Colorado News Roundup: State program trains solar power workers, Navajo want reimbursement from mine spill (08.14.16)
DECLINING ENERGY SECTOR JOBS SWITCHING TO SOLAR POWER
DENVER — A program is underway in Colorado to retrain people who lost their jobs in the coal or oil and gas industry so they can get the skills they need to install solar panels.
The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment has given a company based in Paonia on the Western Slope a $400,000 matching grant as part of a program to help workers furloughed from other energy sector jobs that are in decline.
According to The Denver Post, the program hopes to train about 350 people in the solar industry.
Stuart Sanderson, who is president of the Colorado Mining Association, says other jobs like the solar industry usually don’t pay as much as jobs in the oil and gas industry or coal mining.
NAVAJOS RENEW CALL FOR REIMBURSEMENT FROM EPA MINE SPILL
FARMINGTON, N.M. — Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye is renewing the tribe’s call for the federal government to reimburse farmers for damaged caused by a massive mine waste spill in southwestern Colorado.
He was among the tribal, state and local officials who participated earlier this week in a discussion marking the one-year anniversary of the blowout at the Gold King Mine.
An EPA-led crew triggered the spill 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.
Begaye says the spill was devastating for Navajo farmers and the $445,000 the EPA recently awarded for response costs is only a quarter of what the spill has cost the tribe so far.
REPORT SAYS PILOT CAUSED 2014 CRASH THAT LEFT 4 DEAD, INCLUDING DOG
DENVER — A pilot’s actions are to blame for a 2014 crash that left five people dead near Erie Municipal Airport.
The Denver Post reports 41-year-old Tori Rains-Wedan and her sons, 15-year-old Mason and 11-year-olds Austin and Hunter, died in the crash along with the pilot, 67-year-old Oliver Frascona.
A probable cause report that was recently released by the National Transportation Safety Board says Frascona’s actions caused the plane to stall.
The report says Frascona also contributed to the crash when he decided to land on the same runway as a plane that was taking off in the opposite direction.
Jurors found neither pilot negligent in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the Wedan family.
A dog also died in the crash.
WOMAN KILLED BY TRAIN MAY HAVE BEEN WEARING HEADPHONES
WESTMINSTER, Colo. — Westminster police say a woman may have been wearing headphones when she was struck and killed by a train on Saturday.
Police say the woman was walking next to the railroad tracks when the accident occurred.
The engineer of the Burlington Northern Railroad train saw the woman and sounded his horn while stopping, but the woman didn’t move.
The name of the woman has not been released.
— The Associated Press
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