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.