Friday, January 18, 2013

Friday January 18, 2013

Colorado Senator Mark Udall is in western Colorado today, talking mine clean up and small business.  In Summit County Udall will talk about an EPA rule he championed to help people clean up abandoned mine sites throughout Colorado and the west. The he stops at Fiberforge, a Glenwood Springs-based company that produces lightweight thermoplastics and composite parts.  Udall is in Grand Junction tomorrow talking pros and cons of changing the Colorado National Monument to a National Park.

The state health department is helping 21 doctors dentists and nurses pay off their education loans in exchange for taking jobs in rural and urban areas with a shortage of health professionals.  Those in the 2012 grant cycle administered in November agree to a three year term in communities including Montrose, Rifle, and Meeker.

AmeriCorps in Mesa County is celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day by encouraging residents to take part in Random Acts of Kindness. The group says it's honoring King's message of nonviolence and honoring the victims of the Connecticut shootings by joining a nationwide movement known as "26 Acts of Kindness." Americorps in Mesa County is a Hilltop program.

The BLM has improved parking and trail accessibility at the McInnis Canyons and Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Areas, and getting ready to add more upgrades. Plans are in the works to continue with improvements at Dominguez-Escalante to reopen the area to horses.  Horses haven't been allowed on the trails at Bridgeport since water damage in 2011.

Commercial oil shale production?  It could happen this summer in the Uintah Basin in Utah.  According to the Daily Sentinel Red Leaf Resources is planning to begin construction with a goal of producing the equivalent of 10,000 barrels of oil per day by 2015.  Research projects in Colorado are on a different course, but backed in part by one of the backers of the Red Leaf project.

A group of 4th and 5th graders from New Emerson Elementary in Grand Junction is heading to Golden to compete in a robotics contest.  It's call FIRST LEGO and encourages kids to build robots using LEGO pieces.  The kids from New Emerson call themselves Team TEN which stands for Tomorrow's Engineers Now.  The Daily Sentinel says the team took second at a regional competition in Glenwood Springs in November.

Mesa County Crime Stoppers are looking for a person who shot a horse on Glade Park.  The tan quarter horse was killed sometime between December 26th and 28th, shot one time at close range with a small-caliber gun. You can call 241-STOP or go to with information.

An administrative law judge has denied a request by Xcel Energy to collect more than 16 and a half million dollars from customers for its SmartGridCity project launched in Boulder in 2008.  The project was supposed to cost $15 million but ended up with costing more than $44 million.  The Denver Post says the judge's ruling now goes before the Public Utilities Commission which will make a final decision.

A couple thousand tickets were passed out, several hundred people attended last night's reopening of the Aurora Century Theater where 12 people were killed and 70 injured in July.  Officials from the theater's owner, Aurora's mayor and Governor John Hickenlooper all spoke to the crowd before the showing of The Hobbit. Many of the victims were in attendance saying it was important for them to see the remodeled theater and move on.

The mother of two boys who died after being left in her car with the heat running has waived extradition and will be returned to Grand Junction from Florida.  24 year old Heather Jensen was arrested Wednesday on a warrant accusing her of criminally negligent homicide and child abuse resulting in death.  The Daily Sentinel is reporting Jensen has had dealings with social services regarding drug use.

The Grand Valley Health Fair is getting a make-over after 30 years.  The fair has been associated with the 9health Organization, but will become an entirely local event this year.  The fair will move from spring to fall with a goal of increasing participation by the un and under-insured.  The Mesa County Health Department will be the main driver of the fair.