News Bites – July 14, 2022
Two Berthoud businesses near the intersection of Highway 56 and U.S. Highway 287 have experienced break-ins in the last two weeks.
The first occurred at Joyful Brews Drive-Thru coffee shop at 429 Meadowlark Drive in the early morning hours of Thursday, June 30. The thief broke two windows and stole around $250.
A Go Fund Me was set up for the business that collected just over $1500 from more than 50 donors to help with repairs. The fundraiser organizer, Ashley Mueller spoke of the coffee shop’s owner Amanda Thorstensen on the fundraising website saying, “Amanda has been a key part of the community growing up in Berthoud, and having a local business. She has rallied around the community in times of need, let’s do the same for her!”
The second theft occurred around 4 a.m. Friday, July 8 at Hometown Liquor located at 425 Meadowlark Drive. The business’s two glass doors were shattered by what surveillance video showed to be a white male in his early to mid-twenties. The individual stole product from the store quickly exiting where he was picked up by an unknown vehicle adjacent to the store.
According to the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office the investigation for both incidents is ongoing.
Effective July 1, 2022, Colorado imposed a retail delivery fee on all deliveries by motor vehicle to a location in Colorado which affects everything from groceries to food and more.
The retailer or marketplace facilitator is liable to collect and remit the retail delivery fee which will tack on an extra 27 cents on anything you choose to have delivered to your home. Deliveries include when any taxable goods are mailed, shipped, or otherwise delivered by motor vehicle to a purchaser in Colorado.
For businesses, the retail delivery fee is due at the same time as your sales tax return. Returns are generally filed on a monthly basis and must be filed on or before the 20th day of the month following each reporting period.
Retailers that make retail deliveries must show the total of the fees on the receipt or invoice as one item called “retail delivery fees”.
If every item in a retail sale is exempt from sales tax, the delivery is also exempt from the retail delivery fee. However, if one or more items in the transaction are subject to sales tax, the retail delivery fee is due. Each sale for delivery is considered a single “retail delivery” regardless of how many shipments are needed to deliver the items purchased.
The new law is part of the transportation package the state legislature passed in 2021. The new fees are reportedly expected to generate hundreds of millions of dollars in the coming years for road improvements, transit projects, and electric vehicle programs across the state.
Widespread drought, rising prices, and feed shortages in the Great Plains and West have created a fertile field for cattle feed scammers to take advantage of ranchers working to protect their livestock and their bottom line.
Authorities are warning ranchers to treat with suspicion ads offering cattle feed at below-market prices. Ranchers report that shady dealers promising grain hay, barley straw, and wheat straw at low prices are collecting hefty advance payments, but never deliver. People have reported losses as high as $120,000, the state Office of Consumer Protection says.
Investigators warn that bogus ads from feed scammers may show up in agricultural publications, on radio, and on social media. Dishonest sellers also may create professional-looking websites and videos to convince you that they’re legitimate.
To help protect yourself from losses:
- Check out a seller before you buy. Search online for the company’s name plus words like “review,” “scam,” or “complaint.”
- Consider how you’re asked to pay. Don’t deal with a seller who requires payment by wire transfer, cryptocurrency, or gift card. That’s sure to be a scam.
- Go slow. Avoid high-pressure sales pitches that require you to “lock in” prices by paying for all or part of your order before getting delivery, particularly if you don’t know the seller.
- Talk with someone you trust. Before you pay, tell someone — a friend, family member, or neighbor — about the deal. Talking about it could help you realize it’s a scam.
- Contact your state’s U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency office. Learn about USDA programs to help ranchers and farmers affected by drought and other natural disasters.
- Contact the Colorado Department of Agriculture.
The Green Mountain Trail and Tonahutu Trail from Big Meadow to Flattop Mountain on the west side of Rocky Mountain National Park have reopened to hikers and backpackers. The Green Mountain Trail remains closed to stock users. All stock users are advised to use the Onahu Trail in and out.
These trails have been closed since 2020, due to impacts from the East Troublesome Fire. On October 21, 2020, the East Troublesome Fire made an 18-mile and over 100,000-acre run in Grand County, Colorado. The East Troublesome Fire was the largest fire in Rocky Mountain National Park’s 107-year history. It burned over 21,000 acres within the park.
On the west side of the park, the Sun Valley and River Trail and the Lower Tonahutu Trail (between Big Meadows and the KVC Turkey Spur Trail) remain closed to all users.
In the northwest area of the park the Mirror Lake area trail system remains closed. On the east side of the park the Spruce Lake Trail remains closed.
Park visitors should be aware of additional hazards when recreating in burn areas including:
- Burned-out stump holes where the ground may be weak and unstable
- Unstable dead trees, especially in windy conditions
- Loose rocks, logs and rolling debris
- Flash flooding and significant debris flow possible in burn areas
- Dry, hot conditions with little forest canopy to provide shade
Over a three-year period, from 2019 through 2021, Colorado State Patrol troopers have investigated over 1,750 fatal and injury crashes determined to be caused by impaired drivers. Year after year numbers expand during warmer months with the top month for impaired crashes being July.
“Last year troopers investigated 14 fatal car crashes and an additional 42 with serious injuries during the month of July that were caused by impaired drivers. We are imploring drivers who have taken the risk of taking substances and driving in the past to change their behavior,” stated Chief Matthew C. Packard, Colorado State Patrol. “Driving intoxicated is literally rolling the dice with your license, your freedom and your life.”
By looking at crash data statistics over the last three years, the Colorado State Patrol has discovered that the majority of at-fault impaired drivers involved in a crash they investigated were wearing their seat belts (60.5%).
“When you pause to consider that the majority of impaired drivers involved a serious injury or fatal crash make the choice to wear a seatbelt for their own personal protection but don’t make a choice to plan a sober ride for the protection of others, you begin to appreciate the selfishness of this behavior,” remarked Chief Packard.
According to the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), since 2019 there has been a 44% increase in the number of fatalities involving an impaired driver within our state. While impaired driving is a serious concern in every community, alcohol and drugged driving fatal and injury crashes investigated Colorado State Patrol were the highest in the following five counties in 2021:
- El Paso
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