RIO BLANCO COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE NOW ON FACEBOOK
The Rio Blanco County Sheriff’s Office Communication Center has opened their new Facebook page. Dispatchers will be posting in real time 24 hours a day, 7 days a week about current events, restrictions, community warnings, road closures, and general synopsis of major incidents occurring in Rio Blanco County. The public is encouraged to “Like” the Facebook page if they are interested in notifications of postings and can converse with the Communication Center if they have questions. This does NOT replace calling 9-1-1 or the Sheriff’s Office directly for emergencies or any services provided by the Sheriff’s Office. Any reports of criminal activity should be done by telephone to the proper law enforcement agency. The Facebook page contains website links such as CO-Trip, the state road conditions website, the Colorado State Patrol accident/reporting website, other county law enforcement, forest service maps and more.
YVSC REMINDS RESIDENTS “PUFFING” IS ILLEGAL
The Yampa Valley Sustainability Council is reminding residents that leaving your car idling while unattended is against the law. The Council is issuing the reminder as part of their “Spare the Air” campaign. A car left unattended while idling is often called a “puffer”, and law enforcement agencies have warned against it for years. While the Council’s campaign is more about clean air, law enforcement reminds residents that “puffing” is also a good way to lose your vehicle. According to the YVSC, leaving a car idling for an extended period of time is not the best way to warm up a vehicle’s engine. They say the vehicle will warm up faster if you drive it after no more than 30 seconds of idling. For more information about the “Spare the Air” campaign, click here.
AVALANCHE DANGER HIGH IN COLORADO
The avalanche danger is heightened in Colorado’s northern and central mountains after more snow fell on New Year’s. The Colorado Avalanche Information Center said yesterday that the risk of slides is considerable near and above treeline in the Front Range mountains, the Vail area, Summit County and around Steamboat and the Flattops Wilderness. Road crews triggered some avalanches on Interstate 70 west of the Eisenhower Tunnel in the morning to protect drivers. Persistent slab avalanches are the main threat. That’s when a thick layer of hard snow breaks loose from a weak, deep layer of snowpack underneath. More snow is expected in the high country over the next couple of days.
BOB RANKIN IN CRAIG TODAY
State Representative Bob Rankin will hold a Town Hall meeting in Craig today to talk about the upcoming legislative session. The 2013 session was not a good one for Republicans, with Democrats pushing through new laws on civil unions, gun control and energy regulations. There are reportedly over 600 bills up for consideration in the 2014 session, and Rankin would like to talk about them with Craig residents today. This will be the only time Rankin shows up before the legislative session, which begins next week. The meeting will be held at the Craig VFW at 5:30 this evening. Pictured: Bob Rankin
MAGPUL STARTS MOVE TO WYOMING AND TEXAS
Magpul Industries, the gun accessories maufacturer that promised to leave Colorado after lawmakers passed stricter gun control measures, is making good on that promise. The company announced yesterday that it is relocating to Texas and Wyoming, and it’s taking most of its workforce with it. The company says they’ll move 92 percent of its employees outside of Colorado. There will be a limited presence in Colorado. Magpul will relocate its manufacturing, distribution and shipping operations to Cheyenne, Wyoming. The company’s headquarters will be located in Texas.
GUN BAN ON COLLEGE CAMPUSES COULD WIND UP ON BALLOT
Colorado’s gun control debate could be headed to the ballot. A group of gun-control supporters got permission yesterday to seek a 2014 ballot measure that would ban concealed weapons on college campuses. The move comes a year after the state Legislature debated but didn’t pass a ban on concealed weapons on college campuses. Concealed weapons are already banned at K-12 schools. The ballot measure would add public colleges and universities. Supporters have six months to gather about 86,000 signatures to put it on the ballot. State lawmakers are likely to revisit many new gun laws in the legislative session that starts next week. Colorado and Utah are the only states where concealed weapons are allowed on college campuses.
COLORADO HEALTH EXCHANGE SEES SPIKE IN ENROLLMENT
Officials say enrollment in Colorado’s health insurance exchange and expanded Medicaid programs topped 138,000 people between October 1st and December 31st. Officials with Connect for Health Colorado say the pace of enrollments ramped up with the December 27th deadline for customers seeking insurance coverage starting Wednesday. The numbers released yesterday show 52,773 people have signed up for or have been approved for private insurance coverage through the exchange. An additional 86,432 people are being enrolled in the Medicaid expansion. Connect for Health Colorado officials say private insurance enrollments exceeded projections by about 16,000 people. Enrollment for private health insurance through the exchange continues until March. Connect for Health Colorado CEO Patty Fontneau says her staff is reaching out to residents as the second half of the enrollment period gets underway.