FIRST STORM OF NEW YEAR POUNDS COLORADO
Undated—Most of Colorado is under a big, white blanket thanks to the first major snowstorm of 2017. The snow and high winds that kicked in last night in Western Colorado forced the the school districts in Eagle and Summit County to cancel classes for the day. Elsewhere, students from Parachute to Aspen were told to bundle up and get to class. The morning commute along I-70 and Highway 82 was pretty treacherous but only a handful of minor accidents were reported including a rollover on westbound I-70 at the Silt on-ramp and a one-car accident before Old Snowmass. The National Weather Service says the winter storm warning is in effect until 5 o’clock tomorrow morning.
NATURAL HERITAGE RESOURCES SURVEY GIVES GARCO HIGH MARKS
Glenwood Springs—Garfield County’s plants and animals are doing quite well according to one expert. Delia Malone is a botanist and ecologist with the Colorado Natural Heritage Program. She supervised a biological resources survey of the county examining everything from the Hanging Garden Sullivantia in East Parachute Creek to Northern Leopard Frogs in the Colorado River. Malone tells the Garfield County Board of Commissioners, the county is a special place for plants and wildlife. The program also looked at Cutthroat Trout at Battlement Creek and noxious weeds.
CONNECT FOR HEALTH COLORADO OWES MONEY
Denver—The state of Colorado should repay almost 10 million dollars for grants that were used to set up the health exchange, “Connect for Health Colorado.” According to an audit conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Connect for Health did a poor job of documenting how over four million dollars was spent on contractors and consultants. Auditors also say another 4.5 million dollars in grant money that was supposed to be spent by the end of 2014 on pre-paid contracts isn’t properly accounted for. Nearly 184 million dollars was granted to Connect for Health by the federal government to set up the program. Officials with the exchange disagree on how much money should have to be refunded.