Friday, September 28, 2012

Friday September 28, 2012

Grand Junction Firefighters will be sporting something a little different all month long in October.  Pink uniform t-shirts.  They're joining firefighters from over 900 emergency agencies across the country wearing pink in awareness of cancer.  The shirts have a special logo and will also be on sale throughout the month.  Proceeds will help support a local child's fight against cancer.

The Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce is starting up it's Blue Band Shop Local campaign again with a few more incentives to buy local.  Anyone who wears a blue bland is eligible for discounts at participating merchants. 30 of those merchants are putting up prizes for residents who buy local and submit receipts between October 1st and 16th.  The Chamber says every dollar spent locally has a multiplier effect of $3 in the community.

More than 60 Colorado Coroners Association investigators are in Montrose for some training.  The gathering put together by Montrose County coroner Dr. Thomas Canfield. The investigators are learning what to look for when investigating death scenes, and about not jumping to conclusions.  The Montrose Daily Press says one case brought up yesterday appeared initially to be a gunshot wound to the abdomen, but turned out to be a cigarette burn in the stomach and a spilled glass of wine.  the conference wraps up today.

There's a campaign battle brewing in Montrose, over campaign signs.  Candidates for just about every office up for election say they've had signs stolen or defaced.  The Montrose Daily Press says police are keeping an eye out for the vandals since tampering with the signs is a crime.  Conviction can bring fines of up to $300 and up to 90-days in jail.

Using plant material to generate power? It's happening at a $46 million biomass facility under construction in Gypsum.  When it's up and running, the power generated would make up 24% of energy used in several central Colorado communities.  A team of U-S Forest Service scientists is looking at the feasibility of biomass for power generation on the Uncompahgre Plateau.  The Montrose Daily Press says folks gathered in Montrose yesterday left with a positive perspective about future possibilities in the area.

Plans are underway in Denver for the first in a series of presidential debates.  The debate is at DU Wednesday.  Mitt Romney is planning a rally Monday evening at Wings over the Rockies Air and Space Museum in Denver.  President Obama's campaign says the President will stay in Colorado for a campaign event Thursday in the Denver area.

School District 51's first community meeting is in the books, Superintendent Steve Schultz pledging to approach the Fruita City council and businesses about funding solutions to ease overcrowding in elementary schools there.  The District has been fighting budget cuts and has set up quarterly meetings across the valley. The Daily Senintel says last night's meeting focused on creative solutions for the Fruita area.  Future meetings will broaden the focus.

Tourism spending in the Grand Junction area is looking up.  The Daily Sentinel says the Visitor and Convention Bureau is reporting lodging tax revenues up more than 7% year to date compared with last year.  Officials at the VCB says spring was especially good for the valley and they expect another good showing through the 3rd quarter ending this weekend.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Thursday September 27, 2012

The Mesa County Coroner's Office says the death of a patient at Eagle Ridge Assisted Living is more involved than originally thought.  A fire was reported in a room early yesterday and when staff members put it out, they found a patient dead.  The Coroner says it could take many days to determin the cause and manner of death.

A 47 year old Grand Junction man has been sentenced to 12 years in prison after admitting trying to molest a young boy at a Clifton park last year.  According to the Daily Sentinel, Thomas Dausel was arrested in February of last year and faced possible charges of sexual assault on a child.  Those charges were dismissed after the boy's parents said they didn't want him to have to testify.  That charge could have carried a possible life-sentence.

Three bats have tested positive for rabies in Mesa County in the past week, causing health officials to send out a warning about staying away from wildlife or stray animals.  The health department syas it's a good reminder for pet owners to make sure rabies shots are up to date.  The last human case of rabies in Colroado was reported in 1931.

If you registered to vote using a mobile device or tablet between September 14th and 24th, you might not be registered.  The Secretary of State's office says there was a glitch, and if you registered at via mobile or tablet, you should confirm your registration.  The problem is believed worked out now. October 9th is the last day to register for the November election.

If you're underage and drink in Mesa County, you're likely to get caught.  That's the message from a local liquor enforcement crackdown last week.  Grand Junction Police says 17 minor in possession tickets were issued last week, along with one charge for supplying the alcohol to the teens who were found drinking outside a local nightclub on an "18 and over" night.  Twho nights later, 35 MIPs were issued at a house party.  The homeowner facing charges.  An Enforcing Underage Drinking Law grant is paying for the extra patrol.

CMU is jumping in to Homecoming Week activities, with an awards banquet tomorrow honoring Distinguished Alumni, Hall of Honor inductees and Distinguished Faculty. The Distinguished Alumni are Jamie Hamilton and Debra Thompson Smith.  Hamilton well-known in the community for his involvement with CMU, JUCO and CEO of Home Loan and Investment.  Smith graduated with a business and accounting degree and has grown a successful pool-building business. She was active in getting a bill signed into law protecting thousands of jobs in the Texas pool industry.

Grand Junction Police are looking for a 51 year old man missing since Tuesday.  Kenneth Cottingham had made suicidal threats before disappearing.  Cottingham's pickup was found on the canal bank at 28 Road south of I-70 Tuesday night.  Anyone with information should contact police.

Cleanup is finished on I-70 where a semi lost control of its load of paint, spilling about 1,000 pounds of the stuff onto the north shoulder near Edwards.  Westbound traffic was detoured to Highway 6 as the cleanup took place aound 6:30 last night. While crews were uprighting the rig, the remainder of the paint spilled out causing another clean up. The road was reopened around 2:30 this morning.


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wednesday September 26, 2012

The Colorado State Patrol has fired two troopers involved in the fatal shooting of a Redlands man.  31 year old Jason Kemp was shot to death in 2010 as the troopers tried to get into his apartment after a hit and run accident about a block away. State Patrol Cpt. Jeff Goodwin tells The Daily Sentinel "other members" of the Fruita-based Troop 4A are the focus of a separate, ongoing internal investigation, but didn't talk about that ongoing probe.

United Way of Mesa County is kicking off their 2012-13 fundraising campaign with a donation over $457,000 from pacesetter organizations--35 local companies who raise money in-house before the community-wide campaign.  United way is celbrating its 125th anniversary and has set a goal of $1.25 million for this year's drive.

Mesa County has had several Drug Take-Back Days, where residents can clean out their medicine cabinets and dispose of prescription drugs in a safe way.  The same Take-Back event sponsored by the Federal DEA is coming to Delta and Montrose Saturday. Check with your local departments for drop off locations and items that won't be accepted.

A Rifle man has een sentenced to 29 years in prison after being convicted of shooting a Rifle police officer two years ago.  Phil Amonette was acquitted of Attempted 1st Degree Murder, but later convicted of 1st Degree Assault.  Amonette fired on the officer in a domestic violence call.  He was saved by a bullet proof vest.  Amonette was seriously injured with a second officer returned fire.

A Rapper from Brighton is singing the blues after convictions of racketeering and bank fraud.  The Daily Sentinel says 38 eyar old Stacy Damon Harris, aka Dame Fame was found to be the organizer of a complex, multi-state credit card and bank fraud operation that stole tens of thousand of dollars from several banks across the state including Montrose.  He's to be sentenced October 4th.

Will Frozen Dead Guy Days continue in Nederland even if the Dead Guy is no longer there?  According to the Denver Post, there's still a few years to worry about it.  The grandson of Bredo Morstoel who's been on ice in a Nederland shed since 1993 is in talks with Cryonic Institute in Michigan to take over the storage as soon as 2015.  The problem now is the fellow who's been keeping the body at 24 degrees below zero with dry-ice deliveries monthly has quit, saying the grandson hasn't been paying him for the work.

Vail Resorts is tallying income from the worst snow and visitation season in two decades.  The Denver Post says the company's net income slid by more than half to $16.5 million for fiscal 2012. Revenue from operations faring better. The company says earnings from mountan and lodging segments fell just 3.8%, with some growth from higher lift ticket prices and increased visitor spending on retail, rentals and dining.

An Arkansas Valley Correctional Sgt. killed by an inmate Monday has been identified as 55 year old Mary Ricard.  She was attacked in the prison kitchen by a former Ft. Carson soldier convicted of raping a 14 year old girl in Colroado Springs in 2002.  Ricard's death is the second death of an officer in the state prison system in ten years.

Colorado state foresters will continue controlled burns, but with tightened rules in light of the deadly Lower NOrth Fork fire in March.  A review panel has approved bills to create minimum standards for burns and to offer tax credits to landowners who perform fire mitigation.

If your home was forcelosed upon between 2008 and 2011 you may be eligib le for a payment under a national mortgage-foreclosure settlement.  State attorney general John Suthers office is sending claim forms to borrows who lost their homes during that time.  If you were foreclosed on and had your mortgage serviced by GMAC/ALLy Financial, Bank of America/Country Wide, citibank, jpmorgan chase or wells fargo you may be eligible for a portion of the 25 billion dollar settlement.  Colorado expects 51 million to be distributed in the state.

Grand Junction Police are still searching for the suspect who escaped from Monday afternoons armed robbery of a check cashing store.  the police department is encouraging anyone who may have information on the suspect to contact the police department at 242-6707 or if they wish to remain anonymous, crime stoppers at 241-STOP.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is urging Coloradans to get their flu vaccination.  Flu season is right around the corner and vaccines are available at the mesa county health department in addition to several grocery stores and pharmacies in the area.

Over the first 8 months of 2012, Grand Junction has received just over 2 1/3 inches of rain.  That qualifies for the third driest period on record for the region in the last 120 years.  The National Weather service reports almost half of that total moisture came this summer in june, july and august.

The BLM set to host a series of public meetings this week to provide information, answer questions and take public written comments on the White River Oil and Gas Amendment.  the amendment is supposed to guide future management of oil and natural gas development in the Piceance Basin, an area of 1.7 million acres rich in oil and gas in rio blanco, moffat and garfield counties.  4 meetings are scheduled this week, including in Grand Junction Thursday night at the clarion inn from 4-7.

For the 4th straight year, The upper grand valley pest control district reporting that the invasive japanese beetle has not been found in the area.  100 traps were placed in Palisade with no beetles being detected. the invasive species that can cause significant damage to over 300 plants, grasses and fruit trees were first discovered in palisade in 2002 but the aggresive eradication effort started in 2003 has produced results.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Tuesday September 25, 2012

Police are looking for a man who held up a check cashing business in the Rimrock shopping center in broad daylight.  Witnesses say the man had a gun, got the money and ran away.  He's described as white, in his 20s and about 140-150 pounds.  He was wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt, jeans and blue and white tennis shoes.

United Way of Mesa County is kicking off their annual fundraising event today calling attention to the 125th Anniversary of the United Way.  This year's campaign will carry that theme with a goal of $1.25 million.

Local volunteers and ranchers are helping some wounded service men and women, taking them on a three day elk hunting and fishing trip in the Glade Park area. Six veterans are making the trip, with activities including sighting rifles with Tasha Ericson, an award winning sharp shooter, and with Navy Seal reality show actor Chris Kyle. The group wraps up their trip Saturday at the Fruita Fall Festival.

Another campaign bus is stopping in Grand Junction today, but it doesn't have anything to do with politics.  Allegiant Airlilines is promoting their "Vote for Vacation" platform.  The bus is at Mesa Mall from 7 to 10 this morning with give aways including two roundtrip tickets to one of Allegiants's vacation destinations, and tax vouchers for future Allegiant trips.

The Colroado Department of Education says scors on SAT tests are up double digits between 2011 and 2012, but the number of students taking the tests has fallen. The number of public school seniors taking the tests has dropped 17.3% in the last five years, compared with a nationwide increase of 8.6%.

A third person has died in Colorado from West Nile virus, an 82 year old man from Delta County. The two other deaths were in Montrose County.  Health officials show the number of cases in Delta County at 29, and 18 in Montrose.  They say the numbers show the importance of continuing to take precautions against mosquitos as the season draws down.

A man who apparently fell from the top of a sculpture in downtown Montrose more than two weeks ago is improving.  43 year old George Christmas was found unconscious under the 18 foot tall "When Eagles Dare" air piece at Main and Uncompaghre. Police in Montrose say they're still investigating and don't believe foul play was involved.

Grand Jucntion weather authorities are still tallying the totals from storms in the Grand Valley and western Colorado, and say about 1/10 of an inch has been recorded in the Grand Junction area.  Other areas including Aspen receoved as much as a half inch.  More showers are in the forecast today and tomorrow with a strong low pressure system keeping temperatures below normal.  The rain is expected to begin gradually moving moving out of the area lat tomorrow.  Temperatures remaining below normal for the next few days.

The Colorado State Patrol is investigating a weird crash during a natural gas rig-moving operation.  It happened Friday and one driver says she was injured and her car damaged.  The driver, Patty Cline said a track carrying a tank blew a tire, causing the damage.  The State Patrol tells the Glenwood Post the incident happened on private land and without serious injuries, not tickets were issued.

Mesa County voters aren't waiting til the last minute, they're getting registered now.  Elections Director Catherine Lenhart tells the Daily Sentinel her office has processed nearly 2,000 transactions so far in September, compared with a usual rate of 200 to 400 a month.  Tuesday October 9th is the last day to register for the November election.

A woman pulled from the Eagle River last week died from a gunshot wound.  The Eagle County Coroner says 40 year old Stephanie Brantly was shot in the chest before her body was reported on a sand bar in the river behind the Gypsoum Wastewater Treatment Faciilty Friday.  Eagle County crime Stoppers is handling the case.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Monday September 24, 2012

The Grand Jucntion Area Chamber of Commerce it out with its endorsements for local offices and they're all Republican.  The Chamber says there are many qualified candidates and the task of endorsing one over another was a challenge. Here are the candidates the chamber is backing: 3rd District incumbent Congressman Scott Tipton, House District 55 incumbent Ray Scott, District 1 County Commissioner John Justman and District 3 Rose Pugliese. Missing from the endorsements was House District 54, where Republican Jared Wright is running against Libertarian Tim Menger.

The Montrose Regional Airport is getting ready for a BIG announcement.  A new carrier is bringing service to the area.  Details are being released tomorrow morning at 9:00 with the Telluride Montrose Regional Air Organization.  The marketing group has been working to bring a new low-cost carier to the airport.

Want to avoid traffic congestion on I-70 through the mountains? There's an app for that. C-DOT says the app provides speeds and travel times, Road Conditions, Road closures and incidents, Construction and Feeds from CDOT closed circuit television cameras.  to find it, search CDOT Mobile in your App Store.

High gas prices in Colorado aren't going anywhere soon.  In the past week, the average price has risen about a penny, to $3.72/gal. says that's up 23 cents in the past month.  Nationally, the price this past week is down 4 cents, but still up nearly 9 cents a gallon in the past month.

A 21 year old man is dead in a crash the state patrol says likely involved alcohol.  It happened on I-70 just after midnight yesterday morning.  According to the state patrol the driver was found in the eastbound lanes near the 20 Road overpass, the car in the median.

Grand Jucntion State Senator Steve King says money collected from a voter approved 64-cent a pack cigarette tax may be spent for programs other than those intended by the 2004 law.  King says the money is earmarked for children's health care and tobacco cessation programs.  The Daily Sentinel says King is concerned the money is being spent by the State Health Department to lobby local governments to pass anti-tobacco policies not covered by the state's no-smoking ban.

Two billionaire donors are sinking their money into marijuana-legalization efforts in Colorado and Washington. The Denver Post says another measure in Oregon isn't fairing as well. $1.1 million has been raised in Colorado so far, more than 3/4 of that from billionaire Peter Lewis.  The Post doesn't say what the support for Amendment 64 is, but says in Washington two recent polls show a majority favoring legalization.

A fire northwest of Glenwood Springs is growing in dry conditions and unpredictable weather.  The Middle Elk fire broke out Thursday on the Flat Tops, and campers in the area were evacuated Saturday.  Roads in the area are closed and more firefighters are expected in the area today.  The cause of the fire is considered suspicious.

Fall is officially here and the national Weather Service is out with some forecasts for the return of a weak El Nino.  Meteorologist Joe Ramey tells the Denver Post the weather phenomenon could keep major winter  storms south of I-70. Although he's quick to point out there are many ways his forecast could be wrong.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Friday September 21, 2012

A slight drop in Colorado's unemployment rate in August.  The State Labor Department says the number decreased from 8.3% to 8.2%.  Chief Economist Alexandra Hall says there was a larger decline in the number of people actively participating in the labor force, than the decline in those reporting their status as employed.  Colorado's 8.2% unemployment rate is higher than the national 8.1% rate for the first time since 2005.

They're cleaning up at La Villa Grande after fire in an elevator motor this morning.  Residents were evacuated, there were no injuries, and Grand Jucntion fire crews were able to take care of the fire with a dry chemical extinguisher.  No injuries reported.

A Grand Junction man arrested earlier this year in the beating death of his ex-girfriend's 19-month old son has been charged with 1st Degree Murder. The Daily Sentinel says 26 year old Justin Keel is accused of knowingly causing the death of Owen Reak who died a day after suffering trauma to the stomach. Keel remains jailed on $1 million bond.

A 55 year old Pear Park man has been arrested, accused of sexual assault on a child. The Daily Sentinel says Robert Lynn Zimmerman was booked yesterday following an investigation started in July after a 14 year old girl told a school official Zimmerman had touched her on several occasions.  Bond is set at $50,000.

A Grand Junction man convicted of vehicular homicide in the death of his wife in a 2002 desert crash, is now suspected of crashing into a pole on Highway 6&50.  Grand Jucntion Police tell the Daily Sentinel 52 year old Robert Sheets ran into the pole after leaving the Rim Rock Shopping Center parking lot about 1:30 yesterday.  Sheets served prison time on the vehicular homicide charge, but not before two additional drunk driving arrests.  Alcohol is suspected in yeserday's crash.

The new I-70 Parachute interchange is nearing completion with work starting tomorrow on the second phase which includes roundabouts on the north and south sides of the existing U-S 6 bridge.  Phase 3 begins in mid-October and includes paving along US 6 and the bridge over I-70.  The interchange should open by Halloween.

A Meeker man has been convicted by a federal jury of six charges of violating the Lacey Act. An indictment accused  72 year old Dennis Rodebaugh of operating a big game outfitting business, offering guided hunts during which deer and elk were shot from tree stands near where Rodenbaugh placed salt each spring. The Lacey Act prohibits taking big gam with the aid of bait.  Each of the six felony counts carries a maximum punishment of five years in prison and up to a$250,000 fine.

Better than expected state revenue forecasts for September could mean more money for the State Education Fund.  Under a bill passed in this year's legislative session, $59 million will be transferred to the State Education Fund this fiscal year, and at least $678 million at the end of the fiscal year next June.

Senior Obama Administration officials are in southern Colorado today for the announcement making Chiney Rock a National Monument.  Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley will be on hand for the event late this morning.

The Grand Junction VA Medical Center is going through flu vaccine faster than anticipated and that means some waits for veterans who haven't received their flu shots.  Spokesman Paul Sweeny says there is still plenty of vaccine at satellite clinics in Glenwood Springs, Montrose, Craig and Moab.  More vaccine is expected in Grand Junction in the next few weeks.

The Colorado Farm Bureau says six Congressional members from the state have been named "Friend of the Farm Bureau." Senators Michael Bennet and Mark Udall, along with Representatives Scott Tipton, Mike Coffman, Cory Gardner, and Dough Lamborn--all cited for voting with the Farm Bureau on priority issues.  A vote on the 2012 Farm Bill has been postponed until after the November election.

Three Tipis are in place for the 3rd annual Montrose Indians Nations Powwow today through Sunday.  The powwow is at Friendship hall, the tipis all with a different theme.  A grand entry including local vterans is tonight at 7:00.

The top issue for women in Colorado is economic security.  The first major research project by the Women's Foundation of Colorado since 2000 has the exact same findings.  The number of women heads of household has increased dramatically since 1987, creating an economic security gap.  The Denver Post says the report is part of the Foundation's 5-year plan aimed at making sure nonprofit organizations, public officials and agencies consider how their policies and program impact women throughout their lives.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Thursday September 20, 2012

Military planes are making they way into Grand Junction for this weekend's airshow, offering a bit of an early preview. Public lands around the airport are closed as prep work for the show begins.  The Blue Angels team is the headliner for the show and will perform Saturday and Sunday.  The first acts perform tomorrow night with gates opening at 6:00.

Is it much ado about nothing?  Democrat 3rd District challenger Sal Pace is accusing incumbent Scott Tipton of not staying firm on the 2012 Farm Bill, a five year spending plan. Pace says Tipton signed a discharge petition aimed at bringing the bill up for vote, but withdrew his name a day later. According to The Daily Sentinel, Tipton's camp says that's what the congressman did, with assurance from party leadership the vote would be scheduled. Pace says the move shows Tipton caving to party leaders who want to keep the measure from a vote. Tipton says he's firm about bringing the matter to a vote and his stand on the issue is firm.

Arguments are continuing over whether a man who admitted killing four people in Rifle in 2001 should be released from the State Hospital for day trips.  Steven Stagner was found not guilty by reason of insanity and sentenced to the state hospital in 2002. According to the Glenwood Post, Doctors say he wont' get better if he remains confined.  Prosecutors say Stagner's delusions make him too great a risk to the public.  A judge in Glenwood Springs is to issue a written ruling at a later date.

Marcus Bebb-Jones is in custody in Garfield County awaiting trial in November for killing his wife Sabrina, in Grand Junction in 1997. At a hearing yesterday, officers from Grand Junction who initially handled the case defended their actions, questioning Bebb-Jones in Las Vegas where he had attempted suicide after Sabrina went missing.  Yesterday's testimony came in a motions hearing ahead of Bebb-Jones scheduled trial in November.

The Colorado Education Association is endorsing a group in opposition to Amendment 64 that would regulate marijuana in the state like alcohol.  Local governments across the state and Governor John Hickenlooper have come out against the amendment.  Backers of 64 says the CEA opposition makes no sense since the ballot issue calls for dedicating tax revenues form the sale fo marijuana to fund public school buildings. The Daily Sentinel says proponents of 64 plan to announce a number of law enforcment officials and prosecutors who are in favor of the amendmenment.

If you've never been to a wild horse adoption, Saturday is your chance.  The BLM has about 20 mustangs rounded up from herds in Colorado, Wyoming and Oregon, it's making available to the public.  People who want to adopt will meet the horses at the Mesa County Sheriff's Posse grounds tomorrow evening and again Saturday morning with the auction set for 10:00 Saturday.  Potential owners have to meet several requirements for taking in the animals and complete a one year probation.

Another new National Monument in western Colorado.  President Obama is scheduled to designate Chimney Rock in southwestern Colorado, a monument tomorrow.  Colorado Senator Michael Bennet says the monument designation will be an extafordinary bood for the region, preserving and protecting the site and driving tourism.  The designation helps preserve 4,700 acres in the San Juan National Forest, surrounded by the Southern Ute Indian Reservation.

Colorado workers may be seeing some recovery in their incomes as the economy slowly improves.  The Denver Post says the median income fell from a peak of just under $60,000 in 2007 to about $55,000 in 2011, but it appears the year-to-year drops are getting smaller. Denver economist Patty Silverstein says the state is on the road to recovery.  She says no state is doing great, but Colorado is doing better than some.

C-DOT is moving full steam ahead, looking for ideas on how to get high-speed rail, or other technology, installed to transport people from Jefferson County to the Eagle County Airport.  Already, CDOT has gotten inquires from 150 companies around the world interested in the project. Statements of Technology Information are being taken through october 10th.  C-DOT's $1.8 million feasibility study is expected to be complete by about a year from now.  

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wednesday September 19, 2012

No injuries, and little damage when an ultralight aircraft crashed into a Grand Valley Power line on Glade Park.  74 year old James Dittrick took off from his private landing strip yesterday morning just after 10:30 when unexpected wind forced his craft into the lines on a neighbor's property.  About a dozen customers lost power for a few hours.  Dittrick walked away with only a minor scratch.

The Grand Junction Economic Partnership is trying a new marketing tact.  Social Media.  Footage from an Outdoor Video Contest has been compiled and posted on on the GJEP website, Facebook, Twitter, a blog and now YouTube. Executive Director Kelly Flenniken says it's all part of an effort to more creatively promote the Grand Valley.Parents and kids who want to learn about safe driving can find out more at a presentation tomorrow night.

Three local insurance agencies are bringing in Time2Drive, a chance for parents and teenagers to use a driving simulator and fatal vision goggles to better understand the risks young drivers face.  Time2Drive is tomorrow from 5:30 to 7:30 at Grand Jucntion High School.

Every schoool in District 51 now has an Automated External Defibrillator, a piece of equipment that can restore a normal heartbeat to someone with cardiac arrest.  Community Hospital donated 36 of the devices, paid for with funds raised by the hospital's foundation. The foundation also plans additional funds to train staff to use the AEDs as well as First Aid and CPR.

The Colorado Riverfront Commission does more than collect money to build the river trail.  Last night the commission presented District 51 with $6,000 for the Get Kids Outdoors initiative.  The money is set aside for field trips for students to visit sites along the riverfront.

Colorado Senator Mark Udall hasn't given up his push for continuation of the wind Production Tax Credit.  Udall has pledged to address congress every day it's in session arguing for the credit he says will protect thousands of high-skill and good-paying jobs in Colorado and several other states.  Udall's 19th address is scheduled this morning.

No injuries, and little damage when an ultralight aircraft crashed into a Grand Valley Power line on Glade Park.  74 year old James Dittrick took off from his private landing strip yesterday morning just after 10:30 when unexpected wind forced his craft into the lines on a neighbor's property.  About a dozen customers lost power for a few hours.  Dittrick walked away with only a minor scratch.

The Vail Pass bike path is getting a needed resurfacing, closing the trail between Vail and the top of the Pass.  Cyclists WILL be allowed on the path Fridays through Sundays.  Besides resurfacing,  C-DOT is installing permanent mile markers and improved safety signage and striping.  The popular path was built in the 1970s.

The City of Montrose will continue picking up trash in the city limits, and a local private company will take it to the landfill. According to the Montrose Daily Press, the city signed off on a 6 year contract with Cornerstone Enterprises last night.  Municipal services director Jim Hougnon [how-non ?] says the plan saves the city money on tipping fees, vehicle wear and tear, fuel, and staff time.

A man killed Sunday in a dirt bike accident in Montrose County has been identified as 33 year old Cody Browning.  Browning was a chef at the RnR Sports Bar in Montrose.  A fund for Browning's two daughters has been set up at NuVista Credit Union.

Officials at the Museum of the West are trying to repair a piece of art vandalized at the museum at 4th and Ute in downtown Grand Junction. John Otto is credited with the establishment of the Colorado National Monument and had the rock carved in 1915. It has a couple of symbols that look like swastikas carved into it, and they've been defaced with a concrete substance.  The museum tells teh Daily Sentinel the carvings were meant as good luck symbols and differ from swastikas which are turned a quarter to the right.

Fire services in the Grand Valley could change in light of a survey comissioned by the Mesa County Fire Chiefs Association.  The Daily Sentinel says the study found consolidation between the Grand Junction and Clifton Fire departments could better serve the city and Pear Park with a new station there.  The study also found combining services between the East Orchard Mesa and palisade departments could expand volunteer staffing.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tuesday September 18, 2012

Some people in Montrose are questioning the hiring of the Montrose Republican Party chairman as the new County Fleet Manager. The Montrose Daily Press says David Laursen was brought on board after a nationwide search, but previously worked on the campaign of County Commissioner David White. Commissioners say they had no hand in the hiring, that the decision was made by the county's human resources director.

House District 58 candidate Tammi Theis says she intends to move on with her campaign to unseat incumbent Republican Don Coram. Theis was cited for shoplifting, but called it an honest mistake, she said some items in her shopping cart were covered by others and not rung up at the register.  The Montrose Daily Press says some in the party have called for Theis to step out of the race.  She says he has no intention of that and will issue a news release addressing the issues.

Xcel Energy customers can expect lower utility bills in the 4th quarter of 2012.  The company says it's filed quarterly adjustment rates with the state Public Utilities Commission and if those rates are accepted, it'll mean average residential gas and electric bills will go down more than $9 for the quarter.  Average small business bills will go down about $50 in the same period.

A bill proposed by 3rd district congressman Scott Tipton will move to the Senate Energy and Resources Subcommittee on water and power. A hearing is scheduled for Wednesday for Tipton's legislation to create more rural jobs and affordable electricity by improving the regulation and development of small hydropower projects. the hearing is an encouraging sign for Tipton and he's looking forward to testifying about the impact his propsed legislation would have on western states, including colorado, where there is great potential to expand production and generate more hydro power.

CMU's department of health sciences has announced the naming of the Moss School of Nursing in recognition of the  generous support of the university by John and Angie Moss.  The Mosses recently made a significant donation to the school of nursing, continuing a tradition of supporting CMU, saying "the nursing program is one of the best in colorado and we are proud to support these aspiring medical professionals."  In addition to supporting grants and student scholarships, they were vital in the renovation of the university's performing arts center, now known as the Moss Performing Arts Center.

Waterline replacement work in downtown Grand Junction means 4th Street is closed at Grand Avenue today.  Southbound traffic will be detoured to either 7th or 1st streets during the closure.  The city says it expects 4th to reopen before 5:00 this afternoon.

Western Colorado Community College is looking at offering a two year degree for 9-1-1 dispatchers.  Dispatchers right now are only required to have a high school diploma, but Police Chief John Camper tells the Daily Sentinel an associate degree program may lead to more people seeing dispatchas a career path.  He says it would enhance the likelihood of success.

The inaugural Broadway at the Avalon series is a bust.  The last two of four shows planned have been cancelled and the city is issuing refunds to season ticket holders.  Avalon and Two Rivers acting manager Debbie Kovalik tells the Daily Sentinel royalty requirements for Miss Saigon and Oliver! far exceeded resources.  Colorado Mesa University says it'll offer discounted season passes to those who had city passes.  CMU's 4-show main stage season begins next week with "Rent."

With hunting season right around the corner, Union PAcific is reminding hunters to steer clear of hunting on railroad property.  Wildlife tends to feed near freshly harvested fields adjacent to railroad tracks making it very appealing to hunters but anyone too close to the tracks can be arrested for trespassing, injured or worse.  Over 400 people were killed last year trespassing on railroad property.  

Monday, September 17, 2012

Monday September 17, 2012

Coloradans don't want stricter gun control laws according to a new Denver Post poll.  A group of likely voters were asked which is more important: to protect the right of Americans to own guns, or to control gun ownership.  56% said protecting the right to own guns, 39% to control gun ownership.  The Post took the poll in the wake of the Aurora theater shootings.  The poll also found voters believe enforcing existing gun laws rather than passing new ones is the best way to address gun violence.

The BLM is getting ready for the Grand Jucntion air show with public land closures in the area of the airport beginning Thursday.  The FAA requires a designated perimeter for aircraft to conduct aerobatic maneuvers.  BLM lands 3/4 of a mile parallel to the main airport runway from 27 1/4 to 30 will be closed.  The BLM has a map posted on the Grand Junction Field Office website.

State House Repbulicans say Democrats are putting a road block up, killing a bill before the Transportation Legislation Review Committee.  The bill would have increased transportation funding without raising taxes or imposing new fees. Democrats on the committee turned down the proposal.  Bill sponsor Kevin Priola of Denver says although the bill won't be befor the Transportation Committee, he'll likely introduce the measure during the 2013 session.

Grand Jucntion veterans who need a flu shot can get one at a drive-thru clinic tomorrow.  Vets should wear short sleeves and show up at the VA medical center front entrance from 10-noon and 1-3.  In the past, the VA has held the drive-thru clinic on a Saturday.

If you want to know what candidates for State House are raising and spending on their campaigns, the Daily Sentinel has list in today's issue. Republican House District 54 candidate Jared Wright has raised just over $3,000 since reports of a recent bankrputcy and concerns over leaving his job as a Fruita Police Officer. He's spent $8,000 of a total $13,000 raised.  Opponent Libertarian Tim Menger has not raised nor spent any money on his campaign and says he won't.

An Australian shepherd puppy police say was assaulted by its owner has a good prognosis.  A report from Mesa County Animal Services says the 5-month old dog suffered a possible concussion, but no broken bones in the incident in Grand Junction last week.  The Daily Sentinel says 31 year old Nathan Bionaz was arrested Thursday night on suspicion of cruelty to animals and other charges.  Animal Services says cruelty investigations through July of this year are nearly double the number in the same period in 2011.

A Colorado Springs man is dead in a fall in Maroon Bells near Aspen. Authorities say 34 year old Derek Kelley suffered fatal head injuries when he fell more than 600 feet near the summit of North Maroon Peak Saturday morning.

Mitt Romney forced to cancel a campaign appearance in Pueblo.  An experimental plane crashed at the airport yesterday morning, killing the pilot, and closing the airport.  There's no word on whether Romney will schedule another rally there.

Coloradans don't want stricter gun control laws according to a new Denver Post poll.  A group of likely voters were asked which is more important: to protect the right of Americans to own guns, or to control gun ownership.  56% said protecting the right to own guns, 39% to control gun ownership.  The Post took the poll in the wake of the Aurora theater shootings.  The poll also found voters believe enforcing existing gun laws rather than passing new ones is the best way to address gun violence.

Predictions of falling gasoline prices are not coming true.  In Colorado, the price has climbed 8 1/2 cents a gallon in the past week, with the average now $3.69.  The national average is $3.86. Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan says even with the national average near its highest ever September level, he remains optimistic the prices will begin to come down.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Friday September 14, 2012

An 18 year old Grand Junciton man pleading guilty to animal Cruelty could get prison time. Joseph Nelson was 17 when he was arrested for torturing his mother's dog and leaving it hanging from the Orchard Mesa pedestrian bridge.  The Daily Sentinel says prison is possible under a new plea agreement.  The judge threw out the first agreement saying it didn't give him enough options.  A probation officer says Nelson admitted being intoxicated when he killed the dog.

If you're around the Hoffman Subdivision in Grand Jucntion today, you'll see a crew of Encana Oil and Gas employees working on a Habitat for Humanity home.  They're teaming up with other volunteers and homeowners on the newest home in the Habitat community.

Fire restrictions in place across Colorado this summer have been lifted in most areas, and Dinosaur National Monument is lifting restrictions there, today.  Some areas still have large amounts of dry vegetation and there's still a danger of wildfire so visitors should still be careful with smoking materials and other fire sources.

People in Delta, Ridgeway and Ouray are chompping at the bit for access to high-speed Internet, and it's coming.  Eagle-Net, which operates a cost-sharing cooperative linking community anchor institutions like schools, is installing fiber optic cable in those areas, and expanding in Montrose.  The Montrose Daily Press says utility work has raised some eye-brows in the city, especially near a new roundabout on Woodgate Road, but Eagle-net says it will bore underground there to avoid disturbing the new construction.

F-16s scrambling during President Obama's stop in Colorado yesterday.  A single-engine plane entered a no-fly zone in the Denver area and the jets were sent to intercept.  The plane was escorted to Centennial Airport south of Denver. Authorities say the pilot flies the area regularly and somehow missed the notice on restricted air space.

Victims of the Aurora Theater shootings are telling Governor John Hickenlooper they want distribution of a $5.2 million fund set up for them handled by someone other than Community First which is in charge now.  They say medical bills need to be paid, some people can't work, and other needs aren't being met.  The Governor's office says Mile High United Way, additional foundations and the city of Aurora are deciding the best way to move forward.

School District 51 wants to make sure everyone knows what it's up to, so they're hosting quarterly community meetings.  A district spokewoman tells the Daily Sentinel the first meeting at the Fruita Community Center is on the 27th and will touch on topics including new pricipal and teacher evaluations, budget cuts, and other issues.  The meetings will be spread throughout the district.

Two weeks ago, an elementary student in the Denver area was told to remove a Peyton Manning numbered jersey.  Now in Loveland, a Thompson Valley High student has been forced to give up his rosary beads.  The Reporter Herald says the school made the move in an effort to keep out gang activity.  The student's mother says it was huge hit, that he wore the beads in memory of an uncle murdered in California last summer.


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Thursday September 13, 2012

Mesa County Sheriff's investigators are still trying to identify a man found dead in a Fruita irrigation ditch.  The body was discovered by a nearby resident in 1200 block of of 17 1/2 Road around 3:30 yesterday. Deputies say the man appears to be in his early 20s, with brown hair and not identifying marks or tattoos.

The City of Grand Junction's upgrading its waterline system and a project starting today will affect motorists on Grand Avenue between 5th and 2nd Streets.  The pipes being replaced were installed in 1957 and have outlived their estimated 50 years of  service.  Today's project follows waterline replacement already underway on Ouray Avenue between 19th and 22nd Streets and on 20th Street between Ouray and Chipeta.  At least three more replacment projects are on tap this fall.

If you travel State Highway 133 over McClure Pass, get ready for some delays starting Monday.  C-DOT is doing some rockfall mitigation with delays up to 20 minutes or longer while traffic is narrowed to  a single lane.  The McClure area is ranked at the top of the C-DOT's Rockfall hazard Rating System, with the amount of rockfall higher than other sites in the state.  Crews will be scaling rock on the north side of the pass, not with explosives, but by inflating airbags behind the rock to cause it to fall. They'll also install rock reinforcement and installing wire mesh to contain smaller rocks.

Veterans in Garfield County who need flu shots can get them at a clinic Saturday at the Glenwood Springs Veterans Clinic.  There will also be Hepatitis-C, and HIV testing.  Any vet with proof of service can get a flu shot.  Free testing is available for vets who are enrolled for care at the Glenwood Springs or Grand Junction VAs.

Governor John Hickenlooper has come out in opposition to Amendment 64 which would legalize some recreational marijuana use in Colorado.  Backers of the bill call the governor's stance hypocritical.  They say the amendment is a health issue, their campaign starting in 2004 after the deaths of two college students from alcohol overdoses.

The Democratic candidate for House District 58 in Montrose has been cited for shoplifting.  According to the Montrose Daily Press, Tammy Theis was cited last week after a loss prevention team at City Market said she left the store without paying for some items.  Theis called it an honest mistake.  She's running against incumbent Republican Don Coram.

Montrose and Olathe have been named in the 100 Best Communities for Young People.  It's the second year in a row both have received the recognition.  The Montrose Daily Press says Montrose and Olathe were singled out by the America's Promise Alliance for the various ways community organizations serve and mentol their youth.  The award comes with a $2,500 grant.

The sale of Mesa County Library-owned land in downtown Grand Junction is getting mixed reviews.  Right now, part of the acreage is being used as a community garden many say they'd hate to see go.  But the garden has been hit hard by vandals and thieves.  The Daily Sentinel says some who pay for a plot in the garden are fed up with it.  The property between Ouray and Chipeta and 5th and 6th streets is listed for $1.2 million.

A Grand Jucntion man is dead in a crash on Highway 550 north of Silverton.  The State Patrol says 55 year old Donald Inskeep was killed after losing control of his truck on a curve and crashed.  The Durango Herald says Inskeep was talking and seemed to be ok after the crash Monday morning, but later died after medics were unable to revive him.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Wednesday September 12, 2012

A Delta man is dead in a crash on Highway 50 south of Whitewater.  The State Patrol says 25 year old Anthony Abachiche lost control of car, crossed the median and hit a pickup.  The driver of the pickup suffered minor injuries, Abachiche died at the scene.  Traffic was backed up on the highway for several hours during the investigation.

A 53 year old man who killed four people in Rifle in 2001 and has been held in the state mental hospital in Pueblo wants out.  According to the Glenwood Post, The Colorado Mental Health Institute filed a plan of "temporary physical removal for treatment and rehab" on Steven Stagner's behalf.  A Garfield County Judge will hear the case tomorrow.

Non-profits in Colorado will be able to file for bingo and raffle licenses for next to nothing, just $1, thanks to a new policy in the Secretary of State's office.  Right now, non-profits pay anywhere from $10 to $1,000, but the office says it will make the money it does collect stretch farther in order to keep more non-profit funds in the community.  Fees were also reduced last year and will be revisited quarterly.

The BLM is looking at a possible land exchange near Glade Park that would see nearly 800 acres of hard to reach public land traded for over 450 acres of land adjacent to other public lands. The BLM is also considering buying a 29 acre inholding in the McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area. Public comment on both proposals is being taken through the 26th.  Details are available on the BLM website.

Colorado Senator Mark Udall continues his push for extension of the Production Tax Credit for wind energy, making his 16th floor speech on the subject yesterday, and planning for his 17th today.  Udall says the economy in Colorado, and other states, would suffer if the tax credit is removed.  He's pleged to address the Senate every morning Congress is in session.

The Montrose County School District is getting ready for a new facilities master plan and has tapped current facilities manager Jason Arebalos for the job. The District missed out on some grant money during the last school year and hopes the new plan will alleviate that this year.  The Montrose Daily Press says the will identify the most prominant needs in the district.

Colorado is moving forward with a plan to reduce air pollution and the EPA has signed off on it.  The plan is a result of a law passed by the legislature in 2010 pushing the state's two investor-owned utilities, Xcel Energy and Black Hills Corporation, to swith some units from coal to natural gas.  The plan is designed to reduce pollutants by 70,000 tons at 16-facilities including power plants and cement kilns. It also aims to reduce auto emissions by continuing an existing testing program.

The idea of a multi-use events center in the Grand Valley isn't dead. It's new again, the Mesa County Commissioners hearing a new plan from a consultant yesterday.  The firm says an events center with seating for up to 5,000 would draw visitors from a much larger area.  Space for horse and livestock and specialty sporting events would draw even more.  The Daily Sentinel says the commissioners will decide later whether to move ahead with the plan.  An open house is tonight at the Mesa County Fairgrounds.

Talk about bad karma.  Someone in Fruit has taken about $4,000 from Sunday's collection at Sacred Heart Catholic Church.  The Daily Sentinel says one of the priests noticed the collection plate missing but was unsure if someone entered the church and took the money, or if someone authorized to be there took it.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Tuesday September 11, 2012 PATRIOTS DAY

Officials in Garfield County have confirmed the deaths of a man and woman near El Jebel Saturday were a murder-suicide.  Autopsy results show 68-year old Andrew Mazeika shot his 54-year old wife Judi, then turned the handgun on himself. It happened at the couple's home in the Missouri Heights area.

A study released by National Jewish and the Denver office of the DEA shows law enforcement entering and dismantling indoor marijuana grows may be exposed to significant health hazards.  The research found high levels of mold spores and chemical contamination from pesticides and fertilizers.  A similar study in 2002 resulted in greater safety policies for officers entering candestine meth labs.  The marijuana grow study recommends protective clothing and full-face air-purifying respirators for investigators involved in the removal phase of indoor grows.

A 4-day energy conference is underway in Grand Junction with guests from all over the west, including Texas State Geologist Dr. Scott Tinker.  He's brining his documentary SWITCH to the public at the Avalon Theater tonight.  He'll talk about the movie at the Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce's Energy Briefing tomorrow morning.  KREX TV says Governor John Hickenlooper was at the conference yesterday to talk about the impact of energy on Colorado's economy.

Montrose Police are trying to figure out what happened to a man found lying unconscious at Main and Uncompahgre last Friday morning.  The Montrose Daily Press says George Christmas was found about 7:00 Friday morning, and may have been lying beneath a sculpture for several hours.  Christmas apparently fell from the 18 foot sculpture and suffered a head injury. He's hospitalized in Grand Junction.

Today is Patriot Day and they're celebrating in Montrose with the opening of the Warrior Resource Center.  The center is operated by Welcome Home Montrose, a group that's gained national attention for its efforts to make Montrose a welcoming place for veterans.  The Montrose Daily Press says veterans to attend the opening today will get a tag that'll make them eligible for discounts at businesses that post a sticker in their windows.

Fired CU professor Ward Churchill says he's taking his appeal to the U-S Supreme Court.  The state Supreme Court yesterday turned down his appeal of a state Court of Appeals ruling upholding Churchill's firing.  Churchill tells the Denver Post the law has been twisted to fit the court's preferred conclusions.  Churchill was fired in 2007 for plagerism and fraud, after writing an essay  likening some victims of the 9/11 attacks to a Would War II Nazi official.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Monday September 10, 2012

Nearly 2,800 DUI arrests were made in Colorado during the 100 Days of Heat increased summer enforcement period.  C-DOT says 88 local agencies and the State Patrol teamed up for the effort.  More than half the arrests were made during a national push between August 17th and September 3rd.  The summer-long total was up 6% compared with last year.

One Grand Valley school has been named a 2012 Blue Ribbon School.  Pear Park Elementary got the word Friday.  Garnet Mesa Elementary in Delta was also named, along with three other Colorado Schools.  The U-S Secretary of Education says the schools are committed to accelerating student achievement and preparing students for success in college and careers.

Grand Junction is a Train Town, at least as far as the Union Pacific is concerned.  The railroad is celebrating its 150th anniversary publishing towns' historical connections with the railroad on the Union Pacific website.  Grand Junction has been home to rail line since 1882.

Two Grand Junction men have been arrested after police say a car was hit by gun fire in the Riverside Park area.  It happened Saturday night around 6:45.  20 year old Marcos Gomez and 22 year old Nicholas Guzman were stopped in the 1700 block of Rood Avenue.  Guzman was booked on suspicion of a weapons offense, reckless endangerment and other charges.  Gomez was booked on suspicion of DUI, reckless driving, and a weapons offense.  No one was injured in the gunfire.

Former Colorado Governor Bill Ritter is now the Director of New Energy Economy at CSU, and is hosting a talk tonight on a campaign called "90 By 20."  Ritter calls it a realistic approach to protect the Colorado River by asking urban water users to set a goal of 90-gallons per person, perday by the year 2020. 90 By 20 calls the Colroado River the eocnomic lifeblood of the West.

The Colorado State Patrol's Women's Resource Network is concluding its statewide food drive in Grand Junction today, delivering donations from across Colorado the the Western Slope Food Bank of the Rockies.  The drive started July 22nd and comes to an end at the group's annual conference today.  The WRN is quick to point out the official food drive ends today, the the State patrol and the Food Bank continue to encourage residents to help in the fight against hunger.

The group backing November's Amendment 64 has filed suit in Denver District Court over wording in the state voter guide.  The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol says some of the strongest arguments in support of the Amendment were removed from the Blue Book by the Legislative Council.  The campaign says it wants the arguments reinserted and wants the court to stop the Legislative Council staff from sending the book to the printers with what it calls the improper modifications.

The price of gas in Colorado is climbing again, up 5 1/2 cents a gallon in the past week. says the average $3.59 a gallon is up 11 cents in the past month.  A Senior Analyst says he remains firm in his belief the national average will start to decline toward the end of September, as it typically does.

Meeker's embattled elementary school is back in session after being closed all last year.  Some 350 students were shuffled off to classrooms at other schools while the district decided how to fix structural problems in the new building.  The Daily Sentinel says the design and builder of the school took responsiblity for the problems and paid to fix them.  The district covered costs of some mistakes of its own. The ordeal called into question the soundness of other facilities built by Neenan Company around the state.

The Colorado Court of Appeals has upheld a verdict in a Grand Junction plane crash in 2005.  A Tennessee man who was a passenger in the plane that crashed on landing at the airport filed suit claiming air traffic control at the airport was negligent.  The Daily Sentinel says the pilot of the plane later died and was unable to give testimony about the communication, and air-traffic recordings had been destroyed.

A fund has been set up for a student from Jamaica injured when his car hit a bear on Dallas Divide.  The Daily Sentinel says the man had worked the past three summers at a market in Telluride and was on his way to the Grand Junction airport last Monday when the crash happened.  His family has flown in from Jamaica and a fund for John-Ross Farquharson has been set up at Alpine Bank to help pay medical bills and family expenses.

The Mesa County Coroner's office has released the name of a man killed in a roll-over crash on I-70.  34 year old Fortunato Diaz-Alejandro of Fruita. was thrown from his pickup and pinned when it rolled near Clifton Saturday night.

Friday September 7, 2012

Colroado's status as an important "swing state" continues...President Obama planning another stop here next week.  Obama's campaign says the President will be in Las Vegas next Wednesday and plans to attend a grassroots event in the Denver area on Thursday.

Montrose's second death from West Nile virus last month has been identified as 45 year old Alan Blanchard.  Blanchard's mother tells the Montrose Daily Press her son became ill after surgery early in the month, and doctors weren't sure why.  West Nile was confirmed after Blanchard was transferred to a hospital in Denver where he died.  Blanchard's mother wants people to know the signs and symptoms so they can prevent severe complications that can occur with West Nile.

The fight between the Board of Montrose County Commissioners and the Montrose Memorial Hospital Board will be before a judge again next month.  The County says the hospital board acted improperly when it leased the hospital to a non-profit corporation in 2010, effectively selling public assets. According to The Montrose Daily Press the hospital's trustees maintain they did nothing improper.

Two men are in jail in Mesa County after nearly 6-pounds of suspected meth was found in a traffic stop on I-70 Wednesday.  The Daily Sentinel says the pair was arrested the deputy who pulled over their car said there was a strong citrus odor inside the car and the driver gave consent to search.  The suspected drugs were found hidden under the backset of the car.

The Roaring Fork Regional Planning Commission has turned down a proposal for a so-called agri-tourism venture above El Jebel. A couple wants to open a business including 8-guest rooms near their house on 47-acres in the Missouri Heights subidivision.  The Aspen Times says opposition to the plan was overwhelming.  The farm owners can still go before the Eagle County Commissioners without approval from the Planning Commission.

Residents outside the Grand River Mosquito Control District are getting the chance in November to expand the boundaries so they're protected.  The proposal is on the November ballot and would nearly double the size of the district.  The Daily Sentinel says mosquitos have a 16 mile range so the district's boundaries may do little by killing only larvae, not the actual pests. An information meeting is set at West Middle School September 18th.

A couple accused in what the Mesa County Department of Human Services calls the county's largest welfare fraud case ever, may be tried together.  The couple who now live in Aurora are accused of stealing more than $53,000 from an adoption subsidy program between 2003 and 2009.  The wife was a senior case manager with the county's child welfare division when the fraud occurred.  The Daily Sentinel says two trials are scheduled now, but the DA's office is working to force one trial.

A Grand Junction woman has died in a crash north of Baggs, Wyoming. 51 year old Lajuanna Castle was killed Tuesday when her car slammed into a tractor trailer that was being towed on Highway 789.

The annual Club 20 Fall meeting is tomorrow in Grand Junction, featuring debates between candidates for state and federal offices.  The debates are being held at the CMU campus.  Information is available on the Club 20 website.  

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Thursday September 6, 2012

Grand Junction Democrats are getting together tonight to watch President Obama accept the Democratic Party's nomination for President.  You can get more information on tonight's Watch party from the local Obama For America office in the Valley Plaza.

The Montrose County Commissioners are opposed to Amendment 64, the so-called "regulate marijuana like alcohol" measure," passing a resolution this week backing the opposition group--"Smart Colorado/No on 64."  According to the Montrose Daily Press, Commissioner Gary Ellis spoke for the board citing years of law enforcement.  He says voter approval of the measure would harm Colorado's reputation.

Montrose County is moving ahead with upgrades to the Justice Center, using some creative methods to save money.  Facilities director Ken Norris tells The Montrose Daily Press the state has ordered the county to add two courtrooms and that's being done by moving some offices to an annex building, and remodeling existing space.  Norris says the project should be finished by next spring. He says the county will save money by re-using material taken from the current space, like ceilings, doors and floor coverings.

More students than ever are attending Colorado Mesa University.  The enrollment count as of Tuesday shows more than 9,000 students.  CMU President Tim Foster tells The Daily Sentine growth has slowed this semester, but number of students is still up 2.3%.  He says that's a good showing considering enrollment declines are expected at other Colorado institutions.

Grand Junction city voters will have the final say in the use of property owned by Brady Trucking near the Colorado River at 27 1/2 Road.  Brady has been trying get zoning changed since the property was annexed into the city after the family-owned trucking company bought it.  The Daily Sentinel says Brady is willing to work with river interests to ensure the smallest impacts as possible on the river.  Voters will decide in April whether a zoning plan adopted in 2008 should stand.

A 22 year old Grand Junction man faces six years in prison in a drunk driving crash on the Colorado National Monuement earlier this year.  Timothy Tyler pled guilty yesterday to vehicular assault while DUI and other charges.  The Daily Sentinel says Tyler was speeding at the east entrance to the Monument last May when the car went over an embankment seriously injuring three people. His speed was estimated at 80 miles an hour in a 25 mile an hour zone.

The City of Fruita wants to improve its downtown area and is looking for residents to sit on a Downtown Advisory Board. The Daily Sentinel says Fruita is a candidate city in the Colorado Main Street Program.  Community Development Director Dahna Raugh says the new board will work with business and property owners to come up with plans relating to downtown issues.

A 7-year old Pagosa Springs girl is recovering from bubonic plague at a hospital in Denver.  Sierra Jane Downing is believed to have contracted the disease from flea bites on a picnic last month. Hers is the first case of plague in Colorado since 2006.  The family found out she had plague when what was first thought to be the flu turned into a 107 degree fever and seizures.

A cabin that gained notoriety last spring when cows became trapped and died inside, is being allowed to fall apart.  The Aspen Times says the U-S Forest Service has removed a tin roof from the cabin near the Conundrum Hot Springs, leaving it to deteriorate in the 11,000 foot weather. 6 cows wandered into the cabin and froze to death.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Wednesday September 5, 2012

Colorado has confirmed two deaths from West Nile virus this summer, both in Montrose County. The county has recorded six cases of the viruse so far.  The Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta says about 1% of those infected develop a severe illness like encephalitis, inflammation of the brain. One in five cases results in less severe West Nile Fever.  Both of the deaths in Montrose County were from encphalitis.  Colorado had 33 confirmed cases of West Nile through the end of August.

Colorado's energy industry is seeing improvements.  Federal mineral lease payments and severance taxes amount to about $62 million, $8 million more than last year.  The Department of Local Affairs says the money is being split among 500 counties, local governments and school districts.  According to the Daily Sentinel, communities in Mesa and Garfield counties, with the most industry workers, mines, well permits and industry production, will get higher distributions.

Mesa County Commissioner Craig Meis has paid a $78.50 fine for lighting a fire in a charcoal grill during this summer's statewide fire ban.  Meis was ticketed June 30th in Chaffee County, and reports in the Daily Sentinel suggested Meis may have tried to get out of paying.  The paper today says Meis appeared in court in Chaffee County  yesterday, pleaded guilty and was ordered to pay $78.50 in fines and court costs.

It'll be  awhile before neighbors in Delta County hear whether two cage-free egg-laying operations will be allowed to operate there.  A public hearing eysterday included pros and cons, and in the end the Delta County Commissioners decided to wait before making a decision.  The Daily Sentinel says Edwin Hostetler received approval last year for two operations in the county and has one up and running on Powell Mesa.  The case was sent back to the commissioners after a district court judge said more public testimony should be taken.

Commissioners in Garfield County have recinded an oil shale resolution drafted after a meeting with other entities in Utah.  Two environmental groups and a Battlement Mesa man filed suit last week, calling the resolution illegal.  According to The Daily Sentinel, GarCo commissioners yeseterday admitted public notice was not given before the Utah meeting and the resolution should be revoked.

A Garfield County paving company has gotten the go ahead to operate a contractor's yard near the Garfield County Airport, in spite of complaints by a nearby organic farm.  The Glenwood Post says a hearing yesterday resulted in approval by the county commissioners for Bedrock Resources to stockpile recycled asphalt and concrete material, with crushing operations limited to four weeks a year during the non-growing season.

Powderhorn is hoping you'll be more likely to buy a season pass with new partnerships with Aspen Skiing Company, Steamboat and Telluride Ski Resorts, and others. If you buy a season pass before November 15th, you'll have a chance to cash-in with lower prices at other ski areas.  The details are on the Powderhorn website.

When you take a ride up Vail Mountain this ski season, you might feel more like you're in an RV than a gondola.  The new Gondola One is replacing the Vista Bahn Express lift and set to open When the resort opens in November.  The Vail Daily says it'll be the fastest gondola in the world, carrying ten passengers per cabin which include heated seats and Wi-Fi.

Chevron is helping pay for this summer's Pine Ridge Fire with a $20,000 donation, 10-thousand to the BLM for re-seeding in partnership with the CMU Water Center, and 10-thousand to the Mesa County Wildland Fire Team.  Chevron's Rocky Mountain Area manager says they hope the donation will help support the local agencies, providing essential equipment and training, and protecting the Colorado River watershed.

One 2012 Presidential Debate is being held in Denver October 3rd, and while tickets to that may be hard to come by, Rocky Mountain PBS is offering an alternative. They're holding a "Debate Watch" with History Colroado, The Civic Canoipy and DU's Institue for Public Policy Studies. Participants will watch the debate on TV feed, then take part in a panel discussion with a diverse group including former U-S Senator Hank Brown and former Governor Dick Lamm.

Montrose County Partners are getting ready for their 2nd Annual Benefit Pistol Shoot.  It's Saturday at the San Juan Shooting Range, hosted by the Montrose Police Department.  Individuals and teams are encouraged to enter for cash prizes. Call Paul Miller at the San Juan Shooting Range for information.

The Western Slope Conservative Alliance is holding an informational meeting with candidates or their representatives from Federal, State and Local races.  It's a forum rather than a debate, with candidates giving a short presentation about themselves.  The meeting is at the Grand Junction City Auditorium Thursday night at 6:30.

Mountain lion harvest limits, raptor importation guidelines, crossbows during archery season...just a few of the items on the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission agenda in Glenwood Springs this week.  Finances and strategic priorities are on tap tomorrow, with a laundry list of action Friday.  The meetings are open to the public, with agendas available on the CPW website.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Tuesday September 4, 2012

Are you registered to vote? It's easier than ever now by going online with mobile devices. Secretary of State Scott Gessler says voters can complete a number of applications, including registering, requesting and tracking mail ballots, and updating their information. Just go to

If you thought gas prices were higher over the weekend, you're right. says the average price has gone up more than 3 cents a gallon in the past week, to $3.53/gal. A sister website,, says prices are expected to stablize and even go down over the next several weeks with the introduction of cheaper-to-produce winter fuels.

Colorado Mesa University is moving ahead with plans for a "body farm", with a new director of the Forensic Investigation Research Station.  The Daily Sentinel says  Melissa Conner is heading up the development of the site near 32 Road and Highway 50. The idea is to study the decomposition of bodies in the high altitude desert for criminal and archeological situations.  Classes are being designed now for a forensic anthropology minor at CMU, to complement law enforcement and archeology degrees.

Stats aren't in for the Colorado State Patrol's final weekend of the Heat Is On drunk driving enforcement, but even before the weeknd, DUI arrests were up 40% compared with last summer.  Trooper Josh Lewis tells the Denver Post, even though there were more drunk-driving arrests this summer than last year, there were fewer deaths caused by drunken drivers.

The family of a Montrose woman who died last week says she died of complications from West Nile virus.  An obituary in the Montrose Daily Press says Dorothy "Irish" Meaker died Wednesday, days before her 87th birthday. The Montrose County Coroner told the paper he couldn't confirm the death was due to West Nile.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife has lifted a voluntary ban on fishing in the Yampa River.  The ban lasted more than 2 months as water levels through Steamboat Springs dropped, and tempuratrues in the river climbed. CPW says fishing resumed Saturday with flies and lures only, and all fish returned to the water unharmed.

Delta County Commissioners are holding a public hearing this afternoon on a proposal for two cage-free egg farms.  Neighbors in the area of the farms in Powell Mesa and Redlands Mesa say one farm already in operation is making them sick.  9-News says a judge has turned back an earlier approval by the commissioners, saying additional finding are needed on issues including compatibility with neighborhoods and effects on property values.

Garfield County Commissioenrs today are getting a second look at a plan by Bedrock Resources, an asphalt and paving company, to operate a contractor's yard near an organic farm east of the Garfield County Airport in Rifle.  According to the Glenwood Post, the farm says the operation could hurt its status as Organic...Bedrock says it's changed its plans to reduce the amount of emissions at the site.