NORTHWEST COLORADO NEWS FOR FRIDAY, JULY 19TH

WIND TOPPLES TREE INTO POWER LINE, SPARKING SMALL BRUSH FIRE

Craig firefighters and Yampa Valley Electric officials responded to a downed power line last night that started a small brush fire.  Strong winds from a thunderstorm passing through the area blew down a tree on 1st Street, snapping the line on the way down.  Sparks from the line caught nearby brush on fire.  Firefighters started fighting the blaze immediately, but kept their distance from the downed line until YVEA officials could turn the power off.  YVEA says they moved the tree and repaired the line.  Eight customers were without power for about 2 and a half hours last night while the line was repaired.  The fire took about 2 hours to put out and clean up.

 

TROOPERS RESPOND TO ROLLOVER NORTHWEST OF CRAIG

State Troopers responded to a rollover accident early this morning on the bypass northwest of town, also known as Moffat County Road 183.  It’s not clear how the accident occurred, but the man driving was not injured.  In fact firefighters say he wasn’t even taken to the hospital.

FIRE RESTRICTIONS TO BE LIFTED IN SOME COUNTIES

Because recent rain has moderated fire danger at higher elevations across northwest Colorado while many areas in lower elevations have received little or no moisture, fire managers are lifting fire restrictions in several specific areas.  Northwestern Colorado counties and federal agencies review fire conditions and discuss fire restrictions weekly.   Conditions fire managers evaluate include live fuel or vegetation moisture, adverse weather conditions, drought indexes, the potential for large fire growth and number of human-caused fires which are compiled by the Northwest Colorado Fire Management Unit.  Rio Blanco, Moffat, Jackson and Eagle Counties will remain under stage 1 fire restrictions.  As reported yesterday, Routt County will lift their restrictions Tuesday.  Grand County’s restrictions have already been lifted.  Stage 1 restrictions will be lifted in the Routt and Medicine Bow National Forests tomorrow.  For more detailed information, click here.

 

TIPTON GRILLS INTERIOR SECRETARY ABOUT BLUEWAYS

Today, during a House Natural Resources Committee hearing, Representative Scott Tipton questioned Interior Secretary Sally Jewell on an issue with broad implications for Colorado-the Blueways Order.  Jewell’s predecessor, Secretary Ken Salazar, issued a Secretarial Order establishing the National Blueways System, a “source to mouth, watershed-wide” federal program about which little is known, and which has raised the fears of many local water conservation districts who are already doing an outstanding job of managing water supplies.  Many local water users fear that the National Blueways Order managed by a committee of federal bureaucrats will result in potential diversions of privately held water rights and the violation of state law, under which those rights are granted.  Tipton has expressed numerous concerns with this in the past stating that, “This Order has the potential to further the Administration’s steady erosion of state water law, by inserting clunky federal regulatory authority over Western waterways, disregarding state water law, and casting aside a century of local conservation efforts to responsibly protect and manage our precious water supply.”

WATCH TIPTON’S EXCHANGE WITH JEWELL HERE

 

CLUB 20 IN CRAIG TODAY

Club 20 has been holding their July meetings in Craig since yesterday.  The group has been meeting with local officials while conducting regular business.  Yesterday, they visited Colorado Northwestern Community College, The Memorial Hospital, and the Museum of Northwest Colorado.  Today’s agenda includes trips to Tri-State Generation and Transmission, where they’ll hear about the importance of coal and the impacts environmental regulations have on delivering electricity.  An education and workforce development meeting, and an energy committee meeting are also on tap for the day.  For a more detailed agenda, click here.

 

CRAIG RELAY FOR LIFE TAKES PLACE TONIGHT

The Craig Relay 4 Life begins tonight at the Moffat County Fairgrounds.  Relay 4 Life is an overnight event that sees people walking all night long to raise awareness of, and funds to fight cancer.  The opening ceremony is at 6.  The public is encouraged to show up and support the walkers.  If you can’t make the event, but would like to make a donation, you can do that by visiting the Craig Relay for Life page.

 

HAYDEN DAZE PARADE IS TOMORROW

Hayden Daze is being celebrated this weekend.  Tomorrow’s parade will run east on Jefferson Street, from the High School to Bear River Valley Co-op.  Judging of the floats takes place at 9, with the parade itself to begin at 10.

 

HICKENLOOPER SETS DATE FOR RECALL ELECTIONS

Governor John Hickenlooper signed an Executive Order yesterday that designates September 10th as the special recall election date in Senate District 11 and Senate District 3.  The order comes after a Denver judge refused to stop the recall elections for two Colorado Democratic senators who supported gun restrictions, even though the lawmakers are challenging the validity of the petitions.  Denver District Court Robert Hyatt made the decision yesterday afternoon.  Colorado Springs Senate President John Morse and Pueblo Senator Angela Giron argue the recall petitions against them are invalid because they didn’t ask for an election for a successor like the state constitution mandates.  The lawmakers sought a preliminary injunction from the judge.  Supporters of the recall maintain their petitions are valid and want an election soon. But no date has been set and the lawmakers are likely to continue their legal challenge.

 

LAWMAKERS CELEBRATE ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT TUITION BREAKS

Lawmakers who supported Colorado’s new law allowing state residents to receive in-state tuition even if they’re in the country without legal permission are celebrating the registration of new students qualifying for the rate.  The new law grants in-state tuition for Colorado high school graduates regardless of their immigration status.  To qualify, students must also sign an affidavit saying they are seeking, or will seek, legal status in the U.S.  In April, Colorado became the fourteenth state to allow immigrants who graduate from state high schools to attend colleges at the tuition rate other in-state students pay, rather than a higher rate paid by out-of-state students.