NORTHWEST COLORADO NEWS AND SPORTS FOR WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 13TH

4TH STREET IN CRAIG CLOSED DUE TO NATURAL GAS DANGER

One block of 4TH Street east of Yampa Avenue in Craig was closed for an hour this afternoon, as a precaution, following a natural gas pipe break at the 4th Street Business Center.  The pipe was broken when ice fell from the roof onto a gas meter located next to the building.  The buildings owner who was near the gas meter when the ice fell, heard the sound of gas escaping from the broken pipe.  The Fire Department and Atmos Energy responded, and Police closed off the area surrounding the incident, including 4th Street.  Once gas to the area was shut off, the broken pipe was repaired and service was restored.

M.C. COMMISSIONERS APPROVE FIRST READING OF ORDINANCE BANNING COMMERCIAL POT OPERATIONS

The Moffat County Commissioners yesterday passed the first reading of an ordinance to ban commercial marijuana operations in the county.  The commissioners two weeks ago talked about enacting a moratorium against those operations, but felt they needed something with a little more teeth.  They said with an ordinance, they are able to establish penalties for those who violate it.  While an ordinance has no sunset, the commissioners say it can be repealed fairly easily.  The idea is to investigate how any of the potential new businesses could affect the county.  The ordinance prohibits commercial retail shops, clubs, and growing operations from establishing themselves in the county, and only applies to the unincorporated areas of the county.  One audience member objected to the ordinance, saying that those businesses could provide a healthy revenue to the county, and said with the ordinance that revenue will be sent to Routt County.  The second reading of the ordinance will be read at the commissioners regular meeting on the 26th.

 

HICKENLOOPER TOUTS OIL AND GAS TO U.S. SENATE COMMITTEE

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper says natural gas drilling is helping the economic recovery and reducing pollution but requires strong regulation now that wells are coming closer to populated areas.  Hickenlooper made the comments yesterday in Washington, D.C. before a U.S. Senate committee looking at the opportunities and challenges of increased natural gas development.  Hickenlooper said cheap natural gas has helped boost investment in manufacturing and has helped reduce pollution as more coal-fired power plants are replaced with gas-powered ones.  Hickenlooper also told the committee that he once took a swig of fracking fluid to see how safe it was.  His testimony came a day after Colorado regulators voted to increase buffer zones between new oil and gas wells and buildings to a standard 500 feet across the state.

 

GUN BILLS ADVANCING IN THE STATE LEGISLATURE

Democrats in a House Committee advanced a couple of gun control bills yesterday.  The committee voted yesterday to require background checks on private gun sales and online firearm purchases.  They also voted to limit magazines to 15 rounds.  The moves were made despite hours of testimony against the bills.  Supporters say the bills are needed to curb gun violence, while opponents argue an attack on the second amendment won’t stop mass killings, but rather encourage them.  Two more gun bills will be the subject of hearings today in the House Education Committee.  The Moffat County Commissioners, yesterday agreed to sign a resolution stating they recognize Moffat County residents right to be armed.  The resolution is in response to Federal gun legislation being proposed, and will be signed at a future meeting.

 

ADVOCATES OBSERVES TEEN DATING VIOLENCE PREVENTION MONTH

Advocates Crisis Support Services urging residents to join them in recognizing February as Teen Dating Violence Prevention and Awareness Month.  The organization says teen dating violence affects teens and their families across the country.  They say the key to stopping it is for everyone to advocate for young people, provide a safe space to report instances of teen dating violence, and set examples of healthy and appropriate displays of love, respect and affection.  If you or someone you know is a victim of teen dating violence, or you just want more information, you can call Advocates 24 hour helpline at 824-2400.

 

PRIVACY BILL AIMED AT EMPLOYERS OF SOCIAL MEDIA USERS

Colorado lawmakers are considering a bill to protect social media privacy by banning employers from requiring passwords to personal accounts.  The bill would prohibit required disclosure of personal passwords or account information on social networking sites such as Facebook.  The bill does not prohibit companies from looking at Facebook pages or punishing employees for what they post on their personal sites.  But the bill prohibits required password disclosure of personal accounts.  In their effort to vet job applicants, some companies have started asking for passwords to log into a prospective employee’s accounts on social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter. Critics call it an invasion of privacy.

 

GREAT AMERICAN SPIT-OUT TAKES PLACE FEBRUARY 23RD

The Great American Spit-out will be held February 23rd.  Smokeless tobacco users are encouraged to use the observation as an opportunity to quit.  Health experts say smokeless tobacco is linked to cancers of the esophagus, mouth, and pancreas.  Suggestions for quitting successfully include writing down your reasons for quitting, cutting down usage, having a support group of family and friends, and, if necessary, finding professional support.  Those who are interested in quitting smokeless tobacco can call the Colorado Quitline at 800-QUIT-NOW or visit their website.  There are also quit kits available at the front desks of the Northwest Colorado VNA in Craig and Steamboat.

In high school sports:
Today:

In basketball:
The Moffat County girls beat Aspen (63-21).  The boys lost (62-49).

Tomorrow:
In nordic and alpine skiing:
Steamboat goes to Middle Park at 3:30.