NORTHWEST COLORADO NEWS FOR MONDAY, AUGUST 5TH

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ACCIDENT ON MINE PROPERTY SENDS ONE MAN TO HOSPITAL

Emergency workers showed up to an accident between industrial equipment at Trapper Mine early this morning.  According to authorities, a road grader and a haul truck were involved in a t-bone accident.  The driver of one of the vehicles was taken to The Memorial Hospital at Craig, but it’s not clear how severe his injuries are.  The other driver was unhurt.

ROUTT COUNTY SEX ASSAULT CASE MOVES FORWARD

A sexual assault case against a former middle school teacher in Routt County will proceed after numerous delays.  John Holland Brothers Jr. faces 16 felonies after being accused of sexually assaulting a boy.  Brothers Jr. has been in custody since he was arrested in Louisiana in April 2012.  After a three-hour hearing Friday, Routt County Judge James Garrecht ruled that the case should proceed to district court, where felony cases are heard.  Brothers taught at Heritage Christian School west of Steamboat between 2006 and 2008. He taught junior high and high school science, high school math and Bible class.  In addition to the Routt County case, Brothers faces two counts of first-degree sexual abuse in Kentucky.

BLM OFFERS NEARLY 7,500 ACRES FOR LEASE SALES

The BLM’s Little Snake Field Office yesterday released a preliminary environmental assessment for public review that evaluates offering 9 parcels totaling 7,435 acres north of Craig in its February 13th oil and gas lease sale.  Nineteen additional parcels were nominated totaling 16,941 acres in priority Greater Sage-grouse habitat in Moffat County, but will not be offered in this sale. Of the 7,435 acres being considered, 2,078 are BLM-managed surface and 5,357 are private lands with federal minerals.  The State of Colorado receives 49 percent of the proceeds of each lease sale. In Fiscal Year 2011, Colorado received more than $154 million from royalties, rentals and bonus bid payments for all federal minerals, including oil and gas. Statewide, there are more than 22,900 jobs tied to mineral and energy development on public lands.  The EA, a list of the parcels and the attached stipulations are available here.  Additional information on the February lease sale is available here.  Written comments must be received by Sept. 3, and may be submitted via e-mail to lsfoweb@blm.gov or by mail to the Little Snake Field Office, 455 Emerson St., Craig, CO 81625.

MOFFAT COUNTY BALLOON FESTIVAL

The 4th annual Moffat County Balloon Festival concluded yesterday morning with the 2nd day of launching hot air balloons. While thunderstorms threatened the event Saturday, the only adverse weather produced over Loudy-Simpson Park, were a period of gusty winds, thunder and a few sprinkles.  Those conditions forced officials to cancel the kite flying contest. Breezy conditions at dusk also changed the scheduled balloon glow, to what is called a “candling”. That’s when balloonists remove the balloon from the basket and shoot tremendous flames into the air. The biggest crowd of the weekend came for the free concert Saturday night, when the Elton John tribute band “Bennie and the Jets” gave a performance some were calling the best concert they had ever seen in Craig. You’ll find a gallery of photos from the event at the top of this page.

CHILD SERIOUSLY INJURED IN ROLLOVER NORTH OF NEW CASTLE

A 5-year-old boy was airlifted to Grand Junction Saturday afternoon after the vehicle he was a passenger in rolled, leaving the boy seriously injured. The boy’s injuries do not appear to be life threatening.  The crash happened just after 2 p.m. Saturday, when 25-year-old Ruben Jaramillo, of New Castle, was driving a 2000 Ford pickup truck on a forest service road approximately 25 miles north of New Castle. Jaramillo failed to negotiate a left-handed curve, and the vehicle rolled onto its passenger side.  Jaramillo’s 5-year-old son was injured in the crash and was flown by helicopter to St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction. It is unknown if safety restraints were in use.  Jaramillo and two other occupants – a 2-year-old male and a 3-year-old male – were not injured in the crash.  The cause of the crash is still under investigation, but alcohol is suspected to be a contributing factor. Jaramillo was booked into the Garfield County Jail and faces a vehicular assault charge, among others.

 

FREE ADMISSION TO STATE PARKS FOR COLORADO DAY

Today is Colorado Day.  That means free visits to parks in Colorado.  Colorado Parks and Wildlife is celebrating the day with free admission at all state parks.  Those who have been wanting to check out some of Colorado’s natural beauty are encouraged to do so today, while the admission fees are waived.  Other fees still apply, and you still need to be properly licensed to fish.

 

PUBLIC INPUT SOUGHT ON PATH FORWARD

In 2011, Colorado’s legislature merged the Division of Wildlife and Colorado State Parks to create Colorado Parks and Wildlife. As part of the process, legislators directed the new agency’s leadership to provide strategic direction by preparing a five-year plan, dubbed the ‘Path Forward’, to account for cost savings, efficiencies and other effects of the merger.  August 14th, at the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Hunter Education complex in Grand Junction, Western Slope residents will have an opportunity to meet and discuss the merger and the Path Forward with agency personnel. Instead of a formal presentation, the meeting will follow an ‘open house’ format with CPW staff available for informal discussion and comments between 6 and 8 that evening.  Among the topics of discussion that may be brought up include how the five-year merger plan has combined the goals of the former Division of Wildlife and Colorado State Parks into a unified strategy regarding everything from big game management to trail and park development.  To learn more about the Path Forward, click here.

 

OHV RIDERS URGED TO USE CAUTION ON BACK ROADS

Colorado Parks and Wildlife is reminding OHV operators to use caution when riding back roads.  In Colorado, from 1982 through 2011, the Colorado State Patrol reports that 157 people were killed in OHV-related accidents–including 26 children under the age of 16. Nationally, from 1982 to 2010, 11,000 people died in OHV accidents, 25 percent of them under age 16.  Even though there are no regulations governing how many people can ride on an OHV, passengers often interfere with the driver. Drivers can be ticketed in those situations.  On trails, OHV drivers should be extra careful if they see horses approaching. Some horses spook easily if they see something they don’t recognize.  Reporting of OHV accidents is required by Colorado law.  Overall, OHV owners and operators are reminded that in many situations they share the road with much larger vehicles, and on steep backcountry roads OHVs are not as stable as regular four-wheel drive vehicles.  To learn more about OHVs safety and regulations, click here.

 

GARDNER APPLAUDS BILLS PROTECTING BUSINESSES AND INDIVIDUALS

Friday, Representative Cory Gardner applauded the passage of two bills he cosponsored to protect American families and small businesses from federal government overreach.  The Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act would require Congressional approval of regulations that are projected to cost more than $100 million annually. Currently, federal agencies like the EPA create rules and regulations that have major economic impacts. The REINS Act ensures that new rules and regulations with a major price tag receive an up-or-down vote by the elected representatives of the American people.  Also passing out of the House Friday was H.R. 2009, the Keep the IRS Off Your Health Care Act, which would prevent the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) from implementing any part of the President’s healthcare law. The IRS is currently slated to have a role in nearly 50 different aspects of implementing and enforcing the healthcare law’s thousands of pages of rules and regulations. The House bill comes amid investigations into allegations that the IRS acted improperly in targeting certain political groups for extra scrutiny.

 

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