NEW FIGURES SHOW EVEN MORE SUCCESSFUL HOLIDAY DRIVE
New figures show this year’s KRAI and 55 Country Holiday Drive was even more successful than first thought. Over the last week, additional donations have trickled in, bringing the total cash raised to nearly $28,500. The total amount of food raised for the Interfaith Food Bank jumped up to 5,840 pounds, just shy of three tons. That puts the 2013 drive among the most successful ever, a huge feat in an uncertain economy. Volunteers and station staff would like to thank the community for making it such a success. Pictures from the holiday drive can still be seen above.
MOUNTAIN COMMUNITIES SEEING RISE IN RESORT RESERVATIONS
Mountain communities in Colorado are enjoying the strongest start since 2007, with resort snowpack already surpassing average measurements from the past two seasons and ski areas opening record amounts of terrain for mid-December. Breckenridge lodges are seeing a 13 percent increase in bookings over last year. By the end of November in Aspen and Snowmass – thanks to early season snow – lodging reservations were ahead of last year for every day of December. Every lodge in the Roaring Fork Valley is expected to be full for the New Year’s holiday. Mark Waldman says vacationers interested in his Summit County home rentals last season kept asking if there was any snow. This year, he says his 150 units are booking steadily and are nearly sold out over the New Year’s holiday.
PROGRESS NOW COLORADO SAYS GUN LAWS WORKING, ONE DAY BEFORE SCHOOL SHOOTING
One day after Progress Now Colorado sent out a message to Coloradans that new gun laws are working in Colorado, a student at Arapahoe High School opened fire, critically injuring one before killing himself. 18-year old Karl Pierson was identified as the shooter, and was reportedly looking for a specific teacher when he entered the school with a shotgun. That teacher escaped unharmed, but a 15 year old girl was shot point blank, and is still listed in critical condition. Thursday afternoon, Progress Now Colorado sent out a mass email, telling Coloradans that new gun control laws are reducing gun violence, because of background checks. One line in the email says “Despite all the dire predictions from the extreme right, common-sense gun safety in Colorado is a success.” Gun rights advocates would dispute that after Friday’s school shooting. While fighting new gun control laws during the last legislative session, gun proponents said over and over again that limiting magazine sizes and implementing universal background checks would do nothing to prevent gun violence. Pierson was reportedly a model student that was actively involved in his school. He reportedly bought the shotgun legally, about a week before the shooting.
STEPHENS CONGRATULATES UDALL ON BIGGEST LIE OF THE YEAR
Republican Senate candidate Amy Stephens Friday congratulated Senator Mark Udall on winning PolitiFact’s 2013 “Lie of the Year” award. Politifact cited the pledge made by President Obama and repeated by Senator Udall that people could keep their insurance and doctor under ObamaCare if they liked it as the year’s biggest lie. Senator Michael Bennet also made that promise, but Stephens’ focus is on Udall, as she is running against him in the upcoming election. In a statement, Stephens didn’t hold back when she said “Senator Mark Udall had the distinction of casting the deciding vote for ObamaCare” and now he has been recognized for repeating the biggest lie of the year, which was attributed to President Obama. “It takes an exceptionally dishonest statement to win this award, but President Obama and Senator Udall’s fraudulent promise that people could keep their insurance if they liked it under ObamaCare certainly meets this dishonorable standard.” Stephens has vowed to work every day to repeal Obamacare and replace it with a working law, if she is elected to replace Udall. Pictured: Mark Udall
55 COUNTRY TAKING SUGGESTIONS ON HUCKABEE REPLACEMENT
The survey asking 55 Country listeners to vote on what should replace the recently canceled Mike Huckabee Show has now surpassed 100 responses. The show ended when Mike Huckabee decided not to continue with the program. The top two choices thus far are Rush Limbaugh and Dennis Miller. According to 55 Country General Manger Frank Hanel “whatever programming permanently fills the midday time-slot on the station will not only require listeners to tune in, but must have the support of businesses and organizations that want to reach 55 Country listeners with their advertising and marketing messages”. The 10 to noon weekday slot on 55 Country is currently being filled by county music programming until a permanent replacement has been selected. The survey, which can be found on the the right of this page, will remain in place into the New Year. Pictured: Mike Huckabee
ZENZINGER REPLACES HUDAK
A former Arvada city councilwoman has been sworn in to replace a Colorado state Democratic senator who resigned to avoid a potential recall election driven by gun rights advocates. Rachel Zenzinger, also a Democrat, took the oath of office Friday in the state Senate chambers. With her appointment, Democrats maintain a one-seat majority in the Senate. Zenzinger replaces Senator Evie Hudak, who resigned last month just days before gun-control opponents planned to turn in signatures to force a recall election. Two other state Senate Democrats were recalled from office in September because of their support for new gun restrictions earlier this year. A Hudak recall election would have risked losing the chamber to Republican control. Pictured: Rachel Zenzinger
MOFFAT COUNTY SCHOOL BUS INVOLVED IN CRASH
A Moffat County School Bus was struck by an SUV around 2:30 Friday afternoon. The collision occurred at the intersection 7th and Tucker in Craig. According to an officer on the scene, the bus, which was empty except for the driver, was traveling south on Tucker Street when the driver of an SUV ran a stop sign and struck the middle of the bus. The SUV was severely damaged, the bus was driven back to the bus garage. The drivers, both female, escaped the incident without injury. A young child that was properly belted in the SUV suffered no apparent injuries but was taken to the Memorial Hospital for examination. This was the 2nd time in a week that a school bus was involved in an accident in the Craig area. Pictured: The SUV involved in the accident.
PARKS AND WILDLIFE OFFER ICE SAFETY TIPS
Colorado’s early winter blast has brought freezing temperatures and ice to the state. But despite the chill, Colorado Parks and Wildlife is reminding people that lakes, ponds and streams still may not be ready for winter activity. There are a few basic safety rules to follow when enjoying winter adventures on the ice. Always assume that unsafe ice conditions may exist and remember ice thickness will vary from place to place and day to day. Four inches of ice is generally considered safe for ice fishing and ice skating. However, OHVs need at least five inches of ice thickness. Whenever there is any question about thickness or conditions, the best advice is to stay off the ice. Look for signs of unsafe conditions, including ice of different colors, water on top of the ice, cracks, pressure ridges, open water and bubbles in the ice. Also, beware of ice covered with snow. Sometimes the snow serves as insulation, keeping the ice from melting. Other times, the snow has the opposite effect, insulating the surface from freezing. Also be aware that water levels can fluctuate in reservoirs which can affect ice stability.
If you do choose to venture onto the ice, remember the following ice safety tips:
Never go onto the ice alone. Having someone with you means your partner can call or send for help if you fall in.
Remember Reach-Throw-Go. If you are with someone who falls through the ice use this approach. If you can’t reach the person from shore, throw them a floatation device or rope. If you still can’t help the person quickly – go for help. Never attempt to walk out onto the ice to rescue your friend because you might also fall through the ice.
Avoid alcoholic beverages. Alcohol increases your chance for hypothermia, which is the loss of body temperature. It can also lower your inhibitions, increasing the likelihood that you might take risks you otherwise wouldn’t take.
Always wear a life jacket. Wear a lifejacket or personal flotation device (PFD) over winter clothing. Life jackets can provide excellent flotation and protection from hypothermia.
Assemble a personal safety kit. Always wear a safety kit on your body when going out onto the ice. Safety kits should include an ice pick, rope and a whistle to call for help.
Always keep your pets on a leash. Never allow your dog to run out onto the ice and never walk your dog near a frozen lake or pond without a leash. If your dog falls through the ice, do not attempt a rescue. Go for help. If the ice couldn’t support the weight of your animal, it can’t support you.
Even with the best planning and preparation, accidents can happen. If you do fall through the ice, remember the following:
Don’t panic. Try to remain calm to conserve as much energy as possible. Try to get your arms onto the ice and kick as hard as you can with your feet to help lift you onto the ice, and then roll to safety. If you can’t get out of the cold water by yourself, take the following appropriate actions to extend your survival time while waiting to be rescued.
Do not swim. Swimming will cause your body to lose heat much faster than if you stay as still as possible.
Act slowly and deliberately to conserve heat. Expect a progressive decrease in your strength and ability to move. Make the harder maneuvers at the beginning, while you can.
Keep your upper body above water. Keep your head and upper body as far out of the water as reasonably possible to conserve heat.
There’s lots of outdoor fun to enjoy in Colorado but please do so carefully. No one can guarantee you that the ice is safe. The decision to go onto the ice is personal and should be made only after taking all the precautions to reduce the risk.
IN HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
Over the weekend:
At the Meeker boys shootout, Hayden beat Caprock Academy (48-30). Soroco bested Moffat County’s J-V squad (54-32), then beat Hayden (69-26). Rangely topped Little Snake River Valley (59-55).
At the Steamboat tourney, Steamboat’s girls defeated Discovery Canyon (30-27), then edged Montrose (49-44). The boys beat Montrose (68-55), then fell to Golden (48-33). Moffat County’s boys beat Montezuma Cortez (88-46), then topped Montrose (76-73).
Steamboat beat Chatfield (2-0), then lost to Resurrection Christian (5-2).
Moffat County goes to Steamboat at 5.