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 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. says that moves the price to $3.33 a gallon, down 14 cents from last year.  The national average is $3.32.

[ 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

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

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..  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 averaging $3.35 gallon. 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.


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. 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]

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

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]

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.