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FISH AND WILDLIFE RELEASES FINAL REPORT ON SAGE GROUSE
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is making available a final report that is designed to help guide the efforts of the States and other partners to conserve the Greater sage-grouse, with a landscape level strategy that will benefit the species while maintaining a robust economy in the West. The report, prepared by state and federal scientists and sage-grouse experts, identifies the conservation status of the Greater sage-grouse, the nature of the threats facing the species, and objectives to ensure its long-term conservation. The final report is a collaborative state and federal effort to evaluate species conservation before the Service is required to make a decision in 2015 on whether to propose putting the bird on the Endangered Species List. The intent of the report is to provide State, Federal, local and private entities with permitting or land management authority information to support conservation actions for the sage-grouse. Such actions might involve modifying or amending regulatory frameworks to ensure the long-term conservation of the species by avoiding, minimizing, or mitigating the threats to the species, or focusing voluntary conservation efforts in ways that will benefit the species the most. The final report is available online, by clicking here.
CRAIG CHAMBER OFFERS INSIGHT INTO CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATES
The Craig Chamber of Commerce, as part of a Vote Smart project, asked this year’s Craig City Council candidates a series of questions, and have made the responses available online. The Craig Municipal Election takes place next month by mail-in ballot. Ballots have already started arriving in the mail. The chamber had the candidates fill out questionnaires, which asked various questions relating to leadership skills, community service, business history, and vision for the city. There are 6 candidates up for election this year on the council. Two more are running for mayor. You can find the questions and the candidate’s answers by clicking here.
LEGISLATURE APPROVES MORE MONEY FOR WILDFIRE VICTIMS
One year after a state-set fire in Colorado killed three people, the state Legislature has given final approval to a bill raising limits for recovering damages incurred on account of government wrongdoing. The bill raises the damage cap for people suing state government. The bill is a response to last March’s Lower North Fork Fire in Jefferson County. The foothills blaze was caused by a prescribed burn coordinated by state officials to reduce risks of a catastrophic wildfire. That fire broke out on March 26th of last year. Supporters of the liability bill pointed out that Lower North Fork victims have yet to receive compensation from the state. The liability bill awaits the governor’s signature.
LAWMAKERS LOOK FOR MORE MONEY FOR ENGLISH CLASSES
Republicans and Democrats are taking another look at how the state funds programs to help students who are learning English as a second language. A Colorado House committee yesterday started discussion on a bill that would recreate a state program and provide additional funding to educators teaching English-language learners. Schools are having trouble recruiting multilingual teachers, which are typically among the hardest positions to fill.
MAIL CARRIERS ASK CONGRESS FOR FINANCIAL STABILITY
Colorado mail carriers are asking Congress to stop passing temporary budget fixes and give them security from budget cuts. Postal Service workers rallied Saturday in Denver, saying mail carriers need legislation that guarantees six-day delivery so that they don’t have to continue facing temporary budget fixes every six months, five months or four months as they have been for several years. The Postal Service is facing a proposed cut in Saturday delivery to help cope with $16 billion in 2012 losses. Mail carriers are also worried that scaling back delivery by even one day could hurt public relations.
FEDERAL COURT WILL NOT HOLD TRIALS ON FRIDAYS
With federal prosecutors bracing for looming furloughs, the chief judge of the U.S. District Court of Colorado has ordered that no criminal hearings or trials will be heard on Fridays from April 26th through September 30th. In addition, Judge Marcia Krieger said in her order yesterday that no criminal trials or hearings requiring a federal public defender will be held this Friday or on April 12 either. Krieger wrote that the U.S. attorney’s office, federal public defender and the U.S. Marshal for Colorado have indicated they face mandated furloughs due to federal budget cuts. Suspects’ mandatory first appearances before magistrate judges can still occur on Fridays.
USDA TO EXTEND CLAIMS DEADLINE FOR DISCRIMINATION LAWSUIT
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced that it will extend the deadline for Hispanic and women farmers and ranchers in Colorado to submit their claims related to the Garcia versus Vilsack discrimination lawsuit. USDA extended the deadline from March 25th to May 1st. The extension comes after members of the delegation urged Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to allow more time for farmers to file their claims. A group of more than 100 Hispanic farmers filed suit against the USDA in 2000. The suit 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.
In high school sports:
Moffat County goes to Rangely at 3.
In girls lacrosse:
Steamboat hosts Battle Mountain at 4.