Gardner Supports Bill to Improve Veterans Choice Program

Colorado Senator Cory Gardner

Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) has announced he is cosponsoring the Veterans Choice Improvement Act, a bill that addresses the systemic issues plaguing the Veteran's Choice Program. This legislation makes the Choice Program permanent, ensures it is funded in advance, and consolidates the litany of existing programs. The legislation also encourages non-VA providers to participate in the program by instituting a new claims processing system to ensure medical providers are properly reimbursed in a timely manner.

Tornadoes, Funnels Spotted Across Southeast Colorado

A number of tornadoes and funnel clouds were spotted Friday (April 15, 2016) across southeast Colorado.

According to the National Weather Service, two tornadoes occurred in Kiowa County south of Eads and caused no damage.

A Tornado Warning was issued at 1:51 p.m. The first tornado occured from approximately 2:09 to 2:13 p.m. The second tornado lasted from 2:23 to 2:36 p.m.

The photos below are of the tornado tracks and a tornado spotted just south of Eads in the early afternoon.

Weekend Weather Outlook – Widespread Precipitation

National Weather Map

After a high in the low 70s Friday, much cooler temperatures along - with much-needed moisture - will dominate the weekend in Kiowa County and across the region.

Starting Friday afternoon, severe thunderstorm development is likely. Large hail, strong winds, and heavy rain can be expected between 1:00 p.m. and midnight. The greatest threat for severe weather is between 4:00 and 10:00 p.m. Tornadoes are possible.

Fire Weather Arrives Ahead of Weekend Storm System

PROMO 660 x 440 Fire - Wheat Stubble Soot Flames - iStock

The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for Thursday (April 14, 2016) from 12:00 to 7:00 p.m. for most of eastern Colorado including Kiowa County to due high fire danger.

In addition to Kiowa County, all or most of the eastern counties are under the warning. Only Baca and Prowers counties are completely excluded.

Temperatures will be in the upper 70s to low 80s across the region, with south winds 15 to 30 miles per hour, gusting to 40 mph. Relative humidity is expected to drop as low as 12 percent.

Storm System to Impact SE Colorado this Weekend

Severe Weather - Thunderstorm

While some uncertainty about details remain, confidence is growing that a storm system bringing much-needed moisture will impact a large portion of Colorado, including the eastern plains and Kiowa County, beginning Friday afternoon.

An upper low pressure system drops into northern Arizona Friday afternoon and begins slowly moving across northern New Mexico, bringing snow, rain and thunderstorms to the mountains and spreading to the eastern plains.

Hickenlooper, Colorado Delegation Unite in Requesting EPA Support

Colorado State Capitol Dome

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper and members of Colorado's federal delegation this week sent a letter to the Environmental Protectional Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy asking for additional support for the Bonita Peak Mining District. Senators Michael Bennet and Cory Gardner, and Congressman Scott Tipton joined Hickenlooper on the letter in support of the local communities including the Towns of Silverton and Durango, San Juan and La Plata Counties.

More than 700 Compete in FFA Career Development

Hundreds of high school students flooded the Lamar Community College campus April 6, 2016, to participate in the FFA Career Development Day.  A record number of students participated in the event with over 700 students from 36 schools from across the state.  Students gained a wealth of experience in their areas of competition and the twelve high winners each received a $500 scholarship to LCC.

Students competed in a wide range of activities ranging from Ag Sales to Floriculture to Veterinary Science. 

Water Forum Explores Innovative Management Solutions

Population drives water use, and the population in the Arkansas River Basin will likely increase 80 percent by the year 2050. Even if all proposed water projects in the basin are developed, the supply will not meet the needs of growing cities, towns and industries.

A number of experts in water-related fields will discuss solutions to this issue at the Arkansas River Basin Water Forum April 27-28 in Salida.