Craig briefs: Coffee and a Newspaper set to take place Wednesday | CraigDailyPress.com

Craig briefs: Coffee and a Newspaper set to take place Wednesday

Join Craig Daily Press Publisher Renee Campbell and Managing Editor Noelle Leavitt Riley for Coffee and a Newspaper where they will discuss the South Beach and the Stewardship Trust. South Beach is an access point to the Yampa River in Craig and is at risk of loosing its protection from the Colorado State Land Board. The conversation will take place at 7 a.m. Wednesday at The Memorial Hospital. The Craig Daily Press will provide coffee and pastries.

70th Colorado General Assembly convenes Wednesday

Colorado's 70th legislative session kicks off today with a Republican Senate and a Democratic House. Each legislator can introduce five bills in the approximately five-month period between Wednesday and the session's end, sometime in May.

Rep. Bob Rankin, R-Carbondale, said the Legislature will focus on education, transportation, stunted economic growth in rural areas and broadband access during this session.

Sen. Randy Baumgardner, R-Cowdrey, said he's expecting to see legislation proposing to raise the tobacco smoking age to 21 and legislation regulating the marijuana industry.

Gas prices continue to dip; average price is $2.07

Average retail gasoline prices in Colorado have fallen 11 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.07 per gallon on Sunday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 2,158 gas outlets in Colorado. That figure compares with the national average that has fallen 7.7 cents per gallon in the last week to $2.19 per gallon, according to gasoline price website http://www.gasbuddy.com.

Gas prices in Craig continue to dip, yet they stay well above the state average at $2.54 per gallon.

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Including the change in gas prices in Colorado during the past week, prices on Sunday were 110.8 cents per gallon lower than the same day one year ago and are 67.3 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average has decreased 52.8 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 112.7 cents per gallon lower than this day one year ago.

"As we've welcomed in the new year, gas prices have stayed at their bargain basement levels in most states, with just a few seeing minor gas tax increases," Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst with GasBuddy, said in a statement. "2015 will be a far better year at the pump than what we saw in 2014, and motorists will fare substantially better, shelling out $96 billion less this year at the gas pump with motorists in most states seeing far more $2 gas than $3 gas. And while gasoline consumers have been celebrating, diesel consumers have been slowly joining the party, with diesel prices declining an average 44 cents per gallon in the last month. And while the party is nearing an end for falling gasoline prices, the diesel price decline has much catching up to do. I see diesel prices declining another 35 to 50 cents a gallon nationally over the next month or so," DeHaan noted.

Hickenlooper names new CDOT executive

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper announced that Shailen Bhatt will be the next executive director for the Colorado Department of Transportation. He will begin at CDOT in mid-February, according to a press release from the governor's office.

Bhatt most recently served as Cabinet Secretary for the Delaware Department of Transportation where he directed nearly a $1 billion budget and managed 2,800 employees and the state's transportation system. During his term, Bhatt successfully delivered $2 billion in infrastructure investments, managed the disaster recovery of two hurricanes and strengthened the financial stewardship of the department by reducing agency debt by nearly 40 percent and increasing funds available for infrastructure. Prior to serving at DelDOT, Bhatt was an Associate Administrator at the Federal Highway Administration. There he helped establish the Every Day Counts initiative focused on accelerating project delivery and deploying innovation. He also served as a Deputy Executive Director with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. He currently serves as Chair of the Interstate 95 Corridor Coalition, on the Executive Committee of AASHTO and is President of the Northeast Association of State Transportation Officials.


"Shailen not only brings incredible transportation experience to CDOT, he is a known consensus builder who can continue to build the alliances and the transportation system Colorado needs to support our state's economy and people's lives," Hickenlooper said in a statement. "His experience in disaster recovery, transportation planning and innovative project delivery will help build on the successes that Don Hunt has led to improve safety and congestion on our roadways."

The outgoing CDOT director is Don Hunt. Hunt will remain at CDOT through the end of February to transition with Bhatt and then will return to his project development and advisory firm, The Antero Company. 

Tipton enters Congress with focus on job creation

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congressman Scott Tipton, R-Colorado, stressed that local economic growth and job creation remain at the center of his focus as he was sworn into the 114th Congress on Tuesday, according to a press release from Tipton's office.

"It's a privilege to serve the people of Colorado's 3rd Congressional District and I'm honored to have earned their trust for another term," Tipton said in a statement. "I'm looking forward to continuing to fight for their issues in Washington and get our country on a stronger course."

Tipton, who ran a small business for more than 30 years, is beginning his third term in the U.S. House of Representatives. In the 113th Congress he passed five pieces of legislation through the House, all with bipartisan support, two of which were signed into law.

"With the new Senate coming in, there is great optimism in the House that we will get many good bills to the President's desk that have been stalled by Harry Reid in the past. If the President will work with us, we have an opportunity to get things done in Washington, especially in terms of encouraging economic growth and job creation at the local level. Local economic development continues to be my focus and will guide the work I do in this Congress as I serve on the Financial Services Committee and on the Congressional Small Business and Western Caucuses among others," Tipton said. "In addition to renewing efforts from the previous Congress to establish an all-of-the-above American energy plan, defend private water rights from federal takings, and encourage healthy forest management and wildfire prevention, I plan to advance legislation to improve opportunities for small businesses and strengthen Main Street by reducing regulatory hurdles, increasing transparency and expanding access to capital."

Tipton will serve on the House Committee on Financial Services in the 114th Congress, as well as in senior roles on the Congressional Small Business Caucus (of which he is the co-founder) and on the Western Caucus.

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