Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Mesa County Sherriff's Office is looking for help locating a pair of wanted sex offenders.  56 year old Daniel Brown is wanted for two counts of failure to register. 19 year old Martin Caballero Jr. has 4 warrants for his arrest.  Anyone with information should call Mesa County Crime Stoppers.

Daniel Brown
Martin Caballero Jr.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Colorado Gas Prices

Gas Prices in Colorado continue to fall with the average in the state at $2.94 a gallon.  In Mesa County, the lowest price is $2.77 at Western Convenience on Broadway.  The national average today is $3.39.

CU Salary Hikes

Part of last year's 9.3% tuition hike at CU went into the pockets of many top administrators.  The Boulder Daily Camera says some CU regents don't like the move.  Chancellor Phil DiStefano's salary went up $49,000 to $389,000. Another tuition hike is being proposed, and more salary increases.

Schultz Salary

School District 51 Superintendent Steve Schultz is taking a small pay cut.  Channel 8 says Schultz base salary last year was $150,000. After forgoing a contractual pay raise, Schultz has agreed to a new contract through 2013 at just over $147,000.

Palisade Offices for Sale?

The Town of Palisade says it's outgrown its offices and will put a measure on the April ballot asking voters for perssion to sell the building and property on E. Third St.  The Daily Sentinel says town leaders want to move into a portion of the Civic Center where a new fire station is also planned.

Parachute Manslaughter Charges

A Parachute man is facing felony manslaughter charges in the shooting death of 30-year old Jeremy Caywood. Caywood died January 14th.  26 year old Nathanael Rice was arrested Friday.  Garfield County Sheriff's officials tell the Daily Sentinel a judge had been weighing the details of the case before issuing the arrest warrant.  The warrant may be made available today.

O&G Fine

A Colorado-based company operating 4 oil and gas wells northwest of Orchard City must pay a $20,000 state fine after regulators reduced the fine from $200,000.  The Daily Sentinel says the original fines were imposed in 2006. Aspen Operating says it has a new company taking over the wells, which were temporarily abandoned. The Colorado OIl and Gas Conservation Commission admitted it was partially responsible for one of the violations, and then settled on the $20,000 fine.

GJ Barn Fire

A huge barn fire early this morning.  Grand Junction Fire Department says the fire at 919 25 Road, broke out about 1:00.  The two alarm fire included 11 units and 24 personnel.  Spokesman Mike Page says Lower Valley Fire sent water tenders to help since the Barn was at the end of long driveway with no water supply on the property.  No one and no animals were in the barn.  It's considered a complete loss as the cause is investigated.

Workforce Center Job Fair

The Mesa County Workforce Center says there are jobs and they're holding a fair to hook up job seekers with potential employers.  For the past 3 years, the Workforce Center has holded a RESOURCE fair where job seekers could find out about rsources to help them find jobs.  Now, the Center says there is interest from businesses looking to hire. The Job Fair is tomorrow from 9-4 at the Double Tree by Hilton on Horizon Dr.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Homeward Bound Needs More Space

The Grand Junction Homeward Bound homeless shelter could be on the move.  It's now located in a 9,800 square foot building west of Wal-Mart on North Ave., and can house a maximum 167 people.  Officials tell the Daily Sentinel it needs about three times the space and is looking to move by next winter.  Several vacant buildings are being considered with no decisions so far.

MesaCo DA Investigator

The Mesa County District Attorney's Office hasn't had a full-time investigator on staff for more than a year, but now has a former FBI agent waiting in the wings.  The Daily Sentinel today says former agent Jane Quimby has signed on to do special investigations of certain cases involving former State Trooper Don Moseman.  DA Pete Hautzinger says Quimby will sift through nearly 400 cases investigated by Moseman.  Moseman left the State Patrol December 1st, amid allegations he displayed bias against drivers who might have used drugs or alcohol before driving.

Denver Walgreens Robbery

Police in Denver are looking for two men they say tried to hold up a Walgreens pharmacy.  The pair was foiled by an off-duty Denver cop waiting for a prescreption.  The Denver Post says the suspects jumped the counter, followed by the officer who pulled her gun.  A shot was fired, but the officer was overpowered and the two got away.

Obama CO Visit

President Barak Obama in Denver for a speech yesterday spent just 15 minutes addressing a crowd at Buckley Air Force Base.  The President focused on clean energy and cutting dependence on foreign oil.  The Denver Post says the speech got mixed reviews, some saying it was right on the money, others calling it an out and out campaign stop

Local Foods, Local Jobs Act

A new bill in the Senate Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Energy Committee is looking to help small farmers by creating alternative methods for them to sell homemade, value added goods.  It's called the Local Foods, Local Jobs Act.  Sponsor Snowmass Senator Gail Schwartz says the bill would ease impediments to local markets by exempting home kitchens from certain health inspections generally applied to large retailers.  30 other states have passed similar laws to promote local products.

Mesa County SARC Training

Mesa County Search and Rescue Control has a new tool, Century Link.  The company is providing its Grand Junction based Helicopter Operations as a resource for SARC and search operations in 5 other western states.  The helicopter is training with SARC tomorrow in Whitewater.  Both the Sheriff's Office and Century Link say having the helicopter readily available improves response time to rescues, especially those in difficult to reach areas.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Carbondale Creative District

Carbondale is looking to form a special creative district to allow it to seek money from the Colorado Creative Industries division of the state government.  The Glenwood Post says the Carbondale Board of Trustees endorsed the application Tuesday, seeking an $8,000 grant and technical assistance for started up the district.

Injured Snowboarder Dies

A 31 year old snowboarder has died from injuries suffered Monday at Steamboat Ske Area.  The resort says Aaron Easter was found unresponsive at the intersection of two trails in the Sunshine Bowl area.  Passersby found him and performed CPR until the ski patrol arrived.  He died yesterday.

AZ Robbery Suspect Arrested in GJ

An Arizona man suspected of robbing four banks there has been arrested in Grand Junction.  According to the Daily Sentinel, U-S Marshall's officers with help from the Grand Junction PD arrested 33 year old John Wilson at the Super 8 on Horizon Dr. yesterday morning.  It wasn't clear how long Wilson had been at the Hotel.

3rd Dist Dem Poll

A new democratic poll shows Republican 3rd District Congressman Scott Tipton could be vulnerable in this year's election.  Democrat State Representative Sal Pace has announced he's running for the seat.  The Daily Sentinel says a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee called the poll joke, saying a 7-point difference between the two candidates should embarrass the democrats who conducted the poll.

New Plotner Charges Possible

An 18 year old Clifton man held in a late-December shooting spree, now says he fired a gun into a Pear Park home he thought was occupied, and could face additional charges.  Aaron Plotner already faces attempted-murder and other charges.  Mesa County Sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Matt Lewis tells the Daily Sentinel no one was injured in the Pear Park shooting and the case has been sent to the DA's office.

Gravel Pit Plan

The Mesa County Planning Commission is set to take up a United Companies proposal to operaate a gravel pit on 90 acres at the southeast corner of 32 1/2 and D 1/2 roads.  United tells the Daily Sentinel quality deposits of aggregate are becoming difficult to find in the Grand Valley and this one could be mined for as many as 20 years. Opponents say the site is adjacent to an elementary school and close to homes, creating safety concerns, decreased property values and problems with noise and dust.

Avalanche Danger

The U-S Forest Service is warning visitors to backcountry locations to be very careful because of extreme avalanche conditions. In a news release, the Service calls the snowpack exceptionally weak and says it's possible to trigger an avalanche from flat or low angle terrain.

Obama CO Visit

President Obama continues his 5-state campaign swing with a stop in Denver this afternoon.  He's expected to talk about encouraging companies to create manufacturing jobs and a plan to remove deductions for shipping jobs overseas.  The President's plan includes six proposals he says Congress should act on immediately to encourage job growth, paid for entirely by closing tax loopholes.  He says the plan will help some 4,800 Colorado manufacturing firms which employ 125,000 workers.

Online State Taxes

Residents who want to access their state income tax account can do it online now through  their computers, laptops, smartphones or tablets, similar to accessing a bank account online. To get there, go to Colorado.gov/RevenueOnline and follow the instructions.  The access will allow you access to a number of services, including changing your address, view and print tax returns from previous years, and make payments.


The move is complete, and the main Mesa County Motor Vehicles office is open.  Clerk and Recorder Sheila Reiner says the new Main office downtown, and the Clifton and Fruita branches will be open from 7:30 to 5 today and will be back on a normal schedule.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

New Bus Depot Protest

A proposal to locate a combined Grand Valley Transit/Greyhound bus station on 24/12 Rd. near Mesa Mall is running into some trouble...in the form of property owners near the site and others who say the facility will bring with it crime and decreased property values. The Daily Sentinel says the plan has been in the works for at least two years. Opponents tell the paper they'll hold a meeting about their views tonight.

Avalanche Deaths

The nubmer of avalanche deaths in Colorado this year has climbed to 4.  A missing snowmobiler in Jackson County was confirmed dead last night. The brother of the man was found alive in snowcave after spending Sunday night lost in the back country.  Three of the deaths were reported after this weekend's snow.  The fourth in Pitkin County last week.  The Denver Post says 6 people died in avalanches in Colorado last year.

Lamborn SOTU Boycott

Colorado U-S Representative Doug Lamborn is boycotting President Obama's State of the Union tonight, saying he doesn't agree with the president's policies.  Lamborn tells the Denver Post he's uncomfortable with the president's campaign mode.  State democrats are criticizing Lamborn saying he's playing politics. In the meantime, Senator Mark Udall is pushing again for members of both parties to forego the practice of sitting on opposite sides of the Chamber.

DMV Move

The Mesa County clerk's office expected some inconvenience when they started the SMV move from Mesa Mall to the county's new Central Services Building, but they didn't know the extent.  County Clerk Sheila Reiner says license plates this week will only be issued from the clerk's Clifton branch.  Plates can also be RENEWED online.

Pot Advocates

A national group of former law enforcement members is challenging U-S Attorney John Walsh for letters he sent to licensed medical marijuana dispensaries that are too close to schools.  The Daily Sentinel says the group called Law Enforcement Against Prohibition advocates the legalization of all drugs, in part to reduce organized criminal activity surrounding them.  They say dispensaries legal in Colorado should not be subject to federal law.

Fracking Water

A new report from the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission and the Division of Water Resources says hydraulic facturing consumed less than a tenth of a percent of water used in Colorado in 2010.  The Daily Sentinel says the oil and gas commission studied fracking's water requirements partly in response to a recommendation in an outside review of fracking regulations.

New Trial Sought

A 34 year old man is looking for a new trial in the murder of 18 year old Coty Vernon in 1998. Jason Garner is serving a life sentence. Mesa County district Court Judge Valerie Robison heard testimony yesterday from Garner's attorneys who say his trial attorneys failed to call medical experts who offered potential favorable testimony for the defense.  The Daily Sentinel says Garner is claiming meth intoxication caused him to act out violently.  Robison is expected to issue a written ruling on Garner's request for a new trial.

Parachute Men Extradition Hearing

Two Parachute men held in North Dakota in the disappearance of a Montana school teacher have an extradition hearing set February 14th.  According to KJCT, the pair, held on $2.5 million bond each are fighting extradition to Montana where they face charges of aggravated kidnapping which carries a maximum sentence of death.

GarCo County Mgr

It won't be too long before Garfield County has a new County Manager.  The Glenwood Post says Commissioners expect a short list of finalists by mid March.  Commissioners are looking at changing the way departments are organized and wants to have a new organizational chart by the time a new manager is selected.  Proposed restructuring wouldn't affect elected departments including treasurer, assessor, lerk and sheriff whose duties are dictated by state law.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Colorado Ski Snow

Nearly all Colorado ski resorts are reporting plenty of fresh snow over the weekend. The Aspen Times says Silverton Mountain reported 17 inches of new snow, Telluride 16, and Crested Butte reported 15 inches.

Avalanche Warning

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center has issued an Avalanche Warning through noon today. Caution is advised near or below any slope over 30 degrees, with avanches easily triggered on most aspects and elevations.

Avalanche Death

A 13 year old from Eagle is dead after being caught in an avalanche at Vail.  The Vail Daily says Taft Conlin was skiing on a closed section of a double-black-diamond run when the avalanche happened around 1:30 yesterday. Vail Resorts says the accident is under investigation.

MesaCo DMV Closed

The Mesa County Motor Vehicles Division is on the move, so are its computers.  That means business is down today.  Clerk and Recorder Sheila Reiner says plates can still be renewed online at Colorado.gov/renewplates.

Colorado Gas Prices

Colorado's gas prices show no sign of going up.  They continue their downward trend this week, 2.2 cents lower than a week ago.  ColoradoGasPrices.com says the average now is $2.95 a gallon.  The national average climbed a half cent to $3.34.

Colo Ski Snow

Nearly all Colorado ski resorts are reporting plenty of fresh snow over the weekend. The Aspen Times says Silverton Mountain reported 17 inches of new snow, Telluride 16, and Crested Butte reported 15 inches.

Trooper Court Request Denied

A Mesa County District Court Judge has denied a request to have statements by a State Trooper accused in the 2010 fatal shooting of a Redlands man, supressed. Attoneys for Cpl. Kirk Firko say Firko had ineffective assistance from an attorney and statements after the shooting should be thrown out. The Daily Sentinel says that motion was denied a week and a half ago... another motion is under consideration.  Firko and Trooper Gene Lawyer are scheduled for separate trials in April.

Grand Mesa Hwy 65 Open

Highway 65 is open this morning after hours of avalanche control yesterday.  The highway was closed over the top of the Grand Mesa after more than a foot of snow Saturday night and Sunday morning.

National School Choice Week

It's National School Choice Week and Colorado is in on the celebration with 13 events scheduled this week.  All of the events posted on the National School Choice Week website.  The group is urging lawmakers to do more to improve student achievement by expanding access to alternative education.

Body Found

The body of a fisherman missing in the Colorado River since October has been recovered.  Bill Brown, from Houston,  had been fishing with friends when the boat he was in hit an overpass pillar near Rifle and threw him into the river. The initial search was called off after several days of intense searching.

Copper Skier Death

A 51 year old skier from Austin, TX is dead after an accident at Copper Mountain Resort.  Authorities tell the Denver Post the man died late Friday after falling headfirst on a snow-cover stump.  He was wearing a helmet, but died of a traumatic head injury.

Friday, January 20, 2012


An Amber Alert has been activated for a 9 year old girl missing from Pueblo.  Police say Calysta Janae Cordova was last seen at school yesterday afternoon at 3:30.  Witnesses say she may have gotten into a white passenger car, possibly a white Mercedes.  Anyone with information should call the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.

If you have questions about the Colorado AMBER Alert Program please contact the Colorado
Bureau of Investigation at 303-239-4251 or visit www.cbi.state.co.us

More Neenan Trouble

A school in the San Luis Valley has a new evacuation plan after an outside engineer said the school has a questionable ability to withstand high winds common to the area.  The Denver Post says Sargent Junior-High School near Monte Vista was designed and built by The Neenan Co. The same company under scrutiny for serious defects at a school in Meeker and more minor issues at six other Colorado schools.

Serra Sentenced

Former Montrose DA Myrl Serra has been sentenced to one year in prison followed by 60 days in the Montrose County Jail, and 4 years probation.  Serra plead guilty last October to criminal extortion and unlawful sexual contact.  He was found guilty in August of violating his bail bond conditions.  Serra was arrested in September of 2010 on charges he sexually harassed and threatened three female employees in his office.

One Book, One Mesa County

Mesa County is kicking off it's 8th One Book, One Mesa County at the downtown library today.  The idea is to get as many people to read one book and take part in discussions over a 5 week period.  The book is the novel, "The Rules of Civility."  It's set in 1930s new York and events include a discussion about jazz music in that era.  Author Amor Towles will appear in Grand Junction next month for a discussion and  book signing.

MontCo Construction

Construction of a Montrose County Justice Center Annex is underway, making room for more courtrooms and a new hearing room, along with new quarters for the DA's Office, Child Support Enforcement, the Coroner's Office and 911 Dispatch.  Completion of the new offices and remodeling of the old offices is scheduled for September.

Holy Family Principal

Holy Family Catholic School is looking for a new Principal.  Sister Ann Ashwood-Piper says she will resign at the end of the school year after 9 years at the helm.  The Daily Sentinel says the school is accepting applications and expects to announce a new principal in April, that person taking over in July.

Glenwood Best Ski Town

Glenwood Springs is on the travel map again, this time as number 5 in Rand McNally's Best of the Road "Top Seven Ski Towns."  The Glenwood Post says the city's closeness to several ski resorts and back country recreation were among the reasons.  Earlier this year, Rand McNally designated Glenwood Springs the "Most Fun Small Town" in the USA.

Battlement Homicide

The Death of a Battlement Mesa man early Saturday is being investigated as a homicide. Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario tells the Glenwood Post no information is being released to avoid making statements that "might taint any possible witnesses or jurors." 30 year old Jeremy Caywoood was shot to death with a handgun at a home between Rifle and Parachute

Sullivan to AG's Office

Former Arapahoe County Sheriff Pat Sullivan's case has been turned over to the state Attorney General's Office.  Sullivan is being held in a meth for sex sting set up by police last November.  According to the Denver Post, a preliminary hearing is scheduled for January 31st.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Fat Bill

The state legislature is considering a ban on margarine, vegetable shortening and other traditional trans fats in school lunches, breakfasts and vending machines. If approved, the ban would be the most stringent in the country.  Sponsors say high rates of childhood obesity call for measures to limit fats.

Pot Measures

Looks like Colorado voters will have two marijuana legalization measures to choose from in November.  Backers of the "Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol" measure have already collected signatures and are waiting for ballot clearance. The Aspen times says the second measure  yesterday won clearance from teh state title board to begin collecting petition signatures.

Homeless Murder Conviction

A Grand Junction man is facing up to 48 years in prison after being found guilty of killing a homeless man in the desert north of the city last spring.  The Daily Sentinel says a jury found 26 year old Aaron Myers guilty in the beating death of 50 year old David Allen Gerry.

GJ Housing Authority Waiting List

The Grand Junction Housing Authority is getting ready to close it's waiting list of people looking for federal rental subsides.  According to the Daily Sentinel, the agency expects to stop accepting applications March 1st, and expects to reopen the list in 7 months.  The number of people on the list has nearly tripled in the last three years.  The waiting list for apartments owned by the Housing Authority remains open.

Pitkin Skier Deaths

Two men are dead after skiing accidents in Pitkin County.  The Denver Post says snowboarder 30 year old Gabriel Hilliard of Aspen died after hitting two trees at Aspen Highlands yesterday. The second man from the Snowmass area, died in an avalanche in an out-of-bounds area of Burnt Mountain near Snowmass.

Parachute Suspect

A Parachute man being held in North Dakota in the disappearance of a Montana woman was free on bond from Garfield County and received permission from the court to travel to Texas two days before the disappearance.  According to the Daily Sentinel, 22 year old Michael Spell was facing charges for allegedly trying to sell marijuana to middle school students in Battlement Mesa in 2009. Now Spell and 47 year old Lester Vann Waters are being charged in the Montana disappearance.  Authorities there say they believe missing teacher Sherry Arnold is dead although her body has not been found.

Tipton Keystone Reax

Third District Congressman Scott Tipton is joining other republicans ctiticizing President Obama's rejection of the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline.  The President yesterday denied the application saying a full assessment of the pipeline's impact wasn't complete.  Tipton says the President is playing politics and standing in the way of domestic energy production and creation of thousands of jobs.

Montrose Burglaries

Police in Montrose are telling residents to make sure their homes are locked up when they leave for work or vaction. 10 residential burglaries have been reported in the past two weeks, most during the daytime hours.  Police are also asking neighbors to be on the look out and report any suspicious activity.

Rep Party Head in GJ

The head of the Colorado Republican Party will be in Grand Junction tomorrow, speaking at the local party monthly lunch meeting.  Ryan Call will talk about the presidential field and Colorado's role in the Presidential election.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

GarCo Crime Stoppers

Garfield County Crime Stoppers are looking for someone who dumped 1,000 gallons of crude oil near Webster Hill.  It happened last Wednesday night or Thursday morning. Information could carry a cash reward at garcocrimestoppers.com.

Parachute Men Fighting Extradition

Two Parachute men held in North Dakota in the disappearance of a Montana school teacher say they want an extradition hearing before being moved to Montana on aggravated kidnapping charges. The Daily Sentinel says 47 year old Lester Vann Waters and 22 year old Michael Spell are being held on $2.5 million bond each.  Aggravated Kidnapping carries the death penalty if convicted in Montana.

Knockoffs Seizure

A semi loaded with over $5.5 million in counterfeit Nike shoes and Louis Vuitton leather jackets and bags has been seized after a traffic stop near Cheyenne.  The Denver Post says the knockoffs apparently were produced in China, imported to Los Angeles and were en route to New York City, when the truck was pulled over on Interstate 80 a mile west of Cheyenne.

Diabetic Arrest

A diabetic man has been jailed in Boulder after officials say he used his insulin to drug a woman and rape her.  The Boulder Daily Camera says it happened in February of last year.  The woman was found unconscious with dangerously low blood suger most likely caused by an insulin injection.

Traffic Cam Bill

A proposed bill in the legislature would ban photo traffic enforcement.  A Greeley Representative says the camera's are designed to raise revenue, not to improve traffic safety.

Copper Theft Arrest

Two brothers from Englewood have been arrested in the theft of copper wiring from the Regional Trasportation District.  The Denver Post says the pair is accused of stealing nearly $97,000 worth of wiring that, along with damage will cost $250,00 to repair.

Web Piracy Bill

If you want to use Wikipedia today, you won't be able to.  The website is going dark for 24 hours to protest proposed laws to curb Internet piracy. Google is also protesting and has a link to see the legislation on its site. The Denver Post says bills in the House and Senate would enable the US Department of Justice to shut down websites that "engage in , enable, or facilitate" copyright infringement.  Supporters in the movie and recording industries, big unions and the US Chamber of Commerce say international Internet piracy is killing jobs in America.  Opponents say censoring search engines will have unitended consequences.  Colorado's  Senator Michael Bennet is distancing himself from the bill, Senator Mark Udall is against it.  A vote in the Senate is scheduled next week.

Colorado Child Welfare

When it comes to quality of life for children, Colorado ranks right in the middle of the 50 states.  The Child Well-Being Index released by the Foundation fo rChild Development and Annie E. Casey Foundation is based on date from 2007.  According to the Denver Post, the study looks at 25 indicators in seven categories, and found states with higher income taxes are better for children. In each category, Colorado children generally fared slightly better than the national average, with a few exceptions.

GJ Top 10 Retirement Places

AARP is out with its list of sunniest places to retire and Grand Junction is in the top ten.  The Daily Sentinel says in order to make the list cities had to record at least 250 sunny or partly sunny days a year, and have something like culture or natural attractions.  According to the Sentinel, economic data used to rank Grand Junction in the top 10 comes from 2009, when housing prices, employment and the area’s median income were just beginning to slide.

BLM Comment Period Extended

The Board of Mesa County Commissioners is on the record against a BLM preferred management plan for a half million acres of public land in west-central Colorado.  The Daily Sentinel this morning says the board has sent a letter to the agency condemning the plan they say would hinder private investment job creation and more.  Commissioner Craig Meis tells the Daily Sentinel preferred plan places the greatest restrictions on oil and gas development.  The BLM has now extended the comment period on the plan through the end of the month.


A lot of people don't know leaving their cars unattended while they warm up on cold mornings is illegal.  It's an offense designed to stop auto theft and this week, auto theft task forces across the state are teaming up to get the word out.  CATI- or Colorado Auto Theft Investigators, including members of the Western Colorado Auto Theft Task Force will be looking for offenders and issuing warnings.  A method they hope will help cut down on auto theft.

Mesa county Offices Move

Several Mesa County offices are moving into their new quarters at the County's Central Services Building.  All of the County Clerk Services, except clerk to the board of commissioners, are moving, along with Motor Vehicles, Building Inspections, Water Quality, Code Compliance, Planning, and Engineering. If you have business with any of those departments, you're encouraged to go to the county's website and check times of closures.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Whitewater House Fire

A fire that destroyed a home in Whitewater may have been started by a man inside.  Neighbors pulled the man from the flames.  An arson investigator from the Clifton Fire Department has been called in to determine the exact cause of the fire on Mill Tailings Rd. The man who rescued from  the home was treated for smoke inhalation.

Firefighter Medals

Two Grand Junction firefighters are being called heroes for their work saving a fellow firefighter who fell though a floor while fighting the White Hall fire last September.  Captain Clark Thompson and Firefighter Jerome Gardner were presented the medal of merit by the city council last night.

Parachute Men Held in Disappearance.

Two Parachute men are being held without bond in North Dakota in the disappearance of a Montana school teacher.  The Daily Sentinel says 47 year old Lester Waters Jr. and 22 year old Michael Spell were arrested Friday.  Authorities say they believe 43 year old Sherry Arnold is dead, and they're continuing to search for her body.  The Parachute men are expected in court in North Dakota today.

Ice Climber Dies in Fall

A nationally known climber has died after falling some 60 feet during a climb at Bridal Veil Ice Falls near Telluride over the weekend.  58 year old Jack Roberts was injured in the fall and died of cardiac arrest during the rescue. The Daily Sentinel says the 365 feet high waterfall is considered one of the most challenging ice climbs in the country.

Zero Tolerance Changes

Some education reformers are pushing for changes in the state's Zero Tolerance approach to discipline.  They call it the "school-to-prison pipeline,"  and say it needlessly sends misbehaving students into the criminal justice system.  According to the Denver Post, school officials have been working for months, trying to craft workable legislation to address issues including greater local control.

Drag Racing Shooting

Police in Montrose are investigating a shooting they say happened after a drag race late Saturday. According to the Montrose Daily Press, after getting ready to race, the victim slowed, seeing an officer ahead.  The suspect kept going and was ticketed for speeding.  21 year old Jose Garcia-Gonzales is believed to have then driven to the home of the victim and firing several rounds from a .22 handgun into his car.  Garcia-Gonzales was held on suspicion of felony menacing and prohibited use of a weapon.

Colorado Gas Prices

The price of gas in Colorado is still falling, 2.1 cents in the past week.  The average now is $2.95 a gallon, 16 cents lower than a month ago.  The cheapest gas in Colorado this morning is $2.79 and you can get that at the Sinclair's in Grand Junction and Clifton.  The most expensive gas in the state is $3.69 at a Conoco in El Jebel.

City/County Purchasing Agreement

The City of Grand Junction and Mesa County have decided to share regular procurement services.  In a press release, the city says the county will pay $25,000 for the first 6 months of the year, the evaluate the arrangement. The county says it will continue it's existing bidding process for Public Works projects and share its 50 to 60 Requests for Proposals, Requests for Inromation and Requests for Qualifications.

Avalanche Threat

Avalanche danger on the Grand Mesa is reported Considerable by the Colroado Avalanche Information Center.  New snow yesterday on top of an already settling snowpack is the reason.  Anyon using the backcountry should use caution.

ATM Theft Arrest

A 24 year old Avon man being held on suspicion of several ATM thefts in Eagle County is now facing charges in connection with similar crimes in Grand Junction.  Grand Junction Police say Eric Callaghan is facing more than 30 felony charges including burglary, theft, and criminal mischief in ATM thefts dating back to last June.

Ankle Bracelet Arrests

Grand Junction Police have arrested two men in connection with multiple home and vehicle burglaries last month. 25 year old Cody Joe Lynn of Grand Junction and 28 year old Preston Chambers of Fruita were arrested after investigators linked the pair and found Lynn's Community Corrections ankle monitor could be traced to the locations of several of the break-ins.  Multiple firearms and other items valued in the tens of thousands of dollars were taken.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Witch Doctor Homecoming

The Montrose 928th Army National Guard Medical Unit is back home after 13 months in Afghanistan and the city is pulling out the stops for a huge celebration today.  The company, known as the Whitch Doctors, returned on a charter flight yesterday and today will be honored at a party at Friendship Hall following a parade through town at 10:30 including an F-16 flyover at 10:35.

Parachute Guns Arrest

A Grand Jucntion man is under arrest in Parachute.  The DeBeque Marshall's Office arrested James Christopher Litke was arrested hours after a break-in at NAPA Auto Parts in DeBeque yesterday morning.  Several guns were taken in the break-in and the Daily Sentinel says Litke was arrested by ATF officers after tips from the public.  He'll be transferred to Denver on weapons charges.

John McConnel Chevron Grant

School District 51's John McConnel Math and Science Center of Western Colorado's Youth Policy Summit is getting a huge lift today. Chevron is donating $80,000 to help pay for instruction, field trips and some college credit course for students and teachers.  The Daily Sentinel says the program is in it's second year, having kicked off with a $125,000 grant from Chevron.

Pot Store Warnings

Denver U-S Attorney John Walsh has issued 23 letters to marijuana stores, notifying them their property could be seized and forfeited if they don't discontinue selling in the next 45-days.  Walsh says the stroes are located within 1,000 feet of schools, some closer. Federal law enhances penalties in those situations.

Online Schools Standards

The State Board of Education has adopted two sets of rules for oversight of Colorado's online school programs.  The schools have been criticized for less than adequate financial reporting and accountability.  The Board says the new rules better align online schools with other schools in the state.

Airport Lease Policy

The Grand Junction Regional Airport Authority Board is taken public comment on a formal lease policy which is under development.  Anyone interested can go to the airport's website: gjairport.com and find the "leasing-guidelines" comment section.

Holy Family Open

Holy Family School is open today after a big water break yesterday shut down classes.  Ute Water says an old main near G 1/2 and 26 1/2 that was due to be replaced in 2 years gave out early, causing a sink hole, water outage, and some flooding in the area.

Kiddin' Around Closing

Hilltop is closing it's Kiddin' Around Learning Center in May.  The Daily Sentinel says the 13 year old program has been losing money, and Hilltop is planning to place more attention on it's senior services. The 10-member staff is being absorbed into other areas and so far, alternative childcare has been found for all but 7 of the 79 member children.

CPW Energy in State Parks

The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission has approved negotiation of a surface agreement and lease with Anadarko Petroleum Corporation allowing energy development from one well pad at St. Vrain State Park outside of Longmont. Commissioenrs say they don't believe the drilling will have significant impact on the park.  The board yesterday also approved a surface use agreement for energy development on the Garfield Creek State Wildlife Area near Fairplay.

BLM Drilling Comments

The BLM is looking for comment on a proposal to drill up to 24 exploratory gas wells from 12 well pads over the next three years near Debeque.  Black Hills Plateau Production says it'll need about 3 miles of new and upgraded roads and 14.5 miles of co-located natural gas, water supply, and produced water pipelines. written comments should be submitted to the BLM by February 13th.

MLK Free Days at Monument

The Colorado National Monument is honoring Martin Luther King this weekend, with free entry tomorrow through Monday.  Hats and gloves will be on sale for 10% off in the Visitor's Center.  The next Fee-Free days are in April.

C-DOT Taking Advantage of Wx

C-DOT in parts of western Colorado is using the lack of snow to do some necessary road maintenance.  Spokeswoman Nancy Shanks says crews are trimming trees and shrubs along some roadways where they can't trim April through August per the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.  Jobs including filling potholes and patching roadways; repairing and reinforcing shoulders are also underway.

Vail Search and Rescue

It took search and rescue crews longer than expected to remove an injured man from an out-of-bounds ski run called The Minturn Mile near Vail.  The man called authorities around 3:00 yesterday and said he had a broken leg and couldn't ski out.  Vail Mountain Ski Patrol members reached him around 4:00 and called in a helicopter which couldn't land because of the terrain. 12 more rescuers were called in and the man finally brought down from the mountain around 7:00 last night.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Jobs Bills

The State Senate Majority Democrats are releasing deatils of job bills introduced yesterday.  The list includes HIRE Colorado, Helping Individuals Reach Emploment Act, Buy Colorado Act, Employment Opportinity Act, Colorado Aerospace Jobs Act, and the Colorado Business Retention and Expansion Progam.  The Democrats say the bills are designed to empower Coloradans, and keep the state business friendly.

Mesa County Office Moves

Mesa County is getting ready to move several departments from outlying locations to the new Mesa County Central Services or MCCS building.  You can check the county's website for inforamtion on closures of the Elections Division, Building Inspection and Water Quality Division, Motor Vehicles, Code Compliance Services, Planning, Engineers and Public Works Administration. MCCS is on the southwest corner of First and Main and contains 53,000 square feet of office and warehouse space.  mesacounty.com

Palisade Anti-Cyber Bullying

Palisade High School has started an Anti-Cyber Bullying Campaign with a $2,000 grant from Optimum Communications.  The Daily Sentinel says the Live Above Program is holding a poster contest through February 10th with an i-pod for each of ten finalists.  3rd District Congressman Scott Tipton was on hand for yesterday's lauch, telling students students they should take seriously the responsibility of being the most technically savvy generation on the planet; and using that technology in the proper fashion.

New BLM Camping Fees

The BLM has launched a new permit system for use of the Colorado River between Loma and Westwater, Utah.  Camping is allowed in 35 designated sites and the permit system will require boaters to reserve a campsite before they depart.  A permit is also required for day-use and motorized-use of Ruby Horsethief.  The no fee permit system starts May 1st and will likely become fee-based next year.

Xcel Rate Increase Request Denied

The Colorado Public Utilities Commission has rejected an Xcel Energy request for a $100 million rate hike.  Xcel made the request saying it needed the money because of additiona expenses it expects this year.  The Daily Sentinel says the PUC will still consider the copany's original request for a $142 million hike later this year.

CU Tuition Hikes

Full-time in-state students at CU could see tuition hikes of up to $15.7% under a new tuition model proposed to regents yesterday.  The Boulder Daily Camera syas that would be a $1,203 hike a year.

Hautzinger Seeks 3rd Term

Mesa County DA Pete Hautzinger is pointing to his record on methampetamine prosecution as he launches his campaign for re-election.  The Republican, in office since 2004, says Mesa County is a far better place to live and raise kids than the early part of the decade when meth was blowing up.  Hautzinger is running for a 3rd term in office.

GarCo Schools Budget Problems

No decisions on budget cuts in the Garfield Re-2 School District, but the school board is actively working on impacts of the expected $1.5 million and possible $2.4 million deficit for the next school year.  Possible school closures and elimination of multiple programs are possible.  Finance Director Christy Hamrick says specific budget cuts are expected to be made March 13th, and adoption of next year's budget in June.

Red Air Quality

The Mesa County Health Department has issued a Red Air Quality for the western valleys including Grand Junction, Delta and Montrose. That means a wood burning restriction in some areas and a voluntary no-burn in others.  Check with your local health department.

Aerospace Jobs Bill

One day into the 2012 Legislative Session, one of the first "job creation" bill's is on the table.  Brighton Senator Mary Hodge says her "Aerospace Jobs Act" is designed to attract new industry and workers to Colorado.  She says already, Colorado has 8 of the top ten aeospace industries and this bill would ensure growth.

Glenwood Sex Assault Suspect

Crimestoppers in Garfield County is looking for a Suspect in a sex assault on a child.  It happened at the El Horizonte Restaurante in Glenwood Springs Christmas Day.  Pictures of the suspect, a hispanic man in his 40s or 50s, and a Spanish translation are available at garcocrimestoppers.com.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Tipton Talks GJ Regional Airport

3rd District Congressman Scott Tipton is getting into the fray at the Grand Junction Regional Airport.  He was in town yesterday and invited to sit in on a discussion, including tenants and city council members.  Tipton tells KKCO the airport board may be interpreting government regulations in a way that's impacting businesses.  He says he'll stay out of the fray for now, and see what the board does to improve business at the airport.

Western State New Name

Western State College in Gunnison is following in Colorado Mesa University's foot steps, working to change its name from college to univeristy.  The Daily Sentinel says the name change isn't a done deal.  CMU President Tim Foster says he's disappointed Western's board of trustees are considering titles CMU proposed but didn't use at the request of Western.

GV Casinos

A Montrose lawmaker wants to bring horse racing and casino gambling to the Grand Valley.Representative Don Coram tells the Daily Sentinel his plan would allow slot machines in three race tracks, two on the front range and one on the western slope.  He says it's all about spurring the economy.  His bill would generate as much as $100 million in tax revenues for the state every year.

XGR Underway

The 2012 legislative session starts today with all kinds of pomp, but it'll stop right away and make room for a lot of work ahead.  Governor Hickenlooper is scheduled to make his State of the State Address tomorrow at 11:00.

Online Schools Standards

The State Board of Education is expected to OK new quality standards for online schools.  The Denver Post says some online schools have racked up a troubling history of enormous profit and abysmal academic performance.  The schools are accused of padding attendance numbers to receive more state funding which is based on enrollment.

Listeria Outbreak Blame

Private auditing firms charged with making sure food inspections were complete at Jensen Farms and Fontera Produce are being blamed for last summer's cantelope listeria outbreak. 30 people in 28 states died. The deaths were the worst total from a food-borne illness since the early 1900s.

Ouray Workforce Center

A statewide initiative focusing on critical workforce development issues has resulted in a Virtual Workforce Center opening in the Ouray Public Libray.  The Montrose Daily Press says the center features a camera and microphone to enable job counselors to consult with job seekers by appointment.

Potty Peeper

The man known as the "Potty Peeper" is set to undergo a mental competency hearing in Boulder in March.  31 year old Luke Chrisco was arrested last summer after police said he created hiding places in women's restrooms and portable toilets to spy on women when they used the toilet.  The Boulder Daily Camera says Chrisco wants to represent himself, but must undergo the competency review first.

Olathe Man Appeals Sentence

An Olathe man who plead guilty to vehicular homicide in the 2009 drunk driving death of his son wants his ten-year prison sentence dismissed.  Juan Prieto-Gonzales is claiming ineffective counsel since he was not informed he could face deportation after serving his 10 years.  The Montrose Daily Press says the petion for post-conviction relief is in the hands of District Judge Jeff Herron.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Mesa Co Precinct Maps

Mesa County has a new precint map reducing the number of precincts from 83 to 57.  A redistricing commission was charged with redrawing the boundaries, some of which are a little confusing.  Paring the number of precincts is expected to save the county money, and time for officials and political parties. Complete details are available on the clerk's website at clerk.mesacounty.us.

Lions Donations

The Grand Jucntion Lions Club is getting ready for next month's fundraising carnival.  Yesterday the group announced who will receive grants from the money raised.  Recipients include the Grand Junction Baseball Commmittee to pay off a dugout project, the Marillace clinic, Partners, Roice-Hurst Humane Society, and 10 other groups for a nearly $100,000 total.

GJ Airport Leasing Policy Talk

The Grand Junction Airport Board is considering hiring a Florida-based consulting firm after hearing from Airport Business Solutions at a workshop yesterday.  According to the Daily Sentinel, ABS told the board it needs a well-defined lease policy that's not subject to interpretation when trying to work out relationships with tennants.  The Airport Board is taking comments on the idea, and plans to adopt a leasing policy at its April meeting.

Mesa Co Home Sales

Home sales in Mesa County were higher in 2011 than 2010, but the average price of a home has fallen 12% to $150,000.  Bob Reece with Advanced Title Company says that copares with a high of $227,000 in 2008.  Reece says there's growing expectation the bottom of real estate prices will be realized in 2012 and a slow price recovery will begin.

Mesa county Clerk's Offices Move

The Mesa County Clerk and Recorder's Offices are getting ready for a big move.  The new Mesa County Central Services or MCCS Building is just about complete and the clerk's offices will begin moving next Tuesday.

The Elections division will be closed on the 17th and 18th.  Motor Vehicles will move out of the mall January 23rd and re-open a week later at MCCS in the old City Market Warehouse off First Street.  The Recording Division is also moving and will be closed Feb. 6th through the 10th. You can call each office for information on closures and go to the clerk's website at clerk.mesacounty.us.

Ft. Carson Soldier Murder

Authorities at Ft. Carson say the death of a soldier in a barracks there was a homicide.  The 28 year old woman was found dead Sunday. No other inforamtion has been released.

Hawk Shootings

Colorado Parks and Wildlife is looking for whoever shot two federally protected raptors in Montrose.  One Sharp Shinned Hawk died, the other underwent surgery and is recovering at a wildlife sancutary in Denver. If you have information, you can call the CPW office in Montrose or Operation Game Thief.

I-70 Crash

A Grand Junction man is considered pretty lucky after his semi-crashed near the 150 mile marker on I-70.  It happened just after midnight yesterday morning when 48 year old Markas Rodriguez fell asleep.  The truck was headed west, but crossed the median and crashed in the east bound lanes blocking traffic for several hours.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Western Colorado Voter Registration

Republican voter registration is on the rise in west-central Colorado.  9-News says Reoublican registration  is up 6% over the past four years while Democratic registration fell slightly.  Unaffilitate voters are up 6%.  A professor at CSU says the Republican registration growth, may be due to the high-profile GOP presidential primary.

Local Bake-Off Finalist

A Grand Junction woman is a finalist in the $1 million Pillsbury Bake-Off.  KJCT says Frances Blackwelder is one of 100 finalists in the running. Blackwelder will take her secret original recipe to the bake-off in Florida in March.

Aspen Die-Off

Researchers at Stanford and the University of Utah say they may have found the cause of a wide-spread apen die-off.  Nearly one fifth of Colorado's aspen have died from something called Sudden Aspen Decline, and The Denver Post says the research points to a Colorado drought between 2000 and 2004.  The trees have essentially dehydrated and the deaths are a delayed reaction to the drought.

Felony Filings Down

Felony criminal-case filings in Mesa County are down to their lowest level in six years.  The Daily Sentinel says crime data from all of Mesa County ranked the area the 104th safest among 354 metro areas looked at in the CQ Press City Rankings for 2011-2012.

Xcel Rate Increase Request

The Colorado Public Utilities Commission is looking at a request by Xcel Energy for a $100 million rate increase.  Xcel says it needs the money to pay for providing electric services to its retail customers this year.  The Daily Sentinel says Xcel is looking to bypass the usual public hearing process by calling the hike "temporary" and promising to pay back customers if costs turn out to be less than the $100 million it's requesting.

Witch Doctor Homecoming

The Witch Doctors are coming home.  Members of the Montrose-based 928th Area Support Medial Company of the Army national Guard have been in Afghanistan for the past 13 months and will return to Montrose on commercial flights in groups of 5, 10, or 15 soldiers at a time.  Colorado National Guard Sgt. Rick Bresett organized the send off the unit last year, and has planned a parae though Montrose Friday.

XGR Opens Wednesday

The 2012 Colorado legislature convenes Wednesday and lawmakers are bracing for drama.  Grand Junction state Senator Steve King tells the Daily Sentinel legialative boundary changes are setting up some races where sitting lawmakers will end up challenging each other.  He says raw nerves that usually come at the end of the session will help kick it off.

Gas Prices

Colorado is bucking a national trend in gasoline prices.  The average here dropped 2.2 cents a gallon the past week to $2.98.  National prices climbed 8 cents a gallon to $3.34. That's up 12 cents in the past 3 weeks.  The state with the lowest price for gas in the country is Utah at  $2.84 a gallon.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Moffat Drilling Leases

Moffat County is cashing in on mineral leases sold in a sealed bid auction.  The Craig Daily Press says the Museum of the Northwest will get $152,000 and the county, another $158,000.  The bids are expected to be accepted by the county next week.

Fruita CoOp Fire

The Fruita CoOp is cleaning up after a fire in a storage area of their business. Channel 5 says a forklift is blamed for the fire that broke out around 6:00 last night and spread to some feed.  Firefighters were able to knock down the fire before it spread to the rest of the building.


Colorado water officials are keeping an eye out for winter storms.  Already nearly half-way through the usual snow accumulation period, snowpack in the Colorado River Basin is at 58% of average.  Colorado River District General Manager Eric Kuhn tells teh Daily Sentinel some worry of potential drought is being offset by high water levels in reservoirs from last year's heavy snow.

Delta DV Awareness Walk

Friends of a woman killed in a domestic violence incident in Hotchkiss early last year have organized a walk in her honor to benefit Hilltop's Tri-County Resources Domestic Violence Program.  The walk in memory of Milinda Yager is at 4:00 tomorrow afternoon starting at 5th and Main. Wal-Mart in Delta has donated $5,000 as part of the awareness campaign.

Lions Carnival Tickets

The Grand Junction Lions Club says it'll start selling tickets next week for its annual Carnival fundraiser February 18th.  The Club has raised over $4 million for local community projects in the past 83 years.  Recipients of this year's proceeds  will be announced Monday.

Montrose Schools Meetings

The Montrose School District is holding meetings the next two Wednesdays to talk about Budget, Facilities, Personnel and Curriculum.  Superintendent Mark MacHale and School Board members will provide information and field questions.  The board says the goal is to take local schools from good to great.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Lions Club Donation

The Grand Junction Lions Club has made good on their 2011 fund raising efforts.  The Lions handed out checks yesterday for District 51 classroom equipment.  And the final installment of a ten year-$100,000 grant to  Hospice and Palliative Care of Western Colorado.

Montrose Rec Tax Vote

Voters in Montrose may get the chance to vote on a .2% sales tax hike to pay for a new rec center.  more than 1,700 signatures were collected in the effort, just over 600 must be valid.

Rep Caucus Website

A website directing Colorado Republicans to caucus information is up and running.  Caucus.cologop.org went online yesterday.  Republican caucuses are Feb. 7.

Hwy 82 Needs Lights?

A 25 year old Aspen man who was a passenger on a Roaring Fork Transit bus that struck and killed a woman early new year's day says the experience has jolted him into action.  Michael Nickerson tells the Aspen Times he's on a mission to improve lighting along Highway 82 where the accident happened.

GarCo Mgr Fired

Garfield County is in the market for a new County Manager, the commissioners yesterday firing longtime manager Ed Green.  Green had been the manager for the past 14 years and received a new contract with the county in November.  The commissioners voted unanimously to fire Green, calling the move a step toward reorganizing the way Garfield county government operates.

Shooting Spree Bond

Bond has been set at $1 million and $750,000 for two Clifton teenagers accused of shooting and injuring a man last week.  Formal charges to be filed next week.  Aaron Plotner is accused of firing a rifle from a moving car, striking Matthew Daley in the back.  Darian Kintz, of driving that car.