News, November 20th


Glenwood Springs–A few more people in Colorado found jobs last month. According to the latest report from the state labor department, October’s jobless figure improved 1/10th of a percentage point from September to 7.9%. In the tri-county area of Garfield, Pitkin and Eagle, the job market weakened. In Garfield County, unemployment jumped from 7 to 7.3 percent. Eagle County’s numbers rose from 7.7 to 8.2 percent and Pitkin County’s jobless figures skyrocketed two full percentage points to an even 9 percent. The largest over-the-month private sector job gains were in professional and business services, health and education. Jobs in mining, logging and construction were down slightly in October.


VIENNA (AP) – The head of the U.N. drug watchdog agency is urging U.S. federal officials to challenge ballot measures in Colorado and Washington that decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana for adults 21 and over. Raymond Yans says the approvals send “a wrong message to the rest of the nation and it sends a wrong message abroad.” Yans heads the International Narcotics Control Board. He told The Associated Press on Tuesday he hopes Attorney General Eric Holder “will take all the necessary measures” to ensure that marijuana possession and use remains illegal throughout the U.S. Both states are holding off on plans to regulate and tax the drug while waiting to see whether the Justice Department will assert federal authority over drug law.


DENVER (AP) – Colorado homeowners have received $207.4 million in mortgage relief under a landmark settlement over foreclosure abuses. Colorado Attorney General John Suthers Monday announced that 3,700 struggling homeowners in the state received help under the agreement reached in February with five banks. Attorneys general from 49 states and the federal government forged the $25 billion settlement with Ally Financial Inc., Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc. and Wells Fargo & Co. The relief came in the form of principal reduction and debt forgiveness to help reduce monthly payments or help with short sales, in which lenders agree to accept less than what the seller owes on the mortgage.
Nationwide, more than 309,000 borrowers have received some form of mortgage relief between March 1 and Sept. 30.


GREELEY (AP) – An unprecedented number of Colorado corn farmers are going back into their fields after harvest to gather leftover corn stalks. That’s because drought has limited the supply of other cattle feed sources, and corn stalk prices are high. Most years, corn stalk isn’t valuable enough to justify the expense of baling it. Prices of $100 to $125 a ton have made the stalk worth gathering instead of tilling back into the soil. Last week’s Colorado Crop Progress report showed 97 percent of the state’s corn had already been harvested. That’s well ahead of most years.