NORTHWEST COLORADO NEWS FOR THURSDAY, AUGUST 1ST

C-DOT TO REPAVE YAMPA AVENUE BETWEEN VICTORY AND 6TH

The Colorado Department of Transportation will repave State Highway 13, also known as Yampa Avenue, in Craig, later this month. The project will span from the intersection of Yampa and Victory north for a block to the intersection of 6th and Yampa.  The project is expected to create a smoother surface on the highway, and will eliminate the rutted section of highway that holds water and ice in the winter.  Work will take place August 19th and 20th, from 7 in the morning until 6 in the evening, and will require the complete closure of the highway. No motorists will be allowed into the closure zone for travel or for parking, and are urged to plan alternate routes.

 

TIPTON’S HEALTHY FOREST BILL MERGED WITH HASTING’S PLAN

Yesterday, Representative Scott Tipton’s Healthy Forest Management and Wildfire Prevention Act was combined with Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings’s Restoring Healthy Forests for Healthy Communities Act during a Committee markup. The resulting comprehensive Hastings-Tipton forest management package was passed in Committee yesterday by a voice vote and is now ready for a vote in the House.  The new bill addresses the shortfall in county revenue for schools and critical services caused by lack of timber harvest, by requiring the Forest Service to produce at least half of the sustainable annual yield of timber required under law since 1908 and to share 25% of those receipts with rural counties. In order to meet this goal while providing for healthy forests, the bill includes the local management framework set out in Tipton’s bill by directing the Forest Service to prioritize hazardous fuels reduction projects proposed by governors and affected counties and tribes. To expedite locally based healthy forest projects, the Hastings-Tipton package builds on the positive streamlining procedures implemented under the bipartisan Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003.

 

NORTHWEST COLORADO VNA OFFERS DROP-IN IMMUNIZATION CLINIC

The new school year is approaching, and the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association is reminding parents to get their kids immunized.  The VNA will hold a drop-in immunization clinic next week.  The clinic is for kids between 4 and 18 years old.  All routine vaccinations will be available.  Low cost vaccines will also be available for the under- and uninsured.  The clinic will be held August 8th from 9 to 11, and from noon to 4.  If you need more information, call 824-8233.

SINGLE SEAT BALLOONS TO TAKE FLIGHT TOMORROW IN CRAIG

The Moffat County Balloon Festival will kick off a little earlier than planned, as four pilots will arrive at Loudy Simpson Park tomorrow morning to launch their balloons.  Organizer Randy Looper says at least two of the craft will be fitted with single seats, rather than the traditional baskets.  He says if folks look into the sky between 6:30 and 7:30 tomorrow morning, they’ll see the balloons.  The single seat balloons will only be flying tomorrow, and will be taking off from Loudy Simpson Park, where this weekend’s Moffat County Balloon Festival will be held.  For more information about the event, click here.

 

STATE HEALTH INSURANCE RATES DELAYED

Those in Colorado who need health insurance by the end of the year are going to have to wait a little longer to see what “Obamacare” has in store for them.  State insurance officials said yesterday that they’ll need an extra couple of weeks to release rates showing how much health plans will cost under new federal rules. The state originally hoped to release the rates today.  A spokesman for the state Division of Insurance says Colorado needs more time to go through plans submitted in May.  The estimated 14 percent of Coloradans without health insurance won’t be able to start shopping for health coverage until October 1st, when the state marketplace opens. The law requires all to have coverage by January.

 

SBA HIGHLIGHTS ENTREPRENEURIAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS

Yesterday, the Congressional Small Business Caucus, chaired by Congressman Scott Tipton, held a briefing and roundtable discussion on the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Entrepreneurial Development Programs. The roundtable was an opportunity for Caucus members and staff to learn about the different Entrepreneurial Development Programs at the SBA.  The focus was to inform Caucus members and their staff of the SBA’s latest Entrepreneurial Development programs that are designed to help small businesses and startup communities across the nation with technical and managerial training, counseling, and information on various ways small businesses can grow and compete in global markets.  The Congressional Small Business Caucus is comprised of over 90 bipartisan members dedicated to advancing efforts to foster the economic certainty needed for small businesses and entrepreneurs to succeed and create jobs. It was co-founded by Tipton and Democratic Representative Chellie Pingree, of Maine.  You can get more information about the programs by clicking here.

 

PAY RAISES GO INTO EFFECT FOR STATE WORKERS

Colorado state employees are getting a raise after a 4 to 5 year stint without pay increases.  Senate Democrats say the raises will stimulate local Colorado economies. They say state workers are paid an average 6.7 percent less than private sector counterparts.  Senator Pat Steadman, chair of the Joint Budget Committee, says the state needs to be responsible and provide hardworking employees with livable wages, as their wages affect the overall economy and the overall morale of the state.  The plan has been criticized by some who say that government employees should not be getting raises, while those in the private sector are still taking pay cuts, or losing their jobs altogether.  The new plan includes a 2% base-building raise, funding for merit based raises, and up to a 4.4% raise for high performers who are at the bottom of their pay scale.  The base-building adjustments will affect about 37,900 state workers.

 

ROCK SPRINGS MAN ARRESTED FOR ATTEMPTED MURDER

A bond of $250,000 has been set for a Rock Springs man charged with Attempted Murder in the First Degree and Battery Against a Household Member.  56-year old Ernest Richmond, was arrested by county deputies at his home west of Rock Springs last week.  According to charging documents, 24-year-old Patricia Cathcart, Richmond’s daughter, reported that Richmond picked her up in Green River and was giving her a ride to do her laundry when he began complaining about a traffic citation he’d received the day before, for which he blamed her.  She said he eventually started physically attacking her while driving down I-80.  A tentative August 6th date has been set for a preliminary hearing, as the investigation continues.

THE MEMORIAL HOSPITAL BOARD AGENDA FOR THURSDAY, AUGUST 1ST