NORTHWEST COLORADO NEWS AND SPORTS FOR WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 26TH

FIRE BAN LIFTED IN CRAIG/MOFFAT COUNTY

The Moffat County Commissioners and the Craig City Council have lifted Stage 1 fire restrictions.  The Bureau of Land Management lifted their restrictions within the county a couple of weeks ago, but Sheriff Tim Jantz wanted to wait until fall arrived before eliminating the ban on private property within the county.  He and City of Craig officials believe that cooler temperatures and shorter days make the ban no longer necessary.  Jantz says he’s proud of the way Moffat County residents responded to this year’s dry conditions.  He says those that live here know how devastating a wildfire can be, and there were very few contacts regarding illegal fires.  While the ban has been lifted, Jantz says dry conditions still exist, and he would prefer landowners burn their trash after dark.

 

LAWMAKERS CONSIDER WILDFIRE LEGISLATION

Colorado lawmakers have advanced a proposal to tighten standards for controlled burns like one that grew out of control and killed three people and damaged two dozen homes in March.  But they are struggling to come up with a figure that addresses how much money the state should be liable for in cases where it’s responsible for tragedies.  The March wildfire in the foothills southwest of Denver grew from a prescribed burn.  Yesterday, a panel reviewing legislation to introduce next year approved bills to implement a state prescribed burn program and extend tax credits for landowners that conduct fire mitigation. Those ideas still need another committee’s approval and could still be modified.  Lawmakers rejected an idea to raise the state liability cap from $600,000 to $1.2 million.

 

STORM SPARKS SMALL WILDFIRES IN NORTHWEST COLORADO

Monday’s storm cell that moved through Northwest Colorado sparked a few small wildfires in Moffat and Rio Blanco Counties.  All were less than a tenth of an acres, but fire officials say the activity shows wildfires are still a legitimate danger in this part of the state, even though the danger has lessened.  Most of Monday’s fires were on BLM land.  Fire restrictions have been lifted in Moffat, Routt, Rio Blanco, Grand, and Jackson Counties.

 

NATIONAL PRESCRIPTION DRUG TAKE BACK DAY IS SATURDAY

The Craig Police Department wants all your expired prescription drugs.  The department will take part in the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.  The idea is to bring all your outdated prescription drugs to a drop off location, where police will collect and dispose of them.  Outdated over-the-counter medication will also be accepted.  Certain items will NOT be taken, including needles, syringes, mercury thermometers, oxygen containers, radioactive substances, pressurized canisters, and illegal drugs.  In the last two years, agencies in the state have collected over 35,000 pounds of unused medication during these Take Back Days.  Organizers say they are trying to keep prescription drugs out of the hands of teenagers, who often think because a drug is prescribed by a doctor, it’s safe for anyone to take.  Craig’s event will take place Saturday from 10 to 2 in the Centennial Mall parking lot.

 

IRS EXTENDS DEADLINE FOR FARMERS AND RANCHERS TO REPLACE LIVESTOCK TAX FREE

The Internal revenue Service says farmers and ranchers who previously were forced to sell livestock due to drought have an extended period of time in which to replace the livestock and defer tax on any gains from the forced sales.  Farmers and ranchers who, due to drought, sell more livestock than they normally would may defer tax on the extra gains from those sales. To qualify, the livestock generally must be replaced within a four-year period. The IRS is authorized to extend this period if the drought continues.  The one-year extension of the replacement period announced yesterday generally applies to capital gains realized by eligible farmers and ranchers on sales of livestock held for draft, dairy or breeding purposes due to drought. Sales of other livestock, such as those raised for slaughter or held for sporting purposes, and poultry are not eligible.

 

INTERFAITH FOOD BANK IN CRAIG NEEDS DONATIONS

The Interfaith Food Bank of Craig is near depletion.  Food bank workers say they need donations to restock before winter hits.  They say the number of people they are helping continues to grow, and they’re hoping you can help.  Between now and October 5th, you can drop off a donation of non-perishable food or cash at any of the banks in Craig.  The donation will go straight to the Interfaith Food Bank.  For a list of suggested items, click here.

 

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT APPEALS ANTI-OBAMACARE RULING

The federal government is appealing an order blocking it from penalizing a Colorado business whose health coverage for employees doesn’t cover birth control.  President Barack Obama’s health care package requires group health plans to offer no-cost preventive care coverage to women for items including birth control. The owners of the heating and air conditioning business Hercules Industries challenged the mandate, saying their Roman Catholic beliefs condemn contraception.  In July, a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction barring penalties against Hercules Industries while the lawsuit proceeds.  The government filed notice yesterday that it is appealing the ruling to the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

In high school sports:
Yesterday:

In boys soccer:
Moffat County lost to Colorado Rocky Mountain 3-2.
Steamboat topped Eagle Valley 1-0.

Tomorrow:
In volleyball:
Hayden goes to North Park at 4:30.
Moffat County heads to Coal Ridge at 6.
Steamboat is home against Glenwood at 6:30.

In boys soccer:
Moffat County hosts Grand Valley at 4.
Steamboat plays at Rifle at 7.