NORTHWEST COLORADO NEWS AND SPORTS FOR WEDNESDAY, MARCH 27TH

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HUNTERS BEGIN BOYCOTT OF COLORADO OVER GUN LAWS

A report says hunters across the country are intending to boycott Colorado, due to new gun laws signed by Governor Hickenlooper.  Outfitters say hunters have been canceling their trips to the state.  Michael Bane, a producer with the Outdoor Channel, has also said that he will no longer film any of his shows in Colorado.  Out-of-state hunters accounted for 15 percent of hunting licenses last year; 86,000, compared with 489,000 for residents.  Parks and Wildlife spokesman Randy Hampton says they’ve asked the State Attorney General’s Office for advice on how to handle new laws.  Lawmakers have not commented on the expected impact to the state’s economy.  While the Moffat and Routt County Sheriffs have both said they will not enforce the state’s new gun laws, the impact of the boycott on Northwest Colorado’s hunting industry could be devastating.  The area has already taken a blow from the president’s energy policies that have made it increasingly difficult for coal mines and coal fired power plants to operate.

APRIL PROCLAIMED “MONTH OF THE YOUNG CHILD”

The Moffat County Commissioners yesterday, proclaimed April as Month of the Young Child.  Representatives of the Moffat County Early Childhood Coalition gave a brief presentation of what their organization does, and what their plans are for the month of April.  The group said there will be several activities planned throughout the month, including health screenings and fun activities.  All events lead up to the free Children’s Festival April 24th.  April is also Child Abuse Awareness Month, and blue ribbons will be available for residents to show their support for child abuse victims.  The Craig City Council also proclaimed April as Month of the Young Child at their regular meeting last night.

 

SITE LETS RESIDENTS KNOW WHETHER THEY FACE WATER RESTRICTIONS

The Colorado Water Conservation Board today is launching a new website where residents across Colorado can quickly link to information about watering restrictions affecting their local community.  The new website will provide search features that allow visitors to quickly link to their water utility and learn of any local water restrictions that may be in place because of below-average precipitation and reservoir storage in many areas of Colorado. Many water providers have already announced their intent to implement outdoor watering restrictions taking effect as soon as April 1.  The site will serve as a landing page and enable users to search by zip code to determine their water provider and be directed to relevant web pages outlining what restrictions specific water providers may have in place. The site will also contain quick links to other important state and regional resources that provide updated water supply and drought-related data.

 

COLORADO’S DEATH PENALTY WON’T BE REPEALED

A Democratic proposal to repeal the death penalty in Colorado failed amid uncertainty about whether Governor John Hickenlooper would support the bill.  A Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee expressed concern yesterday about the doubts that Hickenlooper has conveyed about the proposal. Lawmakers voted 4-6 and the bill failed to advance.  The committee delayed the vote last week after a marathon hearing that attracted big crowds.  Supporters of the death penalty say it’s a just punishment for the most serious crimes.  Democrats argued that the death penalty is applied unfairly. But the Democrats’ plan to abolish capital punishment was thrown into question last week when they learned that the Democratic governor may not be on board.  Three men await execution in Colorado, but the bill would not have affected them.

 

FRACKING DEBATE SCHEDULED FOR BOULDER NEXT WEEK

Boulder County Commissioner Elise Jones is scheduled to debate Governor John Hickenlooper on the impact of natural gas drilling and the chemicals used in the process.  The debate will take place Monday in Denver.  Issues will include public health concerns, the environmental impact and local economic considerations.  State officials insist they alone have the right to regulate how and where the industry does its drilling.  Attorneys for the state are fighting local governments that try to impose their own rules. Hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, is a gas drilling process that blasts chemical-laden water deep into the ground.  Supporters say the process is safe, while opponents say the technique pollutes groundwater and the chemicals are unsafe.

 

OBAMA SIGNS WATERSHED PROTECTION MEASURE

President Obama yesterday signed into law a bill that includes $65.5 million in resources for the Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) program, which will help Colorado communities recovering from last summer’s devastating Waldo Canyon and High Park fires. The bill will fund the federal government through the rest of the fiscal year.  The federal EWP program is designed to support efforts to restore eroded watersheds and damaged drinking water infrastructure. The $65.5 million would cover the nationwide backlog of EWP recovery projects stemming from major disasters.

 

MULE DEER FOUNDATION PLANNING 1ST FUNDRAISING BANQUET

The Northwest Colorado Chapter of the Mule Deer Foundation will hold its first fundraising banquet this weekend.  The event will feature dinner, live and silent auctions, and games.  A fishing trip to Alaska and a Mule Deer Banquet Rifle are two of the big ticket items up for auction.  Tickets for the event are $30 for members and $60 for non-members.  The $60 includes a year’s membership to the organization.  You can get tickets at the Craig Chamber.  The banquet will be held Saturday night at 6 at the Holiday Inn of Craig.  The doors open at 4:30.

 

SWEETWATER AUTHORITIES ASK FOR HELP IN INVESTIGATION OF DEAD UTAH OFFICER

The Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office is seeking help from the public in its investigation into the death of a West Valley City, Utah, police officer.  Michael Valdes left his West Jordan, Utah home for work between 8 and 9 on the night of March 19th, but never arrived and was reported missing to the West Jordan Police Department.  Two nights later, the Wyoming Highway Patrol was dispatched to a one-vehicle crash in the westbound lane of the I-80 tunnels. Valdes, the driver and lone occupant of the vehicle, was transported to Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County in Rock Springs, where he was declared dead by hospital personnel. His body was examined at the hospital by Sweetwater County Coroner Dale Majhanovich, who determined the cause of death to be a single self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. The handgun used was recovered in the vehicle.  Sheriff Rich Haskell said county detectives are working to trace Valdes’s movements from the night of March 19th, and are asking anyone who may have had contact with him in the Rock Springs area to get in touch with them.  Haskell said Valdes was a 37-year old black male, 6’2″, and weighed about 180 pounds with black hair and brown eyes.  Those with information are asked to call the Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office.

 

PLAN TO REGULATE TAIL DOCKING SCRAPPED FOR NOW

Dairy cows in Colorado won’t need anesthesia or a veterinarian before having their tails cut.  That’s after the state House decided not to pursue a bill to ban the practice.  The bill narrowly cleared a House committee despite opposition from farmers.  Yesterday, a sponsor of the bill sought a delay until after this year’s Legislature adjourns – killing the bill for the year.  Animal advocates argued that tail docking robs cows of their built-in fly swatters and causes pain.  Few farmers dock cow tails the old-fashioned way, but those that do insisted it isn’t cruel.  Colorado would have been the fifth state to require anesthesia for dairy cow tail docking.  A sponsor said the bill may be revived next year.

 

SENATE TAPS MOORE FOR U.S. DISTRICT COURT IN COLORADO

The U.S. Senate has confirmed Raymond Moore to become a judge for the U.S. District Court of the District of Colorado.  Moore will replace Chief Judge Wiley Daniel, who became a senior judge on January 1st.  Moore has been the federal public defender for Wyoming and Colorado since 2003. He also served as an assistant U.S. attorney in Denver from 1982 to 1986.

In high school sports:
Yesterday:

In baseball:
Moffat County lost to Rangely (10-7).

Today:
In girls lacrosse:
Steamboat hosts Battle Mountain at 4.

Tomorrow:
In girls soccer:
Steamboat is home against Grand Junction at 1.
Moffat County hosts Vail Christian at 4.

In boys lacrosse:
Steamboat hosts Bountiful at 5:30.

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