KENT NIELSON APPOINTED TO CRAIG CITY COUNCIL
Kent Nielson has been appointed to replace Gene Bilodeau on the Craig City Council. Bilodeau stepped down last month after taking a job with the University Center in South Dakota. There were three people who submitted letters of interest to take his place, and Mayor Terry Carwile says all three were very qualified candidates. They were Nielson, former Councilman Thom Gilchrest, and former Moffat County School Board Member Andrea Camp. Nielson is also a former Councilman. Carwile says it was a tough decision that took three council votes to find a winner. Nielson started his term last night, and will serve for the next 15 months, at which point his seat will come up for reelection.
KINKAID TO TESTIFY FOR SENATE BILL 35
Moffat County Commissioner John Kinkaid has been asked to testify in favor of Senate Bill 35. Senate Bill 35 would completely repeal last year’s Senate Bill 252, the rural electric mandate. Republican Ted Harvey is the sponsor of the bill. He has asked that Kinkaid testify how the bill hurts rural Coloradans. The testimony will take place at 1:30 today in Denver. Kinkaid says anyone can testify, and he would encourage others to make the trip as well. Pictured: John Kinkaid
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT FORUM PLANNED FOR RIO BLANCO COUNTY
A citizen’s forum on economic development for Rio Blanco County will be held January 25 at the historic Meeker Hotel Dining Room. The forum will be an opportunity to learn about a variety of efforts and programs that are being considered to improve the economy throughout the county, and for citizens to have input and suggestions on ideas that may provide viable solutions. All Meeker, Rangely and Rio Blanco County residents are invited and encouraged to participate. Representatives from the Colorado Tourism Office have been invited to share insight into programs that have worked well in other rural communities. The Colorado Commission on Agriculture will also provide input and discussion. Other presenters invited are from the Office of Economic Development’s Colorado Creative Industries, who will discuss designation as a Creative District. Other discussions will include repurposing and restoring historic downtown areas as attractions to visitors. The meeting takes place from 1:30 to 4. If you have questions, or you would like to reserve your spot, call 878-4832.
GROUP SAYS FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT REVEALS CONSPIRACY AGAINST COAL
A 2012 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed by the Energy & Environment Legal Institute (E&E Legal), has produced several hundred documents affirming the uncomfortably close working relationship between the EPA and activist left-wing environmental groups in their effort to make abundant energy resources, particularly coal, much more scarce in America. The request followed a lawsuit filed after an EPA Freedom of Information specialist admitted she and her colleague were instructed to do no work on the requests. EELI says records illustrate how certain EPA employees with backgrounds working for green pressure groups serve as liaisons to those groups in advancing a shared agenda. Other documents affirm the close advisory role the pressure groups play in key EPA actions, like the recently published New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for new coal-fired plants. The EELI says the level of coordination in the documents is shocking, showing, for example, Sierra Club strategizing with EPA’s former green group activists, and other senior Obama appointees, about killing the coal and coal-fired electricity industries, even sharing a joke in one particular email saying EPA administrator Gina McCarthy had her “pants on fire” when assuring those parties they would remain viable under EPA’s regulations.
TIPTON QUESTIONS ADMINISTRATIONS SEQUESTRATION TACTICS
Yesterday, in a House Natural Resources Committee hearing, Congressman Scott Tipton (R-CO) questioned Robert Bonnie, U.S. Department of Agriculture Undersecretary for Natural Resources and Environment, on the Administration’s attempts to make the implementation of sequestration as painful as possible by implementing reductions to 2012 Secure Rural Schools (SRS) payments under the 2013 sequestration. In September 2013, the Natural Resources Committee issued subpoenas to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for documents related to the Administration’s decision to impose 2013 sequester cuts to 2012 SRS payments, which amounted to a loss of $786,915 for Colorado. The Administration has yet to fully comply with the subpoenas or provide an explanation of the legal authority for the retroactive taking of SRS funds. Pictured: Scott Tipton
STEPHENS COMMENTS ON 2ND ROUND OF HEALTH CARE CANCELLATIONS
Republican Senate candidate Amy Stephens yesterday spoke out about the second round of ObamaCare cancellations. It was reported yesterday that millions of people who receive health care through small businesses will lose their coverage the end of 2014. In a statement issues yesterday, Stephens said “this report should remind Senator Udall that despite his shameful attempt to pressure Colorado officials to alter state ObamaCare cancellation data, more and more Coloradans are facing the disastrous consequences of this terrible law.” Stephens is running against Udall for his senate seat. Yesterday the Department of Regulatory Affairs wrote letters to Stephens and Representative Cory Gardner, supporting Udall’s controversial actions regarding Health Exchange numbers. While Republicans say Udall was trying to “cook the books” to make the numbers look better, the Department says his numbers are more relevant to the public. Pictured: Amy Stephens
FEMA RELEASES NUMBERS ON FLOOD COSTS
The Federal Emergency Management Agency says nearly $246 million in federal aid has flowed into Colorado since the deadly September floods. FEMA said yesterday the aid includes $96 million in loans, $59.3 million in flood insurance settlements and $54.5 million in housing assistance. Another $31.3 million has been designated for debris removal and related infrastructure repairs and more than $4.6 million was awarded for flood-related medical expenses, property losses and other costs. The mid-September floods killed nine people and damaged or destroyed nearly 2,000 homes.
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.