CRAIG CITY COUNCIL CALLS RESEARCH ON SECESSION “WASTE OF TIME”
The Craig City Council says asking voters whether or not they want the Moffat County Commissioners to pursue research on secession is a waste of time. At Tuesday night’s City Council meeting, councilman Don Jones told the board that he had sent a letter to the commissioners denouncing their effort to ask the will of the voters. The issue of whether or not the commissioners should look into the costs, benefits, and repercussions of seceding will appear on the November ballot. Opponents say seceding would be too costly, and that the “new state” would lose out on many state services. They also say the chances of state and federal approval are slim to none. However, proponents maintain the vote is more about getting Denver area lawmakers to wake up and realize they have been neglecting rural needs and concerns. 10 Colorado counties have joined the 51st State Initiative, Moffat County being the only county on the Western Slope. In Jones’ scathing letter he compares the ballot question to Obamacare, and says “Your decision has a stark resemblance to the actions of Nancy Pelosi and her charge of ‘we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it’ when discussing the Affordable Care Act legislation. Jones asks several questions regarding cost, time table, and what land and water rights might be affected. While a yes vote on the ballot question does not guarantee secession, it will allow commissioners to do the research to answer those questions. Each councilperson was put on the spot to express their opinion about the ballot question, and each said they were against the measure. You can read the full letter here.
MAN EXTRICATED FROM VEHICLE
Craig Firefighters had to extricate a man from his vehicle last night after a two-car crash on Highway 40 just west of Craig. Craig Fire Rescue responded to the accident at around 8:20 last night. Firefighters say one of the vehicles struck a trailer being hauled by the other vehicle. The driver of the first car had to be extricated, and was transported by ambulance to The Memorial Hospital at Craig. He was the only occupant. The occupants of the other vehicle were not injured. The names of those involved was not made available.
EPA TO HOLD LISTENING SESSIONS ON POLLUTION REGULATION
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will hold 11 public listening sessions across the country to solicit ideas and input from the public and stakeholders about the best Clean Air Act approaches to reducing carbon pollution from existing power plants. Power plants are the nation’s largest stationary source of carbon pollution, responsible for about one third of all greenhouse gas pollution in the United States. The Clean Air Act gives both EPA and states a role in reducing air pollution from power plants that are already in operation. The law directs EPA to establish guidelines, which states use to design their own programs to reduce emissions. Before proposing guidelines, EPA must consider how power plants with a variety of different configurations would be able to reduce carbon pollution in a cost-effective way. The feedback from these 11 public listening sessions will play an important role in helping EPA develop smart, cost-effective guidelines that reflect the latest and best information available. The agency will seek additional public input during the notice and comment period once it issues a proposal, by June 2014. For more information on these sessions and to register online, click here.
STATE DEMS SELECT NEW SENATE PRESIDENT
Colorado Senate Democrats selected Aurora Senator Morgan Carroll as their new leader to replace former chamber President John Morse, who was ousted last month in a recall over new gun restrictions. Carroll is only the second woman in state history to hold the position of Senate president. She was selected yesterday morning. Morse, of Colorado Springs, and Pueblo Democratic Senator Angela Giron were voted out of office last month. They joined other Democrats this year in passing limits on the size of ammunition magazines and expanding background checks to private and online firearm sales. Republicans gained two lawmakers in the Senate with the recalls, but Democrats still control the chamber by one vote. Boulder Senator Rollie Heath is the Democrats new majority leader.
STATE WILDLIFE AREAS DAMAGED BY FLOODS REOPENING
Colorado reopened most of the flood-damaged State Wildlife Areas yesterday. But authorities caution hunters that landscapes may look different than last year and to take caution and expect downed fences. Colorado Parks and Wildlife is reopening areas along the South Platte River that have been closed for the past several weeks. Reservations for the opening weekend of waterfowl season on properties that are open will begin immediately. Hunters are being encouraged to scout their hunting area in the daylight because many traditional hunting areas and access paths have been considerably altered. Flood waters cut deep holes in many places, and hunters are warned to test water depth with a stick or branch when crossing a channel.
PARKS AND WILDLIFE COMPLETES RIFLE RANGE UPGRADES
Colorado Parks and Wildlife has completed a six-week construction upgrade project of the shooting range at the West Rifle Creek State Wildlife Area. To celebrate the opening of the improved shooting facilities, the agency will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony, tomorrow morning at 10 at the range. CPW officers will be in attendance to answer questions from the public. Paid for primarily with sportsmen’s dollars with supplemental funding through the Pittman-Robertson Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act, the $150,000 project includes a new parking lot, handicap accessibility, six shooting lanes from 50 to 200 yards and areas for handgun, archery and shotgun shooting.
WATCHDOG GROUPS SAYS POT TAX OPPONENTS NEED TO REPORT CONTRIBUTIONS
A watchdog group says the free joints handed out by opponents of taxes on recreational pot must be reported as campaign contributions. The left-leaning Colorado Ethics Watch filed a complaint with the Secretary of State’s Office, saying the No Over Taxation group didn’t disclose from where it got the marijuana cigarettes it gave away or what they cost. The joints were given away at rallies in Denver and Boulder. Colorado voters will decide in November whether to impose a 15 percent excise tax and a 10 percent sales tax on retail sales that start January 1st.
In high school sports:
Moffat County goes to Aspen at 6.
Little Snake River Valley travels to HEM at 7.
In boys tennis:
Steamboat goes to state in Pueblo.
In cross country:
Moffat County, Rangely and Steamboat run at Rifle.
Meeker hosts Cedaredge at 6.
Steamboat goes to Palisade at 7.
Little Snake River Valley travels to Wyoming Indian at 7.
Rangely hosts Soroco at 7.
Moffat County heads to Glenwood. You can catch that game live on KRAI with the pregame at 6:45 and the kickoff at 7. You can also listen online.
Steamboat hosts Palisade at 6:30.
Rangely hosts Hotchkiss at 5.
Meeker is home against Paonia at 6.
Hayden welcomes Little Snake River Valley at 6:30.