House Fire In Craig
Craig fire fighters responded to the house of Kevin and Chris Oxley last night, after flames from a barbecue grill on the covered deck caught their house on fire. According to Battalion Chief K.C. Hume, the fire destroyed the exterior of the east end of the house, along with the entire 2nd story rendering the he house uninhabitable. Everyone inside the home was able to get out unharmed, but had to leave all of their possessions behind. The American Red Cross showed up to assist the family. The fire started about 6:45 last night. The blaze was extinguished and firefighters left the scene by 10:30.
TIPTON CONCERNED ABOUT ATTACKS ON RURAL COLORADO
Representative Scott Tipton is concerned about rural Colorado. The Congressman says it seems Federal and State lawmakers in Urban areas seem to have an agenda against rural Colorado. He says the latest attack on rural Colorado that he has been made aware of involves the so-called Affordable Care Act. He says a woman he met recently at a town meeting described her experience to him. She told him she went on to the Health insurance website and was quoted a premium price nearly twice as high as the same package for a Denver resident. And Tipton says the attacks are coming from several directions, from water law, gun laws, and public lands, to health and energy regulations. Tomorrow, residents in Northern Colorado and Moffat County will vote on whether to research seceding from the state, due to those differences.
KINKAID SAYS INITIAL COSTS FOR SECESSION RESEARCH COULD BE AS LOW AS $500
While many people may have already turned in their ballots for tomorrow’s election, some in Moffat County are hanging on to their ballots until they hear how much it will take for the county to research the idea of secession. A question on the Moffat County ballot asks voters whether they want the County Commissioners to research what it would take to start secession efforts. When asked about the numbers, Commissioner John Kinkaid says he was thrown for a bit of a loop; but only because he never expected to spend any county time or money to do the research. He said it was his intent to do the research on his own time, and on his own dime. However, after reconsidering, he says it could cost the County anywhere from $500 to $1,000 to do the research. The ballot question does not limit the time or money the county can use, and Kinkaid says if his research leads to a petition effort, that cost could reach $5,000. He says if Moffat County residents vote yes on the ballot question, his efforts would likely go to researching the Sonnenberg Proposal, which would give a few of the states largest counties, by land mass, their own senator. Moffat, Rio Blanco, and Mesa Counties are three of those that would receive new senators.
AMENDMENT 66 CAUSES CONFUSION
An income tax question to be decided by Colorado voters tomorrow sets up a watershed change for how public schools are funded and could be the largest voter-approved tax hike in state history. But Amendment 66 is so complicated that many voters don’t understand it. The ballot measure rewrites Colorado’s School Finance Act to correct funding imbalances that state education officials say have grown worse over time. The proposal would raise income taxes an estimated $950 million a year. It would also revive a progressive income tax structure Colorado abandoned in the 1980s. Supporters of the measure have raised more than $10 million to promote it. Still, the measure’s prospects are far from certain. Opponents says simply throwing money at schools hasn’t worked in the past, and coming up with a more solid plan for how to spend educational funds is a better way to go.
STEPHENS BLASTS UDALL FOR 2010 VOTE
Republican Senate candidate Amy Stephens blasted Senator Mark Udall Friday for his vote that led to insurance cancellations under ObamaCare. Senate Democrats, including Udall, voted against legislation in 2010 that would have prevented the cancellations. In a statement, Stephens said “Mark Udall has had President Obama’s back every step of the way, even when he lied to voters by saying that under ObamaCare, people could keep their insurance if they liked it. Instead of standing up for Colorado, Senator Udall repeatedly ignored warnings about the devastating consequences of ObamaCare and voted in lock step with his party leadership against commonsense legislation that would have prevented the cancellation of insurance policies.” She went on to say “Senator Udall voted to impose ObamaCare on working families, he has refused to consider delaying the individual mandate tax, and he has repeatedly failed to show the courage and leadership that is required to protect Coloradans from this terrible law.” Stephens says if elected, she’ll work to repeal Obamacare, and replace it with a truly affordable health care law.
HICKENLOOPER RELEASES PROPOSED BUDGET
Governor John Hickenlooper’s proposed Colorado budget for next year is influenced by what the state has to pay for historic wildfires and flooding, but the improving economy is allowing for increases to education. The Hickenlooper administration has been forced to use $122 million for the disasters this year. That’s money that could’ve been used next year on other programs. However, there’s enough money to increase funding per pupil by $223 next year to keep pace with inflation and student growth under Hickenlooper’s proposal. Hickenlooper is also proposing restoring higher education funding to exceed pre-recession levels. Friday’s proposed budget is just a first step. Lawmakers will spend months next year working on it. The budget now doesn’t account for next week’s vote on a $1 billion tax increase for schools, and a marijuana tax.
STEAMBOAT RELEASES SEPTEMBER TAX REPORT
The City of Steamboat has published the preliminary September 2013 Sales, Use, and Accommodation Tax Report. The City’s sales tax collections this year through September are up more that 6% as compared to the same period in 2012. That follows with the current economic trend of moderate steady growth. When comparing quarterly tax revenue to the same quarter in the prior year, with the exception of one quarter in 2012, the City has consistently seen increases for the last three years. During September the category of lodging and amenities saw an increase of almost 11%, although restaurants and liquor stores experienced a drop when compared to September 2012. The Mountain area and West Steamboat saw the greatest increases over last September’s collections, up 12.5% and 9.6%, respectively. Accommodation Tax, which is currently used to fund Haymaker debt payments, saw an increase of 13% compared to the same time period in 2012, and is up more than 9% year to date.
LIBERTARIANS CHALLENGE NEW VOTING LAWS
The Libertarian Party of Colorado has filed suit in Denver District Court challenging several provisions of the recently passed election reform law, known as The Voter Access and Modernized Election Act. The lawsuit will not delay the election, but does ask for certain races to be voted on again if the number of any improper ballots cast is found to exceed the margin of victory. Jeff Orrok, State Chair of the Libertarian Party, urges all voters to confirm that their ballots include every office and question allowed by Colorado law, and only those offices and questions. The new election law was the subject of a previous Libertarian lawsuit in August, when the Libertarian Party and two prospective candidates sued Secretary Gessler and two county clerks over the provisions in the law that contradicted the deadline established in the Colorado Constitution for successor candidates’ petitions. Denver District Judge Robert McGahey’s ruling upheld the Constitution, allowing fair access to the ballot by all potential candidates and forcing the recall elections to be conducted in the traditional manner at polling places rather than by mandatory mail ballot.
In high school sports:
Over the weekend:
Little Snake River Valley lost to Guernsey-Sunrise (57-28) in the first round of the state playoffs.
Steamboat fell to Delta (50-12).
Moffat County lost to Palisade (47-8).
Little Snake River Valley fell to Lingle-Fort Laramie (3-0) at the state tournament in Casper.
At the 4-A regional tournament, Steamboat lost to Montrose (3-2) and Mountain View (3-0).
At the 2-A regional tournament, Meeker beat Telluride (3-2) and Ridgway (3-1). They’ll move on to the state tournament.