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Rocky Mountain Front
Photo courtesy of Rick and Susie Graetz
Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013
produced daily by Shellie Nelson
Page 2
More news from the Rockies
Community
Xcel Energy pursues costs in Colorado city's SmartGrid project
Xcel Energy has asked the Colorado Public Utilities Commission to overturn an administrative judge's ruling that the utility was not entitled to the $16.6-million in costs for its SmartCity Grid pilot project in Boulder, and the state Office of Consumer Council is expected to ask the PUC to affirm the judge's ruling.
Denver Post; Feb. 13

Montana county official raises estimate of chemical spilled into river
Carbon County emergency coordinator Darrel Krum said that an estimated 7,000 gallons of road deicer ended up on the Clarks Fork of the Yellowstone River in Montana after Monday's accident near Belfry, about 2,000 more than originally estimated.
Great Falls Tribune (AP); Feb. 13

Snowpack lags a bit in Idaho basins
Although snowpack levels in many Idaho basins are below average for February, the state Department of Water Resources' mountain snow-water equivalent map released Monday indicates that Big Wood River basin is at 95 percent of average; the Little Wood basin is at 109 percent, and the Big Lost basin is at 120 percent.
Idaho Mountain Express (Sun Valley); Feb. 13

Mayor of Idaho city reports rebound in housing, business
In his annual speech on Tuesday, Eagle Mayor Jim Reynolds said that the number of housing permits issued by the Idaho city in 2012 was the highest since 2006, and that three new restaurants were opening soon in the city.
Idaho Statesman; Feb. 13

Colorado housing report says foreclosures in 2012 back to 2006 levels
The Colorado Division of Housing released a report today that found there were 28,579 foreclosure filings in 2012, a number not seen since before the recession, and that the number of foreclosure sales last year was the lowest since 2005.
Denver Post; Feb. 13

Environment
Rule change may close popular snowmobiling area in Colorado
Bureau of Land Management officials have been working with the Silverton Snowmobile Club to address a federal rule change that may ban the use of snowmobiles in the West Needles Contiguous Wilderness Study Area in Colorado.
Durango Herald (Silverton Standard); Feb. 13

BLM invites public to watch wild horse roundup in Utah
The Bureau of Land Management wants to gather 262 wild horses from the Swasey herd in Utah, and the roundup, which is expected to take between a week to 10 days, began on Tuesday.
Salt Lake Tribune; Feb. 13

Utah has $1 million for landowners to help fight invasive weeds
As part of the Invasive Species Mitigation Weed Control Grant for the 2013-2014 season, the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food is accepting applications through March 1 for landowners who want a slice of the $1 million available to fight noxious weeds.
Salt Lake Tribune; Feb. 13

Washington state company seeks permit to reopen gold mine in Utah
The Bureau of Land Management released a draft environmental assessment of Spokane-based Desert Hawk Gold Corp.'s proposed Kiewit Mine Project on federal, state and private lands near Gold Hill in an area of Utah where gold and silver mining was done for decades.
Salt Lake Tribune; Feb. 13

Politics
Utah senator declined chance to give tea party response to Obama speech
U.S. Sen. Mike Lee was offered the opportunity to give the tea party's response to President Obama's State of the Union speech Tuesday night, but the Utah Republican declined.
Salt Lake Tribune; Feb. 13

U.S. Senate votes 78-to-22 to expand Violence Against Women Act
On Tuesday, more Republican senators joined the ranks to approve the expansion of the 1994 Violence Against Women Act, which gives more power to American Indian courts and specifically provides protection to gay victims of domestic violence.
New York Times; Feb. 13

Legislature
Idaho House committee approves animal-abuse legislation
The Idaho House Agriculture Committee approved legislation that would allow felony charges to be filed against people who are convicted of abusing or torturing pets like dogs or cats three times.
Twin Falls Times-News; Feb. 13

Montana House fails to advance bill to establish charter schools
Republican House leaders said they were surprised by the 50-49 tally on the second vote needed to advance a measure that would establish charter schools in Montana, with six GOP legislators changing their votes to stop the bill.
Flathead Beacon (AP); Feb. 13

Montana Senate panel hears testimony on bill to expand net-metering
Sen. Mike Phillips urged members of the Montana Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee that median caps for net-metering in other states that have programs for utilities to buy unused power from small wind and solar installations on homes and businesses is about 660 kilowatts, much higher than the 100 kilowatt-cap proposed by his Senate Bill 247, but a representative of NorthWestern Energy, the state's largest utility, called the measure a subsidy for middle-class and wealthy residents.
Missoulian; Feb. 13

Redistricting panel adopts new plan for Montana
The two Republican members of the redistricting panel charged with coming up with a map redrawing Montana's legislative districts to address population changes reflected in the 2010 Census voted against the plan, which was adopted on a 3-2 vote of the panel.
Helena Independent Record; Feb. 13

Utah state representative to introduce 'Public Waters Access Act' this week
State Rep. Dixon Pitcher is expected to introduce legislation this week that would expand some of the public access lost with the passage of HB141 a couple of years ago that allows private property owners to keep anglers and others on public streams from walking on streambeds on private property.
Salt Lake Tribune; Feb. 13

Utah legislator proposes bill to give college credit for military training
The Utah Senate Education Committee unanimously approved state Rep. Paul Ray's HB254, which would give veterans college credits for military training.
Salt Lake Tribune; Feb. 13

Wyoming Senate panel sends lottery bill along to the full Senate
For the first time in nine years, legislation approved by the Wyoming House to establish a lottery in the state has made it past a Senate committee and onto the full floor of the Senate for debate.
Casper Star-Tribune; Feb. 13

Bill to raise fuel tax in Wyoming passes first of 3 votes in Senate
The Wyoming House has already approved House Bill 69, which would raise the state's fuel tax by 10 cents a gallon, and on Tuesday, the bill passed the first of three votes needed in the Senate.
Casper Star-Tribune; Feb. 13





Mountain West News is a program of the O'Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West
at The University of Montana.
"T hese systems are basically playthings for the upper middle class. You don't see any of these (projects) in a trailer park. … Who's going to pay for it? It's going to be other customers on the system."

John Fitzpatrick, NorthWestern's chief lobbyist, testifying against Senate Bill 247, which would raise Montana's cap on net-metering projects from 50 kilowatts to 100 kilowatts.
- Missoulian

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Barbara Theroux provides her annual reviews of books to give

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Montana's two-year colleges revamp education to meet changing workplace demands


11/20/2014

Mountain West Voices
Hear weekly stories from the Rocky Mountain West as gathered by Clay Scott

Mountain West News is a program of the O'Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West



at the

The University of Montana