Thursday, April 12, 2012

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.