Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Wednesday June 6, 2012

When the 2012 Farm Bill goes before the Senate this week, it'll include a request for reauthorization of stewardship Contracting Projects.  Those are underway in Colorado and Senator Mark Udall says it's important the projects continue, partnering the Forest Service with businesses to promote forest health and create jobs in Colorado's rural areas.

A new Public Service campaign has been launched to encourage residents to prepare their properties for potential wildland fires.  The campaign is called The Fire Adapted Communities Initiative and raises public awareness.  It includes information about proactive steps like clearing brush, and offers tools and resources people can take to be prpared for wildfire.

Grand Junction Police say they have an attempted first degree murder warrant out for a man believed involved in Monday's shooting at the Affordable Inn on Horizon Drive. They're looking for Joseph Martin Lara, last known to be living in Fruita. Neither the name of the victim nor his condition of have been released.  Details of the incident have been sealed.

A $1.4 million FAA grant means the start of construction of new facilities at the Grand Jucntion Regional Airport.  Deputy Administration Director Amy Jordan tells the Daily SEntinel they hope to start work on a new Admin building by the end of the year.  It'll include admin offices, fire station and airport board meeting room.  Plans also call for demolition of the existing terminal and new construction in phases.  The terminal was built in 1982 and costs the airport more in maintenance than it would to replace it.

Fire restrictions are moving up from lower elevations to the top of the Grand Mesa.  Forest officials say the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests have burn bans in place.  No campfires except in developed campgrounds, smoking only inside a vehicle, building, or within a 3 foot area barren of flammable materials.  Internal combustion engines must have a spark-arresting device.  Nearly all western slope counties have imposed fire bans in light of low moisture in fuels.

Two people in Utah have died from hantavirus in the past month.  Officials say that's an unusually high rate for the disease that isn't always fatal.  According to the AP, both victims had been exposed to rodents in the two to three weeks prior to their deaths.

Colorado improperly paid nearly $128 million in unemployment benefits last year and wants it back.  About $98 million is from state coffers, the rest federal.  According to the Denver Post, the majority of cases are due to clerical error, only 2 to 4% fraud.  The Colorado Department of Labor says last year the state rcouped $73 million in improperly paid funds and expects to increase that by 10% this year.

A former Gunnison County man has been arrested in Alabama in a NASCAR memorabilia investment scam.  57 year old Michael Corrigan is accused of selling items like die-cast cars and apparel promising big returns on investments.  Corrigan allegedly obtained nearly $1 million in investor funds.