NORTHWEST COLORADO NEWS AND SPORTS FOR WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 17TH

WILDLIFE VERSUS VEHICLE ACCIDENTS UP THIS TIME OF YEAR

Colorado wildlife are on the move. They are migrating to wintering habitats, which is why this time of year tends to have the highest incidents of wildlife-vehicle collisions (WVCs).  There is always an increase of incidents during migration season, and particularly during the hours between dusk and dawn. These collisions are not only a matter of safety, but can be quite costly as well.  The Colorado Department of Transportation has recommended the Wildlife Zones study be continued over two more migration seasons to gather additional data that could lend to a more conclusive study. In addition, the Department will supplement these WVC and citation data with day- and nighttime speed studies on select Wildlife Zone corridors.  At the end of the second two-year study period, CDOT will submit a final report to the Legislature in August 2014, indicating whether or not the signing and enforcement program is working to reduce collisions.

 

STEAMBOAT SALES TAX FIGURES NOW AVAILABLE

The City of Steamboat has published their August 2012 Sales, Use, and Accommodation Tax Report. City of Steamboat Springs’ August sales taxes are 2.09% higher than August 2011 collections. Year-to-date through August, the City sales tax is up by 2.16%. The City of Steamboat budgeted for a 7.2% decrease for 2012. The largest percent increase was seen in the Lodging category which was up by 4.75%.  Restaurants and Sporting Goods showed the only decreases which were both down from August 2011 by less than 1% each. All other categories showed an increase from the same time-frame last year.

 

STATE AUDITORS SAY WILDLIFE CONSERVATION PROGRAM NEEDS MORE SCRUTINY

Colorado auditors say the state Department of Revenue does not always adequately review the purpose cited for conservation easement tax credits aimed at promoting land protection.  Auditors said in a report that tax examiners should do a better job of paying attention to what conservation purpose is associated with the tax credit, whether it’s for wildlife protection or land preservation for recreation. The report released yesterday says that ensuring the appropriateness of an easement’s purpose “is one of the cornerstones to the tax credit.”  The Department of Revenue agreed with audit recommendations and says it is working on implementing them.  The credit has been available since 2000. As of 2009, auditors say $640 million in tax credits have been claimed covering about 925,000 acres.

SAL PACE RELEASES FUNDRAISING FIGURES

This week, Sal Pace, the Democratic nominee for Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District, announced he has raised over $407,000 in the third quarter fundraising, bringing his total raised to over $1.5 million as of September 30, more than any challenger ever has in the 3rd district.  Between July 1st and September 30th, Pace had over 2,200 individual donors, over 90% of which were from Colorado. Pace believes those numbers indicate strong, continued grassroots support for his message of fighting for the middle class, protecting Medicare, and being accountable.  Pace is running against Congressman Scott Tipton in the November general election.

 

RELIGIOUS LEADERS SPLIT OVER POT MEASURE

The argument over the legalization of pot now has religious leaders pitted against each other.  Opponents of the measure are planning an announcement of faith leaders that are against the measure.  In response, proponents are releasing their own list of clergy that are supportive of their efforts.  The measure has seen similar mixed support and resistance from the law enforcement community, lawmakers, and others.  While the majority of Colorado voters polled say they would vote for the measure, it is slowly losing its support.  The latest polls showed support was under 50% for the first time since the measure first came to light.

TENNESSEE MEN SENTENCED FOR POACHING IN GARFIELD COUNTY

Two men from Tennessee were sentenced in Garfield County Court earlier this month for their role in a felony, bear poaching incident in August.  51-year old Harley Manley of Martin, Tennessee, pleaded guilty to a charge of killing a black bear before September 1st – the start of the fall, bear hunting season. He was given a mandatory five-year suspension of his hunting privileges, a two-year deferred prison sentence for felony willful destruction, forfeit his bow, ordered to pay a fine of $4,000 and donate $6,000 to Operation Game Thief, a Colorado tip line for wildlife infractions. In addition, the Garfield County judge ordered that Manley be placed under supervised probation.  62-year old David Coleman of Union City, Tennessee, also pleaded guilty to killing a black bear before September 1st, and received a mandatory five-year suspension of his hunting privileges. He was fined $3,000 and ordered to donate $4,000 to OGT.  In exchange for their guilty pleas, the judge dropped additional felony charges of tampering with evidence and other misdemeanor charges against both men.

In high school sports:
Yesterday:

In volleyball:
Steamboat fell to Middle Park (25-23, 26-24, 14-25, 20-25, 6-15).

In boys soccer:
Moffat County lost to Coal Ridge 2-0.

Tomorrow:
In boys soccer:
Moffat County hosts Delta at 4.
Steamboat goes to Summit at 6.

In volleyball:
Steamboat heads to Glenwood at 6:30.
Meeker hosts Grand Valley at 6.