Thursday, July 19, 2012

Thursday July 19, 2012

Xcel Energy is stepping up its social media with a contest in which one winner will get a year's free electricity and 7 runners up will get a month's free power.  Spokesman Mark Stutz says the "Volt of Knowledge" facebook contest is designed to educate customers about Xcel Energy programs and services. You get entered by answering 3 trivia questions on the Xcel Facebook page. The contest runs through Sept. 3rd.

Grand Valley Transit is about to be swimming in a $1.2 million Department of Transportation grant.  Colorado Senator Michael Bennet made the announcement yesterday saying the money's to revitalize the community's transit infrastructure.  The Bus Livability Program money is targeted for the GVT West Transfer Facility.

A 125 acre lightning- caused wildfire is burning near Douglas Pass on BLM land 17 miles east of the Utah border.  The Brush Creek fire was reported just after 10:00 yesterday monring and by 3:30, crews were working to protect 9 structures, two within a mile west of the fire.  Smoke jumpers, air tankers, a helicopter and a hand crew were deployed quickly. By 10:00 last night, Engines were providing protection for some structures and oil and gas facilities a few miles northeast.

Grand Junction Firefighters are looking into the cause of a house fire on Grand Avenue.  It apparently started in the basement and when crews got there, there was smoke pouring from the entire house. They were able to control the fire in about 10 minutes. A passerby first noticed the fire and called 9-1-1 before going inside the house.  Officials say that action was very dangerous and they stress the importance of waiting for trained and properly outfitted firefighters to arrive.

Fire Restrictions across western Colorado are being lifted and lightened almost daily, and fire managers are urging people to check with local authorities before lighting any fires.  Lower elevation BLM areas are still very dry and Stage II bans are still in effect.  White River National Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams says the major fires in the state this summer have been naturally caused, and people are still being urged to use caution.

Crimestoppers has gotten into the investigation of an altercation in the early morning of the 4th of July outside Village Inn on North Avenue.  The fight may have involved several people, including Daniel Marques who walked away from the scene and was found later in a parking lot.  He died at the hospital.  Crimestoppers is offering a cash reward for information in the case.  You can call 241-STOP or go to

The West Central Public Health Partnership has received a $25,000 Leadership grant from the Colorado Trust.  The group works as a partnership with agencies across several counties to increase access to public health services not previously available. The Montrose Daily Press says the money is being divided to help supplement the regional cooredinator's position.

Arrest affidavits in an attempted armed robbery show two suspects stalked the victim, following her after she cashed a check during a break from her job at Barnes Electric.  23 year olds Jeremiah Woolbright and Brianna Kuiper were arrested Tuesday night after a standoff at the Motel 6 on Horizon Dr.  Investigators used video surveillance from Wal-Mart, where the victim had cashed a check, and spotted the suspects. The victim was beaten with a handgun and was treated at a hospital.

A move by the Grand Junction City Council to drop sales and use taxes on lumber killed by bark beetles could cost the city $5,000 to $20,000 in tax revenue.  The council last night agreed to remove the tax at the request of Doug Jones Sawmill who says it falls in line with state policies.  Jones tells the Daily Sentinel he's likely to invest more in beetle killed lumber, and pass the savings on to consumers.