Monday, April 30, 2012

Monday April 30, 2012

The Grand Junction Economic Partnership is looking for a video to promote outdoor activities in Mesa County.  It's a facebook contest where anyone can post a video of things like hiking, rafting, skiing or whatever.  The GJEP may use some of the footage and those who enter get a chance to win a GoPro HD Hero Camera.

The weather is cooperating in some parts of Colorado, allowing fire restrictions to be lifted.  The Eagle County Sheriff's Office is the latest to lift a ban there.  Authorities say there is still a lot of fire fuel and they're urging caution whenever conducting open burning.

Weather conditions may be cooperating in Eagle County, but not in Delta County where emergency officials say they're thinking about calling for a ban on open fires.  Emergency Manager Rob Fiedler says he's been in the business for 30 years, in Delta County for the past 9, and conditions on the Grand Mesa are drying out too close for comfort.  Fiedler tells the Daily Sentinel Reversing the arid trend to the weather so far this year would require intervention of biblical proportions.

Local law enforcement and the DEA teamed up over the weekend and collected nearly 300 pounds of prescription and over-the-counter drugs during the "Drug Take Back" event in Mesa County.  Agencies across the country took part in the effort to get unused drugs off the street.

Three people hospitalized after a rollover crash on I-70.  It happened yesterday west of Parachute.  The State Patrol says a car headed westbound lost control and rolled several times in the median.  Three female occupants were taken to the hospital with injuries dscribed as minor to severe.

The price of gas in Colorado has fallen 2-cents in the past week to $2.85 a gallon, still 4-cents a gallon higher than the national average. says the average price continues to drop across the U-S and is now nearly 10-cents a gallon lower than the same date a year ago.

The latest plans for those dead cows near the Conundrum Hot Springs wouthwest of Aspen has the carcasses being cut into pieces and scattered in the woods.  There had been talk of using fire to destroy the cabin where the dead cows are and the cows, but officials say that'd take an environmental analysis. Forest officials tell the Aspen Times scattering the remains would be easier and quicker.

The Heritage Foundation’s “Values Bus” is scheduled to stop in Grand Junction this afterno0on at 5:30 at Lincoln Park.  The conservative organization is traveling the country with a presentation about how the foundation will help restore American values to government and society.  Tea Party members are hosting a rally of their own Friday afternoon at Lincoln Park.  That get together will feature Saturday Night Live comic Victoria Jackson and Niger Innis, son of Congress of Racial Equality leader Roy Innis.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Thursday April 26, 2012

The Montrose County Health Department is warning about the potential for rabies.  Domestic animals account for fewer than 10% of reported cases, with cats, cattle and dogs most often reported.  The largest number is among bats and skunks.  Rabies is treatable is caught before symptoms appear, but after than, cases are usually fatal. No cases have been reported this year, and the health department wants people to be extra careful as warm weather and outdoor activities increase.

Because of the Fukushima nuclear plant accident in Japan, that country is looking to reduce reliance on nuclear power.  Today, Japanese experts are meeting with officials at DMEA to learn about their Community Solar Array model for leasing solar photovoltaic panels to consumers. Kyushu Electric Power generates, transmits, and distributes electricity on Japan's southernmost island...serving more than 8 million residential and business customers.

Undocumented students in Colorado will not be getting a break on college tuition after the House Finance Committee killed a bill that would have done that.  Colroado ASSET would have created a third category of tution for undocumented students who attend 3 years of High School in Colorado.  Tuition less than out of state, but higher than in-state.  Democrats say the republicans walked away from $4 million in tuition the bill would've generated.

Grand Valley Irrigation Company is keeping a close ey on the Colorado River.  Low flows Monday led the company to put a call on the river, but as the level went up, the call came off.  The Daily Sentinel says the CALL ensures farmers and ranchers get the water to fulfill their senior water rights.  Water managers say although the call is off right now, it's likely a call will come at some point this eyar.

A Civil Unions bill is moving forward in the Colroado Senate. It's designed to give same-sex couples some of the protections and responsibilities heterosexual couples have including jointly owning property, adopting children and sharing end-oflife decisions. The bill still faces a final vote in the Senate and goes back to the House where its future is uncertain.

The Colorado National Monument has new Superintendent.  Lisa Eckert sworn in yesterday.  Eckert began her career with the park service at the Monuemnt in 1984, and has worked her way up through the ranks at parks across the west.  Eckert takes over amid talks of changing the Monument to a National Park and having been on the job for the past 7 weeks, has been attending meetings about the possiblity.

High School students interested in the medical field are getting a hands-on look at Community Hospital today in a Schools to Careers Day.  More than 80 students will attend a 4-hour event, following a fictitious patient through his hospital visit following a severe automobile crash. The exercise includes presentations by hospital departments including radiology, laboratory, rehab services, nursing and EMT and others.

Colorado Attorney General John Suthers says he's opposed to a state commission being set up to compensate victims of the Lower North Fork Fire.  Three people died in the fire and 23 homes burned.  The state currently has a liability cap of $600,000 for incidents involving the state.  Suthers says it would be unfair to others with legitimate claims against the state to allow only victims of the fire to receive more.  he tells the Denver Post a better fix would be for lawmakers to look at raising compenstation in lawsuits or expanding the list of claims exempt from immunity.

A list of 71 post offices marked for closure has been reduced, saving about 25 of those, many in rural western Colorado.  U-S Senator Mark Udall says the post offices are the anchors in some communities and the move will save thousands of jobs.  A bill passed last night still has to go to the house and be signed by the president by May 15th, the expiration of a moratorium on closures.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wednesday April 25, 2012

C-DOT has a bridge it wants to sell you, actually, it's giving the bridge away.  The National Register-listed Dotsero Bridge on Highway 6 over the Colorado River, built in 1935, is up for adoption. C-DOT's replacing the bridge because it doesn't meet current standards, but the agency says it would be suitable for pedestrian or recreational trail use.  The only catch is whoever gets it will have to pay to have it moved.

A Montrose Schools employee has been cleared of sex abuse charges after the District Attorney's Office said there was not enough evidence for a conviction.  Darci Largent was accused of abusing a 4-year old girl at the Riverbottom Early Childhood Development Center last fall.  The Montrose Daily Press says the case was dismissed yeserday after deputy DA Wiley Christopher refused to put the little girl on the stand during a competency hearing.  The judge in the case is still deciding whether the charges could be filed again later, and whether blood samples taken from Largent should be destroyed.

The official high in Grand Junction yesterday, 89 degrees, a full 21 degrees above average.  The National Weather Service says the mercury is on its way back to normal now with a high about 10 degrees cooler today, 72 degrees tomorrow and a below normal 66 on Friday.

The search continues for a new superintendent at the Delta County School District 50-J.  The former super stepped down in January on the request of the school board.  The Daily Sentinel says 3 candidates for the job were interviewed last week but the top candidate declined the job.  Now the board says it'll wait to repost the job and instead is considering a new Assistant Superintendent job to fill the position.

A 16 year old boy has been arrested on suspicion of having a handgun and drug paraphernalia near Grand Junction High School.  The Daily Sentinel says  police questioned two boys last Thursday, finding one with two active warrants and the other with the gun that had been reported stolen several days earlier.

Another Colorado ski resort is rolling up its mat early.  Loveland says it'll close this Sunday because of warm temperatures and a lack of snow.  The resort had planned to stay open another week.

Republicans in the state house say they want to create a commission to compensate victims of the Lower North Fork Fire.  Three people died and the 23 homes burned had a value of more than $11 million.  The lawmakers say the state should pay. The fire was started from embers from a controlled burn.  The state has a liability of only $600,000 total in civil suits.  According to the Denver Post, Colorado Springs Senate Minority Leader Bill Cadman said the state does not have mmoral impunity and creating a commission would assure people amends will be made.

President Obama continues his campaign to keep student loan interest rates at their current level.  He spoke in Boulder last night, telling students he and his wife finished paying off their college debt just 8-years ago.  The President says without congressional action, interest rates on the loans will double to 6.8%, costing students nearly $1,000 a year.  Obama is set to speak at the University of Iowa this morning.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tuesday April 24, 2012

Grand Junction Police are looking for a man missing since last Thursday.  59 year old Clarence Lipinski was last seen riding a recumbent bicycle that morning and hasn't been heard from since.  Anyone with information should call 911.

Today is C-DOT's 8th Annual Remeberance Day in honor of road workers who've lost their lives doing their jobs over the past 80 years.  58 employees have died...nearly half of those in work zones.  CDOT says there were more over 830 work zone crashes last year in Colorado resulting in 96 injuries and 10-deaths.

Two men are dead, one injured in a rollover crash on I-70.  It happened yesterday around 3:00 near Silt.  The State Patrol says a Nissan Maxima was headed east, went off the left side of the road and rolled several times in the median.  Three men were not wearing seatbelts and were thrown from the car.  Speed is considered a factor in the crash. Westbound lanes of I-70 were closed for about 3 hours during the investigation.

The Mesa County Coroner's Office has released the name of a man killed in a motorcycle crash Sunday north of Gateway.  79 year old Lyle Troth, Jr of Glenwood Springs was riding with several members of the Aspen Valley Harley Davidson Owner's group when he lost control and crashed into a guardrail.

If you want to find out more about the Pinon Ridge Uranium Mill under construction near Naturita in Montrose County, you can got to the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce Energy Briefing tomorrow morning.  Curtis Moore of Energy Fuels Resources Corporation will be on hand to talk about his company's plans, the permitting process, the state health department and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Businesses in western Colorado can get some information about exporting their goods at a forum in Montrose next week.  Congressman Scott Tipton is hosting, bringing along federal and local trade experts to talk about procedures and resources available to local businesses.  Tipton's office says close to 4,500 companies export from Colorado every year, and 88% of those are small or medium-sized businesses.  Export 101 is Thursday, May 3rd at the Grand Junction Business Incubator Center.

Comments on facebook have led to the arrests of two Provo, Utah men in connection with booby traps placed on popular Utah hiking trail.  Trip wires were set to drop a 20-pound spiked boulder and to trip a passer-by into a bed of sharpened wooden stakes.  A military trained Forest Service employee found the traps last week.  The 19 and 21 year old suspects were arrested after comments about the traps were found on facebook.

Grand Junction has some affordable housing, but the Grand Junction Housing Authority says stats in a census report released yesterday don't tell the whole story.  According to the Daily Sentinel, the report looks at incomes and  available units in the state between 2006 and 2010 and found about 50 afforable units per 100 low-income households.  In Grand Junction the ratio was 61 per 100.  Jody Kole with the Housing Authority tells the Sentinel if conducted today, the study would likely tell a different story.  She says more than 3,200 households in Grand Junction are spending more than half their income on rent.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Monday April 23, 2012

It's not a lot, but the price of gas in Colorado has fallen, down .2 cents a gallon in the past week. says  The average is now $3.87/gallon, 20 cents higher than one month ago.  The national average is $3.85.

A 79 year old Glenwood Springs man is dead in a motorcycle crash on Hwy 141 north of Gateway.  The state patrol says the man was headed north when his Harley hit a guardrail, throwing him down a steep embankment.  He was wearing a helmet, but investigators say speed appears to have been a factor in the crash yesterday afternoon.

A 21 year old Henderson, Colorado man is in jail in Glenwood Springs after a high speed chase on I-70.  It happened early yesterday morning.  Igor Skorev apparently didn't stop when a trooper tried to pull him over for speeding at west Glenwood Springs.  The chase reached speeds of 125 miles an hour through Glenwood Canyon where there's two-way traffic because of construction.  Trooper Joshua Yoder used his car to finally stop Skorev.  Yoder and Skorev were treated for minor injuries.

C-DOT is jumping on the Earth Day bandwagon, pointing out its efforts to be GREEN.  C-DOT points out the use of reclaimed asphalt pavement or RAP, which saves aggregate resources.  The use of RAP is up 600% from 2007, saving $11 million over the use of new asphalt. CDOT is also experimenting with rubberized binder in the asphalt, made from recycled tires.

Over 2,100 drivers in 49 counties paid the price during C-DOT's rural Click It or Ticket campaign.  29 law enforcement agencies took part in the campaign to get people to buckle up.  C-DOT says 60% of fatal crashes last year were on rural roads.  58% of those killed were not wearing seatbelts, compared with 34% in urban areas.  C-DOT says Based on surveys conducted by law enforcement agencies before and after the rural Click It or Ticket enforcement period, seat belt use rose from 75% to 81%.

The National Park Service says it's allowing commercially guided climbs to continue in the the Park's wilderness areas.  Colorado's two Senators and another from Montana, along with 3rd District Congressman Scott Tipton raised concerns about the plan to ban the climbs, and late last week, the Park Service said it won't move forward with the ban, at least not now. In a press release, Senator Mark Udall said he was pleased the Park Service's decision saying guided climbing plays a role in the local economy and promotes safety and responsible use of the state's outdoor resources.

If you haven't visited one of Colorado's National Parks lately, now's your chance to do it free.  This week is National Park Week with free admission across the country. The next Free Day is in June.

Yesterday's 85 degree high temperature in Grand Junction tied a record for the day and it looks like the record heat is going to continue.  Yesterday was the second time this month, and the 6th time this spring temperatures tied or set records.  The average is 69 degrees, and the weather service says we'll be back in that neighborhood by the end of the week.

A second school district in Garfield County is going to a 4-day school week to save money.  District 16 which includes Parachute and Battlement Mesa will make the move in the fall with Mondays off.  The Daily Sentinel says class time will be increased by 50 minutes each of the 4-days to accomodate the move.

The Colorado legislature is down to its final two weeks and has some high profile issues to deal with.  The Denver Post says the House Education Committee is dealing with a bill today creating a separate tuition category for undocumented students.  The tuition would be more than in-state, but less than out-of-state.  Also on tap, the issue of civil unions for gay couples.  By law, the session must end by May 9th.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Friday April 20, 2012

Colorado State Trooper Gene Lawyer has been found Not Guilty of Criminally Negligent Homicide in the shooting death of Jason Kemp at his home on the Redlands in July of 2010.  Lawyer shot Kemp in the doorway of his home after Kemp fled the scene of a non-injury suspected DUI crash.  The jury yesterday acquitted Lawyer on four counts and deadlocked on two others.

Colorado could become a leader in the aerospace industry under  The Colorado Aerospace Jobs Act.  Signed into law yesterday, the bill is designed to make the state more competitive in the development of commercial space flight by creating a stable regulatory climate. The industry is estimated to generate $3 billion in annual payroll for Colorado workers.

The state's $19 billion budge has passed out of the Senate and is back to the House for consideration of amendments by both chambers.  The spending plan includes several changes from the current budget, including sending severant-tax money from oil and gas revenues back to communities where the drilling takes place.  That money had been funneled into the state's general fund to help balance the budget.

The Mongols Motorcycle Club has been around for 43 years and this weekend, they'll be around the Grand Valley.  Anywhere from 20 to 200 members of the international group are planning a gathering at an unspecified residence. The Mesa County Sheriff's office tells the Daily Sentinel they're not expecting any trouble, but have a plan and have lined up extra resources if they need them.

If you bought a ticket for that huge Mega Millions lottery game last month, you still could be a millionaire. The big jackpot was worth $640 million, but someone has a ticket purchased in Denver worth $1 million and has yet to claim the prize.

Nine notices of intent to file suit have been filed against the state in connection with the Lower North Fork fire.  The Denver Post says the legal notices must be filed before anyone can sue the state, and damages would be limited to $600,000 for the entire incident under the Colorado Governmental Immunity Act.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Still no verdict in the Criminally Negligent Homicide trial of Colorado State Trooper Ivan "Gene" Lawyer.  The Daily Sentinel says deliberations lasted nearly 12 hours yesterday, with jurors sending written questions to the judge.  Lawyer is on trial for the July 2010 shooting death of Jason Kemp at a home on the Redlands.STATE

The Colorado Senate has given initial approval to a $19 billion state budget bill.  An amendment to bar the use of state cash assistance cards at ATM's in casinos, strip clubs or liquor stores failed.  Opponents saying there's no guarantee cards used at grocery stores aren't being used wrongly either.  The senate has to approve the entire budget on a recorded vote, then work out differences with the House before the bill goes to the governor.

The Beacon senior newspaper is holding its annual senior fair at Two Rivers Convention Center today...providing information, hosting a national AARP poll and holding a food drive.  The Community Food Bank will be on hand, collecting non-perishable food items for the hungry in Mesa County.

The Horizon Drive District is holding a couple of public forums to unveil proposed improvements for Horizon Drive between G and H Roads.  The first is this afternoon at 4:00.  The business group says investing in Horizon Drive is essential for a couple of reasons, including the significant first and last impression it leaves on travelers to the area.  Besides the forums, an online survey is available at

If you're ready to camp, so is the BLM's Mud Springs Campground in Glade Park.  Mud Springs normally opens in mid to late May, but this year's low snowpack has made the early opeing possible.  Services there are limited, so there's no fee until those services are available May 4th.

Olathe's Haven House, a transitional housing opportunity for homeless families is celebrating its first anniversary today.  Haven House provides a variety of programs to homeless families in Delta, Montrose and Ouray Counties.  Today's celebration is from 3:30 to 6:30 on River Road in Olathe.

The final open house on whether the Colorado National Monument should become a National Park is from 4 until 7 today at the Glade Park Community Center.  The panel looking into the possible move is listening to views from residents all around the Monument. More information is available on the Monument's website.

President Obama is getting ready for another trip to Denver.  White House Officials tell a Denver TV station the President will stop in a suburb next Tuesday, his fourth visit to Colorado since last fall.  Obama will be back in Colorado next month to give the commencement address at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.

Early sight seeing in the Aspen area.  The National Forest Service is opening Maroon Creek Road and some facilities at Maroon Lake tomorrow morning, the earliest opening in 20 years thanks to high temperatures and low snowpack.  According to the Aspen Times, now fees will be charged until later in the spring.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Wednesday April 18, 2012

The 4th suspect has been arrested in a burglary and theft investigation in Grand Junction.  Three people, including the daughter of the victims were arrested earlier this week. The 4th suspect booked yesterday afternoon after turning himself in. Grand Jucntion Police say the group stole money and guns from the home 32 year old Taren Amsberry was housesitting for her parents.

A 24 year old Grand Junction man is in jail, accused of threatending a Mesa County District Judge.  Justin Townsel was to be sentenced tomorrow by Mesa County District Judge Brian Flynn.  The Daily Sentinel says Townsel said he had guns and directions from God to Kill Flynn.  Townsel is now held on $150,000, will appear before District judge Richard Gurly, and is not allowed within 100 feet of Flynn or his staff.

The jury has the case of a Colorado State Trooper accused of criminally negligent homicide and other charges in the shooting death of Jason Kemp.  Trooper Ivan "Gene" Lawyer shot Kemp to death after a hit and run accident on the Redlands in July of 2010. Deliberations lasted about 2 hours last night the jury returns to court this morning.

District 51 is still struggling with what cuts to make.  The Daily Sentinel says the anticipated cuts have gone from as much at $8 million to an anticipated $2 to $4 million.  Groups working on where the cuts should be made told the school board last night,  "Strongly Preferred" cuts include $3.3 million in reductions at school buildings, $485,000 by increasing athletic fees, and a $10 a month hike in bus charges.

The death of 19 month old Grand Junction toddler has been ruled a homicide after the Montrose County Coroner ruled the cause of death was non-accidental blunt force trauma.  Owen Daniel Reak died in Montrose a week ago.  The autopsy report has been sealed and the incident is under investigation by the Montrose and Mesa County Sheriff's Offices.

Women's wages in Colorado still aren't on par with men's.  The National Women's Law Center released information regarding the wage gap, showing women in the state make 79 cents for every dollar that men make.  The gap is even wider for Hispanic and Black women, who earn 53 and 61 cents respectively, to every dollar white men make in Colorado.

Have you heard about the frozen cows in the Aspen/Sopris Forest Service District? The cows apparently sought cover in a forest service cabin at 11,000 feet, were trapped and are now frozen inside.  Rangers are now trying to figure out how to get them out, so hikers can access the popular area.  One of the options, is using explosives to get the frozen animals out.

If you're looking for a cheap read, you can get it from the Friends of the Mesa County Library.  The group collects used books all year long and sells them twice a year.  The spring sale is Friday and Saturday at the First Congregational Church across from Grand Junction High School.  The books are all $1 or $2. Friends members can shop Thursday and non-members can join at the door for $10.

Secretary of State Scott Gessler has adopted updated election rules designed to increase transparency and security of election processes.  Revisions address election administration procedures by consolidating rules on ballot drop-off locations and clarifying security requirements for those sites.  A complete list of changes is on the Secretary of State's website.

Eagle County's fire restrictions have been lifted after last weekend's storm.  Sheriff Joe Hoy says limited agricultural burns are being allowed WITH an open burning permit and inspection from local fire authorities.  Fires are also allowed in approved fire pits and BBQs.

Colorado Democrats have released what they call the Colorado Blue Manual, a campaign resource for local candidates and activists.  The Dems say without gubernatorial or U-S Senate races, local candidates and volunteers are carrying out work statewide campaigns usually do.  The Democratic Party Chair says the Blue Manual ensures the smallest communities will get the same advice and insights the most sophisticated campaigns rely on.

Tuesday April 17, 2012

Grand Jucntion Police have three suspects in custody in a burglary and theft investigation involving a woman house sitting at her parents home.  Police says 32 year old Taren Amberry said she was staying at the home when it was broken in to and money and weapons were stolen.  Investigators say she and three men were involved in the theft. Amberry, 32 year old Gregory Johnston and 24 year old David Micky Fields were arrested,  One suspect, 19 year old Jacob Seabold has not been contacted.

A Grand Jucntion woman sentenced to 6 years in prison last week now will spend 8-years in community corrects instead.  30 year old Starlyn Marie Tait was arrested in a wire tap investigation last fall on charges of buying and selling thousands of dollars worth of meth every day throughout the investigation.  Prosecutors wanted a long prison sentence, but District Judge David Bottger decided against that. The Daily Sentinel says Bottger decided Tait would would have a better chance at rehabilitation in community corrections.

A 30 year old man from Massechuseetts arrested in Grand Junction last month accused of traveling here to have sex with children has killed himself in jail.  Yaron Segal, an Israeli citizen died Friday in the Federal Correctional Institution in  Englewood.

Energy Fuels, the company trying to build a new Uranium mill in Montrose County is buying a mill in Utah and and other assets that would make it a leading U-S uranium company.  Energy Fuels is still trying to get started building the Pinon Ridge Mine, but is battling protests from opponents who say the state health department didn't hold enough public hearings bfore granting a license.  The Daily Sentinel says The NRC and State Health Department are meeting today to review the health department's regulatory program for radioactive materials.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Monday April 16, 2012

Colorado's gas prices, once some of the lowest in the country, continue to climb. says the average $3.86/gallon is up 2-cents the past week and 31 cents/gallon higher than one month ago.
The national avg. is down 1.4 cents in the last week to $3.89/g.

Construction begins today on a taxi-way next to the Montrose Regional Airport's secondary runway.  That runway will remain closed through the duration of the project designed to increase aircraft safety and operational efficiency of the airport.

Good news--116 seniors from District 51 high schools are being honored today at the Superintendent's luncheon.  All of the students have earned perfect grades all four years of high school.  That's a record number honored.

A Grand Junction woman sentenced to six years in prison last week on convictions of buying and selling meth, is being re-sentenced today.  Chief Deputy DA Dan Rubinstein argued against a community based sentence and asked for 10 years.  Star Tait was set to be transferred today from the Mesa County Jail to the Department of Corrections, but district Judge David Bottger put a stop on that and has scheduled another sentencing today.

That weekend storm resulted in 5 to 10 inches of snow in the mountains, leading to chain requirements and closures.  Front range weather officials say the moisture is enough to ease fire danger  for a little while, but the long term outlook is harder to predict.

Police are looking for a car stolen in Colorado Springs this morning with a 3 year old child inside.  According to the Denver Post, the driver left the engine running and the 3-year old inside when the car was taken from a convenience store about 2:00 this morning.  The little boy made his way to a nearby home although police say they don't know how the boy got away.  Authorities are on the lookout for a White Chrysler new Yorker.

New Department of Labor statistics show consumers in the western U-S paid nearly one percent more last month than in February.  The price jump was even greater, 2.4% compared with last year.  The Denver Post says gasoline prices were the biggest culprit, climbing 10.7%.

Use of Force by Grand Junction Polcie Officers is down according to reports in the Daily Sentinel.  40 reported officer involved incident last year was down 30% compared to 2010.  Tasers were used only 11 times last year, a five year low.

The family of Paige Birgfeld is holding a public memorial service April 28th at Grand Junction High School.  They say they want to give the public a chance to say goodbye.  Birgfeld was the mother of 3 who disappeared in Grand Junction in 2007.  Her remains were found earlier this year.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday April 13, 2012


Grand Junction Fire investigators are working to figure out the cause of a fire that severely damaged Ed Bozarth Chevrolet's Body Shop.  It happened about 1:45 yesterday morning, several cars being prepped for work were damaged.  10 shop employees will be reassigned within the dealership.

New data from The National Climatic Data Center shows last month was the driest March ever in Colorado.  The Daily Sentinel says nearly all of Colorado experienced a short-term "extreme drought," The south-central part of the state conditions rated only "severe."  State Climatologist Nolan Doesken says the driest areas this year, were the wettest last spring and summer.

Two jurors in the Criminally Negligent Homicide trial of State Trooper Gene Lawyer have been removed leaving only 12 jurors.  If another leaves, that would force a mistrial.  According to the Daily Sentinel, one juror was dismissed Wednesday, then yesterday another juror didn't show up for court.  Lawyer is accused of shooting Jason Kemp to death in his apartment after Kemp was allegedly involved in a hit and run accident in a quiet Redlands neighborhood.


It's not clear if a bill to reduce tuition costs for illegal immigrants in Colorado will make it to the House floor, but it IS moving forward, having been assigned to the House Education Committee.  The bill is supported by businesses, clergy and some key Republicans.  Senate Bill 15 is also set to be heard in the House Appropriations Committee.

Colorado's $19 Billion buget plan has passed out of the House on a nearly unanimous vote.  House Speaker Frank McNulty tells the Denver Post, the budget is responsible, increasing funding for education, protecting seniors and helping build a better Colorado.  The budget now goes to the Senate where some amendments are expected.  The bill would then go to a conference committee to settle Senate and House differences.

Snow is expected in Colorado this weekend, but it won't be enough to keep some resorts open.  Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands and Snowmass are rolling up the carpet Sunday, a week earlier than scheduled. The Aspen Times says some areas have melted so much skiers have to walk between lift rides. The melt-out is being called "unprecedented."

The Mesa County Health Department is warning residents to take some precautions this spring when cleaning areas that may have been inhabited by mice over the winter.  Mice droppings can contain Hantavirus, and there have already been two reported cases of the sickness in neighboring counties. Be sure to wear gloves, ventilate the areas, and even spray with a water and bleach mixture before cleaning sheds, barns and garages this spring.

Senator Mark Udall is expressing concern for wildfires in Colorado, but more specifically, the ability to keep up with what looks to be a busy season.  Udall wrote to Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell about the service's dwindling and aging fleet of air tankers.  Udall says he hopes the fleet of just 11 planes can keep up with multiple fires, or even a single large wildfire.  The fleet was 44 strong in 2002.

University of Colorado Chancellor Phil DiStefano sent out a warning to students about false police reports this week.  The Boulder Daily Camera says at least two incidents on campus were reported to police, and falsely accused a black man, and hispanic man of criminal activity.  DiStefano said the reports create a climate of fear, and asked students to examine their own biases.


A bank robber in Meeker didn't get very far.   Meeker Police say the Mountain Valley Bank was held up at 9:00 yesterday morning and a reverse 9-1-1  was issued.  The 25 year old suspect was arrest after a citizen report.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Wind Damage

High winds blamed for a semi crash that closing the westbound lanes of I-70 for about a half hour.  A Fed Ex truck with tandem trailers crashed about 5 miles west of Fruita.  The closure happened while crews were working to upright the wreck.  It was fully open by 11:30 last night.

Thursday April 12, 2012

Home sales in Mesa County are improving, even if that improvement is a small one.  Advanced Title Company President Bob Reece has been compiling statistics for years.  He says there were 712 sales in the 1st quarter compared with 623 sales in the same quarter last year.  At the peak in 2006, 1,596 sales were recorded in the 1st quarter, 509 in 2009.

Grand Junction fire investigators say they don't think a controlled burn caused a weed fire destroying 2 sheds and damaging a third near 26 1/2 and G Roads.  It was reported just after 5:00 and controlled by about 5:30. Spokesman Mike Page says at least 2 homes were threatened in the fire.  He says it points out the need for extreme caution with anything that could ignite a fire in Red Flag wind conditions.

High winds blamed for a semi crash that closing the westbound lanes of I-70 for about a half hour.  A Fed Ex truck with tandem trailers crashed about 5 miles west of Fruita.  The closure happened while crews were working to upright the wreck.  It was fully open by 11:30 last night.

Grand Junction fire fighters busy with a fire at Ed Bozarth Chevrolet early this morning.  It was reported in the body shop around 1:45 and it took about a half hour to control.  Spokesman Mike Page says there was mostly smoke damage to a paint facility in the building, but major damage to cars and the structure in the repair section at the other end of the building.  Investigators still looking for the cause.

When a federal court threw out an anti-trust lawsuit filed by Jet Away Aviation against Montrose County, JetAway was ordered to pay costs.  The county submitted its claim yesterday, asking for nearly $58,000.  The Montrose Daily Press says the county's special counsel has already filed a bill for $1.7 million. The judgement against JetAway in the nearly 6-year long battle was handed down March 28th.

A Montrose man is being held on suspicion of sexual exploitation of a child for what the Montrose Daily Press calls a sexually inappropriate video.  33 year old Steven Sigafus was arrested Wednesday and is being held on $50,000 bond. He's been ordered to stay away from anyone younger than 18, including his own children.

The Mesa County Sheriff's Office has charged a Loma man with 71 counts of cruelty to animals.  45 year old John Lawton's cattle herd was seized March 30th when investigators found the animals in various states of neglect, some already dead.  61 of the animals were transported to a local feed lot for rehab and further diagnostic treatment.

An expert witness says warrantless searches to preserve blood-alcohol evidence in a misdemeanor drunk-driving case is illegal.  The Daily Sentinel says Ed Nugent testified more serious drunk driving offenses including vehicular assault or vehicular homicide may justify such a search.  Nugent is testifying in the trial of Colorado State Trooper Gene Lawyer accused of shooting to death 31 year old Jason Kemp in July 2010. A grand Jury indicted Lawyer in October of that year.

A school bus driver ticketed Tuesday for Driving While Ability Impaired didn't appear intoxicated to a Fist Student bus company dispatcher who sent him on his way early that morning.  The Daily Sentinel says First Student requires drivers to get their school bus keys from a dispatcher who determines whether the driver can safely operate their bus.  No one noticed 54-year old Gary Williams might have been intoxicated.  He was issued a summones after dropping off 30 students at Orchard Mesa Middle School. First Student says it's reviewing its policies and procedures.

Colorado's $19 billion fiscal 2012-13 state budget has gotten initial approval from the state house after lively debate over funding for private prisons and the future of the Colroado Office of Consumer Counsel, the agency assigned to represent utility ratepayers' interests before the PUC.  The budget bill must pass a second vote before heading to the Senate where more amendments are expected.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Tuesday April 10, 2012

You might be itching to get summer activities started on forest service land, but officials are reminding people about seasonal closures.  A lot of roads remain closed to prevent road damage and protect soft road beds.  You can get the latest closure information on the forest's website or your local ranger office.

A Montrose man held on suspicion of murder remains jailed under a $150,000 bond.  18 year old Isaac Garcia's attorney yesterday argued for a lower bond pointing out Garcia's community ties and that Garcia has been compliant since the stabbing death of 19 year old Zachary Culmer.  According to the Montrose Daily Press, the judge in the case said Garcia's bond will remain the same unless a "good reason" was shown to change the amount.

A German aircraft company looking to set up a plant to build its business aircraft in Montrose  still doesn't have a federal permit to build its planes in the U-S.  Talks with Extra Aircraft and the Montrose Economic Development Corporation broke down last year when the company couldn't secure financing.  According to the Daily Sentinel, Montrose hasn't been ruled out of the company's plan, but Extra is still waiting for FAA validation for production in the U-S.

The trial of a Colorado State Trooper charged with shooting a Redlands man to death begins in Grand Junction today.  The Daily Sentinel says the 4-man-10-woman jury was sworn in late yesterday and will begin hearing testimony today.  Trooper Gene Lawyer has pleaded not guilty to criminally negligent homicide and other charges in the shooting of 31 year old Jason Kemp in July of 2010.

Two unaffiliated candidates for Mesa County Commissioner are looking to petition their way onto the November Ballot.  John Leane and Jana Gerow must collect 750 signatures by June 4th.  The Daily Sentinel says the last time an unaffiliated candidate was elected to the board of commissioners was Howard Rowland in 1975. Leane and Gerow are looking to run for the District 1 seat being vacated by Craig Meis.

The driver of a car involved in a fatal accident early Saturday morning in Clifton has been cited on suspicion of careless driving causing death and careless driving causing injury.  19 year old Curtis Berenguer of Michigan turned in front of a semi at F-Road and I-70B.  A 21 year old Passenger from Tennessee was killed, a 20 year old from Idaho injured.  All three men were cadets at the U-S Airforce Academy in Colorado Springs.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Monday April 2, 2012

Grand Junction fire investigators say a small fire on the roof of a home last night was caused by a bottle rocket.  The firework lit the swamp cooler cover on fire and crews put it out right away.  Fireworks that go up in the air are illegal and investigators are looking for whoever was responsible for last night's damage.

3 wildfires in Gunnison County over the weekend are contained after burning more than 200 acres total, and a new fire is reported in the North Fork of Little Henderson Creek, about 7 miles north of Highway 133. The Montrose Interagency Fire Management Unit says no structures are threatened in the 50 to 60 acre Little Henderson Fire burning on both private and National Forest Service land.

A 45 year old Grand Junction woman is jailed on suspicion of trying to poison her husband to collect on his retirement.  Police say they began investigating Deone Marie Graham after a witness told police Graham asked to buy illegal drugs with the intent of poisoning her husband.  Graham was arrested last Friday and is being held without bond.

A former Grand Junction police officer and firefighter is free on $25,000 bond after being arrested Friday on suspicion of sexual assault on a child.  42 year old Eric Janusz had been under investigation since a woman came forward last fall and said the assaults had occurred when she was a juvenile. Janusz was a patrol officer from 1996 to 2006 when he was hired by the fire department.  He left the City in February in a workers’ compensation separation after an on-the-job injury.

Jury selection begins today for a state trooper accused of killing a man in his home during a crash investigation.  31 year old Jason Kemp was shot to death by Trooper Gene Lawyer in July 2010. A grand Jury indicted Lawyer in October of that year on four felony counts including criminally negligent homicide, 2nd-degree assault, illegal discharge of a firearm and 1st degree criminal trespass.

A 21 year old man who died in a crash at I-70 B and F-Road was an Air Force Academy Cadet from Tennessee.  The State Patrol says all 3 men in a car that was hit by a semi early Saturday morning were cadets at the academy in Colorado Springs, and were returning home from a concert in Grand Junction when their car was hit.  The driver was uninjured and a second passenger suffered minior injuries. Investigators say drugs, alcohol and speed are NOT considered factors in the crash.

The price of gasoline in Colorado is 49 cents a gallon higher than last month, and a 4.1 cent/gallon hike last week puts the average at $3.83 a gallon.  The national average is $3.91 having climbed less than half as much as Colorado's average in the past month.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Friday April 6, 2012

An open burn is being blamed for a fire on Orchard Mesa.  27 firefighters from Grand Junction, Clifton, and Lands End Fire Departments responded to the call just after 1:00 yesterday.  One outbuilding burned to the ground, and three other structures and several vehicles were also threatened.  Grand Valley Power also responded for fallen power lines.  Open burning is not legal during a Red Flag Warning, even with a permit.

When there's a Red Flag Warning in effect in the Grand Valley, it means open burning permits are not valid.  A Red Flag Warning continues today and the Grand Junction Fire Department is advising people who want to burn this weekend to check the weather service website to the latest warnings before burning.

Fire investigators in Eagle County are looking for someone who may have started a wildfire with a cigarette,  The fire yesterday burned only a small area near Wolcott, but authorities say it shows the importance of being careful in severe dry conditions.

Addresses of 1 in 6 homes in Jefferson and Broomfield counties are entered incorrectly in data bases used to warn residents in emergencies. The Denver Post says that is one reason for problems with evacuation notifications during the Lower North Fork Fire last week.  One of the three fatalities should have received a call, but didn't.  The company that provides the data base says it's working to fix the problems with the system and has manually corrected the addresses within the Lower North Fork fire zone.

It's been just about a year since an explosive devise was found in a Denver area mall.  It had been lit and started a small fire, but didn't detonate.  Now the man who pled guilty has been sentenced to life in prison.  U-S Attorney John Walsh says the sentence for 66 year old Earl Albert Moore recognizes the grave nature of the crime and its consequences, sending a clear message to anyone seeking to do public harm.

The committee looking into changing the Colorado National Monument to a National Park is holding more open houses to gather public input.  The open houses are next Tuesday and Thursday, with two more the following week.  You can get the complete schedule from the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce.

Mesa County DHS is getting the word out about a new Medicaid expansion progam for adults without dependent children receiving Medicaid and are at or below 10% of the Federal Poverty Level.  The program's called AWDC and is limited to 10,000 people statewide.  Those interested should contact the Mesa County Department of  Human Services.

The new Palisade Rim Trail System will formally open tomorrow with a ribbon cutting ceremony.  The 3-mile loop trail takes hikers, horseback riders and mountain bikers to the top of the Palisade Rim, for views of Palisade and the east end of Grand Valley. The ceremony is at 2:00 tomorrow at the trailhead off Highway 6 just south of the I-70 exit 44.

New details in the arrest of a pair of brothers accused of stabbing a Fruita man to death.  According to the Daily Sentinel, Abel Roper and Jose Ortiz were kicked out of Cruisers bar on Horizon Dr. after fighting over a girl.  That led to a road rage incident on I-70 and the stabbing of Roper in the Pioneer Village Mobile Home Park in Clifton March 1st.  Roper was stabbed 13 times.  Jose and Julio Ortiz are being held on a total $3 million bond, charged with 1st Degree Murder.

A bill taking away prosecutors' ability to charge juveniles as adults  and putting that task in the hands of judges is on the governor's desk.  The Senate passed the measure yesterday on a bi-partisan vote.  Grand Jucntion Senator Steve King sided with prosecutors saying the bill would endanger public safety by curbing their ability to stop potentially dangerous juvenile offenders by giving them longer sentences in more prison-like youth programs.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Thursday April 5, 2012

Snowpack in Colorado is way below average, but reservoir storage isn't all that bad. The Natural Resources Conservation Service says snowpack was only 52% of average on April 1st.  Streamflow forecasts  have decreased by 20 to 40% of average from those issued last month.  Reservoir storage is tracking at near to above average volumes across the state.

A Red Flag Warning has been issued by the National Weather Service warning of low humidity and wind gusts up to 40 mph in the Grand Junction area.  Adverse fire conditions are expected to continue into tomorrow and again on Sunday.

LNFF 9-1-1
Chilling accounts of the early hours of the deadly Lower North Fork Fire. It apparently began to burn out of contol early in the afternoon of March 26th, but evacuation orders didn't come until more than four hours later.  The 3 people who died in the fire had called 9-1-1 to report the nearby fire but were told it was under control.  A task force has been set up to look into the controlled burn that apparently started the fire, and the firefighting efforts in the early hours of the fire.

A task force set up to review the Lower North Fork Prescribed Fire is hitting the ground running.  The US Forest Service is analyzing and studying events associated with the prescribed burn days before the deadly Lower North Fork Fire broke out.  The Review Team says it expects to complete its analysis in 10 to 14 days.

A Delta County couple who last month pled guilty to a count of cruelty to animals says they didn't know they were supposed to be in court yesterday on summonses for 11 additional counts concerning feeding of their horses and cattle.  According to the Montrose Daily Press, a warrant was issued yesterday for Patricia and Charles Keune when they failed to appear.  The Keunes surrendered their livestock to Delta County authorities at the time of their plea on the initial cruelty count.

A bill to require a photo ID to vote in Colorado has died in the State Senate.  The Republican sponsored bill would have sent the question to voters.  Democrats killed the bill saying it discriminated against people most likely not to have photo IDs, including minorities, homeless and the elderly.

The Fruita City Council is sending a letter to the District 51 School Board, saying students and families there are footing too much of the district's budget cuts.  The board last week voted to change boundaries for attendance, moving some students in the city to Loma Elementary to ease overcrowding.  The Daily Sentinel says the Fruita Council believes the district is heaping an unfair amount of its budget shortfall on Fruita.

A bill requiring a judge's intervention in cases where juveniles are considered adults when charges are filed is moving closer to the governor's desk.  Proponents of the bill say the power of district attorneys may be overused.  Opponents say prosecutors, not judges, are best equipped to make charging decisions. The bill's up for a final vote in the Senate.

The McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area has a Facebook page. The NCA says the new page is a way to keep the public engaged, sharing trail and water conditions, news photos, videos and other information about McInnis Canyons.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Wednesday April 4, 2012

61 head of cattle have been siezed from property on 12 1/4 Road in Loma after Mesa County Sheriff's Deputies found them in various states of neglect, along with several dead animals.  3 animals were euthanized. More than a half dozen state and county agencies are investigating. Authorities were alerted by a citizen complaint.

No new Rec Center in Montrose.  City voters have turned down a proposed sales tax hike to fund construction.  Just 600 votes separated those for and against. 65% of the city's 8,200 registered voters weighed in.  Bob Nicholson, Kathy Ellis and Judy Ann Files were elected to the city council.

It's official, no medical marijuana stores in Fruita.  73% of voters yesterday gave a thumbs down to allowing the shops in their town.  The only legal shop operating in Mesa County now is in Palisade.  Fruita voters also agreed to lift TABOR restrictions allowing the city to spend money over limits imposed by the Tax Payer's Bill of Rights.  Lori Buck is the new mayor, defeating fellow city councilman Terry  Moss.

In Palisade, voters said OK to the sale of the town hall, paving the way for town offices to move into the old Palisade High School which is being renovated into a Civic Center.

The Telluride Montrose Regional Air Organization has nailed down summer service between Montrose and Houston and Dallas/Ft. Worth.  The TMRAO gets funding from local governemnts and businesses to guarantee United and American Airlines flights.  The group says the total economic impact to the region from air service to the Montrose and Telluride airports is more than $470 million annually.

Former Arapahoe County Sheriff Pat Sullivan has pleaded guilty in a drugs-for-sex case and has been sentenced to 30-days in jail and two years probation.  The 69 year old was busted last November in a sting set up by his gay lover.  Sullivan's attorney and prosecutors both said the sentence is typical for first-time offenders.

Students in District 51 will have Spring Break later next year in order to complete state mandated T-CAP tests.  The Daily Sentinel says spring break has traditionally been the second full week of March.  Next year, it's set March 23rd through 31st.

At least 50 billionaires on Forbes' most recent wealth lists own property or have strong ties to property in the Aspen area.  The Aspen Business Journal says their combined net worths total more than $242 billion, their Aspen property more than $741 million.  The #1 and #2 billionaires with ties to Aspen are Charles and David Koch with a combined worth of $25 billion.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Tuesday April 3, 2012

The Montrose City Council says no to privatizing trash service, and instead is looking into the possibility of restoring recycling services to provide trash and recycling services for less than current charges.  The Montrose Daily Press says city staff will continue to look at the options, after a city manager memo cited the savings through changes to current operations.

Mesa County is outpacing averages for employee turnover with 1 in 6 workers ending their employment with the county last year.  According to the Daily Sentinel, some of the workers were laid off, others resigned or were let go as part of leadership changes in some departments.  Although salary was cited as reason for leaving in 12% of exit interviews, DA Pete Hautzinger says he's lost 11 of 20 prosecutors since wages were frozen in 2009.  All took higher paying jobs.

Investigators are learning more from the remains of Paige Birgfeld, but cause-of- death is not one of them. Mesa County Sheriff's Sgt. Matt Lewis tells the Daily Sentinel some information learned from a forensic exam could be critical to the ongoing investigation, but would not say what that information might be.

An Israeli citizen living in Massechusetts is jailed in Grand Junction after a federal agent said the man flew to Grand Junction for a sex tryst with a woman and her two underage daughters.  According to the Daily Sentinel, 30 year old Yaron Segal was arrested at the airport last Wednesday. Segal's accused of having online chats with federal agents. Segal's arrest is the second of its kind in Grand Junction involving agents posing online.

Voters in Fruita today are deciding whether to ban medical marijuana shops in the city and whether to allow the city to spend tax money collected above limitations imposed in the Tax Payer's Bill of Rights, or TABOR.  City Council seats and a Mayoral election are also on the mail ballot.  In Palisade, today's municipal election includes town trustee seats and Mayor, along with a plan to sell the Town Hall building.

Climatologists at CSU say about 90% of Colorado is experiencing moderate to extreme drought conditions.  The Denver Post says the Colorado and South Platte River basins which supply Denver Water are about half typical averages for this time of year, but still better than the last significant drought year of 2002. In October 60% of the state had no drought categories.  That level is now just 2%.

A Denver 9-1-1 operator is on administrative leave amid an investigation for his handling of a road rage incident early Sunday in which a man was shot to death.  The man's brother reported the incident and was told to return to Denver where the threat occurred, even though a carload of men, one with a gun, was reported pursuing the dead man's vehicle.  A Denver police officer was not dispatched to meet the victim until 13 minuntes after the call for help was made.

Even though the big Mega Millions jackpot winners weren't from Colorado, the state still benefitted from the mania during the lottery's record breaking run last month.  The Colorado Lottery says during the week of March 25th to 31st, $11.4 million in Mega Millions tickets. From that, close to $3.5 million stays in the state to fund Colorado Lottery recipients including Great Outdoors Colorado.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Monday April 2, 2012

Colorado Senator Michael Bennet is in Grand Junction this afternoon pushing the extension of the wind energy production tax credit.  Bennet will tour Leitner-Poma.  The company manufactures electrical components for wind turbines and Bennet says the extension of the PTC would ramp up production and bring more jobs to the region.

Another 8.8 cent a gallon hike in the price of gas in Colorado. says the average is now $3.78 a gallon.  The price of gas in the state has climbed an average 58.8 cents a gallon in the last month.  As of yesterday, the national average was $3.89 a gallon.

In Montrose, they're gearing up for tomorrow's election of three city council members and a proposed 2/10 of a cent sales tax increase to pay for a new recreation center.  Ballots in the mail-in election are due at the City Clerk's Office by 7:00 tomorrow night.

The City of Montrose is looking at privatizing sanitation services, and a decision could come tonight.  City Council meets tonight instead of its regularly scheduled Tuesday night because of the municipal election.  The Montrose Daily Press says an update on the plan and requests for proposals will be revisited in a work session before the meeting and a vote could come in the regular meeting.

If you've had a bout of stomach flu lately, you're not alone.  The Mesa county Health Department says tests of shown positive results for Norvovirus in the Grand Valley.  Spokeswoman Karen Martsolf says although uncomfortable, the illness is usually not serious, but can be in young children and the elderly.  Norvovirus is contagious so people who get it should stay home.

Look for even warmer temperatures in western Colorado in the coming months.  According to the National Weather Service the second consecutive year of La Nina conditions mean continued dry and warm conditions.  The Daily Sentinel says the .2 inches of precip recorded in March was well below the .92 average, and half that of last year.  Snowpack in much of Colorado is at its lowest level in ten years.

District 51's Executive Director of Instructional Support is a finalist for two Superintendent jobs in southwest Colorado.  Jody Mimmack was Fruita Monument High School's pricipal before moving into the curriculum position in the middle of last year.  The Daily Sentinel says Mimmack earned a superintendent’s certificate six years ago, but waited to apply outside the district until her kids graduated from school here.

A piece of Friday night's Mega Millions Jackpot is saying in Colorado, a couple of pretty big pieces.  A ticket sold at a 7-11 in Denver is worth a million dollars, and one sold at a 7-11 in Centennial, $250,000.  Both tickets matched five numbers.

The deadly Lower North Fork Fire is reported about 97% contained, with the remaining evacuees expected to be allowed back home this morning. Remains found Saturday afternoon in a burned-out home are believed to be those of a 51 year old woman reported missing early in the fire.  A couple in their 70s also died in the fire that burned 4,100 acres.

Temperatures in the Grand Valley were warm yesterday, but not as warm as Denver.  A high of 84 degrees beat the old record of 78 set in 2004.  The National Weather Service says a big change is in store today with a 50% chance of rain or snow.  As much as three inches are possible in the area of the Lower North Fork Fire southwest of the metro area.

A 35 year old Crested Butte man is dead in a parachuting accident in Fremont County.  The man was part of a tandem jump with an instructor when the chute became tangled.  No word on the condition of the 28 year old instructor.