NORTHWEST COLORADO NEWS AND SPORTS FOR WEDNESDAY, APRIL 24TH

COUNTY CLERK SAYS VOTING CHANGES SHOULDN’T BE A PARTISAN ISSUE

Moffat County Clerk Lila Herod voiced her opinion yesterday on a bill making its way through the legislature that would make major changes to the voting process.  Herod says clerks across the state have been working on the changes for months, and says she is disappointed it has turned into a partisan issue.  Republicans largely oppose the bill, which is being pushed through by Democrats.  Herod says the majority of the changes in the bill are good changes.  She says the only exception is “same day” voter registration.  Herod says the state already virtually has same day registration, but those voters’ ballots are held as provisional until an investigation shows the vote is legitimate.  Under the changes, the vote would count immediately.  Herod says technology being put in place to safeguard against voter fraud related to same day registration has not been proven.  She says if that provision were removed from the bill, she believes it would be accepted among both parties.

 

COMMISSIONERS APPROVE LIQUOR LICENSE FOR FUNDRAISING CONCERT

The Moffat County Commissioners yesterday approved a special events liquor license for a fundraising concert this weekend.  The concert will raise funds for the Grand Olde West Days committee.  Concert organizers were able to answer questions the commissioners had about the event last week.  Those questions were focused mainly around security.  The concert will be held in the Loudy Simpson Ice Arena Saturday.  The doors to the arena open at 11.  Grand Olde West Days takes place Memorial Weekend.

 

KINKAID TO TAKE A MONTH OFF FOR MEDICAL REASONS

Moffat County Commissioner John Kinkaid is taking a month off.  While Kinkaid hasn’t given any details, he indicated to his fellow commissioners that time was needed for personal and medical reasons.  Kinkaid was elected to the commission last November.  He plans to return to work in 30 days.

 

STATE HOPING PRIVATE COMPANIES CAN DO SOME ROAD WORK

State officials are hoping private groups can take over maintenance of some highways because Colorado does not have the money.  Transportation director Don Hunt oversees more than 9,000 miles of roadway that need billions of dollars in repairs.  Potential projects include Interstate-25 from Denver to Fort Collins and the I-70 mountain corridor.  The department currently operates with a $1.2 billion budget with about $800 million designated for everyday maintenance of roads and some of their work can be contracted out.

 

FINAL GUN MEASURE HEADED TO GOVERNOR’S DESK

The final gun measure in a Democratic gun control package in Colorado is headed to the governor.  A bill to expand a gun ban for suspected domestic abusers won final approval in the Senate yesterday.  Both chambers have agreed to the exact version, so the bill now awaits the signature of Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper.  The Senate vote came a day after the Legislature finished work on a gun bill with less controversy, a measure to tweak training procedures for people seeking a concealed weapons permit.  Hickenlooper has already signed more divisive gun measures, including expanded background checks and an ammunition magazine limit.  Lawmakers rejected bills to ban guns on college campuses and to give gun owners more liability for crimes.

 

DEMOCRATS PUSHING WARRANTLESS EAVESDROPPING BILL

Cell phones would be subject to warrantless review by law enforcement in times of emergency under a bill that has advanced in the Colorado House.  The bill approved in House Judiciary would allow authorities to get access to call location information without a court order. The authorities would have to show probable cause to believe an emergency situation exists. The authorities would have to show that the time required to obtain a search warrant could put a person at risk of death or serious bodily injury.  Warrantless phone searches raise policy concerns, but bipartisan sponsors of the bill insist it includes adequate privacy protections. Law enforcement would have to go to court within 48 hours to show they had probable cause.

 

DNA COLLECTION BILL GETS PASSED ON TO SENATE

An expansion of DNA collection for some misdemeanor convictions has passed the Colorado House.  The bill received final approval yesterday on a 43-21 vote and will now be considered by the Senate.  Democratic Representative Dan Pabon, the bill sponsor, urged support for the proposal by arguing it would help solve and prevent crimes.  Opponents countered that the collection of DNA for some misdemeanors went too far because DNA contains more identifying information about people than fingerprints.  Most states, including Colorado, already collect DNA in felony cases. Pabon’s bill would apply only to criminal misdemeanors, including some assaults or thefts.  Opponents expressed concern that criminal misdemeanors also include lesser offences, such as recording a film in a movie theater.

 

GARDNER CALLS ON FEDERAL EMPLOYEES TO CUT BUDGETS

As sequestration cuts begin to take effect, Congressman Cory Gardner of Colorado is urging federal employees to come forth with suggestions to make sensible and efficient budget reductions within their own departments.  Gardner will be introducing a “Waste Whistleblower” resolution, which encourages federal employees to come forth and offer ways to make more sensible budget reductions within their agency due to sequestration.  Gardner says the President has been needlessly alarming people about sequestration for months, and now his administration is making the most burdensome cuts possible.  It would make much more sense for the President to exercise better discretion and let federal employees suggest where budget cuts should come from, without fear of reprisal from the administration.

In high school sports:
Yesterday:

In girls soccer:
Moffat County fell to Roaring Fork (3-2).

Today:
In baseball:
Moffat County hosts a double header with Cedaredge, with the first game starting at 4.

Tomorrow:
In girls soccer:
Moffat County goes to Aspen at 4.

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