Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wednesday August 29, 2012

The EPA has announced higher fuel efficieny requirements for U-S automakers, upping the standard for cars and light trucks to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.  Colorado Senator Mark Udall has joined a bipartisan effort to increase the standards and says higher-mileage cars save money, make the air cleaner and reduce U-S dependence on oil.  He says the new standard could save families more than $1.7 trillion in fuel costs and have a major impact on greenhouse gas emissions.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife is trying to get the word out about bear activity picking up across the state.  Bears are starting their annual binge, getting ready for hibernation. People should do what they can to avoid interaction with bears, like making sure trash is secure and food sources, like bird feeders, are removed.  Bears will feed up to 20 hours a day leading into winter, and although not usually aggressive people should still avoid feeding bears.

Montrose County could see an end to lawsuits involving Fixed Base Operator JetAway if it approves a deal to allow another company to operate.  JetAway says it will dismiss all federal antitrust litigation with the county if an agreement is reached to bring in Cutter Aviation to operate under JetAway's FBO contract.  The Montrose Daily Press says the county commissioners have agreed to look into the proposal.

A Grand Junction manufacturer is getting ready to hire a few more people after winning a $35 million defense contract for a lighter easier-to-use tripod machine gun mount.  Capco tells the Daily Sentinel it's updated a mount already used by the Army and produced at the company's Foresight Industrial Park facility.  The contract runs through 2017. Capco was the first company to operate in Foresight Park near 25 Road and Patterson and employs 175 people.

A Clifton mother has been cited on suspicion of misdemeanor child abuse after allegedly leaving her 2-year old daughter alone and going to a Grand Junction bar. The Daily Sentinel says 21 year old Maura Pernicano was arrested Monday night after the little girl's stepfather contacted authorities.  He said he found the toddler alone at the home to two formerly shared.

Grand Valley water suppliers are keeping a close eye on water storage heading into next year.  They say there's enough water to last through this year, but 2013 will depend on winter snowpack.  Suppliers say they're looking at upping rates to discourage use and implementing stricter drought measures.  Water use in the valley this summer actually increased from last year when no drought restrictions were imposed.

Garfield County Commission Chairman John Martin is defending participation in a meeting in Vernal, Utah earlier this year.  Two citizens groups filed suit this week, accusing the commission of backing an oil shale development position reached at the meeting which they say violated the state's Sunshine Act. According to The Glenwood Post, Martin says the commissioners have nothing to hide.  He says if they need to rescind their vote and hold another public hearing, they will.

A Parachute man will avoid prison time in the accidental shooting death of a friend in Battlement Mesa.  26-year old Nathanael Rice pled guilty yesterday to criminally negligent homicide and two other charges were dropped.  The Daily Sentinel says 30 year old Jeremy Caywood was shot and killed in January when a handgun being handled by Rice went off.

Colorado Mesa University remains in the top 10% of 6,600 U-S colleges and universities.  The list is compiled by and ranks schools by factors including post-graduate success.  The Daily Sentinel says CMU ranked 586th.  That's down from 326th in 2009.  Princeton University topped the list.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tuesday August 28, 2012

Underage drinking tickets have dropped dramatically at Rock Jam.  A high of 78 tickets were issued in 2009.  That number was down to 23 this year.  Grand Junction police led the enforcement with an Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws grant.

The Montrose Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints wants to get the word out about their religious beliefs and practices as Mitt Romney becomes the first Morman nominated for President. Information sessions are being held at noon today in Montrose and again tomorrow in Delta.

Colorado Senator Mark Udall is urging homeowners in the High Park and Waldo Canyon burn areas to get federal flood insurance before waivers for the normal 30-day waiting period for coverage expires.  Udall says a bill passed earlier this summer allows residents in those areas to purchase flood insurance and have it go into effect immediately.  You can get more information at

Hilltop's B4 Babies and Beyon program has received a grant from the Caring for Colorado Foundation.  B4 Babies helps ensure healthy women and children by making families aware of access to quality health care coverage.  They help with doctor's appointments, nutrition, and other services.  The new grant will help call attention to changes to the financial eligibility guidelines expanding the number of families eligible.

The U-S Attorney's office is outlining its case against two doctors accused of healthcare fraud, money laundering and drug distribution.  Doctors Sam Jahani and Eric Peper who practiced in Montrose, Delta and Grand Junction, are free on bond after their indictment last year.  According to the Montrose Daily Press, more than 300 patients could be part of the proof the government offers in support of its case.

Health officials in Montrose County say 3 cases of West Nile virus have been confirmed, including two severe cases in which the victims developed meningitis.  According to The Montrose Daily Press, 10 cases of the disease have been confirmed in Delta County.  The state operates a West Nile virus hotline with information on protection and symptoms.

Two western Colorado citizens groups have filed suit in Garfield District Court, alleging the Garfield County commissioners violated the state's Sunshine Law.  The Glenwood Post Independent says the suit alleges the board met with industry reps and other elected officials in Vernal, Utah in March, eventually drafting oil shale policy following a public meeting in April. The groups say a similar policy was adopted by commissioners in Uintah County in Utah, but later recinded.  They want the Garfield County Commissioners to do the same.

A man killed in a light plane crash in Routt County over the weekend may have been flying from Glenwwod Springs to his hometown in Minnesota. According to The Glenwood Post, 36 year old Peter Landherr had a residence in Grand County, and may have had his plane worked on in Glenwood last week before heading out.  The crash was found Saturday morning in rural Routt County northwest of Steamboat Springs.

A former Grand Jucntion Police Officer and firefighter has been ordered to stand trial next March on charges he had an affair with an underage girl in 2000.  Eric Janusz was arrested earlier this year after a woman who was 16 at the time of the affair came forward with thecharges.  Janusz who's free on bond, pled not guilty yesterday and was ordered to stand trial on charges of sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust.

A 67 year old Grand Junction man prosecutors say was the leader of a drug ring bringing several pounds of meth from Arizona to the Grand Valley has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.  Carlos Ballardo-Lopez was sentenced under a plea agreement yesterday. According to the Daily Sentinel, Ballardo-Lopez was among 12-people arrested last September by the Western Colorado Drug Task Force.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Monday August 27, 2012

The unofficial end to summer is next weekend and the Colorado State Patrol is putting out reminders to not drink and drive.  The CSP and agencies in Vail, Avon, and Eagle, all part of the Gore Range DUI Task Force, are planning saturation patrols and DUI checkpoints throughout the weekend.  The goal is to reduce the number of alcohol related crashes in Colorado between Memorial Day and Labor Day.  

The price of gas in Colorado hasn't moved much in the past week.  The average still $3.48/gallon.  Nationally, the average has increased 3 cents to $3.73/gallon. says although Tropical Storm Isaac doesn't look to cause significant refinery outages or production losses, the website is keeping a close eye on the situation since it's likely to temporarily drive prices higher in the short term.

It's been a week since the USA Pro Challenge was in Montrose, and the start of the second stage of the race is getting mixed reviews.  The Montrose Daily Press says most businesses in town have only positive  things to say about the event, many question the amount of time and money put into it. Several hotels and restaurants say business was about average, or even below average.

A hiker is dead in a rockslide on Hagerman Peak, about 11 miles southeast of Aspen in Gunnison County.  The Aspen Times says a goup of five were hiking in the area when the slide happened Saturday afternoon.  Mountain Rescue Aspen workers air lifted to the scene at about 13,000 feet.  One injured hiker-- taken by ambulance to a hospital, the other three transported to the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport.

Ideas for transportation through the mountains on I-70 are coming in and include a project calling for a 120-mile high-speed transit system shooting a train through a series of elevated hoops.  A Texas businessman has that idea and tells the Denver Post the system is as innovative as the construction through Glenwood Canyon was in the '70s.  The state's Division of Transit and Rail says a high-speed system must be inplace by 2025, or C-DOT will turn to either widening the highway or other roadway improvements.

A 19 year old Clifton man faces 24 to 48 years in prison after pleading guilty to second degree murder, menacing and robbery in a gang-related crime spree in Grand Junction last Summer.  According to the Daily Sentinel, Lester Miranda-Davis signed the deal last week in the murder of 31 year old Jorge Carrasco, and robberies at two businesses and the burglary of one home last July 16th. A second suspect, is to stand trial in December.

At least 27 people have been arrested in warrant sweep in Grand Jucntion.  The Daily Sentinel says Street Crimes officers from Grand Jucntion PD and the Mesa County S-O made the arrests last Thursday and Friday.  Most were for unpaid traffic or parking tickets and other low-level offenses.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Friday August 24, 2012

Prosecutors in the Aurora Theater massacre say James Holmes failed a crucial oral exam for his neuroscience program at CU the same day he bought one of the guns believed used in the shootings last month. The prosecutors want access to Holmes other educational records before a hearing next week.  According to the Denver Post, the team says the records are needed to prepare for a hearing next week over what could be the biggest clue to the planning and motivations behind the the massacre.

C-U is hiring attorneys to represent employees and psychiatrists in student mental-health services who may have had a connection with Theater Shooter James Holmes, a former graduate student at the University. A Denver defense attorney not related to the case tells the Denver Post hiring the lawyers isn't a confession, the school is concerned about the possible risk of a lawsuit.

It's not even on the ballot yet, but opposition to a proposed amendment to the Colorado Constitution is organizing.  A coalition called the NO Personhood plans a rally today at the state capitol.  According to The Denver Post, Personhood Colorado will hear next month whether their amendment will be on the November ballot. They say the measure would stop abortions, but would not ban most forms of contraception, in-vitro fertilzation or lifesaving procedures.

Republican State House 54 candidate Jared Wright is firing back after robo calls earlier this week asked voters to encourage him to drop out of the race.  The Daily Sentinel says Wright is paying for calls of his own, and using former Congressman Tom Tancredo's voice.  Tancredo ran an unsuccessful bid for Governor on the independent ticket after Republican Candidate Dan Maes was asked to step down but didn't.  Tancredo lost to Democrat John Hickenlooper.

The 2012-13 school year has barely started, and the District 51 School Board is already looking at the 2013-14 budget.  The Daily Sentinel says a 3-hour brainstorming last night included ideas for saving money, testing, and alternative school options. Superintendent Steve Schultz says district peronnel are looking over the list from last night and will present it and any other findings at the board's business meeting next month.

Palisade's first Standard and Poors credit rating is A, making it a solid canidate for lending.  Town Administrator Rich Sales tells the Daily Sentinel the rating is good news for refinancing debt from construction of the town's water plant.  He says it would save the town as much as $70,000 annually.  The S&P rating comes after Palisade contracted with a Denver bonding company which completed a detailed audit of the town's operations.

More reports of counterfeit cash in Grand Junction.  This time a fake $20 bill at Chik-fil-A.  Grand Junction Police say it is the 15th report of counterfit money in the city this year.

Where does your recyled scrap and paperboard go? Chances are it heads to China.  The Denver Post says Colorado exported nearly one and a quarter million dollars in scap and waste to China last year, up from $8.3 million ten years ago. About 40% of all reclable waste goes abroad, with China the biggest buyer.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Thursday August 23, 2012

Grand Junction Police are looking into a burglary and trespass around 3:15 this morning near 24th Street and North Avenue.  Sgt. Pete Chavez says a homeowner reported waking up and seeing one or two people inside his house.  He made a second call to 9-1-1 saying he had fired shots but wasn't sure if anyone was hit.  Chavez says officers searched the area with a K-9 from Fruita, but didn't find anything.  He says they're looking for any information they can get.

The latest BLM Coal Lease Sale in Routt County has brought in $800,000.  Sage Creek HOldings leased a 400-acre tract to develop some 3.2 million tons of recoverable coal near the Twentymile Coal Mine south of Hayden.  According to the BLM, roughly 90% of coal deposits in Colorado are on public lands.  Mining  is underway right now on 75,000 acres, contributing some $884 million to the economy in fiscal 2011.

26 people at Gordon Composites have gotten layoff notices.  According to the Montrose Daily Press, archery manufacturers are seeing a slow-down, with demand falling off significantly in the past 3-months.  Company owner Mike Gordon says he's confident the market will turn around as the economy improves and says there IS an opportunity for all of the laid-off workers to be called back to work.

You may have slept through a pretty good rain storm early this morning.  Grand Junction Police say heavy rain fell for about 20 minutes in downtown Grand Junction around 1:00, but the National Weather Service says only 2-hundreths of an inch was recorded at the airport.  -- In Montrose, heavy rain was reported in a storm around 2:00.  3/10 of an inch fell there.  The weather service says heavy rain is expected this afternoon, mostly in the San Juans.  A flash flood watch watch is up for much of eastern Utah and western Colorado.

70 oil field service workers from Slumberger have been transferred to North Dakota because of the drilling slowdown in western Colorado.  About 60 are still working here.  The Daily Sentinel says the layoffs are only the latest in the slowdown that started 2008 and '09.  The West Slope Oil and Gas Association says even with fluctuations in the industry, Grand Junction's significance to the Rocky Mountain energy industry hasn't changed.

The BLM is getting ready for public meetings on preferred alternatives for oil and gas drilling in the Piceance Basin in the next 20 years.  The agency has come out with four different alternatives, including its preferred alternative: the drilling of just over 15,000 new wells from 1,800 well-pads.  The meetings are the last week in September in Grand Junction, Meeker, Rangely and Silt.

A Grand Jucntion woman has reached a plea agreement in the plot to kill her husband by poisoning his whiskey. Deone Graham pled guilty yesterday and faces between 8 and 24 years in prison when sentenced in October.  According to The Daily Sentinel, Graham suspected her husband was cheating and wanted to collect his retirment benefits and 401k.

The Mesa County Public Trustee's Office is still runing, but without a head.  Chief Deputy Public Trustee Sharon Ener is in charge until a new appointment by the Governor.  Former Trustee Paul Brown was asked by the Governor to step down after stories in The Daily Sentinel and Denver Post about called into question spending by Trustees in 10 offices in the state some of those who resigned were re-instated, but not Brown.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Wednesday August 22, 2012

Montrose County's doing what it can to get the word out about West Nile Virus.  4 human cases have been reported in Delta County so far this year, at least one in Mesa County, and although there have been no human cases in Montrose County, officials there are urging people to be cautious.  About one in 150 cases becomes severe and can lead to encephalitis and meningitis.  As of August 14th, 693 cases had been reported in 43 states, leading to 26 deaths.

The City of Montrose is excited about the US Pro Challenge Bike Race.  Racers and spectators have left, but merchants and residents are still talking about the Montrose Stage.  The Montrose Daily Press says spectators were treated to autographs from the cyclists and even got to see another professional atlete.  Barry Bonds was in attendance.  Jenni Sopsic with the Montrsoe Association of Commerce and Tourism says it added another layer of excitement to the race.  The Challenge today moves from Gunnison to Aspen.

A deal between prosecutors and an admitted sex offender may not work out.  The Daily Sentinel says 47 year old Thomas Dausel was arrested in February of last year, accused of putting his hands down a boy's pants and trying to take him from a park near Rocky Mountain Elementary School.  A plea deal called for 12 years in prison after Dausel plead guilty to felony 2nd Degree Kidnapping and Misdemeanor Unlawful Sexual Contact.  According to the Sentinel, Judge Valerie Robison agreed to a delay requested by Dausel's defense, but said she has reservations about deal and may put a stop to it.

A Grand Junction man in the country illegally for ten years has been sentenced to 40 years in prison after pleading guilty to selling cocaine and enlisting his 16 year old son and 20 year old daughter to help.  According to the Daily Sentinel, Federico Lerma was the head of a drug distribution ring resulting in at least 14 arrests in January and February.  Lerma will be deported after his state prison term, his kids are trying to stay in the U-S.

Republican State House District 54 candidate Jared Wright says he's staying in the race, despite what he calls mistakes with his former job at the Fruita Police Department and personal finances.  Many are asking Wright to get out of the race after published reports of his filing for bankruptcy last year and losing his job with Fruita during an internal investigation. The Daily Sentinel says Wright apologized to a small group of supporters last night, saying he's learned from poor choices and decisions he's made and will not leave the race.

Parents in School District 51 aren't finished compaining about new bus routes.  The Daily Sentinel says the District's received over a hundred e-mails and more voicemails about the new walking boundaries of 2 miles instead of 1.  The District says it hopes to save $650,000 through the new boundaries this year.

Two Clifton brothers have been ordered to stand trial on charges they murdered a Fruita man earlier this year.  Julio and Jose Ortiz were arrested after 31-year old Abel Roper was stabbed to death March 1st.  The Daily Sentinel says text messages and a photo of Jose with a wounded and bloodied hand are some of the evidence prosecutors presented.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Tuesday August 21, 2012

Kids are back in school, and Grand Junction Police are issuing a continued warning about paying attention to kids.  Only four tickets were issued in school zones yesterday, all in the Nisley Elemtary school zone.  More kids are expected on roads because of new bus routes, so drivers need to be on the lookout.

Beware of a company selling education products door-to-door.  School District 51 says neither the salespeople nor the products are associated with the district.  Residents are encouraged to ask for identification and check with the district or neighborhood school before writing a check or giving money.

Mesa County's Drought Response Information Project, or DRIP, is recognizing the Grand Junction Parks and Rec Department for Outstanding Leadership during this year's drought.  DRIP officials say the city's work with over 300 acres of landscape in the grand valley has been impressive.

CDOT is keeping track of expected traffic situations with the USA Pro Challenge bicycle race and is out with predictions for today.  Stage Two travels from Montrose to Crested Butte, starting at 11:00 this morning.  US 50 and State Highway 135 will be closed to all haz-mat, oversize and overweight vehicles, and commercial vehicles should expect long delays between Gunnison and Montrose. Traveler information is being updated at

A man is dead, a woman injured in a rollover accident on Thompson Creek Road in Garfield County.  The State Patrol says the man was thrown from the SUV he was driving, when it went out of control and rolled.  The woman suffered serious injuries, but was able to pull herself out of the wreck.  Pitkin County road and bridge workers witnessed the crash and performed CPR on the man who died at a hospital in Glenwood Springs.

State House District 55 candidate Dan Robinson is planning an announcement aimed at senior citizens later this morning.  Mesa County Democrats says prominent Republican will join him.  Robinson says he'll discuss ideas designed to may Grand Junction the most senior-friendly retirement destination in Colorado.

6,000 registered Mesa County Repulican voters have received phone calls asking them to tell House District 54 candidate Jared Wright to get out of the race.  Articles in the Daily Sentinel have called into question Wright's finances and character after being forced to quit his job with the Fruita Police Department.  A Grand Junction businessman paid for and sent out the calls yesterday asking voters to urge Wright to step aside so Republicans can find a new candidate before ballots go to the printers September 14th.

A Denver District Court judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by Battlement Mesa residents agains oil and gas development by Antero Resources.  The Daily Sentinel says the judge ruled he has no jurisdiction, and that claims had been made improperly since drilling hasn't yet occurred.  Antero's plans for up to 200 wells within Battlement Mesa are on hold because of low natural gas prices.

Garfield County has signed off on an academic study of air emission from natural gas operations.  The Glenwood Post Independent says the county will provide up to $1 million in oil and gas mitigation funds to help pay for the study.  CSU, a private research firm, and several oil and gas companies will complete the study collecting data around well sites through various stages of development.

The Snowmass Village Town Council has decided to put a question on the November ballot to enact an ordinance regarding distribution and use of single-use, disposable plastic and paper bags.  The Aspen Times says the Council made the move yesterday.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Monday August 20, 2012

Mesa County is in the planning stages for a new workforce center.  The center provides resources for both employers and those looking for jobs.  The center's been housed in an old building owned by Hilltop Community Services which is now looking at other options for the space.  The Daily Sentinel says the county expects to use money from its capital improvement fund for the $7.5 million facility north of the Community Services Building on 29 1/2 Road. No timeline for construction has been released.

A 26 year old Ft. Lewis College student from Utah is dead, a Durango man being held on suspicion of 1st degree murder.  Authorities say 26 year old David Jones was found dead at a campsite after a reported shooting early Saturday morning.  La Plata County Sheriff's officials say the two were not camping together and did not know each other.

Grand Junction Police haven't released any information about an assault and attempted robbery on the Colorado Riverfront Trail.  It happened at about 6:30 last Friday morning on the trail near Broadway.. the victim suffering serious injuries.

Mesa County Democrats say they're still looking for a headquarters and hope to open by Labor Day.  In the meantime, the Obama For America Headquarters in the Valley Plaza is holding a grand opening at 6:00 tonight.  You can get information about democratic events at

Work is continuing on Highway 6&50 at 25 Road, with the intersection set to re-open next Thursday morning.  Signals are being installed and work on curb and gutter, and the frontage road is continuing.  Construction on the project began last April.

Resurfacing work on I-70 between Fruita and Mack is moving right along, with traffic being moved from the westbound lanes to the new eastbound concrete lanes.  The switch will mean two way traffic on the new lanes by tomorrow, and remaining in those lanes through the completion of the project in November.  C-DOT says the work will close the eastbound I-70 on-ramp in Loma with traffic detoured onto Highway 6&50 to use the eastbound on-ramp at Fruita.

The City of Grand Junction opened the main lobby of the new Police Station with little fanfare over the weekend. Anyone with police business can use the parking lot at 6th and Ute for access to the new building.  The new station also has a separate entrance for sex offenders to register with the agency. The lobby and records sections are open from 7 to 7 Monday through Saturday and 8 to 6 on Sundays.

CSU researchers want to study emissions from natural gas operations in Garfield County and are scheduled to make a presentation to County Commissioners there today.  Some residents in Battlement Mesa are worried nearby drilling is exposing them to hasardous substances.  CSU says the study will include well development from drillnig to completion, including hydraulic fracturing.

COLORADO GAS PRICES is out with its weekly report, showing the average price for a gallon of gas in the state is up 1.1 cents in the past week to $3.49/gal yesterday...up nearly a nickle compared with the same day a year ago, and down 3.2 cents in the past month.  The national average is $3.70/gal.

An antique revolver stolen from a private museum in New Mexico has been recovered, after its owner saw the suspected thief on a tv appraisal show being filmed in Wheatridge.  The Denver Post says the weapon was seen on the Discovery Channel's "American Guns" in February.  That led to a sting set up with Colorado and New Mexico authorities who arranged to buy the weapon.  65 year old Wylie Newton of Erie was arrested and returned to New Mexico August 5th.

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper is scheduled to speak at the Democratic National convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. Hickenlooper also had a speaking time slot at the convention 4 years ago.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Friday August 17, 2012

If you have business with the Grand Jucntion Police Department Records Unit, you'll have to wait until tomorrow.  The office is moving into the new building across the street.  They expect to be up and running by tomorrow.

C-DOT continues looking at high speed transit through the mountain corridor along I-70 with a request for information from technology providers.  Nothing's been decided, and everything's on the table.  C-DOT's Division of Transit and Rail says a possible Advanced Guidway System through the mountains is bringing significant national and international attention to Colorado.  A $1.8 million feasibility study is underway and expected to be completed by fall of next year.

September is National Preparedness Month, and Colorado has joined a multi-state, Red Cross "Emergency Kit Cook-off" campaign.  Chefs and residents are challenged with creating recipes using ingredients that might be found in a 72-hour emergency kit. Public voting on recipes starts today on the Red Cross website.

Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler says his office has found a gaping hole in voter roll integrity and is asking non-citizens to voluntarily withdraw their voter registration or verify they've become naturalized citizens.  Letters have been sent to almost 4,000 suspected non-citizen residents who at one time presented proof of non-citizenship. Gessler says the action is a tempered approach to enforcing the law and ensuring legal votes aren't cancelled out by illegal voters.

Grand Junction State Senator Steve King has received the highest score from the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce's rankings for business-friendly legislation.  King says the legislature took some steps toward removing roadblocks preventing businesses from expanding. He says he's committed to removing even more burdens placed on the economy and small businesses by the government.

Drugs are a big problem in Montrose, bigger than ever according to police chief Tom Chinn.  Last year there were 196 drug arrests, so far this year only 67.  Chinn tells the Montrose Daily Press the biggest issue right now is not meth or other illegal drugs, but alcohol. He says you can't have a discussion about drugs and not include alcohol.

District 58 State Representative Don Coram could see a challenge for his seat from his son, if Democrats in Montrose get their way.  Coram cast the swing vote in a committee during the last legislative session against creating civil unions for gay and lesbian couples.  His son is gay.  The Daily Sentinel says Coram's Demoratic challenger has pulled out the race and moved to another district so dems are looking for a replacement, with Coram's son Dee at the top of their list. He hasn't said if he'd consider a run in the mostly-republican district.

A Grand Junction man who pled guilty to sexually assaulting a 14 year old girl after posing as a tutor has been sentenced to 12-years to life in prison.  28 year old Adam Clayton Ross recieved the maximum sentence allowed under a plea agreement and will spend at LEAST 12 years behind bars.  The Daily Sentinel says Ross had posed as a tutor endorsed by School District 51.

A man killed in a natural gas well explosion near Ft. Lupton has been identified as 60 year old Brian Wallace of Evanston, Wyoming.  He died Wednesday when pressurized gas was released from the well.  Ecana says it was the first fatality on any of approximately 1,100 Encana operations in northeastern Colorado, and according to the Denver Post, only the second time since the company started in 2002 that a staff member sustained a lost workday injury.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Thursday August 16, 2012

Club 20 is moving with its agenda for their fall meeting and candidate debates.  3rd District Congressman Scott Tipton and challenger Sal Pace have committed, and invitations have gone out to cadidates in other races representing the western slope.  The meetings are September 7th and 8th with details being updated on Club 20's website.

All that smoke in the air is coming from fires throughout the west, not closer to home.  The Montrose Interagency Fire Management Unit says they have several fires going, but creating little smoke, and affecting nearby areas only. More than 50 fires are reported in northern California, Oregon, Nevada, and Idaho.  the National Weather Service says a high pressure ridge is causing a northwesterly flow  over the state and will keep smoke in the area through the weekend and most likely through the middle of next week.

Two more cows have tested positive for anthrax in northeast Colorado.  The State Department of Agriculture says the cases are located on properties near a ranch in Logan County where one case was confirmed after 50 head of cattle were found dead.  The state veterinarian says they're keeping a close eye on neighboring properties to limit the spread of the disease, and herds in those areas have received anthrax vaccinations.

The Clifton Water District is repairing a water main line in the area of 32 and E Roads today, affecting traffic in the area through 5:00 this afternoon.  No customers are expected to be without water during the work.

Mesa County Crime Stoppers are looking for vandals who hit three houses under construction in the 2200 block of Rock Valley Road.  It happened the night of July 17th, with $6,000 in damage to windows a gas fireplace, door knobs and construction equipment. Anyone with information should contact crimestoppers.

Colorado Xcel Energy customers like solar energy, and they're buying up opportunities right and left.  A new program called Solar Rewards Community was offered yesterday, and customers snapped up available capacity in just 30 minutes.  The program involves making power from community-based solar installations available to customers who are renting, living in multi-family housing, or in houses or buisinesses not suitable for solar installations.

The burned out shell of White Hall is coming down.  Grand Junction City Council has approved a $313,000 contract for demolition beginning the first week of September.  The old church was destroyed in a fire in September of last year, the ruins at 6th and White fenced off since.  The Daily Sentinel says plans for the city owned property may include some type of housing.

A company that wants to build a uranium mine in Montrose County has closed a deal on 200,000 pounds of uranium oxide, making it an operating company.  The sale is from an Enerygy Fuels mine in White Mesa, Utah. The Daily Sentinel says completion of the shipments makes Energy Fuels the largest active conventional uranium producer in the country.  The company is seeking permits to open a $150 million uranium mill near Naturita.

The town of Palisade is getting ready to accept bids from solar companies to install a solar array to power the town's water treatment plant.  The Daily Sentinel says a solar company from Carbondale brought the idea to the town in May.  Town trustees on Tuesday decided to allocate $234,000 for the project and will advertise for bids.

Tourism in Aspen is booming.  Aspen lodges recorded a 78% occupancy rate in July, compared with 71% the same month last year.  The Aspen times says it was the highest paid occupancy since accurate tracking started in 2006.

One man is dead in a natural gas well explosion near Fort Lupton.  It happened yesterday afternoon at a well operated by Encana.  Officials say it appears to have been a pressure issue at a new well being drilled.  Three other workers were injured in the accident.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Wednesday August 15, 2012

Police in New Mexico are looking for a man who promised a summer concert to rival Country Jam in 2011, but pulled out at the last minute.  The Farmington Daily Times says a warrant has been issued by authorities in San Juan County, New Mexico for Bobby Willis, alleging racketeering, embezzlement, fraud and securities fraud, carrying a $1 million bond. Willis proposed Bobby's Birthday Bash at the Mesa County Fairgrounds in June of 2011.  He's accused now of convincing investors to back a hospital in Kirtland, New Mexico, then stealing money from escrow accounts for personal use.

The City of Montrose expects its population to grow by about 10,000  next week as the U-S Pro Cycling Challenge hits town.  The Montrose Daily Press says the city wants all residents to be safety minded on race day next Tuesday.  They say heavy traffic is expected Monday and Tuesday, along with limited parking, street closures and threats of towing.

The Montrose County Economic Development Corporation is scrambling after learning it won't receive funding from the City of Montrose for everyday operations.  The city council pulled the plug on $24,000 in guaranteed funding, opting instead to make that money available for the EDC to lure new businesses.  The EDC tells the Montrose Daily Press they'll carry on, but we'll have to make adjustments like asking private businesses for help.

The U-S Pro Challenge bicycle race will be in Montrose next week, but if and when it might stop in Grand Junction is up in the air.  A local organizing committee tells the Daily Sentinel, the National Park Service has for the 3rd time, turned down a request to stage a leg of the race on the Colorado National Monument.  The committee says it's still committed to hosting a stage somewhere in the grand valley, hopefully next year.

Mesa County Public Trustee Paul Brown is without a job, his resignation taking effect last Friday.  Brown and 9-other governor-appointed trustees resigned last month at the request of Governor Hickenlooper after published reports of inconsistencies in office spending.  The Daily Sentinel says 5 of those trustees have been reappointed, the governor looking for replacements for the others.  Public Trustees are charged with overseeing the forclosure process in Colorado.

School District 51 says it's charging the election campaigns of President Obama and Mitt Romney for using district resources when the candidates visited Grand Junction.  The district tells the Daily Sentinel Obama's campaign is getting a bill for close to $2,500 and Romney's campaign about $2,000. Other agencies involved in the candidate's visits will absorb the costs themselves, about 3-4 thousand dollars for Mesa County and more than $13,000 for the City of Grand Junction.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Tuesday August 14, 2012

The Montrose Economic Development Corporation will have to look somewhere besides the city for money to pay its rent after the city council has pulled the plug on funding used for that.  According to the Montrose Daily Press, the City Council has decided to spend up to $24,000 on economic development projects in 2013, but says it won't fund the EDC directly. The council says it's been disappointed with progress and meaningful results from the orgainzation.

The Grand Junction City Council says it wants to move ahead with a plan to connect 29 Road to I-70 and widen 24 Road between Patterson and the Interstate.  Now they're looking at exactly how to ask voters to fund it. The idea is to use money being used now for the Riverside Parkway debt, once that's paid off.  Using that money will require a vote to contine using taxes already being collected above the limits of TABOR.  If they decide to move ahead, they'll need to have ballot language ready by February for an April vote.

Grand jucntion Police cars don't have video recorders anymore.  They were taken out last week.  According to the Daily Sentinel, the cameras were paid for with a grant and now the warranty has run out.  Police Chief John Camper says the cost to replace the cameras isn't justified by their limited usefulness.

There'll be a lot of motorcycles on the roads in the Grand Valley this week.  The Gold Win Road Riders Association's Colorado District is coming to Grand Junction for their annual convention.  They'll be attending education seminars and having a good time.  The Colorado Chapter is part of a group with more than 72,000 members in North America and 53 foreign countries.

Although it hasn't been as hot lately, it's still summer and Mesa County Animal Services and local vets say they're continuing to see cases of heat exhaustion which can lead to heat stroke or even death in dogs. Pet owners should make sure their dogs have plenty of shade and cool water, don't leave a dog in a parked car, or exercise a dog in the heat of the day.

C-DOT expects to open one lane of Highway 67 north of Cripple Creek today, after the road was closed Saturday because of a sinkhole over an old mine shaft. C-DOT has posted a video shot from inside the 5 foot wide, 20 foot deep sinkhole on their facebook page.  []

The U-S Department of Agriculture is buying up to $170 million worth of meat and fish to asisst livestock producers affected by the worst drought in decades.  Colorado Senator Michael Bennet says the move will help farmers and ranchers already suffering financial losses from the drought.  Both Bennet and Senator Mark Udall have been pushing the 2012 Farm Bill and say this move underscores that need.  Last month, the USDA declared all of Colorado's counties disaster areas due to losses caused by the drought.

A group of Wounded Warriors from Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington, DC are in Grand Junction, ready for a 3-day 45 mile raft trip on the Colorado River.  Colorado DiscoverAbility river guides are taking the soldiers from the Loma Boat Launch to Cisco landing. The soldiers are coming from Challenge Aspen where they're taking part in a wilderness camp. The river trip begins this morning.

Monday August 13, 2012

A 100 acre fire is burning in the West Elk Wilderness about 17 miles west of Gunnison.  The East Coal Creek Fire broke out Saturday after a lightning storm and then grew to 100 acres in changing weather conditions.  It's burning in Douglas Fir and beetle-killed trees.

Officials at the Montrose Regional Airport say they're cutting the ribbon today on the new "Taxiway B" projcect.  The $3.8 million project is designed to increase aircraft throughput and safety.  A $9 million Runway 17-35 Rehab project is set to begin in the next few days.

Another sinkhole has opened on a Colorado highway, this one shutting down Highway 67 north of Cripple Creek.  The road has been closed since about 10:15 Saturday morning with traffic to the town being detoured.  C-DOT says the sinkhole is about 5 feet wide and 20 feet deep over a mine shaft. No word on how long that closure will remain in place.

Mesa County's Central Library reopens in its temporary location this morning.  The Main branch is housed inside the former Ashley Furniture building at 1st and Gunnison, and expects to remain there until next spring.  Library officials describe the space as comfortable, and say customers will find a children's area, Wi-Fi, and public-use computures. The lot on the south side of the building is being used for parking.

The 25 Road/Highway 6&50 closure is expected to continue through at least the middle of next week as crews work on installation of traffic signal posts, storm sewer, and frontage road construction. The $4.3 million quarter-mile project widens the the road from 4 to 6 lanes, updates the signal system, relocates utilities and improves curb, gutter, and sidwalk.

Voters who want to get to know candidates for Mesa County Commissioner and State House District 55 have a chance to do that in Fruita tomorrow night. The Fruita Chamber of Commerce is hosting a candidate forum with Dan Robinson, Ray Scott, John Justman, Jana Gerow, John Leane, and Rose Pugliese taking part.  The forum is from 7 to 9 at the Cavalcade at 201 East Aspen.

An end to falling gasoline prices in Colorado.  After several weeks of drops, the average price in the state has climbed more than 3-cents a gallon to an average $3.48, still 6-cents a gallon lower than a month ago. says the national average is now $3.67/gal. Up 25-cents in the past month.

Alcohol may have been a factor in a crash Saturday that shut down Highway 50 near Gunnison for several hours.  The State Patrol says a 30 year old woman driving a van was killed in the crash at about 3:30 Saturday afternoon.  A passenger suffered unknown injuries.  The highway was closed nearly four hours during the investigation.

Colorado remains in the national political spotlight as Mitt Romney's choice as running mate, Paul Ryan makes his way to the state for his first private fundraiser tonight in Denver.  The Denver Post says an invitation to an event event at Lakewood High School tomorrow, calls that "a Victory Rally."

A new state commission set up to review the Lower North Fork fire meets today in Denver and Jefferson County.  The Denver Post says the 5-member commission set up by the legislature after the fire last March, will be hearing from experts and residents in the aftermath of the fire that killed three people, destroyed 23 homes and burned 4,100 acres.  The fire was started when high winds rekindled a Colorado State Forest Service prescribed burn.


Friday, August 10, 2012

Friday August 10, 2010


Westbound I-70 is open through Glenwood Canyon after a more than 8-hour closure overnight.  The state patrol shut down the interestate at 2:00 after a semi hauling aluminum scrap rolled.  Diesel spilled from its tanks and when crews worked to upright the rig, some of the load spilled forcing the closure.  One lane was re-opened by 10:30.

I-70 is closed westbound in Glenwood Canyon after an early morning semi- rollover crash.  The State Patrol says westbound lanes in the canyon will be closed until haz mat teams can move diesel from the trucks fuel tanks, in order to upright the semi.  The closure is expected to last until at least 8:00. Trooper Josh Lewis says the driver from California suffered non-life threatening injuries in the crash at about 2:00 this morning. Eastbound traffic is NOT affected.

The BLM's quarterly oil and gas lease sale raised $103,000 for a parcel on the Grand Mesa.  The Parcel was sold to a Littleton-based Company for $110 an acre. The BLM says Oil and Gas Leases netted the state more than $154 million in fiscal 2011...with oil and gas development contributing $9.5 billion to the state's economy.

Finding a place to rent in Grand Junction is getting harder.  The rental market at its tightest point in three years during the second quarter this year.  The Daily Sentinel says the vacancy rate was 5.5%, driving average rentals up $50 per month. One property management company says the area's high unemployment rate and stagnant wage growth are making it hard for landlords to raise rents on existing tenants.

There's still some fake money in circulation in the Grand Valley.  Grand Junction Police say they received a report Tuesday from the Orchard Mesa Stop and Save that a woman tried to purchase items with a $10 bill the clerk recognized as being fake.  Several reports have been taken over the past few weeks with bills of varying denominations.

AIR FORCE ONE PICTURE IN GJ--Leads to record website visits for the GJ VCB
Thanks for mentioning the VCB. We had the most hits to date to the facebook post with Air Force One which helped with that day's 1200 visits and over 4000 (not 400) page views. Though the web hits were not the highest ever, there was an uptick that day due to President Obama's visit. Thanks so much.
Mistalynn Meyeraan with GJVCB.

Thursday August 9, 2012

The Grand Junction Police Department is headed to the ANB Bank Farmer's Market this afternoon for some serious fun.  The serious part is computers set up to help people sign up for Mesa County's Emergency Alert System.  The fun part is Touch-a- Truck.  Police vehicles including the SWAT and Bomb Squad trucks will be on display, along with vehicles from the State Patrol, Sheriff's Department, and Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

A former teacher at a Denver private pre-school has been ordered released on bond after his arrest on accusations of child pornography.  David Moe reportedly kept a journal detailing inappropriate touching of children under his care at the school over several years.  A U-S District Court Magistrate Judge issued several requirements for Moe's release, including home incarceration and proof of no access to the internet.

The Small Business Administration and FEMA have announced expaned assistance for homeowners and businesses affected by Colorado's wildfires. The help includes low-interest disaster loans in 13 affected counties.

The state department of agriculture has confirmed anthrax as the cause of death in at least one of 50 head of cattle found dead on a ranch in Logan County. The ranch north of Sterling has been quarantined and nearby ranchers notified. Anthrax is a bacteria which can occur naturally in soils during a drought, and exposure to humans is limited only to those who had contact with infected animals, soil or water.

The first scores from Colorado's T-CAP tests are in and are pretty similar to scores on C-SAP tests.  According to the State Board of Education, there were substantial gains in 7th and 8th grade math and 6th grade reading. The tests show a 27% achievement gap between Hispanic and white students, black and white students, and students who qualify for free and reduced lunch and those who don't.

President Obama's trip to Grand Junction went off without a hitch, the President arriving early, speaking early and leaving Grand Junction Regional Airport at about the time he was scheduled to speak.  Supporters packed the Grand Jucntion High School gym, while an opposition group rallied a few blocks away. The President's speech centered on the economy.  He called Mitt Romney's economic plan "trickle-down, tax-cut fairy dust."

President Obama continues his two-day trip to Colorado with stops in Pueblo and Colorado Springs.  In Grand Junction yesterday, people lined up before 5:00 to see the President.  He drew rousing approval for talk of his economic plan and healthcare, issues he says set him and Republican Mitt Romney apart.  The latest polls show Obama and Romney pretty much neck and neck in Colorado with the election just under 3-months away.

President Obama is campaigning in eastern Colorado today.  Yesterday he stopped in Grand Junction for a half hour speech at Grand Junction High School.  The gym was packed with supporters, about a hundred people waved signs in opposition outside.  Those in attendance say the approve of the President's economic and health care plans.  Republicans say President Obama's proposals on both have failed.

The City of Grand Junction has rescheduled its 4th of July fireworks.  The show was cancelled amid fire bans across the state, but those have been lifted and the Parks and Recreation Department says it's time to celebrate.  The show is set September 2nd at the end of the Grand Junction Rockies game at Suplizio Field.

A Grand Junction woman accused of trying to kill her husband with poison has been arrested again, accused of violating her bond.  The Daily Sentinel says 45 year old Deon Graham was arrested in San Diego.  Prosecutors say she sent letters to her husband.  She's been accused of plotting her husand's death in an effort to collect his retirement and 401(k) benefits.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Wednesday August 8, 2012

President Obama can look forward to a couple of messages in Grand Junction today.  When he flies into town, he'll see a huge message carved into an alfalfa field near the airport. A group called Protect the Flows mowed the message " Mr. Prez, We Rely on the Colorado River." Then when he gets to Grand Junction High School for his town hall meeting, the Western Slope Conservative Alliance will be out in force, rallying outside with signs and t-shirts.

Before the doors open at Grand Junction High School for President Obama's visit, a couple of Republicans will be at the school rallying support for challenger Mitt Romney.  Grand Junction State Senator Steve King and Utah's 3rd District Congressman Jason Chaffetz will be touting Romney's middle class strengthening plan. They say 224,000 Coloradans out of work prove the President's plan for economic recovery hasn't worked.

A new CBS poll gives Republican Mitt Romney a 5 point lead over President Obama in Colorado.  Pundits are keeping a close eye on Colorado along with Virginia and Wisconsin, considered swing states in the upcoming election.   The same poll finds the President with a 4-point lead in Virginia and a 6-point lead in Wisconsin.

Incumbent 3rd District Congressman Scott Tipton and Democrat Sal Pace are facing off in their first debate tonight in Alamosa.  The district covers the 29 counties along the western slope and and much of southern Colorado. The race is being watched closely by national Democrats who see it as one of the party's best opportunities to pick up a seet in the Repbulican controlled House.

President Obama has signed a measure to help farmers and ranchers affected by the ongoing drought.  Senator Mark Udall backed the drought-relief policies which include lower interest rates on USDA Emergency Loans, $16 million in technical assistance from the USDA, and 14 million USDA-dollars being transferred into an emergency fund to assist in providing water and forage for livestock.

A Montrose man is facing charges after a crash injuring a CSP Motorcycle Trooper.  14 year veteran Todd Martin was patrolling Highway 50 near the Delta-Montrose Technical School when he collided with a pickup that turned in front of him. The Montrose Daily Press says Martin was treated for serious injuries and released.

The investigation into what Mesa County authorities had described as a suspicious death in Clifton Monday is over.  The Mesa County Coroner's Office says the cause of death has been ruled a suicide.

The number of oil and gas rigs operating in Garfield and Mesa County is way down from 2008 when natural gas prices were at their high.  The Daily Sentinel says ten rigs are operating in Garfield County down from 64 in November of 2008.  At least one company, Encana USA, is expecting natural gas and so-called wet-gas prices to go up as winter nears.

The Fruita City Council has approved a plan for a new Tru-Value Hardware store, but with one condition.  The store would sit at the end of a residential cul-de-sac at Pabor Way north of Highway 6&50, but the council wants to make sure commercial traffic doesn't upset the neighborhood and is requiring the builder to "discourage" traffic there.  The civil engineering firm working on the plan tells the Daily Sentinel it's not sure exactly what the new plan will entail.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Tuesday August 7, 2012

The BLM is trying to identify a vandal who damaging a petroglyph in the Bangs Canyon Speical Recreation Management Area.  It happened in February this year and the act was caught on video.  A picture of the suspect is posted at

The 29th annual National Night Out is tonight and being recognized in communities around western Colorado.  In Grand Junction, 30 neighborhoods have signed up to host events, spending time with neighbords to promote safety and crime prevention in their neighborhoods.  In Clifton, Crimestoppers and the Mesa County Sheriff's Department are hosting an event at Kimwood Park with activities for kids and adults.  You can contact your local law enforcement agency for information about events near you.

If you're feeling lucky, you might want to buy a Powerball lottery ticket. Tomorrow night's jackpot is up to $212 million.  One person in Edwards matched all 5 numbers drawn last Wednesday for a cool $1 million.  If the ticket had included the optional $1 power-play, it would have been worth $2 million... A powerball match would have scored the jackpot. Money from Colorado's lottery games stays in Colorado funding the state's Great Outdoors Colorado programs.

If you thought Colorado's rivers were dry, think again.  The Colorado River Outfitters Association says most rivers in the state are running and have good water available for rafting and other sports. The Association says only a handful of rivers are closed.  A report on 16 rivers is available on the Colorado River Outfitters Association website.

The Mesa County Sheriff's Office isn't releasing information about the "suspicious" death of a woman in Clifton.  According to the Daily Sentinel, records in the case have been sealed, so the nature of a 9-1-1 call to a home on 2nd Street in Clifton can't be released.  A woman found inside the home around 2:00 yesterday morning, died later at a hospital. Sheriff's investigators were at the address most of the day.

A former Grand Junction Police Officer and Firefighter has been bound over for trial on charges of sexual assault on a child following an affair with an underage girl in 2000.  42 year old Eric Janusz was arrested in April following an investigation after the victim, who is now 28, came forward and reported the crime. Janusz is free on bond and is to be arraigned later this month.

Two people are dead, 15 taken to the hospital in a fire at an Aurora apartment complex.  The Denver Post says both people who died were on the 4th floor of the 4-story building across the street from the CU Health and Science Center.  The cause of the fire is under investigation.

A pro-life group has turned in signatures to get an anti-abortion measure on the November ballot.  The Colorado Personhood Coalition needs about 86,000 valid signatures and turned in more than 121,000.  Personhood USA founder Keith Mason tells the Denver Post ballot language this year is different from the group's previous two tries to amend the state constitution.  He says wording extends constitutional rights to all humans at any stage of development, and expressly would not prohibit all forms of contraception. Opponents say they'll work to defeat the amendment.

A 6,100 acre fire burning in Moffat County is now 75% contained.  The Wolf Fire broke out in lightning last Friday in very rough terrain. No homes or building have been threatened, but the area is considered critical wildlife habitat.  Officials say fire danger remains high in Moffat and Rio Blanco counties.

The Department of Health and Human Services say average basic Medicare prescription drug plans are expected to remain the same next year thanks to the Affordable Care Act.  The department says since the law was enacted, seniors and people with disabilities have save nearly $4 billion on prescription drugs.

BLM Vandalism Suspect

July 17, 2012
Contact: Christopher B Joyner, BLM Public Affairs Specialist, (970) 210-2126
BLM Needs Help In Identifying Vandalism Suspect
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – The Bureau of Land Management is seeking
immediate help in identifying an individual believed responsible for damaging an
archeological artifact on public lands.  
The suspect was caught on video allegedly vandalizing a petroglyph in the Bangs
Canyon Special Recreation Management Area.  The alleged crime took place
during late February 2012.  If anyone recognizes or has information leading to
the prosecution of the suspect, please call BLM law enforcement Rangers at
(303) 239-3803.  A reward may be offered for information leading to the
successful prosecution of the suspect(s).
The Antiquities Act of 1906 and the Archeological Resources Protection Act of
1979, among other public laws and regulations, protects archeological resources
upon the lands owned or controlled by the Government of the United States.  It is
a crime to remove, damage or deface items of historic or scientific interest on
federal lands.  The BLM maintains routine on-going patrol presence on multiple
sites of historic or scientific interest.  However, your assistance is also requested
in aiding these federal law enforcement rangers by reporting suspicious activities
or crimes to BLM law enforcement officers at (303) 239-3803.
Note to media: Attached is still photos of the suspect.  We are requesting your
assistance in releasing this information to the public in hopes that we can identify
the person responsible for the damage.
For more information, contact BLM Law Enforcement Ranger Bryce Stewart at
(970) 244-3111.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Monday August 6, 2012

Before President Obama stops in Grand Junction Wednesday, he'll be making what his campaign calls "events" in Denver. The president is scheduled to speak in Grand Junction at 5:30 at Grand Junction High School.

Remains of a hunter missing since last October have been found in Delta County.  75 year old Terry Baughn of Ohio had been hunting in the Leroux Creek area northwest of Hotchkiss when he became separated from his party.  The Delta County Sheriff's office says the remains were found yesterday by a rancher near Doughty Mountain, a heavily wooded area about a mile and a half from where Baughn was reported missing.

A 6,100 acre wildfire burning south of Elk Springs in Moffat County is now considered 40% contained. The Wolf Fire was started on BLM land by lightning Friday. Officials are keeping a close eye on some oil and gas facilities about 3 miles south of the fire. Nearly 200 personnel are working the fire in steep canyon areas.

President Obama is coming to Grand Junction Wednesday and tickets for the event are available starting this morning at 9:00 at Obama for America offices in Grand Junction, Glenwood Springs and Montrose. The President will speak at 5:30 at Grand Junction High School with the doors opening at 2:30. Tickets will be required to get in.

Telluride's Town Marshall has some pretty interesting insight into the murder of JonBenet Ramsey in 1996. James Kohler was hired as a lead investigator in the case in 2004, but says many of the leads he developed were never looked into by the DA.  In an interview in yesterday's Montrose Daily Press,  Kohler says he found things not released to the public before, and allows readers to form their own opinions of what happened. The book is called "Foreign Faction: Who Really Kidnapped JonBenet?" and is available at bookstores in Telluride and on Amazon.

It wasn't too long ago the price of gas in Colorado was climbing every week, but for the past several weeks, it's been dropping...down another 3-cents a gallon in the past week. says the average now is $3.45 compared with the national average of $3.60, up nearly 10 cents/gal in the past week.

Sierra Nevada Space Systems of Louisville has gotten a $212 million grant from NASA, part of the agency's "Commercial Crew Program" to develop commercial spaceflight services.  Senator Mark Udall says the competitive grant award showcases the high caliber of the state's human resources.  He says Sierra Nevada's "Dream Chaser Program" is working toward a manned orbital demonstration flight, revitalizing the country's exploration of space.

When school starts in District 51 two weeks from today, there will be some changes, like the number of bus routes. Families are being notified by mail this week so they can make plans for the changes.  The district says it'll save about $16,000 by cutting the number of routes, buses, drivers and fuel.

Mesa County authorities shut down a two mile stretch of Highway 6&50 last night at the request of the FBI.  Reverse 9-1-1 calls were sent to residents in the area between 14 and 15 Roads around 8:30.  The FBI tells The Daily Sentinel an individual was detained on suspicion of making threats against the oil and gas industry in western Colorado.

CU lobbyists are making hundreds of thousands of dollars seeking out grant money for the school, AND hundreds of thousands more working for other sometimes competing organizations.  The Denver Post says 9 people work on a government relations team for the University securing grant money for operations and research.  Apparently those salaries pay off, with C-U receiving 683 million budget dollars from the feds, compared to a proposed $55 million from the state.

Experts are continuing their search for the cause of the Waldo Canyon Fire, the most financially devastating in Colorado history.  The ATF and FBI are working with officials from El Paso county with the cause of the fire still listed as "under investigation."

Friday, August 3, 2012

Friday August 3, 2012

Now's a good time to start planning for the closure of 25 Road at Highway 6&50.  Construction there will shut down north/south traffic will allowing east/west traffic to continue on the I-70 Business loop.  The closure will be put in place overnight Sunday and there will be no access to 25 Road from 6 & 50.  Detour routes will be in place for the 18 day scheduled closure.

The CBI is out with its latest crime statistics through the Uniform Crime Reporting Program.  Overall, there was a .3% decrease in the number of reported crimes in the state, including a nearly 2 1/2 % decrease in violent crimes and a .6% decrease in property crimes.  Negatives in the report include a 20% jump in homicides last year compared with 2010, and a more than 3% rise in reported forcible rapes.  The full report is available on the Colorado Bureau of Investigation website.

School District 51's R-5 High School has received a Transformation Improvement Grant from the state Department of Education aimed at improving student success at the school.  The initial money pays for staff to work with students on individualized learning style, and for more classroom time on Saturdays and in summer school.  Parents can find out more at a Back to School night August 30, or by calling the R-5 office.

Free camping at the North Fruita Desert Campground is on its way out.  The BLM says starting Labor Day Weekend, it'll cost $10 to spend the night there...the money going to improving facilities at the 40 acre site.  A self-pay station will be in place, along with camp hosts on peak weekends and holidays.  Intersted volunteer hosts can contact the BLM.

When the second stage of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge gets started in Montrose August 21st, it will be to the sounds of the Montrose High School Bel Canto Choir singing the National Anthem.  The Montrose Daily Press says the group was chosen from 8 individuals and on the choir who tried out yesterday.

A 4th alleged victim has come forward in a case against a former senior mentor in the Mesa County Partners Program.  50 year old Mark Bustamante was arrested last month, accused of assaulting two boys in the program.  A third victim, a client at Mesa Developmental Services came forward later that month, and now, a fourth boy who was coached by Bustamante in Grand Junction city organized flag football and basketball.  The Daily Sentinel says Bustamante remains jailed on $150,000 bond.

Mitt Romney wasn't alone at his stop at Basalt High School yesterday.  10 Republican governors were along for the action.  The Daily Sentinel says the candidate focused on the economy, energy and education.  State democrats in the meantime are getting ready for a rally of their own when President Obama comes to Grand Juntion next week.  They say Romney wants to raise taxes on the middle class.

A Fruita couple is in jail, no word on where their kids are, after a Mesa County Sheriff's Office SWAT bust found them inside their dirty home along with suspected methamphetamine.  According to the Daily Sentinel, 49 year old Martin Stafford and his 44 year old wife Tammra were arrested early yesterday after two small children were found in the living room and the woman in a bedroom.  Investigators also found meth paraphernalia and loaded guns.

The state patrol is looking into the deaths of ten buffalo after collisions with vehicles on I-70. According to the AP, Trooper Josh Lewis says two people were injured in the crashes early yesterday near Byers.  A brand expert determined the buffalo had roamed about 15 miles south of their ranch.

It doesn't take ski season to slow down traffic on I-70 between the mountains and Denver.  C-DOT is warning drivers of the likelihood of heavy traffic between Silverthorne and Denver on Sunday.  They say the best way to avoid stop and go traffic is to travel before 1:00 Sunday afternoon and 7:00 that night.

The State Agriculture Department is encouraging residents to be Colorado Proud...buying fruits and vegetables grown in Colorado especially during the month of August, declared Colorado Proud Month.  Colorado Proud was created in 1999 to promote locally grown raised or processed food and agricultural products statewide. There's a whole website dedicated at

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Thursday August 2, 2012

A prominent local attorney has had his license suspended for 45 days.  According to the Daily Sentinel, a summary of findings with the Colorado Supreme Court's Office of Attorney Regulation, Joseph Coleman admitted misconduct which may or may not have impacted clients.  Coleman most recently gained attention arguing against a proposal to build a bus station near Mesa Mall, and represented Bobby Willis who proposed a free concert to compete with Country Jam in 2011.

A national issue of whether a fast food restaurant ownership should speak out on opposition to gay marriage came home to Grand Junction when hundreds turned out to support Chick-fil-A. Most say it's a matter of free expression.  In the meantime, a local man has organized a media event of his own, National Same Sex Kis Protest Day, tomorrow.  James Friar is encouraging same-sex and other couples to kiss inside the Chick-fil-A building.  Friar says 100 or more have signed up for the hate-free protest aimed at fighting for same sex couples' rights.

The move to the new Grand Junction Public Safety building is underway with the Grand Junction Regional Communication Center successfully in place.  The move was made without a glitch in the early morning hours yesterday.  Now that that move has been made, officials say the rest of the police department will be making their move through the next several weeks.

One of the world's largest outdoor gear trade shows may be in its last days in Salt Lake City.  Organizers say they don't like the way Governor Gary Herbert is handling environmental issues.  Herbert says the state wants more control over public lands, including some national parks and monuments.  And he tells the AP he's working with the Outdoor Retailer show, saying everything is on the table. Other show locations being talked about include Denver and Las Vegas.

Grand Jucntion City employees are getting back money from salary cuts taken over the past several years.  It's not really a raise, just a return to pay levels of 2009. The 1.5% cuts were reinstated at the first of the year, the other 1 1/2 % are being reinstated now.

National politics is front and center in Colorado today.  Republican Mitt Romney speaks at the Jefferson County Firgrounds this morning before heading to Basalt and Aspen later today.  In Basalt, Romney's to hear from republican U-S Representatives who want the candidate to change his stance on extending the wind-energy production tax credit. They say it's necessary to save thousands of jobs in the west.

The parents of a 13 year old boy killed in an avalanche at Vail Resorts in January is suing, alleging negligence and wronful death.  Taft Conlin was buried on an open lower run, the top part closed in heavy snow. The Conlins say the resort should have known of the danger.  And they want the resort to make sure actions are taken to prevent future accidents.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Wednesday August 1, 2012

The Colorado State patrol is investigating a 6-vehicle crash on Highway 69 near Westcliff that left two people dead, one a construction worker.  The patrol says a line of five cars were stopped when a tractor trailer slammed into the rear causing a chain reaction. The truck went off the side of the road and hit a 20 year old construction worker, killing him.  The 57 year old truck driver from Texas was also killed.

Whenever there's a tragedy, someone tries to cash in and that's happening again with the Aurora movie theater shootings.  Mesa County DA Pete Hautzinger is encouraging people who want to help to make sure they're donating to legitimate charity.  Information is available online through the Federal Trade Commission.

Some Colorado Xcel Energy customers are being targeted by a new scam.  In this one, the customer is told their service is soon to be disconnected and they must pay their bill with a GreenDot pre-pay VISA card at a local drug or convenience store.  The scam typically targets Hispanic customers by callers who make speak Spanish. Xcel says whenever they have questions, customers should call the company. And report possible scams to local police.

The City and County of Montrose haven't given up on the possiblity of building a whitewater park in town and are working closely on a plan to ask for Great Outdoors Colorado Grant money to help.  The two are teaming with the Montrose Recreation District with the possibility of applying for the funding at the end of the month.  According to The Montrose Daily Press, a similar project in Golden resulted in $1.23 million economic impact for the city.

Governor John Hickenlooper and his wife Helen Thorpe are separating after ten years of marriage.  The governor called the decision mutual and amicable, and says the couple's main concern now is their son Teddy whom they'll continue to raise together.

A United Airlines flight had a collision with a bird and managed a safe landing at DIA.  Officials tell the Denver Post there was a large hole below the 737's cockpit after the strike about 25 miles from the airport yesterday morning.

An indecent exposure charge against the former head of Two Rivers Convention Center and the Avalon Theater has been dismissed.  The Daily Sentinel says 33 year old Theron LaFountain was cited after being found naked at the Greyhound bus station in June.  He now says he was drugged.  The Grand Jucntion City Attorney tells the Sentinel the charges could be refiled later, but right now it would be difficult to prove his actions were knowing and willful.

The Town of Palisade is still talking about allowing a Dollar General Discount store to move inside its boundaries and a public hearing is scheduled tomorrow on whether to subdivide property for construction.  The Daily Sentinel says planning staff want to know whether the proposal meets land use codes. Tomorrow's meeting is at 3:00 at the Veterans Memorial Commuity Center.

2 local TV stations say President Obama is coming to Grand Junction.  The President reportedly will make a stop here a week from today before heading to Pueblo and Colorado Springs on the 9th.  No word on when or where the rally will be.