Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Wednesday June 20, 2012

The Colorado Riverfront Trail is a step closer to completion thanks to a grant from Great Outdoors Colorado.  Mesa County is getting $2.9 million and will use it to build the next section of trail between Grand Junction and Fruita.  GOCO reps are in Grand Junction today to get a closeup of where the new section will be.  The funding means the "Fruita Connection" can now be completed by 2014.

Returned ballot numbers in the Mesa County primary election are slowly inching up.  $50,000 ballots have gone out to registered party voters who have until Tuesday at 7pm to return them.  The county clerk and recorder's office says 16% of the ballots have been returned.

Colorado Attorney General John Suthers says a move by Metropolitan State College to charge a discounted tuition rate for undocumented students living in Colorado is illegal.  Suthers says under federal law, only state legislatures can pass statutes affirmatively providing tuition benefits to undocumented students.  The Colorado General Assembly has repeatedly failed to pass such a bill.

More fire restrictions in western Colorado, this time on BLM lands, the Colorado National Monument and the White River National Forest. Moisture levels are near record lows, fuels are significantly lower than kiln dried wood. Beginning Friday the stage 2 ban goes into effect banning ALL campfires in those areas.  A fire spokeswoman says there are fewer beetle-killed trees in the Grand Mesa-Uncompaghre and Gunnison National Forest so the Stage 2 restrictions won't go into effect there.

The District 51 2012-13 budget is final.  The school board last night ok'd the $154 million plan which includes $5.7 million in cuts to the general fund.  Those cuts include the elimination of 4 admin positions and several teaching jobs, along with hikes  in middle and high school athletic fees.

The High Park fire northwest of Ft. Collins has now burned close to 60,000 acres and is considered 55% contained.  189 homes have burned.  The Denver Post says the fire is the third largest ever in Colorado, behind the Hayman fire on the front range, and the 73,000 acre Missionary Ridge fire near Durango in 2002.

The High Park fire is now considered 55% contained having claimed one life and burning 189 homes.  Two other fires are still burning in the state.  The 2-square mile Springer fire in the foothills west of Colorado Springs is now considered 20% contained.  The Craig Daily Press says a fire 10 miles west of Craig has burned some 2,000 acres. Some residents were evacuated but allowed to return to their homes last night.