable and vibrant commercial downtown. The technical assistance is managed by DCI through a unique collaboration between DCI and the organization’s private and public sector member volunteers who provide expertise and practical application from downtown districts throughout Colorado and the United States.  The schedule will include a detailed tour of the downtown and the community and meetings with focus groups including local government officials, local organization representatives, business owners, property owners, and residents. A two-day visit will conclude with a presentation to the public providing an assessment of the community as well as action steps.  You’ll find a detailed schedule at the end of this story below:

Monday, March 18, 2013

1:00 PM – 2:15            Focus Group Meeting 1– Community Services.  Targeted for City Council, County Commission, and city staff.  Location – Center of Craig, 601 Yampa Ave.

2:45 PM – 4:00PM      Focus Group Meeting 2 – Amenities and Non-municipal Services.  Targeted for service providers such as representatives from the School District, CDOT, Library, Museums, local non-profits, etc.  Location – Center of Craig, 601 Yampa Ave.

5:45 PM – 7:00PM      Focus Group Meeting 3 – Property and Business Owners.  Targeted for those in the downtown core but not excluding those on the periphery or throughout town.  Location – Center of Craig, 601 Yampa Ave.

7:15 PM – 8:00PM      Focus Group Meeting 4 – Residents.  Targeted for all interested residents and community members at large inside and outside the City.  Location – Center of Craig, 601 Yampa Ave.

 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The team will start at 8:00AM and spend the day developing a report and presentation.

6:00 PM           Reception/Presentation – All participants and the public are invited.  Location – City Council Chambers, 300 West 4th.

 

DOLLY PARTON IMAGINATION LIBRARY OPEN FOR ENROLLMENT IN MOFFAT COUNTY

Moffat County Youth United Way and Connections 4 Kids are pleased to announce that registration for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library has reopened for Moffat County residents.  Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a program that offers high-quality, age-appropriate books to children from birth to age 5. The program is free to families and limits registration only by age and residence, not socio-economic status or other factors. All children who register will receive a free book, mailed to their home, once a month until the month of their fifth birthday.  Registration was suspended for Moffat County and Rio Blanco County residents in November 2012 after successful launch events enrolled many more children than anticipated based on national projections. Registration for Rio Blanco County residents continues to be suspended while the agencies seek additional funding to enroll additional children.  Families with children younger than 5 can enroll them in Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, by visiting the Connections 4 Kids website or the Craig, Maybell or Dinosaur branches of Moffat County Libraries.

 

GARDENER APPLAUDS PASSAGE OF WATERSHED PROTECTION FUNDS

Congressman Cory Gardner applauded the House of Representatives for approving $48 million of Emergency Watershed Protection funding to help states like Colorado rebuild its watershed infrastructure after a summer of devastating fires.  Gardner has been relentless in his efforts to secure EWP funding for Colorado and other affected states. He originally requested the inclusion of EWP funds in the Sandy Relief Bill and was also able to secure a commitment from the Appropriations Committee that this funding issue would be addressed. Yesterday, the EWP funding was approved as part of a Continuing Resolution that passed the House.  Last summer, the High Park Fire and Waldo Canyon Fire blazed a path of destruction that left hundreds of families across Colorado homeless. The damage also increased the risk of flooding and mudslides that threaten to pollute the water supply for communities in northern Colorado and Colorado Springs. The EWP funds will be used to restore watershed infrastructure and mitigate future contamination of local rivers and reservoirs.

 

GUN BILLS ADVANCING IN STATE SENATE

A state senate committee passed three of the seven gun bills making their way through the legislature yesterday.  The bills include universal background checks, fees for those background checks, and a domestic violence ban expansion.  The Senate Appropriations Committee approved all three along party lines.  The four other gun bills will head straight to the Senate floor, where all seven will be heard tomorrow.

 

ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS DAYS AWAY FROM DISCOUNTED TUITION

A bill allowing illegal immigrants in Colorado to attend public colleges at the in-state tuition rate appears to be just days away from passage.  The Colorado House gave the bill initial approval Tuesday in a debate that turned nasty at times, with discussions about hope and taxes. The House approved the bill on a voice vote and is expected to take it up for a recorded vote tomorrow, thus sending it to Governor John Hickenlooper, who has said he will sign it.  This year marks at least the sixth time in 10 years some sort of tuition bill has been introduced but the first time it is expected to pass.

 

CIVIL UNIONS BILL HEADED FOR FINAL HOUSE DEBATE

A bill granting civil unions for gay couples in Colorado has taken another step in the state Legislature as it nears a final debate on the House floor.  The bill cleared the Finance Committee yesterday on a 7-6 party-line vote with Republicans in opposition. The proposal is expected to clear another committee and be voted on by the full House next week, the last step before the governor’s desk.  Democrats have the votes to pass the bill, and Governor John Hickenlooper is expected to sign it.  The proposal would grant gay couples rights similar to marriage.  Republicans say the proposal violates the will of voters who banned same-sex marriage in 2006. Democrats say public opinion has changed since then, and that civil unions is not marriage equality.

 

SENATE COMMITTEE APPROVES REMOVING ADULTERY LAWS

A state senate committee voted 3-2 yesterday to remove Colorado’s adultery laws from the books.  Adultery is still a crime in Colorado, but penalties are rarely enforced.  The bill voted on yesterday would make providing a place for unmarried couples to have sex no longer illegal.  Republicans in the house blocked a similar measure last year, but democrats had the votes to push it through this year.  The bill is also likely to be signed by Governor Hickenlooper when it passes the full senate.

In high school sports:
Tomorrow:

In the 3-A state basketball tournament:
The Moffat County boys play Classical Academy in Brush.  The girls host Jefferson Academy.  You can catch both games live on KRAI, with the pregame at 4:45 tomorrow afternoon.  The boys tip off at 5, and the girls at 7.  You can also listen to both game online at KRAI.com.

At 2-A Regionals:
At Grand Junction Central High School:
The Meeker girls play Delores at 3:30.
The Hayden boys play Sangre De Cristo at 5.

At Mullen High School:
The Rangely girls take on Wray at 6:30.
The Meeker boys play Haxtun at 8.