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Regional News

Uranium Mine on the Horizon?

Western Fremont County might become the site of multiple uranium mines if the price reaches a profitable threshold, according to The Mountain Mail.

Black Range Minerals Colorado owns the mineral rights to 13,500 acres on the Hansen site, which contains one of the largest deposits of triuranium octoxide ore, approximately 90 million pounds. The 13,500-acre site is located northeast of Cotopaxi, along Tallahassee Creek. Officials with Black Range have dubbed the site the Taylor Ranch Uranium Project.

Worldwide demand for uranium is on the increase and if prices reach $70 a pound Black Range hopes to begin borehole mining. Prices are currently $45 a pound. Permitting for the operation through multiple U.S., state and local agencies, could take up to three years.

Bike Race Gives a Pass

Officials of the USA Pro Challenge bicycle race have announced the race routes for 2013, none of which will pass through Central Colorado.

The race, which held its first stage start in downtown Salida in 2011, will begin on Aug. 19, 2013 in Aspen. It is considered to be the North American equivalent of the European Tour de France.

This year’s race will pass through Aspen, Breckenridge, Steamboat Springs, Beaver Creek, Vail, Loveland and Fort Collins with a finish in Denver.


Home Rule or Not Home Rule?

Salida residents will be voting on whether to form a home rule charter commission in a special election to be held on Jan. 15.

Salida is currently a statutory city. Colorado statutory cities operate under Title 31, Article 1, Section 203 and Article 4, Section 100 or Section 200 of the Colorado Revised Statutes. Statutory cities have an elected mayor and a city council composed of the mayor and two members elected from each ward.

In Colorado, home rule municipalities are self-governing under Article XX of the Constitution of the State of Colorado; Title 31, Article 1, Section 202 of the Colorado Revised Statutes; and the home rule charter of each municipality. The home rule charter determines the form of government. A Colorado home rule municipality may declare itself to be either a city or a town.

In the Central Colorado region, Alamosa, Cañon City, Monte Vista and Gunnison are home rule municipalities while Salida, Fairplay, Buena Vista, Leadville, Crestone, Del Norte, Saguache, Moffat and Westcliffe are statutory towns or cities.


Dougherty Gang Sentenced

Three siblings whose 2011 cross-county crime spree ended near Walsenburg have each been sentenced to 35 years in prison.

Ryan, Dylan and Lee Grace Dougherty were sentenced by a federal judge in Georgia for a bank robbery they committed in 2011. The three are also facing charges stemming from a shootout with law enforcement in Florida. After the robbery, the three drove out West and were captured after a chase ended in a rollover at an I-25 exit near Walsenburg.


Yes, It’s That Dry

The year 2012 was Colorado’s second warmest calendar year in recorded history.

Low snowpack and drought conditions are threatening ranchers and other water-dependant operations. Klaus Wolter, with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Climate Diagnostics Center forecasts below-normal chances for moisture in much of Colorado for January though March 2013, according to The Mountain Mail.

Drought conditions throughout the state are considered to be severe by the U.S. Drought Monitor.


Deputies Found Not Guilty

A verdict in favor of two former Lake County sheriff’s deputies was returned on Dec. 13.

Antonio Lobato and Aaron D’Mize were accused of using excessive force on Osvaldo Barrientos-Sanabria after a traffic stop on Colorado 91 on Fremont Pass. Barrientos-Sanabria, who was a passenger in the vehicle, claimed he sustained injuries from handcuffs that were too tight.

Shorts …

• Howard residents Jan Ferguson and Mark Watson drove two vans full of pet food to the East Coast in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. The good samaritans distributed more than 11,000 pounds of chow during their 10-day stay near Staten Island, N.Y.

• Donna Loback, who ran Loback’s Bakery on Main Street in Buena Vista for 30 years, died on Dec. 3 in Englewood, Co., at the age of 85.

• Nancy Trimm has been named the new director of the Gunnison Library District. She will be replacing Larry Meredith who has held the position for the past four years.

• WSCU president Jay Helman has announced his intention to step down in June 2014. He has been president at the school for nearly 11 years.

• Tom Heinlein of Monticello, Idaho has been named the new Colorado Front Range District Manager for the Bureau of Land Management. The district encompasses Cañon City, the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area and the San Luis Valley Field Office in Saguache.

• Bill Schucker, Salida District Ranger with the U.S. Forest Service will retire on Jan. 3 after 35 years withthe U.S.F.S.

“Notable Quotes”

“It looks like hell. We used to have nice yards. Now, it’s patriotic not to water, and we send the water to Pueblo and pay to store it, and we get little out of it.” – Salida City Councilman Jim McCormick, in a work session discussion on city water rates. The Mountain Mail, Dec. 19, 2012.