Friday, October 26, 2012

Friday October 26, 2012

A serious reminder of using caution while driving in snow and ice.  The State Patrol says a man was seriously injured around 5:30 yesterday when he lost control of his pickup pulling a trailer on I-70 at Vail Pass. It spun and hit a station wagon. The driver of the pickup and two passengers were taken to hospitals, one passenger in critical condition. The other driver was not injured. The patrol says snowy icy conditions appear to have been the cause.

If there was any doubt about how important the state of Colorado is to the Presidential candidates, they're putting it to rest.  President Obama, coming off a stop in Denver Wednesday has now planned a stop for next Tuesday in Colorado Springs.

The number of people who have voted early or by mail in Mesa County is up to 23,000, nearly 31% of all active voters.  There are five early voting polling places right now.  There will be ten polling places the day of the election November 6th. More information on the Mesa County Clerk's website.

All kinds of Presidential polls are coming out and right now, a number of them show the President and Mitt Romney in a dead heat 48-to-48%. This information gathered from an NBC News poll and NBC/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll.

The Colorado State Patrol is beginning its Halloween DUI enforcement tonight at 6:00 and continuing through November 1st at 3am. Historically October is one of the deadliest months for alcohol-related traffic crashes, 10 people killed last year and 17 in 2010.
100 agencies across the state, including Grand Junction Police are taking part in saturation patrols and DUI checkpoints.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife are reminding hunters to make sure they know what animal they're shooting at, especially during the busiest hunting season of the year.  The Division is making it even easier to identify the differences between elk and moose through a video posted on their website.

If you  purchase drugs over the Internet or by telephone, the DEA says "watch out for a scam".  Criminals call victims and identify themselves as DEA agents and claim the purchases are illegal and enforcement action will be taken unless they pay a fine. The DEA says it's an old scam making its way back to the Rocky Mountains.  They say no DEA agency will never contact members of the public by telephone to demand money or any form of payment.

A bill signed into law last April makes it more difficult to charge a youth as an adult, and the 17 year old suspect in the killing of Jessica Ridgeway will likely be the first high-profile teenage defendant to test the law.  According to the Denver Post, the law revered the ability for DAs to file adult charges directly, requiring a reverse transfer from juvenile court. Mesa County DA Pete Hautzinger fought the bill, calling it a waste of money.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Tuesday October 23, 2012

Police in Denver say they have evidence linking the kidnap and murder of Jessica Ridgeway to the attempted abduction of a jogger in Westminster.  Police say in that case, the woman said a man attempted to cover her face with a chemical soaked rag, but she was able to escape.  She tells police the man was light skinned, about 18 to 30 years old with brown hair and a medium build and was about 5-6 to 5-8.

All eyes are on Colorado this campaign season, and today, Mitt Romney is joining VP running mate Paul Ryan in Colorado.  Fresh off Ryan's stop in Grand Junction yesterday, the two will meet for a rally with Kid Rock and Rodney Atkins at Red Rocks Amphitheatre.
President Obama is also in Colorado this week, with events set in Denver tomorrow.

Neighbors of two controversial egg-laying operations in Delta County are going to have to live together.  Delta County Commissioners yesterday reaffirmed their approval of the farms. Prompted by a District Court judge, The Daily Sentinel says the commissioners took a second look at the proposals, but found the applications met county criteria for the cage-free operations.

Police in Montrose have arrested a man after a report of a shot fired following a road rage type incident.  The Montrose Daily Press says 19 year old Victor Alfonso Saldana Garcia was arrested after the incident Sunday night. Police Chief Tom Chinn said Garcia was driving next to two men, exchanged hand gestures, then pulled into the Sports Authority parking lot where a shot was fired. No one was injured, Garcia was arrested on suspicion of Felony Assault and other charges.

If you haven't made up your mind who to vote for for President, don't worry, there's still two weeks of heavy campaigning.  In Grand Junction yesterday, Republican VP candidate Paul Ryan rallied a full house at CMU's Brownson Arena before the final presidential debate last night. Ryan joins up with Mitt Romney later today at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison with Kid Rock and Rodney Atkins for a rally.  Colorado is at the top of the swing states where both candidates are trying to get the independent and undecided voters.  Obama has appearances set in Denver tomorrow.

Whether you're voting at home or at the ballot box, Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Sheila Reiner and Tom Doran of Mack are encouraging you to double check your vote. The Daily Sentinel says Doran was voting at an early-voting site yesterday, when he found his vote came back wrong when he checked it.  The machine was taken off line.

A 45 year old Grand Junction woman who admitted trying to kill her husband in order to collect his 401(k), has been sentenced to 24 years in prison, the judge's maximum term available. Deone Graham suspected her husband was having an affair and poisoned his whiskey in an attempt to make his death look like a suicide.  the husband is recovering.

The wife of a man who killed a Limon Police Office in March of 2011 has been sentenced to 19-months in jail, but after credit for time spent, will spend no more time behind bars.  Jackie Hasty pleaded guilty this month to reckless manslaughter in the murder of 27 year old Officer Jay Sheridan.  Sheridan had gone to the Hasty home to arrest Jackie's husband Dennis for failure to register as a sex offender. Jackie didn't tell the officer Dennis was armed and hiding in a bedroom and let him inside where he was killed.  Dennis Hasty committed suicide.

Paonia Reservoir is extremely low, so Colorado Parks and Wildlife is working to restore the fishery there.  They're treating the remaining water to get rid of northern pike which threaten native fish downstream in the Gunnison River.  They'll restock next spring with catchable size rainbow trout.

C-DOT is getting involved with the National Weather Service's Winter Weather Awareness Week, with some tips of they're own... encouraging motorists to prepare for travel in the high country. All kinds of emergency preparedness information is available at

Drivers through Delta getting ready for a big construction project at Highway 50 and 92, all to improve access to a new convenience store on the northeast corner.  Maverik is paying for the project to provide dual westbound left-turn lanes and access to a new store. A detour is in place with flaggers controlling movement throughout the project scheduled to be finished November 11th

Monday, October 22, 2012

Ryan in GJ Details

Paul Ryan Attends Victory Event And Debate Watch Party In Colorado On Monday

Boston, MA – On Monday, Paul Ryan will attend a Victory event and debate watch party at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction, Colorado. The following event is open to the press. Paul Ryan will hold additional events in Colorado on Monday. Details to follow in a subsequent media advisory.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Event:                        Paul Ryan Attends Grand Junction Victory Event and Debate Watch Party  

Location:                  Colorado Mesa University
                                    1100 North Avenue
                                    Grand Junction, Colorado

Doors Open:            3:00 PM MDT

Invite Time:              5:00 PM MDT

Program Time:        6:00 PM MDT

Tickets:                     Tickets may be picked up at the following location during the following times:

Mesa County Victory Center
1114 N First Street
Grand Junction, CO 81501

Friday to Monday from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM

Tickets may also be obtained by visiting

Monday October 22, 2012

The most information to date has been release in a July 2011 crime spree ending with the killing of 31 year old Jorge Carrasco.  According to the Daily Sentinel, Prosecutors say gang members on the run from a murder in California ended up in Grand Junction where the met a friend, Lester Miranda Davis and agreed to rob to two businesses and two homes to get guns in order to commit a gangland style killing.  Prosecutors say 21 year old Jaime Cardenas, and 25 year old Fidel Silva, both of California committed the Grand Junction murder and remain at large.  Davis, of Clifton, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, menacing and robbery for his involvement and will sentenced next month.  21 year old Christian Fuentes was arrested in Denver and is being held in the Mesa County Jail under a $1.5 million bond.

Mitt Romney started it all with a speech in Grand Junction early last summer, President Obama followed with an event of his own in August, now Republican Vice Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan is coming to town.  He's hosting a debate watch party at CMU for the final presidential debate. Doors open at 3:15 for a scheduled 5:15 presentation before the debate at 7.

If District 51 parents want to know what's going on at their kids' schools, There's an app for that.  The Daily Sentinel says the district's tried everything from letters, emails, website postings and online notifications, but reached only a 7% read rate.  The new app launched by Palisade High School counselor Jonathan Burke gets a 95% read rate. District officials say they'll continue other modes of communications but just reaching out in another way.

A Grand Jucntion homeowner has been denied payment for damage to his home from flooding blamed on several factors, including a lack of maintanance to a nearby bridge.  The Daily Sentinel says the home apparently sits in a flood plain, not in place when he bought his home in the Paradise Hills subdivision. One city councilman is calling for new flood plain maps and Work is being done on the bridge.

Arapahoe Basin ski area opened last week, and Loveland is planning to open tomorrow.  Both areas are reporting 18 inch bases.

Backers of a proposal to legalize marijuana in Colorado have spent more than $3 million so far.  The Denver Post says that compares with just $433,000 by Smart Colorado, the group in opposition...51% of that coming from out-of-state.  The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol's largest single donor is from San Francisco.

Colorado gas prices have fallen 5 cents a gallon in the past week, with the average now $3.61/gal.  Nationall the average has fallen 9 cents/gal to $3.67. says it's the first week in the last few years the national average has fallen so significantly.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Friday October 19, 2012

3rd District Congressman Scott Tipton is in Durango Sunday for a high-dollar fundraiser.  Spreaker John Boehner is the special guests.  Tickets go for as high as $2,500 to $250.  That'll get you anything from a VIP Roundtable and reception, to the reception alone.

It pays to play again.  Just ask Michael Cudahy from Lakewood.  He entered a non-winning scratch lottery ticket and won $250,000 in the second chance drawing. The Colorado lottery holds second-chance drawings for 8 different scratch games.

The Grand Junction Housing Authority is re-opening its Housing Choice Voucher Program waiting list Monday. The waiting list was closed in March due to the length of the list and need to purge the list.  Voucher applications are available on-line at, or at the Housing Authority office on 10th Street.

The Montrose Memorial Hospital  will remain under a lease to a private corporation, MMH Inc. A state appeals court made the ruling yesterday, saying the hospital board did nothing wrong when it made the lease. County Commissioners said the lease process led to a dramatic change in governance of the hospital to a private non-profit.. transferring all cash assets and leaving no authority to the county-appointed trustee.

Palisade is the place to go for tourists.  Competing with cities in states like California and New York, Palisade was just ranked #9 Nationally.  The new will be featured in an upcoming issue of Men's Journal.

A Mesa County jury has found a Montrose man guilty of selling fake meteorites.  59 year old Steven Curry said he was the victim of a bizarre conspiracy of scientists, meteorite experts. According to the Daily Sentinel, the jury found Curry guilty of misdemeanor counts of theft, fraud and criminal simulation.

More restrictions on Colorado National Monument races.  The US Bank rim Rock Marathon this year will include only the full 26.2 mile run...the half marathon cancelled after monument staff said it could make it harder for other monument guests to view the site.  In past years, relay teams were allowed to have one person run half way, and another to finish the race.  Organizers tell The Daily Sentinel they've cancelled that portion to avoide a conflict with the park.

The City of Fruita is looking at alot of capital construction next year, with $3.5 million in capital projects in the 2013 budget.  The Daily Sentinel says projects in that total include the Pine Stree corridor, with a complex widening project including pedestrian improvements.  Some Riverfront Trail projects are included, along with $100,000 in downtown upgrade.

Grand Junction parks and rec is starting installation of the outdoor arboretum at Lincoln Park tomorrow.  Eagle scout candidate Ryan Gibb and a goup of volunteers will be putting in over 40 posts for signs in front of trees selected to be a part of the new arboretum.  The work is part of the Lincoln park redevelopment including new sidewalks, and an accessible play area.

The US Department of Interior has awarded the state of Colorado and others in the Cooperating Partners in conservation for their study on preserving the Colorado River basin.  The study addresses future supply and demand issues in the river basin.  The final report on the basin study is to be published at the end of November.

C-DOT's reminding drivers to use caution in October and November in areas where wildlife may be migrating to winter habitats.  Data shows wildlife vehicle crashes have gone down since 2006, with experts citing the creation of wildlife zones where speed limits are lowered at night, for the decline in accidents.

Mesa County Crime Stoppers is looking for suspects who vandalized the restrooms at Columbine park.  They damaged multiple fixtures resulting in $2,000 in damages.  It happened sometime between 3 and 10 last Thrusday october 11th.  You could be eligible for a reward up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest.

C-DOT's reminding drivers to use caution in October and November in areas where wildlife may be migrating to winter habitats.  Data shows wildlife vehicle crashes have gone down since 2006, with experts citing the creation of wildlife zones where speed limits are lowered at night, for the decline in accidents.

Mesa County Crime Stoppers is looking for suspects who vandalized the restrooms at Columbine park.  They damaged multiple fixtures resulting in $2,000 in damages.  It happened sometime between 3 and 10 last Thrusday october 11th.  You could be eligible for a reward up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest.

The Colorado State Patrol has released the data from their most recent commercial vehicle chain possession check.  State law requires commercial vehicles to carry chains from September 1st thru May 31st on I-70 between Dotsero and Morrison.  checks east of vail on I-70 showed 72% of commercial traffic had chains on board in August, nearly 98% compliant in September and October.

College undergrads, grad students, and recent graduates interested in a career in politics should get their resume ready.  Senator Michael Bennett is accepting internship applications for his Washington DC and Colorado offices for spring 2013 internships.  Interships are available in Grand Junction, and several other cities in the state.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Thursday October 18, 2012

A 48 year old man who pled guilty to killing another man in a Colorado River encampment near the Pepsi bottling plant last year has been sentenced to 22 years in prison.  The Daily Sentinel says Daniel Warner admitted killing 47 year old Richard Nelson with a hatchet.  The judge in the case called an extremely brutal crime.

An 18 year old Grand Junction pleading guilty to torturing and killing his mother's dog last year will not spend time in prison, instead serving probation and community corrections.  The judge in the case says sending Joseph Nelson to prison would interfere with him getting substance abuse and mental health treatment.

Crime Stoppers of Garfield county is looking for information on a robbery that occurred early Monday morning at the Subway in rifle.  There are no known suspects, and  Rifle Police and crime stoppers are offering up to a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.

Two man-caused fires have been reported in the White River National Forest prompting more warnings from forest officials. District ranger Ken Coffin is urging hunters to be extra careful with fires.  Conditions are dry and ripe for wild fires.  Although two fires started Tuesday were small, Coffin says the 257 acre Middle Elk Fire north of New Castle last month closed the area to all entry until Tuesday. It also was human caused.

Colorado Special Olympics is more than $61,000 richer after a statewide Tip-a-Cop event at Red Robin restaurants.  Officers working the Rd Robin in Grand Juntion also gained bragging rights for having raised $5,500, more than any other restaurant in the state.

The Grand Junction Parade of Lights has a new title sponsor, Sorter Construction. Sorter says the annual holiday event attracts thousands to downtown and is a perfect fit for the business since it was the contractor on Phase Two of the Downtown Uplift, completed in June of last year.  MBC Grand Broadcasting continues as the media sponsor of the Parade December 1st.

The Western Slope Conservative Alliance is having a bonus meeting tonight at Grand Junction City Hall with the Heritage Foundation's Dr. James Carafano as their special guest. Carafano will talk about the instability in the Middle East, the murders of Americans in Libya and effects on military and defense budget cuts. The meeting is free and starts at 6:30.  
[for more info go to ]

The Montrose county Health Department is holding a flu clinic at the HHS building tomorrow from 7:30 to 3:30.  Free Tdap vaccines will also be available, part of the statewide compaign to stop the spread of whooping cough.  The Flu Shots are $25 to $35 depending on the type, and several insurance companies offer free coverage.

They're testing the latest in mountain biking, 30 bikes in all, very close to home.  Fruita.  Editors of Bike Magazine have been in Fruita for a couple of weeks, profiling the area for its annual Gear Review.  The cover and spread will feature singletrack and a mix of riding to test the new bikes.  The Daily Sentinel says the city of Fruita also gets a 4-to-6 page spread featuring everything from GPS coordinates for rides, to tips on where to eat.

Two subdivisions in La Plata County have been evacuated in two wild fires fanned by high winds threatened the area southeast of Mancos and near the Vallecito Reservoir. The first fire is in the same area affected by the 10,000 acre Weber fire in June and July, 20 homes have been evacuated there.  The Denver Post says another 40 homes have been evacuated near Vallecito.  Both fires are believed started by lightning.

Opponents of the pot legalizing Amendment 64 says passage of the amendment could lead to more bad than good for the state.  In a debate co-hosted by the Denver Post and 9-News, opponents say the measure would attract illegal-drug dealers, hurt Colorado's brand among businesses and bring unwanted marijuana tourists. One proponent on the other hand says there's no evidence 64 would harm the state's business climate and marijuana-motivated visitors would be welcome.

Veterans Events courtesy of Greg Merschel

Veterans Day Events:

-          October 13th, 2012           3rd Annual Food Drive to Support Local Veterans/ Motorcycle Kick Off Ride                                         10:00 am
Citadel Security and Investigation LLC is sponsoring the “3rdAnnual Food Drive to Support Local
Veterans” in part with Pepsi, The Home Depot, Moses Leather Company, Harley Davison
Motorcycles, and All Sports Honda. In past years this food drive has been successful in providing
food for struggling veterans and their families in the local and surrounding communities.

There will be a motorcycle kick off ride held on Oct. 13, 2012 starting at the Grand Junction
Vet Center to show support for this event and our local veteran’s. Your donation of canned
and non-perishable food items will help feed local veterans and their families during the holidays.
Donations will be accepted from October 13th to December 3rd, 2012 and can be dropped off at the
Grand Junction Vet Center at 2472 F Road Unit 16, Grand Junction, CO 81505.

The Grand Junction Vet Center provides free readjustment counseling and outreach to all
veterans and their families. These services are provided in a comfortable, confidential, secure
and private environment. The Vet Center also provides help for local veterans with finding resources
that are available to them. For any questions regarding the local food drive or the Grand Junction
-          October 17th, 2012           Mesa County Veterans Upward Bound, cost free for Eligible Veterans                                                    10:00 am
Interested in returning to school and want more information come b y the
Vet Center 2472 F Road Unit #16.  POC is Valorie Maes(970) 256-2465
-          October 27th, 2012           Halloween Dance Salute to the Troops, hosted by OI, VFW 1247 Post 1404 Ute Ave. at                    7:00 pm
Costumes optional, there will be a chocolate baking contest, silent auction, door prizes,
Costume contest.  $15 per person or $25 per couple, ask about military discount.  For more
Information or to sign up for baking contest call (970) 523-4217.
-          October 30th, 2012           Grand Junction VA Medical Center Parks Pass Distribution in the Main Lobby                                      9:00 am
for disabled veterans from 9 to 11.
-          November 2nd, 2012        Veterans Stand Down, First Congregational Church, 1425 North 5th St. at                                                9:00 am
Across from GJ High School. Services will include basic medical, haircuts, VA Health Care,
Job search assistance, hot meal, DOD clothing and more.  Transportation will be provided
Free by the Grand Valley Transit.  Eligibility is open to all Veterans who need assistance any
Questions please contact Lisa Strauss at (970) 242-7301and ask for Homeless Coordinator.
-          November 9th, 2012        Cookie Distribution main Lobby Provided by Choice Hotels 11:30 to 1                                                       11:30 am
-          November 9th, 2012        Military Ball hosted by SVA at Colorado Mesa University, Two Rivers Convention Center at                 6:00 pm
-          November 10th, 2012      1PM, Parking Lot at R-5 High School.  Veterans Day Parade.  EMail for an application.  No entry fee.  Veterans paid the price of Freedom.                                                                                                                                                   
-          November 11th, 2012      Fleet Reserve Organization will host a Wreath Ceremony at the Blue Heron Boat Ramp                  9:00 am
In the Redland parkway.  POC is Jim Tarr (970) 778-0232
-          November 11th, 2012      Veterans Day Ceremony, Western Slope Vietnam War Memorial Park in Fruita at                             11:00 am
-          November 11th, 2012      VFW Post 3981 State Color Guard will be conducting a Flag Retirement at the Commons                1 pm
-          November 11th, 2012      The Veterans Day Salute is presented by the Intermediate students to honor the
veterans of the United States of America.  The students and faculty work hard for many
weeks to present a very touching, superb presentation to express their gratitude to the
members of all our armed services.
-          November 11th, 2012      VFW Post 3981 State Color Guard will be conducting a Flag Retirement at the Fountains                 2:30 pm
-          November 12th, 2012      12th Annual Golden Corral Military Appreciation Day at                                                                                   5:00 pm
-          November 12th, 2012      Shelledy Elementary School 3rd Grade Music Program, “I Love America” Fruita Civic Center                1:00 pm
-          November 14th, 2012      Cookie Distribution Main Lobby Provided by the American Legion 11:30 to 1                                        11:30 am
-          November 15th, 2012      Salvation Army big push for Turkeys
-          November 30th, 2012      Salvation Army Coat Drive Ends at Nick and Willies
-          December 1st, 2012         Salvation Army Harley Ride
-          December 8th, 2012         Salvation Army Stuff the Truck at Wal-Mart
-          December 11th, 2012       CLC Toys for Tots presentation by HHV                                                                                                                  10:30 am
-          December 12th, 2012       Cookie Distribution Main Lobby Provided by the American Legion 11:30 to 1                                        11:30 am
-          December 15th, 2012       Wreaths Across America hosted by Patriot Guard Riders, Veteran Memorial Cemetery at                 1:00 pm
-          December 19/20, 2012   Salvation Army Holiday Food Box Distribution

           Semper Fi
George Delahanty, MA
Readjustment Counselor
Vet Center
2472 F Road Unit #16
Grand Junction, CO 81505
(970)245-4156 Office

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Wednesday October 17, 2012

Draft management plans for deer in the Gunnison Basin are available for review on the Colorado Parks and Wildlife website.  The three plans are the result of comments from hunters and others interested in deer in that area over the summer, and address 5 different herds. The plans will be posted on the CPW website until November 16th.

The  District 51 School Board has passed a resolution opposing Amendment 64 which would decriminalize possession of marijuana.  The Grand Junction City Council and Mesa County Commissioners have also adopted resolutions against the Amendment.

There could be another charter school in District 51.  Superintendent Steve Shultz says the district has received an application for the school called Juniper Ridge, which would use the Waldorf curriculum. The Waldorf website says academics are de-emphasized in the early years of schooling.  Schultz says the review process begins today, with regular updates to the board throughout the process.

Plently of winter weather in the high country overnight with chain laws on and off on I-70 through the mountains.  The final chain law, eastbound to the Eisenhower Tunnel was dropped around 4:30 this morning.

The 2013 budget in Montrose County will look quite a bit different from this year.  It's 7.4% lower, but has several provisions to put the county on more solid ground.  The Montrose Daily Press says there's money for possible merit raises for high performing employees for the first time in four years.  Sales tax collections are also expected to increase, signaling an improvement in the local economy.

The use of plastic grocery bags in Montrose isn't about to be taxed or outlawed soon, but the city council says it encourages a community move to discourage use of the bags.  The Montrose Daily Press says Aspen, Carbondale and Telluride have all banned use of the bags, but council in Montrose agrees a private effort to "discourage" use of the bags is best for their community.

Two Tennessee men have had their hunting privileges suspended for five years after pleading guilty to killing a bear out of season and throwing it off a cliff.  Both received deferred prison sentences and were ordered to pay fines, and donate a total of $10,000 to the Operation Game Thief tip line.

Republican House District 54 candidate Jared Wright is raising a lot of money in his race against Libertarian Tim Menger.  According to the Daily Sentinel, Wright has raised nearly $3,000 in the last two weeks, despite reports of bankruptcy and the loss of his job as a Fruita police officer.  in all, Wright has raised more than $18,000, spending most of it. Menger has raised no money and says he won't.  He does have a facebook page, and a 14 minute video on YouTube.

Former Grand Junctio nPolice officer and firefighter Eric Janusz has been arrested in Fruita after a domestic violence call.  Janusz is free on bond on charges of sexual assault on a child, and scheduled for trial next year. He was arrested Friday on suspicion of harassment, tampering, and domestic violence.

A Denver Medical Marijuana dispensary owner and two associates have pleaded guilty to trying to sell nearly 200 pounds of high-grade marijuana to an undercover officer.  The Denver Post says the three were arrested in a sting last December- and when they were arrested, the pot had an estimated $1 million street value.  Sentencing is in January.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tuesday October 16, 2012

Mesa County's looking to stablize after three years of budget cuts with no significant spending decreases or increases.  Spokeswoman Jessica Peterson says resources are still tight, but there are some bright spots.  The proposed 2013 budget is just over $154.5 million, a 3.4% increase over 2012.

About 13 jobs lost during the economic downturn in Grand Junction may be  reinstated, including two police officer positions, and jobs in admin, parks and rec, utilities and the fire department.  City Council is looking at next year's budget and also has money set aside for the Pear Park Fire Station, the Avalon Theater renovation and 22 Road realignment at U-S 6. The budget's to be adopted in December.

Almost 2 million ballots are headed to voters in the state. And with ballots coming in daily, the Colorado Secretary of State's Office is following the rate of return and will begin posting those Friday.  Voters can still use the go vote colorado website to update their address, find early voting centers and to review their district information.

The Grand Junction Lions Club is accepting applications for funding from their annual carnival.  The Lions expect to give away another $100,000 this year through the Community Betterment Committee.  The application is available at, under the CBC link.  Applications are due by the end of the month.

A Denver man has been idicted by a federal grand jury for failing to pay over $2.5 million in federal income, social security and medicare taxes collected from employees. 62 year old Lucilious Ward operated Global Access and collected the payments from the employees, but kept them for himself.  If convicted, Ward faces more than $1 million in fines and 5 years in federal prison.

Colorado residents now have a new destination for information on water quatlity.  The colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission's water sample database is now available on the agency's website.  It's one of the largest collections of water quality data in the state.  You can find it on the commission's website.

Home sales jumped up 10 to 12 percent in 2012 over last year in Colorado.  The Denver Post though says credit restrictions are still making it tough for new home builders to finance new projects.  Nationally, home sales are up 8 percent.

Four Pueblo City Schools have had federal grant funding taken away from 4 middle schools for low performance.  The Pueblo Chieftain says the cuts will cost the schools more than $2  million this year.  State ed officials say the schools were warnd about loswing the funding without improvement.  Only one other school in the state, Gilpin Elementary in Denver, had its grant money suspended.

Foreclosure filings in the Roaring Fork Valley are down in the third quarter of the year.  According to the Aspen Times, foreclosures in the first half of the year predicted a record number for the year on the whole, but the 3rd quarter numbers have changed that.  One

The special master of the Aurora Victim Relief Fund has rleased the amounts victims of the movie theater shooting will received.  According to the Denver Post, the victims seem resigned to the amounts.  The families of the 12 killed and three who sustained brain damage or paralysis during the July 20th shooting, will receive 70% of the almost $5 million in donations, roughly $200,000 each.  Those hospitalized will split the remaining $1.5 million.  The money is expected to be paid out by Thanksgiving.

The special master of the Aurora Victim Relief Fund has rleased the amounts victims of the movie theater shooting will received.  According to the Denver Post, the victims seem resigned to the amounts.  The families of the 12 killed and three who sustained brain damage or paralysis during the July 20th shooting, will receive 70% of the almost $5 million in donations, roughly $200,000 each.  Those hospitalized will split the remaining $1.5 million.  The money is expected to be paid out by Thanksgiving.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Monday October 15, 2012

A quick reminder to make sure chimneys and fireplaces are cleaned for the coming winter season.  Grand Junction firefighters were able to put out an apparent fireplace fire yesterday morning after a family reported smoke in their home on Little Park Drive.  The fire and damage were considered moderate and containment to the fireplace area and ceiling above.

The Board of Mesa county Commissioners this morning is set to consider a new tax rebate.  A resolution on the consent agenda says the board will adopt a policy establishing a tax rebate for new businesses opening facilities--and for existing business that expand--in Mesa County.

The ballot's in the mail...mail-in ballots for the November election are being mailed out beginning today.  Close to 78% of eligible voters in Mesa County can expect their ballots this week.  The Daily Sentinel says voters who've requested mail-in ballots and haven't received them by the end of the week should contact the county clerk's office.  5 early voting centers around the county will open October 22nd.

The Colorado State Patrol has released the name of a woman killed in a crash on Highway 50 Friday.  23 year old Amanda Lynn Chavez died when her car crossed the center line and median and hit an oncoming car.  The Mesa County Coroner says lack of a seat belt and speed are considered factors in the crash.

A new Denver Post poll shows Amendment 64 to legalize limited possession of marijuana in Colorado continues to lead, but that lead has dropped below 50% support.  Among likely voters, the poll shows 48% in support, 43% opposed.

Gas prices are down again this week in Colorado.  It's the same old thing though, they're down less than 2 cents. says the average is now $3.68 a gallon.  National gas prices were down about a penny more than Colorado's, putting the national average about 20 cents a gallon higher than this time last year.

Mesa county sheriff's investigators apparently looking into a shooting Saturday night at Infinity Night Club at 30 Road and North Avenue.  The Daily Sentinel says a female victim and the person who shot her were taken to area hospitals.

Investigators in Westminster are doing all they can to find a suspect in the abduction and murder of 10 year old Jessica Ridgeway last week.  Officials say they're following all tips, and expect some false alarms.  A report of an attempted abduction of a 13 year old boy in Golden turned out to be a misunderstanding, but investigators say they want to receive any and all tips that could be related to the Ridgeway case.

The timing was eerie. A reported child abduction in Cody, WY the same day Jessica Ridgeway was reported missing in Colorado. Now investigators say a man has been arrested in that case in Montana and the case has no ties to the kidnapping and murder of Jessica. Police in Westminster tell The Denver Post they're scouring the crime scene, saying that can tell them alot about the killer.

 A mountain lion believed to have killed five sheep near Cortez has been put down by wildlife officers.  They  tell The Cortez Journal a dead sheep was used as bait. the lion trapped and then euthanized last Thursday.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Friday October 12, 2012

Garfield County Authorities have released the name of a man killed early Wednesday morning in a crash on County Road 319.  26 year old Eric Jensen of Palisade crashed into a Jeep Cherokee driven by Justin Robinson of Rifle, Jensen died at the scene. The State patrol is still investigating but says it appears excessive speed was a possible factor in the crash.

Mesa County Law Enforcement are making it easy to donate to Special Olympics with a Tip-a-Cop event tomorrow at Red Robin.  Officers from several agencies are turning in their badges for aprons, acting as wait staff and collecting tips as donations.  They'll be at the Grand Junction restaurant from 11 to 8:00 tomorrow.

Colorado Senator Mark Udall is hosting a Twitter Town Hall on Renewable Energy.  The idea is to answer constituents' questions about renewable energy and the role it plays for our environmental, military and economic future.  The Twitter event is next Tuesday with information on the Senator's official website.

United Way of Mesa County is teaming up with downtown Grand Junction businesses for a fundraiser tomorrow and Sunday. with stores and restaurants donating a portion of their earnings to the organization.  Shoppers can win prizes in the stores they visit and register to win a room with a view: a one night stay at the Spring Hill Suites with a view of the Downtown Parade of lights December 1st.

An IRS Raid on a Grand Junction dental practice this week apparently is the result of the fact the owner has no license to practice dentistry.  According to the Daily Sentinel, Colorado Community Dental owner Michael Ho doesn't possess a license, and never has been licensed to practice in any state.  The Paper says Ho has been the subject of earlier investigations and has been issued cease and desist orders prohibiting him from practicing.

Gene Taylor's Sporting Goods is liquidating, a move to make room at the giant store on West Gunnison in Grand Junction.  The Daily Sentinel says owner Tony Taylor is likening the sale to one of his father's "ultimate" sales, with prices 50 to 75% off.  The paper says everything is on sale, including fixtures, animal mounts and traditional sporting goods. No word on the future of the store.

Investigators who found a dismembered body in a field this week aren't saying the remains are those of missing ten year old Jessica Ridgeway, but they are now calling for help finding a suspect. The FBI says people should look for anyone who's made a change since their appearance, like shaving a beard or becoming incensed by constant news coverage of the event.  Investigators say an abductor could be anyone in the community and everyone should be on the lookout.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Thursday October 11, 2012 10-11-12

Authorities in Aurora are combing the scene around a collapsed building near the Pattridge Park open space where a body has been discovered.  The park is about 11 miles south of where missing 10 year old Jessica Ridgeway's backpack was found last weekend.  The Denver Post says a press conference is scheduled this morning.

A woman believed involved in a hit and run at 9th and Main early Sunday morning has died of her injuries.  The Daily Sentinel says one of their employees, 32 year old Amber Davidovich of Clifton was possibly hit by a Dodge Dakota around 2:30 Sunday morning. Friends tell the paper Davidovich was an organ donor and is expected to help at least 7 people in need.

A family in Fruitvale is without a home after a fire yesterday morning.  Grand Junction fire investigators say it looks like a fire at 2937 Wellington Ave started outside in the back of the house and spread to the attic where crews had a had time knocking it down.  No one was home at the time.  Two dogs and two cats were able to escape the fire.

A 26 year old man is dead after losing control of his car on Garfield County Road 319.  The state patrol says the man's car was believed to have been speeding when it hit another vehicle headed the same direction, injuring that driver. The patrol says the man who died was not wearing his seat belt properly, the other driver was.

A man who tried to get away from police in Montrose twice Tuesday is comfortable in the Montrose County Jail now.  The Montrose Daily Press says 24 year old Anthony Mark Evans is being held on suspicion of drug distribution and possession, outstanding warrants, and resisting arrest.  Police say he tried to run when they first spotted him leading to his tasing.  Then at the hospital, he tried to run again as an officer was checking him out.  Bond has been set at $60,000.

The State Patrol's investigating a crash involving an on-duty trooper.  According to the Montrose Daily Press, 27 year old Trooper Alex Ganskow lost control of his patrol car October 4th and smashed into a pickup and trailer on Miami Road.  Neither driver was injured. Ganskow's speed is being looked at as a factor in the crash.

Grand Junction Police are warning about a new scam targeting renters.  At least one family was taken by a scammer who rented a home, collecting a security deposit and rent, but without owning the home. Sgt. Stan Ancell tells the Daily Sentinel he's heard of the situation in other areas of the country, but it's the first time he's seen it happen here.  Renters can check a variety of sources before renting a property.

More than 300 doctors have come out in support of Amendment 64 which would legalize marijuana in Colorado, a large number of law enforcement officials are out against it.  The Daily Sentinel says cops, including Mesa County Sheriff Stan Hilkey say normalizing a behavior will increase that behavior.  Proponents say the measure is an attempt to eliminate the underground market by having pot sales conducted, taxed and regulated Colorado businesses.

No appointments at Colorado Community Dental on Skyline Court today.  The Daily Sentinel says IRS agents raided the dentist's office and a home associated with the practice yesterday.  An investigator tells the Sentinel the IRS's criminal division is looking into the practice and documents in the case are sealed.

Palisade's latest Chamber of Commerce Director is Juliann Adams, who's been director of sales and community relations at the Wine Country Inn for the past four years. The Daily Sentinel says Adams's experience at the hotel and near-term goals of the chamber is obvious.  She'll become the 4th executive director of the chamber in the past two years.

The Wind turbine manufacturer Vestas Wind Systems in Brighton is laying off 75 workers.  The company cut another 120 jobs Tuesday.  The cuts are in anticipation of a federal wind production tax credit expiration.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Wednesday October 10, 2012

29 DMEA employees could lose their jobs if a 5% Tri-State Generation and transmission hike comes to pass.  The Montrose Daily Press says DMEA is working to avoid passing such a hike on to customers, but to do that they'd have to cut 10 to 15% from their operating budget. DMEA is looking at buying as much as 5% of its power from renewable sources including the South Canal hydro power project expected to come online next year. Which could help save money.  Company officials say they want to avoid layoffs and passing on rate hikes.

Three sawmills in Grand County are taking advantage of beetle kill pine and making it through a tough economy.  The state forest service says one mill cuts and peels lodge pole pine logs to produce fence posts and corral poles. A second cuts materials for pallets and other uses, and another focuses on custom decorative beams, flooring and wood paneling.  Together the mills employ 50 full-time workers and countless support workers for a vibrant spoke in Grand County's economy.

Colorado Senator Mark Udall is taking to Social Media to talk about his position on renewable energy. Next Tuesday, Udall is hosting a Twitter Town hall. Constituents can enter the discussion through Udall's congressional website then ask questions about renewable energy using hashtag AskUdall.  On Twitter, @MarkUdall will answer the questions tweeted using hashtag AskUdall. The event is next Tuesday from 1:30 to 2:30.

Mesa County has filed suit against three contractors they say were negligent in the design and construction of the county's $3 million Animal Services facility near the county landfill.  According to the Daily Sentinel, the suit describes multiple structural failures and says engineering and construction were far from proper.

More than two dozen western slope physicians have come out in support of Amendment 64 to legalize marijuana in Colorado. According to the Daily Sentinel, some of the group say they've seen numerous injuries and accidents involving alcohol and rarely such things with marijuana.  The Sentinel says more than 300 doctors in the state have endorsed Amendment 64.

Bond has been set at $1 million for a former Fruita man accused of killing a male escort in Grand Junction in August of last year.  36 year old Billy Joe Delacey was arrested in Pennsylvania last month and returned to Mesa County Monday.

Colorado's voter registration website had some problems yesterday, but the secretary of state says they were intermittent and record numbers of registered voters are expected.  Secretary of State Scott Gessler, a Republican, is expected to announce results of his large-scale voter registration effort today.

Investigators in the case of a missing 10 year old are looking at a similar case in Wyoming.  Jessica Ridgeway went missing Friday in Westminster.  Then Monday, a little girl in Cody Wyoming was taken by a man in White SUV, but later released.  Investigators tell the Denver Post they're not ruling out anything in the case.

The BLM has approved a request from Arch Coal to reduce the federal royalty rate from 8% to 5% for five years on some of its West Elk Mine operations near Somerset.  The Daily Sentinel says Governor John Hickenlooper supports the move and is backing similar temporary reductions for the Colowyo Mine near Meeker and the McClane Canyon Mine North of Fruita.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife is starting a huge re-stocking program for fish in the Colorado River below Dotsero and through Glenwood Canyon.  Thousands of fish were killed by silt and debris washed into the river by a downpour in July.  Wildlife officials say they're stocking Hofer rainbow trout which are resistant to whirling disease that can cause deformities in trout.

The BLM Grand Junction office is seeking public input on an Environmental Assesment on the modification of a federal coal lease.  McClane Canyon mine is on BLM land 18 miles north of fruita.  the company that owns the mine wants the lease boundary adjusted to access coal reserves within the lease.  The EAS is available on the BLM website for public comment.

HUD has announced nearly $1 million in grants to help 209 senior citizens and people with disabilities to receive health care, meals and other critical support services in Colorado. The grants are awarded to eligible owners of private housing developments receiving rental subsidies from HUD to house low-income individuals.

The Department of Justice, the AARP, the SEC and the Colorado Attorney General's office, the better business bureau and the cu Denver school of public affairs are teaming up to inform seniors about fraud. A summit today will cover what's being done to protect seniors from scams, red flags of investment fraud and tricks of the trade to avoid being scammed.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Tuesday October 9, 2012

A new Pew Research poll is out and shows Republican Mitt Romney leading President Obama by 49 to 45% among likely voters. KDVR in Denver called the survey the latest and strongest indication last Wednesday's debate in Denver may have been a serious setback to the president's reelection chances. Romney still trails in Ohio and if that continues, he'll need to win nearly every other battleground state to win the White House.

Grand Junction Police have released a description of a vehicle involved in a possible hit and run early Sunday.  32 year old Amber Davidovich suffered critical injuries when witnesses said a dark-colored Dodge Dakota pulled up next to her at 9th and Main, then sped away.

The Olathe Sweet Corn Festival is in limbo.  Town Trustees there not able to decide how to proceed with planning for next year.  According to the Montrose Daily Press, the festival hasn't made money since 2008 and they can't afford to foot the bill.  A work session last night centered on whether to continue bringing musical entertainment or revert to the festival's smaller, family oriented roots.

A Montrose area rancher has lost two calves to predators and says he's frustrated by the response from Colorado Parks and Wildlife.  The Montrose Daily Press says the first calf was killed September 28th on Lloyd Watson's ranch.  The second, a day later.  Watson suspects a mountain lion is responsible, but CPW believes a coyote may be to blame.  Watson says he's worried the CPW isn't taking the case seriously enough and he and other ranchers in the could lose more livestock.

A long-time Grand Junction attorney is accusing a Colorado State Trooper of threatening him during a traffic stop last May. In a letter to the Daily Sentinel and State Patrol officials, Gregory Hoskin, an attorney in Grand Junction for 47 years, said he was pulled over by motorcycle trooper Dale Smith on May 5th and got into a heated verbal exchange. Smith resigned from the patrol in July, and Hoskin's speeding ticket was not prosecuted because Smith was unavailable to testify.

Today is the last day to register to vote in the General Election, and there are a couple of ways to do it.  You can stop by a county clerks location, go to the driver's license office, or go online to and do it there.  The Daily Sentinel says Republican registrations lead the way in Colorado, but unaffiliated registrations are up about 20% since January, Democratic up 15%, and Republican registrations are up 9%.

The Western Colorado Drug Task Force is getting the job done, an arrest made early yesterday morning when an officer found 25 pounds of suspected marijuana in a car pulled over on I-70.  The Daily Sentinel says the man was pulled over for speeding in a construction zone and said he was on his way from San Jose, California to Denver.  The pot has an estimated street value between $60 and $65,000.

Investigators in the Denver area are gathering DNA from family members of a 10 year old girl missing from Westminster since last Friday.  The Denver Post says the DNA is being used to  compare with samples taken from the girl's backpack found over the weekend in Superior. Officials say they don't suspect family members in the disappearance and continuing their search in earnest.

 The city of Grand Junction is looking for input on a new, accessible playground at Lincoln Park.  A 250 thousand dollar great outdoors grant is allowing the city to replace the old playground and concrete sidewalks, add an arboretum trail, and take out the loop road. There's a public meeting a week from today at 5:30 at the Lincoln park barn.

Halloween is just a few weeks away and that means it's time to start thinking about Christmas.  The Salvation Army is accepting applications for Christmas assistance.   The salvation army's giving tree program starts soon and they are looking for businesses to host a tree.  You can get information about helping  at the salvation army office.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Monday October 8, 2012

Grand Junction Police are still looking for a suspect in a hit and run early yesterday.  A woman was hit and seriously injured in the 900 block of Main Street about 2:30 Sunday morning, but police aren't saying anything about the vehicle or circumstances of the incident. The Daily Sentinel says the victim is an employee who's worked at the paper for several years, although they have received no information either.

Downtown Montrose could start getting a new look thanks to a new loan option for business owners.  The DDA and city are teaming up to offer low-interest loans for some projects. The idea is to improve code deficiencies and even replace signage. The Montrose Daily Press says it's easy to qualify for a loan, the business has to be of commercial use and within the DDA boundaries.

Curbside recycling could be returning to Montrose.  The Montrose Daily Press says the city's found a way to make it work and make it easier for customers.  The plan is expected to be up and running sometime next year.

Grand Junction's so-called Beltway Project is at the top of the list of Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce members completing a survey on future transportation planning. 53% said completing a loop around the valley with I-70 on the north, 24 Road on the west, Riverside Parkway on the south, and 29 Road on the east with a new interchange at I-70.  The North Avenue corridor also scored high on the list of projects to be looked at.  74% of those surveyed indicated interest in continuing TABOR funding to support paying for the projects.

Mesa County Sheriff's investigators are looking for a fugitive believed to have been in the area 29 and B Roads Saturday night.  36 year old Abel Nunez has warrants out for vehicular eluding and drugs.

Crews are getting the upper hand on  the Highway 13 fire burning nearly 1,000 acres north of Rifle.  Officials say they don't expect any additional growth, but smoke may be seen from inside the fire lines.  The fire started last Wednesday and so far not cause has been listed.  the Highway 13 fire is considered 80% contained.

Gas prices in California are are record highs, but in Colorado, they're actually down 1.5 cents/gal in the past week. says the average price yesterday was $3.69/gal, nearly 28 cents higher than the same day a year ago and 10 cents higher than a month ago.

A half mile section of 24 Road is being closed for bridge replacement starting October 22nd.  Mesa County says it's replacing three bridges crossing the Grand Valley Canal, all have been classified as "functionally obsolete." When construction starts, 24 Road will be closed between I and I 1/2, with traffic detoured to 23 1/2 Road.

The CMU campus radio station has come up with a clever way to earn some money.  They're raffling off 12 credit hours of instate tuition valued at more than $4,000.  The Daily Sentinel says President Tim Foster signed off on the deal, but was unavailable for comment.  The station's manager says the University is picking up the bill for the raffle this year, but they hope the raffle becomes a tradition.

A backpack found in the town of Superior is believed to belong to a ten year old girl missing from Westminster since Friday.  Jessica Ridgeway has been missing since not meeting her friends to walk to school. Police say they have expanded their search to the Rock Creek subdivision in Superior.

A new DU poll shows President Barak Obama leading in Colorado, but the gap closing.  According to the Denver Post, Mitt Romney's strong showing in the first presidential debate led to a 47% to 43% showing for Obama, what they say is the outer edge of the poll's 4% margin of error.

One person is dead, another in critical condition after a carbon monoxide leak at a Colorado Springs apartment complex. The Springs Gazette says firefighters were called after residents reported feeling sick.  The apartments were evacuated and the two victims found.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Friday Octoer 5, 2012

Two former Colorado State Troopers involved in the fatal shooting of a Grand Junction man two years ago have received more than $20,000 in final payouts from the state of Colorado.  The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel says the two were paid just over $10,000 each for administrative leave pay and accrued vacation.  Trooper Ivan Lawyer was found not guilty in the shooting death of Jason Kemp following a suspected drunk driving accident near Kemp's home on the redlands in July 2010.

A political forum in Grand Junction last night had a surprise visitor.  A uniformed state trooper.  The Daily Sentinel says state Representative Ray Scott had received death threats, so the CSP was there.  Scott says he wasn't the only one who received threats, but he wasn't allowed to talk about it.

More democratic presidential campaigning in Colorado, this time on the western slope.  The "Colorado Forward" RV tour is making stops in Montrose this morning and in Durango and Pagosa Springs this afternoon.  In Montrose, former Colorado Senator and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, Senators Michael Bennet and Mark Udall, and others will be at Coffee Trader on Main Street at 9:15. The bus stopped in Grand Junction with little fanfare last night.

You might know him from the "Harold and Kumar" movies, today you'll know him as an Obam co-chair.  Actor Kal Penn is making stops at Colorado Mountain College in Glenwood Springs and in Grand Junction at Colorado Mesa University.  Penn says Obama believes better education is critical to restoring middle-class security.  His stops will include a message about the importance of voting.

If you're traveling between Grand Junction and Denver next week, be ready for some lane closures and traffic stops on I-70 in the Georgetown Hill area.  C-DOT is doing some rockfall mitigation work and fencing permitting.  The work is scheduled Monday through Thursday next week.

That Grand Avenue waterline replacement project is going to be making an even bigger impact to downtown drivers today.  The city says it's closing 5th Street at Grand between 8:30 and noon.  The good news is this construction is the final step in the the waterline replacement work on Grand.

Grand Junction Police are warning of a magazine sales scam underway.  Most of the victims are college students sold subscriptions and told they would be fully reimbursed at CMU.  At least a handful of students have been scammed for hundreds of dollars.  Anyone who thinks they've been scammed should call the police department, and remember never to hand over money to anyone you don't know, or are not certain is working for a particular charity.

Democrat House District 58 candidate Tammy Theis has pleaded no-contest to a shoplifting charge she says she was tried and convicted up by the media.  Theis was cited September 6th, a few days after announcing her candidacy.  She tells the Montrose Daily Press she left a store without paying for some groceries she says she thought the clerk had rung up.  Theis is running against Republican incumbent Don Coram.  She says the shoplifting incident was unfortunate and the easiest way to put it behind was to plead no contest.

Areas around the High Park Fire in Larimer County and the Waldo Canyon Fire in Colorado Springs are getting some federal help for emergency watershed protection.  The natural Resources Conservation Service has received nearly 2 1/2 million dollars for that work.  The NRCS tells the Denver Post it wanted more money, but this ought to help complete projects to stabilize soil, slow runoff and protect the watershed in areas that are considered moderately to highly burned.Colorado Parks and Wildlife are looking for information about on a bull elk killed illegally in Telluride last week.  The headless animal is believed to have been killed the weekend of September 22nd and was partially field dressed.  It had been dragged some distance by an ATV.  Anyone with information should call Operation Game Thief or the Parks and Wildlife Office in Montrose.

A former national park service employee has been sentenced to 33 months in prison and ordered to repay over 738 thousand dollars to the national park service.  Lydia White reportedly embezzled that amount while she was an employee at Great Sand Dunes National park between 2007 to 2011.  White also had written over 870 checks to her husband over the 4 year period.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Thursday October 4, 2012 (Helen Eisenman's Birthday 10-04-35, Happy Birthday Libby's mom!)

A suspect has been arrested in a late night shooting Monday at the Racquet Club Apartments. 18 year old Julio Castro Quinones of Grand Jucntion has being held on suspicion of Attempted First Degree Murder and First Degree Assault.  Quinones is accused of shooting 34 year old Phillip Burchim in the chest.  The Daily Sentinel says Burchim identified his assailant as a Los Angeles Sureno gang member.

Lawyers for accused Aurora Theater shooter James Holmes say his rights were violated when mug shot pictures of Holmes without his cartoonish orange hair were released.  The court appointed attorneys tell the Denver Post their client is mentally ill.  They say release of the mug shot compromised Homoes' right to a fair and impartial jury and due process.

Still want to get to know your Mesa County candidates?  The Grand Valley Young Professionals are holding a forum tonight with all candidates for Mesa County commissioner in Districts 1 and 3, State House district 54 and House District 55.  The forum is at 5:30 at the Art Center in Grand Junction.

The weather service predicted high fire conditions yesterday afternoon and they were right. A fire north of Rifle grew to 500 acres closing Colorado Highway 13 north of Rifle for just over 2 hours. The BLM says the cause is under investigation. 75 firefighters were on the scene yesterday along with air support.  Spokesman David Boyd says more ground and air teams are expected today. Expect more aircraft today.

A man who rode his bicycle near Grand Junction High School with a gun on his hip last month has been ordered to write a letter of apology to the school, complete 48 hours of community service and a firearms safety class. The 65 year old created a panic when the gun was spotted by students.  The Daily sentinel says the unidentified man will not be charged if he completes the terms of the deal with DA Pete Hautzinger.

Add the City of Grand Junction to municipalities against the pot legalization Amendment 64.  City Council last night passed a resolution opposing 64.

CMU President Tim Foster wants $7 million from the City of Grand Junction to build a 2nd academic building at Elm and Cannell avenues, and he took his case to the council again last night.  The Daily Sentinel says Foster showed numbers forecasting about $2 million in city sales tax annually without university growth and about $2.3 million with growth.  The project has an estimated price tag of $17 million.  Foster tells the city council without the funding, tuition would go up by 16% to pay for it.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Wednesday October 3, 2012

Police in Delta have not released the name of a man killed Monday night at H-38 and 1575 Roads, but several media outlets say the victim is  27 year old Chad Koch.  Delta Police are saying very little about the incident that left Koch dead.  The cause of death has not been released as the investigation continues.

The City of Montrose has a budget in hand for 2013, 16% lower than 2012 and given unanimous approval by the city council.  The Montrose Daily Press says nearly $800,000 in cuts were made through an increase in early retirements, some job reassignments and restructuring, and a few layoffs.  Included in the budget is a $3,000 bonus for City Manager Bill Bell, credited with saving $125,000 by not hiring an assistant city manager.

A Hampton Inn and Suites franchise in Craig has agreed to pay $85,000 to settle a case brought by non-Hispanic employees who said they were fired because the owners believe non-Hispanics are lazy.  According to the Denver Post, the US EEO Commission agreed with at least three Caucasian workers who were fired.  The company has agreed to rehire the employees and train owners, managers and supervisors on federal anti-discrimination laws.

A man shot at the Racquet Club Apartments Monday night knew the man who shot him and tells the Daily Sentinel that man is a gang member from Los Angeles. 34 year old Phillip Burchim told investigators from his hospital bed an altercation started after a group of people were making a deal for marijuana. The Sentinel says witnesses saw four men speeding away from the apartments in a dark sedan.

School District 51 will probably get less money from the state after official enrollment counts taken Monday.  Officials say the number of students is higher than the number predicted, but still nearly 200 students less than last year.  The Daily Sentinel says the district has 11 days to add in students who were absent Monday, before sending in its official number.

Get ready for some crazy weather in the Colorado high country.  A red flag warning has been posted for nearly all of western Colorado starting at 1:00 this afternoon.  The National Weather Service in Grand Junction says high winds combined with low humidity, high wind and dry foliage are making way for dangerous conditions.  It's all due to an approaching cold front.  There's a freeze watch in the highest elevations for temperatures in the 20s tonight. Denver could also see temperatures fall to around 31 degrees Saturday night.

Hurricanes have been named for years, now blizzards are getting names.  the Weather Channel tells the Denver Post Draco, Virgil and Rocky are some of the possible names.  The idea is to raise awareness and reduce risks, danger and confusion for people in the storm's paths.  Some say it's a marketing scheme for The Weather Channel since it gets to set parameters for what makes a "name-worthy" storm. 26 names, one for each letter of the alphabet are ready to go.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Tuesday October 2, 2012

Another shooting in Grand Junction, this one at the Racquet Club Apartments at 29 and Orchard.  Mesa County Sheriff's spokeswoman Heather Benjamin says a man was shot around 11:00 last night, his condition unknown.  No one had been arrested and no suspect information released.

Mitt Romney has a new man on his team.  Former Denver Broncos Quarterback John Elway. Elway endorsed the Republican nominee campaigning in Denver yesterday before tomorrow's first presidential debate.  Elway says he's endorsing Romney and Congressman Paul Ryan "because the pair have the courage to make decisions and tackle challenges leading to results and real change."

A body found in an irrigation canal in Grand Junction Sunday has been identified as 51 year old Kenneth Cottingham. Cottingham had been missing since last Tuesday and his body was found not far from where his vehicle was discovered later that week.

Getting around Denver during the Presidential debate tomorrow'll be tricky.  C-DOT has plenty of road closures set, including a six mile stretch of I-25. C-DOT has several detours set up and full details at

The Western Slope conservative Alliance is continuing its series of forums on property rights with State Treasurer Mark HIllman.  Hillman will speak at the Alliance's October meeting Thursday at the Grand Junction City Hall.  The group says it's a bonus meeting with speakers from the Heritage Foundation and the Center for Foreign Policy Studies, discussing Middle East issues.

If you don't get your fill of debates after Wednesday night, You'll have a chance for a local candidate forum in Grand Junction Thursday.  The Grand Valley Young Professionals is hosting candidates for District 1 and 3 Mesa County commissioner, State House districts 54 and 55, and 3rd Congressional District candidates Scott Tipton and Sal Pace.  The forum is at 5:30 at the Art Center at 7th and Orchard.

More backing for Colorado's marijuana legalization bill amendment 64.  Former Republican Congressman Tom Tancredo, The Liberty Caucus and other state republicans are coming out in support of the measure today.  The group say they'll make their announcement this afternoon at the Colorado State Capitol Building.

If you want to get in on this year's Mesa County Online Tax Lien Sale, now is the time.  County Treasurer Janice Rich says registration begins next week for the sale closing November 1st.  Details are available at  A tax lien represents unpaid real estate taxes and purchase of those liens represents an interest-earning investment. You purchase the tax lien, not the property.

A Ridgway based Christian ministry is under fire for a publication urging "Vote Republican".  The Montrose Daily Press says Americans United for Separation for church and State complain the ministry can say all it wants about politics, but must give up it's 501-C-3 status.  The Ridgway Christian Center/Praise Him Ministries says it's done nothing wrong.  The AU says it is not only targeting conservative-leaning churches, but those who lean the other way.

When you pick up your Montrose newspaper this morning, don't be surprised by the front page color.  It's pink.  The publisher says that's on purpose, for a purpose.  The Montrose Daily Press is paying tribute to all breast cancer survivors and everyone who's been affected by breast cancer.

Community Hospital's been talking about it for years, moving from its old digs north of the CMU campus to 23 1/2 and G Roads.  And it looks like they're jsut about ready to break ground.  The hospital tells the Grand Junction City Council the move will take place in phases, with the first phase a 90,000 square foot office building including doctors offices to be complete in December of next year.  The city already has money set aside in next year's budget for improving G Road for access to the facility.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Monday October 1, 2012

You might not have noticed, but the price of gasoline in Coloado is down compared with last week.  Not a lot, but it IS down, 1.1 cents. says the average yesterday was $3.71...the national average $3.79.  The website says typically there's a downward trend at the pumps, but no so much this year.  They say the late arrival of cooler temperatures may be to blame.

United Way of Mesa County is ready for another wine-tasting event Wednesday to help raise money for their cause.  The group has a lofty goal this year year of $1.25 million dollars and hopes to raise that any way they can.  The Fisher's Liquor Barn "United Way Food & Wine" is Wednesday at Two Rivers Winery on the Redlands.  Tickets are available at Fisher's and the United Way office at 4th and White.

A body has been found in a canal near the eastbound I-70 on ramp at Horizon Drive.  51 year old Kenneth Cottingham if Grand Junction was reported  missing last Tuesday, he pickup found on the canal bank.  The Daily Sentinel says the body found yesterday appeared to have been in the water for several days.

It's been a year since Greyhound discontinued bus service between Grand Junction and Durango, but it could be on its way back.  The Daily Sentinel says a nonprofit group is applying for C-DOT grant aiming for roundtrip service between Durango and Grand Junction, with stops in Cortez, Telluride, Ridgway, Montrose and Delta.  If the grant comes through, service could start up by May of next year.

Grand Junction Police are investigating a shooting at the Mesa Inn on Horizon Drive.  It happened around 9:30 last night.  Spokeswoman Kate Porras says a gun was fired inside one room, the bullet traveling through a wall and injuring a person in the other room.  Injuries were minor and police are still trying to figure out what happened.

The first presidential debate is in Denver Wednesday and already plans are in place.  Romney is said to be preparing in Colorado, President Obama in Nevada.  The President is practicing with Senator John Kerry playing Mitt Romney in mock debates.  Romney getting his "Obama" from Senator Rob Portman of Ohio.

Corn and hay are nothing new when it comes to feeding cattle, but pine fiber? otherwise known as beetle kill.  They're expirementing with that at JBS Five Rivers Cattle Feeding.  The trial started in May and so far don't have data on effectiveness of the feed.  Five Rivers tells the Greeley Tribune the drought toll on corn and soybean crops, and other traditional feed sources led to the beetle kill trial.

Mesa County authorities say they've solved a year old murder with the arrest of former Fruita resident Billy Joe Delacey.  The 36 year old was arrested Friday in Pennsylvania. Delacey is accused of beating 26 year old Luis Alberto Vasquez Oliva to death in August of last year.  Sheriff's investigators say Oliva was a male escort Delacey met for sex on Craigslist.