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ELECTION DAY POSES TAX, SECESSION QUESTIONS FOR COLORADANS
Today is Election Day. Although this year is an off-year election, there are several important issues on ballots across the state. One of the most notable is the issue of secession. Moffat County voters will join ten other counties in deciding whether or not they want their local officials to pursue research into what it would take to secede from Colorado. The vote is NOT a vote to actually secede, but simply a vote to allow the research to be done. Moffat County Commissioner John Kinkaid has estimated that the initials costs of the research will likely be less than $1,000. Kinkaid also says his efforts would likely be spent looking into getting a Senator for Moffat County. Statewide, voters will decide whether to throw nearly a billion dollars at Colorado schools. Proponents say schools need more money, while opponents say the biggest tax increase in Colorado history won’t solve any problems without a plan to implement it. A statewide taxing system for recreational marijuana is also on the ballot. Proponents of that plan say the extra money will be used for drug education and schools. Opponents say the 30-40 percent tax is too high. If voters refuse that tax, recreational marijuana will still be available for sale at retail stores, however the state will only be able to collect the 2.9% sales tax. Voters in the Shadow Mountain Subdivision in Craig will also vote on a tax to pay for water line replacement, and curb and gutter improvements. Moffat County voters are also deciding whether they want to allow a third term for certain elected positions. Ballots must be turned in by 7 tonight at the courthouses in Craig, Steamboat and Meeker, or at the County Annex office in Rangely. Election results should start coming in sometime after 8 tonight and will be made available through the links above.
SEX OFFENDER RE-SENTENCED AFTER REFUSING TREATMENT
On Friday, 40-year old Stagecoach man Daveth Young was sentenced to the maximum of 24 months in the Routt County Jail for the crime of Unlawful Sexual Contact, a class one misdemeanor and a crime of extraordinary risk. Young, accused of molesting a 7-year old boy, had earlier entered into a plea agreement calling for 30 days in jail, and five years of supervised probation. He was resentenced at his request after refusing to comply with probation and sex-offender treatment. Young will still be required to register as a sex-offender.
DONATIONS SOUGHT FOR FAMILY AFTER HOUSE FIRE
Donations are being solicited for the Oxleys, whose house burned down in Craig Sunday night. The Craig Chamber of Commerce, Chris Oxley’s place of employment, is now taking donations to help get the family of five get back on their feet. A barbecue grill caught the east end of the house on fire and quickly spread, destroying the entire upper floor of the home, and a large portion of the first floor. The family was able to get out of the house without injury, but they left everything behind when they evacuated. The chamber is collecting gift cards, cash and clothes. There will also be a Skate and Soup fundraiser at Loudy Simpson Ice Arena Saturday 1 to 4, the proceeds of which will go to the Oxleys.
KRAI HOLIDAY DRIVE A MONTH AWAY
Recent cold weather and snow serves as a reminder that the holidays are right around the corner. The 15th annual 93-7/102-3 KRAI & 55 Country Holiday Drive is a month away. The Holiday Drive which will be held on Thursday and Friday, December 5th and 6th, from 6 in the morning to 6 in the evening both days, will again have the KRAI and 55 Country staff, Santa Claus and dozens of volunteers gathering outside the Centennial Mall in Craig to take donations of new unwrapped toy’s, gifts for senior citizens, non-perishable food, and cash. 100% of all donations received will go to help your friends and neighbors though Christmas for Kids, Christmas for Seniors, the Interfaith Food Bank and Advocates Crisis Support Services. To find out how you can help with the Holiday Drive, call 824-6574. To get you in the mood for the holidays, KRAI.com has launched the Continuous Christmas Channel. You’ll find a link at the top of this page.
TIME CHANGE BRINGS INCREASED RISK OF HITTING WILDLIFE
Wildlife may not have to wrestle with changing the time on their microwave oven but the weather and human clock changes can pose some challenges for animals moving to lower elevations in advance of the coming winter. Colorado Parks and Wildlife is reminding drivers that with dusk arriving earlier, the chances increase for collisions with deer and elk on Colorado’s roads. Along with reduced visibility for drivers, deer are also more vulnerable because November is the peak of the mating season, resulting in more mobile, easily distracted animals. Wildlife officials say deer and elk often travel in herds. If you see one animal on the road, generally there’s another one coming. During the fall months, large groups of deer and elk will move from high-altitude summer range into low-elevation valleys where they can more readily find food to survive the winter. Those lower valleys are also where many roads and communities are found, increasing the likelihood of human-wildlife conflicts such as vehicle collisions. If an animal is hit, wildlife officials advise drivers to report the incident to law enforcement and call 911 if there are any human injuries.
SENATE PANEL TO DISCUSS RESTORING FIRE PREVENTION FUNDS
A Senate panel today will explore pre-emptive measures to reduce the spiraling cost of wildfires across the West. The Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation, Forestry and Natural Resources will discuss how reduced budgets and forest management affect the risk of catastrophic wildfires. Members will hear from the Forest Service’s top wildfire deputy, a logging industry official, a conservationist, county leader and the CEO of a Colorado ski area that operates on agency lands. The hearing comes months after Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell ordered the transfer of $600 million from non-fire forest stewardship accounts to help shore up its depleted wildfire suppression fund. It was the seventh time in the past 12 years that the Forest Service has run out of suppression funds, a trend that threatens significant disruptions to agency programs. The funding reduction stems, in part, from the need to meet the rising cost of suppression. But lawmakers of both parties have also blamed the White House Office of Management and Budget for doubting the cost-effectiveness of hazardous fuel removal.