Colorado News Roundup: Magnitude 3.9 quake hits near New Mexico-Colorado line (08.23.16) |

Colorado News Roundup: Magnitude 3.9 quake hits near New Mexico-Colorado line (08.23.16)

Spruce Tree House, shown here in the late morning hours, was one of the biggest cliff dwellings established by the puebloans. Mesa Verde is now considering raising fees for the park for next year.
Jon Mitchell / |


TRINIDAD, Colo. — The U.S. Geological Survey has downgraded the strength of a small earthquake near the New Mexico-Colorado border.

Geophysicist Don Blakeman says Tuesday’s quake had a magnitude of 3.9.

Initial reports put the magnitude at 4.5.

The quake struck just before 11 a.m. and was centered about 26 miles west-southwest of Trinidad, Colorado.

Authorities in Las Animas County, Colorado, and in New Mexico’s Colfax and Taos counties say there are no reports of damage.

Colorado Springs hailstorm caused $352.8 million in damage

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The July 28 hailstorm that hit Colorado Springs was the sixth-most damaging event in Colorado history.

The Gazette reports that according to an insurance industry trade group the storm earned $352.8 million in claims for damage to homes and vehicles.

The Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association said the storm resulted in 84,500 auto and homeowner insurance claims filed so far. That includes 51,300 auto insurance claims totaling more than $164.6 million and 33,200 property insurance claims at more than $188.2 million.

The estimated damage does not include commercial property, including at least $500,000 in damage to the Colorado Springs Airport.

The storm featured tennis ball-sized hail that damaged the Colorado Springs Airport’s runway and skylights at the terminal.

Officials: Colorado mine spill didn’t affect drinking water

FARMINGTON, N.M. — New Mexico officials say the massive mine waste spill in southwestern Colorado last year did not impact the quality of drinking water for most San Juan County residents.

The Farmington Daily Times reports that the New Mexico Environment Department’s Drinking Water Bureau informed the Gold King Mine Citizens’ Advisory Committee that though San Juan County public water systems were shut down to keep the waste out, a year later the affected public water systems remain in compliance with drinking water standards.

An EPA-led crew triggered the spill at the Gold King Mine during preliminary cleanup work on Aug. 5, 2015. Three million gallons of wastewater carrying arsenic, lead and other heavy metals tainted rivers in Colorado, New Mexico and Utah.

Colorado governor drafts proposed goal to cut greenhouse gas

DENVER — The Colorado governor’s office is drafting goals for reducing greenhouse gas pollution from power plants, a few months after a confrontation with Republican lawmakers over the issue.

A proposed executive order directs state agencies to work on ways to cut carbon dioxide emissions from power generation by 35 percent by 2030 compared with 2012 levels.

A spokeswoman for Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper said Tuesday the proposal is under discussion with stakeholders. She didn’t identify them.

The proposal doesn’t say whether or how the state would try to enforce the goals if power companies balk.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan sets similar goals for the state, but that plan is on hold because of lawsuits.

GOP lawmakers want Hickenlooper to wait for a verdict in those lawsuits before pushing ahead.

Mesa Verde National Park considers fee increase

MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK, Colo. — Managers at Mesa Verde National Park are considering raising entrance fees next year.

The Cortez Journal reports that the proposal would raise fees from $15 to $20 per vehicle and $8 to $10 per person during the summer season, which lasts from May to October.

For the spring, fall and winter seasons, vehicle fees would increase from $10 to $15 and individual fees would rise from $5 to $8.

An annual pass would rise from $30 to $40.

Park Superintendent Cliff Spencer said in a news release that he is committed to keeping the park affordable but hopes to use the extra money to offset increased construction and rehabilitation costs in the park.

Park officials will hold a public meeting on the proposal in September in Cortez.


Kaine promotes Clinton small-business plan in Denver stop

DENVER — Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine is promoting Hillary Clinton’s plans for helping small businesses, saying smaller companies are critical to America’s economy.

Kaine told an audience at a Denver machine shop Tuesday that his running mate’s proposals would simplify and cut small business taxes and allow business owners to take standardized deductions similar to those offered on personal income taxes.

The Virginia senator also said that Clinton wants to make it easier for community banks and credit unions to finance startups and small businesses expansions.

Kaine also said Clinton’s plan would provide incentives for state and local governments to ease regulatory burdens on new companies, make health insurance more affordable for small businesses, and make it easier to do business with the federal government.

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