NRCS SAYS WESTERN STATES ARE VULNERABLE TOWARD FIRES
May measurements confirm April forecasts. That’s according to the Natural Resources Conservation Service, whose hydrologists predict reduced spring and summer water supply for much of the West. April saw a surge in snow in many places but didn’t make up the shortfall during previous months. Hydrologists use May streamflow forecasts to confirm and refine the April forecasts. Though recent snow made small improvements in some areas, most changes are insignificant. As of May 1st, USDA’s Secretary Tom Vilsack designated many counties in Western states as eligible for USDA drought assistance. Water resource managers face difficult decisions because of the shortage. The NRCS says Western states should prepare for potentially increased vulnerability to forest and rangeland fires and mandatory water restrictions. In addition, wildlife that depends on surface water is going to suffer. You can view the information state by state by clicking here.
STEAMBOAT TO START PAVING PROGRAM NEXT WEEK
The City of Steamboat is getting set to start its 2013 paving projects. The paving program will include projects on River Road, West End Village, 12 Street, Bob Adams Drive, North Park Road, Walton Creek Road and more. Weather permitting, work will begin Monday. The work will include delays and detours, and motorists are urged to pay attention to signage. If you have question about the work being done, call 879-1807.
INTERSECTION AT 12TH STREET AND BOB ADAMS DRIVE TO CLOSE TODAY
Conroy Excavating will be closing 12th Street to through traffic at the Bob Adams Drive intersection today and tomorrow in order to install a new water main across the road. Traffic will be detoured around Crawford Avenue, Yahmonite Street, and The Boulevard during the work. Colorado Mountain College can still be accessed by using Crawford Ave. If you have questions, call 871-8207.
GRAND OLDE WEST DAYS LOOKING FOR CONTEST PARTICIPANTS
The Grand Olde West Days Committee is looking for contestants for a couple of upcoming events. Grand Olde West Days is Memorial Weekend, and the committee is finalizing its line-up of events. Two of those events ate the Mutton Bustin’ and Sheep Hooking contests. Sheep hooking contestants can be on foot or horseback. If you or someone you know is interested in competing, call 629-5057.
BILL WOULD GIVE STUDENT VETS FLEXIBILITY IN PAYING BACK OVERPAYMENTS
A bill was introduced yesterday that would address a problem for many student veterans – GI Bill overpayments and the way students have to pay those benefits back. Overpayments occur when a student veteran gets paid too much in GI Bill benefits. Under current law, the VA is required to collect overpayments. If the student fails to repay the overpayment, the VA is then required to offset the overpayment against the next round of tuition and housing payments. Since GI Bill benefits are often the sole source of income for student veterans, docking can put student vets in a really tough spot. This measure changes the current law so that these reduced benefits payments come at the end of a student’s eligibility period for benefits, instead of upon discovery of the overpayment. This would give students more time to work with the VA to address overpayments or to plan before their benefits are cut.
GOVERNOR SIGNS LAW GIVING POLICE EASIER ACCESS TO CELL PHONE INFO
Colorado authorities will have expanded access to cellphone locations without a warrant in cases of emergencies under a new law. The measure requires phone companies to give authorities call locations in certain cases. Authorities would have to show that the time required to obtain a search warrant could put a person at risk. Law enforcement would have to show a court within 48 hours that they had probable cause after the fact. Governor John Hickenlooper signed the bill into law yesterday. Cellphone locations are already accessed under federal law or in state hostage situations. Supporters of the Colorado bill say the new law will clarify state law and allow the practice in cases where there’s no hostage but a life is still in danger.
HICKENLOOPER SIGNS LAW MAKING SHELTER PETS OFFICIAL STATE PET
Shelter dogs and cats are now Colorado’s official state pet. Governor Hickenlooper signed a bill making the designation yesterday morning at Denver’s animal shelter. The Democratic governor brought along his dog, Sky, which he got from a shelter. The proposal was brought forward by Colorado schoolchildren, but it was not without some controversy. Opponents of the proposal argued that it would create a designation for a business transaction, and that some of the shelter dogs and cats are possibly not even from Colorado. Supporters say the bill helps schoolchildren learn about the legislative process. Hickenlooper told people at the signing ceremony that “these pets become a huge part of people’s lives.” Colorado already has an official state animal, the Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep.
In high school sports:
In boys lacrosse:
Steamboat plays Air Academy at 5 at Legacy Stadium in Cherry Creek in the Semi-finals of the state playoffs.