HICKENLOOPER SWITCHES GEARS, SUPPORTS LOCAL GROUSE PROTECTION EFFORTS
Governor John Hickenlooper has sent a letter to the BLM that stresses the measures already taken by state and local officials to protect the Greater Sage Grouse. Hickenlooper was urged to visit Northwest Colorado late last year, to hear from land managers and wildlife and energy experts how listing the bird would negatively effect the economies of the areas affected. The governor responded by hiring a point man for sage grouse issues, John Swartout. Foloowing Swartout’s research, the governor agreed more thoughtful planning needed to go into the sage grouse plan. The BLM’s plan does not consider the economic effect of listing the bird. Moffat County Commissioner Chuck Grobe says he’s encouraged by the letter, which he says addresses the majority of their concerns. He says it appears the governor is finally on board with the local approach to sage grouse preservation.
BILL TO REPEAL RURAL ELECTRIC MANDATE KILLED IN COMMITTEE
Senate Bill 35 was killed yesterday in committee. Senate Bill 35 was drafted by Republican Ted Harvey to repeal last year’s Senate Bill 252, the rural electric mandate. Moffat County Commissioner John Kinkaid traveled to Denver to testify for the bill. He told committee members about mine layoffs at Tweny-mile last week, and about Safeway closing last year. He also stressed to the committee that Tri-State Generation and Transmission is the top taxpayer in Mofat County and Twenty-Mile is the top taxpayer in Routt County. Others testified, too, including Weld County Commissioner Sean Conway, and representatives of the Colorado Mining Association. The committee was unmoved though as the bill was struck down by Democrats on a 3-2 vote. Pictured: John Kinkaid
HUNTER SAFETY CLASSES OFFERED IN CRAIG
Residents of Craig and nearby communities will have an opportunity to earn their Hunter Education card by attending one of four classes offered by Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Hunter Education is required for those born after January 1st, 1949 and plan on purchasing a hunting license; however, the class may be taken by anyone whether they plan to hunt or not. District Wildlife Manager Mike Grooms, who will serve as class instructor, stresses that there are only a few chances to take the course locally each year and encourages everyone to take advantage of these opportunities. There is no age limit, however younger pupils must be able to read and understand the material and test, and must be able to handle a firearm safely. Upon successful completion of the course, students will receive their hunter safety card and will be able to purchase a hunting license. The classes will be held at the Moffat County School Administration Building and space is limited. The classes will be held the weekends of January 25-26, March 22-23, May 3-4 and June 28-29. Students must attend both days. For more information, or to register, call 824-5689.
REPUBLICANS OPPOSE SPENDING BILL FOR VARIOUS REASONS
Three Republican congressmen from Colorado have voted against the $1.1 trillion spending bill that passed Congress yesterday but cited differing reasons. Representative Scott Tipton objected because the measure excluded payments to counties with public land, known as payments in lieu of taxes. The money helps offset lost property taxes that counties would collect if the land were privately owned. Representative Doug Lamborn also cited the absence of those payments, as well as poor spending priorities and “too many compromises with Democrats.” Representative Mike Coffman says he voted no because the measure restores Defense Department spending without any improvements in Pentagon operations. Democratic Representative Diana DeGette says she voted for it, citing spending on key areas such as medical research and disaster relief. Votes of Colorado’s other representatives weren’t immediately available. Pictured: Scott Tipton
CRAIG CHAMBER SEEKING NOMINATIONS FOR BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
The Craig Chamber of Commerce is seeking nominations for its annual business awards. The Chamber says this is a good opportunity to consider the local businesses that have made an impression on you through their customer service, business practices or community support and nominate them as the 2013 Large Business of the Year, Small Business of the Year or Businessperson of the Year. Nominations should include the business or business person’s name and a brief note about why you are nominating them. Winners will be announced at the annual State of the County banquet nest month. Nominations are due February 7th. Send your nominations to 360 E. Victory Way, Craig, CO 81625 or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
DEMOCRATS KILL BILL TO KEEP POT BUYERS FROM USING EBT CARDS
Colorado won’t ban the use of public assistance at marijuana-shop ATMs, despite calls from both Republicans and the pot industry to ban it. A Colorado Senate committee voted 3-2 yesterday to reject the GOP proposal to add marijuana shops to the list of places where recipients of public assistance can’t use their government-issued EBT cards to access cash. The list already includes casinos, liquor stores and gun shops. Marijuana industry lobbyists argued for the bill, saying there’s no evidence people on public benefits are using pot-shop ATMs and that the prohibition would assure the public that disability benefits or other entitlements aren’t being used on pot. Democrats on the committee all voted against the idea. They said people in poor neighborhoods already have difficulty accessing ATMs and that the bill isn’t needed.
HICKENLOOPER REPORTS CAMPAIGN FUNDS AVAILABLE
Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper has more than $1 million available as he begins his re-election campaign. The Democrat reported yesterday his campaign raised $420,000 in the final quarter of last year. He now has a total of $1.047 million on hand as he faces what is expected to be a challenging race for re-election in November. Only one of the Republicans vying to replace Hickenlooper reported his fundraising haul for the end of last year. Former state Senate Minority Leader Mike Kopp says he raised $100,000 in the last three months of 2013. Other Republicans hoping to face the governor are state Senator Greg Brophy, Secretary of State Scott Gessler and former Representative Tom Tancredo. Pictured: John Hickenlooper
BILL TO GIVE MORE PROTECTION TO REPORTERS DELAYED
Colorado lawmakers delayed a vote on a bill to increase legal protections for reporters and their sources in Colorado. The bill from Colorado Springs Republican Senator Bernie Herpin would make it harder for courts to compel reporters to reveal sources by raising legal standards to enforce subpoenas. Herpin says he brought the proposal forward because of the case of New York-based Fox News reporter Jana Winter, who was pressured to divulge who gave her information about the 2012 Aurora theater shootings. A New York court ruled in December that Winter was protected by that state’s shield law. The Colorado Legislature’s Senate Judiciary Committee heard the bill yesterday, but lawmakers wanted more time to deliberate and will vote at a later date.
IN HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
Steamboat goes to Eagle Valley. The girls play at 5:30 and the boys at 7.
Rangely hosts West Grand. The girls tip of at 4:30 and the boys at 6.
Hayden is home against Hotchkiss. The girls tip off at 7 and the boys at 8:30.
Meeker heads to West Grand. The girls play at 5:30 and the boys at 7.
Soroco goes to Paonia. The girls play at 4 and the boys at 5:30.
Little Snake River Valley hosts Big Piney. The girls tip off at 3:30 and the boys at 5.
Moffat County goes to Basalt. You can catch those games live on KRAI with the pregame at 5:15. The girls tip off at 5:30 and the boys at 7. You can also listen online.
Moffat County goes to a dual in Green River.
Rangely hosts a Triangular with Hayden and Duchesne, Utah attending.
Meeker hosts a dual with Paonia.
Steamboat goes to Summit at 5:15.
In girls swimming:
Steamboat goes to a meet in Jefferson County.
In alpine skiing:
Steamboat host a meet at Howelson Hill.