Friday, November 30, 2012

Friday November 30, 2012

The family of a man shot and killed by a state trooper in 2010 have reached a settlement with the state.  Jason Kemp was killed after a minor traffic accident.  Two troopers followed him to his apartment and shot him after he refused to come out. Both troopers have since been fired. According to the Daily Sentinel, the deal must be submitted to the state for approval.  Terms haven't been released.

A Grand Junction man has pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual assault on a child, and now could face life in prison.  51 yea rold Mark Bustamante had been a volunteer mentor in the Mesa County Partners program when he was arrested last summer.  The Daily Sentinel says a plea agreement calls for Bustamante to be sentenced to anything from probation to a maximum 24-years to life in state prison.

Colorado State University has some extra money to research plants for bioenergy crops.  The rising cost of petroleum is generating increasing demand for biofuels.  Some estimate the global market for biofuels trade could reach $520 billion.  A team of professors at CSU have received a $2 million grant to study re-engineering plants for biofuels.  The CSU team was chosen from 4,000 applications.

The State Division of Reclamation Mining and Safety is looking to close inactive coal mine openings in Montrose County.  The Montrose Daily Press says the agency has closed inactive mines in the region in the past, but at least one new report has been made, leading officials to suspect others.  Federal funding for the program is expected in 2014.

Investigators in southwest Colorado are not letting up in the search for a missing 13 year old Dylan Redwine has been missing for nearly two weeks... investigators saying he's not a runaway and focusing their search yesterday on his father's home in Vallecito.  As many as 50 officers from agencies including the FBI are actively involved in the search.

Governor Hickenlooper is looking to get a plan in place if Congress doesn't do something to avert the so-called fiscal cliff.  According to the Denver Post, Colorado stands to lose $2.1 Billion in revenue and federal funds affecting everything from defense contractors to local governments and more next year.  Hickenlooper says he has leaders from state agencies planning for the fallout if $109 billion is cut from the federal military and domestic spending budget.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Tuesday November 6, 2012 ELECTION DAY

We expect shorter lines at the following Vote Centers:

Fruita Civic Center - Library
325 E. Aspen, Fruita

Clifton Road & Bridge Shop
3202 C 1/2 Road, Clifton / OM

Mesa County Fairgrounds - Building C
2785 Highway 50, Grand Jct

Vote early in the day, if you can. Lines tend to get longest late in the afternoon.
All 10 of the Vote Center locations are listed on our website:  Just click on Voter Information. (If you have a mail ballot that you want to drop off in person, the ballot box locations are also listed on this page.)

Experts from Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Wyoming and Nevada are coming to Grand Junction this week to talk about helping communities cope with the possibility of future water shortages in the Upper Colorado River Basin. The 3-day conference is sponsored by the Water Center at CMU. You can get a schedule and information on the water center website at

If you haven't heard enough about the Michael Blagg Murder case, here's a chance to get more.  A new program on Investigation Discovery is airing tomorrow night.  Blagg was convicted of murdering his wife Jenifer in 2001, his 6 year old daughter Abby has never been found.  The episode airs on the series The Devil You Know tomorrow night at 8:00.

There's always a higher voter turnout for presidential elections, and this one is no different.  As of last night, 75% of Mesa County's active voters had cast ballots early or by mail.  Ten vote centers are set up around Mesa county. A list of those with the shortest expected lines is posted on our facebook page, along with a link to the clerk's office for a list of all ten voting sites.

I-70 is open again at Dotsero after a crash involving two semis shut down the eastbound lanes for hours yesterday afternoon.  The state patrol says two trucks were headed east when the one in the rear struck the one in front. The truck in the rear rolled causing the closure.  traffic was rerouted to Highway 6 as crews worked to clean up the mess.  The driver of the truck in the rear was cited for Careless Driving.  Neither driver was injured.

The USA Pro Cycling Challenge will be back in Montrose next summer if the Montrose city council has anything to say about it.  The Montrose Daily press says the council voted unanimously last night to make $30,000 available to the Montrose Association of Commerce and Tourism's application to play host.

Montrose County Commissioners have voted to to suspend impact fees for new construction.  It's the third time the board has made the move in an effort to encourage new development.  The Montrose Daily Press says the county found in the current economic climate, the fees were a deterrent to construction and wouldn't add much help to the county anyway.

The Grand Junction City Council has agreed to send $30,000 in funding next year to the detox program at Colorado West Regional Mental Health Center.  The daily Sentinel says not the entire council is behind the move.  Councilman Jim Doody and Mayor Pro Tem Laura Luke expressed reservations.  Police Chief John Camper told the council the detox facility is a necessity.

The Denver District Attorney has launched a criminal investigation into whether Secretary of State Scott Gessler violated the law by using state funds to attend a partisan event.  The group Colorado Independent Ethics Commission has begun an investigation of its own.  The Denver Post says a trip to a Republican national lawyers Association meeting Florida is in Question.  Gessler was reimbursed from his office's discretionary account for the trip.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Monday November 5, 2012

Grand Junction Fire investigators looking for the cause of fire at a set of apartments in a hotel at 718 Horizon Drive. It was reported just after midnight in a ground floor apartment with possible extension to a second floor unit. A total of 7 people were evacuated, all given new rooms in the motel.

You might not have heard CDOT talking about problems with sun glare, but they are.  The problem is in the Floyd Hill area where the sun's angle during late fall and early winter can blind morning drivers.  CDOT's website lists several precautions drivers should take to avoid problems.  Messages are also being displayed on electronic signs in the area.

The Grand Valley Fire Protection District is looking for the cause of a fire at two units of a complex in Battlement Mesa.  The fire was reported in two units just after noon yesterday.  Both were destroyed, four others suffered significant water damage.  The Colorado Bureau of Investigation is looking into the fire.

Police in Grand Junction are looking for a man who robbed a consignment shop on Main Street Saturday afternoon.  The robber pointed a gun at the owner and demanded money.  then left with cash. It's the second robbery of a small business in less than two weeks.

If you have a mail-in ballot for tomorrow's election, you'll need to drop it off at one of the Mesa County Clerks offices before 7:00 tomorrow night.  Ten voting centers will be set up from7 to 7 tomorrow, those locations listed on the Clerk's website.
As of Friday, more than 51 thousand voters in Mesa County had cast ballots, that's 67% of the county's total 76,000 active voters.

The Montrose city Council meeting set for tomorrow night is being held tonight instead.  The Montrose Daily Press says the council will consider a purchase order for a $25,000 planning grant from the state Department of Local Affairs for design and engineering of an ADA-accessible white water park on the Uncompahgre River.  They'll also decide whether to approve an application for Montrose to serve as a host city for the 2013 USA Pro Cycling Challenge bicycle race.

The price of gas in Colorado has fallen nearly 5 cents a gallon in the past week now at $3.48 a gallon. That's close to 22 cents a gallon lower than a month ago.  Nationally, the average is $3.51/gal. is predicting a continued fall in prices, with the possibility of a national average around $3.35/gal by Thanksgiving.

More allegations against a former Grand Junction Police Office and fire fighter set to stand trial in March accused of an affair with an underage girl in 2000.  The Daily Sentinel says a second woman has come forward saying 42 year old Eric Janusz made uncomfortable sexual comments to her in 2003-04 when she was underage. The paper says prosecutors intend to use the testimony to show a pattern similar to Janusz's sexual assault case.

Tomorrow is election day, but the presidential candidates aren't overlooking Colorado's status as a swing state in the election.  Texas Governor Rick Perry is in western Colorado today holding four meet and greets including two in Grand Junction. The Daily Sentinel says Perry will stop at Republican Headquarters on 1st Street at 11:00 then Clifton at Starvin Arvin's at 12:15.  Perry moves on to Delta this afternoon  at two followed by Glenwood Springs at 5:00.

Ads in the Daily Sentinel for house District 54 Libertarian candidate Tim Menger, are being paid for by a libertarian supporter from Littleton.  The ads are running through tomorrow.  Menger is running against Republican Jared Wright and has said he hasn't and won't take any money for campaigning.  Wright in the meantime has raised over 22 thousand dollars in his quest to win the house district 54 seat.

The Colorado Association of Realtors has released a new report compiling local real estate data from around the state.  It shows homes in southwestern Colorado were on the market longer than the state average.  The average time a house was on the market over the last 2 years was 191 days in southwestern Colorado, compared to the state average of 103 days.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Friday November 2, 2012

Republicans in Montrose are getting ready to welcome GOP Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan to town. Doors open at 8 for the 10:00 speech at the Montrose Regional Airport.

Democratic 3rd District challenger Sal Pace is campaigning strong in the final days before the elections he has stops planned today in Leadville and Edwards.  He'll also be in Rifle at the Midland Building on E. 3rd at 1:30 this afternoon.  Pace's day starts in Grand Junction at 1226 Ute.

The Western Slope Air Watch is back up and running, asking resident to voluntarily not use non-EPA certified wood and pellet stoves and fireplaces on days when temperature inversions could trap wood smoke in the valley. Daily forecasts use blue or read air quality status to let residents know when it's ok or not ok to burn. The program runs through the end of February.

Bus travelers are getting back their route between Durango and Grand Junction.  The Durango Hearald says Road Runner Transi plans to start service in May on a route Greyhound dropped last year because is wasn't profitable.  A non-profit associated wit the Southern Ute Indian tribe has received a grand to offer daily service, CDOT has also chipped in. One-way tickets will cost about $45.

Early skiers and snowboarders are getting a couple of new options today with the opening of Copper Mountain and Keystone Resort.  Arapahoe Basin and Loveland are already open.  The state ski industry is hoping for a better snow year to help bounce back from a lackluster year last year.  The national climate predication Center is hazy on what might be on tap.

A 22 year old Grand Junction man has pleaded guilty to vehicle homicide and misdemeanor counts of reckless endangerment in a crash that killed a grandmother walking along a street in a Pear Park neighborhood with her grand daughter a year ago.  50 year old Darinda Brown died of her injuries several days after Joseph Weixel drove his SUV onto the side walk.The Daily Sentinel says Weixel faces six to 8 years in Mesa County Community Corrections.  He could face prison only if he's not accepted into community corrections or if he's rejected later.

Early voting ends today in Colorado.  already 1.3 million ballots have been cast by mail or early voting ahead of next Tuesday's election.  In Mesa county, 48,609 voters have voted early or returned mail ballots.  That's 61.27% of active registered voters.

Eagle County sheriffs deputies investigating 4 small homemade bombs found in the Blue Lake area of El Jebel. The bombs caused no significant damage and investigators say they may have been part of a Halloween prank.  the bombs were small soda bottles filled with yellow liquid.  If you locate an object that fits that description, don't touch it and call 911 immediately.

Individuals and families in need of low income energy assistance can now pick up 2012-2013 applications at the Mesa County Health Department,  The program helps with winter heating bills.  Residents applying for LEAP benefits must meet eligibility requirements and income guidelines.

Governor John Hickenlooper announced budget proposals for next year. An improving economy means lawmakers didn't have to make drastic cuts to schools and other state services because of increased tax revenue.  overall, the governor is proposing a 5.4 spending increase over last year. Under Hickenlooper's proposals, state employees would get a raise, more money would go to schools and colleges and seniors would get a property tax break.

The Us Attorneys office in Denver has filed charges against a juvenile in the Weber Fire in Mancos this summer.  the fire caused over 5 million dollars in damages.  The juvenile faces 2 counts of juvenile delinquency after allegedly gathering leaves and underbrush around a bush before setting the fire with a lighter on government land in weber canyon.

Congress's failure to extend the wind production tax credit has cost the state of Colorado more jobs.  Vesta Wind Systems shut down their research and development department in Lewis-ville leading to 60 layoffs.  Senator Mark Udall had been pushing for the extension of the tax credit since June, giving regular speeches on the senate floor.

Montrose and Mesa Counties are gearing up for a busy election day.  Mesa county is closing the downtown motor vehicles and records office Tuesday to ease traffic in the area.  In Montrose county, the motor vehicle office close because staff from the office will be assisting with the election.

The public is getting a chance to express opinions about this year's Grand Valley Transit route changes.  GVT is holding an open house all day Monday to get citizen feedback on how the route changes are working for them. The route changes have helped the GVT with on time performance currently at 98 percent.  The GVT also wants opinions on a proposal to move the Greyhound bus station two blocks south to the GVT operations facility.