The Home Front: Colorado’s oil-and-gas rig count bounces back

“Colorado’s rig count is at its highest level in more than a year, suggesting the oil and gas downturn in the past couple of years is on the rebound, and hundreds more people are working,” reports The Greeley Tribune. “The weekly rig count remained at 28 for a second week as of Friday, falling one from the first week of January, according to the Baker-Hughes rig count, which is updated weekly. The last time it was near that level came in December 2015 when the Colorado count was at 25, plummeting after reaching a high of 64 that year. The rig count settled a bit in 2016 to hover in the 17-20 range, jumping to 28 by Christmas. The rig count is important in an oil and gas producing area because each rig puts roughly 100 people to work in various roles.”

The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reports on the first steps in a proposed RV campground in the area. “The 18-acre site at 3891 and 3895 North River Road backs up to the Colorado River and is bookended by a cherry orchard and a vineyard. The setting, with peach orchards on site, will also offer a greenhouse, pool, a general store, alcohol sales, educational tours and community events.”

“Thompson school board members charged administrators with getting creative and ‘thinking outside the box’ as they head into negotiations with teachers for next year’s contract,” reports The Loveland Reporter-Herald. “On the heels of failed tax increases for improving teacher salaries as well as repairing schools and boosting curriculum, the school board’s focus remains on increasing instructional time for students and finding ways to support teachers even without additional money, according to discussion at a Jan. 18 meeting. So, they asked administrators to get creative as they mix minds with members of the Thompson Education Association for interest based negotiations, which is where both sides sit down at the table and share ideas to reach common goals.”

The Coloradoan in Fort Collins reports that amid a statewide increase in jai deaths, inmates dying in Larimer County jails is rare. “That marks a stark reversal from 2011 when there were three deaths at the county lockup. It also runs counter to the doubling of inmate deaths at county jails across Colorado in recent years, leading top brass in Larimer County to be cautiously optimistic that jail employees are catching medical issues early and thwarting suicide attempts in what will be a continued success story.”

“The Longmont Library will host a lecture on media literacy in an effort to educate people on how to spot fake news,” reports The Times-Call. “Josie Brockmann, reference librarian and adult program manager, said combating false news stories meshes with the library’s mission,” the paper reported. “Libraries have historically been involved in, and pursued a mission of educating the public,” she told the paper. “And that means sifting through information and finding what information is the highest quality.” The paper reports the library “opened registration to adults and teens to the Feb. 2 lecture on Jan. 3 and by Friday morning, the program had filled up with about 100 people registered. Kent Willmann, a professor at University of Colorado , will give the lecture.”

The Boulder Daily Camera reports on how locals are dealing with an upcoming visit by alt-right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos who is speaking on the University of Colorado’s campus Wednesday. “And it’s one that’s taken on additional gravity in the days since a man was shot during a demonstration at a Yiannopoulos appearance in Seattle,” the paper reports. “Members of the anti-Milo crowd agree that they don’t like his message, but can’t settle on how best to express that sentiment. The debate has been playing out on social media and elsewhere. Stay home and do nothing? Make picket signs and stand outside the CU Mathematics Building, where Yiannopoulos will speak at 7 p.m.? Attend a talk given by transgender actress and advocate Laverne Cox instead?”

“Coloradans can look forward to an interactive map of more than 20,000 miles of Colorado trails that will roll out this summer as part of Gov. John Hickenlooper’s Colorado the Beautiful initiative,” reports The Durango Herald. “The mapping system is in early testing stages, and will include trails from agencies all over the state, including those that fall in wilderness areas such as the Weminuche, said Chris Kehmeier, project manager for the initiative. The ability for hikers to upload pictures of trail segments and post trip reports also are being tested for the mapping system, Kehmeier said.”

The Cañon City Daily Record reports on a potential tech center coming to town. “The Fremont Economic Development Corp. is well on its way toward bringing the tech sector to Cañon City, and it’s gaining momentum every day,” the paper reports. “FEDC TechSTART, a brick and mortar tech accelerator-style co-work space at Fifth and Main streets, has 19 executive suites that can be used for technology-based businesses.” The paper quotedFEDC Executive Director Rob Brown saying, “”It is going to be a significant portion of our ‘Eyes Wide Forward’ concept.”

“A federal lawsuit accuses a Denver life insurance company of racial and sexual discrimination against seven top-performing Denver annuity wholesalers and supervisors who were all black,” reports The Denver Post. “The employees recount blatant racial and sexual abuse incidents, including one in which La’Tonya Ford, the top saleswoman of Jackson National Life Insurance Company, was ordered to get on her knees while her boss mimicked a sex act with a vodka bottle and fellow workers laughed. The Jackson employees said they were routinely demeaned, denied promotions and bonuses and fired when they complained.”

The Gazette in Colorado Springs fronts a piece about local charter schools. “Charter schools came into being in Colorado 24 years ago, formed largely by parents and choice proponents seeking educational options for public school students,” the paper reports. “Colorado law permits students to apply to attend schools not in their neighborhoods, so charter schools compete for students from around the region.”