NORTHWEST COLORADO NEWS FOR SATURDAY, JUNE 8TH

CRASH SENDS JOY RIDER TO JUVENILE DETENTION

A Craig juvenile was arrested earlier this week for stealing a truck and crashing it into a homeowner’s yard.  Police aren’t releasing much due to the boys age, but say he had several juveniles with him when the accident occurred.  Nobody was injured.  Witnesses say he was speeding north on Barclay Street, and crashed while entering the Jensen Subdivision.  Police say the kids scattered when the vehicle came to rest, but say they were all rounded up.  The driver is the only one facing charges, and according to police, is being held in the juvenile detention facility in Grand Junction.

 

PARKS AND WILDLIFE TRYING TO KEEP UP WITH BUDGET DEMANDS

The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission received an update on a continued increase in the demand for big game hunting licenses in Colorado when the Commission met in Gunnison on Thursday and Friday. Agency financial staff provided a presentation on future budget projections and explained that wildlife funding projections are not keeping pace with projected spending for the agency. While demand for hunting in Colorado remains high, the number of licenses the agency can actually sell has declined as large elk herds have been reduced to address agricultural damage. Reductions in license sales revenue means that the agency will need to reduce spending. To address revenue declines in the fiscal year that begins in July, the agency plans to reduce funding for some grant programs, hold some vacant positions in the agency open, reduce operating budgets by five percent, and transfer some property maintenance costs to other funding sources. To address longer term projections of revenue decline, Colorado Parks and Wildlife has established a committee that will be developing three spending reduction proposals for Commission consideration later this fall.

 

TODAY IS FEE-FREE DAY AT NATIONAL FORESTS

The Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests and Thunder Basin National Grassland invites the public to enjoy its’ many Day-Use sites free-of-charge today.  The fee-free day is one of four being offered nationally in celebration of National Get Outdoors Day, an annual event to encourage healthy, active outdoor fun. The first fee-free day offered by the Forest Service this year was Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Additional fee-free days will be September 28th for National Public Lands Day and November 9th through the 11th for Veterans Day Weekend.  Day-Use sites, which typically require a $5 per day fee, include picnic areas and developed trailheads where services such as trash, toilets, and, in some cases, water are available. Campgrounds are not included in this effort and fees of $10 per night still apply.  Some sites may be closed for hazard tree removal operations, or still inaccessible due to snow.

 

MOFFAT COUNTY SHERIFF’S GOLF TOURNAMENT IS TODAY

The Moffat County Sheriff’s Scholarship Fund Golf Tournament will be held today.  The Sheriff’s Office holds the tournament every year to raise money for their scholarship fund, which benefits local high students looking to further their education.  The entry fee is $40.  The tournament will be held at the Yampa Valley golf Course.  It kicks off at 8 this morning with a shotgun start.

 

STEAMBOAT PRE-SCHOOL SUMMER CAMP SIGN-UPS GOING ON NOW

Registration for the City of Steamboat’s Mini Sprouts pre-school summer camp program is going on now at Parks, Open Space & Recreation. Participants can sign up for one or more of the 6 to 7 week sessions offered on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursday between June 25th and August 8th. Each session will include a specific primary activity and will have a consistent drop-off and pick-up location. Tuesday’s program is seven weeks long and includes swimming lessons. Wednesday’s program is seven weeks long and includes story time at the Library. Thursday’s program is six weeks long and includes an outdoor education program at the Botanic Park.  Children can be registered for all 20 sessions at a discounted rate or for individual days if that is more convenient.  For more information about prices and participation call 879-4300.

 

GESSLER INVESTIGATION COMING TO A CLOSE

An ethics complaint against Secretary of State Scott Gessler is scheduled for what can potentially be the final hearing on whether the Republican elections chief wrongfully used state funds to attend the GOP national convention. Gessler has maintained that he did nothing wrong and that the purpose of his travel was to attend a Republican panel on elections law in Tampa last summer during the convention. He says he used campaign funds for expenses at the political convention. The Colorado Independent Ethics Commission will hear arguments in the case Friday. The left-leaning Colorado Ethics Watch filed the complaint against Gessler last year and Denver prosecutors are also investigating.  Gessler repaid the state $1,278 last month for travel expenses to the elections panel.

 

INCREASED FINES FOR SPEEDING IN WILDLIFE AREAS DOESN’T APPLY DURING SUMMER MONTHS

As of June 1st, those roadside reminders to slow down at night in specifically designated “wildlife corridors” are outside the enforcement period.  It’s now up to motorists to maintain safe speeds.  Wildlife legislation in 2010 called for lowered nighttime speeds and doubled fines for speeding at night in designated “wildlife crossing zones.” From October 1st through June 1st, fines are doubled for speeding in all signed zones.  The lowered nighttime speed legislation is just one attempt to mitigate wildlife-vehicle collisions (WVCs) on Colorado’s state highways. CDOT—in consultation with Colorado Parks and Wildlife—continues to construct wildlife fence, escape ramps, deer guards, underpasses and more, as well as run pilot projects in high-collision areas to help bring WVCs down.