NON-INJURY CRASH REDUCES HIGHWAY 40 TRAFFIC TO ONE LANE
Highway 40 was reduced to one lane of traffic this morning near the Wyman Museum, while crews cleaned up after a traffic accident. A semi slid off the road around 8 this morning, rolling its trailer over into a field. Icy roads may have been a factor. Nobody was injured in the crash. The Colorado State Patrol is investigating the incident. Craig Fire/Rescue also responded to the crash.
TIPTON GRILLS ADMINISTRATION ON REWRITTEN COAL REGULATIONS
Yesterday, during a House Natural Resources Committee hearing on the Obama Administration’s War on Coal: The Recent Report by the Office of the Inspector General, Congressman Scott Tipton (R-CO) raised concerns on the cost and what he calls the “suspect process” behind the Administration’s ongoing rewrite of a 2008 coal production regulation that had already undergone over five years of environmental analysis and scientific consideration before completion. The 2008 rule had not yet even been implemented before the new Obama Administration scrapped it, despite the five years of environmental analysis that went into its creation. Tipton says since the start of the rewrite, the Administration has spent over $9 million taxpayer dollars over five years, and has yet to even publish a draft rule. During the process the Administration-the Office of Surface Mining (OSM)-hired contractors to conduct a new environmental impact analysis on the proposed rewrite which found that it would kill 7,000 jobs and hurt the economies of 22 states-including Colorado. A decision was made to part ways with the contractors shortly after their economic findings were leaked to the media. Tipton says the Administration attempted to “cook the books” to lower the findings of the number of jobs that would be lost by the rewrite of the regulation, by changing the baseline from the 1983 rule that was on the books, to the not yet enforced 2008 rule that the Administration was in the process of rewriting. You can see video of the exchange below. Pictured: Scott Tipton
UDALL ACCUSED OF PRESSURING OFFICIALS TO FABRICATE HEALTH EXCHANGE NUMBERS
Republicans are accusing Colorado U.S. Senator Mark Udall of trying to put pressure on state health officials to change the number of people who had their health insurance policies cancelled because of the national health care overhaul. According to emails obtained and posted on the conservative blog Complete Colorado, Jo Donlin of the Colorado Division of Insurance alerted Hickenlooper administration officials in November that Udall staffers claimed state figures on the number of cancellations for Coloradans with health insurance were inflated, and he was pressuring them to change them. The National Republican Senatorial Committee accused Udall yesterday of trying to “cook the books.” Udall spokesman Mike Saccone says the state figures did not reflect the fact that 96 percent of Coloradans were offered the opportunity to renew their plans. In a statement, Amy Stephens, a republican running for Udall’s seat, said “Senator Mark Udall’s attempt to alter independent statistics on the hundreds of thousands of Coloradans who lost their insurance because of his deciding vote for ObamaCare is appalling and shameful. It is clear that Senator Udall tried to use his official office to advance his political interests by pressuring state officials to change facts that he realizes are extremely damaging for his flailing re-election campaign.” Pictured: Mark Udall
BROPHY PICKS APART STATE OF THE STATE ADDRESS
State Senator Greg Brophy says Governor Hickenloopers State of the State Address yesterday rings hollow. In the speech, Hickenlooper said Colorado is strong, and that his priority is to build small business and bring jobs to Colorado. But Brophy says his actions during legislation that passed through the capitol during the last session show another story. In a statement, Brophy spoke directly to Hickenlooper saying, “Your words ring hollow after observing your actions. If you had vetoed even some of last year’s extreme bills or even showed leadership on the Nathan Dunlap issue, you would be cruising to re-election. Instead of leading, you chose to follow Mayor Bloomberg and liberal special interest groups. Now the people of Colorado don’t trust you. “ Brophy will run against Hickenlooper during the next gubernatorial election. Pictured: Greg Brophy
SEMI JACKKNIFES ON I-70 NEAR GLENWOOD
A multi-vehicle crash closed westbound Interstate 70 last night for about two hours. Nobody was injured in the four-vehicle crash, which included three semi-trucks and a passenger van. Just before 8, an empty tanker – driven by 41-year-old Mohamed Diawara, of Denver – lost control on the icy roads about two miles east of the Glenwood Springs exit. Diawara’s trailer then jackknifed and caused three vehicles to crash behind him, blocking all lanes of westbound I-70. Diawara was cited for careless driving and then released. Westbound traffic was forced to exit at Dotsero during the closure. The road reopened at around 10. Two tractor-trailers that were involved were towed. The other two vehicles were driven from the scene. The Colorado State Patrol would like to remind drivers to drive with caution at all times, especially this time of year when road conditions can change quickly.
ANTLER COLLECTING ILLEGAL IN CERTAIN AREAS THIS TIME OF YEAR
For big game animals, winter is a stressful season when they can lose 30 percent or more of their body weight. The less energy they use unnecessarily the better their chances of surviving. Consequently, Colorado Parks and Wildlife says people should avoid disturbing Colorado’s wild critters during cold weather months. To minimize disturbance of animals in the Gunnison Basin, Parks and Wildlife is reminding people who collect deer and elk antlers of special regulations that restrict when antlers can be collected from public lands. In the Gunnison Basin, where antler shed collecting is popular, regulations are in place to prevent disturbance of animals on public lands in certain big game management units. Collection of shed antlers is prohibited within those units from January 1st through March 14th. From March 15th through May 15th, shed antler collection is prohibited from legal sunset to 10 in the morning. Those who violate the regulations can be fined $70, be assessed five penalty points against their hunting and fishing privileges and any antlers collected will be confiscated. Harassing wildlife is also illegal under state statute and can result in additional fines. For more information, click here.
COLORADO AG DEPARTMENT OFFERING GRANTS FOR AG PROJECTS
The Colorado Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for funding through its new “Enrich Colorado Ag Grant Program.” Grant funds will help Colorado companies conduct research and develop new uses and markets for food and agricultural products that are grown, raised or processed in Colorado. Projects eligible for funding include, but are not limited to, feasibility studies and technical projects such as assessing the potential of establishing an agricultural value-added business project; and marketing and sales promotion projects such as first-time participation in trade shows, new product launches and promotions supporting the development of new sales channels. The maximum award per project is $17,000. A matching contribution of cash and in-kind resources equal to at least 50 percent of the total project budget is required. Applications are due by February 28th. For an application or more information, click here.
IN HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
Hayden topped Moffat County (32-30).
Hayden hosts West Grand. The boys play at 5:30 and the girls at 7.
Meeker is home against Hotchkiss. The girls tip off at 5:30 and the boys at 7.
Steamboat is on the road to Palisade. The girls play at 6 and the boys at 7:30.
Soroco hosts South Park. The girls play at 3 and the boys at 4:30.
Rangely welcomes Paonia. The girls tip off at 5:30 and the boys at 7.
Little Snake River Valley goes to Manila. The girls play at 4:30 and the boys at 6.
Hayden, Rangely and Meeker go to the Tournament of Champions in Vernal.
Steamboat hosts Dakota Ridge at 6:30.
In girls swimming:
Steamboat travels to Aspen for a meet.
Moffat County goes to Summit.
In Nordic skiing:
Steamboat goes to Summit at 10.
Hayden goes to Encampment. The girls play at 2:30 and the boys at 4.
Rangely is on the road to Hotchkiss. The girls play at 2:30 and the boys at 4.
Little Snake River Valley heads to Saratoga. The girls play at 3:30 and the boys at 5.
Meeker heads to Paonia. The girls tip off at 3:30 and the boys at 5.
Steamboat travels to Delta. The girls play at 1 and the boys at 2:30.
Soroco goes to West Grand. The girls play at 1 and the boys at 2:30.
Moffat County heads to Aspen. You can catch those games live on KRAI with the pre-game at 2:15. The girls tip off at 2:30 and the boys at 4. You can also listen online.
Hayden, Rangely and Meeker continue at the Tournament of Champions in Vernal.
In Nordic skiing:
Steamboat continues at Summit at 11.
In girls swimming:
Moffat County goes to the Mustang invite in Westminster.
The Denver Broncos host the San Diego Chargers in an AFC Divisional playoff game Sunday. You can catch all the action live on 55 Country with the pre-game at 12:30 and the kick-off at 2:30.