NEWS, JULY 19TH

Glenwood Springs–Campers in the White River National Forest can once again roast marshmallows and hot dogs around a campfire. Forest Service Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams lifted the Stage 2 fire ban. Officials with the Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management Unit say moisture levels in the backcountry have increased enough in the last couple of weeks that it was safe to go back to Stage 1. Eagle County Sheriff Joe Hoy is also going from a Stage 2 to Stage 1 level as of midnight. Garfield and Pitkin County on the other hand are not ready to lift the Stage 2 ban. Conditions are still very dry in lower elevations and the potential for wildfires is extreme.

Garfield / Routt County–Two wildfires broke out yesterday on the Western Slope. The Brush Creek Fire on Douglas Pass started around 10-am and has burned over 100 acres. The fire is just east of the Utah state line and a handful of structures are in it’s path. Further east, a 100 acre fire in Routt County was ignited by lightning around 1 in the afternoon. That fire started in a hayfield just east of the Elkhead Reservoir and was fully contained last night.

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – A new survey of bankers suggests the economy is slowing down in rural areas of 10 Midwest and Western states because of drought conditions. The overall economic index dropped into negative territory at 47.9 in June from May’s 56.7. Any score below 50 on the index, which ranges from 1 to 100, suggests contraction in the months ahead. The survey covers parts of Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming. It focuses on communities with 1,300 residents, on average. Creighton University economist Ernie Goss says the drought is hard on farmers, livestock producers and ethanol plants in the region. The confidence index collapsed to 40.9 in June from May’s strong 58.5. That suggests bankers aren’t confident in the economy over the next six months.

DENVER (AP) – The Colorado Court of Appeals has upheld a new state policy allowing advanced-practice nurses to administer anesthesia without a doctor’s supervision. The court ruled today that the law allows trained nurses to perform advanced medical treatment without supervision as long as it is approved by state officials. The Colorado Society of Anesthesiologists and the Colorado Medical Society filed a lawsuit challenging the change.

DENVER (AP) – Abound Solar is blaming Chinese companies for causing it to declare bankruptcy. Former executives of the Loveland company testified before Congress yesterday that Chinese companies sold solar panels under cost and they couldn’t compete. The company received a $400 million loan guarantee from the federal government before it filed for bankruptcy July 2.

BOULDER, Colo. (AP) – A former district attorney lead investigator on the JonBenet Ramsey murder case says he is still hoping the case will be solved. James Kolar has written a book saying evidence raises questions an intruder was responsible. The Daily Camera reports Kolar doesn’t say who he thinks killed JonBenet, the 6-year-old beauty queen who was found dead in 1996.

BELLVUE, Colo. (AP) – Wolves evacuated from a sanctuary during a wildfire west of Fort Collins are back home. About 30 hybrid wolves had been turned over to the Wolves Offered Life & Friendship Sanctuary after their owners couldn’t provide for them. They were evacuated as the fire swept through High Park last month, killing one person, burning about 136 square miles and destroying nearly 260 houses. The wolves came through unscathed.

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