Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Wednesday March 21, 2012

1st Degree Murder charges have been filed against two Clifton brothers in the March 1st stabbing of a 31 year old Fruita man. The Daily Sentinel says Julio and Jose Ortiz will return to court April 25th.  The pair were arrested two days after Abel Roper was found dead outside his vehicle in the Pioneer Village Mobile Home Park on F Road.  Arrest affidavits remain sealed, and attorneys are under court order to not disseminate information.

The Montrose Downtown Development Authority says it can get to work now that the city council has signed off on the authority's Plan of Development.  Director Scott Shine tells the Montrose Daily Press, several projects are ready to go including a revolving loan fund for property improvements or expansions, or even new businesses within the DDA's boundaries.

Average temperatures, below average precipitation, and drought conditions in west central Colorado.  That's the National  Weather Service's climate prediction for the next three months.  The Daily Sentinel says the 2011-12 winter was one of the driest and had the lowest snowfall total in Grand Junction since 1980.

A memorial service has been set for next Monday for Gene Taylor, the founder of Gene Taylor's Sporting Goods and community philanthropist.  Taylor died last week at Hospice, he was 79.  The service Monday is at the 1st United Methodist Church in downtown Grand Junction at 2:00.

4 Colorado legislators are working on a bill that would set up a scratch lottery ticket to raise money for veterans.  The Denver Post says the plan would require a constitutional amendment since lottery proceeds are already dictated.  A 2/3 majority is needed to get the measure on the November ballot. Under the bill, the Colorado lottery would oversee ticket sales and promotion, ... the Department of Military Affairs would handle distribution of funds.

A bill that would recommend holding back students if they can't read by 3rd grade has won initial approval in the Colorado House.  The policy wouldn't mandate retention, but would require districts to measure reading progress through 3rd grade and leave the final decision up to each district.  The Denver Post says some lawmakers worry it will make kids held back, more likely to drop out. The House gave the bill first-round approval on a voice vote and still must take a recorded vote before sending it to the Senate.

The Colorado Tourism Office is looking at a $5 million budget cut for the coming fiscal year as the Joint Budget Committee sticks with it's proposed $9.6 million budget.  Tourism Office Director Al White tells the Denver Post it seems counter-intuitive considering annual studies show commuities harvesting $7 in tax revenue for every dollar invested in marketing the state to vacationers.