Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Tuesday May 15, 2012

A House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands is hard at work on the bark beetle epidemic.  Members including 3rd District Congressman Scott Tipton met in Montrose to hear about the epidemic and its effects, espeically across the west.  A headline in today's Montrose Daily Press calls the epidemic "The Katrina of the West." Witnesses at the hearing say the best long term solution to the bark beetle situation is improved forest management to improve forest health, water supplies and wildlife habitat.

A semi loses its load of scrap metal not once, but twice traveling through Grand Junction.  First, the Pacific Recyclers truck tipped over in the Northbound lanes of 5th street, blocking traffic there.  Then once the mess was cleaned up, a tow truck hauling the disabled trailer tipped over at 1st and Ute spilling the scrap again.

2,000 5th graders are going to college today and tomorrow to learn about water.  It's the 19th annual Children's Water Festival at CMU, put on by Ute Water.  Students from the Grand Valley, Parachute, DeBeque, and Delta will learn about water and water-related careers.

The diagnosis of a case of Equine Herpesvirus or EHV-1, in a horse in Douglas County has officials on the lookout, but they say right now only one case has been reported and it's nothing like an outbreak last summer.  Last summer several horses contracted the virus at events across the west.  Vets say there are no restrictions in place on movement or events in the state.

Grand Valley Catholic Ourtreach is getting new communication equipment thanks to a grant from the Daniels Fund.  The $25,000 grant will be used to buy new phone and computer systems.  Grand Valley Catholic Outreach helps the homeless through the Soup Kitchen, Clothing Bank, Day Center, Financial Aid and Housing Programs.

The state patrol now says a man killed in a crash on I-70 near Palisade Sunday may have been intoxicated.   21 year old Johnathan Wix was killed when he was thrown from his car as it rolled after colliding with another westbound car.  Wix's passenger, 21 year old Anthony Merrit of Parachute was hospitalized with minor injuries.

A man who told police he's addicted to pain killers is in the Mesa County Jail, accused of using false names to get medical care and narcotics at St. Mary's, and hospitals across the country.  40 year old Morris S. Brown was arrested Sunday night.  According to the Daily Sentinel, Brown allegedly admitted the schemes at 7 hospitals across the country, possibly racking up bills totalling roughly $280,000.

Trail Ridge Road over the top of Rocky Mountain national Park is open, weeks earlier than normal.  The road that reaches more than 12,000 at its highest point didn't open last year until June 6th.  The earliest the road has opened after winter closure was May 7th, in 2002, while Colorado was going through anextreme drought.

Civil Unions in Colorado are a no go, even after a special legislative session called to debate the issue.  A civil unions bill was killed in committee yesterday on a 5-4 party line vote. According to the Denver Post, Committee member Montrose Representative Don Coram, who has a gay son, said he couldn't vote for the bill, citing a 2006 statewide vote to ban gay marriage.  He said passing a Civil Unions bill would be invalidating that statewide vote.


Grand Junction Police are looking for a man missing since last Thursday. 29 year old Harley Edwin Lammert hasn't been seen since going for a bike ride and not returning.  He's described as 5-11, 170, with light brown curly short hair wearing a gray or blue t-shirt and jeans.