NACO ADDRESSES AFFORDABLE ELECTRICITY AND ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT
At the National Association of Counties, Moffat County Commissioner John Kinkaid helped work on some bills in the Energy, Environment, and Land Use Steering Committee. Kinkaid calls the work “baby steps”, but says it is encouraging. They were able to pass two resolutions, one dealing with affordable electricity, and the other dealing with the Endangered Species Act. The committee, in one resolution urged Congress and the Obama Administration to re-evaluate restrictions on the mining, transportation and burning of coal. NACo opposes the EPA’s Maximum Achievable Control Technology rules and believes these rules should be further studied to determine the cost and benefit on electric utility operations, electric reliability and economic impacts to communities, consumers and manufacturers. In the other resolutions, the committee offered addition guidelines for consideration when determining whether to list a species as threatened or endangered. It would require all decisions to be made through the best available science, with increased transparency and clear timelines for decisions. It also strengthens the requirement for consideration of local economies and conservation efforts. Pictured: John Kinkaid
BRACKETS RELEASED FOR 1ST ROUND OF 3A STATE TOURNAMENT
The 3A State Championship Basketball boys and girls brackets have been released by CHSAA. Both Moffat County teams will host regional qualifying tournaments at Moffat County High School beginning Friday. In first round games the girls, who are seeded at number 6, will play Middle Park, the number 27 seed at 6 pm. The Moffat County boys, who are seeded number 5, will play a Denver school Sheridan, the number 28 seed at 7:30. Bishop Machebeuf, also from Denver, will attend with both their boys and girls teams. The Academy girls from Westminster, and the Fort Lupton boys will each play Machebeuf teams on the other side of the brackets at the Moffat County tournament. Only the team that wins each regional qualifying tournament will advance to the great-eight games on February 13th at the Air Force Academy. 93.7 102.3 KRAI and KRAI.COM will carry live play-by-play of ALL Moffat County games.
Meeker, SoRoCo and Rangely Teams Advance To Regional Play
The Meeker boys and girls basketball teams head into the regional tournament in Palisade this week. In first round action, the girls will play Nucla, the boys will play Resurrection Christian. Also at the tournament in Palisade are the SoRoCo girls who will play Sangre de Cristo. The Rangely boys were placed at a tournament in Durango at Fort Lewis High School where they will face Sangre de Cristo in round 1. The regional brackets for the boys and girls.
GARDNER OFFICIALLY ANNOUNCES CANDIDACY FOR SENATE
Congressman Cory Gardner officially announced his candidacy Saturday for the United States Senate. During his announcement, Gardner stated his intent to work towards a smaller, less intrusive government. He talked about the need to push back against President Obama and Harry Reid when it comes to overreaching and indecisive leadership. Gardner also attacked Mark Udall, saying Udall broke his promise to the American people by standing in the way of job creation, and failing to stand up to party leaders, including Reid. Gardner also says Udall’s commitment to Obamacare means he has voted to increase taxes, infringe on the 2nd amendment, and to cut Senior Health Care options. Gardner would have to beat out several other Republican candidates before facing Udall in the general election. Pictured: Cory Gardner
JUDGE REVERSES DECISION OF DEFERRED SENTENCE
A plea agreement between prosecutors and a man accused of running over several people with his car while drunk south of Grand Lake last July has been rejected by the Grand County District Court. Under the agreement, Lucas Ackerman would have received deferred sentences for 1 count of Vehicular Homicide and three counts of Vehicular Assault, and would have been immediately penalized for Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol. The court had already conditionally accepted the agreement, but reversed course Friday, setting an arraignment hearing for March 25th. The 14th judicial District Attorney’s Office says they’re disappointed by the decision, but are preparing for the case ahead of them.
TIPTON VOTES TO CURB UNFUNDED MANDATES
Congressman Scott Tipton (R-CO), Friday, voted to curb unfunded federal mandates on state, local and tribal governments. The Unfunded Mandates Information and Transparency Act (H.R. 899), which passed the House with bipartisan support, would amend the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 to close loopholes that federal agencies use to skirt the regulatory review process. In a statement released by Tipton, he said, “Unfunded federal mandates increase the burden on state, local and tribal governments, further taxing their already cash-strapped budgets and inhibiting their ability to provide services to their communities. This in turn impacts local economies, making it even more difficult for families and businesses to get ahead in an already tough economy.” He went on to say that federal regulatory agencies have routinely found loopholes in legislation enacted in 1995 to require extensive agency review of unfunded mandates that cost over $100 million. He says the new Act would close many of those loopholes. Pictured: Scott Tipton
UNEMPLOYMENT RATE AND COAL PRODUCTION NUMBERS DOWN IN NORTHWEST COLORADO
Yampa Valley Data Partners has released their latest “Fast Facts” report. According to their report, the Routt County unemployment rate dipped to 4.5% in December 2013, the lowest rate since December 2008. Moffat County’s 5.2% unemployment rate in December 2013 remained well below the current Colorado unemployment rate (6.2%) and U.S. rate (6.6%). Those numbers do not reflect the number of people who have stopped looking for work. Moffat County retail sales remained solid on a year-to-date basis despite a 15.2% drop in November 2013 compared to the previous November. Routt County retail sales in November 2013 were up 9.1% compared to the previous November. Year-to-date coal production through November 2013 was down almost 20% in Moffat County, nearly 18% in Routt County, and 31% statewide. Moffat and Routt counties accounted for roughly half the Colorado coal produced in November.
HOUSE COMMITTEE TO START WORK ON ED SPENDING REFORMS
The House Education Committee starts work today on a long-promised effort to salvage school reform efforts rejected by voters last year. HB1292 includes $100 million more for schools next year, along with some accountability measures and charter-school reforms sought by Republicans. Last year, Democrats tried to push the biggest tax increase in state history on voters to help fund public education. Voters rejected the measure based on it’s cost, and on the lack of accountability for how the money would be spent. Experts say there will likely be long debates and many changes before this year’s bill is ready.
BIG GAME APPLICATION PROCESS TO BE EXPLAINED AT WORKSHOP
If you are new to hunting in Colorado or need help understanding the big game licensing process, a license application workshop will be held March 12th, in Montrose. The workshop will cover the application process, and Parks and Wildlife staff will assist participants in applying for a big game license. Wildlife officers will be on hand to explain the applications, how to apply on line, how to read preference-point charts and to answer questions. Completion of an approved hunter education course is required prior to submitting an application for a license. The workshop is free but limited to 25 people. To register or for more information, call (970) 252-6000.
IN HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
In basketball playoff action:
In 2-A, the Meeker girls beat Soroco (62-45). They beat Paonia in the District Championship game (55-39). The Soroco girls also lost to Hotchkiss (58-51) in the 3rd place game.
The Rangely boys lost to Paonia (57-46), then lost to West Grand (54-52) in the 3rd place game.
The Meeker boys defeated West Grand (70-46), then fell to Paonia in the District Championship game (69-57).
MOFFAT COUNTY BOYS AND GIRLS DISTRICT CHAMPS!
In 3-A, The Moffat County girls beat Grand Valley (52-42) then beat Olathe in the District Championship game (47-44). The girls will host a 4 team regional tournament next weekend at Moffat County High School. Their 1st opponent will be Middle Park at Friday night at 6.
The Moffat County boys defeated Grand Valley (80-67), then topped Aspen in the District Championship game (62-54).
The boys will also host a 4 team regional tournament next weekend at Moffat County High School. Their 1st opponent will be Sheridan Friday night at 7:30.
93.7 102.3 KRAI and KRAI.COM will carry live play-by-play of ALL Moffat County games.
In 4-A, Steamboat lost to Sand Creek (64-49), ending their season.
In Wyoming 1-A, the Little Snake River Valley boys beat Dubois (61-59), then topped Burlington in the Regional Championship game (75-41). The girls topped Saint Stephens (57-48), then beat Burlington for the Regional Championship (46-35). Thursday, the girls team will take on Kaycee at 6pm in the 1st round of the State Tournament. The boys face Upton at 7:30. All games take place at the Casper Events Center. The brackets for the State tournament can be accessed through these links: WY 1-A boys;
WY 1-A girls