EPA ADOPTS STATE’S PLAN FOR REDUCING REGIONAL HAZE
The Colorado Congressional delegation yesterday commended the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) final approval of Colorado’s State Implementation Plan (SIP) to reduce regional haze pollution in Colorado’s national parks and wilderness areas. The EPA’s adoption of the state’s plan means the proposal will be implemented through 2018. Implementation of the SIP are expected to help significantly reduce harmful effects of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and other pollutants in Class I areas in Colorado, which are national parks and wilderness areas protected under the Regional Haze Program. The proposal was reviewed and endorsed by a broad, bipartisan coalition of stakeholder groups and elected officials in Colorado before Governor John Hickenlooper submitted it to the EPA. The strategy gained preliminary approval from the EPA in March.
DINOSAUR NATIONAL MONUMENT VISITOR NUMBERS ARE UP
Over 260,000 people have visited Dinosaur National Monument so far this year, an increase of over 54% over 2011. Superintendent Mary Risser says they have seen a tremendous boost in visitation since the Quarry Exhibit Hall opened last October, providing access to view the dinosaur fossils for which the monument is famous. But, it has not just been visitation to the Quarry Exhibit Hall; they have also seen an increase in the use of many campgrounds, backcountry and in the number of boaters on the monument’s rivers. The new Quarry Visitor Center will continue to remain open from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm through October 8th. The shuttle bus will also continue to operate and provide access to the Quarry Exhibit Hall through October 8th.
STATE HAS SEEN 51 CASES OF WEST NILE VIRUS SO FAR THIS YEAR
Colorado health officials say 51 human cases of West Nile virus have been reported to the state health department as of last Friday, including two deaths in Montrose County. That’s more than the seven cases reported in 2011 but still far below the peak of 2,847 cases reported in 2003. Still, the health department was warning residents of the disease yesterday because mosquitoes that carry the disease are still circulating. State public health veterinarian Elisabeth Lawaczeck is advising people to wear insect repellent, drain standing water and use other methods to avoid mosquito bites when outdoors, such as limiting outdoor activities at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active or wearing long sleeves and pants.
OREGON MAN SENTENCED TO LIFE FOR ATTEMPTED MURDER
A judge sentenced an Oregon man to serve life in prison without the possibility of parole for attempted murder in the shooting last summer of another man in western Wyoming. District Judge Nena James of Green River sentenced 34-year-old Roy Fritts, of Union, Ore., on Tuesday. Fritts pleaded guilty this summer to shooting Edmund Thornell, of Costa Mesa, Calif., last August and stealing his van. Fritts and his wife, Jessica Fritts, had been camping with Thornell, then 54, near Flaming Gorge Reservoir before the shooting. A passing family found Thornell and got him medical attention. Police arrested the couple in Utah. A federal judge last month sentenced Jessica Fritts to serve 30 years in prison. Sweetwater County Attorney Brett Johnson said Roy Fritts said little at the sentencing hearing.
C-DOT OFFERS WEBSITE TO SEE THE BEST OF THE FALL COLORS
The leaves are already beginning to change colors in Colorado’s high country! Seeing the changing autumn leaves is a longstanding Colorado tradition that generally takes place from mid-September to mid-October each year, and AAA Colorado, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), and Colorado Parks and Wildlife want to let people know where to drive and how to drive safely for some of the best views this season. Colorado Parks and Wildlife has a website devoted entirely to Colorado’s fall colors, where you can find information about where and when fall colors are blooming, where you can stay overnight, where you can take drive near the fall foliage for the very best views, and more. Click here to visit the site.
CONNECTIONS FOR KIDS OFFERS SCHOLARSHIPS
Connections 4 Kids, the early childhood council serving Moffat and Rio Blanco counties, is offering the Educational Scholarship Program for the fall 2012 semester. The Educational Scholarship Program is an opportunity offered by Connections 4 Kids through funding from the Temple Hoyne Buell Foundation. Early childhood providers who are employed at a licensed child care facility or licensed preschool or are a licensed family child care provider in Moffat County or Rio Blanco County, and are enrolled in coursework to further their related education are eligible and encouraged to apply. Scholarships, ranging from $300 to $600, are available on a first come-first served basis to qualified applicants. In addition to earning a grade of C or higher in their coursework and providing transcripts, successful applicants must also complete a total of five volunteer hours focused on children birth to age 5. Details are available by clicking here.
CRAIG CHAMBER IS LOOKING FOR BOARD MEMBERS
The Craig Chamber is looking for board members. The Chamber, which operates the Moffat County Visitor Center and Sportsman Information Center, is governed by a board of 12 elected by the Chamber membership. Board members are expected to attend regular board meetings, one committee meeting per month and Chamber events as their schedule allows. The Board is the policy-forming branch of the Chamber. It authorizes the organization’s program of work, approves and monitors its budget and directs the general operations of the Chamber. Anyone who is interested in serving on the Craig Chamber of Commerce board of directors is encouraged to note their interest by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (970) 824-5689 by 10 a.m. Sept. 13.
In high school sports:
In boys soccer:
Moffat County lost to Rifle 3-2 in overtime.
Steamboat fell to Battle Mountain 5-0.
In boys golf:
Rangely competes in Gunnison.
In cross country:
Rangely runs in Vernal.
Hayden hosts Little Snake River Valley at 7:30.
Moffat County is home against Coal Ridge at 6.
In boys soccer:
Moffat County hosts Colorado Rocky Mountain at 4.
Steamboat welcomes Summit at 6.
In boys golf:
Steamboat hosts a tournament with Moffat County attending.