NORTHWEST COLORADO NEWS AND SPORTS FOR TUESDAY, MARCH 19TH

INITIAL AUTOPSY RESULTS SHOW NO EVIDENCE OF HOMICIDE IN STEAMBOAT WOMAN’S DEATH

Steamboat police say the initial results of the autopsy of a woman found dead in a Quality Inn room Friday do not indicate homicide, but the death is still being investigated as such.  Police also now say when Gillian Gentile was found there were empty bottles of hard alcohol in the room with her, and that alcohol may have played a contributing factor in her death.  Detectives traveled to Texas Saturday to interview two of Gentile’s friends, but have yet to find evidence of foul play in the woman’s death.  A final determination into the cause of death is not expected until the investigation is complete and toxicology results are available.  Until foul flay is completely ruled out, detectives will continue to treat the death as a homicide.  If you have information regarding the case, you’re encouraged to call the Steamboat Police Department.

 

UNEMPLOYMENT RATE DOWN FOR STATE AND ROUTT COUNTY, UP FOR MOFFAT AND RIO BLANCO COUNTIES

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment says the state’s unemployment rate dropped to 7.3 percent in January from December’s 7.6 percent.  The agency said Monday that employers in Colorado added 7,100 nonfarm payroll jobs from December to January for a total of 2.3 million jobs, according to a survey of businesses.  Private sector payroll jobs increased 8,200 and government jobs dropped by 1,100.  The national unemployment rate increased one-tenth of one percentage point over the same period to 7.9 percent.  Routt County followed the trend, with the unemployment rate their going from 6.2% to 6%.  However Moffat and Rio Blanco Counties continue to see unemployment rates rise.  In Rio Blanco County the rate went from 6.6% to 6.9%, and in Moffat County it rose from 7.1% to 7.5%.

 

COLORADO SCHOOLS GET $5.2 MILLION TO TURN AROUND POOR SCHOOLS

Yesterday, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced that Colorado will receive $5.2 million to turn around its persistently lowest achieving schools through the Department’s School Improvement Grant program. Colorado is one of 10 states that will receive SIG funding. Four of the states, including Colorado, will receive awards to run a new competition for previously unfunded schools, and six states will receive continuation funds for the third year of implementing a SIG model.  Grants are awarded to State Educational Agencies that then make competitive subgrants to local educational agencies that demonstrate the greatest need for the funds and the strongest commitment to use them to provide adequate resources, in order to substantially raise student achievement in their lowest-performing schools.  The SIG program has invested up to $2 million per school at more than 1,300 of the country’s lowest-performing schools.  Findings show that many schools receiving SIG grants are improving, and some of the greatest gains have been in small towns and rural communities.

 

HICKENLOOPER TO SIGN GUN CONTROL BILLS INTO LAW

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper will sign legislation tomorrow that sets limits on ammunition magazines and expands background checks for firearms, marking a Democratic victory in a state where gun ownership is a treasured right and Second Amendment debate has played out in the wake of two mass shootings.  The measures proposed are some of the strictest gun laws in the nation, and their passage comes after weeks of tense legislative battles. Republicans reviled both bills and argued the proposals would not prevent more shootings, but hurt law-abiding citizens’ exercise of their Second Amendment rights, while Democrats made them the centerpieces of a package of legislative proposals drafted in reaction to shooting rampages at a suburban Denver movie theater and a Connecticut elementary school last year.  Hickenlooper spokesman Eric Brown confirmed Monday that the governor would sign the measures.  Colorado’s gun controls, which become effective July 1, are the first beyond the East Coast approved this year.

 

LAW REQUIRING ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS TO BE REPORTED MAY BE REPEALED

A 2006 law requiring Colorado police to report suspected illegal immigrants to federal authorities could be coming off the books.  A Colorado House committee voted 9-2 yesterday to scrap the law altogether amid complaints the law isn’t needed in an era of increased federal immigration enforcement. Law enforcement officials testified the requirement is redundant.  The law requires law enforcement to report to federal authorities when they detain someone suspected of being in the country illegally. Supporters argued that federal immigration policies passed since 2006 make the measure unnecessary.  Lawmakers supporting the repeal also say the law hurts police trying to establish trust in immigrant communities.

 

STEAMBOAT PROVIDES FREE MULCH TO RESIDENTS

The City of Steamboat is making available the mulch from recycled Christmas trees. The mulch is located to the right of the entrance of the Ice Arena. City officials ask that only residents and homeowners participate. They’re asking that contractors and commercial operations leave the mulch for individual use.  Residents can load up as much as they want on a first-come first-served basis. Participants will also have to load their own vehicles. If you need more information, call 879-4300.

In high school sports:
Yesterday:

In Girls Lacrosse:
Steamboat lost to Aspen (12-6).

Today:
In Boys Lacrosse:
Steamboat goes to Aspen at 4.

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