NORTHWEST COLORADO NEWS FOR WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 4TH

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CASH AND TOYS NEEDED FOR CHRISTMAS FOR KIDS DURING HOLIDAY DRIVE

christmas-tree-indoor-#2-30Christmas for Kids is just one of the organizations that benefits from the 93-7/102-3 KRAI and 55 Country Holiday Drive.  Director Amber Kawcek says every year the demand for the service grows.  Donors have been generous every year, bringing new and unwrapped toys to the drive.  Those that can’t afford the time to shop, often drop off checks designated for the program, and Kawcek says those donations are just as important as the toys themselves.  She says her team will use the cash donations to fulfill requests that might not have been filled through toy donations.  The 93-7/102-3 KRAI and 55 Country Holiday Drive takes place tomorrow and Friday, from 6 in the morning until 6 in the evening both days, in front of the Centennial Mall in Craig.  It benefits Christmas for Kids, Christmas for Seniors, the Interfaith Food Bank in Craig, and Advocates Crisis Support Services.  If you’d like more information, including a list of needed items, click the Holiday Drive button above.

 

RANGELY SCHOOLS CLOSED TODAY DUE TO WEATHER

rangelyLast night’s snow storm has prompted the Rangely School District to cancel classes for the day.  Superintendent Matt Scoggins says the storm brought so much snow, ice, and wind that he felt it would be safer for kids to stay home today.  He said snow drifts and ice are making travel difficult, which also affects the district’s school busses.  Classes are expected to resume tomorrow.

 

GOVERNOR APPOINTS “POINT MAN” FOR SAGE GROUSE ISSUES

sage_grouse-300Moffat County Commissioner John Kinkaid says he is cautiously optimistic that Governor Hickenlooper is interested in helping the county out with sage grouse issues.  The governor has appointed a “point person” to formulate a Colorado solution to keep the Greater Sage Grouse from being listed as an endangered species.  During the governor’s recent visit to Craig, the commissioners asked the governor to do exactly that, and he has complied.  John Swartout is the man that will lead that effort, and he will answer directly to the governor.  Kinkaid says they were given assurances by the governor when he made the appointment, that his commitment and resolve will last beyond November of 2014.

 

HICKENLOOPER SAYS SECESSION EFFORT WILL STRENGTHEN STATE

SECESSION COVotes in 11 rural counties on whether to secede from Colorado sparked debates that ultimately will strengthen the state.  That’s according to Governor Hickenlooper.  Speaking to Colorado Counties Incorporated, which represents the interests of local governments, Hickenlooper yesterday repeated his pledge to listen more to rural communities.  The governor has been criticized by rural counties over legislation he signed that implemented new gun restrictions and higher renewable energy standards for electricity cooperatives.  The frustration prompted 11 counties to hold a largely symbolic vote in November on whether to secede from Colorado.  Hickenlooper said the secession question “really led to debates and discussions that are going to make counties stronger and, ultimately make the state stronger.”  Hickenlooper, who is running for a second term, has seen his popularity wane after he and fellow Front Range Democrats controlling the Colorado Legislature advanced proposals that were unappealing to rural parts of the state.

 

RIVER DISTRICT ACCEPTING GRANT APPLICATIONS FOR RIVER PROJECTS

CO-river-district-300Effective immediately, the Colorado River District is accepting grant applications for projects that protect, enhance or develop water resources within its 15-county region.  Projects eligible for the grant program must achieve one or more of the following objectives: develop a new water supply, improve an existing system, improve instream water quality, increase water use efficiency, reduce sediment loading, implement a watershed management action, control invasive riparian vegetation, or protect pre-Colorado River Compact water rights.  Successful grantees can receive up to a maximum of $150,000, or approximately 25% of the total project cost, for their project. The total amount available for the 2014 competitive grant program is $250,000. The application deadline is January 31st.  For more information, click here.

 

DROUGHT PERSISTS IN MOST OF COLORADO

SNOWPACKDespite some good early snowfall, drought conditions persist through most of Colorado.  The U.S. Drought Monitor says three-quarters of the state is in some form of drought. Conditions are the worst in the Arkansas Valley in southeastern Colorado.  Only the South Platte and the North Platte basins, hit by September’s flooding, are listed as drought free.  Municipal water providers aren’t too worried right now because there’s more water in reservoirs than there was at this time last year.  Snowpack levels are above average but that isn’t considered a predictor of next year’s water supply since most of the state’s snow typically doesn’t come until March and April.

 

COGA TAKES LEGAL ACTION AGAINST CITY FRACKING BANS

Co-Oil-Gas-300Yesterday, the Colorado Oil & Gas Association (COGA) took legal action against the oil and gas bans in Fort Collins and Lafayette. COGA contends these bans are illegal since state regulations specify, and the state Supreme Court has ruled that oil and gas development, which must employ hydraulic fracturing or fracking, supersedes local laws and cannot be banned.  Every aspect of drilling, including hydraulic fracturing, is tightly regulated in Colorado. The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) is the lead agency for oil and gas oversight, with additional rule by numerous other state and federal agencies. The COGCC rules are recognized nationally as the most comprehensive in the country.

agenda tile -450 Steamboat City Council agenda for 12-17