Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Craig Fire Deaths

Two people are dead in a Christmas Day fire in Craig.  According to the Craig Daily Press, 54 year old Charles Hurtt and 63 year old Frances Burkleo died in the fire that consumed the trailer where they lived.

Colorado Minimum Wage

Colorado is one of 8 states getting minimum wage increases at the first of the year.  KREX TV says the raise is a small one, 28 cents.  Washington get's the biggest hike, to $9.04 an hour.

Children Gun Deaths

Officials are renewing warnings for adults to be careful with guns after the shooting deaths of two five year olds.  On Friday, a Lakewood three year old shot and killed his brother with the gun of a family friend.  Then Monday night, a girl in Fremont County shot herself with her father's .45 caliber handgun.  Both shootings happened while adults were in other parts of the homes whey they occurred.

Paker Murder-Suicide

Police in Parker are looking into an apparent murder-suicide that started in a McDonald's parking lot yesterday evening.  The Denver Post says 40 year old Donna Marie Royer was shot as her 3 middle-school aged children watched from inside the restaurant.  The woman's ex-husband was found dead about 90 minutes after the shooting.

Neenan Engineer License Suspended

An engineer working with a contractor for several schools and public buildings across the state has had his engineering license suspended.  The State Board of Licensure for Architects, Professional Engineers and Professional Land Surveyors opened an inquiry into Gary Howell's work after a Denver Post report detailed a litany of problems with a Neenan Company-built school in Meeker. The Post says action requires Howell to stop practicing engineering until a hearing several weeks from now.

Cactus Canyon Sentencing

A 26 year old Clifton man has been sentenced to 14 years in prison after pleading guilty to hitting four men with his truck in the parking lot Cactus Canyon in July of 2010.  The Daily Sentinel says Robert Helwig admitted running down the men after a verbal fight.  All four were hospitalized, two with serious injuries

Don't Drink and Drive

New Year's Eve is still a few days away and the State Patrol and other agencies are hoping drivers use that time to plan ahead. They're planning for saturation DUI patrols and reminding drivers of cab vouchers smart phone apps and other ways to make sure you don't drink and drive on New Year's.

RED AIR QUALITY

A Red Air Quality No Burn Advisory continues in the grand valley, Delta and Montrose through Friday.  the Mesa County Health Department says inversions due to a combination of snow on the ground, cold temperatures and short daylight hours are to blame.  Another advisory will come Friday.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Board of Education to Appeal Lobato Decision

A closed session meeting of the state board of education resulted in the decision to appeal the Lobato vs. the State of Colorado ruling that said the state is not meeting the Colorado Constitution's requirement of a "thorough and uniform" public education system.  The board of education's decision goes along with the two other defendants listed in the case, Governor John Hickenlooper, and education commissioner Robert Hammond.  All three defendants have decided to appeal to the State Supreme Court.  The Decmber 9th ruling declared the state's system to be under-funded.

More Lottery Funds for 2011

Lottery funds were more plentiful in 2011, than 2010.  The Daily Sentinel says $45 million dollars of the Conservation Trust Fund was doled out.  That's $1.5 million more than last year, but still short of 2008 numbers when the economy went into recession.

Mesa County Fairgrounds to get Facelift

Plans for a facelift at the Mesa County Fairgrounds are underway.  A new entrance and enhanced intersection with Highway 50 is first on the list.  The Daily Sentinel says the county is now soliciting proposals for that project.  County officials hope to enhance safety on the highway there, and plan for future growth.

Hydro Power at Ridgway Dam?

Ridgway Dam could soon be producing hydro power.  The Bureau of Reclamation agreed that construction of a power plant at the dam would have no significant impact on the environment or recreational users there.  The Tri-County Water Conservancy District and the Bureau of Reclamation can now proceed with lease of the power privileges.

Weekly Gas Prices

Gas prices usually climb around the holidays, but that's definitely not the case in Colorado this year.  According to GasBuddy.com, the average price is now $3.07 a gallon.  That's down 5.3 cents from last week and 26.5 cents lower than a month ago.

RED AIR QUALITY

Red Air Quality continues in Grand Junction, Delta, and Montrose today.  The Mesa County Health Department issued the advisory last Friday.  A new update will be issued by later today.

Montrose Whiewater Park

Back to the drawing board for a proposed Montrose Whitewater Park.  The city applied for a Great Outdoors Colorado grant earlier this year, but was not one of 27 proposals to get funding.  According to the Montrose Daily Press, a review committee ranked the city's proposal 19th among municipal applications.  11 of those were chosen.

Lochmiller Sentencing

The owner of the failed Valley Investments will be sentenced in Grand Junction.  Phillip Lochmiller's federal trial was in Denver because space issues in Grand Junction, but his sentencing in March will be at the Mesa County Justice Center.  The Daily Sentinel says Lochmiller's conviction on 31 conspiracy, money-laundering and fraud-related charges could bring a senced of more than 300 years in prison.  The collapse of Lochmiller's business cost 400 investors more than $30 million.

Ski Areas v. NFS Water Rights

The National Ski Areas Association has jumped into the battle with the National Forest Service over water rights.  The group representing 121 resorts tells the Denver Post a new water-rights clause amounts to a federal taking of tens of millions of dollars in private water rights. A consortium of legislators including Colorado's two senators and Third District Congressman Scott Tipton are urging the Forest Service to suspend implementation of the new clause but the Department this week declined to issue a moratorium.

Homeless Guy Bus Ticket Outcome

A free bus ticket didn't do it for a homeless man from Aspen.  An anonymous donor gave the man a $190 ticket to North Dakota to find an oil job.  Instead, Jimmy Baldwin, Jr. ended up in jail in Williston, ND for allegedly urinating outside a stip club.

TIGER Funding Denied

Colorado Highway officials are trying to figure out why they've been passed over for highway-project stimulous funding.  Spokeswoman Stacy Stegman tells the Denver Post Colorado has been passed by for two years without explanation.  This year the federal Department of Transportation received 848 applications from all 50 states. A project in Wyoming and and one in Montana werre funded, but for the most part, Western states — including Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada and Arizona — were skipped.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Winter Weather

Look for snow overnight tonight into tomorrow morning in the Grand Valley.  The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory from 6:00 tonight to Noon tomorrow.  Forecasters say 1 to 3 inches are expected in the valley with temperatures and visibility dropping.  Depending on those temperatures and the amount of snow that falls, snow in the valley could last until Sunday making for a somewhat White Christmas.

Delta County Man Sentenced

A man once accused of shooting his then-girl friend on Christmas Eve 2009 is on his way to prison.  The Montrose Daily Press says under a plea agreement, Thomas Howe Jr. has been sentenced to one year in the Department of Corrections and a mandatory one-year term of parole.  Howe had been charged with attempted 2nd Degree Murder, but Delta County prosecutors said they couldn't prove he fired the gun.

Fracking Regulations

Some Western Colorado counties are looking at oil and gas fracking operations and considering regulations for the activities.  On the front range, cities and counties are moving.  Some have crafted regulations just in case companies want to pursue operations within their boundaries.  The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission says tells the Denver Post it doesn't believe local governments should be trying to stop fracking through moratoriums or bans.

Kremling Murder Suicide

Officials say the bodies of a man and his 9 year old son found in a van in Grand County last weekend were the victims of a murder suicide.  Now Sheriff Rodney Johnson tells 9 News in Denver the case is even worse since someone came across the van with the bodies inside and robbed it.  He says he'll release more information today.  The CBI says it has more than 10 investigators working the case.

Black Mountain Recycling

Black Mountain Recycling has gotten the go ahead from Mesa county to receive production water and fracking fluid in 4 evaporation ponds and to build one new pond.  The Daily Sentinel says the company has been under scrutiny since a temporary shut down by the county after a 2001 spill. County commissioners yesterday voted unanimously to amend Black Mountain's conditional us permit allowing the company to bring the facility into full operation.

GJ Unemployment

The Grand Junction area unemployment rate held steady in November at 8.5%. The state Department of Labor says the unemployment rate for the Colorado was up a tenth of a point last month to 7.8 percent.

Salvation Army Assistance

The Grand Junction Salvation Army Christmas food distribution continues today at the new Army National Guard facility off  D Road behind the Regional Center. Several National Guard dignitaries were in town yesterday to kick off the distribution.

Midnight Fire

Grand Junction fire investigators are looking for the cause of a house fire near 10th and Ute.  When they arrived at the house around midnight, firefighters found heavy smoke coming from an attached shed.  Fire damage was limited to the shed but the house suffered smoke damage. No one was in the house at the time of the fire.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Sentence Handed Out in Fruita Slaying

A 39 year old Fruita man was sentenced to 22 years in prison on charges of charges of second-degree murder, menacing and two counts of possession of explosive or incendiary parts, relating to the slaying of his 37 year old roommate.  The Daily Sentinel says Wayne Girt received his sentence today.  He was convicted in the 2010 slaying of his roomate Henry Trisler Jr.

Christmas Eve Meals Available for Elderly

Canyonview Vineyard Church and Comfort Keepers are looking to help out the elderly on Christmas eve by delivering meals.  If you or anybody you know could use a Christmas Eve meal, make a reservation by Wednesday by calling Comfort Keepers at 241-8818.

Burning Ban in Effect for Grand Valley

There is a red air quality advisory in effect starting today and running at least through 3:00 tomorrow afternoon.  That means a ban on WOOD BURNING IN FIREPLACES AND NON-EPA APPROVED WOODSTOVES in Grand Junction, Delta and Montrose.  The ban is expected to be lifted tomorrow afternoon.

Colorado Casinos Revenue Up

Things are looking up for Colorado's mountain casinos.  The Denver Post reported that the group reported a 3% increase in revenue in November as compared to last year.  The State Division of gaming says total bets were up to $58.6 million from $57 million in the same month last year.

Vail to Add New Gondola?

Vail Mountain is turning 50 next year, and officials with the resort are announcing an early present.  The Vista Bahn chairlift was built in 1985, and will be replaced with a brand new high capacity gondola, as long as it's approved by the US Forest Service.  Vail Mountain opened on December 15th, 1962.

Monday, December 19, 2011

GJ Still Working on Plan for New Manager

The city of Grand Junction still has no manager.  After requesting manager Laurie Kadrich's resignation last week, the city council is still weighing the options for her replacement.  Rich Englehart is the deputy city manager, and will likely be the interim.  A longer terrm plan is expected today from city council.

Motorcycle Crash Kills One

One man is dead after he crashed his motorcycle into an SUV on 25 1/2 Road.  Grand Junction Police say the crash happened last night just before 7 o'clock.  The motorcyclist ran into the back of a Honda CRV.  The driver of the Honda was not injured.  No identities have been released.

Fire Guts Basalt Apartment Complex

11 Basalt families are without a home for now after a fire gutted an apartment building.  The blaze was a quick moving one on Friday night, and displaced 27 people in all.  Luckily nobody was injured.  Six of the 11 units in the building were a total loss.  Anyone interested in helping the families affected can call the Red Cross, Western Colorado Chapter by calling 970-242-4851.

Former Parachute Police Officer Suing for Discrimination

Former Parachute police officer Kristy Kolecki is suing for gender discrimination, after she says she was berated by a supervisor for being female, then fired for lodging complaints about it.  The Daily Sentinel says Kolecki complained in 2008 after her  field training with Cpl. Greg Birley, during which he callied her “stupid” and made statements about his disdain for working with females.  Kolecki took her complaints all the way to the town council before she was fired in June of 2010.

2012 Capitol Christmas Tree to be from Colorado

The Christmas tree on display in front of the nation's capitol this year is from California.  Next year's will be from Western Colorado.  The White River National Forrest to be more specific.  Senators Mark Udall and Michael Bennett, along with representative Scott Tipton made the announcement last weekend.  The U.S. Forest Service will work with local officials over the next year to pick candidate trees.  The exact tree won't be publicized until it's cut down.

Rifle Police looking for Vandals

Rifle authorities are looking for whoever broke into and vandalized several businesses there.  Police say the culprits used a pick axe to get into the Rifle Creek Museum and the Rifle Thrift Store.  Once inside, the vandals caused thousands of dollars of damage.  If you have any information on the crimes, you are urged to call Crime Stoppers at 945-0101.

2 Bodies Found in Grand County

Grand County Sherriff's Deputies made a grisly discovery on Saturday.  When investigating a van parked near the Colorado River, deputies found two bodies.  The Sherriff's Department says the bodies appeared to have been there for a few days.  No identities have been released, but the Sherriff's department did say the victims were from the Denver Area.

Delta Petroleum Bankrupt

An oil and gas company with holdings mostly in the Collbran area has filed for bankriuptcy.  The Daily Sentinel says Delta Petroleum filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy  in a Delaware court last week.  The company  holds oil and gas leases for the equivalent of about 22,000 acres in the Collbran area and employs 32 people, mostly in the Denver area.

GJ Man Arrested for Assault after Child's 911 Call

A child's call to 911 resulted in the arrest of a 36 year old Grand Junction man on charges of assault, misdemeanor child abuse, and other charges.  The Daily Sentinel says Rickie Allen Morgan was arrested on Saturday night, after the child called to report that he had fought with another adult, threw holiday decorations, and flipped over a couch.  Police found Morgan walking down the street near the address of the incident.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Kadrich asked to Resign as GJ City Manager

Grand Junction City Council, and Mayor Tom Kenyon have asked for the resignation of city manager Laurie Kadrich.  In a release, Kadrich stated that there are some fundamental philosophical differences between her and the City Council.  Kadrich became the city manager in July of 2007.  She came to Grand Junction as the deputy city manager in January of that year.

Trooper Ruling

A Mesa county District Court Judge has ruled two Colorado State Troopers charged in the 2010 killing of a man on the Redlands do not have leagal immunity from progsecution.  The Daily Sentinel says Trooper Gene Lawyer and Cpl. Kirk Firko said they had probable cause to arrest Jason Kemp after a crash they believed was caused by Kemp being under the influence.  Kemp was shot and killed in the doorway of his home.  A grand jury indictment said Lawyer and Firko attempted illegal entry into Kemp's home without a warrant.

CPW Road Block

Numbers are finally available from a Colorado Parks and Wildlife check station on I-70.  It was the first checkpoint of its kind in nearly 20 years. 13 hunters were cited for a total of 22 charges for various infractions.  The operation last month lasted 24 hours and more than 1,700 vehicles were checked.

Mesa County Crime Stoppers

Mesa County Crime Stoppers is trying to identify two men who stole a gas welder and plasma cutter from Murdoch's Ranch and Home Store in Clifton.  The theft happend November 22nd and surveillance camera pictures are posted on the Crime Stoppers website 241stop.com.

CMU Get Mineral Lease Money

The Mesa County Federal Mineral Lease Board has given Colorado Mesa University $1.6 million to set up an endowment for energy innovation.  The Daily Sentinel says the money is the county's entire share of Colorado mineral lease funding.  University President Tim Foster says the money will be used for the study of natural gas, uranium, solar, wind and oil shale.

Former Montrose DA Disbarred

Former Montrose District Attorney Myrl Serra has been disbarred.  The Montrose Daily Press says the action yesterday was under an agreement with the State Supreme Court's Attorney Regulation Counsel.  Serra resigned as DA last January after being arrested in September of last year on allegations of sexual misconduct.  Sera faces up to 12 years in prison when sentenced next month

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

BBB E-mail Scam

The Colorado Attorney General's office is warning consumers about an e-mail scam appearing to be from the Better Business Bureau. The e-mails might include the subject line, “complaint from your customers,” and contain a link to a Web site that includes malicious code.

SOS51.org

A group of parents have formed a group to try and figure out ways to fund education in the Grand Valley.  About 10-parents with students in District 51 have formed Save Our School, or simply SOS51.org.  One board member tells the Daily Sentinel they want to ensure a quality public education without any assumptions about how the district is using its budget.

Murder Warrant

A murder warrant has been issued for a transient under arrest in Sacramento, CA.  According to the Daily Sentinel, 23 year old Joseph Conn is suspected of first degree murder in the killing of 36-year old fellow transient Williard Bobbitt whose body was found in the Colorado River in August last year. Conn has been under arrest in California since January 5th, in the beating deaths of a Sacramento man and his roommate New Year's Day.

Red Cross Grant

A $20,000 Exxon Mobil grant is coming to the Western Colorado Chapter of the Red Cross.  The money is for disaster services and scholarships CPR, First Aid and the use of AEDs.

CO Economic Outlook

Things are looking up for the Colorado economy, even if it's still a long way up.  CU economist Richard Wobbekind presented the university's Colorado 2012 Business Outlook to the Grand Jucntion Area Chamber of Commerce.  According to the Daily Sentinel, Wobbekind predicts a dismal 1% job growth rate next year, with small increases in government, construction, mining and logging and education services...and declines in real estate, finance and manufacturing.

GarCo Standoff

A 61 year old Garfield County construction company owner is jailed this morning after a standoff with authorities in Glenwood Springs. Craig Dance is accused of shooting at a deputy who had been sent to Dance's house on a welfare check.

More Meeker School

The Meeker School district will have to pay some of the cost of repairing its empty trouble plagued $18.9 million elementary school.  The building's contractor, The Neenan Co. of Ft. Collins, came under fire last month for structural issues which made the school unsafe.  Neenan agreed to make the fixes.  Now an independent soils sample paid for by the district has found other problems.  According to the Denver Post, cost to the district hasn't been determined.

New Frack Rules

The Coloraodo Oil and Gas Conservation Commission has unanimously approved new rules requiring disclosure of chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing.  The Daily Sentinel says the rules require companies to file a "claim of entitlement" when seeking trade secret exemptions to the requirement.  The industry contends there's no connection between fracking and ground water contamination although an EPA report last week noted a likely link in groundwater contamination in Pavillion, Wyoming.

Teacher Dies

District 51 officials say a substitute teacher died while working at Clifton Elementary School.  It happened yesterday afternoon, in a classroom where no students were present.  Spokesman Jeff Kirtland says the person had a pre-existing medical condition.  A letter about the incident was sent home with students and couselors were made available.

Monday, December 12, 2011

COCC Fracking Rules

The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission is meeting tomorrow to vote on whether to require natural gas drillers to disclose all the ingredients in their fracking fluid. According to the Denver Post,  Halliburton and others have said they'd support listing the ingredients but don't want to publicly disclose their amounts.

Breck Ticket Tax

They're just talking about it and already the subject is heated.  A lift ticket tax in Breckenridge to pay for transit.  Some town council members came up with the idea saying a 4.5% tax would bring in an estimated $2.9 million annually from lift tickets.  The Summit Daily News says Vail Resort executives are opposed to the tax and would like to work with the town to find an alternative way to pay for mass transit.

Gateway Canyons Upgrades

Gateway Canyons is in the middle of a transformation from resort locals might be able to travel to, to a resort aimed at Fortune-500 level visitors.  Discovery channel founder John Hendricks has turned over management to Noble House which also manages the Mountain Lodge in Telluride.  According to the Denver Post, a $20 million wintertime refashioning is underway changing the resort into an exclusive luxury getaway, and moving the convenience store and gas pumps around the bend near the Gateway Community Center.

Colorado Gas Prices

Gas prices in Colroado are down another 4.6 cents a gallon to $3.21.
ColoradoGasPrices.com says that's 52 cents a gallon higher than a year ago, but 21 cents a gallon lower than a month ago.  The national average is $3.28 a gallon.

Grading CO Schools

Answering the question of how well your local school is performing is being made simpler with the Colorado School Grades coalition website. Launching today, the website gives schools a simple A through F grade.  The Denver Post says the state Departemtn of Education ranking system is based on a curve, with C for average, and only 10% receiving an A.

Paperless Planning in GJ

Grand Jucntion's getting closer to having a paperless planning department.  The process has been in the works since 2009 and the Daily Sentinel says by Spring, the planning website should be up and running for permits and local development research.  The paper says the online process creates less need for storage in city buildings, speeds up the public neighborhood development process, and saves on postage and time it takes forms to be mailed.

757 Lands in GJ

That big plane at the Grand Jucntion Regional Airport yesteday...a 757, not usually seen at the small airport.  The United Airlines jet was flying from Denver to LA when it had a mechanical problem.  The airline says the plane landed safely about 11:45 and the passengers and crew were later taken on to LA on a plane sent from Denver.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Colorado Spaceport

Fly to space from Front Range Airport east of Denver.  It might not be all that far away.  Colorado is pursuing FAA designation for a spaceport that would allow for creation of a facility offering tourism, travel and cargo transport to space and from point to point on earth.  Governor John Hickenlooper made the announcement yesterday, saying the idea seems far-fetched, but there's huge potential.  According to the Denver Post, Hickenlooper says spaceports are opportunities like cell phones in the early 1990s.  Space planes could potentially take passengers from Denver to Singapore in an hour and a half.

Trooper Bias Alleged

A former Colorado State Trooper is being accused of bias during investigations.  The Daily Sentinel says State Patrol District 4 commander Maj. Barry Bratt sent a letter to Mesa County DA Pete Hautzinger describing an internal investigation involving Don Moseman.  Hautzinger  hundreds of cases in Mesa County involving Moseman are expected to be re-examined and some could be dismissed altogether.  One defense attorney tells the paper cases from misdemeanor drunken-driving offenses to vehicular- homicide investigations may be at issue.

GJ Airport Dispute

General aviation tenants at Grand Junction Regional Airport want the Grand Jucntion City Council to change leadership at the airport in part because of a wildlife fence and security gates.  They say it goes too far.  The Daily Sentinel says last night's city council meeting was packed. According to the Denver Post, similar security and fencing issues are popping up around the country. The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association based in Frederick, MD calls the fence the most "Draconian" example of complying with Federal airport security rules.

Mitchell Arrested

A Mesa County fugitive accused of auto theft and escape is under arrest in Denver.  Police there tell the Denver Post Dartanian Mitchell and his bother Rodney Mitchell were arrested Tuesday in a 10-day crime spree including four armed robberies in the Denver metro area.  Dartanian Mitchell failed to show up for court in Mesa County in October and was later arrested in Tennessee.  He escaped while being returned to Colorado by a private transport service November 16th.
The Delta/Montrose Electric Association has received a USDA Rural Development grant to help businesses become more energy efficient.  The company plans an official announcement this morning in Montrose and this afternoon in Delta. Officials say they're ready to answer questions about economic importance of saving energy and money, and how the grant can help local small businesses save energy and money.

Colorado Gives Day

A final accounting is expected by the end of the month, but right now, the second Colorado Gives Day was a huge success.  Fund raisers for non profit organizations across the state say the campaign raised nearly $12 million dollars, up from $8.4 million collected last year.  The Denver Post says $50 donations led the way, followed by $100 donations, making up half of all contributions.  One unnamed charity received a $500,000 contribution.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Patterson Rd Crash

A crash involving multiple vehicles tied up traffic for several hours this moring.  Grand Junctino Police say a car drifted into oncoming traffic and struck another one head on.  At least two people were taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.  It happened on Patterson Road near 28 1/4 Road just as morning the morning commute was getting underway.  Traffic was backed up past 29 Road for more than an hour. Citations are pending.

Colorado Tax Amnesty

Colorado's Tax Amnesty period has raised some $11 million for public education.  The "Jump at the Chance" initiative allowed businesses and individuals to avoid civil and criminal prosecuation in exchange for paying back taxes.  The Denver Post says another $3 million could be recouped when the final payments are posted next month.  The previous tax-amnesty event in 2003 netted $23.4 million.

Sullivan Bails

Former Arapahoe County Sheriff Pat Sullivan has bonded out of his "own jail."  Sullivan was jailed a week after his arrest on charges he offered a man meth in exchange for sex. The Denver Post says Sullivan posted a $50,000 bond yesterday as  Arapahoe County commissioners announced they'll review the policy by which the county names buildings after living people because of public concerns regarding the allegations against the former sheriff.

I-70 Chemical Spill

Some traffic cones are up along I-70 this morning where a tanker truck spilled some 50 to 60 gallons of a low grade corrosive.  It happened just before 3:00 this morning at mile marker 38.  State patrol says the driver noticed the leak right away and the spill was contained to a few hundred feet.  A clean up crew from Carbondale is expected around 8:00 this morning.

Liquor Violations

18 businesses have been cited in a valley-wide under-age liquor enforcment. The 18 were among 147 businesses visited.  A list of those cited is in the Blotter of today's Daily Sentinel.

Water Rates

A glass of water will cost more in the grand valley in the coming year.  Clifton Water District is raising its average monthly rate by about 14% to help make bond payments and keep up with the slow economy.  Ute Water plans to up its monthly base rate by $2to $15.  If approved, that would affect some 85,000 customers.  The Daily Sentinel says rates in Grand Junction and Palisade are expected to remain the same for 2012.

Montrose Rec Tax

Montrose City Council is continuing talks with the Montrose Recreation District about how to fund a proposed community rec center.  The district says it needs $22.6 million and wants a .2 percent sales tax increase to pay for it.  The issue is far from settled.  The Montrose Daily Press says the city is looking at several options.  The MRD is holding a meeting on the proposed center tomorrow.

Colorado Gives Day Extended

Colorado Gives Day has been extended through noon today because of computer problems.  High traffic volumes to GivingFirst.org website are to blame.  The Denver Post says the jam came yesterday morning, the decision to extend the period by early afternoon.  More than 900 charities are listed on GivingFirst.org.  Contributions had totaled $7.8 million by 6:00 last night.

Vicious Dogs

Grand Junction Police are trying to find some vicious dogs and their owners.  One man was attacked by two dogs as he was riding his bikeSunday night in Whitman Park.  He was bitten several times and taken to the emergency room.  The second attack was about 8:00 Monday morning at Duck Pond Park where four dogs bit a man.  He called a cab and was taken to the hospital.  Neither victiim could provide a good description of the dogs but believe they were pit bulls.  Police want anyone who sees dogs acting aggressive or with pack-like
behavior to call 9-1-1.  More info:  http://gjcity.org/Administration.aspx?id=2147527366

Udall Payroll Tax Cut Language

Colorado Senator Mark Udall has his mark on the proposed extension of the payroll tax cut.  Yesterday he added language to keep millionaires from receiving unemployment benefits.  Udall says those benefits are intended as a "social safety net" for those who lose their jobs and need temporary assistance while they look for employment-- not as extra cushion for the financially well off.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Rifle Electric Vehicles

The City of Rifle says it wants to see a state law limiting the use of what are called low-speed neighborhood electric vehicles.  The city bought 4 of them with Governor's Energy Office and other state funds a few years ago.  Now they say their use is limited to the north side of I-70 because of state safety and speed rules.  The Daily Sentinel says State Sen. Gail Schwartz of Snowmass Village is sponsoring a bill that would let the vehicles be used on 40 mph state roads.  C-DOT says it'll oppose the bill, citing major safety concerns.

Parks and Wildlife Mtg

There are 89 properties listed as part of the Colorado Natural Areas Program and the State Division of Parks and Wildlife is looking at adding three more.  The board is set to discuss the move at it's meeting in Ft. Collins Thursday.  One of the areas is over 2,500 acres  in San Miguel County, considered a critical area for the Gunnison sage-grouse.

Plane Crash

Four people are dead in a small plane crash north of Silverton.  The single engine plane was flying from Durango to Aspen when it went down Saturday afternoon.  Rescue crews were hampered by bad weather and 8 to 10 inches of snow had fallen at the crash site.

GJ Garage Fire

The house is safe, but the garage is gone.  When the Grand Junction Fire Department got to a reported garage fire on Bookcliff Court last night the whole thing was on fire.  The garage was attached to the house only by a short section of roof, that part damaged, but the house ok

Colorado Gas Prices

The price of gas in Colorado continues its downward slide, falling 5.2 cents in the past week to an average $3.27 a gallon.  ColoradoGasPrices.com says that's 17 cents a gallon lower than a month ago.  The lowest price in the coutnry is $2.84 in New Mexico.

Colorado Gives Day

Tomorrow is Colorado Gives Day and one of the featured non-profits is the Western Slope Center for Children.  Colorado Gives Day is sponsored by GivingFirst.org.  Colorado Gives Day is a 24 hour period to encourage charitable donations.

Greeley Shoplifters Arrested

Two men in Greeley are under arrest, accused of shooting at store security officers when confronted for shoplifting.  The Denver Post says the two ran from the store, then fired at the pursuinng officers

BLM Comments

The BLM has extended the comment period for the Colorado River Valley Resource Management Plan.  It covers a huge area including mineral resources in Mesa, Garfield, Rio Blanco, Eagle, and Pitkin counties over the next several decades.  The BLM was to have closed the comment period next week but says the draft is complex.  They say the extra time will give agencies and organizations time to thoroughly review the draft.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

District 51 Seeking Committee Members

School District 51 in Grand Junction is looking for citizens to sit on a Budget Oversight Committee next year.  The group will provide input to the board of education on budget development, and a report on the district's spending.  If you're interested you can contact the district by email at budget@d51schools.org by December 5th.

Powderhorn Forced to Surrender Water Rights?

A forfeiture of water rights may be the reason Powderhorn Mountain Resort is opening on time this year.  The Daily Sentinel reported that Congressman Scott Tipton says the U.S. Forest Service forced Powderhorn to surrender water rights so the ski area could open in two weeks.  Tipton has written a letter to Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell , asking the agency to honor a past water agreement.  The resort is set to open on December 15th.

Taco John's Closed for Now

Taco Johns on 12th St. is now in the hands of the State Department of Revenue after failing to pay state sales tax since last April.  The Daily Sentinel says an auction of equipment, inventory, furniture and fixtures is scheduled December 19th.

Shooting Victim Identified

The name of a Grand Junction man killed in an alleged home-invasion burlary has been released.  The Mesa County coroner says 43 year old Jesus Ray Sanchez Jr was shot in the head, the manner of death a homicide.  Sanchez was shot and killed last Friday morning when an Orchard Mesa homeowner said he tried to break into his house. The Sheriff's office is handling the case and says no arrests have been made.

Colorado has New Political Party

Colorado has a new minority party.  Secretary of State Scott Gessler says Americans Elect submitted thousands of signatures and has secured a line on next year's ballot.  The Daily Sentinel says the new organization would work much like a traditional political party, except choosing a nominee will be entirely done online.

Meeker School still not Operational

School officials in Meeker are still trying to figure out how to put an empty $18.9 million dollar elementary school up and running.  Settling soil is being blamed for structural issues and a Denver-based geotechnical engineering firm says the problems can be fixed.  The Denver Post says a study is needed on the soil classification and the school board hopes to sign off on it at its next meeting in December.

Clifton Sales Tax may Increase

Mesa County is a step closer to making Clifton pay more for its share of capital improvements.  That's the word after a final public meeting on the topic last night.  The Daily Sentinel says the county wants to create a capital improvement district with a 1 percent sales tax increase, and a board to decide how to spend the money.  200 business and property owners would have to sign a petition to get the issue on the 2012  ballot.

Foster in Washington DC Testufying on Higher Education

CMU President Tim Foster is in Washington, DC today testifying before a congressional subcommittee on higher education.  Foster's been invited to talk about cost saving measures allowing the university to make smaller tuition hikes than similar schools in the state.  The Daily Sentinel says Foster believes he was invited after speaking with education-committee staffers at a conference in Denver last June.

Legislative Redistricting Continues

The Colorado Supreme Court is to hear arguments tomorrow in Colorado's legislative redistricting.  According to the Daily Sentinel, the new map would put republican Representative Laura Bradford in a district including all of Mesa county and the western half of Delta county.  The city of Grand Junction would be in a district by itself, represented by republican Ray Scott.

Cause Determined in House Fires

Grand Junction fire investigators say a house fire on n. 26th Street Saturday night was caused by smoking in bed while using oxygen.  The department also says a neighbor and a Grand Junction Police Officer saved a man's life by pulling him from the house. The say the man tried to escape but collapsed after being overcome by smoke.

Cantaloupe Lawsuit

The Colorado Cantaloupe Grower responsible for a listeria outbreak, along with the food safety firms hired to audit the grower are being sued.  The Albuquerque Journal says the suit is filed on behalf of a Hobbs, New Mexico woman who was one of 19 deaths due to the outbreak.

Kids Aid

The Kids Aid back pack program got an early Christmas gift this year.  The program that helps feed underprivileged children on the weekends received a 40,000 dollar grant from Wal Mart.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Sex Offender Ruling

A Colorado Court of appeals ruling means a Mesa County convicted sex offender may get a new trial.  60 year old Thomas West was convicted of raping a 6 year old girl at a party with several adults consuming alcohol and meth.  The Daily Sentinel says West argued his public defender had a conflict of interest having represented the victim's mother some 23 times over the span of 8 years.  The ruling sends West's case back to Mesa County for new hearings to decide whether West should have a new trial.

2 GJ House Fires

Grand Junction Fire investigators are looking for the cause of a house fire early yesterday morning. The fire reported just after 6:00 when a person in the house noticed a red glow and got everyone out, 5 people in all.  The fire caused heay damage to the attic area and kitche.  No one was injured.  
Another fire the night before is also under investigation. A police officer and a neighbor helped pull a man from the fire on North 26th Street around 9:30 Saturday night.  Damage to that home was also described as significant.

Colorado Gas Prices

The price of gas in Colorado continues it's downward move, dropping 2 and a half cents a gallon in the past week.  ColoradoGasPrices.com says that moves the price to $3.33 a gallon, down 14 cents from last year.  The national average is $3.32.

[GasBuddy.com says the downward trend is likely shortlived, but a senior analyst there says he expects the average to remain between $3.23 and $3.50 a gallon through the end of the year.]

DMEA Meetings

The DMEA Board of Directors is holding a hearing on the co-op's 2012 rates tomorrow at their offices in Montrose.  DMEA says members in Delta county can meet with board members and management at two meetings this afternoon in Orchard City and tonight in Hotchkiss.  The DMEA proposed rate structure is posted at dmea.com.

GJ City Council Wkshp

The Grand Junction City Council is holding a special workshop tonight to talk about several issues. The council expects an update on a plan for natural gas drilling near Whitewater.  The BLM is accepting comments on the proposal through the end of the month.  Also tonight, the council is looking at an amendment to the city's weed and mowing ordinance, will consider a resolution regarding the Christo Flaming Gorge project.

Olathe Farmer Goes National

Olathe farmer John Harold is drawing some attention, national attention.  Harold said in September he wouldn't hire foreign visa workers after Congress raised the hourly rates for foreign workers.  But The Montrose Daily Press says most of the workers quit after just six hours on the job, and Harold changed his mind.  Now he's been interviewed by The New York Times, national and pulic radio, and Comedy Central's The Colbert Report.

CDOT facebook

CDOT has a facebook page it hopes will improve service and communication by offering information and two way communication. Executive Director Don Hunt says Twitter and email and text alerts have been successful, the facebook page will provide information about construction projects, events and photos.  You can get the new page at facebook.com/coloradodot.

Assault Arrest

A Grand Junction man is in the Mesa County Jail, accused of punching a man in the face, knocking him unconscious and breaking his jaw.  32 year old Kevin Buhr was arrested after the fight early yesterday at Cactus Canyon.  According to the Daily Sentinel, the victim told Sheriff's deupties Buhr hit him after he confront Buhr when his girlfriend said Buhr had groped her.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

CDOT Winter Programs

C-DOT says it's ready to start three proven programs to keep I-70 open through the mountains this winter.  Spokeswoman Stacy Stegman says the Heavy Tow program puts wreckers on standby to tow disabled semis blocking the interstate.  Then there's the Chain Assistance Program allowing drivers to buy chain and chain-up services between Dotsero and Denver West Blvd. The third program is the Courtesy Patrol, which provides free roadside assistance for flate tires, fuel, jump starts and short distance towing.

Ouray House Fire Cause

The Grand Junction Fire Department now says a house fire on Ouray avenue wasn't caused by hot clothing on a particle board table, but by hanging clothing next to a halogen work lamp.  The fire Monday night kept a family of 7 out of the house because of smoke damage.

Frack Loophole

Some environmental groups and state lawmakers on the front range say a proposed state rule requiring oil and gas drillers to disclose fracking chemicals will be worthless unless regluators close a trade-secrets loophole. The Denver Post says most companies are voluntarily complying now on a public data base, but the opposition says any number of chemicals could be hidden if a company says they are trade secrets.  The state oil and gas consrvation commission will take up the matter December 5th.

Montrose Roundabouts

The City of Montrose is getting ready to open two new roundabouts, the first there, so look for some tips for driving the traffic circles in the Montrose Daily Press, and on the city's website.. montrosecity.org  The new intersections will open by the end of the month at Woodgate and Ogden Roads, and North 9th Street and Grand Avenue.

Occupy Denver Suit

Supporters of Occupy Denver have filed a lawsuit in federal court claiming city officials have violated protesters' free speech rights.  According to the Denver Post, the suit says the city has selectively enforced various municipal ordinances to shut down the movement.  Denver's city attorney denies the allegations.  The first hearing in the case could come as soon as Monday.

Toys 4 Tots

Looks like the Salvation Army and Toys for Tots will team up for a toy drive in Mesa County this year. The two groups say they'll have more information later today.

Valley Investment Suit

The attorney representing investors who lost $30 million in the failed Valley Investment scheme have filed a law suit against several attorneys and others who worked for the company.  The Daily Sentinel says local attorney Joe Croker and accountant Sam Baldwin are named in the suit, as are a Denver law firm and two attorneys who defended Valley Investments owner Phillip Lochmiller.

Xcel Rate Hike

Xcel Energy wants a rate increase to pay for what it it calls a commitment to customers for safe, reliable, and increasingly clean energy at a reasonable cost.  If the PUC approved the rate hike, a 4% increase would be added to customers bills.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Unemployment in Colorado Improves

Colorado's unemployment numbers improved a bit in October.  The State labor department released data that says the rate declined to 8.1%.  Its a minuscule drop of 2 tenths of 1% but a drop nonetheless.  The department says 30,000 jobs have been created in Colorado since the beginning of the year.

Avalanche Campground to be Rebuilt

Falling trees shut down the Avalanche Campground near Carbondale over the summer, but the US Forest service says they will rebuild it.  The Glenwood Post Independent reports that the forest service will build 10 campsites in a meadow north of the existing campground.

BLM Approves Power Lines through Gunnison Gorge

The BLM has found no significant environmental impact in a proposed transmission line project that would pass through the Gunnison Gorge National Conservation area.  The Montrose Press reports that Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association Inc. applied for the easement that would cross nearly 5 miles of public land.  The BLM is accepting written comments on the project until December 12th.

Leaf Pick-up Behind

City crews in Grand Junction are working feverishly to get the leaf pick up program back on schedule.  Crews have had to shut down operations more than once due to heavy winds, and they say if you're leaves haven't been picked up, be patient, they'll be coming around as soon as possible.

Hunting Guide Shot

A 30-year-old Routt County hunting guide has been released from a hospital after he was accidentally shot by a hunter.  The Steamboat Springs Today says Jerry Cox of Meeker was wounded Friday night by a hunter from Delaware who had hired him. Authorities tell the paper there's no reason to think the shooting was on purpose, but the 65-year-old could face careless hunting or other charges.

Meeker School

The State Department of Regulatory Agencies has opened an investigation into construction of Meeker's new elementary school, left empty after structural integrity was brought into question by an article in the Denver Post.  The Post today says the investigation will focus on the structural engineer who worked on the project.  Gary Howell was fired yesterday by the company that built nearly $19 million school.

Democrats on Personhood

The Colorado Democratic Party is slamming a proposed anti-abortion amendment, calling it "extreme."  Party Chair Rick Palacia says Republicans are pushing an extreme amendment.  Personhood USA, which has filed the paperwork for the proposed amendment, says it is not a political entity and is not working with the Republican Party.

Museum Funding

Budget problems at the Museum of Western Colorado are looking up.  A rollercoaster of county funding has museum staff reeling.  The Daily Sentinel says the museum expected budget cuts next year.  But now the county says it will keep next year's funding at this year's level.  $25,000 is being set aside to hire a consultant to help ensure long term fundraising and outside support.

Ouray Ave. House Fire

A house fire in Grand Junction is being blamed on clothes removed from a hot dryer.  The fire department says the house at 802 Ouray was filled with smoke when the family of seven returned home around 6:00 last night.  Spokesman Mike Page says hot clothing placed on an unfinished particle caused the particle board to ignite.

Super Committee Failure

Colorado's U-S Senators and Representatives are more than disappointed at the failure of the so-called "super committee" to reach a deficit reduction plan.  Senator Mark Udall is calling for a balanced budget amendment, Representative Mike Coffman calls the committees failure to make cuts, "fundamentally dishonest."

Worker Deaths

New statistics released by the annual Census of Fatal Occupation Injures says 34% of workplace death in Colorado in 2010 were transportation related.  The state health department says the 80 deaths last year translates to about three deaths for every 100,000 workers in Colorado.

Monday, November 21, 2011

D-51 Budget Committee

The District 51 School Board is putting together a Budget Development/Oversight committee to offer the board recommendations and develop a community report on the district's spending decisions.  They're looking for as diverse a group as they can get.  You can get applications online or at the district office before the December 5th deadline.

Colorado Gas Prices

The price of gas in Colorado has taken a dive...now averaging $3.35 gallon.  Coloradogasprices.com says that's 7.1 cents less than last week.  National prices are way down too, 5.7 cents lower this week.  Prices in Colorado are about 15 cents lower than a month ago.

RBW RAK

Talk about a random act of kindness...  The folks at RBW Inc. are giving away 300 turkey dinners.  What's the catch?  Absolutely nothing.  The company bought and paid for all the turkeys and is throwing in boxed mash potatoes, gravy and stuffing.  The giveaway is tomorrow beginning at noon at 2458 Industrial Blvd.

New Personhood Amendment

A Denver-based pro-life group says it's ready to start collecting signatures to put a new personhood amendment on next year's Colorado ballot.  They'll need about 79,000 valid signatures.  According to The Denver Post, Personhood USA says the measure will include new wording aimed at protecting "every child, no matter their size, level of development, gender, age or race."

Priest Arrested

A 67 year old Catholic priest from Chicago has been arrested there on charges of sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust, and attempted sexual assault on a child in Colorado.  The Denver Post says Father Richard Kurtz was a chemistry teacher in Detroit at the time of the alleged Douglas County assault in 2001.

Waste Management Gift

Waste Management of Colorado is doing something cool for Thanksgiving this year.  Instead of giving each employee a turkey- as usual, they're donating $4,000 to the Western Slope Food Bank of the Rockies.  Area Vice President Scott Bradley calls it an "excellent opportunity to give back to the communities we serve."  Employees will present the check tomorrow.

Christmas Tree Permits

If you're planning to cut your own Christmas Tree this year, you can get permits from the US Forest Service or BLM.  They cost $8-$10 per tree and are available all over the western slope. The permits come with maps and regulations, and even helpful information on cutting locations and species availability.

4th St. Fire

South 4th Street is open after a late night fire.  A vacant house caught fire ...all the fire engines blocked south 4th Street across from Whitman Park for about an hour.  A  passerby noticed flames at 10:45 last night.  Police got there first and tried to stop it with fire extinguishers.  The fire department got there and had it out in a minute or two.  Damage: $5,000.

Monday, November 7, 2011

CDPW Checkpoint

Colorado Parks and Wildlife is teaming up with the state patrol and other agencies for a checkpoint on I-70.  Spokesman Mike Porras says law enforcement is an effective tool in wildlife management and that's the reason for the checkpoint.  Utah Wildlife agencies are involved along with U-S Fish and Wildlife.  Porras says a checkpoint like this one hasn't been conducted on an interstate since 1993.

Christo OK

The BLM's Royal Gorge Field Office has released its Record Of Decision approving the Over the River temporary art installation. It's the $50 million project by the artist Christo which includes suspending fabric panel segments totaling 5.9 miles within a 42-mile stretch of the Arkansas River.  Officials say the show will draw visitors to Colorado and support jobs in tourism. Construction is to start next year for a two-week display in August 2014.

Colorado Gas Prices

Colorado gas prices have fallen 3.4 cents a gallon in the past week to $3.45,  Still 81 cents higher than a year ago.  ColoradoGasPrices.com says crude oil prices have moved 13 cents a gallon between high and low in the last week, so it's surprising average prices have moved very little.

Don't Call 9-1-1!

You probably hear EAS tests every week on this station, and on Wednesday at noon, the test is scheduled to coincide with tests on every station in the country: tv, cable, and radio and tv satellite.  The test is just like any other, but because it will occur simultaneously on every frequency, emergency managers want people to know it is only a test and they should not call 9-1-1 unless they do have an emergency.

Energy Revenue to States

The Interior Department is passing out $11.2 billion in energy revenues to state, tribal and federal governments.  Colorado is getting $156.8 million, the third highest amount among states.  The money is from mineral production including oil, gas and coal production. Wyoming led the way with more than $434 million, followed by New Mexico then Colorado, with Utah close behind.

[A complete list of states receiving revenues through fiscal year 2011 is available on the Office of Natural Resources Revenue’s website at www.onrr.gov]

Fruitvale Stabbing

Still no word on a stabbing on Dawn Drive in Fruitvale late last night.  A man was stabbed and left bleeding in the street.  The Mesa County Sheriff's Office says a man was arrested on drug charges, but no one has been arrested in the stabbing.

Arson Dog Kudos

The Colorado Bureau of Investigation's Arson Dog is being featured Friday on the Hallmark Channel.  Agent Jerry Means and award-winning K9 Sadie were chosen as the American Humane Association’s Hero Dog in the Law Enforcement / Arson Dog category. Friday’s TV show is at 6pm and recaps the awards ceremony and describes what each dog in all categories accomplished to be recognized.

Stabbing Investigated

The Mesa County Sheriff's Department is trying to piece together what happened in Fruitvale last night.  One man was stabbed several times outside his home on Dawn Drive.  KKCO reports that the man was left in the street bleeding, and there are no suspects at this time.  Cocaine was found in the victims home upon a search, but no arrests have been made at this time.

Auto Theft Ring Uncovered

The Garfield County Sheriff's office helped uncover an apparent gang related car theft ring on the Western Slope and Front Range.  Deputies along with federal agencies helped piece together the chain of events that led to the arrest of 3 juvenile boys, all of whom reportedly belong to the Sureno gang.  The group is known to have stolen 7 vehicles, and broken into several more.  They face multiple felony charges.

City Market Employees Steals Thousands

The City Market on 24 road was victimized by one of it's own employees.  Police say 64 year old Trudy McKinnon stole thousands of dollars while working the gas fuel island.  McKinnon reportedly voided cash sales of cigarettes and pocketed the cash.  She faces felony theft and computer crime charges.

National Guard Unit gets Donation

The Montrose based 928th Area Support Medical Company is stationed in Afghanistan right now, but members just got another way to talk with family and friends here in Western Colorado.  The Daily Sentinel reported that the Delta Montrose Electrical Association has purchased phone cards for the 928th, so they can call family during the holidays.  The unit is expected to return home in February.

Woman Wanted for Child Abuse

Police in Grand Junction are looking for a woman wanted on child abuse charges.  24 year old Ysenia Garcia is wanted on charges of child abuse with serious bodily injury.  Garcia is described as 5'1" and 200 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes.  If you have any information on her whereabouts, please call crimestoppers at 241-STOP.

Coal Ridge Saves Energy and Money

Coal Ridge High School's efforts to save on energy expenditures paid off.  The school finished in the top 10% of the EPA contest to reduce energy use.  The school cut energy use by 24%, and saved money too.  The Daily Sentinel says Garfield County Re-2 School District saved $168,000 with the program this year.

Readiness Center Ready

A new home for National Guard training and education is open in Grand Junction.  A ribbon cutting ceremony was held over the weekend, and the Grand Junction Readiness Center is now operational.  The new facility was funded by state and federal grants.  It offers National Guard Soldiers a place to train for state and federal missions.

Train Death Investigated

Police in Arvada are trying to figure out why a man walked into the path of an oncoming train.  KMGH TV says the man was walking along the tracks before making the fatal turn into the path of the train.  The train was bound for Grand Junction, and it's crew did not know they had hit the man until contacted by police.  Witnesses told police that it appeared that the man waited for the engine to pass before being struck. His identity has not been released.

No New County in Colorado

A move to create Colorado's 65th county has apparently died.  A committee pushing to create St. Vrain County in what is now northern Boulder and Southern Weld Counties disbanded.  The last county added to the books was Broomfield County in 1998.  The group registered with the secretary of state in May, but has since given up their effort.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Armed Robbery


Grand Junction Police are looking for a man who held up the 12th Street Rite Aid about 9:15 this morning.  Sgt. Dave Stassen says the man was about 5-8 to 5-10 wearing a khaki colored stocking cap, green winter jacket, dark knit pants and hollywood style sunglasses.  He made off with a small amount of drugs. Anyone with information should call:

Call Crime Stoppers  241-STOP (7867)
or Dispatch  at 242-6707

US Forest Decision

A U-S District Court Decision says Mountain Coal Company can continue work on the E-Seam Coal Project.  WildEarth Guardians sued, saying the planned devleopment on the Paonia Ranger District was inadequate and failed to analyze alternatives to mitigate effects of methane releases.  The judge found the forest service satisfied its legal obligations.

Occupy Ft. Collins Arson Arrest

A member of Occupy Ft Collins has been arrested, suspected of starting a $10 million fire in downtown Ft. Collins October 24th.  The Ft. Collins Coloradan says the fire gutted a four-story condominium building under construction and heavily damaged another four-story condo complex next door, and several businesses.

Rangely Remains

Authorities in Rangely are resting easier knowing skeletal remains found Tuesday are actually at least 100 years or older.  Workers digging an oil pipeline trench made the discovery.  The CBI and county coroner determined the age of the bones and say the skeleton belonged to a Native American.

Occupy Grand Junction

Members of Occupy Grand Junction say they'll march tomorrow in support of National Bank Transfer day, meeting at the old Mesa County Courthouse.  The group says it's encouraging people to transfer their money out of big banks and put it into local banks and credit unions to support the local economy.  The march begins at noon and is expected to last about an hour.

I-70 Closure

A two-trailer semi truck hauling hazardous material on I-70 in the mountains burst into flames this morning, shutting down the interstate.  It happened around 2:00 a.m. in the westbound lanes.  The state patrol says Hazmat crews contained the materials, including corrosive and flamable materials, to the immediate area.  All but one westbound lane were reopened about an hour later.

Winter Storm

Another winter storm is moving into Colorado.  A winter storm watch is up tonight in the central and northern mountains. A storm warning in the southern mountains Sunday.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Aurora Child Abuse Arrest

Police in Aurora have arrested the mother of two children who died in a house fire early Sunday.  They say 23 year old Danielle Brockman was not home when the fire started.  She's being held in lieu of $500,000 bail on suspicion of two counts of child abuse/negligence resulting in death.

MesaCo Crime Stoppers

Mesa County Crimestoppers are looking for information about a woman wanted for child abuse with serious bodily injury.  The woman is 24 year old Yessenia Garcia, an Hispanic woman about 5-1" tall, 200 pounds with black hair and brown eyes.  Go to  241-stop.com.

Don't Shoot Moose

Officials with Parks and Wildlife again are warning hunters to only shoot what they can identify.  Halfway through the fall rifle seasons, they're investigating 11 cases of moose being shot.  Hunters who may see suspicious activity in the field are asked to contact the local District Wildlife Manager, enforcement agency or Operation Game Thief toll-free at 877-COLO-OGT.

GJ House Fire

No one injured in a house fire this morning on 28 Road.  Grand Junction Fire investigators say four people were in the home when the fire started in a laundry room and spread to a crawl space just before 7:00 this morning.  The fire is under investigation although it appears a nonworking heater is to blame.

New Listeria Death

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says listeria from Colorado Cantaloupes has killed another person, bringing the death toll from the outbreak to 29.  The Denver Post says 139 people have been sickened and a pregnant woman miscarried as a result of listeria traced to the Jensen Farms outbreak.

Bear Cubs Rehabbed

The Pauline Schneegas Wildlife Foundation near Silt says a pair of orphaned bear cubs will likely be released back into the wild next spring.  The mother was shot by DOW officers near Crestone in August, suspected of killing a goat on a nearby ranch.  The Denver Post says caregivers haven't gotten too close to the cubs to maintain a fear of humans, and help ensure a successful transition back into the wild.

Pitkin CO Lawsuit Dismissed

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit against Pitkin County and two building inspectors over the deaths of a Denver family of four who died from carbon monoxide poisoning.  The Aspen Daily news says a criminal case is continuing.  The judge said the people who sued failed to prove the county and its building inspectors created the danger that led to the 2008 deaths.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

District 51 and State Schools Lose Out

It's back to the drawing board for Mesa County School District 51.  Referred measure 3B was defeated soundly by a 61 to 38 percent margin.  The measure would nave raised $12.5 million dollars annually for 6 years with a mill levy override.  A statewide tax hike to fund education was also defeated.  Nearly 75% of voters said no to proposition 103, which would have raised nearly $3 billion dollars for education in Colorado.

Roaring Fork Schools Win

The Roaring Fork Re-1 school district had better luck with voters than District 51.  Voters there approved Referred Measure 3E to help fund those schools in a fairly close vote.  In Debeque, school tax measure 3A failed by a 56 to 43 percent margin.

Tisue Defeats Enos-Martinez for School Board

In the lone contested District 51 School Board race, Anne Tisue defeated incumbent Ciny Enos Martinez.  Tisue garnered 45% of the vote in District B.  The rest of the School board races were won by unopposed candidates.

Pot Shop to Stay in Palisade

Palisade will still be the home to the Grand Valley's only medical marijuana dispensary.  Voters there defeated Referred Measure 2B which would have banned the pot shop.  A sales tax on marijuana however, was approved by voters in Palisade.

Record Election Turnout

If you didn't like the results of this year's election, it wasn't because of poor voter turnout.  Mesa County set a record for turnout in an odd election year, surpassing the 58% of voters that made it to the polls in 2005.  This year 59.84% or 38,431 ballots were cast.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Western Colo Auto Theft Task Force Award

The Western Colorado Auto Theft Task Force the Team Achievement Award from the Colorado Auto Theft Prevention Authority.  The award recognized the less than two year old program for the recovery of 17 stolen vehicles in the first six months of the year.  The team is also credited with 12 felony arrests related to auto theft in that period. The team is made up of officers from the Grand Junction and Fruita Police Departments, Mesa County Sheriff’s Office, Colorado State Patrol, and Mesa County District Attorney’s Office.

Delta Missing Hunter

Delta County Search and Rescue teams say they're in a "body recovery" mode as they look for a missing hunter.  Sheriff Fred McKee tells the Montrose Daily Press it's reasonable to assume 73 year old Terry Baughn of Ohio, did not survive.  He was reported missing October 26th in the Leroux Creek area northwest of Hotchkiss. Since then, at least 10 inches of snow has fallen in the area.

MesaCo Voting Numbers

If you still haven't voted, you have until 7:00 tonight to turn in your ballot.  In Mesa County, nearly 35,000 ballots had been received by 1:00 this afternoon, close to 55% of active voters.  Polls open until 7 tonight.

Hickenlooper Budget

Governor John Hickenlooper has released a proposed budget, his first since taking office in January.  The budget is $18.7 billion and includes more cuts to education, although smaller than cuts of the past two years.  It also would mark the fourth year in a row without salary increases for state workers.

Listeria Lawsuit

The family of an 89 year old north Texas woman who died after eating cantaloupe allegedly tainted with listeria has filed a negligence lawsuit against the grower, Jensen Farms, in Holly, Colorado.  The Denver Post says the lawsuit filed on behalf of the woman's children, also names Frontera Produce.  28 deaths in a dozen states have been linked to the listeria outbreak.

Independence Pass Closed

C-DOT says Independence Pass is closed for the duration of a forecast winter storm, and may be closed for the season.  The closure is 18 miles, including the area from just east of Aspen to west of Twin Lakes.

Sex Predator Arrested

A sexual predator on the run since his conviction in Denver in April of last year is under arrest in Michigan.  The U-S Attorney's Office in Denver says 55 year old Richard Heeringa was one of their 15 Most Wanted fugitives.  He was arrested Saturday by a task force including officers in Michigan, federal agents and the Douglas County, Colorado Sheriff’s Office.

Nation's Report Card

The "Nation's Report Card" is out and shows Colorado 4th and 8th grade students outpace most other states in math and reading assessments.  The National Assessment of Educational Progress says 5 states outperformed Colorado 4th graders in scale score on math, and 8 states were  better in reading.  8th grade scores were even better, with only 2 states above Colorado in math, and 3 states scoring higher in reading.


[For the complete results, visit http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/]

Hartman Re-Assigned

Dan Hartman, the state's marijuana enforcement officer, has been re-assigned after a controversial letter that some say suggested that Palisade voters should not vote to ban medical marijuana dispensaries.  Hartman will become the new director of the Division of Racing Events.  Colorado Attorney General John Suthers denounced the letter this week, saying it was inappropriate.  Palisade voters will decide the fate of dispensaries today.

Whitewater Drilling Plan

A new plan is in place for a company that hit oil near Whitewater while test drilling for natural gas.  Fram Operating LLC now plans to drill 108 wells from a dozen pads in the area.  The BLM will be hosting an open house and public comment period on the plan.  The open house will be held on November 8th at the Double Tree Inn.  The comment period will run until December 1st.

Fatal Crash in Garfield County

Two Grand Junction men are dead after a rollover accident north of DeBeque.  24 year old Andrew Marquez, and 25 year old Travis Oropeza were working for Oxy. USA and on their way to a  drill rig when the accident occurred.  The truck they were driving slid off the road in the Logan Wash area, and rolled over 1,000 feet down a steep embankment.  The accident is under investigation.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Mesa County Elections Drop Off Locations

BALLOT DROP OFFS ARE OPEN UNTIL 7PM NOVEMBER FIRST

*THE OLD MESA COUNTY COURTHOUSE

*THE DMV IN MESA MALL

*CLIFTON DMV

*GOODWILL ON 24 1/2 ROAD

ALL LOCATIONS OPEN UNTIL 7PM NOVEMBER 1ST

Garfield County Fatal Crash

The Colorado State Patrol is investigating a fatal crash on private property in Garfield County.  Trooper Nate Reid says two men were in a pickup on a gravel road near County Roads 204 and 492.  The truck went off the side of the road and rolled a thousand feet, landing on another private gravel road.  Both men died at the scene.  Their names have not been released.

More Winter Weather

Mild weather is stepping aside for another strong cold front. The National Weather Service says rain is expected tomorrow night and it could turn to snow in the valleys late tomorrow into Wednesday morning.
weather.gov/gjt

Whitewater Drilling

The price of gas is down a couple cents in Colorado.  Still higher than the national average, by not by much.  Colorado Gas Prices.com says our price is 83 cents a gallon higher than a year ago.  The national average is 65 cents a gallon higher.

The BLM is looking for comments on proposed oil and gas development near Whitewater.  Fram Operating wants to develop as many as 108 wells from 12 pads on 26,000 acres over four years beginning next year.  The proposal is a new one, replacing a much larger development proposal submitted by Fram in spring 2010.

The company is holding a public meeting at the Double Tree Hotel in Grand Jucntion November 7th.   Written comments should be sent to the BLM on H Road in Grand Junction by December 1st.


Fram and BLM will hold a public open house meeting Nov. 8 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Grand Junction Doubletree Inn, 743 Horizon Drive. The public can stop by anytime during this open house to learn more about the new proposal and provide written comments.

Written comments will be most helpful if received by Dec. 1, 2011 and should be sent to the Grand Junction Field Office at 2815 H Road, Grand Junction, CO  81506. Comments may also be submitted via email at gjfo_webmail@blm.gov<mailto:gjfo_webmail@blm.gov>.

Copies of Fram's Master Development Plan are available for review at the BLM Grand Junction Field Office. Digital copies of Fram's proposal and a project map are available at http://www.blm.gov/co/st/en/fo/gjfo.html. For more information, contact Julia Christiansen at 970-244-3093.

Moose Illegally Killed

The Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife is looking for a hunter who may have illegally killed a bull moose near Silverthorne on Oct. 22.  It happened along the Gore Range and Rock Creek/Pebble Creek Trail.  A couple of hikers say a hunter told them he had shot the moose by mistake, but so far, that person hasn't talked with wildlife officers.  Operation Game Thief offers a reward if a tip leads to a citation.

[call Shannon Schwab, Colorado Parks and Wildlife Officer in Summit County at 970-485-3081. Callers wishing to remain anonymous can contact Operation Game Thief toll-free at 1-877-265-6648. Operation Game Thief offers a reward if a tip leads to a citation.]

Montrose Runway Open

The Montrose Regional Airport says a runway closed for sewer line repairs is back open.  The problem started back in May when the city was boring underneath runway 17-35.  There were settling problems with the soil, making the runway unsafe.  Airport Director Lloyd Arnold says 42 holes were drilled into the surface of the runway and grout pumped in.  Arnold says the runway was reopened October 22nd.

Garfield County Double Fatal

Two men are dead in rollover crash on a private, gravel mountain road in Garfield County.  The Colorado State Patrol says the pickup the two were in went off the side of the road and rolled down a thousand foot mountainside and came to rest on another gravel road.  The two men died at the scene of the crash.  Troopers got the call at about 11:20 this morning.

New Grocery Store in Grand Junction

Grocery shoppers in Grand Junction will have another choice in organic, and natural groceries soon.  The Sunflower Farmers Market, a Boulder based store will open in the Rimrock Shopping Center.  The store specializes in organic produce, and all natural meats.  The store is set to open for business sometime next year.

Fake Finger Fools Investigators

A very Halloween like prank was pulled yesterday when State Troopers and Mesa County Sheriff's Investigators found a severed finger on Interstate 70.  KKCO reported that a hitch hiker spotted the finger and reported it.  Investigators scoured the scene for evidence, and called the local hospitals to try and find the victim.  Unfortunately for them, the finger was made of rubber and they were the butt of a Halloween joke.

Mill Levy Overrides get Support

A pair of groups supporting mill levy override measures to help fund education raised the money they were hoping for before the election.  The friends of School District 51 in Mesa County raised $50,000 to support Referred Measure 3B in this week's election.  In Garfield County, a committee supporting the Roaring Fork School District Re 1 raised nearly $30,000 dollars, according to the Glenwood Post, to support the passing of Ballot Measure 3E.  Both mill levy overrides would help fund the districts during the down economy.  Election day is tomorrow.

Protests Peaceful on Sunday

The "occupy" protests were much calmer in Denver yesterday, after a Saturday of violent outbursts.  Officers donned riot gear, and pepper spray Saturday afternoon.  Officers say things got violent when about 2,000 protestors tried to make their way up the capitol building steps.  Police say protestors began fighting with officers, and things escalated from there.  Protestors say it was the police that started the outburst.

ATM Robbery

Grand Junction Police are still looking for the person who broke into the McDonalds on Highway 6&50 last week.  They say the person drilled through the locks and broke into the store, then robbed the ATM machine inside, making off with up to $5,000.  Police say there is no suspect information at this time, and the robbery is under investigation

I-70 Hazardous Waste Crash

A wreck, and hazardous waste spill shut down westbound I-70 yesterday evening.  Colorado State Patrol says a semi truck carrying thousands of gallons of methanol used a run-away truck ramp near Copper Mountain.  The truck rolled, and spilled some of it's 4,900 gallon load. The road was re-opened at about 8:30 last night.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Fruita Would-Be robbery

Fruita Police are on the lookout or a would-be robber stopped by a smart Grand Valley National Bank employee.  Police Chief Mark Angelo says the woman was approaching the bank to open this morning when a man with a gun told her to open up. She walked to a nearby restaurant instead, and called police.  A K-9 lost the robber's track about a 1/2 mile from the bank.

Health Ins. Premiums

Health insurance premiums in Colorado are expected to go up 9.4% next year, fairly good news considering they went up 14.4% this year.  The Denver Post says the news is really good considering it's the lowest increase since 2000.

Halloween Pedestrians

Triple A Colorado is reminding drivers to be careful of pedestrians, especially during the Halloween.  The group says statistics show 607 pedestrians were killed in Colorado between 2000 to 2009, and October 31 is the deadliest night of the year for pedestrians.

November Election

The election is Tuesday and of the more than 64,000 ballots mailed to voters in Mesa County, nearly 26,000 have been returned.  That's 34%.  If you didn't get your ballot in the mail today, you can drop it off at the clerk's office in the old Mesa county Courthouse until 7pm Tuesday.  You can also drop off your ballots at the dmv in Mesa mall, Clifton motor vehicles or Goodwill on 24 1/2 Road.

New Cars in Colorado

New car and light-truck registrations in Colorado are on the rise, up 13.7 percent this year.  According to the Denver Post, the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association says those new registrations indicate a strong interest in newer, higher-quality and more fuel-efficient cars.

Drug Take Back

Tomorrow is national prescription drug take back day, an opportunity for people to safely get rid of unused drugs and over the counter medication.  Drop off sites are open from 10 until 2 tomorrow at the Mesa County Sheriff's office and Police Departments in Grand Junction and Palisade.  You can also drop off old medication in Fruita at the Civic Center.

Halloween Heat is On

The Heat is On Campaign is in full effect for Halloween with increased patrols this weekend into next Tuesday.  DUI checkpoints are also scheduled in many jurisdictions.  Last year's Halloween enforcement netted 439 DUI arrests statewide.

Craig Shell

Shell oil is in business in Craig.  The company tells the Craig Daily Press a rig sitting next to Highway 317 was stalled by C-Dot, concerned about the weight of the thing damaging the road.  Those concerns worked out, Rig 94 is on site and drilling.  More activity's expected in the area focused on exploratory operations.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Glenwood Lockdown

Glenwood Springs Middle School went on lockdown Tuesday, and police say it was because of a child playing with a toy gun.  The Glenwood Post Independent says the boy was playing with an air soft toy gun.  Police say students were never in any danger, and that a passerby reported the weapon.  The lockdown lasted just over an hour.

Good Election Results Already

It looks like this year's election will be another record breaking one for voter turnout in Mesa County.  The Daily Sentinel is reporting that 34 percent of registered voters' mail in ballots have already been returned.  That puts the county on track to break the record for turnout in an odd election year, set in 2005 when 58% of registered voters participated.

Missing Hunter in Delta County

Officials in Delta County are also looking for a missing hunter.  The Delta County Sheriff's office says 75 year old Terry Baughn of Howard Ohio was with a hunting party in the Leroux creek area northwest of Hotchkiss.  Searchers worked into the night, and will continue today.

Carbondale Bans Plastic Shopping Bags

In a growing trend for the Roaring Fork Valley, and Colorado for that matter, Carbondale town trustees have banned the use of plastic shopping bags at local grocery stores.  The Glenwood Post Independent reports that the ban will take effect in May.  Aspen already has a similar ban, and Carbondale officials told the paper, that they hope this clears the way for towns like Basalt and Glenwood Springs too.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

VA Rabies

The Grand Junction VA is taking part in a nationwide preventative health program and contacting veterans who've returned from Iraq, Afghanistan or other areas in Southeast Asia in the last 18 months.  Those people may have been exposed to rabies.  The incubation period is usually a few days to six months, but in extremely rare cases, the incubation period has lasted several years. You can get more information at our website, mbcgrandnews.com.

[www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/rabies/]

Fake Microsoft Scam

Aspen Street Computers in Fruita is warning Microsoft users to be aware of a scam going on in the area.  They say they've had 5 customers this week taken for $150 from scammers calling and identifying themselves as being from Microsoft.  They ask for control of your desktop, then infect it with viruses.   Aspen Street says Microsoft does not make these calls, and you should not turn over control of your computer.

Aspen Gondolas--Not!

Don't look for a gondola system to link all four ski mountains in Aspen's upper valley.  A committee of elected officials has rejected the idea.  The Aspen Daily News says several on the committee cited a variety of issues against the proposal, including the potential for high winds shutting down the system and stranding skiers.

Missing Hunter Update

Mesa County, Colorado— Deputies and volunteers will demobilize at 6:30 p.m., the search effort for missing hunter, Jim Mcarthy, who is now believed to be between 35 and 40 years old. This is updated and corrected information from what was previously released (below).
Overnight, one rescuer will remain in the area to monitor the roads. This rescuer will use noise, lights, sirens and listening to further try and contact the missing hunter. The search incident is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. tomorrow if Mcarthy is not located overnight.
http://sheriff.mesacounty.us/pressreleases.aspx

Rock Fall I-70 Update

The first storm of the winter closed parts of I-70 this morning.  A rockslide around 5:00 shut down both directions at Palisade.  At least  two vehicles hit rocks the size of basketballs.  No one was injured.  CDOT crews used snow plows to clear the road.  It was back open just after 6:30.
cotrip.org

Missing Hunter

Mesa County Search and rescue crews are looking for a missing hunter in the area of Mosquito Lake and 79 Road/West Divide Creek in the far eastern reaches of Mesa County.  They were first called out about 8:30 last night and found one hunter. A second hunter is still missing.  Mesa County Search and Rescue Control is working with crews from Garfield County.

Most up to date:   http://sheriff.mesacounty.us/pressreleases.aspx

VA Scam

Officials at the Grand Junction VA say some veterans have reported getting calls from someone claiming to be with the VA asking for personal information like social security and bank account numbers.  They say they never ask for information when contacting a veteran, only when they are contacted.

[Veterans who believe they have been targeted for identify theft or a scam should report the attempt to the Veterans Affairs Office of the Inspector General using the OIG hotline at 1 (800) 488-8244 or by sending a fax to (202) 565-7936 or by e-mailing vaoighotline@va.gov .

Whitewater Standoff

Mesa County Sheriff's Deputies say they're looking for a 46 year old man on domestic violence related charges after a five and a half hour stand off in Whitewater.  The SWAT team and deputies set up a perimeter around a home on Whiting Road last night believing Robert Lambert was inside.  When the finally entered they found the house empty.  Sheriff's spokeswoman Heather Benjamin says Lambert has a long history of run-ins with the law.

Denver Gang Crackdown

Federal officials in Denver say a summer crack down on gun violence in the Denver area led to the arrests of 80 armed gang members or their associates, and the seizure of 121 firearms including machine guns, sawed-off shotguns, handguns, and over 10,000 rounds of ammunition.  Local police departments teamed up with feds.

Tipton-Pace Fundraising

3rd District Congressman Scott Tipton is leading the fundraising part of his next campaign, collecting more than twice as much as his Democrat challenger, Sal Pace, currently the minority leader in the Colorado House.  The Daily Sentinel says the information is from records compiled by OpenSecrets.org, the Center for Responsive Politics.

Oil Spill Clean Up

Crews are still working along Highway 141 near Gateway to clean up an oil spill that made it's way into West Creek.  Officials believe that about 3,500 gallons of oil leaked from the tanker truck on Monday.  KJCT reports that the clean up effort will cost the trucking company around $300,000.  The oil only traveled about 1000 feet downstream.

I-70 Closed in DeBeque Canyon

Eastbound and now Westbound Interstate 70 in closed this morning in DeBeque Canyon.  C-Dot says snow is a problem, but a rock slide near mile marker 49 has caused the closure. State Patrol says there are numerous cars off the road in the area and westbound lanes are now closed as well.  C-Dot says eastbound cars are being diverted at the Palisade exit, and westbound traffic is being turned around at Cameo.  Again, eastbound and westbound  I-70 is closed this morning due to a large rock slide in DeBeque canyon.

Chain restrictions are also in place on Vail Pass, and at Eisenhower Tunnel.  The same is true for Red Mountain, Molas, and Coal Bank Passes on Highway 550, and McClure Pass on Highway 133.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

$1.5 million Bond in Taco Bell Murder

Bond has been set at $1.5 million for a California man accused in the July murder of a Grand Junction man at the North Avenue Taco Bell.  The Daily Sentinel says 20 year old Christian Fuentes from East Palo Alto has been held since July 19th in connection with a crimes spree in Grand Junction and the murder of 31 year old Jorge Carrasco July 16th. 18 year old Lester Miranda-Davis of Clifton is already charged.  Police are still looking for two other suspects.

Xcel Prepares for Snow

Xcel Energy is getting ready for expected snow in the Denver area by increasing staff to handle customer service calls.  While a snow storm isn't unusual, what is-- is the number of trees with leaves still on them.  Xcel's expecting alot of those branches to break and lead to power outages.

http://www.xcelenergy.com/Outages
 •To report power outages call                      1-800-895-1999    
 •To report natural gas emergencies call         1-800-895-2999    
  To report any downed power lines call         911 or 1-800-895-1999      

Arson Charges

A 22 yea rold man is is facing charges of arson in a forest fire near Colorado Springs in August.  Michael Anthony Penn was arrested in Las Vegas is set to arraigned in U-S District Court in Denver tomorrow. If convicted, Penn faces up to five years in prison and fines as high as $500,000.

Man Rescued from River near Lake City

A man was rescued this morning from his car which plunged into the Lake Fork of the Gunnison River near Lake City on Highway 149.  KJCT reported that a wildlife officer rescued the driver.  Colorado State Patrol says the man was possibly forced off the road by another vehicle.  The accident is under investigation.

Election Lawsuits to Remain Seperate

An Aspen woman's request to consolidate two lawsuits against election officials in Mesa and Jefferson Counties was denied.  The Daily Sentinel reports that Marylin Marks will proceed with the suits.  She is questioning the reliability of voting machines used in the counties, and told the newspaper she doesn't want to cast doubt on any election results.

Oil Spill on Highway 141 Cleaned Up

An oil spill snarled traffic on Highway 141 near Gateway yesterday.  An oil tanker carrying 10,000 gallons of crude oil rolled off the highway and spilled the oil into West Creek.  Grand Junction Fire Department Haz Mat crews worked to clean up the spill, and the road was reopened yesterday evening.  There is no word on the cause of the accident.

Pile-up on I-70 Started by Barell

A bizarre chain reaction crash on I-70 in the Beaver tunnel in DeBeque Canyon slowed traffic yesterday afternoon.  A flatbed truck transporting 55 gallon drums lost one barrel that was hit by one car.  That caused a chain reaction of more accidents involving 5 vehicles in all.  There were no serious injuries and the crash is under investigation.

Montrose Man's Family Looking for Answers

A 23 year old Montrose man's ex-girlfriend will not be facing murder charges after Fort Collins officials ruled that she was acting in self defense when she stabbed Shaun Cassidy in the neck with a broken beer bottle.  Cassidy's family now says they want an appeal.  KJCT says Cassidy's family is confused about the ruling, but Colorado's "make my day" laws will keep 21 year old Azura Lakin from facing charges.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Health Insurance Town Hall Canceled

The Colorado Division of Insurance has canceled a town hall meeting scheduled for tonight at Two Rivers Convention Center.  They say expected winter weather in the high country is the reason.  The town hall was to make sure people are informed about changes in health insurance, and since they haven't been able to reschedule, DORA says people should visit askdora.colorado.gov to get the latest information.

GVT CNG Buses


Grand Valley Tranisit is showing off its newest buses.  Two Compressed Natural Gas fueled buses have been added to the fleet.  20% of the $914,000 cost is covered by Mesa County and its local GVT partners, the remaining 80% covered by a grant from the Federal Transit Administration.  GVT expects to save big bucks in fuel over the lifetime of the buses.
gvt.mesacounty.us

Traffic


A couple of oils spills keeping the state patrol busy today.  The first in a rollover on 141 near Gateway late this morning.  Crude oil was believed spilled into West Creek. The second crash blocked traffic for awhile inside the westbound Beaver Tail Tunnel on I-70 when a truck reportedly dropped a barrel of oil leading to a four car crash.

Weather Changing

Weather is about to change in Colorado.  Winter storm watches are up for much of the higher mountains for snow, 8 to 16 inches in some mountain areas.  Today, the northeastern plains are under a red flag warning for dry/windy conditions before that storm.  Western Colorado is getting ready for cooler temperatures and a chance for rain or snow depending on location.  Sunnier weather expected to return by Thursday into Friday.

Winter Coming to Western Slope

If you've been enjoying the beautiful fall weather, you've got one more day of it before things turn wintry.  Tuesday should see some big drops in temperature, with winter storm warnings already issued for the high country lasting into Wednesday with snow levels dropping down to around 7,000 feet.