NORTHWEST COLORADO NEWS AND SPORTS FOR TUESDAY, APRIL 2ND

CRAIG MUNICIPAL ELECTION IS TODAY

Today is the last day to turn in your ballots for the Craig Municipal Election.  This year’s election is being conducted by mail-in ballot.  This year, current council member Ray Beck is challenging Terry Carwile for mayor.  If Carwile wins that race, Beck will finish out his term on the council.  If Beck wins, that means the 6 council candidates will be vying for 4 open seats.  The candidates running this year include incumbants Jennifer Riley, Byron Willems, and Gene Bilodeau, and challengers John Smith, Jarrod Ogden and Tony Bohrer.  If you haven’t gotten a ballot, you can pick one up from the Moffat County Clerk and Recorder’s office until 7 tonight.  Ballots must be turned in to Craig City Hall by 7.  Ballots mailed by the appropriate deadline will be counted, but city officials say using the drop boxes at City Hall is the best option.

 

RURAL SEATBELT USE TARGETED IN LATEST “CLICK-IT OR TICKET” CAMPAIGN

In an effort to increase seat belt use and save lives on rural Colorado roadways, the Colorado State Patrol and 18 rural law enforcement agencies in 25 counties are mobilizing for a Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement period that lasts until Sunday. The enforcement is combined with a seat belt education campaign targeting male pickup truck drivers, as they have the lowest seat belt use in the state.  In 2012, 60% of unbuckled deaths in Colorado were men between the ages of 18-34 while 39% of unrestrained fatalities in Colorado occurred in pickup trucks. Drivers of pickup trucks have the lowest overall seat belt use at just 71%, compared to 81% of seat belt use amongst car drivers.  Moffat County is involved in the campaign; Routt and Rio Blanco Counties are not.

 

TROTTER TO SPEAK ON WOMEN’S RIGHT TO BE ARMED

Gayle Trotter, a Senior Fellow with the Independent Women’s Forum will speak in Steamboat next week.  The Steamboat Institute has invited Trotter to speak on gun rights, as they relate to women.  The seminar is called “A Woman’s Right to Choose Self-Protection”.  Trotter is a co-founder of a law firm in Washington D.C., advising entrepreneurs and small businesses.  The event will be held April 9th at 5:30 at the Ranch at Steamboat.  It costs $10 per person and reservations are appreciated.  Students under 30 can get in free.  If you’d like to RSVP, call 871-9936.

 

GOVERNOR DEBATES FRACKING RULES IN BOUDLER

Boulder County Commissioner Elise Jones says communities should be able to enact local rules for oil and gas drilling, on top of state rules.  Jones debated Governor John Hickenlooper yesterday at the University of Denver on the impacts of natural gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, which involves blasting a mix of water, sand and chemicals underground to free oil and gas.  Longmont and Fort Collins have banned the practice. Hickenlooper said yesterday that past court rulings suggest cities can’t do that because mineral rights owners have to have reasonable access to recover the minerals for which they own the rights.  The Colorado Oil & Gas Association has filed a lawsuit challenging Longmont’s fracking ban.  Three hecklers were ejected from the debate.

 

ANOTHER FIREARMS ACCESSORY DEALER TO LEAVE COLORADO

Another firearms accessory company is reportedly leaving Colorado over new gun control signed by Governor John Hickenlooper last week.  Executives from HiViz Shooting Systems says the company cannot in clear conscience support through tax dollars a state that has proven a willingness to infringe upon its citizens’ 2nd amendment rights.  HiViz is based out of Fort Collins, and plans to move its headquarters, and the majority of its employees, first, following up with their other operations around the state over a period of time.  It’s not clear yet where the company will move to.  Ammunition magazine maker Magpul has already announced they’re leaving the state by the end of the year, and has cited the new laws as the reason for the move.

 

BILL SPONSOR SAYS COUNTY SHERIFFS ARE BEHIND GIVING DRIVERS LICENSES TO ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS

The sponsor of a bill allowing illegal immigrants to get Colorado driver’s licenses says he has the support of the state’s sheriffs.  The bill was introduced in the state Senate yesterday. Democratic Senator Jessie Ulibarri says the County Sheriffs of Colorado said Friday they would support the bill.  New Mexico, Washington and Illinois allow driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants.  Republicans oppose the Colorado bill.  To get a driver’s license, immigrants would have to prove they’re paying state and federal taxes, have an identification card from their country, and pass a driver’s safety test.  Supporters of the bill argue illegal immigrants are already driving and that it would be better to have them licensed and insured.

 

BILL TO CHANGE SCHOOL FINANCE FORMULA BEING DEBATED IN THE SENATE

A mammoth bill to overhaul Colorado’s complicated school-finance formula is under debate in the state Senate.  The full Senate was taking its first look yesterday at the school funding measure. The proposal is the biggest revision in decades to how Colorado funds K-12 public schools. It aims to make school funding more equitable after years of deep budget cuts.  The bill would lead to full-day kindergarten across the state. It would also give schools with needy students and English language learners a boost.  The funding changes would take effect only if voters approve more than $1 billion in new taxes this fall. That makes the outcome of the school finance overhaul uncertain.

 

FEDERAL COURT RULES ON PETITIONERS

A federal court says a Colorado law requiring that only state residents be allowed to circulate ballot petitions is a violation of the First Amendment.  The ruling Friday in U.S. District Court in Denver means a 2010 injunction that had prevented the 2009 law from being enforced will remain in place. That law would also have required signature gatherers to be paid by the hour, not by the signature.  Plaintiffs who sued the state argued that the hourly payment requirement would incentivize signature gatherers to slack off. The plaintiffs included organizers for the campaign to legalize marijuana in Colorado and the libertarian Independence Institute.  Attorney David Lane, who represented the groups, says he expects the state to appeal.  Colorado secretary of state’s spokesman Rich Coolidge says officials are reviewing options.

 

DOCS SAY COLORADO CHILDREN MORE LIKELY TO ACCIDENTALLY INGEST POT

Colorado doctors say looser pot laws are leading to more child poisonings.  Doctors say children are attracted by drug-laced edibles like gummy worms or brownies.  Calls about potential marijuana exposure for all ages have doubled since 2009 at one poison center.  From early 2005 to late 2009, Children’s Hospital Colorado had no emergency-room visits by kids who had ingested marijuana. In the following two years, after medical marijuana became legal in Colorado, it had 14.

In high school sports:
Today:

In girls soccer:
Steamboat goes to Eagle Valley at 6.

Tomorrow:
In boys lacrosse:
Steamboat travels to Battle Mountain at 4.