Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Avalanche Warning

There's an Avalanche Warning up in the North and South San Juan Mountains through this afternoon after as much as two feet of snow in some areas yesterday.  The Colorado Avalanche Information Center says this year's snowpack has been exceptionally weak and prone to avalanche activity, especially in the San Juans.

Champagne Powder

You've heard of Champagne Powder, now you can have both on Aspen Mountain.  The Aspen Times says a new liquor license permits a traveling champagne bar on the mountain.  The bar moves to various locations on the mountain serving small, snow-filled flutes of the bubbly.

Uranium Finance Extension

Uranium mill in Montrose County has been granted an extension for financial assurance payments.  The state health department says the payments are for decommissioning the mill after operation at the end of its useful life, so delaying those payments until construction begins, poses no threat to the state or people who live here.  Energy Fuels expects to begin construction of the Pinon Ridge Uranium Mill in September at the earliest, one year after its projected building start.

Montrose Shootings Details

Finally, a few answers from officials in Montrose County about what happened there Saturday night...a murder suicide.  20 year old Charity Kay Gilbert suffered multiple shotgun blasts, then 31 year old Randy Briggs turned the same gun on himself.  It happened at Briggs' home on 40 Drive Saturday night.  The Montrose County Coroner released the findings yesterday.

Fatal Delta DUI Sentence

A 22 year old Delta County man has been sentenced to four years community corrections after pleading guilty to vehicular homicide DUI in a crash that killed his friend last May.  The Montrose Daily Press says Corbin Lovato was sentenced Monday in the death of 24 year old Dustin Green. Another passenger in the car suffered a broken neck, a 3rd minor injuries.

1st Orchard CM

City Market customers hoping to keep their 1st and Orchard Grand Junction store have no more hope.  The Daily Sentinel says over 100 people turned out for a company sponsored meeting last night.  The customers thought they could convince the company to keep the store open.  City Market hoped to help the same customers find and adjust to a new store. City Market says it can't afford to keep the store open and will close in 3 weeks.

Green Rver Nuke?

Utah is a step closer to its first nuclear power plant. State Engineer Kent Jones has granted a water right for the plant and says if current financial backers pull out of the project, he's confident new finances could be secured.  Blue Castle Holdings wants to build the plant.  The Daily Sentinel says the next step in the process is approval from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission which could take years and millions of dollars for studies.

Med MMJ Compliance

All of the 23 Colorado medical marijuana stores told to stop operating within 1,000 feet of schools have stopped.  U-S Attorney John Walsh made the announcement yesterday, 45 days after sending letters to the establishments.  Walsh's office says a second round of letters is going out to other stores in proximity to schools.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I-70 Rock Closure

The Colorado State Patrol is blaming a rock for a fuel spill that shut down I-70 for 4 hours yesterday.  A tractor trailer hit the rock just after 4:30 yesterday ripping out its undercarriage and rupturing the fuel lines.  About 75 gallons of diesel spilled on the roadway. Crews were able to keep it out of the river.

Apt. Fire Injury

An Orchard Mesa woman taken to the hospital after a fire at her apartment on Acoma Drive.  Police responded to the home on a welfare check just before 11:00 last night and found heavy smoke.  When fire crews arrived, they were able to rescue a woman suffering from smoke inhalation.  Residents in the adjoining unit were allowed to return after the fire.

Chevron Shale Pull Out

Chevron is pulling out of oil shale research in western Colorado.  The Daily Sentinel says Chevron called its research to this point "productive" but said the move assures crical resources, both people and capital, will be available for other company priorities.  Chevron is one of three companies holding oil shale research permits in northwest Colorado and eastern Utah.

City Market Meeting

City Market's holding a meeting tonight to find out how their move to close the company's 1st and Orchard store will affect customers in the area.  The Daily Sentinel says City Market wants to hear from the largely ederly population that lives in the area.  The meeting tonight is at Two Rivers Convention Center from 6 to 7.

GarCo Gravel Nix

Garfield County Commissioners have turned down an asphalt plant's plans to move from Silt to a property adjacent to an organic farm near Rifle. The Glenwood Post says the commissioners said no to Bedrock Resources since there was no way to determine the impact on the existing Eagle Springs organic farm.

GarCo Gravel Nix

Garfield County Commissioners have turned down an asphalt plant's plans to move from Silt to a property adjacent to an organic farm near Rifle. The Glenwood Post says the commissioners said no to Bedrock Resources since there was no way to determine the impact on the existing Eagle Springs organic farm.

Friday, February 24, 2012

D51 Budget Survey

School District 51 is launching an online survey as it tries to deal with projected budget reductions for next year.  The survey includes questions about athletics and other extra-curricular activities, 4-day school
weeks and possible school closures and boundary changes.  The survey is online at and is open through the end of March.

Delta Fire

Delta Police and Fire are investigating a fire this morning at an office building at 5th and Meeker.  It was reported around 6:00 this morning by a woman walking her dog.  Damage is significant and the cause is under

OM Chimney Fire

A second chimney fire in two nights has forced two people from their home on Orchard Mesa.  A fire just after 12:30 this morning caused moderate damage to the home on Lyle Drive. Grand Junction firefighters say they were called to a fire in the wood stove chimney at the same house yesterday and advised the residents not to use it without a professional inspection.  A smoke detector awakened the residents allowing them a safe escape.

GJ House Fire

Grand Junction fire investigators are looking for the cause of a fire in a house on N. 26th Street early this morning.  Flames were seen at the front corner of the house when the first units arrived. The resident said her son was still inside and firefighters were able to get him out.  He was treated for smoke inhalation.

D51 Budget Metting

District 51 school officials are nowhere near a decision on next year's budget, and after last night's final community budget forum, they have a 5th area to look for cuts.  The Daily Sentinel says the largest crowd yet turned out to express thoughts on increased fees for buses and extracurricular activities, closing some schools, a 4-day school week, and now cuts in administration.  A community budget committee told last night's crowd teacher salaries are off-limits for cuts, admistrator salaries are not.

State Jobs

State lawmakers are looking at cutting some 500 state jobs in an attempt to balance the budget.  A committee charged with that is deadlocked over the proposal.  The latest proposed cuts would layoff as many as 500 workers, including state troopers, corrections, mental health and driver's license workers.  The Denver Post says all eyes are on March 19th, the date of the next state revenue forecast.

Bella Suit

Colorado Attorney General John Suthers and U-S Attorney John Walsh have filed a joint lawsuit against Georgia-based Bella Homes, alleging a nationwide forclosure-rescue scam.  They say Bella gave false hope to desperate homeowners, accepting money from more than 450 consumers in two dozen states. Suthers says most of $3 million paid was used diverted by Bella to the company's pricipals for personal use.

Energy Expo

If you want to find out more about the energy industry in western Colorado, today is the day.  The 7th annual Energy Forum and Expo is at Two Rivers Convention Center through 4:00 this afternoon.  Educational lectures and discussions are scheduled, along with 63 vendors.  A speaker agenda is available at

History Day

They've already held math and science competitions at CMU this year, now it's history.  100 western slope middle and high school students will visit the campus this weekend for History Day with top five in each category moving on to the state challenge at CU Denver.  State winners will advance to the national finals in June.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Colorado Gas Prices

Gas prices in Colorado are following the national trend now, climbing.  The average in the state yesterday was $3.05 a gallon, up one and a half cents compared to last week. Seniorn Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan says prices are expected to continue their upward trend with warming weather.  The national Average is $3.51 with $4 plus in some cities.

Simpson-Bowles at CMU

Simpson-Bowles deficit reduction proposals are still under construction, and looking for someone to pay attention.  Wyoming Republican Senator Alan Simpson told 500 people in Grand Junction a defict reduction commission appointed by President Obama has a plan, but it's being ignored.  According to the Daily Sentinel, Simpson says entitlement spending is at the heart of the country's financial problems. Budget Survey

School District 51 posted a 2012-13 budget survey on its website last week and already has nearly 200 responses.  The Daily Sentinel says the survey's available through the end of March at  Included are questions about school bus transportation, 4-day school weeks, fee increases and possible school closures.  A 3rd and final community budget forum is Thursday at 6 at Redlands Middle School.

Hayden Plane Crash

A pilot and passenger from Texas are dead in a plane crash near Hayden.  4 family members of the passenger injured.  The Denver Post says the crash happened durning Sunday's snow storm.

Denver Medina Alert

Denver Police have a new community notification system to help catch hit and run drivers. It's called the Medina Alert. It's named after Jose Median, a 21 year old night club parking attendant who was hit and killed in January of 2011. The Denver Post says the first Medina Alert was issued last night after a pedestrian was hit and killed by a white van.  Police are still looking for the 1990s GMC Safari.

GarCo Wrecks

CDOT and the State Patrol had a busy President's Day in Garfield County.  It started around 9:20 yesterday morning when two semis crashed on an icy bridge near Rifle, blocking both eastbound lanes for about 4 1/2 hours. The State Patrol says it investigated 16 crashes in Garfield County, most involving one vehicle. The roadways were snow-packed and icy in many areas of the county.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Teacher/Student Sex Assault Charges

A Basalt High School teacher is expected to be arrested this morning, accused of sexual assault on a child after a 3-4 month sexual relationship with a 17 year old student.  A warrant was issued Tuesday for 25 year old Lauren Redfern.  The alleged relationship, a Class 3 Felony, was reported to Eagle County Authorities last Friday.  The investigation is ongoing.

O&G Collusion Settlement

Two oil and gas companies have agreed to a settlement in a collusion case involving mineral rights leases on federal land in western Colorado.  The Daily Sentinel says Gunnison Energy Corp, and SG Interests agreed agreed in writing in 2005 that only one of the companies would bid on leases.  The U-S Justice Department says that agreement resulted in less revenue for the government than if the two companies had competed in the bidding.

GJ Sales Tax Collections Up

Sales tax collections in Grand Junction in December were up 3.6% compared with December of 2010.  The Daily Sentinel says all categories of businesses except building materials increased in 2011.

D-51 Overcrowding

School District 51 hasn't given up the idea of closing some schools, but a bigger question right now is what to do about over crowding at two Fruita schools and one downtown.  The Daily Sentinel says the issue involves Rim Rock, Shelledy, and Chipeta Elementaries.  The district is considering sending some students to Loma, or schools with space on the Redlands and Orchard Mesa.

FOI Ballot Inspection Bill

A bill in the legislature is looking to protect voters when a Freedom of Information Act request is made to view ballots.  The Daily Sentinel says the bill is in response to a lawsuit filed by a group wanting access to ballots, but denied for fear individual voters could be identified.  The senate bill would allow ballot inspection, but in the presence of a county clerk worker.

Child Welfare Reform

Governor John Hickenlooper's administration is unveiling initiatatives it hopes will improve Colorado's child welfare program.  The Denver Post say 43 children have died of abuse or neglect in the past five years.  The fixes are intended to bring transparency and hold the system more accountable. An announcement is planned this afternoon.

Civil Union Bill

A bill allowing Civil Unions in Colorado as passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee and now goes to the Senate floor.  The Denver Post says bill passed 5-2 after a five hour hearing.  Grand Junction Republican Steve King was one of the two in opposition.

Monument Change?

A committee looking into the possible change to National Park status for the Colorado National Monument says it needs more public input.  Fruita Mayor Ken Henry is the committee's co-chair.  He tells the Daily Sentinelthere is no clear direction for the committee to go with respondents to an online survey split roughly down the middle.  4 public open houses will be held in April to give and get information and comments from the public.

Downtown Montrose Plan

The Montrose Downtown Development Authority is holding a meeting next Monday on its new Draft Montrose Downtown Plan of Development.  DDA Director Scott Shine says the plan includes growth and development plans for infrastructure, arts and community spaces.  Already underway are help for businesses in the form of a Downtown Business Revolving Loan Fund and other financial incentives.  The Plan is online at

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

F 1/4 25 Rd House Fire

Moderate damage to a home near 25 and F 1/4 Roads after an attic fire.  Grand Jucntion Fire spokesman Mike Page says the fire broke out just after 7:30 last night and a family of three were able to make it out after being awakened by a baby crying.  There was no working smoke detector.  The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Gravel Pit OK

United Companies has gotten the go ahead for a new gravel pit in Clifton.  The Daily Sentinel says Mesa County commissioners yesterday OK'd a zoning changing for 90 acres, which United says will allow it to pull 3 million tons gravel from over a 7 to 20 year period.

Yates Search Over

The search for a Palisade man wanted since assaulting a deputy and another man Saturday morning is over.  The Daily Sentinel says 46 year old Thomas Allen Yats was arrested yesterday.  He faces possible charges including assault with a deadly weapon and possession of methamphetamine.

Avalanche Fatality

A Telluride man killed in a backcountry avalanche has become the fifth person to die in a slide this season.  The Denver Post says 38 year old Nathaniel Soules was an expert skier, equipped with an avalanche airbag which deployed, but appeared to have been damaged.  The avalanche happened outside the Telluride ski area yesterday.

TV Anchor Recovering

A Denver TV news anchor bitten in the face by a dog expects more procedures after undergoing four hours of plastic surgery.  Kyle Dyer was bitten during a live interview with rescuers who pulled the dog, an Argentine mastiff from an icy Lakewood reservoir last week.
Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Sheila Reiner is among Clerks in six counties named in a federal lawsuit filed yesterday.  A group of Colroado voters filed the suit saying election practices in those counties are unconstitutional  because they allow some ballots to be traced to the person who cast them.  The Denver Post says clerks have denied requests to make the ballots public, but the group called Citizen Center, says allowing inspection would strengthen voter confidence in the election processes.

OTC Drug Warning

Law enforcement agencies in the Grand Valley are teaming up with School District 51 to get the word out about the abuse of over-the-counter cold medicine.  Letters went out to parents last week alerting them to the abuse called "Triple C," for Coricidin Cough and Cold, or "Robotripping," the over-use of Robitussin cough syrup or pills.  At least one student has been admitted to a hospital.

I-70b Fatality

A man killed in a crash on the I-70 Business Loop early Sunday has been identified as 34 year old Mick Stevenson of Grand Junction.  The Mesa County Coroner says Stevenson's blood alcohol at the time of the crash was .238, nearly three times the legal limit for driving.

TABOR Author Sentenced

The author of Colorado's Tax Payers Bill of Rights, or TABOR has been sentenced to 6 months in jail and six years probation for tax evasion.  Douglas Bruce was convicted by a Denver jury in December of three felonies and one misdemeanor.  As part of his sentence, Bruce will be required to pay his back taxes and the cost of his prosecution.

Aspen Coke Arrest

A former Aspen man indicted in December on cocaine conspiracy charges is under arrest in Florida.  The U-S Attorney's office says Montgomery Chitty was arrested yesterday.  The charge rises out of a 2010 DEA investigation in which 10 people were charged.  If convicted, Chitty faces a minimum ten years to life in prison.

Presidents Day

Monday is a federal holiday, and the City of Grand Junction is also taking the day off to celebrate Presidents day.  Trash service is on a regular schedule and it's a downtown metered parking holiday.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Bradford's Husband Heart Attack

The husband of embattled State Representative Laura Bradford is hospitalized after a eart attack. The Daily Sentinel says Bradford's husband Linton Matthews suffered the massive heart attack yesterday.  Bradford says she'll remain in Grand Junction until Matthews is well enough to leave the hospital.

C-DOT Mtn Traffic

C-DOT officials have given up on Speed Harmonization as a way to move weekend ski traffic out of the mountains to Denver.  The Summit Daily News now says they're considering using shoulders as additional lanes.  County commissioners in the area traveled to Minnesota last week to take a look at a similar system used there.

Delta Super Leaves

The former Delta Schools Superintendent says he was asked by the new school board to leave last month despite seven years of good reviews from past boards, staff and parents.  The Daily Sentinel says Mike McMillan's last day was Friday...he'll be paid one year's salary.  The Sentinel says McMillan received a good review from the board before 3 new members were elected in November.

Montrose Burglaries Arrest

Montrose Police are looking into whether two arrests in a home burglary in the Otter Pond subdivision might help clear 13 other burglaries there and in the Cobble Creek subdivision and other locations in town.  The arrests of two teenagers came after a resident came home to find the pair removing items from her home. Police Chief Tom Chinn tells the Montrose Daily Press the other burglaries were reported between January 4th and 13th.

MesaCo Real Estate

A Bray Real Estate report shows the number of homes sold in Mesa County last month was up 30% compared to January of last year.  Realtors though, aren't over excited.  Robert Bray tells teh Daily Sentinel there's a lot of catching up to do.  he says the median price of homes in the county in 2008 was just over $221,000.  Last month the median was $148,6000.

Montrose Real Estate

Some realtors in Montrose say they're cautiously optimistic about a possible upturn in the market.  Comparable Sales Research tells The Montrose Daily Press real estate sales are up, but the median selling price continues to fall.

Fugitive Search

Mesa county Sheriff's officials are looking for a man they say assaulted a deputy checking his welfare after a report of a man slumped over the wheel of a car Saturday morning.  It happened in an area of Lark and Thrush Drives.  The man was tased by the deputy but got away and asaulted another man.  Investigators are looking for 46 year old Thomas Allen Yates.  Anyone with information should contact the sheriff's office.
The state patrol is investigating a crash that killed a man early yesterday morning on the I-70 Business Loop.  The driver of a car lost control, fell from the car, and was run over by the same car.  It happened just east of 28 Road around 1:00. The driver wasn't wearing a seatbelt and alcohol is a suspected factor.

Rim Rock Drive Closed

The upper section of Rim Rock Drive is closed this morning.  Officials shut it down last night anticipating hazardous conditions.  The east and west hills are both open with plows on call.

Friday, February 10, 2012

D51 Talks 4-Day School Week

Four-day school weeks may be coming to District 51.  KREX says a group at the district's first community budget meeting last night decided that would be a good way to help cut $5 to $8 million dollars from next year's budget. Right behind the 4-day week, the group reportedly agreed raising extracurricular fees would help cut costs.  Community budget meetings are being held each Thursday this month.

73 Year Old Woman Drives Getaway Car?

A 73 year old Grand Junction woman is under arrest, accused of driving the getaway car in a burglary last month.  Police tell the Daily Sentinel Barbara Mae West was arrested on a warrant Wednesday.  The car West is accused of driving away from a January 23rd burglary was borrowed from a friend in Clifton who says West asked to use it to go to church.

WTF Welcome To Fruita

A new Fruita Slogan is raising some eyebrows.  WTF, Welcome to Fruita is being tried out by the city.  A second slogan in the mix says GoFruita, hell-yeah. Comments are being taken on the Fruita city website,

Avalon Remodel

A huge remodel is underway at the Avalon Theater in Downtown Grand Junction.  Eventually the Theater will become the home of the Grand Junction Symphony and a regional performing arts center.  KKCO says the first phase of the multi-year remodeling plan is expected to cost some $3 million with the Downtown Development Authority footing the bill.  The job is now out to bid.

Giant Denver Drug and Gang Bust

A multi-agency investigation has led to the arrests of 80-people on drug and gun charges. The U-S Attorney's Office syas the arrests were made by over 500 agents and officers making it the largest drug bust in Denver history.  Besides yesterday's 80 arrests, 25 gang members and associates have been charged for their role in 16 violent bank robberies. 23 of those convicted.

Colorado Parks/Wildlife Ready to Merge

The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Agency has been in operation since last July and finally has a plan to make sure the transition from two divisions to one goes smoothly.  The CPW Commission yesterday adopted a 240 page agreement charging Director Rick Cables with organizing the staff and merging all of the state's parks and wildlife programs.

BLM Lease Sale

The BLM's quarterly oil and gas lease sale has netted over $1 million for activity on 4,000 acres.  Two geothermal parcels totaling over 8,000 were also sold, the largest in Gunnison County to an owner The Daily Sentinel says is worried about protecting his property.  The state gets 49% of the sale proceeds, the federal government the other 51%.  In fiscal 2011, Colorado received more than $154 million from royalties, rentals and bonus bid payments for all federal minerals, including oil, gas, and coal.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

WPX Scales Back

WPX, a newly created off-shoot of Williams says it's cutting back operation in the Piceance Basin.  The Daily Sentinel says WPX will operate only 5 drilling rigs this year, down from 11 previously planned.  WPX spokeswoman Susan Alvillar says low natural gas prices are to blame.

Republican Caucus

Colorado Republican caucues are tonight, and candidates for the presidential nomination have spent several days campaigning here.  Mitt Romney started his day in Colorado yesterday in Grand Junction, addressing an overflow crowd.  Rick Santorum stopped in Montrose Saturday and New Gingrich made his first stop in Colorado yesterday.

Udall Shooting Bill

Colorado Senator Mark Udall wants a hearing on his Target Practice and Marksmanship Training and Support Act.  Udall wants federal funds to improve public shooting ranges. If you're interested in Udall's bill, you can sign a petition on the Senator's website.

Bradford Latest

A bi-partisan ethics committee in the Colorado legislature has started its inquiry into actions by Representative Laura Bradford in a Denver traffic stop two weeks ago. Yesterday the Denver District Attorney's Office said it wouldn't file misdemeanor gun charges against Bradford who had a gun with her during the traffic stop and a concealed-weapon permit. The Denver Post says rules for a concealed cary permit and alcohol consumption are not the same.  Bradford was never charged with DUI.

Blue ribbon Awards

The Mesa County Board of Health is presenting its Blue Ribbon Awards this afternoon. The awards were started in 1991 to recognize food service establishments consistenly maintaining Superior Sanitation practices.  6 full service restaurants are on the 2011 list, along with 19 limited menu establishments like sandwich shops and fast food. And for the first time this year, schools and non-profits are included. A complete list of the recipients is on the county's website.

D51 Budget Meeting

The first School District 51- Area Chambers of Commerce Budget forum is Thursday at Bookcliff Middle School from 6 to 7:30.  The district is holding meetings the next three Thursdays to gather community input for budget reduction plans of $5 to $8 million.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Missing GJ Men Found Dead

Two Grand Junction men missing from their pipeline job near Price, Utah have been found dead.  The Price Sun Advocate newspaper says searchers yesterday found 28 year olds Mark Widegren and Brian Axe dead in the wreck of their SUV. The Jeep was located by family members at the bottom of a deep canyon just below the mancamp the men had been driving back to a week ago. The Utah State Patrol is investigating the crash.

GJ Man Arrested in KY Murder

A Grand Junction man has been arrested on suspicion of murder.  24 year old Jarred Tabor Long was arrested yesterday morning on a warrant out of Christian County, Kentucky.  The Daily Sentinel says 28 year old Vincent Goslyn was found shot to death Friday night in rural Kentucky. Long and Goslyn's wife were arrested after a traffic stop near the North Avenue Wal-Mart yesterday morning.

Romney in GJ

Republican Presidential candidate Mitt is due in Grand Junction today for noontime rally at the Country Inn of America on Horizon Dr. State Senator Steve King is to introduce Romney at 12:15. Romney's website calls the Grand Junction stop at grassroots ralley before he heads to the front range for pre-caucus appearances there.

State of the County

Mesa County Commissioners are giving their annual State of the County address this morning at their regular meeting. Board Chairman Craig Meis plans to talk about signs of a slow economic recovery underway and transformations within the county government.  The presentation is at 10:00 at the commissioner's hearing room and also live on Cable channel 12 and on

Colorado Gas Prices

For the first time in weeks, the price of gas in Colorado climbed for the week.  The average now $3.00 a gallon compared to $2.96 a week ago. says motorists should prepare for an upward trend with significantly higher prices expected toward the end of the month.

More clerk's Move

Mesa County made it through the County Clerk's DMV and Voter services moves, this week, the Recording Division is moving into the county's new Central Services Building.  Marriage licenses are available at the clerk's Clifton branch this week. The Recording Division will be closed Wednesday through Friday for the move.

Bobby Bashed

The former Loma man who touted a concert last summer to rival "Country Jam" before pulling out at the last minute is under investigation in New Mexico after the abrupt closure of a title company he had ties to. The Daily Sentinel says Bobby Willis is listed as an officer and director of the parent company of New Mexico Title Company which closed its doors last Tuesday leaving customers without access to their accounts. Willis told the Farmington Daily Times his attorneys and accountants were looking into claims of missing escrow money.

Drilling Permits Fall

Oil and Gas drilling permits in Mesa County were down last year.  127 permits issued compared to 306 in 2010.  In Garfield County, The Daily Sentinel says permits last year were about 2/3 of 2010 numbers.  The fall was the greatest in Rio Blanco County where permits fell from 441 in 2010 to just 109 last year.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Front Range Weather

There's a huge storm in the Colorado mountains and on the front range.  Most of the eastern plains are under a blizzard warning with a forecast of more than 2 feet of snow and wind gusts up to 40 mph. The Denver Post says airlines at DIAA had announced more than 180 cancellations by last night and expected more cancellations today.  The snow is expected to stay on the front range with forcasts for ski areas in the northern and central mountains of only one to three inches.

Junction Men Search

Volunteers are joining a search for two Grand Junction men missing in Utah for five days.  The Daily Sentinel says relatives of 28 year olds Mark Widegren and Brian Axe say the pair hasn't been heard from since leaving a bar near their pipeline job near Price, Utah last Saturday night. A helicopter is helping with the search in rugged canyon country, and ground teams have headed out across the area.

Pot Mom

A Clifton woman has been prohibited from having contact with any children under 18 after being accused of smoking marijuana with her children and their friends.  The Daily Sentinel says 30 year old Christina Marie Gordon was arrested Wednesday after parents of children who are friends with Gordon's children said they smoked pot at Gordon's house.  The arrest affidavit says children who visited Gordon's home told police the only rule at Gordon's home was "not to tell your parents what goes on here."

Xcel Rate Request

The Colorado Public Utilities Commission is holding a hearing Monday on a $141.9 million rate increase request.  Xcel says average monthly bills would increase by about $4, commercial bills $5.30.  Xcel says it needs the increase to pay for the loss of a wholesale contract with Black Hills Electric, and other costs including a $10 million plan to clear pine beetle-killed trees from Xcel's transmission and distribution lines.

Mesa Bodies

Mesa County Sheriff's investigators aren't calling it a murder-suicide, but say they've found two people shot to death in a home in Mesa and believe there is no suspect at large. Sheriff's spokesman Matt Lewis says no information about the victims is being released.

Santorum in Montrose

Presidential candidate Rick Santorum is coming to Montrose tomorrow. The Montrose Republican Party is hosting the Pennsylvania Senator at the Holiday Inn Express on S. Townsend from 8:30 to 10:30 tomorrow morning. The visit is in advance of next Tuesday's Colorado Republica Caucus.

Dinosaur NM Grant

Dinosaur national Monument has received a grant to preserve its dinosaur quarry. Park Superintendent Mary Risser says preserving fossils in-place presents many challenges and the National Parks Foundation grant will be used to develop a long-term monitoring and preservation plan for the fossil quarry.

Sex Offender Roundup

CBI Agents set out to arrest some 818 convicted sex offenders in Colorado who have failed to register with local authorities.  Only three of the group were arrested through yesterday's Operation J-Bird, but authorities say they were able to get the word out.  Nearly 15,000 convicted sex offenders live in Colorado. The CBI has a sex offender tip line and online sex offender data base.

GarCo Libraries Food For Fines

Garfield County Libraries are doing something fun for the month of February.  The Food for Fines program allows people with overdue book fines to bring in non-perishible food and receive a $1 credit.  Last February, 3,300 items were collected and donated to Garfield County's LIFT-UP.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Cocaine Trafficking Ring Information

The Western Colorado Drug Task Force has released details in the dismantling of a major cocaine trafficking ring in the Grand Junction area.  The news release, including an organizational chart and booking photos are on the city's website,

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

No VCR in Carbondale

Voters in Carbondale have turned down the proposed Village at Crystal River development by a nearly 2-1 margin.  The Glenwood Post says a group called Locals for Smarter Growth led the charge. Some say the VCR proposal was sunk by a 1% public improvements fee assessed on the sale of retail goods at the VCR. The developer said the pIF was need to generate income for making improvements on the property along Highway 133.

Cocaine Trafficking Ring

Nine more people have been arrested in a cocaine trafficking ring in Grand Junction.  The first arrests were Sunday after a father and daughter were stopped with suspected cocaine.  The mother and 16 year old son were arrested after.  Now nine people have been arrested accused in the same ring.  According to the Daily Sentinel, the group regularly brought as much as two pounds of the drug from Denver to Grand Junction every 10 days. Chief Deputy DA Dan Rubinstein says more arrests are expected.

Van Gundy's Sold

VanGundy's Auto Salvage just off of south 5th Street has been sold to a Salt Lake City company called Western Metals Recycling.  The Daily Sentinel says Wesetern purchased Van Gundy's assets and the business.  Van Gundy's opened in 1929.

Bradford's Police Apology

State Representative Laura Bradford is telling the Daily Sentinel she never asked for legislative immunity and doesn't believe she was driving over the legal alcohol limit. Denver Police yesterday apologized to Bradford for reporting she had invoked the privilege at a traffic stop when in fact she asked to be treated like anyone else and be given a breath test.  Instead, the officer who pulled her over sent her home in a cab.  House Speaker Frank McNulty says he appreciates the police apology but will continue an ethics investigation.

Montrose Creative District

Officials in Montrose are hoping a Creative District designation by the state will pump some much needed capital into the city's downtown.  Montrose says the number of art galleries and cottage industry set it apart. Montrose Dowtown Development Authority head Scott Shine tells the Montrose Daily Press at least 40 communities are expected to apply for grants including funding and technical assistance. Word should come in early March.

Lottery Money

A Montrose woman is working on wording for a ballot measure to better fund education.  Phyllis Alleman tells the Montrose Daily Press she wants voters to approve a plan to split lottery funds into three pots. Right now, $35 million goes to Great Outdoors Colorado, with anything above that going to public school capital construction. Alleman wants the money split one half to education, one quarter to parks and recreation, and the other quarter to state highways. She's waiting on the OK from the Secretary of State to begin the petition process.

G Road Closure

The City of Grand Junction is closing G Rd between 24 and 23 Rds tomorrow through Saturday to allow a contractor to construct a utility crossing in the road. Detours will be in place to the south via the I-70 Business Loop.

RMPBS Screening

Rocky Mountain PBS is holding a special screening of a new documentary looking at good news in U-S Healthcare. Mesa County is featured as one of four pioneering communities. Following the showing, the film's director and producer will be on hand for a panel discussion about local and national healthcare systems.

WSCA Meeting

The Western Slope Conservative Alliance is bringing the state director of Americans For Prosperity to Grand Jucntion.  Jeff Crank will speak at the monthly meeting tomorrow at the Grand Junction City Hall Auditorium.  The Western Slope Conservative Allance is non-partisan and working toward finding solutions to today's challenges in government.

CMU Marching Band

Colorado Mesa University is continuing its era of growth with the announcement of a new Marching Band.  The CMU Music Department says the band brings with it not only excellent training for music majors, but also energetic and exciting game-day entertainment.  The Marching Mavs will take the field for the 2013 football season.