Friday, June 1, 2012

June 1, 2012

Officials working the Sunrise Mine Fire southwest of Gateway are getting help from Grand Junction 9-1-1 dispatchers.  They're specially trained to provide services at major incidents.  In the meantime, the fire has held steady at 6,200 acres and is 85% contained, with full containment expected by Sunday.  BLM fire investigators say they have not been able to determine the cause of the fire.  So far $2.5 million has been spent on the fire.

There are now fire restrictions in place in Montrose County.  Sheriff Rick Dunlap says the fire ban is NOT a reaction to the Sunrise Mine Fire that's burned 6,200 acres.  He says fire danger is high on the Uncompahgre Pateau and extreme in the Uncompahgre Valley.  The city of Montrose and Town of Olathe have not enacted fire bans.  A burn ban is already in place in Nucla and Naturita.

Water rationing is underway in Grand Junction, specifically the Redlands.  The Daily Sentinel says Redlands Water and Power Co. is alternating days residents can use irrigation water.  Flow levels on the Gunnison River are about 1/7 of the median flow over the past 100 years. The fish ladder at the Redlands Diversion Dam has been suspended.  Officials say low water could cause the ladder to be suspended all summer long.  The first time that's happened since it opened in 1996.

A 19 year old Grand Junction man's death in April has been ruled a homicide, and the Mesa County Coroner says bath salts played a role in his death.  Daniel Richards was taken to the hospital by friends April 10th, and was taken off life support two days later.  The coroner's report says there was evidence of marijuana, alcohol, and Alpha-PVP, one of the synthetic compounds in bath salts.  Investigators say Richards died of strangulation caused by the effects of the drug.

Mesa County District Judge Thomas Deister has disqualified himself from the case of  Douglas Thames Jr. charged in the 1994 murder of a Palisade woman.  Deister was a deputy prosecutor and worked with Palisade Police investigators after the murder of Jaycie Taylor. And tells the Daily Sentinel he was a newly appointed county court judge in 1994 when he presided over criminal proceedings against Robert Dewey, the man convicted and served 16 years in prison for Taylor's murder Before his exoneration last month.

Get out your fishing poles, fishing is free this weekend in Colorado. Every year, Colorado Parks and Wildlife holds the free fishing weekend to promote sport fishing. No license is required, but all other regulations are in place.  Regulation and restriction information is available in the 2012 Colorado Fishing brochure.

Investigators with the Two Rivers Drug Enforcement Team say they've arrested a major cocain supplier.  25 year old Manuel Cruz-Sanchez of Carbondale, reportedly sold more than a pound of cocaine to undercover officers in March and May.  He's being held on $50,000 bond in the Garfield County Jail.