NORTHWEST COLORADO NEWS AND SPORTS FOR TUESDAY, JANUARY 22ND

THE MEMORIAL HOSPITAL INTRODUCES THREE NEW DOCTORS

The Memorial Hospital at Craig has introduced three new doctors.  Doctor Nadia Lovettz-Tereshchenko is an emergency room physician from California.  She most recently served at Kaiser-Permenente in North Valley, California.  Her first day was last week.  Doctor James Summers is a familiar face to the Craig area.  Summers is returning to the hospital staff as an OB/GYN physician.  He previously worked at TMH from 2003-2008.  Summers is taking appointments and will start seeing patients February 4th.  Doctor Jon Hamilton is a 10-year family medicine physician, who comes from Tulsa Oklahoma.  He describes himself as an easy-going, laid back person, and believes he’ll fit right in with the Craig Community.  Doctor Hamilton is now accepting new patients.  His first day on the job will be February 15th.  If you’d like to make an appointment with Doctor Summers or Hamilton, call 826-2400.

 

UNEMPLOYMENT RATE RISES IN MOFFAT, RIO BLANCO, FALLS IN ROUTT

Number show a rise in the unemployment rate in Moffat County from November to December of last year.  According to the Colorado Bureau of Labor Statistics, Moffat County’s unemployment rate rose a half a percentage point over the month period, from 6.8 percent to 7.3 percent.  Last months rate is still slightly lower than the rate a year ago, which was 7.7 percent.  In Rio Blanco County, the rate also increased in December, rising from 5.9 percent to 6.5 percent.  However, in Routt County, the rate dropped from 7.4 percent to 6.3 percent.  Seasonal jobs created by the Steamboat Ski Area are likely the reason for that.  Last year’s rate for Steamboat was similar, at 6.5 percent.

 

GARDNER URGES PRESIDENT TO BACK “NO PASS – NO PAY” PLAN

Representative Cory Gardner released a statement yesterday regarding the president’s inauguration speech.  Gardner first congratulated Obama on another term, and then stressed the need for a national budget.  The republican pointed out that the president didn’t mention the need for a budget in his speech, Gardner says republicans will try to force the issue this year.  Legislation is being pushed that would require each chamber to pass a budget, with members’ pay being withheld until that passage.  Gardner says it’s been 4 years since the Senate has passed a budget.  He says he hopes the president will get behind the “no pass, no pay” concept.

 

COLORADO REPUBLICANS PLAN ANTI-ABORTION BILLS

Republicans in the Colorado Legislature know they have a hard road ahead of them, but that isn’t stopping some of them from introducing bills that don’t stand much of a chance in the Democratic controlled chambers.  There are three bills dealing with abortion that have been introduced by republicans.  While democrats criticize the bills as futile, House Minority Leader Mark Waller says he isn’t going to restrict which bills lawmakers introduce.  He says the lawmakers were elected based on their stances on specific issues, and he won’t ask them to refrain from pursuing those issues.  One bill would outlaw abortions completely, another would make it a crime to cause a pregnant woman to lose her baby, and still another would ban teh practice of performing abortions as a way of gender selection.

 

GOVERNOR BACKS TAX-BREAK PROPOSAL FOR ENTERPRISE ZONES

Governor John Hickenlooper is backing a proposal to give tax breaks to companies operating in special zones set up to encourage development.  House Bill 13-1142 would put in place a $1 million cap on tax incentives that businesses can claim annually by participating in Colorado’s enterprise-zone program.  The idea is to give similar tax breaks to companies other than those in the oil and gas industry, for investments Hickenlooper says they woud receive anyway.  The governor says he wants to provide incentives for companies that are creating jobs.

 

GESSLER LOSES VOTER FRAUD COURT BATTLE

A Colorado State District judge has ruled against Scott Gessler in a voter fraud issue.  The court ruled that state law allows county clerks the authority to send ballots to inactive voters in mail-in-only elections.  Gessler had sued the Denver County Clerk and Recorder for sending ballots to inactive voters.  In Colorado, a voter is listed as inactive if they did not vote in the previous even-year general election and failed to respond to notifications asking for an update on their status.  Gessler, two years ago, ordered that ballots ONLY be sent to those who had voted in the previous general election.  The Denver County Clerk ignored the order, and Gessler sued the office.