Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tuesday September 18, 2012

Some people in Montrose are questioning the hiring of the Montrose Republican Party chairman as the new County Fleet Manager. The Montrose Daily Press says David Laursen was brought on board after a nationwide search, but previously worked on the campaign of County Commissioner David White. Commissioners say they had no hand in the hiring, that the decision was made by the county's human resources director.

House District 58 candidate Tammi Theis says she intends to move on with her campaign to unseat incumbent Republican Don Coram. Theis was cited for shoplifting, but called it an honest mistake, she said some items in her shopping cart were covered by others and not rung up at the register.  The Montrose Daily Press says some in the party have called for Theis to step out of the race.  She says he has no intention of that and will issue a news release addressing the issues.

Xcel Energy customers can expect lower utility bills in the 4th quarter of 2012.  The company says it's filed quarterly adjustment rates with the state Public Utilities Commission and if those rates are accepted, it'll mean average residential gas and electric bills will go down more than $9 for the quarter.  Average small business bills will go down about $50 in the same period.

A bill proposed by 3rd district congressman Scott Tipton will move to the Senate Energy and Resources Subcommittee on water and power. A hearing is scheduled for Wednesday for Tipton's legislation to create more rural jobs and affordable electricity by improving the regulation and development of small hydropower projects. the hearing is an encouraging sign for Tipton and he's looking forward to testifying about the impact his propsed legislation would have on western states, including colorado, where there is great potential to expand production and generate more hydro power.

CMU's department of health sciences has announced the naming of the Moss School of Nursing in recognition of the  generous support of the university by John and Angie Moss.  The Mosses recently made a significant donation to the school of nursing, continuing a tradition of supporting CMU, saying "the nursing program is one of the best in colorado and we are proud to support these aspiring medical professionals."  In addition to supporting grants and student scholarships, they were vital in the renovation of the university's performing arts center, now known as the Moss Performing Arts Center.

Waterline replacement work in downtown Grand Junction means 4th Street is closed at Grand Avenue today.  Southbound traffic will be detoured to either 7th or 1st streets during the closure.  The city says it expects 4th to reopen before 5:00 this afternoon.

Western Colorado Community College is looking at offering a two year degree for 9-1-1 dispatchers.  Dispatchers right now are only required to have a high school diploma, but Police Chief John Camper tells the Daily Sentinel an associate degree program may lead to more people seeing dispatchas a career path.  He says it would enhance the likelihood of success.

The inaugural Broadway at the Avalon series is a bust.  The last two of four shows planned have been cancelled and the city is issuing refunds to season ticket holders.  Avalon and Two Rivers acting manager Debbie Kovalik tells the Daily Sentinel royalty requirements for Miss Saigon and Oliver! far exceeded resources.  Colorado Mesa University says it'll offer discounted season passes to those who had city passes.  CMU's 4-show main stage season begins next week with "Rent."

With hunting season right around the corner, Union PAcific is reminding hunters to steer clear of hunting on railroad property.  Wildlife tends to feed near freshly harvested fields adjacent to railroad tracks making it very appealing to hunters but anyone too close to the tracks can be arrested for trespassing, injured or worse.  Over 400 people were killed last year trespassing on railroad property.