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December 20, 2012
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News Briefs 12-21-12

Gift idea alert: Buy discounted tickets for the June 14-16 Palisade Bluegrass and Roots Music Festival in Palisade.As the festival continues to expand, the plans for 2013 include headliners The Devil Makes Three and Justin Townes Earle, along with bluegrass jamming classes, activities, and a variety of vendors. For concert-goers looking for a great deal, "blind faith" discounted tickets are on sale through Jan. 1.For more information and to purchase tickets, visit Organizers expect the historically popular camping-ticket combos to sell out quickly again this year.

Earlier this, Colorado Mesa University fired cycling coach Rick Crawford as a result of new information regarding Crawford's previous involvement with performance enhancing drugs.The university said the new information involved an instance(s) of a drug-related infraction(s) that occurred while Crawford was in Durango, where he coached.Earlier this month, it was announced that Crawford had disclosed his involvement from 1999-2001 in the use of performance enhancing drugs by two professional cyclists to the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).At that time, the university said that it would allow Crawford to continue coaching the CMU cycling team with the understanding that all instances had been disclosed. Crawford was relieved of his duties effective Monday, Dec. 17. He began coaching at CMU in February 2012.

The BLM has extended the public comment period to Jan. 18 on an oil and gas exploration proposal near Mesa, Colo. The BLM is seeking public input to help inform an environmental assessment for the project.Genesis Gas & Oil Colorado, LLC is proposing to drill five vertical wells on separate pads as it begins evaluating the oil and gas resources on the 27,000 acres of leases it holds in the area. Genesis proposes to construct four new well pads and reuse an existing, abandoned pad. Three proposed well pads are southeast of Mesa and east of State Highway 65 and the other two are southwest of Mesa and west of the highway. The detailed proposal is available at comments and questions should be directed to the Grand Junction Field Office, 2815 H Road, GJ, CO 81506. Or submit via email at

Xcel Energy is proposing a 10% rate increase for natural gas in order to pay for pipeline upgrades. If approved by state regulators, customers shouldn't see another price hike until at least 2016. Well, that's comforting.Add this to Clifton Water District and Ute Water raising rates on customers. Users can expect to pay at least $2 more per month starting in January.On the bright side, the Colorado minimum wage is set to go up effective Jan. 1 - by a whopping 14 cents - from $7.64 to $7.78/hour. Those who work for tips will now receive $4.76/hour.

To aid in the restoration of wild landscapes on the Western Slope, Colorado Parks and Wildlife recently completed construction of a specialized warehouse where seeds of native plants will be stored and distributed.Located at the Escalante State Wildlife Area west of Delta, the $1.2 million, 9,000-square-foot facility will play a critical role in wildlife habitat conservation far into the future.While some native seed is available it can be very expensive, sometimes $100 or more per pound. Prices also fluctuate significantly from year to year depending on demand. The warehouse allows Colo. Parks and Wildlife to buy large quantities of seeds when prices are low so they can be stored in the climate-controlled conditions for future use.Some of the types of seeds to be collected include: sagebrush, dusty penstemon, sulphur flower buckwheat, squirrel tail and a variety of shrubs, grasses and forbs.

This week, headliner Lady Antebellum and crowd favorite Clay Walker canceled their respective appearances at Country Jam 2013. It appears we have babies on the brink as Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum is expecting her first baby and will not be able to travel and perform throughout the summer, and Clay Walker and his wife are also expecting this summer.Announced, however, is the addition of Gary Allan to the Friday, June 21, lineup; Parmalee to the Thursday, June 20 roster; and Dustin Lynch and Florida Georgia Line to the Friday, June 21, lineup.General admission tickets can be purchased at local Bradley Petroleum locations. All tickets including: four-day or one-day VIP, Reserve, General Admission, Camping, Country Club and SkyBox may be purchased at or by calling 1-800-780-0526.

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The Post Independent Updated Dec 20, 2012 01:41PM Published Dec 20, 2012 01:38PM Copyright 2012 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.