Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Tuesday June 19, 2012

The District 51 School Board is expected to adopt its 2012-13 budget tonight, including $5.7 million in cuts.  Those cuts are being made through the elimination of some teaching and administrative positions, and fee hikes for middle and high school athletics.  Tonight's meeting is at the BTK Center on Patterson Road at 6:00.

When it's this hot, pet owners need to take extra precautions to make sure their 4-legged friends are safe and healthy.  You can get a list of tips from Animal Services on the Mesa County website.  They include making sure there's enough shade and water outside, excercise them in early morning or late evening, and avoid the temptation to shave your dog, that will actually make them hotter.

Colorado Senator Mark Udall is set to deliver his 4th address on the senate floor about what he says is the need to pass the Wind Production Tax Credit. Udall has launched a cammpaign to urge passage of the bill every morning.  Udall says the soon-to-expire PTC is especially important to the wind industry in Colorado and for the country's global competitiveness.

Mesa County has sent out 50,000 Republican Ballots for the June 26th Primary and has gotten back just under 11,000, or 14.5%.  A report from the Clerk and Recorders office says nearly 1,700 ballot have been returned undeliverable.  Registered Republicans have until 7:00 next Tuesday night to get their ballots in.

A Montrose County man has been arrested, accused of domestic violence, felony menacing, child abuse, illegal discharge of a firearm, and reckless endangerment.  36 year old Steven Carter was arrested yesterday after his wife said he became agitated Sunday evening and shot a round through the ceiling of their home.

Assessment teams combing the wreckage of the High Park fire northwest of Ft. Collins have found 8 more homes destroyed by the fire, bringing the total to nearly 200.  The fire grew by some 2 square miles yesterday, now covering almost 81 square miles in hot dry conditions.  Humidity only 3 to 5%. The fire has stayed at 45% containment since Saturday.  A fire near Pagosa Springs has covered 19 square miles and is reported 30% contained.

Authorities say a man found in the burned out wreckage of an RV last week was killed before the fire.  22 year old Lucos Schultz and 26 year old Julius Sutton were formally charged yesterday with 2nd Degree Murder, 1st Degree Arson and other charges.  According to the Daily Sentinel, prosecutors say the victim was killed and his body set on fire intentionally.  Arrest affidavits remain sealed, and the name of the victim hasn't been released.

The City of Grand Junction is expected to commit $1 million to a renovation project at the Avalon Theater. The phased rehab is to include a 3 story addition to the east of the theater, larger restrooms, and a new heating and cooling system.  The $1 million from the city will go along with $3 million from the Avalon Theatre Foundation which hopes to raise another $2 - $3 million for construction beginning next spring.

Smoke in the Grand Valley air is coming from a fire burning in Nevada, and its mixing with dust to keep things hazy.  The National Weather Service says a cold front moving in today is likely to blow all of that out of the valley, and drop temperatures into the upper 80s or lower 90s.  The repreive will be short lived though, with temperatures back up to near 100 by Thursday. A Red Flag warning remains in effect today for eastern Utah and most of western Colorado.

Grand Junction's Downtown Development Authority is floating the idea of moving one ways along Ute and Pitkin to Pitkin and South Avenues. Executive Director Harry Weiss says the flip would make Ute a two-way street, improving access to Emerson and Whitman parks and opening up property development along Ute.  The Daily Sentinel says a feasibility study would cost about $500,000, the project $8 to $12 million.

An 18 year old who admitted going on a shooting rampage in Clifton and Fruitvale late last year has reached a plea agreement and will spend between 21 and 64 years in prison.  The Daily Sentinel says Aaron Plotner was the triggerman in a 5-day shooting spree which included shooting a man he didn't know in the shoulder before driving away. The driver of the car also faces prison time.

It's already illegal for the public to light fireworks in Colorado, now some cities are cancelling their public displays.  One of those is Steamboat Springs.  The Fire Chief tells the Steamboat Pilot the city doesn't want to end up with a fire.  Steamboat last cancelled its 4th of July display during the drought of 2002.

Pollen levels in the Grand Valley have changed all that much in the past few weeks, but the Health Department says dust levels are higher.  More dust could mean more allergy symptoms for some people.