NORTHWEST COLORADO NEWS FOR TUESDAY, JUNE 25TH

COLLINS/WILD ROSE FIRE UPDATES

In the Northwest Colorado Fire Management Unit’s final update on the Wild Rose Fire in Rio Blanco County says the fire is 95% contained.  The size of the blaze stands at 1,067 acres.  Due to the near containment, crews are being pulled off the fire.  Rio Blanco County Road 116 has been reopened at Highway 139.  The road to Texas Mountain remains closed.  The Collins Fire, 17 miles southwest of Meeker, is 380 acres.  That blaze is now 90% contained, and crews have reopened Rio Blanco County Road 3 as a result.  Firefighters are also being pulled from that fire, and are responding to others across the state.

 

CPW PREPARES FOR OPERATION DRY WATER

Colorado Parks and Wildlife will be participating in Operation Dry Water June 28th through the 30th, as part of a nationally coordinated effort to reduce the number of accidents and fatalities related to boating under the influence (BUI). The mission of Operation Dry Water also brings awareness and education to recreational boaters about the dangers of alcohol and drug use on the water.  During the Operation Dry Water weekend enforcement campaign, CPW officers will be out in force looking for boaters whose blood alcohol content exceeds the state limit of .08. This weekend will include increased patrols and checkpoints as well as boater education. Impaired boaters can expect to be arrested or face other serious penalties. In Colorado the consequences for BUI include fines, jail time and loss of boating privileges.

 

IMAGINATION LIBRARY ENROLLMENT OPEN AGAIN IN MEEKER

Moffat County Youth United Way and Connections 4 Kids, the early childhood council serving Moffat and Rio Blanco counties, has announced that registration for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library has reopened for Meeker residents.  Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a program that offers high-quality, age-appropriate books to children from birth to age 5. The program is free to families and limits registration only by age and residence. All children who register will receive a free book, mailed to their home, once a month until the month of their fifth birthday.  Registration was suspended for Moffat and Rio Blanco County residents in November after successful launch events enrolled many more children than anticipated based on national projections. Registration for Moffat County residents opened in March due to community support. Registration for Meeker residents is now open thanks to donations from the Meeker Lion’s Club, Meeker Public Library and the Freeman E. Fairfield Trust.  Registration for Rangely residents continues to be suspended while the agencies seek funding to enroll additional children.  Meeker families with children younger than 5 can enroll them in the program, by clicking here.

 

AMENDMENT MAY GENERATE ENOUGH SUPPORT FOR AMNESTY BILL

The Senate’s bipartisan immigration bill, introduced by the ‘Group of 8,’ cleared a key procedural hurdle yesterday. The Senate voted 67-27 to end debate on an amendment that expands the bill’s border security measures while maintaining the path to citizenship and other reforms to the visa system intended to help the economy.  The broad, bipartisan vote to end debate signals the amendment will be accepted by the Senate and sets the bill on a path for a vote on final passage this week.  The border security measures would more than double the current number of border agents to 40,000 and would require completion of a total of 700 miles of fencing along the southern border, among other provisions. The compromise brings the support of several Republican Senators, increasing the chances for the bill’s passage in the House of Representatives.  Following yesterday’s vote, a series of procedural votes are scheduled to take place over the course of the week that set the bill for a final vote in the Senate at the end of the week.

 

RECALL ELECTIONS LOOM ON FRONT RANGE OVER GUN LAWS

A recall petition against a second Democrat who supported Colorado gun control measures has been deemed sufficient.  Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler said yesterday that opponents of Senator Angela Giron, of Pueblo, turned in nearly 13,000 valid signatures to prompt a recall election. They only needed to submit 11,285.  The governor will set a date for the recall election unless someone challenges the validity of the petition.  Meanwhile, lawyers for Senate President John Morse are fighting a recall effort against him, saying petitions were improperly worded and were therefore invalid.  Gun rights supporters have been unhappy with new state laws that will expand background checks for gun purchases and limit the size of ammunition magazines, starting next month.

 

MARKEY ANNOUNCES FOR STATE TREASURER

Former U.S. Representative Betsy Markey has announced plans to run for state treasurer.  Markey made the announcement yesterday at the state Capitol.  Pat Quinn, mayor of Broomfield, announced his intention to run for the seat in a news release yesterday.  Current treasurer Walker Stapleton was elected in 2010.

 

SWEETWATER COUNTY WARNS OF PHONE SCAM

The Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office is warning citizens about a telephone scam making the rounds.  Colonel Rick Hawkins said that county residents are receiving calls informing them that they have been selected by the United States government to receive a $6,700 grant; “free money” that they need not pay back.  The only catch is that the intended victim must send in $290 in bogus “income taxes” before they can collect their grant.  Hawkins said the callers attempt to make their information sound credible by providing a callback telephone number and a “confirmation number” for the phony grant.  Officials said this particular con falls into the general category of the “prepayment scam.” People are contacted and informed that they have been awarded a grant or won a special lottery, but need to pay their “taxes” or a “processing fee” up front before receiving their money.  Hawkins says you will never be legitimately contacted through an unsolicited call and told you’ve been awarded a grant.  He says the best rule to remember is that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.