Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Brophy will be in Northwest Colorado this week. Brophy plans to make a stop in Craig tomorrow for a campaign rally at the Moffat County Fairgrounds Pavillion. That appearance is scheduled for noon. At 6 tomorrow evening, Brophy will attend the Routt County GOP Central Committeee Meeting in Steamboat. Thursday, Brophy will meet with residents and the Meeker Sportsman’s Club at killowatt Kornier in Meeker at 7 in the evening. He’ll return to Routt County Friday, where he’ll host Meet and Greets at Mountain Brew in Steamboat at 8 in the morning, and at River Rock Cafe in Walden at noon. Brophy is making a visit to every one of Colorado’s Counties while campaigning for governor. He lives in Wray.
SHELL ABANDONS OIL SHALE PROJECTS
Royal Dutch Shell PLC became the latest company to abandon efforts to turn Western Slope oil shale into oil, joining a long line of companies in a boom and bust cycle in the region. The company said energy markets have changed since the project started in 1982, and the company no longer wants to continue efforts to turn oily shale rock into liquid by heating the rock and pumping out the oil. Chevron stopped its oil shale research in Rio Blanco County in February 2012.
FOREST OFFICIALS SAY THEY’LL START SLASH PILE BURNING SOON
Fire crews from the Medicine Bow and Routt National Forests are making plans to begin burning slash piles in multiple locations as soon as weather conditions allow. Slash pile burns will take place in both Wyoming and Colorado, where it is estimated that even after multiple years of this type of work, there are still thousands of piles remaining in the two National Forests. Forest users and the public should be aware that smoke from these burns will often be visible and is expected. Over the last few years, the two Forests have been able to complete many tree-removal projects, often along travel corridors and in recreation areas, reducing hazardous fuels generated from the bark beetle epidemic. The main objective of the pile burns is to reduce the remaining dead fuels. The burning of those fuels by the Forest Service is in the best interest of long-term public safety. Routt National Forest officials are also assessing the feasibility of conducting two multi-acre, prescribed burns this fall, one near the Indian Run State Wildlife Area in western Routt County, south of Hayden, and one near the Seedhouse Guard Station in north Routt County, 20 miles north of Steamboat. Pile burning will continue all fall and winter, as long as weather permits.
BLAME IS SPREAD AROUND FOR GOVERNMENT SHUT-DOWN
For the first time in 17 years, portions of the U.S. government are in shut-down mode, because lawmakers failed to compromise on federal health care. Republicans in the House wanted Obamacare delayed for a year, or defunded all together. Democrats wouldn’t budge. In fact Republicans tried introducing 4 different measures that would have avoided a shut down, while delaying the implementation of Obamacare. Statements are being made by both sides, blaming each other for the shut-down. Republican Representative Cory Gardner says “Republicans in both chambers of Congress have made attempts to negotiate with a President and his party that refuses to do the same.” He went on to say that lambasting your opponents for failing to compromise while simultaneously refusing to negotiate is pathetic at best. While most Democratic statements blamed republicans for the shut-down, the ACLU had a different tact. In what seems to be misdirected frustration, President Richard Trumka says it’s clear republicans are just mad that Obama was elected president. With last night’s vote, implementation of the highly unpopular Obamacare begins today. It’s expected to raise premiums for most American families.
EAGLE-NET SAYS NO PLANS TO CONNECT RURAL COLORADO
Last week, representatives from Eagle-Net Alliance provided answers to many questions long sought by the General Assembly’s Audit Committee. One answer in particular has rural areas concerned. Last Wednesday’s hearing was intended to bring transparency and accountability to the stimulus-funded, taxpayer-supported broadband entity that is now competing with private companies, as well as other government-funded programs, to provide broadband Internet services to schools and other public entities. Westminster-based Eagle-Net Alliance received a $100.6 million federal grant in 2010 to improve broadband service for schools. But with about 90 percent of the money spent by May, Eagle-Net had connected less than half of the 168 school districts that it sought to link to a broadband network by August 2013. Others have multiple connections. Colorado Community Access Alliance says in last week’s hearing revealed that Eagle-Net has no intention of focusing on connecting unserved schools and communities in rural Colorado. In a statement, Eagle-net president Michael Ryan said “We’re not aiming for underserved and rural areas. What we’re aiming for is to build a network throughout the state of Colorado.”
BALLOT MEASURE WOULD ADD “UNBORN HUMANS” TO CRIMINAL CODE
A ballot measure about crimes and pregnant women could be on 2014 Colorado ballots. Anti-abortion backers turned in signatures yesterday to petition a measure onto ballots. The question would direct state lawmakers to add “unborn human beings” to state criminal code. Supporters say that state law doesn’t adequately punish crimes against pregnant women. The measure is different than previous attempts to add so-called “personhood” measures to the constitution. Those measures have failed twice in Colorado. Abortion-rights advocates say the ballot measure under consideration this year still goes too far. They say the criminal code could curb abortion rights and some infertility treatments. The secretary of state has 30 days to determine whether enough signatures were turned in to put the question on 2014 ballots.
CHILD ABUSER SENTENCED IN WYOMING
District Court Judge Richard Lavery passed sentence yesterday in District Court in Green River on a Farson man convicted in May for crimes committed against a minor. 35 year old Marty Rhodes, was found guilty in May of Child Abuse and Sexual Abuse of a Minor in the Third Degree, both felonies. Deputy County Attorney Suzannah Gambell, who prosecuted Rhodes at trial, described him as a “manipulator” and an “evil man” and asked for the maximum penalty on both charges. Under state statute, the maximum penalty for Child Abuse is five years of imprisonment; for Sexual Abuse of a Minor in the Third Degree the maximum is 15 years. Rhodes’s attorney, Kent Brown, asked that his client be granted probation so he could take care of his ill mother. However, Lavery sentenced Rhodes to imprisonment for four years for the Child Abuse charge, and a minimum of 13 years for Sexual Abuse of a Minor in the Third Degree, and ordered that the sentences be served consecutively. Rhodes will receive credit for 476 days already served.
In high school sports:
Moffat County goes to Grand Valley at 6:30.
Steamboat hosts Battle Mountain at 6:30.
Soroco is home against Vail Christian at 4.
In boys golf:
Steamboat goes to state.