NORTHWEST COLORADO NEWS FOR WEDNESDAY, MAY 22ND

ELKHEAD RESERVOIR OPENS TO BOATING THIS WEEKEND

Colorado Parks and Wildlife has opened the reservoir at Elkhead State Park to boaters with the boat ramp scheduled to open Saturday morning at 6:30.  Colorado Parks and Wildlife and reminds boaters to make safety a primary goal each time they launch their watercraft.  The required equipment may vary depending on the watercraft. At a minimum, boats must have one Personal Flotation Device per person on board and an approved sound producing device. Fire extinguishers are required on certain motorboats.  Colorado Parks and Wildlife stresses the importance of knowing which gear is required for your craft. For a detailed list of required equipment, click here.  In 2012, there were 10 recreational boating deaths across the state. In each case, the victim was not wearing a life jacket.  Colorado Parks and Wildlife also asks the public to help prevent the spread of aquatic nuisance species by always cleaning, draining and drying your vessel.

 

FIRE DANGER LOW IN NORTHWEST COLORADO FOR MEMORIAL WEEKEND

Fire Danger is low in Northwest Colorado which means currently the potential for large intense wildfires is at a minimum.  That’s according to the Northwest Colorado Fire Management Unit.  However, officials say fire safety always needs to be observed as lighter vegetation, like grass and brush can dry out quickly and combined with dead vegetation from last year can easily carry fire, especially if it is windy.  Recent rain has moderated the fire danger in many northwest Colorado areas and snow is lingering at some higher elevations.  No fire restrictions are in place in Grand, Jackson, Routt, Moffat or Rio Blanco Counties for the Memorial Day weekend.   However, fire managers remind campers that leaving a campfire unattended is a fineable offense. Anyone found responsible for the start of a wildfire can be held liable for a portion or all of the costs of fighting that fire.  You’ll find a list of outdoor fire safety tips below:

1.      Be aware of expected weather conditions
2.      Know if fire restrictions are in effect when recreating as many locations      have not received rain and are dry
3.      Clear campfire area of of brush and grass well beyond campfire
4.      Make campfire soup before leaving your campsite: drown campfire with water, cover and stir in dirt until coals are cool to the touch
5.      Extinguish smoking materials properly – hold matches until they are cold
6.      Park out of tall grass, hot catalytic converters can ignite fires
7.      Use approved spark arresters on internal combustion powered equipment
8.      Fireworks are illegal on public lands
9.      Weakened or dead trees can fall without warning, assess your camp area upon arrival

 

COPS AND KIDS FISHING DAY SET FOR MAY 29TH

The Moffat County Sheriff’s Office, Craig Police Department, Colorado State Patrol, Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the V.F.W. are hosting the Cops & Kids fishing day.  After a one year absence, the event is back.  The Cops & Kids fishing day will be held at the Little Rascals Pond at the Moffat County Public Safety Center May 29th from 5 to 7 in the evening.  Prizes will be given out for biggest fish, smallest fish, and first fish caught. Hot dogs and hamburgers, chips and drinks will be served. This event is for children 12 and under. This event also corresponds with the official opening day of the Little Rascals Pond for the 2013 season.  For more information, call the Moffat County Sheriff’s Office.

 

COMMITTEE TO HOLD HEARING ON “ALL OF THE ABOVE” ENERGY PLAN

The House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold a legislative hearing today on four bills to protect and expand onshore energy production on federal lands.  One of those is Representative Scott Tipton’s “Planning for American Energy Act”, which seeks an “all of the above” approach to producing the country’s energy.  The hearing today is intended to direct the Secretary of the Interior to establish goals for a production plan strategy on a 4-year basis on all onshore Federal lands managed by the Department of the Interior and the Forest Service.  President Obama’s so-called “all of the above” strategy, has been largely criticized as including only energy sources that are “above” ground.  Tipton’s bill would also include plans for oil, natural gas, and coal, which are huge economy drivers in rural Colorado.

 

SCHOOL FUNDING WILL DEPEND ON RAISES IN INCOME TAX

Big changes could be coming to public schools in Colorado, assuming Colorado voters want to raise the income tax to pay for them.  Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper signed the overhaul into law yesterday. The changes aim to reverse years of underfunded schools and pay for statewide full-day kindergarten.  But the changes come with a big question mark. They take effect only if Colorado voters approve about $1 billion a year in higher income taxes.  The tax question will be petitioned onto ballots by advocacy groups, so it’s too soon to say what exactly the proposed tax would be. Hickenlooper has said he’ll push for the higher tax because schools need the upgrades. But he declined to say yesterday which exact measure he preferred.

 

TIPTON ARGUES AGAINST OBAMACARE

Yesterday, Representative Scott Tipton spoke on the floor of the House of Representatives to underscore that the Affordable Care Act, which the House voted to repeal last week, will hurt access to quality care in rural America, as well as drive up health care costs for families and small businesses.  Tipton focused on the so called “affordability” of the Act.  Tipton says in Colorado estimates for individual insurance policies this year are going to go up an estimated 23 percent or more.  He said small businesses, who are trying to provide group insurance, are seeing their costs go up this year at an estimated 17% or more.  It has been estimated that across the country health insurance premiums will increase as much as 25 percent for individual plans and 37 percent in the small group market.  That’s according to the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

 

“GROUP OF EIGHT’S” IMMIGRATION BILL PASSES SENATE COMMITTEE

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 13-5 to report the new immigration bill to the full Senate, which is expected to debate the bill and consider amendments next month.  The bill has been introduced by the Group of Eight, a bipartisan group of lawmakers trying to come up with solutions to the country’s broken immigration system. The Group of 8 introduced the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 in April following several months of discussions and negotiations with a diverse group of stakeholders. They say the bill secures our borders, includes a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants, makes reforms to the visa system to ensure businesses have access to a workforce that has the skills they need, and includes worker protections.

Moffat County High Graduation Week Schedule

 

May 22nd – Baccalaureate – 7pm -Hosted by Ministerial Association and Young Life
May 23rd – Athletic Awards Night 6:30pm – MCHS Auditorium
(Dude Dent, Top Female Athlete and Sports MVP’s will be awarded)
May 24th – Senior Checkout and Graduation Practice 8am – Graduates don’t be late

May 25th – GRADUATION – 10am Sharp – High School Gym. Graduates report at 9:25am

  • Shuttles run beginning at 9am from K-Mart to the front door of the High School
  • Handicapped access and unique accommodations can be arranged by calling the school office at 824-7036
  • Get there early. Seating is limited. Arriving 30 minutes early is a very sound strategy to find preferred seating
  • Finally, public enthusiasm and applause is expected and anticipated However, please leave the air horns, silly string and beach balls at home