LEGISLATORS LOOKING FOR WAYS TO RESTORE P.I.L.T. FUNDING
After legislators decided not to fund the PILT, or Payment In Lieu of Taxes, program in the latest appropriations bill, lawmakers in western states are scrambling to try to restore the funding. PILT compensates rural counties with large amounts of federal non-taxable land. The Moffat County Commissioners sy if PILT funding is not restored it coud have a significant impact on the county. Chuck Grobe said earlier this week, “If PILT funding disappears, the county will still offer basic services, we’ll just have to do it with fewer employees.” Colorado’s Senators and Representatives are coming up with various ways to restore the funding. Those include measures to restore it permanantly, as well as measures to include it in other bills, such as the Farm Bill.
LAWMAKERS CRACKING DOWN ON INTERNET HARASSMENT
Colorado lawmakers are trying to crack down on various types of online harassment with proposals that would classify crimes of the Internet age. One bill would define cyber bullying and make it a misdemeanor. Another proposal would require commercial websites that publish mug shots of people to remove the photos for free at the person’s request if they were never convicted. And another bill seeks to criminalize the trend of so-called revenge porn, where people publish explicit photos or videos of former romantic partners to humiliate them. But while other states have proposed revenge-porn laws that deal with all ages, a Colorado bill would focus only on minors. The bills introduced this month underscore how legislators are grappling to define new crimes that may or may not be covered under current laws.
HEALTH OFFICIALS URGE RESIDENTS TO TEST FOR RADON
Winter is the perfect time to test your home for radon, according to Chrystine Kelley, radon program manager for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. “Testing your home for radon is simple and works best when all your doors and windows are closed,” said Kelley. This is why winter is the perfect time to do it. Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas responsible for hundreds of Colorado lung cancer deaths each year. The colorless, odorless, tasteless gas can enter homes through miniscule cracks in the floor or small spaces around utility pipes and accumulates unless properly mitigated. Long-term radon exposure is the leading cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers and the second leading cause of lung cancer in smokers. More Americans die from lung cancer than any other cancer. Testing is easy and affordable. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment provides coupons for reduced-cost radon test kits at www.coloradoradon.info. The website also lists contractors, certified by the National Radon Proficiency Program, who install systems to mitigate radon. Colorado residents also can call the state’s Radon Hotline at 1-800-846-3986 or check with their local health department, county extension office or public health nurse for radon information.
JANUARY IS NATIONAL MENTORING MONTH
You don’t need special skills to become a mentor to a young person in your community; you just need an ability to listen and to offer friendship, guidance and encouragement. And now is a great time to get started, as January is National Mentoring Month, which first began in 2002. Potential mentors are being encouraged this month to begin offering their services in their local communities, in schools, at faith-based organizations, in local businesses and even through the Internet. To get started or to learn more about different opportunities in these different settings, you can visit www.mentoring.org, which is maintained by The National Mentoring Partnership, one of the key non-profit organizations involved in National Mentoring Month. The organization provides free resources for those looking to get involved, as well as information on how to start a mentoring program. Not only does working with young people help them to achieve academic success, it also can lead them to make responsible decisions in different facets of their lives, say experts at the Harvard School of Public Health and The National Mentoring Partnership.
IN HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
Hayden’s boys and girls fell to Hotchkiss (B=59-42; G=69-29).
The Meeker girls beat West Grand (70-32).
Soroco’s boys and girls lost to Paonia (B=56-47; G=48-33).
The Little Snake River Valley girls beat Big Piney (45-42).
Moffat County’s boys and girls beat Basalt (B=62-36; G=99-19).
Steamboat topped Summit (5-1).
Hayden hosts Paonia. The girls play at 3 and the boys at 4:30.
Meeker is hoe against North Park. The girls tip off at 1:30 and the boys at 3.
Soroco hosts Hotchkiss. The girls play at 1 and the boys at 2:30.
Steamboat welcomes Battle Mountain. The girls play at 12:30 and the boys at 2.
The Moffat County girls slipped to Cedaredge 49-45
The Moffat County boys defeated Cedaredge 78-56
Moffat County continues at Green River.
Rangely hosts Hayden and Meeker at 9.
Steamboat hosts Aspen at 3.
In Nordic skiing:
Steamboat goes to a meet in Aspen at 11.