NORTHWEST COLORADO NEWS FOR FRIDAY, AUGUST 2ND

MOTORCYCLIST HOSPITALIZED AFTER CRASHING INTO TRUCK

The Colorado State patrol is investigating an accident between a motorcycle and a pick-up truck yesterday evening in Craig.  Troopers say 22-year old Scott Desjardins crashed his motorcycle into a pick-up truck at the intersection of 4th and School Streets at about 8:30 last night.  Desjardins was taken to The Memorial Hospital with serious injuries.  A 17-year old female passenger in the truck suffered minor injuries.  While troopers say it appears alcohol and excessive speed were contributing factors to the accident, they don’t say which driver was suspected of the infractions.

 

HAYDEN TOWN COUNCIL PLANS TO OPT OUT OF MARIJUANA SALES

The Hayden Town Council has decided to follow the example of Craig officials in ordering their staff to come up with an ordinance that will opt the town out of Colorado’s new recreational marijuana enterprise.  Town officials have decided they want to observe how the new rules are enacted, before becoming involved in the activity.  The order was given at last night’s Hayden Town Council meeting.  The ordinance will have to go through two readings, and can be repealed if town officials feel the need later.  The Craig City Council is also in the process of passing an ordinance that would opt the city out of the recreational marijuana business.

 

MOFFAT COUNTY BALLOON FESTIVAL TAKES PLACE THIS WEEKEND

The Moffat County Balloon Festival takes place at Loudy Simpson Park this weekend.  The events kick off tomorrow morning with a Balloon launch at 6.  A fundraising pancake breakfast will be served from 7 to 10.  Craft vendors will be set up at 9, and kids activities will take place all day.  At 1 there will be a pie eating contest, and at 2 there will be a kite flying contest.  The Beer Garden opens at 3, and live music by Bennie and the Jets, an Elton John tribute band, starts at 6.  The Balloon Glow takes place at 8:15 tomorrow night.  Another balloon launch will go on tomorrow morning at 6.  Total Entertainment will provide music both days.  Admission is free, however you are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item as a donation to the Craig Community Kitchen.  For more information about the Moffat County Balloon Festival, click here.

CAR SHOW TOMORROW IN HAYDEN

The Hayden School District and the Hayden Heritage Museum will host a car show tomorrow. The show will be located at the Babson-Carpenter Career and Technical Education Center in the middle of town. Over 100 classic cars are expected along with fire trucks, ATVs, dirt bikes, side by sides, and tractors.  There will also be food and music available throughout the day.  The show starts at 9 tomorrow morning, and will run until 3 tomorrow afternoon.

 

HUNTERS ENCOURAGED TO BE FAMILIAR WITH STATE REGS

Every hunting season, officers for Colorado Parks and Wildlife hand out thousands of tickets for violations that cost hunters hundreds of thousands of dollars. While some of those tickets are for flagrant violations of wildlife regulations and hunting laws, many more are for minor violations that could have been avoided.  Hunters are reminded that not only can they be fined for violations, they can also lose their hunting privileges in Colorado and the 34 other states that cooperatively participate in a wildlife compact agreement.  Wildlife officials say hunters need to set aside some time to review the Colorado Big Game Brochure. The brochure explains many of the common violations and how to avoid them.  For more information, click here.

 

TWO MEN ARRESTED IN WYOMING FOR BURGLARY

Sweetwater County Deputies, following up on a call from an alert neighbor, arrested two burglary suspects inside a garage in Reliance, Wyoming early yesterday morning.  Sheriff Rich Haskell said officers responded at about midnight on yesterday to a call from a resident who had spotted someone with a flashlight inside the garage of a neighbor he knew to be away.  The deputies observed that the garage’s door was partly open and had a top panel missing. Through the opening two men could be seen; one kneeling near a work bench and the other attempting to hide beneath a couch. Both were ordered out of the garage and taken into custody.  Haskell identified the men as 44-year old Timothy Holmstrom, of Reliance, and 32-year-old William Wilson of Rock Springs. Both have been charged with Burglary and Conspiracy to Commit Burglary.  In Circuit Court yesterday, Holmstrom’s bond was set at $7,500. Bond has yet to be set on Wilson. Both remain in custody at the Sweetwater County Detention Center.  Burglary and Conspiracy to Commit Burglary each carry a maximum possible penalty of 10 years in prison, a $10,000 fine, or both.

 

TIPTON’S HYDROPOWER BILL HEADED TO PRESIDENT’S DESK

Representative Scott Tipton’s Hydropower and Rural Jobs Act is heading to the President’s desk for a signature after passing the Senate yesterday. Senator Mark Udall provided bipartisan support for the legislation as a co-sponsor of the Senate companion carried by Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming. The bill, which would create rural jobs by expanding the production of clean renewable hydropower, passed the House with overwhelming bipartisan support earlier this year.  By eliminating duplicative environmental analysis on existing manmade Bureau of Reclamation conduits that have received a full review under the National Environmental Policy Act, House Resolution 678 streamlines the regulatory process and reduces administrative costs for the installation of small hydropower development projects within those conduits. In doing so, the bill encourages increased small hydropower development, which will create new rural jobs in Colorado, add clean, affordable electricity to the grid to power homes and communities, modernize infrastructure, and supply the federal government with additional revenues.  The Congressional Budget Office has reported that the bill has no cost to taxpayers, and returns revenues to the treasury. The Interior Department has identified at least 28 Bureau of Reclamation canal sites in Colorado, and 373 nationwide, that could be developed for hydropower purposes.

 

FOREST SERVICE ALLOWS CAVE EXPLORATION WITH RESTRICTIONS

The U.S. Forest Service is letting people visit caves in national forests and grasslands in the Rocky Mountain region again, but there are restrictions as officials work to halt a disease that has killed 5.5 million bats since 2006.  The agency issued a closure order in 2010 to keep white-nose syndrome from spreading. So far, the disease and the fungus that causes it haven’t been confirmed in the region, which covers Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas.  As of yesterday, people can visit the region’s caves but have to register first. They must decontaminate clothing and gear before and after entering caves. Gear used in caves or mines in states affected by white-nose syndrome is prohibited.  Caves used for winter hibernation will close from roughly October 15th to April 15th.

 

LAW WOULD PROTECT GOOD SAMARITAN GROUPS THAT CLEAN UP ABANDONED MINES

In an effort to speed the cleanup of abandoned mines throughout Colorado, Senator Mark Udall and Congressman Scott Tipton introduced bipartisan legislation yesterday to give Good Samaritan groups additional binding legal safeguards they need to remediate the sites and keep Colorado’s streams and water clean. There are more than 7,000 abandoned hard rock mine sites located in Colorado and thousands more throughout the West.  The bill would create a new program under the Clean Water Act to help promote the Good Samaritan efforts of those who have no legal responsibility for abandoned hard rock mines by allowing them to qualify for cleanup permits.  It would also provide some liability protections for those who complete volunteer cleanups of abandoned mine sites pursuant to pre-approved restoration plans.

 

JUDGE ORDERS CORRECTIONS TO RELEASE DEATH PENALTY PROTOCOL

A Denver judge has ordered the Colorado Department of Corrections to release a redacted version of its protocol for carrying out lethal injections, as the public conversation about the death penalty in Colorado continues.  The American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado sought the information as Governor John Hickenlooper considered the fate of death row inmate Nathan Dunlap. Hickenlooper later granted Dunlap an indefinite reprieve from execution but not clemency.  Corrections officials argued that releasing the execution protocol would expose security details including inmate movements. Judge R. Michael Mullins ruled yesterday that a version omitting sensitive details should be released.  Mullins rejected the ACLU’s request that the department also release the source of drugs used for lethal injections, saying those details wouldn’t facilitate public discussion of the death penalty.

 

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