NORTHWEST COLORADO NEWS FOR FRIDAY, MARCH 15TH

STEAMBOAT RESIDENTS RECEIVE WILDLIFE AWARDS

A couple of Steamboat residents have been recognized by Colorado Parks and Wildlife through the annual Parks and Wildlife award program.  Aquatic Biologist Bill Atkinson was recognized for his tireless work to improve the fisheries in the Steamboat area, especially the waters of the Upper Yampa River.  The nomination form said Atkinson is innovative and able to find opportunities in the most improbable places.  It added that he not only sees the opportunities, but he turns opportunities into realities, and is incredibly passionate about the wildlife resource.  Also recognized, as outstanding Property Technician, was Steve Baumgardner, for his work in creating 65 acres of wetland habitat, singlehandedly removing beetle-kill trees, dramatically improving the Hayden shooting range and his all-around willingness to do whatever it takes to improve wildlife areas.  The award recipients received statuettes or plaques to recognize their achievements in 2012.

 

HOWELSON SKI AREA TO CLOSE THIS WEEKEND

The Howelson Hill Ski area in Steamboat will close for the season Sunday.  The Howelson Nordic Center, however, will continue to groom its trails for another week.  The Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club will host the Nordic Combined Western Regional Championships and a Terrain Race this weekend at Howelson Hill.  Tubing on the hill will continue through April 6th.  Information regarding any of the closing activities at Howelson Hill can be found by clicking here.

 

MARIJUANA TASK FORCE MAKES ADVERTISING SUGGESTIONS

The state marijuana task force is coming up with advertising suggestions for future pot retailers.  The group is trying to come up with ways to keep advertising away from kids, which they say may deter the federal government from interfering with the new law.  Some of the suggestions include only advertising in adult oriented magazines and newspapers.  That would mean no advertising on radio, television, or billboards.  They also say health benefits of the drug should not be part of any advertising.  The group is also making suggestions on packaging, THC levels in edibles, legal consequences of violations, and home growing restrictions, among other issues.  The recommendations will be sent to a legislative committee specifically formed to deal with the suggestions.  The committee will then draft whatever bills are necessary.

 

LEGISLATURE REVIEWING BACKGROUND CHECK BILL

Background checks for private gun purchases were up for additional review yesterday in the state Legislature.  A group of House and Senate members began work ironing out particulars on the bill to require background checks on private and online gun sales.  The lawmakers will be looking specifically at exemptions to allow people to give guns to relatives without doing a background check.  Both parties want to make sure that family exemptions won’t be threatened by language about gun transfers by corporate entities.  The background check bill is one of the biggest pieces of gun-control legislation still pending.  A limit on ammunition magazines has cleared the Legislature and awaits the governor’s signature.

 

GARDNER INTRODUCES MAKING COLLEGE AFFORDABLE ACT

Congressman Cory Gardner believes that the rising cost of higher education should not be a limiting factor for anyone who wishes to attend, which is why he is re-introducing a bipartisan bill that will help families and students pay for college.  The Making College Affordable Act will increase the tax exempt contribution that can be made to a Coverdell Education Savings Account (ESA). Under current law, contributions are capped at $2,000 annually and can only be made until the beneficiary reaches the age of 18. Under Gardner’s bill, the annual contribution limit would be increased to $10,000 and contributions could be made until the beneficiary turns 26.  Over the past 10 years the cost of private college has jumped more than 60 percent, nearly three times as much as incomes over the same period.  Budget conditions have forced public colleges to increase tuition even more, and some states have seen it nearly double in the last decade.  The Making College Affordable Act was originally introduced in August of last year. Due to the November election and the limited number of days Congress was in session the bill never received a hearing.

 

BOUNDLESS OPPORTUNITY SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE AT COLORADO COLLEGES

Non-traditional students at risk of not being able to afford a college education will benefit from $600,000 in Boundless Opportunity Scholarships announced today by the Daniels Fund.  The Boundless Opportunity Scholarship is available at select two- and four-year colleges and universities in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming and is intended for highly-motivated students seeking the next level of achievement in their lives, regardless of their life path.  Candidates for the scholarship must demonstrate financial need, and each college or university may focus on particular populations from a list of categories established for the program. The categories include: adult learners; GED recipients; foster care youth; juvenile justice youth; returning military; and individuals pursuing EMT/paramedic training.  Funding is awarded in two-year cycles, so Boundless Opportunity Scholarships are also available at colleges and universities that received awards last year.  A complete list of schools offering the scholarship is on the Daniels Fund website.

 

ROCK SPRINGS FUGITIVE APPREHENDED

A Rock Springs woman sought for child endangerment and possession of methadone is the latest person arrested by the Sheriff’s Office’s Fugitive Apprehension Team March 6th.  Sweetwater County Sheriff Rich Haskell said 39-year old Heather Ann Beller was taken into custody without incident at a Rock Springs restaurant. She remains in custody in lieu of a $75,000 bond.  Beller was replaced on the Sheriff’s Office Most Wanted list by 38-year-old Marcy Jean Keelin of Reliance, who is being sought on four counts of forgery stemming from a 2012 Sheriff’s Office investigation.  Keelin is described as a white female, 5’9″ in height, about 160 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes.  Anyone with information concerning her whereabouts is encouraged to contact the Sheriff’s Office or other local law enforcement agency. Haskell said calls will be handled with discretion.

 

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