Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tuesday March 20, 2012

A 34 year old Grand Junction man has been charged in the June, 2011 death of his 5-week old son.  A warrant was issued yesterday for Dartanin Mitchell in the death of his son Lucius. According to the Daily Sentinel, Mitchell was first arrested last summer in connection with burglaries and other crimes in the grand valley.  He was free on bond and failed to appear in court in September before finally being arrested in Tennessee in October.  He escaped from custody while being returned to Grand Junction and was eventually arrested in Denver in December as a suspect in four armed robberies in the Denver area.

Grand Valley liquor establishments are not selling to minors in the same numbers as just three months ago.  180 businesses were evaluated in a compliance check over the weekend, and only 7 were caught selling to minors.  Grand Junction Police Cheif John Camper gives credit to the businesses taking seriously their duty to check IDs, and their comitment to the safety of youth,

The Center for Independence in Grand Junction is showing off a new solar electric system being paid for with a grant from Xcel Energy.  Atlasta Solar Center is installing 44 panels this afternoon and tomorrow at the CFI on  Gunnison Ave.  The work is the final step in a four year effort to improve energy efficiency.

A woman struck and killed by an Amtrak train Saturday has been identified as 27 year old Ashley Nicole Vale of Silt.  The accident happened Saturday afternoon near Silt.

A new study by researchers at the Colorado School of Public Health at CU Denver says people living near fracking by energy companies face a higher risk of health problems from air pollution.  According to the Daily Sentinel, the study found higher levels of air pollution near the wells making  the cumulative risk of getting cancer 10 in 1 million for those living within a 1/2 mile of wells, compared with 6 in 1 million for those living farther away.

Budget forecasts for the upcoming fiscal year are setting off some battles at the state capitol.  The Denver Post says there may be an extra $149 million and Democrats and republicans are arguing over a property tax break for seniors. Republicans want to restore the break, Democrats want only the poorest seniors to get it.  Governor Hickenlooper in the meantime wants to use the extra money to ease cuts to education and other programs.

A hearing today for the man on death row in the killings four people at a Chuck E. Cheese Restaurant in Aurora in 1993 may be his last chance to live.  Nathan Dunlap's attorneys will argue Dunlap is mentally ill and his trial lawyers failed to adequately represent him.  According to the Denver Post, it's been 15 years since Colorado executed someone. That execution was the state's first in 30 years.