Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tuesday July 31, 2012

Grand Junction Police are looking for a man who held up the Bradley Sinclair Gas Station at 2nd and North Avenue early this morning.  He's described as about 6 foot to 6-2 with a slender build, and dressed in all black with a hoodie and black cloth mask with white stripes.  He reportedly pointed a handgun at the clerk and then got away.  It happened at about 2:00 this morning.

Work is underway to move the main branch of the Mesa County Public Library into temporary quarters at the old Ashley Furniture building on 1st Street.  Workers are packing and moving each morning this week, so the library is opening at noon each day.  The library will be closed starting this Saturday and reopen in the temporary location the week of August 13th.

The Ponderosa Boat Ramp at Blue Mesa Reservoir is being closed because of low water levels. Superintendent Connie Rudd says boater safety and damage to trailers, boats and vehicles are the biggest concerns. The lake level is dropping about a foot every four days, and there's a possibility the Steven's Creek ramp will closed this week, too.

The Mesa County Health Department is offering two T-DAP immunization clinics before school starts in August. The state health department requires the tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough vaccines for all students entering kindergarten and sixth through 12th grades this fall. The clinics are on the 14th and 15th.

The BLM has put in a plan to help rehabilitate the 14000 acres burned in the Pine Ridge Fire. The plan is to install 5 new sedimentation retention dams and reseed 4,800 acres of grass for short term stabilization. The Daily Sentinel says the plan is expected to cost nearly $2 million.

The cost of death certificates in Colorado is going up...from $17 to $20.  Additional copies will also go up from $10 to $13. A new law requiring the Office of Vital Records to begin providing electronic death records to offices statewide is the reason.  The change makes it possible for a customer to get a certified copy anywhere in the state.

Aurora theater shooter James Holmes has been formally charged with a total of 142 criminal counts including two separate counts of murder for each of the 12 people who died in the massacre July 20th.  The next hearing in the case is scheduled Aug. 9, when attorneys will debate a motion from 20 news media organizations to unseal the case file.  Another hearing is scheduled August 16th on arguments filed by the prosecution and defense over a notebook Holmes is reported to have mailed to his psychiatrist before the shootings.

Things are getting better over Tennessee Pass which has been closed since early July when an underground railroad tunnel collapsed creating a huge sinkhole in Highway 24.  C-DOT has been working to make repairs and now has one lane open to alternating traffic. Wide loads are still prohibited, but the entire roadway is expected to be opened sometime next week.

House District 54 candidate Jared Wright says he's been the target of a vindictive police chief who sought to remove him for the Fruita Police Department where he's been an officer for five years.  Wright resigned from the force earlier this month having been accused of insubordination and lying, both of which call into question his integrity as an officer. KJCT TV says Wright will continue his campaign in full and not let the allegations slow him down.

Mesa County's Drought Response Inforamtion Project or DRIP is recognizing School District 51 for aggressive leadership during the 2012 drought. A presentation is set this morning to pass on the accolades.

Rocky Mountain Sanitation is being recognized among the top 100 largest solid waste companies in the country in the new Waste Age Magazine.  The Grand Junction based company ranks 89th on the list of "Industry Players," with $3.1 million in revenue last year.  Rocky Mountain Sanitation shares the recognition with copmanies in large metro area from Houston to Atlanta.

ATF agents have indicted two Denver area men, accused of unlawful acts with explosives.  U-S Attorney John Walsh says undercover agents purchased hundreds of cartridges of explosives similar to dynamite and sawed-off shotguns. The investigation began in early June, with the indictments handed up last week.  Both men face fines and federal prison time if convicted.

A non-profit agency helping veterans across Colorado is changing its name from Denver Options to Rocky Mountain Human Services.  They say the change better reflects what the group does, helps military veterans who've fallen on hard times get back on their feet.  Rocky Mountain Human Services has offices in Denver, Colorado Springs, and in Grand Junction. Information is available at RMhumanservices.org.

The Grand Junction Rockies have their new bat girl. 16-year old Zoe Wright beat out dozens of applicants for the honor of polishing cleats, collecting bats and chasing down balls for the local team. Grand Junction Subaru will officially announce Zoe's selection at Saturday's game against the Ogden Raptors.

Some Federal Transportation money has been freed up for projects in Mesa, Ouray and Archuleta Counties Senator Michael Bennet says will help complete projects to keep some vital roadways safe and support local economic development.  Bennet says C-DOT is getting a $1.9 million grant for the North Avenue Complete Streets Project to improve infrastructure along North Avenue in Grand Junction.
[Additional money is being used to replace a cribwall and widen lanes along U-S 550 over Red Mountain Pass in Ouray County.

The City of Montrose has received awards for creating an strengthening a positive safety culture in 2011.  The Montrose Daily Press says the city's insurance carrier singled out the city for Loss Prevention, Safety Champion and Safety Manager of the year.  Safety Manager Jim Hougnan says he's honored to receive the award, but quickly passed the credit on to the staff.  He says the bottom line is the city's commitment to a strong safety culture, something that didn't exist five eyars ago.

The Colorow Family Medical Center in Olathe and the Uncompahgre Medical Center are recieving grant money from from the Colorado Rural Health Care grant program. The Montrose Daily Press says Colorow is getting 49 thousand while the Uncompahgre is getting 50 thousand dollars. The grants are part of a five year, 7.5 million dollar program funded by United Health Care.